158. A Flow of Spontaneous Revelation

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

God speaks to us in a flow of spontaneous revelation. He communicates through thoughts, pictures, feelings, and impressions which we need to pick up. We need to be able to tune in to them; to see, feel, hear, and touch them. Reading scripture may a good place to start, but the Bible is the beginning of experience, not the end of it.

The scripture becomes a doorway to encounters with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, with our Father. It also becomes an anchor for experiences we have now and a platform for further experiences still to come. We can go to the Bible, and find out if there is a scripture which talks about aspects of our experience. That is what I mean by finding an anchor in it.

We sing that we want to meet Him ‘face to face’. That is a reality we can all enjoy, here and now.

Journal everything

The Hebrew word for ‘know’ means ‘to experience by personal encounter’, and it is possible for us to have experiences, encounters, visions, dreams, and revelation. Scripture is full of examples of such things.

I want to encourage you, if you want to benefit from encounters with God, write them down. Journal everything so that you can go back to it, review it, meditate upon it, and draw further revelation. You can also revisit the experience. The more we repeat experiences, the more our brain learns to value and store those experiences, rather than forgetting and shredding the memories.

There are three stages of experience with God that we might identify:

1. Visions

These are snapshot pictures or moving pictures, as seen from the outside, a kind of 3rd person experience of seeing ourselves or someone else.

2. Visitations

In these we experience something in the 1st person, and are involved ourselves in the ‘action’. This may involve being in a trance, such as the one Peter had on the rooftop when God showed him a sheet coming down from heaven full of animals; or even being translated.

If you think all this sounds very much like the New Age, that is because devotees of the New Age have experienced something of what the Bible talks about, but have experienced it in a way that does not connect it with God (to be fair, that is hardly surprising when we have done such a good job of telling them that they are themselves separated from Him. They are not). And now religion tells us that we cannot touch it. Huge sections of the church have swallowed – and proliferated – that particular lie. And if you are worried it is too much like eastern religion, ask yourself where the Bible comes from. Not America. Not the UK. It comes from the Middle East, and that is the cultural setting which must inform our grasp of what it says.

Paul wrote that he didn’t know whether he was in or out of his body when he went into the heavens. The western mindset has a hard time with statements like that. Ezekiel was taken out of his body, and his spirit was transported into Jerusalem so that he could see what was happening there. These experiences are for us, too. The Holy Spirit can come and take us to different places on the earth, and to different places in heaven, and we may not know whether we were there in body, or in spirit, or both.

The reason for all this is to enable us to bring heaven to earth.

3. Habitations

This is when we live in the dual realms of heaven and earth simultaneously, as Jesus did:

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven (John 3:13, my emphasis). Jesus was on earth, speaking to Nicodemus, but said He was in heaven at the same time.

That is how Jesus was able to see the things the Father was doing, because He was in constant spiritual connection with the Father in the heavenly realms. Whatever Jesus did, He has made available for us. He said “You will do the works that I do, and greater works than these, because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).  He went to open up this door for us, this avenue into the heavenly realms.

Open the eyes of our heart

We can see with our natural eyes, but at the same time we can also see with our spiritual eyes, and flow in revelation which comes from God’s presence. This is where meditation becomes so important. Meditation is a process we can use to open the eyes of our heart to see; to encounter the truth of who God is  in practical, experiential ways.

Definitions

Here are some dictionary definitions of meditation: the act of focusing one’s thoughts: to ponder, think on, muse, reflect, contemplate, babble, mutter, imagine; to murmur; to converse with oneself; to ruminate (chew the cud and extract all the goodness from it).

It is not madness to speak to yourself. I speak to myself all the time. As we speak aloud, we are communicating the things of God to our spirit, which will grow and engage with them. And using our imagination is very much part of the process of meditation. If we are ‘just imagining it’, what is wrong with that? It is how God speaks to us.

Music is very useful in meditation. It provides a platform which engages our imagination. The right side of our brain is where creativity and imagination reside. When we speak in tongues, scientists have found that it is the right side of our brain which is engaged in that activity. And the right side of the brain activates better, and more blood physically flows there, when we are at rest. So it is best to meditate when we are in a state of relaxation, which we can achieve by calming ourselves, taking deep breaths, and so on. Again, this is not wrong: it is simple and sensible preparation of our body.

Logos to rhema

Meditation turns the logos (written, fixed word) into the rhema word (spoken, to us, now), stirring faith from which we can live. It turns head knowledge into personal experience, and enables us to hear the voice of God. In meditation, God can use a scripture to speak to us (sometimes completely out of context – He wrote it and He can use it however He wishes), to get across to us something He wants us to hear and understand.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:8).

Meditating will enable me to prosper. In my destiny, in what God has called me to do in my life, I want to prosper; I want to succeed and excel to the highest level.

Don’t you want the same?

Related articles from Freedom ARC

Check out Rest, a piece of music intended for use in meditation, composed and performed by Samuel Lane (SML Music) via Soundcloud.

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157. Manifesting His Presence

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

God’s presence is within us. He wants us to open the door so that He can fill our whole being.

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)

Opportunity for the world

Jesus is inviting us to have a relationship with Him. God is on the inside of us. He wants to flow out through us so that we manifest His presence around us. In that way the world has the opportunity to interact with the kingdom of God.

There are senses in our spirit. They are gates through which God can flow. Depending what your destiny is, some of those gates will be used more than others.

newcolours

Revelation from God

I spent a long time meditating on my gates. In praying, I would picture a gate and meditate on it, asking God to show me what that particular gate meant for me. I did that for all those gates in my spirit, soul and body until I had a revelation from God about all of them. I went through a process of opening my gates and learning to allow the flow of revelation to go through my spirit, soul and body.

