Category Archives: Finished Works theology

The Winds of Change are ringing the Wild Bells

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‘Love is a dangerous word to those who fear losing control. Love is a wild wind and no one knows which way it blows’ Jason Upton 

Big Ben

The wild winds of change are rattling through the UK once more, silencing the old religious answers and ways of doing stuff. Wild bells of fulfilment are ringing again.

A few weeks ago at the last Northern Glory I prophesied that we are in the season of ‘fulfilment’. I prophesied that as a sign of this Big Ben would be on the main news within a couple of weeks.

Sure enough a few weeks later Big Ben was in the main news because the bell is being silenced for several months for repair work. (Obviously I didn’t know this when I prophesied it). It is first time repair work like this is to be done on it in 160 years. Read about it here.

So what’s the significance of all this then? God’s voice rings louder than the noise from the age old traditions of man. God is interrupting business as usual to challenge the ways we have done stuff before. We love relying on our trusted and traditional formulas so we import the models, the programs, the things that seem to work in revivals all around the world, we get the books and listen to the podcasts, whatever works elsewhere, we’ll try it! Everything except the actual whack.  We love to rely on the manmade instead of the mystical. It can hide our unbelief!

All the noise made by our striving is being silenced. In the space the sound of the voice of God at rest, in fulfilment and living in Grace is being heard. It’s the sound of the Wild Bells from Heaven. It is time for us to get whacked, get a bit of the anointing and pioneer something new which will have global impact.

God is speaking and it’s the sound of fulfilment that is ringing out. It is calling the wild fire prophets to attention and the crazy apostles to wake up. It is sounding to those who have dared to believe there’s a different way, to those have believed in promises. The sound of the Father’s faithfulness to fulfil his promises can be heard again. The bells of fulfilment are ringing out to the prophetic promises that are hanging over the UK.

Simeon

Simeon is a symbol for our time. God started to speak to me about Simeon and I messaged a prophet friend of mine who said they too had been thinking about Simeon that same day.

Simeon was a prophet waiting on the fulfilment of God’s promises in Luke 2. His name means ‘he has heard’.  He was a man the Spirit was on. He lived in the anointing. He had heard and seen something different, something wild from Heaven which had stirred his soul to believe; he was filled with a Joy and anticipation that got him whacked. He had experienced something powerful enough to determine his life and lived to see the fulfilment of it. When the baby Jesus turned up in the temple Simeon announced ‘Sovereign Lord as you have promised… My eyes have seen your salvation…which you have prepared for in the sight of all nations.’ Simeon lived to see fulfilment and the faithfulness of God.

It is interesting to compare him to Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father. Both men eventually saw the fulfilment of prophecies. Both men saw something, Zechariah had an angelic visitation from Gabriel about the same events but responded in unbelief.  Zechariah couldn’t believe there was something different to business as usual and like Big Ben was silenced. Simeon however, lived in the Spirit and caught a glimpse of something which would affect nations, he met Jesus.

Jesus was and is fulfilment, he embodies fulfilment. He wasn’t just a Prophet but was the fulfilment of the Prophetic Word.  Jesus says of himself in Matthew that He came to fulfil the Law and the Prophets. Galatians 4 says ‘But when the fulfilment of the time came, God sent his Son.’ Hebrews describes it as being the ‘culmination of the ages’. So in the incarnation you have God coming, bringing fulfilment, answers, breakthrough. He is the Manifestation of Fulfilment. It is in the Father’s very nature that He is faithful to fulfil His Promises and so Jesus is God’s answer, Jesus embodies God’s faithfulness. He is the embodiment of fulfilment.

Jesus is the sound spoken from the Father’s lips. He is the sound of the wild fire of God’s love. He is the sound of fulfilment.

Emmaus

Fulfilment is walking next to you. But you won’t believe it until you see it. I love the story of the guys on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. They were walking filled with disappointment, downcast, thinking the promises they had believed in were over, Jesus had failed, it was all a lie. Yet Jesus, having overcome death, resurrected and living in the fulfilment of all things and was standing right next to them. Jesus began to speak and they started to hear a different sound from Heaven. As they listened to his voice their eyes opened to see Jesus face to face – the Manifestation of their desires right before them. The Fire on the voice of God burned in their hearts. It burned fulfilment and the breakthrough of Jesus into them. It burned through the dark clouds of their disappointment to bring breakthrough to their hearts. This caused them to enter into fulfilment.

There’s a different sound from Heaven ringing out. God is speaking and His voice carries the wild Fire of His love that will burn in your heart. It manifests fulfilment to the promises He has spoken. It brings the Wild Fire of breakthrough to rest in our lives so that we can say like Simeon, ‘As you have promised… now my eyes have seen…’ The face of Jesus is being revealed and is being branded into our hearts. This is causing the manifestation and release of fulfilment to the promises over our lives. Promises are going to be fulfilled right in front of our eyes.

The manifestation of fulfilment

Wesley is a guy who walked in fulfilment, a true prophet, when he walked around he brought the Wild Fire of breakthrough. He embodied fulfilment in that he walked in the accomplishments of Jesus; authority, power and lived in Christ’s breakthrough. He had an encounter with Jesus which ignited his heart with a Wild Fire – this lead him to say his now famous phrase ‘my heart was strangely warmed’. It was this fire that people gathered to see in the thousands. They climbed trees to catch a glimpse of this guy to be warned by other people that they would fall out under the power of God. Thousands would be gathered, shaking under the shadow of the Fire that Wesley carried. He truly impacted this nation. He said ‘catch on fire and others will come to see you burn’.

I believe fulfilment looks different for different people, obviously we each have promises from God that are different and will be for different areas of life.

But I believe that one of the things that is coming is the same Fire that affected Wesley. The sound of Heaven, wild bells ringing out is releasing this Wild Fire. Two guys on the road to Emmaus had an encounter with the embodiment of fulfilment and it burned a breakthrough in to their hearts. Jesus spoke and it warmed their hearts like Wesley.

