Posted on November 30, 2012
Mike Parsons – put up on Facebook by Annalize Mouton
As we saw last time, God will have His way: His will is going to be done, and our choice is whether we want to be part of it or not. All the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Moses’ generation came to the borders of the land… and chose not to go in. As a result, God told them, “your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb… and Joshua” (Num 14:29-30).
Those aged 20 years and up were responsible. There were a whole lot of people under the age of 20 who wandered round in the wilderness with their elders; but when their time came to make a choice, they chose to embrace their destiny. God is calling that people forth today. Caleb and Joshua were of the older generation; but how they lived, how they believed, how they acted, what they did – that was what set them apart from their contemporaries and inspired the younger generation. They are a key to understanding what it takes to inherit, what it takes to become a Joshua generation.
The Moses generation failed to receive their inheritance, and died in the wilderness. The Joshua generation, I believe, are going to equip a harvest of a billion labourers in the supernatural. I say ‘in the supernatural’ because we cannot succeed by natural means in all that lies in store for us; it is going to have to be achieved by supernatural means, and by a people equipped to operate in the fullness of God’s kingdom power.
That is why we have to take back ground that has been given to the enemy. Occult and New Age people are operating in spiritual power and doing things most of the church would not begin to know how to do, but they are occupying ground in the counterfeit that we should be ruling in the authentic by operating in the true power of God. We need to stand up and be counted. We need to take back that territory, in the face of intense opposition. And to do so we need to begin to operate in the realm of the supernatural beyond what any of us have experienced so far, if we are to see this next generation raised up. We have to be ready for a whole new revelation of the supernatural, and when we are ready, God will lead us into it.
We need to equip a generation who will see Jesus return. To see a final harvest in which everybody who is going to be saved will be saved. The Joshua generation will be forerunners who have spied out the land. Many of us have already been forerunners. We have experienced a foretaste of some of the things which are going to take place. We have glimpsed it. In our spirit and in our heart we know there is more. We have been hungry for more, some of us have been that way all our lives. And there are more forerunner experiences still to come. It will be like spying out the land. We will not yet have received the complete fulfilment of all that God intends, but we will have glimpses of it, get a taste for it, begin to realise what it is going to be like.
The Church is crossing the Jordan, and it has been happening for a while. I look back into the eighties and I can see the beginnings of it. I remember some of the things that were prophesied then (and people didn’t really know what they were prophesying): about Joel’s army; a whole different breed; a nameless, faceless army of God’s people who were going to be raised up; no superstars, just ordinary people, operating in the supernatural power of God. They were prophesying some of the very things we are now beginning to see take place. This generation has been entering in over that whole period of time, but we have not progressed beyond just the other side of the Jordan. The church is still at that place calledGilgal. For Israel that was where the reproach of the past was removed, where they were all circumcised again, where they took the Passover again: the things which were necessary for them to do as preparation to going in to fight the giants and take the whole land. I believe that this is where the church is in these days, days of preparation.
We have experienced the Wine, Fire and Wind of God, but there is more coming. We have to be able to lead and equip the Jesus generation to possess – the Hebrew word means ‘to inherit by seizing, dispossessing, and become heirs of’ – the land of promise. This is about the violent taking the kingdom by force. The Joshua generation is a warrior generation who will fight on behalf of others and bring them into the land. They will bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven: fulfilling Adam’s mandate in both realms. They will rule in the spirit realm and influence in the natural realm, to see God’s glory fill the earth (Num 14:21).
The Joshua generation will experience the land for themselves, but will also equip others to be able to live in the Promised Land and to fully possess it. It will mean living in a completely different dimension in terms of the supernatural.
We are all called to enter: some of us are called to go before, and to equip, but all of us are called to enter. Or you can choose to be like those who turned down God’s invitation and died in the wilderness. Everyone has that choice, but God is inviting people to enter in. Even in Joshua’s day, there were people who crossed the Jordan, were part of fighting the battles, and yet they chose to go back and live on the other side. Two and a half tribes, or nearly a quarter of them.
There are some ministries who have been forerunner ministries, who have been in the forefront of what God is doing, but who will choose to go back, and as a result will miss out on the fullness of their inheritance. I do not want to be one of those. I want to be part of a generation who enter in, possess, and enjoy the land; and who equip others to come in and do the same.
Characteristics of the Joshua Generation (#1-5)
Posted on December 7, 2012
Mike Parsons -
We have seen that in our time God is raising up a Joshua generation, who will enter into their inheritance and enable others to do the same. This is what that generation will be like:
1. The Joshua Generation will be victorious warriors, dependent on God’s Spirit for supernatural victory.
Do you remember the story in Exodus, when Moses was standing and needed support for his hands, because as long as his hands were raised, Israel was winning the battle? Even at that point, Joshua was being prepared to succeed Moses, and there was a supernatural dimension to what was happening:
‘Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner; and he said, “The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation”’ (Ex 17:14-16).
