Tag Archives: End time revival

Many signs are pointing to the fact that the return of Christ is imminent. There will be a falling away of lukewarm, uncommitted churchgoers, but there will also be a great harvest of new, true disciples as the Holy Spirit prepares Christ’s spotless bride in readiness for His return.

The Weeding Fork

You look out at the garden and you feel overwhelmed, because it seems so overgrown. But take heart: I have given you a weeding fork. Do you not try to clear the whole garden, but work on the patch that is in front of you. The garden is mine; I will clear it. Yes, I will clear it! All I ask of you is that you take hold of your fork and work with it, for now is the time. If you have not picked it up, pick it up now. Do you not leave it on the table to pick up later, for now is the time to start the work.

The fork has three prongs: the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Learn more about each of us, for we are all in you as we are all in one another, yet we are also distinct from each other and we all love you with our own love. Hold onto us and bring us into the patch that is in front of you and work on it. You hold the fork; we penetrate the hard soil, we loosen the roots of the weeds and we remove them. I am not sending bulldozers and mechanical diggers, I’m not sending tractors and crop prayers; I’m sending you, the members of my Body, to clear my garden with your weeding forks. And it will be cleared. Yes it will be cleared, ready for the planting that I have prepared.

So do not be discouraged because everything seems overgrown: now is the time for you to focus on your patch and not put down your fork, for I have given it to you, and I your Lord am with you.

Are All Workers of Miracles?

“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best  gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1 Cor 12: 27-31)

Paul writes these verses at the end of the chapter in which he introduces the list of what are commonly known as the “gifts of the Spirit.” Although Paul writes in verse four “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit,” he goes on to refer to them (verse 7) as “the manifestation of the Spirit.” I think if we were to use Paul’s phrase “the manifestation of the Spirit” we might have more of a sense of the dynamic working of God in our midst, manifesting His presence, than the term “gifts,” which somehow leaves Him a bit more remote in the process – like a postman who has handed over a parcel and moved on. The gifts of the Spirit reveal the Spirit of Christ manifesting Himself in our midst and expressing His love through His supernatural power: they are not parcels left under the Christmas tree of one person’s, or one church’s, ministry. It is the question of supernatural power that I want to address here.

Paul’s message to the Corinthians in these verses begs a couple of questions that I think we prefer to gloss over if we want to feel comfortable about the level of manifestation of the Spirit that we expect in our churches. “Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healing?” he asks. I think in many cases we would have to make a slight change to his questions if we applied them to our churches today, where it would probably be more accurate to ask: “Are any workers of miracles? Do any have gifts of healing?”

We can avoid the implications of this question by saying, “Ah, yes; but Paul is talking about the church universal here, not local gatherings.” However, although we can receive the message to the Corinthians 2000 years after it was written, and in many times more than 2,000 places apart from Corinth, it remains true that Paul was writing to a local body – a church that he had founded himself on his missionary travels – and he was exhorting the individual members of that church to “earnestly desire the best gifts.” If he was clarifying to them what the different ministries and manifestations of the Spirit were that God had appointed to the church, it was because the teaching was relevant to that specific group of believers. He wasn’t just giving the Corinthians some theoretical information that had no application in their specific context.

Paul says: “God has appointed these in the church.” The word translated “appointed” is tithemi. It means placed; set down; established. They are not just incidentals. Even if we do take the view that Paul’s list in these verses – itself a summary of what he wrote earlier in the letter – does not have to be applied in its entirety to every local church, the fact remains that we are exhorted to “earnestly desire the best gifts.” What is true from Scripture is 1) that God has appointed them, and 2) that we are to earnestly seek them. Maybe we don’t see them in operation because we don’t earnestly seek what God has appointed. Instead of walking by faith in what God says He has set in place, we walk by the sight of the few supernatural ministries that we know of. But if, like Mary, we believed what He has said, we might see His word made flesh and these ministries emerging among us.

