179. Sealed Up Until the End of Time

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Information or revelation?

Through the centuries there has been a battle for truth: we have an enemy who does not want the church even to know about the supernatural, much less experience it! At the Constantinople council in 553 there was a lot of argument about what should and should not be included in the canon of scripture. Many books were removed at that time, and some wanted to throw out even the books of James, Peter, and Jude (all with a lot of the supernatural in them). Centuries later, even Martin Luther was unhappy with Hebrews, James and Peter.

During the dark ages, when people could not read the Bible, a lot of truth was lost. God has been restoring that truth over the last 1000 years, and there is ongoing revelation of truth. Please do not just accept everything I say, do not be satisfied with just information but go and seek God and get revelation for yourself. He often speaks to me through science fiction films, so He can speak to you through anything; just check that it lines up with who God is, His character and nature and the overall tenor of scripture. Examine things to see whether they are true (rather than to prove they are not)!

Now these (Bereans) were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so (Acts 17:11).

Sealed up

Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever (Dan 12:3).

God wants us to have insight. We need to have understanding, which only comes through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. God has spoken to us as a church about being like the sons of Issachar, understanding the times.

But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase (Dan 12:4).

The revelation that Daniel was bringing in that book was to be sealed up, so that the full understanding of it would not be available until the end of time. I believe now is that time, when people are freely travelling back and forth all over the earth, taking this knowledge everywhere. Because of modern technology, and especially the internet, knowledge is available now like never before.

He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand” (Dan 12:9-10).

We are now in the days where God is refining and purifying so that Jesus can come back for a church without spot or blemish. We are in a time where God is doing things He has never done before.

Normalcy bias

Many people don’t believe that. The technical term is ‘normalcy bias’, defined as ‘a tendency to underestimate coming disaster, its effects and consequences’. Basically it means people are in denial, not wanting to accept that anything will be significantly different from the way it has always been. If something has never happened up to now, we assume it never will, and act accordingly.

But things are going to change drastically. It will be nothing like it is now.

The effects and consequences of what is coming are beyond most people’s understanding. God is now starting to open and unveil the books to show us those things so that we can be ready and prepared. That is what the Prophetic Timetable is about, God saying “Be prepared for what is coming”.

There is going to come a shaking of all the world’s systems. God will be behind it, but the enemy will be involved in the process. It will take place whether we are ready for it or not.

If God says something is going to happen, I want to be ready. Then, when it does, I will be in position to be used in God’s purposes to fulfil what He wants from His church, to raise her up above all the systems of the world, to provide the answers they do not have and so desperately need.

Something new

Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? (Isa 43:19).

The implication of that question is that we might well not be aware of it. We always have to be looking out for the new thing God is doing – He rarely stays still for long. We must be prepared for change. When we sing ‘Strip everything away’, we must be prepared for Him to do just that. When we pray Psalm 139:23-24, we should expect God to show us what is in our lives so that he can change it.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb 4:12).

This is not primarily talking about the Bible, but about Jesus, the living Word of God (who created and holds everything together by the word of His power). He is living, active, and sharp; piercing, dividing and judging so that we can be restored to wholeness (nothing missing and nothing broken) and come back to God’s original intent and purposes.

Let’s cooperate, by presenting ourselves to Him. Let’s give Him permission, opening up our hearts to let Him in. Let’s allow God to do what He wants to do. Let’s pursue Him with everything we have. Let’s desire with all the desire of our heart that we will become one with Him (1Cor 6:17). That is the level of intimacy He wants.

He will remove every obstacle, every stumbling block and every chain even right down to stripping out all the impurities in our DNA so that we can be changed into the image of Jesus. So let’s be willing, open our hearts and let him transform us so that we can be ready for what is to come.

Strip everything away
‘Til all I have is You
Undo the veils
So all I see is You

I will pursue You
I will pursue Your presence…

(‘Pursuit’ – Daniel Bashta)

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169. Beholding As In A Mirror

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).

We have seen how we can come into Holy Place in the heavenly tabernacle through the cross, through Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Just as the sacrificial lamb was prepared by the High Priest, so Jesus prepares us daily as a living sacrifice.

