Sons Arise! – Conferences and Intensives 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Read more…

235. New Order Ekklesia

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

The blueprint that has come from heaven

But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved (Matt 9:16-17).

In Jesus’ time and culture the old wineskins were not just thrown away but were renewed, restored and reconditioned to make them suitable to hold the new wine. They had invested a lot into those wineskins. God has invested a lot into the wineskin of church (ekklesia), and He is not just throwing it out.

I hear a lot of people talking about a new wineskin which is not the ekklesia. I do not accept that. The ekklesia is still what Jesus is building; He has not changed His mind. It is still the blueprint that has come from heaven. By all means let’s throw out the old concept of what has become known as ‘church’, with any negative connotations and past experience of hurt and oppressive controlling authority. But since the manifold wisdom of God is to be displayed to the usurping powers and authorities through the ekklesia (Eph 3:10), we need to recognise that without it we are not likely to see the kingdom fill the earth.

…you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light (1 Pet 2:5).

All of us have a responsibility to be who God has called us to be, both individually and corporately.

Characteristics of a new order ekklesia

So a new order ekklesia will comprise people gathered together around a heavenly blueprint. It will function as a heavenly royal priesthood bringing agreement between heaven and earth. It will be built on a foundation of servant leaders, a heavenly foundation of the agreement of heaven’s oracles and a form and style of government which is a reflection of heaven on earth.

It will demonstrate a heavenly pattern of government – bench of 3, bench of 7 and bench of 12. It will not be a copy of any other ekklesia but will be established from its own individual heavenly mandate and blueprint: this variety will demonstrate the manifold nature of God’s wisdom (Eph 3:10 again). The image at the head of this post incorporates a diagram of our blueprint here at Freedom, but please don’t be drawn into trying to reproduce it where you are. Each ekklesia needs its own.

Its shape will be flexible, continuously determined by the living stones who grow and mature as they outwork their destinies within it, and by living stones added and taken away. Its objective is to bring agreement between heaven and earth, to contribute to the restoration of all things to God’s original intent and purpose.

Flexibility

Locally, we have been transitioning into such a new order ekklesia over a number of years. We are forerunners, and even if we are not a perfect example, at least we are evidence that it is possible. Over the years we have produced several different, updated diagrams representing our blueprint, of which the one given here is just the latest, 2017 version. Does that mean that the blueprint has changed? I do not think so, rather it is that God has revealed (and that we have become aware of) different aspects of it over time. When I look back to our beginnings in 1994 and the revelation of Isaiah 61, a foundational scripture for us, my understanding of that now is totally different to what I understood then. The text is still the same, but God has progressively deepened and expanded the revelation of it which we have been able to receive; my perception of it has changed and so, I am sure, has everyone else’s in the ekklesia. Therefore we are not now doing exactly the same things we were doing in 1994, but we are still outworking that same scripture as we now interpret and express it.

We did have a saying, back in those early days: ‘constant change is here to stay’. Little did we know how true (or how important) that was! The structure of our ekklesia is flexible, and it is the people who are part of it who determine what it will look like at any given moment. For example, our seven mountains: who was it who got the blueprints for what those seven mountains were? It was not me; it was not the bench of three; we just had the revelation that we had seven mountains. It was the people who heard the call of God to those mountains, and they continue to determine what those mountains look like. And that flexibility is essential to the continuing growth and development of the mountains, because we will find seven sub-mountains of each, again with different people determining what those are called and what they look like, finding their place as living stones and outworking their destiny in it.

So although we have an overall blueprint which says ‘we are an ekklesia and we will be part of a city of refuge, an embassy of heaven’, the actual form it takes will be totally determined by those who are called to embrace it. And in ten years’ time, when new people have come along, embraced the vision and received revelation themselves, certainly they will see and express something new, and the shape of Freedom Church will look different then to what it is now.

God always requires a new wineskin for new wine, but it is a constantly refurbished one, not something that did not exist before. God will carry on progressively releasing new wine of revelation, and the wineskin of the ekklesia has to remain flexible and be continually renewed if it is to receive it. We must never become rigid and set in our ways.

So whatever we are doing now, I can guarantee that down the line we will be doing something different, because we will have received fresh revelation from God for that season. That is why the concept of being like the sons of Issachar is important: understanding that God operates according to times and seasons, and in each season we need to know what God is calling us to do and to receive the necessary provision from Him to accomplish it.

Angelic engagement

An ekklesia of gathered people will live under an open heaven with angelic engagement. Jacob saw angels ascending and descending at a place he called ‘Bethel’, saying it was a house of God and a gateway of heaven. Individually and corporately we are all ‘Bethels’ into the earth.

Each of us is always a representative or ambassador of the ekklesia 24/7, not only when we are meeting physically in the same location. We do not ‘go to church’, we are church. Our whole lives are an expression of being a house of God, an ekklesia. But when we do come together, that is multiplied exponentially. We need to understand what it is to be built together as living stones, joined in love to fulfil God’s purpose.

Shadow

An ekklesia both individually and corporately is a shadow of what is established in heaven. You have to have something with a light shining on it to produce a shadow on the far side of it. So we must be in heaven in order to cast a shadow on the earth. If we do not live in heaven there can be no shadow on the earth.

