Before we continue, let’s take a review of what we’ve been learning. We will review:

  • Revival process
  • Sulha
  • Agreements
  • Daniel
  • Justice

We have been learning that spiritual authority is living the heart of God on this earth towards his creation and for all people. It is not so much authority over others, rather, it is a true, holy and pure, power that comes from our full open-hearted obedience to God for others.

Spiritual authority is God’s love breathed out through every part of our lives unto others, for their benefit, edification, healing and freedom.

  • As God lives through us we live his heart of Sulha
  • God runs to take on the sins of the world and we must first know and experience this for ourselves
  • This love of God is then lived out and through us to others

Spiritual authority is the investment of our lives that allows God to breathe through us to this world.

  • We take on God’s love
  • We allow his forgiveness deep within our beings
  • We extend that forgiveness out and beyond to others
  • We live in his grace. 60
  • We rest in Christ and the work done for us on the cross
  • We rest in this work that continues in each of our lives

It is grace that frees us and it is grace that redeems us and it is grace that sanctifies us. Only in the light of God are we restored to the original images as God created. God’s grace transforms us.

Once we have:

  • Taken on the fullness of God for ourselves
  • Understood his grace and gift to us
  • Allowed this grace to break us of self-righteousness and good works
  • Given up striving and trying to make right and come clean before God

… Only then can we truly begin to live God out-loud in our communities and for the healing and freedom of people and nations.

God living through us is revealed as Sulha to a dying world. Recall the prodigal son. He had squandered everything, his father’s good name, the daily provision, legacy, , all that would one day be his, he threw away in folly and short-sighted pleasures. His vision was limited and he had made a mess of every good thing that his father had prepared for him.

We have done this same thing. We have broken fellowship with God again and again. We have made light of and squandered our vast inheritance and all the good things planned for us before the beginning of time, Ephesians 2:10. We have lived in short-sighted pleasures, hurting others by our lust and envy and hatreds, and more. You and I are the prodigal son.

Yet, God in his love and forgiveness and grace runs toward us, just as we read in the story of the prodigal son. Just like the father in that story, God takes on the stones that would have been our sure death. Sin brings death, this is sure. Yet God holds back the assignments of the enemy and the full natural consequences of our sin by his love. He takes on the responsibility of our sin and invites us to life. 61

He breaks out the fatted calf. A meal is prepared for the prodigal son, a meal is prepared for us. God calls this the wedding feast of the lamb, Matthew 22:1-14.

The gift of our Lord Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, accomplished the forgiveness of God.

Christ absorbed our sin into himself on the cross. It is as though God entered hell cloaked in our sin and opened the door from the inside, releasing the prisoners and setting humanity free from bondage to sin and death; Jesus Christ conquered sin and death. We are now included in fullness of life both here on earth and forevermore in eternity. This is the feast of Sulha, peace and reconciliation established by God, set before us — we call this the wedding feast of the lamb in which all of humanity is embraced. 62

There are those, of course, who may refuse this feast. There are those of course, who, like the older brother, are stuck in religion and with a focus on the law, unwilling to let go of self-effort, are refusing the grace and forgiveness, wanting only penance and retribution and recompense from self and others.

But we are not one of those. We are learning to walk in grace. We are learning to forgive. We are learning to be in the same spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the heart of our God as he runs toward us, and as he runs toward those we hate. 63

This we welcome and come to agree with. Some of us cannot comprehend God’s forgiveness of ourselves. Others cannot imagine that God’s love would extend to our enemies. Everything in our natural person cries out ‘No!’. But as we ourselves enter into this grand welcome of The Lord we realize that He is for all people. 64

“He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins — and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” 1 John 2:2 NLT

We may try to hold this forgiveness back from others, we may try to demand penance (never-ending torment and sorrow), we may try to extract recompense (some kind of payment that would fix things), we may demand and cry and hold forth that things be made right by someone, but one day we will come to see that many things (most things in fact) cannot be made right; atrocities abound. 

