31st January 2008
I think we really do have to sort our eschatology. Eschatology is the study of last days or events and there are a lot of brokers or peddlers of fear that try, through sensation, to create loyalty to the kingdom but what they do contradicts the very release of the kingdom because they end up being so afraid of Antichrist and the Beast that they sit trembling at the Rapture bus stop waiting to escape this evil world and just go to heaven.
But our mandate from heaven that we are authorised not to go to heaven but to bring heaven to earth.
I do not believe that Antichrist is going to win or the Beast is going to win - I believe that the Kingdom of God as described in Daniel chapter 2 where Daniel through revelation interprets Nebuchadnezzer's dream of a statue and so forth and so on (which really is the interpretation of several kingdoms) - and all of these kingdoms happened as Daniel prophesied them. Then the purpose of the king's dream was a stone cut without human hands smashed the kingdoms and filled the whole earth. And of course the stone cut without human hands is the One who is born of a virgin - not conceived by the seed of man - and who came in the time of the Roman kingdom and He came and His Kingdom will fill the earth and we will topple evil.
What is evil? Evil is illegitimate authority. Who is behind illegitimate authority? The one who wanted to make himself equal to God - Satan. He then tried to deceive Adam into being equal with God.
That is illegitimate authority in the earth, that is demonic power and for the Kingdom to invade and bring social justice to the earth, we don't need just humanistic ideology or technology - we need the power of the Kingdom of heaven to break into the earth as it is in heaven.
I am so grateful to you folks for your financial gifts today. Money represents time - hours at work frozen into little notes/currency. Into those notes represents hours at work frozen into paper that can be then carried back to Hong Kong and then in the fear of God we at City Church International will by the administration of God help that into China. We are working with a number of churches across the border - we helped to plant 2 churches last year. They have just planted into Shanghai - one of the key influential cities and we are partnering with them to plant a church into Beijing.
So we are going right into the nerve centre of one of the biggest nations in the earth with the most booming economy. If you are going to learn a language of the world - learn Mandarin. It will be the language of the world. The future superpower of the earth. China - 1 billion, 300 million people of which only about 100 million at this stage are going to heaven. Most have grown under an atheistic Communistic ideology that has taught them there is no God. They are not immoral - they are ammoral. They don't even know there are references to truth and lives and we are going to invade the impossible.
We are so insane. We think a few of us pathetic weaklings are going to invade China and invade this part of the world because when you did that, you signed on the bottom line of an empty contract and God is now writing in the details. So when Mike said not only money but people are coming - I said, that is it Lord! Mike signed his whole church over! It is a mutually reciprocating thing and there is a lady who has been part of our church for 3 years and she has relocated to China. She is a little dynamite lady and longs to get married but the call of God on her life is like a Mother Teresa calling and she doesn't have the time to get married. Yet she longs to get married. She features in the book "Jesus in Beijing". I have the privilidge of preaching to 10's and 10's of millions over God channel but there are people in this church who may never stand on platforms but you can have influence far beyond those of us who stand on platforms.
The Kingdom of heaven will break through and the underground church needs to break through and become a prophetic voice in China. It is mainly the rural people in the underground church - there is a lot of legalism and they lack apostolic fathers but they are zealous and laying their lives down, they are being put in prison for the Gospel. No matter what you hear, it is still happening today. They had orphanages and "dying rooms" where babies were given to the orphanages with cleft lips who couldn't feed from a bottle and so they are starved rather than change the bottle and they are put in the "dying rooms" without water simply to starve. So this lady went from Hong Kong with a degree and went into these dying rooms and said to the official; "I am taking this baby to my hotel room" and against all protocol he let her go. Out of that she started an orphanage called "Mother's Love".
When Glenda and I stood there and saw the little graves with little shoes on ... I am telling you this becuase you have already given. Emotional manipulators tell all the sob stories and then say, "Now give". That is the wrong motive for giving. You give because God gives you a release of faith that this is what we want to give into. Emotional manipulation is demonic - so I am telling you this after. We stood there and looked at the graves of little babies who could have lived if they had been fed properly. She opened the orphanage and the babies started living. Then the government of China realised that you can make money with a proper orphanage. Americans will pay for orphanages. So the whole government took over the orphanages and wouldn't give babies to private orphanages anymore. So she had to give up the orphanage but now runs an orphanage for special needs children that no one wants. Glenda and I went in there and you see these kids and no one wants them. She said "I will be your mother".
