Dear Friends and family,
We hope that we find you all well in walking close with our Great God and King.
Prudence and I have just returned from a UK visit where we took services at Tongham, Swansea and Fife. We were blessed by those who came along in many ways. Midweek because this was Prudences first visit overseas we visited family and did some tourist things like visiting some really splendid castles, Beaches and country parks. We also ate very well and Prudence tasted cake from every corner of the UK.
People were very generous towards the work and this has meant we can now proceed with buying Paulina a new wheelchair and also send N"tombi on a Horse management camp in December. I will send pictures when the chair has been purchased.
While away Lyn and the kids got on with life, work and their education. There were a couple of health issues as well with Paulina getting a antibiotic resistant infection in her foot. This meant a more powerful antibiotic that has now taken down the swelling.
Johannes and Prudence had eye tests before we went to the UK and glasses have arrived in the last two weeks. Prudence has to see a specialist as there is some discoloration at the back of the eye so prayers appreciated. All this is in preparation for driving lessons.
As I mentioned in my last news the meat Rabbits have arrived and have begun doing what Rabbits are well known for. Up to now 2 lots of bunnies have been born but with few survivors. We are hoping that the next set of young will fare much better.
We have a new addition to the team, his name is Fred and is a beautiful Jack Russell puppy. Fred will be in charge of ratting department.
Visitors for the next couple of months include my sister and her husband Joanne and Dave Drinkwater. We are really looking forward to having them with Dave being a keen wild life enthusiast.
Our next visitor will be Tom Mousley who arrives to spend a few months working with us here at the mission. We pray he has a blessed time.
JACOBS NEW BOOK
Harpazo is the title of Jacobs new offering into the end times debate. It is already available on kindle and at 600 pages + a snip at the price. The hard copy will be out soon I am led to believe.
EBook at Amazon
Anthony Royle has had the honour of presenting two academic papers over the last month. The first at BNTC and the second with KEDS at the "Thy Kingdom Come" conference.
Anyone wishing to study should please contact us for a copy of our curriculum.
You can contact me directly or you may contact the following people.
THE THRONE ROOM OF GOD
I want to preface this teaching with something that happened during a recent visit to South Wales. I was taken to see some Caves discovered in 1912 by the Morgan brothers. They were truly magnificent to behold. One in particular called "The Cathedral" cave left us breathless in its beauty. The cave had been illuminated to show its height and depth and a river ran through it. Into the river fell two waterfalls from the ceiling it was beautiful. Afterwards on the surface we went to an nearby waterfall, a sign told us that this waterfall held the original entrance to the caves. I started to think about the Morgan brother in 1912, who must have scrambled through the river in the dark, their way illuminated by simple lamp light. How different an experience it must have been for them from the journey I made and yet, it was the same cave. The same river. The same waterfall. The reality was that my experience had the benefit of light, the truth, is that it was the same cave
It was Pontius Pilate who spoke the words "what is truth?" (John 18:38) concerning the claims of Jesus. Truth is something that is hard to come by nowadays in our internet, Google, Facebook world. You have to do some digging to get to the reality of a statement or situation. The Greek word for truth is Aletheia. Vine describes it as "The reality lying at the basis of an appearance, the manifested veritable essence of a matter". Some have even described Truth as an "unveiled reality.
The reality that the body of Christ is currently experiencing is a very sobering one to say the least. In fact when we take stock of the news the reality of the churches situation world wide can for some be quite depressing. We seem to be facing battles on so many fronts. In the West there appears to be apostasy on every corner. Personally speaking as a young person saved by Gods grace in Salford it was possible to cross pollinate so to speak, with other church youth fellowships across the city and beyond with no problem of walking into a cult like situation. Today I don"t think I could recommend more than a few churches that speak the truth in love.
The body has been hit by money scandals, political scandals, sex scandals. The lack of fruit among our leaders and the lack of biblical leadership ensures us a crop of disciples who have been raised to think and act in a similar way. Its a "Monkey see Monkey do" world
In the third world and middle east, Islam has become a huge threat to the body. The church is battling on many fronts against state sponsored persecution. North Africa has become almost totally Muslim and the other states are under either terrorist attacks or are being seduced by "moderate" Islam"s evangelism through education strategies
Reality, the truth of the situation is sometimes not what it seems as our friends the Morgan brothers discovered. We can be concerned, anxious even depressed about the cold wet reality and by what we see and don"t see. But there is always a flip side to the coin. What appears to be staring us in the face at the seemingly expense of everything else is often not the big picture. Check out some of reality in our darkness.
