By Terry Somerville
A Paper on The Restoration of God's Purpose
God's People and God's Power in The Church


It has been supposed by many that the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation represents the church in our own age. "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art luke warm and neither cold not hot I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor , and blind, and naked:" Rev. 3:15-17 Whether or not Laodicea forecasts a modern dispensation, we are somehow aware of our similarity. We are alarmed at the rising tide of evil sweeping the land. We feel stirred deeply in our spirit to cry to the Lord for revival and change. Movements such as Vision 2000 are challenging the church to rise to the need of the hour. We know a great turning back to God is the answer, we hope for a day of tremendous evangelism, signs and wonders. Much effort is being made to produce this, but a great burden grips me and others. We are being entirely too superficial. What is needed is great repentance in the church.


It is time for the church in Canada to recognize a clear biblical pattern: that the corporate sin of God's people results in corporate and even national judgement. Refering to the Old Testament St. Paul said: " ...they drank from the supernatural rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ. Never the less with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things are warnings to us not to desire evil as they did... these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction..." (1 Cor. 10:4-6,11) I have read the prophets many times, but then God opened my eyes to see the obvious. The difficulties of Israel and Judah, even the attacks of the enemy were not the problem, God had allowed these afflictions, and even sent them to stir his people to repent. The issue wasn't an "unrighteous king", for the people had unrighteously asked for a king. The issue wasn't (spiritual) warfare to break the power of the enemy, for God had given the enemy jurisdiction! The issue was repentance. How often we have quoted the most well known revival scripture and left out the first half of the sentence. I have shown this to some Christians and they are often incredulous. "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face , and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land." (1 Chron. 7:13,14 ) It is clear that the affliction on the land is from God, and the solution is repentance. Without going into detail I would suggest the biblical pattern we see is that God's grace and restoration is poured upon a righteous generation. Grace continues into the next generation. Even though it may be a wicked generation God gives grace to lead to repentance. Eventually the Lord relents and allows affliction and wicked government. He sends preachers and prophets to call His people to faithfulness, and declare His intent. If there is yet no response the Lord eventually allows captivity. This is essentially the message of every biblical prophet.


I pray that the Holy Spirit may convince us of the finality of this issue. We are afraid to take hold of it. Canada's pain and Canada's restoration rests squarely on the shoulders of the body of Christ. God will surely restore the land if He finds us to be Holy vessels He can flow through. Nothing is impossible to Him. It is not our evangelism and programs he needs, but vessels He can fill and overflow. But if we close our hearts, captivity will just as surely come. That is why it is repeated to us in Hebrews: "Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." (Heb. 3:7,15, 4:7) Is there significant sin in the church? The two main areas God dealt with in Israel were immorality, and idolatry. Again and again the Lord pleaded with them to repent, but they did not. In fact they could not see it, they listened to the prophets of blessing. They practiced syncretism and worshipped other Gods alongside Jehova and could not see the sin in it. "Thus says the Lord God, "Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!" Your prophets have been like foxes among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord."...Because , yea, because they have misled my people, saying "peace" when there is no peace; and because when the people build a wall these prophets daub it with whitewash." (Ez. 13:3-6,10) There is immorality named among us, in pastors and leaders in the church. Many incidents have come and gone and been tolerated. It is time for corporate repentance. Even worse, perhaps, has been the idolatry in church and ministry. We cannot even see it. In Ezekiel 14:7 God condemned those who took idols into their hearts. In the New Testament covetousness is idolatry. (Eph. 5:5; Col.3:5)


A few years ago the Holy Spirit confronted me and showed me I had taken idols into my heart. I served an image of ministry and church in my heart. The image was one of success, a large church, the power of God. I couldn't see the sin in it until the Lord showed me how I served this image through my own efforts, agendas, and methods. He showed me that I had adopted the "practices of the people round about", just as Israel did. Then the Lord showed me how I responded whenever the ministry failed to live up to the image. My flesh served the idol with depression, envy, and competition. As the Lord unveiled my heart He showed me my image of a home, and the image of what I coveted my wife to be. Then the Lord told me I must smash each image, and come to a complete inward death. As I smashed these images in prayer a deep shudder went through me. I knew there was a significant cleansing of this temple going on. I presented myself to Jesus as a living sacrifice. While I knew I was to put to death what was earthly within me, I also knew that only He could bring to reality my death with Christ. What followed was three years of painful dying to every hope of success until one day I found myself on the floor crying "I am dead, I am dead. This calling is yours, Oh God only you can answer it in me, I can't. The ministry is yours, only you can minister through me, I can't. The church is yours, do what you want, my efforts are wood , hay and stubble. I'm dead." O dear God how we need to be broken, humble and repentant of our idols. How I am grieved when I hear of some new program to awaken the church or land. It seems like we've forgotten that the Spirit of God is well able to do it all with mighty power. He will awaken the people, fill the church, perform signs and wonders, turn back the tide of wickedness, and set captives free. We must become desperate enough to repent. Repentance leads to cleansing. Cleansing leads to holiness. Holiness leads to usefulness. "If anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work." 2 Tim.2:21


