Five-Fold Today - Harps and Bowls - The Kingdom Coming in Power - Increase and Acceleration - Birthing a New Era in the Church - Thinking Like Jesus

June 28, 2000


James W. Tharp

And as He took the scroll, the twenty-four Elders fell down before the Lamb, each with a harp and golden vials filled with incense -- the prayers of God's people! (Rev. 5:8, TLB)

Then another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; and a great quantity of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God's people, to offer upon the golden altar before the throne. And the perfume of the incense mixed with prayers ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. Then the angel filled the censer with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed and rumbled, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake. Then the seven angels with the the seven trumpets prepared to blow their mighty blasts. (Rev. 8:3-6, TLB)

As we turn to the book of Revelation in these times, we all need to be reminded of a classic observation on this final book of the Old Testament made by Dr. Jack W. Hayford in his new work, E Quake, "the book of Revelation will never make sense as a collection of prophecies until it is approached as a handbook on worship!" (p. 11).

In Revelation Five, John saw "in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals." While the search was on for someone "worthy" to open the scroll, John wept much, "because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and to break its seven seals." (v. 4).

The scroll symbolizes the will of God for the complete sweep of human history, His perfect plan of redemption, healing and restoration of the human race to its true destiny, His purpose for all of creation as revealed in the birth, life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is why no one was found worthy to open the scroll and break its seals. But finally, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, "stood a Lamb as though it had been slain (One who had the marks of the cross, having suffered for sin, having removed the curse of Satan and having triumphed forever over evil). The arrival of the Lamb to execute the will of God in judgment on the earth and eviction of all sin and darkness in the opening of the scroll and the breaking of the seven seals reminds us that Jesus Christ is the One and Only Person in all the human race whom God has appointed Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and Judge (Acts 17:31) and Perpetual Ruler (Isa. 9:6-7; Col. 1:13-20).

We need at this time to observe carefully what the twenty-four elders were holding as they worshiped the Lamb who was about to break the seals on the scroll: they had harps and bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints (v. 8). Harps are instruments of worship, of healing, of freedom, of power, of praise, of deliverance. In the early days of their relationship, when a distressing spirit would come upon King Saul, David would play the harp and the distressing spirit would depart from him (I Sam. 16:23). So today, praise and prayer are mighty forces. Our praises must precede the actions of the Lamb. When we are filled with praise, the Lord goes into action, and it's only a matter of time before the will and purposes of God are recovered in our lives, in our ministries, in our churches, in our families and in our world.

Let us note that at the very outset of the judgment process, before the breaking of the first seal, "the golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" are brought forth as a critical focus for the Lamb (5:8). Then comes a solemn pause at the opening of the seventh seal -- "silence in heaven for about half an hour" (Rev. 8:1). This breathtaking apprehension is expressed as a dreadful silence before the apocalyptic finale. All celestial beings are hushed in solemn respect of the powerful prayers of the saints who have prayed the will of God to pass across the ages of history, as the Just One Himself pauses to decide to what extent such intercession must prevail and determine the outcome of all things. Notice that the angel "was given much incense, that he would offer it with the prayers of all the saints... The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand" (8:3-4). Wesley Duewel sees this "fragrant incense" as the intercessions of Christ. He writes, "His fragrant intercession is added to the prayers of God's children for God's kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth. Fire from the altar, symbolic of the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, is added to the combined prayers of Jesus and His saints, and all is poured out upon the earth. Immediately there follows the seven trumpets as outlined in the subsequent chapters of Revelation. These awesome demonstrations of God's power work dramatically to speed the accomplishment of God's will on earth and the total defeat of Satan "(Touch The World through Prayer, pp. 223-224).

What is the nature of those prayers that are received and stored in heaven, which have such powerful effects on the outcome of all things? How do they differ from the prayers that never make their way into the eternal records? They are prayers prayed in the revelation and energy and boldness of the Holy Spirit. They are prayers prayed in the will of God and for His glory. They are Kingdom-advancing prayers. The apostle James wrote about prayers that are not answered, "because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures" (4:3). Jesus rebuked Peter, James and John for prayers that were never prayed due to their slumbering spirit (Mark 14:32-39).

