239. The Things They Now Believe

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

“Good souls many will one day be horrified at the things they now believe of God” (George Macdonald, 1824-1905).

For me, that day has come. As I have encountered God, He has shown me that more and more of the things I believed about Him were not really true. He has been really considerate and taken me in stages through this process, because it would have been too much for me if He had done it all in one go. Will you let Him do the same for you?

Jesus is the exact representation of the Father, but that is not the picture religion paints at all. A whole host of doctrines widely accepted without question by most believers today do not really line up with a God who looks like Jesus. Since God is love, I am now very suspicious of any image of God that does not look like love.

Penal Substitutionary Atonement

One such doctrine is ‘penal substitutionary atonement’ (PSA): that Jesus died to appease God’s wrath. We will look at God’s wrath, anger, eternal judgment, punishment, eternal conscious torment and hell later in this series of posts, but PSA is the key to all these others. It is a really warped view of God which has Him saying ‘I will kill My Son to show you how good I am’.

Does God’s anger really need to be appeased? Almost all human justice systems come from the DIY tree, and are based on retributive justice, making offenders pay for their crimes one way or another. If we are hearing a little more about restorative justice today, it is because people are realising that retributive justice does not work. But God’s justice is and has always been restorative. The fear of punishment is not a good motivator. ‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love’ (1 John 4:18). Why would God use fear of punishment to keep us in line?

It was man who came up with a ‘GOD’ who required appeasement (look at any primitive religion). But the truth is that ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire’ (Ps 40:6, quoted in Heb 10:5) and ‘You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering’ (Ps 51:16).

‘Redemptive violence’

“You have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness…” (Matt 23:23).

The Pharisees’ religion was all legalism, missing out truth, justice and mercy altogether, and in the ‘Christian religion’ (itself a contradiction in terms), a belief system of so-called ‘redemptive violence’ will inevitably affect the way we relate to others. We will steward the cosmos from that angry, retributive perspective. That is the ‘GOD’ image we will reflect to a broken world which needs healing, not punishment.

But God is not as we have been led to believe. The corrections of God are always restorative. The judgments of God are pure and bring mercy and life:

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Mercy and truth go before Your face.
(Ps 89:14 NKJV).

Mercy and truth always go before Him. His justice is mercy and love, not punishment and retribution. Even painful truth is revealed only for our good and healing.

“God is a God of fierce judgement. I sense God’s burning judgement falling upon many of you today. He has made up His mind and the verdict is unchangeable. His judgement is: ‘You are forgiven, loved and accepted’. So, enjoy your judgement” (Benjamin David, Facebook post).

The cross

Jesus warned his disciples that He was going to the cross but He did not say He was going to suffer the just punishment for our sins at the hands of His Father. He would suffer at the hands of men:

Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men” (Luke 9:44).

“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day” (Matt 16:21).

For He was teaching His disciples and telling them: “The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.” (Mark 9:31).

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up” (Matt 20:18-19).

Look also at Mark 10:33-34, Luke 18:31-33, Luke 24:6-7, John 18:3-6, John 18:12, John 19:14-18, Acts 2:23, Acts 2:36, and Heb 12:2.

Jesus suffered at the hands of ruthless men, Jews and Gentiles, representing the religious and political systems. They agreed to condemn Him to keep their DIY system in control. Men crucified Jesus, and God used our punishment of Him to bring restoration and reconciliation.

He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through by our transgressions, He was crushed by our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed (Isa 53:3-5).

There is simply nothing in scripture to support the idea that Jesus went to the cross to suffer the fiery wrath of His Father so that we could escape it. ‘We ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted’ but that is not how it really was.

The purpose of the cross was to undo the consequence of Adam’s sin, a loss of identity which produced spiritual death. It was a demonstration not of God’s wrath against humanity, but of His love towards humanity. When Jesus took the sin of the whole world upon his shoulders He was showing us the depths of God’s love.

“Our Father never needed a sacrifice; we did. And we, as one man, with one accord damned His Son, and our Father accepted our ‘faith’ and our ‘will,’ and our ‘decision’ to crucify His Son as the means to establish a real and everlasting relationship with us inside our faithless betrayal. This is salvation. This is adoption. This is redeeming genius and love almost beyond our wildest imaginations” – C. Baxter Kruger.

Atonement, propitiation

In the New Testament the Greek word katallagé (reconciliation) is often misleadingly translated ‘atonement’. ‘To atone’ is to make amends, to make reparation for wrongdoing. However, this old covenant word used to describe how a sacrificial animal covered people’s sin is not a word used in the new covenant. And animal sacrifices were not tortured by the priest, they were just killed.

Hilasmos (‘propitiation’) is another word which has been translated in a way which assumes an angry deity who needs to be appeased. It comes from the verb hilaskomai, meaning ‘to conciliate, be merciful, forgive, show favour’. It does not mean ‘atone’.

“But the church has always believed this!”

It hasn’t. Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA) may be a commonly held view in evangelical circles today but it was not formulated until the 11th century, by Anselm of Canterbury. Personal encounter with God could never lead us to the conclusion he reached through scholasticism, a method of study that emphasises reason, research and constructive criticism.

PSA is a man-made, demonically inspired doctrine of distortion. It only sounds plausible to us because we have been conditioned to accept that God is angry with us.

