56. Covenant Blessings, Covenant Judgments.

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

In looking at Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 21-25, we saw last time that we need to understand covenant blessings and judgments. So today let’s consider Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (blessings) and 15-68 (judgments, or ‘curses’).

Above all the nations

Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth… But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you… (Deut 28:1, 15).

‘High above all the nations of the earth’ – doesn’t that sound like the mountain of the house of the Lord being lifted high above the other mountains? All the other nations were supposed to stream to them. They had a kingdom mandate. If they kept covenant and were obedient, they could expect blessings. But if they were disobedient, judgment would come.

Peace?

What would it be like when that judgment came? Deuteronomy 29:19-21 tells us:

It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.  Then the LORD will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.’

‘Peace’. The first time this covenant judgment came upon Israel was when they were exiled to Babylon. At that time their prophets were prophesying peace and blessing, when they should have been prophesying judgment. ‘Stubbornness’: that sums up the attitude of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the rulers of Israel, who didn’t expect Jesus and didn’t accept His coming. There were bound to be covenant consequences (variously called ‘wrath’, ‘doom’ and ‘woe’).

As the eagle swoops down

Not so for us. Let’s be clear on this. God’s ‘wrath’ is not aimed at us, ever. It is an expression of His burning passion for us, not against us. But we will see where that wrath did fall.

“All the nations will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, the anger of the LORD burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land’” (Deut 29:24-28).

Initially this judgment was fulfilled in the exile to Babylon, but with a prophetic promise of return. After a time, God restored them to the land and gave them another opportunity to be obedient. If they continued to be disobedient, then further consequences were inevitable, and this is what Jesus is warning them about. He is referring to passages like these in Deuteronomy:

A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labours, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually… The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand … It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the LORD your God has given you (Deut 28:33, 49, 52).

legion-444126_640The final fulfilment of this prophecy was that Jerusalem was indeed besieged and subsequently destroyed. That happened at the end of the generation to which Jesus was speaking, in AD 70. And look at the phrase ‘as the eagle swoops down’: you can also see how that could speak of the Roman armies, which carried an eagle as a standard.

This was to be followed by spiritual restoration. There was a promise of physical restoration after Babylon, which was totally fulfilled, and they were brought back into the land. But afterwards, all the promises relating to the new covenant were of a spiritual restoration in Christ.

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer 31:31-33).

Restoration? Yes, for everyone, in Christ. This is new covenant language, and we see it again in Ezekiel. There would be a physical manifestation of this restoration, but it would be the kingdom of God filling the earth.

So much for the covenant background. Next time I want to consider in detail what Jesus said about all this, back in Matthew 21-25.

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40. Challenging the Sacred Cows

Mike Parsons 

I pointed out last time that there are widespread demonic doctrines entrenched in the church, which attempt to place the kingdom of God and the authority of that kingdom in another time, or give them to another people.

Old Covenant

The enemy will always try to take us back to an Old Covenant system. The Old Covenant system was one country, one city, one temple. That is where God was, He wasn’t manifest anywhere else, whereas in the New Covenant God is everywhere. He is in His people; we are the temple and we don’t need another temple. But to try to rob the church of power and authority, the enemy has tried to make the church equal a building, a temple somewhere. That is not what the church is. It is a people called out by God, in relationship with Him and with one another in the kingdom of God.

Again, the enemy will always try to bring us back to an Old Covenant system where there is a priest, rather than all of us being priests, all of us having access to God. God does not want us to have any mediator other than Jesus; He is the only one we need. Yes, there are people with different gifts and calls within the church, but every one of us has the capacity to hear God for ourselves. Leadership in the church does not need to hear God for you. You need to hear God for yourself, otherwise all you are doing is obeying somebody else.

Destiny

God wants to inspire and touch each of our hearts, and release everyone into their personal destiny. Every person reading this has a destiny in God to fulfil, but the enemy has tried to rob us of that destiny by all sorts of methods and means. So God is saying, ‘Rise up, fulfil your destiny.’

Now there are a whole herd of sacred cows that we are going to have to challenge in the church. I am only doing this because God told me to challenge them. Left to myself, I really didn’t want to do it. But as I have mentioned before, I went to a conference with Bill Johnson and Jill Austin, and I shook for a whole day until I stopped resisting what God was telling me to do. God was wanting to put a sword in my hand, and I knew what that would mean. But if persecution comes because of it then we need to be prepared and we need to have the answers. We need to know what God is saying, we need to know where we fit into that, what God is calling us to. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it.

Kingdom dominion

We have to prepare for kingdom dominion. Kingdom dominion is what God’s intention was from the beginning. ‘Now it will come about in the last days  that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains and will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it (Is 2:2). This is one of the key scriptures to understand, and this truth runs right throughout the bible, yet the enemy tries to put it off so that we think it is not for us.

We are going to see that it is indeed for us. This scripture is talking about the kingdom of God operating through the church. It will be chief of all the mountains, and mountains speak of authority. Authority will operate through the church; I am not talking about political authority, but about spiritual authority in the earth. We are to have spiritual dominion over all the works of the enemy, which will bring the blessing of God to the earth. That is what Adam and Eve were called to do.