I used to go into heaven, try to produce a shadow on the earth, and then come back out of heaven and occupy that shadow. The trouble was that the shadow no longer existed because I was not in heaven any more. That is why we have to learn to live in dual realms of heaven and earth at the same time; things on the earth will change dramatically when we do.

Embassy of heaven

Here, we are developing into a resource for the local community as we expand our work and influence through Freedom Community Alliance. I believe that eventually every ekklesia will be a city of refuge, an embassy of heaven, either in itself or as part of something larger in its city, area or region. That will be a full reflection of heaven’s government, with the mountain of the house of the Lord raised up above all the other mountains as we are an expression of God’s household, God’s kingdom, God’s authority on the earth. All the nations will run to it.

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221. “Does This Apply To Me?” – Redemptive Gifts (5)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott 

We are going to look at some of the behavioural characteristics again in each of the redemptive gifts found in Romans 12:6-8. However, just because you have a particular gift that does not necessarily mean you will have all of the strengths and weaknesses associated with it. As we saw a couple of posts ago, there are all kinds of reasons why the way each of us expresses a particular gift will be different from how others express it. And if you are more mature in the faith, you may well be developing some of the strengths and overcoming some of the weaknesses already.

So as you consider these things, I suggest you just ask God ‘does this apply to me?’

Prophet – black and white

The prophet sees things in terms of black and white, right and wrong: a simplistic worldview in which it is imperative to make sense of everything. As a result, the prophet is able to assess situations quickly and discern whether they are good or bad. Prophets will seize the initiative quickly, and like new things, especially those that threaten the status quo. They are quick to form an opinion, and have no qualms about expressing it without reservation.

But prophets are likely to be moody and to experience emotional highs and lows. They may tend to be impatient or find difficulty with timing in other ways. They are quite hard on themselves, so may struggle to forgive themselves. If an organisation is running well, don’t ask a prophet to maintain it – he or she will try to change it, ‘improve’ it, or quit. Because they don’t do ‘maintaining’ or the ‘status quo’, they can find it hard to maintain excellence, and need vision to see the next ‘new thing’. They can also be poor at maintaining relationships with others.

Servant – meeting needs

Servants are very practical, adept at seeing needs and meeting them. They are committed to the present moment, to meet present needs. They are disposed towards saving things that they or others might need in the future, but not always in an organised way. They have very few enemies, and are considered ‘safe’ people. They extend honour readily to others, because they always see the best (or the potential) in them. They rarely get angry, but when they do it usually revolves around questions of loyalty, and then watch out! They have a purity of motive like no other gift, never counting up what’s owed to them or holding a grudge.

The servant is a team player, relatively free from the desire to build his own kingdom.

But in thinking the best of others, servants may make excuses for them (especially their own children) and conversely struggle with their own self-worth, apologising for themselves while serving others. They struggle to see their innate value and don’t readily believe God’s truth about themselves or their calling. They may be unable to affirm themselves or accept affirmation from other people, especially around excellence in work.

Their desire to help may draw them into enabling others’ neediness by doing things for them instead of teaching them and empowering them to act for themselves. They will often become anxious by taking on other people’s problems and worries, and be disproportionately affected by disappointment. Because they have a strong desire to please, they can find it hard to say ‘no’ (even to mutually exclusive demands), so are often both overcommitted and taken for granted. They risk being easily victimised and exploited and may attract dishonour (especially at home) which they fail to resist even as they honour others.

Teacher – validating truth

The teacher typically has a need to validate truth. Teachers usually do not normally receive or reject new ideas – or people – right away. They tend not to overreact or jump the gun but make new decisions slowly and carefully. They like to save things.

Teachers are highly relational, with a great sense of humour, and may have a reputation as emotionally safe individuals because they can listen to someone’s brokenness and sin without rejecting them. Very patient and slow-tempered, they will usually be the last to speak in a group.

They are unwilling to begin a process until they can see how it’s going to turn out, and can be indecisive, impractical and theoretical. They are self or ministry focused and often unwilling to confront or challenge others. They find it hard to return phone calls and are typically late, not good with handling money and poor at returning borrowed items. They usually resist using human illustrations.

Exhorter – a party waiting to happen

Highly relational, the exhorter has the ability to understand and relate well to others, often forming an instant rapport with strangers. The exhorter is able to avoid alienation and maintain relationship even though solidly disagreeing (and even arguing loudly) with the other party. Family is very important, and the exhorter will always seek to nurture and facilitate family members.

A high energy person, natural leader, dramatic (often melodramatic), an obsessive-compulsive verbal expressive master communicator who governs (and is governed) by persuasion rather than principle. May have a tendency to seek the approval of others, and their flexibility allows them to abandon a plan easily.

The exhorter is finely attuned to feelings, which may lead them into prioritising people over God. In fact, exhorters can struggle to spend time with God, partly because of their time management issues. They do not always prioritise their best abilities and may spend (waste) their time doing things which would be better left to others.

They can seek to rule by relationship, leading them to be manipulative and controlling (though with the best possible intentions). Non-confrontational by nature, they will wait for an opportunity to get the best out of any situation rather than knocking down hurdles and making things happen. Exhorters often have an immense heart for evangelism but stop short of actually sharing the gospel overtly.

Giver – flexible, adaptable

This is the most diverse, adaptable and flexible of all gifts.

