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A couple of weeks ago we were ministering in Dunedin and the Lord gave me a word that was for both the church there but also for the church in the nation (New Zealand).

The Lord said – I am changing the frequency of the Church. Everything has a frequency you know, everything receives and transmits frequencies, light and sound. The church has broadcast on a certain frequency but the frequency has been slightly off and I am turning the dial, retuning the frequency, just a little but it will have a huge effect. To reset the church’s frequency I must reset your frequency, you have a frequency and I am changing your frequency. Your frequency has been off and I am resetting your dial, resetting your receiver, tuning you in to my spirit like never before. And as that frequency is changed expect to see a huge difference, expect to see your light shine like never before.

Wholeness has a frequency you know. The frequency of wholeness needs to broadcast in the towns and cities of this nation, needs to walk these streets and broadcast into the ground and the airwaves of the streets of this nation so it can be realigned to the frequency of the Kingdom of Heaven. To do that I must change your frequency, I must bring you into the manifestation of your already received wholeness. The wholeness I gave you through my death and resurrection, that resurrection power that brought you into life, into glory.

My church needs to learn again to walk by the Spirit not by the flesh, her frequency needs to be adjusted. I’m re-tuning your frequency so you walk by my Spirit. Don’t let your mind try to change your frequency, it’s your mind that does that you know, you receive something by my Spirit and your mind goes “Oh-oh that can’t be God” and tries to reset the frequency. Stay in the Spirit, learn to walk in the Spirit.

I am releasing a disruptive glory in my church like has never been seen before. What does disruptive glory look like – when you walk down a street and a blind man screams because he can suddenly see, that’s disruptive glory. Expect to see your light, which is my light; heal people as you walk past them. When you walk into a room and people run to you saying what must I do to be saved, that’s disruptive glory. Do you want to see my glory released, to see the earth change around you and begin to bear fruit like never before, that’s disruptive glory.

Let me reset your frequency, ask me too and I’ll do so and you will walk more easily by my Spirit into my increasing glory.

Part 3 – Stewarding Trance Visions & Visitations

In this article we are going to look at trances and extended periods of revelation. I was also going to cover protocols for entering the Throne Room and heavenly places but decided that it would be better handled in a separate article, so I’ll look at that in the next one.

Things like trance visions and heavenly experiences are being talked about much more today than they ever have been. Are there more instances of these things happening or are people just feeling freer to talk about their experiences? I believe both to be the case. But with the increase in these things it becomes all the more important that people are taught how to understand and steward their visions and experiences. In the last article I looked at the different components of revelation – the revelation itself, the interpretation, the application, and whether what we are seeing is literal or symbolic. If you haven’t read that article (or the previous ones in this series) please do so, as it is foundational to what we’ll look at now in this article.

Trance Visions

I want to talk about trances for a minute because of all the ways that God gives us revelation, they are the most prone to being called ‘New Age’. We need to realize that nothing was created by the Devil. Everything was created by God (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11) and is a part of how his Kingdom functions, including the different ways people receive revelation. All the devil can do is twist and distort something that was created for God’s purposes.

I think the aspect about trances that freaks people out is the state of being ‘out of control’. As I said earlier, trances are happening more frequently and I know people who experience them often. For some of them the idea of ‘not knowing what was happening to them’ was freaky at first, but knowing that God is with you and is leading you is a great source of assurance and comfort. Yet not all trances have this component, as we’ll see later.

This aspect of being ‘out of control’ doesn’t seem proper or right to many of us. We believe that God is the ultimate gentleman who will only empower us, never overpower us. Yet when we look at scripture we find that in most trance states, some of peoples’ natural faculties seemed unable to function – like physical movement or ability to see the natural realm. In other words God took them over to some degree or another. This also happens when a person gets ‘the shakes’ in the Holy Spirit – their body is taken over by the power of God. Some examples of this are as follows.

  • Peter on the rooftop (Acts10:10)  – one of the most well known trances in scripture. In this trance state Peter was able to interact by speech with God.
  • Saul before he became King – he was changed into another man (1 Sam 10:6), although this is not officially a trance, as Saul was still conscious, this was an overtaking of Saul’s person by God, according to Browns-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions.
  • Paul in Acts 22:17 went into a trance where God communicated with him and told him to leave Jerusalem quickly because of danger.
  • John in the book of Revelation Rev 1:17 “I fell at his feet as though dead”, this is a trance like state – Thayers Greek Definitions says this means destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative.

So what does a trance look like? To an observer it may seem like the person has ‘spaced out’ and is unresponsive. In trance vision states often the Lord and your spirit will supersede your body functions.  You may be unaware that you are in this state, as you will be caught up into the vision or experience. Your body functions will often slow down or cease to be an issue during this time, especially in extended trance times. Hunger and thirst become non-issues and bodily functions relating to eating and drinking often don’t happen. I know a lady who has had many trance visions. Her first one lasted approximately 24 hours, during which time she didn’t move or even blink, let alone eat, drink or need a bathroom break. She was caught up into the heavenly realm, seeing visions and having experiences with the Lord there. This trance was witnessed by at least three others for this whole period of time.