We need to know the Name of God, Jehovah-Nissi: the Lord our banner or victory. ‘The Lord is my banner’. There is something here that we need to get hold of in our spirit. We use banners in this dimension of warfare, and that banner of victory is what will enable us to overcome. This battle will be in every generation. This is something which God wants to equip us for, to see Amalek destroyed.
There is a reason God wants it destroyed. The Amalekites were descended from Esau – they personified evil, and were inheritance robbers. They were those who competed for the Promised Land. For us they represent the tares, the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, who seek to rob us of our inheritance. We need to destroy them; and there is going to be a battle in our generation. We need to know the Name of God, Jehovah-Nissi, because of the level of warfare which is going to come. When the world is falling apart, we have to be able to be overcomers in the midst of everything that is going on around us.
2. The Joshua Generation will have a servant heart.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30).
This is a key scripture to understand about being servant-hearted. It is about not doing things in your own strength but in knowing your identity and being of gentle and humble heart. That’s what Jesus said, “if you take My yoke upon you, learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart”. A servant generation will know true authority and true identity through submitting it all to God.
We need to understand that Joshua had a call, and yet he was Moses’ servant: ‘So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God’ (Ex 24:13).
3. The Joshua Generation will know the glory of God as a consuming fire.
We are already beginning to experience this in the heavenly realms, but there is so much more of it still to come.
On Mount Sinai, when God gave the commandments to Moses, Joshua also went up with him to the mountain top. Most people don’t read that or realise it, but that is what it says. And what happened there was that ‘the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. .. And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top’ (Ex 24:16-17).
God is inviting everyone to come to the mountain top, to come into the fiery smoke, and to meet Him face to face. It is an awesome thing to look into His eyes. Face-to-face encounters with God will characterise the Joshua generation.
4. The Joshua Generation will be hungry and thirsty for the intimacy of God’s Presence.
We will not be satisfied with anything less. We need the intimacy of God’s presence. We need to press into it. We need to be so hungry and thirsty for righteousness, and for the presence of God, that it is going to transform our lives. And God is going to start stirring that hunger, by giving you experiences that make you crave and hunger for more. Don’t be satisfied with just an experience: it needs to become a lifestyle. We need to live in the presence of God in the dual realms of heaven and earth. We need to press in.
‘Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent’ (Ex 33:11).
Joshua stayed in God’s presence even after Moses left, and that will be a characteristic of the Joshua generation. When some people give up, when they have had enough, the Joshua generation will press in for more. You are not going to be satisfied until you have received the fullness of your inheritance.
5. The Joshua Generation will be chosen as forerunners to enter the Promised Land.
Some of you are going to have experiences that go beyond, and you are going to help other people to come into it. When I went on the fast two years ago, and began to enter into heavenly encounters, my desire was to facilitate others coming in. Our intention is always to open the door for others. We are not exclusive. The purpose of being forerunners is not to keep others out, but to encourage everyone to come in.
Joshua and Caleb were sent out as spies: they saw the promises – and they saw the giants – first hand. But they had a different attitude to the others: they were willing to press in.
These are just the first 5 of 40 characteristics of this generation which I believe God has shown me. Do you recognise these things in you? Is this a generation of which you are called to be a part?
6. The Joshua Generation will be men and women of faith, who speak and live by the word of God.
That was the difference between the generations: being able to speak – and live – the words of faith.
‘Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it”’ (Num 13:30). In spite of opposition, Joshua and Caleb spoke out the promises of God.
There is going to be plenty of opposition to come. Most of it will be religious opposition, because the institution of the church is out to rob the true church of authority and power. There is going to be warfare. It has taken place before: whenever God starts to do something new and fresh, whenever He starts to pour out His Spirit in a new way, the previous generation opposes it because they do not want to give up control. But you cannot control this stuff: you have to go with what God is doing. The Joshua generation will not be into control: as we have seen, they will be gentle and humble of heart. We need to be men and women who are willing to live by faith and are unashamedly able to speak out the truth, challenge people’s understanding, and challenge the doctrines and mindsetswhich have robbed people of their true inheritance. You know this is going to cause trouble, but we have authority, and we are going to see people rescued from those things.
7.The Joshua Generation will have (and operate in) a militant spirit, and will fully follow the Lord.
‘But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully…’ (Num 14:24). If you look at how Caleb entered the Promised Land, he was basically saying, “Bring it on! Give me the land of the giants, because I’m going to go in and take it”. And even when he was in his eighties, he was still strong to go in and out to battle and to war. He was still overcoming. The Joshua generation may have people in it who are 80, 90, or over 100. It is not about age, it is about attitude. They have a different spirit, a militant spirit – as Jesus said, it is the violent who take the kingdom by force.