The giver is designed not to be needy, so is very independent, not looking to others for help. Insightful and intuitive, the giver can look at a problem and see a solution without anyone else’s input. A good listener, for the other person’s sake not their own.

The giver is not a big risk-taker, cannot be hustled and accepts the need to accrue money before giving. Givers tend to be cautious and concerned about safety and can look at themselves objectively, without shame.

But their independence can include independence from God. Faith, being a risk issue, is hard for a giver who needs a sure thing and whose security is likely in money or family. Caution can lead to overprotective behaviour and to giving mental assent rather than heart agreement.

The giver may lack holiness, and find it hard to receive from God and others.

Ruler – thriving under pressure

The ruler is skilled at time management, thrives under pressure, and expects the same of others!

Rulers readily own their problems, but will be their own solution and do not have a welfare mentality. They are not interested in apportioning blame, only in how to fix a problem and move on. Empire builders, they are designed to look at things and want to make them bigger, so are really not into details. But they are implementors, who will take a vision, break it down into pieces, and make it happen. If necessary, rulers are able to stand alone on an issue of principle or integrity.

It is difficult for a ruler to partner with others unless loyalty is built. They are big on loyalty, which they see as far more important than competence in their colleagues and co-workers, and will draw the best out of imperfect people. They are expert in dealing with people in projects, but will not choose to place themselves on a team unless they know they are really wanted and have the loyalty of others.

Rulers have an innate ability to measure character. They don’t micro-manage, and hate to be micro-managed themselves, but do tend to be task oriented and neglect to nurture team members.

Empire building can quickly turn into self-aggrandisement. They may overlook the faults of others, lack moral authority and exhibit casual ethics: ‘the end justifies the means’. They can be overly independent and unwilling to volunteer.

Mercy – non-confrontational

The mercy gift finds common ground with just about everyone, so has few enemies (or none at all). Conversely, the mercy may have only 1 or 2 close intimate friends but many acquaintances with whom they are on friendly terms.

Easily confided in, non-judgmental, the mercy provides a safe place for wounded people and is able to pick out those who are troubled and to see through facades.

Mercies connect readily with the heart of God, very intuitive when it comes to following God’s leading, but may have difficulty explaining why they feel God is directing in a certain way. Their fierce anger usually only surfaces around issues of loyalty, and they have been known to take up offence on behalf of others. They can be drawn into spiritual warfare when someone they care for is being spiritually attacked.

They find it easy to blame themselves but difficult to express their own feelings. Stubborn in the nicest sort of way, they can be slow in making life transitions because it takes a while to disengage emotionally and move on.

The mercy gift loves beauty, and has a strong predisposition to worship, moving more easily into the presence of God than the other gifts.

The mercy hates confrontation, avoids issues, is indecisive on matters of right and wrong and unwilling to step on other people’s toes, so may allow injustice to continue and tolerate abuse and exploitation. The mercy may even have a tendency to be exploited and become a victim because of unwillingness to confront even a predator.

Being non-confrontational can lead into compromise, accepting a mixture of holy and unholy without calling people to do what is right. The mercy can be enabling rather than empowering, wanting to nurture and protect others from pain, but needs to learn that expressing love alone will not suffice. Seeing all pain as bad, mercies will tend to flee their own pain and unwittingly keep themselves and others from the discipline of God when God intends to use that discipline to build maturity and wholeness. This can be because of unresolved fathering issues in their own lives.

Mercies can choose to be life-giving when they want to, how they want to, and where they want to, but can stubbornly resist doing all the other things that God has called them to do.

The mercy gift craves intimacy and needs physical touch – the danger is that this can lead to sexual impurity.

Kingdom benefit

Please remember, this is not about looking at anyone else and pointing the finger. Our aim in all of this is to look at ourselves and see what God wants to do in us. And let’s look not only at the gift we think we have – if we show some of the tendencies of other gifts, not only can we embrace transformation there too, but also it may indicate that we have been given a portion of those gifts in addition to any we had previously recognised. So if you skipped over any of the sections above, thinking ‘I don’t have that gift’, I would encourage you to go back and read them again!

Above all, let’s seek first His kingdom, pursuing understanding of how God has made us and looking to mature and develop in our gifting, for the benefit of His kingdom purposes.

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Attribution of main image at the head of this post: Flickr image ‘Golden Spiral’ by Ian Muttoo, used as a background under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence. The original photograph is of the underneath of the staircase in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. We used a mirror image.

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210. A Beloved Child

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back to the weak and elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? (Gal 4:8-9).

Relationship releases us and empowers us. Religion enslaves us. Are we serving God in order to have a relationship with Him? If we are, we will end up in religious bondage. Or do we serve because of our relationship? That will bring us into life.

Every one of us can come into a relationship with God. It is a free gift of grace. Sadly, though, if we listen to the lies of the enemy, we can be enslaved all over again by going back into religion, back into dead works, trying to please God – and trying to get a relationship with Him (when we already have one) – by what we do.

We serve God not so that we can have a relationship with Him but because we already have a relationship with Him in Christ. We serve from the security of our relationship with Him, so we are co-heirs with Him. We work with Him not for Him. If we are working for God then we will be looking to get something in return. But if we’re working with God, we’re working in partnership with Him and simply enjoying all the blessings that brings.

