By Mike McClung (adapted from his book Restoring the Ruins)
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God (1 Cor. 2:9-12).
Limited vision produces limited people and limited fulfillment of purpose. Mike Bickle, Director of Friends of the Bridegroom Ministries and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, once told me that he believed that imparting vision was the key to dealing with rebellion and lack of discipline in the lives of God’s people. I believe this is a profound insight. We become what we behold: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). Anyone who has ever driven a car knows the feeling of something catching their attention off to one side of the road, only to look back to the front to see their vehicle swerving in the direction they had just been looking. One of the tragic things that has happened to the bride of Christ, especially in western society, is the lack, or inconsistency, of leaders in the church focusing the vision of God’s people on the Person and purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ. These purposes entail more than winning the lost, although this is a primary objective. The purposes of God are always kingdom purposes, with a view of exercising the dominion mandate man was originally given. (Gen. 1:26-27.) We are to exercise the authority of the Lord in every dimension of life and society: family, socially, politically, economically, music and the arts. But we have, in many ways, become Laodicea – focused on this present life and materialistic in our desires, habits and activities…even in church! Instead of getting the people of God ready for a final outpouring and resulting harvest of the glory and power of God in these last days, we have in many ways developed a “bunker” mentality. We sit around waiting for a rescue in the nick of time, while letting the powers of darkness run rampant, plaguing, afflicting and destroying the lives and destinies of people and nations, and releasing and enforcing curses on the very land itself. Proverbs 29:18 states: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint…. Lawlessness, carnality and purposelessness mark the present generation in western society. We have become what we have been beholding! But a new generation is beginning to arise under a new kind of leadership that will impart vision of the Person of the God-Man. This will, 1) reveal to us our identity as lovers and sons and daughters of God, and, 2) reveal a vision of destiny – that to which God has called and destined us for in these last days. That destiny is to fully possess the promises laid up for us. (1 Peter 1:3-5.)
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.
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.
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.
Revival/reformation is imminent. Most believers with their hearts and spirits attuned to the spiritual atmosphere can feel it…can sense it. It has been prophesied, both in scripture (Acts 3:19-21) and by the prophets and seers of our day. I have heard these prophecies for decades now, and I have experienced the power of God, personally and corporately, to know that what is coming will be a compilation of every move of God in the past, but bringing forth the fullness of God in the earth, prior to His return. Many have experienced the same power and glory over the last 30 to 40 years. The question that has been plaguing most of us these last years is “when will these things be?”
I just recorded a prophetic perspective this past Sunday that the Lord began downloading on August 31, 2017. On that day, while out for my usual twice daily prayer walk, the Lord spoke, “Beginning October 1 (the day after Yom Kippur), you will be entering the final season of My restoration, and it will be known as ‘The Days of Recompense’”. For those who are interested, you can listen to the entire perspective free on our website by clicking here.
The Lord is going to restore all that has been lost, stolen, destroyed, perverted, etc, during these coming days to those who have faithfully persevered in obedience to the Lord, albeit a tremendous struggle and war over the last 6-10 years. All that the enemy has touched, including reputation and relationships, will be restored seven-fold (see Proverbs 6:30-31). All that has been willingly laid down or sacrificed for His name’s sake, will be restored 100-fold (Matt. 19:29-30). There will be “recompense”. But this also means that whatever we have sown in unrighteousness, unless repented of and restitution made, will bring a reaping, also. We must make things right! Psalm 118:19-20 states that the “gate” that the presence of the Lord enters into this natural sphere is the “gate of righteousness”. This is a spiritual “gate” that must be established before His presence can manifest in the natural realm. This includes judicial righteousness secured for us through the cross, but also includes experiential righteousness worked in and through the life of the believer through yielding to the leading and Lordship of the Spirit of God. This experiential righteousness BEGINS with confession and repentance, but must include restitution or the Lord would be unjust and unrighteous in blessing us while we still live in sin and rebellion. NOW is the time to make things right so the full grace, power and provision of the Lord can be released.
(This article is a continuation of the previous article on “The Apostolic Shift – Part 1”)
Becoming a “Nail Scar” in His Hand
Paul, Timothy’s spiritual father, tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12: don’t let anybody look down on your youth but be an example. The first place in the New Testament the word for “example” (Gr. – tupos) is used is in John 20:25:
The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’
Thomas was absent in the first encounter with the Lord Jesus after the resurrection. The others tell Him of seeing and communing with the resurrected Lord, and he says, “I will not believe unless I see the nail scar (tupos).” This is what the lost, hurting, sin-loving, hell-bound masses are crying out for – a nail print! This is the beginning of true ministry. This is where the veil of unbelief is lifted off the hearts and understanding of the lost, blind and skeptical (Eph. 1:17-20), and where the Spirit begins the work of transformation in lives. This happens when people encounter the “nail scar” – the physical imprint of His life in us!
What is your dominion gift or gift mix? We are in a kairos (God’s right time) moment. We must get in line with God’s order and His timing. Now is the time to begin to walk in our dominion gift. Until intercession is established, things never fully work correctly, and therefore operating in our dominion gifting in the culture is greatly hindered. God created man first for intimacy and from that position we are to rule and reign. The word “mediocre” literally means “half way up the mountain,” which is a picture of those who will not accept the discipline and dedication necessary to see the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose. Part of this discipline is character development and learning to prevail in prayer. “Halfway up the mountain” is a picture of those who do not completely answer God’s call and quit somewhere in the process of training and discipleship. Most people quit during this transitional phase (between the actual change, and the full enactment), because it’s the place where our relationship, character and commitment is tested.
What is transition anyway? It is a defined leaving of the familiar we have been in, and going through a narrow, confining passage, to an unfamiliar place. It’s a place that holds no name because it is the space between where we were and where we are going. If we observe a bundle of smashed grapes, we can no longer identify the distinct, beautiful, plump, ripe fruit. It is not what it was; it is not yet what it is to become — juice or wine. More grapes, additional ingredients and time all play an integral role in the transformation of the grapes to the desired, new state. Many of us are like these grapes; we are ripe fruit presently being squeezed through a narrow place. Just like the grapes, the Lord is changing us into who He has called us to be. Transition is what we pass through to become; it is the place of transformation.