Wednesday 4 March 2009

Lift up your heads O Ye Gates Part Three

This is the next in the four part series which begins here.... actually it was originally one message. This part conveys the two aspects of God...the Father and the Commander.
Just to say also after some great Sunday meetings last Sunday ...the morning one being a fresh revelation of the Father being for us....and the key of David meeting in the evening being about the new pattern of ministry and corporate anointing in the Body.....Peter and Marriette Stott were prayed for and left for 2 weeks ministering in new Life Church in the leaders and wives and moving on to Paduka ,Kentucky.

Peter continues : I felt the Lord say to me the other day "The Enemy cannot create anything, he only counterfeits what I've done." For example the other day we were praying around the town here because there is a psychic cafe open down there.....Because there are all these services that they offer - mind you - we could do quite well on that one, couldn't we? Maybe we would charge a quick £10 a prophecy...what do you think?

There was dream know stuff like all of this.You could read it all up in the window. I thought,"Ha Ha .What a counterfeit of everything that heaven downloads to us by the Holy Spirit." The Enemy cannot create anything, he can only copy what God has done. Now listen some of you need to take this and study it. I haven't done it yet, but it's just a least I think it's a revelation. You test it.If you want to think about the Kingdom of heaven and how heaven interacts with earth - yes - what is really the name of the game? The name of the game is this : that God wants to bring the earth back under the government of heaven and there is a whole heirarchy that exists in His rule - there's a whole kind of thing a structure of authority that exists in His rule. But I want to tell you that the Enemy has counterfeited if you want to track what the Enemy is doing just unearth what he is counterfeiting. Because what he is trying to do is to bring the Earth under his control - from the second heaven - the place of principalities and powers and God wants it to come under the 3rd heaven(where His throne is)...and you'll find there is a similar structure operates in the realm of darkness as there operates in the Kingdom of God - yeah?. This is undeveloped and I am going to go there one day. If we could unpack that, I think there would be some keys as to how we tear down some of the stuff he's erected.....Just a thought...anyway.

So the battleground is the one I've described.What I want to very briefly look at is some of the players.I don't want to say much about the Enemy because I really don't like him.I don't . I really hate the know the reason he can't work on the basis of self-revelation is that he is so ugly and undesirable...nobody would want him if they saw him.And why does God work on the basis of self revelation? Because He is so lovely and so attractive that when He is revealed in us and through us, the world will come.

So let's think for a moment about the players. Who is the King of Glory?The Lord strong and mighty...the Lord in battle. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Hosts He is the King of Glory.

When we start to talk Kingdom language , God will start to give us revelation of the King we serve.You see God has many many sides to Himself which often reflect human realities...and we looked at the Father yesterday. And I just want to say that is foundational. I don't know how I would cope facing the King if I didn't know my security as a son.Honestly...

The revelation of the Fatherhood of God which has come to me in lots of peeled off layers over the years. And I just love the fact that I am totally loved by the Father. He told me a few years ago....Peter I like you.And that was revelation to my heart. Because I hated myself.I despised myself. I was ashamed of myself.And God said "I like you Peter." "What me?"

Then two weeks later He said "Peter, why do you have such a problem with Me liking you?"

I said "Well God, because I don't like myself.How can You? I am this loud, extrovert,wild unpredictable sort of character..." He said "I made you like thatand I love it!" He said "I watch you sometimes and I get such a kick out of it."

This was revelation. This is not head knowledge.Later my mind was processing it. I began to get scriptures like "As a Bridegroom rejoices over a bride so I rejoice over you."Yeah? It's the Word and the Spirit coming together.

But the revelation of the King is something altogether different.Let's just think of the Lord of Hosts for a moment....turn with me to Isaiah 6.In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

A familiar text....but often we miss things in the overfamiliarity.When you examine how Isaiah was in his reaction to this... I think it would be fair to say that he was scared spitless!!! I think this would be an adequate way to say it. But you know in Revelation when John looked at the was the same throne...and he saw the same figure on the throne but what he saw was the Lamb.

