19. Deliver the Creation
The Promised Land was filled with giants and open, savage, warfare. The heavens are dark, blighted, and filled with powers hostile to God. Yet you and I are created by God with re-created spirits to live and walk in those same heavens. We are sons of God sent into the earth by our Father. ALL of our thoughts are about how we in God and God in us in all fullness are bringing SALVATION to the entire creation. We continually think about how the river of life from the throne of God, our hearts, MUST flow out of us in specific and tangible ways to set the captives free and to deliver ALL creation, both heaven and earth, from the bondage of corruption.
19. Deliver the Creation
God has pressed me the last few weeks with a topic that clearly fits next in the Kingdom of God series, but one also that must move me out of my comfort zones. This is a topic I have kept "on my shelf" for a while, but God has pressed me to draw that topic off the shelf and bring it into the present revelation of Christ.
For one, I have knocked up against an issue of contention among some, and for another, good people have asked me specifically for clarification on these issues. I prefer to write in answer to a genuine question to one individual person more than writing from a "need" to "correct" what I see as blindness. Thus I include those questions in these letters.
"I have heard so much opposing information in regards to the practice of deliverance from demons. The Bible does not go into near as much detail and process as I see being promoted by certain ministries. On the other hand some say that it is impossible for God and the devil to co-habitate in a believer. My question is does a believer have to go through decades (maybe this is extreme) of casting demons out of them to finally walk out their destiny and clean up their past? Is it really just a matter of what people are willing to believe? What do you know of this?" Jim
And again: "I know this is an important question for today as many are coming into a new revelation of grace. I have discussed this with many people who find this a murky area and are seeking clarity. I have been asking for clarity. Since you will address your answer to my question specifically for the purpose of sharing it abroad I would like to add a couple curious things I have witnessed.
"1. I have seen during the course of 'ministry' a person who I considered to be a believer speak in a strange way as if it was another person. 2. I have seen during corporate worship a person begin to scream and flail about. My impression was that it was a known believer.
"I understand that these could have been demonic entities. Or perhaps the people only thought they were believers or acted like they were. But I am also aware that the power of suggestion and belief is tremendous. Someone could act in accordance with programming. Is this not how hypnotists operate?" Jim
Thank you, Jim, these are important and critical questions, even more so as we seek God to fulfill the Father's will in the earth in all the fulfillment of the Covenant and the deliverance of this earth and all mankind from this age of human folly and all the horrors it has brought.
We do not flail the air blindly, but neither do we sit in the passive unbelief that says, "Well God will just take care of everything." We are sons; we are responsible agents with God, He in us and we in Him. God will do nothing apart from us; we can do nothing apart from Him. Yet the whole saying of "apart" has become for us irrelevant and non-existent. In all things we know the One who is always filling us full and flowing out of us to heal and set free.
Let's begin with some pretty clear and graphic Scriptures.
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease . . . Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:1 & 8
So the demons begged Him, saying, "If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine." Matthew 8:31
But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Matthew 12:28
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues . . . Mark 16:16
I am a holistic thinker, that is, I must understand things from the whole to the parts. If I cannot see the whole, then I do not know what to do with the parts. Thus I must always begin with the larger picture before coming down into specifics.
We MUST begin with this absolute certainty. We are BLIND, and we cannot see. We are IGNORANT, and we do not know. Specifically, even though we are half spirit and half of our being lives and walks in heaven all the time, yet, because of the mercy of God, we remain utterly blind to the realms of spirit.
Thus, when most Christians describe or think about "heaven," they think only in terms of what God says about the age to come, or things that are symbolic of Christ and the church. Heaven, as it is right now, is NOT in the age to come. The age to come has not started; it is "to come." Heaven is as much in the present age as earth is; those Christians who are in heaven only are certainly not in the age to come. The age to come begins with a marked and significant event, the first resurrection.
You see, when you eliminate Jerome's "eternal" from the New Testament and replace it with the word used by Jesus and the apostles, "aeon," or "an age," or, "a period of time," in all places where it is found, then the understanding of many things must change to fit the same understanding of those things held by the early church.
Heaven right now is as blighted as earth, only more so. God has no intention of saving heaven as it is. He intends fully to create a new heaven at the same time that He creates a new earth, thus destroying the old by swallowing it up into the new. That new heaven and that new earth begin with us as a seed, but grow out from us to include all the works of God's hands, each in its time.