Who has labelled us?

Who has given us our identity? Who has labelled us? What labels have people put on us? Parents, siblings, friends? Authority figures, society? What has labelled us – and do we still believe the label? How do we label ourselves? Is it according to our past and what other people say? Or is it according to what God says about us?

If we label ourselves ‘sons’ then we will think, feel and act like sons. If we give ourselves some other label then we’ll think, feel and act the way we labelled ourselves instead. Who are we agreeing with? With God, or with what other people say?

Identity

Where do we get our identity from? From what we do? From our work? How do you introduce yourself? I’m a doctor, I’m a housewife, I’m a cleaner… If your identity is so tied up with what you do that you cannot separate it, then what you do has power over you.

Some of us will get our identity from relationships, with a father, mother or husband, wife, friend… Those relationships can define us. People join clubs – or even gangs – because they are looking for identity. They are looking to belong. Whereas, in God, we already belong.

Culture itself can provide our identity. I am British, and British people have a reputation for being stiff-upper-lipped. Is that who I am? We can adopt those traits and it can affect how we are, when we could be seeing and hearing what God says about us and getting our identity from Him.

Too often people base their identities on what they do, on anything from their jobs to their roles in relationships and their pursuits, and by doing so they significantly limit their lives. The truth is God intends for all people to find their identity in Christ. That is where we will find the truth of who we are and embrace it.

Abundance of a beloved child

Mark Driscoll says, “if you’re a Christian, your identity encompasses all the abundance of being a beloved child of God”. It encompasses the abundance, the overflow… everything it means to be a child of God. But our spirit has to grow and overrule the soul. It must overrule everything that has told us who we are, everything that has naturally defined us, so that our spirit decrees who we are, based on what God says. Then we can live in the truth of that identity and revelation of who we are and why we are here, and we can start living our lives fully in Christ.

Blessed

You are saved from punishment; you are reconciled to God; you are accepted as a child of God; you are adopted into His family. You are a saint not a sinner;  you’re blessed; you have a new spiritual identity as a son and an heir. Believe it. Start thinking that way, start meditating on that. Start embracing what God says about you!

By virtue of our adoption we have been given a new name, as a son not a slave, a new legal standing and status. Accepted; no longer alienated nor condemned. A new family relationship: God is our Father, no longer our Judge. A new image: the image of Christ. these are awesome things that God has done for us.

Destiny

Knowing your identity is the key to knowing and fulfilling your destiny. Because if you don’t experientially know who you are (that means actually know it by experience, not just know about it), then how can you know what belongs to you and what you are called to do? See, if you were the son of the Queen of England but you were taken as a baby and put into another family, you would never know who you really were. And we have been robbed, we were taken into captivity, so (even though we have now been released) we have never known the fullness of who we really are.

But God is revealing to us in these days who we really are as His children; what sons really do in the kingdom of God; and what our inheritance really is in that kingdom.

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203. Manifesto of Love

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

It has always been God’s intention for this material universe to reflect His heavenly, spiritual, supernatural kingdom:

Pray, then, in this way… ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven’ (Matt 6: 9-10).

And we are citizens of that heavenly kingdom.

Exact representation

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:3).

Jesus is the exact representation of God and we are ambassadors of Jesus, conformed to His image (see Rom 8:29).

  • He upholds by words of power
  • He sits on a of throne of authority
  • His identity is as a son
  • His throne has a sceptre of authority
  • He loves righteousness and hates lawlessness

Ambassadors have an honoured position, which carries responsibility. Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. Make no mistake, the world sees us as personal representatives of Jesus Christ in every situation. People will base their opinion of God on what they see in us.

Words and deeds

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart (Matt. 12:34).

Our speech should mark us out as different. If we listen to what is coming out of our mouth, day by day, week by week, we will see what fills our heart. We want our hearts to be filled with God, with His word, His truth and His life, so that when we speak, we speak words of truth and life. By what we say, people should be able to realise that we are followers of Christ. Our words should come with authority and resonate with righteousness.

Words can be extremely powerful: God created (and sustains) the whole universe with words. But speaking the words of God is not enough: our deeds and our words much match up, demonstrating the kingdom as Jesus did.

For our [preaching of the] glad tidings (the Gospel) came to you not only in word, but also in [its own inherent] power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty [on our part]. You know what kind of men we proved [ourselves] to be among you for your good (1 Thess 1:5 AMP).

This may involve more than just meeting people’s spiritual needs. Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry, and He did so supernaturally. We need to learn to supernaturally meet people’s physical needs as well.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father (John 14:12).

Demonstrate love

As ambassadors, we are representatives of another culture, another way of life. We must function as servants or stewards, faithfully representing our country (heaven), practising hospitality, courtesy and graciousness.

We will demonstrate love to one another, because God is love.

Since Jesus, our Lord and Teacher, washed his disciples’ feet, we also ought to wash one another’s feet.

We will be devoted to one another in brotherly love; giving preference to one another in honour; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practising hospitality. We will bless those who persecute us; bless and not curse.

We will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. We will be of the same mind toward one another; not haughty in mind, but associating with the lowly, and not wise in our own estimation. We will never pay back evil for evil to anyone, and will respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on us, we will be at peace with all men.

