80. Characteristics of the Joshua Generation (#16-20)

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott 

God is raising up a Joshua Generation in our day: a generation who will enter into their inheritance and enable others to do the same. We have been looking at some of the defining characteristics of such a generation and considering to what extent those characteristics can be seen in our own lives.

16. The Joshua Generation will be obedient to God’s direction.

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go (Joshua 1:7).

We know our God, and love Him; and because of that we want to serve Him. We want to do everything He is calling us to do, and to do it out of our love, our passion and our desire for Him.

But we do need to be careful: with greater revelation comes greater responsibility. We cannot mess around with what God shows us. Ananias and Sapphira situations will take place again, and we should not be surprised if people who lie to the Holy Spirit drop dead as a result. If we are to operate in the fullness of God’s power in the coming days, then the level of holiness required of us is going to go up, off the scale. That is both because of the level of revelation we are beginning to enter into and because of the kind of people we need to be.

For those who hear, but turn back (rather than being ‘careful to do’), there is a danger – and we need to be aware of it. To avoid the danger, we must be ready to do all that God is calling us to do.

Yet not out of fear, but out of love.

17. The Joshua Generation will be prosperous and successful.

You see, if we are able to meditate and obtain that revelation from God, and if we are careful to do the things that God reveals to us, it will give us success. This generation are willing to press in and receive. We will learn to overcome and we will learn to prosper.

Prospering is not just about financial things: the word means ‘to succeed to the highest level’. And we need to succeed to the highest level in the spiritual as well as in the natural realm. If we are receiving wisdom and revelation to the highest level, then as a result of that we will be prosperous and successful. Everything around us may be falling apart, and it will do so when the world’s systems crash, but we need to be able to operate in God’s systems, in God’s kingdom.

The financial system is just one example of this, in which we may well need to learn to do miracles and to multiply things as Jesus did. Jesus told Peter to find a coin in a fish’s mouth to pay their taxes. There may be occasions when we too can do something like that and supernaturally find finance. And we must stop saying, ‘Oh, but that was Jesus’. Everything Jesus did, He did as a model for what we should do. He said we would do the things He did, and greater things (John 14:12).

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).

18. The Joshua Generation will know that they walk with God.

We need to walk with God as our daily lifestyle.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

When we are walking on the path that God has prepared for us, when we are walking in our destiny, then we know God is with us. And we need to know what is our destiny, what is written on our scroll: and if we do not know, then we can ask God to show us.

Psalm 23 is a key to this lifestyle of walking with God, to finding rich nourishment in those green pastures, to seeing our true image in those quiet waters of reflection. And we need to know that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death – which is just daily life, really – that God is with us all the way. His rod and His staff (His word spoken to us and His Spirit leading us), they comfort us. He anoints us; our cup overflows. I want to encourage you to get hold of this psalm, to meditate on it and draw out the truth from it; because God is with us, and His goodness and mercy and lovingkindness will follow us, and will be identifying features of the way we live our lives.

19. The Joshua Generation will be equipped to prepare provisions, to live by faith.

Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, “Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it” (Joshua 1:11).

We have to be able to teach people to live under the provision of God. Each one of us is responsible to possess our own inheritance. We each need to be equipped with the weapons we will need, the revelation we need, the lifestyle we need. God will provide everything we need to take the land, to take possession of all that He intends for us and has promised to us. We need to know how to access that provision, to take hold of it for ourselves, and to teach others to do the same.

20. The Joshua Generation will equip the people to be consecrated (or sanctified) –  set apart, dedicated and holy.

Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5).

This is where many of us are in the process. When Israel were at Gilgal they dealt with the things from the past, embraced fresh revelation of the truths they had lost sight of, and were set apart for the purposes of God for their generation.

Do you want to hear ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’? Do you want it said of you that, like David, you served the purpose of God in your generation? I do. I want to serve the purpose of God in this generation that I am called to be part of, and I believe that God wants to raise up a whole people who desire to do the same.

Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

We are halfway through this mini-series on the Joshua Generation.
Let’s remember the questions we are asking:

  • Are you ready to be part of the Joshua generation?
  • Are you ready to be equipped by the Joshua generation?

If so, I urge you to get hold of these things and press in.
And over the next few weeks, we will look at the next 20 characteristics and begin to press into those too.

Image: The text on the ‘Still Waters’ image at the head of this post is from God Believes In You by Francois du Toit (the author of The Mirror Bible).

