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We are in the midst of a great awakening in the Church where the children of God are waking up to “who they really are.” Part of the foundation of this awakening is a deepened revelation of the love and goodness of God that is giving birth to a “Love Revolution,” now sweeping the earth. The Church is learning how to live loved and, as a result, is becoming “living love” – pouring out love in ways that is causing transformation to come to thousands daily. You are called to be a part of that revolution, and it starts with knowing that you are loved – unconditionally and irrevocably.

Let Father God love you, really love you, and through the transformational effect on your life, you will not be able to do anything but love as He does. As a result, you too will transform the lives of those you come in contact with.

The One Word That Is At the Heart of the Good News of the Gospel

One of the amazing things Jesus accomplished through both His life and death was to reintroduce a reality that had not existed since the fall of mankind – a loving close relationship with God.

With one word Jesus changed everything. He declared the end of religion and proclaimed the restoration of relationship. He changed forever the way man would see God (if they really looked). That one word is at the heart of the Good News of the Gospel. It’s not the word “forgiveness,” or even the word “grace.” Those are powerful words, but the one word Jesus used to change everything is “Abba.” Abba is the word for “Father” or “Daddy.” It may not sound like much of a revolution-starting word when you first hear it, but that word “Father” changed everything and assaulted every religious belief in existence, both outside and inside Israel.

Knowing “Father” Changes Everything

Jesus came not only as the Savior, but also as a Son. He came to reveal the Father and to provide a way for us to return to relationship with Him. Knowing God as “Father” changes everything because it reveals our reason for being created – to be in a loving, cared-for, protected and provided-for relationship with Father God. We were never meant to have to strive in order to know God, or have to earn a relationship with Him. We were meant to be “children” to the Father – a Father who loves us with 100% pure, untainted, undiluted love and goodness.

Jesus came not only as the way back to the Father but as a model of how we were created to be in relationship with the Father. That’s why He came as a child, as a Son, because only a Son could reveal God as Father. A servant cannot reveal God as the Father – he can only reveal God as “master” or “boss.” Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”(John 14:9). In Jesus we see the Father’s love revealed and expressed. And once we see the Father, something in us wakes up and remembers that we were made to be in loving relationship with Him!

Experience His Daddy Love

God wants to lavish us with His love. He wants the experiential knowledge of His love to be the very foundation of our lives. He wants all that we do – all the decisions we make and our revelation of who He is and who we are – to be a result of knowing and dwelling in His glorious love. The apostle Paul understood how important it is to have this revelation of God the Father’s love and to experience it. That’s why he prayed, “That you, being rooted and grounded in love…may comprehend what is the breadth, length, height and depth and to know the love of God that surpasses understanding, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

He’s a Good Dad. God is Love. Everything He does is motivated by love. He has no ulterior motives, no agendas except to love. Love is not just something He does; it’s who He is! He doesn’t love you because He wants something from you. He’s not looking for servants. He’s not expecting people to try hard to please Him. He is looking for someone to lavish His love upon. That is the type of Father He is. Yes, we will serve and we will obey, but those are the results of knowing His love, not the means of gaining it.

Some of us never knew our fathers. Or maybe we had fathers who were absent emotionally even if they were there in person. Some of our fathers were abusive. Others demanded perfection of us. Earthly fathers have let many of us down, but we can’t afford to judge God the Father by what our experiences tell us a father is like. I used to, and because of my relationship with my dad I didn’t want to know God as Father. In my mind, fathers weren’t nice; they abused their children. Thankfully those hurts have been healed and I am set free from those lies. Now my relationship with Abba, Daddy God, is so precious to me. I know He will never abuse me, that He only has good things for me. And I know He is the same for you.

His Treasure

Daddy God has chosen us as His special treasure. He IS love and His love melts away our performance-oriented mentality. God does not want to treat us like a servant/slave but as a son/daughter. He’ll let us be a servant if we insist, but it’s not what He wants from the relationship. And if we insist in seeing Him just as master and not Daddy, Abba God, we miss out on so much.

You are a son or daughter of your heavenly Father, the One who is Love and who is forever good through and through. There are no hidden agendas in His love. You now live under a new and everlasting covenant based on Daddy’s promise that He will never stop loving you or doing good for you (see Romans 8:38-39, Jeremiah 32:40)!

