Do you know the times we’re in?
We are in a time when God is pouring our His glory – His manifest presence. God’s glory reveals His holiness, His power, His beauty, His character, His Word. God’s purpose, described in the Word from Genesis to Revelation and until now, is that His likeness be multiplied upon the earth. We are to reflect His glory!
In the past era of the Old Testament, the Spirit of God filled the temple with God’s glory. (Ezekiel 43:5) 2 Chronicles 5 describes God’s presence being manifest.
2 Chronicles 5:10-14 God made a covenant with His people. “11 And when the 120 priests were present having consecrated themselves, without regard to their divisions, 12 and all the Levitical singers made themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”
Acts 1-2 sees 120 present at the Pentecost outpouring of God’s presence. In our era we still see God’s glory filling spaces – churches, offices, court rooms and aeroplanes to change the atmosphere, to release peace, justice, healing and to draw us in awe to worship our God.
But now, moving from glory to glory in the era of the new covenant, God’s presence also fills His people so they can reflect the glory of His likeness!
2 Corinthians 3:18 “We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
We are in an era when God is manifesting His presence, and His glory is tangibly accessible to us. We feel God’s holy, awesome, powerful freeing presence externally and within us and are awakened, healed and focused on Him and our part in how God is revealing Himself in glory through the body of Christ in our nation at this time.
In this era God’s glory is being manifest through supernatural manifestations in churches, houses of prayer and healing rooms and everywhere through God’s humble, sons and daughters who bear His likeness and do His will.
* This gives us all an opportunity to grow in spiritual discernment.
* This challenges us all to fix our eyes on Jesus and to pursue what is pure and holy and poured out for us.
* Jesus invites us all to maturely walk forward together as the Spirit leads, exercising the grace and authority of Christ and releasing His kingdom on earth.
Do you have what it takes to discern God’s glory?
Jesus has asked me to say to all, “An encounter with the living God is available to you.” Jesus invites us all to know Him.
I hear the Lord say, “Look to Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-9 “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things.”
The journey begins with receiving Jesus as our way, truth and life.
John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
1 Corinthians 2:14 “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
John 5:30 “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
Are you willing to come as our Father’s children and enter the kingdom of heaven?
Matthew 19:14 “but Jesus said, “’Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’”
Matthew 18:2-4 “ And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 11:25 “At that time Jesus declared, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”
We cannot go far without receiving the Holy Spirit. Without the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, we cannot accurately discern what is of God or not of God or know God intimately in His glory or effectively fulfill Jesus’ commission. Jesus asked His disciples to “wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” and “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:4-8)
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you so you continue to grow under His tutelage. He knows what you are ready for and can handle. He knows what you will need to focus on to fulfill your purpose and destiny on earth.
As you behold the Glory of God – are you moving from glory to glory?
2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
I have never been more aware that it is those who hunger, seek and wait upon the Lord who will find intimacy with God and be propelled into ever-increasing likeness to His image. This is how we fulfil God’s purpose.
I have never been more clear that our loving Father does not want us to stay where we are. It is a measure of God’s loving kindness and mercy that His Presence is with us even when we are captive in sin and deception. I heard a sinner say, “God still loves me.” It is true but God’s love is not God’s permission to keep on sinning. (John 8:11) God’s presence is not His assurance that we have arrived and all is pure. I asked the Lord why His Presence is manifest in the midst of deception and heard Him say, “Because I want them to move forward. ”
I hear the Lord say, “There is an outpouring of God’s sanctification flowing right now.” Seek this glory which will bring glory to our Father.
2 Peter 1:2-13 “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder…. “Please read all of 2 Peter 1.
Psalm 24 describes the process. Psalm 24:3-7 “Who, then, ascends into the presence of the Lord? And who has the privilege of entering into God’s Holy Place? 4 Those who are clean—whose works and ways are pure, whose hearts are true and sealed by the truth, those who never deceive, whose words are sure. 5 They will receive the Lord’s blessing and righteousness given by the Savior-God. 6 They will stand before God, for they seek the pleasure of God’s face, the God of Jacob. Pause in his presence 7 So wake up, you living gateways! Lift up your heads, you ageless doors of destiny! Welcome the King of Glory, for he is about to come through you.”
While discerning this paper, God directed me in a dream to read Psalm 16 in The Passion Translation, “The Golden Secret”. I commend this to all who are seeking to trust intimacy with God.
