Take the Land
In the Old Testament, Israel was commanded to take the physical land of Canaan and all the other lands the Lord was giving to them as their inheritance. Each tribe was given a section of land that was designated as theirs. They had to conquer kingdoms, fight giants, tear down walls and keep advancing in order to take the land that Yahweh was giving to them. The Lord even went as far as to say, wherever your foot treads, that land will be yours (Deuteronomy 11:24/Joshua 1:3). So, Israel marched in and took over land from other peoples who were enemies of Israel and were squatting on land that belonged to Israel, for the Psalmist tells us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” (Psalm 24:1, NIV). But when Jesus came to the earth, there was a significant change that took place, but that many, if not most have missed it.
In John 2, Jesus is having a discussion with some Jews after He turned over tables in the temple and this is what Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body” (NIV). Jesus makes a significant shift in understanding from the temple being brick and mortar to the temple being His body, He now was the temple. Then Paul takes the thought one step further when he says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor. 6:19, NLT). So, there is a shift that takes place from that which used to be outside of them to it being inside of them.
As New Testament believers everything that Israel obtained in the natural or outside of them, like land, like defeating of enemies, like building temples, all of these things are what the Lord has placed inside of us. Think about this for a minute, Jesus prayed in Matthew 6, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Who is the earth Jesus is referencing? Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7 that we have this treasure in earthen vessels. Is it possible, Jesus was praying that the kingdom of God would advance inside of us, that God is seeking to take ground in our hearts, in our lives, not in the earth, but in people? Think about this for a minute, Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), then from what direction is the Lord seeking to advance His kingdom, outside of you or inside of you? Where is your real battle, is it outside of you or inside of you? James says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:16, NIV). James, Paul, Jesus all say that everything is inside of us.
The land the Lord is calling us to take is inside of us, not outside of us. The battles we face are not outside of us, they are inside of us and inside of others. The only way anything is outside of us is if it comes out of our mouths (Luke 6:45) or our actions. The fruit of the spirit is inside of you, the spirit of God is inside of you, the kingdom of God is inside of you. Everything you need is inside of you, but it all starts with you allowing the Lord to advance the kingdom of God within you. Many people are not successful, not effective, not because they have not had a door open, or an opportunity arise, but because they have resisted the advancing of the kingdom of God in you. 3 John 2 says, “May you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers” (NIV). The land the Lord is trying to take is inside of you, so who controls how much land is taken, you do. Let Jesus, Take the land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I AM Shuffling the Deck
When you buy a brand new deck of cards, they come color coordinated. All the hearts are together, all the diamonds are together, all the spades are together and all the clubs are together. Even the hearts and the diamonds are next to one another and the spades and the clubs are all side by side in a brand new deck of cards. There is something about us as human beings that likes to be around people who have the same color as us. To take it a step further, we tend to be suspicious of people who are of a different color than us. So, this prophetic word God gave me about a month ago has finally made sense to me, God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.”
Revelation 12:7-12, says, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Did you know the Greek word for accuser is kategoros, which is where we get the English word, categories? The enemy, the devil, Satan himself seeks to bring division by putting us into categories. Black or white; rich or poor; slave or free; spiritual or sinner; Democrat or Republican; Baptist or Pentecostal; leader or laity; the number of categories that we have been placed into us beyond naming, and the goal of categories from the enemy, the accusers standpoint is so we are divided. Division is the goal of the enemy and what we are seeing on the earth right now is the highlighting of categories or can I say division.
God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.” When we rise up in anger based on injustices we see, the enemy, the accuser is right there to egg us on to strengthen the categories. If the media highlights a mistake that Trump makes, the categorically Hillary supporters jump on the band wagon and character assault Trump, if Clinton and the DNC fire someone, then the enemy eggs on the Republicans to reinforce the belief that Democrats are not trustworthy. Now, if you are not a Christian, these divisions, party lines, attacks on one another, in many ways is to be expected, because the god of this world has blinded the eyes of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). But as believers, as Christians, as people who claim to be in the light, we should have eyes to see the scheme of the enemy who is seeking to put us in a category and divide us as people.
God is shuffling the deck not just on the streets of America, not just in companies around this country, not just in politics but He is shuffling the deck in the church, which if we were honest is the most categorically divisive place on the earth. What we are beginning to see and will see more so in the days to come is black preachers speaking in white churches, white preachers speaking in black churches and women preaching in every church. God is shuffling the deck and the church is not going to be exempt. Leadership teams are going to be including women and men, black and white leaders, young and old, all serving together, all leading together. The revival that is coming is multigenerational, multiethnic and multi-gender, because as Paul said, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are ALL one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28).
