Accusations Are Flying, Beware!

Isaiah 6:1-7 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Only when you enter into a place that is undefiled, that is pure, in which the air is clean, can you understand the power of an accusation lodged against another member of the body of Christ. Whether that person has a function like that of an apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher or evangelist or whether they are a mother, father, brother, or sister in the family of God. Accusations are unclean spirits that operate through pain that is unhealed in the lives of members of the body of Christ. This unhealed pain, produces a sound of accusation against another believer, because pain has to blame someone for the wound inflicted on them.

There have been many accusations flying around the body of Christ, whether on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snap Chat or in homes, coffee shops, and phones around this globe. No matter how the words are traveling, they are destructive in nature and unacceptable to God. Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. The Bible says, God considers a person who stirs up conflict in the community an abomination. That community is not one local church, or one city, state or nation, that is the body of Christ. We are walking on very thin ice, when we speak accusations about another member of the body of Christ.

The enemy would love for us to self-destruct as the body of Christ, but Jesus, the head of this body, gives us two commands, Love the Lord Your God and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself. If you do not have access to the person of whom negative press is being given about, then it is best to shut it down upon arrival, for the war we are in has been long and many in the body are battle weary. They don’t need attacks from within, when they are dealing with so many attacks from without. It’s time we stand together, even when we don’t agree, we are called to stand and keep on standing together to advance the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. We are on the verge of something significant, so hold your tongue, guard your eyes and your ears against any accusations and let’s pray for the manifestation of the glory of God on earth. We need a breakthrough.

 

You Have Authority

As a believer in Jesus Christ, the son of the Living God, you have Christ living in you, He is the hope of glory (Colosians 1:27). In addition, you have the same breath of God coming out of you that the first and second Adam did (Genesis 2:7/2 Timothy 3:16), therefore, you have authority when you speak. Your words have the ability to support or suppress what is said in the earth realm. Now we all have different measures of authority, based on our training, for the bible says in Hebrews 5:13-14 “Everyone who lives on milk is still an infant, inexperienced in the message of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (NIV). All that to say, you have authority!

Now, as people who have authority in the earth realm, I believe we need to source things before we support things. There are a lot of “bandwagons” here now and coming down the road and if we do not source them, we will support them not knowing the source of them. Does that make sense? When I say source it, I mean we need to “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20, KJV). The enemy is patient in his deception, but he is also a snake, so he slithers in through “good” causes, to get us believers, who have authority, to support what he is sourcing, so it stays on earth. For he knows better than we do, that we have veto power, for Jesus said, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7, NKJV).

Now with that said, I believe we are seeing the church be divided by bandwagon issues who when you source it is drinking from the river of death, not the river of life. Many are not able to see it, because the early fruit of these bandwagons look like they are for justice, equality, acceptance, tolerance, and many other “worthy” causes, however, Paul tells us in Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (NIV). Source it before you support it, for you have been given authority. If you don’t know the source of it, just be patient, hold your tongue, don’t support it or suppress it, just wait for its final not first fruit to manifest.

The early fruit will always look good, sound good, smell good and for some taste good, but the Bible says so does wine (false teachings, bandwagons) “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things” (NKJV). Early fruit will give you feel good experiences, it will make your “flesh” feel good, your emotions will enjoy it, but when it matures, it will harm you if it is sourced in the river of death not life. Remember, you have authority, so if you find the source is demonic, you can shut it down in prayer with your words, if it is sourced in the Truth, then support it. Just remember you have authority and if you want to increase in authority, you have train your senses to discern good from evil (Hebrews 5:13-14).

I find the times we are living in to the be the greatest days to be alive. The kingdom of God is raising up a standard of righteousness that is going to cause cities to rejoice (Proverbs 29:2), but I am not unaware of the deception of the enemy that is still seeking to steal, kill and destroy through false information (John 10:10). So, lift up your heads and smile, for our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121), He has heard our cry for help and He is answering in ways we did not see coming, but that is because His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). You have authority, what an honor to speak life for the kingdom of God is advancing!

