1)The above message was first delivered at the Transformation Conference – Equipped to transform Friday 26.10.2007 JY sermon
Western Australia is a state full of natural riches – deserts, beaches, forests, iron ore, gas, diamonds, bauxite, mineral sands, pearls, gold, nickel, that have been put here by God for a specific purpose. Perth is physically a clean, prosperous and beautiful city.
by Dr. John Yates
According to the principle, “But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.” (1 Cor 15:46), Jesus is working to bring the human, spiritual and material realm into a unity of great productivity for the kingdom of God. This will involve a radical change of perspective for the people of God: from below to above, from earth to heaven, from an awareness mortal flesh to that of his glorified humanity, from preoccupations with the state of the church to seeing him as the Lord of all (Rev 17:14; Rev 19:16). He is reminding us that in the Spirit we are ascended with him above the clouds (Eph 2:6). He is redefining the centre of our spirituality.
The emphases of the Evangelical stream have kept the church too earthly focused. Christ said to Nicodemus concerning being “born again”: “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12).
Today we are to hear him speaking from heaven about how he is moving the whole globe towards “the regeneration of all things” (Matt 19:28). Many Pentecostals are stuck at another level. They speak as if the key to transformation is the restoration of the five- fold ministry. Our focus must be on the Lord who “v10 ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things” v11 and who then gave “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” to serve this purpose (Eph 4:10-11).
The whole church must look beyond itself to the Lord in heaven. When praying in the World Prayer centre in Colorado Springs recently I was directed to a passage that speaks from this perspective (Hebrews 12:22-29).
The Blood is Over All
In the World Prayer Centre I was struck by these words of Jack Hayford, “Direct access to Heaven’s Throne through the Blood of Jesus is the grand privilege of prayer.” From the perspective of the throne of God’s grace” (Heb 4:16) the blood of Jesus covers all created things, “v19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, v20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Col 1:19-20), “the sprinkled blood…speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Heb 12:24) giving the power of the Holy Spirit access to every place and the conscience of every person.
Since Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb 1:3) every corner of the planet is penetrated by his life. Wherever we live and work we can repeat the words of Jacob, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Gen 28:17).
The Shaking of Heaven and Earth
God says ““Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” (Hebrews 12:26). These earthly shakings include things like: “wars and rumors of wars…. famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Matt 24:6-7). Events like 9/11 and the Bali bombings come to mind. But these events (which are certainly judgments) have not provoked a mass turning to Christ.
I was given an insight into the reason for this in the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. A lady stepped up to the microphone and asked that God would shake the heavens over Washington in a specific way to do with decisions that were then being made there.
Suddenly it was clear that if the earth is shaken and the heavens are not, all that is aroused in people is a greater fear of death that simply intensifies the control evil powers have over society (2 Cor 4:4; 1 John 5:19). Human beings are only able to receive revelation about what God is doing in history when both earth and the heavenly places are shaken in synchrony.
Mostly the church seems blind to this multi – dimensional way of seeing: Let me give an example. In the midst of the panic over “horse flu” and the dreadful prospect that the nation might miss its yearly opportunity to stop for the Melbourne Cup, a prophetic friend sent me this:
I wanted to know what you thought about the equine influenza problem.
I thought that God must be saying something through this – it is the first time that such a thing has happened in Australia I prayed about this today.
It seems to be about justice.
It is the rich who own horses and make money from racing. It is the poor who gamble on those races and that money gambled so often is the rent or the food money. Many families suffer because of this.
However, if the church takes no notice of this event – if they do not pray – then it will not bring about the desired result.
It is deeply inspired prophetic prayer that will touch the heart of God in heaven so he moves to shake the earth around us and the heavens over us. This prayer will be based on the work of the cross.
The New Testament speaks of “cosmic powers over this present darkness…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12 cf. Eph 3:10). This spiritual realm “above the earth” is inhabited by evil powers controlling the minds of men and women (2 Cor 4:4; 2 Cor 10:5).
Hebrews stresses that “we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14). The ascended Christ is “exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:26) to the throne of God. He has gone “into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Heb 9:24) [lit: appear before the face of God.] In heaven “he entered once for all into the holy places…by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Heb 9:12).
This blood “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Heb 12:24), because it speaks forgiveness not vengeance (Gen 4:8;16; Eph 1:7). Paul describes the spiritual warfare significance of Jesus’ journey to heaven (Ephesians 4:8), “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,”; these captives are demonic hosts.