Forsaken

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Ps 22, quoted by Jesus on the cross in Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34).

This was Jesus’ cry of true identification with us in our brokenness and in our deepest, darkest pain. It was our separation He felt. Most of those who heard Him would know the rest of the psalm, including v24:

For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard.

We have seen before that God the Father never left Jesus the Son. Do we really imagine that the Triune God was somehow pulled apart at the cross? Whose side was the Holy Spirit on? The whole concept is preposterous when you know God for yourself. And yet we happily sing:

“One final breath He gave
As heaven looked away…”
(Forever by Brian Johnson, Kari Jobe, Christa Black Gifford, and Gabriel Wilson).

Heaven did no such thing.

The wages of sin

The cross was God showing the world that He was willing to take on flesh and die – for us and as us – not to pay off an angry God who couldn’t stand the sight of us. Jesus did not save us from God, He saved us from death (the wages of sin). The aim of Jesus’ death was to make personal, healing, life-giving, forgiving contact with us sinners, at the root of our sin and alienation.

A battered reed He will not break off, and a smouldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory (Matt 10:20, quoting Isa 42:3).

God’s justice does not break people; it heals those who are broken.

“God doesn’t need to punish anyone. “Sin is its own punishment.” … No one gets away with anything. There are terrible consequences for our actions, but God is forever with us, weaving grace into our stories to redeem even the worst situations for our good” (Brad Jerzak, ‘Unfundamentalist Parenting in The Shack – Part 1’).

Meet God

But please, don’t believe anything I say. Not without meeting God for yourself.

How much of what we believe has been handed onto us by someone else? Reading books, hearing sermons, just picking it up from being in a particular stream or community… none of that is a valid substitute. Get your revelation direct from Him, otherwise you are just leaning on someone else’s understanding (when, according to Proverbs 3:5, you ought not to even lean on your own). My understanding has come from my own personal experience, but it is no good to you. You need your own experience.

So meet God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Meet Him face to face and find out what He is really like. Let Him reveal Himself as the Truth. And be prepared to lay aside anything which does not line up with Who He is.

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SONS ARISE!

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The Father is calling forth men and women to be revealed as His mature sons on the Earth.

Sign up today for Sons Arise! – a series of conferences and intensives with Mike Parsons to be held at the Freedom Centre, Barnstaple, UK. Read more…

Sons Arise! – Conferences and Intensives 2018

The Father is calling forth men and women to be revealed as His mature sons on the Earth.

Sign up today for Sons Arise! – a series of conferences and intensives with Mike Parsons to be held at the Freedom Centre, Barnstaple, UK.

At these events we will be engaging heaven together and seeking to receive all He has for us – revelation, transformation and empowering – and to step into the fullness of our identity, inheritance and authority as sons of the King so that we can fulfil our eternal destiny.

In addition to 3 conferences we are also planning to host 3 events we have called ‘intensives’ – these will be limited to around 20 participants and will not be teaching-intensive but very much encounter-intensive.

Sessions at all events will include teaching and activations led by Mike Parsons and others from the ekklesia at Freedom.

Read more…

233. Wider, Deeper, Longer, Higher

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

Face to face

From the beginning we were created to have an intimate relationship with God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-38 to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind” and in John 14:6 that the only way we can come to the Father is through Him. Face to face engagement reveals the reality of who God truly is – Love – and exposes the untruths we may have assimilated over the years. Jesus is the ultimate expression of that Love, so if it doesn’t look like Jesus then it probably isn’t Love.

God wants us to know the truth of who He is and who we are as His children. It is the tactic of the accuser to get us to think wrongly about God and about ourselves. As long as we see God as having a dark side, we will never trust him completely. There will always be a slight fear that contradicts love.

Quantum physics 1.01

For example, somehow we have come to believe that God cannot look upon sin, and that He has to turn His face away. If it were true that He could not look upon sin, we would not be here! Quantum physics 1.01 tells us that if He were to stop observing us, we would cease to exist.

On the cross, when Jesus quoted the opening words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was drawing people’s attention to the content of the whole psalm and its relevance to the events playing out before them. But He had previously told his disciples:

“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (John 16:32).

We can clearly see that the hour He was referring to was His crucifixion. According to Jesus, the Father never turned His face away from Him. He was right there with Him.

God’s justice

How could we have got this wrong? The answer is, because we have got something even more fundamental wrong too. We think that on the cross Jesus was taking our punishment for us, suffering the wrath of a vengeful God in judgment that should have fallen upon us. We are used to our human justice system which requires retributive justice – payback – but the truth is that God’s justice is always restorative. We will look at this whole subject of the atonement in detail in another post, but for now let’s consider what the cross was about, if not punishment.

The sin

The original Greek word for ‘sin’ used most often in the New Testament is ‘hamartia’. It is a noun (the sin) not a verb (to sin). ‘The sin’ is the sin of Adam, choosing to follow the DIY pathway of the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than the pathway of the tree of life. From Adam we all inherited spiritual death (which is a lost relationship with God and lost personal identity), so like Adam we are living in something less than God’s original blueprint or design for us, not recognising our true identity as a person made in His image.

