256. The Period of Restoration of All Things

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

…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).

We are going to consider a number of questions which come up around what Peter said in this passage. As always, I am not asking you to believe what I say just because I say it, but to take your questions to God with an open heart and mind, and see what He has to say to you about them.

Before, during or after?

Is Jesus coming before, during or after the period of restoration of all things?

All three, I would venture to suggest. He has already come, He is continually coming as He promised, where two or three are gathered, and He is going to come.

So much of Christian expectation has focused on a future event which will change everything in a moment, and that event has usually been called the ‘second coming’ of Jesus. We are waiting for the ‘second coming’, and when that happens, then everything is going to be restored to how God wants it. However, it is not an event that is indicated here, but a period.

When is the period of restoration?

I have heard it suggested that we are in some special season now, in which it is possible for all things to be restored, and that this was not possible before. But there was one significant event in human history which made all kinds of things possible: the cross; the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. He took back everything Adam lost and restored it to us. We, though, have been very slow to realise and embrace the full extent of what He accomplished, or its implications.

The early church did a great job of taking this message and filling the known world with it, but then it was hijacked by religion. During the dark ages much truth was forgotten and lost. Everything became a matter of religious observance or duty for most people rather than the relationship of intimacy that God always intended. God has been restoring that, so we can now embrace that truth and continue with the process of restoration which has been going on all that time.

How far back?

How far back does the restoration of all things reach? Back to what?

Some will say, “We need to get back to the New Testament church. We need to get back to this amazing time when people were being added every day.” Others will say, ‘No, I want it to go back further. I want it to go back to the Garden. I want to go back to when Adam and Eve had this wonderful, intimate relationship with God, walking with Him in the cool of the day.” In reality, I believe God wants to go back even further than that, back to His original intent and purpose in creation.

And that is not the end, just the beginning. Think of all that is possible, if we co-operate with God as sons from that point on: it is beyond the scope of our imagination to conceive of, because what we can imagine is restricted and filtered by our pre-existing religious ideas and what we presently see. But when we engage in God’s heart outside of what we can already see, then our minds can be expanded. We are supposed to have the mind of Christ, which certainly contains everything that was God’s original intention. When we start to have that mind, it has the potential to explode the limitations and restrictions on our thinking.

What is restoration?

In English, a dictionary definition of ‘restoration’ is: ‘the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition; the act or process of returning something to its earlier good condition or position”. When we read ‘former owner’ we tend to think ‘God’, but actually creation has been given to mankind, to us.

Even the definition of the English word might limit our understanding. The biblical sense is ‘to receive back more than has been lost, to the point where the final state is greater than the original condition’. It means that someone or something is improved beyond their current or previous measure. We derive this from two Hebrew words and one Greek:

The Hebrew word chadash means renew, repair, restore.
Another Hebrew word, arukah, means restoration, recovery, repair, healing, health, perfected.
The Greek word apokatastasis is made up of two parts, apo meaning from and katastasis, meaning first or original order.
Apokatastasis: restoration, restitution, reestablishment, reconstitution. Properly, restore back to original standing, i.e. which existed before a fall; re-establish, returning back to the (ultimate) ideal. Figuratively, restore back to full freedom (the liberty of the original standing); to enjoy again, i.e. what was taken away by a destructive or life-dominating power.

Restoration involves reconciling, renewing, repairing, rebuilding, returning, restitution, resurrecting, relationship, revelation, and even resting. We all need a cosmic makeover of eternal proportions:

  • Restoration of the identity that God intended us to have as sons, and of the revelation that flows from that intimate relationship
  • Recognising that we have a reconciled relationship to God, to each other and to creation
  • Returning to our original position of relationship and authority
  • Repair of everything broken, damaged or fragmented
  • Restitution of everything that has ever been lost or stolen
  • Renewal of our destiny scroll and our minds and thinking to the mind of Christ
  • Resurrecting our lives from all the effects of death
  • Resting in the intimacy of love, joy and peace

What are the ‘all things’?

‘All’ is a big word. The Greek word pas means the whole, every kind of, each and every part that applies; the emphasis is the total picture, made up of each of its elements, one piece at a time, viewing the whole in terms of all the individual parts.

