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plumbline

I apologise for this article being a bit longer but it’s length is necessary to do justice to the subject matter involved.

In light of recent events that have happened in Christendom, people have asked me about some of the things happening to people in revelatory encounters and whether they are real, valid and scriptural; and how we know.

Revelatory encounters are certainly on the increase in the Body of Christ and many people are having and are claiming to have had Throne room encounters, heavenly encounters with angels and people, revelations regarding the revealing of the sons of God, courtroom of Heaven encounters, and more. Many of those experiences are legal, real and valid but some are not and we must learn how to distinguish between the two types.

I want in this article to drop a plumbline for judging the validity of the revelatory experiences we may have. (For those that don’t know, a plumbline is a cord weighted with lead that is used in building to check that vertical structures are true. It is used symbolically to refer to the divine standard against which God, the builder of his people, tests and judges them. It also symbolises the standards by which God will rebuild his people. Zech 1:16; Zech 4:9-10 1)

The base plumblines for assessing our revelations are these –

  • The nature and character of the Godhead – God is love, is good, His mercy triumphs over his judgement; He is faithful, kind, holy, righteous and much more.
  • What scripture shows us about God, His ways and His plans for mankind.
  • The finished work of the Cross and what that resulted in as shown in Scripture – Gods plans for the restoration of mankind to his original status and into the image of Christ, the healing, wholeness, righteousness, holiness etc that the work of the Cross accomplished.
  • What scripture shows us about the way we should walk out our salvation and life in Christ.
  • What scripture shows us are acceptable experiences and what aren’t.
  • Love – receiving it, becoming it and living it out – if our revelations do not include this work in us then we are nothing, have nothing and do no lasting good (1 Cor 13:2,3).

The things listed below are an important part of the process of assessing revelatory encounters based on the plumblines above.

  1. Any revelation that denies the Godhead as being who they are, denies that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, or denies that He is above all other principalities and powers is a deceptive one. Jesus is not simply a man, a prophet, a healer, a man of light and goodness. He is the embodiment and full revelation of the Godhead. He and the Father are one and He is one with Holy Spirit, not less than or subservient to either nor they to Him. They operate in the fullness of oneness, honouring each other and their different functional roles within that.
  1. Realise that all people’s encounters are subjective (every time) – that is, how we see them and understand them is influenced by personal feelings, tastes, opinions and perceptions, our backgrounds and woundedness from life experiences, our knowledge of the true nature of God, the finished work of the Cross, our knowledge and correct understanding of scripture and more.
  1. Realise our knowledge is at best incomplete – “For we know in part and prophesy in part”…1 Cor 13:9 – 12. None of us can claim full knowledge or understanding, so we must be willing to submit our experiences for weighing and assessment. On our very best days and in our most deep revelations we still only know in part and we will sometimes get our interpretations wrong – no individual knows all truth; they are not God. We do not stand alone as islands of revelation – our revelations together should build toward a truer picture of who God is and who we are in Christ like jigsaw pieces do towards the full revelation of the big picture.
  1. We are told in Scripture to judge or weigh prophecy and (by inference) prophetic revelation (1 Cor 14:29). That judging or assessing is done by others; not just by ourself. On our own we cannot have anything but a subjective opinion of what something means because of the life lenses we look through. We must therefore be willing to submit our revelations to others who are mature believers and leaders and be willing to be called to account for them. Prov 11:14 says “Where there is no counsel people fail, but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
  1. We are called to walk in love and it is ultimately by our love that we are distinguished from all others (John 13:34,35) not by our experiences. Others will sometimes disagree with our interpretations of our revelations and sometimes we will disagree with their interpretations; that’s life and that’s different people looking at the same thing through different lenses. But even if we disagree we are called to not break relationship but to continue to live in love (1 John 2: 9-11). Breaking relationship and love is never the right way to deal with something. This does not mean you have to still be buddy buddy besties, but love is a heart stance that refuses to let go of God’s best dreams for the other person and continues to act and speak in an honouring way to them and about them.
  1. We are to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-3). Not all revelation comes from God; not even all the good-looking, good feeling stuff. The demonic are well able to disguise themselves as being good and give us deceptively good experiences (2 Cor 11:14-15). Just because you supposedly talked to a historical figure or saint does not mean it was that person or that the experience was a valid experience from God, although it very well may have been. (God took Jesus into an experience where He talked to two men who had passed into eternity – Moses and Elijah, so it can happen – Matt 17:1-6) Can those you meet in an experience call Jesus their Lord? Do they inspire deep reverence and worship for themselves (warning bell) or do they actively dissuade you from that and turn you to worshipping Jesus? Do they invite you to continue accessing them for revelation or do they turn you to Christ in the way they speak and act? Does what you’re experiencing line up with what is revealed in scripture about God and the Kingdom?
  1. True revelation from God brings humility and pruning into our lives. In Scripture we see that true Heavenly experiences brought humility into the persons life who had them; and that also while having them they saw aspects of their nature that needed to be corrected. (Is 6:1-5; Acts 22:6-10; 2 Cor 12:1-10) We cannot come face to face with the goodness, mercy, grace, purity, righteousness and holiness of the King and His kingdom without seeing areas of our lives and mindsets that need adjustment. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a serious, or joy lacking experience, even a fun-filled true Kingdom experience will have the effect of working in us humility and pruning us as we see where our lives and thought patterns do not align with the Lord and His kingdom.
  1. True revelation should bring fruit that is measureable and lasts. An experience may be real but if it has no measurable fruit in our life or the lives of others it is either an invalid or wasted experience. The experiences we have should bear good Kingdom fruit in our lives – things like causing us to worship and love the Godhead in a greater way, to be in awe of them – their nature, character, love etc. Those experiences should set us free in areas, from bondages, and wrong mindsets. They should increase our love for other people, our respect for scripture etc. They should end up with us walking in a greater release of Kingdom realities on earth, e.g. healing the sick etc. Experiences without measureable fruit become self-focused at best and narcissistic deceptions at worst. It is not all about you and your experience; it never was and never is. The Lord’s plan for your experiences in Him is way bigger than you, even though you will be blessed beyond measure in them.
  1. Your experiences say nothing about your spirituality, character or your maturity. They are not commendations and recommendations of you to others. They are not to promote you in your ministry. They simply say you had an experience and that you have a good Father who loves His children to experience revelation about Him and His kingdom.
  1. Too many of us take literally what is often symbolic. We must turn to Holy Spirit for the right interpretations of our experiences; it is part of his role to lead us into truth. All through scripture we see that very few of the visual revelations people experienced were literal in their meaning, they were mostly symbolic. They are given like this because we have been invited into a walk of dependency on the Holy Spirit not on our mind and intellect. So we must ask the Lord for understanding and for His wisdom; our own understanding will in most cases translate our experiences wrongly because we think from a human perspective with human and often worldly or carnal thinking. All too often I meet people who have wrongly interpreted their revelations and have come to believe something that is not consistent with what scripture shows us or consistent with the nature and character of the Godhead.
  1. We are called to be led by the Holy Spirit in all areas and that includes accessing revelation – even though we are called to access the things of the Kingdom by faith (rather than from just a sovereign download of revelation and experience) we should still be asking Holy Spirit if this is what He has for us to access at this time. Even in the midst of an experience we need to be led by Him not just by our desires and wants. Often in the midst of an experience I will see something and want to investigate it yet on asking Him He has said something like “not this time, that’s not what you’re here for at the moment”. Some might be tempted to think that is staying in a place of immaturity but it is not immaturity, it is staying in a place of dependency and that is far different. Immaturity is doing your own thing, your own way, irrespective of others and how it affects them.
  1. God can move extra biblically – in other words show us things that aren’t in scripture. Throughout scripture we see many firsts and new things being revealed. God often shows things and then gives understanding later but that doesn’t mean all new revelation is from Him. And we cannot afford to blindly think it is. Even the elect can be deceived (Mar 13:22; 2 Tim 3) All revelations must be weighed and assessed by the things outlined above especially by the overall counsel of Scripture, whether it lines up with the work of the Cross, and judged by mature New Covenant Apostles, Prophets and Theologians. Sometimes that can take time to work out and the theology regarding new things can take years to form. Even in Scripture wisdom was applied when they said in Acts 5:37-39 …”if this counsel or work is of men it will come to nothing. But if it is of God you cannot overthrow it, you may even find yourself fighting against God”. So we should not be quick to jump to judgment and call something heresy (after all we all have some wrong beliefs about the Lord and his kingdom to some degree). But when God does release new revelation into the Body of Christ we must be willing also to move forward in it if it is proved a true revelation from Him; not to pull back and kick out because it doesn’t fit our preconceived ideas of how God does things.
  1. We are called to grow up into maturity in Christ, into His image, not just into ethereal experience. Jesus is our example and what we are to be becoming like. He was both incredibly heavenly minded and intensely practical – He was not some Christian mystic lost in some esoteric experience that was wasted on himself alone. His experiences had measurable fruit that lasted in his life and others. We may have experiences and even teach from them but if they do not have the effect of changing us into the image of Christ then they are invalid and wasted experiences.

