Traditionally, when New Year dawns upon us, the founders of community seek messages from the Lord. For my part, the Lord inspired me with 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 :
Decree of Cyrus. 22 In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing: 23“Thus says Cyrus, king od Persia: ‘All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!’”
While Sis Luli was led to read Matthew 12:38-42 :
The Demand for a Sign. 38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. 40 Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. 41 At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. 42 At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.”
As we discussed the two messages from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, we discerned that God was calling our attention to our original call, which Sis Luli received at the outset of community when God told her “to go and proclaim the Good News.” The message was initially addressed to the Nakar family, and eventually to the Elim community which was founded thereafter. From there, we were inspired to go and evangelize those within our reach, establishing startups and branches and eventually, clusters in the country, even abroad. The instrument was mainly the holding of Pathways to Victorious Christian Living seminars and introducing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world. We spread this proclamation “both by word of mouth and in writing.” In the process, we built a house for the Lord which we called “Elim Center for Renewal” at the community address in #51 10th St., Rolling Hills Village, New Manila, Quezon City. This center became the venue for many community activities such as prayer meetings, growth seminars, conferences, church activities and even political gatherings geared to proclaim the good news of Jesus and the reality of God’s kingdom on earth. Many were converted and welcomed Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. But some took time to be drawn to Christ.
For a while, community went into the political arena with negative developments. Nevertheless, Elim was given an opportunity to share the good news with others along the way. Our disappointments in the political field were however reversed by our introduction into our encounters in the spirit of revival which pointed the way to the sovereignty of God in our spiritual goals.
August 10, 1999 was a kind of rebirth for Elim when a sovereign move of God touched community with the revival fire of the Holy Spirit. Since then, dwellers, ministries and branches have undergone major transformation for the glory of God.
Revival has become a major thrust of community in reaching out to other members of the Body of Christ as well as to unbelievers. It is the component that gives life and sense to the existence and purpose of community through the unreserved and high-energy worship services and prayer ministry. The major fruit of revival is the awe-inspiring reality of God’s presence in the gatherings—the manifest and unmistakable sense of His glory—that has life-changing and healing effects on those who experience it.
Community has never been the same since! So too with the many thousands who have experienced revival in Elim’s gatherings, seminars and conferences.
Until now, Elim is empowered by the direction from the Lord.
Through the years, the work of evangelization seemed to have mellowed and the Lord does not appear to have been satisfied with the phase of accomplishments in regard to the proclamation of the good news which is to multiply disciples of Jesus in community.
Additionally, a third message has come to remind us of the lack of impetus in the vision of community. This message was received by Sis Luli from Nehemiah 9:5-6 , which pertains to many Levites who participated in the public confession of sin in behalf of God’s people who from time to time turned away from God.
5 The Levites Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said, “Arise, bless the LORD, your God, from eternity to eternity!” The Israelites answered with the blessing, “Blessed is your glorious name, and exalted above all blessing and praise.” 6 Then Ezra said: “It is you, O LORD, you are the only one; you made the heavens, the highest heavens and all their host, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the heavenly hosts bow down before you.”
There can only be an appropriate response to the messages of the Lord to community by raising up disciples and scheduling of more Pathways to Victorious Christian Living seminars. By the Holy Spirit, we pray that God will guide community in this act of obedience to God’s messages this year, in Jesus’ name.