We will  pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one anotheraccepting one another just as Christ also accepted us, to the glory of Godso that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

We will not judge one another any more, and will not put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

We will put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one anotherbeing kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven uswith all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.

We will maintain the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose, doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regarding one another as more important than ourselvesWe will encourage one another and build up one anotherlive in peace with one another, and see that no one repays another with evil for evil, but that we always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near.

We will confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another so that we may be healed, because the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. As we walk in the Light, as God Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Above all, we will keep fervent in our love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins, being hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, we will employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

For we were called to freedom, and we will not turn our freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love we will serve one another, bearing one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfilling the law of Christ.

That is the manifesto of love right there. If we truly lived that way, the world could not help but take notice.

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

Let us be transformed from the inside out, and become faithful ambassadors of Christ, seeking to reconcile all men to God, embodying the message of Good News which we carry; bringing heaven to earth.

Note: If you hover over each phrase in the ‘manifesto’ above, you’ll see a link to the Bible reference for that statement.

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202. Answer Creation’s Call

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God… For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (Rom 8:19, 22).

The whole universe is groaning, waiting and calling us forth as his children, every one of us, God’s sons of light. Whether you know it or not, you are called to be a true son of the light, a fully matured son of God, in order to change and transform the whole universe in which we live. We are to bring everything back into the order God always intended from eternity past. That is how we are to answer creation’s call.

While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become sons of light (John 12:36).

You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night, nor of darkness (1Thess 5:5).

Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear (Matt 13:43).

God wants us to hear what He is saying. There is a sound coming from heaven in these days, which is calling forth the children of God to be revealed on earth. It is calling us to be like Jesus, to say the things that Jesus would say and to do the things that Jesus did.

So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe (Phil. 2:15).

God wants us to be shining like stars in the midst of all the darkness that there is in the world, so that we bring light and transform that darkness. The world is only dark because we are not bringing enough light. God wants to manifest His light through us. It is our destiny to restore light to the whole universe as revealed sons of God.

God wants to reveal us. He wants to show us off and to demonstrate who we are, because it will demonstrate who He is.

WWJD?

Everything Jesus did on the earth, He did as a man. He gave up His majesty and came to live among us. He was anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit to do everything that He did. Jesus did not do it as God. So we have no excuse.

If He had done it as God, we could legitimately say, ‘we cannot do that, because we are not God’. He did it as a man to show us what is possible for sons of God, operating in the power and authority of God’s kingdom. We are joint heirs with Christ. He conferred on us all the authority and power He had, and sent us out with it into the world. When we look and see what Jesus did, it should be our goal and our aim to do the same things (and greater).

What would Jesus do? It has become a catch phrase, but it is a good question. We can ask ourselves that question in our life, in our situation, in our workplace and in our home. But we do not have to stop at just reading about what Jesus did two thousand years ago and trying to work out what to do for ourselves:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something he sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does, these things the Son does in like manner” (John 5:19).

Eyes on the Father

Jesus had his eyes on the Father. He lived in the realms of heaven and earth at the same time, all the time. He could see something happening on the earth, look into heaven and see what the Father was doing in that situation, and cooperate with it. That ability came out of the level of intimacy of relationship He had with His Father. The Father was in Him and He was in the Father. He lived that way as a man, and so can we; some of us are just beginning to grasp the reality of these things. But it will take a thorough reordering of our priorities, plenty of practice in developing our spiritual senses, and a radical transformation in us.

We are supposed to rule over and change some of the things we see happening. We are not to be under the circumstances but over them, because we come with a higher level of authority. We are called to bring heaven to earth, in us, through us and around us.

The gift of righteousness

…those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ (Rom 5:7b).

We must realise we have been made righteous. We receive righteousness, right standing before God, not because of what we have done, how good we are, how smart we are or any of those things. It is a gift, and because of that gift we can reign in life.

To reign is to have authority over and to rule. It is to administer the existing laws and to enact new ones where they are needed. But to handle that kind of power and authority we will need to be wholly submitted to God and know that He has made us righteous.

For I say to you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20).

That is a challenging statement and much misunderstood. On the surface the scribes and Pharisees looked really good. They tried to keep the external provisions of the law, but in reality God was not interested in what they looked like on the outside, but rather what was going on inside them and motivating their hearts. Were they doing the will of God or were they doing things for their own selfish gain and purposes?

Intimacy

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles. Then I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness (Matt. 7:21-22).

If He did not know them, that means they were not intimate with Him. That is how they came to be doing things for their own motives, which is what ‘lawlessness’ means. We can do good things for our own motives and completely miss out on God’s best for us. Jesus had no agenda of His own, but only did the Father’s will.

God is not fooled. He is always looking on the inside rather than the outside. He knows our hearts. He knows what is motivating us and why we do what we do. We can fool each other by behaving in a particular way so that we fit in and are accepted. If we are trying to hide from God what is going on inside us, it will hinder us from being intimate with Him. He knows who we are and what we are. He knows who He created us to be. He knows all the work that still needs to be done to make us like Jesus.  Knowing all these things, He loves us anyway.

We do not need to try to pretend or hide. If we are open, honest and vulnerable with God, He is not going to punish us. But because He loves us too much to allow us to stay where we are, He will transform us. We need to own and acknowledge where we are so that He can take us to where He wants us to be. Let us be real with God. Let us be intimate with Him and not hide from Him any longer through fear.