Experience is a vital part of growing and all life is based on both experience and understanding; but if our experiences take the place of what Scripture tells us are part of Gods will for our lives then we are out of line. If they do not lead to us releasing the Kingdom into earth in tangible measureable ways – living a greater outworking of love, honouring our brothers and sisters in Christ, feeding the poor, helping the widows and broken, bringing healing to those who are wounded physically and emotionally, discipling nations etc. then they become self absorbed experiences that do nothing except to heighten knowledge and possibly foster a feeling of spiritual superiority.

God is calling us to grow up into maturity, to be those who rightly divide the word of truth, to rightly interpret our experiences, and to become mature believers who walk in true revelation and understanding that leads to the establishing of His kingdom in the earth. And we are, albeit slowly; around the world there are people having genuine heavenly encounters that are resulting in lives and communities being radically changed. Let’s continue to move forward in that. Let’s hold up the plumbline of Truth to our encounters and then move forward into all God is releasing with confidence because our revelations have been weighed and tested and proved true.

  1. Plumbline – https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/7254-plumb-line

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.

A new year has well and truly started, my batteries are refreshed and my creativity is flowing… sounds great doesn’t it? And it feels great too!

I have just finished the first draft on a new book about how to grow and enhance your creativity. It’s funny – but when you start to write you realise you know a heck of a lot more than you thought. You just are so used to putting it into practise unconsciously that you don’t stop to think what you’ve learnt along the way. You also find out how much you don’t know lol, and how much you can still learn. So the new book is in it’s infancy but should be reality fairly soon. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

Today – can I suggest that you take some time to think about something you are currently involved with doing and consciously think about and be thankful for the things you’ve learnt that you’re putting into practise in that task. Gratitude is such a positive creative booster and mood booster you’ll find that your day will even go better because you took a moment to be thankful. And quite possibly your task will too.

Part 2

As I was praying for this year there were four statements that came clearly to me – SEE, ALIGN, DECLARE, MOVE INTO IT!

See

Seeing or recognizing what God is doing is of course the first thing that needs to happen. This can happen in different ways and one way is not better than another; all revelation from God is of the same immense value, no matter what form it comes in. To receive revelation by an open eye vision is not more spiritual or valuable than hearing the still small voice of God whisper in your heart and mind; they are just different forms of receiving the same life changing revelations. Be thankful no matter what form revelation comes to you in; if you let it, it will change your life!

Align

Alignment is key in this time. We must choose to align ourselves both internally and externally with what God is doing and ask Him to give us understanding and experience of it.

For example, in our nation of New Zealand we have been crying out for years for God to move, and over the last few years we have seen the beginning of an awakening that is spreading through the church in our nation. Yet in many ways we haven’t recognized that God has answered our prayers, because we are looking for Him to move in the same ways He has moved in the past. Because of that many are missing what He is actually doing now.

For the past few years, as a ministry, we have been proclaiming that God is moving ‘now’ in our nation and recently at a Prophets’ Hui that I attended this prophetic word was given by a respected prophetic minister in this nation, Lorraine Hagen, which confirmed that. Part of it said this – “I saw as we began worshiping, a complete change over in time, and the Lord said “I have come, I have come”.  It’s not a time to call out and say, “Come”, anymore; He says “I’ve come”. It’s almost like “coming ready or not”.  He says “I have come”.” You can read the whole word here on our website.

Declare

We need to align ourselves with what God is doing and saying and begin to say the same things that He is saying. What comes out of our mouths must be in agreement with what God is saying and doing.

