Author Archive

God’s Eternal Purpose

A New Series

Mike Bickle has starting a another series at IHOP-KC called Studies in the Bride of Christ.  It will probably be a lot of session, with this post I want to examine some of the themes with the purpose of inspiring you to challenge yourself to dive into some of them.

The bride of Christ is right at the center of God’s eternal purpose.  This is a very big statement. God’s ultimate purpose for creation was to provide a family for Himself and to provide a bride for His Son.

He ordained that He would give His Son an eternal companion that would be equally yoked to Him in love (2 Cor 6:14 – If God want’s us to have equally yoked brides/partners, wouldn’t he want Christ to have the same?  Through grace He will).  God wills that she would reign with Him forever and forever on the earth.

When God first established the plan of creation, to create the heavens and the earth, the natural realm, and then to create a human race to live in the natural realm, His idea is that He would join together the natural realm and the supernatural realm together on the earth.

His plan was that human beings would be the vessels, or would be those that He ordained this for, and He wanted these people to be His Son’s eternal companion. They would rule with His Son forever on the earth.

An Aggressive Plan

Just think about it. Go back ages past. To involve human beings, to create a race, a brand new race of beings; there were angels, there were demons, but a whole new race of created beings that would be made in God’s image so that they could fellowship with God and connect with God at a heart level in a way that angels cannot. Then God would invite these human beings into the fellowship of the Trinity, the fellowship of the Godhead, and He would invite them into the government of the Trinity.

They would participate with Jesus in ruling the earth with His authority forever and forever. Again, this is aggressive. This is big. I mean, this must have shocked the angels when the plan was unveiled the first time.

They probably had no way to comprehend what was happening. That a new race of beings, higher than them, that would be made in God’s image so they could actually connect with God in love at the heart level, at the spirit level.

They would have capacities that the angels would not have. Then they would be invited into the government of the Godhead. Not just into the fellowship of the Godhead, but the government of it, in ruling this new natural realm.

This heaven and earth realm of which the supernatural dimension would be joined to it in God’s timing, Rev. 19:7, is one of the key points for which God has orchestrated all of human history. We see it written at the end, but it was the plan in His heart from the beginning. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, that the Son of God would have a marriage and have a wife.

It is more than this. God would orchestrate history in such a way that the wife would voluntarily be ready and prepared. He would not force her, but He would orchestrate history in a way, and woo her, to where she would say yes of her own accord.

She would make herself ready. Of course, under the anointing of the grace of God, but the point in this verse is that she willingly responded. A willing bride, she said yes of her own accord. God did not violate her freewill. That was part of the great eternal plan. Father God set His heart and His plan in motion. He created the heavens and the earth, created the human race.

Then He began to train her so that she would willingly say yes, so she would be worthy for the worthy Son, a prepared bride for a worthy Son. That was the genius of the Father, a prepared bride for a worthy Son.

Rev 3:21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Rev. 3:21, she would sit with Me, Jesus said. She would sit with Me on My throne. That statement is so big. That statement is so without any precedent in human imagination that humans would sit with Jesus on His throne in partnership, in government, forever.

Rev. 5:10, she would reign on the earth in the earth realm, the natural realm. Again, in the perfect timing of God, the natural and the supernatural will come together on the earth at the time of the Second Coming.

The Father promised the Son an inheritance. Ps. 2:8, “I will give you the nations as your inheritance. I will give you the ends of the earth as your possession.” The Father ordained that Jesus would have an inheritance, but the inheritance would be in the natural realm.

It would not be just a heavenly inheritance up in heaven, but it would be an inheritance that would involve the earth realm, the natural realm. It would be a full possession of the nations and that Jesus would not just govern them partially, He would fully possess them. That is a key phrase. That He would possess them. They would be His.

They would be totally His; the land as well as the people. As a matter of fact, it is clear from Scripture that the inheritance is more about the people, but it does include the land itself. The title deed of the earth is given to the man Christ Jesus.

He owns all the property of the earth. It is His. More important are the people that dwell on the land and the property that He owns. Continue reading

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Highlights from Onething 2017

Mike Bickle

There isn’t a better way forward than the plan of Jesus.

“I don’t want to get seduced into a humanistic view of justice & end up offended at God when He doesn’t do it like I thought He would.”

“Jesus restores an impossible, broken life. He heals it.”

“Isaiah 42 is the great justice chapter in the Bible.”

“The Father Himself has given His plan to bring justice to the ends of the earth to His Son.”

“Even though the power of the Spirit is moving globally, injustice is going to intensify.”

 

Benji Nunez

Now we have the privilege of standing with Israel as God has stood for us”

I want to be a mature Christian, one who is in pain when God is in pain & who rejoices when God rejoices”

Dana Candler
“The Lord wants to wreck us with His love.”