Beholding as in a mirror

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18)

Besides the altar of incense, in the Holy Place there is also a laver (a large bath, made of polished bronze) (Ex 38:8) in which the priests would immerse themselves to wash. This mirror surface is supposed to reflect the image of God. The word, the message we hear and carry, is our mirror (James 1:22-25); when we look into that mirror we should increasingly see the reflection of His image in us.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:19-22).

We may have previously thought that ‘entering the holy place’ was something we did on earth. Look again: we do it in heaven. We have access through the blood of Jesus, a new and living way, into the heavenly realms.

…Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word… (Eph 5:25-26).

Living and active

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and separating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb 4:12).

This familiar verse is not about the Bible: they really did not even have a Bible for two centuries after this was written. It is talking about the specific word God speaks to us which addresses the issues in our life. Are we willing to submit to the authority of that living word in our lives? The Spirit of God can breathe life into the written word and apply it; if we surrender to it and make it the authority in our life then the logos (written word) becomes the rhema (spoken word). But the Spirit can also speak to us directly, or breathe life into anything!

When we look into the word He speaks; when we surrender our lives to it, God can reveal to us aspects of our life and behaviour to which we have been blind (our ‘blind self’). We see and surrender to the truth, and step into the light where the 7 spirits of God are burning, bringing knowledge, wisdom, understanding and so on (represented by the candlestick there in the Holy Place).

When Jesus, our High Priest, prepares our life as a sacrifice, He removes all our coverings, skins, and masks; all our onion layers of self-protection. We stand before Him naked, transparent, uncovered; our flesh completely exposed before God. Fig leaves did not work for Adam and Eve: we need to stop trying to cover up with dead works, self-righteousness, defence or coping mechanisms, trying to meet our needs apart from God. We need to surrender.

Threes

Hebrews 4:12 (which we looked at above) talks about three things: dividing, separating, judging; three layers of God’s dealing with us. The division of soul and the spirit is about our behaviours (transgression); but there is a deeper level, our thoughts and intentions, our motives (sin); and deeper still, the bone and marrow, the root or source of things in our lives (iniquity).

We are a 3-part being: spirit, soul and body.
God is a 3-part being: Father, Son and Spirit.
This is because 3 is the number of government.

  • The body has 3 layers of skin – dermis, epidermis, sub-dermis
  • The heart has 3 layers – endocardium, myocardium, pericardium
  • The brain has 3 layers – dura matter, arachnoid matter, pia matter
  • The soul has 3 components – heart, emotions, will

Everything operates in threes, even transgression, sin and iniquity.

Trauma, nurture, nature

God wants us to deal with the layers in our lives. We acquire these skins, layers, masks, and behaviour patterns in one of three ways:

  • Trauma – experiential programming
  • Nurture – environmental programming
  • Nature – DNA genetic programming

Trauma is the record of our experiences, stored as memories in our lives. We create layers of protection, coping and defence mechanisms because of such things as

  • Abuse – physical, sexual, emotional, physiological, verbal
  • Incidents and accidents – emotional
  • Grief and loss, death, divorce, moving home

Nurture is our environmental programming, the record of our upbringing. We may have been affected by:

  • Parents – less than perfect acceptance, affection, affirmation, approval – security
  • Family, school, friends, church
  • Words – curses, vows, agreements, lies
  • Familial and familiar spirits

Nature is our:

  • blood line – records of family sin, behaviours, spirits – iniquity
  • seed line – our DNA genetic record, which may contain reptilian seed (Cain), Nephilim seed (angelic/human hybrid) or righteous seed (Noah).

We can deal with both trauma and nurture by surrendering; by entering into the realms of heaven to present ourselves as a sacrifice. We allow ourselves to be skinned of all masks, coverings and layers; self-righteousness, religious coverings, denial and projection; self-protection, coping and defence mechanisms. We will see how to deal with our nature (blood line and seed line) later in this series.

Our being

transformation-2012-6_277

We are made in the image of God, spirit, soul and body. Our spirit is where the Holy Spirit is resident, with the mind of Christ, the glory of God and the heart of the Father. When we surrender our spirit and the throne of the government of our life to God, then our spiritual senses are activated to express God’s glory through us to the world around us.

