The Ministry in Scotland.
Now I thought that was the end. I thought, “Well, we’ve come over to do this”. I had another conference in Hove near Brighton and another conference up in Edinburgh in Scotland but I thought these would be kind of anticlimactic. We went down to Hove where we were expecting two or three hundred. Well we had 1300 and some tremendous ministry there.
Then we went up to Edinburgh. When we got to Edinburgh the fellow sponsoring the conference was already a little frightened because he was a denominationalist. The first two or three days were a bit edgy, but about the fourth day it began to break. The next to the last night, I had another one of those strange things happen to me. All through the message I felt God nudging me in one direction. I sensed a spiritual thrust to speak with vehemence into the spiritual condition in Scotland. It seemed to be one of those anointed “outbursts” which was responded to by the audience in the form of a congregational cry to God for a visitation of spiritual power to that nation.
The next night the church was filled and the Word of God was received with a deep awareness that something was transpiring which was larger than the confines of the building. I can hardly wait to go back next year because I’m a Scot.
Let me share a story that happened before the Dales Bible Week in Harrogate. In June we had two days in Glasgow with a young minister. Now I didn’t have any idea who he was. The trip had been arranged for us, and when Ruth and I arrived, we were driven to a Presbyterian church where I met this young minister. Now it was one of the few hot nights we had. Last year it was 106 degrees so Ruth and I took 106 degree clothing over this year and almost froze to death. Anyway it was a very warm night and when I walked in, he had his clericals on but no jacket. I was carrying my jacket and he said; “You’ll not need that”. I thought, “I don’t know if I want to go into a Presbyterian pulpit in shirt sleeves. He at least had a clerical collar! But he assured me that it would be all right. And it was. We had one tremendous meeting. The second one was even better and as he followed me off the platform he said, “We’ve never heard this before! You’ve got to come back. We’ll get a marquee. We’ll do this; we’ll do that”. Well when the time came for the Dales Bible Week at Harrogate, Ruth and I both felt this young Scottish minister and his wife should be there. I said to the coordinator of the conference; “I want that Scottish fellow to come down”. He said, “I’ll phone him”. When he phoned, he said that he couldn’t come down because he’d already taken his vacation and he had no money. We told him, “You never mind the money. If you can get permission from your elders, come on down”. Well a miracle happened in his own life to start him off. He needed £60 to come down from Glasgow to Harrogate. By the time he was ready to go, various people came to him and handed him £96 each of them saying, “We feel you ought to go down to the Dales Bible Week”. So he and his wife came down.
We he came unglued; but the beautiful thing was that his wife who had tended to be rather reserved came unglued too. Up in Glasgow I had gotten a polite handshake from her, but at the Dales when she hugged me, I couldn’t believe it was that same woman. Ruth said, “That girl is absolutely transformed”. The first Sunday night after they returned home, the leader of the conference phoned him and said, “How did you get along?”. His reply was enthusiastic as he told one of his leading elders receiving the Baptism in his car during the week he was in Harrogate and the first Sunday morning back in his church, nine had received the baptism in the Spirit. He was filled with holy enthusiasm and he was looking forward to a conference we want to plan in Glasgow next year.
I want you to pray for these people. I’ve never come away from a nation still carrying it on my heart like I’ve come away from Scotland and England. The last night we were in Edinburgh, the minister’s wife came to me and said, “It’s wonderful but I’m frightened”. And I knew what she meant. Some of us who have been trusting God outside of denominational attachments for years have forgotten what it means to suddenly realise that all you have is God. That may sound odd but if you’re well into a movement or a denomination and suddenly … well this couple had no alternative; it was very clear that they had to leave. As this minister’s wife opened up her heart, Ruth took her in her arms and really ministered love to both of them after the meeting and told them the brothers in England would be up to support them. In fact they’ve already appointed brothers to go up and minister life and strength into Scotland.
When we got back to have our final evaluation meetings with the leaders, they said that already people were phoning from all over Scotland and some from Wales saying, “We don’t know what’s going on but we want to get in on it”.
Seeing Our Responsibility.
It’s my sincere belief that God did something this summer in England and Scotland. I believe all of that was a manifestation of God’s intention to confirm His Word that Jesus Christ is Lord and He’s not going to take backchat any longer. I believe governments are going to be increasingly in trouble because God is on their case. Jesus Christ the Lord is calling them to account and I believe you’re going to see government after government in trouble. Now that puts a tremendous burden on us. If we as the redeemed community cannot put it together and offer them an alternative, it will be the greatest cosmic failure of all eternal history. But I think we’re going to put it together.
I’d just like to end by noting four things by way of evaluation. I don’t know how much this will relate to you but I know it relates to them.