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75. Lessons From The Moses Generation

Mike Parsons – 

Preparing the next generation

In closing this series on the Prophetic Timetable, I am going to be talking about three generations. There is the Moses generation, and you don’t want to be part of that, as we will see. There is the Joshua generation, which I am going to focus on over the next few posts. And finally there is another generation, the Jesus generation, who will see Jesus return.

God is releasing a generation to prepare others. This word really got to me when I was on the fast a few years ago: I saw in the spirit a whole generation passing away and a whole new generation being raised up, and I knew God was saying something significant.

Moses’ generation an example

It is important for us to understand what the Moses generation is all about:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.  Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Cor 10:1-11).

Although God showed them all the promise, and the Promised Land, they actually refused to go in and wanted to carry on operating in the place they had become accustomed to, and in the strength of their own understanding. ‘Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction’, so that is an indication that this is really important. We don’t want to miss what God is doing, and we need to be aware of things which could cause us to miss it. We are experiencing a time when the fire of God’s Presence is here to refine and cleanse us, to prepare us for what is to come.

An opportunity to choose

We don’t want to operate in idolatry. We know that idolatry is about putting other things before God. Our idols are stumbling blocks in our hearts, and God is gathering those up and removing them from us. God is giving our generation an opportunity to choose.

There are some obvious parallels in this story:

Coming out of Egypt’s bondage – Salvation
Crossing the Red Sea – Baptism in water
The pillar of cloud and fire – Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The wilderness – Testing, preparation, transformation
Crossing the Jordan – Embracing destiny
Promised Land – Kingdom inheritance (but that involves giant-killing)

God has called us to be giant-killers. Our Promised Land is not just physical. It is true that there is a physical aspect to it: ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth just as in heaven’, just as Adam and Eve were given the mandate to bring God’s kingdom onto earth and to subdue and overcome and rule. But there is also a dimension that God is bringing His people into which goes beyond the physical here on earth, and into the realms of heaven. So the ‘Promised Land’ for us is not just a matter of embracing all the good things which are ours on earth, but of being seated in heavenly places with Christ and bringing that authority to bear in the atmosphere of the earth. We have thrones of authority as a church – and other churches and other people of God have thrones of authority. But most people have no understanding of these whatsoever: they have never been there, have never sat upon them. Going to the courts of heaven, obtaining judgments there that will affect what goes on in the atmosphere of the earth and in this physical realm, all these things we are going to really have to get hold of and embrace, because it is all part of our inheritance, part of our ‘Promised Land’.

Failed to inherit

Let’s see what happened when the children of Israel were brought to the borders of the land:

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Num 13:30-33).

Now this is what caused them to fail to inherit, when they were given the choice. Joshua and Caleb brought a positive report; the others saw the obstacles, including the giants, and the Nephilim (and we understand a little of what the Nephilim were all about); they saw them and they backed off. They were not prepared to go in, fight the fight and take possession of the land. And as a result, that whole generation missed out on what God wanted them to do.

Nevertheless, in spite of that generation saying ‘no’ to Him, God’s response was: “but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Num 14:21). He would raise up another generation, because He was going to have His way.

And that is still the case today. God’s will is going to be done one way or another: our choice is whether we want to be part of it or not.

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74. God’s Kingdom Fills the Earth

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Resurrection

We have been looking at the Millennium, or thousand years, and I just want to clear up one more point from that passage in Revelation, and then sum up what we have said.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6).

What is this ‘first resurrection’? Well we know Jesus was resurrected, and His was a physical resurrection. As a result of the fall there was spiritual death and physical death. The consequence of Jesus’ physical resurrection was a spiritual resurrection for us. We have been resurrected spiritually, and that spiritual resurrection deals with the spiritual death.

It is signified in our baptism: …having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (Col 2:12).

Even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:5). We have been made alive with Christ: a spiritual resurrection.

That is the ‘first resurrection’. It deals with the spiritual death, so we can be born again, and come back into life; the second resurrection (when everybody gets resurrected) deals with physical death, which also came as a result of the fall.

And here is an interesting passage. It is only a couple of sentences in the Gospel narrative, but it must have caused quite a stir:

The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. (Matt 27:52)

So at that time there was an actual physical resurrection of all those Old Testament saints who came back to life.And don’t imagine that they then died again – what happened was that Jesus led them into heaven, and that is where they are now. They ‘came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years’.