So the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23 NASB), but God has a solution ready: for as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). ‘The sin’ did not need to be punished, as religion would have us believe, but forgiven, corrected, dealt with and removed. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness by doing ‘good’ things (that is the DIY tree again): forgiveness is God’s gift to each of us in Christ.

The word of reconciliation

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19).

The Greek word for ‘the world’ in that verse is ‘cosmos’: it certainly includes the whole planet, and much more besides. Jesus came to reconcile and restore absolutely everything and everyone in the whole of creation back into relationship with God. That is exactly what He accomplished through his death and resurrection, and now we all share in the victory of the cross and resurrection life. In relationship with God we all have a restored identity, knowing we are accepted, forgiven, blessed, and made righteous.

Since we now have the same ministry of reconciliation that Jesus had, we choose to show love and mercy to others just as He has shown love and mercy to us. What is more, the more we engage with the real God, the wider, deeper, longer and higher we perceive that love and mercy to be.

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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).

Just as we all inherited that spiritual death and blindness from Adam; just as we all shared in the spiritual-soul-death that it created, so we 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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230. Your Destiny Revealed

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Every one of us, whether we know it or not, has an inheritance that Jesus died to secure for us. It includes our identity, our redemptive gift and our destiny. If we choose to cooperate with what God has prepared for us, then we will find total satisfaction and fulfilment.

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).

All God’s thoughts about us are good, because He is always smiling over us. Some people present Him as an angry God waiting to pounce when we get it wrong. That is not the God I know, nor is it the God revealed in the person of Jesus (who is the exact representation of God’s nature). He is always running with open arms to embrace us even when we do get it wrong, because His deepest desire is for relationship with us.

But there is a battle going on for our destiny. There may be problems to solve, messes to clean up, and raw materials to be shaped. Don’t let the obstacles, opposition or past mistakes stop you fulfilling all that God has destined for you, instead see them as stepping stones. He brings good out of every situation.

Perhaps you feel constrained, contained, limited by your life circumstances? God can explode the walls of the box your life seems to be in. Even if religious or political authority, position, power or laws are against you, God is bigger than all that. Willing hearts are all He needs to work with.

What is your destiny?

Most people never know what their destiny is. Of those who do, a small percentage know from childhood, but the majority only find out between the ages of 30-50, when perhaps they have more time to reflect or are more mature and willing to listen. But our age does not need to restrict us: Caleb was 85 years old when he took possession of his inheritance.

Here are three kinds of evidence to help us identify our destiny:

  • Physical evidence (what we can see or deduce by examining our lives).
  • Relational evidence (what God says to us).
  • Heavenly supernatural evidence (what is written on our scroll in heaven).

Physical

Abilities and desires

We can look for the things God has included in our design that have no cultural, generational or nurture basis, qualities unique to us. Abilities and desires which none of our family or peers share, our reactions to events and situations, the positive and negatives which stir us, these are clues we need to find. What lights us up, what do we find fulfilment in already?

But beware, brokenness can also be a strong driver. Say we lost a close relative to a particular disease, we might find purpose in running a campaign or support group for sufferers and their families, but that could be a hindrance to finding our true destiny. So let’s be sure that we are really looking at clues to God’s design, and not the results of our own brokenness.

These are like the Lego or jigsaw pieces of our destiny; we need to put them together to see the bigger picture.

For me, they include:

  • my inquisitive desire to understand how things work
  • my concern for issues such as racial inequality and injustice
  • a fascination both with history and the future
  • a liking for science fiction, the unexplained, the outside-of-the-box, broadening the perspective of the possible.
  • mountains always being special for me.

Later on, I was drawn to the Bible, to study it, to meditate in it, and eventually to encounter God in it, and that was something He placed in me. And I was always attracted to revivals, to moves of God’s Spirit. None of this could be explained by nurture, or by brokenness.

Challenges

We should also look at the challenges we face, at opposition seeking to hinder us.

  • I had a fear of public speaking. I could not even read aloud in class! Yet later on, people kept asking me to speak. Eventually I did, and now it is one of the main things God uses me in.
  • I had to overcome serious health issues, and pursue living in supernatural health for myself. So now I have a testimony which can help others do the same.
  • I had no fathering, no mentor, and thus no sense of identity; I experienced being let down and betrayed, which led to loneliness, so I struggled with community and relationship. But all of those are things God is calling me to be involved with.

Are there character issues with which God keeps having us go around the mountain, until we deal with them? Negative personality traits He is asking us to work on? Things He gives us repeated opportunities to get transformed? Those, too, are clues.

Let’s not be limited by our past, nor let cultural constraint, gender, race or social standing stop us. God really is no respecter of persons.

Let’s surround ourselves with the right connections and associations, with people who will encourage, challenge and support us. Let’s be willing to obey even if God asks us to do something unexpected or unusual. Let’s not be passive, but actively pursue our destiny.

Relational

We can develop an intimate relationship with the God who has these vast thoughts about us. If we can learn to listen to and speak with God daily, then surely this is the simplest way to get to know our destiny?

His sheep know His voice (John 10:27). If we ask, we receive (James 4:2-3). Let’s draw near to Him (Heb 4:16, 10:22, James 4:8), get closer, go deeper, be real, be vulnerable in intimacy; get to know Him, know His thoughts, know His heart for us (John 16:13-14, 1 Cor 2:9-12).