We may fight for others to fix their harm against us or those that we love, yet we will come to see that there are many things that cannot be fixed. And as we demand them to be right we only bind ourselves to the sin and death we are trying so hard to eliminate. Focus on the sin and harm and we get stuck in it. We become what we hate and we keep ourselves from the love of God.

I am told that in parts of the world people keep chickens by pounding a stake into the ground. A string is tied to one of the chicken’s legs and the other end of the string is tied to the stake. In this way the chicken can forage and peck and strut but only within the length of the string and around the stake.

A chicken that has lived its life tied to a stake comes to know that kind of life as all that is possible. And I am told that even if the string is cut (so that the chicken may be free) the chicken will remain within the length of that string it had come to know; the chicken will not move freely even though it is now free to do so.

You and I have had stakes in our lives. There have been hurts and harms of varying degrees. There may have been trauma in your life. There have been disappointments and disillusionment about many things.

Years back I was hit by a car. The first point of contact was the bumper of the car to my knees. I recall my body rolling and rolling and thinking that I was being run over. What had happened is that I was tossed and rolled onto the hood of the car and then down to the ground as the car stopped.

I came through it without any broken bones and only soft tissue damage. Yet my mobility, strength, focus, and time was taken in recovery for some years after that. I could not care for my family as I had been doing. I could not sit or stand or walk long enough to keep a job of any sort. That accident changed the direction of my life.

I received as a settlement of this accident a large sum of money. Yet, I found, that even though it was a good amount it could not make up for the disruption that the accident had caused to my life and to my family and ultimately to my future.

I realized that we may try to extract recompense for the things that have gone wrong, but when that recompense 65 comes it still won’t touch the damage done, it still won’t turn back the hands of time. Recompense will never make something okay. If we have been looking to some sort of compensation to make our hearts and all that has gone wrong in our lives okay, it won’t work. 66

If we are obsessed with making things right we ultimately become swallowed by everything that has gone wrong. We may become like the chicken. In Christ the string is cut that would hold us to the harms, yet we remain living within the confines of the stake as our hatreds, demands, and bitterness keep us bound.

We come to realize that Christ and this manner of Sulha is our only way. We see that Christ, by taking on the sins of the world, is the only answer.

“They nailed him to the cross … Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:33b + 34a NLT

Accepting his love for others is part of our freedom. Jesus died to take on all the sins of the world. This means we can be free of our own sins and this means we can be free from the sins of others against us.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14 – 15 ESV

We are free to move forward in the grace and peace of God. It is only in the work of Christ over our lives, allowing him to live out through us in this way, can we know peace, can we know joy and all manner of good things of the Lord. We learn to live God’s expansive heart of love to others.

“As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,’ He fell to his knees, shouting ‘Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!’ And with that, he died.” Acts 7:59-60 NLT

As we come into this conviction and call to live God’s way, we come to see that we have all made agreements with satan. As we have settled on our ‘rightness’ and railed against other’s ‘wrongness’ we see that we became what we hated. All of us, each one, you and I, have continued to live in agreements with death and destruction. We are no different than any others.

We hurt others on a regular basis. We hold grudges, we hate back, we live an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we punish and we withhold acceptance of people based on our perception of their goodness or worth.

Realizing this, allowing repentance (a change of mind) over this, we take on humility and we enter into brokenness before the Lord. From this place of godly brokenness and repentance we are equipped and ready to live out the heart of God. Upon repentance we experience the cleansing and freedom of Christ. We then become hungry to have our families, our communities and our nations living out the same freedom; the law of retaliation is over-ridden by Sulha, the forgiveness and reconciliation of God.

We no longer condemn or chastise or cast shame or fear 67, rather, we come in compassion and with eyes and heart to see that we can be part of another’s freedom and healing. Christ has established the work and as we agree to this, his work (mercy, grace, forgiveness, healing, restoration) 68, we declare the Kingdom of God for ourselves and also for others.