So to try and summarise what God is saying here:

  • God is challenging the traditional religious ways of doing stuff that come from the business as usual type mindset.
  • Zechariah and Simeon are symbolic of this time. Zechariah responded to the new with unbelief and was silenced. Simeon lived in the anointing and responded with faith… ‘as you have promised… now my eyes have seen… which you have prepared in the sight of all nations…’ He was privileged to see something in advance of nations.
  • We are in a time of fulfilment.
  • The voice of God will speak like a fire into disappointment and discouragement.
  • Jesus is the embodiment of fulfilment and He is causing the fulfilment of promises to appear in our lives.
  • Fulfilment will burn like a wild fire in our hearts so we can walk in it.
  • Fulfilment looks like different things but one aspect of it is the fresh manifesation of the John Wesley fire.

Fulfilment is not far off, His name is Jesus and He is standing next to you. He is upholding and sustaining your life.  His Fire will encounter you with resurrection reality. God is faithful to fulfil His promises. Listen to his voice, the sound of fulfilment will burn away your disappointment and discouragement. Be one ‘who has heard’ so that you can live in fulfilment. His Words will brand your heart with breakthrough.

 

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What do you see?

what do you seeIt’s funny hearing people talk like “We need to bring the Kingdom of God into the secular world” or even “How can we build the Kingdom of God?!” Secular world? What’s that then? You are going to build God’s Kingdom for him? Good luck trying that! (Genesis 1.1 is a clue).

I am so grateful that wherever I go I am permanently surrounded by the Kingdom and Glory of God. He is everywhere, He is all around us. (Matt 3.2, Matt 10.7) Luke 17.21 says ‘The Kingdom of God is within you (in your hearts) and among (surrounding you).’ AMP

His Presence is part of every aspect of our lives, He has permanently invaded our world, it is not a new thing, He has always been here. He has fully entangled Himself within our created order and He doesn’t regret it. He is entwined within our lives and He knew what He was getting Himself into.

It’s not that God is here within creation, standing around feeling awkward. He has intermingled himself within the fabric of our humanity; flesh and blood. He became one with the substance of human skin and bone. God became man; the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

And since then our own humanity has become the gateway and window for Jesus Christ. We are the human tabernacles of His Glory. There is absolutely no separation between your life and Heaven. Your flesh radiates Glory.

How can we have a ‘normal’ perspective on life knowing this? We look as people who have died and become One with Christ; lifted up to a new perspective and brand new reality. We have been raised with Christ. He has seated us within the ecstatic worship and cosmic party of the Trinity; within the centre of Heavenly Bliss and Perfection, at the centre of union and intimacy with our Creator, surrounded and pressed in by angels. What a rave!

Get a free buzz from that reality and your perspective will permanently change. No longer can you have sight filled with the darkness of lack and unbelief, but a vision overcome with the light and fullness of Christ. Not your situation. God wants to permanently wreck your paradigm and shift your mindset from “almost done” to “It is finished.” Something happens to your sight when you believe. You go from being overwhelmed by the problems you see to being transfixed by the answer. You are filled with Christ and the Hope of Glory. It is a power that brings transformation.

It happened to Elisha’s servant (2 Kings 6.17) His eyes were opened to reality and it changed his perspective. Totally surrounded by Angels; it freaked him out.

The angels understand, they can see. In Isaiah 6.3 they declare ”the whole earth is full of His Glory!’, not one day but is… I seem to keep coming across people quoting Habakkuk 2.14 wrong saying things like “one day the Glory will cover the earth… can’t wait for that!” but that is not what it says. Habakkuk says ‘The Knowledge of the Glory will cover the earth.’ The whole earth is already filled with His Glory, but people just can’t see it yet! Again Isaiah 40.5 says that ‘the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together…’

The Celtic Saints saw the natural world as being shot through with the Glory, the sacred thread of His divinity weaving through everything. When you look at creation with faith you start to see the pattern and framework of the Kingdom of God surrounding it and embedded within it. You can see Jesus, you can recognise His Presence. Justice, Love and Peace sing out and suddenly you have access to a Presence which changes situations. You stop seeing the negative and start seeing the answer.

It is amazing that He made a spectacle of the imposed principalities of darkness; lack, chaos, disorder. There is the underlying hidden framework of the Kingdom of God which overcame through Jesus Christ that we have access to.

“Aww that’s nice and quaint. But totally naive and deluded.”

Haven’t you watched the news?

The world is full of issues! Syrian civil wars, natural tragedies, a refugee humanitarian crises… There is darkness where the revelation of this Glory that covers the earth is not known or seen. The Kingdom of God is obscured. But it is still there, hidden. Until you see it! Then you can access it, release it, flow with it.

Don’t respond to this darkness by boycotting Starbucks because they havn’t put snowflakes on their red cups. Religion is deluded and definitely has a skewed perspective on life. Obsessed by the Bible but denying its power? The darkness of religion doesn’t bring light to the darkness of the world!

When the religious leaders looked at Mary washing the feet of Jesus with perfume (Luke 7.38) they looked and saw a notorious sinner, shame, guilt and a waste of expensive perfume yet Jesus looked and saw true worship, He saw the Kingdom and Glory at work. He then flowed with it, releasing freedom; forgiveness, love, compassion which set her free. Religion looks with criticism, Jesus looks with compassion. And isn’t it interesting that the Pharisees looked and failed to see the Messiah yet the prostitute looked and saw her saviour?!

The Gospel has Power and is the answer to suffering. True prophecy doesn’t deny suffering or ignores it, but looks with faith and sees answers. God close, not far off, His Kingdom here, Compassion, love, kindness; His Glory all around us.  It will provide keys to unlock situations of hopelessness. Naturally or supernaturally; a physical healing or a business plan.

That’s why we are called to be ‘in’ the world, like yeast in dough, catalysts for change because we have a different perspective, a different revelation. We can get a different strategy, a solution that comes from a Heavenly perspective. A new idea, some new crazy plan that no one else has thought of that brings transformation by uncovering a different Kingdom.