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:18-20).

God has made resurrection life available to us to enable us to fulfil what He has called us to do.

Supernatural

Deep calls

God is releasing a sound, a vibrational frequency, calling us to come into alignment with our heavenly destiny. It is coming out of the spiritual realm. People are hearing it, all over the world (and not only believers).

Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls… (Psalm 42:7).

We can engage Him in this sound in our worship. We need to tune into that sound, to engage our spirit with the creative light realm, that spiritual dimension all around us where we can access every spiritual blessing.

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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3).

And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6).

Our destiny has been particularly fashioned for us, and involves ruling in heaven and walking it out on earth.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Eph 2:10).

Scroll of destiny

We saw in Psalm 139 that our destiny is recorded on a scroll. We can go into the record room of heaven and see the scroll of our destiny and the scroll of our life. When you compare the two, you can see where they line up (and where they don’t).

But I believe our destiny is also encoded in a double-helix scroll, our DNA. That is why, when we break bread, we speak words of transformational realignment over our DNA.

Search my heart

So let’s engage our destiny, fight for it, be prepared to be transformed for it. This is a good prayer to pray if you want to know your destiny:

Search me, 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).

Draw near

Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:7-8).

God has placed it in our heart, so we can engage with it (and with Him) there. We give God access into our heart and He gives us access into heaven:

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. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throneAfter these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things” (Rev 3:20-21, 4:1).

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near… (Heb 10:19-22).

In the heavenly holy place we will find the arc of the covenant. The blood of Jesus is on the Mercy Seat, which always gives us access to come. Inside the arc are manna (representing the will of God for our lives), the tablets of stone (representing God’s law now written on our hearts) and Aaron’s rod (a symbol of authority).

Let’s go there now.

[Click here to play an audio version of the following activation: https://goo.gl/8s6uLA]

Close your natural eyes
And open the eyes of your heart, your imagination.
Think of a door. Picture the door in your spirit.
Jesus is knocking. Open the door, let Him in.

Feel His love, acceptance and affirmation.

Hear the sound of many waters, feel the vibration of His presence.
He embraces you and draws you close to His heart.
He affirms your identity
He affirms your calling
He affirms your destiny.

Listen to His voice.
Feel your heart engage.
Feel the desires of your heart released.

Now think of the door standing open into heaven.
Step through that door.

Jesus takes you by the hand
And leads you through the veils
To stand before the Arc.

His Name is manifested as you stand in His presence:
יהוה
(Yod Hei Vav Hei)
The Lion, the Ox, the Eagle and the Man.
The Presence of God manifests between the wings of the cherubim.

Open your heart to Him.
Let Him unfurl your scroll.
Let Him write and reveal the contents of the scroll onto your heart.

Let Him cause those longings, yearnings and desires to be released within you.

You can eat the manna, as it reveals more of God’s will for you.
Feel the energy.
Pick up the rod and feel the authority,
the confidence and boldness to fulfil your destiny.

And now you can step back into this realm…

I would encourage you to practise this daily, to feel and engage with the presence of God in the realms of heaven. Expect your heart to be changed, expect your destiny to be revealed and the longings that God has for you to be released.

SoundTrack: Closer – Amanda Cook

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יהוה  POWERFUL Manifesting Prayer | Adonya via YouTube

 

 

213. Embrace the New!

Mike Parsons

Moses had an orphan mentality. Imagine what it was like for him, growing up in Egypt. He didn’t look like one of them, didn’t feel like one of them, and probably got sick of hearing the story of how he was found floating in a basket. Apparently abandoned by his parents, he was adopted by the Egyptian royal court, adopted by an enemy system, and he was even a prince within it. Many of us have sought for success in the world’s system, and maybe even been quite successful, but it will never satisfy our eternal destiny. At the age of 40, something rose up in him, calling him to his destiny, but we saw last time how he tried to do it his own way, failed spectacularly, and ran away into the wilderness.

The wilderness prepared Moses for his future, and after another 40 years God called him again to embrace his destiny. His natural identity was as a shepherd, looking after sheep in the wilderness for his father-in-law. Sheep are really awkward and certainly do not always readily go where you want them to, which meant he was well prepared to lead a bunch of obstinate, ill-tempered, quarrelsome people through the wilderness into the Promised Land.

But when he met God at the burning bush, God took something from him: his badge of office and all-purpose tool-of-the-trade, his staff. His natural identity as a shepherd was stripped away from him, and he was given a new, supernatural ‘shepherd-identity’. No longer an orphan or a slave, no longer a success in the systems of the world, instead he was to be the deliverer for a nation. But Moses still had issues.

Let go of the old, embrace the new

Now God was asking him to lay down that symbol of his natural abilities and identity – not just a staff but all it represented: his job, his well-being, his financial welfare and his future. That was the choice he faced.

When he picked it up again, it had become a powerful symbol of all that God was going to do through him. He used that staff supernaturally in the years that followed – he threw it on the ground and it transformed into a snake (Exodus chapter 4); he used it to split the Red Sea (Ex 14:16), to bring water from a rock (Ex 17:6), and throughout Israel’s wilderness journey.

