June 9, 2010
In the last two articles I wrote about the angelic visitations that our Church corporately witnessed and the ministry that followed. By corporate I mean that everyone was aware of the angel’s presence and every one witnessed the fruit of their ministry. Our Church is now learning how to work with angels. Rather than someone sharing their experience of an angelic visitation, followed by inviting the people to receive ministry, the Lord is doing a new thing. He wants His body to corporately move as one by learning how to recognize angels when they are in their midst, test them and then invite them to minister with them. The apostle Paul tells us in He. 1:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”
This past Sunday we experienced another visitation. This time it was an invasion of the Kingdom of heaven followed by a corporate time of ministry. The atmosphere was so permeated with the presence of God that everyone was aware of His presence. God’s presence did not come as a result of the worship (although it was great) or because of a timely powerful message by an anointed speaker, or by an apostle or prophet that released the anointing. It was simply heaven invading the Church.
The Kingdom of heaven comes in the presence of God. Kingdom means the King’s domain, which filled the sanctuary with His living presence. All through the service, the Lord ministered to the people. It was an outpouring of the Hoy Spirit that was sustained only by the will and purpose of God. The result was corporate healing as God poured out His Spirit of peace, love and joy “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink: but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
Building a culture of faith
Our church members recently experienced a season of purging and pruning. It seemed like the fire of the refining process would never end but through it all each member kept the faith! We are now in a season of refreshing. Like a women travailing in labor pain, her suffering is replaced by the joy of a new birth. We have gone through our season of travail and the Lord has birthed something new in our midst. To build upon this we are developing a culture of faith! Faith is the mindset that God wants to invade our lives with the impossible by a people that have learned to release His power into every circumstance of life. It is a way of thinking that fills our consciousness with the reality of His presence. Now is the time to minister the keys of the Kingdom to bring healing and restoration and trample over all the power of the enemy.
When Heaven Invades the Church
Our team leaders understand that the spoken Living Word is a catalyst that sets the purpose of God in motion. Every Sunday we rally together to receive a word of wisdom for the main service that we can proclaim and embrace. Since we have volumes of prophetic revelation of that which is to come, we are seeking God’s wisdom as to how we can move forward TODAY. The Sons of Issachar anointing is not only to know the times but how to instruct the people to walk in sync with God to fulfill His purpose. The wisdom that we seek is to know the mind of Christ in every aspect of life.
As we talked among ourselves one of the team leaders announced that the Lord was healing his back and shoulders. Then another person shared that she too was being healed of an issue. Prior to this, I received a prophetic word that the service would be a healing service. Now healing was being manifested by the Lord as a visible confirmation of His purpose. This reminded me of the passage of scripture noted in Mark 16:20, “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following, amen.
The healing that began during our team meeting continued throughout the service. During worship one lady came into the fullness of joy as the Lord blessed her with His presence. She later shared that this has never happened to her during worship. As King David declared, “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalms 16:11). People were being set free as they danced before the Lord in the atmosphere of freedom “Being joyful in glory” (Ps. 149:5).
Following the worship was a time of ministry where many were healed of back, neck and shoulder injuries. During this time the Church moved together as one, to release the ministry of the Holy Spirit to those around them and to one another. The ministry of inner healing by our heavenly Father took place as He lavished His love upon all that were present. I was healed of a lower and mid back pain. Like an eraser that wipes the chalk off a black board, the warmth of God’s healing hand erased all the pain! Praise God! Now I can play better basketball on the court!
It was in this setting where the atmosphere of heaven permeated the sanctuary that a higher level of anointing was released. Under the umbrella of His glory the people ministered in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in power and demonstration. In this corporate anointing the majority of the ministry came through the Church members. It is one thing for individuals to minister in spiritual gifts to release the anointing, but it’s another to minister in spiritual gifts in the anointed presence of the Lord’s glory! When heaven invades the Church the anointing is taken to a much higher level!
Thy Kingdom Come
When Jesus taught that we should pray for “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” he wasn’t giving us a formula to pray. Jesus was stating that we when we ask for His Kingdom to come we should expect for the Kingdom of God to be revealed on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven there is no mental illness, fear, sickness, demonic oppression or disease. As our model for New Testament living, Jesus demonstrated that the Kingdom of God comes in power and demonstration. The Kingdom of God comes in His presence. Thus His presence is what we are to look for, not just someone’s gifting or leading. It is in the realm of His presence that ministry flows with greater Kingdom authority. This is Kingdom ministry that takes place corporately under the umbrella of the presence of the glory of God.
Jesus – The Minister of the Sanctuary
It is written in Hebrews 8:2 that Jesus is “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” When God looks at His church, He does not see a denomination or a building but His people. The sanctuary is the Church, the corporate gathering of His people and the tabernacle is the temple where the Holy Spirits dwells- within you! Together we are His living sanctuary.
Jesus is the minster of the sanctuary- His Church. In order for Christ to minister freely He must be established as the head of the Church. This requires that leadership gives preeminence to His presence for the Church to move with Christ as one body, for “There is one body, and one Spirit” (Eph. 4:4). The people must not look to an individual or minister to lead them, but to the minister of the sanctuary – Jesus. Although God has established leadership in the Church, the purpose of leadership is to lead the people to the Lord so that when His Spirit comes, they are able to move freely with Christ, Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).
When the Lord is present for ministry, the gifts of the Holy Spirit is released through the members of the Church, not just through a single individual. In the atmosphere of heaven the breath of God gives life to that which He breathes upon. God’s presence brings forth new life, restoration and renewal. We must be open to how He wants to move and that which He desires to breathe upon, such as a musical instrument, a song, praise dance or visual art that releases the anointing of God. Whether it is through you, someone else, or it is simply the Lord ministering directly to His people, it’s all good when heaven invades the Church that reveals the Kingdom of heaven in power.