There are many things God is restoring to the church in these days, but holiness is the foundation of them all. Holiness opens the way for the fulness of God's presence. By holiness I do not simply mean forgiveness and cleansing in the blood of Jesus, though anything that is holy is cleansed this way. By holiness I mean the distinction of things called out, dedicated and separated unto God. In the old dispensation the temple (or tabernacle), the priests, and the ark (the presence) were distinctly holy in this way. A major portion of the Old Testament is devoted to the regulations concerning holiness. Every major restoration and revival of the Old Testament was concerned with restoring integrity and holiness in these areas. What is God saying to us today since these things are written for our instruction? Hebrews chapters nine and ten tell us that these are but shadows of the heavenly and spiritual realities. The New Testament distinguishes three major areas of holiness corresponding to the old dispensation.


"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys (defiles) God's temple , God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy and that temple you are." 1 Cor 3:16,17 So much New Testament instruction is dedicated to keeping our temple free from defilement. We lift holy hands, take a wife in holiness, speak holy speech.


"like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ... But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. "1 Peter 2 :5,9 We are called out as a Royal priesthood. This priesthood is through Jesus and after the order of Melchizedek rather than Aaron. This means we are priests of righteousness and peace, rather than the law. We are called to minister to the Lord by worship and sacrifice in the inner room of our heart and mind. We are Royally related to Jesus and are to rule and reign with Him in life. Praise God! We have not begun to comprehend all that we are set apart for in spiritual worship and sacrifice.


The third area of holiness in the New Testament is the Holy Spirit. Like the ark, this concerns the Holy presence of God in our midst. As the Shekina Glory was above the ark in the Most Holy Place, the Holy Spirit dwells in our born again spirit, which is our innermost self. " is the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God" Romans 8:16 "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" 1 Cor 3:16 Just as the priests were to carefully handle the ark, we are given commands on how to handle the presence of the Holy Spirit. We are to be careful not to grieve or resist Him or even sin against Him. Oh how we have missed this. We've taken His presence lightly, even made merchandise of His power. Who has not been guilty of this? God help us. Restore to us what is Holy.


Our need is to truly see what is Holy and what is defiled. We need the salve for our eyes that we may see, along with white garments of His righteousness and the true riches purified by fire. (Rev. 3:18) We hardly see our defilement. This was the very thing the prophet Haggai prophesied saying God's intention was to restore the former glory and exceed its splendor! How does holiness and defilement pass on? Here is a lesson for us. "If one carries holy flesh in the skirt of his garment and touches with his skirt bread or wine, or pottage or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?"The priests answered "no".Then said Haggai,"If one who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these does it become unclean?" The priests answered "it does become unclean." Then Haggai said "So it is with this people and with this nation before me, says the LORD; and so with every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean." Haggai 2:12,13 Simply put, defilement spreads by contact, holiness does not. Holiness comes from God via cleansing and dedication. Sin, unclean things and idolatry lead to defilement. Some sins led to the death penalty, immorality for instance. Other sins required cleansing and a period of separation from the presence of God. Some objects could never be cleansed or were dedicated to destruction. Jericho for instance or unclean creatures. Yet other kinds of defilement were permitted, with separation from God and cleansing for a period of time. Burying a dead relative for instance.


God is restoring our sensitivity to what is holy and what is defiled. We all contact that dead relative, our flesh, from time to time. That is allowed, but do we notice how a period of separation and cleansing follows? It does. But defilement is all around. God is calling us to guard our eye gates and our ear gates and admit nothing unclean into our temple. We turn on the television and our spirit says no. We watch a program anyway and wonder why our fellowship with God is broken for a while. We've been defiled. We set our mind on unclean things with the same effect. We are occupied with vain imaginations, the vile images portrayed on the walls of our temple. (See Ez.8) The root of bitterness has sprung up and many are defiled. (Heb. 12:15) Filthy dreamers have defiled the flesh.(Jude 8) We have not paid attention to the temple and priesthood we are. Should there be any doubt here is what God said was the result. "Now therefore says the LORD of hosts, consider how you have fared. You have sown much and have harvested little, you eat but you never have enough, you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourself, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put them into a bag with holes. Thus says the LORD of hosts, consider how you have fared. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house that I may take pleasure in it, and that I may appear in my glory says the LORD. You have looked for much, and lo it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while you busy yourself each with his own house." Haggai 1:5-9 What a description of church in Canada. Yet what God wants to do is very like He did in Solomon's time, when everything in the temple and priesthood was in order. "the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the Glory of the Lord filled the house of God." 2 Chron 5:13,14 "Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of body and spirit and make holiness perfect in the fear of God." 2 Cor.7:1