It is a breakthrough spirit. These are people who are willing to be breakers, who will break things open so that others can come in and receive. That is what God is calling us to do, and to follow Him fully (not partially). It will take a militant breakthrough spirit to push through into the dimensions to which God is calling us, and we need to be prepared for that.
8.The Joshua Generation will be sensitive to and feel grief over sin.
We do not look back at a previous generation and say, “Well, tough on them, they have missed it”. We look at people and see they are still needing encouragement to come in. Over the church in general we have to have an attitude of intercession, an attitude of standing in the gap. Not an attitude of pride, but of willingness to do what we can to see more and more people drawn in.
And where we see the church as an institution in sin, our spirit needs to be moved to act. In Num 14:6 we read that ‘Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes’. When the others said, “We are not entering in”, they tore their clothes as an expression of sorrow and of intercession for them. That is how we need to be.
9.The Joshua Generation will be men and women of the Spirit
‘So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit”’ (Num 27:18). We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be baptised in the Holy Spirit in fullness, and to be so continually. It is not a one-off experience: we need daily to be filled, to be overflowing, and to be operating in the dimensions of the Spirit. In the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We need to go up to whole new dimensions of the glory that is manifested through the Holy Spirit.
I did a teaching about the five rivers that are present with us. We can enter into those rivers and be rebaptised into our born-again experience, into our baptism in water experience, into our baptism in the Spirit experience, into our baptism of fire experience, and our baptism of glory experience. We need to continually enter in to each of these: there is an ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit which is going to take us to higher realms. He is willing to reveal things to us, because He is the Spirit of truth who is ready to disclose those things that are to come.
If you want to discover and understand and enter into that whole realm of the Spirit, you can read and meditate on John chapters 12 to 17. Those chapters are all about being connected to and flowing in the Spirit of God, and there is so much more of that for us to experience and uncover.
10. The Joshua Generation will be chosen, anointed and commissioned by God for the task.
It must be about 3 years or so ago now that God just gave me a series of words: investiture, coronation, enthronement, and so on. I shared them with some of you at the time, but I didn’t fully understand them or what God intended by them. As I have kept those words in my heart, He has continued to give me revelation of them and I have prayed over people to receive new and fresh mantles of authority.
In fact I have been to the Mantle Room in heaven and seen row upon row of mantles of authority and power, waiting to be conferred on people. Some are the mantles of saints from previous generations, people like Smith Wigglesworth and Maria Woodworth-Etter, who have carried something of that authority in the supernatural realm. Many of those mantles are about to be released.
Some of the wells of past generations are going to be unblocked and are going to flow again; but also there are be new wells to be dug, and new mantles released, new levels of authority to be taken up. People are going to be excercising authority and doing things that today you might find it hard to even imagine or conceive of. They will need to do so if they are to be victorious in the battles which are going to take place. They will include some of us: because those are battles we may have to fight. We are going to need to be anointed, because we are chosen, and we are going to be commissioned.
Investiture is just the first part of that commissioning process. I remember watching Prince Charles’ investiture many years ago on TV. But although he has been invested, he is still only the heir to the throne at the moment; he is still the prince: he is not yet King. There is more to come for him. And there is more to come for us: God will give us revelation of what that is.
‘Lay your hand on Joshua; and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. You shall put some of your authority on him…’ (Num 27:18-20).
God is going to release more of His authority onto His people. We will be commissioned to enter into a further dimension of our inheritance, our Promised Land.
11. The Joshua Generation will be equipped to enable the next generation to possess the land.
‘Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it’ (Deut 1:38).
We have to cause others to inherit. This generation who are going to be saved, who are going to be the laborers for the future: we have to enable them, to disciple them in the supernatural, to encourage them to inherit everything in the Promised Land. We must not sell them short in the fullness of what their inheritance is.
12. The Joshua Generation will witness the awesome overcoming power of God.
We have seen the power of God at work in increasing measure over the past few years, seen quite a lot of signs and wonders, different miracles and so on. Those have just been a taster of the things that are coming.
‘“Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.”
“O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?” (Deut 3:22, 24).
No-one can really counterfeit the true power and authority of Almighty God. Just as Elijah did with the prophets of Baal, there will be some among you who will challenge the forces of the enemy and call down fire from heaven, You will challenge some of those who do supernatural signs in the occult realm, and in the New Age realm; you will challenge them to a test of authority and power. And our God wins; therefore you win, you overcome, and you demonstrate true spiritual authority and power. It is going to be awesome!
