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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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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