Our spirit is surrounded by our soul. Our conscious mind is the outer layer of our soul, the connection between it and our body. We can have lies masquerading as truth in our subconscious (at Freedom we call it our ‘knower’ because it is where we know that we know that we know things). But just because we ‘know’ something does not make it true. Our strongholds defend our right to believe lies. We need them demolished so that lies can be replaced with truth, reprogramming the mind and renewing the heart.

Transformation 2012 6_280

I do not know anyone who grew up with the ideal of perfect love, esteem, worth, value and security. We have all had unmet needs which we tried to meet through imperfect people, who inevitably disappointed us (God is the only one who can meet our needs). Emotional damage eventually comes out through our conscious mind and expresses itself in our behaviour every day. We have lived under the rule of things that shaped our lives.

If we present ourselves to Him, God heals and restores us.

Transformation 2012 6_281

In our will, sin and iniquity have caused stubbornness, doubt, fear and so on. As we surrender, as we daily present ourselves as a living sacrifice, God replaces those with patience, confidence, humility, endurance – all the positive attributes you see there.

If we pursue transformation, God deals first with our behaviour. And if we persevere, beyond that there are still motives and roots that He will begin to address.

Wash me, skin me

Father I thank You that You have made a way for me
To access Your heavenly presence
I step in through the veil of Jesus through the way of the cross
I step into the realm of Your government

I look into the mirror of Your word
Reveal my blind self to me
Show me the hidden motives of my heart
Show me how I look compared to Your image
Wash me and cleanse me with Your living word

I step through the veil of truth into the Holy Place
I stand in the light of Your truth
I ask You to search me

I present myself to You, Jesus, my High Priest, as a living sacrifice
Prepare me for the altar of incense
That my life would be an acceptable offering

Skin me
Remove all layers of self-righteousness
Remove all the masks I hide behind
Remove all my defensive behaviour patterns
Remove all my coping mechanisms

Remove all the mindsets and strongholds I have built
To defend my false beliefs and values

Remove all patterns of thinking,
Philosophies, ideals, lies and values not of Your kingdom

Remove all layers of doubt and unbelief
Remove all my emotional layers of rejection, insecurity, fear, dependence,
Remove all layers of guilt and shame
Remove all layers of anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness
Remove all layers of control, independence,
Stubbornness and rebellion, pride and self-sufficiency

Give me revelation of my true identity as a son of God
Renew my mind to the mind of Christ
Meet all my unmet needs in Yourself
Heal all my unhealed hurts
Restore my soul

I receive Your unconditional love, acceptance, affirmation, approval
I stand transparent, naked and unafraid before You
I hear You say ‘I see You and I love You’
I receive Your value, esteem and worth
I receive Your strength, patience, perseverance,
Courage, boldness, humility and confidence

I step back into this realm to walk in the ways of Your kingdom
Manifest Your glory through me on earth as it is in heaven

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159. Your Word, Treasured in My Heart

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

In meditation, we position ourselves to hear God’s voice and experience His presence. When we meditate on the word God has spoken and revealed to us, so that we have that word firmly established in us and can live from it, it will enable us to prosper and have success in all we do.

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).

Give attention

The process of meditation is as simple as giving attention to what God says:

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).

He wants our attention. Yes, we can relate to God in the busyness of life, but it is important for us to give Him quality time too. When we meditate, we repeatedly bring the things God has said into the forefront of our thinking. What we repeat gets stored in our heart, in our subconscious mind; and what is in our subconscious triggers our conscious mind: Out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).

Meditating on what God has said also ministers life and health to us. Certainly healing can come through the anointing and laying on of hands, but if we get the truth of health and healing in our hearts, we will not normally need anyone else to pray for us.

God’s life in us comes from our spirit, out through our heart and through our body to impact the world around us. So let’s keep watch over and guard our hearts. Worry and anxiety come from focusing on the wrong things, driven by fear. The word He has spoken to us and over us can protect us by guiding and directing us, but only if it becomes part of us, through meditation.

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You
(Psalm 119:11)

Remember

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches
(Psalm 63:6)

I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old
(Psalm 77:11).

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your doings;
I muse on the work of Your hands
(Psalm 143:5).

