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.
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 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.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Each of the redemptive gifts resonates with a colour and has a particular affinity with one of the seven spirits of God. He is opening up the realms of heaven for us to engage with those seven spirits who are there to tutor us and train us into sonship. [Please click the image to view it as a full-size PDF.]
Prophet – Red – Spirit of the Lord
Servant – Orange – Spirit of Wisdom Teacher – Yellow – Spirit of Understanding Exhorter – Green – Spirit of Counsel Giver – Blue – Spirit of Might Ruler – Indigo – Spirit of Knowledge Mercy – Violet – Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
Harmony of the senses
The colours, frequencies and fragrances of heaven can be picked up by our spirits, and affect things here on earth. There is an amazing harmony of all the senses in heaven that brings everything together into a oneness, enabling our whole being to engage with the realm of heaven as we begin to resonate with it. The song of our human DNA can be transformed so that it comes into agreement with the song of God’s original purpose for us, our spiritual identity. In the very essence of our being there is something battling for us to come into our eternal alignment with who we are as spiritual beings of light, as sons of God on the earth.
The revelation is being released to the body of Christ today that colour, sound and fragrance are related and that certain frequencies can bring healing, that essential oils can bring healing. The New Age has hijacked this revelation, using sound and light and frequency with the wrong heart motive and in the power of the soul, so that it leaves a tainted stain on the soul of those who get involved in such things. However, when God uses those same means to touch us, it brings righteousness, justice, holiness, peace and joy into our lives, because it is bringing us back into alignment with who we really are. We need to embrace this, not reject it just because a particular group of people are misusing it.
Quantum physics 1.01: we would not exist unless something observed us (and there are various suggestions about who does the observing, but I think we can agree Who that is). This earthly realm is connected to the spiritual realm and the sound of God’s voice which brought it all into being is still vibrating throughout the whole of creation.
Our eyes and ears can only recognise a very tiny portion of the frequencies that exist all around us, but we know from experience that frequencies outside that range can affect us. If you are exposed to ultra-violet light, you will get sunburn. If you were exposed to gamma radiation, you might not exactly go green and turn into the Incredible Hulk, but it could change you at a genetic level. That is absolute scientific fact. What about all the other frequencies which will also affect us, change us and transform us if we are exposed to them? Our spirits can respond to frequencies that our physical eyes and ears cannot: we call it the voice of God.
When our musicians start playing, they are not just making sound. There is a connection with light and frequency and fragrance that God wants us to experience and come into. Our musicians here at Freedom have retuned to A=432Hz (elsewhere others have chosen A=444Hz) and the difference from the standard tuning of A=440Hz, though unnoticeable to the natural ear for most of us, can be picked up in our spirit. We immediately saw a whole shift in our level of spiritual engagement, in fact the band noticed the difference even on the first practice night with the new tuning.
We need to resonate with God. When He comes and starts to manifest His presence, we are supposed to come into agreement with Him. The Bible calls it unity, the power of agreement. We come together with Him, and it goes deeper than just the mind or the emotions, it goes right down to a genetic level, so that we are conformed to the image of Jesus.
This may frazzle our natural understanding, but it all begins to make sense when we realise that God wants to reveal Himself to us, and that He wants our spirit to engage with Him spirit to spirit. In fact He is releasing revelation to enable us to engage with Him in every way, spirit, soul and body, so that we can be transformed and come into agreement with our destiny, with our true identity, with who He created us to be.
As we begin to do so, we will find we can be seated in the heavenly places, not just in theory but in reality. We can go to the heavenly courts and see righteousness and justice administered on earth as it is in heaven. It was always God’s intention that we would have access, in our spirit, to the realms of heaven, and manifest heaven on the earth. Those manifestations can come in various ways: justice bringing a change to circumstances, healing, deliverance, wholeness. There are sounds and frequencies that can bring healing and deliverance, setting people free from the bondages that hold them captive, and bringing them back into alignment with God’s purpose for their lives.
Arthur Burk, whose work on redemptive gifts has informed much of this series, has found that the 7 redemptive gifts relate to 7 particular areas of the brain:
He also carried out scientific studies using EEG and EAV machines on how the brain responds when spiritual events occur, including angelic and demonic activity. He literally watched (and recorded) as spiritual healing took place. He says:
“Try this experiment. Have someone call each portion of your spirit to the front and ask that portion if it is willing to go to the area of the brain that matches its design.