Do you know the Lamb Jesus is the only mutilated Being in heaven.Because He eternally bears the marks of His suffering and death for us.And before I say anything else can I say that He has gone right through into the heavens to enter the Presence of God for us,and eternally before all of heaven there is a reminder of the atonement He made for us . Otherwise there would be no possibility of us standing before the throne.

And you are positioned in Christ. So when heaven and the Father look at you...who do they see?

They see Jesus...and you are hidden in Him. You see the Lamb upon the throne is eminently approachable...I want to say this....Why? Because He like you and I was tempted in each and every point....and the mystery of mysteries is this that He the sinless Son of God became sin for you THAT YOU MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.That is an incredible mystery.

I don't know how to say this because it sounds heretical....but He was tempted in every way that you are. And it wasn't a charade. When He was tempted in the wilderness He had a will like you've got...He could have failed .....He could have let Satan in...we can't even go there...but it wasn't a charade it was real!!It was a battle. A cataclysmic battle went on in that place.It was the same battle that I talked about earlier. But whereas the First Adam fell the second Adam prevailed.

But in Christ heaven looks at you.The Father looks at you. Jesus understands you....Isn't it wonderful to be able to come to what is also a throne of a High Priest who is sympathetic with our weaknesses.Why..because He has been there...(He has bought the T shirt)... I don't know even if this is sound theology, but when it says He became sin ...I don't know what that means...I cannot get my head around it. The fact that He was prepared to do what He did and cry out "My God My God...why have you forsaken Me?"

It was for you and me. So that we could have a bit more about that later.But that's the legal ground on which we can come to the throne room.

So please when you read this stuff that is going on at the moment...oh we can't go on to the throne room I want to tell you...Why on Earth did Jesus die for less than that?

Anything that is in the scripture is available for you. And if John in the New Covenant saw heaven...then why on Earth can't you?The Apostle Paul said "Whether it was in the body or out of the body I know not"'s in the book.

But what Isaiah saw is what I call the "raw" glory of God.And in the grace and the love and the acceptance and the warmth of God's Fatherhood...which as I said in the first session is really the foundation of our life in Christ.But there is a revelation of the King...and it will invoke different responses.And different reactions and different emotions. But for goodness sake, find your security in the Fatherhood of God before you start going here.

You see, what Isaiah saw, and what the seraphim proclaimed , and the language surrounding the throne...from the angelic it is "Holy,holy,holy,"from the human around the throne it is "Worthy,worthy,worthy." whoooo God

It is amazing. Every tribe tongue and nation were singing "Worthy", the angels were singing "Holy".
Do you know there is going to come a throne dimension to our worship?There needs to come a Christ-centeredness even to the songs that we sing. I am sick of some of these me songs...if we could write them out of the book we ought to do it.It's all about Him.It's all about obeisance before Him.It's all about adoring Him. The focus is His glory. It's not about me.

What the seraphim decclared....Holy Holy Holy...all the Earth is filled with your glory...Isaiah picks up...woe is me for my eyes have seen the King...he then uses the same title again...the Lord of Hosts. If you look through scripture the title the Lord of Hosts is used very frequently.Particularly in the Old Testament...there are references in the New Testament...some direct...some oblique.... it was Jehovah Sabaoth, which literally means the God of heaven's armies. This is God the Commander. It was the revelation of God that Joshua worshipped just before taking the Land.

And a precursor to taking the Land in terms of warfare is worship of the Commander of heaven's armies. You know...the effrontery of Joshua when he said

Are you for us or against us? Well actually mate...I am the Commander of heaven's armies.And Joshua fell on his face and worshipped.