It is a little like making a jigsaw puzzle. You do not make the whole thing in one go, you have to place each piece in the correct position. Normally, people do that by looking at the picture on the box. And if we are to be involved in the restoration of all things, we need to look at ‘the picture on the box’ if you like, at what was God’s original intent and purpose. Then we can realise that God has been at work in this all along, restoring us from the position we have been in (and the image we have had of ourselves) back to the image that He has of us.

And we, mankind, are only a part of the picture. If God is restoring everything back to His original intention, what else might He want restored? We know that all creation is groaning, waiting for the sons of God to be revealed. Are we only talking about the physical realm? Are there things – or creatures – in the heavenly realms which are not as He originally intended, and are they to be restored? Would we have a problem with that?

If the concept of the restoration of all things does not stretch us, I wonder if we have really grasped it!

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255. Times of Refreshing

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Blameless Innocence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repent and return

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

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

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

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

Breathe again

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

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

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

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

Presence

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

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

References

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

Soundtrack: Great Are You Lord – All Sons and Daughters

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

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*After the event finishes this link will take you to a page where you can purchase the recordings instead.

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232. The Greatest Scandal of the Age

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

New things

“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
(Isa 42:9)

Think of everything in your life that has already come to pass… and now God is saying ‘I declare new things’. Everything that is old has gone, everything that may have brought feelings of unworthiness, guilt and shame, and it has all gone because of the power of the cross.

The old things can no longer be of any use to us, if in fact they ever were. God has already decreed and declared for us a new place of relationship. We need to be aware that the old things have gone, so that we can accept the new things that the power of Jesus’ resurrection has opened up for us.

As those who are called to rule and reign as sons of God, we need to know God as our Father, otherwise we will operate as if we were orphans, as if we did not have a relationship with Him. What is more, we are made in God’s image, but if the image we have of Him is distorted then we will act in a distorted way. So if our view of God has Him as angry and vengeful, that is exactly how we will be as sons – and if you look at the world, it is an angry, vengeful place. Much of that has come from the way religion has presented Him: even though people may not ‘believe in God’, that is still the image they have of the God they don’t believe in. So God wants to reveal Himself to us, and to the world, in a completely different way.

Scandal

God spoke to me towards the end of 2016 and said,

“Son, the greatest scandal of the age is about to be exposed. Many will not believe it but the truth of who I am (and therefore who you are as My sons) will be revealed. The lies of religion will be exposed to the pure light of truth. The great I am is about to reveal Himself as the lover of your souls in what will amount to a whole new reality”.

So everything that we have believed about God and the version of reality that religion has presented to the church and the world, God is about to expose as a complete lie. And when it is exposed we will be able to see the truth of who God is and who we are.

The sin

We can engage God face to face, because it was never Him who hid from us, only the other way round. When Adam and Eve fell, and God came to find them in the Garden, He did not say ‘What have you done?’ He said, ‘Where are you?’ They were hiding because they were focussed on what they had done, but He was still looking for relationship. The enemy will always try to keep us focussed on what we have done, but God never is.

Sin is not really about behaviour, it is not about what we have done wrong. The most common word for ‘sin’, used 174 times in the New Testament, is ‘hamartia’. It is a noun, not a verb, ‘the sin’ rather than ‘to sin’, and it is not about our ‘doings’ at all. Religion is mostly concerned with ‘doings’: as if all these bad things we have done mean that God does not really like us, and does not want a relationship with us. But whatever we may have done does not affect how God sees us or how much He loves us. We just think it does.

The DIY tree

Sin brings its own consequences. Young’s literal translation of Romans 6:23 says,

For the wages of the sin [is] death, and the gift of God [is] life age-during in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The sin did not need to be punished but forgiven, corrected, dealt with and removed. This is what Jesus accomplished by his death and resurrection. He did not come to deal with our individual actions, as much as He came to deal with sin as a power, something that was at the very root of our situation. It was the sin of Adam in following the DIY path of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, trying to become like God by his own do-it-yourself efforts. That is what Jesus came to deal with; everything else is just a consequence of that.

Although the serpent said “If you eat of this tree you will become like God”, the truth was that Adam was already created in the likeness and image of God. Adam failed to grasp and hold onto his true identity and likeness from God’s perspective. So whilst God has never changed how He sees us, Adam suddenly saw himself as less than he was. In this spiritual blindness about himself and about God, he lost sight of the fact that he shared and participated in God’s own image and likeness.

