196. Set Apart in Holiness

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

God is calling a new generation of forerunners like Joshua and Caleb to rise up, take hold of what belongs to them in God’s kingdom, and bless others by sharing this revelation and leading them in too.

Will you be one of them?

The Joshua generation has an inheritance that is both earthly and heavenly. We need the heavenly in order to be able to manifest the earthly. The other way round, it is a real struggle. Our inheritance is to act as gateways, bringing heaven to earth through our lives. Our status as royal priests enables us: as kings we have authority and as priests we have access to the holy things of God.

Fame

So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land (Joshua 6:27).

Some of us are beginning to be well known in certain Christian circles already, in a way that we were not just a few years ago. But when the Joshua generation start actually doing the signs, wonders and miracles God is calling us to do, once we set up the Cities of Refuge to which people will run for help and protection when everything falls apart, the world (not just the rest of the church) will begin to take notice.

We need to be ready for the media pressure. When people are raised from the dead, when fire falls from heaven, it will be a global phenomenon, because these are the days when ‘many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase’ (Dan12:4). It will be on social media and YouTube within minutes, not hours.

If we are not operating in righteousness and justice, if we are not truly set apart in holiness, then we risk being easy meat for the world’s media. You only have to look at the Lakeland Revival to see what happens once those areas of unrighteousness are revealed. The spotlight of the secular press and social media is unrelenting.

Any skeletons in the closet will be exposed, we can be sure of that. So we must deal with what we know is in our lives, deal with what God reveals to us, make sure there is nothing hidden, nothing for anyone to find out and discover, nothing we are trying to conceal. We all have history, we all have a past, and we have all messed up. But if we hide that from each other and from the world, then we are needlessly exposing ourselves to danger. The enemy can use what is in the dark; that environment suits him very well. We need to make sure everything is brought into the light.

In all that God is doing, in the power of God that is coming, He must have the glory. The heavenly elders cast their crowns before God, and we are to redirect any honour we receive back to Him. Past generations have failed in this because they have taken glory for themselves, promoted themselves, instead of bringing glory to God.

It is all about Him. It is not about us. Let’s be sure there is nothing of ‘us’ standing in the way of God’s glory.

A radical stand against sin

And it is not only because of the world that we need to be uncompromisingly holy. Let the fear (reverence and awe, not terror) of the Lord be our strong motivation:

Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.” … It shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel’ (Joshua 7:13,15).

God wants a holy people. If there are things in our midst that He has called us to lay down or deal with, and we are not doing as He says, then we are inviting defeat both individually and corporately.

Please understand, under the New Covenant no-one is going to be burned at the stake for this. If we get it wrong, if we make a mistake, if we sin, then the fire of God’s presence comes to purify and refine us, not to kill or destroy us:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Out of His kingdom

The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness (Matt 13:41).

I have pointed out before that Jesus says ‘out of His kingdom’ and not ‘out of the world’, and we have seen these angels here at Freedom many times in recent years. He wants us to be pure and holy so that we do not live in bondage to sin, death, oppression, or poverty, but overcome them.

Our relationship with God is the most important thing in our life. Then, when we agree to be forerunners and accept responsibility to do what He calls us to do, we will not be afraid of the cost which goes with that responsibility.

The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

No compromise. The Joshua generation will be ruthless in pursuing, rooting out and destroying whatever is in opposition to God’s will, and they will teach the following generation to do the same.

There will be no end to the increase of His government and peace,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
from then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this (Isa 9:7).

Are we willing to step into our inheritance?
Are we willing to accept and embrace our destiny?

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Soundtrack:

Tim Hughes – Set Apart (via YouTube)

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195. The Source and River of Life

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Jesus died to give us access to heaven, and not only when we die: eternal spiritual life begins here and now. He died, but He did not stay dead. He rose again and is alive today. He is alive in heaven; He is alive in us; He manifests His presence here with us. Because of our relationship with Him, we can have intimate relationship with the Father as adopted sons, and with one another as brothers and sisters in God’s family.

We are connected to the source of life, and the source of life is connected to us. Within our spirit, there is a door that connects to God and to heaven, and it is up to us whether we open the door:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Rev 3:20).

When we choose to open that door on a daily basis, He comes in, fills us, and manifests around us so that people see and experience Him through us.

Living Water

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

Jesus was not offering the Samaritan woman a cupful, He was offering her the River of Life which is flowing in heaven. It is the same river that was in the Garden, where it split into four rivers and watered the earth.

The river that Ezekiel saw (see Ezek 47) was ankle-deep as it flowed out from the Temple. Ankle-deep water can refresh your feet; you can even reach down and get a drink from it. But it did not stay ankle-deep, or even waist-deep, but got deeper and deeper until it was so deep you could not cross it. Wherever that river went, it brought life. God wants us to bring that water to others so that they too can be filled and experience that life.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:38).