The Logos Word of God reveals God’s nature and His character. That Word is Jesus: He is Truth, and becomes our standard, our plumb-line. When we remember God, call Him to mind again and again, meditate on His character and nature, on the way He does things, we recognise Him in the world around us and He can flow through us out into that world to transform it.

We must be not only prepared to listen, but also to respond. God speaks truth into our spirits, into our hearts. We respond to that rhema word in obedience, we act on it and live it out. And God then always responds Himself to our living faith in His word.

In Psalm 119, verses 1-40, we read of meditating on God’s word, ways, testimonies, judgments, law, precepts, statutes, ordinances, commandments, and wonders. Then those verses speak of what we do with that word: how we walk, observe, seek, look, treasure, tell, rejoice, meditate, establish, delight, live, long for, cling, run, incline, reverence, give thanks. Finally we see the ways in which God responds to us: blesses, ordains, teaches, opens our eyes, rebukes our enemies, takes away reproach, revives us, answers us, strengthens us, grants us, enlarges our hearts, gives us understanding, and deals bountifully with us.

Beholding and becoming

[We,] beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18).

What we consistently look at, we become like. If we look at, focus on and meditate on the Lord, if we have an intimate relationship with Him, we will become more like Him. It does not happen overnight, but little by little, step by step, from glory to glory, until people can see God in us and in what we do.

Preparing to meditate

Here is a prayer we can use as we prepare to meditate:

Lord, cleanse and prepare my heart.
Give me a teachable attitude.
I surrender my senses to You
Open the eyes of my heart.

Lord, I present to you
My abilities to reason and imagine
For You to fill and flow through.

Lord, I focus my attention
On what You show me
And I thank You
For what you are revealing to me

Garden of our heart

In closing, here is another way of looking at meditation: every testimony we have, every encounter, every vision, every victory won, every revelation from God; every word God has spoken to us, we can take as a seed and plant it in the garden of our heart. The River of Life flows through our garden and waters it. We have the authority to speak life to what we plant, and command it to grow. So we can expect to receive fruit from it again and again – and not only fruit to eat, but more seeds to sow. These in turn will grow into more plants, producing fruit and seeds of their own.

What are we growing in our garden?

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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?

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Check out Rest, a piece of music intended for use in meditation, composed and performed by Samuel Lane (SML Music) via Soundcloud. This piece is featured in Mike’s ‘Meditation For Rest’ (see below).

MEDITATION FOR REST

In this single-session teaching, Mike talks us through his foundational daily meditative practice. Get it here: Meditation For Rest

“I did not set out to create a 7-step meditative exercise, I just discovered that I was doing this myself. You can use this as a way of bringing yourself to a place of rest and to live from a place of rest; but I would encourage you more to use it as a basis for developing your own process.”

Cost: £5 GBP (typically around $7 USD depending on exchange rate).

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Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

eg-homepage-crop

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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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.

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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.

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53. Breaking off the Greek Mindset

Mike Parsons

Last time I shared with you a couple of tables relating to the Greek (Western) and Hebrew (Eastern) mindsets. In this post I want to look just a little more closely at the contrast between them, and then I would like to pray for God to reveal where we are being robbed by our Western way of looking at things, and break it off us.

Separation vs unity

Here is the first of those tables again:

Greek Mentality

Hebrew Mentality

The goal of salvation is to escape this world and go to God’s dwelling place in heaven The goal of salvation is to prepare a place fit for God’s dwelling here, among His people
The kingdom of God exists in heaven, not upon the earth The kingdom of God is God’s reign among people here on earth
Jesus is coming to take us away from this world Jesus is coming to reign over us and through us in this world
Message: “Get your ticket now, or you might miss the train!” Message: “The kingdom of God is coming! Get ready to serve the King and manifest the kingdom.”

Let’s take these one line at a time.

In our Greek understanding, the goal of salvation is to escape this world and go to God’s dwelling place in heaven. So everything is focussed on what will be: very little about what is now. In Hebrew thought, the goal of salvation is to prepare a place fit for God’s dwelling here, among His people. He wants His kingdom to come on earth.

Linked with that, where does the kingdom of God exist? The Greek view says it is in heaven, not on the earth, whereas the Hebrew view is that the kingdom of God is God’s reign among people here upon the earth.