New Zealand, God has come to you and is doing wonderful things in your midst! Salvations, deliverances, healings, signs, wonders and miracles are happening each day somewhere in our nation and the groundswell is building! Get ready, see it, align yourselves with it, declare it and move into it!

I love how prophetic voices around the world are decreeing the same things. In a recent article that I read Francis Frangipane said this “We must recognize that our prayers, attitudes, and agreement with God are an integral part of establishing the reality of the Kingdom of God on earth!” What we say and decree will become established!

While I have talked about New Zealand specifically, what God is doing is not limited to New Zealand, it is a global move. We are in the beginning stages of a reformation of the church that will lead to a new reformation of society as we know it. The church is not getting ready to ‘ship out’; she is getting ready and beginning to release Heaven into earth like never before, and this will affect whole cities and nations! Bob Hartley recently said this “The first reformation initiated on the heels of the dark ages in the 1500’s answered the profound question of the human heart, “How will we be saved?” It restored to the church the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” This understanding of how we are saved is now widely understood and accepted throughout the church. This second reformation now coming forth answers the question, “How shall we then live?” This divine initiative significantly relates to how we are to live and minister to God and with God in a spirit of hope in this world, in this age. Hope is a relentless force and an earnest expectation of seeing God’s goodness and the fulfillment of His many intentions and promises for this age, not just for the one to come.”

Move into it

No matter where you are in the world, God is moving and doing the same things for you as He is for others. It is a global reformation, not just a local revival, that is taking place. It is an awakening of never-seen-before proportions that will flood the world and see Kingdom realities released and established in the earth to such a degree that it will be impossible to miss. Move into it, ask the Lord to make it a reality in your life, cooperate with Him and live the life led by the Spirit that you were created to live. Release Heaven with confidence everywhere you go, knowing that God works with you and will perform wonders through you!

As far as specifics go we will continue to see great fluctuations in different nations’ economic circumstances. National debts will continue to escalate and the global community will find increased pressures put on them in many areas because of that.

Justice issues like human slavery will continue to be a focus, although the overwhelming hugeness of the problem will cause many to do nothing because they believe that what they could do is but ‘a drop in the bucket’ and will change nothing. But just as dictators and systems have been toppled in the past, the issues of injustice like human slavery can be toppled too. But it will not be the policy makers and politicians that cause that to happen, it will be ordinary people who believe in an extraordinary God.

The answer for our nations is not the policy makers and politicians; the answer for our nations is you and me, the children of God, moving in His love and power, releasing Heaven into earth in every sphere of society. I am not just talking about miracles and healings here but also about things that will revolutionize societies and bring changes that will cause cities and nations to prosper. Ideas that will cause positive changes in education and learning, inventions that will solve many food, lighting and fuel issues, especially for third world nations. All these things will happen in the years ahead. The world’s media tells us that the world is getting worse day by day and that we are descending into chaos in an ever increasing way, but the church will arise in the midst of this as one with answers that will cause national and global changes as the Kingdom of Heaven is released into the nations of the world. And you and I get to be a part of that, if we will see what God is doing, align ourselves with it, decree it and move into it.

Bless you. Have a wonderful year discovering more of God’s amazing plans and purposes for your life, and releasing Heaven with love and power wherever you may be!

Part 1

We live in exciting times. The church is undergoing rapid change and everywhere around the world God’s people are releasing Heaven into earth like never before. More people have been saved in the last twenty years than in all of history so far. God is doing wonderful things in every nation and we are all called to be a part of what He’s doing.

While in many ways this year will continue to build on what was started or established last year, God is the God of the ‘new’ and He is always doing new things, so we can expect Him to do new things in our lives and in the church this year. Interestingly, those things that we call ‘new things’ will in fact be a combination of things already established in Heaven, things that are truths or realities that have existed for eons that we are just discovering in our journey in Christ, as well as things that the church and world has not seen before – truly new things.

Often in the church we can mistakenly expect that God will work to a time frame that is measured in years, because that is how we work, but His timetable is not necessarily measured in years but in what we term ‘ages or dispensations’. So before we can understand what He wants to do this year we need to know what ‘age or dispensation’ we are in, so that we can see how this year fits into His overall plan.

Understanding the time and season

The overall age we are in is the New Covenant or Kingdom age. But within that are smaller increments of time that are focused not around dates but around revelation that God is releasing into the church and things that He is establishing in the earth. Over the last few years we have been transitioning out of what came to be known as the ‘Church Age’ into what is being called the ‘Kingdom Age’. The church was actually birthed into the original Kingdom Age, which is what Jesus announced when he was on earth, but the church moved away from a Kingdom focus to focus on building the church as an institution. This caused a shift in focus and outworking and it has taken many centuries for us to realise this and come back to God’s original intention. That is where we are in the church at the moment – coming back to God’s original intention.

In the twentieth century part of the Church Age, the focus was on ‘our church’ and ‘our vision’, but in the last few years that focus has been shifting back to an understanding that God wants the Kingdom of Heaven released into earth with love and power and that ‘our church’ is simply one small part of ‘the Kingdom’. As a part of the Kingdom we don’t throw out ‘our vision’ entirely, but we must realize that ‘our vision’ must serve God’s current purposes in the Kingdom, not simply our purpose. In the Kingdom Age we must have a ‘global kingdom understanding’ not just a ‘local church’ one. We are also realizing in a fresh way that we are the Church, not that we simply attend one.

We are also transitioning into the time where we will see the ‘revealing of the Sons of God’ and the ‘restoration of all things’. The church is not winding down, she is just really beginning to come into who she was destined to be from the beginning – a church full of glory and power, without spot, wrinkle or blemish, a church that releases the Kingdom of Heaven into the earth and into every sphere of society. How exciting it is to be a part of the birthing and establishing of this era!

The Church

The church worldwide is in a state of change because we are in that place of transition that I mentioned earlier. The church is in many ways being deconstructed – by God. Theology and beliefs are being challenged and changed as the Lord gives new revelation. (In some cases that new revelation is of old truths that have been forgotten). Traditions and ways of doing things that have been established for centuries are being re-examined and in many cases thrown out. This is absolutely necessary if the church is to move forward and really become a true representation of Christ in the earth.