There are three truths of absolute reality that are essential for us to know in all fullness. Gale force winds are blowing in the heavens right now like never before; we must be anchored in reality as it is to hold against the storm. I will list those things here and then go more into depth on each.
1. Heaven and earth are utterly connected. There is nothing physical that does not come out of spirit powers in the heavens. And there is nothing in the heavens that does not have its direct and immediate counterpart in the earth. It is not a matter of here is one and there is another. Rather, sustaining life (or death) force comes out of this or that spiritual reality in the heavens and gives immediate and constant shape to its counterpart in the physical and on the earth.
2. ALL reality in God, every word that comes out of His mouth, passes through three specific steps BEFORE it is known visibly, outwardly, and permanently. God shows us these three specific steps in every possible way in the Bible and in nature. The primary metaphor God uses, however, is the conception, the gestation, and the birthing. Everything God speaks begins as a seed. It is planted in the darkness, in the womb, where it grows inside of faith. Then, when it is fully formed, it is birthed into full reality.
3. We are NOT "getting saved." We are sons of God sent into the earth by our Father in just the same way He sent Jesus and for the same purposes. ALL of our thoughts are about how we in God and God in us in all fullness are accomplishing our shared purposes together upon this earth, bringing SALVATION to the entire creation. We continually think about how the river of life from the throne of God, our hearts, MUST flow out of us in specific and tangible ways to set the captives free and to deliver ALL creation, both heaven and earth, from the bondage of corruption. As the elect of God, we come out of the Father's heart separate from the heavens. Our direct connection with God is a shared heart of daring boldness. Our spirit lives utterly in the Holy Spirit and thus walks through heaven only from there.
You can see that, if these three things be truth, then the human mind and experience, blind to and ignorant of these three realities, must be just like the six blind men from Hindustan, grabbing onto this and that without a clue of what anything is about.
Now, you say, "Many are coming into a new revelation of grace." This is beyond wonderful, and if all anyone sees is the glorious wonder of God's grace and love, they are absolutely and forever blessed. It is not necessary for most to see the purpose of all things. Their time will come. I do not say that condescendingly and I abhor any spirit of "elitism." God has dealt with that thing ferociously in me. Rather, it is for their sakes, beloved and precious to Jesus, that we give ourselves to the calling of God upon our lives.
Yet many teachers of grace and love and Christ-our-life place a period after what they say. It is never a wise thing to put a period on God. God doesn't do well with periods; there's something in Him that finds it necessary to blow periods away. No one has the power to stop God from doing what He says through those who honor Him by believing what He says. People can say, "Well, that's not true," all they want, but what they cannot do is prevent some foolish little saint who takes God at His word as if it is true, from blowing their unbelief right out of the water with reality.
Everything is about purpose; everything is about what God wants out of this whole thing called creation. And we know what He wants because He tells us: many sons, just like Jesus, walking together as one body, revealing God to all creation as He really is.
And how does God obtain these many sons just like Jesus, walking together as one body, revealing God to all creation forever?
That's easy; He tells us. Two things. First is the atonement of Jesus, from the prayer that birthed the Kingdom, John 17, to Jesus' sitting down at the right hand of the Father upon the throne of God, and WE IN HIM. Second is that God has placed us, we who are seated right now upon the throne of God, into and under a total mess and then He says, "Hey, let's clean this mess up, you and Me together."
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because 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 labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8:19-22
Now, over the last few weeks, God has brought me in contact with a teaching that says there is no personal Satan, nor any demons. That is, no angel ever was given freedom by God, and no angel ever took that freedom to go his own way. Maybe they don't think there are angels, either, nor any Spirit reality. This idea assumes that "sin" is nothing other than a way of mental thinking, reserved entirely to the human brain. Think positive and "sin" vanishes. This is "Christian Science" from 150 years ago in modern form.
I know that God wanted me to be aware of this teaching; I also know that it is 100% a waste of time to address it. Worse than that, any attempt to address this teaching, point by point, would do nothing other than divert our spirits away from the purpose and intentions of God. That I will not do. Thus I will simply state my understanding and go on in the purposes of my Father. Those who wish to follow that other teaching may certainly do so. I do not go with them.
