New Wine for New Wineskins March 2011

By , March 6, 2011 1:14 pm

historytodestinylogoThe Kingdom of Heaven in 2011

Part 1

2 There remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance. 3 Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers has given you?
(Joshua 18: 2 – 4)

Let me ask a simple question.  Where does this scripture pIace the responsibility for failure to possess the land? I meet a lot of people who according to what they say seem to think that they can operate contrary to God’s Word and yet still accomplish his will.  Lest we suffer under a similar delusion / deception and fall prey to the same spirit of unbelief it is time to study the methodology of the kingdom….

Firstly, we need to familiarise ourselves with God’s original plan for the earth because he never deviates from that plan regardless of how many generations of people fail to walk in it.  He continues to believe even if people don’t.  He believes in his ability to save, to heal, to deliver, to prosper, etc even if people don’t!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Planet Earth would be an insignificant blob in the universe if it hadn’t been singled out by the LORD for a very specific purpose.  Scripture tells us that the heavens are God’s throne and the earth is his footstool.  The Lord has obviously always had a very special plan for the earth, because Scripture also tells us that we worship at his footstool.  The heavens declare the glory of God and so there is always supposed to be a response from the earth that acknowledges his glory!

Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 give us some insight into the pre-human history of the earth, with an account of the rise and fall of the original worship leader, and an explanation of why the earth is described in Genesis 1:2 as a formless, chaotic mess, a worthless thing, a place of emptiness and desolation, a scene of disorder and confusion.  But God had a plan and a purpose for the earth that could not be thwarted and so he spoke into the darkness and said, “Let there be light”, and there was light!

And so began the restoration of his plan to populate the earth with a worshipping people who would colonise the earth and influence the earth with heaven’s culture!  The first Adam blew it, and so the LORD started again with Noah.  There was a betrayal in Noah’s family, that intoduced a curse and so later on the LORD found Abraham and started again with him.

Remember – the LORD said to Abraham, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to take possession of it.”

The LORD told Abraham:

Genesis 12: 1 – 3

1 … “Get out of your country,  from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

The LORD was telling him that his descendants would invade the earth with the culture of heaven – with the blessing of Almighty God!  We know the checkered history of God’s old covenant people, but then the second Adam – the Lord Jesus Christ – came and announced the arrival of the kingdom of heaven in the earth.  Since then there has been a commission given to everyone who is born again into that kingdom to advance the plan of God by colonising the earth and influencing it with kingdom culture.

This was never supposed to be about religion, but about the government of heaven being established in the earth.  Every kingdom desires to extend its influence.  A perfect example is the British Empire – the largest empire in history.  At one point it covered 13,000,000 square miles – almost a quarter of the Earth’s entire land area, and governed a quarter of the world’s population.  Not bad for a tiny little nation.  Much of the world still experiences its cultural influence and a number of countries – including Canada and Australia – still have the Queen’s head on their currency.  What most people might not know is that in many of the countries that made up the empire the advance parties were Christian missionaries preaching the gospel of the kingdom!

From a tiny beginning in the garden of Eden Adam was commissioned to extend the influence of heaven across the earth.  Then, from the only son of an impotent and barren woman God promised that the influence of heaven would be a blessing to all nations.  From tiny beginnings in a Jewish backwater the influence of heaven has spread all over the earth as Jesus is building his church.  And it’s not over yet!  God’s plan and purpose have never changed!  Let’s look at a prophetic picture of how it’s to be accomplished!

Joshua 1

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Moses brought the people the word of the LORD and the promises of the LORD but the word of the LORD and the promises of the LORD on their own are not sufficient – the people must obey the word and believe the promises!  If one generation fail to obey and access all that God has promised, he doesn’t change his word to accommodate their unbelief – he restates the same word and the same promises to the next generation!  That is why this episode in Israel’s history still stands as an example for us of how to take the land that has been given to us!

In verse 6 it is clear that even though the LORD swore to give the previous generation the land they never took it!  There is so much that the LORD has sworn to give us – but we must take it! The LORD makes his will and purpose very clear and emphasises the reality of his continual presence – but still the fulfilment of his will and purpose is dependent upon people accepting personal responsibility!

He says to be strong, to be of good courage, and He says, do not be afraid, do not be dismayed because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go!  You have to go – believing that you are strong and of good courage and that have no need to be afraid or dismayed because the LORD your God is with you!  He knows that fear and discouragement are a reality, and that without his presence we have a lot to be afraid of and to be discouraged about.  But HE IS WITH US!

Remember – it is essential that we walk through the four basic steps to personal transformation – information > meditation > revelation > transformation if we are to succeed!

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’”

Prepare provisions for yourselves!  Be ready to cross over and possess the land the LORD is giving you to possess!  I have heard people say things like, “If the LORD wants me to be baptised in the Spirit and to speak in tongues then he will give it to me…”  or “If the LORD wants me to be healed he will heal me…”  The LORD has already given these things to all of us but we must take them!  The LORD has given us everything but we must possess it!  Things are not just going to fall into our laps while we fail to step out in faith and obedience to appropriate all that has been given to us!  Jesus told five hundred people to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit but only one hundred and twenty of them were in the right place at the right time!  We have to position ourselves according to God’s word – aligning ourselves with his throne – if we are going to receive the fulness of our inheritance!  God gave us faith for a reason – so that we could reach out and take what is ours!  Sitting passively waiting for things to come to us is not going to work!  Praying that our Father would give us our daily bread and then not taking what he has provided doesn’t make a lot of sense!  Religion never makes sense!

