62. Now You Are The People Of God

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are continuing to look at Matthew 24, and seeking to let the Bible interpret itself rather than seeing it through our own filters, or imposing a particular set of doctrines upon it. If you are new to this blog you might want to skip back a few posts to see where we have come from.

In the sky

Today we have reached Matt 24:30, “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory”.

Again, this is not talking about the end of the world: this is about Jesus coming in authority judgement. It is about the destruction of Jerusalem. The end of the Old Covenant system had come because the New Covenant had been established.

All this language is very symbolic, and ‘in the sky’ is really a poor translation. It does not mean that a sign will appear in the sky. What it is saying is: the sign that the kingdom has come is that the Son of Man is in heaven.

Jesus said later said to the Pharisees and to the High Priest, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt 26:64).

So He told those who were alive at that time that they would see it.

This is the prophetic fulfilment of what Daniel saw: Jesus coming at His ascension, His blood being presented on the mercy seat in heaven and receiving the kingdom from the Father.

I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13-14).

Mark 16:19 tells us, “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God”. Do you see how this is all the same language? It is talking about the end of the Old Covenant system, and the beginning of the New. We have to prepare for kingdom dominion.

angel-4928_640Messengers

And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other  (Matt 24:31).

The Greek word ‘angellos’ means ‘messenger’, and the trumpet is symbolic of the proclamation of the gospel: ‘Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ (Matt 11:10). ‘Gather’ is the word ‘synagogue’: it speaks of what church was to do, being gathered as part of God’s people.

Misunderstanding arises if we take statements in isolation rather than allowing the Word to interpret itself.

The people of God are revealed. We are now the true nation, city and temple. The same language continues to be used of us because we are the continuation of the people of God. Some say the church has replaced Israel; but actually the church is the continuation of Israel (the covenant people). We are the same. Jews and Gentiles are now one in Christ; but we do all have to come together in Christ.

One people of God

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven (Heb 12:22-23).

The same language is being used here of the New Covenant people as was being used of the Old Covenant people. That’s because it is the same people being described. Abraham himself was ‘looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God… But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them’ (Heb 11:10, 16). We have a city prepared for us, the New Jerusalem of which we are part. We are living stones being built into that city and into that temple.

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; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy (1 Peter 2:9-10).

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58. Preached To All The Nations

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

We have seen how, in the passages leading up to Matthew chapter 24, Jesus was talking about covenant. Specifically, He was warning of the judgments of the Old Covenant which would come upon that generation of unbelieving Israel.

Birth pangs

"Kluft-photo-Carrizo-Plain-Nov-2007-Img 0327" by Ikluft - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kluft-photo-Carrizo-Plain-Nov-2007-Img_0327.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Kluft-photo-Carrizo-Plain-Nov-2007-Img_0327.jpg
San Andreas Fault [“Kluft-photo-Carrizo-Plain-Nov-2007-Img 0327” by Ikluft – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons]
We are taking this verse by verse now, so let’s go on to Matt 24 vv4-8: ‘And Jesus answered and said to them, See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

‘See to it that no-one misleads you’: in this whole passage, Jesus was talking to the church, to those who would be living in Jerusalem and in Israel at the time. They were being warned, so that when they recognised what was happening they could escape out of the city. ‘The end’ is not the end of the world; it is the end of Jerusalem and that Old Covenant system. And when Jesus talks about ‘birth pangs’, what is it that is being born? It is the new; it is the birthing of the church – the new ekklesia of God – in persecution, trouble and pain. The difficulty and pain in the birth of the new was caused by the fact that the old was still around to persecute it.

Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name (Matt 24:9). That is exactly what the Jews did in all the cities where the gospel was preached. They stirred up trouble against the church, against Paul and others, wherever they went.

Verses 10-13: At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

There was persecution. Believers did fall away. There were false prophets. Many were misled. Lawlessness increased. People’s love grew cold. All these things took place in that period between AD 30 and AD 70. “But the one who endures to the end…”, that is, who endures until the destruction of that old system, “… will be saved”.

To all the nations

Now comes a verse which has caused a great deal of misunderstanding because, like much of this chapter, it has been taken completely out of its first century context. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matt 24:14). Now you are going to tell me that the gospel could not have been preached in the whole world by AD 70, because most of it hadn’t even been discovered yet. My answer to that (and you will know this phrase very well by now) is: let the Bible interpret itself. Let‘s look at some scriptures and see whether this prophecy was fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem.