So is Jesus coming in order to take us away from this world? No, Jesus is coming to reign over and through us in this world. We need to focus on God’s kingdom being ‘now’, not separating it out. “Get your ticket now or you might miss the train”: that may have been what we were told, but do we really want to carry on presenting the gospel that way?

And then: “Now you have your ticket, just hold on tight. In the end Jesus will come and rescue you”, rather than what Jesus preached: “The Kingdom of God is coming! It’s right here, right now! Get ready to serve the King and manifest the kingdom”.

Do you see how each misunderstanding arises from the previous one? Once you begin to go down the route prescribed by Western thought, you find there is more and more separation becoming entrenched in your thinking, and less and less of an understanding of the unity of God’s purpose.

Form vs purpose

If we look at the second table, we can see how this works out in practice:

Greek mindset

Hebrew mindset

Form Function
What I do How I do it
Secular/Religious Unified
Heavenly/Earthly Dual
Knowledge Experience
What I know Who I know
Works Grace
Creed Deed
Analyse Live – Be and Do

The Greek mindset looks at the form of something. For example, let’s take a tree. It has roots, a trunk, branches, leaves – that is what I mean by looking at its form. In the Hebrew way of thinking, it is more about what it is for. What is the purpose of a tree? To bear fruit. They are really not interested in the fact that it might have roots, a trunk, branches and leaves. Does it bear fruit? If not, it is of no value at all. Remember how Jesus cursed the fig tree that was not producing any fruit? It is the difference between an actual, practical outworking and just a mental, theoretical understanding.

So: Greek: what I do; Hebrew: how I do it. We can do lots of things from the wrong motive – but we know that God looks on the heart.

Greek thinking separates out our religious life from our secular life. Family, work, school, friendships on the one hand; and church on the other. But God wants His kingdom to be flowing through all of our lives, with no separation. There is no secular for us. Our lives are a whole, they are unified, and we bring the kingdom of God into everything.

In Greek thinking, the heavenly was separated from the earthly. There was no overlap. Bill Johnson wrote a book called ‘When Heaven Invades Earth’. Bottom line is, that is impossible in Greek thinking. But for us, we can live in both places: we live in the realms of heaven, and we bring that spiritual realm into our lives on earth, at the same time: not in the future but now.

‘Knowledge’ to the Greek mind is information. But to the Hebrew, you cannot know anything without experiencing it. It is all about knowledge through spiritual encounter. If all I am doing in this blog is imparting information to you, we are missing the mark. That is why from time to time I also include praying for you, which gives you the opportunity to encounter Him through the Holy Spirit and experience the reality of His truth for yourself (of course you can always pray these things through even when I don’t specifically include a prayer).

It’s not what you know, but who you know! We know God, but it is perfectly possible to read the Bible from cover to cover and have all the information, but never actually know Him. We need to encounter everything in the Word of God for ourselves.

Works, or grace. A creed or the deed. Stating what you believe, or actually living that way? Faith without works is absolutely dead. Jesus said, “If I do not do the works that my Father does, don’t believe me” (John 10:37). You don’t hear too many sermons on that verse.

We don’t analyse: we live. It is about who we are and what we do. God Himself says He is the I AM.

I want to pray now. If you think you may have any mindsets, any of the Greek way of thinking, we want to break that off right now.

[If you would like to hear an audio version of this prayer, click here.]

Father, I pray that the power of Your Holy Spirit will come.
Break any deception off our mindsets
Any way in which we have come under false doctrines,
False teachings, mindsets of the enemy,
Greek thinking that would cause us to separate our lives out.

I come, Lord, with the sword of Your Spirit,
To break that off our mindsets right now
In Jesus’ Name.
To be loosed from any control that the enemy has had over us
Through traditions of men and demonic doctrines
That put things into the future instead of the present;
That put things into heaven instead of on earth;
That have separated us out;
That have caused us to believe and not do.

I break those mindsets right now.

