Friday, 29 January 2016

OUT OF THE WILDERNESS


On the few occasions that I have stated to Christians that the Church is still in the wilderness,  I have met with protest. One lady stated emphatically, “Well I’m not!”  It is true that we are seated ‘together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,’ that is our legal and eternal position in Christ. It is all ours ‘by grace through faith.’ However in our experience we have not yet entered into the fullness of Kingdom authority. What is ours legally has to be brought into our experience if it’s going to change the world.

Even Jesus had to do spend time in the wilderness. As Man He had to walk the walk that we are called to walk. Jesus came out of the wilderness ‘in the power of the Spirit’ and began to tackle the Enemy’s strongholds – casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching the good news to the oppressed and bringing people out of bondage.

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”    1 John 3:8

Israel was called ‘The Church (or the congregation) in the wilderness.’ For forty years they wandered in the wasteland until a new generation emerged under Joshua and then they went to war. After a few preliminary battles east of Jordan, they finally crossed the river and brought down the towering stronghold of Jericho. Then they went on to possess the Land.

 We will start bringing down the Enemy’s strongholds when we come out of the wilderness. Do we even know that that is what we’re supposed to be doing? Much of Christendom seems to believe that Jesus will do that when He returns; but the Bible says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God ‘waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.’ (Hebrews 10:13)

On the Christian radio station just recently, a converted Muslim was giving his powerful testimony and sharing the amazing things that are happening in the Middle East, with thousands coming to Christ through dreams and visions. For years Christians have been targeting the Muslim world in prayer, especially during the month of Ramadan. We are beginning to see the results. This speaker closed with a challenging statement that; just as a few decades ago it was time for the Communist strongholds – the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtin to come down, so now is the time for the Muslim strongholds to be brought down.  Amen to that!

Instead of looking to the skies for the Rapture Rescue ‘any moment now,’ we need to be tackling the strongholds of Islam with the certainty that in Jesus’ Mighty All-conquering Name, the walls will fall. Imagine the effect of millions of ex-Muslims doing jihad for Jesus against the devil. Then imagine every stronghold of the Enemy that holds humanity captive, falling like dominos, till every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. That’s the Lord’s plan for the Church. ‘I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not stand against it.’

What was the wilderness experience about really? Largely it was about a question of identity. God had said of Jesus, ‘This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.’ The Devil tempted, ‘IF You are the Son of God……..’: God had said of Israel, ‘Israel is My son, My Firstborn” (Exodus 4:22). Their faith confession was ‘We’re just a bunch of grasshoppers.’ Tackling giants and their strongholds was way beyond them. When they finally did cross Jordan, they found that all the hosts of heaven were waiting to join the battle.

Are we still in the wilderness? Well the vanguard of the Church is emerging. The rest will be playing catch-up till finally God’s mighty Army brings down the gates of hell and possesses the Land and King Jesus will reign on the Earth.

Comments and questions are invited.  Val

Monday, 11 January 2016

THE GLORY OF HIS PRESENCE


Every Christian has experienced in some measure at least, the presence of God - some more than others.When you were born again, you began to know that Other Presence with you. When you were filled with the Spirit,  that sense of His presence increased - that beautiful presence which draws us on to follow after and which causes us to lift up our hearts in worship. This is what every person in the world is longing for, even though they may not know it. As Saint Augustine said, "You have made us for Thyself and our hearts cannot rest until it rests in Thee"

Now magnify that presence many times over - the beauty of His holiness, the knowledge of His Glory, the deep, deep satisfaction of His fathomless love. This is what will pervade the Church in this last great move of God. This is what the world is seeking.

That presence will convince the world of the reality of God and the truth of His Word. It will bring conviction of sin. Witness its effect on Isaiah in the temple; on Job when he saw His Glory; on Moses who had to wear a veil to cover the reflected Glory on his face. That presence will bring healing and cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess the Lordship of Christ. That presence will have every demon fleeing in dread.  His presence will wash away all the filth and the hurt and the hate of this world.

Back in the days of the Charismatic Renewal, I saw something of the power of His presence. People surrendered to the Lord without anyone preaching to them or sharing 'The four spiritual laws' with them. His presence said it all.

In the worldwide Awakening that is coming, the intensity of His presence will be greater than anything we have previously experienced. How do I know all this? Because I see in the Type of the Tabernacle that the Church is about to go into the Holy of Holies - beyond the Veil.

The Day if Atonement was the holiest Day of the year for Israel. Some things happened in the solemn rituals connected to that day that were unique. On that day only, the High Priest went through the Veil; and on that day the Scapegoat was taken out into the wilderness carrying all of the sins of all of the people.

These rituals portray a deeper revelation and experience of the Cross. We know that historically, the Veil was torn at the time of Jesus' death; but what does that mean for us personally? We can know that the Crucifixion really happened; but unless we come personally to the Cross we won't receive its benefits. Likewise, the rending of the Veil can be just a fact of history unless it is personally applied. I have written about this in my book "End Time Insights."  I hope you manage to get a copy of it and take a walk through the Tabernacle and experience the rending of the Veil for yourself.

The removal of the Veil comes with the truth of the finished work of Christ. Hitherto we have not come into the full realisation of just what the cross accomplished. When we do we will rise 'unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ' [Ephesians 4:13] and be a 'glorious Church without spot or wrinkle'.[Ephesians 5:26] When we, by the Spirit, behold His glory, we will become glorious because it is a spiritual principle that 'what we see, we will be.'
"But we all with unveiled face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory unto glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord." [2 Corinthians 3:18] 

We are changed, not by crossing t's and dotting i's but by beholding the Glory of His presence beyond the Veil. It is this removal of the Veil in the Church which will draw in the nations and bring into manifestation all that Jesus died for.

"And he will destroy in this mountain [Mt Zion- the Church] the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:7 - 9