Jesus taught that the secret to a successful prayer life lies in one's relationship with the Holy Spirit. Christians who are cleansed and filled with the Spirit can learn to "pray in the Spirit" (Eph. 6:18; Jude 20) -- they are enlightened so that they can pray according to the will of God, they are energized so that they do not faint, and they are emboldened in faith so that they will not be denied. Only those who pray in the power of the Holy Spirit can prevail in prayer. And it is in prevailing prayer that we realize our purpose for being. Through prevailing prayer we advance the Kingdom of God on earth and lay up priceless treasures in the world to come.

Without a doubt we are now entering into one of the greatest prayer awakenings in the history of the Church. I've never known so many believers to say, "I know that God has called me to devote myself to prayer!" It should become the concern of each one of us that we personally hear the Spirit's call to prayer with an ear that is tuned by Him, with a heart that is purified by Him. Otherwise we will never understand that the call to prevailing prayer is an invitation by the Spirit to come and share the heart of the Father and the Son. It is a call to fulfil our destiny through prayer. God would have us see that Spirit-anointed prayer is His way of bringing about His will in the Church and in the world, and in our personal lives. The Holy Spirit yearns to possess us more completely in order that He might pray through us more powerfully.

I beg each one of us to surrender to this growing urge in our hearts to learn more about the will of God through Spirit-anointed prayer. If we are where I think we are in the lateness of time, then the Spirit of prayer and supplication is about to be poured out on the Church of Jesus Christ on an unprecedented scale. Churches that participate in the Great Awakening will be turned into "Houses of Prayer." Prayer Centers will spring up in every major city in the world. And there people will pray "day and night" (perpetually) as they are energized and inspired and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Imagine a hundred thousand Christians in a hundred thousand cities around the world praying day and night at the same time! Such a phenomenal movement alone will turn the tide of evil and bring back the King to destroy the works of darkness and enthrone the Lamb Who is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!

-- James W. Tharp, Editor

The Christian Renewal Journal

Submitted by the Diggers

The Kingdom Coming in Power
by Rev. Edwin Stube

The time is fast approaching when we will experience a full manifestation of the glory of God and the fulness of His reign in power. Jesus told His disciples, in the hearing of a larger group of people: There are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power. This amazing statement is quoted in all three of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, and Luke 9:27) and is immediately followed by the account of Jesus' transfiguration on the mountain; and then, upon the descent from the mountain, the healing of the epileptic boy. This series of events presents a two-fold promise: the promise of entering into the glory of God and that of knowing the power of the Kingdom in its fulness.

The transfiguration of Jesus represents a partial fulfillment of the first part of this promise: the manifestation of God's glory. Jesus here is presented as Who He really is, the King of glory, dazzlingly bright and radiant with the glory of the Father. On His descent from the mountain, Jesus was confronted with an epileptic boy who had been brought to the disciples for healing. Jesus' ability to set him free, when the disciples could not, was a manifestation of the power and authority of the Kingdom. This represented a partial fulfillment of the second part of the promise.

Both the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain and the manifestation of the power of His Kingship were linked with the death and resurrection of Jesus. As Jesus prepared to go to His death in Jerusalem, He said, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" (John 12:23). The sacrifice of Christ as well as His resurrection are manifestations of the Kingdom. Jesus also said, "I have authority to lay down My life, and authority to take it up again" (John 10:18).

Although the promise was made publicly, only three of Jesus' closest disciples were chosen for the ascent of the mountain. Even they were not able fully to look upon the transfigured Jesus because they were cowering in fear.. The sight was more than they could take. In fact, Jesus knew that no one then living would be able to comprehend the momentous revelation given on the mountain, because He told the disciples not to speak of what they had experienced until after His resurrection.

The glory and the manifestation of the Kingdom in power are the inheritance of those who know the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. They have died with Christ and have risen with Him. They know the suffering of His Cross that they may know the joy of His resurrection. The death and the resurrection of Jesus are the key to seeing His glory. For those who have entered into the resurrection life of Jesus, not only is it possible to look on the glory, but to share in that glory. In Jesus' High Priestly prayer recorded in John 17, Jesus prayed for us that we would be one with Him in His glorification. In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul affirms that: The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another. 2 Corinthians 3:17, 18 RSV. The Greek word metamorphoometha, which is here translated "changed," is from the same root as that used in the Matthew and Mark account of Jesus' transfiguration which is translated "transfigured."

