101. Filthy Garments and Festal Robes

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

The kingdom of God is all around us. Not separate, not a long way away. So close that we can turn and look into it.

So, too, is the kingdom that is in darkness.

Which will we draw from?

Depending on where we look, that is where we will draw our resources from. Our spirit has access to the kingdom which is in light. God wants us to access all that He has for us in that kingdom and to draw all our power and authority from it every day, so that we can overcome.

Which way to turn?

If we do not, we will inevitably draw our resources from the other kingdom. The soul and the flesh will look to meet their own needs in their own way, and will look to obtain their resources from the kingdom that is in darkness.

Every time we try to do something in our own strength, according to our soul power, it will ultimately prove unsuccessful. We have to get over the fact that we can do nothing in our own strength. So we can turn and engage the kingdom of light or we can turn into the kingdom in darkness. It is a choice we all have, but co-operating with God is much more productive than resisting Him.

God’s desire was for Adam and Eve to be successful in carrying out His plan for them and for the earth. So He made available to them everything they needed to fill the earth and subdue it. They chose to look for resources elsewhere, and failed to fulfil their destiny.

“The Lord rebuke you, Satan”

We have looked briefly before at Zechariah 3, and it is a really important chapter in understanding this:

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the Lord was standing by (Zech 3:1-7).

This scene is set, not on the earth, but in the heavenly realms. Joshua was a man, a priest just as we are, and he had access to the presence of God. But Satan was there to accuse him. So we understand that we are looking at a courtroom in heaven, because courtrooms are where accusations are made and verdicts delivered.

It is God, not Joshua, who deals with Satan here.The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan!”. So if there are accusations against us it is God who will deal with them.

Filthy garments

Notice that Joshua was ‘clothed with filthy garments’. Surely you cannot come into the presence of God wearing filthy garments? Actually that is exactly what you must do: He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.”

God does the cleansing and cleaning up. We do not have to try to make ourselves clean in our own strength, by our own effort and initiative. That is just what Adam did when he messed up. He hid from God in the bushes and tried to cover himself with leaves. It does not work, and it is not our place to clean ourselves up. There is no need to feel guilty or condemned, or try to make amends for our sin in our own strength.

We just have to come into the presence of God, and He takes all the filthy garments off us and gives us a new robe.

Run to Him, not from Him

Now this all sounds very familiar, I know. But what we have maybe not realised before now is where this takes place. It takes place in the realms of heaven. That is why it is so important for us to access the heavenly realms: we can get clean every time we go in there, and when we are clean, we are confident to exercise the authority that God has given us and see the enemy defeated. If we feel guilty and condemned because of the accusations brought against us, then we lose our confidence, and are unlikely to overcome. So when we mess up – and we all do – we can step into the place of God’s presence. We can run to Him, not from Him.

He will deal with the accusations against us. He rebukes Satan. He does so because the blood of Jesus is constantly before Him as a testimony of what Jesus did on the cross. He took every single sin that any one of us has ever committed, every thought, every deed, every action, every omission. Everything. Jesus took the punishment in our place so that we do not have to suffer it.

When we go and take the bread and the wine in communion, we are partaking of the life of God, His very essence, His DNA, and we are transformed. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin and all our iniquity is done away with.

One of the enemy’s favourite tactics is to make us believe that we cannot come to God because we have sinned, whereas in fact it is the very thing that we need to do, and as quickly as we possibly can, to receive God’s forgiveness and His cleansing.

If you confess your sin, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  ‘Faithful’ means that He will always do it. He will ‘clothe [us] with festal robes’ (Zech 3:4).

 Free access to stand 

We will never enjoy our free access to the realms of heaven if we think we have to be worthy. The enemy will always tell us we are unworthy. That is how he operates. We need to know the truth, because then we find the promise:

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 service, 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).

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