Some of them are so far gone and yet under the love of God they are changing. One of them has been healed of broken bones and HIV. You drive through these little villages and they are ghost towns with the men gone and just women there waiting to go. There are only 2 million people in China at the moment with AIDS but in the next year that will jump to 20 million people. Then you can imagine the next jump if this thing isn't dealt with. We opened a hospice to help people dying of AIDS and now the government is getting behind them and inviting her and her team to come and educate them. The Kingdom of heaven is breaking in - we are finding favour with Communism government! The heart behind Communism is to care for the people. A right distribution of wealth. Unfortunately because of an evil heart, it never works. But friends don't think Satan doesn't get behind capitalism either. Capitalism could work if the Kingdom of a loving heart was behind it. Communism could work but because of legitimate evil they are both invaded by principalities and powers.
So many dear people in churches around the world are being taught to turn away from the living power of God. As they see the need for social justice around the world they say; "Let's forget about signs, wonders and the power of God - yes we believe in it, but let's put it to the side of church life but the main thing is that we become equipped to change church life with social justice". The motive is good but it is a deceptive, demonic thing they have been beguiled into.
The issue behind social injustice and poverty is not just bad administration and lack of technology but a demonic power that has to be invaded by divine power in signs and wonders and miracles. Behind that can come technology and education but when we drop the power of God and replace it with natural humanistic administration that has come into the Church - and we are ashamed of people falling under the power of God in meetings and are ashamed of people getting drunk in the Holy Spirit and we are ashamed of demons coming out because we may disturb some sensative, cute, nice little Christian then we are being beguiled by demonic power.
I find it the most abhorrent thing to think that some people describe Church as nice people meeting with other nice people to become nicer. Why does the Bible say that God wants us to be hot or cold but if we are lukewarm, He just "pukes" us? It is actually "vomit" - the Greek there. To vomit is an involuntary experience - it is not that God wants to. But lukewarmness and nice-ness is so alien to the passion of God that it can't stay in the Presence of God. You cannot topple evil and bring in the Kingdom by being nice. The last thing Jesus was, was a "nice person". You do not have people screaming at you and wanting to kill you by being "nice". You don't crack a whip and go into temples and say "This is wrong" by being a nice man. The last thing church is, is a bunch of "nice people". We are the warriors of God. We are the people of the Kingdom violently and forcibly bringing down evil and bringing in the Kingdom. We are not leaving a planet full of earth and going to heaven one day. We are going to change governments!
Can a nation be born in a day? Yes whole nations can be born in a day. Even maybe Fiji is an example of a nation being born in a day where the vast majority are worshippers of the Living God and not just religious stuff but born again in the power of God, believing in miracles, signs and wonders - not ritualism. Amen? What is the biggest warning that is prophesied in the Bible - the most terrible evil in the last days? If we miss this, we have missed the greatest warning that we are not beguiled by.
2 Timothy 3:1 says there will be terrible times in the last days and then he goes on and says people will be lovers of themselves and not lovers of God but the climax - the worst is that he says there will be people in the church with a form of godliness but who deny the power. Have nothing to do with them he says. The church today is filled with people today who have a form of godliness - they have a pietistic demenour and can go to the ceremonies and the religious rituals but they are Pharisees and Sadducees, Couldn't-sees and Wouldn't-sees.
They want to bring about social justice and change politics but they are doing it building their Babylon. They are doing it building their tower of Babel without reference to the Kingdom of God and they are Christians who have been beguiled out of the power of God. Harvard University - one of the greatest so-called institutions in the USA - was birthed in revival, signs and wonders and the power of God through the corridors of that great university. It was birthed for the dissemination of the Gospel - today it is intellectualism, a haughty arrogance and the delusions of man's self-sufficiency. You can hardly find God there today. Why? They have good motives - we are going to change the world, we are going to do things but gradually they said that the power of God is embarrassing. People falling, laughing, crying, repenting as the Spirit of God comes upon people. It is illegitimate authority - man trying to make themselves equal with God. That is strange to have that power coming on the earth and we don't want that. Schools and universities that started in Christian motives have ended up in intellectualism.