“I believe the most unshakable people alive are the people who’ve been most wrecked by the love of Christ.”

“The Lord wants to match the trembling of trouble with the sweetness of His love.”

“The Lord chose marriage as a picture of our relationship with Him. Marriage is a 100% love relationship that gives all. He is ours. We are His. It’s time to give more than 98% to Him as His bride. It’s time to give ALL to Him.”

Marriage is invasive.

“When our treasure is Christ, our heart is steadfast.”

“When we understand the revelation of the Bridegroom, we being to understand that He has deep passion for weak and broken people.”

“Do you believe that your words move the heart of God? When we realize that the Lord is moved by our words, we will open our mouth. We will pour out our heart to Him — a God who cherishes out tears and hears our prayers.” – Dana Candler

“There is no such thing as our God being stoic and indifferent—He’s moved by His people.”

You don’t ever have to lose your first love … there is a grace to remain steadfast!

“Forever and ever we will look at the Lamb slain and say, oh how He loved me.”

 

David Sliker

Don’t confuse people’s reactions to your immature, insecure, ungodly zeal with persecution… but truly reflecting the beauty of Jesus will bring real persecution.

The day that all nations take the Church seriously enough to hate us for His sake (Matt 24:9) is a glorious day for the Church because it means we’re doing something right and demonstrating real power that threatens the powers of this age.

The Joel 2 outpouring is about way more than the indwelling Holy Spirit being available to all. We’re talking massive global REVIVAL with mass supernatural repentance unto salvation, signs & wonders, ALL the Church anointed and engaged in the harvest.

A true revivalist will pay the price in prayer to prepare for revival, and will pay the price for revival when it comes. It’s a popular term right now, which is great, but it’s not a trivial thing.
Continue reading

The Revelation of Weakness: The Way to Greatness, Power and Liberty

THE REVELATION OF GODLY VOLUNTARY WEAKNESS

Paul received the revelation that “godly weakness” was the way to experience more of God’s power. Jesus promised Paul that he would experience “strength made perfect” if he embraced weakness. Paul was not referring to moral weakness, but weakness coming from godly choices, a lifestyle of embracing spiritual disciplines to experience more of God.

This is essential for the days we are in and the days to come!

7 Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in (voluntary) weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my (voluntary) infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me. (2 Cor. 12:7-9)

Paul describes two types of godly weaknesses. First, those which are voluntary, including prayer, fasting, living simply, serving and blessing those who offend us (Mt. 6:1-20). Second, those which are involuntary, including his thorn in the flesh, persecution and reproach. When Paul boasts of his weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), he is referring to both the involuntary weakness of various types of persecution and the voluntary weakness of what we call “the fasted lifestyle” (2 Cor. 11:23-28).

We seek to grow in our revelation and resolve to embrace godly weakness as the way to position ourselves to experience more of God’s power internally (in our hearts) and externally (in our personal ministry to family and friends). This is God’s way for us to confront the unperceived pride in our spirit.

FIVE EXPRESSIONS OF GODLY VOLUNTARY WEAKNESS (THE FASTED LIFESTYLE)

God chose godly voluntary weakness as the way to run His Kingdom. Jesus embraced it, thus providing us with our entry into the Kingdom. We embrace it as the lifestyle of the Kingdom.

27 God has chosen the (so-called) foolish things of the world to put to shame the (so-called) wise, and God has chosen the (so-called) weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are (so-called) mighty…29 that no flesh should glory in His presence… 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” (1 Cor. 1:27-31)

The fasted lifestyle is a call to embrace voluntary weakness to experience more of God’s power. What is the fasted lifestyle? There are 5 types of “fasting” described in Mt. 6:1-20.

We fast food, time, energy, money and words(restraining our speech) and by giving, serving, praying (with the Word), blessing those who offend us and fasting food as we develop the 8 beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12).

Each of these is a form of fasting, in that we are voluntarily embracing weakness by submitting our strengths into God’s hands and trusting Him to answer us His way and in His time.

In our regular giving, we fast our money (financial strength). In serving and prayer, we are fasting our time and energy, investing it in others and in prayer. In blessing those who offend us, we fast words and reputation. Fasting from food is not primarily a call to hunger but to physical weakness. We must embrace “the fasted lifestyle” long term. No one graduates from this lifestyle, it’s a posture of receiving we keep returning to.

 

WE NATURALLY DESIRE TO “FEEL STRONG” IN OUR DEVOTION AND SERVICE

Pride injures our relationship with God. Therefore, God has ordained voluntary godly weakness in this age as the way to protect the closeness of our relationship Jesus.

We naturally desire to feel strong in these two areas,  devotion and service. However, we often feel weak in these areas.

We want to “feel strong” about our devotion and service – we want to “feel strong” when we give our devotion to God and in the preparation and offering of our service to others. There is a vast difference in “feeling strong” in the process and the operation of our skills and in “feeling confident” that God values them.