The rule of Christ is now

Let’s wrap this up. We are a kingdom of priests, and the millennial rule is now. In heaven, and on earth – because we can live in both places, as we have begun to understand. We bring heaven to earth through our lives and the kingdom of God is manifested on the earth through us.

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD (1 Peter 2:9).

… And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Rev 1:5-6).

The reign of Christ began at His ascension, and continues until all things are subdued under his feet. The return of Christ and the bodily resurrection of all men will occur after (or post-) the millennium: that is to say it will happen after the period in which we now live, the period in which Jesus rules in heaven and on earth through His people.

This is really what we need to have faith in. We need to be expecting these things to take place, and expecting ourselves to be part of the process of bringing them about. “But indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Num 14:21). That is what we want – and how will the earth be filled? Through us.

For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14). People will know about the glory. It will not just be a few people going around glowing a bit. God’s glory will be clearly demonstrated for all to see.

Remember how in Daniel 2:35 the Stone [Jesus] that struck the statue [the kingdoms of the world] became a great mountain [God’s kingdom] and filled the whole earth. The earth will be filled with glory, and that will happen before Jesus will return:

…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 (Act 3:20-21)

mount-everest-276995_640Now it will come about that
In the last days
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 the nations will stream to it.
(Isa 2:2).

These are the last days (and have been ever since Jesus first came). God’s kingdom is already established as the chief kingdom, because we know that Jesus is above all rule.  His kingdom is already above every other kingdom. The nations have been streaming to it throughout church history, and we want to see that prophecy completely and finally fulfilled.

I believe we are called to be a Joshua generation. The Joshua generation will raise up and prepare the following (and final) generation to receive their full inheritance and to usher in the end time harvest, ready for Jesus’ return.

We are fast approaching the end of this series on God’s Prophetic Timetable. It is based around the series I taught in Freedom Church during the spring and summer of 2011, and lays the groundwork for some of our more recent teaching both on this blog and elsewhere. The audio of those original sessions is available on our Apostolic Resources website. As we have noted elsewhere, some of the views we held at the time have been challenged by God in the intervening period but these blog posts (particularly #64-67) have been updated to reflect those changes (the audio recordings, of course, have not).

In the closing posts of this series I want to look at 40 characteristics that mark out that Joshua generation, because many of us will be part of it.

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72. Bound For A Thousand Years

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott 

We saw last time how important it is that our faith is in victory, in overcoming, in seeing God’s kingdom fill the earth.

A theology of victory

Kingdom and Covenant theology is a theology of victory. More and more people are starting to realise this because of the nature of what God is saying prophetically in these days. If you are someone who believes Jesus is going to come and rescue us, you are going to struggle to reconcile what God is saying with that belief. How does it fit? It doesn’t: Jesus is not going to come and rescue us: we are going to be victorious.

In succeeding periods of church history, people tended to hold different views on the book of Revelation. I want briefly to make it clear how we see things.

Firstly, Revelation is a  historical book which deals with God’s covenant judgment on Israel and Jerusalem.

Also, Revelation illustrates the triumph of the church through history, overcoming all persecution.

Soon… the time is near… quickly

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place (Rev 1:1).

I’m sorry, 2000 years later is not ‘soon’. Now I know that for God, everything can be now. Bur this was not written for God, it was written for people to read and be encouraged and comforted in the midst of the persecution they were facing. It would have been very poor comfort to say that judgment was coming soon, if in fact it was going to take centuries. The book of Revelation was written before AD 70 to servants of God who were alive at the time. It was written about events which would soon take place. And what soon took place was the destruction of Jerusalem. John repeats it, so there can be no mistake: ‘the time is near’.

‘Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near’ (Rev 1:3).

Again, at the end of the book, Jesus says:

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book… Yes, I am coming quickly” (Rev 22:7, 20). And Jesus came quickly: within a few years of this being written, He came in judgment upon Jerusalem and it was destroyed.

Bound for a thousand years

While we are considering Revelation, I also just want to look at the only scriptures in the Bible which actually mention a thousand-year reign.

dragon-253540_640Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time (Rev 20:1-3).

So here we see that for a thousand years Satan is bound and not able to deceive, and then is released. It continues:

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years’ (Rev 20:4-6).