God is love; and Daddy God loves you with an everlasting, 100% pure, unfailing love! Revel in His love; soak it up! You are not being greedy; you are not being somehow less spiritually mature by reveling in that love. In fact, really knowing His love is a mark of maturing in childlike faith and trust. Enjoy it – go on, really enjoy it. There are no catches here, no tricks, just pure undefiled love. God, your good Father in Heaven, wants you to know that glorious love, to be set free by it, to make your home in it, to be comfortable in it, and to find the full expression of who you are in it.

 

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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.

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

Are you in the midst of a hard time? Many of us are; the world is going through hard times that are not improving (and will indeed get worse according to what scripture tells us). People are desperate to know what the future holds and how to prepare for it. Over the next few days I want to look at this subject and our response to it in four articles.

Part 1

As a Christian do you have confidence in God’s ability to see you through the hard times? Do you fear what you perceive to be around the corner or is your heart at rest knowing God’s love and care will be with you in any situation?

Many of us think we have no choice – bad circumstances come and we worry; isn’t that just natural? Yes, that is natural – if you are an unbeliever. But as Christians we aren’t called to live a natural life, we are called to live a supernatural life – a life beyond ordinary, a life filled with the supernatural reality and manifestation of who God is.

Jesus said He came that we might know life in all its fullness, in all it’s abundance! It’s the thief (Satan) who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). So if you are experiencing God’s blessings being stolen from you, your hope dashed, your faith slowly destroyed, that is not the life that God has for you, that is the enemy’s work.

The Holy Spirit is the one who “guides us into all truth” (John 16:13), He is sent as our helper (John 16:7) – what does this mean? It means He will reveal the full picture; He has God’s complete understanding of any situation we face. God knows the finer details of our situations, He understands every twist and turn and their implications. He knows the plans that He has to bring good into our life through them. He has a strategy, a way through if we will but depend on him.

Bobby Conner said this about guidance in an article I read As a follower of Christ, we are not called to wonder about the future or to speculate, guess or even reason about potential events—but rather to see, know and understand the future through divine revelation for the glory of God and for His purposes. This understanding of “things to come” is not reserved for the prophets of the Church alone, but for any Blood-bought Believer who walks closely with the Holy Spirit, in holy reverence of the King: He reveals His secrets to His friends. Knowing “things to come” is the result of intimacy with God and thus having the mind of Christ, which is promised to Believers in 1 Cor 2:16: “For ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” 

When we rely on Holy Spirit He can be depended on to show us not only God’s glorious plan for our circumstances but the way through them too. He longs to give us strategy, He longs to show us not only the practical outcome God has for our circumstances but also the outcome that God wants in our character, our faith, our growth in maturity in Him.

All too often we look purely at the circumstance and it’s needed answer unaware that God has far more that He wants to do in this circumstance than to simply provide for a need. We need to step back and look at the bigger picture for a bit because without that we will simply live from circumstance to circumstance, problem to problem.

God is interested in us as a person and our growth in Him as much as He is interested in our circumstances. Scripture tells us that He is forming Christ in us (Gal 4:19). God’s plan is to have million’s of little Christ’s unleashed in the earth. His plan is that we would do the same and even greater things than Christ did. Imagine that – imagine millions of people with the same heart and power that Christ had, unleashing the reality of God’s kingdom into this earth, what would that do in the earth? This is just a part of the big picture. Allow yourself to see you in that picture, allow yourself to see you doing the things Christ did.

For many of us we read verses like that, look at our lives as they currently are and think “yeah, nice concept God.” We don’t believe God can actually do that in our lives and there is one of the problems – we don’t believe! We might say we are believers but our lives show that in reality we are quite possibly Christian unbelievers.

Back to our problems though – we are told that Holy Spirit will show us things to come – that means He wants to show us God’s outcome for our current circumstances but not only to give us hope; He wants to reveal to us the way through. He wants to activate the mind of Christ within us so we see and understand correctly.

We must learn to live from that place of Holy Spirit revelation not the place of trusting in our own understanding. Why? He wants to give us revelatory understanding in order that we manifest or release his kingdoms glory in the earth. For years we have prayed it – “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. This is God’s will – on earth as it is in heaven!

