The natural things are an image of spiritual things, as the Bible shows throughout its pages. In the book of Hebrews 11:3, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that visible things were made from the invisible. In Psalms 19:1, we also find that the heavens (solar systems and galaxies) declare the glory of God. This article will show that the gospel of Jesus Christ travels the same way as the natural sun. Indeed, Malachi 3:2 speaks of Jesus as being the sun of righteousness.
The gospel of Christ started in Jerusalem where he was crucified. Christianity is based on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. After the resurrection, Christ sent his Holy Spirit into his disciples on the day of Pentecost, so they could continue with his commission in the world.
As the sun rises in the east and travels westward, the move of God has done the same over the last 2000 years. Spiritually speaking Jerusalem is the east and signifies sunrise. Thus, both the foundation of Christianity (Christ’s atoning work) and the true church have their origin in the east: Jerusalem.
Antioch is often called the second city of Christianity. In the book of Acts chapter 13, this is where Paul received the call for missionary work. The ministers blessed Paul and Barnabas and sent them out to spread the faith. Paul would always come back to this city after missionary journeys.
The fact that this city became the focus showed that attention was shifting from Jerusalem as the headquarters of Christianity. It was the plan of God for salvation to go to the other peoples of the world besides Jews. Prior to this, in Acts 9:15, God had stated that Paul was his vessel to take the message to the Gentiles
After Antioch, the next center of action was Ephesus, which rose as an important place of Christianity after the visit of the Apostle Paul as recorded in Acts 19. This happened about the year 53AD. The Ephesians church grew to be one of the most vibrant Christian communities.
Some of the most prominent Christian personalities, namely, apostle John, Peter, Mary, Philip, and Andrew were buried in this city. Paul left his pupil, Timothy, here as the pastor. John the divine also became pastor of the church here for a season after leaving the isle of Patmos at a very old age. Thus, the place of Ephesus as the third greatest city of Christianity is not in doubt.
Christianity in Europe
After Ephesus, Christianity moved into Europe through prominent ministers, who also had many contemporary associates to help them advance the cause. Martins of Tours, France, did great missionary work in that part of Europe. Columba labored immensely in Ireland and Scotland. He was responsible for turning Scotland into green and fertile country through prayer.
Martin Luther, the best known of the reformers, labored to spread the gospel in Germanic areas. However, his ministry had an impact on the whole of Europe. John Wesley led the next round of reformers, although he had many contemporaries. During this time, the 18th Century, the word of God spread to other parts of the world also, including India.
Across the Atlantic
Although Christianity had been in America since the Pilgrim Fathers landed there, it was in 1906 that a major revival originated there. The Pentecostal message, of the restoration of the gifts, started on Azusa Street when an outpouring of the Holy Spirit descended. Revivals broke out in many parts of North America and went to other parts of the world.
In the 20th Century, America became the major Christian nation in the world. Azusa Street produced great men of God such as FF Bosworth, John Lake and others. Salvation of souls, healing, and miracles became widespread in the land. After 1946, William Branham came with a greater healing revival, prophetic gifts, and profound revelation of the word. The American move of God has spread around the world.
The End Time
At present, the good news is returning east to complete the cycle. America is the west, and the message of Christ can only turn east now. The final call for Gentile people is taking place at this time.
After the rapture of the true church, the next move will be back in Jerusalem. Under the ministry of two prophets, with the spirits of Moses and Elijah in Revelation, Israel will receive salvation. Romans chapter 11 shows that God will reactivate his covenant with Israel. The Gentile people’s chance for salvation will be over at that time.
The gospel of Jesus Christ travels the same way as the natural sun. It began to travel west and entered Europe, and then crossed the Atlantic to the west coast of America. The next move is in Israel, where God saves the Jews. An opportunity remains for Gentile people to receive salvation, albeit short.