Saturday, 31 December 2011

A SPECIAL CHILD


The set Gospel reading in many churches this Sunday which is also New Year’s Day is from Luke 2 where the infant Jesus is brought to the Temple in Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph to be dedicated according to the Law of Moses. There He is recognized by two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, as the promised Messiah. They had been praying and waiting for the birth of this special Child. This is a very appropriate reading for New Year as here is the old welcoming the New Who holds the promise of great things ahead.

Sometime ago the Lord told me that I was an Anna. [There is no doubt many others] In my study of the Scriptures I came to see the significance of the Child of Revelation 12.  God told me that I would live to see the birth of this Child. The other day I received a newsletter from Australian Prayer Network which confirmed that the time has come. This is the beginning of great things about to happen.  But perhaps I had better share what the Spirit showed me concerning the special Child of Revelation 12.

THE BIRTH OF THE OVERCOMERS
The apostle John is shown a “great sign in heaven;” – a woman about to give birth. A great red fiery dragon stands by waiting to devour the Child. A male Child is born and is immediately caught up to the throne of God. War breaks out in heaven – Michael and his angels against the dragon and his angels, resulting in the dragon and his angels being cast from heaven. There is no doubt as to the identity of the dragon – he is “that Serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.” Since God promised in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman would defeat the Serpent, the dragon has always been standing by ready to devour the promised Seed, as in the slaughter of the innocents at the birth of Christ, and further back at the birth of Moses.  Whenever a deliverer is born there is a slaughter of innocents. I believe that the unprecedented number of abortions in these days is because the old serpent knows a special "Child" is being born.

Now some of you will be no doubt saying “What’s new! This is the birth of Jesus” and that is certainly true but not the whole truth.  As you probably know prophecy has more than one level.

Two key scriptures will open this prophecy further and also open other scriptures in the New Testament. These scriptures are Galatians 3:16 and 29, which say that Christ is the promised Seed but goes on to say that if we are Christ’s then we are Abraham’s Seed and heirs according to the promise. The Seed is Christ and the Church, one but many. Just as God called the many-membered nation of Israel “My son, My firstborn” [Exodus 4:22 also Hosea 11:1] so Christ and those who believe in Him are One. The Woman is the people of faith of all ages, travailing since the Fall to bring forth the promised Seed. What we are seeing in Revelation is the birth of the Overcomers, the ones who will overcome satan “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they love not their lives to the death.”  [Revelation 12:11] . The Child is caught up to the throne of God – they rise up in kingdom authority, a great spiritual battle ensues resulting in Satan being cast down from his place of authority.
The antitype of the scene in Revelation 12 is when Israel, under Joshua, crossed the Jordan, brought down the strongholds of the enemy and possessed the Land. Who are overcomers? –The ones who believe that they are who God said they are and can do what God told them to do.  God told Israel they were His Son and that they could possess the Land.  When they believed that, they did.

Jesus has commissioned us to make disciples of all the nations, - a huge task but it can be done, because God said so and He is with us. When a new generation of Israel finally crossed Jordan to take the Promised Land, the hosts of heaven were waiting to do battle with them, just as they are waiting to fight with the Overcomers - the New Testament Joshua generation. When God's people go to battle in God's will, they win.

So what am I excited about?  Here is the email

WORLD PRAYER ASSEMBLY TO BE HELD IN JAKARTA INDONESIA IN 2012

The World Prayer Assembly (WPA) 2012 will be a “new wave” to strategically connect and empower the global prayer and mission movements as 5000-6000 Christian leaders from up to 220 nations join with the Lord and each other through united prayer, leading to Spirit-inspired action to transform our world. It is being arranged and co-hosted by leaders of the Indonesian and Korean prayer movements, two of the most powerful prayer forces in the world, with the support of international prayer networks such as the International Prayer Council and the Global Day of Prayer.

The ultimate goal of the World Prayer Assembly is two-fold: to see the knowledge of the glory of the Lord filling the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14) and the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer that His followers become one so the world will know He is its Creator and Saviour (John 17:21). WPA 2012 will learn from and build upon what the Body of Christ has experienced through the worldwide explosion of prayer efforts since the last International Prayer Assembly (Korea,1984), by linking together prayer, mission and marketplace ministries from all church traditions, denominations and social spheres.

In the spirit of Acts 13, together we will seek to hear from the Lord of the Church His plans to engage and direct the global prayer movement, so that every nation, city and rural area throughout the world becomes filled with ongoing intercession and Spirit-inspired action until His Kingdom’s values are fully manifested there. Prayer networks and ministries worldwide will meet with those who are prayerfully working for transformation in all spheres of society such as government, education, business/marketplace, arts and media. Ministry leaders will learn from one another and plan new strategies.