When we pray for our circumstances we need to keep in mind that God’s plan is not just to release our provision but for the release of heaven into earth. Yes, our provision is part of that answer to our prayer, but God wants to do more than that; He wants us to see what he is doing in the heavenly realms (as Jesus did) and to release that into the earthly by our cooperation with Him. Isaiah tells us “Thus says the LORD: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard You… I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages…”- Isa 49:8

God wants to answer our prayers not just for our sake but that we would cause others to step into their inheritance in the kingdom. And yes, He does want to answer our prayers and answer them “Yes, granted!”

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”- Mark 11:24 

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”- 1 John 5:14 

So if we are to pray for our provision and release heaven into earth in doing so, how do we pray so that will happen and is there a guarantee our prayers will be answered and our provision received? According to the Word there is a guarantee. As we see in the above verses and many others, God says we will get what we ask for. Either Gods word is true or He is a liar. If He is a liar then nothing He has said can be trusted and even salvation is not yours. But if it is true…then we can believe it, trust and depend on it and know rest in the middle of our circumstances as we wait for the answer to manifest in this realm.

In the next article I will look at how we pray.

This afternoon I got ‘kiwi in perth’s’ latest post from ’25 Elul’ and it really encouraged me. Why? Partly because it was good truth and partly because it was related to what I shared this morning as we ministered in a local church. One of the things the Lord laid on my heart this morning was regarding disappointment. Sometimes we get disappointed with the Lord because of something we were believing for but haven’t yet seen come into manifestation or because of trials and troubles we are experiencing. If we are not careful disappointment can turn into offense and disappointment that takes root will end up dis-appointing us. It will take us out of our appointed place, out of living by the Spirit and into relying on our own efforts.And offense will cause us to draw away from the person who disappointed us or away from God if it is him who we believe has let us down.

This is what ‘kiwi in perth’ wrote.

“I used to have a bizarre idea of hard times… “God, why are you picking on me?” But now it’s different “Count (consider) it all joy when you encounter various trials!”(James 1:2). I’m way over my head…but there’s favour here, I’m out of breath… but there’s favour in here somewhere, am I crazy… absolutely!….. Do I like hard times? Dah, no, that’s stupid but “leading my mind” to be joyful is not the same as pretending I enjoy it. ‘Consider’in the original greek = “lead your mind”.

Lead your mind – not let your mind lead you! In other words we are to live from our ‘new nature’, our Christ nature and from that lead our mind into a place of peace, rest and joy, trusting that in what we are experiencing that God has a way through. There is favour for us in the circumstances if we will look for it, there is strategy for us there if we will ask for it. And the promised outcome is victory.

“Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ” (2 Cor2:14) is our end point and our starting point. So many of us try hard in our own effort to overcome difficulty or let it lead us into depressive states of mind and end up becoming ruled by our feelings. But we are not called to live by our efforts. We get to start with the above promised outcome – that outcome determines our starting point, it determines our attitude and so much more.

Why should we consider it joy? I think partly it is because joy is our strength; but not just any old joy – the joy of the Lord. God is Mr Joy himself. He wants to be our strength, he wants us to know his joy. Why is that so important? Because with his joy comes his confidence – his confidence in his ability to bring us through what we are experiencing and whats more we don’t even have to come up with our own faith. We get to operate in Jesus’ faith – the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20). We can know confidence in the midst of our circumstances as we lead our mind into joy because with that joy comes peace, rest, faith, strategy, and victory.

Wow that a huge difference from how we often read that verse – usually we read it to mean “try and be happy in the middle of your circumstances” or “pretend you’re joyful and that you appreciate your circumstances” or “thank God for your circumstances and trials as if he caused them”, when it is really strategy for victory. So next time your circumstances shout at you, lead your mind to joy and in doing so you will find God meet you there and be your strength, your joy, your victory.


A little while ago the Lord told me in a prophetic word for the church –

“It’s time to put the fun back into Holy!”

Fun! Holy! – A while ago they were not two words that I would have thought went together, but then God is good at rattling our cages and challenging wonky theology.

I have noticed that most prophetic words I give to the church will first do a work in me before they do it in others so that statement dealt to some wrong thoughts about holiness in me personally. I’m sure it will do the same for you.

“God, come and destroy our wonky theology, transform our minds, set us straight!”

I knew we were supposed to be holy and had read the verses relating to it many times over the years. So I thought I understood what holy meant. I had always tried, to the best of my ability, to live a holy life and thought I didn’t do too bad.