Prophesy In Order to Multiply

Did you know God already knew our two greatest challenges in life would be money and marriage? Did you know that God never intended these two areas of our life to be a burden, but to be a blessing? Have you ever thought about why these two areas of life are constantly under attack? It’s because the enemy knows that family and finances, marriage and money are the double doors that unlock life abundantly. How do I know…because I have His word on it. The challenge of ministry is marriage and money, the challenge in most homes is marriage and money, the challenge in society is family and finances. These are the two areas that God uses to advance the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, because both marriage and money multiply!

The answer to marriage and money problems is not to complain, but to proclaim, not our ideas, thoughts, plans, desires, not our way, but His way for He is Yahweh. The problem is obvious and wide spread, but the solution is in our Bible, we just need to take God’s word on it and prophesy. Ezekiel 37 is commonly known in the church as the valley of dry bones, but did you know there are three things Ezekiel was told to prophesy to? God knows what He is doing, and if we will follow His order, we will find we get His answers to our questions, struggles, situations. The three things in Ezekiel 37 that he was commanded to prophesy to, was, one the bones, two the breath and three the people.

1. Prophesy to the bones and say hear the word of the Lord (v.4-6). This is what I am doing to you, hear the word of the Lord, and you need to speak to your bones, hear the word of the Lord. Did you know bones are two-fold? Bones in Hebrew means both substance and self. Which brings us to the Genesis 2 connection, in Genesis 2, Adam says, you are bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh…we need to prophesy to our bones and to our spouse, who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh and say, hear the word of the Lord. This is the first prophesy, proclamation we need to speak in prayer. Prophesy to your bones, both substance and self.

2. Prophesy to the breath and say, come from the four winds and breath upon these slain (v.9). The slain are those who have marriages that are lying in the dust, they are not alive, they are barren, lifeless, without joy, without communication, without breath. Selfishness is what makes us slain, we need breath to come into us. Prophesy to the four winds, call for the breath of God to come in from all directions and breathe life into your finances and into your marriage, prophesy. Finances like marriage dies because of selfishness, spending more than we have kills our finances, thinking of ourselves and our needs is what kills our marriage. Many marriages and many people’s money is slain, but God said, take my word on it, prophesy to the breath. Again, the Genesis 2 connection, God breathed into the nostrils of the dust man (Adam) and made him into a living being. The breath of God is what causes us to come alive, prophesy to the breath!

3. Prophesy to the people and say, come up out of your graves and let God bring you into the land (v.12-14). The result of prophesying to the people to come out of their graves (grief, exile) is that they become a mighty army. Did you know that word army in Hebrew means resources, wealth, might, power, riches, substance, a force of resources? When we prophesy as the Lord tells us to prophesy in Ezekiel 37, our money and marriage comes alive, our family and finances multiply. Again, the Genesis 2 connection, did not God tell them to be fruitful and multiply? Once they were alive, once they had breath in them, their natural next step was to multiply.

The reason we do not multiply is because we do not prophesy God’s word. Many people are giving prophetic words, but very few are saying what God is saying. How do I know? One because most of their prophecy is commentary on what God actually said, and two because very few prophetic words have a verse on it. Meaning, without stretching the word of God, you can’t see the source of it in scripture. Ezekiel was famous for addressing the vain prophecies that said what you wanted to hear. But, that does not mean we do not prophesy, we just must take God’s word on it and prophesy. I encourage you to read Ezekiel 37 and Genesis 2 and see the connections between the two and then take God’s word and prophesy to those three things, the bones, the breath and the people. In prophesying God’s word, you are going to see God’s results and your marriage and money are going to multiply, because you are taking His word on it and prophesying!

Answer to Me or Authority

Answer to Me or Authority 4.18.18

On Passover 2018, Dutch Sheets declared we have entered a new era. He explained that this new era was going to move the church from the Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist ministry model to the Apostolic, Prophetic led ministry model. He explained how this would look in great detail and said we must learn what this new model is going to look like and multiply the message. Dutch then commissioned us to go and preach this ministry model as the Lord gives us revelation into it. Well, the Lord has revealed something to me that I want to share with you. The Lord said to me this morning, “The church is moving from an answer to me ministry model to an authority ministry model.”