As Jesus blazed a trail (arpkegos Heb 2:10; Heb 12:2) through the realm of the dominion of darkness (cf. Col 1:13; Eph 2:2) the evil spiritual hosts were traumatized – and they still are in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They were not traumatized by the power of God but by the new authority of a man, “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5; Matt 28:18).
In expounding Christ’s victory the author of Hebrews says, “v14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, v15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Heb 2:14-15).
Satan has “the power of death” because the “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” (1 Cor 15:56). Prior to Jesus ascension to the throne of God the devil accused all humanity as law breakers “day and night before our God.” (Rev 12:10); all stood condemned because of their sin. In taking his blood through the heavens into heaven Jesus reveals to the demonic hosts that the ransom price has been paid for the guilt of all humanity. Jesus has bound the strong man and plundered his goods (Matt 12:29), Satan’s only remaining strategy is deception (Rev 20:3, 8).
How we Shake the Heavens and the Earth with Jesus
God knows the victory of Christ over evil powers is complete (John 19:30; Col 2:15), Satan knows that “his time is short” (Rev 12:12), but the church – though in Christ elevated as the bridge between heaven, the heavens and the earth – often fails to understand its mission.
Paul expounds our commission:“v20 he raised him (Jesus) from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, v21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. v22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, v23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:20-23).
Jesus the Bridegroom is calling from heaven to the church his bride on earth; he is calling her to enter into prevailing prayer. “v19 we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, v20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, v21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, v22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb 10:19-22).
Entering behind the curtain God’s purposes are no longer veiled, his redemptive plan is revealed, his way to the shaking of all things is through the intercession of the saints.“v5 My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. v6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. v7 And I will shake all nations (Australia), so that the treasures of all nations (iron ore, gas, diamonds, bauxite, pearls, gold, nickel) shall come in, and I will fill this house (the church) with glory, says the Lord of hosts. v8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. v9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.” (Hag 2:5-9)
The prophetic fulfillment of this word from Haggai about the shaking of “all things” is not primarily about supernatural manifestations in church meetings; it is a political shaking, a community shaking, a business shaking, a legal shaking, a shaking in the media, in family, in health and in all the realms of human existence redeemed by Christ.
Whatever realm in which the Lord has sovereignly placed you (Eph 1:10-11), this arena will shake as you step forward in the prayer of faith and appropriate the truth that every element of creation is open to the Lordship of Christ (Acts 10:36). This state and this city are a funnel through which Jesus Christ wants to pour untold resources amongst the nations of the world.
The Lord is about to release blood authority in church, this is the authority of sacrificial love. A huge reversal is coming soon through the kingdom of God, the weak will say “I am strong” and the poor will say “I am rich”. The sun of righteousness is dawning on Australia with healing in its wings (Mal 4:2), fathers will turn to children and children to parents (Mal 4:6) because through the power of the sacrifice of Christ all things are being restored (Acts 3:21).
This release of the authority of the blood of Christ will generate power to witness in word, sign and deed. The Father is about to “entrust blood mediated power to his witnesses” (Rev 12:11).
EVERYWHERE [i.e. in “all things”]– in offices, homes, schools, factories, shops, streets, clubs, pubs… the church is being led into “the witness box” where it will give testimony to the unconquerable fact that the shed blood of Christ has cleansed heaven and earth (Col 1:20; John 1:29).
Jesus is moving to break the cycle of deprivation at all levels of society:“v50 his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. v51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; v52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; v53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.” (Luke 1:50-53)
He will lift up the deprived, the abused, the reviled, the addicted, the despised – the sufferers of domestic violence, the psychologically disturbed, the prostitute, the guilt tormented homosexual, the hopeless from indigenous communities, the fatherless, the lonely, the broken hearted, the aged, the dying ….he is lifting them all up to his throne.
A foretaste of Isaiah of Isaiah 4 will be fulfilled over us: “v5 Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. v6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” (Isa 4:5-6)
The power of the covering/canopy/shade that will protect this state of refuge will be the spiritual authority of the blood of Christ. Under the released authority of his blood the heaven will be open and many miracles will happen. But this language of a canopy has another use in scripture.2)fn01 Strong’s Concordance 6738 tsel from 6751 tsalal “hovering over” “shade”
When Caleb and Joshua returned in faith from spying out Canaan they literally said of their enemies, “their shade = defence is gone” (Num 14:9). The “shade” of the evil powers in the heavenlies, their defence against the power of the kingdom of God (Col 1:13), is about to be shaken loose.
