(Background) Today’s Church is divided by various denominational differences of both theology and practice, but all seek to grow as local bodies, looking for both spiritual and material “success”. All have their beliefs and ways of worship that they hold onto or are held bound by, given their affiliations. They all have worship service outlines and formats that they follow, whether they are liturgical, pentecostal, or evangelical, and they generally follow the same Christian calendar, at least in terms of the major Christian feast days of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, with the seasons of Advent and Lent. Year after year, the Church goes through it cycle of the yearly calendar.
The roots of the Church being Jewish, the early apostolic church would have contended with whether or not the Christian Church should continue observing the yearly Jewish feasts, now that the Messiah had been revealed and fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. First predominantly Jewish, the Church still observed the daily times of Jewish prayer, but preached that Jesus was the Christ who was crucified and raised from the dead, calling people to repentance and baptism in Jesus’s name, but of course encountered resistance and opposition by Jewish leaders. They also began gathering on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, to “break bread”, a tradition that has continued for 2000 years. No longer “under the Jewish Law” as a means to salvation and the requirements of the Law with all its obligatory festal seasonal observations, the Church lived under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the compulsion to preach the Gospel daily and proclaim salvation by faith through the name of Jesus Christ alone.
After three centuries of persecution and the declarative acceptance of Christianity in the Roman Empire, the Church also having grown in Gentile population, began to develop in its organization and structure, including the beginning of yearly observations of special holy days and seasons, creating its own customary layer of religion that has been followed (with denominational differences) for the last 1700 years. However, over the last two centuries, there have also been various revivals of the Holy Spirit which were springboards for today the more recent pentecostal and charismatic movements, bringing more people, churched and unchurched, into personal encounters with the risen Lord Jesus. But still, even these churches end up settling on various levels into the yearly routines of seasonal-calendar Church worship.
Last month, as He has in the past, the Lord began to speak to me about how the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost ever year internally, but on and after that day, no outbreak of the Holy Spirit and fire is seen, no increase of public witness, no exponential increase of new believers being added to the Church happens. With this the Lord pointed out to me that while the historic Church observes 40 days of Lent before Easter, a tradition that did not officially develop until the 4-5th century, Jesus witnessed to his own resurrection 40 days after Easter and then instructed the disciples to wait for 10 days in preparation for Pentecost. In response to the issue of the Church repeatedly observing the Feast of Pentecost every year, but never moving out in the power of the Holy Spirit afterwards, the Lord instructed me to call for 10 days of repentance filled preparation, starting at Ash Wednesday, to move out in obedience to the call to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit after the 10 days and begin witnessing to the risen Lord Jesus with whatever strategy God provides BEFORE Easter Day (I will be using customized door hangers), and then with an intensification, perhaps verbal, between Palm Sunday and Easter (Holy Week).
If anyone or any church, can receive this ‘word’, I pray that God would grant them the bold confidence and courage to go out in the authority of Jesus’ name and the power of the Holy Spirit.