If we go to that spring every day and drink of it, it will become a fountain of eternal life not only for us, but also for those around us. It will flow through our whole being, spirit soul and body. But we do have to draw water from the well. We have to get into the river. We have to drink the water.

Do we know the gift of God?
Are we connected to the flow of living water?
Do we drink from the internal well of water springing up to eternal life?
Do we experience the constant flow of the source of life, the Holy Spirit?

There is a river

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns (Psa 46:4-5).

How deeply have we drunk of this river?

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers (Psa 1:3).

That is a description of what our life can be like when we live connected to that source of life, putting our roots down and constantly drawing from it.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22: 1-2).

We can follow that river flowing in our spirit, back up into the heavenly realms. Years ago, we would only have expected to encounter the river in this realm – ‘we rejoice for the river is here’, as we used to sing – but we can also experience the river in the realms of heaven.

Five Rivers

The River of Life is only one of five rivers that God showed me cascading like waterfalls out of heaven today. We can jump in and experience:

  • The River of Life – New Birth
  • The River of death and resurrection – Water Baptism
  • The River of the Spirit – Baptism in the Holy Spirit
  • The River of Fire – Consuming Fire
  • The River of Glory – Heavenly presence

Jump into the River of Life. Experience something deeper of the presence of God. Open that door in your own life and begin to sense the flow of His life in you. And if you have never met Jesus before, open up that door for the first time and drink of the River of Life. Drink that water until it becomes a well, a spring that bubbles up in you.

If you have had a baptism experience but you want more, plunge into the river of death and resurrection. Be washed inside and out, cleansed from your past, have the power of sin broken over your life. Exchange all the old for the new. Exchange the struggles, the sickness, the guilt, the shame. Exchange your old identity for a new one. Stop to trying to meet your own needs and allow God to meet them. Walk in resurrection power.

Jump into the River of the Spirit. Whoever wants to be filled with the joy, whoever is eager for the gifts, whoever wants to speak in tongues, come and receive a river flowing from within. Open your heart and receive all He has for you. Experience the power of baptism in the Holy Spirit at a completely new level.

Be empowered. Then give it away; let it flow from you.

If you need to be transformed, if you need the fire of God, then jump in and open your heart to the all-consuming River of Fire. Allow God’s fire to refine you, purify you, transform you. Allow God’s fire to destroy your chains. Jesus came to baptise in the Holy Spirit and fire (see Matt 3:11). Experience the power of baptism in fire.

Open your heart and receive all He has for you. Do not be satisfied with less.

Upstream to the source

If you are born again and have never engaged with God in your own heart and spirit, He is there, and you can do so right now. If you have never been into the realms of heaven, find the river within you and follow it back upstream to its source.

Experience God at a new level today. If you don’t want to jump right in, you can start by standing in the shallows. Feel the river flowing, and gradually go deeper. Eventually, go under, breathe in, and drink. Feel the energy, His life flowing in and through you.

Taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8a).

Activation

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Image attribution: Picture taken by John Maxwell in June of 2005 at the en:Krka National Park in Croatia. By Version13 at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3012949

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194. For the Heirs of Salvation (Angels – Part 3)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire” (Heb 1:7).

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Heb 1:14).

In previous posts we have seen that angels are messengers, guardians and protectors. They are servants, both God’s and ours. They make up the heavenly entourage, worshipping around the throne, and the heavenly host, God’s army which engages in warfare on earth and in the heavens. They act on His behalf.

Here are some more functions of angels:

Watch over and interact with churches

The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches (Rev 1:20)

Our Freedom Church angel, Urandiel, is over 50 feet (15 metres) tall, with the face of an eagle and a lion. We also often interact with four angels called Sound of Many Waters, Winds of Change, Transformation, and Refiners Fire, with the breakthrough angel, and with the healing pool angel.

The affairs of nations

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia (Dan 10:13).

Territorial spirits and ruling spirits – both godly and ungodly angels – operate in the atmosphere of the earth.

The heavenly judicial system

Angels have roles in the courtrooms of heaven and in the war and strategy rooms

Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that (1 Kings 22:19-20).

A stream of fire came forth from before Him; a thousand thousands ministered to Him and ten thousand times ten thousand rose up and stood before Him; the Judge was seated [the court was in session] and the books were opened (Dan 7:10).

Transforming and removing stumbling blocks

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.  He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven” (Isa 6:6-7).

The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness (Matt 13:41).

‘Committing lawlessness’ is doing things your own way, or without authority. So let’s be warned: angels are coming to remove those people, and Jesus does not say ‘out of the world’ but ‘out of his kingdom’.