You are going to win if you will step out in the confidence of the things you have already done, having your faith built up by the things you have already seen. That is what it meansnot to despise the day of small things but to see it as a time of preparation for the things that are coming.
13. The Joshua Generation will be strong and courageous.
If we are going to need to be strong and courageous, it is because there is something to fear or to overcome. And we will find that we too have giants to overcome, who are exercising authority in heavenly places. There are dragons to slay, who are robbing the people of God. True identity and inheritance are being held back from God’s people and it is for us to see them released.
‘Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed”’ (Deut 31:7-8).
God is with us. He is going before us. He is preparing the way. He is going to be with each of us and with all of us in this fight and in this battle. But there are going to be things we really do have to face. Some of the spiritual dimensions of things we have to contend with – even in this realm – are going to spook a lot of people. As I have mentioned before, if you have been into developing nations where spiritual warfare is much more open, and seen what goes on there when evil is challenged, you can expect those things to be happening here too. Witch doctors who shape-shift, who change form in front of you? We haven’t seen that here – yet. The big ministry teams in some of those places have what they call the ‘snake-pit’, where they carry out deliverance, because some of the people they are praying for will change into serpents and werewolves and so on. There is a lot of stuff in the media, films and TV which is beginning to make this seem more acceptable to the Western mind, almost like it is quite good really to have werewolves and vampires; and that is all part of the enemy’s schemes. Some of the spiritual power that the enemy has will operate in that dimension; and we need to know that we have authority over them.
Jesus said that ‘as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the time of the coming of theSon of Man’ (Matt 24:37). We know the Nephilim were around at that time, and as the coming of the Son of Man approaches we are going to need to be equipped to handle spiritual warfare on a scale we haven’t yet seen.
14. The Joshua Generation will be filled with the spirit of wisdom.
We will definitely need the wisdom of God to know what to do in the face of some of the situations we are going to find ourselves in. Wisdom will be our equipping, connecting us to the God who knows all things. He is before all things. Therefore we can have a heads-up on the future, and on everything the enemy is planning, so that we can take a stand and be ready to overcome it.
‘Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses’ (Deut 34:9).
There will be an authority that comes with that wisdom, which is going to inspire people to press in and receive their inheritance.
15. The Joshua Generation will meditate on God’s word day and night.
‘This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success’ (Joshua 1:8).
Meditating on the word is a key to entering into the spiritual realm; a key to understanding how to access the realms of heaven, seeing the word of God as a doorway into the realms of the spirit. Again, meditation has become a taboo in the church because of Transcendental Meditation and other forms of eastern meditation, which empty people’s minds. Biblical meditation, by contrast, fills people’s minds, fills them with the truth, and teaches them to engage with the eyes of their heart.
As we learn to meditate and to open up our spirit to that realm of God’s purposes, the eyes of our heart will be enlightened. As we engage our spiritual imagination, we can start seeing the Holy Spirit moving on people, start actually seeing angels (and demons). We can start seeing – and entering into – the realms of heaven.
16. The Joshua Generation will be obedient to God’s direction.
‘Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go’ (Joshua 1:7).
We know our God, and love Him; and because of that we want to serve Him. We want to do everything He is calling us to do, and to do it out of our love, our passion and our desire for Him. But we do need to be careful: with greater revelation comes greater responsibility. We cannot mess around with what God shows us. As I have said before, Ananias and Sapphira situations will take place again, and we should not be surprised if people who lie to the Holy Spirit drop dead as a result. If we are to operate in the fullness of God’s power in the coming days, then the level of holiness required of us is going to go up, off the scale. That is both because of the level of revelation we are beginning to enter into and because of the kind of people we need to be. For those who hear, but turn back and are not ‘careful to do’, there is a danger – and we need to be aware of it. We do not want to be in danger: therefore we must be ready to do all that God is calling us to do.
Yet not out of fear, but out of love.
17. The Joshua Generation will be prosperous and successful.
You see, if we are able to meditate and obtain that revelation from God, and if we are careful to do the things that God reveals to us, it will give us success. We will learn to overcome and we will learn to prosper.
Prospering is not just about financial things: the word means ‘to succeed to the highest level’. And we need to succeed to the highest level in the spiritual as well as in the natural realm. If we are receiving wisdom and revelation to the highest level, then as a result of that we will be prosperous and successful. Everything around us may be falling apart, and it will do so when the world’s systems crash, but we need to be able to operate in God’s systems, in God’s kingdom. The financial system is just one example of this, in which we may well need to learn to do miracles and to multiply things as Jesus did. Jesus told Peter to find a coin in a fish’s mouth to pay their taxes. There may be occasions when we too can do something like that and supernaturally find finance. And we must stop saying, ‘Oh, but that was Jesus’. Everything Jesus did, He did as a model for what we should do. He said we would do the things He did, and greater things (John 14:12).