The greatest social reformers are those that seek the power of the Kingdom of God in signs and wonders and out of that bring social reformation.
Amen? Over a 100 years ago, the Salvation Army, when dark days ruled over the United Kingdom (and those days are here again).
But I believe great revival is coming to the United Kingdom - can you say amen? Revival in the United Kingdom will hit dark Europe and I am training Chinese Christians to go as missionaries to dark Europe and to the United Kingdom.
In those dark days members of Parliament were having sex with 13 or 14 year old girls claiming to be Christian and parading themselves in the House of Lords. And a movement by the Salvation Army - they had what they called "stacking boards". On the side of walls you would see little shelves all around the walls. They would say that as they began to worship people began to fall under the power of God because when the weight of God's Being comes upon you, you cannot stand anymore. So to make room so that people don't stand on them, the ushers would stack the people. Under that movement the age of consent was raised up to sixteen - a legal challenge was brought about to protect women and it was birthed by a movement in fire and power. Look at the Salvation Army today and it is a social justice movement, a buxom barmaid patronised by the world. The early church were feared. You will never understand church history unless you look at it through the lense of apostolic truth.
You don't need the power of God on your life if your mentality is to have a home and family and a nice happy little life because that is a self-centred life. We need the power of God to topple evil everyone of us will have to give an account for the earth in which we live - the day is coming when God is bringing His whole throne to earth. And the earth shall be the dwelling place of God. We read in Peter that the earth is going to be "melted up" - no the Greek word there is actually "re-formed" and we will see elephant and rhino and no pollution. Seas full of fish the way that God created - it is good! It is very good!
The kingdoms of this earth shall become the kingdom of this Lord and of His Christ. God is not going to leave an evil planet and pull His frightened little cowardly Church sitting at the rapture bus stop out and then He can nuke the whole planet and only a few little idealistic, pietistic Christians will be in heaven.
An Aussie would say; "No I would rather go to hell and be with my mates!". If that is what is going to be in heaven, a few self-centred Christians who don't see that the call on their lives is to bring order to their marriage and children - not just for an end in itself but to extend the kingdom to topple evil. 2 million of our brothers and sisters in Sudan have been murdered in recent years. Others have had their arms cut off and women their breasts cut off by rabid fanatical extremists religious idealists and the Church says nothing!
It hardly even prays for these things. Because if you are overwhelmed by your personal problems then your prayers are prayers of self--centredness and self-preservation which is self-righteousness. You will never know the glory of God if you live like that.
In the 1600s the UK was on the brink of a bloody revolution that would have killed hundreds of thousands of people in a violent bloody industrial revolution. It was happening in France across the Channel. Thousands were being guillotened in the country under demonic power. France hasn't recovered from that yet. That was not the will of God for that to happen but secular humanists got in to try and bring change through their own personal humanistic abilities but Satan came behind that and destroyed it. I thank God for the Hugenots wh escaped from the country to South Africa and brought the Word of God to South Africa. Right across the Channel the UK was being set up for that and God raised up people like John Wesley.
Wesley came preaching in a demonstration of power - not just "Your sins have seperated you from God - repent and be saved evangelically and then you will go to heaven one day but while you are here live like you are living in hell". No he came and preached the Kingdom of God!
And they called it "Wesley's disease". The police called it "Wesley's disease" because as Wesley and Whitfield preached to the thousands of hardened sinners, men would throw stones and bricks and them and spit on them. As the bricks and spit hit them, they called it their medals of honour for Jesus. They kept preaching the gospel to hardened miners and Wesley and Whitfield said they knew when they were breaking through because the hardened soot-covered faces began to have white streaks running down their faces as they wept. Then when the meetings were over sometimes thousands of men would be left lying unconcious under the power of God. Secular historians say that the preaching of Wesley and Whitfield singularly stopped a bloody revolution in the UK that was happening in France.