That blindness has affected everyone ever since. We try to hide and cover up our nakedness with fig leaves because we have believed a lie about how God sees us. We do not see ourselves the way God really sees us or the way He created us to be. The spiritual death we have inherited is fundamentally a loss of relationship with God and a loss of personal identity.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor 15:22).

Read that scripture again, and this time consider the two alls. Just as all inherited that spiritual death and blindness from Adam; just as all shared in the spiritual-soul-death that it created, so all share in the victory of the cross and Jesus’ resurrection life.

Love

When we do engage God face to face, we will see what He is really like. God is love. Everything He does is love. Think of that, then compare how religion has depicted Him! Often those non-believers I mentioned earlier seem to be fine with Jesus but they are not so sure about ‘God’. Jesus came to share the truth of who He was and who His Father was. In reality, He is not some sort of schizophrenic, He does not have a split personality. Father, Son and Spirit are in complete unity, and if you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father.

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224. Called According to His Purpose

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Do you know His purpose for your life? That is what we mean when we speak about destiny. Destiny is not ‘fate’, not ‘que sera sera‘, predetermined without any choice or pursuit on our part. It is God’s pre-agreed plan for our lives – and we can choose to pursue it or not. That choice has consequences for us, not only in this life but beyond.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5).

We are not all called to be a prophet to the nations like Jeremiah. But each of us is called according to God’s particular purpose for us.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book (scroll) were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

(Psa 139:16-17).

Supernatural record of God’s intention

At conception there is a flash of light. Our natural DNA carries the natural record of our genetic ancestry, but when our spirit enters at that point, it carries our destiny, the supernatural record of God’s intention for our life. It is deposited within us for us to discover. It is like a letter of decree, a commission for us. We can access our scroll of destiny in the heavenly record room, or have it revealed around the arc in the heavenly tabernacle, but God also wants us to seek out and pursue the promptings within us which draw us towards His purposes for us.

And along with the destiny comes all the provision necessary to fulfil it. If we stay on the path we will find the provision, but there is no provision for pursuing our own agenda if we get off the pathway.

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule” (Gen 1:28).

Adam forfeited his destiny through rebellion and disobedience, choosing the pathway of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but Jesus came to restore and unlock our destiny for us so that we can follow the pathway of the Tree of Life. Creation itself is longing for the day we step up and fulfil our destiny to rule both in the earth and in the heavens (see Rom 8:19-20).

Maturity

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father (Gal 4:1-2).

We want to grow into mature sons, not to remain as immature children. Our heavenly Father assigns angels, the seven spirits of God and the cloud of witnesses as those managers and guardians who will help us come into maturity so that we don’t miss out on our destiny.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, “If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here” (Zech 3:7).

There is a process revealed here which leads to maturity, following the pathways of relationship and responsibility; a progression from the earthly (servant, bondservant, steward, friend) to engaging in the heavenly (lords, kings and sons). Both heavenly and earthly pathways are necessary for us to fulfil our destiny. When we hear the heart of God, it will lead us to fulfil the call of God: everything we do will come from relationship with God, not for a relationship with God (which only leads to religion and bondage). And God really wants us to hear His heart.

Walking in the garden

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden… Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden east of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Gen 2:7-8,15).

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8).

Our destiny is both heavenly and earthly, so we can access both the heavenly and earthly gardens (which originally overlapped). We too can hear ‘the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden’ – and that sound is a frequency, a harmony, a song, a fragrance. The Tree of Life is available to us once more, and the River of Life is flowing out of heaven to water the earth. It is our destiny to engage in this overflowing river: we are its channel as it flows through the garden of our own hearts and out into the world around us. It is a well in us springing up to eternal life (John 4:10) and becoming rivers of living water from which those who are thirsty can come and drink (John 7:37).

Our natural DNA vibrates with the chaos it was created in, but our destiny scroll vibrates with God’s eternal purposes. That frequency, vibration, sound, is being released from heaven right now. Are we hearing it, feeling it or sensing it? Let’s choose to resonate with it; it is calling us back into alignment with our heavenly destiny. If we are not yet tuned in to it, let’s be willing to train our senses through practice to recognise it (Heb 5:14). It is wooing us into relationship, into knowing God by experience and encounterrestoring our identity and authority as sons.