‘This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success’ (Joshua 1:8).
This generation are willing to press in and receive.
18. The Joshua Generation will know that they walk with God.
Walking with God is the daily lifestyle we need to have.
‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go’ (Joshua 1:9).
When we are walking on the path that God has prepared for us, when we are walking in our destiny, then we know God is with us. And we need to know what is our destiny, what is written on our scroll: and if we do not know, then we can ask God to show us.
Psalm 23 is a key to this lifestyle of walking with God. We need to know that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death – and to be honest, that is just daily life, really – that God is with us all the way. His rod and His staff (the word and the Spirit), they comfort us. He anoints us; our cup overflows. I want to encourage you to get hold of this psalm, to meditate on it and draw out the truth from it; because God is with us, and His goodness and mercy and lovingkindness will follow us, and will be identifying features of the way we live our lives.
19. The Joshua Generation will be equipped to prepare provisions, to live by faith.
‘Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, “Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it”’ (Joshua 1:11).
We have to be able to teach people to live under the provision of God. Each one of us is responsible to possess our own inheritance. We each need to be equipped with the weapons we will need, the revelation we need, the lifestyle we need. God will provide everything we need to take the land, to take possession of all that He intends for us and has promised to us. We need to know how to access that provision, to take hold of it for ourselves, and to teach others to do the same.
20. The Joshua Generation will equip the people to be consecrated (or sanctified) – set apart, dedicated and holy.
‘Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you”’ (Joshua 3:5).
This is where many of us are in the process. When Israel were at Gilgal they dealt with the things from the past, embraced fresh revelation of the truths they had lost sight of, and were set apart for the purposes of God for their generation.
Do you want to hear ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’? Do you want it said of you that, like David, you served the purpose of God in your generation? I do. I want to serve the purpose of God in this generation that I am called to be part of, and I believe that God wants to raise up a whole people who desire to do the same.
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you”.
We are halfway through this mini-series on the Joshua Generation.
Let’s remember the questions we are asking:
• Are you ready to be part of the Joshua generation?
• Are you ready to be equipped by the Joshua generation?
If so, I urge you to get hold of these things and press in.
And over the next few weeks, we will look at the next 20 characteristics and begin to press into those too.
The veil is open: we can walk through that veil which is Jesus’ flesh, into the heavenly realms, in the spirit. So we can live there. There is a whole dimension here that we need to enter into. The Promised Land is not just about here on earth, it is about bringing heaven to earth. As we saw last week, if we are to be truly effective we have to learn to rule in the heavens and then bring that authority to bear in this realm. Today we will return to looking into the characteristics of the Joshua Generation again, but as we do, I want to encourage you to look at them from that perspective.
First, though, let me mention another Joshua for a moment, to help us grasp all this. This is a much later Joshua, who was the High Priest, being called to enter the heavenly realms.
‘And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My laws, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here’”’(Zech 3:6).
‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My laws’: those are the things we do here, in this realm. We can read Psalm 119:1-40 to understand more about His ways: His ordinances, His character, His nature. It establishes precedent when we fulfil the ways of God. Then it talks about performing His laws: if we follow the principles of the kingdom, here in the earthly realms, we will see manifestation of the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
‘Then you will also govern my house’: ruling the house is something to be done in the heavenly realms. The house of God is a dimension of the realms of heaven. And we are also a house, a dwelling place, for God.
‘You will also have charge of my courts’: the courts of heaven are where God administers justice, and the jurisdiction of God’s kingdom, manifested in the heavens, can be outworked here on earth.
‘And I will grant you free access among these who are standing here’: standing before the throne, in heaven. The High Priest had access to come into the very presence of God. If we are able to govern the house, and take charge of the courts, we will have access to stand in the presence of God. In His personal presence, not just His Presence. It is the difference between smoke and fire. Smoke tells you there is a fire. The Presence of God that we experience here in worship is like the smoke. But beyond that there is his Person, which is the fire. This passage in Zechariah is describing protocols which we must go through in order to be able to stand in the fire.
Let’s get back now to our original Joshua:
21 The Joshua generation will encourage people to hear the word of God directly.
Joshua 3:9 Then Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.”
It is important for us as individuals to come and hear the words of God for ourselves, and to train up others to do so for themselves too. We need to come before the throne, to come into the courts, to rule the house. My intention in doing so myself, and teaching it to you, is that I bring you into it.
Entering into the realms of heaven is for all of us. Separate to that, I have a role which is to bring signs and wonders and miracles and healing. I am going to pursue that for myself. But you, too, need to find out what is written on your scroll, and pursue that for yourselves. We each need to fulfil the scroll of our destiny (which we can find in the heavenly realms), read it, eat it, get it inside us, into our heart, and start outworking it.
