A Place for God


The Spirit of God is seeking to reveal a deep but simple truth: “The undivided consciousness of Fatherhood is the single sufficient source of authority the church needs to initiate and sustain revival.” This revelation is a shared state of awareness that can only be realised in community. Such an insight is very difficult for contemporary Western Christians to receive for the affluent Western church has embraced a comfortable “home away from home” mentality[1]. A focus on earth (our temporary abode) has been substituted for an awareness of heaven (our true dwelling). Our doctrine of salvation has not changed, but our sensitivity to spiritual realities has undergone a radical metamorphosis.

According to scripture, Christians on earth are “strangers and exiles” (Heb 11:11-13; 1 Pet 1:2; 2:11) who faithfully desire “a better country…a heavenly one” (Heb 11:15). Paul is an example of this, he is intensely conscious that whilst he is alive in the body he is “away from the Lord” (2 Cor 5:6). This creates a deep inner tension between wanting to live and serve the church or to die “and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Phil 1:23). Separated from the fullness of God’s presence the godly have an enduring sense of being “displaced persons” on the earth. This is how it should be, but our experience is largely otherwise.

Without a fresh sense of heaven as our true home the church cannot impart to masses of humanity an awareness of their lostness and a desire to be in heaven with Jesus. The revelation of “the undivided consciousness of Fatherhood” possesses these heaven-bearing qualities, and God has a definite plan to release it.

God’s Place of Belonging

The ultimate truth is that because God is love (1 John 4:8) the Godhead itself is a place of belonging. This is the key to understanding the language of scripture to do with the Father and the Son. The eternal glory that belonged to Jesus (John 17:5) was the pure and undivided consciousness of the Father; this awareness constitutes him to be the Son of God. Christ was only ever aware of the love, righteousness, will, wisdom, holiness etc. of the Father’s indwelling presence (John 17:21). The Father and the Son are home to each other sharing a mutual belonging that is absolute, eternal and essential[2].

The Place To Which We Were Called

For Adam to be created as “the son of God” (Luke 3:38) was for him to know[3] God’s heart and mind through his Word[4], which was to know God as Father. As long as Adam made room for the Word of God in his life he was the created place of belonging for God, God’s home on earth. This is the meaning of human existence.

The Genesis story indicates that Eden was never the ultimate place prepared for humans, God’s plan was much grander than a happy family life in an earthly Paradise. The foundational command to fill all things, “Be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:28) is illuminated by the LORD’s second Word, “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” (Gen 2:17).

The purpose of this command was not to keep something back from humanity but to provide an opportunity for the fullness of God. If Adam and Eve had obeyed God’s good Word and hated the devil’s evil temptation they would truly become fully “like God, knowing good and evil”. The human consciousness of spiritual things would have been limitlessly expanded by grace, and humankind would have gone forth into all the earth filling it with the revelation of God as Father. The present earth would have become a place in which “righteousness makes its home”[5].

As humanity spread over the face of the earth (Gen 1:28) to settle the diverse niches of the globe the wisdom of God in its rich variety would have been imparted to each community. In this way the divine Word would have enabled each people group to perfectly rule the earth. This dominion would have constituted one unified but diverse network of awareness of the goodness of God as our Father. The wisdom and grace of the Word would have filled all things with the divine presence[6], “the earth would have been filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (cf. Hab 2:14). Tragically, the very reverse has taken place.

Man Chooses his Place

Cast out of Eden into a cursed world (Gen 3:17-19; Rom 8:20) humanity suffers from a chronic sense of homelessness, this is epitomised in the story of Babel. This episode represents a titanic attempt of a race one in language and culture (Gen 11:1) to create their own perfectly homogeneous homeland. Refusing to obey God’s command to spread over the earth (Gen 1:28), this “one people” with “one language” united in a task of self-glorification, “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth”. The dimensions of collusion in evil were incalculable, “nothing will be impossible for them” (Gen 11:6). Acting swiftly in judgement the LORD multiplied human language forcing humanity to go forth as separate bands to fill the earth (Gen 11:7-9). From then on all self-initiated attempts at achieving unity separated from God’s self-revelation stand under divine judgement.

The Place that I will Choose

Immediately after Babel the Bible launches into the line of Abraham. The false unity at Babel brought on the peoples of the world through judgement, but in Abraham’s line comes a promise, “all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:3). Chosen by God, Israel is the son of God (Ex 4:23) and God is her Father. This is her sole source of legitimate identity, “you are our Father… our redeemer from of old is your name” (Isa 63:16). The revelation of the Fatherhood of God is tied to a single place of worship that he will ordain in the land of promise. In the Promised Land Israel must worship only in “the place that the LORD your God will choose”[7]. This choice defines Israel as a single covenant nation.

Solomon was the one chosen to build the focal site of worship, the Jerusalemtemple. “the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 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, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.” (2 Chron 7:12-16).