Don’t try building the Kingdom, see that it is already here.

Love this prayer from St. Patrick:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Reminder! Lucy Grimble | Leeds | Sat 21st Nov

Just a reminder that we have the amazing Lucy Grimble with us on Sat 21st Nov. Lucy is a really gifted and anointed worship leader based in London. She has lead worship at David’s Tent for several years and has released an EP. Her worship carries a real freedom and joy on it. We are really excited to have her with us!

Jesus did not appease God’s anger

mouthThomas Paine once wrote ‘Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man’. It is really sad that some of the evangelical thinking about the Gospel has turned many people off God and Christianity. Many non-Christians encounter the core belief found within Evangelicalism, one celebrated this time of year; of an angry God, mad at humanity who had to vent his rage, eventually finding enjoyment in the murder of His own Son and are repulsed.

Disillusioned with this kind of thinking and the defensiveness displayed by the Evangelical wing once questioned about it, many have left Christianity in the search for something less sinister. Most do not even bother with it in the first place finding solice in more peaceful things like meditation, yoga or Zen Buddhism.

It is sad that most people do not even realise that the Penal Substitutionary Theory of Atonement, which depicts the wrath of an angry God coming down upon his own child is only one view of atonement among nine which express the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Penal Substitution is one of the most recent theories and was born in a time of legalism, cruelty and Empire as Britain sought to control the world through its ruthless reign.

Other theories throughout the last 2000 years of church history, theories which have never been labelled as heresy by the way, uphold the Goodness of God and focus on His forgiveness while avoiding Penal Substitution’s ‘cosmic child abuse.’ So while some people like Steve Chalk or others in America, have felt the brutal force of the Evangelical world by rejecting Penal Substitution, they would not be labelled as heretics by the Church Fathers, or by any Church Council that has  been organised over the last 2000 years.

He’s Good but not Theologically

One of the things that God has been revealing over the last 15 years is a revelation of His Glory, His ‘Goodness’ as Exodus 33 puts it; how Good God really is! Lots of charismatic ministries have focused on the Glory for some time, with places like Bethel in Redding even having Supernatural encounters with the Glory of God. It is no surprise then that theological structures like Penal Substitution which are at odds with a God who is ‘Good all the time’ (which instead depict an angry God) would start to buckle.

Many people have a relationship with a God who is ‘Good all the time’, who is loving and kind but yet have a theology which shows a God who was angry, filled with wrath and takes his temper out in His children.

There is a mismatch; a confusion going on here. Not only are people’s experiences of God kinder than their theology but people themselves are actually far kinder than it too!

Penal Substitution is actually at odds with what most Charismatic Christians actually think God is like. And yet because of a theological void within the Charismatic Church and the volume with which the Evangelical Church shouts, these Christians are not aware of these contradictions or that there is an alternative.

God is Good all the time. I can say that knowing it through a relationship with him and also through a theology which is filled with this revelation.

Reformation

What is beginning to happen, and what will get stronger as time goes on is a gradual exodus of the church away from current evangelical thinking towards a more orthodox view of atonement. Many have already found refuge from the anger of the Evangelical Church in the Eastern Orthodox Church, people like Brad Jersak who I had the privilege of meeting a few years ago.

People will begin to discover a theology which doesn’t contradict God’s Goodness as Penal Substitution does but one that displays it as Orthodox Theology does.

This is part of a reformation that is happening in the Body of Christ.

The Gulf War: Word vs Spirit

Smith Wigglesworth, who saw his first healings in the city I live in, gave a famous prophecy about the power that will be released when the ‘Spirit and Word’ come together (Google it of you are not aware of it.) I don’t believe this is talking about young zealous Christians who are ‘into the Word and the Spirit brother’ but is talking about the gulf that has existed over the last few hundred years between theology and the manifestation of God’s Presence.

It has not just been a gulf but a war between theologians and the charismatics. Charismatic Christians couldn’t be in to ‘The Word’ or theology because they met a God in Penal Substitution who they didn’t like and didn’t know! Therefore they stuck to their experiences and allowed the gulf to exist between the Spirit and the Word  (so today most Charismatic Christians wouldn’t even know the term Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory let alone realise their church adhered to it!) But yet Smith saw something of the potential Power of two streams coming together.

The gulf between the Presence and Theology has not been there within Church history. The founding Fathers of Christian Theology, people like St Thomas Aquinas, St Augustine, and Church Doctors like St Theresa of Avila were not just theologians; they were mystics and miracle workers. To get the title ‘saint’ they had to perform miracles; even some while they were dead! And we are not talking about a quick blessing over someone with a cold but extreme miracles like levitation, witnessed by hundreds of people. The early church theologians were known for their power and miracles. The theological revelation they walked in, that has stood for hundreds of years was matched by supernatural displays of power.

But yet for many Christians there is a mismatch. They have not been able to find the compassionate God that has been revealed to them in His Presence, within their own theology.

The mismatch is causing some to walk away, it is keeping others from entering in the first place. Many people who have had encounters with the love of God in a Supernatural way outside of a church context are completely turned off the Evangelical Church by its depiction of an anger filled, child beating deity.

However this is changing. Jesus is leading people down the ancient path, to encounter the Church Fathers of old, and to lay aside theological views which shut down the Presence of God for orthodox theology which reveals the Presence of a compassionate and loving Father, filled with kindness for His children, slow to anger and rich in love; a God who is for us, who reaches out towards us and has not hidden His face from us.

Jesus is leading people to the place where the two streams meet, the vision Smith saw years ago. A river of Power. No mismatch, just the revealing of His Glory.

I believe God is revealing just how Good He really is and this is at an unprecedented level. This is happening in a supernatural way – through the physical healings, supernatural encounters, through the miracles signs and wonders we are seeing but also in a theological way through the discovery of an orthodoxy which supports all this.

Our theology is catching up with our revelation of His Glory so that we can’t shut it down but release and display it to the world!

What i’m not saying is that everyone needs to join the Orthodox Church however. I’m saying that there is an older and more authentic version of the Gospel, a wine with more whack than we’ve known  which has been preserved by the Eastern Orthodox Church which is now being revealed.

