Through Martin Luther half a millennium ago, the Lord restored to the Church the understanding of justification or salvation by faith in Christ alone. At that time the Church emerged from the spiritual dark ages of trying to attain salvation through good works.
Luther also resurrected the concept of the priesthood of all believers. Not just the clergy, but every believer is called to minister as a priest to speak the praises of God to the world (1 Peter 2:9). Every believer is called to preach the gospel as Jesus did (John 14:12). But this priesthood of all believers has not yet been fulfilled.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Centuries later, the Lord raised up John and Charles Wesley to restore to the Church the understanding of sanctification and personal holiness for those who are saved by faith in Christ.
Then in the middle of the twentieth century, the Lord began to restore to the Church the understanding of the work and person of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that the Church receives power to witness for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). Although certain teachings and practices regarding the Holy Spirit were controversial—as can be the case when imperfect human beings respond to a move of the Holy Spirit—the Lord began to restore His power to the Church for fulfilling the Great Commission.
In the decades of the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Lord restored to the Church the understanding and practice of praise and worship in both spirit and truth. In the Spirit, believers entered the Most Holy Place through Jesus Christ to worship God the Father and experience His glorious presence.
Toward the end of the millennium in the 1990’s, the Lord restored to the Church the understanding of intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare. Books, conferences, seminars, and teachings on prayer proliferated throughout the Church, leading to an unprecedented revival of individual and corporate prayer throughout the world. What is the purpose of all these prayer?
Essentially, the prayer of the Lord and the Church is “Thy kingdom come.”
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (1 Corinthians 4:20).
The Church has been praying that the kingdom of God come with power to transform our communities, with the power of miraculous signs to demonstrate to the world that Jesus Christ is indeed the only true Lord and Savior. Much of the world, especially those with Musl__m, Hindu, Buddhist, and atheistic backgrounds, is becoming hardened to the gospel. But visible demonstrations of God’s miraculous power help to convince them of the validity of the gospel we preach.
In this new millennium, the Lord is restoring to the Church—to every believer—the understanding and practice of miraculous power over disease and demons as confirmation of the gospel. This will be the fulfillment of the priesthood of all believers as the Reformer Martin Luther taught. The early church understood and practiced this:
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. …9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ …17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” (NIV)
John 14:11-12 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also… (NIV)
The Lord is restoring His miraculous power to us so that we may preach this gospel of the kingdom “in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)