Transference after death

Different things happened to the two men in this story Jesus told:

Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried (Luke 16:22).

All the angels are going to return with Jesus

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne (Matt 25:31).

Harvest of souls

The harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels… the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous (Matt 13:39, 49).

You can see there that what Jesus actually says is the very opposite of the ‘rapture’ many Christians have been taught to expect!

Ministry

In New Testament times, angels ministered to Jesus (Matt 4:11, Luke 22:43), rolled the stone away from the tomb (Matt 28:2), rescued disciples from prison (Acts 5:19, 12:7-9), led sinners to gospel workers (Acts 10:3), and directed God’s people where to go (Acts 8:26) and what to do (Act 12:8). There are very many other mentions of angels throughout the New Testament, and  they are ready to be instrumental in our ministry today.

Form an angelic canopy

And You have made [us] a kingdom (royal race) and priests to our God, and they shall reign [as kings] over the earth! Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels on every side of the throne and of the living creatures and the elders, and they numbered ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands (Rev 5:10-11).

There is an angelic canopy over the throne of God that is involved in our bringing God’s kingdom to the earth:

Angelic Canopy
This ‘Angelic Canopy’ diagram is based on one by Ian Clayton www.sonofthunder.org

There could be around 100 million angels in this canopy, according to Rev 5:11.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? 7 When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4).

The angels shouted for joy when they saw what God had done in creation, and they will recognize us when we engage in our eternal destiny. They administer the kingdom around our lives, releasing provision and protection for us.

When we surrender to Jesus as Lord, and our life can be seen as a house of prayer, we create an atmosphere of God’s presence around us, that same canopy comes down over us.

We welcome angels

Everything angels did for the Patriarchs, the prophets, the kings, for Jesus or the disciples, they can do for us. They can feed us, strengthen us, protect us, release us, direct us, form a canopy over us, ascend and descend upon us.

Angels can manifest in the natural realm, so sometimes we can see or hear them through the natural senses. The voices of angels can be heard internally by the human spirit or enter the human mind as a thought. Angels can be seen and heard in a dream while sleeping, or in a spiritual vision (either closed or open).

Angels are drawn to reflections of God’s glory. The more we look like Him, the more angels are drawn to us. Wherever God is displayed in our lives, and not only in our meetings, angels are drawn by the attitudes and atmosphere around us, and by the colours, fragrances, and sound frequencies we give off. They surround our praise. Colour, movement and flags can open portals for them to manifest. Prophetic acts and declarations enable angelic activity. Angels can sense faith, love, joy, peace, and the other fruit of the Spirit.

We will not bow to religious tradition which seeks to deny the involvement of angels in our lives. Jesus had no problem with them and nor did the early church. Why should we? We welcome them. We will be in faith and pursue relationship with our angels: engage with them, speak to them and listen to what they say. We will find out who they are, what is their name, what is their function and mandate. We will cooperate and work together with them.

We can see angels, talk to angels, and receive direction and ministry from angels. We can have angels minister with us. Angels respond to our words and our prayers. We can cooperate with angelic assignments, and have angels cooperate with our assignments.

We don’t worship angels but they are involved in our worship. We don’t pray to angels but they are involved in our prayer. We don’t immaturely direct angels according to our own will but we can direct angels as mature sons of God.

And there are more than just angels in the spiritual realm. We can also engage with:

The seven spirits of God

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God (Rev 4:2-5).

See also Isa 11:2; Rev 1:4; Rev 4:5; Rev 5:6

The seven spirits of God are tutors to teach and train us in the revelation of God. They are the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of the fear of the Lord, the spirit of knowledge, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of understanding, and the spirit of strength or might.

They are created beings we can meet, talk to and engage with in the heavenlies. And they can manifest here in this realm, often as colours or tints.

The cloud of witnesses

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us… (Heb 12:1).

We can engage with the cloud of witnesses in the spirit. They surround us. They are forerunners from the Old and New Testament periods, right up to the present day. They want to pass their batons and mantles on to a generation who will see the fulfilment of the promises they received.

They are also known as ‘men in white linen’, and you can find them throughout the Bible, for example in Gen 18:1-3, Ezek 10:2-3,7, Dan 12:4-13, Zech 1:10, Matt 17:3, Matt 27:52, Mark 16:5, Luke 24:4, and Acts 1:9-10.

Meet your angels

God, open our eyes .

Father, I pray that you will open our eyes
so that we can see what is going on in that realm around us
to be able to engage 
with the angels whom You have assigned to our lives
to cooperate with them, and for them to cooperate with us.

I believe that God wants to introduce those angels to you.

They are standing behind you, on your right and left shoulder, right now. Don’t turn around and look with your natural eyes, but open your spirit to feel their presence, and begin to engage with them. Ask their names, if you don’t know them.