Which gifts he had in mind isn’t specified, but the first four are listed in order (first, second, third, after that), whereas “gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues” all follow on grammatically from a single “then.” A little later in the same letter, he writes “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Cor 14:1) Whatever principal of ordination we choose to apply, miracles and healings are an integral part of the package of gifts established by the Lord when His Spirit put in place the foundations of the Church that He would build. The Church is a supernatural edifice, a work of the Spirit, the Rock not hewn by human hands. (Dan 2:34) And however much the gates of hell – the seat of worldly, carnal thinking – would strive against this church, they will not prevail. Worldly thinking would dilute apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healings, helps, administrations, and varieties of tongues down to intellectual teachers, human helps and practical administrations, and throw away all the rest; and in many cases it has. Mega churches and whole denominations are built on sand. But when the storm comes on the world and the only place of safety is seated with Christ in heavenly places, under the supernatural wings of our supernatural Father, they will all be swept away if they do not repent.

If you want to buy groceries, you go to the store to fill your basket. If you want a drink of water, you go to the tap to fill your glass.  To earnestly seek the best gifts, we have to earnestly seek the giver. If we earnestly seek first to know the fellowship of the Spirit, we are then in a position to ask the Spirit for those gifts. The Lord is the Spirit: (2 Cor 3:17) we can’t divide Him up into His different manifestations. If we aren’t seeking all of Him, His fullness, we aren’t seeking Him at all. Just as the body is not just a foot or an eye, (1 Cor 12: 14-18) nor is the One who fills it. For “He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

Revival is coming. Revival isn’t a new development; it’s the manifestation today of that which was established at the beginning. God is pouring out the same Spirit that was poured out at first, because He wants to do again which He did then. To be part of what He is doing, we need to receive who He is. To his friend Philemon, Paul writes: “I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgement of every good thing which is in you by Christ Jesus.” (verse 4) “Effective” in the New Testament, as we saw in “Pressing the Reset Button,” means supernaturally powerful. The Greek word translated as “acknowledgement” is epignosis, meaning precise and correct knowledge, especially of that which pertains to spiritual realities. We need  precise and correct knowledge of all the good things which are ours in Him, and which He has placed in us by His Spirit.

Over the years we have become like a pool of water which has been steadily evaporating away in the heat, and now, in the limitations of his wisdom, the devil has thought that by locking down the activity of the church he would lock down its life and fruitfulness and drain away the water even more. But the wisdom of heaven has declared that the end of activity is the beginning of stillness, and in stillness is the knowledge of God in whom is all life and all fruitfulness. And in the stillness, God is refilling the pool. The water level is starting to rise, even now. It will rise much higher still. Will we drink of its depths, or will we just continue to sip in the shallows?

God has dealt to each of us a measure of faith. (Rom 12:3) But He also gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34) So the measure that He’s given us is not a measure of limitation, but a measure of fullness which is dealt to each one of us so that we can operate in our giftings in His strength, and not our own, as Paul writes to the Colossians: “To this end I also labour, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.“ (Colossians 1:29) To your church and to mine, God has appointed workers of miracles and gifts of healings, as well as apostles, prophets, teachers, tongues, administrations and helps. We receive from God according to our faith. The opposite of faith is unbelief; and unbelief is the result of a hard heart that is resisting the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 3: 12-13, Acts 7:51) Let us therefore turn to the Lord, and say in our desperation: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief,“ so that the measure of our faith can match the measure of who the Spirit is within us.

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:9)

It’s time we took God at His word. Otherwise we will still be standing in a puddle when others around us are diving in the lake.

The Words of Darkness Are Cancelled

Below is a prophetic word from Geoff Pick, founder of the Facebook group Prophetic Releasers for UK Revival.