The answer to me ministry model has the attitude of you do what I say, you sow into my ministry, you support my vision, you follow my lead, it is very much driven by the senior leader, the titled position and the congregation is expected to financially and gifting wise support the leader. People are not allowed to do things without the Pastor’s permission and leadership roles in the church are given to those based on loyalty and tithing. This ministry model is not new, for the Pharisee’s employed the same model, they expected the tithe, they expected allegiance to them as leaders in the temple and they created a culture of fear, submission and obligation of which the people were bound to.

Remember the story of the man who was born blind, but Jesus healed him (John 9)? The Pharisees did not believe he was born blind and healed because Jesus did not keep the Sabbath, so they asked the blind man a couple times and he said, yes He opened my eyes, but the Pharisees still did not believe, so they asked the blind man’s parents and questioned them saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see? His parents answered them and said, we know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself. His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. For this reason, his parents said, he is of age, ask him” (John 9:19-23).

The answer to me model the Pharisees employed was a model of intimidation and fear. People obeyed out of fear and obligation. But Jesus is on the scene at the same time that the Pharisees are and he is employing a different ministry model. Jesus is modeling authority. Whenever Jesus finished speaking, the crowds would say, who is this, He speaks as one who has authority and not as the Scribes and Pharisees. Or the people would be amazed whenever they saw a miracle, for they knew that man could not do miracles, only God could. Jesus’ ministry model was one of authority, His teachings were with authority, the miracles He did were because He had authority and He knew He had authority because of Whose He was. Jesus always pointed to His Father in heaven, He never pointed to Himself. Jesus would only do what He saw His Father do and say what He heard His Father say; He would tell the disciples, if you see me you have seen the Father, for the Father and I are one. Jesus was quick to give glory to the Father, credit the Father and point His disciples to the Father.

The answer to me ministry model wants to be seen, heard and followed, but the authority ministry model wants you to see Jesus, hear Jesus and follow Jesus. The answer to me ministry model wants you to come to church, the authority ministry model wants you to come to Christ. There are two ministry models on the earth right now, just as there were in Jesus’s day. The exodus out of the answer to me ministry model is not out of rebellion, disobedience or a lack of pursuit of the kingdom of God, it is actually quite the opposite. When the people hear authority, see authority and learn that they too can have authority, they want that, for no human being was made to be powerless, but powerful and as Solomon said, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved” (Song of Solomon 8:5)? She is the bride of Christ and she is coming up out of the wilderness with authority because she is leaning on her beloved. It is a new era we have entered!

The Rooster Is About To Crow

The Rooster Is About to Crow 3.28.18

http://www.apostolicresourcecenter.org

Do you remember when Jesus was in a discussion with His disciples about the prophecy in Zechariah 13:7 that says, “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones”? It was after Peter had confessed that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God in Matthew 16:18. It was the same time when Peter told Jesus, after Jesus told all the disciples that they would ALL desert Him, Peter said, they may all desert you, but I will never desert you. Well, it was here in Matthew 26:31-35, in the heart of The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover), that this story is presented. Jesus tells all the disciples, that He see’s something in them that they do not see in themselves, but they don’t believe and Peter flat out denies it.

Do you realize that God sees things in you, that you can’t see in yourself and He is actually trying to get you to see it, so He can protect you, not reject you? We live in a culture that is so easily offended, because people are so internally weak, that they cannot handle anyone seeing anything in them that is not positive, based on what they consider positive, so they get offended and deny the truth, just like Peter did. You see insecure people are weak people, arrogant people are weak people, only humble, teachable people are strong people. It takes internal strength to be humble, to accept criticism, to let others share with you what they see in you because they love you. Strong people, don’t try to make the Bible fit their lifestyle, they make their lifestyle fit the Bible. It takes strength to bend your life to the will of another.

