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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13. Battle for Your Attention

Mike Parsons

What God wants is our worship.

It has nothing to do with singing songs, that is not what worship is – worship means obedience. It means that God wants us to be His people, who will do what He says and fulfil His purpose. It is described as service in Romans 12:1.

‘Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship’.

That is, giving our life to Him as an offering, surrendering our life daily to His will and purpose. That sacrifice is acceptable to God, it says, and it is your spiritual service and worship. ‘Spiritual service’ and ‘worship’ are the same Greek word, they mean the same thing. They mean that when we surrender to God, we become vessels fit for Him to use. But only if we do indeed surrender, and it is our choice: He gives us free choice to surrender to Him or not. And it is a daily choice, as Jesus said, daily to take up your cross, deny yourself and follow Him. It’s not something you just do once for all, you have to make that conscious decision daily.

And when we come together to worship, we need to release what is in us to fill the environment. We don’t come to suck it in, we come to let what is in us come out: the Presence of God in us.

Who are you going to serve?

But there is a battle going on for your attention, for your worship, and for your choice. Everything around you – the world, your flesh, the devil – everything is competing for your attention, for your worship, for your choice to say ‘yes’ to God on a daily basis. There is competition, there is battle, there is warfare. The question is, who are you going to serve – world, flesh, devil or God?

That is a choice we must make every day. Every day we need to come as a living sacrifice. Every day we need to say ‘Not my will, but Yours be done.’ Every day we need to say ‘I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in this body I live by faith in the Son of God’ (Gal 2:20). And not just faith in the Son of God, though that is what we start with: we become those who have the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20 KJV). We can do the same things Jesus did by faith; we can do the miracles that He did if we have that same degree of faith. So who are we going to serve? God is challenging us, He is challenging his church.

God is Love. That is His very nature. It was what caused Him to create the universe and to create every one of us. And Love wants the best; God wants the best for us, for each of us. He knows what the best is for each of us, that best is already written on a scroll, if you read Psalm 139 it says that He knew you before you were even born. Already on that scroll in heaven your whole life is set out, His will for your life, and He wants to reveal it to you. He wants you to know the best.

‘Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword’ (Matt 10:34).

God has plans for us

Now because God wants the best for us, He is not going to leave us as we are. He is not going to leave us in a mess. He is not going to leave us with all kinds of things going on in our lives that stop the best, that stop us being like Jesus. He is going to come with a sword, the sword of His Word, the sword of the Spirit, speaking the truth. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so there is no other Way: He is going to bring the best. There is no other Truth, there is no other Life: it is the very best that God has got prepared for us. He has got plans for us.

Some of us may look at our lives and think, ‘Is that ever going to happen?’ That’s why He is coming as He is coming: to ensure that it does happen, to ensure that everything – every negative experience in our past – gets dealt with.

‘For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart’ (Heb 4:12). That is what has been taking place here. God has been challenging the thoughts and intentions of our hearts, asking what is our motive, why is it that we want to come and be touched by Him? Why do we want more of His Spirit? What is going on? Why is He drawing us? Well, it is because that sword of truth is coming to divide. It is going to show us what is in our hearts. It says in Jeremiah that the heart is deceitfully wicked, it can deceive us. So it needs purifying. God is coming to show us the truth, to purify and refine us, to create the best, to create the image of the glory of Jesus. He wants sons. That includes the ladies, it’s a generic term, He wants to reveal us to the world as His sons.

First of many sons

He sent Jesus as the first Son, who was the firstborn from the dead. He rose from the dead so that He could be the first of many sons, and we are all those sons, but we need to be transformed into that image of Jesus. So that we can be like Jesus, do the things that Jesus did, we need to be prepared.

Therefore we need to pay attention to what God has said. We need to pay attention to what God is doing, we need to listen, because He is saying to get ready. There are situations, obstacles, challenges coming that we need to be ready for. So let’s be prepared to see and to hear, in the realm of the kingdom of God. Prepared to act in obedience, to step out when He says to step out, even if it might cost us, still willing to step out. We have got to ‘be prepared to be prepared’. God is coming to prepare us, and we need to be prepared for the warfare that is coming. Prepared to be ambassadors for the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, operating under another value system. We have got to be prepared to be revealed as sons, real sons of God, to take dominion and rule. Adam and Eve were given dominion of the earth and they lost it to Satan; but Jesus came and got it back, and now He wants us to administer it for Him. We have got to be prepared to bring heaven to earth, therefore we need to have access to heaven: we need to be able to access the realms of heaven in order to be able to bring them to earth.

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