Today, God desires to release fresh hope, encouragement and strength to those who might be growing “weary in well doing.”
Because the western church tends to be more conformed to our “fast food” society than to the true ways of God, we have unknowingly preached a quick fix gospel that leaves many weary and disillusioned. The institutional church system tends to allow people to remain immature in their walk with God, weak in spirit and more dependent upon man than God for spiritual food and spiritual help. We have misinterpreted hardships to mean that we are doing something wrong or that God has abandoned us. Often we “try” what we expect to be a spiritual quick fix, and when it doesn’t “work” (meaning our situations are not instantly better), we feel that we have failed, that what we tried was not valid or that God has let us down. In reality, we just do not understand the process of maturity.
I Peter 4:12-13 says “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”
The same passage from The Message reads: “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”
MIRACLES FLOW WITHIN (NOT IN PLACE OF) THE PROCESS OF GROWTH! Do we believe in miracles? Yes! Are we going to continue contending for the manifestation of all that Christ promised us and died to give us? Absolutely! Are we teaching that we must earn what Jesus has already freely given to us? Never! But often, when we do not instantly see our miracle, it is because God desires that we build a framework to properly steward that miracle. If we are given a miracle and do not have the strength or maturity to properly steward it, we will be judged, just like the unfaithful servant. So often, God, in His mercy, waits until we are mature enough to steward what He desires to give us. Perseverance in prayer is not about convincing God to give us something. It is about building within us a framework to house that promise. This is why we MUST NOT GIVE UP even when the process seems long and hard, and even when we do not understand.
Abraham and Sarah are perfect examples of: “THE GREATER THE PROMISE THE GREATER THE PREPARATION!” It is like the familiar example of the butterfly and the cocoon. If we try to “rescue” the butterfly from his struggles emerging from the cocoon, he will die, because the process of breaking free is what gives his wings the strength to fly. So, BE ENCOURAGED! DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES! DO NOT GIVE UP!
We are contending for the “restoration of all things,” asking to walk in the realms, dimensions and the total dominion that Adam lost at the fall. These are not small things. And so…. the strength and maturity it will take for us to be able to properly steward these things will not be small either.
We have been wandering in the wilderness, allowing God to get the slavery out of us, so that we can rule and reign in our Promised Land. Now, we are at the threshold of crossing over. Like the 12 spies, we have a choice. Yes, there are giants. But God is asking us to be like Joshua and Caleb and, while acknowledging the magnitude of what we are facing, not to give up and not to give in. If we will do this, we, like Joshua and Caleb will be allowed to eat from the fruit of a Promised Land that is reserved, for the most part, for another generation.
Come join us tonight as we release this timely word of encouragement, as we break off the disappointment and hopelessness of the last season, and as we release an impartation of fresh grace and strength to cross over!
The 7 Spirits of God: Sent by the Father to Equip us to Rule and Reign
We have shifted from CHURCH AGE to KINGDOM AGE, and, with that, from a primarily priestly function to the Order of Melchezedik—King and Priest. Hebrews 7:17, which quotes Psalm 110:4, affirms that Jesus is a “priest forever after the order of Melchezedik.”
Revelation 5:8-10: “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.’”
Ephesians 2:4-6: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
We, as a corporate body, have crossed over into the Promised Land. The wilderness was all about getting the “slave” out of us—both personally and corporately—because a slave cannot rule and reign. Even if a slave is given “houses he didn’t build and crops he didn’t plant,” he will sabotage his external circumstances to fit his limited view of himself.
A religious system programs everyone involved to be a slave. In this system, you will either function as a victim, a victimizer or a savior—all of which are controlled by each other and all of which are powerless.
Revelation 2:1-7: “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
Notes from the original Scofield study Bible says this: “From nikao, ‘to conquer,’ and laos, ‘the people,’ or ‘laity.’ There is no ancient authority for a sect of the Nicolaitanes. If the word is symbolic it refers to the earliest form of the notion of a priestly order, or “clergy,’ which later divided an equal brotherhood (Matthew 23:8) into ‘priests’ and ‘laity.’ What in Ephesus was ‘deeds’ had become in Pergamos a ‘doctrine.’”
So, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which God hates, literally means to conquer the people and manifests whenever the clergy controls the laity. We see this every time we allow ourselves to be manipulated, exploited or controlled or every time we are controlled by the needs of a victim rather than being led by the Holy Spirit. Eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good, we push past the grace of God, allowing the victim to depend upon us, when God is trying to grow him to maturity.
