At the turn of the year 2017, as we were praying during our conference in Brazil, I sensed the Spirit of the Lord saying in my heart, to “return to a new age of the acts of the apostles.”
For decades we have looked to the book “Acts of the Apostles” as the pattern for ministry, and indeed most restoration-oriented ministries do so. But I perceived this word to mean something quite different: not just a pattern, but an “age” – as mentioned in I Corinthians 10:11 –
“to us upon whom the end of the ages has come.”
In Acts chapter two, the Holy Spirit was poured out in approximately the year 33 AD. The Apostle Paul reportedly was beheaded in approximately 67 AD. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. While apostolic revivals have certainly continued around the world, there was a relatively short window of time between 30 AD and 70 AD in which all of the “action” of the book of Acts took place.
What was the “end of the age” for Paul and the other disciples? In their generation it was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Another “end of the age” is foretold at the Second Coming (presumably in our generation). There was a previous “end of the age” at the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC and another before that in Noah’s time (II Peter 3:5-10). There will be yet another at the end of the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20-21).
Yeshua, Peter, Paul and John all relate to a double “end”, one in their own generation and one in a later generation (Matthew 24:3). For this reason there is an overlap of prophecies when speaking of the end times. The first age of the apostles occurred right before the “end of the age” in their day. This new age of the apostles will happen right before the “end of the age” in our generation. Both involve the destruction of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2).
The first Apostolic Age took place shortly after Yeshua ascended into heaven from earth. We are in the period shortly before His descent from heaven back to earth. A unique factor in these two time periods is the overlap of the international ecclesia and the Messianic community in Israel. Before 33 AD there was no ecclesia. After 70 AD there was no Israel. During that one generation both the ecclesia and the remnant were in position. Today, for the first time in 2000 years the two again coexist.
We don’t know exactly how to count the present window of opportunity. Did it start in 2000 AD and will it end at 2040? Does it begin now in 2017 and end sometime in this generation? I don’t know.
However, for the first time in almost 2000 years the conditions of the book of Acts are coming together again. Moreover the alignment between a revivalist, apostolic ecclesia in all the nations and a revivalist, apostolic Messianic remnant in Israel is occurring for the first time. There was no opportunity for this alignment to take place in previous generations.
This is a speeding up of time for the nations, for Israel, for the Church, for communications, for revelation, for revival, for persecution, for the completion of the great commission of Acts 1:8, for the outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh according to Acts 2:17, and for the restoration of all things as stated in Acts 3:21. The year 2017 represents a breakthrough, a “restart”, for the apostolic and apocalyptic prophecies to take place.