But there was my first bit of wonky theology – my holiness isn’t dependant on me doing something but on Christ having done something.

Col 1:22 But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. (CEV)

1Peter 1:16 Because it is written, “you shall be holy, for I am holy.” NASB

Part of my understanding of holiness was that I thought that true holiness meant that we had to live morally pure and righteous lives and that this was done through effort on our part. But it doesn’t. It means, that’s what God is so that’s what you get to be! He gives it to you! Holiness is a glorious, wondrous gift.

God breathes over us the words “You shall be holy, for I am holy” as a divine benediction, an endorsement, a seal of approval – this is who you get to be because this is who I am. He releases over us his eternal approval – you are now made holy, you are fashioned according to my image and you are now in me.

Holiness is seriousness  – Somehow in the back of my mind I really did used to feel that holiness was in reality a very heavy thing and that to be holy meant I would become serious and somber. Although that understanding had been changing unconsciously over a period of time; it wasn’t until the Lord said “It’s time to put the fun back into Holy”, that I realised a momentous change had been taking place inside me.

So I thought I would actually really look at what I had believed. I re-looked at those verses and also used other aids to understanding.

Because I thought seriousness and somberness was part of being holy I looked somber up in the dictionary and it means this – oppressively solemn or sober in mood, grave. The thesaurus equates it with words like solemn, earnest, serious, grave, sober, unsmiling, stern, grim, dour, humorless; gloomy, depressed, sad, melancholy, dismal, doleful, mournful, lugubrious.

No wonder the Lord told me it was time to put the fun back into holy!

If that is what we equate being holy to then no wonder we don’t want to be it and the world don’t want to be Christians.

So as part of some scriptural study with an updated theological grid, I looked up “holy” in the concordance as well as the dictionary and thesaurus.

 Strongs concordance – Holy

There are two main words used for holy in the Word but both mean the same thing essentially.

Of Things – a sacred place or thing; sanctuary, consecrated, dedicated, hallowed,

Of A Person – saint (a person who is consecrated or set apart to God)

So the scriptural and Strongs meaning of holy is simply – A person who is consecrated or set apart for God, in other words, in new covenant language – someone who is genuinely born-again and set apart to God.

 That’s great but it tells me nothing about the outworking of that consecration or holiness, for that we have to look further. Before we do that let’s look at the thesaurus and dictionary definition of holy.

 Dictionary – Holy

dedicated or consecrated to God for a religious purpose; sacred : e.g. the Holy Bible

• (of a person) devoted to the service of God: e.g. saints and holy men.

• morally and spiritually excellent : e.g. a holy life.

 Thesaurus – Holy – the world recognizes all these words as equating to the state of a person being holy

holy men – saintly, godly, saint-like, pious, pietistic, religious, devout, God-fearing, beatific, spiritual, righteous, good, virtuous, angelic, sinless, pure, numinous, canonized, beatified,

Below is the dictionary meaning of some of those words from the thesaurus – I especially loved the meaning for beatific.

  • Beatificblissfully happy; in Christian Theology – imparting holy bliss

Being holy equates to being blissfully happy? Woooah! Grid update!

  • Canonized – as being above reproach or of great significance; beatified, ordained.
  • Numinous – having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity

Why did I not just take the scriptures at face value? Why did I not just take the Strongs meaning, why did I look at the dictionary and thesaurus? Why; because God does not just talk through scripture, he talks through many different things and in many different ways. In this case the Strongs alone did not give me a full enough picture of what a holy person is and what he looks like behaviour wise. So I had to put many pieces together to get that picture – scripture, the concordance, dictionary, thesaurus, other peoples writings…

Holiness in character comes from the transformational work of Christ in us – let’s see what J C Ryle says – his writings and sermons on holiness are still considered by many biblical scholars as being the clearest on that subject. John Charles Ryle (10 May 1816 – 10 June 1900)

“Holiness is His special gift to His believing people. Holiness is the work He carries on in their hearts, by the Spirit whom He puts within them. Holiness comes not of blood, parents cannot give it to their children: nor yet of the will of the flesh, man cannot produce it in himself: nor yet of the will of man, ministers cannot give it you by baptism. Holiness comes from Christ. It is the result of vital union with Him, It is the fruit of being a living branch of the True Vine.”