I have taught others how to do this and they agree how challenging it is, as God highlights the areas which are blockages to His flow. But they also agree how effective it is in opening up their lives to receive revelation from God. Their experience (and mine) is that this can transform your life.

I spent a long time considering each of the combinations of gates through which the life of God can flow through my spirit and soul and out from my body. It took a while, because I think there are something like 280 of them. But it was worth the effort, because it has opened me up to being able to hear God, see Him and flow in Him so very much more than I ever could before.

Removing the blockages

The process is one of perseverance and practice. But as you start to understand how this works, you find there are things operating in you which are blockages to the things of the spirit.

They may come to you as pictures. Some people see brambles, or chains, all over their gates. Some see their gates all boarded up with wood and nails and are crying out “I can’t open it! I can’t open it!”. The truth is, we will be able to open it, but there may be things God wants us to deal with and get rid of, so that the gate is unblocked. We have to go through the process.

Transform the world

Jesus is knocking, and I just want to encourage us every day to open up the door inside us. Let Him in. Let Him into our spirit. Invite Him to be Lord of our life. Allow Him to start flowing through the gates of our spirit, soul and body and so out into the world around us.

As we do that, we find that we start to change and transform not only our own lives and how we live, but also what goes on around us. We become subject to God’s kingdom flowing from us rather than what is coming at us from the outside, so we learn to overcome things like sickness and be in authority over them. This is something God is teaching us how to do.

When Jesus came He was the model of the kingdom. Everyone who came to Him, He healed from every sickness. Everyone who came to Him, He set free from the demonic influence that was operating in their life. He brought people into fulness of joy, and peace, and hope.

Flowing like Jesus? It does not happen overnight. But with dedication, practice and perseverance we will be able to experience this in our own lives.

The question is, how much do we want it?

Related articles from FreedomARC

Image accreditation: The ‘gateways’ diagram in this post and elesewhere on this blog is based on an original by Ian Clayton (see ‘Gateways of the Threefold Nature of Man’).

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156. Store, or shred?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are continuing to look at building our spirit.

Everything we perceive goes into the brain. Whatever we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, the information comes in through our senses and is relayed there via various pathways. When we see something, for example, light comes in through our eye and is projected, upside down, onto our retina. That information travels along the optic nerve to the brain, which then interprets it – in this case, turning it the right way up.

So if I am teaching on a Sunday (not that I do that much anymore), looking at a room full of people, I am not really seeing them where they are, out there seated in their chairs. I am actually seeing them in my own brain. But I have learnt to interpret those messages to mean that there are people are out there, and I can tell pretty accurately how far away they are. We all do that, all the time. But we had to learn that spatial awareness as we were growing up.

Sorting by relevance

There is a part of the brain called the hippocampus which is like a shredder machine. All the irrelevant information that goes into your brain, everything that is not important to you, gets shredded. You may see everything, hear everything, feel everything – but you don’t retain it because most of it doesn’t really matter too much. Those things that do matter can be stored. The sorting happens by repetition.

For instance if I walked into a room in a building where I had never been before and the lights went off I would struggle to find my way out. But if I walked into the Freedom Centre and all the lights went off, even if it was pitch black, no problem. That’s because I have been in the Freedom Centre hundreds of times and I know my way around. My imagination would be able to show me, even though I couldn’t see naturally, because that information has been stored in my brain. I could describe the building to someone, and where everything is in it, because I’ve been here many times and I remember. My brain knows that the information has some value because I have repeated it over and over again.

Again, most of our church members could not tell you what the pattern is on the carpet in the main hall of the Freedom Centre, even though they may have seen it many times and walked over it every time they have been here. I can tell you exactly what the pattern is: I know because I have been face down on it so often that I remember it. It is three little dots going at different angles in different colours. That information may not actually be all that important to me, but my brain has assigned it relevance because of repetition.

Meditation

Meditation is going over and over something in your mind, drawing the truth from it. As time goes on, because of the constant repetition, your brain learns that this is something important to you, and stores the information instead of shredding it. When it comes to meditating on what God has revealed to you, whether from scripture or interacting with the Spirit of God, I know that if you don’t repeat these things regularly then your brain will not treat the information you acquire as something that’s important or valuable to you. It that happens, you risk losing it.

With repetition, synapses close and form a neural pathway to the memories, which are stored in our heart, in our subconscious. Trauma can cause the same thing to happen instantly. Sometimes something happens to you which is so severe that you form an instant memory and you can’t get rid of it. This often happens to people involved in wars or serious accidents. You may have experienced it yourself. Sometimes, though, the trauma can be so severe that your brain actually forms pathways around the memory of the event so that you can’t remember it at all. You block it out, or you dissociate from it – that’s what happens with people who have multiple personality disorder. It is a form of protection against the effects of severe trauma.

Just as we may sense everything physical but don’t retain it all, we also sense everything spiritual. But most of us can’t remember spiritual sensations or information because we have no anchor for it. That is because we don’t go back and repeat the experiences, nor do we have them often enough. If we want to grow in the realms of the spirit we need to stimulate the right side of our brain by speaking in tongues and meditating regularly and on purpose. As we do, we will find that we are having (and retaining memory of) visions, dreams, pictures and so on. The more we repeat the process the more the information gets stored rather than shredded.

Through meditation, through repetition, through agreement with the Truth (Jesus), those memories get stored and become something we are able to use. The revelation that comes from personal engagement with Father, Son and Spirit in this way becomes something that we start to live from. As we operate in it, we experience it in increased measure and begin to manifest the Kingdom of God around our lives.