God is not renewing; God is restoring. I know that raises the blood pressure for some people, but I don’t believe God is going to renew a whole lot of old things. I believe He’s bringing into being a brand new thing. It’s not unrelated to the past but it’s a brand new thing. I believe that the coming restoration is based on strong foundations. I believe God is taking us back again to the matter of personal foundations and corporate foundations and building according to God. For “except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build”. (PS 127:1). I think that there is a restoration of the supernatural not only in the apostolic planting of churches in virgin territory but also of the gifts of the Spirit in the redeemed community – not primarily for the redeemed community but as the supernatural dynamic for outreach to touch the world around us.
I’m 100% for relationship and commitment and submission and shepherding, but I think that if we become so introverted that we don’t realise the intensity of our relationship is for the purpose of being able to go out shoulder to shoulder to lay hands on the world and heal them and cast their demons out, deliver them, set them free, then we’ve missed the real plan of God. So I believe that in restoration there must be a restoration of foundations and a return to the supernatural as the norm.
2. Covenant Commitment.
I believe that there has to be covenant commitment. The only places Ruth and I ran into problems on our England trip was where we had gone at the behest of the brothers who’d asked us if we’d mind going even though they were not committed people. Both places we had problems. I don’t believe that you can enter into marriage saying, “Now look I’m going to spend most of my time with you. But there may be a few times when I’d like to date someone else”. I don’t think either a man or a woman would sign that kind of covenant.
I believe we also must recognise that covenant commitment is basic to taking Zion. David would not receive men who would not enter into commitment with him in covenant. They had to be able to say to David, “Our heart is as your heart”. And they said it by the Spirit of God. It was only when David brought the nation into covenant at Hebron that he was able to go up and put the Jebusites off the heights of Zion and establish the city of God. I believe I saw in Great Britain an intensity of relationship functioning on a level that made it possible for God to do what He did.
3. Spiritual Warfare.
Through recent experiences I have a new respect for Satan. I haven’t reverted to any of the flippant frivolous references to Satan that I’m afraid I was guilty of using in the past. Satan is a very powerful created being who was once the head angel under God. By pride he fell. And in the permissive will of God, for many reasons – one of which is to make you and me dependent on God’s power to deal with all of his minions – you and I cannot laugh him off. He is a well-organised power. His kingdom is well organised. Jesus paid him a compliment when He said Satan wouldn’t cast out his own because a kingdom divided against itself will fall. Satan’s not that stupid.
I believe that we have got to recognise that you and I individually cannot handle the corporate kingdom of Satan. One a one to one basis every believer can handle a demon but when it comes to kingdom to kingdom basis, we’re only going to take on his kingdom as a kingdom ourselves. In fact I have run across a few stories in the last few months where people felt strong enough to take over powers bigger than themselves and almost got themselves killed. The Bible says, “Two are better than one”. Don’t go playing hero. I will not personally come against one of the deputies of Satan. I am not that stupid. I did it once and almost got myself killed. I think God let me learn that lesson. When we take on a principality or power we’d better have our armour on, we’d better have our heart right; we’d better have our right shoes on our feet. And that just isn’t individuals; that’s corporately because all the pronouns in the Ephesians 6 are plural pronouns.
Our problems in America and in the world are not basically human problems. They are problems that are manipulated by satanic powers and if the redeemed community will become the mature man in the earth and will start to deal with them corporate to corporate, we will emerge victorious.
Furthermore the one thing I said to the men as I left England was this, “Brothers I believe we had a tremendous meeting in Harrogate. But when Jesus met Satan in the wilderness and defeated him, Satan departed for a little season. This warfare is unceasing. I want you to go back to your responsibilities and realise that he’s going to confront you. But based on what we did at Harrogate as a responsible representation of the redeemed community in Great Britain, let us believe that his power has been broken. But let us continue warfare with his deputies and his underlings and the demons that are holding men enthralled. Let’s start to believe that we can spoil his goods. Take Bath, take Exeter, take Brighton, take every town. Don’t think in terms of getting a little bigger congregation. Think in terms of bringing God’s government into your community”.
4. Victory Orientated.
Finally we need to be victory orientated. Do you know what I mean by that? I am not interested in the fact that when we left England, all the bakes in England were going on strike. I’m not interested in the fact that there were riots in the streets. It was just like all hell broke loose. Even though that’s to be expected, I am not interested in a pessimistic orientation. I believe Jesus Christ must reign until He’s made His enemies His footstool. It’s God’s purpose to have the sceptre or rod of His authority go out of Zion.
Now you can’t spiritualise Zion in one place and naturalise it in another. If we have to come to Mount Zion and Mount Zion is the symbol of the redeemed community then the sceptre of God’s reigning power is to come from us. You’ve got to expand your vision. You’ve got to change your mind and your perspective and start to think victoriously because the destiny of nations lies with you. The responsibility for God’s plan for the world lies in our hands. We’re the people and we’re His Body. Hallelujah!