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven (Acts 2:5). So already, the day the Holy Spirit came to the church at Pentecost, the gospel was preached to people from every nation – and you could quite legitimately say that the end could have come at any time from then on. But God, because He is gracious, left a generation for people to repent. And many priests, and many Pharisees and Sadducees, did indeed repent and become believers.

And there are more scriptures to consider. Look at these:

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.” (Rom 10:1-18).

… the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world… (Col 1:5-6) and, the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven (v23).

The Bible says that the gospel was preached all over the world, to all the nations, at that time. That prophecy was fulfilled before AD 70. We are not still waiting for it to happen.

I hope you are catching this. We have been wrongly taught for so long that it can be a stretch for us to lay aside other people’s opinions and actually see what the scriptures say. And next time we will be doing more of the same.

49. Jesus, the Centre of all History

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Jesus is the centre of all history

Take eschatology, the study of the last things: it is all about Jesus. It is not about us, it is not about the church, it is not about the world – it is about Jesus. He comes to sum everything up. He holds everything together. All the Old Covenant looks forward to Jesus. All the New Covenant looks back to Him. So every time we look at a scripture, we must interpret it through Jesus’ message and His Person. You cannot take it in isolation.

Some people say, ‘Paul said this in the epistles, and it contradicted Jesus’. No. it did not. It can never contradict Jesus. What Jesus said, what Jesus did, that is it. And we need to understand that, and interpret everything in that light.

All history was consummated in Jesus and it will be consummated in Him. Therefore, for as many as are the promises of God, they all find their ‘yes’ in Him  (2 Cor 1:20). Every single promise you can find in the Bible finds its answer in Christ. Every single one is fulfilled in Jesus. That is a really important principle to get hold of.

I want to give you some scriptures now which are foundational, and which will help us as we go on to look at some more complicated and difficult questions – in particular when we look at Matthew 24, which is Jesus’ teaching about what was to come.

That He may send Jesus

… and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time (Acts 3:20-21).

So everything that has been prophesied through the mouth of a prophet, including everything we have written down as prophecy in the Bible, it will all come about before Jesus leaves heaven. Until everything is restored into the order God intended, until all the prophecies are fulfilled, Jesus will remain in heaven. And only when it is will He come back.

He cannot come until all that has been done. He is not going to come, and then do it after He has come. He is going to do it before he comes. He is going to fulfil and restore all things before He comes.

“He must be received into heaven”. Now, what does that mean? So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). When He was received into heaven, He was enthroned: He sat on the throne. When you sit on a throne, it means you are ruling, you are reigning from that place of ultimate authority and power. That is where Jesus is. And He will remain in that place until He has restored all things.

Reigning

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet… (1 Cor 15:25-27). Jesus will return to abolish death. Death is the last enemy.

Here is another scripture which talks about all things being in subjection:

…which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church” (Eph 1:20-22).

So that is where Jesus is, right now, in this age. He is reigning in authority and power. If Jesus is the Head, and we are His body on the earth, then His feet are our feet. And if all things are in subjection under His feet, then they are under our feet too. God gave Him as Head over all things to the church. I don’t have the space to go into every detail of this here, but you can follow it through in the psalms, look at what it means to be a footstool, begin to get familiar with this prophetic language and see what it is saying.

Through the church

We read in Ephesians 3:10 …that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church…’  I love that word ‘manifold’, because it means multi-coloured and multi-faceted, all expressing who God is; all expressing the wonderful wisdom of God. Being made known through… us, through the church. Being made known to whom? It continues: … to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which God carried out in Christ Jesus. So His eternal purpose was to manifest, to demonstrate, His wisdom. And He accomplished that in Christ and through the church.

Are you starting to grasp how all this hangs together? Is it starting to challenge some of the underlying assumptions you have been making?

It gets harder! Next time, as I said, we will begin to look at Matthew 24. That is a scripture which has been completely misinterpreted and misunderstood by the church, probably more so than any other chapter in the whole Bible. That is because it has been interpreted by Greek (western) logic and by people trying to make it fit with events they see happening around us today. As we shall see, that is a mistake.

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48. A Thousand-fold Increase?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Kingdom and covenant

Our prophetic understanding must come in the context of God’s Kingdom and of covenant. Kingdom and covenant are two sides of the same coin. In order to get understanding of the purposes of God, we need understanding of both. Right from the very beginning it was God’s purpose to have a people who would demonstrate His Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven’; and covenants were the agreements He initiated with men to enable that to take place.