If you don’t know by experience the things you may read in the scriptures, then you are simply acting like a parrot when you talk about it. A parrot can speak words but it does not know what they mean. If we know the Word of God (that is, Jesus) personally, by experience, then we can speak words of authority and power. That, too, comes by learning how to meditate.

Use it or lose it

We can help the process by writing out what God has revealed to us, reviewing it and revisiting it. I make a practice of journaling everything. Experiences, evenly heavenly ones, are easily forgotten. The principle of ‘use it or lose it’ definitely applies in this case.

God used to speak to me all the time through the Bible (because that is how I expected Him to speak to me. Nowadays He uses plenty of other means as well). Whenever He would speak, the words would jump off the page and I would think ‘oh that’s very good’, and I would underline the passage or highlight it and then go on to read something else. One day He said, ‘Why do you use your Bible as a filing cabinet? When are you going to live from the truth of the words that I speak to you?’

That changed my whole understanding. When I read a scripture that speaks to me, or when I have an encounter with Father, Son or Spirit in the realms of heaven or in my own heart, I will draw every bit of truth that I can out of it. And now those have become fundamental truths to my life. I live out of the revelation that God has given me because I took what He said and spoke it to myself, going over and over it, drawing revelation from it.

Now when I read the Bible I don’t always read a whole chapter or a whole section. I might sometimes read one word. God can give me revelation from that one word and it changes my life. I have His revelation as a deposit in my life because I walk around full of it. When I meditate on what God says, it starts forming pictures and visions. It joins up and links up and forms connections because I carry a deposit of the truth within me through meditating over it for a long time.

All of us need to have that. Meditation opens a doorway to vision, encounter and experience. When we engage with visions, encounters and experience, when we go over them again and again, our brain will then categorise them as important to us, and store them.

Store or shred? The choice is ours.

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155. A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Not in the Bible

This may seem really obvious, but it is a fact that not everything is actually specifically mentioned in the Bible. For example, Jesus said we should do greater works than He did, without being specific about what they might be. We have experiences in daily life which are not mentioned in the Bible – there are no computers or glasses or cars or mobile phones – but it is OK for us to use them.  In just the same way, we may have some experiences of heaven which are not in the Bible.

A plumbline

plumb line

The scriptures can be a plumbline for us though. A plumbline is a string with a lead weight (or plumb-bob) hanging from it, which builders use to check that vertical surfaces are true. So does our experience line up with God’s principles, His character and His nature? That is a safeguard for us, so that we do not go off into flights of fancy which have no basis in God. The enemy will do all he can to cause us to go astray, but we do not have to be frightened of that if we keep true to a clear revelation of who God is. Jesus Himself is that perfect revelation of His Father.

Using our imagination

The scriptures can become our starting point for future experience. When we meditate on a passage, we can picture what it talks about and use our imagination. We ought not to be scared to use our imagination: God has given it to us so that we can see things, picture them, and visualise them. Now some Christians are wary of concepts like ‘visualisation’ because they have been adopted by New Age and occult people. Even meditation is viewed with suspicion in some circles. But these things are not wrong in themselves. It is simply that we have to approach them afresh and learn how to use them in a godly way.

A doorway

If we read Revelation chapters 4 and 5, they tell us about God’s throne, thunder and lightning, the seven spirits of God, four living creatures, angels, 24 elders and so on. Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10 speak of a similar scene. There are pictures in these passages which we can visualise, and this then becomes something we can engage with. It can open a door to encounter and experience.

An anchor

As well as a doorway, the scriptures can be an anchor for further heavenly experiences. I have had many encounters with God in the heavenly realms, following which I went back to the Bible to find a foundation and an anchor for those experiences. That meant I could return to those experiences again, while ensuring that I was standing on a good biblical foundation.

So sometimes our experience comes directly out of meditating on Bible passages. At other times, our experience comes in a different way, but we can still go back to the scripture and make sure that what we have experienced is in line with what it reveals of God. In either case, if it is firmly rooted in scripture we can use that as a prompt when we want to pick up our experience again another time and go further with it.

For example, I had encounters where God took me and opened up scrolls relating to my life, and showed me what was written there. I was not expecting that. I did not know if it was biblical. But then I read in Revelation that there was a scroll written on the front and the back which Jesus would open, and that anchored those experiences solidly for me. As a result I am able to go back there and make sure my life lines up with what is written on my scroll.

Left brain, right brain

To meditate you have to learn to use the right side of the brain, the creative/intuitive area. I used to be a very left-brained person, a scientist, who naturally tended towards the cognitive, logical, and mathematical. But speaking in tongues or meditating, because they come from a flow of the spirit, use the right side of the brain. So we need to learn to activate that part of the brain in order to see, and visualise, and experience spiritual realities, and especially the heavenly realms.

That flow of the spirit is revelation from the inside which comes as spontaneous thoughts and pictures and feelings. If we are not used to tuning in to them, they can slip past and we can miss them. It works like this. The air around us is full of radio and television signals of which we are not normally aware. But if we were to have a radio, turned on and tuned in, we would be able to hear whatever was playing on that particular station. If we had a TV set tuned in we would be able to see what was on that channel. And it is just the same with tuning in to God.

Meditation, imagination

God is sending out signals all the time. They flow through our spirit and are projected into the right side of our brain, so that we can hear His voice, see visions and pictures, and receive revelation from Him. We tune in to that through meditation.

Our imagination is the screen on which God projects things. But it can also receive images from our soul, from our subconscious, and we need to know the difference. Our imagination can play back experiences we have had in life. There may be a song, or a smell or a taste which can transport us instantly back to an experience we had many years previously. We can imagine it, recall it even feel the same feelings we had at the time (whether positive or negative).