All humans are persons; all animals are persons. That is, each one is an individual with his or her own will, mind, and emotions. It is the same in the heavens. I suspect that there are as many species of angels as there are species of animals. All are personal. Even the rocks sing God's praise and the trees clap their hands!
God is love MEANS that all created beings are free of Him; it means that He highly regards and respects the integrity of each individual one. God has as much respect for Satan today as He did for Lucifer in the beginning.
God is light MEANS that God always tells the truth to every created being, "You are free of Me; I will not force you in any way."
But God also HATES evil actions that bring pain and suffering into the lives of others. God's hatred is always carried inside His love, but it is as real as God.
There is no such thing as "evil." "Evil" does not exist as something in itself.
The will is the first part of person. Thus, "Not My will, but Thine be done," MUST BE the first step of the atonement.
Sin begins as the decision of a moral being to steal what belongs to another for some perceived self-gain. Yet the sin shows itself only as the ACTION of theft.
Now, I am a person. As a person, separate from the atonement of Christ (which I am not, but let's assume for understanding's sake), I am free of God. I, by my will, my thinking, and my feeling, I am free from God. But God gave me, as a human, two bodies. (Animals get only one body, a physical body, and angels get only one body, a spiritual body.) If I wish to do, I can do only through one or the other of those two bodies. (Actually, our two bodies always work together, that is, the body without the spirit is dead, and the spirit without the body is simply a disembodied spirit, having lost its other vital part, though it continues alive in the heavens for a temporary season.) I can do through my physical body in order to operate in the earth, and I can do through my spiritual body in order to operate in the heavens.
Both bodies are God's property, not mine, as Paul said in 1 Cor. 6. In order to steal from my neighbor, I must first steal one or the other of those two bodies from God in order to commit my acts of wickedness.
All sin is theft. All sin begins with theft from God and then proceeds outwardly to steal what rightly belongs to another, whether life or property or integrity.
All sin is a moral act. Sin is NOT a mental state. James makes it clear that sin begins in the human as a mental temptation. "Every man is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed." Jesus was tempted in all ways just like us, that is, Jesus was drawn away by His own lusts and enticed. But that temptation does not become "sin" until the act. Thus Jesus, though tempted as thoroughly as we are, never acted out from that temptation.
- We ourselves do not live in sin. We live in the atonement; we live in Christ who does not know sin. -
More than that, all sin begins in the heavens first. I'm not speaking just of the temptation, but of the act of sin itself. Every individual act of sin in the earth begins first in the heavens.
If a man rapes a little girl, that horrific act of theft, robbing her of everything holy and pure in body and in soul, began first in the heavens and proceeds entirely through a continual direct connection with the heavens. That act of sin operates entirely by a spirit of disobedience. That spirit is a morally responsible person, fully aware of his own wickedness, and taking full pleasure in the horror and distress inside the little girl. I say this graphically because it is graphic. Now, if the man had refused the temptation, that spirit would not have moved through his sin. But the moment he gave himself to the temptation, he was now only an agent of the demon.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Ephesians 2:1-3
Yes, the desires are in the flesh and in the mind, desires created by God and holy, but turned now to perversion and theft, wanting to steal from others what is offered to us freely by God. This is not a "mental state," but comes entirely out of spirit powers in the heavens.
Fallen man has no identity in himself (there is never a "self"). Everything he or she is proceeds out from the spirit of disobedience. However, there is NO "universal" spirit of darkness; rather, there is a hierarchy consisting of billions of individual spirits tied together by fear and lust. A "cosmic mind" or "force" other than the Holy Spirit, does not exist.
Whenever I read through those who claim that "sin" is only a mental view of the mind and the lower "parts of God" and that our only goal is to switch over to the "right way of thinking" and thus be positive and happy, my spirit, irrespective of my mind, cries to me, "Unclean, unclean."
All the "Christ, Christ" and "Love, love" thrown in speaks nothing to me. I lived in Christian community for eighteen years. Those who shout, "Love, love" the loudest in the public arena very often show themselves to be the most viciously "not love" and "not Christ" in the pinch. In community you learn that the real is quiet and deep and that public exclamation is, so very often, not real at all.
Whenever something is spiritually unclean, words are not the method of counteracting it, rather, the demonstration of the Spirit and power.