They will coordinate their efforts to advance world evangelization and the reaching of the unreached, ignite spiritual revival of the Church, as well as champion social justice and humanitarian efforts- so that His glory will fill the earth. WPA 2012 will also encourage and launch the next generation to become cutting-edge leaders for Christ’s global prayer and mission movement, as children and youth take their positions as equal partners in helping to lead it. For more information about the World Prayer Assembly or to register your interest in participating, please see the website at http://www.worldprayerassembly.com/ or write to wpa2012@gmail.com

Source: International Prayer Council

Please note; they are not looking to rise to the skies any moment now in the rapture; they are looking to rise up in prayer and evangelism, believing they can take the Earth for God, AND THEY WILL!    In spite of all the antichrist opposition in the Earth

“The kingdoms of this world [will] become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” [Revelation 11:15] AMEN

HALLELUJAH THE JOSHUA GENERATION IS HERE!



Thursday, 10 November 2011

THROUGH THE VEIL


 A MEDITATION from “THE MELCHIZEDEK MINISTRY” by Val Pym

“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree...” 1Peter 2:24

“Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh....”

Hebrews 10:19,20



[Beginning from the view of the priest ministering at the Golden Altar of Incense before the Veil in the Temple at the time of the Crucifixion.]


You are standing in the Holy Place in your white priestly robe. It is the ninth hour, the time of the evening sacrifice, and you are preparing to burn incense at the Golden Altar. It has been a strange day and darkness has brooded over the city for almost three hours.

The soft golden gleam from the Lampstand lights up the Holy Place and the Table of Showbread of the Presence reminds you of the Presence within the Veil – a Presence which filters through into the Holy Place and draws you to worship. On the Golden Altar you place the incense with coals from the fire from the Altar where burns the evening sacrifice.  The incense rises before the Veil and its fragrance fills the air.

Your eyes are fixed on the Veil which shuts you out of the Holy of Holies where you long, and yet dread to go. To enter in there means death. The Veil is embroidered with Cherubim and you remember that Cherubim and a flaming sword guard the way to the Tree of Life and all that Man lost through the foolishness of pride. You think of yourself and the sins that drove you to the Altar of Sacrifice seeking forgiveness and you wonder “Are they really gone?”

As you gaze there suddenly appears on the Veil in stark ugly black, woven in and our among the Cherubim, every sin, every act or even thought of rebellion – nothing is left out, everything is revealed –all the secret hidden things, and more than that, the suggestion of every evil known to man which may yet lie in the future – every horrible thing. The Cherubim now seem to be wielding fiery swords and their eyes flame with holy indignation at your presumption. The Veil which looked so beautiful has become a thing of terror – a monstrosity hanging in this Holy Place.

[Spend some time on this. Also see on the Veil the things that others have done which have hurt or offended you]

A voice behind you whispers – a voice you have heard many times before, insinuating, accusing.-“Did you really think it could be any different? You and I know what you’re really like. Look at yourself.” You look down and see that the robe you thought was so clean is hanging in filthy tatters. You cringe and weep with shame and wish that the lamp would go out and the darkness swallow you up. The hideous taunting whisper goes on and on confirming what you already know – you sin has made an impenetrable barrier between you and God – a barrier you are helpless to remove.

Suddenly you hear from outside somewhere, a loud cry – a cry born in agony yet ringing in triumph “IT IS FINISHED!”

Then unseen hands take hold of the Veil, tear it from top to bottom and push it aside and the Shekinah floods out. It is a living pulsating light – almost tangible, and everything else recedes from view. You look down at your robe; it is glistening white and seems to be woven with the same glory that has enveloped the Holy Place and the Life and the Light of the Shekinah fill your whole being. You look up and see the unveiled Glory of God and know that, even as you behold it, you are reflecting like a mirror, that same Glory. The Cherubim no longer wield fiery swords but gaze with wondering eyes at the blood on the Mercy Seat.

 A welcoming voice says “COME,” and you walk over blood sprinkled ground into the arms of the Father. He speaks your name and says “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you. You are mine and I am yours for eternity. All that I have is yours and NOTHING will ever separate you from My love. What I have opened no one can shut.” You begin to understand the height and depth and length and breadth of His incredible love. It washes you through and through and every wound is healed. You know that you will never be the same, because your eyes have beheld the Living God and no one can see God and live. That old wilful Self is gone forever and your life is now immersed in His.

Jesus is standing there at the right hand of the Father.  There are deep wounds in His hands and feet, but His face is radiant. He has endured the Cross, despising the shame for the joy of seeing you come to this place. He says, “You are My Beloved, flesh of My flesh and bone of My bones and I have longed for this. You share a timeless moment of utter bliss.

He continues, “There are others I long to bring here. Will you go for me? Will you take the glory of this place out into the darkness and bring My love into the midst of the pain and turmoil of the world? Will you be a servant to all and wash the feet of the weary? It is not an easy path I am asking you to walk, but you will share my joy even as you share My suffering and you’ll never be alone. The way of the Cross is the way of Redemption for the World.”