Peter, could not see what Jesus saw, so he told Jesus, who is Truth, that He did not know what He was talking about. Peter thought he knew more about Himself than Jesus did and as we know both of them cannot be right, one of them is going to have a wakeup call happen, one of them is going to hear the rooster crow. Flip a couple of pages in your bible to Matthew 26:69-75 where we find the account of Peter’s triple denial of Jesus. His first denial happens in the courtyard, his second denial happens in the gateway and his third denial happens emphatically. What Jesus knew that Peter didn’t is that denial is evidence of blindness. Denial, is a refusal to acknowledge the truth, even when it is presented to you. Peter could not see what Jesus saw, Peter was blind, but he was also proud, because He could not respond to Jesus’ warning that he would deny Him.

Warning after warning after warning has went out from many people around the body of Christ, from Veronika West in Ireland to Jeremiah Johnson in the USA. We have men and women, known and unknown telling people the truth, but our refusal to acknowledge the truth, to adjust our lives, to agree with God has caused us to deny the very truth that could set us free. I can even hear in the spirit, some denying what is being said right now. If people believe they can be gay and Christian, that is a blatant denial of truth; if someone thinks they can verbally, physically or spiritually abuse another person, that is a blatant denial of truth; if someone thinks God winks at our sin, that is denial of the truth and all these, along with many more denials has created a blindness in the body of Christ that is evident, possibly more so to the world than it even is to us.

The days of getting away with behaviors that are contrary to the word of God are over, for the rooster is about to crow. When the rooster crows, it is going to announce the breaking of a new day; it is going to remind many of the vows they broke, the people they have mistreated, the sins they have committed. When the rooster crowed in Matthew 26 and Peter heard it, the Bible says, Peter remembered the words of Jesus…and he wept bitterly. When the rooster crows, there is going to be bitter weeping, but this weeping is going to be tears of repentance that will lead to restoration and redemption. When the rooster crows, the great awakening will break forth like the sun cracking the morning horizon; when the rooster crows our eyes will be opened to see Jesus and we, like Peter will say, He is God, He is God!

The rooster is about to crow and when it does many will be weeping out of repentance and others will be weeping out of amazement, for all are going to see Jesus only, the Passover lamb, who takes away the sins of the world. This is not going to be the rapture of the church, this is going to be the next great awakening, when the rooster crows!

Quantum Shift

Quantum Shift 3.15.18

http://www.apostolicresourcecenter.org

I had a dream the other night in which I saw a woman sitting in a car that was parked in a garage, with the garage door open. In the driver’s seat was a teacher, who was teaching the woman to drive, but the car was in the garage, the car was not turned on, and the woman was in the passenger’s seat. As soon as the woman got out of the car, to come out and sing the song she had learned while sitting in the car, there was another person (a coach figure) who was standing in the entry way of the open garage door. As soon as the woman got out of the car to sing, the other person cued the choir, who backed her up in the singing of the song, she thought no one else had learned. To her surprise there was a whole choir of people who knew the same song she learned while in that garage. The next scene in the dream was exactly as the first, but this time the woman got out of the car in order to play her instrument and when she did, the coach figure, cued the orchestra to join the woman in the song.

When I woke up I was so excited, because I knew this was another piece in the puzzle that is presenting the picture of the quantum shift God is doing in the church right now. While in prayer about this dream, the Lord revealed to me that the woman is the body of Christ and that the body of Christ is moving from teacher-student relationships that happen in a classroom in which the student sits and listens in order to learn, to coach-player relationships in which the player is on the field or the court engaged in the game. This dream confirmed to me what I have been hearing and saying, along with many others, that the Pastor/Teacher classroom church is over and the Apostolic/Prophetic field church is here.

Many are wondering what this will look like and the Lord has given me some insight and language to this, but as with any parable, it is in picture form. We are moving from covered churches, where a man is your “covering”, to convertible Christianity and topless Tabernacles, where wide open spaces are holy places. Consider this with me, is there anywhere in the world that you cannot look up, when outside and see wide open spaces? But, everywhere on this earth sphere we see boundaries. Water has boundaries, land has boundaries, countries have boundaries, even the Bible tells us, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed my heritage is beautiful to me” (Psalm 16:6).