We do not want to be led from our soul, and especially not from our past negative experience, but we want to be led by the Spirit of God. We need to learn to let those spirit projections rule over the soulish ones, so that we are tuned in to a flow of revelation which enables us to follow God and do what He has called us to do. We have to learn how to open ourselves up to these things, just as most of us actually learned to shut them out.

Retuning

Every child, up to the age of about three or four, is creative and intuitive. Children of that age can see the angelic much more readily than adults, and have the ability to function in that intuitive way.

By the age of 7, only 10% of children retain that spiritual and creative ability. Our western educational system is very effective at training us to use the left side of our brain. It does not value the right side at all. Because the spiritual is not reinforced and encouraged, but rather dismissed and ignored (or at best, humoured) by our elders and teachers, we learn to focus almost exclusively on the natural realm instead.

But now, empowered by the Spirit of God, we have an opportunity to re-learn how to engage our spirit; how to retune and see things from God’s perspective.

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb 5:14, my emphasis).

It only comes by practice.

Related articles from Freedom ARC

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Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

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154. Grow Your Own

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott  

In preparing for our destiny we need to build our spirit. Over a number of posts on this blog we have looked at:

We are going on now to consider a fourth means of building up our spirit:

  • Meditating on the words of God

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
(Prov 4:20-23)

For the word of God is living and active (Heb 4:12).

When God speaks, His words are alive, and have power if we focus and meditate on what He says. When we allow that power  to transform us, we can live in the power of the word we have received. Ultimately, the fullest expression of the Word of God is Jesus Himself. God speaks through many means, but scripture is a familiar one and is a good place to start. As we meditate on scripture, it is like going from 2D to a 3D experience. It comes alive and jumps off the page. You become part of what is going on.

A picture paints a thousand words

There is a saying, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. That is why Jesus spoke in parables. The Bible is full of stories and illustrations that enable us not just to hear words that are being said, but to imagine and participate in what is going on. So we can have experiences, visions and pictures. We can gain revelation. We can experience things practically for ourselves. We can see things sometimes in worship, pictures visions, trances, all sorts of experiential things in which we can know God’s presence. You cannot know something, in the biblical sense of the word, with intellectual understanding. The word ‘know’ in the bible means ‘to know intimately, by personal experience’. You cannot know what you have not experienced. God wants us to receive those revelations.

Store or shred

When we receive them, it is really important that we do not just pass over them. We do not just say, ‘I had this picture, I had this dream’, and then forget about them. We write them down, record them, journal them. Then we can go back and review what we have seen, what God has said, and we can revisit those experiences and obtain more revelation and more understanding from them.

In meditation, if you go back over something and keep looking at it, drawing life from it, it shows that you value it. What you value, your brain will store (instead of shredding it).

We do not want to be just spiritual consumers. You can sit and read this blog, or watch one of my YouTube clips, even enrol in Engaging God, and allow me to teach you something. But you can also be a producer, by taking what God reveals to you and applying it to your own life, and bringing forth your own fruit.

I can share my experiences of going to heaven, and having heavenly encounters with the Father, with Jesus, the angels, the men in white linen and so on. That is all very good, but God wants you to have your own experiences. They may not be the same as mine, but they will be yours. God shows no favouritism. If you do what I did, you will get what I got. But you will not get it just by reading these posts or hearing me speak. You have to pursue Him for yourself. You have to put into practice some basic techniques and principles; and meditating on what He says to you is one of the most important of them. And meditation is not just something ethereal: you have to apply what you receive to your own life.

Tomatoes

It is like tomatoes.

If you like to eat tomatoes, what most people do is go and buy some from the greengrocer or the supermarket. That is being a consumer. Someone else puts in a whole lot of effort to grow them, package them, transport them and offer them up for you to buy and eat. But you could learn how to grow tomatoes for yourself. You would have to have seed to plant, learn about types of soil and compost, transplant your seedlings, remember to water and care for them, make sure they get the right amount of sun and shelter, support the growing plants, prune them, and so on. Eventually, you get tomatoes.

When you eat a tomato you have grown, how much better does it taste than one you have bought from the shops? Even Tesco’s Finest? It tastes wonderful. There is nothing like picking fruit and vegetables straight from the garden and eating them. And besides all that, you have put so much into them that you get a real sense of achievement too. It is much more work, but so much more rewarding.

Seek it for yourself

In the same way, when you hear about my relationship with God and my encounters with the Holy Spirit, that can benefit you, and you can be blessed by hearing about them. But maybe hearing about my experiences will create a desire in you for something, so that you go away and seek that relationship and those experiences for yourself. And that, I can promise you, will bless you and benefit you on a whole other level.

Be willing to get hold of the truth of God’s words to you. Spend time in His presence. Learn how to meditate on scripture and on prophetic words or revelation you have received. Learn how to speak in tongues, inside and outside. Build up your spirit so that you can encounter God for yourself in that way. Then you will have first hand revelation knowledge of God as Father, of Jesus as a friend, of the Holy Spirit as a guide.

If you plant a seed and just leave it, it is true you may get some fruit from it. But it is likely to be a far healthier and more fruitful plant if you tend and water it. God’s desire is that we learn to live from the fruit of our relationship with Him, and when we eat, it transforms and enables us.

It is not instant, or automatic. But if we are willing to put the effort in, God is willing to reveal Himself to us in deeper and more intimate ways.

Related articles from Freedom ARC

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153. I Have Called You Friends

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

There is a period of training we have to go through in order to sit in the seat of rest, the place of government, and to bring kingdom authority into our life. We have first to give up control of our lives, and learn to be servants and stewards. But beyond that, God wants us to come into friendship. In all this process we are gradually getting to know the ways of God (Zech 3:7).

