Monday, January 4, 2010

APOSTOLIC GRACE AND GOD'S VEHICLE FOR VICTORY

It is a great honor for me to share with you a series of postings this week from Don Atkin's Global Communion E-Letter. Don is a man who exemplifies servant leadership in every way... truly a trustworthy "father" in the faith. Today we'll begin with Don's opening article, Apostolic Grace and God's Vehicle for Victory:

“Equippers are those who come from beneath as servants to increase the
capacity of the believers to bring glory to God wherever they are so that the
Body of Christ can manifest the Head in the world. They care more about those
they are equipping and how they are manifesting their God-given destiny than
they do about their personal public ministry.”—Paul Hunter


It is na├»ve to believe—even hope—that an individual believer, or even a group of believers can storm
the gates of hell and achieve victory. No amount of personal or individual “revival” will usher in the kingdom
on a global scale that God intends. We can learn from the word picture that Ezekiel prophetically
provides for us:

God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with
bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.

He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Master God, only you know that.”

He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’”

God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come
to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you.
You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”

I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound, and, oh, rustling! The
bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on
the bones, then skin stretched over them. But, they had no breath in them.

He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says,
Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’’” So I prophesied,
just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on
their feet, a huge army.

Then God said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.” - Ezekiel 37:1-11a TM

New Covenant “eyes” help to clarify this picture for us.

Get the order: (1) prophesy, (2) bone to bone, (3) sinews, (4) muscles, (5) skin, (6) breath of
God, and (7) great army. Entire (holy) nation included. A great model for every locality!

Writing to the (one) church in Ephesus, Paul reminded them that we do not wrestle against
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness
of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). To the
(one) church in Corinth he wrote: Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the
flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down
strongholds (II Corinthians 10:3-4).

The gates of hell are stronger than individuals, denominated groups and “non-denominated”
sects. Demonic forces are organized by principalities, geo-political spheres. Daniel wrote:
The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days . . . The prince of Greece
will come (Daniel 10:13, 20).

A divided, humanly-structured church cannot overcome a united and structured enemy. It will
be the united church in each locality that will successfully storm the gates, bringing victory to
the church and liberty to the captive people and lands.

Apostolic grace will equip and release God’s vehicle for victory,
the united and glorious church in each geo-political sphere.


I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us. The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the
revealing of the sons of God. - Romans 8:18-19

Christ in (all of) you (together), (is) the hope of glory. - Colossians 1:27

Jesus prayed, “The glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as
We are one . . . That the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as
You have loved Me.” - John 17:22-23

Knowing, then, the will of God for His church, and understanding that—just as the enemies of
God are structured by localities (principalities)—our hope of victory rests within the body of
Christ where we live, let us consider in more detail this prophecy of Ezekiel:

1. SEE THAT THE BONES ARE BLEACHED AND DRY!
Scattered, bleached and dry, the body of Christ is presently a dismembered man
strewn across the face of the earth. To acknowledge that this is true is the first step
toward dominion. Not only is the heart of our Father broken, His purpose (to fill the
earth with His government and glory) is frustrated and stalled. None of us fully knows
what it will be like to be fitly joined and included in spiritually-inspired and mutually
edifying relationships. We have hardly tasted of the age which is to come.

2. PROPHESY OVER THE BONES!
The word of God is alive and powerful. The initial “breath” of God TO US brings us to a
living awareness of our need for Him and for one another. Fractured factions severely
hinder the coming forth of victorious kingdom reality that is to be experienced in and among
all followers of Jesus. Our message is the good news of the kingdom of God—here and
now—for those who yield to the absolute lordship of Jesus Christ, to the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).


3. THE BONES COME TOGETHER!
Drawn together by our response to the living prophetic Word, we acknowledge that there is one body and one Spirit, just as you
were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all,
and in you all (Ephesians 4:4-6). God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. - I Corinthians 12:18

4. GOD CONNECTS US—BONE TO BONE!
Speaking the truth in love, (we) may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body is joined
and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causing
growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. - Ephesians 4:15-16

5. GOD STRENGTHENS US!
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. They go from strength to strength. - Psalm 84:5, 7 He
said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in
my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - II Corinthians 12:9

6. GOD PUTS SKIN ON US!
We are so eager to initiate our ideas about paradigms, venues. We want to invent contemporary “wineskins” that are competitive in
the marketplace of consumer Christianity. Even as Jesus’ earthly body was His “skin” (His Spirit is the “wine.”), His body on
the earth is His “skin—wineskin” today. All else is a distraction that subverts His order and delays the fullness of His kingdom.

7. GOD BREATHES HIS LIFE INTO US!
He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds.
Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’’” So I prophesied, just as He commanded me. The breath entered
(INTO) them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army. Then God said to me, “Son of man, these bones
are the whole house of Israel.” - Ezekiel 37:9-11a TM

The global church is one body, and is to be manifested in each locality (geo-political sphere; city/region) in unity. This huge global
army—the whole house of Israel—is to bring God’s government to bear and to fill the earth with His glory.

God is creating something totally new (a new creation), a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—His chosen
people. - Galatians 6:16 TM God’s kingdom will be . . . handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. - Matthew 21:43 TM

God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what He is building. - Ephesians 2:19 TM

Paul exemplifies apostolic grace that is meant to bring the body of Christ together. God’s vehicle for victory, the united and
glorious church in your region, will be manifested as a result of such equipping grace. The demons tremble in fear of that day.

Here is a prophetic panorama for your encouragement:

War broke out in heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for
Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan,
the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth. Then I heard
a strong voice out of Heaven saying,

“Salvation and power are established! Kingdom of God, authority of His Messiah! The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown
out, who accused them day and night before God. They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ. So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
but doom to earth and sea, for the Devil’s come down on you with both feet; he’s had a great fall; he’s wild and raging with anger; he
hasn’t much time and he knows it.” - Revelation 12: 7-12 TM

Can you see what Ezekiel saw?

Will you pray for the dry bones to come together, to be positioned for the breath of God?

Will you join your heart with other believers and be a part of God’s great army, living out a kingdom life—together?




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