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A New Thing, No More Regression

With the beginning of a new year approaching, many will find themselves making resolutions and ambitious plans for a fresh start.

“New year, new me” becomes the slogan as people look to purge the old and usher in new lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, old habits are hard to quit, and resolutions die quickly. Of the 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions, only 40% last past six months, with most giving up within a week or two. [1] It seems reverting back to old ways tends to be much easier than pushing through to see the change. 

Why does this happen? What makes complacency or regression easier than progression? There can be numerous reasons why change doesn’t stick, such as: a lack of motivation, a lack of accountability, overreaching, or vague goals. Transformation and change come with sacrifice. Victory doesn’t come without hard work and dedication. What satisfaction is there in winning a victory that was one sided? Opposition is good for us because it teaches us to push forward and continue striving. 

“‘And God saw that it was good,’ (Gen 1:21). For the saints, the things that oppose them are good, because they can overcome them and in overcoming them gain more glory before God….The Apostle says that no one ‘is crowned unless he competes according to the rules’ (2Tim 2:5). And truly, how can there be a struggle unless there is someone who resists?” [2]

“And truly, how can there be a struggle unless there is someone who resists?”

After the Israelites came out of Egypt, a place symbolic of limiting God, they were constantly murmuring and complaining during their journey in the wilderness (Ref Num 11:1, Exo 16:2). They were always wanting to go back to the former things and old ways as in Egypt. Despite having been physically set free, they continued to stay in bondage as they limited God in their minds. Their minds had not been liberated from the letter of the law to the spiritual.  

The Israelites found themselves facing opposition every time they began to move forward. When they came to the Red Sea, Pharaoh and his army were closing in from behind. Rather than move forward as they were supposed to, they were willing to give up and go back to being slaves (Ref Exo 14:11-12). When Moses sent the spies into the land of Canaan, only two came back with a good report. The other ten complained that the giants were too big and strong (Ref Num 13:25-27). Despite being given orders by God to go in and take the Promised Land (Deut 6:10-12), the Israelites wanted to give up and go back to their old ways. Why were the Iraelites always wanting to turn back instead of overcome? Without eyes to see what God is doing, it’s easier to fall back to old habits rather than move forward. The spiritual understanding of God’s Word will bring us into God’s wisdom and understanding. 

If we look at the world’s definition for regression, it means to return to a former or less developed state or to shift toward a lower or less perfect state. [3] By continually wanting to go back to a place of limiting God, the Israelites were regressing in their spiritual walk. They wanted to stay in a lower state, but God never wanted the Israelites to stay in the wilderness. He wanted them to cross over into perfection. The same is true today; God wants His children to cross over. 

God wants His children to cross over.

The crossing of the Jordan River into the Promised Land was and is symbolic of a new beginning. In the wilderness, only those who were ready to leave the past crossed over. The rest, those who only saw the difficulties or had unbelief, remained in the wilderness to perish. God is calling those who have ‘spiritual eyes’, a remnant, to move into the new thing and not go back to the former. In Matthew 24:7, it says, “Let him who is on the housetop not come down and go into the house to take anything.” It is referring to those who’ve ascended or progressed in their thinking, and is telling them not to go back to their old ways. 

How often have we faced an opposition in our walk and rather than go through the trial we quit? How many times have we come to our Red Sea or Jordan River and thought about giving up and turning around? Maybe we didn’t have the proper tools to help us succeed. Perhaps we didn’t truly believe what God told us; therefore, we don’t step into the promises He has. God and His Word never change (Heb 13:8). He has revealed the pattern from the beginning. He is always wanting His people to go higher and move forward, but this can only happen by having the deeper understanding of the Scriptures.

The crossing of the Jordan River is symbolic of leaving the church age and moving into the millennial kingdom. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. In the tabernacle, the dimensions of the Holy Place (the church age) were 10x20x10 cubits or 2,000 cubits. The Holy Place holds the menorah filled with oil and represents the anointing of God. The Holy of Holies was 10x10x10 or 1,000 cubits, which represents the 1,000 years of the millennial or kingdom age. [4] The Holy of Holies was seen as the place where God dwelt and His glory resided. Hebrews 12:29 says, “For our God is an all consuming fire.” The millennial kingdom represents the fire or glory of God. 