Everywhere people are realizing that the church is not about ‘meeting on Sunday in a building’, but is about ‘being the church’, that is, people that release the Kingdom of Heaven in their daily lives. One result of that will be that people are trained and released for their work of ministry instead of being trained to simply fulfill their Pastor’s vision. That is not said as a criticism, simply a fact. If we cannot state the facts we will never be able to recognise when things need to change.

Revelation of Grace

One of the things we are seeing restored is the revelation of what Christ accomplished on the Cross. This revelation of the finished work of the Cross and grace will continue to grow and become established in the church. It will cause major changes to happen in the church worldwide, both in theology and practice.

There will be those who will rise up against the revelation of grace, as there have been with every revelation God has released.  Yet this revelation is as essential to the church realizing who she is in Christ, and who Christ is in her, as was Martin Luther’s revelations of the 16th century, and it is a critical revelation for us to have in order to be able to move forward correctly into this season.

Prophetic Understanding

One of the places it is most imperative that this revelation is established is amongst the prophets – those whose voices and messages cause so much to be established. If the prophetic community does not really get this revelation then we will stay in a place of largely ineffective leadership, ministering from a mixture of the Old and New Covenants.

This revelation of the finished work of the Cross and His grace will cause a shift in the manifestation of the prophetic gifting as prophets minister out of an experiential knowledge as well as a theological understanding of that. Unless we get a real revelation of that grace and love, and of God’s loving nature as shown through Christ’s life, we will continue to prophesy that God is coming instead of that He has come. Old Covenant prophecy looks forward to God coming, but New Covenant prophecy reminds us that He has come and it calls us and releases us to walk in the dunamis reality of what His coming accomplished. The current mixing of Old and New Covenants in prophetic ministry causes the church to continue to look forward to a ‘coming move’ instead of walking in what He has already released through Christ’s finished work. It also causes us to continue to prophesy gloom, doom and judgment. Indeed we have mistaken much of what is natural disaster or the consequence of walking in sin for God’s judgment on nations, but it is not.

Because our words release, create and establish things, we will release, create and establish what we prophesy. Much of the state that the church is currently in is because of what we have prophesied, taught and established over the years. That is not to say that everything that has been proclaimed and established has been wrong. We have spoken and led out of what we knew and understood to be the truth, and as God’s children we are all on the same journey of receiving progressive unfolding revelation of the Lord and the realities of His Kingdom.

I’ll do another entry tomorrow with some more specific insights in different areas. Thanks for reading this and may the Lord give you revelational understanding of what He is doing at this time. Remember, do not take what I have shared as truth just because I write a blog or have a prophetic ministry. Indeed don’t just accept anything anyone writes or says without checking it out yourself; ask the Lord about it and may your spirit witness with what is true in what I have written, even though your head may not yet fully understand it.

Bless you, see you tomorrow.

 

 

The Hui

Last week I attended a Prophets Hui (gathering) made up of Prophets from various parts of our nation (New Zealand). During that day there was a very strong sense of the manifested presence of God present amongst us and also that the times we’re in are momentous times for our nation.

Throughout the day we worshipped and prayed and talked about what God was doing in the nation. There were many things brought out during that time some of which I’ll share in the days ahead.

One of the most encouraging and powerful words that came out of the day was when the Lord said “Stop asking for me to come, I have already come!” There was more to the word but that was the crux of it. Sometimes we can miss the actual time of release because we are so caught up in the” praying for” or because it comes in a different form than what we were expecting. As a result of what the Lord said we should now begin to change our petitioning for revival into thansksgiving and prophetically release decrees of God’s will and intention into our towns, cities and nation.

That which we have been praying for has been released! It is here now – God is moving powerfully throughout the nation. There is a groundswell of Kingdom release that is building in power and being released on a nationwide scale. This move of God is not a sudden revival type move located in one place – it is an awakening that is taking place in all parts of the nation simultaneously, that is why many have missed it. People are stepping out in the power and love of God in numbers that are increasing daily. Miracles and healings are becoming common occurrences as the church is awakening to who she really is and who Christ is in her.

Back to the Hui – I want to share a vision I saw as we worshipped.

A child called Hope

In the vision I saw a young girl. She had fallen asleep in a forest, curled up under a tree. The darkness of the forest covering had caused a false sense of night, of slumber. When I asked the Lord about her I was told her name was Hope. Her name was Hope but Hope was asleep! I heard someone call her name and the call woke her – it was a call to wake up, to begin to walk again, follow the call; to follow the voice and walk out into the light again. I saw an understanding, a flame begin to flicker in her heart as she began to walk – following the voice. In the voice was love and kindness and she realized she had heard the voice before many times but it had somehow become clouded in her hearing. As she continued to walk she saw light ahead and the flame flickered brighter and her heart began to beat stronger.

As I asked the Lord about what I saw I felt the forest was a prevailing atmosphere over our nation – the feeling that darkness has the upper hand. I felt him say that for many in our nation hope had faded (it was like their hope had gone to sleep because they had succumbed to the darkness). They hadn’t lost it altogether; it was just not functioning at a fully awakened level. I believe the Lord is awakening hope within his people in this time. They are beginning to hear the call to follow and trust in a new way and are responding. The nation is awakening to hope again, awakening to the call to walk into the future guided by God’s Spirit and His Voice. We have been in the place of unnatural darkness to the point where many have been lulled into a sleep state. It is time to awake and walk out into the light again. We are children of light destined to bring light into darkness not to let darkness overtake us!

What is the call on our nation?

This was a question we asked that day at the Hui? We asked it because – if the church in our nation (New Zealand) does not know their identity and call then we will wander aimlessly and every man will follow his own personal vision and desires. While it is not wrong to have personal and church visions we need to know how our vision fits in with the Lord’s desire for us as a nation. We are all individually and as churches a part of a bigger whole and just as the Lord has plans for each person and church he also has a plan and destiny for us as a nation. For too long we’ve not been aware of or functioned from that fact and so have been a fragmented body of individualists who don’t know how to work together. It is time for that to end and for us to recognize the strengths in each other and how we can function together while still keeping our individual personalities as churches.

Today I’ll share some of what was said at the Hui re our nations call and then over the next few weeks I’ll release other prophetic words and declarations from that day as well.