I break any doctrines over us that would hinder Your church
From pursuing and seeing the kingdom of God fill the earth
As it is in heaven.
Holy Spirit, come and reveal to anyone reading this
Anything which is a hindrance, an obstacle, a stumbling block
To our being able to fulfil our destiny as God’s people.
I pray that You would send gathering angels into our lives
To gather any stumbling blocks from us.
Gather them from our mind, gather them from our heart,
So that we believe and stand on the truth of Your Word
That through kingdom and covenant,
You are going to fill the earth with Your kingdom.
You are going to come back for a victorious, overcoming church
That has risen above every other thing.
Because ‘of the increase of Your kingdom there is no end’.

Empower us with the power of Your Holy Spirit
To take Your kingdom
And manifest Your kingdom through our lives,
Every day of our lives:
In work, in home, in our neighbourhood.
That we would manifest Your kingdom in power and authority
Doing the works that Jesus did.

I loose us from everything that would hinder us
From that fulfilment of Your purposes for our lives
In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

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49. Jesus, the Centre of all History

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Jesus is the centre of all history

Take eschatology, the study of the last things: it is all about Jesus. It is not about us, it is not about the church, it is not about the world – it is about Jesus. He comes to sum everything up. He holds everything together. All the Old Covenant looks forward to Jesus. All the New Covenant looks back to Him. So every time we look at a scripture, we must interpret it through Jesus’ message and His Person. You cannot take it in isolation.

Some people say, ‘Paul said this in the epistles, and it contradicted Jesus’. No. it did not. It can never contradict Jesus. What Jesus said, what Jesus did, that is it. And we need to understand that, and interpret everything in that light.

All history was consummated in Jesus and it will be consummated in Him. Therefore, for as many as are the promises of God, they all find their ‘yes’ in Him  (2 Cor 1:20). Every single promise you can find in the Bible finds its answer in Christ. Every single one is fulfilled in Jesus. That is a really important principle to get hold of.

I want to give you some scriptures now which are foundational, and which will help us as we go on to look at some more complicated and difficult questions – in particular when we look at Matthew 24, which is Jesus’ teaching about what was to come.

That He may send Jesus

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

So everything that has been prophesied through the mouth of a prophet, including everything we have written down as prophecy in the Bible, it will all come about before Jesus leaves heaven. Until everything is restored into the order God intended, until all the prophecies are fulfilled, Jesus will remain in heaven. And only when it is will He come back.

He cannot come until all that has been done. He is not going to come, and then do it after He has come. He is going to do it before he comes. He is going to fulfil and restore all things before He comes.

“He must be received into heaven”. Now, what does that mean? So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). When He was received into heaven, He was enthroned: He sat on the throne. When you sit on a throne, it means you are ruling, you are reigning from that place of ultimate authority and power. That is where Jesus is. And He will remain in that place until He has restored all things.

Reigning

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet… (1 Cor 15:25-27). Jesus will return to abolish death. Death is the last enemy.

Here is another scripture which talks about all things being in subjection:

…which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church” (Eph 1:20-22).

So that is where Jesus is, right now, in this age. He is reigning in authority and power. If Jesus is the Head, and we are His body on the earth, then His feet are our feet. And if all things are in subjection under His feet, then they are under our feet too. God gave Him as Head over all things to the church. I don’t have the space to go into every detail of this here, but you can follow it through in the psalms, look at what it means to be a footstool, begin to get familiar with this prophetic language and see what it is saying.

Through the church

We read in Ephesians 3:10 …that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church…’  I love that word ‘manifold’, because it means multi-coloured and multi-faceted, all expressing who God is; all expressing the wonderful wisdom of God. Being made known through… us, through the church. Being made known to whom? It continues: … to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which God carried out in Christ Jesus. So His eternal purpose was to manifest, to demonstrate, His wisdom. And He accomplished that in Christ and through the church.

Are you starting to grasp how all this hangs together? Is it starting to challenge some of the underlying assumptions you have been making?

It gets harder! Next time, as I said, we will begin to look at Matthew 24. That is a scripture which has been completely misinterpreted and misunderstood by the church, probably more so than any other chapter in the whole Bible. That is because it has been interpreted by Greek (western) logic and by people trying to make it fit with events they see happening around us today. As we shall see, that is a mistake.

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47. Just One Answer?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Interpreting the times

Maybe you are old enough to remember all those books about the supposed significance of the Common Market being 12 countries, or about Communism and the USSR? Well, we can see now that none of it was true. Today those books are just gathering dust on people’s bookshelves, and if they were to read them now they would laugh. Dates, times, everything seemed so very plausible. But it didn’t happen.