So what does the Orthodox Church teach about God’s Goodness?

Jesus was not sent to appease the anger of a violent God. He had no need as the issue was not with God’s attitude towards us but our attitude towards God. So God did not pour out His anger against Jesus. It was not God who had turned His back on us because of our sin but humanity that rejected Him. It goes right back to Genesis; God searching out Adam who was hiding in the garden for fear of an anger that didn’t exist. This fear caused darkness to reign in the heart of man, blinding us from the Love of God. In this darkness His Goodness was hidden from us. But when the fullness of time came God came to walk with us again. Christ revealed the heart of the Father… When you have seen me you have seen the Father… Jesus sought out those infested with fear and invited Himself for dinner at their house, or spoke to them at the well, he stopped the religious from stoning them to death, healed them, or taught them to love their enemies.

But when we came face to face with the pure undiluted Love of God It was too much for our hatred to take. We murdered God and through this act, our ultimate rejection of God, God brought our Salvation.

Brad Jersak does a great presentation of this called the Gospel of Chairs:

When hanging on the cross the heart of God is fully revealed as Jesus declares “Father forgive them!” He did what we couldn’t do and loved those that hated Him.

The final act of Christ’s ministry was to prophetically decree Psalm 22 over humanity. It starts with ‘my God why have you forsaken me’ and ends with ‘It is finished’.  God did not hide his face from Jesus while he was on the cross; Psalm 22.24 even states this! ‘Neither has He hidden his face from Him but when He cried to Him He heard…’

The only anger God had was towards sin itself because it had corrupted His very image within His creation. We had forgotten where we had come from. So in the death of Christ we find our corrupted nature, our sinful self, the old man crucified with Christ and the New Creation raised to life and filled with Light. This is the true meaning of the word ‘wrath’ – ‘God’s love in action’- Christ was sent to stop the corruption of death and bring us to life… while we were dead in our sin…

Neither humanity nor Jesus was forsaken by God. He has been with us the whole time. This is the power of the Gospel; God with us, God for us, His Glory surrounding us, His love enveloping us.

An angry God hell bent on killing his Son? No. Instead on Good Friday we can remember God’s goodness that was revealed, his loving kindness, his forgiveness, His Glory, our redemption and acceptance within his Presence; in the face of our anger and rejection of Him.

Being a history maker?

11058444_10153154914035883_4023061946275637699_oOver the last few blogs I’ve talked about Union, the pattern of the Kingdom of God hidden within creation and the supernatural energy of God found in rest. There is a general theme that I’m getting at- that God is already here and around us and His Presence is found in rest. This is the Gospel!

In the following blog I am going to look at the idea of being a History Maker, which was a common prophecy give to a lot of people in the 90’s and whether it actually caused more harm than good.

First of all a quick catch up…

We had a great time with Godfrey Birtill at the at Northern Glory. We prayed for a women with shooting pains in her legs and as we prayed the pain left. She will be able to see if she is permanently healed over the next few weeks. I heard another cool healing testimony from our time ministering in Germany with our friends Florian and Clare Berndt in the Summer. We prayed for a guy who had had a stroke leaving the left hand side of him paralysed. After we prayed strength and movement returned to his leg and he was able to fully rest weight on it for the first time since the stroke, and so was also able to walk around. We found out from Florian recently that the healing has lasted and become permanent! Amazing! Some people dismiss the whack and yet in it there is supernatural power to see paralyzed people walk and broken bones healed.

Our next Northern Glory will be on 27th March, join the Facebook group, sign up to receive our regular emails or keep checking our events page to keep up to date.

I prophesied at the start of the year that there would be the uncovering of corruption in the Police ‘where those who should be defending the weak are doing the opposite’. This is beginning to happen already and various articles on the BBC yesterday were talking about how South Yorkshire Police ‘ignored hundreds of claims by young girls of sexual abuse in Sheffield’ and how an MP is calling for a full investigation to find out why these girls who needed defending were ignored.

Future History Makers?

In the 90s the idea of being a History maker was very popular. It is still around today in one form or another – One day i’m going to change the world! One day I’m going to be somebody! We are the generation to change nations and stand before kings… But this kind of idea can cause you to wait around longing for some future ‘revival/ big event/ destiny’ etc etc that will make you feel significant instead of enjoying normal life now. It can make us have a disdain for normal life today because we are wanting the thrill of this future destiny that will one day happen, far off when everything is sorted and perfect and yet this future History making destiny always eludes us like some shiny perfect looking carrot on a stick.

Is this history making destiny even the part of the Gospel? 

Sometimes we want to get everything sorted and organised and together before we can be a History Maker. We plan out the meetings and church services, we have all our programs together. And then we are ready. You can Move now God. We press pause until it all seems ready. I’m glad this isn’t the plan found within the Gospel! Man God would never have come if he’d been waiting for us to get it all together. In fact Colossians says the opposite – While we were dead in our sin He made us alive!

The kind of ‘waiting until everything is perfect’ sort of thinking invades our lives with delay and can produce a mindset which idealises our destiny and puts off the things God wants to do for a later time. We can do the same with prophecy – you get an amazing prophecy about your destiny and you immediately stick it on the horizon for a time when you’re successful/ in revival/ got a Christian ministry/ best mates with Bill Johnson and fail to look at the Now and discover God’s Presence in the Present.

It avoids dealing with reality for some future fantasy.

I think that this highlights a misunderstanding of Prophecy and the identity of Christ as the fulfillment of the prophetic word. Real Prophecy should be ‘active’ causing a real shift or reaction in the ‘Now’.

Rather than providing a bit of escapism to a life we don’t like true prophecy should give us power to face reality and overcome difficult circumstances.

This is because Jesus is the Prophetic Word made Flesh. He is the physical answer to the Old Testament Prophetic Words but also every other prophetic word ever given. The incarnation brought fulfillment to the prophetic word through bringing it to life and giving it flesh and bones.  This was a permanent thing for all prophecy. Galatians 4.4 says that Christ came at the fullness of time so there is no delay or waiting around for fulfillment, he already came bringing fulfillment to prophecy within the fullness of time.