This is the invitation of the gospel. It is for agreement with the work of Jesus to which we are called. And not just for ourselves, but for all people. God has uniquely established each one of us in time and place with influence over a certain people and here is where we are to wield the truth of Christ in agreement, for their benefit, healing, wholeness, and freedom in Christ.

Let us remember Daniel. He was taken from home and community to a foreign land, taken as captive, as a slave, and set to to work in the Babylonian empire. Yet, we watch his life and we see that he came to be a catalyst of the Lord’s heart in that place. Even though a slave ripped from his home and family and everything familiar to him, he modelled by his integrity, attitude, and trust in the Lord a called-out heart and attitude and life.

And so, like Daniel, we too can come on behalf of our communities and we can say ‘yes’ to the things of God for them. We repent of our own wrong-doing. Then, like Daniel, (like Christ), we take on 100% responsibility and we stand in the gap, repenting and confessing on behalf of them, forgiving them, loving them, drawing over them the covering of Christ that they too may come to know the Lord.

In God we advocate for them before God. Jesus did this in Luke 23:34 as he hung on the cross, “Father forgive them.”

Rabbi Sacks says it beautifully,

“Prophets must not condemn their people, but rather defend them before God.” 69

Our natural response to the sin of others is to pull away, to leave them on their own, to have nothing to do with them. But a God-response comes toward those caught by sin and despair. In God we come towards people. In God we draw them close and show them into the love of God.

We do this work as an offering and as worship to our Lord. We do this work fully knowledgeable of God’s transforming power for our lives and we stand in agreement to this same work in the lives of others. 70

  • Instead of wanting their destruction we want their restoration
  • Instead of wanting them to pay, we want them to know the sacrifice of Jesus that embraces them into God
  • Instead of demanding them to make right what can never be made right we bring both ourselves and them into rest within the work of Jesus Christ

We come in revival with a pure and holy hunger for them to know God, repenting on behalf of them and what they cannot yet do, all the while refusing to use religious strongholds (condemnations and shame) against them. We have been given this intercessory role that calls forth and makes way for the healing of our nations.

We can see this heart of God when he spoke to Saul (who would become Paul),

“I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness of their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.” Acts 26:17b – 18 NLT

The keys of our nations are given to the people of God. 2 Chronicles cannot get any clearer, that as we confess, as we repent, as we put down our own sins at the foot of the cross God says he will heal our lands. Do we want our lands healed? Do we want our neighbours to know the grace of God? Are we hungry for the healing and salvation of the worst amongst us?

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

Of course we note that 2 Chronicles 7:14 can only work out of a spirit of Sulha. It can only be accomplished out of love that wants the best for others. Hate will always confound and disqualify our work. And so we refuse hatred (that exposes and humiliates) – we cover over (we draw close), we love.

In Sulha and in 100% responsibility we put down blame and condemnation, we put down vengeance and any need for things to be made right. In Christ we are enabled to love and to want the best for others; the point is to bring others with us to the wedding feast of the lamb.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:5-6 ESV

God promises that he will set a banquet in the presence of our enemies. We used to believe that this meant that we would be justified and proven ‘right’ in front of those whom have hated us and we them. We used to think that this meant that our enemies would have their noses ‘rubbed in it’, so to speak.

But of course, now that we know about Sulha we know that a banquet in the presence of our enemies means that we will eat in peace with the very ones we once hated and the ones who once hated us. We will be in peace with each other. The bad and the wrong and the atrocities will be put behind us, laid aside, let go, released. It is the picture of the lion laying down with the lamb.

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” Isaiah 11:6 NIV

Once mortal enemies are no more enemies because of the blood and sacrifice and power of our Lord Jesus Christ. All things will be redeemed and restored and made right in the name of our Lord.

