24. For Such A Time As This

Mike Parsons 

We are in the middle of looking at some serious issues which require a response from us. We saw last time that Jesus is saying to the church, ‘Repent, or else!’. There are things which God wants removed from His church in these days and if we are wise we will remove them ourselves – because if not, the ‘or else’ is that He will come and remove them.

Jude picks up the same theme: Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah (Jude v11).

Cain was a murderer, overcome by anger and  jealousy; we need to watch out for unforgiveness in our relationships with each other – these things have no place and can no longer be tolerated in the church. Balaam, as we said last time, indulged in licence, immorality and idolatry; and he encouraged others to do the same. Ministry for personal gain was what that started with, being paid to prophesy against God’s people. Korah rebelled against Godly authority; he wanted to do it his own way. But the days of loose cannons in the body of Christ is over. There is no room for ‘lone rangers’. We work together, in unity and harmony; side by side, not on our own.

We need to keep in mind that all these things were written for our benefit: ‘Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.  Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come’ (1 Cor 10:6-11).

We need to be really careful about polluting our bodies. If 23,000 fell in one day under the Old Covenant, and the New Covenant brings greater responsibilities, then we had really better not try God’s patience. Grumbling? It doesn’t sound like much, but it was fatal, it brought destruction on them. God is not going to tolerate such things much longer; He is coming to clean His house, and if we carry on behaving this way then we are putting ourselves seriously at risk.

We are called for such a time as this. That is what was said of Esther; she was the queen and the bride, representing the bride of Christ in the New Covenant. She lived in a time of extreme danger, as do we, and she was able to go in to the king and rescue the nation. But she had to go through a time of preparation, of anointing with fragrant oil and perfume, she had the very best lavished upon her, and she made herself ready for the king.

We need to make ourselves ready because this is our time. We need to deal with all the idols that take priority over God. Those might be family, work, church, sport, relationships, ministry, money, success. Sickness can be an idol, as can addictions, problems, issues. Images you have seen, words you have heard and said, memories of past hurt and trauma, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, disappointment… the list goes on. Mindsets and strongholds, things you strongly believe and hold on to, doctrines and traditions in the church (Mark 7:8) – anything that is bigger than God in our thinking. Smoking is a big one: using tobacco to cope with stress and trouble, to relax. Some people use food the same way.

Looking at the problem rather than the solution will magnify the problem, and then it gets in the way of our looking at Jesus. Maybe we can still see Him a bit, but it prevents us looking into His eyes; it prevents us looking into His heart. It can appear so big to us that it gets to the point where we can’t see past it. Or if we can see through it at all, it still acts as a filter; so that everything we see of Jesus is coloured by our issues. But Jesus is way bigger than any problem we might have. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, the problems become diminished and He is magnified. Nothing is impossible for God.

Let’s remove the stumbling blocks from our hearts. Let’s not see everything through the filter of our idols. God doesn’t want us seeing Him that way; he doesn’t want us living like that. That sword is coming. That living, active, sharp word will come and judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. It will reveal our motives; it will expose selfishness and self-centredness.

When I was on the fast I spent time going through my life year by year, repenting and being cleansed. It was really valuable, but I know I only scratched the surface. God wants to take us deeper. He wants to cleanse and purify our conscience, the ears of our hearts; He wants to cleanse and purify our imagination, the eyes of our hearts; He wants to cleanse and purify our reason, the voice of our hearts. The deaf cannot hear the voice of God, the blind cannot see Him, and the dumb cannot speak with His voice. But we can do all these things if we choose to be cleansed and purified.

I have said it before: our choice empowers God or it empowers the enemy. God wants us undistracted; He wants our choice.

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23. A Bride Bejewelled with Splendour

Mike Parsons 

William and KateIt is, and always was from time and eternity past, God’s intention to have a bride for His Son. And that bride is going to be arrayed in finery, perfumed with fragrant oils, and adorned with precious jewels: she will not be dirty and dressed in filthy rags.

