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Cloud-piercer

I had been asked to paint during the worship time here at Revival School NZ in Te Anau so I allowed my thoughts to turn to asking the Lord what he wanted to release through the painting I would do. The Lord had been stirring my heart over the past few months regarding the wonderful things he had in store for the Maori people of our nation. As I waited on what He wanted me to paint, in my minds eye this painting is what I saw. It is a a mixture of collage and paint – the Maori woman and the koru being collaged onto the canvas and the rest painted. I would have loved to be able to paint the woman and koru as well but I only had just over an hour to get the painting finished. Painting in a worship time always has an element of tension as you usually need to be able to express what is in your heart in the allotted time. That means you must simplify and distill your idea down as much as possible so that at the end of the worship time your idea is at a stage that people can know what you are trying to convey.

So here it is – the painting is called Cloud Piercer because a seer or prophet sees beyond the natural realm into the heavenly or supernatural realms. They have eyes that pierce through the clouds of this realm into others. Cloud Piercer is a call to the Maori people’s ability to see into the revelatory realm to come forth again, their calling as a prophetic people, as Matakite (the Maori word for prophet or seer), to be awakened for the Lord and for the good of the nation.

The clouds represent the cloud of God’s presence (the glory) being released and covering the nation – they surround the woman – that’s a call to be children who walk in the midst of the cloud and who ascend and descend out of the cloud of his glory – a people called to be cloud piercers.

The ladder represents the ability and call to live from two realms simultaneously – the eternal kingdom realm and the earthly realm. It also represents the ability to access the heavenly realm for revelation.

The seven eagles represent the prophetic mantle over the nation, a part of which is being able to ascend and see from above and beyond normal abilities – with supernatural ability, to see the Lords plans and strategies and also to see the enemy’s strategies from above (from being seated with Christ in heavenly places) and to inform others of what they see from there. The number seven represents perfection & completeness. The eagles also represent the Haast Eagle (which was our nations largest bird but is now extinct) and it represents the restoration of all things.

The land represents the nation, the woman rising from the land represents her oneness with the land and the Koru signifies that in Christ we are one reborn cosmos – people and land – redeemed from the curse, sanctified and set apart for the purposes of God through and in Christ Jesus.

So with this painting I release an awakening, a calling forth, a resurgence of the prophetic and seer gifting amongst the Maori people of Aotearoa New Zealand. I release angelic messengers to bring revelation of God the Father and Christ and their great love for them and purposes for them.

I declare – Matakite – prophets, seers – wake up, wake up, wake up. – Tihae Mauriora, Tihae Mauriora, Tihae Mauriora!

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.

It’s Easter and traditionally it’s the time to tell the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Usually in the telling we focus on the aspect of salvation and how we can know God and have a relationship with Him if we will give our life to Him.

Yet the message of Easter (the gospel message) is not about us giving our life to Him; it’s really about Him giving His life to us! It’s a subtle difference in words but a huge difference in outcome! God doesn’t need our life but we definitely need His! Without His life in us we are dead – dead in sin and dead to knowing Him.

We often concentrate on Jesus’s death and the aspect of Jesus forgiving our sins. But I don’t believe we concentrate enough on His resurrection and its meaning, which is “life”, new life – God giving His life to us in order that we may fully live and that He may live in us and through us.

When you actually think about it, that’s huge! God – the One who is love, freely gives Himself for us and to us. That’s the good news, in fact that’s really good news!

What does that actually mean ….

  • God’s love is unconditional and is not dependent on anything we do!
  • His love and grace have nothing to do with how good or bad we are!
  • In His love God gave Himself to win us back, not just so that He could know us and we know Him, but so that we could know the reality of Him living in us and through us!
  • We can live our life knowing His love, grace and favour flowing in and through us if we believe and accept what He did for us and allow Him to give His life to us!
  • He will supply all that we need to live that life of grace and favour! All of it, everything! We don’t supply any of it!

Wow, that’s really good news!

I believe that the concept of us ‘giving our life to God’ comes from our belief that because of what Jesus did we owe Him everything, which includes giving our life to Him. Yet He doesn’t ask for our life in exchange for giving us His; He gives His life to us freely. Our giving our life to Him in any way, or loving and obeying Him, is simply a response to that love, not a prerequisite for obtaining that love. Yet we have made it a prerequisite. Over the last couple of centuries we have introduced into the Church the ‘sinner’s prayer’, which we maintain must be prayed in order to obtain God’s forgiveness and have relationship with Him. Yet the only thing God actually asks is that we believe / accept what He did for us. “Jesus answered and said, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”John 6:29

His forgiveness is already a fact, whether we accept it or not. We don’t have to do something in order to get it. He did something, He forgave while we were still dead in our sin (Rom 5:8). Then, in His resurrection, Jesus invited us into newness of life; His life – flowing in and through us!