Friends

Friends enjoy a measure of revelation that stewards and servants do not. Being a friend of God comes through relationship, but it also comes about through obedience, as we shall see.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you (John 15:13-14).

When we surrender He is able to bring us into a place of intimacy and fellowship and revelation where He reveals things to us.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).

He wants to entrust us with insider knowledge and revelation. This will give us an advantage in the world around us, and we will have the favour of God upon us. Because of our faithfulness as servants and stewards He will now trust us with those intimate secrets He wants to share with us.

Jesus is Lord. We learn how to be a servant and do the works of God. He then starts to entrust us as stewards with more resources and responsibility. He shares His heart with us as we become friends. We begin to learn the ways of God. We engage with the Holy Spirit and learn to recognise His voice and to learn the things of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is there to lead us to Jesus. He does not promote Himself, but He leads us to Jesus. Jesus becomes higher in our lives.

Lords

Jesus is Lord of lords, and we are the lords of whom He is Lord. He enables us to be lords who govern with authority and power, and we start to administer the principles of the kingdom.

Kings

Jesus is also King of kings, so we understand that when Jesus takes us to a yet higher revelation of authority, we become kings. A king has a greater and wider authority than a lord. Instead of simply administering the laws, kings can make them. That is when we can ‘rule the house’ (Zech 3).

Sons

But Jesus in turn does not want us to remain just in relationship with Him, so He always leads us to the Father. As we get into that relationship with the Father we can operate as sons. Sons operate in a whole different level of authority and power than do lords and kings.

This is a process and a journey of training which all starts with surrender. I can only become a son if I first become a servant. Am I willing?

God is looking for that surrender so that we can judge the courts of heaven and operate in the kind of authority that most of us have never even dreamed of. Because of the storms that are coming in the world, God wants a people who can live from the eye of the storm in authority and power as lords, kings and sons. He desires a people who can administer the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Equipping

When kingdom authority comes into our lives, we can command things around us to be subject to the realm of God’s kingdom. We have authority to change things so that they come into line with God’s purposes for our life.

We need to come into alignment with the desire of God, engage in the purposes of God, and set ourselves apart to yield to His Lordship. As we surrender to His government in our lives, we receive His equipping on the inside. This enables us to engage external things so that they change and take on the reflection of the internal authority of God’s kingdom within us. Then we can walk into chaos and transform it, bringing peace and order just as Jesus did.

Step in, step out

We will finish today by stepping in to God’s presence, and having engaged with Him, stepping back out, as we have learnt to do. We need to practise stepping in and out of the presence of God. This is not just for corporate prayers: in our own intimate time with Him, we can learn how to step in and pray like this about particular things in our own lives, and then to step out bringing answers from heaven.

If you want to come to that place of surrender from which this process begins, then I would encourage you to find somewhere you can stand, and will be able to take a step forward. Then as we speak these words out together, we will practise entering the seat of rest.

Father I thank you that You have made a way for me to come into your presence
By faith I step [take a step forward]
into the realm of Your presence

and ask you to forgive me for not fully surrendering
to the absolute government of Your kingdom in my life.
Today Jesus I wilfully and with desire
abdicate the throne of my heart
so that you would come and seat yourself as Lord and King;
as Lord of lords and King of kings over my life

I surrender my seat of rest,
that mountain throne

with its domain and government,
into Your hands.

I give You the keys of my heart.
I give You the keys to every doorway of my spirit, soul and body.

Today by faith I thank You
that You are seated on the throne of my life as Lord.

Train me, Jesus, 
to surrender to Your Lordship
and to come to that place of maturity
to assume responsibility for the seat of government in my life as a lord

Now Lord I step back [take a step back]
into this earthly dimension
bringing You to this realm
to teach me how to administer your kingdom government
to the world around me.

Amen.

As we surrender to His lordship, He will train us to be lords, kings and sons who will fully bring the manifestation of His kingdom as it is in heaven on earth through our lives.

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152. Resources and Responsibilities

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

The first step in our ‘training for reigning’, as we saw last time, is to give up control of our own life and learn to be an obedient and willing servant.

Stewards

Beyond servanthood, there is training to be a steward. A steward has responsibilities – and access to resources – that a servant does not. Stewardship carries a higher level of authority and responsibility, and Jesus will train us to be stewards of all the resources He has made available to us for our lives and for the works He has prepared for us to do.

In Matthew 25 Jesus taught about responsibility in the kingdom:

Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them (Matt 25:1-3).

All ten were entrusted with a task, but only five of them took their responsibility seriously. Five did not, and Jesus’ response to them was ‘I do not know you’ (Matt 25:12). I do not believe He meant that they were not in relationship with Him, He meant that He did not recognise Himself in them. They were not operating in good stewardship.

Talents

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability (Matt 25:14-15).

We have been entrusted with Jesus’ possessions while He has gone back into heaven. All of us have calls and destinies in God, which He will give us the resources to fulfil. A talent was an amount of money, and each of us needs a different level of resource to achieve our particular calling.

Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money (Matt 25:16-18).

Trading is taking something God gives us and putting it to work to achieve a desired result. Here, the two servants who traded with their master’s money acted responsibly, and doubled his money for him. The one who hid it in the ground was an irresponsible steward.

Whatever God has given, He has given for a purpose. We can hide it in many ways: ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not worthy’, ‘I can’t do it because of my past’ and so on. We can come up with any number of excuses why it is too difficult or too risky to go after our destiny in God, but Jesus will not accept any of them. He knows what He has called us to do, and He has given us the means of achieving it. He expects us to use our gifts for His glory.