Geoff writes: As a small group of us gathered on zoom to seek God and share prophetic words with others. The Holy Spirit was answering my prayer of the last few days to reveal the heart of heaven concerning the present moment of crisis. A sister shared that she sensed the angel of revelation was present to speak. Below is what the Holy Spirit is expressing concerning His call to us at this present moment. Please weigh and respond to His call as it speaks to you. You are of course free to share this as you are led.

Image reproduced from Prophetic Releasers for UK Revival

The Spirit of God has come to reveal the hidden work that goes on all around us. The decades of grace lasted long and these days of abundance lasted long, yet the hope of heaven become dim and distant in those days of peace and safety. The enemy had quietly been sending sleep on many busy lives and time for treasuring God alone became rare for so many of my own.

The plague has been an alarm to call the sleeper to awaken. The moment for many to seek the Lord of all. The Spirit of death has said, “let the children of God be deceived in this time of uncertainty”. While a few are reckless with their own safety and the welfare of others, others sit in fear of the powers of darkness. Many voices cause much noise on the subject of the plague, bringing contention and distraction.

I’m not calling you to absorb words that dishearten you. I want you to continue with confidence in my promises, deepening your prayer life and stretching your faith in me for the coming harvest. As the world loses its busy momentum and pleasures, I am detaching my people from these former distractions. Now is a time for strengthening you, the body of Christ, and for each one of you to come to me and surrender wholeheartedly.

The present season in the world brings days of uncertainty. I am calling you my own to experience the reality of resting and rooting down in me. Trust me to guide, lead and provide, as the difficult times continue to ebb and flow.

My body is to be strengthened and envisioned for battle. Prepare your swords for advance. You are not to fear the darkness, as my victory sits ahead, you shall see my Kingdom moving forward step by step. There is a vast road ahead of conquest and battle – stand together – led by my Holy one, the walls of the enemy have already been commanded to fall before you who walk before me.

The rain is starting to fall (Prophetic word)

Come up into the hills…

The rain of the Holy Spirit is falling. Even now, it has started; a fine drizzle is beginning to soak the hills. “Come up into the hills,” says the Lord, “And stand in my cloud. Let me soak you. Let your clothes get drenched as the drizzle penetrates through to your skin. And when you are soaking wet, run down into the valleys and announce that my rain is coming. Call my people out of their houses to stand by their doors and wait for my rain. Call those whose hearts are hardened through unbelief to come out in the rain, to believe me enough to let their hearts be soaked and softened again, softened enough for my word to be sown and take root in their lives. For I will soak even the pathways where the world has trampled the soil hard, and where the enemy steals the word as soon as it lands: my word will be sown in some of these places and will bear fruit. So pray for hardened hearts to be softened, for my rain is beginning to fall. And where you struggle with unbelief yourselves, recognise that this is because your own hearts have been hardened too, because it is unbelief that hardens the heart. My fine drizzle is the moist breath of my love, gentle but penetrating: expose your heart to me again and let my rain soften the crusts of your disappointment and feelings of failure, and you will know my word – even that word that you have cast aside in your unbelief – come and bear fruit in your life to my glory.”

The Leaven of the New Creation

The DNA of the Kingdom of God

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” (Gal 5:6)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.” (Gal 6:15)

When we preach Christ, we preach the new creation. When we receive Him, it is the New Creation that we step into. Jesus is King of the New Creation: in His Kingdom, all things are made new. On his first missionary journey, Paul had preached the gospel to the Galatians, and now the “Judaizers” were trying to lead them away from the Life of the Spirit and back under the law. This was the first of Paul’s epistles, and his message rings clear: the life that is ours in Christ comes by the Spirit, and not by the law. Paul stresses that there is just one characteristic, ‘the only thing that avails,’ in the New Creation, and that is faith working through love. This is the hallmark of their new life in Christ. “Faith working through love” is the very DNA of the Kingdom of God.