The church has been wandering in the wilderness for 2,000 years, but God never said stop; He wanted them to move forward. Joshua (who is a picture of Jesus) took the Israelites from the wilderness (anointing) into the Promised Land (glory of God). The church age has come to an end, and it is now time to cross over into the kingdom age. God wants to bring His remnant through the veil (apocalypse) into the Holy of Holies and into His glory. It is the marking of moving from one season, anointing of the Spirit, to the fire of God. 

Many incredible movements of God started with an outpouring of the anointing, marking a fresh season.

Many incredible movements of God started with an outpouring of the anointing, marking a fresh season. The Reformation in the 1500’s saw Martin Luther breaking away from the Catholic Church and bringing the Word to the masses. The Welsh and Azusa Street Revivals in the early 1900’s saw the birth of the Pentecostal movement. They both saw incredible outbreaks of the Holy Spirit, people speaking in tongues, and miraculous healings. [5] Even the Toronto Revival in the 1990s ushered in a new wave of the miracles, signs, and wonders of God. [6] Unfortunately after time, the anointing wasn’t enough to carry them over. They were the beginnings of a new season. These moves ended up falling short of the ultimate goal, which is the restoration of the glory of God. 

God has always wanted the restoration of all things since the fall of Adam. His desire is for the restoration of truth and order in the earth. As spoken of in Acts 3:21, “whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” The world is in chaos, and the cry from the pulpits is to go back to the days of the early revivals in order to see God move. Yet, those were old moves and old seasons. God said in Isaiah He is doing a new thing (Ref Isa 43:19). Those moves didn’t have enough of the revelation of God to cross over into the glory. 

“And, as the Son of man comes in the glory of His own Father, so the angels, who are the words in the prophets, are present with Him preserving the measure of their own glory. But when the Word comes in such form with His own angels, He will give to each a part of His own glory and of the brightness of His own angels, according to the action of each. But we say these things not rejecting even the second coming of the Son of God understood in its simpler form.” [7]

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert,” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

The Lord said He would ‘make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’. God provided the Israelites water in the desert (Ref Exo 17:6), which is symbolic of His revelation or teachings (Deut 32:2). He is pouring out His revelatory teachings now through His apostles and prophets (Ref 1Co 4:1). The message of the prophets has always been to warn the people ‘get eyes to see and ears to hear’. We need to remove the veils of Scripture so we don’t continue to see the Word as simply a history book. By having the deeper, spiritual meaning revealed to us, our souls can be prepared for the glory to come. 

By having the deeper, spiritual meaning revealed to us, our souls can be prepared for the glory to come. 

God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner to prepare the way and make the path straight (Matt 3:3). John was never able to fulfil his duty and many missed the Messiah’s first coming. Jesus told His disciples that because of this, Elijah would come to restore all things, confirming the prophecy of Malachi, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Mal 4:5).

“So then His second advent is declared to be in glory; for He comes from heaven with power, and angels, and the glory of His Father. His first advent had John the Baptist as its forerunner; and His second, in which He is to come in glory, will exhibit Enoch, and Elijah, and John the Divine. Behold, too, the Lord’s kindness to man; how even in the last times He shows His care for mortals, and pities them. For He will not leave us even then without prophets, but will send them to us for our instruction and assurance.” [8]

This is a kairos time (fixed, definite time, right time) [9] where the Spirit of Elijah has come to restore the revelation of God’s Word. God is doing a new thing; He is ushering His glory into the earth. We must push past the flesh’s desire to regress back to old ways so we can move higher in our understanding of God’s Word. The revelation of the mysteries of the kingdom are the only thing that can prepare our soul for what is coming.  “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord,” (2Co 3:18). 

References:
1.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2020/01/12/reasons-why-we-dont-achieve-resolutions/#4b5c739c41a8
2.  Origen, Spirit and Fire. Edited by Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Catholic University of America Press, 1938
3.  Merriam Webster Dictionary- Regression
4.  https://www.hebrews4christians.com/Scripture
5.  https://www.apostolicarchives.com/articles/article/8801925/173190.htm
6.  https://globalmissionawareness.com/the-3-revivals-that-shaped-our-world/
7.  Origen on Matthew Bk XII Ch 30
8.  Hippolytus- Appendix Vol. 5
9.  Thayer Bible Dictionary- G2540 Kairos

Keywords:
Regression
Progression
Opposition
Overcome
New thing