“Sanctification (holiness), again, is the outcome and inseparable consequence of regeneration. He that is born again and made a new creature receives a new nature and always lives a new life. A regeneration, which a man can have, and yet live carelessly in sin or worldliness, is a regeneration invented by uninspired theologians, but never mentioned in Scripture. On the contrary, St. John expressly says, “He that is born of God does not commit sin – does righteousness – loves the brethren – keeps himself – and overcomes the world.” (1 John ii. 29; iii. 9-14; v. 4-18.)

“In a word, where there is no sanctification, there is no regeneration, and where there is no holy life there is no new birth. This is, no doubt, a hard saying to many minds; but, hard or not, it is simple Bible truth. It is written plainly, that he who is born of God is one whose “seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John iii. 9.)”

“He that boasts of being one of God’s elect, while he is willfully and habitually living in sin, is only deceiving himself, and talking wicked blasphemy. The very idea of a man being “sanctified,” while no holiness can be seen in his life, is flat nonsense and a misuse of words. Light may be very dim; but if there is only a spark in a dark room it will be seen. Life may be very feeble; but if the pulse only beats a little, it will be felt. It is just the same with a sanctified man: his sanctification will be something felt and seen, though he himself may not understand it. A “saint” in whom nothing can be seen but worldliness or sin, is a kind of monster not recognized in the Bible!”

So let’s put all the pieces together  – Holy, is what you are if you are truly born-again – it is your state of being. You have been made holy through Christ’s redemptive work and thereby are consecrated to God.

Holiness is not a set of traditionally perceived behaviours. Holy behaviour is simply a by-product of our being holy not the other way around. We are not holy because we choose to do things we perceive as being right and proper so we can make God happy with us.

A holy life is a life that is full of Joy because Joy lives in you; and out of that state of being given over to God and full of joy (blissfully happy) flows a life that is transformed into Christ’s image, having his character and values, thereby living a morally and spiritually excellent life. And in turn that life shows others the reality of God’s amazing love and grace, what the real Christian life is, and offers them that same cleansing, consecration, that same blissfully happy joy and so much more.

A person who is truly born again or given over to God will, out of their state of already being holy, be Christ-like in nature and deed, blissfully happy and able to impart that to others. Now that begins to put the fun back into Holy! So in reality being holy is a fun filled adventure not a deathly serious set of rules and behaviours.

And that kind of Holy is one I want.

Is God serious? Yes, at times, but that is not his default personality or character. He is good; he is holy, he is love, he is joy, he is peace, he is righteousness, he is fun, he is full of delight, he is outrageously extravagant and so much more… those things are who he is not just what he does. What he does flows out of who he is. That’s the God we serve and love, that’s the God who is holy and that’s what his holiness works in us.

The Bible does not tell us that God’s nature is judgement or anger or that he demands impossibilities of his kids and punishes them when they don’t come up to that. Sure the wages of sin is death and the sin nature had to be dealt with but it is not us who deal with it. No, Christ has already taken all judgement and punishment and we will never have to have it. He has made us holy in him and we get to live out of his holiness, his mind, his heart, his nature.  It is not about our works but his unbelievably wonderful grace.

Does God demand holiness – no he doesn’t demand it – he gives it, it’s his gift to us, his holy nature in us, to live out of.

It’s holiness Church…but not as we know it!  It’s time for a mind transformation and… it’s time to put the fun back into Holy!

I have had my theology challenged lately and oh it is good. The result of that challenge has been like getting new glasses after seeing for so long with blurred lenses that are an old prescription.

We see and understand from such a limited perspective. A lot of our theological understanding comes from things we have heard preached, picked up by osmosis along the way or have studied for ourselves. The trouble is when it comes to God and even theology we only see through the lenses of our current theological grid. Things can be ‘hidden in plain sight’ in scripture but because we have been taught to see something from a certain perspective we don’t see that there could be another perspective. Or even, that maybe our current understanding is wrong.

Then along comes God and he challenges what you or I believe. What we do with that challenge is vitally important. That challenge can come in many forms and God is not afraid to use circumstances we face to challenge what we believe about him or his word. What are our options when God challenges us and do we always choose the right one?

Option 1 – Ignore the challenge. Sometimes God comes and challenges us and we choose to ignore the challenge. Why? It could be we think there is nothing wrong with our theology, that what we believe now is true and is right. Or it could be that we don’t recognize that we see in part and do not know all truth about anything. So it is easy to push the challenge away or even apply it to someone else we know.