We are as a nation…

So what is the collective call on the church of New Zealand – in some ways it is many stranded but one of the significant parts of it is that our nation is to be a forerunner nation many of whom have apostolic & prophetic mantles.  We are known worldwide as ones who carry a very strong prophetic mantle and are also an apostolic release nation, a nation of sent ones – of evangelists & missionaries that plant, build and disciple nations.  As such we are a people destined to move in signs, wonders and miracles, with a strong healing emphasis, to proclaim and release the reality of Heaven into Earth.

We are a proclaiming people – releasing the heart of God through prophetic proclamation that calls into being that which is not yet reality in the earthly realm,  again – releasing Heaven into Earth. This is done mainly through teaching, prophetic release, music and media.

We are a nation called to release hope amongst many things into the nation and into the nations, to call them into their destiny and fullest expression. That is why hope has been under attack in our nation – to stop us from being who we were created to be. If hope can be stifled then we will not walk in our apostolic and prophetic destiny and because of that others will miss out.

The above-mentioned giftings and call are a very significant part of who we are as a nation. I’ll share more about the call on our nation and from the Prophets Hui over this coming month in the belief that when you write the vision (and speak it) people can hear it and run with it (Hab 2:2,3). Please pass the posts along to others (individuals and Pastors) as the more that read, the more that will recognize themselves and begin to walk in their true identity.

Part 2 – Understanding and stewarding revelations

In these days there is an incredible increase in people receiving revelation, whether visions, dreams, heavenly experiences or spoken revelation, and this will continue to increase in the days ahead. So it’s important that we learn how to properly interpret and apply our revelations and that we teach others how to do so as well. If we don’t, then the church runs the very real danger of becoming flaky and deceived, all the while thinking it is okay because it is being blessed. In fact it is possible for a person to be right and true in their beliefs in some areas, and wrong and deceived in other areas. We all have blind spots and we all only see partly (1 Cor 13:12). The key here is being open to Holy Spirit to teach us, correct us and lead us into truth. It is an ongoing process of growth, not an event. We do not suddenly know all there is to know about anything. We grow and change as we allow our minds to be transformed, and our thinking to be brought into truth (Rom 12:2).

It makes no difference what type of revelation we are receiving – the revelation must be allowed to transform us. Even a revelation that God gives us for others, can and will do a work in our lives if we will let it. I believe that is part of what God intends when He gives us the revelation. But revelation is not just about us, as nice as it is to have these experiences. We are called to be ambassadors of Heaven – those who release Heaven into Earth. We are blessed and we are to be a blessing, so we must lean how to steward wisely the revelations we receive. Because in so many cases the church has not been taught how to properly steward what it receives from God, many people receive revelation and then either do nothing with it or do the wrong thing with it.

We are told in scripture to test every prophecy (1 Thess 5 20,21; 2 Pet 1:20,21; 1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11) and I believe we should apply this to visions, dreams and anything else that is a prophetic revelation. We test it against scripture as a whole, God’s character and nature, and God’s heart for mankind. If it is a true revelation from God it will be in line with all these.

How do we steward the revelations God shows us?

The most important part of that stewarding is having a correct understanding of the revelations we receive; everything relating to what we do with the revelation hinges on this.

Revelation has (to my understanding) three components to it.

  • Component 1 – the Revelation – the picture or vision God shows you, or the things God says to you.
  • Component 2 – the Interpretation of that which you see or hear.
  • Component 3 – the Application or outworking of that which He shows you.

As I said in article 1 in this series, revelation is an invitation to intimacy, dialogue and co-operation with God. Keep that in mind as we explore the components that make up revelation.

Let’s look at those three components.

1. The revelation

This is the actual vision you see, what you hear or the encounter you have. The most common mistake that people make when trying to figure out what the things they see and hear mean is “to take everything they see literally”.

There is a difference between literal and symbolic – remember that while both may feel real, there is still a difference between those two things.

  • Literal means – everything you see can be taken literally ie. It is what it is. – no symbolic, allegorical, or metaphorical meaning. Eg, John talking to an elder in heaven about the people he is seeing, as in Rev 7:13-17.
  • Symbolic means – aspects or the whole may be representative of something else eg. In Jeremiah 1:13-16 Jeremiah sees a boiling pot facing away from the north. The boiling pot is symbolic of disaster coming on the land from a country in the north.

Visions and experiences may have some aspects of both in them, eg. In Rev 1:10-20 John sees seven golden lampstands (symbolic of the seven churches). He also sees a person who has hair white as wool, eyes like fire, feet like burnished bronze (literal). That is why we must be able to interpret our experiences and visions rightly. It is so important to ask Holy Spirit to help us interpret what we see.

2. The interpretation

Do not go into your head to try and figure out what it means. Ask Holy Spirit – it’s His job to lead you into truth. To find the interpretation you simply ask Holy Spirit questions. I know that doesn’t sound very spiritual, does it? We’d much rather have a shaft of divine light with a scroll in it giving us the meaning, and sometimes the Lord will do something like that. But mostly He won’t, because that would defeat God’s purpose of bringing us into intimacy and dialogue.

  • Ask if the revelation is for you, for someone else, or for a corporate group. The answer to that question may well influence the meaning of the revelation.
  • Be specific – ask about the details of what you see. Each question you ask will probably lead to another, but as it does, the mystery of the vision will be revealed to you.
  • Ask Holy Spirit what is literal and what is symbolic. Get to know how God uses symbols in scripture – those symbols can often give you a clue to something’s meaning eg bowls have many meanings in scripture. There are bowls filled with incense, symbolizing prayer (Rev 5:8). There are bowls that represent people (2 Cor 4:7) or countries (Jer 1:13-16) and there are bowls that are simply bowls (2 Tim 2:20). Each will give an entirely different meaning to a vision of a bowl being poured out, for example.

Just because an experience feels real, it does not mean that everything in that experience isliteral. This is critical to understand! If we don’t understand this we can easily begin to slide into subtle yet real deception, which will open us up to the enemy. God often speaks in metaphors, riddles and symbols and even in the middle of what is a very real experience there will often be mysteries waiting to be unfolded.

Example; and this is a common vision people have had – that of seeing a warehouse in heaven that is stocked with body parts waiting for people to bring them from Heaven into Earth. 

Is this literal or symbolic? I haven’t personally seen this place, although I know people who have, and who say that what they saw felt very real to them. They have felt God say that He wants them to come to heaven and get the parts they need when they are praying for someone for healing and then release them to that person here on Earth.