He has been holding over His arm the High Priestly garments and He now places over your white garment, the blue robe with its fruit and tinkling bells. He asks “Will you share My gospel and minister the gifts I give you in love?” He puts on the Ephod with the Breastplate of glittering gems and the gleaming onyx at the shoulders and says “Will you carry My people in your heart, bear them up and join Me in My intercessions for them? They are my precious gems.” He places the Urim and Thummim in the pocket of the breastplate and says, “You will never lack guidance, You have only to ask and I will share the secrets of My heart.” He places the diadem of gold on your head with its inscription and says “You are now ‘Holiness unto the Lord,’ as the Father has sent Me, so send I you.” You turn to, reluctantly yet with purpose, knowing that this place is always open to you. 

He calls after you, “And child, don’t tell anyone who you are – just live it!”

 
Philippians 2:5-8  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Philippians 3:8 “.....I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord....that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
Colossians 3:3,4 “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
1 John 4:17 “Love has been perfected among us in this; that we may have boldness in the day of judgement; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”






Saturday, 24 September 2011

WHY I DON'T BELIEVE IN A 2-STAGE COMING




WHY  I DON’T BELIEVE IN A TWO-STAGE COMING  [Sometimes called the Dispensational Interpretation]

* It is not supported by Scripture.   Let’s look at the Scriptures the two-stagers quote:-

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.  Paul is reminding the Thessalonians that their loved ones who have died are with the Lord and He will bring them with Him when He returns. [v14] He then goes on to speak about the Second Coming.  The bodies of those who have died in Christ [those who are coming with Him] will be resurrected first, then Christians who are alive will rise to meet Him. When Christ comes into this Earth’s atmosphere in all His resurrected glory, the whole Earth will be renewed including the dead bodies of the saints.  This is the time of “the restoration of all things”[Acts 3:21]Nowhere does it say we will all then go back to Heaven.  It simply says that we will always be with the Lord.  Where is He going to be?  Right here on the Earth. Why would those who have all this time been with the Lord in Heaven, suddenly need their resurrected bodies if they’re going back there?   We will need our bodies, resurrected and glorified, to live in this earthly realm.

The prophetic picture of this event is seen in Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on that last Passover:- He descended from the Mt of Olives with His retinue of disciples plus others from the surrounding villages.  The crowds in Jerusalem went out to meet Him because that’s the way a king was welcomed into a city.  Then together they all escorted Him back into Jerusalem.

The story doesn’t end in Heaven; it ends right here on the Earth.  It will be an Earth restored to its original state or better – an extension of Heaven.  Jesus will be here, Heaven will be here, the city of God will be here; why would you want to be anywhere else?

Matthew 24:29-31   A Second Coming Scripture “all of the tribes of the earth’ will see Him.

1 Corinthians 15:51-58  Another 2nd Coming Scripture.  This is clearly describing the same event as in the Thessalonians Scripture. Note “the last trumpet” and compare with previous two Scriptures.  These Scriptures are all speaking of the one event, the Second Coming, yet it is claimed that these portray two different events.

Revelation 4:1,2  This is a clear instance of making the Scriptures fit an already arrived at position.  Those who hold the popular end time scenario state that when it comes to the Book of Revelation, you take literally what can be taken literally and what cannot be taken literally, you take to be symbolic.  Yet they do not apply that principle to this Scripture.  John is caught up [whether in or out of the body we do not know]. He records what he sees. He comes back.  There is absolutely no warrant to say that this is the Rapture of the Church.  The two-stagers do so because they have to get the Church out of the way before all the scary things happen, in order to fit in with their theory.  John is having an experience similar to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, where he was lifted up to the third Heaven where he saw things “unlawful for a man to utter” No  one would suggest that, Paul’s experience was the Rapture of the Church and neither was John’s experience.



Dispensationalists have a very literal interpretation of Revelation which makes for some very strange scenarios.  For instance, Revelation speaks of a Beast which has seven heads one of which receives a deadly wound, and ten horns, clearly symbolic.  Yet this is interpreted to be a man - the Antichrist, who gets shot or wounded in the head and is resurrected.

 Revelation is a highly symbolic book. A literal interpretation doesn’t do it justice.  It is much bigger than that. There are other ways of interpreting Revelation which seem more likely.  Revelation 13:18 speaks of the number of the Beast [666] and says “it is the number of a man;” other translations say “it is the number of man.” In Bible numerics, 6 is the number of man. I tend to think that 666 is the number of Humanism, the “Beast” which has been around since Eden.  It has infiltrated into every area of our society. It is the Antichrist spirit which is in the world and growing stronger daily.  It may well be that a man could come to power who personifies all that Humanism stands for – the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8,20 but I don’t think he will have seven heads and ten horns.



When it comes to end-times, there is a lot of talk or debate about whether there will be a “pre-trib” and “post-trib” Rapture, the main concern for some seems to be whether they will go through the anticipated Tribulation or not.  But I wonder if that is supposed to be the focus for the Christian.  Should it not be rather “Have we finished the job Jesus gave us to do?”