(Now, I am answering your question in this way because Christ is always personal, thus I must speak personally. Listing doctrinal points cannot ever be Christ. The only way my answer could be Christ is if it is, fully, personal. Yet my expression of the personal always comes out of what God actually says, a contention that you must prove out for yourself by both Word and Spirit, for Christ is also fully personal in you.)
I find a huge limitation in so many who teach on all these things including grace and "Christ as us." They do not know the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and they do not speak in tongues.
God has set aside the outer court at this time. Those who know God only by their minds, no matter what they "say," or how much they "believe," cannot be part of this pin-point work of "Gideon's 300," as I shared at the end of "The Matrix of the World." That is not a problem; their time will come. But the hour is too critical to speak to that realm; their only hope is in the birthing.
The word is the conception. Nothing can grow in the womb except it begins as the word God speaks. Yet the conception, by itself, cannot be anything. Thus people see that "word-only" just doesn't do it. Then, for some stupid reason I cannot comprehend, their conclusion is to throw out the Bible!
Without the Word, there is NO Holy Spirit, though there are plenty of other spirits eager to take His place, fully capable of "feeling" very loving and spiritual, fully capable of speaking "Christ."
The purpose of conception is gestation. And the purpose of gestation is the BIRTHING!!
Gestation is all about Pentecost and the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit.
Let me explain the critical importance of the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit, including and especially speaking in tongues, that is, praying in the Spirit. Those who choose not to know God in the gestation CANNOT know Him in the Birthing.
The pattern of God's word is so very clear. Those who wander from the path do so only because they do not measure all things by the patterns.
The Promised Land was filled with giants and open, savage, warfare. The heavens are dark, blighted, and filled with powers hostile to God. Yet you and I are created by God with re-created spirits to live and walk in those same heavens. God abandons no part of His creation to hostility and darkness ever, the idea is absurd. Our spirit, living fully in the heavens right now, exists fully. Yet God has not opened our eyes to see, not yet - BECAUSE He is kind! (God's method always is to birth the new; the old is "destroyed" as it is swallowed up in the new.)
What female egg, infused with the male sperm or not, can survive on its own outside the womb? No word spoken by God can survive except it pass first through gestation and the birthing.
Everything is about the birthing. If an egg passes out of the womb without gestation, we call that a miscarriage. Early miscarriages cause momentary sorrow, but are soon forgotten. All those who refuse gestation, because they imagine all they need is "the word," cannot be birthed. God never does anything "to" us apart from our permission; He respects us too much ever to do that. None of this "locks them out," all things are in their time, each one in his appointed season.
My spirit is blind to the heavens in which it (I) fully lives. The majority of Christians are 100% ignorant of the heavens in which they live. God has given us a specific means by which our spirits are to grow step-by-step into a full knowing of all heavenly reality.
Speaking in tongues (praying and singing in the Spirit) over many years both in spiritual warfare and in the groaning and travail of the Spirit in seeking to know the living God serves a MOST Necessary purpose. It enlarges our spirit to know the heavens in which we live and the power and demonstration of the Spirit. Praying and singing in the Spirit is not the only thing that accomplishes this purpose, thought it is one of the most powerful tools God has given us. Faith, prophecy, true praise and worship in the Spirit, miracles, spiritual warfare, all the other gifts and anointings of the Holy Spirit serve the same purpose when we move in them according to God's heart.
I have never understood people who say they don't need what the Holy Spirit offers! My mind just goes blank when they say such things; I do not know what they say.
Let me give a clear example. Many people who rejoice in Christ-our-life have latched onto the phrase, "God all in all." They use that phrase to assume, against the clear teaching and pattern of the entire Bible, that it's all over with. End of story. God is now, fully, all in all. Thus, they find it necessary to eliminate the entire teaching of "battle" from the entire fabric of the Bible, Old Testament and New.
God says, "God all in all" two times in the New Testament, both through Paul. In one instance it is present tense; in the other it is clearly future, limited entirely to a state of reality that comes ONLY after all creation is brought into submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews says, "We do NOT NOW see all things under our feet, but we see Jesus."
Because we hold to the patterns of God's word, these two forms of "God all in all" make perfect sense to us. Everything God speaks begins as a seed. Everything found in the final form is found fully inside the seed. But the seed must "fall into the ground and die," that is, the egg must pass through the gestation inside the womb before what God really means is birthed into the full reality of all creation. Thus we call those things that "be not" as though they are.
