I recently got this comment from a good friend and thought it was very instructive:
John, clearly, your perspective is that the Council is located in a spiritual realm, apart from us – “heaven.” What if the real location of the council is “in God” who is in you? See John 14:26 “He will teach you all things” John 16:13 “He will guide to you all truth” John 16:15 “All things, as many as the father hath, are mine; because of this I said, that of mine He will take, and will tell you.” The emphasis Jesus was making about the coming indwelling Holy Spirit here was on communication through relationship. He was challenging the disciples that His presence was not one of distance.
Considering this theology, it’s normal for spirit-filled believers to ask why going to the council is necessary, “Why do we have to do this?” Many very successful Kingdom businesspeople do hear from God and carry a value to ask their business sons, “Have you heard from God?” Nothing is broken, yet a new era is here. The real question is, “If Father is granting a new level of access, why not say yes?”
The new era – The challenge is accessing heaven because “Everything I need is not inside myself!” Servants pride themselves on “instant obedience to the initial promptings of the Holy Spirit.” They also pride themselves on not needing to see Father’s purpose behind the big picture. The result is often a lack of clear purpose beyond loving Jesus and responding to the Holy Spirit. It does ring a bell with the traditional, spirit-filled religious community whose goal is being God’s servant. God is inviting us to be sons with these perspectives:
- The HS does dwell in us and speak to us; Christ is in us and yet “going” to the council is still a practical, experiential, and theologically correct reality.
- For us to be “in Him” we have to get outside ourselves and go – that’s half of the relationship. He in us and us in Him are both halves of the same relationship.
- For me, the council is biblical, life-giving, and a strategic part of sonship, not just an abstraction of my relationship. I take seated in heaven literally, Paul going to the 3rd heaven literally, Zion as a picture of heaven, etc.
- The formality/holiness of the council honors Father. Somehow the council is important to Him; relevant to overcoming principalities, etc. It’s an experiential reality that is not optional for sons.
- The stereo effect of 9 voices who reflect the Father’s heart is tangible and worth it. Like salvation, experiencing the council in heaven ends the discussion of its existence.
It works! – I helped friends with a council session on zoom a few days back. It was their first experience, and they welcomed the guidance. We recorded it on Thursday, and Friday I transcribed the shorthand version. There were 7 pages of notes. Neither they nor I get that volume of conversation unless we “go.” The council moves us from surprise nudges, verses, promptings, confirmations, peace, and words into conversations that we actively seek and show up to engage in. I think it blesses Father’s heart.
Ps 84:6-7 – Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion. NASU
Conversations vs Nudges – Our charismatic tradition is to milk direction from promptings of the Holy Spirit, and miss “conversations.” Servants don’t really have a paradigm for it. They have questions, they can ask Him, but they don’t really expect a conversational answer. They expect a nudge, and they formulate it into a sort of binary communication system based on intuitive peace (red light or green light; yes or no; now or not yet). The result is that they never expect to get the purpose behind the direction (thoughtful charismatics often formulate an intellectual version of purpose and justify it with stories of God’s confirmations).
Obedience or purpose – Charismatic servants just want to be told what to do. They miss Father’s heart on the big picture. They miss things beyond their immediate needs (like reformation) because Father can’t use a binary communication system to talk to them about things outside their immediate needs. Hearing from God ends up being mostly about my problem, my ministry, or my business instead of what’s in Father’s heart. The binary communication system doesn’t get you the whole story.
The biggest thing Father communicates in the council to sons is the purpose in His heart (we see what the Father doing, Jn 5:19). We are often left with decisions on the implementation. Servants are prone to expect promptings at every juncture, which they often don’t get (or they have to invent from circumstantial/coincidental guidance). Sons bring purpose from the council along with the power and authority to manifest it on earth. They have the context of Father’s heart and are not afraid to run with it. There is always more than one way to fulfill a purpose and sons are faithful and comfortable with those decisions. Sons who understand purpose don’t need as many promptings and they are free to exercise their own creativity, wisdom, and initiative (all strong suits in entrepreneurs). Their promptings from the Holy Spirit make a lot more sense in the context of their Father’s larger purpose.
Sons Know Why! – Sons are invited to understand Father’s “why” and add their initiative and creativity to the direction. Sons are co-laboring with Father in the family name to accomplish “His” purpose. The conversations do address all my issues. They just don’t stop there – the Seven Spirits of God have much more to say to us (Wisdom, Understanding, Council, Might Knowledge, and Fear of the Lord). We need an experiential and a theological paradigm to hear them in the council.
Those seven spirits have different personalities and carry different aspects of the Father’s heart. It’s the privilege of sons to know them and carry their anointing and direction.
Resources – The purpose of heaven for each of us is already written in your heart and can be heard in the Council. Your business can shift from a Christian business full of servants to a Kingdom business full of sons who make a difference. We help people and businesses get their prophetic purpose in writing and then make it happen on earth. Taste and see! Tools to get started are here:
- Intentional Reformation Intro (A free diagnostic you will enjoy along with our purpose & Values)
- Nail your Purpose Field Guide (A place to start clarifying your heart’s desires)
- OnlineHeartPlan.com (Our web site and on-line Courses)
- USA Book (proof we can get our arms around the books of people, businesses, and nations)
Cutting Room Floor
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when He was baptized by John. He still saw the necessity to see what his Father was doing (Jn 5:19). He himself ascended even though he carried great power and authority himself.
Gen 28:12-16 – He (Jacob) had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” NASU
Father loves to speak with sons and reveal his mysteries to those who seek Him; the council is a new era, a new way, that is being restored for such a time as this.
Gen 18:17 – Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? NIV
Num 12:6-8 – “When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. NIV
Ps 25:14 – The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. NIV
Ps 103:7 – He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: NIV
Amos 3:7 – Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. NIV
Matt 13:11-13 – “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: NIV
John 3:35 – The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands NIV
John 5:20 – For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. NIV
John 15:15 – Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you NIV
Rev 4:1 – there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” NIV