“....make disciples of all the nations....teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you:”

There are at least 50 nations in the world which are less than 5% Christian.  The Chinese “Back to Jerusalem” movement is dedicated to doing all they can to finish the job, pledging their lives to it. Of them it could be said “....they loved not their lives to the death” They believe that Jesus won’t come back until the Great Commission is completed. If all the Church was like minded, and if all the energy and resources that go on preaching an imminent Rapture, went into prayer for the nations and working together to evangelize them, we would be a lot further advanced. 

It is asserted that Jesus will rapture the Church out before the tribulation, because we are “not appointed to wrath” and it is true that those in Jesus do not come under the judgement of God on sin, but when God sent judgement upon Egypt, where were His people?  They were still in the land and God looked after them.  He didn’t have to evacuate them first in order to judge Egypt .  In the judgement of Noah’s day, the people of God were kept safe in the Ark which is a type of Christ.  It was the others who were “taken away” in judgement.  Noah and his family came through the Flood and inherited the Earth – a very different Earth, cleansed by the Flood.

It matters a great deal what we believe about end-times.  God’s will is accomplished through His people.  If we don’t have a vision for taking the Earth for God, then it won’t happen. Christians who believe in an imminent rapture tend to opt out of involvement in the world.  In the meanwhile satan is having a heyday.  Abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia drugs lawlessness, all kinds of godlessness is on the increase with very little opposition from the Church.  Preachers should be inspiring their congregations to stand up and be counted and make a difference.  This is God’s world and Jesus said “Occupy till I come.” We are assured of victory if only we will fight.  Rapture-at-any-moment makes for popular exciting teaching, but is it right?  I don’t think so. Rather it tends to immobilize the Church.  We are supposed to be the Army of God. We are supposed to wage spiritual warfare for the nations and also to stand up for the principles of the kingdom here in the Earth.



* I do not believe in the Dispensationalist Interpretation because:-

It short changes the Cross. 

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:19,20

The Cross paid for the reconciliation of all things.  Dispensationalists have the Army of God retreating from the battle for the Earth, leaving it to the ravages of the enemy and the majority of its population headed for hell.

There is no expanding revelation of the Cross in Dispensational teaching.

The Reformation and the Wesleyan revivals restored the truths of Justification and Sanctification which are the truths of Passover.  The Feasts of Israel were harvest festivals which coincided with great events in their history.  Restoration of the Passover truths brought in a great harvest for the Kingdom.

The Pentecostal and Charismatic renewals restored the truths of Pentecost and another great harvest was reaped.  The Pentecostal revival settled into a new denomination and a Bible School was started.  Not having text books of their own, they adopted a text book of another former movement and simply added the teaching of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Along with the text book they adopted its eschatological teaching which is also found in the notes of the Schofield Bible. Thus this interpretation of end times was passed on without question. This same text book stated that speaking in tongues was of the devil.  The Holy Spirit is given to lead and guide us into all truth and show us things to come. Spirit filled people should be looking for the revelation of the Spirit on the Word, yet they have accepted the teachings of people who, although good solid Christians, don’t believe in or seek the infilling of the Spirit and teach that it is not for today. Acceptance of dispensational teaching is preventing Christians from receiving further revelation.

Yet to be restored are the truths of the Feast of Tabernacles, the feast of the final great harvest.  The Day of Atonement brings us into a revelation of the finished work of Christ.  Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, His work finished, waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool. Everything necessary has been done to bring in the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.  The Blood has brought the reconciliation of all things, the devil has been defeated and His people have been made heirs of the Kingdom and empowered to possess it.  It remains for them to rise up and possess the Earth for the Kingdom.

This is not the time for the Bride to be getting ready for the wedding. This is the time of the Warrior Church. “And the time came for the saints to possess the Kingdom.”  Daniel 7:22

I appreciate the Body of Christ in all of its various forms, but the time has come for us to be united in purpose and to get focused on knowing and doing God’s will.

The question for pastors, preachers, and teachers is:-  What are you building into the psyche of your congregation?  A vision for flight from the Earth, or a vision for fight for the Earth? 

Jesus said “You will not see Me again till you say,  ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’’

Jesus won’t come again until all the nations are made His disciples and the earth cries out for His return.
Some things have yet to happen:-
The Church has yet to rise "unto the measure of the stature of Christ." [Ephesians 4:13] It will be "a glorious Church not having spot or wrinkle"[Ephesians 5:27] The Great Commission has yet to be completed[Matthew 28:19,20] and the gates of hell brought down [Matthew 16:18].
Looks impossible? God knew we'd think that so He has it all done before in the Journey to and possession of, the Promised Land, just to show us how it's done.  Read all about it in "the Other Bible code."