The whole world is looking at us, ambassadors of heaven, and seeing if we produce good fruit. Good fruit comes from the motivation of our spirit, not our soul. Where is our motive rooted, in our spirit or our soul? When we are living in intimacy with Him, when we are joined to the Lord and one spirit with Him (see 1 Cor 6:7), then we can bring heaven to earth as we reign in life.

And be revealed as the sons the whole creation is longing for.

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200. Cities of Refuge

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising
(Isa 60:1-3).

We are going to see heaven and earth come back into agreement and alignment. There is going to be a major shift. That is not to say things are necessarily going to be easier: there is a shaking coming, but with a harvest in the midst of it. We need to mentor, teach, disciple that harvest, to see them bring the fullness of heaven to earth. There will be great darkness, but also great light that draws people in, because it demonstrates what the kingdom is. The mountain of the house of the Lord will be lifted up above all the other mountains. All nations will stream to it, saying ‘Teach us! You guys are living in health and wholeness and privilege and blessing and favour and protection, when all around everything is falling apart’.

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths”
(Isa 2:3).

Everything of this earthly dimension will be shaken, but what is of God and His government will stand firm.

The overlap of heaven and earth

How are we to live like that? Amongst other things we are to have new power sources, ability to terraform, plants that produce all year round, and a new economy. We will live in the overlap of heaven and earth. We will be not only a Joshua generation, but a Joshua nation. The government of that Joshua nation will be a reflection of the government of heaven. God intends us to be part of that government – that is why one of the four faces of God is a man, and why Adam was commanded to have dominion over the earth.

The shaking is going to show what is of the Kingdom and what is not. We will see cities of refuge set up, embassies of heaven on earth, and they will begin to take ground: the dominion mandate that was given from the beginning will be outworked: we are going to have dominion as sons of God, representing Heaven on earth, seeing the Kingdom of God fill the earth as it is in Heaven.

Blueprint

Cities of refuge will have a blueprint carrying governmental authority to administrate the Kingdom. They will operate under the laws of heaven, not earth. A city of refuge is not necessarily a physical city, but it is a place of government, a place where God’s Kingdom is established, where the administration of heaven is outworked.

We will be living under the higher laws of the realm of the spirit. And when medicine has no cure for a disease yet the people of God live in health, then people in the world are going to want to come and enjoy that health too. If a plague is wiping out the world population and we are living in health then we will have a queue a thousand miles long coming to get healed. People will come to that which is demonstrating authority, to cities of refuge which are operating in a completely different governmental system.

We will be operating at a higher level of creativity, not necessarily using technology but through organic things. Abilities Adam and Eve had, such as the ability to control sound and light, vibrational frequency and resonance, will be restored to us. So we will be able to do things in a totally different way from the world, and we will need to be proficient in them by the time the world’s ways do not work anymore.

Continual harvest

Just as the tree of life brings forth fruit every season, there will be continual harvest, continual health, and continual blessing. It will be a demonstration of what heaven is like so that people can come and experience it for themselves. As a result, along with a continual harvest of food we will also see a harvest of labourers, which is why we need a Joshua generation to mentor them, a people who carry that authority to expand the Kingdom.

They will be storehouses, like Joseph built in the years of plenty. After he was promoted out of the dungeon to the second highest position of government in Egypt, he took 20% of the harvest for seven years and stored it. 20% of the world population is about a billion. We will see a billion people coming into storehouses that are ready to receive them. Where the storehouses are not ready, the harvest will not come in, so we want to be ready! And when those storehouses are filled, when they are the only ones who have the answers, the whole world will come to them.

Beachheads

A city of refuge is not for God’s people to hide away from what is going on in the world. The ‘preppers’ have their underground bunkers and they have all their food and water stored up because they think they need to be ready for something terrible that is about to happen. That is all a pessimistic, defensive mentality, a mindset of rescue and defeat. Cities of refuge will be beachheads of heaven on earth, administrative centres from which the Kingdom will expand to fill the earth. The mountain of the house of the Lord really will grow into a mountain that fills the whole earth, as Daniel prophesied. That is a very different scenario to the one the ‘doom and gloom’ prophets are envisaging. We do not have to be fearful of anything that might happen because we carry God’s Kingdom government as sons of God.

Capturing our hearts

God is looking for people to engage with what was in His heart from eternity, begin to cultivate that in the ‘what is’, so that they can release ‘what was’ into ‘what will be’. God is beginning to capture our hearts, drawing us to the desires of His heart. Then as we cultivate that desire He will release to us the authority to pursue and fulfil it. And it is better to be an amateur in the new things God is doing than a professional in the old.

If God has placed a desire in your heart for such a thing then you do not have to be a superstar in ministry or even an existing leader; you can call it into being. You can get a blueprint and a strategy from heaven for it. You can call in others alongside you and begin to establish the foundation for it. It may look completely different from any other city of refuge, regional apostolic centre or embassy of heaven, but it will be uniquely positioned to reach exactly those God intends it to reach, a place where people can be brought out of the world and come into a place of dynamic encounter with Him; a place where heaven is manifested on earth.