- According to research carried out by the respected Pakistani-born American Muslim Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunus (1932 " 2007), 75% of New Muslim Converts in the US leave Islam within a few years.
- 2011 Pew worldwide study: "Islam loses as many adherents via conversion as it gains"
- In recent year s2 million ethnic Muslims converted to Christianity in Russia
Al Jazeera reports
According to Al-Jazeerah"s interview with Sheikh Ahmad Al Katani, the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law in Libya, In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity.
Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. Al-Jazeerah has since removed the interview and details.
Reality? What reality are we looking at? Earthly reality or a heavenly reality, the truth is we must taken into account both.
The Apostle John was a man who was given letters for 7 specific churches that spoke into the reality of their situation as they sojourned and battled here on earth. We see their situations today in our own churches as we battle it out waiting for the Lords return. Not only do the churches speak to different ages, they not only speak to specific churches in geographical locations fixed in time and space, but also through time to every church today. Let us quickly read these letters.
Message to Ephesus
2 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks [a]among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
2 "I know your deeds and your toil and [b]perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have [c]perseverance and have endured for My name"s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the[d]deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. 6 Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God."
Here is a church that had left its first love, a church Jesus calls to repent and do its first deeds or Jesus Himself will remove their lamp stand.
Message to Smyrna
8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
The first and the last, who [e]was dead, and has come to life, says this:
9 "I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. [f]Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death."
Here is a church going through tribulation, the devil himself will cast some into prison. On the surface they were poor but Jesus counts them rich.
Message to Pergamum
12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
13 "I know where you dwell, where Satan"s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts ofimmorality. 15 So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of theNicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hiddenmanna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it."
Here was a church who had Antipas martyred, Antipas tradionally a disciple of John was roasted in a Brazen bull, there were those who had teaching that were anti Israel and some who still attached to pagen things and eating food sacrificed to idols and commiting acts of immorality.
Message to Thyatira
18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
The Son of God, who has [g]eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:
19 "I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and [h]perseverance, and that your [i]deeds of late are greater than [j]at first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.22 Behold, I will throw her [k]on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of [l]her deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with[m]pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the [n]minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24 But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you. 25 Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the [o]nations; 27 and he shall [p]rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Thyatira a church listening to false prophets and committing acts of immorality, can you see how up to date these things are, the church battles these things in all ages.
Message to Sardis
3 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: "I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, [a]but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember [b]what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 But you have a few [c]people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
A reputation of being alive and yet dead, others may of looked on, Sardis the church were everything was hip and happening but Jesus sees it as dead.
Message to Philadelphia
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
8 "I know your [d]deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Behold, I [e]will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down [f]at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of My[g]perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of [h]testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole [i]world, to [j]test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
This Church had a little Power but they remained faithful and kept His word and did not deny His name. That reminds me of so many of the remnant today, may not look much, in the eyes of the movers and the shakers insignificant. But for Jesus they are faithful and do not deny Him. Who relates to that today?
Finally Message to Laodicea
14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the [k]Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
15 "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will [l]spit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to himto sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.""
They seem rich, comfortable, no needs. But Jesus says your wretched, miserable, poor and blind. Worse they are "lukewarm". My wife bakes bread, she observed that when she is baking she uses lukewarm water because the yeast, the leven grows more and thrives.
This was the reality of the church, may I say it is THE reality of the church as it battles it out on planet earth, but yet! No sooner has John communicated this reality to us He shows us another reality that is held at the same time and is just as valid maybe even more so.
Scene in Heaven
4 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." 2 Immediately I was[a]in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; andthere was a [b]rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.
5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. Andthere were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; 6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the [c]center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night [d]they do not cease to say,
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who [e]is to come."
9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they [f]existed, and were created."
John was taken from earthly matters and transported to the magnificent throne room of God.