 Stewarding Trance Visions

How do we steward a trance vision.

  • If it is happening to you then you will probably be unaware that it is even happening, so you won’t be able to do much. Some people have a physical or Holy Spirit given warning that it is about to happen so that they can sit down somewhere comfortable first.
  • If you observe it happening to someone else then, if possible, stay with the person and stop others from interfering, poking and prodding them etc. People try to do that to ‘prove’ whether the experience is real or not.
  • Try and make them comfortable, maybe cover them with a blanket to keep them warm if the building is cold. If they need to be moved for safety sake then do so, otherwise disturb them as little as possible. Often they will be stiff as a board so laying them on the floor or a mattress is the safest thing to do. Pray for them during this time, covering them as they are experiencing this encounter.
  • When the person comes out of it don’t pepper them with hundreds of questions. Allow them space and time to come to terms with what just happened. Later on, get them to write down as much as they can remember of what they saw and heard. They will then be able to go back to it later and process it through with the Lord. If it has been an extended time then maybe offer them a drink and some light nourishment, as they may well need it.

Stewarding extended times of revelation

How do we steward extended periods of visitation – over weeks or even months? When we are going through a season of visitation it’s important to understand how we deal with that. The following are suggestions, not a  formula. Most of them are intensely practical, but are still a part of stewarding wisely our revelations.

  • Realize that if the Lord takes you into an extended period of revelation that He will look after you during this time. Don’t be afraid to surrender yourself to Him. Many people pull back from going into revelation because of fears relating to the ‘unknowns’ involved.
  • Don’t tell everyone what is happening to you – it may not be God’s time to reveal things; in fact you may never get to reveal some things. Some things will be shown to you so that you can simply cooperate in prayer with the Father over them. Pride can also become a factor here – remember your experiences say nothing about how spiritual or mature you are, they just say that you are being blessed with revelation at this point in time.
  • Remember to ask the Lord for help in distinguishing between what is ‘literal’ and what’s ‘symbolic’ in your visions and experiences. This is important, as it will all feel real. In the same vision there may be both literal and symbolic things. Asking for the interpretation and application is also important (See article 2 in this series for teaching on these).
  • Have someone you are accountable to and can share with. We all only see partly (1 Cor 13:12) so it’s good to have someone trustworthy that we can double check our experiences with who can help us measure them against scripture, God’s nature, His character and His heart for mankind.
  • Have trustworthy people who can support you in prayer during this time if possible.
  • Have notebooks and pens ready and accessible – journaling what you see and experience is important for a variety of reasons. It is easy to forget details, especially when you are in extended times of visitation and seeing lots. Also it helps with accountability.
  • Make sure that you look at rearranging your schedule if need be – drop non-necessary activities in order to free yourself up to spend the extra time in the Lord’s presence. If that’s not a possibility then stay in the place of faith for strength and staying power.
  • Make sure that you are getting regular meals, plenty of water etc. Sometimes your body works hard during these times, especially if there are manifestations of shaking, burning etc.
  •  Realize that the Lord will look after you – physically, emotionally and spiritually during these times.

I hope this has given you a little more understanding on trance visions and extended times of visitation. We need to learn how to steward these as they are happening more frequently and may very well happen to you or someone you know in the days ahead.

Please fell free to pass this series of articles on to others to read, too, as the more who understand how to wisely steward their revelations the better.

The next article in this series will be the last and I am going to look at protocols for entering the Throne Room and other heavenly places. I hope you’ll join me again for that one.

We’ve just had a great time with Linda and Dan Wilson. They did a mini conference for us called “Supernatural Marriage” and are the authors of the book by that name. It was, I think, the best marriage seminar/conference I have ever attended. Linda and Dan are just such lovers of God and of people that you couldn’t help but be encouraged around them.

While they taught on having a supernatural marriage many of the things they taught were applicable in a far wider arena than marriage. For example – a reminder that the fruit of the Spirit is who we become, not just something we try to do.  Life in Christ is about being transformed into the image of Christ and that affects every area of our lives. There was an encouragement to pray for each other and impart to, prophesy over and release the power of the kingdom into each other’s lives. We were encouraged to consciously draw on the wisdom, might, counsel, understanding etc of the Holy Spirit in all our relationships.

Dan & Linda also shared that because we often live so conscious of the earthly realm we can get lost in the facts of our life, and the truth just gets lost. Yet truth is mightier than facts – the truth of who God is and who he wants to be to us in this present situation and what of heaven he wants to release into the situation.

All these things are a part of living the normal Christian life and it was good to be reminded of them. I don’t know about you but sometimes I find that it is all too easy to forget some of these things in the demands of daily life.

 

Last Saturday we did our first night at the Pakuranga Night Market and saw around 50+ people through the XP Revelations Gazebo.  This place is cooking…. literally.  There are so many food stalls from many different nations and this appears to be the main attraction for the heavy foot traffic.

