I guess I raise this question because of the growing number of faithful Christians I see being moved by the Holy Spirit to seek a deeper experience of abiding in the Lord. And I don't mean "abide" in the lukewarm sense of all the Churches I've ever attended. By "deeper", I mean more than acting in accordance with the morals of the Bible, or walking in the ways of the Lord -- which are absolutely appropriate and necessary. By "deeper abiding", I mean recognizing God's voice; connecting with His heartbeat; and being willing to step outside the accepted boundaries of fellowship with God ... to go to greater lengths than you've ever known; to be His willing partner in preparing the nations for the return of the Lord.
I know that sounds rather vague, and is more than likely difficult to accept for those who are happy with where they are in their relationship with God, and with how their Church prescribes that relationship should be. But for those whose spirits have been transformed by a supernatural encounter with God; or for those whose spirits recognize they are hungry for more than what they've been spiritually fed and are willing to seek more sustenance from God, we are finding that God has much more to offer the faithful who are bold and fearless.
What does that look like, and what exactly is a Forerunner? Let me answer the latter part of that question first. Simply put, a forerunner is an advance messenger of a person or thing to come. In the Bible, we all know that John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus Christ. Luke 1:17 states, of John, "and he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” I actually prefer the Amplified version of this verse: It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous [which is to seek and submit to the will of God]—in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.” The role and responsibilities of a forerunner in this generation are quite apparent ... to seek the will of God [and to submit to it] in preparing the people of this world for the return of Jesus.
Isaiah actually prophesied about End-time forerunners who would prepare people by lifting a “banner message” to the ends of the earth that declares the full manifestation of Jesus’ salvation. ... Prepare the way for the people…lift up a banner for the peoples [the nations]! Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him…’” (Isa. 62:10-11) We are to proclaim to the world that Jesus is returning and bringing the full manifestation of the Kingdom of God with Him!
So, let me return to the question of what it looks like to be called by God to be a forerunner, and what and how He is showing us His message for the people of this world. First, we need to understand that God used forerunners in previous generations when He was about to do a glorious work on the earth. And since He never changes, it should be no surprise that He would have forerunners prior to Jesus's Second Coming. After all, there is no event that could be more significant to the future of the earth's inhabitants. And these forerunners always were witness to God's supernatural attributes and power.
Actually, the Bible gives us a history of supernatural generations in which the majority of God’s people witnessed the power of God on a regular basis. We have the generation of Moses, with the supernatural events of the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Crossing of the River Jordan --- all leading to the establishment of the Old Covenant. Nearly 1500 years later, there was a generation that witnessed the supernatural events of Pentecost and the subsequent miracles of the works of the Apostles and the supernatural conversion of Paul -- all leading to the establishment of the New Covenant. Now, here we are, just a little over 2000 years after that last generation, in which many are asking how long until Jesus returns to establish the Millennium Kingdom?
In each of these generations God dramatically increases the way He moves in power through His people and how He relates to them. That is quite apparent in the generation of Moses and the Acts 2 generation. But I am quite confident when I tell you that it is happening in this generation, too. And God is doing it the same way. The same Holy Spirit that guided Moses and the Apostles -- that gave them wisdom to do God's will and the power to achieve it -- is working in those who are willing to answer His call in this generation.
Remember, Jesus told us that we, who believe in Him, would do greater works than He did. And the Bible tells us that if all the works of Jesus were to be written in books, the whole world would not have room for the books. So why in the world does the modern Church have a hard time accepting that the Holy Spirit can be working in God's people in new and miraculous ways that might not be mentioned in the Bible? After all, Jesus didn't tell us exactly what those "greater things" would be, and if he did so many more works than could be written down, why do our fellow believers doubt us when we say the Holy Spirit is showing us deeper revelations from God?
So, when we speak of healing or casting out demons (which the Bible readily records as acts of Jesus), why are we censored and judged for speaking of "seeing in the spirit" or "warring in the spiritual realm" or allowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit to conduct "inner healing" on those kept in bondage to the Enemy? Isn't it possible that the Holy Spirit is revealing the "greater works" that God wants done before His Son returns? [And there is so much more being revealed, but I hesitate to share it because of the fear, doubt, and unbelief already exhibited by much of the Body of Christ!]
The truth of the matter, as I see it, is this: there is undoubtedly a growing spiritual hunger among the remnant of God. They are preparing themselves by going deeper into their understanding of the Word; by fasting and seeking the spiritual gifts of God; and by ministering to the needs of the lost and enslaved. This remnant is answering the call on their spirits and responding to the hunger of their hearts to perceive the purposes of God's coming judgments -- and to prepare the nations to repent and receive God's grace and deliverance before those judgments take place.
When the world sees the greatest manifestation of both God's and Satan's power [at the return of Jesus], the forerunners will have a unique focus and understanding of what is happening, and will be prepared to assist the Holy Spirit in the revelation of Jesus and the Father. Forerunners will answer the call to be co-laborers in God's Harvest of souls. They will be positioned to answer the confusion, fear, and anger of believers who do not possess a renewed mind (seeing the events from God's heavenly perspective). Forerunners will be able to assist the Holy Spirit in giving understanding of events to the End-Times Church, and they will be equipped to partner with Jesus to intercede on behalf of those who will receive Jesus as their Savior.
So, you see, the position of Forerunner has been Biblically and historically important in compelling God's Kingdom on earth forward, and it will be no less important in the generation that sees His return. Is that this generation, or the next? No one knows for sure. But I can tell you that I praise the Lord for the knowledge and wisdom and power He is imparting to believers in this generation. I thank Him for allowing me to witness the incredible love He has for all those who will receive Jesus, and for seeing the imaginative and creative ways He manifests His power in their lives.
And whatever measure of power and authority He gives me; whatever measure of blessings on my heart, circumstances, or ministry; whatever measure of experiencing Him I receive; by whatever measure my hungry spirit is filled -- at the end of my life, it will have been an honor to be a servant of the Lord. I wish the same for each of you.
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.