In the shortest parable that He gave, Jesus said:  “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” (Matt 13:33) In the Kingdom of God, the New Man is charged with the same command as was the first Adam: “Go forth and multiply.” We are instructed to go into all the world and make disciples, multiplying this Kingdom that we are part of, as disciples make disciples and pass on the DNA of the new creation until, like the stone that destroys the kingdoms of the world, it becomes “a great mountain and filled the whole Earth” (Daniel 2: 35). The Kingdom of God is like yeast, because yeast multiplies. The yeast that multiplies – this DNA of the Kingdom – is faith working through love.

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that “The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) The book where I think we can see the Word of God dividing between soul and spirit more than anywhere else in the New Testament is the letter of James, the brother of Jesus and one of the “pillars” of the Jerusalem church. James “divides” heavenly and earthly wisdom, wealth and poverty, trials and perseverance, sensual and spiritual prayer requests, empty faith and fruitful faith, the untamed tongue and “perfect” speech, pride and humility, judgement and grace. He lays out clearly the blueprint of the Kingdom of God, where faith flourishes in the context of a loving, Christ-centred lifestyle, and he succinctly wraps it up in a single verse: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16) The “works” of faith that are central to James’s message (James 2:18) are both the supernatural results of Elijah-style prayer that this verse refers to, and the grace-filled lifestyle of the “righteous man” who prays them – faith at work in a setting of love.

James makes it clear that a fruitful Christian life requires full commitment to the Kingdom of God, because a “double-minded man” is “unstable in all his ways” and will “receive nothing from the Lord.” (James 1:8). His epistle progresses from portraying various characteristics of the “carnal Christian” whose faith is fruitless, to the picture of Elijah, who “was a man with a nature like ours” and whose faith both stopped and started the rain. In the new creation, where faith works through love, the prayer of faith raises up the sick person, the hungry are fed, and the needs of “widows and orphans” are met.  Elijah is praying in faith, and people are being loved.

The goal of discipleship, as expressed by Paul to Timothy, is “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” This is a recurring theme in the New Testament, revisited from different angles. Paul prays that the Ephesians will be “filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:19). James exhorts his readers to “let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:4) Paul prays that the Corinthians “may be made complete” (2 Cor 13:9), and his final exhortation to them is, again, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete…” (2 Cor 13:11) He tells the Colossians that “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Col 4:12) The writer to the Hebrews prays that his readers “may be made complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. ”

Finally, Jesus tells us “therefore be perfect, just as your father in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48). Throughout the epistles, the Holy Spirit takes these words of Jesus and makes them known to us (John 16:14) so that we can see the goal of His discipleship programme. If the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, then faith working through love should be multiplying “perfect”, “complete” believers in our churches, as double-minded, carnal, babes in Christ learn to “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal 5:24)

This is the trajectory of discipleship: the babe in Christ who walks after the flesh becomes complete, like Elijah, and walks after the Spirit, as the DNA of the Kingdom multiplies in his or her heart. It is the bottom line of what it means to make disciples. It is what God will be seeking to restore in the church when He pours our His Spirit in the coming revival. He has been seeking it since Pentecost.

Paul said to Timothy: “Those things you heard from me, commit to faithful men who are able to teach others also.” (2 Tim 2:2.) In one verse, we see the leaven of the Kingdom multiplying three times: from Paul to Timothy; from Timothy to “faithful men,” and from those faithful men to “others also.” I see three questions arising out of this scripture:

  1. Are we training up “Timothys?”
  2. If we are, are they hearing from us the same things as Timothy heard from Paul?  
  3. Does our church model promote multiplication of that leaven as far as the “others also,” who will in turn eventually be reaching Timothys of their own?

The new wine is coming, so that as we drink of it the double-minded babe can become, like Timothy, the complete Elijah. He has poured it out many times before, and every time it has stayed around for a little while, then the wineskin has broken and the wine has drained away. If the next revival is going to be different, it won’t be the wine that has changed; it will be because the wineskins don’t break.

