It was my initial plan to begin transcribing a series that Rob Rufus preached on the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 2007. However to be honest I have been really struggling with feeling quite low about the spiritual state of the United Kingdom - my homeland. I remember when Rob first came to "Together on a Mission" - the Newfrontiers Leaders Conference in Brighton in 2006 and then in 2007 there was a great deal of excitement and anticipation. God seemed to be on the move and there were dreams and visions and prophecies about tidal waves and coming waves of glory. The Florida Outpouring seemed to be another signal that something was abroad in the world. But then I am not quite sure what happened. "Together on a Mission" went off somewhere different and last years conference talked a lot about Mark Driscoll - but I didn't hear as much about the manifest Presence of God. What's going on? Where's God's tidal wave?
So I decided to transcribe and publish the last conference that Rob spoke at here in the United Kingdom! I was fortunate enough to be there - it was called "Empower" at Kings Church in Eastbourne. It feels really "right" to do so! There is so much encouragement and reminders that God has not forgotten His planet!
Here is Session 1 preached on the Friday night;
Graham Marsh (Kings Church lead elder): What would church be like if the fire of Pentecost came upon us and then I asked another question - what would community be like if the deluge of His Spirit came down? In recent weeks and in the last month we have been catching a glimpse of that if you have been tuning into satillite T.V around the world and seeing what would happen if suddenly the power of God was to break in upon us. Two years ago I started to ask that question and it was at that time that I went along to a conference and heard extrodinary communication of faith to prepare us for that day. 2 years ago ago nearly I sent out an email offering lots of things - holidays, fine wine and cheese - in the hope that Rob and Glenda would get on a plane and travel 13 hours and come and be with us. As we started this evening and I was welcoming people, a lady came in who had been to the conference we held last year from another church around this region and she said "Something happened on that day that has changed my life. I have been suffering with depression for years" - and fourteen months later she is now beginning to testify that her life has never been the same since the day she was released from that depression. What would church be like? What would community like if we were in a place where the power of God came on us like a deluge? That is our prayer for this weekend that we will be changed, our churches changed and as a result the community will be transformed. So I want to welcome you to "Empower" - the desire as we read through the Book of Acts was that people's breath was taken away and that is also our desire;
That we will catch such an awesome glimpse of the manifest Presence of God that our breath is taken away.
So it is my real privilidge and pleasure to introduce all the way from Hong Kong - Rob and Glenda Rufus!
Rob: Good evening everyone! It is such an absolute delight to be here. Eastbourne at last! We believe this is a divine setup. When Graham invited us 2 years ago - there was no Florida outpouring and no idea of those things. We feel that God has ambushed us this weekend in a wonderful way and we are so excited to be here. We have already had a lot of fun with Graham and Belinda and they have been so good to us. Everything they promised us when they tried to seduce us to come, they have gone exceedingly abundantly above we could have ever imagined. I preach from living free from guilt but I am almost guilty and embarressed since coming into Eastbourne - but I can handle a bit of that kind of guilt! God is so good. It is so strange having lived all of our lives in the southern hemisphere and everytime we come back to the UK it is the most strange sense of coming back to your roots and legacy and we feel so at home here - as though we were born here.
Three years ago I was in Richmond Park praying for a series of meetings we were going to do in a place called Reading just outside of London. God spoke to me literally audibly. Not with my physical ears but down here. That is for every believer to hear the inward audible voice of God. I don't think it is normal to go without hearing God's voice! Jesus said; "My sheep hear My voice" and that inner voice of God that is audible and clear and speaks in English (because God is English - you realise that?!). He speaks in English to the English and there is an inward witness and an inward testimony of the Spirit and sometimes your own spirit speaks and you can hear it. The Holy Spirit lives in your spirit so your spirit gives you good counsel. It goes upto your mind like a kite in the wind. But often God will speak in an audible voice. We are listening with the wrong ears because He speaks down here and not to your head. He said;
"Son I am going to visit the British Isles with waves and waves of glory" - this was three years ago - "And I am going to call you to come into the UK from time to time for a season - for only a period of time - and I will open platforms that are strategic and significant platforms where you will facilitate the release of the glory. Then after a season you will not need to come back anymore for your assignment will be over".
So I didn't tell Glenda that and a few nights later God said; "Terry Virgo will be the first one to invite you to the Brighton Conference". Glenda turned to me the same day and said; "You know what God has just told me? Terry is going to invite you to the Brighton Conference!". I said; "I know that - He has already told me!". Like a smart alec! A few months ago up in Hong Kong we have a rooftop where we often have BBQ's and God just came and visited me in the most extraordinary way. I love it when God visits you and you haven't been fasting and praying. I have got a bad confession to make. I have very few encounters with God when I fast and go on extended prayer times.