George Whitfield said that when he went to Massachusetts, the young men used to climb the tree to better see him as he preached. He said; "Young men I am about to preach - come down out of the trees because the power of God is about to fall and the kingdom of heaven is about to break into the earth and topple illegitimate authority or evil. Evil and rebellion agaisnt the King of Kings". Some of them came down and some of them stayed up and observers said that as Whitfield was preached they heard the "thud-thud-thud" as young men fell from the branches under the power of God. Isn't that amazing? Secular historians said that the preaching of the gospel and the demonstration of power brought social reformation and rights for children and protection of children.
But the Church is abandoning it's heritage - they are abandoning the mighty power of God for seeker sensative services and meetings where we don't offend anyone because of the power of God. We don't want the the power of God to come in our meetings because God is embarressing - God thinks the Church is His!
That is disturbing to us because we just want to live a comfortable little life. We want dry-cleaning services - in by 09:00 and out by 10:00. "Sermonettes". Do you know that revolution in France wasn't the will of God? It could have been prevented.
Do you know that the future can be changed right now by decisions we make today? That nations, communities and regions have their outcome in balance based on Christians making decisions today on what the Church is and what the Kingdom is and what their assignment in life is to see the Church really powerful in God.
Turn to Isaiah 55. Every time I preach I say, "Please Lord let me be nice - let me not challenge anyone or anything - let me just get pats on the back!". I am not challenging you - Jesus is by His Spirit. He said; "Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you". He didn't say seek first your marriage or your children and all these things will be added to you. I have seen people put their marriages before Jesus - and over 30 years as a pastor those marriages have ended in divorce, their children ripped apart by divorce and I say; "Can't you see? Put the Kingdom first!". Glenda and I have been married 23 years and we have six granchildren and all our kids are serving God. If that is not your experience that is not to put condemnation on you at all - in fact it is to give you hope.
Regret is a useless emotion - you cannot do a thing about your past - forget it but you can do something about your future and the decisions you make now. If you are ever brought into a place of powerless hopelessness - that is not the Spirit of God. You are dealing with demonic oppression trying to bring you into regret and powerlessness and hopelessness. The Kingdom of heaven empowers you to make decisions that affect your future.
Forget about your past - it has gone. I feel for you - I really do - but there is nothing you or I can do about the past. The way to aggressively attack regret is to forget the past and look into your future and say; "God I make choices now that may be gut-wrenchingly difficult but I signed on the bottom line of a blank contract and I put your kingdom first. Where I live - when I re-locate - what career I take - where I move to. It's what you want God. Not what I want and then God you fit in. No I am your ambassador and I want to go into a place and represent you and not speak on my own but on behalf of the King of Kings. I am a walking embassy of the government of God".
Some live by hindset and it looks so clever. But the greatest calling is to have fore-sight. Yet even greater than foresight is insight. We are called to work with insight - to see the future and become the future in the now. We are a statement of a future age to come. We are the true new age. The rainbow new age - that is the deception. That is the false, the demonic. We are a statement of the age to come living in the now - in the earth.
So I was going to talk on the "Glory of God" because the Bible says in Habbakkuk 2 that "the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea". So the knowledge of the glory - not just the glory! The knowledge of the glory will cover the earth.
The glory is the manifest, weighty, tangible Presence of God that will cover the earth and we will get revelation or knowledge in the last days of the glory that no other generation has had. The Bible says that the "glory of the latter house will be greater than the former house". That Christ will have a glorious house without spot of wrinkle or blemish. The glory of God will fill the Church and we will carry the manifest glory of God.
I wanted to talk today on the quantum physics of the glory - about the expanded glory and the concentrated glory because we have to learn about the knowledge of the glory if we are to see bread multiply and fish multiply to see the hungry fed! And it is happening in the earth! Food is being multiplied in Mozambique with Heidi Baker to feed orphans. Chickens are multiplying. Bill Johnson said they have had chocolate multiply! The good news about that is in the quantum physics of the glory - is immediate weight reduction and people have lost 20kg in a meeting and I have seen it! The miraculous power comes down and I have seen trousers and dressers out here because the God who destroyed the Hittites can also destroy the cellulites!