When the Lord is established as the head of the Church and the minister of the sanctuary, all the gifts of the Spirit and the mantles of Christ will manifest through the ordinary members of the Church. Our Father desire is for the eyes of the Church to be enlightened in the knowledge of Christ to know the hope of His calling, and the riches of His glory available to the saints and the greatness of His power toward those who believe. (See Eph.1:16-19). The Father of Glory has established Christ as the head of the Church so that all of His divine nature, power, gifting and authority may be revealed through His body as the All in All.
And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be he head over all things to the Church. (23) Which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all (Eph. 1:22-23).
As Christ is established as the head of the Church the Kingdom of heaven will invade the Church and its members will become empowered with resurrection life to minister the gospel of the Kingdom in power and demonstration throughout the earth.
A Habitation for His Glory
It is the purpose of Church leadership to see Christ formed in His people that they may become a living sanctuary for a habitation for the glory of God “through the Spirit.” Just as the glory of God rested upon Israel in the wilderness as a cloud by day and a fire by night, the Lord’s glory will rest upon His Sanctuary- His people. The apostle Paul gives a building that is properly framed together as a metaphor to illustrate this,
“In whom all the building is fitly framed together grows up into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:21-22).
Just as a natural building has timbers that fit together to support the structure, the Church consists of its members that fit properly together to make up the spiritual framework of the Lord’s house. Just like the natural body has a head with various members, such as the arms, chest, and feet, the Lord’s spiritual body has many members “for the body is not one member, but many” (1 Cor. 1’2:14). What this means is that each person must know their spiritual gifts and talents and function accordingly.
Unfortunately the present Church structure does not lend itself to this form of apostolic government, but this will soon change. When Christ is restored as the head of the Church and each member functions in His body as they have been gifted and called, the spiritual sanctuary – the Church, will come alive! It will then grow up to become a holy temple with the glory of God resting upon His people, not just a gifted few.
In heaven Christ is the center of all things and all things were made by Him and for Him. When the members of the Lord’s temple are rightly fitted together the glory of God will rest upon His people for “In them He has set a tabernacle for the Sun” (Ps. 19:4)
Heaven is about to invade the Church at which time the Lord will direct the service and its ministry. The role of Church leadership will shift from that of directing the people to that of a facilitator to host the Lord’s presence. Like John the Baptist, they will pave the way for the Lords coming so that when He appears, the Church will recognize His voice and follow Him. Jesus said, “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am there shall my servant be…” (John 12:26).To be where He is, we must abide in His presence and flow in the anointing of the Spirit as directed by Him.
Enter into His Rest
There is a rest that God has ordained for His people, which is the ability to abide quietly in His presence. We must put away our Church agenda and the activities that are called ministry that is void of God’s glory. Instead of tending to a program feeling the pressure to tend to the Lord’s own, leadership must be still to wait upon the Lord who is the minster of the sanctuary. Our call is to follow Him for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. This requires that we cease from our own works in order to do His,
To day if you will hear His voice harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. (10) For he that is entered into His rest, He also has ceased from his own works… (Hebrews 4:7-10).
It is here in His presence that we find our rest as we cease from our own works. It is in this place of rest that the ministry of Jesus will take place under the banner of His love through the ordinary members of the Church – His body.
Putting it all together
The Kingdom of heaven is about to invade the Church that reveals the Kingdom of God in power and demonstration. The Kingdom of God comes in His presence that is to be corporately witnessed by His people. It is in here under the banner of His glory, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are released for the work of ministry. There is a harvest coming and we must be equipped to do the works that Jesus did, which is to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, open prison doors and set the captives free.
The Lord is building His sanctuary, a building fitly framed together for a habitation for His Spirit. As the members of the Church are equipped in their gifts and they are rightly joined together in Christ and with one another, the glory of the Lord will rest upon the Church as a cloud by day and a fire by night. God’s glory will not rest upon a dwelling that is corrupt and broken no more than a family will dwell in a building that has fallen. The Lord will bless many things, but He will only inhabit that which is built according to His heart that glorifies His Son Jesus, “Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalms 127:1).
When heaven invades the Church the Lord will direct all things for Jesus is the minister of the sanctuary. The time of a one man ministry is over- it’s Kingdom time! Under the Lord’s direction the work of ministry will manifest in Kingdom power and authority through the ordinary members of His church. When His Kingdom comes it will come in the presence of the King.
It’s time to open the gates for the King of Glory to come in! We can best do this by preparing the people to become a tabernacle of worship teaching them how to hear His voice to become one in Him “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). Instead of one person being “led by the Spirit” while the others follow, the church is to hear His voice and follow Him as the shepherd of His sheep. The role of a pastor is to lead the flock to the Lord who is their shepherd.
It is the expressed call of Church leadership to equip the saints for the work of ministry by equipping the people to minister in their in spiritual gifts and function in the church as God has called each one. (Eph. 4:11-12) This includes learning how to corporately work with ministering angels. In the presence of His glory, like Jacobs ladder, angels will come and go and minister among the people. As we learn to corporately witness their presence, test them and work with them, the anointing and the fruit of the ministry of the Church will greatly increase.
As the Kingdom of heaven invades the Church and the glory of God rest upon His bride, she will awaken from her slumber to become the mighty warrior that she is called to be. Led by the Lord Himself she will march forward overcoming the forces of hell in victory trampling underfoot the head of the enemy. Under the banner of the Father’s love, we are about to see the emergence of the most powerful army the earth has ever seen. It is the army of the Lord led by the captain of the hosts – the Lord Jesus Christ.
In His heart and love,