The eyes of your heart

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (opened), so that you will know what is the hope of His calling (destiny), what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:18).

We can engage the river and engage our destiny through the eyes of our heart, our imagination. Our reason is limited, but not so our imagination. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.”

Open the door

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

In the centre of our spirit is the door of first love. Behind it is a river of life waiting to burst through.

Open the door and let the source of life flow from heaven into your spirit.

Picture a river flowing by a green pasture
Lie down in the pasture
With Jesus, the Shepherd of your soul, beside you.

Enjoy His presence
Feel His love, His joy, His peace.
He restores your soul
Touching the deep areas of your life

to bring wholeness, healing and blessing.

Stay there for a while…
Step into the river 
Feel its energy
Touching every atom, every fibre of your being
Flowing through you.

You can breathe in that water
You can drink that water,
Receive life in abundance.

The river flows on
Through the garden of your heart
Watering that garden with life
And out into the world.

Turn, and follow it back upstream
Through the door, back into heaven.
Breathe in the atmosphere of heaven.
Sense its energy, its life, its purity.

Look at the riverbed.
See the scrolls and the gems that are there for you
To provide for you, to bless you, to be your source.

Stand under the waterfall cascading down from the garden of God
Feel it pulsating down, energising you
Let deep call to deep
Revealing the deposit of your destiny within you.

Go up the waterfall (you can do that in heaven)
At the top, walk towards the garden of God.
Jesus is waiting on the bridge ahead of you
Look into His eyes
Feel His love

He is inviting you to hand over every burden
Every weight of responsibility you are carrying
You don’t want to be carrying all that when you go in and meet the Father.

Hand it all over.

Walk through the archway into the garden of God
Experience what it is to be in the presence of your Father who loves you
The One who destines you to rule in the heavens and on the earth.

Just learn to be.

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184. An Earthly and a Heavenly Inheritance

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise (Gal 3:29).

Where a will is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it (Heb 9:16).

Usually, we receive an inheritance when someone has died, and left us something in their will. Jesus, the firstborn, has died for us. He received judgment so that we can receive blessing: an eternal inheritance.

The Hebrew word nachalah means inheritance, possession of property, or heritage. It is used 273 times in the Old Testament; on 183 occasions it relates to land as a gift.

The Hebrew word yarash means to seize, dispossess, take possession of, or inherit. It is used 255 times in the Old Testament; on 210 occasions it relates to military action.

Joshua Generation

Our inheritance, then, is given by grace as a gift but is received by taking possession of it. And there can be a significant difference between what God is willing to give us and what we are willing to receive (or take possession of).

His will for us is our eternal destiny and our inheritance. Just as Joshua led God’s people to possess their inheritance, so we are to be a Joshua Generation who lead people in to receive their own inheritance in God.

What do we inherit?

  • Eternal life, starting now (not only when we die).
  • Redemption, being bought back out of slavery into freedom.
  • Reconciliation with God, who welcomes us back into relationship in His family..
  • Destiny, purpose and Jesus’ mantle: His authority, which He has left for us to pick up.

Jesus inherited everything from the Father, and He has passed on to us the right to receive our family inheritance:

All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you (John 16:15).

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Rom 8:16-17).

We have a share in everything that belongs to God (and that is absolutely everything), if we believe. He is not a stingy Father. He does not want to hold anything back. He wants us to know what is ours.

For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes (answer) in Him (Christ) (2Cor 1:20 AMP).

And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise (Gal 3:29).

It is sons who receive an inheritance; slaves and orphans do not:

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God (Gal 4:7).

An earthly inheritance, and a heavenly one

This is not only an earthly inheritance, but a heavenly one. We inherit his very nature, His character, His authority:

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ… and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus  (Eph 1:3, 2:6).

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18-20).

In John, chapters 13-17, Jesus speaks a great deal about our inheritance, and about His relationship with the Father, and the relationship He wants us to have with Him.

The beginning and the end

To understand our inheritance, we need to look at the beginning (the book of Genesis), to see what God’s original intention was for us; we also need to look at the end (the book of Revelation), to see how God’s intention is fulfilled. As we do, we see many parallels between the beginning and the end.