22 The Joshua generation will be honoured and respected by the next generation.
There is going to be a culture of honour. Jesus said, “if you receive a prophet in the name of a prophet, you will receive a prophet’s reward” (Matt 10:41). We have to receive people in their gift and calling in order to receive the reward in our own lives. We want to honour one another and receive one another, because every single one of us have gifts and calls, and we must look to help one another fulfil those and work them out.
‘On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life’(Joshua 4:14).
23 The Joshua generation will free the next generation from the reproach and effects of the past generations, into new revelation of past activities.
‘Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho’ (Joshua 5:8-10).
There are things we have done, and things that we have within God’s kingdom and within the church, in which we have operated up to the level of revelation we previously had. But now everything is moving up to a higher level.
Here they celebrated the Passover and re-instituted circumcision, which they did not do in the wilderness. They came to consecrate themselves to God; the reproach of the past was wiped away, the stumbling-blocks were removed, the purifying and refining was taking place. When we come into new revelation, even in the things that we have done already we will begin to appreciate new levels of meaning as God opens them up to us in their fullness.
24 The Joshua generation will operate with the angelic realm.
This is something which causes Christians a lot of needless problems and argument. ‘Why do we need angels when we have the Holy Spirit?’ – you know the kind of thing. Angels and the Holy Spirit are completely different. Angels have a completely different purpose and function. And in fact all angels have their own particular functions.
For example, one night when Ian Clayton was here, he dropped frankincense on the floor and the aroma of it filled the room. It took me into the realms of heaven and I saw a canopy, and these big angels being released from the throne. They had huge wings, and razor-sharp feathers which I could tell they were going to use as weapons. I knew instinctively who they were: they were the hunter angels. They go out to bring in a harvest. Their weapons are about cutting blindness off people’s eyes, which would prevent them from seeing and responding to the truth. And God is releasing them right now. They are different from the gathering angels, and the watcher angels, and other angels that we see. You notice, we even describe them by their function.
‘Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so’ (Joshua 5:13-15).
When you read that he ‘lifted up his eyes’, it means he was looking into the heavens, and seeing into another realm, another dimension. As you read the scriptures again, you will see examples of this in other places too, such as when Abraham ‘lifted up his eyes and looked’ and saw the three men standing opposite his tent (Gen 18:2). And in this passage, the captain of the host goes on to give Joshua strategy that will help him be victorious and successful. When we praise God, that high praise releases some of these angels. Read Psalm 149 and you will see more about that, how we execute judgments that are written, how we execute vengeance upon the enemy.
We are not fighting against flesh and blood. Earthly strategy just won’t cut it.
25 The Joshua generation will hear God’s strategy for warfare.
The LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.” (Joshua 6:2-5).
When God said, “See”, how could Joshua see that? It hadn’t happened yet. The answer is that God was showing him in the realms of heaven what would happen. It is just like when Jesus said He did the things He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). In what realm did He see the Father doing them? The Holy Spirit will disclose things which are to come, before they actually happen, because we see – and can step into – a different realm.
Again, when this passage talks about a city with its king and its warriors, we can understand that solely in the natural realm. But above and beyond that, in the realms of the heavens, there are also mountains, and rulers and kings. We need to deal with them in that realm in order to deal with their counterparts in this realm. As I said last week, that is why we may historically have struggled to overcome in this realm – it is because we cannot do so effectively without dealing with the heavenly realm first.
Like Jesus, we also need to see what the Father is doing, in order to bring it to earth. If that is how Jesus operated (and He told us it was), then surely that is how we must operate too. Jesus lived constantly in two realms, in relationship with the Father.
The strategy God gave for taking Jericho was very clear, and very detailed. And the strategy that Joshua received in the heavenly realms, he had to carry out in this earthly realm. We need to be able to do that, every day, all the time.
That is what it means to be living in dual realms, to see what the Father is doing, to be constantly connected.
And that is what it takes to bring heaven to earth.
26 The Joshua generation will start to be known and get public attention.
Before the revival we experienced here in 2011, virtually no-one outside of North Devon knew we even existed. Suddenly, because of what God began to do here, all kinds of people noticed us, from all over the country, and began to look to build relationship with us. And some of the other things which have happened since – not least Ian Clayton coming here, and then mentioning us wherever he goes – have made us known in countries all over the world. This blog gets hits from the UK and Europe, but also from Africa, America, Australia and the Far East. Who would have expected that two years ago? God has a reason for it. He wants us to help other people come into the revelation we have received, and He wants us to equip and enable them to enter into their own inheritance.
‘So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land’ (Joshua 6:27).