We’ve all had a chance over the last year to inspect our wineskins. Have we got the new ones ready? Or are we going to ask God, yet again, to pour the new wine into our old wineskins? Because we know what will happen if we do.

The Bus Stop

A prophetic word of encouragement

When we wait at a bus stop, we know that a bus will be coming, although we don’t always know when. The other night, I felt the Lord just say “bus stop” to me. I believe this is His word to us:

“You are at a bus stop, waiting for my bus to arrive. Nothing happens at a bus stop, the surroundings aren’t particularly exciting or beautiful, and it could be that you are standing on your own. You may be cold and wet, but you stay at the bus stop because you know the bus will be coming. You aren’t hoping that it might come; you know that it will come, so you stay where you are in full expectation of its arrival. And however cold and wet you are, however tired you might feel because you have been standing there for a long time, you know that the bus is coming, and when it arrives it will be warm and dry and you will be able to sit down. You don’t need to walk any further, because the bus will take you on to your destination.

My bus is on the way. The revival that you have been praying for is on its way. Don’t worry about your ticket: it is booked. And when the bus arrives you will find it full of people who are on the same journey, although they have come from different places. You will know some of them; some you will remember from a while back, and others will be strangers. But you will all share the joy and excitement of the journey, and soon you will all be friends. You may wonder where the bus is going because it will be taking you to places that you didn’t expect, but don’t worry because I will be driving the bus myself. There will be other stops to pick up more people, but don’t be tempted to get off before I say we have arrived. The tempter will try and draw you away, saying “This is your stop,” but it will be a lie, because when we arrive at the destination I have planned for you, everybody will leave the bus as one, perfect in one.

So carry on praying and waiting. Don’t give up or be drawn away. The bus is coming.”

The Cygnet and the Broken Egg (A prophesy)

I was talking recently to someone who has been prominent in leading worship since the early days of charismatic renewal. He was telling me about a time when he watched a cygnet breaking out of and egg. I felt at the time that the Lord was saying “this is prophetic.” The next day I found myself reading the account of Josiah’s temple reforms in 2 Chronicles 34-35.  I believe the Holy Spirit has given me the following, that connects the two.

The Cygnet has broken out of the eggshell. At the moment she is small and vulnerable, but she will grow, for this is the beginning, the birth, of the one that will become the White Swan, the spotless bride of Christ. As the world systems are breaking she Is emerging from all that has kept her concealed: secularism, tradition, and religion. But now the egg has broken and its supply is exhausted, and she will feed on the Lord: Jehovah Jireh will be her source. She is not yet recognisable as the one that she will become, but as she grows she will take on more and more of the characteristics of the beautiful White Swan.

It is the sound of worship that has broken her shell, and it is the sound of worship that is the atmosphere in which she will grow and mature. As King Josiah restored the true temple worship in his day, so the Lord is restoring true worship in His temple now, free of all that has contained it. And as Josiah’s restoration of true worship was followed by the greatest Passover that had ever been known in Jerusalem in all the days of the kings, so the greatest Passover ever known among men will follow this time of restoration as the young Swan emerges. For it will be a true Passover: while those in the temple rejoice and celebrate under the covering of the blood of the lamb, those outside will know only the devastation of the broken shell left by the collapse of world systems. They will run around, picking up pieces of broken eggshell, saying “Is this what we cling to? Or is that piece over there what we cling to?“ while those in the temple celebrate in the presence of the One that they cling to, Jesus, the rock that is higher than them all. And just as the priests in the time of Josiah took their places at the altar where they were busy until night, meeting the needs of the many people bringing their sacrifice; so it is time for the priests of the Lord today to take up their positions, ready for the many that will come to the temple from miles around.

And so the Cygnet will grow in the house of worship until the white swan, the bride, is revealed.