We live in the middle, though, and God wants us to play our part in bringing about that end. This is all about restoration. God is looking to restore to us all that was originally intended in the garden, so that we can find the final consummation of that in the eternal garden of God.

We were made in His image, to rule (Gen 1:26-28).

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed…  Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers (Gen 2:7-10).

Two realms overlap

You were in Eden, the garden of God; You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire (Ezek 28:13-14).

Eden was on the holy mountain of God, and the two gardens of heaven and earth overlapped and intersected. That is where our physical and our spiritual inheritance comes together. Adam and Eve were excluded because of sin, but Jesus has opened up for us the way to access the tree of life once again. The garden of our hearts overlaps with the garden of God, and we can walk with him in the garden once more.

And at the end it is just as it was in the beginning, God walking with men:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea… And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the home of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them (Rev 21:1,3).

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life… And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever (Rev 22:1-2, 5).

At the end, we get to do what we were commissioned to do in the beginning, to bring the rule of God into creation. And Jesus returns only when everything is restored to original condition:

… 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).

Our inheritance is:

  • to be the image of God, on earth as it is in heaven
  • to be blessed (empowered to prosper)
  • to be fruitful, to multiply and fill the earth
  • to subdue or overcome to possess and rule
  • to have a relationship with God in heaven and on earth
  • to live in heaven and on earth simultaneously, as Adam did, and as Jesus did

The law of first mention

It is very important to see how inheritance is first introduced in the Bible, because the first mention determines how that word is to be interpreted throughout the scriptures.

“I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth”. Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house?” (Gen 31:13-14).

Let us ask the same question, do we still have any portion or inheritance in our Father’s house? And if we do, what and where is His house? (The name Bethel actually means ‘the house of God’). Where is ‘the land of our birth’ to which we should return?

Our heritage of covenant stretches back to Adam, and Abraham’s covenant is our connection to our inheritance: “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen 12:1-3).

God appeared to Abraham at Bethel (Gen 12:7-8).  And when his grandson Jacob later came to Bethel, it was there that he saw a ladder reaching to heaven and angels of God ascending and descending, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Gen 28:10-17).

Our relationship with God brings us back to a place where heaven is open, and where we ourselves become a gate of heaven and a house of God.

‘You are My beloved Son’

Jesus was illegitimate in the world’s eyes. In Jewish culture he had no right to inherit. But God had something different in mind:

Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11).

God desires to legitimise who you are, to recognise you as His child.

We are under an open heaven.
Father God is standing on the threshold of heaven and earth, and speaks words of affirmation, encouragement and legitimacy over you.
Receive these words in your spirit as God speaking directly to you:

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

I call your spirit to attention
Listen with your spirit to the words that I, your heavenly Father, have for you.

The Spirit of your Father gives witness to your spirit that you are My son
I bless your spirit with the spirit of sonship and the mindset of sonship
I bless you with a deep heart identity as My very own child, securely loved in My family
I bless you with the settled assurance that I have a future and hope for you
I have written your days in My book with love, for your best interest and My ultimate glory.

I bless you with the deep knowledge that I know what you need and I have all the resources of the universe to meet that need.

Listen with your spirit to My words for you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I declare that I am your Father, and you are My son.
I give you access to your heavenly home
I give you access to the river and tree of life.

I call you to be a gateway of heaven on the earth.

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

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171. Information for Elevation – Trading (1)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

The deception we are living in

We find it hard to judge ourselves. We are used to thinking the way we do, used to meeting our own needs in our own ways. But God will go deeper, revealing and judging the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. By revelation of His word and His Spirit He will show us the reality of our motives.

Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).

The difference between how we see ourselves and how God sees us is the deception we are living in.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Picture10

Our motives are formed by past experience and decisions, in our own lives and in those of our ancestors. Our hearts bear the record of previous generational blood line decisions, and we may have been programmed through generational patterns of iniquity. These in turn form patterns within our hearts.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the pathway and source of all self. Its roots are sourced from satan’s trading, ‘I will ascend, I will be like God’. Trading is a pathway we follow when we seek to meet our own need. The fruit of this tree is always shiny on the outside, but it is death to us. If we could see beneath the attractive skin, see the rottenness and poison within, we would never fall for satan’s seductive lies.