But God’s true design is for each member of the Body of Christ to operate in his or her God-given functions, roles, gifts and responsibilities, serving and honoring each other as led by the Holy Spirit in a safe atmosphere of unconditional love, age-appropriate responsibilities, and healthy boundaries communicated honestly in love. It looks like a healthy family, which probably very few of us have been privileged to experience. It is love vs. fear, freedom vs. control, and responsibility vs. blame shifting.
The key lies in Revelation 2:7—The Tree of Life, which is absolute dependence upon God. Hearing from God for ourselves automatically takes us out of the slave role and empowers us to do what He is telling us to do. We no longer need to blame others, but can accept responsibility for our own walk with God. We no longer need to control others, but can simply be pro-active in controlling ourselves. We no longer need to react to the needs or the abuses of others, but can proactively respond by doing the will of the Father.
This is how Jesus functioned on the earth. And this is what we have said yes to: being an earthly picture of a heavenly reality, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
For those who have become adept at surviving the religious system, the shift may feel uncomfortable, unstable or unsettling. It may trigger insecurities, as we shift from over-dependence on man to absolute dependence on God coupled with healthy interdependence with others. Some may even unconsciously attempt to recreate a situation in which they are occupying a familiar “powerless” role.
But in this hour, God is growing His church to maturity, and we have the privilege of saying yes to this process of growth and maturity, this freedom wrapped in responsibility, which will enable us to rule and reign with Him.
In Revelation 2:1-5, the lampstand, (the menorah) represents the 7 Spirits of God mentioned in Isaiah 11:1-2: “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of His roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord.”
Several years ago, in a powerful encounter, the Father revealed that He has sent them to us:
1. To grow us to maturity
2. To teach us the protocols of the kingdom
3. To teach us how to go “up and down, in and out, to and fro,” (or, in other
words, to teach us how to live out of the heavenly realms and dimensions from which Adam fell from and that Jesus died to give us back)
4. To teach us how to interact with spiritual dignitaries
Proverbs 8:12-16 is a companion passage, revealing their vital role in equipping us to rule and reign: ““I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and find out Knowledge and discretion.
The Fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound Wisdom; I am Understanding, I have Strength. By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth.”
And so, Father, we come to You now, in Jesus’ name, asking You to reveal all areas of powerlessness in our lives, so that we can repent and can be healed and strengthened in You. We receive Your ministry, Spirit of Truth, and thank You for “guiding us into all truth.” We submit to Your dealings in our lives, and ask You to grow us to maturity, so that we can rule and reign with You. We now receive Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, the Fear of the Lord and the Spirit of the Lord. And we accept the crown and throne (the seat of rest and of authority) that You, Jesus, died to give us. We yield to You, asking You to make us an “earthly picture of a heavenly reality,” for the glory of Your name and the advancement of Your kingdom. Amen!
During a recent time of intercession, the Lord began speaking to us about the season of transition that we find ourselves in the midst of, showing us that it is the turning of a corner. Though the turn is eminent, you can’t see all that is coming. Transition is always a vulnerable time, one in which we are greatly in need of Wisdom. The Father revealed to us that this is a time of conservation of energy, like the inhale before the exhale. It is a time where we must labor to enter into His rest (Hebrews 4), in preparation for all the exploits that are to come.
This transition is like the transformation of the eagle during molting season spoken of in Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
The Bride of Christ has grown and matured through the lessons of her last season, and is now learning how to be who she has always been positionally: His Queen. We are learning how to sit in our seat of rest and of authority in the heavenly realms and dimensions. We are not to labor as a servant, but instead, from that place, are to decree and declare. We are entering a season where the things we decree will actually happen! Job 22:28: “You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you.”
So, Jesus, we enthrone you as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on the throne of our lives. And from that place of absolute surrender, where we are in You and You are in us, we rule and reign. Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done in and through us, on earth as it is in heaven. We say yes to You, as You make us an earthly picture of Your heavenly reality!
The Lord has been pouring out powerful and timely revelation, showing us how to be His victorious Bride! He is showing us in very practical ways that the principalities and powers against which we wrestle (Ephesians 6:12) are craftily seeking to find a place of agreement within us, knowing this spiritual law: We cannot defeat what has legal ground within us! I Peter 5:8 tells us that “our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He is looking for any place of agreement in our souls through which he can traffic into this earth realm, bringing destruction. We know from II Corinthians 5:17 that, when we are born again, our spirits come alive and are made new, perfect and in right standing with our Father God. Our process of being changed “from glory to glory” (II Corinthians 3:18), having our minds renewed (Romans 12:2), and our souls restored (Psalm 23:3) is that process of co-laboring with the Lord as He grows us to maturity, lining our souls up with our spirits, our true identity. This is what Jesus spoke of in John 14:30 when He said, “…the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” And this is why Jesus walked in complete authority and dominion, not just positionally, but practically.