Royal Wedding

We had a royal wedding here in Britain a while ago when Prince William married Kate Middleton. Do you remember what that was like? The bride wore a beautiful lace dress – it must have cost thousands, maybe tens or hundreds of thousands – and she went through weeks and months of preparation to be ready for that day. God wants a bride like that for His Son.

He wants her meticulously prepared. The angels are going to be looking on in wonder and amazement. She will be adorned with the character of Christ – that is what the beauty is, the fruit of the Spirit – and bejewelled with gifts of splendour. Jesus is coming back for a bride like that. And who is that bride? It is the church, and we have the opportunity to be a part of that bride, or to be an obstacle that gets in the way.

Discipline

The Message version of Heb 12:6 says:

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child He loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training.

And verse 11:

But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

So God is doing His best for us, because He wants His best for us. He is looking for a people who are well-trained, people who are mature in relationship with Him. We need to risk letting Him see inside our hearts, and we need to surrender.

Eyes on Jesus

We also have a part to play if we want His best:

London_MarathonLet us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

You do not run a marathon carrying heavy weights. You don’t wear a heavy costume – well, some people do, but not the winners! You are not going to win the London marathon dressed in a gorilla suit.  The winner will wear a lightweight vest and proper running shoes, and their focus will be on the finishing line, the goal, and on the prize. We need to have our eyes fixed on Jesus.

It is so easy to get distracted, to take your eyes off Him and start looking around at something else that catches your attention. Not everything that distracts us is bad in itself. But we can’t afford to lose sight of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. We will need to be radical. We will need to be ruthless. We need to ask ourselves the questions: What is it that holds me back? Entangles me? Distracts me and draws me off track? People do get drawn off track, sometimes for years. Whatever it is, you need to turn away from it, and run the race with your eyes fixed on Jesus. Such things are idols, idols in our hearts, they become bigger than God to us.

Thus says the Lord GOD, “Any man who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity” (Ezek 14:4). God hates idolatry; he has the right to first place in our lives, and that is what he demands. What idols are we bowing down to? God wants them thrown down.

You can put the name of this church, or any other church in the world, into this scripture, because Jesus is saying this to His church everywhere:

And to the angel of the Church at ……… write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this… I have a few things against you… The teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality… Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth (Rev 2:12, 14, 16).

The sin of Balaam was idolatry and immorality. God is going to clean house. Anything that we fail to deal with ourselves, He is going to come and deal with it. Jesus says ‘Repent or else!’ That is a strong word, and we had better sit up and take notice. The ‘or else’ is that He will ‘come with a sharp sword and make war against them with the sword of His mouth. I don’t want that; I’m sure you don’t want it; we don’t want it for ourselves, and we don’t want it for anyone else, come to that. God is giving us one last opportunity to repent and turn away from these things.

If we are smart, we will take that opportunity.

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21. Conflict for Souls

Mike Parsons – 

One Sunday, as we were singing, I saw Jesus, and He was looking at me. He was the Jesus of Revelation chapter 1, with fire in His eyes; His gaze was penetrating, seeing into my head, seeing into my heart. There was love in His eyes, and fire, and He was looking deep within me.

The eyes of God

The scripture says that the eyes of God are going to and fro throughout the earth (2 Chron 16:9), looking for those who He can strongly support: those whose hearts are completely His. That is what He is doing in this time, looking for willingness; willingness to say, ‘My heart is Yours. There may be stuff in it that needs dealing with, but I am willing for You to do what needs to be done, to restore me and make me whole. I am willing to step out and do Your will’. God’s eyes will penetrate your heart. If He looks into your heart and mind, what is He going to see there? Certainly you are not going to be able to hide anything from His eyes. And because He is also a warrior king, He is coming with a sword in His mouth; His words too will penetrate your heart and life, bringing division between the positive and the negative, the good and the bad, what can remain and what must be got rid of.

God never acts without revealing his plans to His prophets. Some of you reading this, you are on a crash course. You have been saved into this environment, into this understanding of God’s revelation and His purposes in our days. It will not take you the twenty years or more that it has taken some of us to come into the reality of the presence of God. And things are only going to accelerate, if we are willing. We do have that choice – we can resist Him and stop Him having His way in us, prevent Him from purifying and refining us, clearing out the dross and revealing the image of His Son in us. My advice is, don’t hide, don’t resist; allow God to deal with what is in your heart. In what is coming, a level of holiness – a level of being set apart – will be required that we simply do not have as yet. The highway of holiness is higher than we have imagined.