When you activate that relationship, they are able to help you more effectively. And then you can more effectively fulfil your destiny, bring God’s kingdom from heaven to earth, and bring greater glory to God.

From ‘Angels’, a Freedom ARC Pinterest board (click image to visit).

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193. Rendering Service (Angels – Part 2)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

All the miracles Jesus performed, He did as a man, a forerunner of the church that was to come. There was an open heaven over Jesus’ life. He lived in both realms, connecting earth and heaven, and angels were part of that connection. They were actively involved in all that He did, from the announcement of his birth to the empty tomb. This is a whole dimension of the supernatural which Jesus interacted with, and if we are to do ‘greater works than these’(John 14:12), then surely we will need to interact with it in the same way Jesus did.

On earth as it is in heaven

Jesus died so that we could inherit. That inheritance is both earthly and heavenly, both natural and supernatural, in line with God’s eternal intention: for man to bring the rulership of God to the whole of creation:

Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
(Matt 6:10).

Throughout most of church history the enemy has blinded our eyes and convinced us that we are weak, powerless and of no effect. If we will start believing the truth of who we are, of our identity as sons of God, as joint heirs with Christ who have authority in the heavens and on the earth, then our lives will become a gateway for heaven to manifest on earth just as Jesus’ life was.

We saw in the last post that as a Joshua generation we are called to operate with the angels and the heavenly realms. The ‘promised land’ we are entering is the fullness of our inheritance, physical and spiritual, which God has set aside for us. Joshua met with an angel (the captain of the host of the Lord) who came and gave him revelation from heaven, and with an open heaven over our lives we should expect the same kind of thing to happen for us.

Ministering spirits

If ‘angels are ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation’ (Heb 1:14), then they must be bored silly, because most of us don’t have any connection with them. We are ‘those who will inherit salvation’, but how many of us actively enlist the help of angels on a daily basis?

What service do we want them to render to us? Do we want them to bring blessing, favour, finance, healing – for our benefit, or for others? Do we want them to minister to our families, our children, our friends and work colleagues? They are messengers, worshippers, warriors and more. We need to open up our perspective on this, and broaden it, because there is so much that they are available to do for us. God wants us to expand our understanding – and experience – of the angelic, so that we can do the things Jesus did.

When our baby grandson was seriously ill, we prayed for the angels to surround that room, that the spirit of death would have no place there. There was a sense of the angelic presence when we went in there, because we sent them. And his recovery amazed everyone at the hospital.

Personal attributes of God

Angels are often at work where a personal attribute of God is mentioned such as the arm, hand or eyes of God. God is spirit, and He does not have a physical body like that. When He does show up in person, He comes in a dark cloud for our protection. But the angels are the executors of God’s actions and the means of the revelation of His personal being to man.

The activity of the Holy Spirit is often confused with the activity of angels. A common argument you will hear from people who don’t believe we should engage with angels goes like this: ‘we don’t need angels, because God sends the Holy Spirit’.

The Holy Spirit is God. He was only ‘sent’ once, on the day of Pentecost, to come and fill the church. We come into that experience for ourselves when we get born again and baptised in the Holy Spirit. He is our internal Guide, Comforter, and Counsellor, bringing a sense of love, joy and peace. We know that we are dearly loved children – that is the Holy Spirit at work. And it is He who brings the power and the anointing for our mission. I am not seeking to minimise the importance of the Holy Spirit.

But God uses angels to do His business. So I believe the trembling, heat, electricity, fragrance and so on that we may experience in worship are actually angelic presence. ‘But that’s God!’ you may say. I agree, it is God. It is God using the angels to manifest these things so that we can experience them.

The angel of the Lord

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush… When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exod 3:2,4).

How much of this was the angel and how much of it was God? I believe all of it was the angel – and all of it was God, using the angel to speak to Moses.

The angel of His presence

In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old (Isa 63:9).

We can feel the presence of God in the presence of the angelic. Angels communicate His presence to us. The angel of His presence can bring love, and mercy – and, according to this scripture, redemption and salvation.

The hand of the Lord

Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling (Dan 10:10-11).

When we tremble and shake, are we being touched by an angel?

The eyes of the Lord

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His (2 Chron 16:9).

The fear of the Lord

“For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land… I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you” (Exod 23:23,27).

God sent the angels ahead of His people as they entered the Promised Land. As we seek to enter into our inheritance, we can expect angels to go before us and prepare the way.

Word of the Lord

The word of the LORD came to Zechariah the prophet.  I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “I will show you what these are”. And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are those whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth” (Zech 1:7-10).