Now, as then, the Lord chooses those who are living in the closest possible relationship with Him to receive the manifestation of His glory. These are allowed to enter with Jesus into the most intimate fellowship with His heavenly Father. What could not be fully grasped by those three disciples on the mountain is available to those who know experientially His resurrection life. The time is here for the Lord to bring us fully into His presence on His Holy Mountain to behold the King in His glory and to be transformed into His likeness.

Experiencing the Kingdom in power is contingent upon prayer and faith. When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not deliver the epileptic boy, He stressed the need for prayer. He no doubt referred to the kind of prayer that the disciples had just seen Him do on the mountain. Entrance into the presence of the glory of God on the Mountain is a prerequisite for the manifestation of His power in the valley. Jesus chided the disciples for their inadequate faith. Faith to minister in the power of the Spirit requires a close enough relationship with Him so that we can hear His specific instructions in every situation and then say and do exactly what He tells us. John quoted Jesus as saying that, if we ask anything according to His will, He will do it. Hearing instructions is the prerequisite. Obedience is faith in action.

Clearly, Jesus' promises of seeing the glory and the manifestation of the Kingdom in power are available for us now and not just for the time when they were given nor are they for some remote time in the future. This is the hour for which the whole creation groans as in travail, awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8:18,23). Who are the sons of God? Jesus, the pattern Son, was made perfect through suffering that He might bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10). All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14).

The Lord is calling us to go up His Holy Mountain with Jesus to gaze with unveiled face upon His glory, to enter into His glorious presence, to be clothed with glory as Jesus was. From there, we will descend into the valleys and deserts of the world to manifest His glory, and to minister the love and the power of Jesus for the restoration and fulfillment of His purposes in this earth. How will we respond to God's call in this hour?

Rev. Edwin Stube


Doug Fortune

These are days of INCREASE and ACCELERATION! Have I not said that of the INCREASE of My government there shall be NO end? These are days of ACCELERATION, for I am bringing the 'kairos' appointed time to bear upon the 'chronos' natural time... I am bringing a maturity in My chosen that is beyond natural years. For I WILL have a people through whom I can manifest the FULLNESS of My glory... I am birthing them into the earth even now!

These are they which are truly born FROM ABOVE, born FROM Christ, and Christ born IN THEM. These are Life-giving Spirits, birthed of the Seed of Christ, the Man-Child that will bring My government to bear in the earth. Have I not decreed that the kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of the Lord and His Christ? And shall I not gather all things together in Christ? Have I spoken, and shall it not come to pass? Indeed, I AM sounding forth the trumpet throughout the earth, releasing the substance of that which I shall bring to pass. I AM watching over My prophetic spoken purpose to bring it to consummation.

Shall I not have a MAN in My image and likeness?... and shall that MAN not rule the nations? YES!... the MAN Christ Jesus, of whom many members fitly joined together make up the Body, under the Headship of My Begotten Son. For I am bringing MANY sons to manifest the glory of the Father through the Son.

Is this a thing too hard for Me?... am I not able to consummate the seemingly impossible? Indeed, it IS My purpose and plan from the beginning, and I AM accomplishing that which I have purposed! I am causing an acceleration of strategic events, strategic revelation, and strategic joinings that are releasing the spiritual substance necessary for the advancement and ultimate dominion of My Kingdom in the earth. I have decreed it, I have set it in motion, and no man can stop My purpose from manifesting in the earth.

Set your face toward INCREASE and rest in the ACCELERATION that I am effecting, for this shall NOT be by YOUR power or might, but by MY Spirit in MY zeal through you! The FULLNESS of 'kairos' time is coming to bear as I fill all in all, consummated in Christ. (given through Doug Fortune)

Birthing a New Era in the Church

Jim Wies

I have been intrigued with the story from 1 Samuel chapter 1 about how it came to pass that the prophet Samuel was born. The story involves a woman named Hannah who got desperate enough for a blessing from God that she persevered until God gave her a breakthrough. Let's look at the woman whose dissatisfaction brought to birth a whole new era in the history of Israel. 1 Sam 1:4-5 "And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering,... to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb."

