76. A Generation Of Forerunners

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott –

As we saw last time, God will have His way: His will is going to be done, and our choice is whether we want to be part of it or not. All the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.

The Moses generation

Moses’ generation came to the borders of the land… and chose not to go in. As a result, God told them, “your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb… and Joshua” (Num 14:29-30).

Those aged 20 years and up were responsible. There were a whole lot of people under the age of 20 who wandered round in the wilderness with their elders; but when their time came to make a choice, they chose to embrace their destiny. God is calling that people forth today. Caleb and Joshua were of the older generation; but how they lived, how they believed, how they acted, what they did – that was what set them apart from their contemporaries and inspired the younger generation. They are a key to understanding what it takes to inherit, what it takes to become a Joshua generation.

A billion labourers

The Moses generation failed to receive their inheritance, and died in the wilderness. The Joshua generation, I believe, are going to equip a harvest of a billion labourers in the supernatural. I say ‘in the supernatural’ because we cannot succeed by natural means in all that lies in store for us; it is going to have to be achieved by supernatural means, and by a people equipped to operate in the fullness of God’s kingdom power.

That is why we have to take back ground that has been given to the enemy. Occult and New Age people are operating in spiritual power and doing things most of the church would not begin to know how to do, but they are occupying ground in the counterfeit that we should be ruling in the authentic if only we were operating in the true power of God.

We need to stand up and be counted. We need to take back that territory, in the face of intense opposition (and most of that opposition will come from within the church). If we are to see this next generation raised up, we need to begin to operate in the realm of the supernatural beyond what any of us have experienced so far. We have to make ourselves ready for a whole new revelation of the supernatural, and when we are ready God will lead us into it.

We need to equip a generation who will see Jesus return. To see a final harvest in which everybody who is going to be saved will be saved. The Joshua generation will be forerunners who have spied out the land. Many of us have already been forerunners. We have experienced a foretaste of some of the things which are going to take place. We have glimpsed it. In our spirit and in our heart we know there is more. We have been hungry for more, some of us have been that way all our lives. And there are more forerunner experiences still to come. It will be like spying out the land. We will not yet have received the complete fulfilment of all that God intends, but we will have glimpses of it, get a taste for it, begin to realise what it is going to be like.

Crossing the Jordan

The Church is crossing the Jordan, and it has been happening for a while. I look back into the eighties and I can see the beginnings of it. I remember some of the things that were prophesied then (and people didn’t really know what they were prophesying): about Joel’s army; a whole different breed; a nameless, faceless army of God’s people who were going to be raised up; no superstars, just ordinary people, operating in the supernatural power of God. They were prophesying some of the very things we are now beginning to see take place.

This generation has been entering in over that whole period of time, but we have not progressed far beyond the other side of the Jordan. The church is still at that place called Gilgal. For Israel that was where the reproach of the past was removed, where they were all circumcised again, where they took the Passover again: the things which were necessary for them to do as preparation to going in to fight the giants and take the whole land. I believe that this is where the church is in these days, days of preparation.

We have experienced the Wine, Fire and Wind of God, but there is more coming. We have to be able to lead and equip the Jesus generation to possess – the Hebrew word means ‘to inherit by seizing, dispossessing, and become heirs of’ – the land of promise. This is about the violent taking the kingdom by force. The Joshua generation is a warrior generation who will fight on behalf of others and bring them into the land. They will bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven: fulfilling Adam’s mandate in both realms. They will rule in the spirit realm and influence in the natural realm, to see God’s glory fill the earth (Num 14:21).

The Joshua generation will experience the land for themselves, but will also equip others to be able to live in the Promised Land and to fully possess it. It will mean living in a completely different dimension in terms of the supernatural.

We are all called to enter: some of us are called to go before, and to equip, but all of us are called to enter. Or you can choose to be like those who turned down God’s invitation and died in the wilderness. Everyone has that choice, but God is inviting people to enter in. Even in Joshua’s day, there were people who crossed the Jordan, were part of fighting the battles, and yet they chose to go back and live on the other side. Two and a half tribes, or nearly a quarter of them.