So when you prophecy with Christ in you,  the words should release substance, they should be a catalyst to the Now.

Distance and Delay causes us to have spiritual blindness to what God is doing in front of us, we get long sightedness meaning we miss whats literally right in front of us because we’re too concerned with what we think is coming in the future, rather than what we have already been given in the now!

History makers?

If we misunderstand real Prophecy and the identity of Christ as the fulfillment of Prophecy we can think it is down to our efforts to try to be a History Maker and bring about the fulfillment of those prophecies.

Our destiny is found in the journey rather than the destination. The journey takes unusual twists and turns and we can end up in random places which seem contrary to where we thought our ‘destiny’ was going to take us. Man imagine the responsibility of God’s ‘Plan A’ from before the foundation of the world resting on Mary and Joseph as they roll in to Bethlehem. Joseph, confronted by 50 different Inns has no idea which one is the ‘right one’. Beads of sweat dripping down his forehead as he feels the pressure of being a history maker slipping away as each Inn reject them… which one is the right one for the Messiah to be born in??!

Its probably best they didn’t have a clue!

The destination of the stable seemed totally random and it was the person with them that gave it significance. The real purpose, the real thing that mattered, the destiny of humanity was with them the whole time, probably asleep in Mary’s womb – Emmanuel! God was with them bringing significance to the randomness and the stuff which seemed  insignificant. History was made out of the twists and turns of their unpredictable journey through the very presence of God in their midst. History is made in the present!

Is it possible that sometimes ‘prophecy’ works against us actually fulfilling it? Maybe it has been prophesied that I will be a history maker today, but what if I leave the house at the wrong time and walk too quickly to the bus stop and miss the divine connection that would have made me a history maker? What if I was supposed to evangelise the guy who just walked passed me and because I didn’t stop him God will hold me accountable for the fact he just walked into a lamp post?

The anxiety of making a mistake which will cause you to miss your destiny can paralyse you into not actually doing anything!

Hebrews says ‘Today if you hear my voice’. There’s something about enjoying God’s presence in the now and letting history write itself.

Learning from the Best

I love Jesus, He seemed to just stumble into situations filled with Glory and the Holy Spirit and let stuff unfold around him. Consider the crowd around him mobbing him, he bumps into a women who grabs his garments and gets physically healed. I love Luke 7 where Jesus, followed by  a massive entourage of people, descend on a random insignificant town called Nain (never heard of it). Having seen some incredible things and in the middle of a chaotic move of God filled with the supernatural they run into a funeral procession. History stumbles into greatness as the man is raised from the dead, the miracle grips the town in awe and wonder and the story is spread all over the entire region even reaching John the Baptist who was blown away by what he heard.

How much better is it to discover the Presence of God in the Now and let history be made around you.

How do you fulfill prophecies in your life?

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Prophetic Word. Within His very nature was fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies. So as He walked around 1st C Judea he didn’t need to stress about making the ‘right’ decision. Fulfillment was found within His identity. And the same is true for us. You are seated in Christ, in fulfillment, in the fullness of time! You are seated in your destiny – Jesus. Fulfillment of prophetic words is found in the discovery of where we are seated. But not just that, who we’ve been United to – you have been united to the Word made Flesh, the fulfillment of Prophecy Himself.

We have also been given the fullness of the Godhead. Jesus knew this and so as he wandered around, this fullness simply leaked out of Him.  It invaded the region and caused carnage, turning curses into blessings. Whenever he met people His Presence intoxicated them. It shone out of Him and enveloped them within His Glory. It made them significant.This is what the the true Tabernacle of David looks like. It is People, intoxicating the world with the fragrance of Christ. Saturated with His Presence, people who effortlessly are the fulfillment to prophetic words by carrying the fullness of God into random situations. They make the insignificant moments into History. 

Jesus is History. He is the beginning and the end, the author and perfecter of our salvation. He fills All in All and makes everything complete, filling everything everywhere with Himself! Ephesians 1.23

So don’t try and be a history maker. Enjoy the surprises of an unpredictable journey with God and discover Him in the most random situations to let history unfold around you.

Look out for the next blog where I will be sharing some personal stories of the supernatural where God has invaded random situations causing amazing things to happen!

 

 

The Resting Place

imageIt’s amazing that the Bible tells us that God entered into rest in its second chapter and yet it takes us the rest of the Bible to understand what this means or how significant it is for humanity,

Humanity was born into rest in the garden. Paradise, Eden was not a place of striving or contention but of perfect peace and harmony; creation was at rest. And yet for us it was a place of authority, a place where we could govern, rule and reign over it; name the animals and tend the garden. Humanity had dominion while walking in perfect harmony with God. It was an effortless authority that came from our maker and friend and radiated from our identity… made in His image. The image of God transfigured from within our being and commanded authority. Our authority and power was not rooted in ‘doing’ but resting!

When harmony was disrupted the first thing we lost was rest. In the garden rest carried authority and power and afterwards rest was replaced with a struggle and fight to gain authority, power and land.

We lost rest but God was still in it. Since God enters into rest in Genesis 2 this is the lens we should read the rest of scripture through. When you look to God you see rest. You see harmony, peace, laughter, fun. True rest has the imprint of Glory in it – the characteristics of God. It is creative, it is full of energy, the energy like that found in laughter. Rest is alive! Rest brings strength! Burned out people are not strong and yet there is a Spirit of Might found within Rest.

Isaiah 11 talks all about the 7 fold Spirit of God. it’s interesting that it talks about it ‘resting’ on the Messiah. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him… Spirit of counsel and might. It then goes on to describe that His ‘resting place will be glorious’. So Christ was in a place of rest, filled with Glory and radiating the image of God to creation. His place of rest was filled with Might. It had the Dominion of Eden, the power bestowed to humanity in a previous age. All Jesus had to do was live in the resting place. Out of His belly sprung a fountain so powerful it impacted nations, it has swallowed us up. It is great what Bill Johnson says- that everything Jesus did, He did as a man.

