Revelation Study/Getaway Weekend!

Bible, beach, babes.

This past weekend, I attended a mini women’s retreat with a few ladies from my church. We went to a friend’s condo in Oceanside, CA, and spent the weekend walking on the beach, talking, praying, and studying the Bible together. It was a truly special and memorable weekend!

I was asked to prepare a few teachings on the book of Revelation, and so was another woman, named Lynn. Revelation probably isn’t the topic I would have chosen for a women’s retreat (I mean, isn’t Song of Solomon and Proverbs 31 more typical fare for these kinds of things? I’ve actually never been to a women’s retreat before.) but these ladies were really hungry to know what the Word says about this crucial area of understanding– the end times and the return of Jesus.

I admit to being nervous about the teaching. Lynn planned to also teach on Revelation, but from the opposite eschatological perspective. Whereas I believe that the events of Revelation are still to come (the futurist/historical premillennialist view), she believes that most of the events were fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (the partial preterist/amillennialist view). I really wasn’t sure what form those discussions would take, and even though I’ve studied several different eschatological views, I was really nervous about being able to represent my beliefs well in this kind of situation.

As it turned out, everything went very smoothly. I was amazed at the unity and fellowship that God brought. Several of the ladies got deeply touched by the Father, and we all felt very encouraged. I came to love and respect Lynn very much; she is extremely kind, wise, and hungry for God and His truth. Her wisdom as we candidly discussed different life situations and world issues was invaluable. She has spent years studying Revelation, sometimes for 10-15 hours each week, while being a wife and homeschooling mom. I was deeply provoked by her determination to search out truth for herself, as well as the way she prioritised relationship over debating. That’s a woman who loves Jesus and loves people very well indeed!

I also noticed several themes that we both shared as we were teaching:

  1. Revelation is meant to be understood by all believers, not only the theologically elite.
  2. Revelation becomes clear as we let Scripture interpret Scripture.
  3. Revelation is the revelation OF JESUS CHRIST (Rev. 1:1) – it’s the story of His heart.
  4. Revelation isn’t meant to be fearful- it’s a story of hope and courage for the Church.
  5. Revelation is at its core the story of a jealous God of love, not an angry, trigger-happy God of smitage*.
  6. Revelation sees the Church come into full maturity as the Bride finally looks like Jesus.
  7. Revelation ends with God’s Kingdom being fully established and His Bride being with Him forever.

I also had volunteered to lead worship (I brought my little keyboard and set it up on the kitchen table), and it was such a privilege to glorify the Lord through song with these ladies and invite the Holy Spirit into our midst. God brought a supernatural unity as we fellowshipped, studied, worshipped, and prayed.

Here are the notes from my Revelation teachings this weekend. I’m also adding the timelines from IHOPKC that I used and gave the ladies with the session 1 notes. Many more study resources can be found at MikeBickle.org and IHOPKC.org.

Session 1 – Themes and Structure
Session 2 – Bridegroom, King, and Judge
Session 3 – Jesus’ Second Coming
IHOPKC Revelation timeline

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*Don’t go looking for that word in any theological dictionary. You won’t find it.

Download: Partnering with God in Intercession teaching

Intercession for instaDuring my last week at home in California, I was invited to speak at a four-hour prayer event held at Grace Awakening Ministries church in Hesperia in partnership with Desert House of Prayer in Barstow, where I spoke last summer. I spoke on partnering with God in intercession, emphasising Jesus as our eternal intercessor and high priest, and His desire for us to be a people who would agree with Him in prayer for His purposes on the earth.

This church was hosting this sacred assembly together with DHOP to simply cry out for the Holy Spirit to move in their region. They also spent some time focusing on praying for Israel, recognising the importance of the Church joining with Jesus’ desire that His own people would come to know Him. They were short a worship leader and were going to just play the IHOPKC webstream for an hour, but luckily with my externship experience I was able to jump up on the keyboard with no preparation and lead an hour of devotional worship. (Live worship is almost always preferable, no matter the skill level!)

One of my favourite things about ministry is the opportunity to travel and see what God’s doing in churches and prayer rooms all over the place. I’d never been to this church in Hesperia before, but as soon as I walked in the room it felt like family. I love the way prayer unifies us as a Body!

As with most of my previous teachings, I have both the audio and the outline of my teaching available below!

MP3 teaching – Partnering with God in Intercession teaching 1-11-16

PDF notes – Partnering with God in Intercession teaching notes

Download: The Beauty of Jesus Teaching

teaching 2 for insta

He is not glistening white marble. He is the playfulness of creation, scandal and utter goodness, the generosity of the ocean and the ferocity of a thunderstorm; he is cunning as a snake and gentle as a whisper; the gladness of sunshine and the humility of a thirty-mile walk by foot on a dirt road. Reclining at a meal, laughing with friends, and then going to the cross.