The good news is that we can know the reality of a loving relationship with the Father because of what Jesus did. The good news is that by His death and resurrection Jesus has provided for our salvation, our healing, our wholeness, and a life of fullness and prosperity in all areas of life – “He has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” 2 Pet 1:2-4.

When we accept what Jesus has done and allow Him to give His life to us we are made new creations in Christ; the old ‘us’ is crucified with Christ. (How that transpires may be a mystery to us, yet it is still true and real). We are grafted into Christ and His loving grace brings us into a living relationship with Himself, the Father and Holy Spirit. We become sons and daughters of God. We then get to live no longer by our own efforts but by the life of His Spirit living in us. There is nothing we can do to earn His grace and favour; He gives it to us freely. It is a free gift from God. Rom 5:15-18

We live and walk by faith, which is based not just on cognitive belief but on relational trust, and the more we walk in Him and experience His love and faithfulness, the more we trust and can walk in faith. (Faith is belief in and experiential knowledge of His love, trustworthiness and faithfulness that comes from knowing and experiencing His character, His loving nature and His provision in every area of our lives).

The Good News message is all about God’s grace and love – love displayed, love given, love lived in!

In this life of God’s love, grace and favour…

  • We don’t have to give our life to God in order to get salvation – He gives His life to us when we ask Him into our lives. Gal 2:20
  • We don’t have to try and become close to God – He came close to us, He made us intimate with Him – in fact you can’t get closer than being “in”… Rom 8:9,10 2 Cor 1:21
  • We don’t have to earn His pleasure and His love – He gives it freely. Eph 3:17 1 John 4:16
  • We don’t have to keep asking for forgiveness over and over again – His love is such that He has already forgiven every sin we will ever commit – ahead of time!
  • We don’t have to try to become holy or sanctified; He has made us to be holy and sanctified in Him.  1 Cor 1:30 1Pet 2:9
  • We don’t have to try to become righteous; He has made us righteous in Christ. 1 Cor 1:30
  • We don’t have to try in our own strength to not sin; sin has lost its hold on us. His grace (and His Spirit) teaches us how not to sin Tit 2:11 – 13
  • We aren’t justified (made good enough) by our works but by His work Gal 2:16.
  • We don’t owe God; He gave all things freely, not so that we would be indebted to Him, or owe Him anything  Eph 2:8
  • We don’t have to try and keep in His good books; because of what Christ did we are loved and accepted unconditionally as His beloved child. Eph 1:16
  • Just as we were saved by grace so we are kept by grace Col 2:6
  • We can’t finish (in our strength) what He started; He will complete the good work started in us Gal 3:3  Heb 12:2
  • We don’t have to struggle to know the will of God; His will is that we know and live in everything that is good, acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:2 Ps 23:3
  • I don’t read the scriptures to find out what I have to do, the rules I have to live by; I read them to find Christ in them Luke 24:27 , to learn about His nature, character and heart for me and mankind, and to learn how His Kingdom of love functions.
  • We don’t have to try… because of what He did we get to rest in Him. Matt 11:28 Heb 4:3  
  • We don’t have to keep begging God to provide – He has already done so. 2 Pet 1:2-4 Mark 11:24
  • We don’t have to serve; we are not servants, we are sons and heirs. Any service we do is a response of love and allowing Him to serve mankind through us John 4:19 Eph 2:10 Phil 2:13
  • We were not saved because God needed workers; He saved us because He loved us and wanted us back in His family Phil 2:13 Eph 2:10
  • We are no longer under the law (any of it) but under grace; we live by a new law – the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. He has set us free from the law of sin and death Rom 7:5
  • We are made whole and complete in Him; In Him we live and move and have our being. It’s His life in us that causes us to live this abundant life. Col 2:10
  • We don’t have to jump through hoops to become free; He has set us free already. Gal 3:13 John 8:32
  • God does not want complete control of our life; He wants to give us His life and teach us to walk as mature sons not as puppets or slaves/servants John 10:10

You have been forgiven, buried with Him, raised with Him, made alive in Him and, filled with Him. You get to live in Christ and Christ lives in you and through you and… He supplies all you need to live that kind of Christ life! Now that’s good news! That’s the gospel of his glorious grace and that’s the love and grace that we get to live in!

 

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.

 

As promised here are the rest of the words from the Prophets Hui held a couple of weeks ago. They are a transcript of the words as they were spoken. Each of the people mentioned are proven prophetic voices in the nation of New Zealand. It’s exciting to see the prophets begin to speak together and share with the nation what they are hearing.