Immediately after this blessing comes a warning, should Israel worship the many gods of the nations the LORD would destroy his place and cast his people into exile (1 Ki 9:1-9). This was because the worship of many gods images an irredeemably fractured humanity and denies Israel’s defining belief, “God is One” (Deut 6:4). When God’s place, the temple, was filled with many gods the chosen people acted like any other people and judgment was inevitable. “I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.” (Hos 5:15 cf. Ezek 10). The saving presence of God departs from the temple and returned to heaven. Israel is taken away to Babylon into the midst of the nations, into the shame of a land full of idols (Jer 50:38). Even after restoration from exile and the rebuilding of God’s house the glory of the LORD never returned. Only the prophetic word explains the sort of place where God will abide forever.

“Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? 2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isa 66:1-2). God’s place of final abiding is not in a building made with hands, but in a person of humble and contrite heart. Such a person will be the true Son of God.

Jesus is the Place

Christ’s life radically redefines the meaning of “the place God chooses”[8]. The Gospels reveal that his entire consciousness was filled with the knowledge of God as his Father. Jesus’ first recorded words in Luke are, “I must be in my Father’s house” (2:49), and his final words are equally Father-centric, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 24:46). It is a conversation with a woman from the nation of Samaria that opens up the significance of Jesus as God’s place for all peoples.

“The woman said to him…Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in S/spirit[9] and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in S/spirit and truth.”” (John 4:20-24) According to Jesus, the place of appointed worship is a now a state of Father recognition, and in going on to identify himself as the Christ (v.26) Jesus points to himself as the place where true worship is found, all of this becomes decisive for us through his passion.

In sheer agony in Gethsemane the Lord prays, ““Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will but what you will.” ” (Mark 14:36). As the Spirit of God searches out the depths of Jesus’ spirit[10], he is constrained to count the cost of his filial obedience[11], having done so he “offers his body as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God” as his “spiritual worship”[12]. This is a state of pure undivided consciousness of Fatherhood and marks out Jesus as God’s true home. To grasp this is to be shocked by the events of the cross.

““And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice…My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ” (Mark 15:34). This does not look like the place or hour where God is being worshipped in S/spirit and truth. Apparently, Jesus is not conscious of the Father at all! Yet at a deeper level this is a pinnacle of the shared consciousness of Father and Son, for Jesus is entering into the place where God mourns over his lost creation and is unceasingly sorrowful for losing his habitation in humanity (Gen 6:5-7). The Father shares with the Son the S/spiritual truth that he cannot be indwell the lost peoples of the world as a Father. Jesus is given to know[13] that without “distinction” the house of lost humanity is empty of the glory of God (Rom 3:22-23). In his consciousness Christ has become a homeless and Fatherless person. Only in the light of the emptiness of his death can we ever possibly believe his promises concerning us as the home of God.

““Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3). Jesus is returning to his eternal abode with the Father (John 14:6; 17:5; 20:21), and the preparation that he makes for us is the glorification of his own humanity by death and exaltation (John 7:39; 12:28)[14]. The “place” in which we shall dwell forever is the communion of the Father and the glorified Son, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our home with him.” (John 14:23). Sharing in the Son of God’s “undivided consciousness of Fatherhood” we shall be as home with God as God is with himself, we will fully be those worshippers in S/spirit and truth that the Father has always sought.

No Place Like Home

The specific plan of God to restore to the Western church an awareness of “the undivided consciousness of Fatherhood” involves the peoples of the world. In his great design for the redemption of all peoples the Lord has brought Christians to our lands from all the nations. From Scandinavia to Australia“ethnic churches” are operating in an atmosphere of prayerful passionate spirituality that puts our long established congregations to shame. Sadly, history suggests that without a shift of awareness these pioneering churches will in time become like the rest of Western Christianity, settled and at home in an affluent world. I believe we all need a renewed revelation of the Father.

The Spirit is calling us to seek the Lord together in an atmosphere of fervent prayer where we will become so conscious of the Father[15] that our differences of colour and culture[16] cease to become separating factors in our awareness. Only one source of authority must be acknowledged, our shared sonship in Christ (Gal 3:26-29). In such a place of rich revelation distinctions remain (Rom 10:12), but divisions and distancing factors are abolished[17].

When “the Spirit of adoption” (Roman 8:15) falls upon us, the fact that we are Aboriginal, African, Asian, European…will be completely subordinate to the reality of “one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Eph 4:6). By prayer we can enter into the reality of the apostolic consciousness of universal Fatherhood, “14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” (Eph 3:14-15). The families that God promised Abraham would be blessed in him (Gen 12:3) are the families who, with all their cultures and colours flowing together in unified love, image the one Fatherhood of God revealed through Jesus.