Its a paradox because there is supernatural energy found when you rest in God. His rest is filled with energy, Paul talks about it when he says in Philippians 2.13 Not in your own strength, for it is God who is at work in you, energizing, creating power and desire to work for His good pleasure, satisfaction and delight. 

Remember God is at rest, (He didn’t go from resting in Genesis 2 to working hard in Philippians 2) yet He energizes, and in this is delight, pleasure and satisfaction! Sounds good to me. In Colossians 1.29 Paul talks about the superhuman energy which Christ works within him. But don’t forget the context – He is about to go on to describe the Supremacy of Christ – God is not battling away against some equally matched devil. Christ has triumphed and is SAT on a throne (and has been at rest since Genesis 2).

There is what the mystics have referred to as ‘concentration ecstasies’. I’ve heard John Crowder talk about this, and experienced it myself; where the Spirit of God causes supernatural focus and energy beyond what you would normally be able to cope with. I have experienced times of extreme busyness in the natural, inspections at work, the pressure was on, I stayed up til 4am two nights in a row, had a second inspection the next week and yet entered a place of supernatural energy and focus that I could do everything I needed to do and had enough energy to go on to do other intense stuff afterwards and not be drained.

There is creative power available, it is found in the gold vein of God’s resting place. There is healing in the rest. The desire of God’s heart is that you enter His rest.

God desires people who will be in the place of Rest so that His Heavy Glory can rest on them like dew. Jesus lived in the Resting Place and affected the region around Him. It came under His anointing, dominion, His shadow. This is the true ‘Tabernacle of David’, or ‘David’s Tent’; the Presence at rest within humanity coming to envelope our communities in His cloud. I love the fact that through the Finished Work of Christ, the ceasing of our labours, we can see whole cities come under the cloud of His Presence.

Christ upholds and sustains all things. I love the fact that the core of your being is filled with the sound of Heaven, the voice of God. You’re a Word made flesh, God prophesied you into being. You can rest in the waterfall of God’s voice singing over you. You are God’s words that stretch into another era. Your identity reaches into eternity – into the age to come. In your identity not only is there power from the Age of Eden but from the Age to Come, since you have been made with eternity in mind. Rest in your identity, who you naturally are, the natural desires of your heart and you can access the Power of the Age to come.

The Pattern within Creation

the pattern within creation

Seeing the Pattern of Heaven within Creation

I love the Celtic Christians. They didn’t have the view that ‘the spiritual world is good and the natural world is bad’. This view is Gnosticism and can creep into prophetic circles so easily. Even in terms of people’s priorities – valuing weird prophetic experiences above normal relationships. It can produce a disdain towards normal life! Urrr! Can’t believe I have to drop my kids off at school when I should be engaging with Heaven… It’s actually quite weird when you think about it but yet there are lots of prophetic people out there modelling something, possibly not quite as bad as that, but similar. The early Celtic Christians valued the natural as much as the spiritual. They discovered the mystical in the mundane.

The Kingdom of God is not some airy fairy Never Never Land, which takes us away from a life we don’t like, but is Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the midst of our everyday life. (Romans 14.17) Paul had encounters with the Third Heaven and yet realised that the Kingdom of God was entirely relevant to his normal life.

The Kingdom of God is the True Pattern of Creation

St. Augustine is an early church Father and is regarded as influencing much of western Christianity. Some of his teaching I don’t particularly like and would side with other Fathers of the Faith instead, with guys like Athanasius who have influenced the Eastern Church. But I do like Augustine’s view of evil- he believed that it is the ‘privation’ of good – the lack or absence of Good.

The Celtic Christians saw the Image of God embedded within the whole of creation; that the Kingdom and Glory of God is threaded through it. But there are situations in the world right now where although the Glory and Kingdom of God covers the whole earth, like in Samuel’s day, there is no widespread revelation of the Kingdom, or of the Glory. There is a lack of revelation of the Gospel, and in that lack or privation, there is darkness- war, sickness, poverty, isolation etc. The world needs the reality of the Kingdom of God, the illumination of the true pattern to life. This will uncover Peace in situations of war and hatred.

The earth is waiting in eager anticipation, in groans like labour for it to come about. The world actually wants it (Romans 8). And there are no excuses. The Christ has already come bringing with Him the pattern of the Kingdom of Heaven, this pattern is the true make up of creation. Creation has the imprint of Glory in it, the fingerprint of God carrying the pattern of His original design. This pattern is His image.

Why does Creation long for the Sons of God?

Jesus said in Matt 5 that ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called Sons of God’. The Sons of God will be peacemakers on the earth. They will have authority to reveal the things hidden within the universe’s true design  – things like this Peace. Jesus understood this (it was the Word of God, that formed creation into this pattern in the first place) and so He operated in it.

Isaiah 9 prophesies about the Son of God and says that –

…He will be called… Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His Government and of PEACE there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom…

The Celtic Saints believed that this image- the image of the Prince of Peace, is threaded through the whole cosmos.

The Sons of God are of the same pattern as the Son of God

Jesus moved in Peace while walking around 1st C. Judea. In Matt 8 the Son of God stands in the middle of a storm, surrounded by chaos, waves crashing in, the boat about to break in two, ship wreck staring them in the face. He says “Peace! Be still!”  His voice releases the pattern of the Kingdom of God and brings creation into peace and stillness.

Having authority over creation is a real area for the Sons of God to tap into and I like many others have been fascinated by this and have seen creation respond in different ways – stopping rain, causing rainbows in the sky, snow to fall or whipping up the wind. (It is fun and has genuinely happened in real life…)

Jesus walked according to the dimension of the Kingdom of Heaven, to the pattern and revelation of Glory. Within creation was the memory of Eden, and as Jesus walked around, creation could tangibly feel the resonance of that Kingdom. Through the life and death of Jesus a new chapter was opened for creation – to be set free from the bondage of decay into a new pattern of liberty and fruit. Creation was being reconfigured from Adam’s corruption to Christ’s perfection. Creation responded to Christ and where it didn’t there was trouble! When Jesus met a fig tree, it seemed to refuse His pattern and refused to produce fruit. So Jesus cursed it! Crazy!

