with Jeremy Westcott –
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.
The Moses generation
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).
A billion labourers
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.
On earth as it is in heaven
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.
Operate in authority
Before we can rule in this realm, we need to operate in authority in heavenly places.
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?
Are you part of the Joshua Generation who will lead people into their inheritance and encourage them to do the same for others?
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Soundtrack: Come Away – Jesus Culture (via You Tube).