The first two are the ones I featured in the last post

Lorraine Hagen                 Something has changed in the spirit over the nation. For years we’ve been crying out to the Lord to come and things have been released and coming down from heaven, but that cry has been for the time we’ve been in. It’s been us calling out “come, Oh God come”. It’s like we’ve been offering the nation to him, we’ve been crying out as we’ve become more and more aware of our great need for him in this nation, not just as individuals but as a nation.

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”. I believe it’s a monumental change such as when Jesus walked around and did great things but they were still waiting for the Messiah, then he had come. The veil was ripped and something has been ripped over the nation. It’s probably going to take us years to see what’s come but there has been a monumental shift in the Spirit. The Lord has come for his purposes. He will use this nation in his global purposes. It is time because of the global situation. Yes we are right to call out and call and call that he would use us but now he says “I have come”.  Now I have come and things are going to move sovereignly whereas they came in the past in answer to your call, now they are going to move sovereignly I have come in this nation –  I am going to shift and reposition things, put them into right places, right networks, right positioning in every way for my global purposes. This is the day for your nation; this is the day that I have come to take up residence because of the call of the rest of the earth. I have heard you, but now I come because it is time for the rest of the earth and it is time for New Zealand to be positioned and show the Lord strong and mighty. “The Lord strong and mighty has come, the gates have been opened.” The Lord God Almighty says “I have come”.

Lyn Packer                         I saw a young girl asleep on the forest floor. She was awakened by a voice calling her – He was calling her name. He said “Hope wake up, Hope wake up”, and she woke and began to walk toward the voice, realizing that if she stayed where she was she would die. She began to walk and as she walked the voice kept calling her. I saw within her heart a flame flicker into life. It was being breathed on her. It was receiving fresh breath and fresh wind on those embers that were low. As she walked more and more, the flame flickered and she realized that she had heard the voice before but it had been clouded, clouded by her surroundings, clouded by her situation but that the voice was stronger and she kept walking. Now I can see her – she’s walking and beginning to see the forest thinning. The flame is growing within her and she’s becoming her name. I don’t know how else to describe it, she is becoming her name. She is going to walk out into the light. She is still in that place where she is not quite out of the forest yet, but she’s alive within herself.

Father, fan the flame of hope within this nation, not just in the church but out of it, fan the flame of hope in every heart, Father call us again like you’ve done in the past that this nation would hear and recognize the voice of the one who calls. Let hope arise.  Hope awake!

Noel Bowker                     I felt like the Lord was saying “It’s been a time when you have bowed in my presence and that is right but now I am saying to you, “Would you stand in my presence, and stand in the authority. You now need to stand in that place. There are still times when you should bow in my presence and that is something I really appreciate” but he says “it is time to stand in the authority that I’ve given you to declare and call into being the things that I have shown you.”

Nina James                        I saw in the skies, a wind and on the wind, the people of God. They were sitting back on the wind which was almost like a cloud carrying them. I could see angels, underneath these pockets of wind, who had been assigned to carry the wind. The Lord said to me, “the wind is my Spirit” I could see some of his people wrestling but others were lying back, just being carried by the wind. Their arms and legs were limp because they trusted the wind. They trusted the blowing of the Lord on the wind to be able to carry them into the places he was wanting them to go I could see the ones who were wrestling; the ones that hadn’t fully laid their lives down for the purposes of the King because they were still struggling to do the things of their own choosing.

But it was the ones who were limp and were able to trust God and relax on that wind that the Lord would be able to come and breathe on. As he breathed into that wind, as he breathed onto that cloud like thing, the people were carried into the places throughout New Zealand that he wanted them to be. They stepped out of that   wind into the spheres of influence that the Lord had for them. They stepped onto the ground and gold emanated from them. The presence of God was carried out of them. Everywhere they went, they transformed the place because of the presence that came out of them. The key thing the Lord said to me was “many wrestle on that cloud; many wrestle in that wind because they haven’t fully got themselves to a place where they trust me flowing them and blowing them into those places”.

I could see some of those people wrestled because they thought “God I thought you wanted me to go this way, I thought you wanted me to do that, I thought you wanted to send me here, I thought that you were going to call me there”, and because of the wrestle God was unable to take them exactly where he wanted. It was the difference between fully laying down their lives and trusting God to half pie doing it.

God I pray for your sons and your daughters in this nation, that they would fully lie down on the cloud, that they would trust you even if they heard you call them one way, one moment and then if you brought about a change in the next week, that they would be open to hear and to flow with you. God,  that if you’ve sent them somewhere one moment but then changed and sent them another place another moment that they would be free to follow your Spirit, free to hear your voice and to fly and to flow wherever you want them to go.