Having wide open spaces above our head is by God’s design, this is why God is putting a crown on the head of His church, because she is going to have boundaries, for her safety, but wide open spaces over her head, so she can see Him and Him alone. A biblical crown, is open on the top, because our God is sovereign, but He is not controlling. The days of being under someone’s covering is over and when the people come out of the system of religion, into wide open spaces, they are going to find holy places, because there will be boundaries, but there will not be a covering. Think of what God is doing as a football stadium, it is a place that has boundaries, but is open to the sky.

May I propose to you, that the heavens are open to us, but in order for us to see them, we need to come out from under the covering of man and get under the covering of God. This does not mean we don’t honor men, we don’t honor titles, positions, or places we enter, we absolutely do. This is not a call to rebellion or anarchy, this is a call to freedom, for who the son sets free is free indeed (John 8:32). This is not an invitation to be a renegade or a lone ranger, this is a call to community, to relationships, to biblical authority. When we come into wide open spaces that are holy places, we will begin to hear the voice of God, walk in the authority of God and love the people of God. This quantum shift is not for our destruction it is for our restoration.

Just like on any team that operates in a field or on a court, there will be many coaches needed, henceforth, why the fivefold ministry model (Ephesians 4:12) is never out of date, but we need all five coaches, not just one. The team that God is putting together that He calls church, will be a team that the world will want to come and see play and some will even want to join this team. When Jesus walked the earth, people left their covered tabernacles to come into wide open spaces with Jesus. He led a team of men and women and when the people saw this team playing, they wanted to come and see.

While some even left everything and followed them. This quantum shift is not something new, it is something old, but it is new to us, because we have been locked down in religion, both denominational and Pentecostal (charismatic), but the shift is here and it is a shift that God is doing. Therefore, you can either surrender to it or resist it, but you can’t stop it.

I believe the song for this shift is Come Alive by Hugh Jackman from the Greatest Showman soundtrack:

Come alive, come alive

Go and ride your light

Let it burn so bright

Reaching up

To the sky

And it’s open wide

You’re electrified

When the world becomes a fantasy

And you’re more than you could ever be

‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open

And you know you can’t go back again

To the world that you were living in

‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open

So, come alive!

I see it in your eyes

You believe that lie

That you need to hide your face

Afraid to step outside

So you lock the door

But don’t you stay that way

No more living in those shadows

You and me we know how that goes

‘Cause once you see it, oh you’ll never, never be the same

We’ll be the light that’s shining

Bottle up and keep on trying

You can prove there’s more to you

You cannot be afraid

Love Lifts the Lid

Limits, you know those things you believe that tell you…you can’t? Limits, those self or others-imposed beliefs that stop you at a certain point for one reason or another? Limits or as in the story we are about to look at lids, that keep you from doing what needs to be done, because someone somewhere said, that’s now how it is supposed to be done. Limits or lids are ways to stop you from being who God made you to be, which is limitless.

Did you know that you are without limits, but you are with boundaries? There is a difference between limits or lids and boundaries. Limits are like lids that are forms of control that keep you contained, restrained and maintained, whether you recognize it or not, but boundaries are what keep you safe. Lids put a ceiling over your head, while boundaries, put a safety line around your life. Proverbs 22:28 says, “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors”; Proverbs 23:10 says, “Don’t move the ancient boundary stone or encroach on the land of the fatherless.”

From Genesis to Revelation there are boundaries, God has established for people. Rivers and mountains used to be boundaries that marked out land for certain people groups or tribes, so God is pro-boundaries, but He is anti-lids. Because lids have to do with control, lids have to do with putting limits on people.

Genesis 29:1-3 says, “So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East. And he looked and saw a well in the field; and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks. A large stone was on the well’s mouth. Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth”.