In 2011, when I first spoke about this subject, quite a bit was said and written about it being ‘year 11’. In particular, some people felt God was highlighting Deuteronomy 1:11 which says, “May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you”. Some began to see ‘111’ everywhere as they began to focus on what God was saying. They got hold of that scripture and encouraged us to believe God not for a hundredfold increase, but actually for a thousandfold.

Does it mean that?

Firstly, of course, it is possible for the Holy Spirit to take that scripture and speak it to us personally and say ‘This is for you’. But if we don’t hear it that way, how do we approach the questions which will come up: ‘Is that right? Does it say that? And if it does, is it intended for us?’

Notice that it speaks of ‘the God of your fathers’. That is covenant language. ‘The God of your fathers’ refers back to Abraham, and how God made a covenant with him through which all families on the earth were to be blessed. Deuteronomy 8:18 tells us that it is to confirm that covenant that God gives us the power to make wealth. In light of that, I would say that yes, we can claim Deuteronomy 1:11 as a promise that God will increase us a thousandfold.

But is that exactly 1000, or does it just mean ‘a lot’? Let’s consider the scripture which says that God ‘owns the cattle on a thousand hills’ (Psalm 50:10). Does He not own the cattle on the 1001st? I think we know the answer to that. So a thousand is not necessarily exact, it is a large number – and in this case it really stands for ‘everything’.

Limiting God

My point is that if we are going to understand prophecy correctly, we cannot simply take everything literally and so limit God. People raised the objection that when Deuteronomy 1:11 was written, there weren’t actually any chapter or verse numbers: they were added later. That doesn’t stop God using them to illustrate something to us.

This is part of approaching scripture and prophecy with a Hebrew (eastern) rather than a Greek (western) mindset. Literal, deeper, personal, and hidden meanings – all can be true, and all found within the understanding of one verse of scripture.

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33. The Day Of His Power

Mike Parsons 

Ever since the Garden of Eden, man has been trying to do things apart from God. All we like sheep have gone astray we have all done things our own way. The whole world system has been set up to provide an alternative to God, but it is coming down.

The pride of man will be humbled and the loftiness of men will be abased; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, but the idols will completely vanish. Men will go into caves of the rocks and into holes of the ground before the terror of the LORD and the splendour of His majesty, when He arises to make the earth tremble’ (Isa 2:17-19).

God is going to arise and make the earth tremble, shaking it to its very core. When it crumbles and falls, what is left? The kingdom which cannot be shaken (Heb 12:28), the kingdom of God which is within us (Luke 17:21).

This is what is going to take place:

Now it will come about that In the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. (Isa 2:2)

The house of the Lord is the church, and the mountain is kingdom authority. It will be established over and above all those other hills and mountains, over every authority that exists in the world, and everyone will stream to it because the church will have the answers that the world is looking for. Are we really up for that? We need to be. At the moment, evil spirits are controlling those world systems: those spirits need to be dethroned, and God is going to use His people to dethrone them.

Light and darkness

This is a word that has been given over and over, here in Freedom Church and worldwide:  Arise, shine; for your light has come and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you (Isa 60:1). Jesus is coming for His church, and His church is supposed to be light to the world: we are to be children of light. There is going to be a period of great light where the harvest of harvesters is going to come in. But read verses 2-3:

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.

When there is nowhere else to go, when we are shining in the darkness, when the glory of God is manifested through His church, when the Presence of God is manifest, then people are going to start to come. And then, in a great period of darkness, we are to shine even brighter for that end-time harvest. That is what God is calling us to. That is what He is preparing us for.

We need to start shining. We need to start getting the glory of God in our lives; we need to start letting the glory of God out of our lives. We must manifest the presence of God in our daily lives, not just in meetings, but everywhere. God’s glory must be so evident in us that people will start coming up to us saying ‘what must I do to be saved?’ They will come to us in desperation because everything they have put their trust in has come to nothing.

Choose

What must we do? It is time to choose who we are going to serve. A Joshua generation is being raised up, and we can be part of it. It was Joshua who said to the children of Israel:

Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served, and serve the LORD. Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:14-15).

It is time to get rid of the idols, time to decide to serve the Lord. At Freedom, as a church, we have made that decision. We are going to serve the Lord. No matter what it costs and no matter what it takes; no matter how much we have to do that we might rather not do, we are going to serve the Lord. And we want other people to be part of that, because God is going to raise up churches and ministries around the world to be part of this move, to equip this end-time generation.