Peace in conflict

There is another element to this pattern of Peace, it’s not just about playing with the weather but in stopping conflict in the world. There is Peace available from the Kingdom of God right now for situations within humanity – conflicts, wars, violent situations. Situations where  the pattern of the Kingdom of Heaven needs to be revealed. Creation is waiting for people with an understanding of the Supernatural power of Peace to impact regions that are ravaged by war. People with this authority can stop terrorism and civil wars.

No nation on earth has fully discovered peace. In the West we place so much emphasis on learning and education, teaching and understanding and yet there is violence, chaos, murder, etc etc going on. No country is free from it. This is true in the church too – there is the lack or privation of peace. So many teachers, so many sermons and yet churches riddled with conflict, gossip, marriages on the verge of break up, fall outs etc etc. You would think that if knowledge was the answer then we would have cracked it? Or is there something else?

Peace is better than knowledge

In Philippians 4 it talks about a peace which goes beyond, is greater than, exceeds, or transcends understanding. In the past we have seen this as ‘there is peace in the middle of chaos’ and yes that is true but at the same time it is telling us that peace has more value than understanding.

Where there is war, we don’t need more teaching and understanding, we need Peacemakers. We need those who have a revelation of their identity, that they are made in the image and pattern of the Prince of Peace, who know the authority in them, who can speak words that carry the resonance of Heaven and bring the reality of peace into situations. They will see it bubble up before them.

We don’t need more Prophets of Judgement pronouncing that in 2015 there will be doom and gloom but the Sons of God who can decree Peace and see it established in the middle of war zones; Prophets who can reveal the pattern of Heaven within creation.

Northern Glory

We had an amazing time at Northern Glory in Sheffield last Friday. The Presence of God was really strong with more physical healings happening. We ended with a fire tunnel, renamed ‘rapture tunnel’ and holy chaos ensued. The Glory was strong!

The next Northern Glory will be on the 27th Feb, in Leeds, venue tbc, with  Godfrey Birtill.

 

True Freedom Unites

imageOver the last few years we have been discovering the times and seasons of the Gospel; that there is THE time and THE season called the New Covenant! Within this I love seeing the freedom of the Gospel coming and hitting different areas of society.

I have prophesied that this freedom would affect areas like women’s rights- this has been happening for a while now and I prophesied that there would be a film commemorating the Suffragette movement and Emeline Pankhurst’s life. This film is now in the last stages of being made – it is called Suffragette and stars Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep. It will be out later this year. Related to this whole idea of honouring women was the idea that men would find increased freedom in their own life through it – I read an article Brad Pitt wrote where he honoured his wife and as I read it God spoke to me about the increased blessing he would step into; I saw that he would win an Oscar in 2014- which he did as producer of the film 12 Years a Slave.

So carrying on this theme of freedom and the honouring of humanity there are a few different things I am feeling for this year:

Freedom Unites

God is found in the union. One of the things I am seeing is that the heart of God won’t be found in division or separation. With all the events going on in the world relating to the terrorist attacks in Paris, the focus has become about freedom of speech, whereas the real issue is division vs unity. There are people with an agenda that want to breed separation through ‘us and them’ language or acts which cause division through destruction and fear. True freedom doesn’t divide, it unites. This is true with the ‘freedom of speech’ too. We have politicians sowing seeds of separation and division in the UK, and it comes from a Pharisaical or separatist spirit; people who want to draw lines along religion, race etc. But God’s heart and will is found in the union and the coming together.  This will be the litmus test for many this year! For those trying to seek out God’s heart it will be found in things where the fruit honours the union of humanity not in things which is causing division.

One of the ways this will manifest is through a movement of creativity within the music world. It will be something comparable to Britpop and will be culture creating. It will carry the sound of union, celebrating culture and drawing people together. It will act as a catalyst for gathering people together in celebration. It will tumble into the art world too and transition into more of an ‘arts movement’ which will affect the economy of the North East, as I see it coming from that area.

God loves the poor and one of the things which I think will open up is the corruption and the abuse of power where the weak are exploited and abused. This is going to hit places of authority like the Police and expose some areas of corruption. I believe that this is one of the things I am seeing; that there will be an exposing of corruption in the Police, and other places of authority, where those who should be defending the weak are doing this opposite.

This year we will also begin to see people live in the Faith of God and see demonstrations of this. We will see people move beyond their own faith to walking in God’s Faith. I do think that this year there will be displays of the raw power of God’s Faith which will show the difference between man’s efforts and the effortless power of God’s rest.

(Oh and Messi will move from Barcelona to Chelsea in the summer too)

Over the next few weeks I will be exploring this whole idea of the Faith of God, and looking at the union between heaven and earth, something which the Celtic Christians valued. Sign up to receive our blogs straight to your email too if ya fancy!

northern glory

This coming Friday Northern Glory will be in Sheffield at Woodseats Baptist Church, S8 0RF. Connect with us on Facebook to get regular updates about Northern Glory, which is a monthly event we hold in the north of England!

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Supernatural experiences creating new doctrines…

Can you create new doctrine from supernatural experiences? Can a prophetic vision become a filter that causes you to misunderstand scripture? Can we teach supernatural experiences as infallible doctrine or are they subjective? Over the Summer we visited Florian and Clare Berndt from Father Heart Germany and discussed some of these issues in the following video! Enjoy!

He First…

10435502_10152702714770883_2249176338273804488_nWe hear a lot about returning to our ‘first love’; the charge given to the Ephesians in Rev 2.4 – Remember the high point from which you have fallen… and I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to recapture something which we once had at some point in our life through our own efforts, to return to the ‘heights’ in our own strength.  Try, but it is possible you will end up getting more tired out, burned out, frustrated and filled with more condemnation that you can’t rediscover your ‘first love’ than you did before.

