97. Image-Bearers of the Heavenly

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

For some time now, the church has been at that point in God’s Prophetic Timetable which is characterised by the coming of fire, refining and purifying; the gathering and removing of stumbling blocks from the church and from our lives. It is not an easy time. Those stumbling blocks can be idols, they can be other things – and even people – that are hindering the flow of God’s kingdom. The gathering angels are here, to see if we are willing to open up our hearts and allow them to be removed from our lives. We can co-operate, or not: but it will be less painful if we do.

Raising up of a Joshua Generation

This time is also characterised by the raising up of a Joshua Generation, a people of a different spirit, a generation of people who will inherit the land and bring another generation in with them. Joshua and Caleb brought a whole new generation into a physical, geographical land, and also into a new spiritual land. We have spent some time looking at 40 Characteristics of the Joshua Generation on this blog, and it is important for us to know if we are called to be part of that generation.

That is where we are now. But we know that what God is calling us to do is to move forward. Refining, purifying, coming into the furnace of God’s Presence: that is all preparation for moving on with God.

Refiner’s fire

“And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant .. behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness (Mal 3:1-3).

God wants to prepare us, that we may be the offering of the Lord. A refiner’s fire gets pretty hot: the melting point of gold is around 1064°C (1945°F). As the heat is maintained, the impurities come to the surface and can be scooped off. If you are experiencing this, you will know exactly what we are talking about – when something comes to the surface in your life, you have a choice: you can allow God to remove it, or you can just push it all back under again. The trouble is, until you allow God to remove it, it will just keep on coming back to the surface. And the very worst thing you can do, if you want to fulfil your destiny in God, is get out of the fire.

When gold is really pure, the surface is like a mirror. It gives an absolutely perfect reflection. And God wants us to reflect Him, so that others see Him in us. But during that process we need to know that God is with us in it.

We open our door to Him, He opens His door to us

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20).

In other words, He is offering us an intimate relationship with Him in which He will reveal Himself to us and we will be close to Him. And a few verses later:

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, He said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”  Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne (Rev 4:1).

As we surrender our lives to God; as we open up our lives to the lordship of Jesus (and submit to the process of refining), He opens up the door into the heavenly realms for us to engage and ‘Come up here’. Some people have been translated physically, I know, but for most of us it will be a spiritual experience, and that is what we have been looking at on this blog in recent posts.

With practice we can learn to turn into that realm of heaven, because it is ‘at hand’ – or as close to us as if we put our hand in front of our face. We step in, and we step out of the heavenly realms. When we step back out, we bring with us what is there and manifest it here. That is what we understand by Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10). Jesus Himself brought the kingdom, and the will of God, as it is in heaven, to the earth – and He intends his disciples to do the same. If we are to bring heaven to earth, we have to access heaven – and the door is open.

Bear the image of the heavenly

As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Cor 15:48-49).

Just as we were born in an earthly body, now we have been born again and our spirit is now active and alive to God. So we will now bear the image of the heavenly. We need to be bearing the image of the things that are going on in the heavenlies, and outworking them here on the earth. God is opening up the door for us to engage with the heavenly realms, so that we can both see and reflect what is going on.

Through the church… in the heavenly places

…and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph 3:9-11).

There is so much more to God than we can even imagine. He is infinite and eternal. And there is so much that He is revealing today which has not been revealed before. He is opening the realms of heaven so that His people can see. That manifold, multi-faceted, wisdom of God is to be made known through the church – through us – to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

That kingdom which is in darkness – it, too, is that close to us. We are not to draw from it, but we are to manifest the manifold wisdom and authority of God to its rulers and authorities in heavenly places. This was always His intention :

This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord (v11).

Adam was to have enjoyed free access to the heavenly realms, but he chose a different path. In Christ, that access is now restored to us.

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6 thoughts on “97. Image-Bearers of the Heavenly

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