When we read ‘the beast and his image’ we immediately think it must be future. But if you think about the beast and his image in terms of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, you will read this in a different light. It has already happened. And this is not a bodily resurrection – the scripture specifically says it was the souls of people which came alive. So this has happened before a bodily resurrection, not after. If Jesus had already returned, there would already have been a bodily resurrection, and that is not the case.

‘Priests of God… will reign with Him for a thousand years’: we know the language about being a royal priesthood belongs to us. So this is talking about us, and it is talking about something which happens on the earth.

We have already seen that Satan was bound (Rev 20:2). When is or was that? Look at Matt 12:28-29: ‘But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house’. All deliverance that we see today is on the basis that the strong man is already bound. Otherwise we would not be able to cast demons out.

If Satan were not bound, we would not be able to do what we are doing right now. If he were deceiving the nations, no-one would be getting saved. Remember the Great Commission: Jesus sent his followers out into the whole world to disciple the nations. It is possible for us to do that because Satan is bound and not able to deceive them. His power is limited.

In John 12:31 Jesus said Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (my emphasis). And in Luke 10:17-18, ‘The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning”’. It already happened.

Jesus first bound Satan in the wilderness, when He did what Adam had failed to do in overcoming temptation. Then He went further, in releasing authority on His disciples to go out and minister because of that. The fact that the disciples were ministering in kingdom power showed that Satan had no authority any longer. But then Jesus went on to actually conquer death: the wilderness had dealt with spiritual death, the cross dealt with physical death.

‘When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him’ (Col 2:15).

And if Satan is bound now, then the thousand years, the Millennium, must also be now. That is what the scripture says: he is bound, and remains bound for a thousand years. So we are living in the time right now when God’s kingdom is active on earth, because Satan is bound. It is not an exact, literal 1000 years.

Satan will be loosed. That will be just before the end. I believe there will then be an increase in Satan’s power, because we are going to have to overcome him. Warfare will be much more open, but God’s church will be raised up in light, as the mountain of the house of the Lord.

And that church will be victorious.

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55. God’s Covenant Purpose

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Over the next series of posts I want to set out for you clearly what Jesus said. We have looked before at the passage in Matthew 24 where the disciples asked Jesus “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” What were ‘these things’ that they were asking about?

To find the answer to this we need to go back several chapters (remember that there were no chapters in the original scriptures). Wherever you start from, you are in a sense jumping into the middle of events which were already going on, but there is a clear development of ideas which begins in Matthew 21.

God’s people

Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust” (Matt 21:42-44).

Jesus was talking about Himself, that He would be rejected and that there would be a consequence of that rejection for Israel. The mandate to be God’s people would be taken from the people who rejected the Stone, and it would be given to people who accepted the Stone. That Stone was to become the chief cornerstone of the church. In verse 44 we see that the Stone will fall on those who reject Him, and in due course we are going to see what happened when that Stone fell.

Let’s understand this: God’s covenant purpose has not changed. We can read it in Genesis 12:2 where God makes covenant with Abraham, “And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing… And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” globe-328140_640There is continuity here, you only have to look at passages like Gen 1:28, where God made covenant with Adam, in Gen 9:1 with Noah, and in Matt 28:18-20, where the church was sent out to take the gospel to the whole world. It is the same covenant purpose: to bring the kingdom of God to the earth.

We read in Galatians, The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU” (Gal 3:8). The gospel we preach has the same covenant purpose: to bring God’s kingdom to the earth. There is a unity in God’s purpose that we have not always understood.

For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith (Rom 4:13).

Abraham’s promise was not a small package of land in the Middle East. It was supposed to start there, but from there to spread, filling the whole earth with God’s kingdom. And it did not come by keeping the Law, even under the old covenant, but through the righteousness of faith. It was always by faith. You never could have a relationship with God other than by faith. The Law was only a tutor to protect that covenant until Christ would come and fulfil it. No-one could keep the law, so you never could be justified by the law, only by faith. The covenant with Abraham was made 430 years before the Law was given, and it was not nullified by that Law. In fact, it is still in place today – and that is why we are here.

A light to the nations

God’s covenant purpose through Israel was stated in very similar terms: just look at the language. “Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exod 19:5-6).

That is still the promise to God’s people today, by the way.

I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations…” (Isa 42:6). They were supposed to be a light to the nations, but they weren’t. They kept it all to themselves and stopped anyone else receiving it.