Now, ultimately that is really not about our fame – it is about God’s fame. We are here to make God known in all the earth. But we will have public recognition along the way, and that will bring public battles. Those battles will happen because what we are bringing will cause a reaction both in the spiritual realm and in this one. All sorts of criticism and all sorts of accusations will be made because of what we are doing. A lot of people do not understand, yet. They will say we are doing things by New Age or occult power. They said that about Jesus, too, and we need to be ready for it. We need to be confident in our identity and in the revelation God has given us. We will be in the public eye, one way or another. So we have to make sure there is absolutely no pride in what we do. We need to be humble. It is about what God is doing, not about what we are doing. It is all about Him, but he uses us. Therefore we must rule our house, and deal with anything of sin or iniquity in us, deal with any stumbling blocks in our own lives.
If we have a need for affirmation or recognition from men, we are going to have to deal with that, because it is affirmation from God that we really need. And if we do receive affirmation and recognition from people, let us receive it with thanks, but then go and trade with it on the trading floors of heaven. Go and cast your crowns before Him.
27 The Joshua generation will take a radical stand against sin.
Sin is going to get exposed. It is already happening, always has. But the whole angelic realm are going to become active in exposing sin.
‘Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.” … It shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel’”’ (Joshua 7:13, 15).
We cannot have things in our midst which stop us standing in victory against the enemy. We need to see those things removed. That is part of the function of those gathering angels, who are removing stumbling blocks from among us. Purification, refining: the heat of God’s furnace is being turned up, in order to bring all the impurities in the gold to the surface. Then, when they are skimmed off, the surface of gold is an absolute mirror which is reflecting the glory of God. That is what our lives are there to do: to reflect the glory of God – to reflect what is in heaven – on earth.
We are coming into a time when the story of Ananias and Sapphira is going to become very important to understand. They lied to the Holy Spirit and dropped down dead. When we start to enter into these things which God is revealing, suddenly the levels of responsibility go up. And with more responsibility, certainly there is more authority and power – but the level of purity and holiness required to operate in that dimension also is greatly increased.
I am responsible to enter into the fire of God myself. And I am putting it out there for you too, but it is up to you what you do with it. I have discharged my responsibility, you must decide how you will respond. Are you going to enter the fire? Either way, the consequences are yours.
28 The Joshua generation will be careful to always seek counsel from God before making decisions.
It is dangerous for us to do things here on earth (going to and fro) without first having been in heaven. We must not do it.
‘So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD. Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them’ (Joshua 9:14-15).
They made a covenant with a people who tricked them, who pretended not to be inhabitants of the land, but to have come from a long way off. And Joshua did not lift up his eyes into the heavens to see. This covenant with the Gibeonites was a problem for Israel for generations to come. They made a covenant with the enemy, because they did not seek God first.
We must not make decisions based on what looks right. Looks can be deceiving. We cannot trust our natural eyes: we need to see in the realms of the spirit if we are to make right decisions. That will keep us safe.
29 The Joshua generation will put the enemy under their feet.
The enemy here is not people. We do not put people under our feet. We do not tread all over people. We do not tread people down. We honour and respect people. We bring people from captivity into freedom. That means we do cast out demons, we do demolish strongholds, we deal with a spiritual reality which is beyond what we see in the natural. We need to see the giants defeated, and the dragons, and all the other principalities and powers and rulers in those dark realms. So we have to put the enemy under our feet.
In this passage, the kings represent those rulers in the heavenly realms:
‘When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came near and put their feet on their necks. Joshua then said to them, “Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the LORD will do to all your enemies with whom you fight”’ (Joshua 10:24-25).
Through the power and victory of the cross, Jesus made a public spectacle of all the demonic realms, and they are no longer in authority. We have authority over them. We may not yet have taken proper hold of that authority, but we are beginning to do so.
We have to rule over them, and put the rulers in those realms under our feet.
30 The Joshua generation will operate in great signs and wonders.
‘Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar?’ (Joshua 10:12-13a).
A supernatural event: time stood still. It gave them opportunity to defeat their enemy.
(The book of Jashar mentioned here, by the way, was removed from the canon of scripture by the Nicene Council, operating under the authority of the Emperor Constantine. He did not want any of this stuff to be known, because he did not want ordinary believers to know they could rule. He wanted to rule, through the pastors in the church whom he paid; and that gave rise to the institutional structure that we still have to see dismantled today. Get the CD, as Ian Clayton says – he did a whole session on that. They tried and failed to get 1 and 2 Peter thrown out too, and the book of Jude (which says some very interesting things you don’t find elsewhere in scripture). Those books talk about entering these realms, about operating in authority and power in the heavenlies. But there are a whole lot of books that used to be regarded as scripture which did get thrown out, and are now not in our canon because the enemy did not want them there).