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. (Matt 25:19-21).

All of us will have to settle the account of our life, before the judgment seat of God. I have been there, and I know it is not somewhere you want to go if you have messed up, and not used the resources God has given in the way He intended. God wants to train us to be faithful in using what he has given us. If we are faithful with a little, He will entrust us with more. That is a principle of good stewardship in the kingdom, and it applies both in this age and in the age to come.

As for the servant who did not act responsibly with His master’s resources:

But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant… you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 25:26-30).

This is not ‘hell’, but the outer courts. The weeping and gnashing of teeth will come as people realise how they have failed to fulfil the call of God and squandered His resources. The good news is that we can go before that judgment seat now, repent and pursue our destiny, beginning to act as faithful stewards. Then we do not need to find ourselves in that situation.

Faithful

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much (Luke 16:10).

God tests us. He gives us opportunities to demonstrate whether we are going to be faithful with what he has given us. Those of us who are looking for something from God, whether it is anointing, finances, gifts or anything else, need to be faithful with the little things first. God will not give us a huge international healing ministry if we are not prepared to minister healing to the person next door. God’s training involves giving us opportunities to grow.

Authority comes as a result of learning to be a good steward:

And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities (Luke 19:17).

Trustworthy

And here is Paul, talking about the things that God revealed to him when he went to heaven and had a face to face encounter with Him. He sees himself as a steward, who would wisely use those resources to bring blessing to others:

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy (1 Cor 4:1-2).

God wants to entrust us with all that He has for us, but He starts us off with a little, so that we can learn to be faithful, and acquire the wisdom to handle greater anointing, greater revelation, greater levels of finance, greater honour.

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).

In our finances, if we are faithful with what we have, He will give us more. When we honour Him by faithfully administering a little, He is able to entrust us with everything. Are we faithfully using our gifts and abilities, whether spiritual or natural, for the purposes for which God has given them? How are we using our covenant relationships, with one another and with Him?

Heart attitude

Everything we have belongs to God, and He wants to train us to be good, faithful stewards. After all, we are only stewards of everything we have. Our money, homes, cars and possessions all belong to Him. When we make Jesus Lord, we make everything we have  available for His use. If it all belongs to him, then He has first claim on it, whatever and whenever He wants. When He asks us to give something away, it will reveal the attitude of our heart (particularly if He asks us to give something precious).

Are we willing to surrender everything to Him? An attitude which says ‘It all belongs to You’ – that is the hallmark of a good and faithful steward.

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151. Abdicate and Serve

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

When Jesus lived on earth, He had power over nature, power over sickness, power over demons, power over everything. He taught about speaking to the mountain and telling it to move. He operated in the power of the kingdom to bring everything into subjection to God’s will and purpose. He wants us to live the same way.

‘Training for reigning’

Those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17)

It is clear from this verse that we will reign. Reigning is what is done by a king, on a throne, over a territory or an area they govern (their kingdom). Notice that those who are to reign need to receive it as a gift. It is not achieved through our own strength, self-effort or self-worth. It is through receiving the gift of righteousness.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth (Rev 5:10).

There is a period of training we have to go through for this. Many of us find ourselves in that place of training right now. If we try to remain in control, seated on the throne of our life (which contains the scroll of our destiny), there is no seat of rest or government for us. We have to abdicate the throne of our lives in favour of Jesus. We have to give up the throne, give up control of our lives.

When we make Jesus Lord, He can then train us to be lords. That training involves trials, troubles and tribulation, circumstances which teach us to overcome and to grow, situations in which we manifest His kingdom.

Servant

But the first thing He wants us to do is to learn to be servants.

We sing about ‘lifting Jesus higher’. The first way of lifting Him higher is for us to go lower. When we have abdicated the throne of our lives, when we are on our faces in obedience, He is higher. The servant does the works of God. This is part of our training to occupy the throne and the seat of government.

Jesus is our example of what it means to be a servant. Even though He was a king, he came to serve. Everything in the kingdom of God starts with having a servant heart:

“Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Matt 20:26).

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him” (John 12:26).

When Jesus talks about ‘where I am’ in this verse, He is referring to the relationship He has with the Father: He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. He says that we can be part of that relationship too.

Humility and obedience

When we humble ourselves, when we bow down in obedience to serve Him, the Father will raise us up. It is not for us to raise ourselves up, and try to get on a throne. We certainly do not try to lord it over other people, or seek to control or manipulate situations. We bow down in humility, and we surrender our lives to Him who will equip us to be on a throne. If we sit on a throne, and do not know how to use authority correctly, we will abuse that authority. The correct use of authority will bring blessing to ourselves and to others. And God will honour us.

Jesus was obedient to do the works that the Father directed Him to do. In absolute strength, He surrendered that strength to His Father. He learned to allow God to work through Him.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “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).

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14:10).

Obedience is the training to know that we are a habitation of God’s presence; to know that God will work through us as a channel of His glory and power – if we surrender.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).

Doing greater works than Jesus may sound pretty impressive, but it is actually just being a servant.

Bond-servant

“For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5).

In the Old Testament, when someone was sold into slavery, they could go free after seven years. Many chose not to go free, and became bond-servants. So a bond-servant is someone who could have gone free, but chose not to; someone who chose to surrender their freedom in order to serve their master. They wore a ring in their ear to show that was their status. This is how Paul describes both himself and Jesus:

…although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:5-8).

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered (Heb 5:8).

Through the things that Jesus went through in His life (and death), He learned obedience.
We learn to obey through exactly the same process, even through the difficult things that sometimes happen to us. Jesus totally humbled Himself and surrendered His authority and power so that the Father could use Him for His kingdom purposes.