Speaking with a mother and son, the son asked for some Spiritual Art and our team member attempted to draw him a transformer, encouraging him that this is what God saw him as, he may seem ordinary but he had a hunger for the supernatural and this picture and word spoke volumes to him. She encouraged him to seek Jesus – the one with the power to transform us.

Another couple of team members prayed for a couple where the lady had part of her face numb, it increasingly improved until she had complete feeling in this side of her face and she was overjoyed, to say the least!

A couple of Christian ladies came in, mother and daughter who were greatly impacted by words of knowledge and destiny words.  These beautiful women of God left strengthened and encouraged.

We saw a progressive healing in a lady’s thumb, that morning she had very little movement and a lot of pain, by the time she left us she had seen a huge improvement and a lot less pain.

A lovely couple came in with their little baby girl and were encouraged by words of knowledge, destiny words and dream interpretations. The lady was also instantly healed from chronic back pain.

We met some delightful young ladies and a young guy – all from Christchurch, two of whom had moved up with their parents 3 weeks earlier, and the young guy was visiting with them.  These precious young ones were greatly affected by all that had been happening in Christchurch and received words of destiny, name readings, tattoo readings, spiritual cleansing/deliverance and were so overwhelmed with the love of God and that He actually cared enough to be interested in every detail of their lives, and were blown away by the many words of knowledge given by the team.  The young lady that had nightmares came in with walls up and left with a spark in her eyes and all went with renewed hope for their future.

One of the team encountered a group of around 7 young big guys that were asking about what was written on our menu board.  After the first one received a word the others were really keen to have their own words of destiny as well, so our team member spent quite some time encouraging each young man. They were all blown away by the accuracy of what was shared and left knowing Jesus cared about each of them.

A Christian woman from a local church who were also there doing outreach stopped and challenged us about what we were doing so we invited her to sample – she left having been given words of knowledge and a prophetic word that showed her it truly was God that we were accessing for our information. Yaay! A couple of Christians stopped and asked what we were doing – having recognised some of the team. They were concerned because our sign didn’t have Christian teminology on it. It has terms like Dream interpretation, Spiritual healing, Words of destiny, Spiritual insights, Spiritual Art, Spiritual cleansing and more (look at the terms and see if you can guess what we are offering). After explaining that most non-Christians don’t understand our Christian teminology and that we were trying to reach the non-Christians not the Christians they left – both challenged and encouraged.

The market closes at around midnight, and one of the team was speaking to one of the pack down guys right at the end who was incredibly overwhelmed by the words of knowledge and words of destiny he received, there were a few expletives thrown in every few minutes as he was trying to wrap his head around how much God loved him.  The tattoo reading also encouraged him in regards to his family situation and his brother actually ran after us as we were taking the gear to the car.

We had many, many asking us if we would be back next week – and at this point we are hoping to make it a fortnightly/monthly event as folk of all different ages and nationalities are so hungry to experience the love of God and discover hope for their future.   We had such an amazing time simply loving people and seeing God touch them where they were at.  Yay God!

rubbish dump workers

It’s not always easy to put into words what God does in our lives. For those of you who don’t like all the touchy feely talk I’ll try not to emote too much. But please bear with me for one small paragraph as I attempt to share what happened to me in Cambodia. I went to Cambodia because I knew that God wanted us to go there and that somehow, something significant would take place. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I sure didn’t expect to find myself in tears or close to tears as much as i found myself. From the first day of our outreach when we went on a tour and ended up talking to a man in the TB ward in Poi Pet to the day we spent at the rubbish dump in Siem Reap, God never stopped working in me, building a compassion for the nation and its people that was overwhelming at times and even weeks later is still so close to the surface that I feel like I want to cry often.

Cambodia is a people robbed and plundered yet people from all around the world are beginning to cry “Restore!” and that cry is being answered as God is sending people from many nations to go there to minister, release hope and answers to their needs. While we were in Poi Pet there were missions groups from three other organisations there. I have since heard of others that have been there even in this last month so God is definitely doing things there. A group of business men and leaders from 9 different nations came in for three days while we were there to see what business initiatives they could help the locals with. Poi Pet is on God’s radar and in his sights.

PoiPet is a dusty border city that most people transition through as quickly as possible. Rubbish lies everywhere you look on the streets, especially if you

slum village house

leave the main road. There is little town planning infrastructure and slum villages line the roads with little or no power, no sewerage facilities and no town water supply. Water comes from a hand pump if the slum village is lucky enough to have one. Building codes are non-existant I think judging by the heights and widths of the various sets of stairs we climbed in the buildings we entered. Even from floor to floor the height and width of the stairs varied and when you’re short some of those stairs were high.

PoiPet is one of the major trafficking routes through to Thailand and the world where children are trafficked for either the sex trade or as unpaid slave workers. It is this that Extreme Prophetic is fighting and one life at a time beginning to make a difference in. What a privilege to see rescued children smiling and laughing with no fear in their eyes because of the healing that is taking place in their lives. That is not something I will ever forget.