Pentecost, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Place, the gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit, ARE the gestation. But especially the altar of incense, which is ONLY an experience over time directly with the Holy Spirit.
You cannot get from the outer court to the Holiest of All without passing through the Holy Place. You cannot get from conception to birthing without passing through gestation.
You cannot get from being born again to standing upon the earth as the manifestation of the sons of God setting all creation free without Christ being formed in you, that forming is the direct work of the Holy Spirit through particular things.
The Holy Spirit is a Person who works specific things in us only through our will. We receive in our lives all the purposes of the Holy Spirit only if we ask, as Jesus said, with earnestness and sincerity of heart, never letting go until we know ALL that God says.
The whole point of everything is found at the junction of the Word God speaks, a woman in travail, and the face of the serpent. (Revelation 12:1-5)
The birthing is everything. Without the birthing, the conception, as glorious as it is, fails. Without the birthing, the gestation, as wondrous as it is, fails.
The first thing we see in the birthing is the face of the serpent. We have a job to do, God in us and we in God, and we come out of the womb running.
Thy people are ready and willing and able in the day of Thy power. (My paraphrase)
Do you see, Jim, how understanding the purpose and patterns of God makes everything fit. Everything makes sense when we allow all that God speaks to be birthed inside of us.
Only now can we come to the next important question.
Why demons? Why on earth would God have a creation filled with nasty things called demons? Why on earth would God place us under the horrific vanity of a life of continual assault by demons?
That's easy. God tells us why. HOPE!!
I have the integrity to honor God with the conviction that He knows what He is doing and this place we find ourselves in IS the only way for God to have what He wants.
(I am also convinced that evil exists entirely because God is love and truth, that is, God never binds any created being and God always tells them they are free. Thus the only way God could ever have a creation is to win it all back through the love of Jesus, one person at a time.)
I honor God with the firm conviction that He alone is just and right in ALL things and that every present difficulty is carried fully and only inside His love.
Yet God is also just and He does not have the right to strip justice away from those who have suffered the theft of any part of what is theirs by another. I believe that inside the Blood, inside the forgiveness of God, there still MUST BE a full and total restitution of all things stolen in the darkness. But that is another topic.
God HOPES that out of this mess will come a company of sons, walking together as one, with Him and each other, setting all creation free.
In that HOPE, God sent His Word into the darkness. God fully expects that Word to come back to Him having birthed itself in and as the many.
I see three essential things inside the gestation in the womb of the church.
1. Interaction with God through the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit inside our interaction with other believers in Jesus.
2. Interaction with God through spiritual warfare, through the demonstration of the Spirit in power, through groanings of the Spirit, through victory over spiritual powers of darkness, together with other believers in Jesus.
3. Interaction with God through all the circumstances of life He appoints for us, the wonderful and the difficult, the ups and the downs, placing ourselves and all that we are and go through utterly inside of Jesus inside of the Father, particularly in our interaction with other believers in Jesus.
By themselves the gifts of the Spirit, spiritual warfare, and the processes of life by which the altar of incense takes us all apart are, in themselves, of little value. What makes them of value is our interaction with God in faith through those things with our eyes focused on the birthing, carrying fully in our hearts all those who belong to Jesus - in the womb of the church.
"He teaches my fingers to fight and my hands to make war." David
"For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit - And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." Paul
"To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father in His throne." Jesus
Casting out demons was a normal and natural part of Jesus' ministry and of the ministry of the apostles. It is a normal and natural part of our lives and ministry.
Whole legions of modern scientific experts and Bible textual experts can all trot out to explain just exactly why all that just ain't so. The hilarious thing is that all that it takes is one simple-hearted saint who just takes God at His word, walking together with Him, to shame all the experts with the simple demonstration of power. In fact, that's exactly what we are called to do.
I have reached the end of eight pages without answering any of your specific questions, Jim. I intend to answer them, but I can see that it will take two more articles. First, "In the Womb of the Church," in which I will share my own experience in these things. Then, "Set the Captives Free," in which I will answer your questions with specifics as I presently understand them.
The whole point of everything is found at the junction of the Word God speaks,
a woman in travail, and the face of the serpent.
People may not understand what is meant by these words and by the symbols of John's vision, but I will say them again and again until their spirits open and they see and know the power of God's reality and the cry of their hearts becomes only, "Holy, holy, holy."