Harvest

Jesus is returning. He will return, at the end, but He is returning all the time. He is coming to us all the time. Open your heart, and He will come to you. The reason He is coming is to prepare us for the conflict for souls. The harvest that is coming is a battle for souls, make no mistake about it, and there will be conflict. People are falling into a fiery pit every day, and they are making that choice to go there.

I had a vision while I was on my 40 day fast, a vision of people, hundreds and thousands of them, walking across a plain. In the distance I could see that fiery pit, and people were just walking straight up to it and falling in. And I saw other people, Christians, standing in front of them and planting a sword in the ground right in front of them and saying, ‘Stop!’ Some of them did stop, but they looked around them, then they stepped to one side and carried on going.

Others did turn around though. With some of them it took 3 or 4 people to plant a sword in their path and cry, ‘Stop!’ before they turned and went back. The enemy has blinded their eyes. Our part is to bring the light. This is a real battle, this battle for souls: we are not playing games, not just having nice times with God for our own personal enjoyment, for the sake of the experience. Yes, He wants us to experience Him, but He wants our hearts and lives transformed for purpose, for His eternal purpose. People’s destiny is at stake, and we must shine so brightly that we get their attention so that they see that God is real and that they too can be transformed through His love.

What did Jesus say? ‘Look around you, the fields are white but there are not enough labourers’. He is seeking out those who have a heart for the harvest, to bring it in. In everything God is doing and planning to do, this is what it is about: bringing in the full harvest, seeing all those people saved, and healed and delivered.

The first stage we have looked at in God’s Prophetic Timetable is that call to intimate knowledge of Him, to really know Love. But the second stage has already begun for some people, even as that first one continues. Every stage of this plan takes us closer to the return of Jesus. We have already seen that God has established forerunners of everything He plans to do, little tasters if you like, to give us an appetite for what he intends to bring about on a much greater scale. So everything we have seen so far is tiny in comparison to what is coming.

That second stage is the removal of stumbling blocks, and the revelation of a generation of those who will bring in and train the harvesters. You have to understand, there are two phases of the harvest. There will be a final harvest at the very end of the age, but first the harvesters themselves need to be brought in. We will consider this next time.

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19. Stepping Up

Mike Parsons  

Step up

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:

Periods of God's Prophetic Timetable

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.

Step up

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.

Encounter

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.

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18. Experiencing Intimate Knowledge of God

Mike Parsons 

Unbelieving believers EngKnowing our identity as sons of God begins with really knowing God and not just knowing about Him. Who are we? As sons of God, we are royalty. We have a royal identity. We are priests – those who have free and full access to the holy things of God. We are a habitation of God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have made their home in us and want to be expressed through us. Bill Johnson says that ‘God is locked up in unbelieving believers’. He doesn’t want to stay locked up any more – He wants us to let Him out.

And we don’t want to be unbelieving believers either. We want to be believing believers, those who know what God says about us and act on it without question, without hesitation. And there is a call for real intimacy, to know God’s love intimately on earth and in heaven. If we are a habitation of God, then we have God on the inside: more and more, He desires to open up His heart to us and for us to open up our heart to Him. This is increasing in intensity: we have seen that the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit is as nothing compared to the latter rain that is coming.

Call to intimacy

We can struggle with the very concept of intimacy with God. The men in particular, even as we are singing ‘Romance me’ in our Sunday meeting, some are squirming because they don’t know how to take it, because they can’t get their head around being romanced by a man. But God is not a man, He is a spirit. Yes, He makes Himself known to us as Father, but God is a Spirit. ‘Hold me close, let Your love surround me’ – He wants to hug us, draw near to us, so that we can truly know Him, know what He is feeling, know what He is thinking, to feel His heartbeat. The Apostle John laid his head upon Jesus’ breast. Jesus is looking for a close, intimate relationship with us so that we can get revelation of His heart. He is drawing us into that intimacy. Sometimes we struggle, but our praise has the power to open up the heavenly portals so that we can have intimacy with Him, in the throne room, in the bridal chamber; so that we can find intimacy with the heart of God.