Up to that point in time John had seen Jesus in many ways. John 1:14 says "And the word became flesh and dwelt amongst us". He had seen Jesus at the transfiguration Matthew 17:1Â Six days later Jesus *took with HimÂ Peter andÂ [a]James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves.Â 2Â And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.Â 3Â And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. InÂ John 20 he saw the resurrected Christ and in Revelation 1:12-16 he saw the glorified ChristÂ 12Â Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I sawseven golden lampstands;Â 13Â andÂ in the middle of the lampstandsÂ I sawÂ oneÂ likeÂ [j]a son of man,Â clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, andÂ girded across His chest with a golden sash.Â 14Â His head and HisÂ hair were white like white wool, like snow; andÂ His eyes were like a flame of fire.Â 15Â HisÂ feetÂ wereÂ like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and HisÂ voiceÂ wasÂ like the sound of many waters.Â 16Â In His right hand He heldÂ seven stars, and out of His mouth came aÂ sharp two-edged sword; and HisÂ face was likeÂ the sunÂ [k]shining in its strength.Â But non of this could have prepared him for the throne room of God. If anyone new Jesus it was the disciple whom He loved but John here is so overwhelmed by what was set before him he struggles to describe it in terms we can full comprehend.
The thunder, the lightning, the sea of glass, the rainbow, the creatures that were present. And yet our lives can be swayed by mere men, whether good or bad, earthly things have an impact. Imagine then for one moment how our loves would be affected in the throne room of God?
But John was not the only man to enter this Holy place. At least three others shared this life changing experience. Three men of God who, like John were faced with their own alternative, depressing reality here on Earth, but three other men who were formed and shaped by what they saw and experienced.
I want to do this simply by setting out the following.
First of all, let us read what they saw.
Secondly let us highlight the similarities
Thirdly let us see the results, the fruit of their encounter.
Finally we will conclude with a challenge to our own realities today.
Our first passage is Isaiah 6
6:1Â In the year ofÂ King Uzziah"s deathÂ I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.Â 2Â Seraphim stood above Him,Â each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.Â 3Â And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is theÂ LordÂ of hosts, TheÂ [a]whole earth is full of His glory."
4Â And theÂ [b]foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while theÂ [c]temple was filling with smoke.Â 5Â Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man ofÂ unclean lips, And I live among aÂ people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen theÂ King, theÂ LordÂ of hosts."
6Â Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from theÂ altar with tongs.Â 7Â HeÂ touched my mouthÂ with itÂ and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; andÂ your iniquity is taken away and your sin isÂ [d]forgiven."
8Â Then I heard theÂ voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" ThenÂ I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Next Ezekiel 1
26Â NowÂ above the expanse that was over their heads there was somethingÂ resembling a throne, likeÂ [x]lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up,wasÂ a figure with the appearance of aÂ man.Â 27Â Then IÂ [y]noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward somethingÂ likeÂ [z]glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; andÂ there wasÂ a radiance around Him.Â 28Â As the appearance of theÂ rainbowÂ [aa]in the clouds on a rainy day, soÂ wasÂ the appearance of the surrounding radiance. SuchÂ wasÂ the appearance of the likeness of theÂ glory of theÂ Lord. And when I sawÂ it, IÂ fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
Finally Daniel 7:9-10
9Â "I kept looking
UntilÂ thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days tookÂ HisÂ seat;
HisÂ vestureÂ wasÂ like white snow
And theÂ hair of His head like pure wool.
HisÂ throneÂ wasÂ [h]ablaze with flames,
ItsÂ wheelsÂ wereÂ a burning fire.
10Â "A river ofÂ fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
TheÂ court sat,
AndÂ the books were opened.
On a quick side note. There are a number of people who claim to have visited Heaven in recent years. Apparently Jesse Duplantis went up on a cable care. Lots of people claim it, even Hell is visited, some names you may recognise, some notÂ Beth Moore, Colton Burpo, Don Piper, Rick Joyner, Kenneth Hagin, Rebecca Springer, Richard Eby, Dr. Mary C. Neal, Kim Walker Smith of Jesus Culture. There are numerous books even movies on the subject.
Question is did these people go? Are they factually correct?
