Reformation Comes Before Revival

By Greg Crawford Apostle

Acts 3:21

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

We truly have the wrong concept about reformation and revival. Many desire to see a great harvest of souls and the end time move of God. I also desire to see this happen but I look at The Church and find us unprepared for that type of outpouring. Recent statistics say that 78% of all adults in America are willing to listen to someone talk about their faith. It is higher yet with 17-28 year olds at 89%. Yet the church is frozen in fear as the harvest is ready now!

Revival will not come until a reformation of the current structure has taken place. Reformation always precedes revival. You can easily see this pattern in scripture. Jesus was a reformer and not a revivalist. He did not concern himself with numbers or even whether they followed him. He cared about the few who would shift the structure and open up the next move to the many. The Gospels are primarily about reformation and the Acts and epistles are about revival and how the structure changed and accommodated it. Here are some things to look at.

Jesus in the Gospels all focused on reformation

Reformation of signs and wonders

Reformation of the Kingdom

Restructured The Church container and mindset

Released faith and anticipation

Brought relationship with God and Holy Spirit to personal level

Restoration of humanity through healing and deliverances

Confrontation of religious systems and its leaders

Establishment of the Kingdom rulers "Church"

Jesus reformation releases Acts Revival

Restoration of believers to God through salvation

Gifts of the Spirit released

Multitudes saved

Religious systems could not contend with the revival because of Jesus' reformation

Unified - Magnified Multiplied

Revelation over prior word

Kingdom government established by 5-fold model

God always looks at the container before He releases His glory in fullness. If we are honest, the container right now cannot hold the glory God desires to drop within it. You see reformation prepares the church for the unlimited ability of God. We say God will not share His glory with anyone, yet so many try to take credit for what has occurred instead of recognizing all we can do is prepare and God will bring the deposit.

Acts 19:28-30

28 And when they heard these sayings , they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians . 29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. 30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.

Paul had just confronted the false belief system. It was a false glory allowed to function. We see it as cultic and this is true, but the reality is Paul was not confronting cults in his ministry but belief systems. What we must understand like the apostles of Acts, reformation is confrontational with the belief system of people and will expose the belief system men have imposed on others. These things may or may not be cultic. The things that are false will come into conflict with what God is bringing as revelation. Without discernment and true spiritual understanding, we could reject the revelation God desires to bring and only see it as conflicting and maybe even confusing. Yet most unbelievers will probably embrace the revelation because they have no preconceived ideas and belief systems.

Today we face the same issues that Jesus did as a reformer and that is the current religious belief structure. They had a truth that they operated under, but that truth was not relevant to the present tense Kingdom of God. Today this is the real issue. Individuals embracing the present Kingdom truth being emphasized can resolve it and/or by confrontation of the belief system operating under past truth that is not relevant to the Kingdom today. Change the container and then see the Glory. The Glory is not going to change the container, even though it will influence it greatly. The Glory is to reveal the Kingdom in fullness. Is this not what Jesus modeled and put into place? We see in Luke 9 that Jesus says to preach the Kingdom (change the container) and then signs follow (Reformation)

So what needs to transpire to see reformation? The key is awakening The Church into purpose, function and mandates. As I see it, there are 3 parts that must be touched or awakened and then we will see reformation. Here they are briefly:

1. Theological transition

There is and has to be a Kingdom theology established. This is the main mandate now happening in The Church. We are both returning to the basic foundation doctrines of the Christ and the Apostles of the early church. The self centered gospel we currently have will be set aside. Revelatory truth and mysteries of Christ are now bringing freshness to The Church and should be bringing hope to unbelievers. If not, then things need to be re-examined. In this area, a new focus and understanding is coming concerning Eschatology the doctrine of last things, and Ecclesiology The doctrine of The Church (ekklesia) as Jesus defined and meant it to be. When these two finally merge or we have an alignment of heaven and earth, we will see true awakening occur. Right now, we are at the beginning stage of the shifting in theology and for most leaders who do not "tune in" to the Spirit; this will be a difficult or almost impossible shift to happen.

2. Leadership transition

With awakened revelation, true leaders will begin to function differently. They will move from reactive (telling what people want to hear) to proactive (telling what needs to be spoken). Issues of the heart will be addressed again with courage. Confrontation of lifestyles and even the life and existence of The Church will be declared with boldness. This will begin to shift mindsets and paradigms away from self-centeredness into Kingdom awareness. (The corporate Body of Christ). Leaders with true revelatory understanding will no longer be threatened to raise up those under them and also release them into function. Greater team dynamics of ownership of the vision and working together across boundaries is also a part of the shifting. Leaders will move away from being the source of jealousy causing division in the Body of Christ to addressing false doctrine causing division in the society of nations.

3. Functioning Transition

The third will be a move from program driven church to Spirit led meetings. This comes from the first 2 transitions. People do not change how they function until their values system changes. Values systems come from two sources -Theology and leadership. As these two align, people will be released to function. This means the true Church will realize the chronos (natural seasons) and kairos (divine moments) times of God. Gifts will be moving in people and the services office restored to the Body. True Biblical Apostolic Government will be in place and functioning. Environments for creativity to be released will also be formed thus releasing the prophetic, worship, arts and writing. Some of these are now occurring but not in the fullness by any means. As we function correctly, we also will move in correct authority. We will realize we have a purpose, a cause and will finish a destiny. Society will be effortlessly touched and sacrificial giving of lives will occur for the sake of souls again. The Kingdom will be allowed to both change and participate in society! The Glory will come because proper stewardship is in place. The harvest will be released and not spoiled!

Reformation is not a choice it is a divine necessity. Like John in Revelation 4 it is one of those things "That must be". It is going to entail transitions; people who will not agree, and many decisions by leaders to embrace present Kingdom truth. We always say we want something that looks like the Church of Acts. But we do not ever talk about the opposition of birthing something like it.

Now let me say one thing that may upset some, but I feel needs to be addressed. The current young adult ministries that are functioning are mainly focused as forerunners. They are announcing the need of intimacy, social injustice, the need for deliverance, the need for healing, miracles, signs, wonders, anticipation, the need to release faith, etc. The current prayer focus is bringing an awareness of what needs changed, but unlike what I heard one young adult leader say, "That all things can be changed in the prayer room" is a deceptive and unbiblical pattern. Most young adults I have talked with have not found what they are looking for and that is the activation for change. That requires identity, knowing the cause and seeing the eternal purposes of God in their life and then how their life will bring impact. We have done a good job of training them to forerunner or announce but within this group is a frustration of not truly finding what they know is in their heart and that they are to connect with. God desires to train an army of reformers who move from announcing to actively pursuing to change the current structure. I honestly believe the next move of God that will occur will be a move to mobilize not forerunners, or even houses of prayer, but reformers who encompass all that we currently see. They will also know how to go to the next level and apply those things to bring change.

On a personal note, our ministry has not taken the position of forerunning but more a model of reformation. We have traveled our region doing reformation meetings and seeing amazing things occur with our small army of reformers. We have seen creative miracles confirmed by doctors. We have seen new hope come into pastors that are locked in religious systems and making decisions to come out or confront them, for the sake of the glory they have seen. We know what God has said to us, that the past 12 years have led us to this moment. They have been preparation for birthing an army of reformers. We are believing God to send out over 1,000 trained reformers to begin to bring about the changes we are already seeing occur. Pray for us. Help us. Join us.