Thursday, 7 July 2011

CROSSING JORDAN

             
REVISION : The Journey to and possession of the Promised Land is God’s Road Map showing the way to regain our inheritance which was lost in Adam and restored in Christ.  i.e. the kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.  It is ours through Christ but it has to be possessed.  Satan is the ‘god of this age’ by default.  Since the Cross he has only two powers – to deceive and to accuse - and with these he keeps the Earth under his sway.  Jesus stripped satan of all authority and gave it to His people to exercise in His Name.  He commissioned us to make disciples of all the nations i.e. to bring the world back to God.  The blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, has brought us out of “Egypt” i.e. satan’s domain.  The Holy Spirit has been given to us to equip us for the task. When we have completed our Commission, Jesus will return and the whole Earth will be renewed.  What seems to be impossible to the human mind, God has shown in Israel’s possession of the Land, that it can be done. AMEN
The Ongoing Journey:  Joshua  chapters 2 - 4
Crossing Jordan is about coming out of the wilderness and overthrowing the enemy's strongholds as Jesus did [Luke 4] and Israel did.  It is next on God’s agenda for the Church, so it is vital that we understand what is involved.  God told Israel to “Watch the Ark so that you will know which way to go, for you have not passed this way before.”  The Jordan marks the end of wilderness wanderings and the emergence of a people with a purpose and certain victory ahead. It is a way in which the Church has not passed before i.e. the Church will go beyond anything that it has experienced before.

Israel was to take their bearings from the Ark.  The Ark of the Covenant was the highest type of the Lord Jesus in the Tabernacle.  It contained the tablets of the Law, perfectly kept; Aaron’s Rod that budded symbolizing Resurrection Life and the Golden pot of Manna – the Living Word.

At this same spot at the River Jordan, centuries later, Jesus the Living Ark of God, was baptised in identification with the whole human race.  He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.  After 40 days He returned “in the power of the Spirit” and began to destroy the works of the devil.  [1John 3:8]

There was to be a space of “about 2,000 cubits” between the Ark and Israel. This instruction holds an exciting truth: - About 2,000 years after Jesus came out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit and began to demolish the works of the devil, the Church will follow.

Emerging from the Wilderness: 
The wilderness is the place of doubt, unbelief and works.  Many of God’s people, aware that God is wanting to advance the Church, are trying to move on by works e.g. dying to Self, battling the flesh etc.  At the Jordan Self will die, not through our good works, but by a powerful deeper revelation of the Cross.  Any advance the Church makes is ALWAYS “by Grace through Faith” not of the works of the flesh.  Our victory is assured because of what Jesus has already done. Everything necessary for victory over the devil and repossession of the Earth has already been accomplished at the Cross.  It is a finished work. The Scriptures urge us to rest by faith in His finished work.  However, God does instruct Israel that they are to sanctify themselves, i.e. to consecrate themselves to the task ahead.
Truths that will bring us out of the wilderness:-
The question of identity:   Israel carried their slave mentality out of Egypt, even though they saw their enemies buried in the Red Sea.  In their minds they were “grasshoppers” compared to the giants which occupied the Land.  Yet God called them His Son.  “Israel is my son, my firstborn.” [Exodus 4:22] When Jesus was baptised at the River Jordan, the voice from Heaven had said “This is my Son...” The devil sneered “IF you are the son of God.....” 
The enemy’s strongholds in the Earth seem immense.  Mere Man is dwarfed alongside them.  However the truth is that the Church is not mere Man.  We are the Body of Christ.  God sees us as one entity with Christ the Head. Jesus lives in us by His Spirit and greater is He that is within us than anything in the world.   As Israel was, so also collectively, we are God’s Son – Christ in the Earth.  “As He is in this world, so are we.” [1John 4:17 ] The Accuser keeps up his relentless attack to keep us seeing ourselves as “grasshoppers,”   the task impossible, and the enemy too great; but the truth is : -
The enemy is a defeated foe.  The spies Joshua sent to spy out the Land learned that ever since the victory at the Red Sea, the enemy had been watching the advance of Israel in fear and trembling. They knew what Israel had yet to realise, that they had no power to withstand the Army of God.
Ever since the Resurrection of Christ, of which the Red Sea Crossing is a type, the hordes of hell have known that their days of tyranny over the Earth are numbered.  Armed with Truth, the people of God will stand in their identity in Christ and the gates of Hell will not stand against the Church of Jesus Christ.  The enemy has no legal right over the Earth because:-
The Blood has been shed for all people. “That He by the Grace of God should taste death for everyone.”  [Hebrews 2:9]  “And having made peace through the blood of his Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether things in Earth or things in Heaven.”

