I've had a weird couple of days (some things great, some things terrible!) - went up to visit Pete Day at "Life in the Spirit Conference" in Derbyshire and we had an awesome time together catching up (we haven't seen each other for almost a year) and soaking in the glory. God used Pete to almost "commission" me to go to Hong Kong and to catch the fire and bring it back to the UK. While we were praying I had two awesome visions which profoundly affected us both.
1. The first was that as I was lying on his bed I saw the roof lift off and a heavenly glory whirlwind began to circle around and around and angels began coming up and down. But what struck me was the fact that in the glory "distance" is nothing at all. As we go to Hong Kong there will be a sort of "portal" left open so that Pete can experience the full downloads of blessing and glory as the conference is going on.
2. The second was I saw a huge angel with a burning torch come into the room as we were praying. And I thought it would be something like Isaiah and our lips would be touched. But weirdly the angel touched both our feet and the feet set on fire with a beautiful golden flame. And I saw us walking around but as we walked there were footprints left - and each footprint burned with glory. As we flew to Hong Kong there was a golden flame slip-stream left arching over Russia and China. As Pete drove back to London from the conference there was a glory trail left behind him!
So it was great to come back fresh with that anointing ready and looking forward to Hong Kong and all it has in store! But then while I was driving I was listening to Todd Bentley speak on "Baptisms of Fire" and he started off very well - by challenging the charismatic traditions of men that have reduced the baptism of the Holy Spirit to just merely speaking in tongues. He said that too many of us are satisfied we have "got the baptism" simply by speaking in tongues every now and then but we wouldn't dream about healing the sick.
But then he began to slip into preaching law by speaking of the healers in the fifties and sixties who got their anointing by prayer and fasting and thirsting. And he insisted again and again that the ONLY way we will get baptisms of power of this magnitude is by prayer and fasting and thirsting and (Todd called it); "Paying the price".
Suddenly I began to understand why Todd Bentley fell away. He was trying to exceed the anointing that was upon Smith Wigglesworth and Kathryn Kuhlman but by exceeding THEIR "price". So I imagine that he did nothing but pray and fast! And burnt out. And missed the point. Because why will God pour out baptisms of power in response to a work of self-righteousness?
In the end I had to turn the CD off - I couldn't take it anymore!
Finally I've been reading a few books trying to understand imputed righteousness and justification by faith a bit more. I brought "Preaching the Cross" by the Together for the Gospel foursome at the "Life in the Spirit" bookshop as well as some of Sam Storms latest books. It generally wasn't too bad - particularly this quote by R C Sproul. Then I read "Counted Righteous in Christ" by John Piper again and was absolutely thrilled to see these well-known and favourite hymns of mine but in New Covenant lenses!
"No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus and all in Him is mine,
Alive in Him, my living Head
And clothed in righteousness divine!
Bold I approach the eternal throne
And claim the crown through Christ my own!"
"When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found,
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
FAULTLESS to stand before the throne!"
"We trust in you O Captain of salvation,
In Your dear Name, all other names above,
Jesus our righteousness, our sure foundation,
Our prince of glory and our king of love".
"Our load of sin and misery,
Did Thou the Sinless bear?
Thy spotless robe of purity,
Do we the sinners wear?".
"Thy righteousness O Christ,
Alone can cover me;
No righteousness avails,
Save that which is of Thee".
"Behold Him there the Risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness!
The great unchangable I AM ...".
"Knowing You Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing!
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy - my righteousness
And I love You Lord!".