The glory of God fills us with wonder and rest and as we behold Him we are transformed and commissioned to bear His likeness, to carry His glory, His kingdom reign into the darkness of the world around us.
2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
How well do you recognise what is and is not of God?
We all fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We all see in part. (1 Corinthians 13:11-12) We are all on a journey of spiritual maturity. We are being called and empowered by God to to grow more and more like Him.
Discernment is complex because we are a mixture. Some parts of what we understand, say and do are of God and some parts are human (of the flesh) and sometimes our understanding, words and actions are influenced by other spirits.
When we listen to a sermon, teaching or sense a supernatural manifestation, our spirits discern what is of God and which parts the Holy Spirit is applying to us, personally. When we encounter a mixture between what is of God and is not, we can have a sinking feeling, a sense of disappointment, confusion and even betrayal. Mixtures understandably create concerns and challenges for us. Some people run – and are right to run because they do not yet have the spiritual maturity to process it. Some people withdraw to discern or simply to move on the path that the Lord has them on in the season.
Mixture arises from multiple levels. Ask the Lord to reveal His truth so you recognise the source of any mixture that is triggering your concern.
- Recognise that your discernment is filtered by your own limited and distorted expectations,perceptions, theology and experience of the supernatural realm. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Your own maturity in Christ will determine how fully you can discern things and walk together with others, while respecting their differences. Romans 14 guides us in how to move forward together. You may find it helpful to read Manifestations of the Spirit by Mike Bickle.
- Recognise the people of God who are operating in part in the flesh– at the level of their spiritual purity and maturity on specific matters. This can arise from their denominational perspectives, models and experiences. We may be unfamiliar and even uncomfortable with how they operate but still able to worship with them and receive God’s revelation through them. The fruit we produce will reveal which vine we are connecting to. Look for the fruit of the Spirit and those who bear likeness to Jesus. Look for the fulfilment of Jesus’ commission. Mark 16:15-18
- Recognise people who are operating unconsciously under the confounding influence of other spirits– spirits of pride, control, religion, politics, deception, accusation etc. Recognise when Jesus and His way, truth and life is not front and centre. Recognise when a person is not operating out of love but is driven by other spirits and human systems. Recognise when a person is pursuing the supernatural realm rather than God Himself. We are right to be concerned when a leader is deceived and operating in other spirits and wise not to submit to people who are operating through control, rather than with the freedom, grace and respectful way the Holy Spirit operates. We are not to let the way others are doing things unsettle or hinder us from our focus on Jesus and from moving forward with the Spirit. Read Galatians Chapter 5. Galatians 5:1, 22-26 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
- Recognise people who are intentionally secretive and deceptive, and who are resistant to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and repeated warnings to repent from their patterns of sinful behaviour. Titus 3:8-11 says ultimately, we must have nothing to do with them. You may find it helpful to read a relevant letter by Dutch Sheets, written 30 August 2919
Why is God manifesting His Presence on earth right now?
John 17:22-23 “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
Jesus prayed that we would be one with Him, as He is with the Father so the world can know Him. God’s presence is touching His people with the grace to flow as one with Him and with each other, as His body under His headship. Being one with God comes through constant submission and flow in His leading. Being one with each other come through loving forgiveness, forbearance and obedience. We will need intimate relationship, discernment and communication to fulfill Jesus’ commission and to be His body in the days ahead.
I hear God say He wants us to move forward together with Him and each other. God does not want us to stumble or be held back by our understanding and he does not want us to be divided – by fear, judgement, elitism etc. I believe God is saying that if we keep moving forward as His Spirit leads us, we will gain freedom, maturity, strength and speed and move closer and closer to being one with Him and each other as His sons and daughters, one Body of Christ reflecting His glory in the earth. (Romans 8)
I gleaned this after being prompted to read Hebrews 12:13. Hebrews 12: 12-15 TPT “12 So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship. And strengthen your weak knees, 13 for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed! 14 In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward holiness, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”
Read it also in ESV: Hebrews 12:9-15 “Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled…”
Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and move forward to become His One Body of Christ on earth – so we can represent Jesus as the Way, Truth and Life to all those who are struggling in the darkness around us. God’s Presence is here to prepare us, His body, as harvest workers and as new wine skin because Jesus’ end time harvest is imminent.
Hebrews 8:11 “No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.”
Habakkuk 2:14 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
I hear the Lord say, “It is My Presence touching the earth with the grace to flow in Me. Flow in Me.”
Let’s us bring Him the glory He is so worthy of!