God just seems to come upon me unexpectedly and unsummoned when I feeling most unspiritual!
I had my BBQ all lined up. Suddenly God came and visited me - it sounds Biblical and I went into a kind of semi-trance and I heard God's voice. And He said;
"Son I want you to please tell My people to stop trying to impress Me". I said; "What!?". He said; "Including you! Stop trying to impress Me. Stop trying to impress one another. Ask My people to let Me impress them because I can really do that well! Nothing actually impresses Me except faith and I wasn't shocked or impressed when man landed on the moon. I created the galaxies! I want to impress My people! You are the Bride and I am the Bridegroom! There is something wrong about a Bride that is meant to be all feminine and beautiful trying to flex her muscles and impress the Bridegroom! I want to impress you with how powerful I am! My church doesn't have to impress Me! I have clothed you with the garments of salvation and you are beautiful to Me and I am already in love with you! Would you let Me impress the church?". So I said; "Yes go ahead Lord! Anytime!". We saw an increase of God's Presence from then on!
So anyway we got back to Hong Kong and within a week Terry's email arrived asking us to come to Brighton and he said; "Won't you pray about it?". We wrote back immediately within minutes and said; "We don't need to pray about it - have been waiting for your email! What took you so long?". He also graciously invited us back last year as well to be there. There has been such a sense of everytime we come back to the UK there has been such an increase here of anticipation! We have seen people get out of wheelchairs here - did you know that? God is doing miracles in the UK! I get so angry when I go to Third World nations and I hear people say; "God has finished with Europe and the UK". I say;
"The greatest move of God is coming out of the UK and out of Europe - He isn't finished with the UK and Europe! This is going to be mighty what is coming out of this area of the world!".
I am finding it easier to see miracles in Europe and in the UK than in some Third World countries! We have just been in the Northern Europe Conference - the Newfrontiers Leaders Conference. We had at least forty to forty five healings and extraordinary miracles that Jesus did! From the Latvians to the Dutch! An incredible colourful gathering of people! There was a Dutch lady there that we saw being wheeled around the conference everyday and she had M.S. She had been diagnosed a few years ago and slowly she started losing the use of her limbs and her arms and eventually she has now been reduced to being in a wheelchair. Her unsaved husband was at the conference pushing her around. I was speaking at the conference about a miracle that God did in Reading with a lady with chronic MS came out of a wheelchair and couldn't lift her legs before we prayed for her. She began to walk and then semi-trot and then jog around this auditorium. People were shouting and going crazy and her husband was crying. So I said to her; "Put your husband in the wheelchair and push him around!". Which she did! So while I am giving this testimony - this woman comes out of her wheelchair just a few days in Holland in the conference and pushed her husband up and down and Dave Holden was there so can verify this! She ran around the building showing off! How many of you believe that it won't be long before her husband is saved? He was reduced to tears! God is doing these things in Europe!
How many of you find that you struggle with a cynical mind? I do! I am still cynical! When I see these miracles I am the most shocked out of everyone! You did it again! I am analytical and cynical and embarressed about the movings of God! Our background didn't help us or prepare us or educate us to do signs and wonders. Whether you were secular or religious - both work against the supernatural. We have been taught by cessationist theologians or by secular atheists that we are living in a closed material world of cause and effect and everything we see is the product of impersonal time plus impersonal chance plus impersonal matter organising itself in an impersonal way developing impersonal complexities thus contradicting the second law of thermodynamics - do you believe that? And we said yes! That there is no supernatural, invisible realm. We brought into this lie and were brainwashed over and over again. So we stand here in a time when God is beginning to do unprecidented things in our earth. I mean unprecidented! We had a visitation of God in 1981 and many came out of wheelchairs - some blind eyes open and deaf ears in South Africa. We have seen some signs and wonders but I promise you what is happening on the earth now is unprecidented! It is unique!
We must be careful that in our openness to supernatural signs and wonders of God and His manifest glory Presence that we don't start putting categories on God as to what He can and cannot do. We will be locked into this! Some have already done this and only see Him as a healer - those who have gone further in signs and wonders - they see Him as a Healer but forgot He was first a Creator before He became a Healer! The only reason He had to start healing was because creation was subject to the fall of man. God is a Healer! But the reason why we don't see more creative miracles is because we only see Him as a Healer and have locked and restricted and limited God.