It is time for us to see the angels commissioned and released. There is nothing wrong in our asking God to do these things for us, especially when we are spiritual babies. But as we mature, we begin to understand that we have the authority to send the angels out for ourselves.

How many angels are there?

Jesus said He could instantly call on more than twelve legions – or more than 72,000 (Matt 26:53). If we are joint heirs with Him, how many can we call on? But the enemy wants to keep us ineffective, so we have never been taught to think that way.

Hebrews speaks of countless thousands (Heb 12:22). And there are 10,000 x 10,000 = 100 million angels surrounding the throne in heaven (Rev 5:11).

If angels are as numerous as the stars of heaven (see Rev 12:4), then there are around a billion stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, and between 1022 and 1024 stars in the Universe (that is, the number 1 with between 22 and 24 zeroes after it). That is a lot of angels.

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Heb 1:14, my emphasis).

God made the angels, and He made them for us.

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Image attribution: the image at the head of this article is “Paradiso Canto 31” by Gustave Doré – Alighieri, Dante; Cary, Henry Francis (ed) (1892) “Canto XXXI” in The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Complete, London, Paris & Melbourne: Cassell & Company Retrieved on 13 July 2009.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – http://bit.ly/1ON8PY3

192. Ministering Spirits (Angels – Part 1)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

24. The Joshua generation will operate with the angels and the heavenly realms.

Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” … Joshua said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” (Joshua 5:13-14)

Although we can easily read over a phrase like ‘he lifted up his eyes’, it suggests that Joshua was seeing into a different realm or dimension, not this earthly one. There are at least 283 references to angels in the Bible, and more in the New Testament (176) than the Old (107), which may surprise you. When they appear on the earth, they are often mediators between God and people, bringing a message. In fact the words angelos in Greek and malak in Hebrew both mean ‘messenger’, so it is not surprising that Joshua expected the angel to have a message for him.

Angels have been around a long time. We are created in the image of God as an eternal spirit with the ability to engage the spiritual dimensions, but God actually created the angels before he created man.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4,7)

You will find plenty of people who have some experience of the angelic, though many Christians are nervous of interacting with angels. But angels appear in scripture throughout the Old and New Testaments, in a number of different roles and guises, and it would be strange if we did not come across them in the present day.

What are angels?

And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.”… Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Heb 1:7.14).

So whenever we find winds and flames in scripture, such as at Pentecost, it is very likely angels are around. And everyone has angels assigned to them, even before they are Christians. They are actively involved in our lives, keeping us safe. Sometimes they have to work overtime!

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11)

Ian Clayton offers this list of descriptions, names and titles of angels:

Guardian angels
Archangels
Seraphim
Cherubim
Living creatures
Dominions
Virtues
Powers
Authorities
Principalities or rulers (God has territorial spirits, as well as the enemy)
Judgment
Watcher
Salvation
Glory
Guard
Scroll
Lions
Seal
Mandate
Assignment
Art
Grace
Holiness
Healing
Gathering
Anointing
Provision
Mantle
Worship
Treasury
Finance
Fragrance
Revival
Portal
Deliverance
Warring
Wisdom
Pillars
Commanded
Hunter
Reaping

Wickedness in the heavenly places

A third of the angels fell with satan: some of those fallen angels occupy places in the realms of heaven and in the atmosphere of the earth:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12).

…in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2).

A third of them fell. That means God still has twice as many angels as there are fallen ones, who can also operate in those realms. We, too, should be engaging there and bringing light instead of darkness.

These are some characteristics of angels (you can click on the verse links to read the scriptures for yourself):

Screenshot_2015-09-15-21-04-51

You can see all kinds of images of angels and angelic activity on our Pinterest board ‘Angels’.

Angels seem to be described differently depending on the context. Those ministering around the throne of God in heaven or comprising God’s army are called “sons of God,” “holy ones,” and “heavenly host”, with the focus on their status as celestial beings and emphasising the grandeur, power, and acts of God.

In earthly appearances the focus of the text is usually on the message,  so the messenger is rarely described in detail. Interestingly I have not found a single description of an earthly appearance that mentions flying or wings. Most appear in human form – we have probably all heard stories of hitchhiker angels, or mysterious strangers who help in some way and then disappear after the event – which is why Hebrews tells us:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it (Heb 13:2).

Surrounded by an angel army

I have read of missionaries who were told ‘when you first came we were going to attack you and kill you, but you had soldiers guarding you’. This is a modern counterpart of Elisha’s experience:

So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened his servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16-17).

An opening portal

I asked Urandiel, our church angel, to open the heavens here at Freedom Church. Another time I engaged with Metatron, who gave me a golden key to open people’s eyes, so that they could see what is going on in the room.