The answer is, do they compare with the descriptions given by the 4 men who had the honor of going and reporting what they saw? Of course they don"t, therefore have to be discounted
Can I point you to an excellent essay by Justin Peters called "your best afterlife now. A critique of claimed visits to heaven or hell."Â 
When we look at these encounters, the first thing that comes to mind is the sheer magnificence of it all. It is truly awe inspiring and mind blowing. There is nothing on earth that truly compares. Notice how they use the word "Like"? A voiceÂ likeÂ a trumpet, a person like Jasper in appearance, a Rainbow like and Emerald, a sea of glass like crystal. Everything was "Like" because our vocabulary is not adequate to describe the Holiness of God.
There is so much going on at a sensory level that each of them miss things out and some add other things and even then you have the impression that so much more is yet to come.
I am reminded of those words in 1 Corinthians 2:
9Â but just as it is written,
"Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
AndÂ whichÂ have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him."
Ever been asked what God looks like? I have heard all kinds of descriptions from a white bearded man sat on a throne to descriptions of His relationship and character; He"s my Father, hes my best friend and all these things are true as we anthropomorphise who the Lord is. But we must also be prepared to glimpse into His throne room to try and appreciate who He is and grasp a peek at the reality of our universe.
The second thing we notice in the visions is the Holiness, the Purity of God. Rev4:8 says
"Holy, holy, holyÂ isÂ theÂ Lord God, the Almighty,Â who was and who is and whoÂ [e]is to come."
In Isaiah 6:3 it says
"Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts the whole Earth is full of His Glory"
Our God is Holy and not just Holy, many things are Holy. Gods Angels are Holy, Israel was a Holy nation, some places were Holy. No, as the living creatures declared, God is Holy, Holy, Holy.
In Isaiah the Hebrew word isÂ Qadosh, In revelation the Greek isÂ Hagios. Both having a similar meaning of Holiness, purity, consecrated, set apart from everything else, set apart from common things.
Some have seen in the creatures declaration a reference to Gods Triune nature, The Father is Holy, The Son is Holy, The Spirit is Holy. Holy is character, Holy in being, Holy in essence. Everything about them is spotless and unblemished, pure and Holy.
This Holiness dictates His actions, this Holiness dictates His thoughts, this Holiness dictates His justice. They cannot be anything else than just and true.
Sometimes we forget we serve a truly Holy God, we don"t understand what we say when we cry out for justice as His justice goes beyond our meagre understanding. And sometimes we come into His presence too boldly, not understanding just how Holy He really is when what we need to really do is reverently pause and ask humbly for permission. For He is Holy, Powerful, Transcended, totally "Other" and yet through Jesus we can come.
But what kind of affect did these encounters have on these men of God. Its a critical question. What became of them? After all each of them was at the same time dealing with an alternative reality just was we are. We may be in end days, with ISIS, Big government, Homosexuality and a persecuted church. But John was on Patmos, writing letters to 7 churches in Asia battling it out.
Isaiah had his own day to day reality, so did Ezekiel, so did Daniel. Times of war, times of exile, times of Israels demise, Indeed every much as grim as our days and I wonder if they believed things could not get any worse for Gods people.
But when they encountered the throne room of God what became of them? Did they do carpet time? Did they get back in a que and do it all again?
No it was traumatic, for John it says in Rev ch 1
17Â When I saw Him, IÂ fell at His feet like a dead man. And HeÂ placed His right hand on me, saying,Â "Do not be afraid;Â I am the first and the last,Â 18Â and theÂ living One; and IÂ [l]was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I haveÂ the keys of death and of Hades.
With Isaiah he cried out:
"Woe is me for I am ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lip"
In Ezekiel it says
"Such was the appearance and the likeness of the Glory of God and when I saw it I fell on my face"
With Daniel Ch7:15 says
"As for me Daniel my spirit was distressed within me and the visions in my mind kept alarming me"
AtÂ the end of their encounter, three things commonly occurred:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â They were aware of their own sin and inadequacy
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â They began to worship
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â There was a renewed zeal in service to God
When God said to Isaiah "Who shall I send" Isaiah said "send me".