[This post is based on answers Mike has given to questions during Supernatural Mentoring and other hangouts. Subscribe to Mike’s YouTube channel to keep up to date with this unfolding revelation.]

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198. Earth Like Heaven

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (John 17:18)

We are sons of the kingdom, sent to colonise this world, the very same mission God gave to Adam and Eve:

God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over it’ (Gen 1:28).

They were to rule over it in the authority God gave them, and so bring it under the rule of God. God still calls us to bring that rule of love into the world, to make earth like heaven. To make earth like heaven you have to know heaven, so we need to access heaven.

The realm of heaven is a dimension that is right in front of us. It is not somewhere up in the stars. It is here, as a dimension of space. EntanglementThe Bell Theorem scientifically, mathematically proves that there are extra dimensions. We call them dimensions of the spirit. The scientists don’t know what to call them: they just know there is something things disappear into.

Concepts such as quantum tunnelling and quantum entanglement actually demonstrate how this realm is connected to a spiritual realm. Through the presence of God and the kingdom within us, we can access the realm of heaven ourselves and bring that realm from heaven to earth.

Creation waits eagerly

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

Christians have prayed what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ for nearly 2,000 years, but there is more truth buried in this sentence than we ever recognised. God’s desire is to set the world right, to restore it to how He originally intended, and we are supposed to bring His Kingdom from heaven to earth through our lives.

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that creation itself also will be set free from its slavery and corruption, into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:19-20).

Creation itself is waiting for God’s people to be revealed in the fullness of their sonship. When God’s people start to act as real, true sons in the fullness of the power of the kingdom, the whole of creation will be turned back to its original purpose. It will come into the freedom of God’s glory, as seen in His children.

Righteousness and justice

For something to be done on earth, it has to be done first in heaven. Then earth can be brought into line with what is in heaven. We have authority to bind and loose things in the heavens, so that they will be bound or loosed here on earth.

The Kingdom of God is founded on two principles, righteousness and justice. We need the righteousness and the justice which are in heaven to be worked here on earth. We have authority to rule in the justice system of the kingdom.

Seek first his kingdom, and his righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)

The only way we can be true ambassadors of God’s kingdom on earth is if we put His kingdom first in our lives. We must give up doing things our own way and start doing them His way. An ambassador does not act on his own. He may be allowed to use some discretion in how he achieves the desired outcome, but he gets his briefing direct from the home country.

We need to get heavenly truth, so we can bring it to earth. This means living for and from that kingdom first, above everything else, and walking by faith.

Spiritual authority releases natural influence; and without spiritual authority we have no influence for the kingdom. When the kingdom is not only within us, but manifested through us and around us, so that people can see it, then it is clear that we carry spiritual authority. And whoever is ruling in the spiritual realm will also rule in the natural realm.

You are the salt of the earthYou are the light of the world (Matt. 5:13,14).

Salt is intended to be salty. The world needs light to deal with the darkness, and we are called to be that salt and light. As ambassadors we cannot be just the same as the world. People should see the difference in our lives. We must expect salvation of those around us, expect that they will turn from the darkness of the world to the light. We will make disciples who will themselves go on to make disciples, equipping them in turn to go out into their marketplaces and do the same, expanding the influence of the ever-increasing  kingdom in the world and out into the stars.

At hand

Jesus called to him the twelve apostles and began to send them out, as his ambassadors, two by two and gave them authority and power over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7 AMP).

As you go, preach, saying, the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give (Matt. 10:7-8).

Wherever they went, they could say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand because they were the ones who were bringing the kingdom with them.  Wherever we go, we can legitimately say, ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’. The power to heal is here, through our lives. The power to set people free is here, if we are true ambassadors and know our authority.

The Great Commission

Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:18-20).

‘All authority’ is all the authority there is. There is no other on earth or in the heavens. This is the mandate that Jesus gave us: to take God’s good news, in His authority, and to transform the world in which we live. It is quite a task, but the reality is we have the authority to do it.

Will you accept this great commission? Will you take up your appointment as an ambassador? If so, you can step into the realm of heaven today and affirm your acceptance in words like these:

Father, I choose to accept my commission as an ambassador of heaven on earth.

I choose to live on earth according to the principles of heaven.
I choose to receive my direction and protection from heaven.
I choose to live from the resources of heaven.

I choose not to be influenced by the ideas, culture and philosophy of the earth.
I choose to become an agent of the counter-culture of heaven.
I choose to live a supernatural lifestyle with a higher level of authority.
I choose to be an example of kingdom attitudes and the character of Jesus.

I choose to demonstrate the good news of Jesus in word and deed.
I choose to be salt and light in my world.

I am a minister of reconciliation to make disciples for the Kingdom of God.
I am an ambassador of heaven to transform the earth.

As you step back into this realm again, you come carrying that authority, and the power to outwork it in and through your life.

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Soundtrack: Earth Like Heaven – Jonathan David Helser (via YouTube)

Image attribution (diagram): Entanglement, by Quantuwiki (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://goo.gl/P7TcRR)], via Wikimedia Commons

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197. Citizens of Another Kingdom

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

notoftheworldTherefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20).

In prison, Paul described himself as ‘an ambassador in chains’ for the gospel (see Eph. 6:19-20). God has called His people to be ambassadors in this world for Him, to proclaim His kingdom and  to encourage people to be reconciled to Him in relationship.