To bring the restoration I've been speaking of there has been an unusual move of the Spirit in the last few years. God has been setting His people free from deep inner wounds and bondage that hold us to patterns of sin. This freedom enables us to walk in holiness. This has been particularly focused on the restoration of the heart especially in father - child relationships. This has increased to powerful visitations of the Spirit with physical manifestations. Prophetically this has been characterized as the "Spirit and power of Elijah" and fits with the call to repentance. " Behold I will send Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse." Malachi 4:5,6 The purpose of the restoration is clear, to spare the land from judgement. John the Baptist carried out this ministry in preparation for the first coming of the Lord (Matt.11:10) He gave a clear call to make straight paths for the Lord. "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand... prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight...bear fruit that befits repentance." Matt. 3:2,3,8 The outpouring of the spirit, at times such as this, is to sift out and gather what is His. Increased discernment between holiness and defilement is part of this sifting. "He will baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire and His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into His granary, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. " Matt. 4:11,12 A conspicuous increase in the office of prophet has been called forth with the spirit and power of Elijah. God is declaring His plan for His people, and calling them to come into line with it. (Some definitions of prophet have been very unsatisfying since they are based in foretelling or power rather than the ministry, which is always restoration and preparation. Any predictions involve what God will do if they respond, and what He will do if they don't respond. Miracles only attest to the message and aren't the sign of a prophet.) While the ministry being carried out today demonstrates similarities with John the baptist, it also will have the characteristics of Elijah's ministry. Elijah confronted Jezebel and Baal, and restored the true worship and priesthood to the land. This is what the lord is doing today. The Jezebel spirit is the major strongman opposing restoration of true worship and those with a prophetic call will have experienced its wrath. What are it's characteristics?

The JEZEBEL Spirit

1. Just as Jezebel dominated her husband King Ahab without taking his place, so the spirit of Jezebel tries to control rather than displace leaders. The mark of the spirit of Jezebel is control. 2. Just as Jezebel set up false worship through the prophets and priests of Baal, so the spirit of Jezebel is a religious spirit which empowers counterfeit prophecy and worship. There is a counterfeit spiritual power moving through the church today that looks like the real thing, but it has the power of witchcraft on it. The people in Elijahs time could not discern which was true and which was counterfeit. 3. Just as Jezebel killed the prophets and priests of God, so the spirit of Jezebel opposes men of the Spirit, prophets and true worship. It will greatly restrict freedom of the Spirit and cause religious domination. 4. Just as God sent a great draught upon the land in Jezebels time, so God may send a spiritual draught upon a church dominated by the spirit of Jezebel. 5. Just as Elijah had great despair after great victory so those with prophetic callings will find they must battle severe depression and hopelessness after they confront this spirit. 6. Just as Jezebel made Eunuchs of the men around her, so the spirit of Jezebel will make impotent the men of God dominated and serving this spirit. Their gifts will cease to flow. This spirit also drives the homosexual and lesbian - feminist perversion. 7. Just as God raised up Jehu through words from the prophet, and rid the land of Jezebel and her religion, so todays prophets will speak forth callings and anointings upon those God will use to break the power of this spirit in the church.


Understandably such spiritual warfare has drawn increased attention. Part of restoration is that the "strongman" is overthrown and his goods are plundered. Those with discernment of spirits ask how we are to resist something like the spirit of Jezebel, and the territorial spirits that dominated their areas. Several major positions have emerged:


1. Christian Have ALL power over Satan

"Behold I have given you power over all the power of the enemy." Luke 10:19 Those of us who have prayed in this realm know there is a problem. It doesn't always work. There seem to be levels where the authority is simply there and the enemy is thrown out, and other levels where the enemy does not move, or even retaliates. This has led to another position, that says we don't do territorial warfare only personal deliverance.

2. Christians Don't Engage In Territorial Warfare

On the face of it this is unscriptural but even major church leaders are denying Ephesians 6 and saying we do NOT wrestle with powers and principalities. What is going on? Until a few years ago I was committed to the first position and believed our need was simply more vigorous prayer. Then as I experienced the tremendous breaking and death experience I described earlier, I discerned that God had given the enemy authority to break me. Like Job I was helpless before the demonic assaults which had definite limits. I could not understand. Then God showed me my idols, and brought me to repentance. He showed me in scripture how He gives the enemy authority when His people are in sin. In short, the key issue in spiritual warfare is not power, but jurisdiction, and God decides that.