The Bible says "Let God arise" - let Him arise and be a creator! Because He can do awesome things! Like this lady from the Reading church in Southern California where a number of people have seen into the spare department room in Heaven! Now when I first heard that I thought; "That is a bit silly!". Then Bill Johnson said; "Well you live without parts you need then!". My first reaction is "I must verify that and make sure that is the case". I am longing for the day when I hear a testimony of the miraculous and just say; "Yes I believe that!" - until it is proved
In the early church when the lady came and said; "It is Peter knocking at the door! The guy you have been praying for to come out of prison!". They said; "It can't be him! It must be an angel!". They found it easier to expect angelic visitations than an answer to their prayers!
Today if someone gets bitten by a poisonous snake and they don't die then we say "It must have been an old snake or bitten someone else and had no poison left". We are still primed wrongly and the main thing that we need to deal with is our minds! We must deal with how our minds think!
There are coming miracles that if our minds are not open then we will become Pharisees and Sadducees and couldnt-sees and wouldn't-sees! The Pharisees loved the Scriptures! You couldn't fault them - they were Word people.
I believe in the Word of God! I believe from Generations to Revolutions! I believe in the Bible! But we need to have the Spirit of revelation in way we read and contextualise the Word of God! When Jesus spat into sand and made mud and put it on someone's eyes, I cannot find any biblical precident for that. If I was a Pharisee I would have said; "Where in the Word of God do You have authority to do that?". I don't know in the Word of God where there was a precident for a whole herd of swine to go screaming with a kamikaze spirit and jump over a cliff!
Revival is wild! Revival is tearing a hole in the roof in desperation to get into the Presence of God! Revival is not for the comfortable! For those who want to understand everything with their heads! How do we deal with the fact that God is downloading gems and gold and unusual things and people are taking them and getting them verified as something unique!?
Millie here who is originally from the UK and is in our church in Hong Kong was at our "Glory and Grace Conference" and we saw unusual signs and wonders! We discovered a new platinum tooth filled up by God! My cynical mind said "Go check" and a dental technician who was there said it was new and flawless. The more we open our hearts to the fact that God is not just a Healer but a Creator then we will see things! More than ever we need to hold onto the Word of God in these days but we have got to watch how we interpret what God is doing! If it is God doing it then I don't care what He does! I have heard all about these feathers falling and I think; "What's the point?". But if it is God then let Him do it! I don't know why He does it but if He is doing it then let Him do it! Let God have His way! People say; "I don't know if it is God or the devil" and I almost want to say "You need to get born again" for you have an anointing on the inside of you so that instantly you can discern the difference between absolute manifest evil and absolute holy God. In Hong Kong the majority of Christians seem to have a theology of a very big devil and a very small God. Anything supernatural that happens must be the devil. We need to be saying; "God if You are doing it then I am embracing it!". As long as I know it's You! If I don't know it's You and I am a bit suspicious then I am going to wait! But if I know it's You then I will do it.
Just before we left Australia to relocate and go and go and live in Hong Kong - about a week before I was praying and was frightened and thinking; "God what is going to happen there!? I don't know the language or the culture and nobody knows us in the city. We have got five people to start and I am not a young man anymore!". I was just praying and then suddenly the power of God fell on me and I am talking FELL on me! My arms starting windmilling around and I thought God was going to take my arms out and then put them back on to demonstrate what He could do! And I am not exaggerating! It was that violent! He was waiting for me to say; "I am glad this isn't a public place!". Suddenly the manifestation changed like a Jew at the Western Wall and then suddenly the inward audible voice of God came and it said;
"Rob are you willing to be unashamed of My manifestations no matter what I do as long as it is Me? For many of My people are ashamed of Me and have pushed Me out of the church because I am not popular in many churches anymore. When I turn up and do manifestations then people are ashamed and think it will drive the unsaved away. In the Book of Acts I had many manifestations and I added to their number those that were being saved and Peter's shadow healed the sick and there were great signs and wonders and all were healed and demons came out with shrieks and it didn't drive people away but MANY were added! Are you willing to be unashamed?". I said "Lord I am willing to be unashamed!". Then He said; "Go in My power!".