These dark beings have only one covering/defence, they cloak themselves with the shame/guilt of men and women whom they condemn mercilessly before the throne of God (Rev 12:10). The revelation that shakes the foundations of all the structures of the old creation is that in the shade of the cross the guilt and shame of humanity before God has been taken away e.g. 2 Cor 5:19.
Humanity’s guilt before God has been removed from heaven, but only the church living in the authority of a cleansed conscience can boldly declare this from earth in prayer, praise and proclamation. We are called to live out the truth in Isaiah, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18). We are called to live in anticipation of the marriage supper of the Lamb “v7 his Bride has made herself ready; v8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” (Rev 19:7-8, 14). These are the righteous deeds of gratitude for the grace of God who will present us “blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 24).
The fine linen that Jesus puts on us strips away the consumerism, sensuality, materialism, overwork, religiosity, craving for popularity … and all the other demonically – infested cloaks lost humanity vainly uses to try to cover its shame.
What Can Become of Us?
In the manifold wisdom of God (Eph 3:10) Jesus Christ has structured the planet so there is a Great South Land for the Holy Spirit with its unique wildlife, startling indigenous people and distinct Australian persona. WA is full of treasures prepared for the world. Perth is a Western city on the edge of the Indian Ocean basin facing Africa and the vast throngs of South Asia, in the same time zone as much of SE Asia and the emerging global superpower of China.
The Spirit has brought all the nations and tongues of the world here in preparation for a global Pentecost. I want to raise a historical comparison to help us understand what the Lord is saying. In 1800 only about 10% of America’s population were church members, drunkenness was an epidemic and violence was in the streets. Around this time God’s people stopped looking at their visible circumstances and started to pray.
Revival broke out. Upper state New York in the 1820’s – 1840’s became known as the “Burned-Over District” because it was such a cauldron of new ideas and attitudes . It was on the frontier of expanding enterprise between the old English colonies of the east and the new lands opening up to the west. Between 1825 and 1835 at least 1343 “revivals” took place in New York State as part of the so-called Second Great Awakening. A key preacher was Charles Grandison Finney.
What is not so well known was that Finney and other socially conscious Christians started hundreds of Christian colleges, fiercely advocated the abolition of slavery and were part of the underground railroad smuggling slaves out of America.
Several denominations (Methodists, Presbyterians) split in this area over the issue. The Burned Over Ground spawned new moves in women’s rights, dress reform, education reform, it was the birthplace of the temperance movement, released peace advocates, asylum builders and so on.
Because of its spiritual intensity this region also witnessed the founding of Mormonism, the Spiritualist movement, and various extreme Adventist groups (Millerites).
200 years ago slavery was the battle zone between those demonic powers controlling wider culture and the gospel of Christ’s all redemptive blood. The signal manifest evidence of the power of Christ over Australia today must be the supernatural elevation and healing of indigenous communities.
The pioneering spirit of breaking up hard ground into new frontiers that God released in the Second Great Awakening is in our state. There is a spirit of inventiveness here that is set to explode, climaxing in new forms of self – propagating clusters of cooperating ministries drawn from business, intercession networks and local church. These will bring holistic sustainable mission to all the corners of the globe.
New ministries will arise to the sexually broken, there will be a youth movement that will leave behind both modern consumerism and post modern skepticisms.. Breakthroughs in technology with the potential not only to release vast economic for the poor, new methods of housing, agriculture, energy saving devices, and water supply can come out of this state. God is putting his people in places of authority in government, law, finance, education, health, industry, the service economy and beyond.
Conclusion and Application
This is not a fairy story it is a story of faith. “Direct access to Heaven’s Throne through the Blood of Jesus is the grand privilege of prayer.” (Jack Hayford) It is constant prayer in the presence of God in an atmosphere of praise to the slain and risen Lamb that will usher in the shaking of the earth around us and the heavens above us.
We are being urged by the Spirit to join the heavenly refrain, “v9 Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, v10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they reign on the earth.” (Rev 5:9-10).
Jesus said “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44). All over the world we are seeing the Father drawing men and women into the family of God and we are on the threshold of a Great Awakening in our midst.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||The above message was first delivered at the Transformation Conference – Equipped to transform Friday 26.10.2007 JY sermon|
|2.||↑||fn01 Strong’s Concordance 6738 tsel from 6751 tsalal “hovering over” “shade”|