Here we find a very interesting concept. Scripture tells us God himself has closed up her womb. God had "set her up" to become a desperate seeker. Hannah serves here as a picture of many in the church today; dry, hungry, desperate seekers. And God LOVES desperate seekers. In fact, God's words to Solomon shows us that God himself will create drought, just to get people desperate and thirsty for Him. "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chr 7:13-14

This was the condition with Hannah, and she got more and more desperate as time when by.. "So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that {her rival} provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?" 1 Sam 1:7,8

We need to realize God wanted to bless Hannah with a son who would be a great prophetic voice to the nation. But what God had to do was bring Hannah into a state of desperation and commitment to His purposes. And so it is today, God is making us hungry and thirsty for more of His plans and purposes to be released - TO PREPARE A GENERATION FOR GOD'S NEXT MOVE! Historically - it is in the darkest hour that revival is released. Meanwhile, there is the ever present danger of believing we have arrived when there is a whole lot more God intends to do in and though His church in these last days. He is looking for desperate, hungry seekers. Heb 11:6 states plainly.. "He {God} is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." One man put it this way, "until my shadow is healing the sick, I know there is more!" God wants to keep us depending on Him, needing Him, seeking Him.... placing a demand upon Him, so He will supply.

Hannah's desperation drove her to seek God. It was enough to cause her to cry out in fasting and prayer. Verse 10 says; "And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish." She put a demand upon the power of God and wouldn't let go. It became more important to her than her food. So often our problem is we are like children eating candy before supper, satiating our appetite on lesser things, consuming empty substitutes and replacing our hunger for God.

So Hannah would not be satisfied by anything but an answer from God. Hungry for God... Desperate for God... When we get hungry enough we will pray. When we begin to experience hunger and thirst for more, we are being set up for moving forward.

So what happened next? She prayed, but look what else happened. "Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!" 1 Sam 1:13,14 Those who are desperate for God will often be miss-understood by the religious status quo. They will be criticized for being fanatics, for acting peculiar, for pursuing God at all costs. But she persisted and when she had further explained herself, Eli spoke a word from God that He had heard her petition. (vs.15-17) And thus Samuel was born. Samuel, who would hear God's voice even as a child. Samuel, who would establish a school of the prophets. Samuel, who would anoint two kings.

Israel was forever changed because someone got hungry enough, desperate enough, willing to cry out to God, and was willing to persevere to bring to birth the plans and purposes of God, even as King David would write many years later; "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." Ps 42:1-2

Submitted by the Diggers


Homer Owen

King David had a desire to be like His creator in his journey here on earth and if we are to ever find true peace and joy we must have a desire to be like Jesus. Jesus told His disciples that He was just like his Father and when they saw Jesus they were seeing the Father. Jesus is the Word of God and our attitude towards the Word will have a vital effect on our walk.

"The Word of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The instruction of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether....Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalms 19:7-10,14)

I had lunch with two of my sons yesterday and we were talking about raising children and the need to train them. Robert has six children and Mark has four and it is a joy to watch these children being trained by Godly parents. If we are not real careful as parents we will only discipline our children and not spend the time that is required to train them.

Discipline is laying down the law and making sure they obey. Training is giving instruction and then showing how to do what is needed to produce a desired result. Discipline is certainly required but discipline alone produces children that will figure a way around the law.

If we so desire the Holy Spirit will train us to be like Jesus. He will take of Jesus and give Him unto us. If you will notice the passage out of Psalm 19 that David talks about the fear of the Lord as being clean or wholesome, but the rest of this passage talks about the Word as his teacher and the effect it has on us. The Lord wants us to know Him as a friend that has come to deliver us from this present evil age. This is where we need His instruction and grace and mercy.

The wonderful good news for us is that if we are willing to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, He will do what is needed to change us and to give us the mind of Christ. "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2)

Our spiritual service of worship is giving ourselves to a loving God asking Him to train us in His ways and causing us to function in His great Kingdom. This is coming to you from Homer Owen.
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