Jacob came to a well, there were three flocks of sheep, that is about 300-600 sheep all waiting at the well, but there was a lid on it, so they could not drink any water, yet. Why did they not roll the stone away and let the 3 flocks of sheep drink? Because it was customary to not remove the stone from the well, until…until what, the right shepherd showed up, until the correct number of sheep were ready to be watered? What were they waiting for? Someone put a limit on these flocks of sheep and told them they could not remove the stone, until….

Genesis 29:7- 8 says, “Then he (Jacob) said, “Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go and feed them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.”

Can you hear the limits put on those at the well? Jacob is like, it is hot out here, the sheep are thirsty and hungry, what are you people waiting for? They say, we can’t, we won’t, we were told not to, its protocol. Can you hear the limits? But what’s ironic, is not only can we hear the lid in their language, we can see the lid, for they are standing right there at the well that has water in it, but none of them is willing to roll the stone away so the sheep can drink. Jacob, is stupefied by this. Maybe it was because he was not a member of the flock or he wasn’t a shepherd, that is why he did not understand.

Genesis 29:9-10 says, “ Now while he (Jacob) was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother”.

Jacob, when he saw Rachel, who was a shepherdess, come with her flocks, he rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, he lifted the lid off the well, so ALL the sheep could drink. Jacob’s love for Rachel lifted the lid for all the flocks waiting around the well that had a lid on it. While the other shepherds would not remove the lid, because of some protocol, love came in and lifted the lid, removed the stone and did not care what anyone thought.

There is a group of people on the face of the earth, who are so in love with Jesus, that they are lifting the lids off of people’s lives, not out of rebellion, as though they have no boundaries, but out of love, because they have no lid. Love is lifting the lid off of people’s lives. Love is revealing to the sheep that there is no limit, no lid, no stopping how deep they can go into the presence of God, how wide open the spaces in God are.

Just like in John 4 when Jesus rolled the stone away from the Samaritan woman’s heart at Jacob’s well, she ran into town and told everybody, come meet a Man, come meet a Man. Love is lifting the lid, removing the stone from the well of living water inside of people, it is giving the sheep water to drink. Love lifts the lid, so people can come and see the Man, Jesus the Christ.

Vashti’s Refusal

***I wrote this on Sunday morning***
 
We are four days away from Purim, the day the Jews celebrate the Feast of Purim, a time when Hamaan was hung on the gallows he made for Mordecai. Little did I know when I read Esther 1 this morning, that Purim was on Wednesday, but when I heard it, I knew God was setting us up to say some things to us through the book of Esther. As I was reading Esther 1 this morning in the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Old Testament, I found some of the language very insightful and revelation began to break open on the pages of scripture as I read. I believe this chapter is prophetic for where many are right now.
 
In Esther 1 we read that King Artaxerxes throws a marriage feast for 180 days, then at the end of that 180 days, he throws another party for those who were still in town. For 6 more days he is banqueting with those in his palace, while Vashti is doing the same with the women. On the 7th day…slow down when you read and you will hear the Lord speak…on the 7th day, the king sends his chamberlains to get Vashti. Here is what the Septuagint says as to why he sent for her, “He sent seven of his chamberlain servants to bring in the queen to him, to enthrone her, to crown her with a diadem, to show her to the princes and to show her beauty to the nations, for she was beautiful” (Esther 1:11). Did you catch that, the king was not trying to get her to dress scantily and dance for his drunk guests, no, he wanted to enthrone her, crown her, and show her off to the princes and nations, for she was beautiful.
 
May I propose to you, that the king was proud of his bride and not some guy who wanted a trophy wife on his arm. May I suggest that he was seeking to honor her before the nations, but she refused to come to him. For you that have ears to hear, you can already tell where we are going. But let me just break this down, based on what I sensed the Lord was saying. Vashti, the bible says, “hearkened not to him to come” (Esther 1:12). The king was inviting her to be enthroned, crowned and shown off to the nations, but she was not interested in coming to see the king, when he called for her. Esther 1:12 goes on to say, “the king was grieved and angry.”
 