It is also time to choose individually: who am I going to serve? Am I going to serve the idols of my past, or am I going to surrender and serve the living God? Have I been serving myself, have I been serving the enemy, or have I been serving God?  Who am I going to serve?

As for me, I am going to serve God.

He is going to pour out His light, pour out His Spirit: He is going to equip us beyond our wildest dreams. Honestly, some of the things I have seen, some of the things the other prophetic people have seen coming – that shaking of the world’s systems – it will be like nothing in history, nothing that has ever taken place before, and we have to be ready for it. But God is asking, are we ready to volunteer in the day of His power (Ps 110:3)?

He is looking for those volunteers, because the day of His power is surely coming.

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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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7. Waterfalls, the Sound of God

Mike Parsons 

landscape-1844741_1280

Light

God is light. He is creative light. He created everything. There is also created light, which is the sun and the moon and the stars and all the other things which he created to bring light. In the Genesis story there was light before He created the sun. He is light. In Revelation 22 it says that when He comes to dwell with man there will be no need for the sun, because He Himself will be their light. He is light.

Arise, shine

In John 12:36 Jesus says, “While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light”. We are called to be children of light. Now I am not going to go into all about what light is and how it works, but it is really important to understand this much: there is a new level of light that is coming upon God’s people. His glory is going to shine. ‘Arise, shine, your light has come. The glory of the Lord has risen upon you’ (Isaiah 60:1). That light is the light of revelation, it’s the light of power, and spiritual dynamics beyond what most people could even imagine.

Creative light

Some of the things God showed me in heaven, about what is going to take place, could freak you right out – you would have no grid for understanding them. I’m not going to tell you them all today, but there are things that are going to happen on earth, that we are going to have to encounter and battle with, that you cannot conceive of right now, they are off your grid. But you are going to have to get to a point where they are on your grid, because you have to be ready and you have to be prepared.

God is restoring those upper bandwidths of light to His children. Dimensions of God’s power and revelation and authority are being restored to His children. If we are children of the light, we can operate in creative light, not just created light, because we are children of God and children of His light.

The sound of God

Sound, frequency, is being released from heaven today. There is a frequency being released from heaven, the sound of God. And some of us are hearing it. Some of our musicians are starting to pick it up. It is coming from heaven. ‘Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls’ (Psalm 42:7). I went up and down many waterfalls in heaven. I struggled to get up them at first because my head would not engage with how you could get up a waterfall that is flowing down. I had to have help: the Holy Spirit helped me, angels helped me, until I learnt how to go up and down. You can do it because heaven operates to a totally different set of laws to those we are used to. Water can pass through you in heaven, too, so it’s totally different.

There is something about the deep things of God, and the voice of God, which is calling out to the deep things in our spirit today. There is a sound coming out of heaven that He wants us to start resonating with. It is like the sound of waterfalls. If you use an oscilloscope to measure waves of sound near a waterfall, it will go off both ends at the same time. Because there is something deeper in that waterfall than our natural ears can hear, and there’s also something higher in that waterfall that is beyond what our natural ears can hear. But in our spirit we can be connected and hearing the voice of God.

Jesus brought a sword

Rev 1:15. ‘His voice was like the sound of many waters’. That’s what His voice sounds like. And in that sound there are many things He is saying, and we can hear it. Verse 16, ‘out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength’. Now I do have a two-edged sword. I have not sharpened it… yet (I am thinking about it)! In a conference I went to in 2009, God wrestled with me and challenged me to take up a sword. And I didn’t want to pick up a sword, because I’m a really nice guy. I don’t want to be controversial! I don’t want to offend people, but God told me to pick up a sword. And I really struggled for two days to be obedient and in the end, he shook me so violently that I had to pick it up. And in picking up that sword, it was a challenge to me personally in my flesh. I knew that one aspect of my bringing a sword was to cause a dividing line. And Jesus brought a sword. Now, some of you might not like that.

Just before I pursue that, let me say, God is love. That is the total motive of everything He does: love. He is always smiling on us in love. Even when he disciplines us, He is always smiling on us. But he does discipline us.

So, ‘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). That sword is to set a dividing line. It divides things, such as who is for Him and who is against Him. You can’t sit on the fence (it’s really uncomfortable sitting on the edge of a sword). There is no ‘in between’ with God. It’s black and it’s white. And God is calling us to say who we are for, who we are listening to, who we are agreeing with.

The challenge is coming.

This article is also available in French
Cet article existe également en français

Soundtrack: Many Waters – Instrumental Soaking Track – Frequency Of Clarity Oil by Creative Sound

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