Ask it to visit both the right and the left hemisphere if that is appropriate (the first five areas)…
In the work we have done in the lab, we can identify with electronic equipment where there is an unclean presence in the brain (demon, AHS or stronghold) and the human spirit confirms the presence of defilement by being unwilling to go there” (Arthur Burk).
There are more relationships of sevens to the redemptive gifts, including warfare strategies (insight, platform, planning, initiating, mobilizing, completing, fulfilment), and basic instincts (contemplative, kingdom, student, experiential, aesthetic, activist, relational). You can pursue this whole topic on Arthur Burk’s YouTube channel and on his Sapphire Leadership Group website.
Jesus demonstrated all the gifts
All the redemptive gifts were present in Jesus’ life and ministry.
He showed us the heart of the prophet, He did not mince His words. He was the servant who washed His disciples’ feet. He was the one who taught from His life and unpacked His teachings with His disciples. He was the one who gave words of encouragement… “I will send a comforter in My place”. He showed us the greatest act of giving in laying down His life. He led by His example. He had mercy to heal the sick and deliver captives.
And we are being conformed to His image, transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we allow Him to change us, as maturity in the faith comes, we become conversant with all the redemptive gifts and appreciative of the way different people express them, because that is how Jesus was. Diversity is essential in the body of Christ, and particularly so now that we are beginning to glimpse the relational, organic nature of what church (ekklesia) is intended to be.
So let’s identify, honour, value and appreciate our own primary and secondary gifts. We can use the surveys (understanding that they are indicators, with flaws and limitations). We can look at the lists of characteristics and see which best describe us (and ask those who know us well what they see in us, too). We can look at what motivates our heart, what gifting matches our natural tendencies, and what the enemy has sought to deny us. Where do we come alive? Conversely (as an indication of what our gift is not), what kinds of things leave us feeling drained? Most important, what does our heavenly Father have to say about us? We can ask Him!
And equally, let’s identify, honour, value and appreciate the gifting of others so that we can operate together more effectively as God intends:
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Eph 4:16 NLT).
Related resources from Freedom ARC
Redemptive Gifts (full series of 7 blog posts), part of the Destiny Trilogy
When we first began looking at the different redemptive gifts that Paul lists in Romans 12:6-8, we saw that each had a colour associated with it. The colours have frequency and vibration that we resonate with in the spiritual realm. And we recognise that when the different coloured flags and banners are waving in our meetings, they open up particular spiritual connections.
But also associated with each gift are different primary areas of the soul:
Prophet – Red – Mind
Servant – Orange – Will
Teacher – Yellow – Mind
Exhorter – Green – Emotions
Giver – Blue – Mind
Ruler – Indigo – Will
Mercy – Violet – Emotions
The spirit/soul wheel
In this diagram the colours represent the gifts and are linked to the soul areas associated with them.
If we are looking to overcome the stronghold areas in our gift, we can use the complementary areas of the soul to do that. These are the areas next to our own gift, both clockwise and counter-clockwise on the wheel. So, for example, red is the prophet gift which operates primarily in the mind. To overcome the weaknesses in the prophet gift you need the servant gift’s soul area, the will, and the mercy gift’s soul area, the emotions.
The most effective way of achieving this in community is to get alongside people with complementary gifting/soul areas, because you will be able to provide a perspective that each of them needs as well as drawing on them yourself. You may even find yourselves naturally drawn together in relationship because you instinctively know that you need one another’s support and help. This is why it is so important for us to overcome any mutual suspicion or distrust of our differences and to honour God’s gifts in one another.
Follow the wheel around and you will see that each gifts needs the strengths of two other gifts.
How does this work? There are connections between the human spirit and the human soul. Each portion of the human spirit is connected to a portion of the human soul. So we need our spirit to engage with our soul to enable it to be led and directed into the things that God wants. A culture of honour and a dependence on each other (in a right sense) will enable each of us to be a fully functioning individual – and together to become a fully functioning body.
God wants to call forth our spirit, and to call forth those gifts in us, so that we will be able to function in the things He has called us to. Just as the Father spoke over Jesus He wants to speak over us as His children today. He wants to speak truth, to call forth His desires for us.
Let’s take a few moments to sense His presence: Father, Son and Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts, speaking to our spirits, calling forth those redemptive gifts of sonship which He has placed within us. Hear what God is speaking over us:
I call forth your identity as My child. I call forth your redemptive gifts. I call forth your identity as an overcomer and a conqueror. I call forth your ability to subdue and to rule your soul. I call you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. I release the gathering angels to expose and remove stumbling blocks and lawlessness from your life, to expose and remove demonic strongholds, to expose and remove iniquitous roots, to expose and remove birthright curses. I call you to surrender and trust Me. I call you to know your true identity, gift and destiny as My child.