Christ both established and completed this work and we bring it to bear upon this world by our agreement. By declaration we say yes and amen for our own lives AND for the lives of others. In action and attitude we agree to the grace and peace of God for all peoples. We put down our swords and we come in peace. 72

Sulha is rash and crazy and beyond our farthest imaginations and considerations. It feels a risk so big and a leap so wide that we are not sure we can receive or even allow it. Our first response to any suggestion of radical forgiveness is often rage and anger. How could it be that the worst of us would become free and forgiven? ‘How is this possible?’ is the cry of our humanity. This way of God seems to be beyond us!

We find in the knowledge of Sulha that we are challenged and prodded and poked. God calls us to this gospel that brings freedom to all mankind. This is the point. The transformation of our lives from the inside out by the power of The Spirit and the resulting restoration of this world is the call of the gospel.

“… This message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘there is forgiveness of sins to all who repent.’” Luke 24:47a NLT

Sometimes we share the gospel as just another religious option, “Come to my church instead of that church.” By this we reveal that we have made the gospel just another type of business, the business of religion. We have made the gospel watered down and safe, and ultimately ineffective. In many of our churches we are no longer preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not called to bring people to come to church or to try harder. The gospel is not an invitation to live perfect lives.

The gospel is an invitation to enter into relationship and the grace of God that frees us from striving and from endless efforts at perfection. The gospel is a call back into the free and easy relationship that Adam and Eve had with God, all of creation, and each other, before sin entered the world. We enter into this for ourselves and we extend it to others. We can do this because of the mighty character and love of God. 73 It is the Lord who does this work within us. All glory and honour to our King.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,


For the Lord our God   

the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

    and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

    and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 19:6-9 ESV


We run toward our communities
in a spirit of sulha
to take on the stones
to intercept the consequences of sin (without the spirit of Sulha we will not do this)
to assume responsibility
to take on their sin as our own

We begin with a heart for our community
we sit before the lord
we ask, “What are the things between this community and you God?’
“What are the sins of this community?”

We listen
the Holy Spirit whispers something to us
we ask, “What is the core sin of this?”
we listen
the Holy Spirit reveals to us the core heart sin

We ask, “Lord how have I had this same heart sin?”
we listen
the Holy Spirit reveals our own hearts
we see our same sin

We come to God in repentance 74
God I confess
We repent, renounce, break, cancel, claim, seal

Now, and only after we have repented of our own same sin
we have authority to take on responsibility for the sin of our community
we come lifting our community to God
in the name and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ
we confess the community sin as our own
“We have sinned”

We repent 75 on behalf of our community
in this one specific thing
we declare freedom and healing
we enter our community into the new life of God
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
through the declaration of our words
through the power of hearts that love and desire
their restoration

you see
our communities
are covered
by a thick weave, a heavy blanket
of despair, shame, fear

they do not know the love of the Lord
they do not know how to come in repentance
they do not know God as the lifter of our heads
you do

as you take the leadership to come in repentance
on behalf of your communities
as you run toward our communities
to take on the stoning
to claim the sin as your own
you begin to loose the weave, that thick blanket
the threads are pulled one by one
as we bring our sin to God

and light begins to stream in
the wind of the spirit begins to blow through
the oil of the lamb begins to soften
the living water begins to wash

we are, all of us
bit by bit
made new
brought into the presence of the Lord

and we do this
again and again
entering our communities
into the grace of the Lord
sulha, amen and amen


Bringing the healing of our Lord to the nations is a specific process. It is revival in action. It is a corporate expression of sulha. It brings restoration to our own lives and the lives of those around us.