Lorraine Hagen                 This nation is going to be a sending nation again. In the past we thought we were such a sending nation. Out of New Zealand went many missionaries to do all sorts of things but the Lord is saying He has pulled the numbers back, waiting for the new time, waiting for the new wine skin,  for this day! He is going to call apostolic ministers out of this nation. They are going to go in answer to the cry of “Come over here. Bring the prototype that you have in New Zealand”. He is going to use us like the number eight wire thing that will break through the religious ways and the religious formulas and the set patterns in which people have been concreted. There is going to come a sending time from New Zealand of apostles sent out on answer to the Lord, to release the glory, to release the church into being the sons of God all around the nations. In the past we have called for many to come here to help us.  But now the Lord says “out of the change in the spiritual weather over the nation, you will now be the sent ones. You will go with great authority and release things in places and release the blueprint of the prototype of the sons of God”.

It will be a prototype of how to raise up the sons of God, how to release the sons of God, how to send out the sons of God. The Lord said “I have chosen you because you are at the bottom of nowhere, that it will be only me.

We will go out with more keys than we’ve had before, we will go out with more spiritual luggage than we’ve ever had before, it will be far too much for one person to be carrying and so it will be clearly God.

Cindy Ruakere                  I’ve had this picture and I’ve been aware of it for a little while. When you travel around the country you see that there is definitely a move starting to build in the nation.

I’ve seen God moving through many parts of this land, and each work is like a cog, each doing its bit, the cog has been rusty but there is movement again.  It is starting to move because it’s being blown on by the wind of God. What people don’t realize is that there are other cogs up and down the nation where the same thing is happening. The oil of Holy Spirit is beginning to flow through them so that they are starting to move together in perfect synchronization. As I pulled back from the picture I saw it was the back of a watch and this watch was saying “now is the time of the Lord Ma Te wa,” which is a significant proclamation that Ratana made when he talked about what the Lord was doing in their midst “Ma Te wa, now is the time!”

Lord I pray about this, we are so territorial and individualistic. The beauty of the pioneering spirit is that we can go where no one else wants to go but the down side of that pioneering spirit is that we become individualistic and territorial. God, I pray that as you are beginning to move in a fresh way through our nation and each work is beginning to tick over again, cogs that have been totally unable to move, they’ve rusted up, some have been slowly moving, that the breeze of your presence begins to cause those cogs to move again. But this time you are not going to come on individual works, I know that you are adamant that what you want to happen will be holistic through our nation. As these cogs are moving together, you are going to cause the oil of Holy Spirit which is a picture of unity to begin to come. The perfect synchronization of all these cogs fitting together because if one cog is going and the others aren’t and this one is and that one is not, the watch still doesn’t work. Each cog has to be slowly and perfectly moving the other that moves the other that moves the other that moves the other. God I know that you are saying “now is the time.” You desire that your time come to our land, you are desiring it God, so I pray do what you have to do that it is Ma Te wa, now is the time. Let the spirit that rested on Ratana rise up in this land again, I speak to the land to the whenua who is longing for the sons and daughters of God to be raised up out of her own soil, ma te wa, I speak to the land that groans and travails longing for them to come out, I speak to you land and I say Ma Te wa, I lift my eyes to you and say Ma Te wa.

Don Lake                            I see a picture of Jesus in the upper room where He  breathed on his disciples and they received the Holy Spirit  It was like the breath of life that came on dead bones I think Jesus is going to be breathing on dead places and bringing them back to life again. I think about that scripture, it’s been in my spirit for a couple of days when it was during the feast at the height of the celebration and Jesus said that he was going to be the living water flowing out of your bellies. Scripture says this about the spirit that had not yet been given because he as yet had not been glorified I think that as we see Jesus being glorified and increasing in this nation, now that he is here as we acknowledge what he’s doing and honour that and glorify him for it, I think that we are going to see incredible outpourings of the Holy Spirit. Sovereign deposits in places that are going to cause water to flow, almost gushings of water coming out.

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 4 –  Training for reigning & Protocols for accessing heavenly places

 

Part of what the Lord has for us is to do with the ‘here and now’ – taking dominion and releasing Heaven into earth. To do so we need to be able to see and understand what God wants released into the earth. Jesus walked and lived like this – accessing the Heavenly realm, seeing what the Father was doing and releasing that into earth. We, too, need to be able to see and access the Heavenly realms in order to live like He did. Some of what He has for us to do in releasing Heaven into earth is contained in scripture – like healing the sick, cleansing lepers, setting free the captives, raising the dead and more; and some is revealed by way of revelation. Whichever way the revelation comes it is given to cause us to grow in working out our kingly reign and dominion here on earth.

There is also the aspect of ruling with Christ throughout eternity. Part of the training for that takes place now here on earth, but a part of it also takes place in the Heavenly places now. In the Heavenly places Jesus, angelic beings, and those who have gone before us tutor us. Most of us don’t think about that because we have our ‘hands full’ putting into practice the things Jesus has already revealed that we should do, so ‘Heavenly things’ are often rather low on our priority list. Yet this tutoring is a part of the Lord’s plan in this season and more and more people are now experiencing it.

