The global eyes of the earth are awakening to a whole new world. The sun is rising and light is shining on the revelation of the New Covenant. And thus Christianity is changing. The archaic religious system is buckling and giving way to the living, breathing Body of Christ on the earth. It is Reformation. It is not just a supernatural revolution, a change in the way we do church, a social justice movement or a deeper understanding of Grace.
It is a revelation of the New Covenant which encompasses all these things. It will and is affecting the way we ‘do’ church, it is totally supernatural, its voice will shout “Justice” for the oppressed and its foundation is Grace. It is an understanding of Christ Crucified and is a Gospel Revolution.
The world is waking up to revolution
The prophetic movement, particularly in the States has needed reforming for a while now. It is too heavily influenced by a Political Spirit but more significantly it is too focused on an Old Covenant understanding of the Prophetic and seriously lacking in a New Covenant Gospel foundation. It is not that people are lacking supernatural experiences. People are having lots of experiences, and have been for years but are lacking in knowing their identity in Christ.
There is a massive danger in getting your identity from an experience; I’m a revivalist, I love revival; I’m a seer, I see angels; I’m into the supernatural because I have supernatural encounters. Its not that these are wrong, I love all of those things! I could get an identity from the salvations I’ve seen recently, or the level of discernment I have operated at; when I have seen the dreams people have had, have told them and then interpreted them, or supernaturally heard the the conversations people have had. But If you define yourself by your victories when you fail you will say ‘I am a failure’.
Judas and Peter are not all that different – Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied Him. Judas allowed his failures to define him and he ended his life. But Peter allowed Christ to define him- rename him and call him to be the first Leader of the Church. Peter was defined by Christ not the denial of Christ.
If you get your identity from being a church Leader/a Prophetic person /a Radical or Revivalist you will get your identity from an experience- good or bad. But A Son gets His identity from his DNA- who his Father is, whose image and likeness he is made in; the name Christ gives you, not the label the world slaps on you.
What happens when the thing that defines us stops? When our ministry ends? Or our spiritual experiences stop? When the revival ends? When we go a while without a prophetic word, or seeing an angel? We better make sure they don’t! A crises ensues and we run around trying to make sure our ministry doesn’t end. We run ourselves into the ground. In the times we don’t experience anything we are full of self doubt and insecurity, hopelessness, even feelings of failure. Then we see an angel or have some little success- ‘phew its OK God hasn’t left me…’ What a manic existence! That is not a healthy lifestyle. The Father’s message to a generation caught up in maintaining a ministry or seeking after an experience is simple-
Stop! Cease from your Labours! Be Still and Know that I am God!
Many, many, many revivalists end their ministry with nervous breakdowns, deception, broken marriages, disillusionment and worse because they felt that it was all down to them to maintain it. I have learned that getting Hope from an experience ends up being shallow and empty.
Look at the life of Evan Roberts- 3 years of revival that saw 100,000 people saved and a nation transformed, the power of God which was released through the Welsh Revival rippled around the world and sent shock waves down the decades. After 3 years he suffered a breakdown which he never recovered from.
John Alexander Dowie, the father of the modern healing movement, saw an incredible breakthrough of healing and impacted the lives of thousands. He ended his life in controversy, declaring himself to be Elijah and created a town called Zion which he ruled. Many consider John G Lake to have been impacted by Dowie’s ministry and Lake saw incredible supernatural power in his life- people would not even be able to stand near him – if they approached him they would fall under the power. He said he felt liquid fire run through his veins on occasion which led to healing after healing of people from wheel chairs and diseases which were death sentences. It is recorded that Lake had 3 seperate nervous breakdowns throughout his life.
Maria Woodworth Etta and William Branham got to the point of total and utter physical exhaustion because of their ministry. Branham ended his life with a church that worshipped him as Elijah and had to tell his friends the day before he died that the Lord needed to remove him because of the deception he was causing.