These and other chambers in the heavenly realms are places He wants to take us into, but we cannot enter into them unless we allow Him to open up that place of intimacy with us. We need to be willing, so that he can release truth to us, so that he can release our identity to us. The door is open in heaven, and God is calling us to love and identity. He is calling us to know by experience. We can read a book about God, we can even read the Bible, and know facts, but He wants more than that: He wants us to know Him by experience, to know what love really is, to know what acceptance really is, to know what forgiveness really is. He has made us a ‘kingdom and priests to our God’ (Revelation 1:2). And He says, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone opens to me I will come in and dine with him…’ As the Jesus Culture song ‘Come Away‘ says, we need to open up our hearts, and let Him in.

Open the door

Just as Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden, so also we have a garden inside of us now, a place where God’s Spirit joins our spirit. He is wanting to open up a door for us so that we can have experience of heaven, but we have to open it up by opening up our heart to Him. And not just ajar, so that we get a brief glimpse; but to swing it wide and ‘let the King of Glory come in’. Jesus promises that if we will open up to His knock, He will come in and dine with us. Remember, dining is a very intimate thing in New Testament times; they would have reclined on the floor very close to one another; it was a place of sharing life. Jesus wants to do that with us so that we are able to hear His heart, to feel His heart, experience His love. And ‘Look, behold, a door open in heaven’ – as we open the door in our spirit, a  door in heaven opens and we hear a voice inviting us to ‘Come up here, experience my garden, experience the things of heaven with me’. We need to open the door in our spirits, daily, and when we open the door, a door opens for us to receive intimacy of relationship with Him.

I used to think I knew what His Presence was: now I know I didn’t have a clue. I don’t know all that much now, but I know more than I did, because I have experienced it for myself; because I have experienced going to heaven; because I have experienced what it is to look into His eyes, to look at Him on the cross, to see His eyes of love. There is so much for us to experience: let’s be hungry and thirsty, let’s not get stuck, let’s be eager for more. Because there is more to come. He is wanting to equip us to come into our destiny as sons of God. He wants to parade His sons before people and say, just like He did of Jesus, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, listen to Him’.

It is time for us to open up our hearts. It is time for us to become superheroes of faith. I am telling you, Marvel Comics characters will have nothing on the church when we come into our inheritance as sons.

Father, release a hunger and a thirst in Your people.
Release in them a passion for intimacy, for love,
So that each of them will open up their heart
And let the King of Glory come in.

Let the Holy Spirit come in and stir us to receive You.
Touch us afresh,
Help us to know who we are, and who You are.
Teach us to flow together with You,
To open up those heavenly gates and welcome You in.

Let Your people see that door standing open in heaven,
And hear Your voice inviting them to ‘come up here’.
Let Your Spirit brood over us.
Empower us as sons of the Living God
To be those superheroes of faith
Who know their God, and do exploits.

Amen.

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Soundtrack: Jesus Culture – Come Away

17. Prophetic Timetable Overview (part 2)

Mike Parsons – 

cornfield-195642_640Last time we looked at the opening stages of what I have called the Prophetic Timetable – at what God is planning to do in our days. There is a call to intimacy, a gathering of stumbling blocks, a raising up of a Joshua generation, a judgment of God’s household, a harvest of labourers and a shaking of the world’s systems.

Final Harvest

And there is going to be a final harvest. I have told you before, at the very least there are going to be more people in heaven than not. If there are 6 billion people today on the planet, then I want most of those people to be swept into the kingdom of God – but we are going to need that earlier harvest of labourers to bring this harvest in.