Centre of the world stage

All the systems of the world culture will fail – they are only ‘hills’, you notice – they will come to nothing, and in the shaking of the world’s systems we will need to be ready to be raised up. I am sure that shaking will be beyond anything we can imagine right now, and in the midst of that, the church must be ready to rise up to provide the answers that all those worldly systems were unable to provide.

We need medical answers, financial answers, spiritual answers, governmental answers, societal answers; we need demonstrations of wisdom and knowledge and authority and power. Ryan Wyatt says (quoting Bobby Conner, I think), ‘The church is going to be taken out of the corner of the field and placed right in the center of the world stage’. When the medical systems fail people are going to be desperate for healing. Who is going to be able to heal? We are. We can lay hands on the sick and see them recover. When the financial systems start to fall, folk are going to be drawn to a people who are flourishing and being blessed. Again, that will be us, because we have supernatural provision and supernatural transfer of wealth to us.

We need to be ready to receive all these things and operate in them, because we are blessed to be a blessing and to bring heaven to earth.

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37. Redeemed from the Curse

Mike Parsons  –


credit-card-309613_1280The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favourable year
of the LORD 
(Isa 61:1-2a).

God wants to provide for us financially, because the scale of the task facing the church in these days is so far beyond anything we could provide for naturally out of our own resources.

This scripture in Isaiah is one that you will find we quote a lot at Freedom. It is one of the foundational scriptures for us as a church. It sums up the heart of what we believe God has called us to do in our community. And where it mentions  the ‘favourable year of the Lord’, that was the Year of Jubilee, the year in which all debts were to be cancelled, everyone was to receive back their ancestral inheritance, and all property that had been lost was to be restored.

God is saying that we are living in the Year of Jubilee; we can have restored to us what has been lost or stolen, and all debts are being cancelled (we have to understand that if we are in debt, we are under the curse; and if you read Deuteronomy 28, you will see that any kind of poverty is actually a curse).

Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you (Deut 28:48).

In John 10:10 Jesus describes our enemy the devil as a thief, a killer and a destroyer. But,

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” –  in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal 3:13-14).

So the good news is this: we have been redeemed from the curse.

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36. Blessing the Whole Earth

olives-1307154_1280

Mike Parsons – 

There is a level of resources that the church currently does not have but is going to need in order to accomplish what God intends in these last days. This is no surprise to Him, and He has planned for it in advance, so that throughout scripture we can find His promises of a wealth transfer – of financial resources coming to His people in these last days, out of the world and into the kingdom.

Promises

We looked at some of those promises last time, and I encourage you to go over them again and again, until you grasp the magnitude of what God is planning. Those promises are there for us to begin to seize upon, and pray into, and to see them manifest. But to help us, one thing we have noticed before is that for every promise yet to be fulfilled in its fullness, God has given us forerunners, examples, little tasters if you will, that have already happened. So before we go any further in this post, let us look at some of those examples in the Bible, of wealth transfers that have already taken place.

The first of those is Israel coming out of Egypt. ‘I will grant this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed… Thus you will plunder the Egyptians’ (Ex 3:21-22). You can read about it there (and in Exodus 12): they went out with all the gold and all the treasure of Egypt.

Secondly, Israel inherited the promised land. Maybe you have never seen this as a wealth transfer, but that is what it was. They didn’t go in to a land that was empty: it was full of all sorts of good things. ‘I gave you a land on which you had not laboured, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant’ (Josh 24:13). We need to realise that God has a provision for us which has nothing to do with how much we can get for ourselves.

Again, maybe you have read the story where four lepers walked into the camp of the Assyrians – they were outcasts and desperate men – and yet they collected all the wealth of the Assyrian army, because God had come and scared the Assyrians, so that they had all run away (2 Kings 7). God can do that for us.

Joseph, as we have seen before, was promoted from the dungeon to the second highest office in the land and was able to administer all the wealth and produce of Egypt.

Covenant

Now Deuteronomy 8:18 says this; But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

The reason God wants to bless us, to give us an abundance, is so that we can fulfil His covenant, the covenant in which He promised: ‘And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed’. Notice that the covenant is intended to bring the blessing of God, not to one person or even to one people, but to the whole earth. God’s desire is to see every family of the earth blessed, coming under His kingdom power and authority, and becoming part of His family. We are the people through whom He has chosen to accomplish that, and that is why He desires to bless us.

So if you want lots of money in order to have all kinds of nice creature comforts in your life, then you have really missed the point of these promises. The point of this transfer of wealth is to confirm His covenant and to enable His people to fulfil the dreams and visions that He has given them. God does want to bless us, He does want to transfer wealth to us; but we need to be positioned to receive it. We need to be prepared, so that when it comes we will not squander it, but will be ready to put it to proper use.

Over to you:
What dreams and visions has God given to you?
What financial resources would it take for you to accomplish them?
Are you expecting a wealth transfer?
(Please feel free to post your comments below).

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