We want to “look strong” in our service to others – we want to “look strong” when we offer our service to others. There is a vast difference in “looking strong” to the people that we minister to and in “feeling confident” that God was pleased with us.

Many agree to pursue the fasted lifestyle falsely assuming that they would usually feel strong while walking out the five types of fasting. It is common to not feel God’s power while in the act of our devotion, obedience or service.  We sometimes do not feel powerful when we seek or serve the Lord. Our prayers are often “offered in weakness” but they ascend before God in power because of Jesus’ work on the cross. God has strategic time delays and locations in answering our prayers.

We can feel strong in the sense of having faith or confidence (often without feeling) that the fasted lifestyle is God’s way forward. The fasted lifestyle is so weak that anyone can do it, but it is so weak that few choose to.

 

Continue reading

Great Ihopkc Worship Set: Thurlow

ThurlowThurlow.jpg

Bringing Heaven and Earth Together

CENTERPIECE OF GOD’S PURPOSE: BRINGING HEAVEN AND EARTH TOGETHER

9 Having made known to us the mystery (hidden plan) of His will…10 that He might gather together in one ALL things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him. (Eph. 1:9-10)

This is a huge verse which gives incredible insight into God’s Kingdom and how it connects to Heaven and the Age to Come.  This is a game changer for understanding God’s plans.
The centerpiece of God’s eternal purpose is for Jesus to come back to fully establish His Kingdom rule over all the earth as He joins the heavenly and earthly realms together. God’s purpose has always been for God and His people to live together in this way. This is the interpretive key to understanding the End-Times.
Heaven speaks of the supernatural spirit realm where God’s power and presence are openly manifest. It includes the realm of angels and is the place believers go for the last 2,000 year (cross to Second Coming) “temporary holding pattern” as disembodied spirits. The saints do not have a resurrected body in heaven because they do not need one to relate to the environment of heaven. When the New Jerusalem comes to earth, it is referred to as heaven. When the Scripture says our reward is in heaven it speaks of the New Jerusalem as heaven on earth.
Earth: speaks of the material physical realm as the place where human process and human emotions and physical sensation reach their fullest expression. The materiality of the Millennial earth, then the New Earth will consist of concrete reality. The earthly realm requires a resurrected body. On the earth, saints will need a resurrected body to fully relate to it.
As Gentile believers, we most naturally think of worshipping Jesus as God in the supernatural conditions of heaven. We emphasize Jesus’ deity as the Son of God. Whereas the Jewish paradigm thinks of reigning with the Messianic King as a man in the natural conditions of the earth. They emphasize the Messiah’s humanity as the Son of David. Continue reading

The Forerunner Message in Isaiah 2 Pt 2

Isaiah 40: “Every valley shall be exalted. Every mountain and hill will be brought low.”

This is what Zechariah talked about. It is going to be a plain. It is going to be leveled and elevated. The glory of the Lord will be revealed. We know this is not just a one-time revival because it is the glory revealed when the entire human race sees it so it is clearly connected to the second coming. So as related to the second coming, it is not correct to read this verse just figuratively, like the valleys in our life, the low spots, are going to be brought into balance, though it really does mean that. There is a personal, figurative application, but there is a literal one about the glory of Jerusalem where all of the valleys are going to be leveled out and all the mountains and hills are going to be brought low, because the Lord is creating a setting. It is so important to Him! He puts it in the prophet’s mouth thousands of years ahead of time, because it means that much to Him, this forty-mile kind-of-diameter area that this plain is going to be happening in.

Some see this prophecy of the “mountain of the Lord’s house” as being completely fulfilled by the Church preaching God’s word to every sphere of society and God’s kingdom gaining full authority over all society in this age (before Jesus returns), or being established “on the top of the mountains.” They only see “mountains” as a figure of speech symbolizing the spheres of society, and the instruments such as swords, plowshares, spears, and pruning hooks (2:4) are seen only as symbols.

I appreciate this interpretation, but I do not want to limit this glorious passage to this interpretation.