The River of Life is flowing from the throne in heaven today. The crystal river is full of gems and other wonderful things, but it is flowing through the realms of the heavenlies, into the dimensions of the atmosphere of the earth, a kingdom in (not ‘of’) darkness, to a place called Nirvana. Some of you might know what that place is, it is a desolate place. The river is being dammed up in that dimensional realm. The River of Life continues to flow and build up pressure and so that dam is going to be broken when we take back possession, when we take back the authority that Adam lost. Satan became the prince of the power of the air in what was Adam’s sphere of influence. When we bring the dominion of the kingdom of God, opening the everlasting doors so that the light of the glory of God disperses the darkness, then that dam is going to break and the River of Life is going to be poured out on earth. That’s why this harvest is going to come, it is because the River of Life is going to be poured out. I have seen that place, it is desolate right now, waiting and waiting for us to get our act together, to take back authority, to release the things of God.

There is going to be increasing darkness, but increased light. Increasing darkness in the world; increasing light in the church. We are going to shine before people; we are going to demonstrate the light, to be children of light. There will be increased manifestations of the glory of God, signs and wonders, and full ministry and full miracles being released. As a result of all that, there is going to be persecution. When we start seeing the true church born out of the institutional church, there is going to be persecution. But we can rise above that. There is going to be an end-time transfer of wealth: we are going to need to be able to finance the end-time harvest.

The mountain of the house of the Lord (speaking of God’s Kingdom, administered through the church) is going to be raised up above every other mountain, every other hill, every one of those things that are being ruled right now by the enemy.

Return of Jesus

Jesus is going to return. But in Acts 3:21 it says that Jesus will remain in heaven ‘until the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time’. So everything prophetically spoken in the New and Old Testaments will be fulfilled before Jesus returns. That is going to blow some of your theologies out of the water. There is all sorts of nonsense talked about what is going to happen. Jesus said that He is coming back in the same way that He went. When He comes back on the last day, it will be the end of time and the ushering in of eternity. He is going to stay in heaven until He has restored everything on earth. So, everything promised to Adam and Eve: restored. Everything promised through the prophets: restored. Everything spoken of through Jesus: fulfilled, coming into its fullness before He returns. Not after He has returned, but before He returns. ‘He must remain in heaven until…’.

So who is going to do the restoration? We are, His people. He gave the original mandate to Adam and Eve, and now He has given it back to His people, calling us to fulfil it – as he calls the church to fulfil it – calling us to bring His kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.

There will be a last day, when Jesus comes, a day of resurrection, a day of judgment, when we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, it says, and we will be drawn to meet him. On that last day, He is indeed coming back in the same way He went: on clouds of glory, with the cloud of witnesses who will be with Him, to receive us to himself.

The age to come

And then we have the age to come. All this that we are experiencing right now is just preparation for the age to come. This is not the final deal; this is to prepare us for what is to come. And how you live here will determine what you do there. Jesus said some people are going to rule over ten cities, or five, or some over one – that was just an illustration of how there are going to be different roles to play, different levels of authority to exercise, and that will be dependent on our faithfulness here in doing the things Jesus did and the reward that He is going to release to us in that heavenly realm. Now, I want to rule over a universe, don’t you? Jesus said we could do the things He did, and greater; well, He created this universe, why not create another one? Take the limits off your thinking here: with God in eternity we are not going to be sitting around on a cloud with a little harp, plucking it and saying ‘Oooh isn’t this lovely!’. The age to come is what we are being prepared for here and now; in the age to come He is going to show us the fullness of everything.

Fire will come and purify the church. So anyone who is storing up stuff here, no matter how good it is, it is going to go into the fire. We need to be ready, because God has already begun.

In future posts we will begin to look in more detail at these periods, and first of all the call to intimacy.

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15. Revelation of God’s Prophetic Timetable

Mike Parsons – 

We are getting to the core part of what we set out to share with you. Everything we have posted so far has really been by way of introduction. We are now beginning to look in detail at the prophetic timetable that God is opening up to us, the revelation of His plans and purposes over the coming months and years. Let’s remember, there are no specific dates or times here, just a sense of different phases or periods in which God will be working in particular ways, which He is calling us to recognise so that we can cooperate and participate with Him.