For example, a friend of mine sits in the Heavenly places daily with ‘Wisdom’ and learns from her. A young girl I know goes to Heaven each night as she sleeps and is taught by Jesus and others. There are also other people that I know who are being taught by Jesus and others in the Heavenly realm, including myself. This is not a new thing. It has been happening since the Church began and we will find that it happens more as the days go by and as more Christians learn to walk in their inheritance.

When Jesus leads you into situations where He introduces you to people in Heaven and allows you to speak to them, that is not New Age or witchcraft and it is not calling up the spirits of the dead. It is simply a function of the Kingdom. It even has a scriptural foundation – Jesus, as man, before He died, conversed with Moses and Elijah at the time of his transfiguration. Moreover Peter, James and John were present with Him when it happened (Mark 9:2-8).

Right of Access to the Heavenly Realm

In the New Covenant our right of access into the realities of Heaven is through Jesus and His work on the cross, not through our works.

My first experience in the Throne Room

In my first experience in the Throne Room, as I stood before the Throne I was asked a question, “How did you come here?” As I thought about the question I realized that it was asking about my right of access, not a transport question, asking how I had travelled there. The answer was a simple one. It was not dependent on anything I did but on what the Lord Jesus did. I came there in confidence, knowing that I had a right to do so because of the work Jesus did on the cross in making a way open for me to come boldly into the presence of God (Heb 9:24, 10:19-22).

That is the only right of access for the Throne Room and the Heavenly realm. You access it by faith, by the new and living way Jesus opened for us – through the finished work of the cross. You cannot access it any other way except through the shed blood of Jesus. You don’t go there timidly or unsure as to whether you have a right to be there; you go in confidence, knowing that an invitation has already been extended to you and the way has been opened for you. You can access the Throne Room, and Heaven itself anytime because of the invitation that came through Jesus’ finished work on the Cross. Also scripture tells us that the Throne of Grace is a very real place that we can go anytime to receive help and strategy in times of need (Heb 4:16).

Right of Access questions

As I shared above, sometimes the Lord or an angel will ask you a question regarding your right to do something. These are not usually trick questions nor are they asked because the Lord needs to know the answer. From my experience they are usually asked in order to see what our understanding is and because the Lord is inviting you to dialogue with him and to question him on it so that He can teach you something. Often it’s not until we are asked to explain something that we find out what we actually believe.

If we don’t understand why He is asking a question, we may end up misunderstanding the question completely. It is always better to ask the Lord to explain what He means by a question than to make assumptions. He won’t be offended by your questions. He is the Daddy who never gets fed up with his kids asking “Daddy, why?” or “Daddy, what?” And, of course, we should always weigh up what we hear in light of scripture.

Access for Other Places

We are all on a journey of maturing; that maturing happens as we continue to get to know the Lord in a deeper way and as we learn the ways of his Kingdom through faith, understanding of our experiences, and scripture. It is possible that some places or experiences in the heavenly realm may only become accessible as a result of maturing in faith, understanding, experience and obedience. It also is very likely that there may be requirements to gain access to places in the heavenly realms that we are presently unaware of, and we may discover those as we continue to access Heaven’s realities.

From my experience we can access any of the public places anytime by faith and by following the Holy Spirit’s leading. There are a multitude of different places that we can explore at our leisure. There is the Throne Room, libraries, gardens, teaching rooms, fun places, the river and its surroundings and much more. Have fun exploring them; they were created for your pleasure and learning.

There are many books now that chronicle peoples’ adventures in the Heavenly realms and they tell of many different places. Be aware as you read them that their experiences may or may not be literal in their meaning, even though they were very real experiences for those that had them. For more understanding on the difference between literal and symbolic meanings in visions and experiences, read article 2 in this series.

In the heavenly realms there are also council chambers, courts, strategy rooms and other formal rooms and buildings. From my experience some of these places seem to be accessible in the first instance only by invitation.

Where the doors or gates to a place are shut then the safest thing to do is ask Holy Spirit if you can access it, and if there is anything that needs to be done in order to access it. Remember, though, that it is ultimately not our works that gain us access to anything – it is because of what Jesus has done, and because we are now in Christ, that we can have access. I have had times where He has said “Not today”, because accessing a certain place wasn’t part of what He wanted me to do at that time. I have, however, been allowed to enter that same room or place at another time. My thoughts are that it is always better to ask Holy Spirit if you may do something instead of just assuming that you can. I don’t think you can go far wrong then. He may say “You don’t need to always be asking for permission to do something”, in which case that is your open invitation to access at any time.

There may be times when the Lord will take you somewhere sovereignly but He may or may not tell you that you can come back there anytime. If He does then that is your invitation to do so and He expects that you will follow up on that invitation. If He does not, then ask him if you can access it at other times and see what He says.