Flags and banners, music, light and colours have an effect in this realm. They change atmospheres and things begin to move. At times we lay out flags on the floor and different angelic atmospheres manifest over each of them. We have a portal opening, a landing strip for angels, and we are experiencing their presence as they go up into heaven and down to the earth. Sometimes they join in when we are singing.

God wants to open this up, not just in one local church, but for all of us.

Further articles in this series
Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC
Resources from others

SoundTrack: Where Angels Walk (instrumental soaking track) – Creative Sound

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191. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Our inheritance is to walk with God, to experientially encounter Him and live in a daily intimate relationship with Him; one heart, one mind, one will, one purpose.

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17).

Since relationship is built on communication, how do we communicate with God? God is a spirit, God is light, God is love. How do we interact with Him, engage with Him? How do we see, hear and know?

When we see with our natural eyes, light is reflected from an object, focused through the lens to form an upside down image on the retina. Electrical signals travel along the optic nerve and are interpreted by our brain. When we hear with our natural ear, pressure waves from air cause the ear drum to vibrate, and that vibration is passed by bones in fluid to be interpreted by the brain. We ‘know’ by electrical impulses in synapses passing along neural pathways which the brain interprets as thoughts. That’s amazing!

But it’s not only physically that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Ps 139:14).

Active or passive

We have the eyes of our heart, our imagination. Images form directly in our mind as if on a screen, an expression of our creative ability derived from a creative God. Then there are the eyes of our spirit: our brain interprets and understands what our spirit – and the Holy Spirit – shows us. Every aspect of how God created us works together in this. He created us to be able to engage both with the universe we live in and with our Creator.

He wants us to be active rather than passive: not just hoping He might break in and interrupt, but eagerly seeking and pursuing Him. He is looking for those who will do whatever it takes to develop their relationship with Him.

Seeing in the spirit

Our world is filled with vibrations which can only be picked up if we have the right equipment, such as a TV or radio tuned in to the correct frequency. Our natural eyes and ears can see and hear just a tiny portion of all the frequencies that exist. When we are in tune with God, our spirit is capable of detecting wavelengths which our natural senses are not, and can interpret and describe what it perceives. Just as our natural body does, our spirit passes signals to the brain, so that we are able to understand and distinguish between spirits and realms. We can train our spirit to become sensitive to what God is saying and doing in the dimensions around us, and to recognise what is God and what is not.

When we talk about ‘seeing in the spirit’, what we really mean is that our spirit is tuning into a spiritual frequency and communicating information to our brain so that we begin to understand what is going on.

We know that our natural senses and abilities develop with practice: so too do our spiritual ones (Heb 5:14). The more we train, the more we practise, the more readily our spiritual senses will engage with God. Our spirit was dead to God: now that we are born again we need to get it up to speed. Here at Freedom we do what we call ‘activations’ in order to encourage our spirit to learn how to hear, see, feel and experience in the realms of heaven. Meditation, too, will help us to develop our spiritual senses.

Harmony

Sound and colour have an effect on the natural and spiritual dimensions. We have experienced this with the colours and movement of flags together with the sound of music in worship: something shifts in the spiritual atmosphere, portals open, it draws the presence of God and the angelic.

There are healing frequencies. Fragrant oils have healing properties. Our bodies have a frequency, in fact the whole of creation has a frequency. I have experienced the sound of harmony in heaven, and it is calling us to join it and bring it to earth.

Spiritual sonar

Most of us have known occasions when we could feel or sense the atmosphere in a room. There is a saying, ‘you could cut the atmosphere with a knife’. We feel cold chill shivers in certain places, and peace in others. It is as if our spirit is sending out a ‘ping’ like spiritual sonar, and forming an impression based on how that signal comes back.

I asked God to open up the eyes of my spirit, and with practice I have learned how to turn this on and off at will. I can sense the atmosphere around people and places if I choose to do so. I can discern angels, and even describe them in terms of size, colour, shape and activity, even though I am not physically ‘seeing’ them. There is no reason you cannot ask for and receive the same.

Visions

If we want to hear and recognise the voice of God, we need to develop a lifestyle of the supernatural. He created us to be able to receive  from Him and to engage with Him in this way:

‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:17).

Here are some examples from scripture:

As he [Saul] was travelling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”… The men who travelled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one (Acts 9:3-4, 7).

Saul saw the light and heard the voice of Jesus, whilst the others only heard the voice but did not see the light. That light caused blindness in Saul, but the others were not affected. We might wonder what sort of wavelength of light it was, whether it was actual light, or whether it was Jesus himself manifesting as light. Was the veil of heaven opened around Paul so that he could see into a dimension the others could not? And the voice that they all heard, was it an actual voice? As they all heard it, does that mean it is easier to hear than to see spiritual frequencies?