To minister at the rubbish dump and see the conditions people there live in was eye-opening and heartbreaking. To have so little to give them in the natural was hard but to share love – priceless. Many came to the Lord that day and were healed physically. (The team has since gone back there and the healed gave testimony of what God had done in their lives and more got saved). A whole village of people live and work in that dump trying to find something of value in rubbish that has already been picked over many times before it gets to the dump. One lady we talked to was looking for old thrown out rice in order to feed her family.  But mostly they search for anything that will have a resale value from thrown out food to sell to the pig farmers to bottles and rags.

rubbish dump house

One group of young people we talked to turned out to be three orphaned brothers and sisters who lived and worked there because there was nowhere else they could go. Yet even in the midst of the dirt and foul smelling rubbish children played and babies suckled. One lady told us her children and grandchildren all lived together at the dump. What a place to raise a family yet they have little other choice. I saw in that rubbish dump one hand pump for water – and who knows what has leached into that water system from the rubbish.

Yet in the middle of all that we saw and heard hope being planted and lives touched and changed by the love of the team as they ministered. Over the time we were in Cambodia we saw people receive God’s love, be healed, receive hope and help; yet I think we were touched and changed as much as the people we ministered to. We know we’ll be going back and are looking forward to it even now.

Below is a selection of images that while showing something of life in Cambodia, don’t begin to portray the reality really but I hope they give you some idea of our trip.

slum houses with tv


to market, to market

travelling between towns

building practises - bamboo scaffolding and branches to hold the floor up while everything sets.


family transport - the most we saw was six on a bike

children praying to receive Jesus


 

Gregory cutting a village childs hair

This is Post 3 of our prophetic insights for 2012 series. Post 1 – “Prophetic Bulletins – Are they valid today?” Post 2 – Prophetic Insights for 2012 – Part 1, Post 3 – Prophetic Insights for 2012 – Part 2

Todays entry is Part 2 of the Prophetic Insights. Before you read it can I suggest you read the previous two entries which can be found directly below this on the blogsite.

Prophetic Insights for 2012 – Part 2

Seek Wisdom!

Wisdom is key in this season (Matt 7:7; Prov 2:2,6). This wisdom is not just the revealing of some mystery, knowledge or mindset. It is Wisdom – the person, making himself known to us and showing us how to walk as he does; it is Jesus! Paul tells us that in 1 Corinthians 1:24 Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” Now, more than ever, we need Jesus, the wisdom of God, to live in us and through us.

Shift in the Prophetic

There is a coming shift in the prophetic – more and more the prophetic will not just say, “There is something new coming” – that ‘ever elusive something new’. They will not just say “Revival is coming and starting here, or there.” As well as pointing us forward, they will point us back to the regaining of what we have lost. They will proclaim that a revelation of the old is here – Christ and Christ in us – the hope of the world.

The “Good News” will be preached in a way that it has not been for many centuries. The prophetic will trumpet the “Good News” to the church and many in the church will get truly converted as a result of it. They will then spread out like fire from their churches, proclaiming and demonstrating the Kingdom of Heaven in such a way that countless others will be saved.

The prophetic will more and more proclaim, “Christ in you (NOW) is the hope of glory – not Christ coming some day, somewhere, to do something! Christ in you here and now, revealed to the world through sons and daughters who are fulfilling the mandate given centuries ago.”

The prophets will say, as God does here and now, “Look at the Cross, look at the cross, look at the cross! See what I did already. Walk in that! Don’t keep looking for something new. I don’t need to do something new – I already did all that was needed at the cross. Look back so that you can walk forward!”

We will recognize that there have been prophetic voices amongst us who were prophesying a true word, even though we did not want to hear it. The word…. “That church, as we have known it, has not been working and that God is changing that.”

Revelation

There is an increase in revelation that is here now. People are, and will be, seeing more visions, having supernatural encounters with Jesus and angels, receiving revelation in dreams. This will continue to increase this year and in the coming years as people allow God to be the supernatural God who communicates in supernatural ways.

Miracles, Signs and Wonders 

These will continue to increase in frequency as Christians believe again that Christ will work through them to do miracles, signs and wonders. Miracles will no longer be the domain of the ‘few’ but of every man, woman and child who believes.

Justice

Justice issues will continue to become more of a focus for the church, but not in the old way of only doing the practical, but a combining of the practical and the miraculous. Hope ambassadors will continue to proclaim and demonstrate God’s heart and intent, and peoples and nations shall come to him because of it.

The Nations

We will continue to see instability and even collapse in nations’ monetary foundations as things in the world’s system get worse, but we will also see the Lord provide for his people in miraculous ways. Make sure that you know who your provider is. Is it your employer or the hope of winning Lotto, or do you truly believe that God has, is and will provide your every need? (2 Pet 1:3)

It is not all doom and gloom, despite what the news media tell us. The world’s best days will soon be upon us, as we Christians become who God originally intended us to be, and live the life he always intended us to live – bringing hope, salvation, healing and freedom to many thousands. This will, in the days ahead, even lead to whole cities and nations becoming filled with true believers and as a result we will see some of those cities and nations become safe houses for those that are persecuted elsewhere. We will also see their economies bloom as God gives ideas and witty inventions to them. The world will begin to turn to the church for ideas and strategies to feed the poor, ideas for how to provide housing and education for their people and more. Some will even ask the church for strategies to bring their nations out of the crises they find themselves in. While this will bring increased freedom for some, it will also bring an increase in persecution and hatred of the Church by others.