But he had to choose to let go of the old, and embrace the new. It is a choice many of us have to make. Even when we become Christians, we still face that ongoing choice: am I going to do things my way, or God’s way? And your own way never works – you feel uncomfortable around ungodly people and uncomfortable with God – you have one foot in one camp and one foot in the other.

Who am I?

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex 3:11).

Moses began to reject his destiny, to avoid doing what God was calling him to do. God was going to use his position and experience, but Moses didn’t think much of God’s HR skills. And ‘who am I?’ – well, he was a prince of Egypt, so naturally speaking he was well-placed for the task God was giving him, but he didn’t want to do it. Certainly he had things in his past which were holding him back, but God is always ready to deal with issues like that. Unlike Moses, let’s not allow our past to spoil our present and hinder our future.

Here am I – send somebody else!

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The Lord said to him… “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.” (Ex 4:10-13).

Either he was unaware of his own abilities, or he was lying to God to try to get out of his destiny (the New Testament tells us “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22)). And finally he asked God to please send someone else! But God swept aside all his objections and every obstacle he tried to put in the way, eventually agreeing to send Aaron to speak for him.

God wants to set us free

God is calling each of us to embrace who we really are and what He has called us to do. He wants to set us free from everything that would seek to hold us back from fulfilling our destiny: our mind-sets, our slavery mentality, any way of thinking that prevents us knowing who we truly are as His sons.

This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. (Acts 7:35-36).

How many of us have felt rejected, even disowned, as Moses was? Yet God called him to be exactly what others failed to recognise in him, and even sent an angel with him for the rest of his life to ensure that he accomplished everything He intended for him. And we, too, have angels assigned to us, ready to supernaturally help us fulfil our destiny.

Familiar slavery

All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt” (Num 14:2-4).

God does not want us to miss out on receiving our full inheritance because of the issues in our lives. He wants us to deal with them. Israel saw God come down on a mountain; the Red Sea part (and close behind them, drowning their pursuers); clothes and sandals not wear out; food provided for them every day; and water spring from a rock (twice). Yet they still felt like slaves, and they wanted to go back to the ‘comfort’ of their familiar slavery instead of going in to possess the inheritance God had lined up for them. They continually rejected Moses’ authority, grumbling and complaining.

Robbed of his destiny

That rejection eventually caused Moses to react out of his insecurity. Instead of speaking to the rock (a further dimension of the supernatural that God was calling him into), he went back into his own familiar comfort zone and struck it instead. As a result, he missed out on leading Israel into the Promised Land, and there is no record of him ever doing another miracle.

Moses allowed his need for acceptance and approval from people to rob him of his full destiny. Little wonder, then, that those he led also allowed their issues to rob them of their own inheritance and destiny by refusing to go into the Promised Land.

It is possible to perform amazing miracles and enjoy remarkable encounters with God, and yet still miss out on the fullness of our inheritance. Instead, let’s allow God to reveal and deal with our issues, to heal us of past hurts and transform us into the image He has of us from eternity past.

Search me, 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).

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211. The Father’s Hug

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Behold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite their land with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6).

There is a curse, in the world, and the curse is fatherlessness: for some, not even knowing that they have a father. For others, that the father they do know does not match up to the fullness of God’s intention. God wants us to know Him as a real Father and wants us to feel loved and accepted as His real children. He is releasing His Spirit to turn the world back to Him, in an outpouring that embraces who we are as God’s children and releases that out to the world in an experiential and practical way, so that everyone can experience His love.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Abide in My love (John 15:9).

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).

This is Jesus’ call to us to live in His love, and it has to be practical. It has to work: as God loves us then we love each other.

My testimony

I want to share briefly from my testimony, from my journey in which I have come to know something deeper about the heart of God.

With my natural dad, I didn’t know love, affection, affirmation, approval, encouragement: really no fathering at all. Even while he was there physically, emotionally he wasn’t; and then he physically left too, leaving a big hole on the inside of me. Not knowing what a father should be, I just thought that was what fathers were like, because I didn’t know any better.

So when I became a Christian I didn’t have a relationship with God as Father. I knew Jesus, because Jesus died on the cross for me. And I know He was supposed to be my Lord. So I knew Him as Lord, but ‘Father’? – it didn’t even compute. It wasn’t that I struggled with it. I didn’t even know that God could be my Father: it was such an alien concept to me. When I was baptised in the Spirit it was like liquid love poured into me. It was an amazing experience. Yet although I felt called to something because I felt love, I still didn’t know where it was from.

The Father’s hug

My first real encounter of the love of God as Father was in a time of worship. It was like God came and put His arms around me and hugged me. I knew that was the Father’s hug. I just felt it in my spirit. Now that really challenged me: how could that be a father? And I suddenly started to realise more about fatherhood. I had a revelation of the truth that God was not like my earthly father. Now you might think that’s really simple but actually you don’t know it, until you know it.

And I had a revelation of that. God started to work that in me, but I needed ministry, I needed help,  because I could not break through into this whole area. So I had some ministry sessions, and God gave me a picture. It was a picture of a photograph, a real photograph that was in our kitchen when I was growing up. It was a photograph of me sat on my dad’s knee. It just hit me like a ton of bricks that this was a posed picture, a sham that never actually happened in reality. And it really, really got to me emotionally. In fact my whole relationship with my earthly father was a total sham.