That came about because the authors of those books just looked at the world around them, and tried to fit their own understanding of scripture with those events. We need instead to get revelation of what scripture is really saying. As I mentioned before, that involves seeing things from a Hebrew rather than a Western viewpoint.

Covenant

Take Biblical symbolism and covenant language. The whole Bible is written in terms of covenant. We even speak about the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. If you have never considered covenants then I do not have space to go into the whole subject here, perhaps the best advice I can give is to get hold of some of Ian Clayton’s teaching on covenants.

In short, covenants are binding agreements, and they are something that God has always used in interacting with people. God initiates covenants, and He makes them in blood. He always upholds His part of the deal. The sad fact is that the human race never upheld their part: at least, not until Jesus came and made a new covenant of blood with God. That covenant is unchallengeable because Jesus cannot fail: His blood is eternal. So we now receive all the benefits, all the promises, because of what Jesus has done.

The Old Covenant was all about what we had to do to be acceptable to God. That is no longer the case. But covenant is still the basis on which God works, and to understand the Bible we need to understand covenant language and how that covenant language is used.

Personal revelation

Again, because Jesus is the Living Word, He can give you a personal revelation of any word, any passage, any part of Scripture that He chooses. It may be completely out of the context it was originally written for, but He can still speak it to your heart and speak to you in it. That may be for you and you alone, in your situation and circumstance, and it may apply to nobody else. But it is vital that you have a proper overall understanding of the purposes of God. That will safeguard you from error so that whilst God can give you things like that, you won’t completely go off at some tangent because of some fanciful thing that you have made up.

For example, if you get what you think is a revelation that tells you to go off and rob the person down the road, you will know it is not God. You need to have understanding of the nature and the character of God, of how God works, so that you don’t go off the rails completely. You have to realise that not every voice you hear is God. Sometimes our soul can speak to us, particularly if we have a deep desire, and it can convince us that it is God telling us to do something, or that what we want to do is all right, when in fact it isn’t. Jesus can take His Word and apply it to us as He sees fit – we just need to be careful that it really is Him.

Plan A

My point here is that we need to understand the context of the eternal purposes of God. He hasn’t changed His plan. He has no Plan B, C or D.

Now, there is a teaching which says He has. You have heard it, maybe been influenced by it. You may not have thought of it in quite that way though. It is the teaching that prevailed in the town I grew up in, as I have written about previously. It divides up scripture into blocks and periods in which God works differently. It says ‘that is not for now’, and it denies the continuity of God’s purposes from Genesis to Revelation. If you read those two books, so much of the symbolism is the same. What it is in the beginning, it is in the end, and that is why it is so important to get understanding of it.

1 + 1 = ?

Our Western mindset is based on Greek, linear logic. For example: ‘1 + 1 = 2’. That makes sense to us. How could it equal anything but 2? Hebrew logic doesn’t see things the same way. In Hebrew logic (also called ‘open block logic’) there are multiple understandings which can all be true even if they seem contradictory to the western mind. And that is how God works. So in Hebrew logic, 1+1 can equal 11. It is the same proposition, but a different way of looking at the answer. And in Hebrew context, 11 is actually a much more likely answer than 2.

If that makes no sense to you, look at it this way. There can be layered truth. There is the obvious thing that is on the surface, but there can be layers of truth underneath, which may not be so obvious. The first layer of truth may be literal: Joseph was given a word that God’s people would be 430 years in Egypt and then they would be set free, and history tells us that was how it was. That is very straightforward for us to understand. But that word may also have further meanings, and they can be equally true, and equally valid.

There may be different fulfilments of prophetic words in scripture. Often there is an immediate or initial fulfilment that we can see, for example in the life of Jesus, and there is also a progressive fulfilment that goes on happening. Now this is not true of every single prophecy, but it is true of some. Therefore you cannot just read something, see how it was worked out once, and think that because of that is it over and done with. It may happen again, in a different way.

So which meaning is correct? What did God intend us to get from a particular scripture? The fact is, you do not always have to choose just one answer.

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