Actively pressing into God for the restoration of our souls requires a walk of absolute dependence and humility. We must be willing to see any areas the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13) shines His spotlight on and must be quick to repent and to apply the blood of Jesus, knowing our identity in Christ and not falling prey to shame or condemnation. He may reveal a generational open door, an unhealed wound, a sinful response to pain, a sin of omission or commission.
The Father recently revealed to us that we had unknowingly come into agreement with a territorial spirit by making several small decisions without seeking His counsel. We quickly repented, applying the blood of Jesus to that sin, along with any places of agreement in our bloodlines or our own lives. Though it was a painful lesson, we strongly sensed the patient love of our Father, watching us learn and grow.
Two days later, the Lord of Hosts invited us to a War Room in the Spirit, and there unfolded a brilliant strategy for redemption and victory! First, He sent a whirlwind to untangle. Then, Flaming Swords of Fire cut strings that functioned like puppet strings. The Lord then told us to prophecy and call forth the rain to saturate and soften the dry, hard ground, so that He could send Angels of Execution (of Strategy) to pluck up the tares in a way that would not tear the roots. We later realized that the whirlwind and puppet strings dealt with the ways this assignment had connected from the outside, and the rain and the tares had to do with the ways it connected internally within our souls. Truly, our God is the most brilliant military strategist!
Although the strategy for every battle and every person is individual and must flow out of our own relationship with God, we want to share this with you to let you know what is possible and to encourage you to seek Him with fresh perspective concerning any areas of frustration or defeat. And if this resonates with your spirit, agree with us in prayer:
“Father, we thank You for Your brilliance, Your wisdom, Your power, Your foresight. We open ourselves up to Your truth, asking You to reveal any areas of agreement with darkness in our souls. We receive Your healing into every wound, every trauma, every place where sin or injustice has been committed against us, and we release forgiveness. We release Your white, hot, holy fire into our generational bloodline, all the way back to Adam, and we thank You that we are truly BORN AGAIN, with Your blood flowing through our veins and Your DNA resonating from our being. We repent for every sin of omission and commission and every secret or presumptuous sin. And now, we release Your whirlwind to untangle us from all that is not of You. We thank You for the Flaming Swords of Fire that You have sent to cut every puppet string, and we decree and declare that we are led only by Your Spirit. We prophecy, calling forth Your rain to saturate every dry, hard place in our soul. And we thank You for sending Your angels to pull up the tares, gently, removing every root. We thank You, Father, that You are patiently, lovingly growing us to maturity, preparing us to rule and reign.. in the heavens, where we are seated with You, and on the earth!”
Did you know that “Your destiny is wrapped up in the same package as the resistance to that destiny!”? It is a spiritual law that we cannot have one without the other.
Why? First, it is simply because “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Any seed is most vulnerable and most easily aborted while still in the womb. And so it is with our destiny and those promises of God that have not yet manifested in the earth realm. They exist in reality, in the realm of the Spirit and in the womb of faith. But during this time, we must guard our promises faithfully, not sacrificing them on the altar of doubt or discouragement, comfort or convenience.
The second source of hardship is one we do not often recognize: Father God, working behind the scenes, allowing resistance to sift through His strong and loving hands, with the goal of strengthening us. Without this process of preparation, we will not be strong enough to properly steward that promise when it comes, and will then be judged accordingly. And so, this resistance weeds out those who are not willing to pay the price and strengthens those who persevere. Sadly, because the western church has been conformed to a culture of ease and self-gratification more than to the true and often mysterious ways of God, many misunderstand the dual purpose of hardship. Suffering actually reveals and refines our hearts, preparing us to handle, with maturity and selflessness, the things of greatness the Father has waiting for each of us, His children.
If you have been walking through some resistance lately, take heart! The Father has had much to say on the topic, and is cheering us on! He recently encouraged us with the following word:
“For each person called to the forefront of My army during this season, I am allowing a personal battleground–something tailor-made for each individual–over which you must be victorious. You must overcome first in this place. You must grow strong enough to lead others into battle and to fight in the Spirit realm.
Do not succumb to the lies, or feel that I have forsaken you. Do not become discouraged, as if your prayers are in vain. Though it is in My power to remove these obstacles from before you, it is in your best interest that they remain, so that you are able to grow strong.
