the Winepress

Making All Things New

I had a dream on October 15th last year, before the coronavirus outbreak, of a giant person, tethered to the ground like the giant in Lilliput, in Gulliver’s travels. It wasn’t being tethered by ropes; the tethers were actually the support system that was keeping it alive as it lay there. I knew this giant was the New Creation that was being prepared, while the old creation that it was lying in was falling apart. There was just a little more work to do on one side of the head, and then it would be ready. As I looked down on this in the dream I was anxious, because I knew that as soon as that giant rose up, the fragile old creation that was supporting it would be completely wrecked. The actual rising up of the new would finish off the destruction of the old.

Paul writes (Rom 8: 21-22) “…the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now,” and he tells the Corinthians “we regard no-one according to the flesh… Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5: 16-17) If you are born again of the Spirit of God, you and I are part of that new creation. The world is dying in the corruption of the flesh, and creation is longing for the children of God to rise up in the Spirit. Because it’s in the Spirit that the new creation will rise up. The word “therefore” is critical here (it always is –  as Bible teacher Andrew Wommack says: “When you see a therefore, you have to ask what it’s there for!”) – old things have passed away because “we regard no-one according to the flesh.” The old is flesh; the New is Spirit. The Old is crucified with Christ; it’s dead, finished. This isn’t some flaky new teaching; this is straightforward, down-the-line scripture. The Old has passed away (crucified with Christ), and in the resurrected Christ, all things have become new.

So why, oh why, do we hang onto our lifelines that tether us to the old? The Lord has told us to make sure that we are ready for His return. The complete fulfilment of our arising will be that glorious moment when He calls His bride to Himself, but before the time comes for the bride to meet the Groom, she has to be made ready. For that to take place, we need to be standing free in all  that we are as His new creation, not shackled to the corruption that is passing away.

The big question is, of course, how do we translate all these fine-sounding phrases into real life, with its employment, rent or mortgage, household bills, weekly shopping and the like? Unless God has told you to “leave your nets”, the chances are that He wants you to stay in your current situation. I think a time will come when a lot of people are no longer in employment, but I believe that when that time is upon us God’s “Josephs” will have established sufficient storehouses for there to be sufficient provision for His people, and that in itself will be a witness to the World. Meanwhile we trust and serve the Lord in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be set free from the Old. And I don’t think it’s complicated or mysterious.

So here we go. The words of Jesus are Spirit and they are Life (John 6:63). Wherever His words reach, Spirit and Life reach as well. Whatever comes under the authority of His words is therefore subject to Spirit and Life, and is no longer “in bondage to decay.” If I, as a born-again believer, am “in Christ,” then whatever I do that is in accordance to His word is “in Christ” as well. So as we live godly lives we are extending the dominion of the King: the old passes away, Spirit and Life come in, and as we “walk in newness of life,” I believe we impart it as well. So one life, one job, one friendship at a time, Jesus is spreading newness of life as He builds His church. He does indeed “make all things new.”

Except where we don’t let Spirt and Life come in; where the word of God does not have dominion.

For each one of us there are different areas, and if you open your heart to Him the Holy Spirit will show you what they are. I’ll mention a couple. One is debt. It ties you to the world financial system which is the Babylon that is doomed to fall and which God’s people are told to come out of (Rev. 18:4). If you have a gambling problem making it worse, get deliverance. It’s demonic. If it’s just debt that has piled up and that’s gone out of control you can start with two things straight away. One is to speak to the mountain in faith and command it to go. Really. You’ll be amazed at what can start to happen when you begin by dislodging things in the Spirit. And the second one is to get advice and begin to act on it.

The second area is wrong relationships. You know if you are in one: God doesn’t have to tell you. Just get out of it. Jesus is coming back for a bride “without spot or blemish,” and that needs to be your priority now. And if that’s you, God really does mean now, not tomorrow. For “whoever puts his hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) If you’ve got yourself mired in pornography, repent and move away. If you resist the devil he will flee, eventually – he’ll hassle you and bombard you with those graphic images for as long as he can, but he has to go. It’s best not to fight this one on your own either.

Those two don’t take a gift of wisdom to pick out. But what about other things that aren’t so obviously wrong? The key is this: can we leave it behind when we “arise”? Jesus said: “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24) Whatever there is in the life of our flesh that we want to “save” is what is tethering us to the old creation and preventing us from rising up in the Spirit. Whether we are talking about carnal addictions or negative emotional channels that we can’t seem to help going down, we all need to know that we really can speak to these mountains and command them to go in the name of Jesus, and it really will be done for us according to His word in Mark 11:23. They won’t just blow up or vaporise: Jesus doesn’t tell us how long it will take, but He says they will be moved. We inherit the promises through faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12), so we may have to command and carry on commanding, just as the Greek tense used in Matt 7:7-8 is the present continuous: “Ask, and keep on asking, and it will be given to you. Seek, and keep on seeking … etc.” But if we command, and keep on commanding, with faith and patience, they will be moved into the sea to join our sins that have already been cast there (Micah 7:19). We really do not want to be saving our mountains.

The quest for the Presence of God

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