To Finish

To be alive and representing Christ in this day is an awesome privilege and we are called to that. Releasing heaven into earth is our mandate for 2012 and beyond. We were created and called to release it now, tomorrow and every day that follows. Let’s have fun doing it!

Prophetic Insights For 2012 – Part 1

Before reading this post can I encourage you to read the post “Prophetic Bulletins – are they valid today?” which is directly below this one on the blogsite.

Please also do take the time to re-read the Prophetic Insights for 2011 (you can find them on the toolbar above if reading this on the blogsite or here on our website if reading this on facebook or email). These will continue to play out over the next few years as God is unfolding his plan for the church. In writing these insights, while I call them Prophetic insights for 2011 or 2012, they are in fact prophetic insights into a “time-frame” that spans a few years, as well as being relevant to this particular year.

While these insights are what I believe the Lord has shown me I would encourage you to seek the Lord for yourself regarding them and ask him what his plans are for your personal life for this coming year.

Prophetic Insights for 2012 -Part 1

As I have been praying about this coming year there are a few things that the Lord has been saying, but one has rung louder than all the others. I believe we will hear more and more about this thing coming from many different sources. It is the foundational thing that all else is being built on – both in our personal lives and corporately, as the Church. When I share what God has been saying, it may sound in some ways innocuous or “old-news” at first, but everything the church becomes and does in the years ahead hinges on us getting a greater revelation of it. 

That statement is “Look at the Cross!”

God is calling us to look back in order to properly find our way forward!

A Largely Lost Revelation

Over the centuries the church has largely lost her way and we are hearing the voice of the Lord say again “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isa 30:21). And the way he is calling us to walk in is not some great mystery recently revealed, it is not some new revelation, but it is a revelation that we have largely forgotten. The revelation of the Cross – what Jesus did for us by his death and resurrection (check out 2 Cor 5:19; 1 Cor 15:22; Rom 5:18,19; Rom 6:8; Col 2:20 to start with).

The revelation of the cross is all about the grace of God and what it means to be born again and live in that grace. God is bringing a refocusing on the freedom that the gospel brings people into and reminds us that we live not under law but under grace (Rom 6:14; Gal 3:3; Col 1:23). While people initially get saved by grace, many all too soon get encumbered by teaching and beliefs that cause them to be unable to continue to live by grace. It is this that God is drawing our attention back to – the need to continually live in and by the grace of God. This revisited revelation of grace is revolutionizing the church.

Like with all things that God reveals or re-reveals, there is the possibility that some will believe and others won’t. The enemy wants to make mileage out of that and cause both sides (supporters and opponents) to rise up in self-righteousness and pride and defend their beliefs by tearing down the other side. Don’t let him draw you into that devilish trap.

Some in the Body of Christ are calling this the “grace revolution” but I would caution against using labels to define what God is doing. Our man-given labels have caused much dissension and fighting within the Body of Christ. Jesus is not calling us to give another label to what he is doing but to discard the labels altogether! We should not say I am of the “grace movement”, the “prophetic stream” etc – the early church had that problem (1 Cor 1:11-13) and Paul basically told them to grow up. Today I am doing the same. It is time for us as individuals to discard our stream or denominational labels. It is time to leave them behind and simply be “Christians” again.

Blending Streams

I see in the days ahead the Lord bringing the revelation truths of those different “streams” and “denominations” – Pentecostal, Evangelical, Charismatic, Prophetic, Grace, Glory etc together into a mighty river of revelatory understanding. He is currently bringing to the church an understanding of how the truths we have had revealed to us are all a part of the whole. Each has restored important revelation to the church and God is blending the truths together to cause us to grow up into a whole body, not factions that are set against each other.

There will still be some who refuse to leave their labels behind, but more and more people are discarding them and moving on to a greater maturity as they do.

The outworking of all this is that we are continuing to grow up and become the sons and daughters of God we were called to be.

It is “Christ in us” being revealed and released. It is releasing the Kingdom of Heaven into earth wherever we go, sharing the true “good news”, bringing hope, setting the captives free (both inside and outside the church), healing the sick, seeing the lame walk, and the blind see.

It is the time to reclaim our lost heritage. It is a time for the church to take back the ground we have let the enemy steal from us. It is time for stepping into our destiny and calling, to see the seemingly impossible bow to God as he empowers each of us to fulfill his plans and purposes in the earth.

Part 2 will be up on the site tomorrow. i have made them smaller posts so they aren’t too much to wade through at once.

Around this time of year, and also earlier at the Jewish New Year, there are lots of prophetic words from Prophetic ministers that hit the Internet. Why is that?

Is it simply that it’s a good time to think about the coming year? That is certainly a possibility and not a silly reason for doing so. Is it because one person did it and others copied? That is also, unfortunately, a possibility. Or, maybe, is there something special about these times of the year that causes God to speak more than at other times?