Forgive and Release

Emotionally it was a really hard thing to do, and I had to really choose to do it as an act of will, but it caused me to choose to forgive him and release him from not being a real dad to me.

It was hard, because I didn’t want to do it: it suddenly hit me that he didn’t deserve it, that he had screwed me over for years – that’s literally how I felt. It really hit me hard. I didn’t let those emotions out right then, but I chose to forgive and release him, and God enabled me to go and see him and give him a hug. He did not know what to do, he stood there frozen as I gave him a hug and told him I loved him. He didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t have a problem with that because I knew the reason was that he’d never been loved by his own father. But when I chose to forgive him, it opened up a whole different relationship with God for me.

Now that was back in the early 1990’s. Then, just before we moved here in 1994, we had a series of meetings in the Castle Centre in the town called More for ’94. One evening I had come up and I was doing some teaching as a prelude to setting up the church. We had a time of worship and all the emotion I hadn’t been able to let out from this whole thing with my dad all of a sudden just spilled out like a torrent. I wailed and I wailed and I wailed on the floor, and all the emotions flooded out. I realised it had all been stored up inside me, and at the end of it I was glad it was gone. That was a powerful experience.

Encounter

Then about a year or so later, I had what I now know was my first encounter in heaven. Again, it was in a time of worship, and this one long note on the saxophone just took me into heaven. God took me on his knee, just like in that sham photograph with my earthly father, but this time gave me a real experience of what it was to be bounced on a father’s knee and played with. It restored something deeper again of the relationship I had missed with my father. God is a great God and wants to restore us.

A father-wound

But in spite of all this, years later when I was on a 40-day fast, going into heaven and seeing God and meeting with Him for 2 weeks, it was Jesus and the Holy Spirit I was meeting with, not the Father. Then Jesus came to me and said: “You need to meet with the Father”. I knew in my own heart I needed to meet with the Father, and yet I couldn’t. Then Jesus showed me a big scar that went right over my heart. I was looking down at this wound and He said, “you have a father-wound.”

And I started to argue: “I’ve forgiven my father. I’ve done everything I can.” He said again, “You have a father-wound.” He spoke to me in that encounter and told me He loved me over and over and over again. And each time He said loved me and I received it, that wound began to disappear bit by bit until it was completely gone. It took about 45 minutes in earthly time (I don’t know how long it took in heavenly time) but it just went on and on, because He just would not relent until that wound was gone. And it went.

Back to zero

Since then my whole intimacy with my heavenly Father has been restored. I hang out with Him in His garden, He hangs out with me in the garden of my own heart. Now that was just the wounds being healed. You see, I might have been minus 60 on a woundedness scale, and some people are a lot worse than that, if they have experienced real abuse from their earthly fathers and others. But although all my wounds were healed, that just brought me back to zero on the scale. I didn’t want to be zero. Zero is better than being minus 60, but I wanted to be on the plus side!

Intimacy

I still needed to be fathered. What was it to be fathered? I did not know because I had never been fathered. So then I had to learn, how does God father me? I had an encounter with Him one morning and I was talking to Him, but I felt something was missing: I didn’t feel intimate. And He spoke to me and asked me “Why do you feel that?”

I struggled to explain, “Because I don’t feel it felt intimate”. He said “Well, what is intimacy?” Now I was looking for the kind of experiences that other people had described. I was looking for intimacy to have all the ‘warm and fuzzies’, and to feel lovely (and actually, sometimes you do get that, which is great).

But God said “When is it you really feel alive? When do you really feel close to me?” So I thought about it. “When You are talking to me and You’re sharing Your heart with me and when You are revealing the Word to me”. He said “That’s me fathering you.” It totally freaked me out to think that I didn’t have to have a relationship like anybody else’s or experience what other people said intimacy was. I could just be me.

And for me, with my redemptive gift, God’s love language to me is sharing with me and just having quality time with Him, quality time in which we just get to hang out together. It doesn’t matter if I feel all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes I just spend an hour with Him and come out of that time with pages of notes, because He has talked to me about stuff. I know He loves me. That is for me what has brought me into a place of freedom. We all need to find the love languages of our Father: how does God love you? What is (or would be) intimacy with Him to you?

Lavished on us

Do you feel like you don’t belong? Do you feel you don’t fit anywhere? Do you still feel like an orphan? Do you feel that no one loves you? Do you still feel rejected? If you do feel any of those things (and others), God wants you to feel His love and acceptance today.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us... (1 John 3:1 NIV)

He wants to lavish His love on you today, so that you will know you’re His child. ‘Lavish’: He wants His love to just overflow, so that it almost seems wasteful, He’s giving us so much love. Another version says:

See what an incredible quality of love the Father has given, shown us, bestowed on us, that we should be given, and named and called and counted the children of God (1 John 3:1 AMP).

prodigal

We are called children of God, and that is who we really are. God’s desire for us is intimacy with Him. The story of the prodigal son is a story of reconciliation back to the Father, and He wants us to experience that reconciliation and restoration of relationship today; not as a slave, or a servant, but as a son, with the full rights of sonship.

