255. Times of Refreshing

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Blameless Innocence

Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing heaven has upon us in Christ! He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! (Eph 1:3-4 Mirror Bible).

God lavished His blessing upon mankind, from the very beginning, to empower us to fulfil the plans he has always had for us. He had a plan, before ever things went wrong, to ensure that His original intention would be fulfilled. He always knew that we would appear before Him righteous – in what Francois Du Toit calls ‘face-to-face blameless innocence’.

To be ‘blamelessly innocent’ it must be as if we never did anything wrong. Is that how we think of ourselves? Or are we still thinking of ourselves from the perspective of the history of our life, all the things we may have done in our life that we are ashamed of, all the things that were not quite aligned with what God wanted us to do? He does not look at it like that! He found us in Christ before He ever lost us in Adam. I love that thought. Already, God was looking to restore everything, even before we messed it up. He has already made a plan for us to be face to face before Him, blamelessly innocent.

He is the architect of our design; his heart dream realized our coming of age in Christ. His grace-plan is to be celebrated: he greatly endeared us and highly favoured us in Christ. His love for his Son is his love for us (Eph 1:5-6 Mirror Bible).

If there is going to be a restoration, and He is the original architect, then surely that restoration will be in accordance with His original design. He had a dream in His heart, and He is going to bring that dream to fruition. This is cause for celebration! And it is grace, His divine enabling power, which causes that to come about.

The secret is out! His cherished love dream now unfolds in front of our very eyes. In the economy of the fullness of time, everything culminates in Christ. All that is in heaven and all that is on earth is reconciled in him… This is how we fit into God’s picture… (Eph 1:9,11 Mirror Bible).

Restoration is unfolding before us. It is not just an event that will happen some time in the future, but a process that is already in motion; a process in which we have a part to play as maturing sons. There is an element of past, present and future in all of this. If everything on earth and everything in heaven is reconciled, and reconciliation is restoration of relationship, and we are ministers of reconciliation, then can we begin to see how we fit into this picture?

Repent and return

Peter, leading up to his mention of the restoration of all things on the day of Pentecost, says:

“Therefore repent and return, so that the sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you…” (Acts 3:19-20).

In reality, he is already talking about restoration. Repentance, we know, has nothing to do with being sorry enough about something to cause God to respond, but everything to do with getting God’s perspective on our situation and agreeing with how He thinks about us. And we have seen what God’s perspective is: blameless innocence.

Returning has to do with coming back to our original identity and purpose. The sin is the loss of that identity, our losing sight of the original image of God within us, a loss which has caused us to act in ways which have damaged both ourselves and others. Our whole fallen identity has been blotted out and wiped away; every accusation against us nailed to the cross.

Breathe again

‘Refreshing’ is the Greek word ‘anapsyxis‘, which means a breathing space(1), an opportunity to catch your breath and breathe easily again. God breathed life into Adam in a face to face encounter, and he became a living being. In this promised refreshing, God is looking to breathe the breath of life into us again:

He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).

Jesus breathed on them; this was a face to face encounter in which the refreshing breath of God was imparted to the disciples after his resurrection. Continually refreshed in His presence, we will never need to try to draw from another source.

More than that, as Bill Johnson has remarked, “Whenever God restores something, He restores it to a place greater than it was before.”(2) Restoring our status as living beings is only the precursor to our being able to mature into the godlike beings which, as sons of God, He always intended us to be. He does not seek to restore us only to what we were on earth, but to what we were in the heart of God; in the ‘what was’, outside of time and space.

Presence

…and the God of the peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved unblameably in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:23 YLT).

Young’s Literal Translation has it right. Most translations say ‘at the coming’ of our Lord Jesus Christ, but that Greek word ‘parousia‘ is really rooted in ‘presence’. If you are only looking to be sanctified and without blame sometime in the future when Jesus returns, then you will likely miss out on the potential of it happening now. But if you see it as the ‘presence’ of the Lord which brings refreshing as He breathes into us and restores us on a moment-by-moment, breath-by-breath basis, then you can enjoy that as a present experience, here and now. Because …you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11, emphasis mine).

References

(1) Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, via biblehub.com
(2) Hosting The Presence: Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda (Bill Johnson; Destiny Image, 2012)

Soundtrack: Great Are You Lord – All Sons and Daughters

It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

Recent posts by FreedomARC

Explore ‘The Restoration of All Things‘ at a deeper level.
Join Mike and his guests Nancy Coen, Justin Paul Abraham and Lindy Strong for an intensive here in Barnstaple UK from 4-8 June 2019.
More details and tickets via Eventbrite at https://freedomarc.org/roat

254. Restored to Sonship

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Therefore repent and return, so that the sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and 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 (Acts 3:19-21).