Later on (Acts 9:10-12) we read that Ananias heard God speak to him in a vision (without actual process of eyes, ears, light and sound waves), telling him that Saul has also had a vision, of him (Ananias) laying his hands on him.

Again, Cornelius had a vision of an angel, and Peter fell into a trance (Acts 10:3-15). Even if all these things happened in Saul’s, Ananias’, Cornelius’ and Peter’s heads, that does not make them any less real. God communicated with them, and as a result, the church was completely transformed.

Four kinds of wisdom

Jesus said:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27).

With practice we can learn to identify when something is God communicating with us rather than coming from our own or other sources. Most people will tell you that knowing the word of God is the key, but I would suggest that knowing the God of the word is actually more important. If we have taken the time and trouble to get to know Him, His character, His ways, His heart, His mind and His purposes, then we will have a pretty clear idea whether we are hearing Him or not.

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:15-17)

James gives a strong clue here too: do we see something characterised by jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder and evil or pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy?

A place of rest

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt 11:28-29).

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).

No matter the situations or circumstances going on around us, we need to come from a place of rest and peace in relationship with God, not worrying, being anxious or fearful (see also Matt 6:25-34). Let’s also practice the conscious presence of God, who promises never to leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5), and cast all our burdens on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). All these things will make us far less likely to be deceived by things which are not coming from Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight (Prov 3:5).

Everything needs to flow from the rest and peace of our relationship with God, from the inside out. Let’s learn to live in a state of rest, peace and intimacy.

My prayer for you

Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17).

From a natural perspective, the circumstances were dire. But Elisha could see into the spiritual realm, and he prayed for his servant so that he would also.

I want to pray the same for you.

Father, as You opened Elisha’s servant’s eyes
to see angelic beings and activity in the spiritual realm,
bringing peace and rest to his life in spite of the circumstances,
I pray that you will open the eyes of each person reading or hearing this.

Open the eyes of their spirit to see, to perceive, to receive;
To be a receiver of the frequency that comes from that realm
And that their brains will be able to interpret it,
So that they are able to see, to feel, to hear, to taste, to touch the things of God
And to know You through personal encounter, day by day.

Show them what you are doing,
Not only today, but as they practise and train their senses,
Bring them into maturity,
So that they are able to do Your works
As Jesus did, because He saw what You were doing.

Amen.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
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Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

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Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

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190. By Personal Encounter and Experience

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Israel always sent Moses to hear God for them, although God offered them all the chance to hear for themselves. We have no need for a mediator. Our inheritance is to walk with God, to encounter and experience Him in a real, intimate relationship as Adam did, to see, hear, feel, smell, taste, sense Him, and to mature in that relationship. Then, as we experience intimacy, we need to teach and model that intimacy to the next generation.

This is a characteristic of the Joshua generation.

22. The Joshua generation will encourage people to hear the word of God directly

Then Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God” (Joshua 3:9).

Regular communication is essential to a relationship. We have a Father who loves to have intimate conversations with his children, we have Jesus, the Living Word, and we have the Holy Sprit who leads and guides us. ‘For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ (2 Corinthians 3:6). The Greek (western) mindset is about hearing and thinking, analysis and study, whereas the Hebrew way is by seeing and feeling, by experience. God wants us to experience Him in fullness.

When Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me” (John 10:14), He is not speaking of intellectual knowledge, whether derived from a book or an earthly teacher, but of personal encounter and experience, of being intimately acquainted with Him, just as He is intimately acquainted with the Father:

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (John 5:19).

The Father is in Me, and I am in the Father (John 10:38).

He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9).

All our worship and service must flow from the relationship of rest and intimacy that comes from truly knowing God in this way.

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17).

We are the house of God, we are the gate of heaven

Jacob called Bethel ‘the house of God, the gate of heaven’ (Gen 28:17). It was where he saw the ladder set up from earth to heaven, and where God spoke to him. Today we are that house, that gate. Jesus said:

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:2-3).

Tradition interprets it this way: the Father’s house is heaven, with many houses (mansions) in it. Jesus goes to heaven to build our houses, and He will return to take us to heaven, where we can live in them.

But in reality, the Father’s house is the church, and Jesus went to the cross to prepare us to be the dwelling places. Jesus was resurrected to receive us into relationship: ‘where I am’ is not a location, but a relationship (I am in the Father and the Father is in Me).

We can be included in the intimate knowledge and experience that Jesus had of the Father. The Creator of the universe has chosen to make a home in us. That is amazing! But if it is not our daily experience, then it is just head knowledge. We can experience personal encounters with God, both in heaven and on earth, as Adam did, and as Jesus did.

We can connect with God in the realm of the spirit, and experience the reality that our spirit is a habitation of God’s presence and glory. We can build a relationship with God who lives on the inside.