“So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their divisions, according to the king’s command.”  (2 Chron 35:10)

“In the midst of the rubble of compromise I am raising up a strong tower.” (A prophesy)

A number of people have seen this tower in various forms, in dreams and visions. I read 2 Kings 18 this morning and I feel that I have been given the following:

“Love one another and hold fast to my word. As you build one another up I will build you up: as you stand in a circle around my fire others will come in and join you and the circle will be widened. And more will come and stand on your shoulders and you will support another, and it will be My strength in you that supports the one above you and My abilities in you that enable you to keep your balance as the tower grows and the circle widens. And you will all be close to the flame because as the circle widens and the tower grows so My fire will increase. The ones at the borrow will say to those outside: “Come in and climb up!” And those at the top will say: “Come on up: climb onto my shoulders!” And the one at the top will be no higher than he one at the bottom, because you will all be one as I and the Father are one.

It will be as in the days of Hezekiah, when by my own breath I both blew Israel like chaff out of the land that I had given to their fathers, and at the same time restored my Kingdom rule out of Jerusalem. As this happened within a few short years so also you will see within a few short years my strong tower being established on Earth in the midst of the rubble of compromise. Do not judge by the sight of your eyes or listen with the hearing of your ears, for it is by my Spirit that I am blowing down, and by my Spirit that I am building up. Nevertheless a day will come when you will see what I have done, because there will be a clearing away of rubble that will leave my strong tower revealed for all to see.

I am working among all the nations. You will see me strengthen my hand in Israel despite the opposition that is coming, and this will be a sign to you. I am calling time on corruption and compromise. America will be a sign to all the nations that I will fulfil the word I spoke to my servant Isaiah: “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place” (Isaiah 28:17).”

So, love one another and hold fast to my word. Even now I have started my building. The fire is kindled and I am gathering those who are drawn to my flame. Draw close to one another and draw close to me, and always be ready to say to those who are being drawn out of the darkness “Come on in and stand next to me, close to the fire. Isn’t it wonderful?” And do not be distracted by sideshows, for there will also be fireworks, but there is no warmth in them and they dazzle for a moment then disappear: stay close to the fire for there is wonder enough in my flames for all the world to see my glory. So, love one another, hold fast to my word, and stay close to my flame, and I will build my church.”

Where shall I send them? (A prophesy)

“The LORD has founded Zion,
And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.”
(Isaiah 14:32)

Many of us have heard and spoken words prophesying the coming revival. In an intercession time recently we were praying for all those who would come to the Lord during this revival, and suddenly I saw His eyes, full of compassion and concern, and He was asking: “Where shall I send them? You say, ‘Here am I, send me,’ but will you also say ‘Here am I, send them to me’?”

Because they will come from the highways and hedges. There will be the poor, the needy, the illiterate, the refugee. This revival will not be like any other. There is a storm coming that will start to blow away some of the structures supporting this world: when have started to collapse many will come to the church for support. They will be drawn out of the darkness into the Light. Can we hold them up? Will the one who has two coats share with the one who has none, and the one who has food do the same (Luke 3:11)?

Just as we might prepare for extra family members to come into our house at Christmas, I feel the Lord is asking the church to prepare His house for the many extra family members that are going to arrive. Are their rooms ready? Do we have enough of the right food, and the people to serve them? The Lord is looking even now at all the people He is calling, and His eyes are looking into all our churches. He is asking: “Where shall I send them? Can I send them to you?”

Entering the Land (teaching)

(Adapted from my new book, “Two Seconds to Midnight,” scheduled for publication in the Spring.)

Many of us believe that a season of harvest is coming soon, and that it will be greater than anything that the church has yet experienced; that we are about to enter a “promised land” of revival. We read about God’s people entering the Promised Land in the book of Joshua, and the principles that we see there speak to us today. If we pick up the story at the beginning of Joshua 5, we can find four main points: the men were circumcised; they celebrated Passover; they ate unleavened bread; Joshua worshipped the Lord and took his instructions from Him.