Instead be still and know that He is God. And when you reach that place of stillness the revelation that will hit you, is that He First loved you (1 John 4.19).

So let Him encounter you with His Love FIRST!

Our ‘first Love’ is that He first loved us!
He first adored you, He first knew you and has always known you (Jer 1.5).

The first thoughts about your life? His.

He first planned out your life, He first dreamed plans to prosper you and plans for your success (Jer 29.11).

The first moments of Hope for you?

There would be no you, unless He first Hoped that you would exist!

Delight yourself in the Lord? Guess what? He first delighted Himself in the very thought of you! And when He made you He wasn’t disappointed. (Zeph 3.17)

We love singing about lifting God up and enthroning Him. I’m sorry but…  before you ever sung one worship song ‘enthroning’ God, yes, He first lifted you up and enthroned you within the Heavens. (Ephesians 2.6)

Inviting God into your heart? You came from His.

He was first with you, before you were aware of Him.

Hang on a minute… you did first believe in Him. Kidding, He obviously first believed in you, and He gave that Faith to you as a gift! (1 Corin 12.9 + Galatians 3.23-25)

Shouting His name from the roof tops? He did that a while ago (Isaiah 43.1).

But we’ve got to empty ourselves in worship you say? Great, we can get our inspiration from Christ who first Emptied Himself and became nothing, so that you could be filled with fullness of the Godhead!! (Philippians 2.7 + Colossians 2.10)

Not only is He the First born of all creation and in Him were all things created BUT in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1.15-17). He’s got it under control so let go of anxiety and rest in His Sovereignty.

He IS the First and the Last! The Alpha and Omega; The beginning and the end. Let His First Love awaken your heart to love and let His Love lift you and carry you to the heights.

 

Union

 

unionA few years ago I wrote a blog talking about a coming revelation of our Union with each other in the Body of Christ (Spirit of Empire pt2. Union) and how we would come to the understanding that we are One – beyond just the congregation and local church to a place where we realise that as a whole Body, across different streams and denominations we are One. I wrote this having seen friendships across different church streams end simply because church leaders had said “focus on friendships within your local church”. It was something that was and still is desperately needed. So I was amazed to see a meeting that happened this week with the Pope and different protestant charismatic leaders like John and Carol Arnott, Kenneth Copeland and others take place where they talked about their desire for unity and Oneness within the Body of Christ. This meeting is so significant and happened in such an understated way.

Think about the division that has existed between the Protestant and Catholic Church for hundred of years since Luther’s reformation. Literally thousands of people have died in the name of Christianity. And yet now a revelation of Union is hitting the Body of Christ where we are realising there is no separation between us.

Luther’s reformation caused division and separation and yet in this current reformation we are getting a revelation of Union and our Oneness as humanity.  There is a healing that is taking place. Some people have prophesied a ‘civil war in the church’ but I’m seeing Peace; a union and a healing that is going to take place. Even over the next 6 months to year, there will be healing where there has been division. Especially with the whole ‘Hyper Grace’ stuff- this will be massively overshadowed by the revelation of our Union with each other because what will emerge is a greater level of maturity where we love beyond theology!

It’s a revelation and manifestation of Ephesians 2.14:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.

Christ has already broken down the ‘dividing wall of hostility’. God came like a wrecking ball and overcame the principality of division. He brought the two groups – Jew and Gentile together into One.

Now a few years later my understanding has moved beyond the traditional church focus to looking at humanity and seeing something of a Union and Family that is possible within the world through a revelation of Christ and the Gospel. Christ has removed the walls of hostility within humanity as a whole- in His human body he brought humanity together.

We can look at someone from a different religion and see just that – religion. And yet God sees their humanity and even shared in it! He sees their origin in Him and their potential as Sons and Daughters of God. I heard Bobby Conner talk about how God had called him to be a Prophet before he was formed in his mother’s womb. Bobby quoted Jeremiah 1.5:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

How amazing is that! It’s incredible that we are all called before He formed us. Is this only true for a Christian the moment he becomes a Christian? Obviously not!! It was always true! At a certain point in his life he encountered God who connected him with this reality.

The whole of humanity is walking around having been known and called before they were formed in their mother’s womb. This is a mystical reality. Psalm 139:13 states ‘for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb’ – this is the origin of humanity.

Humanity goes way back with God – before they were formed! The Father knows each person intimately and has designed everyone with uniqueness. The only reason Hopelessness exists is because people have become disconnected from the Hope with which He made them! He is the Father of all Creation and He looks at people that He has made with compassion.

It’s an interesting thought that the mindsets we have and words we speak are creative and effect the world around us. As a family we went to Belfast for a special family wedding last year and got to tour around Belfast. We saw the ironically named ‘Peace Wall’ that stands about 20 feet high separating the Protestant and Catholic areas of Belfast. It has witnessed murders, fighting and riots during the ‘Troubles’. Amazing when we think about Ephesians 2.14. Did Christ destroy the ‘hostile wall of division’ or not?

The lack of revelation of humanity’s Union in Christ has literally caused civil war in the city; through Christianity! Life and Death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18.21); God created Life with words. The Word is creative and He’s in you- so your words have creative Power too. We too can cause the World to respond to our words – we can make Hell on earth through speaking death. Indeed we can prophesy a ‘civil war in the church’ and create worlds of chaos through a mindset of division or we can cause Union!

There is something about speaking out the truth of the Gospel over people and situations which is creative and causes the world to respond. We can prophesy what God sees – Ephesians 2.14 – His children on earth. We can cause them to come into an encounter that will connect them with their destiny and manifest Heaven on earth through their life.

It says that we were crucified with Christ and in that moment of crucifixion Christ Spoke “Father forgive them…” He prophesied and released forgiveness and in that forgiveness it is possible to be delivered of the dividing wall of hostility.

What do you see when you look at humanity? Do see someone who was known by God before He formed them in their mother’s womb or do you see the labels the world has stuck on them?

Blessings! Phil Smith