Literal Interpretation
The very popular way to read this passage is that people see the mountain of the Lord figuratively as the Church, and the way that the mountain of the Lord is on top of everything is they are preaching and we have influence over the spheres of society. So we are over them. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit uses this passage for that, but that is only a little bit of what this passage is about. This passage is about the glory of the New Jerusalem in the age to come.
They see the mountains only as a figure of speech. When you read the rest of the passage, there are these instruments: swords, and plowshares, and spears. They see those just as symbols. All kind of different groups give different interpretations. They say, for example, “It is really the gospel being preached over the mountain of media and the mountain of education and the mountain of this, and the mountain of that.”
Again, I appreciate that because the Lord wants the Church to go forward. However, the full meaning of this passage, the grand meaning of this passage, is, as the Lord might say, “My mountain house is what I am talking about ultimately.” I mean you could feel free to use that passage that way. I mean, I think the Holy Spirit uses it in that way, but you do not want to limit this most magnificent passage only to Christian ministry in this age. It is something far bigger. Because if it is just Christian ministry in this age, well, a lot of people are involved in that. They get discouraged, they get bitter, they get in strife, and they get burned out. When I see the city and the Man behind it and that He planned it for me, that my inheritance is there and that He has thought of every detail, I see His extravagance, then commitment seems doable. I do not want to lose that by only seeing Christian ministry. Because if Christian ministry is all this verse means, then there you go, Body of Christ, Christian ministry does not keep people steady. They get discouraged, they quit, they fall into sin, and they are bitter. All kinds of negative things happen.
This is an anchor point of which Abraham was gripped. Isaiah was gripped by it. Jesus said, “That is the city of the Great King. It is My city. That is what I am locked into this city.” So I want you to catch that because, again, if you lose this, then the end-time storyline is doom and gloom and it is negative. No, no! There is a city being prepared, and it is going to fill the earth or a part of it. It is worth it. So this is critical that we lock into this reality.
The Church is to make a measure of impact upon society in this age as salt and light (Mt. 5:13-16). 
The kings of the earth will be at war against Jesus in the end times (Rev. 17:2; 19:19; Ps. 2:2-3). Continue reading

The Forerunner Message in Isaiah 2 Pt I

Isaiah
The Lord entrusted the prophet Isaiah with more passages, more revelation, more information about the end times than any man in the Bible, more than John the apostle in the book of Revelation. Isaiah has far more information than anybody else. We are not going to look in this series at the whole book of Isaiah, but rather we are only dealing with the passages related to the end times. There are a remarkable number of them, but not all of Isaiah. So we will be skipping some really good passages because they are not end-time-oriented. We are looking for the forerunner message. We are looking for understanding of how we can interpret Jesus and what He is doing, and what we say to people, and how we say it.
We are saying, “Holy Spirit, teach us through the prophet Isaiah here.” So this for this first posts here it is the forerunner message in Isaiah 2. Next will be the forerunner message in Isaiah 4. Then after that we are going to go over to Isaiah 9. Isaiah 9 is amazing, Isaiah 9-10. Then Isaiah 11 is a dramatic passage about the end time. Every one of them has so many different angles and turns and twists to it. The kind of skeletal structure of the end-time message was entrusted to Isaiah throughout his sixty-six chapters. There are quite a few chapters on that topic.

Isaiah 2 outlines foundational truths for God’s end-time plans. It describes Jesus reigning over the whole world, expressing God’s zeal to fill the earth with His love and to remove all sin and pride.
Isaiah 2 outlines foundational truths for the end-time message. Not only was Isaiah entrusted with more than any other man in human history on the end times, Isaiah 2 is strategically the beginning. It is essential. It describes Jesus reigning over the whole earth. And, it is not just Jesus reigning, but He is expressing His zeal to fill the earth with love. If we do not know that Jesus has a plan, that He wants to remove everything that hinders love in order to fill the earth with love—His plan is to remove pride and drive it off the planet entirely so that for billions of years there is this prosperity and this goodness—if you know that is what the end-time message is, you read it very differently.

It is not a doom-and-gloom message. That is not what is going on. It is a glorious love story about Jesus ushering in a new world order, and He is doing it with His people and for His people. He is glorifying His Father. When we grasp that, then we look at the negative things through a positive lens because we see redemptive value and purposes behind the things that are tough and that are challenging.

Isaiah started his end-time teaching by pointing people o the millennial Jerusalem. In a similar way, Abraham, the father of our faith, began his journey in seeking God’s eternal city (Heb. 11:9-10).

10…he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 
(Heb. 11:10; NAS)
Isaiah 2 is the foundation of the end times, and Isaiah begins with Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem in the biblical narrative, there is an earthly city in the Millennium that is glorious. The most glorious city just in the earthly sense, and then the New Jerusalem from heaven comes down and joins together with the earthly Jerusalem. The combination of this glorious reality, the two cities joined and functioning as Jesus’ vast governmental complex that He rules and reigns in, the whole earth is awed by it, the beauty of it, the splendor of it, the extravagance of Jerusalem. The earthly and the heavenly as one that is the epicenter of the entire end-time plan with a glorious, beautiful Man sitting on a throne in the middle of it. If we do not see that, then we only see judgments or we see sin growing or the devil raging. We lose our way so quickly if we are not anchored in Isaiah 2.
Well, Abraham was very similar to Isaiah in this. Isaiah first is concerned about Jerusalem, that you would see the city. Abraham did not know where he was going at the very beginning of his journey when God called him left his home and began to travel, but he went, and it says in Hebrews 11:10 that he was looking for Continue reading

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