Let’s look at that vision now and see what we can interpret. It may have felt real, but did they really see and experience that? Yes, they had a real experience in which they saw things. It was not their imagination – it was God showing them something of an eternal truth. Is it literal? Are there literally spare parts up there for every broken or wounded part of someone’s body and are they stored in a warehouse? Or is this maybe a symbolic picture of something that is a spiritual reality – God wanting to release the healing and wholeness that He has for them into people’s lives, and calling us to be the agent that releases Heaven’s reality of wholeness into earth? I personally feel that while this was really experienced it is still a symbolic picture of the heavenly reality of wholeness being available for every person. But it is no less power-filled because of that. Remember, any revelation from God has the power in it that is needed to effect transformation.

Another example – you may receive a picture of a person hidden deep underground in a hole and you see yourself going in there and rescuing them.

You know the person is not literally in a hole so you think or assume that it must be their spirit that is bound up and hidden deep underground in a dark hole. You then share this with others – that there are Christians and Non-Christians whose spirits are bound and hidden in holes and you have been sent by God to rescue them.

What is wrong with you sharing this? A whole lot! The basic premise is wrong, and if that is wrong then your interpretation and application of it will be wrong, too. What is that basic premise? That what you are seeing is literal! It may have felt very real but it is not literal, it is symbolic. But if you get the symbolism wrong by trying to figure it out with your mind you will end up going in a wrong direction. God may still even bless you and set people free as you share and pray with them but you may still be wrong in your summation of what you saw. According to scripture a Christian’s spirit cannot be bound up and hidden in a hole in the ground. They have been given (in Christ) a new spirit, which is complete and whole. Their spirit is not broken or bound. A Non- Christians spirit may be broken and bound but again it does not hide in a hole in the ground it lives inside them. There is a difference between a person’s spirit and their soul (emotions, mind, heart and will), but even then a person’s soul still cannot be in a hole in the ground; it is a part of their body. What we are seeing in this example is not a literal picture! It’s a symbolic picture of an area of brokenness in their spirit (only if they are a non-Christian) or their soul (Christian and Non-Christian) that needs to be brought into the light of God’s love. They are not literally hidden in a hole in the ground.

Can you see how easy it is to go wrong with this? Some may think that it’s better to not ask for revelation if there is such a chance of going wrong, but that would be like the servant that buried the talents underground and waited for the master to return (Matt 25:14-30). The key is to grow up into Christ and learn to steward wisely what we receive.

3. The application

What does God want you to do with what you’ve seen or heard? There may be any number of things that He could want you to do with it.

  • He may want you to take it to prayer and never share it. This is a very real possibility and one we must consider – not every revelation is to be shared. Or…
  • He may want you to pray it through and then share it.

If He does want you to share it with others then you need to ask – when and how? Again the possibilities are numerous

  • art (painting, sculpture, movie etc)
  • spoken word (prayer, encouragement, prophecy, song etc)
  • written word (story, blog, article etc).

Are there practical things that the Lord wants you to do? Ask Him for the strategy to begin to implement those things.

What if the Lord tells you to submit what you’ve seen or heard to leadership and nothing is done with it? If that is what God asked you to do then the responsibility passes out of your hand into theirs. They are now answerable to God, not you, for what they do with it. You’ve done what God asked you to do. Ask the Lord if you need to continue to pray for that thing but whatever you do, don’t pray prayers of manipulation or condemnation against the leader you gave it to. Release it back into the Lord’s hands. Remember it’s His to establish, not yours.

In the next article we’ll begin to look at how we steward things like trances, extended periods of revelation, heavenly experiences and more. We’ll talk about protocols for entering the Throne Room and other places in the heavenly realms, and stewarding those things.

Revelation through visions, experiences and dreams is increasing greatly in these days and will continue to do so – this four part series is written to help you steward wisely the revelations and experiences you are given. If we don’t know how to steward these gifts properly we will have a mess as people misinterpret what they see and experience and the end result could be that some will end up being decieved and going down a wrong track altogether. So let’s take care of that possibility by giving some understanding in regard to how to interpret and steward what we see, hear and experience. Please pass these articles on to others, let’s get the word out there – just make sure you include my name and blogsite url.

Part 1 – A life of revelation and encounters

Revelation of God and his kingdom – as Christians we all long for it but it’s something we often feel we don’t have or we feel that we have to work hard in order to get it. We long for a life of such intimacy. Yet the truth is that we cannot be more intimate with God than we already are. Why? Because intimacy is not a feeling, it’s a legal positioning and our state of being because of what Jesus did on the cross. You have been made intimate with God. You are one with Him, in Christ and in the Father through Christ.

Rom 6:11  “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.“

1Co 1:30  “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…”

1Jn 4:13  “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”

Can we expect to experience more of the reality of that oneness than we currently do – definitely! Can we get to know Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit more than we do?

1Cor 1:7  “so that you are not lacking… awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

Can we discover more of the wonders of who they are? Yes! We can and we should expect to know them more and more but we should not confuse that with our state of intimacy or oneness with them.

Since all relationship is based on our experiencing the other person in the relationship we can and should expect to know or experience the Lord.

1Jn 5:15 “And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”

To receive revelation and have encounters with him is a natural outcome of relationship with him.

1Co 4:1  “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

Do you want to be a steward of the mysteries of God? God wants you to be one so how do we step into that?

It begins with understanding revelation and God’s purposes for it…

Revelation – it’s not some airy, fairy, esoteric knowledge that’s for a select few, it’s for all people everywhere. We cannot even get to know God without receiving revelation. And all revelation is an invitation. It’s an invitation to two things primarily – intimacy and co-operation with God. God is all about relationship and everything he does is about bringing you and I into a deeper understanding of who he is and who we are in the context of relationship and then to understand who he is to us and through us.

As a Christian one of the ways we can open ourselves to revelation is to spend time waiting on the Lord by stilling our hearts and minds. The mystics of old used to call that waiting contemplative prayer, nowadays some people call it soaking.