Consider this following diagram:

Revelation 3:20

We begin with ourselves:

  • We are, 1. ONE, hungry for more of God
  • 2. TWO, as we come hungry God reveals to pus our heart sand gently leads us in repentance
  • Then, 3. THREE, we find God as the lifter of our heads and religious strongholds are broken
  • 4. FOUR, we become truly hungry for our communities to know God
  • This brings us to, 5. FIVE, repenting on behalf of them; we identify with their sin and come before God with it, putting it and them at the foot of the cross and before our Lord for his mercy.
  • 6. SIX, facilitates religious strongholds broken off of their lives; they can now see God

Memorize the Steps of Revival:

  1. Hunger for more of God for ourselves
  2. Repentance of our own sins before God
  3. Religious Strongholds broken from our own lives
  4. Hunger for our communities to know God
  5. Repentance on behalf of our communities
  6. Religious Strongholds broken of off our communities

Name and memorize three things that mark each step:

1.Hunger for more of God for ourselves
– we push past shame and condemnation to turn to Christ
– we realize that only Christ can redeem our lives
– we know we do not have enough of God

2. Repentance of our own sins before God
– we listen to God for his revealing of the secrets of our hearts
– we bring hidden sins out into the light of Christ
– we see and allow sorrow over the darkness of our hearts

3. Religious Strongholds broken from our own lives
– we experience forgiveness and the grace of God
– we have the peace of God flood our beings
– we enter into the life of the spirit and put law behind us

4. Hunger for our communities to know God
– we refuse to shame and condemn others
– we turn to Christ for the healing of our communities
– we bear a burden for them to know God

5. Repentance on behalf of our communities
– we listen to God for his revealing the heart sins of the community
– we take on 100% responsibility for these sins as though they are our own
– we confess, repent, and renounce these sins on behalf of the community

6. Religious Strongholds broken of off our communities
– we act out and declare forgiveness and grace unto the community
– we declare the peace of God over our communities
– we live sulha on a continuous basis to every person within our community

This is a work we take on as faith communities. Where two or more are gathered we invite the Lord, we repent of our sins, we declare the grace of God and turn from religious strongholds.
Matthew 18:20

By our identification with their sins and in repentance on their behalf we systematically and intentionally loosen the weave off of our communities and nations

  • Of course, we do this slowly – there is no rush
  • We do this by the direction of the Holy Spirit
  • Not according to our own best ideas but as the Lord leads
  • We declare the covering of the Lord Jesus Christ as we do this work

A Suggested Way to Gather Around this Work:

  1. Gather together – just small groups
  2. Leave all personal agenda aside
  3. Come quietly – be prepared to listen to the Lord
  4. Sing a few quiet worship songs – remain in quietness even while singing
  5. Invite the Lord “God we invite your revelation, your words, your insight, your wisdom.”
  6. Declare your dependance, “God we declare we need you and you only.”
  7. Bind lying and deception to silence, “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we say ‘silence’ to any lying, deceiving or confusing spirits, may we hear only the Lord.”
  8. Ask simple questions, “Jesus, what is standing between this community and you?”
  9. Wait for revelation from the Spirit
  10. As the Holy Spirit whispers something to you, share it with the group
  11. Each person must speak up and say if this resonates with them or not
  12. Come around to agreement and conviction together in the Lord
  13. Allow the realization of sin to break your hearts
  14. Bring (what the spirit revealed to you) to the Lord
  15. Use the healing prayer model to confess, repent, renounce, break, cancel, claim and seal
  16. Declare a new freedom of the Lord over that place
  17. Repeat as the Spirit leads. Maybe weekly, Maybe monthly
  18. Be invested in this process for the long haul, commit to intercede for months and years in this way
  19. Keep notes about what you have prayed for, and keep notes of small shifts and any changes in your community as they take place
  20. Praise the Lord for what you are seeing and experiencing


We are ‘called out’ to bring the life of The Kingdom to people. Matthew 5:14-15

We are called to live in the manner of our King. James 1:19-21

We are called to act out the forgiveness of God. Matthew 6:14-15

We are called to repent of our sins and by this bring the healing of God to our nations.
2 Chronicles 7:14