‘And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel’ (Joshua 10:13b-14).
Come Up Here – Bringing Heaven To Earth
Posted on January 11, 2013
Mike Parsons -
Over the past few posts we have looked at the first 20 characteristics of the Joshua generation. Before embarking on the other 20, this week I just want to explore something I have hinted at before but not really opened up fully with you.
Remember how the Moses generation failed to enter in? They came out of Egypt but turned back instead of entering the Promised Land. The reason their mistakes are recorded in scripture is so that we can learn from them.
‘For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come’ (1 Cor 10:1-11).
The Moses generation did not cross over into their Promised Land because of what they saw they would have to face: giants. Will we cross over into ours? The Joshua generation are going to equip a harvest of a billion labourers, equip them in the supernatural, to bring heaven to earth. Those billion are just the harvesters, who will eventually bring in the full and final harvest at the end of the age. There will need to be that many of them because the battle is going to become more and more intense, as light comes into the darkness, challenges it, and overcomes it. Those harvesters are the Jesus generation, the ones who will see Him return.
Some of those reading this will be of the Joshua generation and some of the Jesus generation; I hope no-one reading this is of the Moses generation – I do not want you to stay in the wilderness.
So here we are. God is outworking His purposes, and the ends of the ages have come: we need revelation from Him if we are to engage with how things are in the heavenly realms and bring them into the earthly realms. That is what it means when we pray ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. It is up to us to bring heaven to the earth.
The Joshua generation will be forerunners who have spied out the land. What we may not have realised fully up to now is that our Promised Land is not only about earthly things. To operate in the fullness of the kingdom, we need to operate in heavenly as well as earthly realms. Some of our spying out will be done in the realms of earth, but some will be in the realms of heaven.
God offered Moses’ generation the land of promise, but the vast majority of them said, ‘We can’t go in’. And earlier in their journeying, He had been willing for the whole nation to meet with Him on the mountaintop, but they were afraid of the thunder and lightning, the fire and the smoke, so they said to Moses, ‘You go, and tell us what God says. We can’t go in’.
In the same way God offers us all access to the heavenly realms now, because Jesus has opened them up for us – that is what was signified by the veil of the temple being torn in two at the moment of His death. His purpose is that we can experience everything He intends for us. Like the children of Israel, though, many are saying ‘We can’t go in’.
The kingdom of God is about government, about authority, about rulership. God wants us to learn how to rule in our own lives, and how to rule in the realms of the spirit to bring heaven to earth. We need to learn how to lead and equip the Jesus generation to possess the land of promise. The Hebrew word for ‘possess’ means ‘to inherit by seizing, dispossessing and become heirs’. We were made as spirit beings, to have access to the spiritual realms. When Adam was first created, he had access to the heavenly realms. There was nothing to stop him. Only sin caused him to lose that access. The glory that he was clothed with was removed. Let me put it like this: it is as if a bandwidth of revelation was removed from him, so he could no longer see into the things which were of a higher bandwidth – the realms of heaven.
Now, everything about God’s kingdom has a beginning and an end, but the beginning and the end are always the same. That is why Hebrew thinking is always circular, not linear like Greek thinking. Linear thinking speaks about layers of heavens – first heaven, second heaven, third heaven – but the heavenly realms are not really that way at all. They are dimensions of authority. It may have seemed simpler to our western minds to express it as first/second/third, but it has been misleading. We read ‘third heaven’ in Paul’s writings and leap to the conclusion that there must at least be layers below that of a ‘first’ and ‘second’ heaven. Hebrew thinking implies no such thing.
For God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, it will involve us fulfilling Adam’s mandate: to rule in the spirit realm and by so doing to influence the natural realm. When we fulfil that mandate, we will see God’s glory fill the earth (Num 14:21).
We have to have experience of operating in the heavenly realms ourselves if we are to bring other people into it, and that is what God is doing amongst His people right now. He is opening things up so that we can gain that access, and begin to operate in two realms, earthly and heavenly. We learn to rule in heavenly realms, and then we bring that rule to bear down here.
Before we can rule in this realm, we need to operate in authority in heavenly places.
Perhaps I could put it like this: we have to go up and down before we can go to and fro. The trouble is, we have tried to bring heaven down while standing in the earthly realms. That is why we have been beaten up so much by the enemy: we have been trying to come against the spiritual forces of wickedness and darkness with the earthly dimension of authority we have here. We need to bring heavenly authority in order to defeat them. It is a different dimension of authority. To exercise heavenly authority we need to go up, and bring heaven down with us.
On the island of Patmos, in the spirit, John heard a voice saying ‘Come up here’ (Rev 4:1). That voice is still speaking to us today. Do you hear it?