One thing that worries me about being caught in one area of Christianity or one movement or one denomination is that you isolate yourself and think that's it and we need to expose ourselves to the Kingdom of God.
God is not building movements or denominations - He is building HIS Kingdom and I am interested in the Kingdom! That doesn't mean to say we don't partner with movements or people - we are just not insular or locked in.
We have to expose ourselves to the Kingdom and thousands around the world are losing weight. Now instantly some of you object to that! Millions in the world are saying that but 60% of Americans are obese and I don't mean that unkindly. But they are coming and are getting weight reduction! What are signs and wonders? Signs are something that point to Jesus. We don't run after signs - the signs point us to Jesus. Jesus is the centre!
But the concentrated glory is when the glory comes into intensity. The expanded glory is when the glory affects the molecular structure of our bodies so that you can walk through a wall like Jesus did or you can walk on water like Jesus did under that glory.
The concentrated glory is different - when the devil said turn the stones in bread, Jesus didn't do it - but the devil knew that Jesus could because the molecular structure can change - if the structure can change so that water comes out of the rock, then the structure changes. You say this is freaky stuff Rob. Well lots in the Bible is freaky! An axe head sinks to the bottom and Elijah puts his anointing on it and the axe head floats. Imagine if we went back to what Christianity is meant to be - how easy it would be to change nations and see multitudes saved.
But there is a demonic illegitimate authority in the earth trying to beguile the church out of the power and just be nice, cute, sweet. I puke on that kind of religion that is sending millions to hell and God pukes it out!
I want to talk briefly on how joy and peace work together - joy and peace. How many of you have got so drunk in the Holy Spirit over the last 3 nights? I believe that is supernatural weaponary against the demonic. He gives us the oil of joy for the spirit of mourning. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. If I allow my life to come under helplessness, heaviness, mourning - I have allowed my life to come under helplessness that is demonically inspired. And I cannot allow my life to come under the miraculous power of God if I am oppressed by loss of joy and loss of peace.
For peace and joy are the main weapons of glory in our warfare against the devil. Now I am into intercession, I am into praying, I am into binding, I am into fasting - but the main weapons of our warfare to invade the impossible is the supernatural joy of God and the supernatural peace by which we crush Satan under our feet. If you lose your joy and lose your peace you will not move in the miraculous.
You will live under a cloud and when you come into the service you will carry a cloud of the demonic over you. But if you live in joy and you live in peace, you will carry the atmosphere of the miraculous - "All things are possible!". We are not meant to be coming in every Sunday and just getting free - getting free - and getting free from the same problem we had last week. We are meant to come into the revelation of the Kingdom and carry the glory over our lives so that unsaved people come in and get set free from what's oppressing them.
The church is constantly reaching out to the garment of Jesus for another little thing and another little thing and there's nothing wrong with that (we need to do that till the day we die) but that shouldn't be the MAIN THING is that we become the garment for the world to touch!
Miracles take place in this setting and the office and the workplace and we change society and topple evil and topple poverty and topple the sex slavery of children, we topple Babylon - not by arrogance of self-righteous but by weapons of humility, graciousness and supernatural joy and supernatural peace. I don't understand this - I have never preached what I am about to preach anywhere in the world. But God gave me these Scriptures this morning and just said "Preach it". I used to think that peace preceded joy but God said; "No, no it's not like that. Joy comes first and then peace follows!". Many of those people laughing in the Spirit last night I guarantee had the most wonderful supernatural peace. So joy feeds your peace and peace feeds your joy.
Look at Isaiah 55 - (Isaiah 53-55) - this is about the gospel and the New Covenant coming into the earth. Isaiah 55:12; "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace and the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you and the trees of the fields will clap their hands". Now in prophetic language, mountains refer to nations. They can also refer to problems. Nations will burst into song for the people who go out in joy and be led forth in peace. Zion the joy of the whole earth is led out in joy and goes forth in peace, nations will burst into songs of praise or mountains of problems will have to give way to the song of joy and peace in the earth.
