A Look at Kent Hunter’s “The Future Is Now: How God Is Moving In The 21st Century Church
I came across an ebook by Kent R. Hunter of Church Doctor Ministries entitled “The Future Is Now: How God Is Moving In The 21st Century Church.” I would like to quote from this source since it is so good, and then add a few of my analysis to it.
From Chapter 14 – Christian Impact Beyond Human Explanation, Hunter says: “The Enemy is real — spiritual warfare is real. The Enemy is subtle when the church is sleeping. The Enemy is direct when the church is healthy. The Enemy is active when the church is impacting culture. For healthy churches in the 21st century, spiritual warfare will accelerate. It always accelerates when there is Christian productivity. Why? The Enemy is strategic. It will be important for Christians to understand that Satan is real and attends your church. He attends your church not to worship, but to disrupt. He hangs around your family when you are a vital Christian, not to fellowship, but to interrupt. The Enemy is the Father of Lies. He is extremely dangerous. He is to be respected, as if a wild lion walked into the room.
This is the area of the supernatural reflected in the New Testament. Vital and healthy churches effectively reaching people in the 21st century will train some who God uses in a ministry of deliverance. Healing and prayer for healing will become a reality that cannot be rationally excused. Speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and other manifestations that are not common in sleeping churches from the modern era are reflections of life in the New Testament. These supernatural events of Scripture are no more supernatural than a person becoming a Christian. When Christianity grows, these activities become visible and prominent. Spiritual warfare, divine healing, supernatural activities, prophesy — all are part of the New Testament. They cannot be selectively discharged when the church experiences a renewal. It might as well be said, acknowledged, understood, and accepted, because if a church becomes a healthy, missional center, this will be, and always has been, a reality of life in the spiritual dimension.”
When I first got baptized in the Spirit in 1974, the spiritual reality of the good and the bad became real. I saw a demonic driven girl who wanted to jump into a campfire delivered by the power of God. I attended several church services where someone tried to disrupt the service, was removed, rebuked, and in one case delivered. I have felt the power of evil and its ineffectiveness when facing the name and power of a resurrected Jesus. I have participated in a “house cleaning” of demonic spirits only to smell the freshness of wine that we had used for communion fill the place when completed. All this in the United States! I have not seen these kinds of manifestations in over two decades and have wondered why. I have learned that you can tell the spirituality of a church by the opposition it faces from satan. As Hunter said, “the enemy is subtle when the church is sleeping.” It has been a while since I have seen a visible confrontation in any church with satan.
Spiritual reality comes with revival. Deliverance and healings as well as manifestations of the Spirit becomes commonplace as God moves in supernatural ways. It is when the church minimizes the supernatural that it begins to slumber and loose its effectiveness. Hunter stated that satan “is to be respected as if a wild lion walked into the room.” But let me tell you, it is awesome when the Lion of Judah, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ is released in that same room and that wild lion becomes a toothless, quieted, powerless lion cub. This comes with true revival.
It is hard for me to find churches where the gifts of the spirit flow freely as they did during the Charismatic revival. Tongues with interpretation, prophecies, corporate singing in the spirit, the singing of new songs, deliverances, healings, etc. have been minimized in almost every congregation. With a revival, a Pentecost, the spiritual, the supernatural is activated, released, and becomes common place. Many American churches today want “controlled” revivals in “their house” in their terms under their theological boundaries. Sorry, revival does not work that way. The veil in the Temple was torn from top down; God’s Spirit was released beyond historical Jewish boundaries to “all flesh, your sons and your daughters,” and in only a few days revival broke out at the Temple in the form of Pentecost. The sweeping impact of that first revival is recorded throughout the entire book of Acts.
I have faced the roaring lion, the father of lies, and at times wonder if I really want to disturb him rather than having to fight; that is slumber. That is the option many of us, the church, and myself have chosen over the last couple of decades. Revival awakes the roaring, lieing lion of satan, but it also unleashes the Lion of Judah, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and the battle begins, and the Lion of Judah always wins! Church, with revival comes warfare, and with warfare comes preparation and tools for battle. Jesus supplies those supernatural weapons in times of spiritual warfare.