Jesus was a bond-servant, and God is looking for those who are willing to become bond-servants, just like Him. Because they can be trained to be kings, and ultimately revealed as sons.

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150. Eye Of The Storm

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Be still

It is really good to simply sit in the presence of God, and do nothing. That may sound like it should be really easy, but actually it is not. I remember going through a period of two to three months in which God taught me simply to rest in His presence and do nothing. I could hear His voice, but He kept me in a dark place under that shadow of His wing so that I could not see anything. I am not used to that at all.

If we want to build our spirit, we have to quieten our mind. Then we are not going into His presence already thinking about all kinds of other things, and we can really focus our attention on Jesus. It is our spirit that we want to engage, not our mind. When our spirit begins to engage with God, we will find that it starts to develop and grow, and to discern the presence of God so that we can engage with Him more readily.

In that place, we can worship and adore Him. Worship is not really about singing. It is an attitude of surrender and obedience to God. From there we can go on to listen and receive revelation from Him.

If we practice these things, our spirit will continue to grow stronger. We will find ourselves able to engage more clearly with the spiritual realm around us, engage with the realms of heaven, and see God face to face as we meet with Him.

We looked last time at the seat of rest, one of the most important things we can understand if we are to engage with God’s kingdom in the heavenly realms and then to outwork things here.

Weary and heavy-laden

Come to Me, all you who are weary and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. (Matt 11:28-29 AMP)

This is the time to take Jesus’ yoke and be joined to Him. When He sets the field, the path and the direction, then He will carry the weight. We are all called to live in a state of rest regardless of what is going on around us in our lives. What wears us out is trying to do things in our own strength. The storms of life come to everybody: it is how we respond to them that will demonstrate to what extent God’s kingdom is manifested through us.

We are called to live in the eye of the storm. There may be violent winds blowing all around us, but in the eye, everything is completely peaceful. Jesus never promised we would have no troubles – the very opposite, in fact. But He gives us His love, joy and peace, so we can live at rest all the time.

This is not automatic: we have to learn how to do it.

Peace, be still

Jesus is our example. He was asleep in the boat, crossing the lake, when a great storm rose up. His disciples were in a panic, even though He had already told them they were going to the other side. They woke Him up, and He brought peace. He rebuked the storm and everything became calm (that particular storm was demonic, designed by the enemy to stop Jesus getting to the other side of the lake where He would set a man free from a legion of demons).

I know we can sometimes feel up or feel down according to our circumstances, but true joy and peace comes out of our relationship with God. We need to be able to live in the peace and joy which comes from that relationship and does not depend upon our circumstances. We need to live with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise, rejoicing always. That will keep us in the eye of the storm.

Choices

Bringing a sacrifice of praise is a choice. Sacrifice means it costs us something. We may not feel so good because of what is going on in our lives, but still we choose to praise Him. We choose to acknowledge Him, His mercy, His goodness, His love.

Treating trials and tribulations as joy and an opportunity for growth and transformation: that too is a choice. When something happens, we can choose not to react; we can choose how we respond to it. We can choose to sit in that seat of rest and live in the eye of the storm.

What Jesus did, He has called us to do. So just as Jesus said ‘Peace’, we can say ‘Peace’. When He said ‘Peace’, the storm was stilled. We need to take authority and live from the place where we can change situations around us. We cannot change the situation around us while we are ourselves being swept around at 200mph, caught up in the hurricane. But from the seat of rest we can.

The seat of rest is the Kingdom of God within. It is the manifestation of the fullness of the government of God in us to bring revelation of the kingdom to the world around us. When we live from the seat of rest, the world sees a manifestation of God’s kingdom.

From the place of rest, Jesus wielded the power of the kingdom in order to bring everything into subjection to God’s will and purpose. He wants to train us to live the same way.

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Image: Typhoon Haitang 7-15-2005 1402 UTC.jpg via Wikimedia Commons (public domain).

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149. Seat of Rest

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Come to Me, all you who are weary and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls (Matt 11:28-29 AMP).

One of my most significant encounters in the heavenly realms was face-to-face with Jesus as He talked me through this scripture. He sat me down and talked to me about living from a place of rest, a place of peace and wholeness. He gave me a revelation from this passage that I can live in, and that He wants all of us to live in.

Take My yoke

Jesus asks us to take His yoke upon us. We are to be joined to Him. We go where He goes. This means that we do not get to choose which field we go to plough in. Jesus sets the field, the path and the direction.

He wants to carry the weight of our burdens so that we can be at rest. But we also have to learn from Him. By looking at His life we can learn how to live at rest. In His relationship with the Father and how He operated, He modelled how to live in rest. Jesus wants to train us and disciple us in that.

He describes Himself as ‘gentle and humble in heart’. Being gentle is not being wishy-washy and allowing yourself to be treated as a doormat. The meaning of the Greek word used here is that of a wild stallion which has been broken and has a bit in its mouth. God wants us strong and powerful, but wholly submitted to His will and purposes.

It is the same with humility. Being humble is not saying ‘Oh, I am a worm and no man! I am nothing!’. Humility is acknowledging who you are as a child of God and accepting your royal identity, your destiny and calling. Jesus took on the form of a servant, even though He was the Lord of creation. But He knew who He was, and what He was called to be. He lived totally surrendered to the will of His Father: ‘I only do the things I see the Father doing’ (John 5:19). We must accept who we are as children of God, and live out of that knowledge.

Weary, heavy-laden

Most of us would say we want to live in ‘rest, relief, ease, refreshment, recreation and blessed quiet’, prospering in all we do, and not having to struggle and strive. But we will not be at rest if we are feeling weary, heavy-laden or overburdened.