This is what we mean when we say Jesus is beautiful.

Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge

 

A few weeks ago before I finished my externship at The Prayer Room DFW, I presented another short teaching to a few of the staff. I taught on the beauty of Jesus, and although I could never hope to encapsulate all that means in one 20 minute teaching, I simply wanted to invite us to gaze again on the brilliance of Jesus’ personality. I focussed on three specific aspects of His character: His justice, joy, and humility.

This is perhaps my favourite thing ever to talk about. Every aspect of who Jesus is is so perfect and incredible to me. Beautiful. I never want to stop being fascinated by this Man.

As with my previous teachings on Mary of Bethany and the Priesthood, I have both the audio and the notes available for download!

MP3 teaching – The Beauty of Jesus teaching at TPR 12-1-15

PDF notes – The Beauty of Jesus teaching notes 12-1-15

While you’re at it, listen to “Beauty Beauty” by David Brymer and “The Beauty of This Man” by Tim Reimherr!

Download: Priesthood Teaching

priesthood instagram 2Yesterday I had the opportunity to present a short teaching to a few of the staff at The Prayer Room. This was one of my externship requirements, and I had a lot of fun studying and praying through my chosen topic, putting together notes, and then preaching for twenty minutes! I introduced my teaching with a short spoken word piece called Priest Forever that I wrote almost two years ago and have had the opportunity to perform in a couple different IHOPU venues in the past.

I spoke on the priesthood, specifically four aspects of what it means that we as modern believers are priests before God. As priests, we 1) stand before God on behalf of man and 2) stand before man on behalf of God. We do this in four specific ways:

  1. Adoration
  2. Intercession
  3. Proclamation
  4. Preparation

As I did with my previous Mary of Bethany teaching, I have both the audio and the notes available for download! The notes include the full text of the spoken word piece complete with Scripture references.

MP3 audio – Four Functions of the Priesthood teaching 11-3-15

PDF notes – Four Functions of the Priesthood with bonus Priest Forever poem

Download: Mary of Bethany Teaching

As you know if you’ve been keeping up with my blog, about a month ago I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at Desert House of Prayer in Barstow, CA. On the morning of Sunday, June 28, I spoke at Abundant Living Fellowship, which DHOP has a relationship with, about the life of Mary of Bethany.

Mary’s story has always been precious to me ever since God started speaking to me through her life in 2006. I believe she had such a uniquely intimate relationship with Jesus because in every season of her life, she chose Him as her “one thing needed” (Luke 10:42) above all else. Luke 10 shows her choosing to sit at His feet and listen to His word, John 11 shows her choosing to trust Jesus in the midst of her brother’s death, and John 12 shows her choosing to lavish all she had to give as an offering of love at His feet.

Just today I got the recording of my teaching in the mail. Since several people have already asked me for it, I’m making it available here for download.

MP3 DOWNLOAD (or listen online) – Mary of Bethany teaching in Barstow 6-28-15

EDIT ADDED 9-24-15 – I now also have my notes available in PDF! – Mary of Bethany teaching notes PDF

Enjoy. May you be as blessed as I have been – and more! – by Mary’s story of love for the one Man who was worth it all.

Mary anoints Jesus in Bethany shortly before His death - John 12 (parallels in Matthew 26 and Mark 14)

Mary anoints Jesus in Bethany shortly before His death (John 12)

God The Artist

Hello, all! It’s been far too long since my last post, I know, I apologise… I’m officially 13 days away from the end of the internship, which is very bittersweet, but I’m determined to make the most of these last few weeks.

I had an opportunity last week to share a teaching with my core group. I prepared notes and talked on who God is as the original and ultimate Artist, how all art flows out of his Beauty, and how we are created to create. It’s somewhat an expansion of a blog I wrote several years ago, but goes much deeper into the theology with much more biblical support. I got sooo into it, and I believe it was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a long time. Teaching is definitely something I want to do much more of in the future. 🙂 I have the notes available for download for anyone who’s interested.

Quickie version:

1) God is beautiful.

2) God creates beautiful things.

3) We are created to create.

BAM.

As always at IHOP, our copyright is the “right to copy” when it comes to teaching material, so feel free to take this and run with it in any way you like. 🙂

God the Artist teaching notes

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Reading the Bible, Praying the Bible, and Preparing the Way of the Lord

…or, “A Very Impressive Title For a Very Disjointed Post.”

God’s been doing a lot of really good things with me since I last blogged. I feel like testimonies are being built that I will share later, but they’re still “cooking” right now. Suffice it to say that I’m very excited to see how God’s going to glorify himself in me.