I dropped to my knees and sat there for about an hour in the tranquility of God's Presence. I think that around the world if people don't understand that there is a revolution - not a revival - going on. There is something coming on the planet that we cannot look into our past and say "This is going to be a duplication of that". It is not! It is going to be of such a scale! We have got to be so careful that we don't call it the devil when it goes outside our cultural box! When I made a decision not to be ashamed - I said if I shake, rattle, roll then do it Lord! But do it in a dignified way! I am a proud man! No - do whatever You want! Then we began to preach and teach these things and it goes on our website! Last month in April we put a series of 12 teachings on "Glory and Grace" onto our website and we had over 348,000 downloads! There is a hunger out there! It is easier to get miracles in the street and in the marketplace than it is in the church. The New Agers have been doing Phd's in the supernatural while the church has been sitting analytically wondering if it is God or the devil with cautiousness and formalism that has dwarfed and diminished many believers from their inheritance to do the works that Jesus did and greater works.
There is legalism in the church so people don't feel worthy enough to get healed but you go out into the world and people out there are open!
Friends of ours - Fini and Isi - where we have just done our "Glory and Grace Conference" there - they were sneaked into a New Age Festival. All tarot card readings and fortune telling and they spent 3 days there. 17 of them from their church in Sydney that is in a great move of the Spirit and they have powerful revelation. They often go up into the heavenlies - this friend of ours - Isi de Gersigny. She is a true prophet but very down to earth and real. But she goes up into the heavens regularly and sees angels often which is normal New Testament! They set up a "Prophetic Booth" and said they could tell your future. And didn't tell them they were Christians and just started praying for people. A lady came who was totally unsaved and she had an accident and had a large piece of glass in her foot that the doctors couldn't remove because it was right next to a nerve. So they bandaged it up. These friends of ours began to pray in a New Age festival context. The lady said "Oh it feels better!". So the girl looked down and saw a big piece of glass on the floor. Remember the lady still had the bandage on! So she picked it up and said "Is this your piece of glass?". The lady said; "I saw it on the X-ray - that IS my piece of glass! How did it get there?". So they undid the bandages and there was no scar or mark! So she gets up and runs around the booth and they told her that they were Christians and they had prayed for her! So she goes running to other booths saying "There are Christians here! They prayed for me! My glass came out through the cloth! I am going to be a Christian!". And she came to Christ!
We have got teachers in our church in Hong Kong and one is an Australian and she teaches in a private school with young Chinese children whom Cantonese is theif first language. And she is trying to explain about the Gospel and they weren't understanding! So eventually they said; "Well Who is the Holy Spirit?". She said "I will do something better than tell you. I am going to invite Him because He is My Friend and He is Almighty God into this room and you can all meet Him!". So we teach everyone in our church to move in signs and wonders and how to release the anointing. So she said "Oh Holy Spirit won't You come?". And He did! Which He always does! He came in and instantly children were saying "I have got electric feelings on my hands!" and others laughed drunkenly and others had demons coming out! There are a lot of demonised people in Hong Kong. This is what I have lived for! God moving there where the precious ones that Jesus died for are! The lost ones! Those that some of the Church judges - the New Agers! That is where God is going!
And if the legalistic church in it's fundementalistic pride but abscence of the supernatural does not want to live up to the season or time we are in - then the greatest church of the future will be those that are not yet born again but are birthed into first generation grace churches with no baggages of the traditions of men.
Open your Bibles to 2 Corinthians chapter 3. Jesus seemed to talk and didn't say "Turn to this or that" but everything He was saying was the life and the Word of God. How many of you are here desperate to have a divine encounter to carry away? It is not about my speaking. God can wrap the words I am saying in His Presence and there comes impartation and divine administration and tomorrow afternoon I will probably talk about positioning yourself for this wave of glory and then the second session - sustaining the supernatural.
The manifestation of God's glory is merely the appearance in the seen world of the unseen world of God. It is when the invisible realm of God becomes seen in the visible realm of men. If the world does not see regular signs and wonders and miracles then it will not see the true nature of God for the true nature of God is to restore, to replenish and to give back what has been stolen and lost. The true nature of God is to remove human suffering, pain - He is a God of redemption.
I don't believe that heaven is clashing with the earth rather I believe that heaven is merging with the earth in order to topple the control of evil and manifest the goodness of God.
Anything that does not exist in heaven God does not want it to exist on earth.
The glory light - the light of God's glory - when it comes and shines - there is no opposition that can stand against it from darkness. God's glory light is so superior to the darkness in this world that there is no contest! As soon as light shines, darkness immediately goes for the light is superior! The fact that there is still so much darkness in the nations is not because or explained by the power of darkness. The reason that there is so much darkness is that darkness has not yet been fully challenged by the light. As soon as there is a challenge by the light there will be no contest and darkness must flee.