"For in Him were all things created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or principalities or authorities, all were created through Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16 "...there is no authority except from God and those that exist have been instituted by God." Rom. 13:1 This does not mean we are passive in spiritual warfare, but that we war within our jurisdiction. How often we have practiced this in personal level ministry. When a Christian refuses to turn from some sin we are not surprised that a demon has authority over that area of their life. If they repent, they are easily set free. The same thing is true of territorial spirits. The Hebrews entering the promised land is a good model for us. For instance, up until the Exodus, the Caananites and their gods had jurisdiction in Caanan. God had given it the land to their ancestors mentioned in Genesis. Then God said to Moses they were to go up and posses the land for He was casting them out because of their idolatry and giving it to the Hebrews . "When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Caanan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places; and you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess." Numbers 33:51-53 God had given them jurisdiction saying "I have given you the land". There was definitely warfare, and as long as the people walked with God they had victory. The jursdiction slipped at Ai because of Achan's sin, then after repentance and cleansing it was restored. God specifically identified people in the land over whom they had no jurisdiction, even though they were idolators. As God's people drifted into unfaithfulness, God allowed the enemy to come against them and gain jurisdiction over them. How did they respond? They responded "religiously". Instead of repentance they would do all sorts of things, they even though the authority resided in the ark itself. What a picture of spiritual warfare today. He has said he has given us power over all the power of the enemy. He has commanded us to go into all the world. But our efforts meet with great failure. Our jurisdiction has slipped. . How have we responded? We've gotten religious! Christian politics, pressure groups, programs, and even warfare prayer groups are getting no where. It is so much effort without authority. We need spiritual jurisdiction in our homes, churches and country. This is why men like John Knox prayed "Give me Scotland or I'll die." He was praying for spiritual jurisdiction. God has said He wants to pour out revival in Canada The key to jurisdiction is our relationship to God. We must repent. We must turn. We must be holy and restored. Jesus must actually be Lord of the church. Then we will receive jurisdiction. Then the enemy will flee. Then revival will pour onto this country like a river of fire.


Revival is surely coming. It is written on the hearts of Christians by the Holy Spirit. What will it be like? Again we have the shadow of these heavenly things demonstrated in the Old Testament. When God's temple is prepared, and His priesthood is serving in worship and sacrifice and all is sanctified, then the fire of God comes down. " came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offer and the sacrifices and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD'S house." 2 Chron. 7:1,2 We are His temple, we are His priesthood. Revival will flow when His Spirit is poured out upon us. What effect does this have in the land? A few years ago God directed me to Ezekiel 47 in a dream. "Then he brought me back to the door of the temple and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple...and water was coming out on the south side. Going on eastward with a line in his hand the man measured a thousand cubits, he led me through the water; and it was ankle deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water and it was knee deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was up to the loins. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river I could not pass through, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me "Son of man, have you seen this?" Then he led me back upon the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw upon the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me "This water flows toward the easter region, and goes down into the Arabah, and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, for this water flows there that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the sea; from En-gedi to En-eglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets, it's fish will be very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing." Ezekiel 47:1-12 The Lord showed me that this is a picture of the revival we will see. The river of life will flow from his throne (Rev. 22) in the midst of His people. We are His temple. This river will pour forth into the land, the more it flows, the deeper it will be. As it flows it will transform the desert places and bring life. The spiritual wastelands will bloom with life. The sea represents the multitudes that will no longer be stagnant but team with life in every kind of race and ethnic group. Nets will be set and sweep souls into the kingdom. Wherever the river flows there will be life, and fresh fruit of the spirit in every season.


We know that this outpouring will be great beyond compare. The Holy Spirit tells us again and again that it will be beyond our comprehension. He has also shown many of us that the church in Canada is in the balance. There must be great repentance and restoration or there will be judgement and captivity come on the land. Counterfeit signs and wonders and apparent spiritual awakening will come as the enemy tires to sidetrack the saints from repentance and restoration. God is allowing this to bring forth what is His in preparation for this outpouring. Just as the ark was returned to Israel, so God will be conspicuously present with great rejoicing. We must be careful not to mishandle the glory of the Lord as the priests did the ark. We must not engineer some contrivance to handle it. He will not come on our cart and let us walk along beside it. He will strike down all presumption. We,the priests, are called to be under the presence and the anointing of the Lord. We are under His under influence at all time.. God is calling every believer to be a fountain of living water from God. But we are not like that. "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and hewed out cisterns for themselves. Broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jer.2:13 Let us forsake our man made cisterns, with all our running about seeking to fill the leaky vessel. We are called to bubble and over flow. We must come to the plumbline, of the word of God and the blood of Jesus. We must live with Jesus as Lord of all and cease from our labors. The church is His, our calling is His, our ministries are His. Salvation is His, healing is His. He alone is worthy, He alone is the minister, He alone receives the glory. Jesus is taking back His church and making us His temple, His fountain,His priesthood, His bride, His church.
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