Now listen I am not taking away the love the intimacy, the relational security...that is all bound up in it...yeah?...But God is going to restore something to the church of a sense of his honour, his glory...and I want to say this we are going to learn that the fear of the Lord is clean.The kind of the fear of the Lord that I am talking about has nothing to do with terror..nothing to do with negatives.The fear of the Lord is clean.And it has everything to do with His majesty.See the God who on the one hand is our Father( I love Him) on the other hand He is the Lord of Hosts...He is the Lord of Glory..He is the Commander of heaven's armies.He sits at the head of all rule, might, government , power and authority and He directs the affairs of the whole universe. He's answerable to no one. He is equalled by no one. He is unique.We stand in awe and we sing "Worthy"simply because of what He's done. So that we could even dare to approach Him.Let alone behold Him.

(Speaking quietly)Just want to say this...the charismatic church needs to learn to honour the Presence of the Living God. I am appalled as I go around and I see people picking their noses, going to the toilet,talking in the midst of worship...this offends me hugely. Because if we don't discern....I tell you what....(thinking of an example)
Jacob had that incredible revelation of the ladder going up to heaven,of the Lord standing at the top with the angels coming up and down.....and he made this statement...” Behold the Lord is in this place and I never knew it...” One of the things that is going to come to us is a heightened discernment of God's Presence.

Jacob learned to discern the Presence of God. Samson did not notice that the Presence of God had left him.I just want to say I ...I...I'm done with gatherings of God's people where there's no Presence.It's like the worship of Moses Tabernacle that continued for decades after the Ark ofthe Covenant had been removed. It's a form. We were talking about it yesterday. Clive (Jackson of Shaftsbury) said I'd rather be washing up...that's quite a statement isn't it?

Lord we want to honour Your Presence. I am not talking religious...I am talking about the Presence of the Holy Spirit...and He is the Holy Spirit. The fear of the Lord is clean.And the fear of the Lord ties to intimacy in the context that I am talking about.

I love these conferences because I love tensions of truth. i maean what I am saying is apparently diametrically opposed to what we were hearing isn' is the same God!But it is how He chooses to reveal Himself. And I am saying to you when we start talking Kingdom this is where we come.

He is the Commander of heaven's armies.Now you will hear a lot about angels at the moment. And some two years ago the Lord said to me to start looking at and studying angels.And you know I had a real problem with it because ...well I'm a Brethren boy! Ha ha ha!.I'd also wandered around some American Christian bookshops...there's no Americans here is there?

And the cringe factor is about 900!!You know...and there are all these little cute blessed things...if I could just bin them...burn them...they are such a know these fat cheeked fat bottomed cherubs...I can't stand it...I hate the things. But I tell you it sells...and that terrifies me....that there are Christians out there that will buy these things...they are almost like charms!!God, what are we into?And I want this morning that we rid our minds of any concept of fat cheeked fat bottomed cherubs....please for goodness sake! (Laughter.)

No these guys....pointing to a painting of fierce warrior angels...these guys are the warriors of heaven.

I believe the European church needs to be like Elisha's servant. If we knew what was on our side

we would view the battle very differently.Do you remember when Elisha and his servant were in Dophan and the Syrians were coming against's in 2 Kings somewhere and the Syrians were surrounding the city because they had heard that the prophet was there and they thought they could do away with him....and the servant went up to take a look and was being overcome by fear...Look at the armies of Syria! So the prophet put his hand on the prophet...I see him put his hand on his head and pray - God just open his eyes.Tell him what the reality is.And suddenly his eyes were open and what did he see...?He saw the armies of heaven surrounding the Syrians and Elisha was just standing though this was the best thing ever.Just watch what is going to happen!!!( Actually reminds me of prophet Bob Jones's matter of factness)

And I want to say that God wants to open the eyes of the Church to the hosts of heaven!!!Yeah?

And there was an amazing statement : there are more for us than there are against us.And I tell you there is a cataclysmic battle going on in the heavenly realms for the Earth.But I want to tell you there are MORE for us than there are who are against us.And as my good friend Graham Cooke often says.."When Satan fell he took a third of the hosts with him. But this is good news, because it means that the ones who are left outnumber them two to one.