I do not have a theology that we will shrink into a world where the Christians will be some remnant group hiding away. I believe we will see the Kingdom of heaven advance and we will see the Spirit of God poured out on all flesh and God will reveal the knowledge of His glory as the waters cover the sea!
The greatest sign of the end of the age of evil - Matthew 24:14 - the Gospel will be preached as a sign to all ethnos and then the end will come! The greatest sign is not a church hiding away but a church preaching the good news of the government of God's Kingdom in the earth and mighty signs and wonders to all nations in the earth! China will wake up any moment now and 1 billion - 300 million people will experience the glory of God manifesting and shining across China! It will cover the earth! It is not a contest between light and darkness! That is yin and yang. Darkness must just go. Jesus would just walk into a place and demons would start screaming. People have got such exaggerated ideas of pulling down principalities and powers and binding them. Colossians 2:14 - Jesus cancelled the written code that stood opposed to us and disarmed the powers and authorities, triumphing over them openly! The Cross has already defeated the powers and authorities! We don't have to battle them to neutralise them to get them out of the third heaven! We are living under an open heaven in Christ Jesus! It is not a closed heaven - it is closed heads! Cynical closed heads that sit in pews on Sunday morning - the Sunday morning conservative traditional mentality! Jesus went to His own home town and could not do there any mighty works except heal a few of minor ailments and He marvelled at their UNBELIEF!
We are getting out of the Nazareth syndrome - the syndrome of minor miracles and we are moving in a wave of glory to major miracles! The contest is not between light and darkness but in the hearts of believers.
The war that is raging is this - am I worthy enough to carry the glory that raises the dead? Am I worthy enough to carry an anointing that causes a piece of glass to drop through a bandage and onto a floor? Am I worthy enough to carry a glory that causes cripples to get out of wheelchairs so that unsaved husbands can see an invisible world made manifest and see how good the nature of God is? Well if we have an Old Covenant mentality then we will never feel qualified and worthy to carry such glory.
Most Christians don't have an absolute Old Covenant mentality. Most Christians that I have met on this planet have a mixture of Old Covenant and New Covenant. Many believers have come into a revelation of grace and are enjoying a level of freedom in the grace of God yet still have performance pressures and things they feel they must do in order to see miracles. I believe in fasting and I believe in praying and some days I will pray hours a day. But it is not my fasting or my praying that will produce miracles. It is the revelation of the New Covenant! And it is abandoning any trace or vestige or remant of Old Covenant thinking and performance pressures!
It is through the obedience of the ONE Man that we have been made righteous! So we have a fool-proof, a failure-proof and a devil proof righteousness! It is not based on yours or mine obedience but on the one Man on our behalf! It is faith that we are the righteousness of God permamently and eternally and irreversibly in Christ Jesus - that by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever all of those that are being made holy! THAT is where the miracle power flows out of on a regular basis and on a daily basis!
How can we tell multitudes of churchgoers who work hours a day and have children to pick up and drop off and have all kinds of demands that in order to produce the miraculous you have got to fast and spend hours a day praying - it is not like that!
The New Covenant is not about what we DO - it is about what He has DONE at the Cross! The generator is ON! I don't pray to get the power - I pray IN the power!
Instantly it is accessible! "Holy Spirit come!". And He comes! I didn't have to fast! Come! We are in a New Covenant of unfading glory! We need to condemn condemnation! We need to accuse accusation! We need to grab guilt around the throat! We need to get out of the religious boat and realise that we can float! And wear our Father's glory coat! Most Christians who have a fear of stepping out in the supernatural and a fear of standing in front of someone in a wheelchair - a fear of praying for the blind or a fear of letting the manifestation of the Spirit show - you will find behind all that fear there is a root of condemnation. Even people that have sat and listened to grace for years! God is coming with a greater understanding of grace!
I am so glad that in Europe Dave Holden endorsed me and said "Rob - run with this message - we need this - you have opened more light to us - go for it!".
There is a deeper realm of glory! To the degree you deal with guilt and condemnation - to that degree the glory of God in proportion to that will manifest in your life. I want to say something - I am an intense person. I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I like the mountains and the desert! I like being alone with God! I am exposing my insecurities and vulnerabilies! I like a response! I am not asking you to kiss your brains goodbye but when you sense that sounds true - be like the noble Bereans! Sometimes we have got to give ourselves permission to be happy! I can feel there is a responding culture here! How we miss the revelation of what that great outpouring of joy was. We thought it was all about joy - if that was all it was about then it would have been worth it, because that was a party! The first manifestation in the Gospels was when He turned the water into wine!
I believe that where it says; "a joy of unspeakable glory" - I am convinced of this theologically and experientially that the joy takes you into the glory.