If places are closed to us, they are closed for a reason. Just accept that and know that when the time is right you will be granted access. In the meantime enjoy exploring the vast array of things that you can access in the Heavenly realm.

Protocols

We are still learning about the way the Kingdom of Heaven operates and we will spend all eternity discovering that. The Kingdom of Heaven consists of many things – government, values, vision, relationships, culture – music, art etc. assignments, creation, education, travel, pleasures, fun and laughter, times of state and ceremony and much, much more. Each of these situations will, of course, call for different responses and behavior. Just as we are not one-dimensional, one-response beings here on Earth, we likewise will not be one-dimensional in our responses and behavior in the Heavenly realm.

While Jesus’ work on the cross enables our access into the Heavenly realm are there protocols to follow once we are there? Let’s look at what the word ‘protocol’ means, to be sure that we understand what we are talking about.

Protocol 1

  1. Forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state.
  2. Code of correct conduct; e.g.”safety protocols”; “academic protocol”.

So the word ‘protocol’ relates to proper conduct, ettiquette or ceremony.

Our heart attitude should always be one of reverence and gratitude but our conduct may vary depending on how the Lord is relating to us. Some people think that any encounter with the Lord in the Heavenly realm will be somber, full of awe and reverence and weighty, causing you to act in a somber, awed way, and that any other way to act is inappropriate. Yet scripture tells us that not only is He holy but in his presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psa 16:11). While that reverence and awe is never lost, and we don’t come into his presence with brashness and arrogance, we must realize that God has more aspects to who He is than just being Holy.

For example scripture reveals Him as Father, the Good Shepherd, Bridegroom, Commander of the armies of Heaven, Wise Counselor and much more. So He will relate to us in different ways as He reveals himself to us, depending on what aspect of his nature He is revealing. How He wants to reveal himself to us will determine the correct form of behavior in his presence. For example, if He reveals himself as Father it may be entirely appropriate for us to call him Daddy (Abba) and to maybe snuggle close to him, as a child does. If He reveals himself as Commander it is probably not appropriate behaviour to treat him that same way. How He reveals himself will dictate our way of conducting ourselves, but in every instance we know that we have a right to be interacting with him in relationship.

My present understanding of protocols in the Heavenly realm is growing, but still limited. Some of you may have greater understanding than me on this subject and I would love to hear from you regarding it.

In the natural realm, when you come into the presence of a King or dignitary there is often ceremony to observe or protocol to follow. From what I have experienced in Heaven so far there are some aspects where that is also true of that realm. Again it will often relate to what aspect of himself God is revealing to you, or where you go. For example, there are times in the Throne Room when you are there on serious business and these times require different behavior than at other times. There are times when the only appropriate response is to bow before him or prostrate yourself, giving him the reverence and respect He deserves.

Yet the Throne Room is not all serious business. Times of celebration happen there where everyone is dancing and shouting and playing with the freedom that only comes with knowing Christ and being set free from earth’s limitations. There are other times where I and others have sat leaning against Daddy’s knee in rest or danced with Jesus on the sea of glass.

Many people have experienced playing with Jesus in the river that flows from the Throne, laughing and splashing each other as they do so. In this instance it would be inappropriate to stand on the bank saying “No, Jesus, You don’t do that sort of thing.” The only appropriate response is to jump in and play.

Heaven is a wonderful place full of adventure, life, fun, laughter, reverence, holiness and much more. Enjoy discovering it and the reality of a Kingdom full of culture that is rich beyond compare.

This series of articles is a very basic understanding of things we need to know in order to wisely steward our visions and experiences, but I hope it’s enough to help you begin to operate with some understanding in the Heavenly places.

Thanks for taking the time to read these articles. Please pass them on to those you know who are having visions and experiences. We all need to walk in those experiences in wisdom and steward them well. In fact I believe it will become more critical than ever in the days ahead to know how to wisely steward our visions and experiences as the amount of revelation being released increases.

1 – Websters online dictionary http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/protocol

 

 

 

Part 3 – Stewarding Trance Visions & Visitations

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

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

Trance Visions

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

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

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

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

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

 Stewarding Trance Visions

How do we steward a trance vision.

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

Stewarding extended times of revelation

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

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

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

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

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

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Jesus’ cry from the cross has for centuries been interpreted by the church to mean that the Father forsook Jesus, turned his face from him and left him to face the cross by himself. But is that true? Did the Father actually forsake Jesus and turn his back on him?

As we read those words of Jesus in scripture a seed question becomes planted in our minds – if he forsook Jesus will he turn away from us? I want to look at both of those things in this article – did he forsake Jesus and will he forsake us?

If we take the words of Jesus at face value we might believe that God abandoned Jesus on the cross, however if we look at other scriptures and understand some cultural things we actually begin to see something different.