God intends us to be part of bringing all creation back into His original intention and purpose, that of redeeming not only this planet but the whole cosmos. True, we are imperfect people, but if we are willing to surrender to Him then He can do that through us.
He is looking for the response of our hearts: for us to say ‘yes’, to draw closer to Him, to allow Him deeper into our hearts, to let the barriers down so that He can bring healing to some of those deep areas of hurt and pain which we have been carefully protecting. Let’s allow our spirits to worship Him in freedom, and to open up our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit, the angels and the presence of God to bring healing, wholeness and restoration.
Let’s come into agreement with Him, let’s realign ourselves back into who we really are, so that we can come into wholeness, into peace, into that place of rest. Not striving or struggling but enjoying the relationship with God that He designed us to have, walking with Him in the cool of the day in the garden of our hearts and in the garden of heaven, we can bring heaven to earth and see His kingdom come, manifested here on earth as it is in heaven.
In our days, the prophetic books are being opened. Fresh revelation is being released: revelation of the Spirit, revelation of heaven, revelation of the days ahead. And God wants His people to get plugged into the Holy Spirit and to be aware of what is going on in our own lives, in the world around us, and in heavenly places, so that we can cooperate with what He is doing.
Where more is given
As each period comes along, it is going to require more of us. God is going to require more of us. Each period brings more revelation, both of what is going on on earth and of what is going on in heaven. And God says that where more is given, more is required.
He wants us to step up to a new level of holiness, a new level of being set apart for Him, a new level of righteousness. He is coming to refine and purify us so that we are able to live on that new level, and we have to submit to Him in that, because He is looking to prepare us for what is coming. On each level there will be more demonstration of kingdom power and authority. God wants to take today’s church back, not just to the early church (or New Testament) levels of kingdom authority, but back to the Garden, where He conferred the mandate on Adam and Eve to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. That task and that mandate are now ours.
This diagram is a representation of what God showed me:
On each level there will be stronger and more powerful demons and fallen angels for us to defeat and dethrone. But we will be able to defeat and dethrone them. We will be able to take new ground on earth, in areas we haven’t yet ventured into. There is territory to occupy and a strategy to outwork. We have the power to overcome: we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
God is looking for us to be a habitation of His Presence, and we need to be prepared to step up. He is calling us to be a people who will bring the kingdom of God from heaven to earth. That call starts with a call to intimacy because only in knowing Him intimately can we be prepared to move up to the next level. Intimacy is absolutely key to moving forward in this.
In the Kingdom Explosion meetings in 2011 when Mike Bryant was here, God showed him that there were three phases of what He was intending to do, and that the first of those phases was fire. The purpose of the fire was first of all to thaw us out! God wants us softened up. He wants to draw us, His sons, His children, to draw us to Him in a close, intimate relationship, and to stir up our passion and our desire for Him. Jesus is to be our first priority, our first love. His kingdom is what we seek, and what we seek first. And we will need constantly to surrender to Him, in order to encounter Him at ever deeper levels.
This is about love. It is about our identity as sons of God. It is about a new level of knowing Him. The Old Testament word for know is “yadah” which means “personal encounter.” There is a difference between the Hebrew and the Greek ways of thinking. The western world has been fashioned and formed by a Greek mindset. We cannot go deeply into that here, but we do need to understand that the Hebrew concept of ‘knowing’ has nothing to do with the intellect. You cannot say you know God unless you have actually experienced Him. People with a Hebrew mindset won’t even listen to you if you are not speaking from experience. Moses had that kind of an encounter with God at the burning bush. That was an experience in which what he saw and heard opened up his destiny for him. We need a personal encounter with God in the same kind of way to open up our destiny for us. As we come to truly know Jesus, His Presence in us will be obvious, and His light will be increasingly shining from within us and growing in intensity.
The New Testament word for know is “ginosko”, and this is the word used for a man knowing his wife and bearing a child. That is pretty intimate isn’t it? This is not sexual, of course, but it is the spiritual equivalent. It is a relationship in which nothing is held back, on either side. We hold nothing back from Him; He holds nothing back from us.
He wants us to know Him in two places: on earth (in our own spirit), and also in heaven. Psalm 23 is a powerful psalm which talks about the intimate relationship God desires to have with us, and that is where we will be going in the next post.