“Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build for Me? And where is the place of My rest?’” Isaiah 66:1
The Lord is looking for a place to rest – a prepared people that have made Him and His purposes central. The place that He has chosen to rest is the regenerated heart of the surrendered soul – the New Testament ekklesia, both individually and corporately. Even though we are the temple of God individually and corporately (see 1 Cor. 3:17; 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1), the Lord is still looking for that place that has been prepared in every room and closet to be His abode where He is welcomed and made the central focus.
We Must Choose to be Chosen
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy (1 Pet. 2:9-10).
To be the final, chosen generation…we must choose to be chosen. The call to salvation is a general call to “whosoever will.” (Romans 10:13; 1 John 5:1; Rev. 22:17.) Anyone who responds in faith to the invitation of the gospel for redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, believing He died and rose again from the dead, and surrendering to Him as Lord, will receive eternal life. But there is another “whosoever will” extended to those who have been saved. It is the call to discipleship and destiny. We can do nothing to receive salvation except to accept what Christ has done for us. But, we must choose to be a disciple and we must choose to enter into His destiny for us.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).
The Lord Jesus reigns supreme and is the rightful heir of the throne of David: of His kingdom and government there shall be no end. Every covenantal promise ever given, in any age or dispensation, finds its ultimate fulfillment in Him. (Eph. 1:10; Heb. 1:2.) He is the promised Seed given to Abraham. (Gal. 3:16.) He is the “heir of all things.” (4:13; Heb. 1:2.) But it is also told that He will have a joint-heir, a “seed,” or children of His own.
Our Inheritance of Abraham’s Promises through Christ
…and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son–blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Gen. 22:16-18).
When the commanded blessing is released, the promises given to Abraham become an experiential reality in the lives of those who are in Christ. The blessings promised to Abraham include physical, mental, emotional, financial and family prosperity and blessings, as was demonstrated in the blessing of the Lord upon Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all their progeny. But there is another blessing promised to Abraham that all those in Christ have available to them: complete dominion over every enemy (“your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies”). This means there remains a promise yet unfulfilled that the Lord Himself said would happen.
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17a).
It is imperative that the church enter into the “bridal” identity designed for her by the Father on behalf of the Son. It has been the Father’s intention, from all eternity, to have the Son’s desire for an eternal companion fulfilled. (John 17:22-26.) The theme is continuous from Genesis through Revelation, and all throughout human history, that the purpose of humanity is to be the eternal companion of the Son of God.
The “bridal identity” of the church, by default, means entering into our identity as intimate, passionate lovers and partners of the Lord Jesus, in His Person and His work. The bridal identity of the church is summed up in the reality of becoming a kingdom of priests. (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6.) Priestly ministry primarily involves worship and intercession.
And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:7-8).
I used to believe this passage of scripture was metaphorical. I do not believe this any longer in light of the realization of 24/7 houses of prayer arising all across the globe. The restoration of the spirit of the Tabernacle of David (Acts 15:15-17; Amos 9:11-13) is literally being fulfilled in this generation. Multi-generational companies of Christians are arising in many cities. They yearn to see the vision, burden and calling of what is taking place around the throne of God (Rev. 4&5) established on earth as happened in King David’s day. (1 Chron. 16.) A place for the glory of the Lord is being prepared in many geographic locations as the bride of Christ enters into the fullness of her priestly ministry and identity. Once the priestly identity and ministry of the bride is restored, then the anointing of the Head will begin to flow over the entire body. (Psalm 133:1-3.)
I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:12-14).
The express purpose of God in the life of every child of God is to bring forth the image and likeness of His Son in us. As it is with natural childhood development, we go through stages of maturity and growth as we develop into mature sons and daughters of God. The Lord Jesus is not going to marry a bride that does not reflect the blameless perfection revealed in His Person. Although the power of His blood and the work of the cross bring regeneration to dead-in-sin lives, there is still a cooperative work of the Spirit of God in our lives that is purposed to bring us to maturity in both Christ’s character and power. The Father will have a bride without spot or wrinkle for the Son of His love. The blood removes the “spots” (sin and iniquity), and heat and pressure remove the wrinkles (as in ironing)!
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse (Mal. 4:5-6).
One of God’s primary purposes for raising up and restoring prophets and prophetic ministry in the church in these last days is to bring generations together. This not only includes generations of old and young in the earth, but also joining past generations together with the current generation, who will complete their mandates and fulfill their purposes. (Hebrews 11:39-40.) There are multi-generational promises, anointings, ministries, mantles and blessings held in a spiritual trust fund for the end-time generation that fully embraces the Lord in intimacy and obedience. The prophetic or “forerunner” ministries in the earth today are called to heal the breach that exists not only between the age groups, but also between the “fathers” of the ages past and the current generation. God calls for fathers-leaders to arise who will fully take hold of His promises and join hands with both the saints from ages past and the youth in the current age. These fathers-leaders are called upon to take the first step in the process of restoration and deliverance.
In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God (John 16:26-27).
Turning the hearts of the children to the Father begins with the revelation and experience of the Father’s burning passion for messed-up human beings. The average Christian sees a perverted image of the Father. They base their relationship with Him on a perception of Him being an arbitrary, untrustworthy, aloof despot, demanding perfection before He can or will interact with us. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Being male and female, both sexes reflect aspects of the glory of the Father. There is a tender, compassionate heart at the center of the Father’s existence that Paul describes as the kind of love and care a mother would show for her children.
By Mike McClung
(Article adapted from chapter of the same name in the book Restoring the Ruins)
Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse (Mal. 4:4-6).
Curses crumble when generations are joined together. Curses impact generations in a specific bloodline through a family, and they also impact cultures or nations, through a tribe or people group. The cause and cure remain the same. The generations must join together, through the redemptive power of the cross and blood of Christ, or the bondage, habits and mindsets of peoples and nations will change little. But…this is changing. When God begins to answer the cries of His people for deliverance from bondage, he first moves on the “fathers,” or leaders, to make the initial step for change.