We can also encounter God in the heavens, as we become a gate of heaven – perceiving what the Father is doing, and ourselves doing the works that Jesus did. Knowing and hearing must lead to following and obedience. As we become like the One we follow, we do as He did.

When God reveals, we are responsible to do.

God speaks

Does God literally speak, so that sound waves come and cause our physical eardrums to vibrate, sending a message to our brain which it interprets as words? Rarely. Most often, something in our spirit picks up and discerns what God is communicating with us. It takes time and it takes practice to develop that sensitivity.

When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord (Num. 12:6-8).

There are 5 different ways the Lord speaks here:

  • dreams
  • visions
  • face-to-face, clearly
  • in riddles (parables)
  • in the open seer realm.

In fact, there are many different types or degrees of prophetic gifting throughout scripture, demonstrating how much God wants to engage with us in relationship. These avenues of hearing and seeing all require patience, practice and development. But most of all, they require relationship.

God of the journey

People can get frustrated that they are not having heavenly visitations and open encounters with angels, but most people do not start off on this level. God births spiritual babies, not mature eagles. However, baby eagles are born with the potential to fly.

If we are faithful with the little, more will be added. If we are faithful with the simple nudging He gives us, He will entrust us with more complex revelation. The nature of progressive revelation is that God gives us keys along the way, from one level of glory and experience to another. He is concerned just as much (and perhaps more) with the process in us as He is about end results. He is God of the journey, not just God of the destination.

The fundamental truths of our faith are absolute and unshakeable. However, they are living absolutes, because Jesus is the Living Word. He continually brings fresh life and fresh revelation into what is already written as we engage with Him today.

God wants to meet with you today

[Click here to hear the audio of this activation]

Picture yourself walking up to God, your Father.
Imagine coming to Father, head bowed, willing to be a servant.
Look up and see the Father waiting, arms open.
Look into His eyes, see the fire of His love and passion for you.
Feel His embrace.
Feel His arms around you.

Feel that ring of sonship which He puts on your finger
The seal that says ‘this is My son’.
Feel the clean robes He puts on you.
Enjoy the joy and celebration of His heart.
Feel His acceptance and restoring love,
Feel His affirmation,
Feel His approval.

Feel it.
The Father is here.
The weight of His presence is resting upon us,
The covering of His love.
We are under an open heaven

Hear these words coming from the heart of God,
Let them go deep into your spirit.

I declare you are my beloved child and I am well pleased with you
I call you My child and I am your Father,
You are mine and I am yours.
I legitimise you as my child,
I call forth your spiritual destiny.

I call your spirit to attention
Listen with your spirit to the words that I, your heavenly Father, have for you.
The Spirit of your Father gives witness to your spirit that you are My child.

I bless your spirit with the spirit of sonship and the mindset of sonship
I bless you with a deep heart identity as My very own child, securely loved in My family

I bless you with the settled assurance that I have a future and hope for you
And I have written your days in My book with love,
For your best interest and for My ultimate glory.
I bless you with the deep knowledge that I know what you need
And I have all the resources of the universe to meet that need.

Listen with your spirit to My words for you.
My Spirit testifies to your spirit that you are My child.
I bless you with the ears to hear the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord,
The Spirit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel, power and fear of the Lord

I bless you with being tuned into Me
With eyes for seeing, ears for hearing and a mind for understanding according to the Spirit.
I bless you with being led by the fullness of My Spirit of truth
To see things as I see them in the heavenly realms.

I bless you with the deep knowledge
That you are an heir with your brother Jesus to all My treasuries.
I bless you with the confidence that you lack for nothing that you need,
Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically and practically

I bless you with the sure understanding
That I want you to have My blessings and My glory, and to possess your birthright.
I bless you with the desire to press forward to see the glory that I am revealing.

I bless you with a heart that does not rebel
Or shrink back from the opportunities I put before you daily.
I bless you with a hunger for the manifestation of My glory
Day by day in you and through your life.

I declare that you are no longer a slave, an orphan or a victim.
I declare that you are Mine and I am yours.
I am your inheritance and you are My inheritance.

I declare that I am your Father and you are My child
And I give you access to your heavenly home.
I give you access to the river and tree of life in your heavenly home.
I call you to be a gateway of heaven on the earth.

You are my child
And I call you to be displayed as a mature son on the earth.

Receive the truth of God’s words into your spirit and into your heart. Pursue Him, and live in intimacy of relationship with Him.

Soundtrack: Pursuit (Daniel Bashta feat. Kim Walker-Smith)

Related articles by Freedom ARC

Other resources from Freedom ARC

Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

Get started today!*

To find out more about the Engaging God programme, click here…

*Technology permitting: automated process on receipt of payment and completion of online registration form. Terms and conditions apply.