I don’t believe there is anything special about these particular times of the year (Rosh Hashanah – Jewish new Year or our western calendars New Year) although many people do. I know some people will not like my saying that – especially those who follow the Jewish Calendar and feasts, but it is good sometimes to be challenged to take the time to look at and question why we do what we do.

Personally I believe that it is no longer a necessity for us as New Covenant believers to follow the Old Covenant feasts (Gal 4:8-11) – they have interest factor and can teach us things, but our lives should not be based around them. Our lives are to be based on and lived from the New Covenant – what Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection. That is the pivotal thing for us to walk in. I also believe since Jesus’ ascension we have been in a continual season of his favour, under a continual open heaven and place of being able to hear God and fellowship with him.

But back to commenting on the Prophetic words that are being released… 

Let’s look at the timing of releasing prophetic words. In the Old Testament we don’t find the Prophets putting out prophetic bulletins to coincide with a particular date. They spoke when God spoke or when God told them to release the word, no matter what day that was. Let me explain that a little further by giving an example from my life. In my prophetic walk there have been words God has given me that I have prayed into for weeks and months before releasing them to do their work. At other times there has been an immediate release of a word in a particular situation. Both ways are valid and done for a reason. Some words that God gives you are only for taking to prayer and may never be publicly released; some are to be birthed in prayer first before being released, while others are to be given when they are received. Part of growing in my gifting as a Prophetic minister is learning to discern which is which.

While I don’t have a problem with the annual prophetic postings, and indeed I do one myself, there is something that does bother me concerning them. That problem is not primarily with the words themselves but is this – I have to wonder whether the Church receives and approaches these missives with a right understanding. If they don’t, that is not primarily their fault but ours, as Prophetic ministers, because we haven’t taught them how to discern, receive and apply them.

So I ask the question, “How do we receive and approach New Covenant Prophetic input like these bulletins?”

This is not an exhaustive look at the subject, but it is a start to get us thinking…

There is no doubt that the prophetic gift is still a gift valued by the Lord today. After all, he says that as part of the New Covenant Body he gave some to be Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors or Evangelists (1 Cor 12:28). If that is so, then we can expect to hear from those prophetic voices giving us current words from him and understanding on what the Lord is doing or going to do.

But what is the primary role of the New Covenant Prophet? Is it just to hear and share, expecting people to base their walk on what they share? I don’t believe so. I think their function is first and foremost to train the church to hear from God for themselves so that they can minister rightly to those around them (Eph 4:11,12). It is also to hear and share.

Yes, we need the Prophets and what they hear from the Lord – it gives us a big picture view of what he is doing, and that is needed. The problem comes, though, when people begin to base their lives on those prophetic words without first going to the Lord and asking him how it applies to their life. To base our life on what someone else says they heard from God without going to him ourself and asking him how it applies to our life is at best ill-advised, and at worst monumentally stupid and will have consequences for our walk.

What are some of those possible consequences…

  • We may not make time to hear God for ourselves – this could cause us to become an ‘easily swayed’ person.
  • We may open ourselves, and possibly others, to deception (if we pass these things on to others).
  • We may put our faith in what the person says, not in what God has said to us personally.
  • If God does say something different to us we may question whether what we are hearing is right or not, and may possibly even disbelieve God.
  • The church will end up with people who do not think for themselves but just blindly follow.

So while there is nothing wrong with prophetic people putting out insights regarding the coming year or the present season, do read them with a right understanding…

  • That we prophetic people are learning to hear from God just as you are.
  • We are not experts who have it all sussed, we are people just like you.
  • At best we see partly and dimly (1 Cor 13:12).
  • The interpretation and conclusions we come to from what we have heard are subjective and we may or may not be correct.

But has that ever stopped God speaking through human vessels? No! And He will continue to do so.

Don’t just blindly dismiss those prophetic words as having no value now under the New Covenant, God does still use Prophets and prophetic people in the New Covenant. Too many Christians are rubbishing other believers because they don’t understand why they do what they do. If you don’t understand, ask! – that’s the path of wisdom. Don’t just dismiss them or label them – that is just playing into the enemy’s hands.

Just make sure that when you read what we publish that you take it to the Lord and pray about it and ask how or if it relates to your life. Don’t just blindly believe everything you read and certainly don’t base your life and walk on it without checking it out with the Lord.

Will I be doing a Prophetic Insights for 2012 like I have the last few years? Yes, but I do so submitting them to you to weigh up before the Lord. They are what I have heard the Lord speak to me and while I do believe that they have application for all of us, you must take them to the Lord and ask him about how, or even if, they apply to your life. They will be up here on our blogsite, facebook and also our website in the next couple of days. I hope that they do give you some insight into what the Lord is doing in this time.

Some of you may be asking why do I do them at this time of year. Simply, I do it because for me the end of the year is a good time to do a stock-take on this year, and to seek God for the next one. There’s nothing particularly spiritual in that reasoning, sorry.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. May the Lord bless you with wisdom from above (James 1:5, 3:15-17) so that you know how to walk through this coming year.