I believe that just like the father in that story, God wants to meet you with a hug. If you need a hug from the Father today, come to Him. If maybe you have never embraced the Father in a personal way, take that step today. He wants to hug you, and tell you how much He loves you, as His child. And allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, to shed that love abroad in your heart, so that you feel accepted, valued and appreciated; so that you feel loved.

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SoundTrack (also from 1994)

We are the Fatherless – Brian Doerksen

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Vision Destiny 2016

VisionDestiny2016 1k squareFree!

Seven messages by Mike Parsons delivered at Freedom Church in January and February 2016.
A review of 2015 and what to expect in 2016.

Digital download (mp3 and PDF) with links to streaming YouTube videos.

Click here to download – absolutely free!

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195. The Source and River of Life

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Rivers of living water

Jesus died to give us access to heaven, and not only when we die: eternal spiritual life begins here and now. He died, but He did not stay dead. He rose again and is alive today. He is alive in heaven; He is alive in those who believe in Him; He manifests His presence here with us. Because of our relationship with Him, we can have intimate relationship with the Father as adopted sons, and with one another as brothers and sisters in God’s family.

We are connected to the source of life, and the source of life is connected to us. Within our spirit, there is a door that connects to God and to heaven, and it is up to us whether we 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).

When we choose to open that door on a daily basis, He comes in, fills us, and manifests around us so that people see and experience Him through us.

Living Water

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

Jesus was not offering the Samaritan woman a cupful, He was offering her the River of Life which is flowing in heaven. It is the same river that was in the Garden, where it split into four rivers and watered the earth.

The river that Ezekiel saw (see Ezek 47) was ankle-deep as it flowed out from the Temple. Ankle-deep water can refresh your feet; you can even reach down and get a drink from it. But it did not stay ankle-deep, or even waist-deep, but got deeper and deeper until it was so deep you could not cross it. Wherever that river went, it brought life. God wants us to bring that water to others so that they too can be filled and experience that life.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:38).

If we go to that spring every day and drink of it, it will become a fountain of eternal life not only for us, but also for those around us. It will flow through our whole being, spirit soul and body. But we do have to draw water from the well. We have to get into the river. We have to drink the water.

Do we know the gift of God?
Are we connected to the flow of living water?
Do we drink from the internal well of water springing up to eternal life?
Do we experience the constant flow of the source of life, the Holy Spirit?

There is a river

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns (Psa 46:4-5).

How deeply have we drunk of this river?

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers (Psa 1:3).

That is a description of what our life can be like when we live connected to that source of life, putting our roots down and constantly drawing from it.

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, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22: 1-2).

We can follow that river flowing in our spirit, back up into the heavenly realms. Years ago, we would only have expected to encounter the river in this realm – ‘we rejoice for the river is here’, as we used to sing – but we can also experience the river in the realms of heaven.

Five Rivers

The River of Life is only one of five rivers that God showed me cascading like waterfalls out of heaven today. We can jump in and experience:

  • The River of Life – New Birth
  • The River of death and resurrection – Water Baptism
  • The River of the Spirit – Baptism in the Holy Spirit
  • The River of Fire – Consuming Fire
  • The River of Glory – Heavenly presence

Jump into the River of Life. Experience something deeper of the presence of God. Open that door in your own life and begin to sense the flow of His life in you. And if you have never met Jesus before, open up that door for the first time and drink of the River of Life. Drink that water until it becomes a well, a spring that bubbles up in you.

If you have had a baptism experience but you want more, plunge into the river of death and resurrection. Be washed inside and out, cleansed from your past, have the power of sin broken over your life. Exchange all the old for the new. Exchange the struggles, the sickness, the guilt, the shame. Exchange your old identity for a new one. Stop to trying to meet your own needs and allow God to meet them. Walk in resurrection power.

Jump into the River of the Spirit. Whoever wants to be filled with the joy, whoever is eager for the gifts, whoever wants to speak in tongues, come and receive a river flowing from within. Open your heart and receive all He has for you. Experience the power of baptism in the Holy Spirit at a completely new level.

Be empowered. Then give it away; let it flow from you.

If you need to be transformed, if you need the fire of God, then jump in and open your heart to the all-consuming River of Fire. Allow God’s fire to refine you, purify you, transform you. Allow God’s fire to destroy your chains. Jesus came to baptise in the Holy Spirit and fire (see Matt 3:11). Experience the power of baptism in fire.

Open your heart and receive all He has for you. Do not be satisfied with less.

Upstream to the source

If you are born again and have never engaged with God in your own heart and spirit, He is there, and you can do so right now. If you have never been into the realms of heaven, find the river within you and follow it back upstream to its source.

Experience God at a new level today. If you don’t want to jump right in, you can start by standing in the shallows. Feel the river flowing, and gradually go deeper. Eventually, go under, breathe in, and drink. Feel the energy, His life flowing in and through you.

Taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8a).

Activation

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193. Rendering Service (Angels – Part 2)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

“Paradiso Canto 31” by Gustave Doré

All the miracles Jesus performed, He did as a man, a forerunner of the church that was to come. There was an open heaven over Jesus’ life. He lived in both realms, connecting earth and heaven, and angels were part of that connection. They were actively involved in all that He did, from the announcement of his birth to the empty tomb. This is a whole dimension of the supernatural which Jesus interacted with, and if we are to do ‘greater works than these’(John 14:12), then surely we will need to interact with it in the same way Jesus did.