It was the revelation that our God is good and His mercy endures forever that took them into the glory! It is the revelation of joy in the wonder of the good news of the gospel - a holy laughter! Joy is a fruit of the Spirit! Zion is the joy of the whole earth! Psalm 126 - the Lord filled our mouths with laughter! God sits on His throne and laughs at the devil who thinks he can advance against the Lord's anointed! A merry heart does good like medicine! People fought that joy and the devil was behind it because the joy of God is the doorway that takes you into the glory. Some of the greatest miracles I have seen are when the Holy Spirit has fallen and the people don't sit there analysing whether it is genuine - we are in days of extreme grace! If the church doesn't open up then like Paul tried in Ephesus to preach this radical extreme gospel! Where Paul says "I am not ashamed of the gospel" - we think he was saying he was not ashamed to preach it. He lived in a Jewish culture extremely committed to righteousness by human effort and performance and by what you gain and the very idea of being declared permamently righteous all the time was called a scandal and was almost blasphemous! He said "I am not ashamed of this gospel!". It is the power of God unto life, healing, preservation and in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed that is by faith from first to last.
It is not something you get by faith and then you must work later on to keep - it is faith from FIRST to last! This is such good news! We have said "yes it is good news but ..." that we do a Galatians 3. The Galatians had signs and wonders and miracles and then went back under law. It is so radical and extreme and sounds frighteningly irresponsible! Jesus plus anything equals nothing! Jesus plus lots of prayer and fasting ... Jesus plus any good deed will bring a declining fading glory. Jesus plus NOTHING will bring an unfading glory. The fact that the church even has need of revival is a sad testimony of Galatians 3 syndrome where the church gets a revelation of grace and then slowly drifts into a mixture of law and grace. The gospel is not preaching right living. I believe in right living and have been married 33 years to the same wife. I have six grandchildren and go to bed every night with a granny. I haven't split churches or run off with the church secretary although my wife was the secretary for a while and I ran off with her! So I believe in right living.
But the gospel is not right living. Many people for centuries in Europe have been under such condemnation. Preach right living for centuries has produced such dysfunctional church goers. I have had the pain of hearing a number of psychiatrists say that their biggest clients have been Christians living with obsessive compulsive behaviours because of the fear of losing their salvation or the fear of God getting upset with them. The fear of divine disapproval. Most psychiatrists link the root of all stress, anxiety and anger to a root of fear. From the Word of God I say they are wrong and it is not rooted in fear but a root of condemnation.
That was in the Garden of Eden. As soon as he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - what's that? The law! The knowledge of GOOD and evil. He didn't cut good out of the fruit! Good was as much part of the fall of man as evil was.
When he entered into that conciousness he hid from God because he said he was afraid. Condemnation caused a withdrawal and a loss of the glory of God. God then had to set up a cherubim and not let Adam and Eve have access to the glory realm.
When you are under a conciousness of good and evil or law-keeping then you have no right to have access permament and unconditionally to unfading glory. The law demands a fading glory. Moses said "Show me Your glory!". God said "I can only show you My hindparts". Under the Old Covenant glory is God walking away from you. Under the New Covenant it is God walking towards you open-handed! An unfaded glory!
The first Pentecost was on the day when law was given on Mount Sinai and the focus was on man's works and efforts to keep the law and 3000 died. The first Pentecost of the New Testament was when the Holy Spirit came in like a mighty rushing wind and 3000 were saved.
Ezekiel had a vision of the temple and he saw the glory of God come off the Holy of Holies and begin to reluctantly withdraw slowly and then went to the Mount of Olives and then hover there and then reluctantly go back to heaven. Then for a long time Israel had no manifest glory. It faded completely off the earth. When the first Pentecost of the New Covenant came, the Holy Spirit did not come back slowly like the way He left but He rushed in!
Somewhere in this time He will come and shock and surprise us and come like a mighty rushing wind - the moment Old Covenant strongholds in our thinking are broken! When it says "There is now therefore NO condemnation" - it means NO! It didn't say "No condemnation to those who don't sin" - because what would be the point?! Who is that who accuses?! It is God who justifies! But how many Christians who believe the grace message still live with accusation and low grade guilt all the time! It is rampant in the Body of Christ and that is the number one hindrance to great signs and wonders and miracles. It makes people dysfunction, shy and frightened of the supernatural and scared of manifestations!
This is what I wrote down the other day and I believe that this is the best way I can describe what the glory of God is;
"It is the realm of effortless miracles, signs and wonders".