The other day at our “Outrageous Grace – religious detox day” someone asked me to explain the verse where Paul tells us to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’ (Phil 2:12-13). While I answered the question in an okay way, to be honest I felt that my on-the-spot answer didn’t go deep enough. So this article gives a more in-depth answer to the question. I do apologise for it’s length but it is an important topic and deserves looking at and understanding properly.

First here’s the verse in two translations:

ISV – “And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.”

WAY – “Since I am far away, work out, with fear and trembling self distrust, your own salvation. You have not to do it in your own strength. 13 It is God who is all the while supplying the impulse, giving you the power to resolve and the strength to perform the execution of his good pleasure.”

Work hard…

The most common understanding of this verse is that we were saved by grace  and faith, and while we didn’t have to earn our salvation, now that we are saved we do have to work hard at working for God and pleasing Him. We are to do so with fear and trembling (having the fear of God in our lives) in case He is not happy with us, or in case that when we stand before Him He says, “Go away, I never knew you.” It is to live in a state of uneasiness and fear, never knowing if our best will actually be good enough. But that is, I believe, a very wrong interpretation of this verse.

If that is a wrong interpretation then what is the right one?

Firstly, when the disciples asked Jesus what they should do to work the works of God, He answered that they should believe in the one that God sent (in Him). John 6:28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  (NASB)

So…

  • This is the foremost and foundational part of our works before God – to believe in Jesus, who He is and what He has done!

Is that it, though? Even in a grace walk is there nothing else we are to do? Surely it is not just as simple as that? As we will continue to see in this article our idea of works and God’s are often different.

Work out your salvation…

The salvation in this verse is not the salvation that we commonly understand – Jesus dying on the cross for us and us believing and ‘receiving that salvation’. It is something different.

“The word ‘salvation’ has many different meanings in the NT. In Phil 1:19 it means deliverance from prison. In Phil 1:28 it refers to the salvation of our bodies. The meaning in any particular case must be determined in part, at least, by the context. We believe that in this passage salvation means the solution of the problem that was vexing the Philippians – that is, their contentions, squabbles & strife. The apostle has given them the remedy. Now they are to apply the remedy by having the mind of Christ. Thus they would work out their own salvation, or the solution of their difficulty.” (BBC)

“In light of Paul’s preceding exhortation to the Philippians to unity, this passage may mean that the entire church was to work together to rid themselves of divisions and discord. The Philippian Christians needed to be especially careful to obey Christ, now that Paul wasn’t there to continually remind them about what was right.” (LASB)

So we see that part of our works is to love one another – to let Christ’s love be unleashed through us, not to love in our own strength. It is to be diligent in maintaining the unity of the Body of Christ, working out our problems with each other in a godly and scriptural way, tapping into the mind of Christ. In other words it’s not about our effort, it’s about letting Christ live through us.

In fear and trembling…

The fear and trembling mentioned here in this verse is not the fear of God or the fear that we won’t be good enough for Him. According to scholars, “The kind of fear which is recommended here is self distrust, a fear that leads to caution and care. Not slavish terror, but wholesome caution, it is tenderness of conscience; it is vigilance against temptation.” (VWS)

As mentioned above, the Philippian Christians now have the mind of Christ and Paul is saying that they should use Christ’s wisdom and His knowledge in their life and church situations rather than their own or the world’s. The world’s wisdom, or even our own human wisdom, cannot wholly be trusted so we need to have self-distrust in that way. It’s a distrust that makes us ask, “Is this Christ’s wisdom or man’s that I’m about to apply to this situation?”

So what does it mean?…

Paul is in prison, not around to keep an eye on those he loves and cares for, so he writes as an apostolic father to them. Basically, I believe he is saying something like this –

“It’s time to grow up, guys, I’m not there to keep you out of trouble. I’m not there to deliver you from your squabbles and problems. I’m not there to warn you when religion and legalism is trying to creep in. You’ve got to begin to take responsibility for your own grace walk before God. You have to learn for yourself just what the Christian life is all about. You need to get your own understanding of the wonderful work Jesus did for you – you can’t keep walking in my revelation. Outward motivation like that won’t work. It’s got to become your revelation and then you’ll be inwardly motivated. But even then, don’t rely on your own efforts to live the life Christ has for you. Don’t believe that lie; your best efforts just won’t cut it. Distrust the voice that says that you need to ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ to be a good Christian. That’s not Christianity, that’s religion and it’s not what you were born again into. Remember – it’s for freedom that Christ set you free. He didn’t set you free to bring you back into another form of religious bondage. Your best efforts are not good enough for any aspect of your salvation and Christian walk. Remember that it is Christ who gives you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him, so rely on Jesus and Holy Spirit – let them live this life in you and through you.”

Unforced rhythms…

Put the above mentioned verse (Phil 2:12 – 13) together with some others and you get a good picture of the attitude and the way in which we work out our salvation.

1 Cor 2:12 – 16  “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

  • We have been given the mind of Christ – His wisdom, His knowledge, His strategic thinking mind. We are to use His wisdom, not our own or the world’s.