What I sense in this refusal of Vashti to come at the invitation, when her king called, is a prophetic picture of what many Christians have done to the King of kings. He has been inviting His church to come away with him (Song of Solomon 2), to come up here (Revelation 4), to hear him standing at the door and knocking asking to come in (Revelation 3), but the modern-day church has refused His offer. The same thing happened in the book of Acts, when Paul said, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, go to the people and say the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and return and I would heal them” (Acts 28:25-27). The church, like Vashti has said, no to her king.
 
Vashti’s refusal grieved and angered the king and lost her position as his queen. Which made room for a new queen to be sought for. I believe this is a prophetic picture in the sense that Yahweh was grieved over Israel as they refused him, so in the words of Paul in Acts 28:28, “Therefore, let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” But what I see has happened is that the church has done to Jesus what Israel did to Yahweh and they have fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy of having eyes but can’t see and ears but can’t hear and a heart that has become dull, so can’t turn to God and be healed (Isaiah 6:9-10). And because of this refusal of the church to come to Jesus, their King, when He called, He was grieved and angry, just like Artaxerxes was when Vashti refused him.
 
The king will not be denied a queen though, so Artaxerxes went to find a queen, and I believe Jesus has been looking for a bride. Just as Esther was not in the system of Persia, so the bride is not in the system of the church as we know it. Vashti’s refusal, opened the door for Esther, just as the Jews refusal opened the door for the Gentiles and the church’s refusal has opened the door for the bride (those who have said yes to his invitation to be set apart for Him only). Vashti’s refusal brought grief to the king, just like the Jews refusal brought grief to Yahweh and the church’s refusal has brought grief to Jesus, but the search has went on and we are about to see how Vashti’s refusal gave us Esther and how the church’s refusal is giving us the bride!
 
Esther was the one who was willing to be set apart so she because queen and God used her to deliver the Jews from Hamaan. I believe those who said yes to God’s invitation in this hour have been set apart to be deliverers, like Esther was, for the people of God, who the enemy has sought to destroy. The Esther’s have been in purification and beautification treatments, they have favor with the king and they are going to be used as deliverers in this hour. Vashti’s refusal, opened the door for Esther’s arrival.

 

Maturity Precedes Victory

Have you ever wondered what the wait is all about? Have you asked the Lord, when am I going to see the promises fulfilled that you have spoken over my life? Have you ever wondered if you did something wrong and that is why you are being, what feels like, delayed from fulfilling your destiny? Have you struggled with disappointment fatigue? I have struggled with all of these questions, for I do not believe there is a victory without a battle. But what I have learned in this process is that the battle is not with some external person or force that is hindering me, it is a battle within me. It is Jacob wrestling with God, saying, I won’t let you go unless you bless me, kind of battle. I think I am speaking to people who can relate, which is why when the Lord spoke this to me this morning, I knew I had to release it to my fellow women and men who are wrestling until they are blessed.

Maturity preceded victory is what the Lord told me this morning.

Maturity is a character issue. Think about it for a minute, when we were immature, we were impatient, unkind, selfish, insecure, all about us all the time. But then as we matured, got married, had kids, got that job, went on that vacation, made some more money, bought that first house, maybe been through a divorce, maybe had to bury a loved one, and the list goes on, we matured. Maturity is a character issue and maturity precedes victory. Biblically, we see maturity in 2 Peter 1 where Peter talks about how God has given us everything we need for living a godly life (v.3); how He has given us great and precious promises (v.4); then he goes on to say, “In light of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises”. Peter exhorts us to respond by becoming mature, by adding to one-character quality like knowledge, another character quality called self-control, the list goes on of what he is inviting us to add. Peter concludes by telling us this character development will make you mature, productive, useful.