Trading is exchange. It is based on the desires of our hearts, which are corrupted by sin in our nature, from Adam onwards. All sinful trading is rooted in the heart’s desire to be like God. Satan’s was the first negative trade, before time began. The first negative trade on earth was between satan and Adam and Eve: he offered them something and they gave him something in return.

The covering cherub

Over the ark of the covenant were two cherubim with wings outstretched, covering the revelation that came from the Presence of God. When they released their wings, the light of that revelation shone onto the stones that covered their body, and was reflected out into the created order.

Lucifer (one of the covering cherubs, who would become satan) gained revelation of God’s plan and purposes, and saw that the future destiny of the universe was not to be subject to him and the angels, but was assigned to mankind. He traded on that information to lead a third of the angels in rebellion, seeking to stop the outworking of God’s plan (see Ezekiel 28). He traded for future position.

Adam and Eve

Now that he is cast out of heaven, he can no longer see into God’s plans. But because he knew God’s plan for Man, Adam and Eve became his target as soon as they were created.

He came to them in the garden (Gen 3:1-7), and began by twisting God’s words, creating doubt about God in their hearts (Adam was standing right there with Eve throughout this whole scene). Eve responded by adding something of her own – ‘or touch it’ – to what God had actually said, and he moved on to an outright lie – ‘You will not surely die’. He offered them a pathway to fulfil their own destiny apart from God: ungodly, corrupted wisdom, ‘You will be like God, knowing good and evil’.

As soon as they accepted the offer, they began to follow their own source of supply and provision, sewing fig leaves together to make a covering. And Man has been covering himself with religious self-effort ever since.

Humanism

The trade of information for elevation, that you can know and be like God, is the root of all humanism (elevated human capacity) and rationalism (elevated human reasoning).

Meeting our needs

God has put in us a need for acceptance and love; a need for affection, value and worth; for approval and significance; affirmation, for identity and purpose; security, safety and provision. All these needs He intends to meet Himself, through our relationship with Him. Any attempt on our part to use another source or method is trading on demonic trading floors: offering something in exchange for the meeting of a need.

Nothing good can come from this pathway. All pathways of the knowledge of good and evil produce death, even the ‘good’ ones. They substitute happiness for joy, satisfaction for fulfilment, leisure for peace, good causes for destiny; things which may appear really attractive, may make us feel good, but on this pathway they all lead to death.

Trading floors are demonic substitutes for God’s provision. They offer a perverted altar on which to sacrifice. There may be generational patterns drawing us into these trades, and familiar spirits which activate and operate them. They come with strings attached, putting us into bondage to sin and death.

When we take the pathway of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; when we opt for a shortcut to gratification, success, money, position, influence or power; when we derive our identity from performance, work or ministry, we are trading.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world (1 John 2:16).

The temptation of Jesus

Satan’s temptation of Jesus was an example of how he tries to lure us into this (Matt 4:3-10). He cast doubt on what God had said, twisting God’s word and taking it out of context; and tried to get Jesus to meet His own needs apart from God’s provision. Jesus’ answer was ‘it is written’. Unlike Eve, He added nothing to what God said.

When he took Jesus to a high mountain (it was not in this earthly realm – there is no physical mountain from which you can see all the kingdoms of the world), he showed Him His own inheritance, and offered Him a shortcut, bypassing the cross. Jesus’ reply?, ‘Go, satan’ (we need to say the same to the whispers in our head), ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ To serve ourselves is to follow satan’s pathway.

It is quite challenging when we start to consider the thoughts and motives of our hearts.

Jesus passed this test and went out in the power of the Spirit, working miracles and destroying the works of the evil one. Had He succumbed to any of these temptations, He would never have been able to do the works of the kingdom, and would never have been able to go to the cross.

Ruthlessly honest

Satan will make us similar offers, often through the familiar spirits assigned to our lives.
Let’s present ourselves to God for examination, and examine ourselves regularly. Let’s be ruthlessly honest about our past, remembering that He loves each one of us. Let’s own our past trading and motives, confess our trading as sin, and seek revelation about family trading so that we can confess and deal with that too.