We follow Jesus’ example. Luke 22:37


60 Grace is not passive. Grace is not a ‘free’ card that allows anything and everything. Some think grace is weak, that it is permissive and excusing of sin. But grace is none of this. Grace is powerful and active. It is the transformation that comes over us as we live in Christ and that in fact moves us out of sin. Pulled in by the love and forgiveness of God, grace changes us. Closer into Christ, abiding in him, resting our weary hearts, putting down our striving, enters us into righteousness like never before. We are free of our sin habits, we care more, we love deeply, we offer our service to others, because of grace. Grace is the active outworking of holiness in our lives, and Christ is the author of this grace and of our lives.
61 This we know in part, yet in increasing measure. The total fullness we will only know at the final return of Christ.
62 We experience our own sin, the sins of others against us, and the sins of a broken world. Yet, no longer do we have to live in the effects of the hurt and the harm of others to us. In Christ we can live free. In Christ we have forgiven others and released them into the all-knowing justice of God. We know this work is complete in us when instead of wanting their punishment we want them to know Christ’s healing.
63 The banquet will have both victims and perpetrators, both those who harmed and those who were harmed, both those who hunted others and those who were hunted. The feast is not for those who have proven themselves good but those who know themselves to be evil and turn to Jesus and trust him for new life.
64 The Gospel of Christ is the Good News that God loves all humanity and has conquered sin and death through the radical forgiveness, the outpouring love, and the co-suffering of Christ (God) with us and for us and all humanity.
65 Definition of Recompense: To make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered, to compensate.
66 Justice is an act of love to perpetrators and abusers, bullies and madmen. Stopping evil is necessary work. Yet, if we expect it to heal our hearts, it is ill-equipped to do this. Justice played out as vengeance will tie our hearts more firmly to the evil.
67 no longer condemning or casting shame is the sign of a truly repentant and broken heart before God – someone who has tasted of God.
68 freedom, healing, wholeness, holiness and the righteousness of Christ lived through us
70 There are of course times to step back from people who refuse repentance, who refuse to change, but this stepping-back would be by the direction of the Spirit and not as our reaction against others, Rather, stepping-back can be strategic service to people and out of a heart of love. i.e. not exasperation
71 We are addressing our heart attitude towards others. Evil men and women need to be held to account for the evil they have perpetrated against others, yet, for our own sake, we do this work from a heart of sulha towards them, otherwise we may become consumed by the same evil as they.
72 Of course, the fullness of Sulha is a continuing process in our lives. We cannot enter into it all at once. It is not possible to be perfect in Sulha right away and God does not expect this of us. it takes years to work through harms done to us. Time must be taken to find and experience the validation for these harms, we need to grieve and weep and tho hear someone say, “that never should have happened to you”. Time must be taken to forgive and to come into a resting in the Lord for our natural need for justice. It takes time to understand and truly know that God still has our best at heart, that he loves us, he is good, and we can trust him, even through immense and unaccountable difficulties. As pastors, we give folks time to come to their own acceptance, understanding and ability to live Sulha. We do not rush others on this, for to do so is to cause more harm. Something we do not want to do.

The process of coming to Sulha includes:

  1. Validation of hurt and harm “Yes, you have been hurt and harmed.”
  2. Recognition of hurt and harm, “Yes, I have been hurt and harmed.”
  3. Grieving the hurt. Five Stages of Grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sadness, Acceptance
  4. Working through disillusionment
  5. Trusting God in the hurt
  6. Trusting God with the healing
  7. Forgiving the one who has hurt us
  8. Keeping good boundaries (taking every action available to us so that we are not harmed any longer)
  9. Acting in Sulha – refusing to pick up the stones
  10. We carry peace within us

73 As the Body of Christ we are to validate the pain, acknowledge great hurts, so that other can go free into sulha. We acknowledge how bad it has been and the pain that others are living by and as we do this others are free to weep, to grieve, to lament, and to ultimately become free.
74 Inner Healing Prayer Process in APPENDIX on page 183
75 Inner Healing Prayer Process in APPENDIX on page 183

=> The next lesson is Refusing Paganism

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