They were all great ‘Generals of the Faith’ but the last thing the church needs is thousands of Prophet like Branhams running around, exhausted, proclaiming “I am Elijah!” The church does need a generation of people who know their identity however. They will be the most mystical revivalists the world has ever seen.
We look at the lives of people like John G. Lake and want to see the same fruit he has seen. We want his encounters and so we read all his teaching and do the things he did. Yes this seems like the obvious thing to do. And we do this instead of believing that the Gospel and a revelation of the New Covenant will lead us into greater encounters. Instead we follow guys like Branham down the same paths of distraction, even deception that they took. For example Branham was declared a heretic at the end of his life for his ‘Serpent Seed doctrine’- today there are lots of people seeking after prophetic experiences who believe his Serpent Seed Doctrine is true. John G. Lake taught about ‘spiritual hunger’ and so we think this is the key to revival, instead of believing what Jesus taught- that those who drink from Him will never thirst again, that those who hunger and thirst will be FILLED!
If we look at the lives of the Catholic Saints they saw some cool things! There are over 100 documented miracles of ascension (People flying under the anointing) witnessed and testified by hundreds of people- transportation, translation, bi-locations, healings and as weird a mircle you can think of. How did they get these encounters? Often by whipping themselves, starving themselves, Isolating themselves and punishing their flesh to get it to be submissive. So what do we do to get what they had? Lets go create an “Honouring the Saints Conference 2013”, Godfrey Birtill could lead worship and then we could whip and flagellate ourselves and our flesh untill we see Jesus (free whips included).
No. I’m just glad I have access to Romans so I can read that our sinful nature has been crucified with Christ.
The Grace of God allows us to be blessed even when our theology is nonsense. BUT there is an easier way. The depression caused by an addiction to ministry is being healed by an understanding that ‘It is Finished’. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. When we realise ‘It is Finished’ we wake up to the fact it is not our responsibility to ‘Advance the Kingdom’. How many families have taken second place to a ministry mogul intent on helping God out? No, God is not helped out by our efforts.
So where does our Hope come from? Christ in you!!! Jesus the lover of your soul- Immanuel; God with us. The Kingdom of God is not some distant thing beyond the sky we have to chase and try to get to come down to earth – it is within you. Why? Because you are Children of God. You have the same DNA as Jesus- His victory is your victory, His blessing is found in your belly. His smile is your smile. The best way to ‘Advance the Kingdom’ is to cease from your labours, stop the striving and enter the Rest. Watch the Father manifest His effortless victory through your life.
We are the Sons of God first and foremost. I’m not trying to become a Son – no Galations 5 is pretty clear I make the death and resurrection of Jesus meaningless if I do that- I am recognising who Christ has already made me. We are called to a life of Union- to a revelation of our Oneness with Christ. We have been grafted in and there is no seperation; we are in Him and He is in us. We don’t need to try and squeeze out some fruit; we can rest in the vine and watch it grow effortlessly. It is this Union which will lead us to greater mystical experiences, not because we are seeking them but because a life united with Christ is the most Supernatural and mystical life you can have. Don’t have a relationship with God so you can achieve something, have relationship with God. Don’t make God the means to your ministry ends.
I’ve heard prophecies that God wants to come and tabernacle with His people, wants a habitation on the earth- incarnational community, or The Glory of God that rests over regions like in the Hebredean Revival. All I know is that Christ is enough, the New Covenant is enough- look in the mirror and see the habitation- Christ in you the Hope of Glory! You are the tabernacle. What God wants is the Full Manifestation of this on the earth! And this is not found in the charasmatic D.I.Y. gym of trying to get God down to earth. No, He did that- 2000 years ago. Regional Glory will manifest through the Union Christ achieved for us and with us on the cross.
So it is this revelation – a revelation of Union, a revelation of the Finished Work of the Cross which is causing a reformation. A reformation of our true Identity where our encounters with Christ will never end and will cause an unstoppable Revival of such force it will bring the world to Truth.