Relationship and responsibility

As sons of God we can have and enjoy relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and within that relationship we soon discover that we also have responsibility. At the very least, we have responsibility for our own lives and the spheres of influence He has given each one of us already, but as we mature we are called to step into further positions of responsibility: to take our heavenly positions, seated and enthroned, to legislate the kingdom in heaven; to manifest heaven on earth. And ‘heaven on earth’ is nothing less than the fulfilment of God’s original intent and purpose for everyone and everything He has created.

In this blog series we are embarking on a journey to unpack the meaning of ‘the restoration of all things’. We will look closely at what ‘restoration’ means, what ‘all’ means and what the ‘things’ are. We are going to look at the scope of that process of restoration and see that, as sons of God, we have a part to play in it.

Justin Paul Abraham says “I believe we are going to see Love overcome the greatest darkness and a new era of Light birthed across the Earth. The end result: there will be no war, no sickness and a restored world. How can we know this? The future is already agreed and when it comes it will change quickly. ‘I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.’” (Isaiah 60.22).

The future is already agreed within the heart of God. He has not changed His original intent just because we may have gone off track.

Restored to sonship

The context for this restoration is found in our position as sons. If we are not restored, then neither will the rest of creation be restored. The restoration of all things begins with Jesus working in us now, and not in a future event of his coming sometime in the future. So much of religion has put everything off until some future day, with the result that past generations have missed out on what God intended for them – and present and future generations are at risk of doing the same. Let’s recognise that restoration is taking place in us, through us and around us as we embrace our sonship.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Rom 8:14-17 NASB).

The original life of the Father revealed in his son is the life the Spirit now conducts within us. Slavery is such a poor substitute for sonship! They are opposites; the one leads forcefully through fear while sonship responds fondly to Abba Father. His Spirit resonates within our spirit to confirm the fact that we originate in God. Because we are his offspring, we qualify to be heirs; God himself is our portion, we co-inherit with Christ. Since we were represented and included in his suffering we equally participate in the glory of his resurrection (Rom 8:14-17 Mirror Bible).

In those verses you can see Father, Son and Holy Spirit all involved in relationship with us and helping us to see both who we truly are and the potential that exists in us to influence and govern because of who we truly are. So much of what we have done up to now has been to prove who we are (or to compensate for who we think we are). This is different: it is doing things because of who we really are: co-heirs together with Jesus.

He has done everything necessary for us to be restored to sonship: will we believe it? God sees us the way He made us. We do need transformation by the renewing of our minds, but it is to enable us to agree with and believe what God already believes about us and what He has already done for us.

Creation mandate

Religion has put the emphasis on God doing everything because He is sovereign and it has given no consideration to the fact that He has made us co-heirs. The truth is, we are sons of God, called and chosen to be participators and not just bystanders and observers in this process of restoration. It is not that we are getting delusions of grandeur and suddenly deciding we want to be like God: this is what He intended all along.

As God’s sons we need to know what His original plan and purpose is. We need to understand what we are co-heirs of, and what we have responsibility for, so that we can fulfil our proper role in the government of the kingdom. In the book of Genesis, we read:

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:28).

That may seem like a fairly comprehensive mandate, and one we’re barely even starting to fulfil. But it was only the beginning and not the end of what God has in store for us. Paul sees our influence stretching even wider to encompass the whole created order:

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God… that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom 8:19, 21).

Whatever God’s intended for mankind, this planet was just the beginning of it. The restoration of all things goes beyond the earth to include all of creation. Consider the implications of that!

This whole topic is going to challenge and stretch our mindsets and our belief systems. As we begin to grasp the truth, it will shake us free from the limitations and restrictions put on us in the past and release us into the fullness of God’s original intent and purpose. Revelation of that truth will only come through relationship, through becoming ‘intimately acquainted with the love of Christ on the deepest possible level’ as the Mirror Bible says in Eph 3:16.

You cannot take my word for any of this; you need revelation, not information.

Engaging God

So take a few moments now, if you can (if not, do come back later).

Look into the eyes of the Prince of Peace.
Allow the deep pool that is the way, the truth and the life to draw you in.
Ask Him to reveal your name, your identity and your position as a son of God.
Ask Jesus to take you beyond where you have ever been before.
Let Him reveal your origin within the heart of God.
Let the Father reveal the vast sum of His thoughts about you.
Let the truth of God’s original intentions for you begin to restore your identity as a son.

Put no limitations on what God can do or wants to do for you.

Face to face, allow Him to breathe into you.
Allow Him to refresh you, to breathe life into you, to restore you.

Soundtrack: Restoration Through Harmony – SML Music (Samuel Lane) via SoundCloud.

Click here to view Akiane’s painting of ‘The Prince of Peace’

Recent posts by FreedomARC

Explore ‘The Restoration of All Things‘ at a deeper level.
Join Mike and his guests Nancy Coen, Justin Paul Abraham and Lindy Strong for an intensive here in Barnstaple UK in June 2019.
More details and tickets via Eventbrite at https://freedomarc.org/roat