There are some ministries who have been forerunner ministries, who have been in the forefront of what God is doing, but who will choose to go back, and as a result will miss out on the fullness of their inheritance. I do not want to be one of those. I want to be part of a generation who enter in, possess, and enjoy the land; and who equip others to come in and do the same.

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75. Lessons From The Moses Generation

Mike Parsons – 

Preparing the next generation

In closing this series on the Prophetic Timetable, I am going to be talking about three generations. There is the Moses generation, and you don’t want to be part of that, as we will see. There is the Joshua generation, which I am going to focus on over the next few posts. And finally there is another generation, the Jesus generation, who will see Jesus return.

God is releasing a generation to prepare others. This word really got to me when I was on the fast a few years ago: I saw in the spirit a whole generation passing away and a whole new generation being raised up, and I knew God was saying something significant.

Moses’ generation an example

It is important for us to understand what the Moses generation is all about:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.  Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Cor 10:1-11).

Although God showed them all the promise, and the Promised Land, they actually refused to go in and wanted to carry on operating in the place they had become accustomed to, and in the strength of their own understanding. ‘Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction’, so that is an indication that this is really important. We don’t want to miss what God is doing, and we need to be aware of things which could cause us to miss it. We are experiencing a time when the fire of God’s Presence is here to refine and cleanse us, to prepare us for what is to come.

An opportunity to choose

We don’t want to operate in idolatry. We know that idolatry is about putting other things before God. Our idols are stumbling blocks in our hearts, and God is gathering those up and removing them from us. God is giving our generation an opportunity to choose.

There are some obvious parallels in this story:

Coming out of Egypt’s bondage – Salvation
Crossing the Red Sea – Baptism in water
The pillar of cloud and fire – Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The wilderness – Testing, preparation, transformation
Crossing the Jordan – Embracing destiny
Promised Land – Kingdom inheritance (but that involves giant-killing)

God has called us to be giant-killers. Our Promised Land is not just physical. It is true that there is a physical aspect to it: ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth just as in heaven’, just as Adam and Eve were given the mandate to bring God’s kingdom onto earth and to subdue and overcome and rule. But there is also a dimension that God is bringing His people into which goes beyond the physical here on earth, and into the realms of heaven. So the ‘Promised Land’ for us is not just a matter of embracing all the good things which are ours on earth, but of being seated in heavenly places with Christ and bringing that authority to bear in the atmosphere of the earth. We have thrones of authority as a church – and other churches and other people of God have thrones of authority. But most people have no understanding of these whatsoever: they have never been there, have never sat upon them. Going to the courts of heaven, obtaining judgments there that will affect what goes on in the atmosphere of the earth and in this physical realm, all these things we are going to really have to get hold of and embrace, because it is all part of our inheritance, part of our ‘Promised Land’.

Failed to inherit

Let’s see what happened when the children of Israel were brought to the borders of the land:

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Num 13:30-33).

Now this is what caused them to fail to inherit, when they were given the choice. Joshua and Caleb brought a positive report; the others saw the obstacles, including the giants, and the Nephilim (and we understand a little of what the Nephilim were all about); they saw them and they backed off. They were not prepared to go in, fight the fight and take possession of the land. And as a result, that whole generation missed out on what God wanted them to do.

Nevertheless, in spite of that generation saying ‘no’ to Him, God’s response was: “but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Num 14:21). He would raise up another generation, because He was going to have His way.

And that is still the case today. God’s will is going to be done one way or another: our choice is whether we want to be part of it or not.

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74. God’s Kingdom Fills the Earth

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Resurrection

We have been looking at the Millennium, or thousand years, and I just want to clear up one more point from that passage in Revelation, and then sum up what we have said.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6).

What is this ‘first resurrection’? Well we know Jesus was resurrected, and His was a physical resurrection. As a result of the fall there was spiritual death and physical death. The consequence of Jesus’ physical resurrection was a spiritual resurrection for us. We have been resurrected spiritually, and that spiritual resurrection deals with the spiritual death.

It is signified in our baptism: …having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (Col 2:12).

Even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:5). We have been made alive with Christ: a spiritual resurrection.

That is the ‘first resurrection’. It deals with the spiritual death, so we can be born again, and come back into life; the second resurrection (when everybody gets resurrected) deals with physical death, which also came as a result of the fall.