The other three, God cleansed them, His Spirit filled them and He said "Go Ezekiel tall my people". Go John write this down in a book. Go Daniel tell Nebukanezzar.
When an individual has an encounter in the throne room of God its has the effect of almost ruining them, it has the effect of crucifying the flesh totally, nothing else sustains any importance for they have been in the presence of His Majesty and left them dead to the world and what the world can do and from this vision came a platform from which a more dynamic ministry was birthed.
It seems today a lot ministries emphasise Power encounters. I remember as a young Christian John Wimber emphasising something called Power Encounter. We was amazed at tongues, prophecy, healing, miracles 30 or so years on I feel a little bit red faced and foolish at chasing the power rather than dying to self. For chasing charismatic worship instead of being set apart as Holy and consecrated for service. For chasing the Power without the need for Holiness and to be honest I see it time and time again to the point where its seems pitiful and laughable. But you see, if it was genuine we would observe different fruit. You see we rarely see a John, we rarely see an Isaiah, and Ezekiel, a Daniel. For all the churches encounters with Heaven or even Hell where is the calibre of ministry launched from such an encounter?
An encounter in the throne room, is not a nice feeling. Its not goose bumps or the hair on the back of your neck standing on end. Its a mighty thing, its a terrible thing, its one that has you fall as though dead and ill for days.
And today I challenge myself and in fact all of us. What vision of God do you have? Do you have the awe and the wonder of His presence? Do we see the heavenly reality the word of God sets before us?
I am really interested in the news. It stems in my interest in end times and I find it fascinating how day by day Gods prophetic word rings true time and time again.
I am addicted I suppose to twitter and Facebook. I use them to get the latest from all the news agencies and probably have too many conspiracy networks feed me but nether the less as I am having ISIS, Al-Quida, Israels woes, Ebola, Aids, Famine, wars and rumours of wars beamed onto my laptop, all this reality, what do you think happens?
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Its depressing
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â You can see no hope
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â You may become fearful
4.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Worries of the world sometimes begin to overwhelm you.
We live in a communication age like no other, there seems no earthly escape?
Yet with this reality, is another reality. Its a vision of Jesus who communicated His character and person to all those seven churches all those years ago and who speaks to us today. Yes they had issues as they battled it out here on earth, there were persecutions, there were false prophets, false teachers, crooks and charlatans. BUT they were given each one a vision of Jesus. In that vision Jesus tells us what we really need. Him. His character, His power and His majesty. A description of himself.
To Ephesus He says
The One who holdsÂ the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walksÂ [a]among the seven golden lampstands,
Message to Smyrna He says
The first and the last, whoÂ [e]was dead, and has come to life
Message to Pergamum He says
The One who hasÂ the sharp two-edged sword
Message to Thyatira he says
The Son of God,Â who hasÂ [g]eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze,
Message to Sardis He says
He who hasÂ the seven Spirits of God andÂ the seven stars
Message to Philadelphia He says
He who is holy,Â who is true, who hasÂ the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens
Message to Laodicea He says
The Amen,Â the faithful and true Witness,Â theÂ [k]Beginning of the creation of God
Then John see at the same time when all these things are going on a Door standing open in heaven. And he goes, and he sees.
My friends, Jesus is coming. But at the moment we are battling it out waiting for His glorious return. For a New heaven and a New earth. Its can be hard, reality often is, However, what reality are we holding onto? We have to be pragmatic and be sober minded about our earthly situation but holding onto our heavenly reality.
The Apostle Peter speaks clearly to us
2 Peter 3:13-15
13Â But according to HisÂ promise we are looking forÂ new heavens and a new earth,Â in which righteousness dwells.
14Â Therefore,Â beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to beÂ found by Him in peace,Â spotless and blameless,Â 15Â and regard theÂ patience of our LordÂ asÂ salvation; just as alsoÂ our beloved brother Paul,Â according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
May God bless you with diligence, peace and Holiness as we wait patiently for Him. And may I encourage each one of us as we scramble about our dark, dank world. Check out the reality. Check out the real truth of the situation we are in. It may have a black fearful appearance but the truth is, when we see the big picture, when we see the light of the situation through Gods illumination, it will spur us on to hold out to the end.