Revelation 12:11, ‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’ You cannot be an overcomer without having something to overcome.
First, ask My Spirit of Truth to help you identify your enemy. Then seek Me for the strategy. Then stand firm.
You are not failing, but are becoming strong. This season is not about ‘deliverance from’ but about walking through… about overcoming!”
Recently, during a time of prayer for All Things Restored, one of the intercessors felt impressed by God to run around the building, not knowing why. The following day, the Father revealed to her that we were prophetically acting out Jeremiah 12:5, “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?”
The Lord then began to speak, asking us if we really knew the magnitude of what we are contending for and if we really thought that these things would come without resistance. For All Things Restored, the answers were obvious. We are saying yes to the restoration of all the realms and dimensions that were lost to Adam and that were given back to us in Christ. Many of these places have been usurped by those walking in darkness, and yet we know they belong to the children of God and were purchased by the precious blood of the Lamb. Of course, there will be resistance to the shift that is taking place! The same is true for the destiny of each individual or Body of Believers on the earth today. The magnitude of the calling necessitates massive preparation!
James 4:7 tells us to submit to God, while resisting the devil. By posturing our hearts and praying in this way during times of adversity, we are allowing God to grow us to maturity, while refusing to come into agreement with the lies of the enemy or receiving anything that is from his hand. We do not need to “lean on our own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5-6), but can simply rest, relying upon the indwelling Spirit of Truth (John 16:13) to sort it all out.
Throughout human history, Satan has unleashed destruction upon mankind, gambling that they will sell their birthright, and yet knowing that, if they refuse, he will regret his part in accomplishing the plans and purposes of our God (I Corinthians 2:8, Romans 8:28).
So, if you have been hesitant to walk through doors of destiny or have not responded to the spiritual hunger for more within you because it was difficult or inconvenient or because you didn’t understand this strengthening process, now is the time to say YES and to begin to advance. If you have been easily distracted or dissuaded or are feeling purposeless, now is the time to receive fresh strength and a sense of purpose and destiny from the Spirit of God. And if you have been standing firm, be encouraged! It will be worth it!!
During a recent time of worship, the Lord said that He was going to carry us higher than the eagle flies. He then sent a huge angel, glowing white, with outstretched wings, to place wings of fire upon each person who said yes. They were “wings of fire to carry us higher”– high above this realm and its distractions, struggles and limitations. The Holy Spirit continued to unfold this revelation, showing us that these wings of fire represented our burning hearts, our passion, our intimacy with Jesus. This is what will carry us to higher heights.
For many in the body of Christ, the past season was an “eagle” season, a time in which the prophetic gifts were released. We encountered God in exciting ways in this realm through the revelatory gifts, dreams, visions, words of knowledge and prophetic ministry. But we are entering a season in which He is calling us higher.
The Lord then began to encourage us not to seek Him in the same way we did in the last season. He is shifting us from always expecting Him to come to us in this realm and is teaching us how to come to Him and to abide with Him in higher dimensions… in those heavenly places where we are seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). Then, so tenderly, He began to break off of us confusion, misunderstanding, condemnation and disappointment, helping us to understand that we have not done something wrong and that He has not abandoned us. We are simply in transition.
We are like the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon chapter 5, when her bridegroom knocks upon the door of her heart. He has already awakened her love and ignited her passion, but by the time she opens the door, He is gone and she is forced to leave the comfort of her bed chamber to search for Him. “Has anyone seen my Beloved?”
It is crucial that our passion and intimacy lead us into these spiritual realms and dimensions. If we do not enter this way, we will be like those in John 10:1-10 who go in a different way and who Jesus calls “thieves and robbers.” Without entering through intimacy with Jesus, we will be like those in Matthew 7:22-23 who do great signs, wonders and miracles and yet the Lord says, “I never knew (was intimate with) you.”
It is now on God’s time clock to unlock the spirit realm to mankind, and when He does so, He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2:17), just as it rains upon the just and the unjust alike (Matthew 5:45). And so those who do not know Him may walk in a measure of truth. The key difference will be relationship, not with the “Universe” or a Higher Power, but with God our Father, Jesus our Husband and Holy Spirit our Guide, Teacher and Friend.
So, Father, we thank You that we have truly been born again and are literally of a new bloodline. Thank You, Jesus, for demonstrating the most perfect love as You laid down Your life for us, Your bride. We say YES to Your love! May our burning hearts be the wings of fire that carry us higher, and may our passion cause us to leave our comfort zone and to pursue You into new dimensions!