And here is an interesting passage. It is only a couple of sentences in the Gospel narrative, but it must have caused quite a stir:

The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. (Matt 27:52)

So at that time there was an actual physical resurrection of all those Old Testament saints who came back to life.And don’t imagine that they then died again – what happened was that Jesus led them into heaven, and that is where they are now. They ‘came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years’.

The rule of Christ is now

Let’s wrap this up. We are a kingdom of priests, and the millennial rule is now. In heaven, and on earth – because we can live in both places, as we have begun to understand. We bring heaven to earth through our lives and the kingdom of God is manifested on the earth through us.

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD (1 Peter 2:9).

… And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Rev 1:5-6).

The reign of Christ began at His ascension, and continues until all things are subdued under his feet. The return of Christ and the bodily resurrection of all men will occur after (or post-) the millennium: that is to say it will happen after the period in which we now live, the period in which Jesus rules in heaven and on earth through His people.

This is really what we need to have faith in. We need to be expecting these things to take place, and expecting ourselves to be part of the process of bringing them about. “But indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Num 14:21). That is what we want – and how will the earth be filled? Through us.

For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14). People will know about the glory. It will not just be a few people going around glowing a bit. God’s glory will be clearly demonstrated for all to see.

Remember how in Daniel 2:35 the Stone [Jesus] that struck the statue [the kingdoms of the world] became a great mountain [God’s kingdom] and filled the whole earth. The earth will be filled with glory, and that will happen before Jesus will return:

…That He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time (Act 3:20-21)

mount-everest-276995_640Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
(Isa 2:2).

These are the last days (and have been ever since Jesus first came). God’s kingdom is already established as the chief kingdom, because we know that Jesus is above all rule.  His kingdom is already above every other kingdom. The nations have been streaming to it throughout church history, and we want to see that prophecy completely and finally fulfilled.

I believe we are called to be a Joshua generation. The Joshua generation will raise up and prepare the following (and final) generation to receive their full inheritance and to usher in the end time harvest, ready for Jesus’ return.

We are fast approaching the end of this series on God’s Prophetic Timetable. It is based around the series I taught in Freedom Church during the spring and summer of 2011, and lays the groundwork for some of our more recent teaching both on this blog and elsewhere. The audio of those original sessions is available on our Apostolic Resources website. As we have noted elsewhere, some of the views we held at the time have been challenged by God in the intervening period but these blog posts (particularly #64-67) have been updated to reflect those changes (the audio recordings, of course, have not).

In the closing posts of this series I want to look at 40 characteristics that mark out that Joshua generation, because many of us will be part of it.

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73. A literal 1000 years?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Scripture teaches us that Satan is bound for a thousand years. In this short post I just want to look more closely at that figure and consider whether it is literal or symbolic.

cattle-20527_1280To do that, let’s look at some examples of how the Bible uses it in other places.

For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps 50:10).

So are the cattle on the 1001st hill not His? Clearly this is not a literal 1000 hills, it is just a big number – in fact it means all of them.

For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night (Ps 90:4).

Are a literal thousand years exactly like a day to God in heaven, or is it really saying that heavenly things are eternal whilst earthly things are temporal (and temporary)?

And it is the same with this scripture: He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations (Ps 105:8). If that is literal, you are in trouble if you are part of the 1001st generation! Will the 1001st generation miss out on His covenant blessings? Will His word no longer be operating? That is not what it means at all.

You might think I am deliberately picking references to the number 1000 and 1000 years which are not literal. But I cannot find even one Old Testament reference to a literal 1000 years, nor did Jesus ever teach about it or even mention it. There is nothing in the epistles to indicate that there would be a significant period of a literal 1000 years. We have one short passage in Revelation 20, and people have built up a massive theology around it being a literal 1000 years when there is nothing else in scripture to back it up.

The conclusion has to be that the number 1000 is symbolic. It is made up of 10x10x10, and 10 is the number of fullness. The ‘thousand years’ is the whole of this period we are living in. And when everything is fulfilled, Jesus will return.

Related article from Jonathan Welton: A literal new heaven and new earth