A 20-YEAR-Old PROPHECY by Andrew Strom It is now 20 years since we first got on the Internet and started our website and also this List. One of the very first things I put on that website back in 1996 was my first book, "THE COMING GREAT REFORMATION" - which was subtitled, 'New Insights into the Coming Worldwide Shaking, Reformation and Street Revival.' No doubt some of you have read it. I think it is often good to go back to prophecies written years ago and ponder what is happening now. One of the things I wrote about in that book was the coming of a move of God that would take us back to the fulness of "Apostolic teaching" - the teachings of the apostles in the Book of Acts. Until we get the fulness of those teachings and the anointing to teach them in a truly 'apostolic' way, I believe the fulness of the "Church" (in the truest sense of that word) will continue to elude us. We may see some things restored, but we will not see the fulness of the "Church" until 'Apostolic teaching' is restored first. Below is a kind of "prophecy" but also a teaching from that 1996 book about what we can expect in any true end-time Revival- "APOSTOLIC TEACHINGS and PRACTICES" by Andrew Strom (1996). "This is to be an `apostolic´ move. As it was in the beginning, so it will be also at the end... One of the most basic and obvious of these apostolic teachings, I believe, will be to restore the original meaning and purpose of the Lord´s Supper and also Believer´s Baptism. Both of these are seen by many Christians merely as something akin to a symbolic ritual, performed in `rememberance´ or just out of obedience to Scripture, rather than because they have tremendous spiritual impact from God´s point of view. In reality, there is actually NOTHING that Jesus has instituted in the New Testament that is merely a "symbolic" act or a `ritual´ that we are to perform. Such things belong to the Old Covenant, not the New. Everything that Jesus has instituted in the New Covenant has tremendous spiritual value and life-giving power, if only we can partake of these things by faith, as He intended. When we partake of the Lord´s Supper, we are supposed to be partaking afresh of the "bread of life" (the word of God) and the cleansing power of the "blood of the new covenant" (see Mt 26: 26-28, Jn 6:48-58, 1 Cor 10:16- 17, 1 Cor 11:23-30, etc). We are to take this fresh impartation of spiritual life to ourselves by faith, as we eat and drink of the Lord´s Supper. Why do you think the early Christians partook of the Lord´s Supper "daily" in their gatherings `from house to house´? And why do you think Paul warned the Corinthians that some of them were `weak´ and others had died because they had not discerned the "one body" that they were to be partakers of, and were therefore "eating and drinking judgement" upon themselves? (1 Cor 11:27-33). There is real spiritual power in the Lord´s supper! This is not just some symbolic ceremony. We are clearly to be continual partakers of the "one body" of Christ, broken for us (and divided amongst us at Communion), and also the cleansing, empowering "blood of the new covenant". Believer´s Baptism (by immersion) is another thing that has lost it´s true significance over the centuries. We are told often that this is essentially a "symbolic" death-and-burial ceremony for the believer. There are many believers today (even `Spirit- filled´ ones) who think so little of baptism that they haven´t even "got around to it yet" at all. But what is God´s view of believer´s baptism? Does He regard it merely as `an outward symbol´? I think not! We are told in Rom 6:3-6, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death... We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin." It is clear from this and many other Scriptures that from a spiritual point of view, baptism is an event of tremendous impact and importance. Can we claim to have truly "died with Christ" if we have not been baptized by immersion? No, we cannot. Can we claim to have been spiritually `cut off´ from our sinful body, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin? No, Scripturally we cannot. And how else can we "reckon" ourselves to be `dead to sin´? I believe that rather than being some kind of "symbolic" death, God sees believer´s baptism as being a very "literal" spiritual death - a `cutting off´ of the sinful body of the believer. Why else would Peter tell the assembled crowd on the day of Pentecost, "Repent, AND BE BAPTISED in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE FORGIVE- NESS OF YOUR SINS..."? (Acts 2:38). And why else would Paul be told, on the day of his conversion, "Arise and BE BAPTISED, AND WASH AWAY YOUR SINS, calling on the name of the Lord"? (Acts 22:16)... Today, when people want to become a Christian, they are told to simply "ask Jesus into their heart", or "give their heart to the Lord". You might be surprised to learn that there is literally NOT ONE example of anyone in the New Testament being told to do anything like this at all. For instance, there are many, many examples in the book of Acts of people becoming Christians, and yet NOT ONCE are any of them told anything that even remotely resembles, "Just give your heart to the Lord". Instead, people in Bible days were told, "Repent, and be baptized... and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38. See also Acts 8:12-20, Acts 8:35-39, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6, Acts 22:16, etc). In the coming Revival, just like the book of Acts, repentance, water- baptism (by immersion) and baptism in the Holy Spirit will be expected to occur IMMEDIATELY someone believes the gospel. Until all of these things have occurred, they will simply not be considered a true, New Testament Christian. This is clearly the only tenable Scriptural position on the matter. What a shockingly inadequate and unscriptural gospel the church has been preaching up until now! I believe that another huge change in emphasis that will come in with the new move of God will be in the area of sacrificial giving to the poor. In the book of Acts the writer (Luke) devotes a tremendous amount of space to the way in which the early believers sold any excess land, houses or possessions, and gave to the poor (especially to the orphans and widows, etc). From the space that Luke devotes to this subject it is clear that this was a major emphasis of the early Church. And of course, it had always been a major emphasis of JESUS in the first place! To the `rich young man´, Jesus had said, "Sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Mk 10:21). To his disciples He had said, "Sell your possessions and give alms" (Lk 12:33), and, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" (Mk 10:23)... You have to admit, none of this sounds like much of a "prosperity" doctrine, does it?.. The above are just some of the more obvious and fundamental apostolic teachings that I believe will be restored in the coming Revival. These are not obscure doctrinal points. They involve some of the most basic and fundamental questions of the New Testament: What do we tell people to do to become a Christian? Why do people need to be baptised in water? Why do we partake of the Lord´s Supper? What does Jesus require us to do with our possessions? All of these are PRACTICAL questions which impacted hugely on the everyday life of the early Church. No doubt there will be other fundamental teachings that will also be restored, when the new apostles arise to establish a true "New Testament" Church once again, in our time." [-End of 1996 Prophecy/ Teaching]. Onward to a true "apostolic" Revival, my friends. Onward to a truly 'Great' Reformation. I would be most interested in your comments. Special blessings to all, Andrew Strom.