“I will appoint You as a covenant to the people” (Isa 42:6). Time and again, we keep coming back to this: we need to understand covenant. In particular, we need to understand covenant blessings and covenant judgments, because those are what Jesus is going to refer to in this passage. We can see those concepts most clearly in Deut 28:1-14 (blessings) and Deut 28:15-68 (judgments, or ‘curses’), and that is where we will pick up next time.

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48. A Thousand-fold Increase?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Kingdom and covenant

Our prophetic understanding must come in the context of God’s Kingdom and of covenant. Kingdom and covenant are two sides of the same coin. In order to get understanding of the purposes of God, we need understanding of both. Right from the very beginning it was God’s purpose to have a people who would demonstrate His Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven’; and covenants were the agreements He initiated with men to enable that to take place.

In 2011, when I first spoke about this subject, quite a bit was said and written about it being ‘year 11’. In particular, some people felt God was highlighting Deuteronomy 1:11 which says, “May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you”. Some began to see ‘111’ everywhere as they began to focus on what God was saying. They got hold of that scripture and encouraged us to believe God not for a hundredfold increase, but actually for a thousandfold.

Does it mean that?

Firstly, of course, it is possible for the Holy Spirit to take that scripture and speak it to us personally and say ‘This is for you’. But if we don’t hear it that way, how do we approach the questions which will come up: ‘Is that right? Does it say that? And if it does, is it intended for us?’

Notice that it speaks of ‘the God of your fathers’. That is covenant language. ‘The God of your fathers’ refers back to Abraham, and how God made a covenant with him through which all families on the earth were to be blessed. Deuteronomy 8:18 tells us that it is to confirm that covenant that God gives us the power to make wealth. In light of that, I would say that yes, we can claim Deuteronomy 1:11 as a promise that God will increase us a thousandfold.

But is that exactly 1000, or does it just mean ‘a lot’? Let’s consider the scripture which says that God ‘owns the cattle on a thousand hills’ (Psalm 50:10). Does He not own the cattle on the 1001st? I think we know the answer to that. So a thousand is not necessarily exact, it is a large number – and in this case it really stands for ‘everything’.

Limiting God

My point is that if we are going to understand prophecy correctly, we cannot simply take everything literally and so limit God. People raised the objection that when Deuteronomy 1:11 was written, there weren’t actually any chapter or verse numbers: they were added later. That doesn’t stop God using them to illustrate something to us.

This is part of approaching scripture and prophecy with a Hebrew (eastern) rather than a Greek (western) mindset. Literal, deeper, personal, and hidden meanings – all can be true, and all found within the understanding of one verse of scripture.

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43. New wine, new wineskin

Mike Parsons 

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED” (1 Pet 2:4-6).

Living stones

That Stone, as we have seen, shows up in Daniel 2 in the king’s dream which Daniel interprets. The Stone is Jesus, and it grows into a mountain (His kingdom) which fills the earth. That kingdom comes through us, His people, because we are living stones. If we believe and catch hold of this truth in our spirit, the promise is that we will not be disappointed.

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

There are people now who are reigning in heaven, because they have died. But we actually also reign in heaven, and we reign here on the earth. We need to reign in both places, just as Jesus was manifested in both places, because you know that we are seated in the heavenly realms even as we live our lives here on earth. It is essential for us to have access to the heavenly realms in order to bring heaven to earth.

That is why God is opening up those heavenly doors for us to have heavenly encounters, throne room encounters, to meet Him in heaven, to see Him face to face; to see what is the will of God in heaven; to see those things that will enable us to manifest the kingdom of God, the favour of God, the power, wisdom and glory of God – on earth as it is in heaven.

So in Daniel 2, the Stone is Jesus, the mountain is His kingdom, and His kingdom is manifested through us, through the church.

New wineskins

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins Luke 5:37-38.

The enemy is constantly trying to get us to adopt new versions of the Old Covenant system – because he knows that if he can convince us to do so it will rob us of true kingdom power and authority. People have talked for years about needing a new wineskin, meaning a new form of church, but that is missing the point. Any ‘new, improved version’ of the Old Covenant system is still an old wineskin incapable of holding the new wine of the kingdom. It is not a new form of church that is the new wineskin: the new wineskin is us. We are the containers of His Presence, and we can (and should) be those who fully manifest His kingdom authority.

It is no longer about one country, one city, one temple. They cannot contain God’s Presence… but God’s people can.

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