In scripture we find quite a few verses in the Old Testament that seem to indicate that while God promised not to forsake Israel Deut 4:31 he then goes back on his word and does forsake them. But does he actually forsake them or does their sin have consequences; are they are reaping what they have sown? Here are some of those verses for you to check out – Deut 31:16-18; 1Ki 6:11-13; Neh 9: all esp30 ,31; Is 59:2; Is 54:8.

Let’s look at how God dealt with Jesus because that has a huge significance for us and our lives.

Throughout his lifetime Jesus made some interesting claims.

John 10:30,I and my Father are one.” That reality was never rescinded before, during or after the cross.

In John 14:9 -11 Jesus says four times that he and the Father are in each other. v9 “He that has seen me has seen the Father.”  10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” 11  “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.”

In speaking of his coming death, Jesus believed the Father would not leave him to face it alone.

John 8:28,29 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself…. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone.

John 16:32, Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

Then we come to those famous words on the cross… My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me (Matt 27:46)

Did God really turn his back on Jesus and forsake him or was something quite different from what the words seem to imply actually happening. I believe that something different was happening.

Why?

Because God is good (Mk 10:18), he is love (1Jn 4:8) he is faithful (Deut 7:9) cannot be false to his word or who he is and his mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13)

Jesus perfectly fulfilled all the law and obeyed all Gods commandments so God couldn’t go back on his word and forsake Jesus. God said to the children of Israel that if they obeyed his laws then he would never leave nor forsake them (see verses earlier in article).

Jesus himself believed the Father would not leave him or forsake him as seen earlier in this article.

Paul says in 2 Cor 5:19 …God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.  God was IN Christ, they were one, and so he hung there too. The Amplified Bible says it like this “It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).”(AMP)

Although mankind has felt abandoned or forsaken by God since the fall he was not. Even before mankind was created God made provision for the possibility of the fall, even then he decided he would never forsake us. Scripture tells us that Jesus was the lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8)

Jesus, as fallen man, was identifying with us, taking on our sin; our grief, our confusion and the inaccurate feeling of abandonment by God that mankind had suffered since the fall. He was not speaking out of his feeling of abandonment, he knew God was with him, he was speaking out of ours. You might be thinking but the Bible says our sins have separated us from God and hidden his face from us (Is 59:2) Note here it is sin that does the separating, sin that hides Gods face from us making us not able to see him1 not God hiding himself from us because of sin. It is sin that is the bad guy not God. God has not forsaken or abandoned us because of our sin.

Another thing that was happening at that point was something that would be yet another indicator to all present there at the cross, that Jesus was in fact the Messiah, the long awaited one. A teaching practice in those days was that the teacher / rabbi would say the first verse (as we know them) of a Psalm or passage and the listeners would know what was coming, where the teacher was going by quoting that verse.

Those words “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” are a quote of the first verse of Ps 22 – the prophetic, messianic, psalm of deliverance written by David that begins with that cry but goes on to say that God hasn’t despised him or his cry, he has not hidden his face from him, he has heard when he cried to him; and the passage ends with the declaration “they shall come and proclaim his righteousness because he has done it!“  In other words “It is finished” he has delivered us! David is telling us ahead of time that the Father will not turn his face from Jesus and Jesus refers the Jews back to that passage of deliverance by using this phrase.

Most of those Jews listening would know that Jesus was referencing the entire passage especially any Pharisees or Sadducees there. They knew their scriptures and were familiar with the Messianic prophecies. For those that heard this cry aright, they would have heard that Jesus did not feel forsaken; they would have heard that he was proclaiming hope and deliverance.

Yes there were some who did not get that, who thought he was crying out to Elijah but those possibly were not even Jews and while we can’t know that for sure we do know that there were many people there from different nations. Any Jew listening would have known that Eli means “My God” not “Elijah” so they would not be likely to have made that comment.

Now to the other question – will God forsake us? I recently received an email from a woman who wrote that she had been through a hard time over the last few years, losing their business and much more in the economic crash. A friend had that day given her a verse (to help her make sense of her circumstances). It was Isaiah 54:8 – In anger I turned away from you for a moment etc.

As his children, does God get angry with us and forsake us this side of the cross?

No he doesn’t ever forsake us, not for any reason!

What about when we sin?

In Jesus God forgave every sin even future ones. To be honest, when Jesus died, every sin you or I would commit was a future sin. And God forgave us ahead of time! Even when you do sin today you are already forgiven and there is no condemnation (Rom 8:1). God cannot condemn you, to do so would mean he would have to discount Jesus work on the cross. He cannot turn his back on you – to do so would be to deny his word and he would have to take back his forgiveness, making him a liar. You are forgiven, totally, eternally already forgiven!