[Colossians 1;20] The price has been paid for everyone who ever lived or whoever will live. At the moment multitudes do not know this, but on the basis of the Blood shed for all, the Church can do battle for them and claim the nations for Christ.  The work of reconciliation has been done for all the Earth. The legalities were settled at the Cross.
The hosts of Heaven stand with us:  Near the walls of Jericho, Joshua met the Captain of the heavenly hosts who were waiting to do battle with Israel.  Why did they have to wait for Israel?  Angels don’t have authority in the Earth, Man does.  The angels will fight with us not for us. In Revelation 12, when the Manchild company rises up in kingdom authority, the angels join the battle.  This is a picture of the New Testament Joshua generation doing battle against the enemy. When the Church rises up in kingdom authority, the devil will be cast down.  We have a preview of this in Luke 10 when the seventy disciples went out in the authority of Jesus [Luke 10;17—24]. Jesus said “I saw satan fall.”


Crossing Jordan 
 Israel had seen their enemies buried in the waters of the Red Sea. However the effects of the long bondage in Egypt continued to hinder their entry into the Promised Land.  At the Jordan they were to see another burial – the death of the old Israel and the emergence of the new.  God had told them that when the old generation was dead, they would come out of the wilderness. The old generation stands for the old nature resident in us, plagued by doubt and unbelief, struggling to measure up by our own good works.  Day by day Israel had witnessed the old men die. Now they were ready.  The Jordan is a powerful picture of the completeness of our deliverance in Christ. As far as God was concerned the transaction from slaves to sons had taken place at the first Passover, but Israel had to realise it and bring it into their experience.  The Jordan crossing is a deeper revelation of the Cross.

When the feet of the priests carrying the Ark entered the Jordan, the flooded river rolled back as far as a town called Adam. This was no coincidence – the effects of the Cross go right back to Adam and cover all Adam’s race.  As the Ark, on the shoulders of the priests rested in the midst of the Jordan, the people filed past it.  In type they “entered into His rest”[Hebrews 3:18-4:1 ] or finished work. At the Jordan where the Ark had rested, Israel witnessed their symbolic burial.  Twelve stones, one for each of the tribes, were placed in the river bed, then twelve stones from that place were carried to to Canaan’s side and set up as a memorial.  When the waters rolled back, the old was gone forever and the new had emerged. 

When the Church comes into the deeper revelation of the Cross, we will see that we have been crucified with Christ, and our old Adamic nature was buried in His tomb.  It is gone forever. We are a new creation in Him. [2Corinthians 5:17] We are dead to the world and alive to Christ and the devil has no power over us.  The Joshua generation stands in its identify in Christ, totally free from the bondage of Egypt.  Together with Christ the Head, we are the Son of God, heir of the world,[Romans 4:13] having kingdom authority. We overcome By the Blood of the Lamb, our faith confession and are totally committed to the glorious vision of the kingdom of God “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” It is believed that the Jordan Crossing was in a Jubilee Year – the Feast of freedom and restoration.[Leviticus 25]  When Israel blew the yobel [jubilee trumpets] the walls of Jericho fell down.  When Jesus returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit He announced Jubilee in the synagogue in Nazareth [Luke 4] and proceeded to set the captives free.  When the Church crosses Jordan it will bring Jubilee to the Earth.

Conclusion :  In crossing Jordan, the Church enters into all that the Cross of Christ has purchased for us.  At Pentecost we were given the Spirit to empower us and to guide us into all truth.  Down through the centuries the Spirit has unfolded Truth to us, building “precept on precept” until we are ready to begin our assault on the gates of Hell.  It is our awesome privilege to liberate the Earth from the influence of the hordes of Hell and bring the world back to God through the shed blood of Christ our Passover Lamb.  As Jesus said “I will build My Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail [stand] against it.” Matthew 16:18