When this lady came out the wheelchair a few days ago - it was effortless. It was the easiest thing! We should restore dignity to the ministry of Jesus - we don't see Him huffing and puffing! Just; "Go your way". Up to now the Church has mainly seen the operation of the anointing. The anointing and the glory are different. The anointing of God is the power for man to minster and man to pray. It is an empowering of God but the glory is WHO God is. You can get people healing in the anointing but you get very tired. You need the anointing to preach. I never preach without desperately relying on the anointing. It is the most dangerous thing to speak accurate Bible truth without an anointing. Very dangerous! There needs to be always a demonstration of the anointing while we are speaking Bible words otherwise we bring death to God's people. I am speaking under the anointing right now because I want to demolish Old Covenant thinking patterns because I know to get a move of God is not to neutralise principalities up there but to demolish ways of thinking in here in people's heads and then open them to the realm of the glory and the more you do your job in the anointing successfully the more man can backpedal and then His glory comes and man can fade into the background.
God takes place and then does things effortlessly. It is not difficult for God to heal cancer! But under the anointing I can get cancer healed but it is such hard work! The crowds will be so big! How does your shadow heal the sick? It has to be because the glory is over you! If we are going to live under the glory then we can't fluctuate with guilt and condemnation and the paralysis of analysis. When God's people come to a place where there is no condemnation even when they mess up and say "Lord that is not consistent with my new nature and I shouldn't have but I thank You that where the blood of bulls and goats couldn't take away guilt for thoe who draw near and their sin offerings were in fact an annual reminder and made them even MORE guilt concious - I thank You Father than by one sacrifice I have been made perfect forever!".
Colossians chapter 2 says "Having forgiven ALL our sins" - past tense. 2 Corinthians 5 says; "In Christ reconciling the world ... NOT counting mens sins against them!". Romans chapter 4:8 - David looked down the corridors of time and saw the New Covenant and said; "Blessed is the man whom the Lord will NEVER count their sins against them!". We are living in the time that David longed for and yet still living a confusing cocktail of good news and bad news! Christians are becoming spiritual schizophrenics and we are mis-reading contexts and we are wired to read rejection and disapproval into things but if we see the context as love letters that are securing us in grace!
The Old Covenant was written to show the power of sin and strip us of all self righteousness! When Jesus said to the Pharisees; "You should not commit adultery - it is a death sentence but I say you should not even look with lust in your heart" - people say that Jesus was preaching the New Covenant and it is a higher standard! He wasn't preaching the New Covenant! He was preaching the true spirituality of the law of Moses to strip the Pharisees of self-righteousess and prepare them for the wonder of the grace of God! If He was preaching New Covenant truth there then you that look with your hearts at someone you shouldn't be looking at, then you should pluck your eyes out or cut your hands off and be consistent if you are saying Jesus was preaching the New Covenant there! He followed that up with self-mutiliation! And because we live in a modern world we don't do that anymore although I have met Christians who have plucked their eyes out in Australia and Zimbawe because of that perverse interpretation. We don't self-mutilate physically but we self-mutiliate psychologically with this root of condemnation and the devil loves it. He is the accuser of the brethren!
You say "Talk about the anointing - don't talk about grace - we are the people of grace!". I know you are and I have learnt from you! But this will open up the manifest glory of God! The glory realm is the realm of effortless signs and wonders and miracles. The glory realm is God's realm, the realm of the supernatural, of healing, of prosperity, of life, of fruitfulness, it is the realm of His riches shared generously. It is the realm of multitudes being saved. Don't tell me the glory has come to church and people aren't being saved. When the glory comes people get saved. It is the realm of liberty, joy, confidence and peace. The glory is the realm of awe and wonder and power over the devil, where we get purified and grow in holiness, where we become more like Jesus and grow in God. It is the realm where we see into the invisible. It isn't just apostles and prophets that should see into the invisible - every New Covenant believer should see into the realm of the invisible! It is the realm of rest and revelation. It is the realm of hearing His wonderful voice. It is the realm of heaven! It is the eternal realm, the realm of heaven, the realm of absolute goodness.
I just want to read these few verses and make a few comments and then close. The Old Covenant was designed by God to strip us of all self-confidence. If you meet Christians who don't have confidence to pray for the sick or to prophesy or to come close to God then that is a sign they are living under Old Covenant mentality because the Old Covenant will take away your confidence in God. I know Christians who go to church and outside of church they are confident in their careers and in the sports field but before God they are wimps! Why? They have condemnation conciousness. I believe there is enough in the New Testament - Hebrews 10:14; "By one sacrifice He has made us perfect forever" and the next verse; "The Holy Spirit testifies to this!". I am so tired of people accusing the Friend of all Friends that I have in the earth of being someeone that condemns or convicts of sin. "I know that Scripture Rob - John 16 - when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgement. You see the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and tells us how righteous we should be and that if we dont then what judgement will fall upon us". That is bad exegesis!