My thoughts are that those verses from Isaiah have no place in a New Covenant believers life other than to show us how different our covenant is to the old Covenant that God had with the Jews.

As New Covenant believers in Christ it simply isn’t true of us in our relationship with the Lord. He will never leave us, forsake us or turn his face from us because of anger toward us!

He says in Matt 28:20 Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world. And in Heb 13:5 for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Scripture is clear that we are now joined to God in such a way that we are one spirit with him – 1Co 6:17. God cannot separate Christ or us from himself – we are now in Him and one spirit with him.

Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that God will or does forsake us. That God will forsake us is a strategically planted lie of the Devil who delights in blinding us to the truth in scripture and the truth of who God is. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will not turn his back on us or abandon us in our hour of need just as he did not abandon Jesus.

God’s promises to us of his continuing presence, goodness and provision for every area in our lives are too numerous to mention here, but I want you to know that if bad things do happen to you or you do sin, God has not and will not ever leave you or forsake you. He longs to give you peace, wisdom and strategy for your circumstances and to turn your circumstances into good for you (Rom 8:28) because that’s who he is and that’s what he has promised!

1 – Matthew Henry Commentary

This morning I (Lyn) read a blog entry that challenged me and got me thinking and that thinking has led to this post. Thank you Jonathan Welton for that challenge. You can read the post that challenged me here on his blog “The Rogue Theologian”  http://roguetheologian.com/2012/02/25/offended/

A few years ago I heard of a young man who many in the church considered too radical and offensive. His passion, youth and freedom along with the terms he used and the things he taught were considered by many to be almost heretical and some even made the claim that it was of the devil. But they thought and said that about Jesus too.

I have been on an interesting journey over the last few years, layers of religiousity have been peeled off and wrong thinking exposed and corrected. You might not think that is very unusual and in some ways I don’t either as God is continually causing us to be challenged in order to grow up into Him and be formed into the likeness of Jesus. But what has been interesting is who God has used to challenge me. But that is often the way isn’t it – God will use all sorts of things to challenge us, all sorts of people too.

(Passion, youth and freedom will sometimes lead us to do things that age, so-called wisdom and staleness will often not allow and unfortunately our staleness can lead us to feel threatened and challenged by someone who exhibits a life and freedom we no longer have. That is part of what I suspect happened in the case of the young man mentioned above. Add to that freedom his interpretation of scripture differing significantly from the accepted traditional view and you’ve got the potential for major upset.)

That young man was John Crowder and because I never like to take someone elses opinion as gospel without checking things out for myself I googled him and You-tubed him. Immediately I could see why people disliked him, the terminiology he used as he staggered across the platform would be enough to rattle the cages of most of us. I was no stranger however to the effects of the Holy Spirit on a human body and had done my own fair share of staggering and / or falling down and being pinned to the floor under the power of God so the drunken staggering didn’t worry me.

As I listened beyond that point in the videos what I heard began to challenge and yet confirm some things for me that God had already started to show me. (Yet at the same time it was stuff I had always known in my heart to be true but church life and traditional teaching had caused me to doubt it and eventually to bury it and accept the party line.)

I then read Johns books and I discovered a young man with a deeply questioning, searching mind who had done his homework. This man was a modern day theologian disguised with a mystics heart and passion. He had searched scripture and he had researched extensively what he was talking about. His scriptural knowledge was comprehensive and his ability to share it easy to listen to once you got past the drunkeness of the Holy Spirit. Does he have all truth – of course not;  but he has a great deal more than I had.

And then recently I got to go to a Mystical conference he did here in Auckland and there I discovered a slightly older and wiser but no less radical man. I have to say I came away from that time with him challenged more but also more convinced that he knew what he was talking about and that what he was teaching was scripturally accurate.

Johns books are just some of many that the Lord has used over the last few years to challenge and change my world. So today i wanted to say thank you to those people and honour their hungry, questioning searching hearts. I know they will probably not ever read this post but that’s not the point of writing it. There is too little honouring of each other in the church and so I decided I needed to do my part in changing that. Do I agree with everything I have read or listened to over the last couple of years – no; but that’s okay too.

So John thank you for being you, for believing and unpacking grace in a way that has challenged and changed me (it was God changing me of course but he does use people in that process). Thanks too to Benjamin Dunn, Andrew Wommack, Rob and Ryan Rufus, Cornel Marais, Paul Ellis and other grace teachers as well as all the naysayers and opponents. Thanks to those opponents who have challenged me on things I have said you have made me think through things on a deeper level and also dig deeper into scripture. Thanks also to our XP team who have been on the same journey – our discussions have been like rich satisfying food.

God has worked through each of these people to bring me into a freedom and love for God and others that continually delights me and fires the hunger for more. I honour you for the price you’ve paid and the truth you wouldn’t let go of. Thank you.