Matt 11:28-30 says “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. In grace there is an ease, a rest that we can live in and walk in that is relaxed and unforced – not a result of our works, but of Christ’s.

Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest… (KJV)

Again here is a verse that makes it sound as if we have to work hard to obtain something in God. But does it actually mean work hard?

Labour  = make haste, be diligent, zealous (SC, TGD)

Labour, in this verse, means to be diligent. Diligent means ‘to show care or conscientiousness’. It comes from the word ‘dilgens’ which means to love or take delight in. So this diligence is not something heavy it is something that is a delight. I believe that part of that delightful diligence, that conscientiousness, is that entering and staying in that state of rest should be a thing of prime importance.

So this is working out our salvation….

  • To receive and enter that rest state that Christ has provided and stay in it and then out of that to do what pleases Him.
  • To be diligent in maintaining that rest and all that Christ has given us (John 6:39), not letting the enemy steal it from us (John 10:10).
  • To allow the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds (Phil 4:7).
  • To not let the enemy whisper in our minds and establish thoughts that set themselves up against Christ (2 Cor 10:5). It means pulling down those thoughts and bringing them into submission to Christ.
  • To not let the enemy condemn us and tell us that we aren’t performing well enough (Rom 5:18; 8:1).
  • To believe that Christ will lead us, guide us, and provide a way out in every temptation (1 Cor 10:13) and give us what we need in every circumstance for everything He asks of us (2 Pet 1:3).
  • It is to believe and trust Him!

This then is what it means to work out our salvation. Our works are primarily to believe, trust and rest in Christ. When we do that we are diligently labouring to work out our salvation. From that place of rest and trust anything we do with Christ is not hard but joyful, and our burden is easy and light. And so we keep vigilant, we make sure that we enter and guard our state of rest. We work out our salvation, both eternal and earthly (problems, temptations etc), by relying on Christ, His mind, wisdom and strength to help us in every situation. Out of that state of rest, and knowing that Christ will supply our every need, we then cooperate with Him, doing His will and releasing heaven into earth.

Sources –

  • LASB – Life Application Study Bible
  • BBC  – Believers bible Commentary
  • GNB – Good News Bible
  • WAY – Arthur Way Translation
  • ISV – International Standard Version
  • MSG – The Message Bible
  • NASB – New American Standard Bible
  • VWS – Vincents Word Studies
  • SC – Strongs Concordance
  • TGD – Thayers Greek Definitions

What an exciting six weeks we’ve had as a nation hosting the Rugby World Cup. It’s been great for the nation and a great encouragement to me as a Christian (more about that later). I’m not normally a Rugby fan but even I sat and watched the semi-final and final matches. And the final was a cliff hanger! What a match. I sat there a wound up mass of tense muscles and shallow breathing until that final whistle blew and the game was over and we had won; by one point – but we had won! The All Blacks won and now they get the spoils. In their case that’s a victory payment, a shiny gold cup (The Webb-Ellis Trophy) with their name engraved on it, hero status in the nation and the right to call themselves the world champions for the next four years.

You know sometimes as Christians we can be a bit like I was, watching the final game of the RWC, when it comes to the Lord and Satan. We somehow get into our mind that there is a huge struggle for victory going on between the forces of heaven and the forces of darkness. But there isn’t! Jesus thoroughly thrashed the enemy in a decisive ‘huge score’ win against him on Calvary, not merely a one point victory either! There is no inch by inch fight for territory from Jesus’ perspective. It’s only us that see it like that if we’ve  not understood the nature of the battle or Christ’s victory. We can take one verse from scripture and build a theology around it like this one – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principlaities and powers” and think that the battle is still happening and the war is not over yet. Yet so many other scriptures tell us that he has triumphed (Col 2:15, Eph 1: 20,22, Eph 2:6, and more…). Jesus has already won, and through him we have, too.

We are now in mop up mode, gathering the spoils and plundering the enemy’s camp – setting free his prisoners and taking back what he stole from us. That’s a far different viewpoint to see things from and operate from. Let’s get a correct view of the enemy and get out there and set those prisoners free and plunder the enemy’s camp. To the victor the spoils! That’s Jesus and that’s us!

The other thing that encouraged me about the RWC was the crowds of people that turned out to watch in the fan zones. It got me dreaming again of the crowds that will gather to worship in open air stadiums and fan zones as Christ’s power and love are unleashed in our land. And believe me, it will happen! As a team we have had a great time getting out amongst all the fans and sharing the Lord with people. We’ve had some great conversations and so many people have had destiny spoken prophetically into them and their lives have been touched in a way that they will never forget (Holy Spirit will see to that). Seeds are planted in their lives that the Lord will now water and bring to fruit. One day we’ll get to meet many of them again and they’ll say “Do you remember the RWC in 2011, you prophesied over me and it changed my life….”

Who will you ask for a prophetic word for this month, this week, today? That word will have an effect – have no doubt about that. God says that when we open our mouth he will fill it and his words never return to him void – they always accomplish what he sends them to do. Let him speak through you this month. Be a blessing and be blessed.