Father I thank you that You have made a way
For me to access your heavenly presence
By faith I step in through the veil of Jesus, through the way of the cross
Jesus, my high priest, I present myself to you in surrender as a living sacrifice

I submit to the authority of the living word in my life
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
Reveal my blind self to me
Show me the hidden motives of my heart
Show me where I have followed the pathway
Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Show me where I have accepted satan’s deceptions
Reveal where I have followed earthly, natural or demonic wisdom
To meet my own needs

Show me where I have traded
By taking the shortcut to gratification
Through success, money, position, influence or power

Show me where I received my identity
From performance, work or ministry

Show me where I have formed relationships
To meet my own needs
For love, acceptance, affirmation and approval

Show me where I have sought to meet my own needs
Through humanism and rationalism
Following the forbidden pathway of self

I submit and surrender my life
To following the pathway of the tree of life as my source
I commit myself to a lifestyle of repentance for all negative trading
I repent of the patterns of sin in my heart

I commit myself to a lifestyle of renunciation of all negative trading
I renounce my sin where I have followed the pathway
Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
As my way of life
I renounce all my defence, coping and survival mechanisms

Give me revelation of my true identity as a son of God
Give me a heart secure in its identity
Renew my mind to the mind of Christ
Meet all my unmet needs in yourself
Heal all my unhealed hurts
Restore my soul to original condition

I receive your unconditional love,
Acceptance, affirmation, and approval
From the source of the tree of life
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 choose to follow the pathway
That leads to my source, the tree of life, Jesus

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
So I will fulfil my eternal destiny

Next Post: Seven Trading Floors – Trading (2)

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122. The Power Of Testimony

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Gen 2:15).

God intends us to cultivate and keep our place of connection with heaven, so that we will be able to bring heaven to earth. We still have the mandate to cultivate the garden of our hearts. The garden does not just grow of its own accord. We have to plant seeds in our hearts if we want them to grow into trees, which will produce fruit, and ‘leaves for healing’ (Ezekiel 47:12).

What to plant

You may be asking,’what seeds do I plant?’

You can take the encounters you have had with God, the victories you have had in your life, the revelation He has given you, the testimonies you have, and plant them in your garden. It does not take a long time for them to grow into trees, because you can water them from the River of Life, and you can speak to them and call forth fruitfulness.

Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
(1 Cor 3:8)

There will be a reward from that planting, if we cultivate and tend the garden in our hearts.

The power of testimony

If you have a testimony that is sown into your garden, you can go back and take the fruit of that testimony and re-live it, and see it multiply. That is what it is for. Everything we have seen is a seed we can plant and it becomes a tree of that testimony and bears fruit. That is why we have trees with fruit in our garden in our hearts.

I do not want to see healing just once, I want to see healing over and over again. In fact I want to see every one of God’s promises over and over again. So when I have experienced something from the hand of God, I can be thankful, rejoicing, plant it in my garden, cause it to be watered and it will produce fruit that I can go back to over and over again.

I can draw from that on the inside, in order to produce it on the outside of me. So if I need an anointing of the Holy Spirit when I am praying for someone, I can draw it from within. I am not dependent on the atmosphere being filled with the anointing. I can draw the anointing from the inside of me using the testimony of what God has given me. What He has done before, He can release again. That is the power of testimony.

Watch over your heart

But if I want to be able to draw on it in the future, I need to plant it, to look after it, and nurture it. And I have to watch over my heart.

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life
(Proverbs 4:23).

Remember the four types of soil that Jesus spoke about in the parable of the sower. He explained to His disciples that the soil represents the heart. What is our heart like? Hard, so that no seeds can go in? Rocky, so that they cannot take root? Full of weeds, that choke out the new growth? Or good soil, that will produce a tree of life on the inside of us, that we can pick the fruit from, and eat?

If my heart is good soil, what I plant can grow and bear fruit.

What is in your garden?

My garden is full of things God has given me. There is a river, pools, and a waterfall. There is a door into the heavens. There is a green pasture with a big tablecloth set with all kinds of food I can go and eat from. There are trees. There is a yoke – I yoke myself to Jesus daily. All of those things are what God has given me by revelation in the heavenly realms, and I have planted them in there. There are even mountains. The mountains which represent my spheres of authority in the kingdom of God are now there in my garden.

Some of the things in my garden will also be in yours, and some will be unique to me. You can develop your own garden, in your own heart, and you will have things in there that are particular to you, precious to you; the things God has given to you, to enable you to draw on them every time you need them again.

What is in your garden?

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