Now I'm not going to get all freaky and spooky...all frilly and charismatic...and all that nonsense but I just want to tell you that there is a harsh reality that our God is a warrior. Our God is on the throne. God is the Lord of Hosts. He is King of Kings.He commands the armies of heaven.

And I tell you what He has never lost the victory.And He never will.

And on the Cross!...The Cross was a declaration of War!! And Colossians tells us that there and then God DISARMED the Principalities and Powers!Yeah? And He triumphed over them.

I want to tell you the victory is won but it now needs to be enforced by us! Because we enlist as part of the army of heaven to see the Kingdom of God on the Earth established...and the reign of our God and of His Christ come from heaven to Earth. That is our business!

The Open Heaven existed in the Garden of Eden as I said earlier, because there was no barrier between heaven and Earth.The secondheaven was not in existence then.(i think...Ha!)It was like heaven was open over Eden. And Adam and Eve were in direct relationship and intimacy with their God...but they were also under the Command of heaven and they obeyed heaven on the Earth.The Kingdom of heaven was on the Earth as it is in heaven! And God is going to have it back again..But we need to understand our part in the enforcement of that.And so we are engaged in this cataclysmic battle. And the Lord of Hosts sits at the command hopefully of His Church, but certainly at the head of the armies of heaven. And the angelic activity that you see in the Old Testament...Can I say to you that the New Testament is enacted on better promises than the old one!!!So anything that is in the old will always be better in the new. Yes?if you go through the Old Testament and you see the number of the saints of God ...or maybe they weren't saints, maybe servants of God who had angelic visitation...were comforted, helped sustained by angels...I want to tell you they saw a spiritual reality that most of us need our eyes opened to see!!And it's all over the New Testament as well.Jesus saw angels. Mary saw an angel. Joseph saw an angel. Peter saw an angel. Paul saw an angel. John saw an angel.And it goes on and on and on.

Now the thing about scripture is that it doesn't give us the whole 9 yards on everything...and I'm grateful..Thank goodness it doesn't tell us how to conduct the Church.Because we, little legalistic, European,Greek-minded people would set the blessed thing in concrete like we tried to do. All it's talking about is principles.And modes of operation. When we clap it into a formula it becomes religion- it never was meant to be-it was meant to be a flow of life in the Spirit. But our God is the Mighty Warrior. The Warrior King. he has engaged battle for this Earth and He will not lose it.The Power and the glory and the victory are His! Without question. That is the God whom we serve.

But just to say a little more about the angels, if you study them you will find that there are angels who are messengers...there are angels who are ministers of God who come to minister to the saints, there are warrior angels who appear. I mean some of the things you the walls of Jericho....was that the angels pushing that wall over in direct response to the shout? I dunno. Perhaps all God needed was our obedience on the Earth so he could release a legion of angels to just push the wall.I'm not saying that's what it was but as you look through there are many things you can't explain. They were holding a prayer meeting in the early church for Peter who was in prison. And God sent an angel to unlock the gate and bring him out.

You could say...we don't need angels because now we have the Holy Spirit. Let me just throw a thought to you.Angels don't operate on the inside of you...the Holy Spirit does.And that is one of the facets of the New Covenant that is altogether better.because He was with us and is now in us.Christ within us. Our bodies being the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The Presence Power and Glory of God is inside us IN OUR BELLY! But the angels are external to us.And they are under the Command of heaven. We don't command angels. They come under the command of the Lord of hosts.He can move His troops as He wants to. And it was Rachel Hickson if you know her who saw a picture a few years ago into heaven...of all these angels sitting around yawning...and she said "God..what's that about?" And He said"Because My saints on Earth don't know how to mobilise Me to get this going, they are all sitting there waiting."

Well I want to tell you that day is over!

And so I want to say we are not at the mercy of the Enemy.Dynamically the Enemy is at our mercy.

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