Jesus elaborates what He means! "Sin because they do not believe on me". So the only sin is unbelief on Jesus. That is the only sin He couldn't die for and the only sin that will send people to hell. "And righteousness because I go to the Father". When Jesus went to the Father what was He doing for us? Our high priest mediating and interceding for us and declaring that we are the righteousness of God. Then He said; "And judgement because the prince of this world is now condemned". So the Holy Spirit comes to the believer comes to the believer to help you overcome areas of unbelief in your life or comes to the unsaved and convinces them of their sin of not believing on Jesus. Once you are saved He comes to convince you that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 10:15) and that we are perfect forever and then He convinces you that it is the devil who is judged at the Cross! I know why some people don't have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit! They think He is the one convicting them of every sin they did! How many of you could have a close friend who followed you around and was always pointing your faults out!?
That is the practice of the LAW - to make you concious of sin! The Holy Spirit does not come to make you concious of sin, He comes and convinces you when you most need it that Jesus has gone to the Father everliving to intercede and mediate for you as a superior Mediator of a better covenant that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and the devil who is accusing you - he is the one who is guilty and is the one triumnphed over at the Cross!
He has come to be just like Jesus! Sinners were so comfortable with Jesus and how will the Holy Spirit be any different? The only people that Jesus was hard on - and He was the most courageous man ever dealing with arrogant bigots - the Pharisees - and He never backed down or was intimidated and didn't fear man. He only feared His Father and was only hard on the self-righteous! To the people He was kind and loving and despite the sin the crowd had was that He healed them ALL! Grace was flowing from Him! The Syro-Phonecian woman persisted and said "Even the dogs will eat the crumbs" and Jesus said "I have never seen such great faith!". She didn't need to get offended by Jesus! Grace came! Which other person did He say that to? The centurion! What was the common link between himself and the housemaker woman? They were both non-Jews, not living under the law. Romans 4 says that the law neutralises and diminishes faith. It is not just about having a theology for not being under law. It has got to go far deeper than that! It is more than a notebook! It has to be a demolishing of a thinking that we have a standard we must live upto! I have heard some say that the only difference between the Old and New Covenants is that we now have a power to live upto the standards of the law. I do not believe that is the radical message Paul preached. Because we are still focused on ME trying to attain a certain standard.
Colossians says we are COMPLETE in Christ! We have received fullness in Christ! We are no longer under the law! Christ is the end of the law to ALL who believe! And the Holy Spirit is now really a comforter! The devil is the one judged! You are the righteousness of God! It gets difficult to sin regularly when you are in the glory! Do you know it is difficult to sin in the glory presence? It is condemnation that drives people to sin but glory transforms the Church! 2 Corinthians chapter 3! The worst thing you can have in a place like this is people who come to observe. No we want people who come to find the power source and want to crawl right up the plug to the power station! Smith Wiggleworth said if the Holy Spirit is not moving then we move the Holy Spirit!
I get angry when people say of me or other ministries; "Ah its their gifts that produce the miracles". How come for years I didn't see any miracles? I have a gift as an Ephesian 4 Ministry to equip and train people but I have no advantage over any other believer! This move of the Spirit is not following a ministry but a message - the message of the New Covenant!
Take Florida or any other move of the Spirit - if legalism comes in then you will see the glory fade very quickly! It is not an issue about law and grace but an issue of "Who is in control of the church?". We are not going to have chaos! We believe we tithe under grace not Malachi 3! Abraham didn't tithe to get the windows of heaven opened! He tithed because the windows were already open and we are partners with God! The majority of our people come every Sunday and give! They are committed and share their faith! This message doesn't make rebels! It is an empowerment of the New Covenant! Elders are not managers of the church but empowers! We will celebrate even your failures!
A grace church is a safe place to sin if you are going to! People sin under law and under grace! If you swim with sharks don't them know you are bleeding!
2 Corinthians 3:4; "competent as ministers of the New Covenant ... the letter KILLS". The devil can retire in many churches because preachers are killing people! He said it was a ministry that brought death. (v8); "How much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness ... being transformed into His likeness". Let's give Jesus an applause for this wonderful New Covenant!