Psalm 46:10  says “Be still, and know that I am God.” The term “be still” in this verse means “stop striving”. It means to let go and come into a place of rest where you can hear, see and experience God. It is a contemplative state. The Christians of old knew about contemplative states of rest that led to experience – we call those people “mystics” because they experienced the mysteries of God. We look at their lives with wonder and wish that somehow we could experience what they did – yet what they experienced was not just for a select few – it is open to all. Also, the word “know” in the above verse is a “knowing by experience”. It’s not head knowledge it’s an experiential knowledge.

So how can we discover more about Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit? How can we experience them more? One of the great ways to do that is by soaking. It’s a time of waiting in quietness and rest of heart – it may include prayer and talking to the Lord and will definitely include having a listening posture and waiting for him to speak to us. Some people prefer to soak to music; some prefer quietness. Whether we have music or not though is not the main thing – it is a quietness of heart and a listening posture that is key.

We can train ourselves and develop this state so that we get to a point where we are in a contemplative state of heart even as we go about our daily tasks. But normally that comes from first learning how to quiet our heart and minds and hear him in set times apart with the Lord.

So how do we do that, what are some tips for soaking or contemplative prayer? The following list is not a “formula” or “steps to intimacy” just some tips…

  • Make a quiet space in your home where you know you can focus and be undisturbed. You can sit, lie down, whatever is comfortable.
  • Have a journal, pen and drink of water there on hand so you won’t have to go searching for them when you need them.
  • Your heart and mind will go where you focus – Focus on the Lord and his glory and your heart will begin to go there. James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Focus on the world and it’s demands and your mind and heart will go there.
  • If you have things you need to talk through with the Lord regarding sin issues do so (repent) and thank him that in his amazing grace he has even forgiven you ahead of time. Receive his forgiveness, acknowledge it and thank him for it.
  • Worship the Lord – in tongues and in your native language. Keep worshipping until you feel his presence begin to manifest around you.
  • If thoughts intrude, take them captive and tell your mind you’ll deal with that later. Write it down if you need to – this is so your mind can see that you won’t forget.
  • Present your body to God a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable. Rom 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
  • Then present yourself to him as being alive from the dead Romans 6:13 “…present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
  • Recall past experiences with the Lord – visions, encounters, healings etc they will shift your heart into a thankful posture and you can also enter his glory through them by asking Holy Spirit to lead you into the reality of what you see.
  • Tell the Lord you want to experience him, meet with Him, encounter him. Tell him you want more of his presence manifested around your life and in your life.  You are not asking for more of Him – you can’t get more of him than what he has given – he has given you his all. You have the fullness of the Godhead in you in Christ – you are asking for it to become manifest to you so you can grow up into it. Col 1:19  “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,”Eph 4:13 “…until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.’
  • Stay in that place of soaking or contemplation until you receive revelation. Psa 123:2  “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.”
  • Realise that when you do receive revelation that is not the end of your time with him that is just the beginning, the gateway to the supernatural realm of God. All revelation is an invitation to intimacy and dialogue with the Lord and out of that, co-operation with him. Isaiah 64:4 Amplified Bible “God…who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him.” He’s longing for us to wait on Him.

Here are some of the ways people in scripture received revelation – Dreams (Job 33:14-16; Genesis 28:10-16)
– Visions (Daniel 7:1-3,9; Acts 16:9-10)
– Trances (Acts 10:9-17, 11:5)
– Out of body experiences (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
– Angelic visitations (Luke 1:11-17; Acts 12:7-10)
– Being transported in the Spirit (Acts 8:39-40).

You may receive revelation in any manner of ways – as impressions, the quiet whisper of Gods voice, angelic encounters, nudges of the Holy Spirit, pictures, heavenly encounters and more..

Sometimes we think one kind of revelation is more spiritual than another because it is more dramatic or seems more “real” somehow.  But revelation is revelation no matter what form it comes in and all revelation has the power to transform your life. None is more special, spiritual or mature than another way. They are all revelation and all carry within them the power of God to do what he has sent them to do.

  • Write down in your journal what the Lord is showing you – draw pictures of what you see even if they are only stick figure pictures. Writing and drawing it helps to build pathways in the brain to hang memory on and helps cement your experience in your memory. This is important when you want to go back to a place you’ve been in the Spirit.
  • Talk to the Lord about what you are seeing, hearing or feeling. Ask him questions – he never gets tired of questions. The more you ask the more the revelations will unfold to you.
  • Ask him what he wants you to do in light of what he has shown you. Then simply be obedient to do it and watch God work.

Revelations purpose is first of all to deepen our relationship with the Lord and secondly to bring us to a place of co-operating with him in releasing the kingdom of heaven into earth. Don’t fall into the trap of putting the second part first. God’s kingdom is all about relationship with him and our works should be about that too. Intimacy and co-operation – the results of which lead to thankfulness and deeper intimacy – that’s what it’s all about.

Enjoy your “soaking” times, they are precious and to be guarded. Don’t let the enemy steal them from you by works without intimacy or daily life’s needs.

To experience the reality of stewarding the mysteries of God is a part of our inheritance but it doesn’t come without us being willing to count the cost and pursue intimate knowledge of Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. What I’ve talked about in this article are the beginning steps to stewarding the mysteries of God but even those baby steps will be filled with wondrous encounters and heavenly experiences. Enjoy them but don’t stay there – venture ever deeper into revelation knowledge of God and the Kingdom of Heaven and how it functions. We are called to rule and reign both here in the earthly realm but also in the heavenlies – to do so we must know how the Kingdom of Heaven functions, it’s government, protocols and God’s ways. There is far more for us to move into than we have known or dreamed and we have the best teacher of all – Holy Spirit who will lead us into all truth (Jn 16:13).

In Part 2 of this four part series I will look at “Understanding and stewarding experiences and mysteries.”

 

 

In a meeting recently I heard the speaker mention being “promoted in the Spirit”. Normally on hearing something like this I would’ve just accepted it. But as I was sitting there a thought popped into my mind which I recognised as being a question from the Lord. “Is there such a thing as being promoted in the Spirit?” Now I’ve come to understand that when God asks me a question it’s not because he doesn’t know the answer – it’s because I need to know the answer.

I have heard that saying for many years and understood being ‘promoted in the Spirit” meant somehow going to a new level of authority or standing in God although quite what that was, was never explained. Indeed, I know of people who teach that at a certain time each year God judges our performance and accordingly either promotes or demotes us in the Spirit.