Suddenly, “through the church” the “wisdom of God in its rich variety[18] is made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph 3:10). Aboriginal spiritual sensitivity, African jubilation, Arabic hospitality, Asian discipline, Aussie egalitarianism… are all facets of the rich treasury of God’s wisdom imparted to the various people groups of the world for the purposes of his kingdom. As the multicoloured saints on earth unite in petitioning God for the manifestation of his rule the heavens break open, together we enter into a dynamic spiritual union with the redeemed “from every tribe and language and people and nation” invoking the coming of the kingdom of God before this throne (Rev 5:8-10). The rainbow of grace around the throne of our Father in heaven (Rev 4:3), the true home of humanity, is suddenly experienced as spanning a city, a nation…, in the Spirit every place is seen to be truly God’s place. The eternal will of God to make his home with all peoples[19] begins to be seen on earth as it is in heaven.

Such a participation of the church in the glory of God shakes the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. The wholly unlawful nature of their spiritual authority is exposed, for they have no true father[20] and cannot know the strengthening joy (Neh 8:10) of eternal family life restored in Christ and magnified through the church. Their great deception, that the Father is a distant Father, is finally exposed. Through the multiracial and multicultural unity of the church the true image of God as an accessible Father is actualised in the midst of nations. Suddenly evil powers lose their hold to sow depression and hopelessness over a people. Revival must break out[21] for the unity of the family of God is the place of commanded blessing (Ps 133; Gen 12:3).


Many years ago the Lord gave me an intense sense of his pleasure, and he indicated through scripture the source of his joy. Psalm 87 teaches prophetically that a time will come when all the nations cry out together, “we were born in the city of God”. Since my original awareness of the Father’s satisfaction he has drawn numerous people groups to these shores. This is integral to his plan to break the spiritual strongholds of Father-separation and cosmic orphanhood that have held this continent back from its divine destiny. The Spirit of God is seeking to release in our midst the corporate revelation that we have all been “born from above”[22]of the one Father and so together are brothers (John 20:17). We are all children of promise rather than children of flesh[23]. I have “seen” multicoloured streams of people going out from this city to the nations of the world. This speaks of multiracial and multicultural teams going forth to disciple the nations, even as they have been discipled together in the love of Christ.

This global advance of the kingdom of God is something we can only do TOGETHER. Such a level of cooperation must begin where every move of God begins, in prayerful shared humility. Will we, people from various nations, join together intentionally in intercession on this great journey of faith, “to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11).

[1] Many have noted the link between wealth and spiritual decline, “Religion begat prosperity and the daughter devoured the mother” (John Wesley).

[2] By this I mean that such belongingness makes them to be who they are, without it they would not be.

[3] Using “know” in a relational sense e.g. John 17:3, “this is eternal life …to know you the one true God”.

[4] I am here equating the Word of John with God’s speaking to man from creation on.

[5] This is a paraphrase of 2 Pet 3:13, which because of sin must refer to the future world.

[6] As articulated in Ephesians 1:22-23, “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

[7] Deut 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, 14:23, 24; 15:20; 16:2, 6, 7, 11, 15, 16, 17:8, 18:6; 26:2; 31:11.

[8] Consider for example the language used by the Father at Jesus’ baptism; “in whom I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22) is drawn from Isaiah 42:1, which describes the LORD’s Servant as “my chosen.”

[9] The Greek of the New Testament period lacked capitalization, so the word pneuma could be translated as either “Spirit”, as in Holy Spirit, or “spirit”, as in the spirit of the human worshipper.

[10] The Pauline teaching on the relationship between God’s Spirit, our spirit and the cry, “Abba! Father!” (Rom 8:16; Gal 4:6) draws its reality from Jesus’ prayer.

[11] The “cup” represents God’s wrath against sin, e.g. Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17-22; Jer 25:15; Ezek 23:31-34.

[12] I am quoting Paul’s exhortation in Rom 12:1, for it is first true of Christ before it can be true of us..

[13] Biblical language for “knowing” God has to do with intimacy not information e.g. Am 3:2; John 17:3.

[14] The glory of the Son is to fully know the Father.

[15] As the source of our life in Christ (1 Cor 1:30; Heb 2:11).

[16] Also differences to do with gender, education, vocation, financial status and so on.

[17] This is a Trinitarian paradigm; God is understood to be constituted by three distinct but inseparable Persons.

[18] This can be translated “multicoloured wisdom”, and connects to my comments on the rainbow of grace below.

[19] “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. And he shall dwell with them and they shall be his people., and God himself will be their God.” (Rev 21:3),

[20] Satan is a false father, a father without love and truth (John 8:44).

[21] This does not exclude but provokes intensified persecution of the church.

[22] Arguably the preferable translation of John 3:3.

[23] This is Paul’s major point in Galatians 4, contrasting Isaac and Ishmael. Since Jesus has ascended to the Father the whole church, regardless of ethnicity, is born from above (Gal 4:26-27).

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