Option 2 – Treat the challenge superficially or apathetically. God challenges us and we may even recognize we might not be 100% right but we don’t or won’t search out the truth. We have many justifications for doing this but each one comes down in the end to pride, passivity or apathy. We will rationalize and defend our passivity too. We may think – Its not like I’m going to find out I’m not saved or something like that, so it’s not vital. So we choose to live on the poverty line of revelation and understanding.

Option 3 – Find an excuse to not to let the challenge change us. We may agree in principle to the new update God has given us but that’s where it stays – as a concept and principle. It is easy to give assent with our minds to something but we must let our theology change us, we must live it out. Updated theology should radically affect everything and will often have a domino effect challenging and toppling other wrong beliefs as well.

Option 4 – Admit that we are challenged and let the challenge change us to a certain level – usually to the level of our rights – for example – I may believe  I have the right to live comfortably and with ease so no I won’t answer that call to serve on the mission field, but I will support them financially. If I ignore it maybe it will go away – usually it does too and unfortunately we stay in the place of unbelief and fear. At this point also it is all too easy to use excuses – maybe we hide behind our kids or our job or even what our Pastor believes and we don’t want the boat rocked so we do nothing.

Option 5 – Allow the challenge to do its work in us. This is where we recognize that God is at work and is challenging us for a reason – that the image of Christ may fully formed in us. In this option we are willing to hold loosely what we have believed and allow God to challenge it, shake it, sift it and let the wind blow away what is chaff. In this place we are willing to allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable while still trusting that he knows what he is doing and why. It is a place of surrender, a place that while not necessarily easy to be in is absolutely necessary if we are to move into greater revelation.

This is a season of many challenges for the church. Finances, confidence, mind sets, theology; it is a season where everything that can be shaken is being shaken. What a glorious time it is – God is challenging us and we are getting to see the truth about where we stand. For many, if not all of us, we are discovering that we don’t trust God as much as we thought, we don’t believe him as much as we ought to and largely, we don’t really experience the reality of what we believe. Oh the wonderful grace of God in revealing these things to us.

The devil would have us believe that these times are like they are because God is judging us yet the truth is far from that. In these challenging times the whisper from heaven is – “Come closer, come and see the real me, come, see and experience the reality of who I am. And when you see me as I truly am, everything will change. You will see your challenges from a new perspective, you will see the answers I have for those challenges and faith will rise in your heart, so that what you believe and what you see may be manifested in your realm.”

God is challenging our theology especially in this season – what we believe about him, what we believe about his word, his kingdom and so much more. Let him do it, let him challenge your theology. In doing so you will come out the other side with a wonderfully updated view of God that will change your world. Allowing God to update your theology in this season is vital. The church worldwide is undergoing a reformation that at it’s culmination will dwarf any other that has been before. Out of that reformation the Bride will arise in all her glory, pure and spotless, rightly displaying the character, love and power of God, releasing heaven into earth everywhere she goes.

Letting God change you in this season is not only essential on a personal level but it makes you a part of the pioneering work of birthing reformation. That’s how big this is, it’s not just about you maturing it’s way bigger than that; it’s about the Church becoming who she was created to be.

Bring on the change, I say! Challenge our theology God, change it and change us!

Third Heaven Intercession – What on earth is that you might be asking. Well it’s not on earth, as the title says – it’s New Covenant intercession. It’s intercession that takes place in the throne room itself.

This weekend we held our first 1-day Third Heaven Intercession seminar and it was powerful. Revelation flowed like a river and all around the room oh’s and ah’s sounded as people got what New Covenant intercession is meant to be – not a fighting to break through to God but  knowing we are seated with Christ in heavenly places and releasing decrees and prayer there that release the power and will of the Trinity into the earth with the authority of Christ himself.

The day culminated in an ‘XPerience’ night that led us into the throne room and the intercession of Christ and heaven itself for our nation. What a powerful time it was of transacting and releasing the will of God over our nation with decrees,  joy and even laughter.

Who said intercession had to be heavy and dull – not God, thats for sure – Old Covenant intercession was but New Covenant intercession isn’t. True New Covenant intercession/3rd Heaven intercession is light because His burden is light, full of joy, release and co-operation with the Father and Jesus.