Thursday, 23 June 2011

JESUS FULFILLS THE FEASTS and THE CHURCH BEGINS THE JOURNEY


JESUS FULFILS THE FEASTS
Jesus was “..the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  [Revelation 13:8]  When Man sinned, God provided a covering of animal skins which cost the shedding of blood. From that time onward He was working towards that Passover in Jerusalem when Jesus rode into the city on a donkey as foretold.
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,...”  Zechariah 9:9
The Lamb Chosen
The Passover lamb was to be chosen on the tenth day of Nisan [or Abib] by “all the congregation of Israel”  Exodus 12:3
When Jesus rode through the streets of Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday the crowds that had come to celebrate Passover acclaimed Him as a king.  Unwittingly they were choosing their Lamb – a Lamb for the nation and for the world.
The Lamb Examined
The Lamb was to be kept for four days and examined for blemishes.  Exodus 12:5,6
Following the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the cleansing of the Temple, Jesus taught there daily.  He was confronted by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders, who tried to trap Him in His words.  After His arrest, He was questioned by the Chief Priest Caiaphas, Herod the King, and Pilate the Roman Governor.  He was examined by every authority in the Land and none could lay blame on Him.  Finally Pilate declared, “I find no fault in Him.”  The Lamb was declared faultless.  He was “...a lamb without blemish and without spot....foreordained before the foundation of the world.” [1Peter 1:19,20]
The Lamb slain
On “the fourteenth day of the same month...the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel....” were to kill the lamb “in the evening” [literally “between the two evenings” The Jews had two evenings, the first being at the decline of the sun when the evening sacrifice was made  3pm]
After a mockery of a trial Jesus was presented by Pilate to the crowds which had assembled from all over Israel to celebrate the Passover Feast.  With one accord they cried,  “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.”  His death was by common consent.  Then, as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter.”  [Isaiah 53;7] Jesus died at the ninth hour or 3pm, the time of the evening sacrifice.
The Lamb was to be roast with fire and eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread Exodus 12:8
Fire speaks of the wrath and judgement of God.  “Our God is a consuming fire.”Hebrews 12:29
Jesus stood between the whole Human race and the righteous wrath of God towards sin.  The sour wine which they gave Him to drink, typified the cup of suffering and of the bitterness of our sins and which He choose to drink for our sake.  At the Last Supper, Jesus broke unleavened bread and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take eat, this is my body.”
No bone was to be broken  Exodus 12:46
Sometimes, in order to hasten the death of a victim, his legs were broken, thus preventing any upward movement necessary to breathe.  When the soldiers came to Jesus, He was already dead.  John states, “These things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.”  John 19:36

Passover was on 14th Nisan. On the 15th  at 6pm, the Feast of Unleavened Bread began.  Leaven is a type of sin.  Jesus fulfilled this Feast by taking our sins into the grave so that we can be declared holy.  We are sanctified in Him. 
On the Sunday after Passover was the Feast of Firstfruits.  The instructions for keeping this Feast were given on the way to the Promised Land. These three feasts together make up Passover.  The Feast of Firstfruits was the consecration of the first sheaf of the harvest.  Israel was to be a nation consecrated to God.  They were the firstfruits of the nations.  “Israel was holiness to the Lord, the firstfruits of His increase.”  Jeremiah 2:3  This Feast would have been the anniversary of Israel’s emergence from Egypt by way of the Red Sea.  They were “baptized in the cloud and in the sea” 1 Corinthians 10:2. 
Jesus fulfilled this Feast by rising from the dead and becoming “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  1 Corinthians 15:20
When we receive Jesus as our Saviour, we are justified by faith in the shed blood of the Lamb.  God then declares us holy and we are baptized by the Spirit into Christ and become members of His Body.[1Corinthians 12:13]   This properly is followed by baptism in water. Baptism is an identification with Christ’s burial and resurrection.  We have been brought out of “Egypt” i.e. out of bondage to sin and death in the kingdom of darkness .

The Feast of Pentecost was a celebration of thanksgiving for the first harvest.  It was the anniversary of the giving of the Law at Mt Sinai which as we have seen was equipping Israel to fulfil their mission.  The ascended Lord fulfilled this Feast by pouring out The Holy Spirit on the 120 disciples gathered in the upper room.  That day the first harvest of 3,000 souls responded to the Gospel and were baptized.  Every believer can and ought to have a personal Pentecost. This is a baptism from within, where the Spirit of God in the spirit of the believer, flows out into the soul area [mind, will and emotions] and brings a heightened sense of the spiritual realm and spiritual truth with deeper revelation of the Bible. The believer is then a channel for the supernatural gifts of the Spirit as in 1 Corinthians 12.  Pentecost is the Lord of the Church equipping His Church to fulfil their Commission.
The Feast of Tabernacles in made up of three Feasts – Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles.
The first mention of Israel keeping this Feast was when Solomon, the son of David, consecrated the Temple.  This was the great climax of their journey to and possession of, the Promised Land.  Their Commission had been completed. The Feast of Tabernacles was the fulfilment of all that Passover promised.   This Feast is the End time Feast.  It has yet to be fulfilled in the Church.
We will look at the fulfilment of this Feast later. 

THE CHURCH BEGINS THE JOURNEY
As the twelve sons of Jacob [later called Israel] were the beginnings of the nation of Israel, so the twelve disciples of Jesus were to be the nucleus of the Church.  Judas the betrayer was replaced by  Matthias.  On the Day of Pentecost 120 waiting in an upper room were filled with the Spirit and 3,000 were added to the infant Church.  The Early Church was a vital evangelizing force which “turned the world upside down”  [Acts 17:6]
Surviving persecution and the early inroads of heresy, the Church became acceptable when the Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity in 312AD. Many who had never had a true conversion joined the Church, swelling the numbers but reducing its spirituality, and though there have always been true followers of Jesus, the Church succumbed to apathy and error, and became increasingly institutional and ritualistic.  The Scriptures were lost to the common people and heathen practices and immorality was tolerated.  The Church went into the “Dark Ages” sometimes called the “Devil’s Millennium”
The Church, like the first generation of Israel from Egypt, failed to fulfil its Commission, but God hadn’t finished with Israel and raised up a generation under Joshua who crossed Jordan and possessed the Land. Likewise the Church is still God’s instrument of restoration in the Earth and even now God is raising up a Joshua generation who will complete the Great Commission.
When God began restoring the Church, He first raised up men like Huss and Tyndale to make His Word available to the people.  The Spirit and the Word began to bring to light again, truths that had been lost for centuries.