Victory on the other hand is not a character issue, but a soul issue. Once we have matured, by developing the character qualities we need to be productive and useful, then God brings us into the process of dealing with the issues in our soul. We see this most clearly in James 1, where James exhorts us about finding joy in our trials and testings, so endurance can grow. James even says, when endurance is grown, we are fully developed, perfect, complete, lacking nothing. Trials, tests, and may I add time, heal our souls from the wounds inflicted on us that have caused us to believe, God is not good, God can’t be trusted, God has forgotten me, God doesn’t love me. These are soul issues that God is working out in us through the trials, testings and time. 3 John 2 says, “…May you prosper, even as your soul prospers!” God has been prospering our souls because He wants us to be victorious.

Maturity precedes victory because it takes maturity to endure to the place of victory. Jesus is coming back for a victorious church, a beautiful bride, and for that to happen He matures us in our character, then heals us in our souls, so we can be victorious. The voices that are about to arise and are already arising our voices of victory, because they have not only matured, but they have a prosperous soul, so they are walking in the victory they are proclaiming. They have learned what is means to be more than a conqueror, they exude they are an overcomer, they are victorious. Jesus has matured their character and healed their soul, so they can reign and rule as a victor, not a victim. Men and women alike all have to mature in character, prosper in their soul, so they can be a voice of victory in this hour. The church is about to be victorious again, because the voices of victory are here and they are rising.

Salt the River Within

While at lunch with one of my mentors, I was pouring out my heart in regards to some pressure that I am under and she looked right at me, without hesitation, but with determination saying, “You need to salt the river within.” I looked at her and said, what do you mean? She said, you have been salting the rivers in our land and now you need to salt the river that is your land. I was stunned by her statement, but knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking through her, so heeded her thoughts overnight, before pulling out a glass of warm water the next morning and putting salt in it. I then drank the salt water and declared 2 Kings 2:19-22 which says, “The men of the city said to Elisha, behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad and the land is unfruitful. Elisha said, bring me a new jar, and put salt in it. So they brought it to him. He went to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, Thus says the Lord, I have purified these waters, there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer. So the waters have been purified to this day, according to the word of Elisha, which he spoke.” Immediately after I did this prophetic act, the Lord revealed to me that our mouths need to be purified, for there is death in them.

The city that the men in these verses were referencing is Jericho. Jericho was a city that Joshua decreed should not be rebuilt by saying, “At that time (after the walls of Jericho fell) Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: Cursed before the LORD is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations and at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates” (Joshua 6:26). Now in 2 Kings, Elisha’s men are saying, the city is pleasant but the water is bad, why? Because the man who rebuilt this city, paid for it with the death of two of his sons (1 Kings 16:34), based on what Joshua decreed. Therefore, the water was bad, because there was death in the water that ran through the city. Elisha comes and says, we are going to break this curse over this city, over this land, by salting the spring. The spring was the mouth of the river that ran through the city. Can you see the connection and why God is calling us to salt our springs (mouths)?

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit”. The Lord is inviting us to salt the river within, because there is death in the water and He wants to purify the waters within our lives, so we are only producing life and fruit that nourishes us and others. The old saying, you are what you eat is true, for we eat the fruit of our lips and if we are complaining, grumbling, fearing, doubting, or any other death producing fruit, we are releasing water that has death in it. The Rabbi’s believe, the 4 rivers in the garden of Eden are the 4 chambers of our hearts, there is a mystery here, but think of that, if out of the abundance of the heart our mouth speaks and the 4 chambers in our hearts are 4 rivers, that means if death comes out of our mouth, there is death in the rivers of our heart. It is time to salt the river within.

Now, death has many levels, it can be cursing someone or it can be complaining; it can be fear or it can be murder; so know that just because you are not doing something extreme, if there is any death coming out of your mouth, it is making your land unfruitful and the water inside of you is bad. This is not something to be ashamed of, but when we hear truth, we need to confess it as truth to God, ask for forgiveness and then turn away from it. I did not see, what I was saying as death, but when she said, you need to salt the river within, I knew she was right, so I went to the LORD and dealt with the death in my river and salted my spring (mouth). If we are honest, we all need to salt the river within. It’s not about being perfect, but it is about being honest. The LORD is wanting to make us oracles to the nations, but for that to happen, we must salt the river within.