Peace is a supernatural sign of the government of God - it is a supernatural sign of legitimacy upon you. Not peace when everything is going well but peace when everything is going horrifically wrong, then you have a sign that the supernatural sign of the authority of God's government is upon your life. (Isaiah 9) says Jesus shall be called the prince of peace and the government shall be upon His shoulders and of the increase of His ... peace there shall be no end. This will go through the whole earth and conquer the earth and the mountains shall burst forth in joy and be led forth in peace. This isn't just personal prosperity for me but a weapon to manifest the concentrated glory for signs and wonders and miracles.
Rob - do you live in joy and peace all the time? My wife will tell you no - but I am getting there more and more. I am learning every day to live in peace. Sometimes I feel agitated and anxious and I think no - this is a sign of demonic power. Trace back to where I lost the peace and it is either an email or a phone call or criticism and I think "Father ... I receive". When you are living in peace you are living in the power of the supernatural presence of God's government.
When you are living in anxiety and fear you are saying words that agree with and make alliances with a demonic power to empower a disarmed devil to oppress you. But when you are living in joy and peace, your words are the carrier of the power and glory of God.
(Matthew 10:7) - Jesus said when you go and preach the Gospel this is what you do; "You heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead and cast out lepers - that is your message". Then He said go in and look for a man of peace and then you walk into that home and say "Shalom" (nothing missing - nothing broken) - the peace of God be upon this home. If your peace is not received then withdraw your peace, shake the dust of your feet and leave. Because you see if they will not receive your peace then they will not receive the signs and wonders and miracles.
I have been in crusades and you can just touch and people come out of wheelchairs. There is such peace. I have been in other places where people are agitated and you can do nothing. You have to withdraw the peace of the Kingdom until in their restlessness they seek a peace. But self-righteous people are driven to prove themselves all the time. (Romans 14:17) - Kingdom means the government, the rule and reign of God. "Righteousness" means the free gift of righteousness given to you in Jesus Christ. The Kingdom is in the Holy Spirit. In between is righteousness, and peace and joy! (Romans 16:20) - a command to the church today. If I don't invade the impossible then the impossible will invade me. If I don't attack Goliath then Goliath will attack me. There are chemical reasons for not having peace but by and large there is no excuse.
(Romans 16:20) - "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet". How many of you think that "crushing" and "peace" are words you normally connect? "Crush" - "Peace"? Peace is a weapon of war. When you lose your peace you need to monitor your life - not the pastors or deacons but you and I must monitor our lives. People want priests and gurus so we don't have to take any responsibility for our lives. No - our job is to equip you for you to walk in peace and joy. I want to quickly show you two areas to live in peace. The devil wants you agitated and anxious. Job said the things I feared most will come upon you. I want to speak words of peace.
Jesus was asleep in the storm! Why could Jesus sleep during a storm? Because His inner life was not equipped from an earthly realm - His inner life was equipped from a heavenly realm. We are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus - right now! He said to the storm; "Peace, be still". Who sent that storm? God? No! They were on a mission - why would God send that storm! It was an act of the devil - a demonic storm but it had to bow to the Creator.
When you walk in peace you will speak peace on your finances. Jesus equipped them to speak peace! How many of you would keep your job if you kept asking your boss to do what you are employed to do? The anointing equips people to set other people free! I am moved with compassion for the members of my church. I do counsel them and I do love them - but sympathy is not compassion! Compassion is saying I love you and putting my arms around you and fasting and praying for you. But compassion motivates you to move in the supernatural and move in the power of God to set the captives free.
Philippians 4 - joy comes first and then peace. You can rejoice in your suffering because you understand the mercy and favour and grace of God. (Romans 5:1-11). "We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that our suffering produces ... hope and hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His Holy Spirit ... while we were still sinners Christ died for us ... we REJOICE in God through our Lord Jesus Christ whom now we have received reconciliation".