This is the first part of that prophetic timetable:

Each of these is a period of time which does not end, but continues alongside the other periods of time. Over these periods, there are going to be an increasing number of apostolic centres, where God is equipping people in apostolic power and ministry, and in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Increasingly, fivefold ministry gifts are going to be released to the body of Christ. There will be increasing manifestation of a people who are seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. There is going to be an increased shaking of every worldly system: financial, medical, political; in fact any system that is out there is going to be shaken. And the only things that can remain are the things that are based on the Kingdom of God. There is going to be increasing world darkness, but church light. We are going to shine in the darkness and there are going to be increasing manifestations of the glory in signs and wonders, which is going to demonstrate God’s Kingdom in heaven here on earth.

This second diagram is just a different way of looking at those same periods  Now there are a couple of things I want to touch on. The first one of those periods has already started, it is already here, a call to intimacy and love. Again, you can see it will not stop, it will go on underneath all the other things God will be doing, until Jesus returns. You can read Song of Solomon and just get information, or you can catch His desire for intimacy; you can read it and expect to experience the presence of God for yourself. Many people are experiencing the presence of God and his love today far more than they were last year.

That is happening, and it is to prepare us for the coming of the sword, because there is going to be a gathering of stumbling blocks and the refiner’s fire. You do not need to be frightened of that, you can fall on the rock and be broken! I would rather do that than the rock fall on me and be crushed, but whatever way, God is going to do it, and it is up to us which way it is to be (see Matt 21:44). We can surrender to it, and allow God to do it, or not.

We need to be a habitation of God, a dwelling place of God’s Presence. We need to know God is in us. Father, Son and Spirit came to dwell in us: as it says in John 14, ‘they made their abode’. Jesus went to prepare us to be a place where the Holy Spirit could dwell, and the Father and the Son could dwell.

In Acts 2 there was wine, fire, and wind of the Spirit. The early rain was great, but there is going to be a latter rain which is even better. So all the wind and the fire and the rain of the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit is only a taster of what is going to be poured out in the end. ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’.

Wine, fire, wind

I have engaged with three of these periods so far personally.

I experienced the wine of the Spirit in 1993 through a guy called Rodney Howard-Browne. He was known as ‘Joel’s bartender’ because he brought the pouring out of the wine of the Spirit to the Pentecostal arm of the church, with a lot of laughter. In Toronto they picked up on that, and it was wild. As a church, Freedom was birthed from that in More for ’94: and it really was wild, it was like a zoo. Bob Jones prophesied in 1983 that this was going to take place, and when it did it caused warfare in the church; it caused division. Most of the people in the UK were on the side of God: for instance the Church of England came out and said ‘These are manifestations of the Holy Spirit – we are going for it’; Holy Trinity Brompton, particularly, were in the forefront of that. Awesome! But in America it was totally different. It caused division, so much so that the Vineyard church threw out Toronto from their whole movement… and in my view have never been the same since.

Pensacola. The fire. Now I went to Pensacola and it was the most intense fire of the Presence of God I have ever experienced anywhere. You could not walk into that place without wanting to get on your knees in repentance. People ran to the front, including me, to repent; and I couldn’t even think of anything to repent of! I ran to the front and just got on my knees and cried to God because my spirit was so touched by the fire of his Presence. That was just a flicker of what is coming.

Lakeland: the wind. Some of us were touched by what happened in Lakeland. Whatever you believe about what went on in Lakeland, it was God. Man got involved and there were unwise things that happened but it was God. You can’t reach out and touch your TV screen and be changed if it isn’t God. How many of us did that? We did that. It was the Presence of God, it was the wind. Now that disrupted everything, it was a worldwide phenomenon, thanks to God TV and the internet. The wind blew, but that was just a breeze compared to what is coming. A wind is going to blow, and nothing is going to stop it. You can’t tell where it’s coming from, you don’t know where it’s going; but it is going to blow powerfully, more powerfully than any of us really know. Before Jesus returns, that wind is going to blow. The former glory is going to be nothing compared to the latter glory of the house: the Kingdom of God revealed, on earth as it is in heaven.

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Related articles from FreedomARC

Engage with God like never before!

Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

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*Technology permitting: automated process on receipt of payment and completion of online registration form. Terms and conditions apply.