(If you want to find out more about this subject you can get the CD’s and manual from our website www.extremepropheticnz.com in the next week or so after we get it all formatted).

We have just had the most fantastic weekend in Rotorua with Living Well church – they are hungry people there. We did a school of Prophecy and people stepped out and prophesied who had never done it before. By the end of the weekend as the words they gave got confirmed time and time again they knew they could trust God to give them something when they asked for it.

Two of the Pastors had powerful life changing throne room encounters and experiences in heavenly places. There were visions, angelic visitations, prophetic dreams, healing, drunkneness and laughing in the Spirit, prophetic actions that sparked breakthrough and prophetic declarations that have changed things in the spirit realm over the city.

Wow! God is good and for Rob and I one of the highlights was that we had 5 of the team with us who all ministered powerfully to people. It was funny, one car load of them arrived drunk in the spirit in Rotorua and those three moved from drunk in the spirit to drunker in the spirit over the weekend with occasional sober spells. (my new saying – “drunk is good”) For the team – we had gone to serve but it was a weekend where we got ministered to by God and others, in wonderful ways.

It has been a life changing weekend on so many fronts for everyone who attended. Man, I love that we get to work alongside Daddy in releasing heaven into earth!

 

A few years ago I read the book “Dangerous Wonder”by Michael Yaconelli. I was clearing out a folder the other day and found these notes I had made regarding the book. I though you might be interested in reading them.

The book asks – Are we tourist or traveller; traveller or pilgrim; pilgrim or pioneer?  That got me thinking – what were the differences between them? Here are some of my thoughts.

Tourist –    Let me see the sights, the tidy version, experience it from the outer edge but never really enter into it.

Traveller –   I’ll go a little off the beaten path, experience a touch of the real thing but won’t linger, I’ll move on before my worship demands anything of me.

Pilgrim –   I may be touched by a religious experience and I’ll live off that one experience revisiting it in my mind but may or may not go there again.

Pioneer –   I’ll be one who explores the country thoroughly, experiencing it, settling it and making it habitable for others yet constantly taking new ground. I’ll live the adventure while others watch!

Do we travel the well worn tourist circuit of Worship and Christianity, doing and going where the tourist guides lead us or do we travel the less travelled roads; or even more daringly the unknown uncharted frontiers with God alone as our guide?

Who are the tourist guides in our life? They can be our worship leaders, pastors, friends, our fear of what others may think, our own insecurities etc. They are the ones who urge us to play it safe, to be the same as all the others, to not rock the boat by trying to step out of it.

As a traveller we dip our toes in, look into things but never really get immersed in the river of Gods goodness and grace or allow for anything too radical to happen to us. We don’t go too far off the tourist circuit but experience just enough to convince ourselves that we have seen and experienced the real thing.

As a Pilgrim we tend to live off one or a few experiences that we somehow elevate to become the high point of our walk. We look back to those experiences living in the past. In our mind they become something very special all the time not realising that we can walk in radical experience of God and His kingdom every day or really even wanting to. We have done our bit, we made the journey, that’s all thats required, now we live off that.

A Pioneer doesn’t settle for the status quo, they push the boundaries, allowing personal growth and challenges to take place but not allowing those challenges to determine their boundaries. They are not content to spend or waste what they experience just on themselves. True pioneers always break new ground not just for themselves but with the knowledge that others will come after them. They prepare the ground for the coming generations.

The devil would have us be content with any of the first three types of traveller but God calls us not to settle for the lesser but to continually push back the boundaries, taking new ground, experiencing more of Him and His wonderful Kingdom and releasing it into this world. The devil is sneaky, he moves the boundary stones in around our lives, saying these are the boundaries, you can go this far but no further. And if we are not clued up we will think the placement of those boundary stones are Gods boundaries for us, that He means for us to be little people, with little thoughts, little hopes and dreams, little land, hemmed in, pressed down and bowed over in servitude.

Are you a tourist, a traveller, a pilgrim or a pioneer? Where are the boundaries placed in your walk, what do they allow you to experience? How much of the Kingdom of God are you willing to explore and break open for those who follow you? We all have followers, those who look at our life and think it is the real thing, the real representation of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Let’s push in to make our lives true representations of the Kingdom. Let’s take new ground and call others to experience it with us.

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