So if I feel tired, I am going to ask Jesus to show me if I am:

  • trying to survive and cope with life myself. Or am I surrendered to Him?
  • trying to provide for myself. Or is God my provider?
  • trying to protect myself. Or do I trust in His protection for me?
  • trying to find significance in achievements.
  • trying to create my own self image.
  • trying to compare myself with others. Or am I content to be unique?
  • trying to be somebody else. It is OK to have role models, but I need to be me.
  • trying to meet others’ expectations. Maybe even the expectations my parents put on me as a child? It is God’s expectations I need to fulfil: that is my destiny.
  • trying to wear a mask of pretence. Keeping up appearances.
  • trying to maintain control. Or have I surrendered control to God?
  • trying to cover up my inadequacies. He knows all my faults and weaknesses, and loves me anyway. He loves me enough to accept me, but also enough to transform me and make me whole.
  • trying to be good and righteous with dead works. Jesus’ sacrifice provided all I need for salvation and for transformation.
  • trying to please God, others and myself. I cannot please everyone: I must choose to please God.
  • trying to make amends for my past. Or receiving forgiveness as a free gift?

If I feel burdened, am I carrying things I shouldn’t be?

  • burdened by false responsibilities for family, finances, or future?
  • burdened by sin, guilt, shame and condemnation? In Christ there is no condemnation. In Christ I am cleansed and made the righteousness of God.
  • burdened by the weight of expectations?
  • burdened by sorrows and grief? Jesus came to carry my griefs and sorrows. There is a grieving process, but I do not have to bear it on my own.
  • burdened by disappointments? Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Prov 13:12).
  • burdened by unforgiveness? That would probably be the heaviest weight for me to carry. I have been forgiven completely and unreservedly: He wants me to be able to forgive everybody else.
  • burdened by worry, anxiety, fear?
  • burdened by debt?
  • burdened by carrying the responsibility for my own life?

If we will hand all these things over to Jesus, He will take the weight. How do we do that?

Covenant names of God

Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

The compound names of God, the covenant names, are really important here.

  • The Lord my righteousness.
  • The Lord my sanctification
  • The Lord my peace
  • The Lord my provider
  • The Lord my healer
  • The Lord my shepherd
  • The Lord my banner of victory
  • The Lord is there

All are names God has revealed because He wants us to live and know Him in these ways.

Cast your care

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). He has broad shoulders and can carry everything we would like to lay on Him. He longs for us to hand over the burdens of our lives to Him, our future, our present and our past.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt 6:33). Places to live, clothes to wear, food to eat: everything we need will be added to us when we seek first the kingdom. I cannot put myself first, and still seek the kingdom. If we insist on providing for ourselves, we cannot expect that God will provide for us. It is one or the other. God wants us to surrender.

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:10).
God wants to raise us up and give us a position and a place of authority and rule to fulfil our destiny and call. Will we surrender and humble ourselves before Him?

Let us pray these things through, step into the presence of God and allow Him to change us and transform us. We can step into His presence, because the kingdom of God is as close as the hand in front of our face: we have a choice to turn into it or elsewhere.

So, if you really want to hand over to God all your cares, worries and burdens, everything that is making you tired and weary, here is an opportunity to do it.

I suggest you stand if you are able, and find a place where you can take a step forwards and backwards as by faith we engage our physical bodies with this process.

Father I thank You
that You have made a way
for me to come into Your presence

By faith [take a step forward]
I step into the realm of Your presence
and ask You to forgive me
for doing things in my own strength.
I repent of providing for and protecting myself;
I repent of finding significance in achievements
and trying to create my own self image;
I repent of comparing myself with others.

I repent of trying to be somebody else
and trying to meet others’ expectations;
I repent of wearing masks of pretence to cover up my inadequacies;
I repent of trying to be good and righteous
using dead works
to try to please You and others;
I repent for trying to make amends for my past.

I repent for trying to maintain control of my life.
Today Jesus I wilfully, with desire,
hand over responsibility for my life to You.
I cast all my burdens onto You
and hand over responsibility
for my family, finances and future.

I cast all my sin, guilt,
shame and condemnation onto You
I cast all my sorrows, grief,
disappointments, worry, anxiety and fear onto You.
I cast all my debts onto You;
I cast all the weight of expectation onto You;
I surrender control of my life to You.

I choose to be yoked to You Jesus:
Train me in gentleness and humility
to bring me to the place of maturity.

Now, Lord, I step back [take a step back]
into this earthly dimension,
bringing Your rest with me
to live in the eye of the storm.

I choose to live from the seat of rest.

Related articles from Freedom ARC

I Surrender – Hillsong (via YouTube)

THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS 2 – VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

From June 18th-21st 2020, Nancy Coen, Lindy Strong and Justin Paul Abraham will be joining Mike Parsons to present The Restoration of All Things 2 Virtual Conference live online.

Note: this event has been rearranged as a virtual event due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

There are two levels of participation:

  1. Either the full Enhanced Virtual Conference Experience, allowing you to take part live in the discussion and question and answer sessions scheduled throughout the event. The cost is £150 GBP (£200 for couples).
  2. Or a conventional live stream option, which is for you if you only wish to watch and do not intend to take an active part in the discussions. The  cost is £100 GBP*.

*£80 until 1st April 2020

God is restoring all things according to His original intent and purpose.

  • What does that mean for you and me?
  • What does it mean for the church?
  • What does it mean for the world, for the cosmos, for the unseen realm?
  • Is there any thing, any system or any being that God cannot or will not restore?

Get more info and tickets

We’re delighted that all four speakers from last year’s event will again be joining us!


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