If this is indeed the case what criteria does God use to judge us by? What do we have to do in order to get a promotion, and what do we need to abstain from in order to avoid being demoted? Is earning a “promotion in the Spirit” dependent on how much we are obedient or how many good works we do, or on God’s judging us by some set of criteria that we’re unaware of? What does scripture tell us and what is the New Covenant reality?

In the world we live in we are so used to the promotion system – get good grades and you’ll get promoted to a higher class in school; work hard enough and you may earn a promotion at work. In our natural world promotions must be earned, they don’t come as a result of sitting back and doing nothing. So when people use the term “promotion in the Spirit” we presume that it must mean that they have somehow earned a promotion.

In the church we unconsciously foster the concept of promotion in several ways. One way it is fostered is by giving people ranks and titles. We call some people Generals or Fathers in the faith or Apostle (usually because they head up a denomination, ministry or a church). Mostly we do it as a sign of respect but it can foster wrong thinking and believing.

We encourage people to aim for, or earn status or title by practicing the promotion system in our churches. You have to work your way up through the ranks. You may be called to pastor people but you must start by teaching in Sunday School and then maybe you’ll be promoted to Youth Leader and then an assistant Pastor and finally one day you’ll earn the title and get to be a Pastor. Scripture may look like it gives ranks and titles eg pastor, teacher, apostle, prophet, evangelist etc but it doesn’t, they are job descriptions not titles. All these people are called to train the saints for their service and ministry not be given a title.

At first thought the idea that we can get promotions in the spirit sounds appealing, but dig deeper and there is something wrong with that whole line of thought. It means that our place in God’s order of things is dependent on what we do, but that system is called ‘the law’, and we are no longer under law but under grace. The Christian life, and our place in God’s order of things, is not based on what we do but on what Jesus has done for us.

Promotion is the idea that we can earn advancement through our efforts. People even talk about being in the school/university of the Spirit. There is no university in the Spirit; God doesn’t give a degree in Christian living or in theology. Degrees in theology are man’s idea that stems from man’s desire to please God, understand the Bible or/and be someone.

You may ask, “But doesn’t the Bible say that if we are faithful with what we have that we will be given more? (Matt 25:14-30) Isn’t that a promotion?” In these verses I believe that Jesus was not talking about a system of promotion but about a natural part of the Christian walk – we have been given a new nature made in the image of God – one of his attributes is faithfulness. So this parable is about growing up into Him it is not primarily about us earning promotion. It is about becoming mature sons and daughters.

As a part of that maturing process we should, and will, bear fruit and learn how to wisely steward what God has given us. As we do we will be given more responsibility, the grace to handle it, and his joy in doing what he has called us to do. A part of growing in maturity in Christ is that we should become increasingly more aware of just how much he has done for us. We believe it, and walk from a place of rest in his work, not ours.

Scripture says in Matt 16:27 that Jesus will reward us according to our works. This would appear on face value to say that if we work hard we’ll be rewarded for that hard work.  But this passage is not about works as we think of them. It’s not about how many duties we took on at church or how many orphans we feed; it’s about our accepting or rejecting Jesus according to the commentaries I read.1

The Church has brought into the idea of promotions partly because it has misunderstood that word rewards. That misunderstanding has now become an accepted part of church theology. It says that we will be rewarded or promoted according to what we do for God – how long and how hard we have worked. It says that by doing more we can receive more from God – a higher standing and place of authority before him and others, maybe a bigger mansion in heaven or a bigger, more jewel studded crown or a closer throne to Jesus in heaven. Thinking this-  is evidence of our not truly understanding who we now are, what Christ bought for us by his death and what the Father has consequently given us as sons and daughters.

In Matt 20, in the parable of the workers, Jesus tells us that we all get paid the same, whether we worked longer, harder or not.

I am reminded of the disciples’ mother that wanted her sons to be rewarded by being seated by Jesus in a place of honour in his kingdom (Matt 20:20–24). Jesus’ reply to that was to tell them that they didn’t get it, that they had it back-to-front; that the greatest in the kingdom got to serve more not accumulate more or get a greater place.

In this passage it says that God will choose who sits there beside Jesus, but after his resurrection and his being enthroned on high, scripture also plainly tells us who God chose to sit there – all of us! We are all seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6), every believer in the same position, co-heirs and co-reigning with Christ.

(Now I am not saying people haven’t seen in visions what they claim to have seen, I’m sure they have seen those things. I have seen many things myself even. But we must remember to weigh our visions against what scripture plainly says and interpret them in the light of scripture. One problem with visions is that many people do not know how to interpret them, they are not all literal, many of them are symbolic. For example if you see some people sitting enthroned beside Jesus on thrones it may not be literally mean those people, they may just be representative of the fact that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places.)

God does indeed reward us, but not by being “promoted in the Spirit”. Col 3:24 says that our reward is the heirship or inheritance – what Christ won for us on Calvary. Phil 3:8 tells us that part of the true reward is “knowing Jesus and living with him forever”.

I believe our reward is knowing and experiencing the reality of relationship with the Godhead, and the things Jesus died to make our inheritance – some of which are his love, joy, eternal life, healing (for ourselves and others), abundant provision, and being seated with Christ in heavenly places.

Understanding that knowing Jesus and living with him forever is the true reward frees us to live for him with an attitude of doing whatever we do for love of him, not love of rewards. It frees us to take the focus off ourselves and back onto Jesus!

The idea of promotion in the Spirit is dare I say it, a subtle deception that has found its way into the church that appeals to our human desire to be the best we can be for Jesus and to our pride; but in the end it comes from a wrong base.

I believe that under the New Covenant to earn a promotion in the Spirit is actually impossible – you can’t get any higher than being in Christ, a co-heir with him. In order for us to earn a promotion in the Spirit we would have to come down from our place of seated authority in Christ, discount the work he did on the cross, come back under law and believe that our efforts are what count in ensuring our place in God’s eternal Kingdom. So we need to give up our ideas of worldly promotions and accept that he has already promoted us to the highest place beside himself. When we realize that, there is no striving for more, only gratitude for what he has done and what he has given us.

So where would you rather be – at rest in what Christ has done, seated with him in heavenly places, functioning out of that place of rest and authority or trying by your efforts to somehow earn your way into God’s good books and hope you have done enough to earn that promotion in the Spirit?

Think it through!

1 – Gills Bible Exposition & Barnes Bible Notes

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!