Matthew 11: 12

12 …the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

The LORD has been telling us for years that the glory is here!  As the song reminds us:

The glory is here, the glory is here, I can sense his mighty presence in the very atmosphere, So whatever you may need, just reach out and receive, and say, “It’s mine – I take it now!”

12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’

REMEMBER – this is the basis of covenant!  Don’t lose sight of what the LORD has previously said and done but the work isn’t over until all of the LORD’s people have been established in the “rest of faith” and have possessed their inheritance!

14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15 until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

We cannot fully enjoy our inheritance until all of our brethren are established because it’s not just about us!  I keep getting into trouble because I just can’t FORGET all of the good people of God who are still falling short of their full inheritance! We must be diligent to ensure that all of our brethren are established in the rest of faith and have taken possession of their land!  We are not in competition to take the land – we all have a share!  This is about what the LORD is doing in our generation! We are not here to compete but to complete!

16 So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”

Your kingdom come and your will be done!  The just shall live by faith and so it goes without saying that even the just shall die if they rebel against the command of King Jesus and do not heed his words!

We have been trained and equipped to live by faith and possess our personal inheritance but it is not just about us and so it is important that we move on into the fullness of our role as those who will assist others in taking their land!

5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I stated earlier how important it is to walk through the steps to personal transformation, but now it is time to walk through the steps to community transformation!


It is time for us to take responsibility for reaching those who have no knowledge or understanding of the fullness of the extent of their inheritance.  We must get back into the gospels and absorb all of the information that applies to our reaching out beyond our own lives and impacting the lives of others.  Jesus gave us a new commandment – to love one another – to love our neighbours with the same dedication and commitment that we love ourselves!  He said we were to treat others the way that we would like them to treat us!


Just receiving information is not enough in itself – it must be retained and chewed over if it is going to produce.

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

In Hebrew thought, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them in a soft, droning sound, while utterly abandoning outside distractions and focusing on communion with God.


The fruit of meditation is revelation.  Revelation is the difference between head knowledge and knowing that you know that you know.  It is the difference between mental assent and knowing that the word of God is alive and will truly do what it claims!  Too much of the word has been assigned to the mystery bin when God delights in revealing mysteries to those who pursue his kingdom and his will!

1 Corinthians 2: 9 – 12

9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.


Motivation is defined as the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Revelation makes us accountable!  When we know what we should do and don’t do it then it is sin!  Sin is doing what we know we shouldn’t do, but it is also not doing what we know we should do!  What are the things freely given us by God?  Healing, cleansing, resurrection life, freedom!  Freely we have received and so we are to freely give!  Why?  Because it’s not just about us!  Remember – go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood – community – and tell them that the kingdom is here.  Heal the sick, touch the untouchables, raise the dead, kick out the demons!  You have been treated generously, so live generously! (Matthew 10: 7 – 8, The Message)

Hebrews 11: 7a

7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear

Matthew 9: 36

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.


Application is defined as the action of putting something into operation.

Motivation always results in application.  Our faith is activated, energised, and put to work by love.  Faith that does not have corresponding action is dead faith!

Hebrews 11: 7b

Noah…prepared an ark for the saving of his household

Matthew 14: 14;  Mark 1: 41

And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick…Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”


When we step out in faith – motivated by loving obedience and compassion – there is always a supernatural manifestation of the presence and power of God!

John 14: 12, 21

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father…….21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”


Where Jesus is salvation is, healing is, deliverance is.  It is power that has been missing for too long in the church’s testimony and experience.  Without the power we have the words without the works!  Remember – it is the word of his power!  Make sure it is his word that you are speaking!

Mark 16: 20

20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

1 Corinthians 2: 4 – 5

4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.


When we align ourselves with the throne of God the kingdom of heaven can invade the earth.  When Joshua and the people stepped out in faith and obedience and followed the LORD’s strategy they experienced supernatural victory.  They discovered that the inhabitants of the land were already in fear of them because of what they had heard the LORD had done for them.  When Jesus’ disciples got back on track and went out in faith and obedience preaching the gospel of the kingdom the LORD confirmed their message with supernatural miracles that got the attention of the people and caused the kingdom of darkness to tremble! And it will be the same with us!  But it all starts with how we think!

Romans 12: 2

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

If we think that the LORD will do everything while we sit and wait then we are thinking wrong!  He has already done everything and given everything and so it is now our responsibility to take what he has given and go possess the land as transformed agents of transformation!  The church has gone too long without the power of God and so it has had little to distinguish it from the world or other religions.  It has been reduced to making do with results that are little better than what the world could have achieved.

When we step out in obedience and faith we discover that our God comes to invade the impossible  with his presence and his power and those who were previously indifferent to an ineffective  powerless church are now brought to the point of decision as they cannot deny the supernatural power that has confronted them!  They might still make the wrong choice but they cannot remain indifferent.

It is time for our communities to be transformed!  Will you rise to the challenge and TAKE THE LAND?


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