Dictionaries define the word ‘ambassador’ as

  • ‘a diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as a representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another’
  • ‘an authorized messenger or representative’
  • ‘an agent, an apostolic delegate, messenger, minister, or emissary’.

Our citizenship is in heaven

He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).

Everyone who has come into a relationship with Jesus has been taken out of one kingdom and transferred into another. We are now under the authority of God’s kingdom.

For our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20).

Our citizenship is not of the country of our birth or residence. Though that might be true in the natural sense, spiritually we are citizens of heaven. This means we are connected to heaven and our authority comes from heaven.  We are citizens of a heavenly kingdom but living on the earth.

If you were of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you (John 15:19).

Jesus has chosen us as His representatives out of the world, so we are not tied to the restrictions of this realm. The kingdom of heaven is a spiritual realm, a higher authority than the natural realm. It has more and greater dimensions of authority and power than this realm. In fact, this physical realm is held together by the power that comes from that spiritual realm.

This temporal realm had a beginning and will have an end. Once we come into eternity, everything that is wrapped up in this time will be left in this time. Satan and sin will be left in this time. There will be no more remembrance of them in eternity. But we are already of eternity: though we live in this natural realm, we are constantly connected to that realm of heaven.

Ambassadors of heaven

As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (John 17:18)

Jesus is talking to the Father about his disciples, about us. We have been sent on a mission. We are gateways of heaven on earth, bringing heaven to earth. We come to administer that kingdom in this natural realm. When we lay hands on someone and see a miracle, we are bringing what is in heaven (complete health and healing) to the earth through the power and authority flowing through us as ambassadors of that kingdom.

We take our orders and get our authority from heaven. Our protection and our provision come from heaven. We live by the laws of heaven, the economy and the political system of heaven.  Certainly we need to honour those in authority over us in the natural realm, right up until it conflicts with the authority of heaven. Then, we defer to that higher authority.

Consider the British Ambassador in a foreign country. The embassy is considered British soil and is protected by British troops. The ambassador and staff take their orders from London, and represent British interests, operating under British rules and culture. They are in constant contact with the home country. They do not operate from personal opinions but on orders from home. That is exactly what God is calling us to do.

The whole church is an embassy, and our individual lives are an embassy: foreign soil to this world, protected by heaven. We have authority, but only as we act on orders from heaven (and not earth). As citizens of heaven, each of us has a sphere of kingdom authority to exercise. In and around our lives we have authority to rule over our circumstances, situations, and the place that God has put us in, representing one kingdom (heaven) in another kingdom (earth).

New services and systems

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould… (Romans 12:2 Phillips).

We are not to be influenced by earthly culture, society and customs, but rather we are to influence them and transform them. In the UK, our National Health Service is excellent as far as it goes, but as Christians we have (and can administer) a new health service. Our health service comes from heaven.

We enjoy and administer new economic and financial services. We sow into God’s kingdom and He blesses us, honours us, and multiplies it back. We then have more than enough for all our needs, with an abundance for every good deed He calls us to do (see 2 Cor 9:6-12).

We have a new education system. We are not limited to what our minds can understand. We are connected to the source of all knowledge, the omnipotent, omniscient God, who is in heaven and in us. We have all the education we need because it comes from the source of life. We can receive revelation, prophetic information, and have a heads-up on every situation because we are connected to a realm which sees the future as clearly as the present and the past.  The spiritual realm is not limited by time and space, like this natural world.

We are to be a new society. That means new attitudes, new ideas, a new culture, new behaviours, new abilities, and new powers.

We have supernatural abilities, even beyond anything imagined by Marvel comic book writers. We can look into the hearts of men and see what is there; we can lay hands on the sick and see them recover; we can work all kinds of other miracles. We have authority over nature. Jesus wants us doing everything He did, and more (see John 14:12). We have the supernatural power of heaven at our disposal. The kingdom (and our ambassadorship) is of a supernatural realm, operating in this natural one.

Sown into this world

Jesus presented another parable to them saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seeds in his field… The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one” (Matt. 13:24, 37-38).

Every believer is a son of the kingdom and has been sown into this world to produce the fruit of the kingdom and to bring God’s rule to earth. We are not just here to influence the world, but to colonise it. When the Pilgrim Fathers went to America they extended the government of Britain to America. The church is a colony of heaven on earth, and so too is each of our lives.

But we do not control, manipulate or force people into accepting the kingdom we represent. This is not medieval Christendom, with its forced conversions (often at sword-point). We bring and demonstrate good news. As sons of the kingdom, we bring the fruit of that kingdom so that people will want to be engaged with the God that they see through us.

He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Matt. 13:31).

The kingdom started really small, with Jesus. By the time Jesus ascended back into heaven, there were still only about 500 disciples. Yet the kingdom did not stay small, and the church now has a substantial presence in most nations of the world. In the early centuries, the number of Christians to non-Christians was 1 to 350. Today it is 1 to 6. The kingdom is advancing and growing.

He spoke another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened” (Matt. 13:33).

We are to permeate the whole world with the good news of the gospel of Jesus. We bring a message of good news and we demonstrate that message by how we live. We are called to influence the world, to restore it to its original condition and ownership.

That is why we have to be good ambassadors.

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