The first truth restored in the 1500’s mainly through Martin Luther, was Justification by faith – faith in Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  In the Wesleyan revival in the 1700’s the truth of Justification by faith was re-emphasized and the truth of Sanctification was restored.  The Baptist movement restored the need for personal commitment in baptism.  The truths of Passover [coming out of “Egypt”] were restored.
In the 1900’s in the Pentecostal and Charismatic renewals, God restored the truth of Pentecost.

For centuries God has guided the Church on its journey toward its destiny.  He brought us out of “Egypt” [the kingdom of darkness] by the shed blood of our Passover Lamb Jesus.  We were slaves of Pharaoh [Satan] but have been brought out from under his authority, sanctified, declared to be holy and set apart to God.  At Pentecost He equipped the Church to fulfil its Commission and He will bring us into the Land a conquering army.  What has been demonstrated in Israel will be manifested in the Church through the power of the Cross of Christ. 
God is restoring the Church according to the pattern in the Types. Ahead is the Feast of Tabernacles, but before we celebrate that, we have to come out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit and cross Jordan.

NEXT:-  CROSSING JORDAN







Monday, 13 June 2011

GOD'S ROAD MAP OF RESTORATION

map used with permission, courtesy of Google Earth
A PHYSICAL MAP OF A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
The Journey to the Promised Land is a map showing how to recover our Inheritance which was lost in Adam but regained in Christ.  What is that inheritance?

“For the promise that he would be heir of the world was not to Abraham or his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”  Romans 4:13 [emphasis added]

“And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Galatians 3:29

In the nation of Israel, God set the pattern of Restoration.  Israel is the Demonstration Nation. 
God’s purposes are :-

Demonstrated in Israel
Fulfilled in Christ
Manifested through the Church.

The Feasts of Israel commemorated the great events of the Journey and the recovery of Israel’s inheritance promised to them through Abraham.

PASSOVER [Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits]  is about  coming out of Egypt
PENTECOST  Is about equipping the people of God to fulfil their Commission
TABERNACLES  [Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles] is about that Commission being accomplished


PASSOVER     The Nation comes out of Egypt in infancy
“When Israel was a child I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.” Hosea 11:1
Redeemed by the blood of a lamb   Exodus 12    Passover
Sanctified [declared to be holy]    Exodus 13       Unleavened Bread
Baptised “in the cloud and in the sea” [1 Corinthians 10:2]     Exodus 14   Firstfruits

Their Commission  Possess their inheritance and establish “a kingdom of priests, a holy nation”

PENTECOST   The Nation equipped to fulfil their Commission
At Mt Sinai God came down in fire and gave the Law and the Tabernacle.   Exodus 19..........

After 40 years the nation came out of the wilderness, crossed Jordan and began to destroy the strongholds of the enemy.

TABERNACLES     The Nation completes their Commission
The great climax of Israel’s history was the dedication of the Temple by King Solomon, son of David.  The enemy had been subdued and the Land possessed.  The Kingdom had been established and the son of David sat on the throne.  The Glory of God filled the Temple.  The final harvest was in and the Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated.  The Golden Age had begun. 
2 Chronicles 7

After this great time of peace and prosperity, the nation went into decline, and here the Type breaks down as all types do.  They are only “shadows” of the reality which is in Christ. But a pattern had been established which God Himself followed in the preparation of Jesus for ministry and in restoring the Church.

JESUS’ PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
True to the type, Jesus was brought out of Egypt in infancy. 
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt.  And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Hosea 11:1
Like all Jewish firstborn males, Jesus was sanctified [dedicated to the Lord as an infant] according to Exodus 13:2.  As He was about to begin His ministry, He was set apart in baptism  at the Jordan

Jesus was  equipped to fulfil His Commission  by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Him. This was His Pentecost.

His Commission:-
“For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” [1John 3:8].
And ultimately:-
“To restore the earth.”  [Isaiah 49:8]
Restoration comes as the works of the devil are destroyed.

After forty days in the wilderness  overcoming the temptations of satan,  Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit and began to  destroy the works of the devil.  After ministering for three and a half years Jesus then went to the Cross to make a way for us to begin the Journey  into Restoration when the whole Earth will be filled with the Glory of the Lord according to God’s promise long ago.
“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the Glory of the Lord.”  Numbers 14:21

TABERNACLES   will be celebrated when Jesus sits on the throne of the Earth, then Jesus, Israel,  and the Church will celebrate the Feast together.

NEXT 
JESUS FULFILLS THE FEASTS AND
THE CHURCH BEGINS THE JOURNEY INTO RESTORATION