Circumcision
When they had all crossed the Jordan and set up camp at Gilgal, the Lord commanded Joshua to make flint knives and circumcise all the men of Israel: all those old enough to bear arms had died in the wilderness, and the new generation had not been circumcised with the sign of their covenant relationship with God. When this had been accomplished, God said to the Israelites through Moses: “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” (Jos 5:9) The reproach of Egypt was the yoke of slavery that they had been under: now, through this act of consecration to the Lord, this yoke was broken.

Under the new covenant, we, the Church, are that new generation, born not of the flesh and the will of man, but of the Spirit of God (John 1:13). Each one of us is a new creation. There is a Land of Promise waiting which the “faithless and perverse generation” of the flesh cannot enter. but there will be another Jericho facing us as we come up against the godless systems of the world.

Paul reminds us (Romans 2: 29) that  “he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter.” To face the end-time Jericho we will need hearts that are totally open and yielded to the Lord. It’s easy to gloss over the use of the word “heart” in this sort of context. But if, in biblical terminology, the heart is the seat of the emotions, this is exactly what must be yielded to the Lord. It is so often our unyielded emotions that cause damage and disunity, and consequently defeat; whereas it is the unity that commands the blessing, as we well know. Only with “circumcised hearts” can we be free of all that ties us into the old, binding us to the yoke of slavery to sin, and be free to take the yoke of Jesus and rise up in the spirit.

Passover
The second heading is Passover. There is only one way to be yoked to Jesus Christ, and that is under the power of His blood. I believe that the Church needs a restored understanding of the power of the blood, and especially of the truth that “the life is in the blood.” Whenever we take communion as Jesus commanded us to do “in remembrance of Him,” we reaffirm not only the covering of the blood and all that it means in terms of forgiveness of sin and shelter from its consequences, but we affirm also the life of the Spirit that courses through it in our renewed hearts.
After Passover comes Pentecost. Our preparation for an end-time outpouring has to be a season of Passover. Many Christians the world over have felt that coronavirus lockdown has been, and still is, a taste of that season, shut off from the world and reaching out for the protection of the blood of the Lamb. We know that many Christians, sadly, have not survived the virus; but we also know that there are many testimonies of genuine divine healing that were granted through the power of the Blood.

Unleavened bread
The deeper significance of unleavened bread has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve always felt that there is more to it than it being a reminder of leaving Egypt without having time for the bread to rise. Jesus talked about the “leaven of the pharisees,” for example, when He was warning the disciples to keep away from their deceptive doctrines; and it is a positive symbol in the parable of the leaven, which is probably (I haven’t done a word-count) the shortest parable in the New Testament. So what might be the symbolism in its Old Testament usage?

Just the other day the Holy Spirit gave me my personal revelation. This may not be the same for you, and I’m not saying it is what He has breathed into the scriptural significance of unleavened bread for everyone to receive, but the following is what He gave me. A negative reaction to something was rising up in my soul. The Lord said to me: “That thing rising up in you is leaven. Get rid of it.” Having “circumcised our hearts” we need to keep them soft.  Paul writes: “For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” (1 Cor 10:17). To move forward into our Promised Land we need to deal with any leaven in our souls that causes us to rise up emotionally and undo the work of the cross in our lives. The children of Israel “ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day.”  The grain of our land consists of the seeds of truth sown into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and these are what we must feed on as we advance. We cannot arise in the spirit if we let negative emotions rise up in our souls: the best way to keep unleavened our corner of  the “one bread” that we are part of, is to make sure that we are feeding on the truth.

Worship in Holiness
And so, with hearts soft and sensitive to God, covered in and fully grasping the power of the blood of Jesus, and feeding on the living truth of His Word instead of the leaven of our emotions as our spirits are filled with His, we come into the Holy Ground where the Commander of the Lord’s Army is standing, and we worship Him. In this place, we can say, like Joshua, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” (Jos 5:14). And His commands to us will be of the same order as His words to Joshua: first, respond to His Holiness (Take off your shoes), and only then move in to defeat the enemy.