On earth as it is in heaven

Jesus died so that we could inherit. That inheritance is both earthly and heavenly, both natural and supernatural, in line with God’s eternal intention: for man to bring the rulership of God to the whole of creation:

Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
(Matt 6:10).

Throughout most of church history the enemy has blinded our eyes and convinced us that we are weak, powerless and of no effect. If we will start believing the truth of who we are, of our identity as sons of God, as joint heirs with Christ who have authority in the heavens and on the earth, then our lives will become a gateway for heaven to manifest on earth just as Jesus’ life was.

We saw in the last post that as a Joshua generation we are called to operate with the angels and the heavenly realms. The ‘promised land’ we are entering is the fullness of our inheritance, physical and spiritual, which God has set aside for us. Joshua met with an angel (the captain of the host of the Lord) who came and gave him revelation from heaven, and with an open heaven over our lives we should expect the same kind of thing to happen for us.

Ministering spirits

If ‘angels are ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation’ (Heb 1:14), then they must be bored silly, because most of us don’t have any connection with them. We are ‘those who will inherit salvation’, but how many of us actively enlist the help of angels on a daily basis?

What service do we want them to render to us? Do we want them to bring blessing, favour, finance, healing – for our benefit, or for others? Do we want them to minister to our families, our children, our friends and work colleagues? They are messengers, worshippers, warriors and more. We need to open up our perspective on this, and broaden it, because there is so much that they are available to do for us. God wants us to expand our understanding – and experience – of the angelic, so that we can do the things Jesus did.

When our baby grandson was seriously ill, we prayed for the angels to surround that room, that the spirit of death would have no place there. There was a sense of the angelic presence when we went in there, because we sent them. And his recovery amazed everyone at the hospital.

Personal attributes of God

Angels are often at work where a personal attribute of God is mentioned such as the arm, hand or eyes of God. God is spirit, and He does not have a physical body like that. When He does show up in person, He comes in a dark cloud for our protection. But the angels are the executors of God’s actions and the means of the revelation of His personal being to man.

The activity of the Holy Spirit is often confused with the activity of angels. A common argument you will hear from people who don’t believe we should engage with angels goes like this: ‘we don’t need angels, because God sends the Holy Spirit’.

The Holy Spirit is God. He was only ‘sent’ once, on the day of Pentecost, to come and fill the church. We come into that experience for ourselves when we get born again and baptised in the Holy Spirit. He is our internal Guide, Comforter, and Counsellor, bringing a sense of love, joy and peace. We know that we are dearly loved children – that is the Holy Spirit at work. And it is He who brings the power and the anointing for our mission. I am not seeking to minimise the importance of the Holy Spirit.

But God uses angels to do His business. So I believe the trembling, heat, electricity, fragrance and so on that we may experience in worship are actually angelic presence. ‘But that’s God!’ you may say. I agree, it is God. It is God using the angels to manifest these things so that we can experience them.

The angel of the Lord

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush… When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exod 3:2,4).

How much of this was the angel and how much of it was God? I believe all of it was the angel – and all of it was God, using the angel to speak to Moses.

The angel of His presence

In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old (Isa 63:9).

We can feel the presence of God in the presence of the angelic. Angels communicate His presence to us. The angel of His presence can bring love, and mercy – and, according to this scripture, redemption and salvation.

The hand of the Lord

Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling (Dan 10:10-11).

When we tremble and shake, are we being touched by an angel?

The eyes of the Lord

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His (2 Chron 16:9).

The fear of the Lord

“For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land… I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you” (Exod 23:23,27).

God sent the angels ahead of His people as they entered the Promised Land. As we seek to enter into our inheritance, we can expect angels to go before us and prepare the way.

Word of the Lord

The word of the LORD came to Zechariah the prophet.  I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “I will show you what these are”. And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are those whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth” (Zech 1:7-10).

It is time for us to see the angels commissioned and released. There is nothing wrong in our asking God to do these things for us, especially when we are spiritual babies. But as we mature, we begin to understand that we have the authority to send the angels out for ourselves.

How many angels are there?

Jesus said He could instantly call on more than twelve legions – or more than 72,000 (Matt 26:53). If we are joint heirs with Him, how many can we call on? But the enemy wants to keep us ineffective, so we have never been taught to think that way.

Hebrews speaks of countless thousands (Heb 12:22). And there are 10,000 x 10,000 = 100 million angels surrounding the throne in heaven (Rev 5:11).

If angels are as numerous as the stars of heaven (see Rev 12:4), then there are around a billion stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, and between 1022 and 1024 stars in the Universe (that is, the number 1 with between 22 and 24 zeroes after it). That is a lot of angels.

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Heb 1:14, my emphasis).

God made the angels, and He made them for us.

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Image attribution: the image at the head of this article is “Paradiso Canto 31” by Gustave Doré – Alighieri, Dante; Cary, Henry Francis (ed) (1892) “Canto XXXI” in The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Complete, London, Paris & Melbourne: Cassell & Company Retrieved on 13 July 2009.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – http://bit.ly/1ON8PY3