In the meantime, I’m still reading ten chapters a day (six days a week), and am halfway through Colossians right now. I feel like the whole Word is coming alive in a way it never has before. I’m underlining and highlighting just about every other verse and feeling a little silly for doing so, but it’s all so good! I know that’s a “duh,” but for most of my life, it’s just been a “duh” because I know it should be a “duh.” When I get to the point where I want to read the Gospels over and over just because I love to listen to him laugh, catch the flash in his eyes, hear the alternating passion, joy, amusement, sarcasm, and sorrow in his voice, I know I’ve finally come into something precious. I’m not even talking about encountering the present-tense Spirit of Jesus speaking directly to me in the secret place. I’m talking about being as moved by the Gospels as I am by the Circle and being completely swept up into that world to feel right there with the characters. This is unprecedented for me.

And then, as sorry I was to finish with the Gospels and get into Acts, I quickly discovered that watching Holy Spirit partner with the early apostles is every bit as fun as watching Jesus screw with the disciples minds. And then I got into the epistles and quickly became a big fan of Paul. Friends of mine for years have called Paul their favourite writer or teacher, but I never really got it until the past week or so. Dang, the guy’s good. He dives headfirst into really complicated questions and lays them all out, all while exuding this overriding passion for the cross of Christ and the living hope of the resurrection that it’s given us.

The resurrection. There’s another thing. IHOP’s been giving me a lot of theology, mostly about the end times, that I’ve never really studied before, but as I listen to the teaching and immediately go into the prayer room to study it out for myself, it’s right there all over the place. Perhaps I’ll write some blogs later about the Bridegroom paradigm and how that’s revealed all over Scripture and why it’s absolutely crucial for the last generation, and about how the final revival and tribulation is going to go down, and why we need to start talking about and understanding the Millennial kingdom and our eternal rewards—guys, this isn’t a fairy tale, and it’s not just abstract theology that’s fun to debate. It is really happening, and it’s going down much, much sooner than most people realise, and there is a vital importance to being ready for it. I’m not just talking about the final three and a half years of the Tribulation. I’m talking about what God is revealing to the church now, in this hour. This isn’t just IHOP being IHOP, I promise, because even a month ago I was rather sceptical myself. But now I’m being awakened to it, and I have concluded that I don’t want to be part of “the rest” that in the very last days will have to figure all this out as it’s happening. I want to ride the crest of the wave at the forefront, and I want help the rest of the church get captured by this thing so that we can be ready to partner with Jesus when the tables start turning instead of being offended by a Warrior King that we don’t understand is really a Bridegroom.

Well, there’s the tip of the iceberg of my forerunner spiel. I’ll save the rest of that for a time when I can be much more organised about it. I was talking about reading the Bible, but it goes further than that, because I’m learning to practice praying the Bible, in a practical way. Seriously, if you don’t know what to pray, praying the Word is an awesome place to start, because you know for a fact that it’s inspired and Holy Spirit already agrees with it, so these are prayers that he loves to answer.

There’s this model they taught us based on the acronym ARK that is actually really helpful. It looks like this:

A – Agree

R – Request Revelation

K – Keep the Prophecy

Let me show you with Matthew 9:15 (ESV):

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.’”

Start by agreeing with what you read. This is worship and thanksgiving time. You might pray, “Yes, Jesus, you are the bridegroom. Thank you that you love me as a bridegroom loves his bride. You are the Great Lover. We love when you are with us, and we are desolate without you.”

Then move into requesting revelation. Unless you can absolutely say that you know everything there is to know about this verse, which would make you Jesus, you gotta get some more revelation on it. So pray, “Holy Spirit, reveal Jesus to me. [By the way, this is Holy Spirit’s chief occupation. John 14:26] Show me what it means that you are a bridegroom. Reveal your love for me, and reveal how I am to respond in fasting and mourning.”

Finally, commit to keep the prophecy. Set your heart to live in light of this truth. I always feel strange praying “Yes! I will do that!” when I know that I have absolutely no power in myself to obey anything, so I might pray, “I want to live with my eyes on you as my bridegroom. Become my joy, so that I mourn and fast for your return. I am lovesick for you, and I want to be even more lovesick. Give me grace (power) to fast. Strengthen me and stir my heart. I commit myself to do this, by your grace.”

I found myself doing this last night with every phrase of 1 Samuel 16:7 while I was memorising it, (which is admittedly kind of overkill, but the actor/writer in me always likes to break down a text phrase by phrase) and it’s crazy how much doing something as simple as this little three step model can so much expand my capacity to engage with God through his Word.

Grace and peace, y’all. By the way, I’m trying to practice praying with a prayer list, so if anyone has anything they’d like me to pray for, leave a comment or shoot me a text or email. abeautyglorious@gmail.com

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