The reason the church has very little voice in the racial challenges our nation is facing, minimal authority in the political arena or in the streets of our cities, is not because we lack authority given from Jesus (Matthew 28:18); not because we do not have the truth (John 8:32); but because we are just as categorically divided as they are and Jesus said in Matthew 12:22-28, a house that is divided cannot stand. God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.” Kenneth Copeland said just the other day at his SW Believers Conferences, “thus saith the Lord, nothing is going to look like it has looked, a change is coming that is going to be so different than anything we have ever seen.” So, God is the I AM and He is shuffling the deck!
Out of Order
Summer of Shaking
Turn on your television, go to the mall, meet a friend for coffee, go to church, everywhere, everyone is aware this summer has been and continues to be a summer of shaking. Someone will let you know about the latest attack, whether in Kabul, Afghanistan, Baton Rogue, LA, Dallas, TX or Munich Germany. The attacks are seemingly more often, more publicized and more unexpected. Shopping malls, peaceful protest rallies, random traffic stops, you name it, something unexpected is happening in the least expected places. If the shootings were not enough, we have weather patterns bringing intense heat which is producing wildfires, droughts and evacuations. Let us not forget the mosquito’s and the many exposures of people who have been involved in corruption being brought to justice and not being brought to justice. This is a summer of shaking, can we agree on that?
Most would say, yes this summer has been shaking, and many are trying to explain what the shaking is for, what brought on the shaking and what is God doing with the shaking. Depending on your biblical worldview, the shaking could be the judgment of God on the nations; it could be the consequences for our sin; it could be the days of Noah, which usher in the second coming of Christ; or it could be something else. I would like to present to you a potential something else thought as to what has brought about this summer’s shaking. I, in no way am saying this is the final word on the subject, but I do believe it is a word on the subject of this summer’s shaking.
Last week I was reading through the book of Nehemiah and I stopped at a friend’s house for our children to play, while there I shared with her this revelation and she added insight to it, which confirmed to me, what I was sensing was more accurate than I first thought. So, here is what I think the summer of shaking is possibly about.
In the book of Nehemiah, we see that Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king and he got word about the condition of Jerusalem, so he asked the king for permission to leave his post as cupbearer and go to Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s request was granted and resources were sent from the king and his kingdom to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and repair its broken down gates. My first thought is that Jesus, the cupbearer to the King, our Father, has gone to His Father, by making intercession for us and the kingdom of God has released resources for the rebuilding of the walls and gates around nations. I believe the shaking we are experiencing this summer is because heaven has heard earth’s cry for help.
Once the kingdom Nehemiah worked for, agreed to resource the project to rebuild Jerusalem, Nehemiah and the people began to rebuild the walls and repair the gates. Not long after they started this project, Sanballat and Tobiah, began to mock, ridicule and sought to dissuade them from rebuilding, but Nehemiah and the team could not be persuaded otherwise. My second thought is, Dutch Sheets and the Appeal to Heaven team, along with Lou Engle and the Azusa Now team and the many Pastors and leaders who met in Washington, DC for the Call prayer rally, have been the ones, along with intercessors worldwide and prophetic voices like Lana Vawser, Cindy Jacobs, Doug Addison, Kris Vallaton, and many others who are not known to the public have kept building with their words, despite the enemies mocking and ridiculing.
Finally, Nehemiah 4:7-8 it says, “Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.” I believe this is why we are having a summer of shaking, because we have been rebuilding the walls of protection around our nation and nations of the world. This rebuilding we have been doing in prayer and prophesying, has made the enemy very angry, because heaven has sent resources to help us build. I believe what we are seeing around us is evidence of the walls we are rebuilding and the gates we are repairing.
The final scene before the wall is built and the gates are repaired according to the book of Nehemiah is a company of people who can pray, prophesy (build) and can wield the sword (word warriors). I believe the word warriors are being released for the finishing of the rebuilding of the walls of protection around our nation and other nations of the world. The enemy is increasing his attacks, because he sees how much progress we have made on the walls and the gates. Jesus is our cupbearer, He drank the wine of the wrath of God, so we could be redeemed, revived and renewed. Keep praying, keep prophesying, keep speaking life, the evidence of an enemy in the summer of shaking is proof we are near completing the rebuilding of the walls and gates around our nation.
The Transgender Truth
Hot button subjects are not waters I like to wade into, but they are crossing over into mainstream life which will begin to alter the way we think if we do not hit it head on. Deception has a way of subtly sneaking into our thoughts, through music, movies, books, newspapers, and television shows. Whenever you add a message to music or a movie it solidifies that message in our thoughts in a way that just reading does not do. So, with this issue going public, I decided it was time to address the truth about the transgender issue.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 says, “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” (The Message)
I like the way the Message bible translates this verse, because most Christians are really good at recognizing whether they believe fruit is good or bad and if it is bad they want to pluck it, throw it away and think by doing so it is gone. But the reality of a tree is that bad fruit is the product of a rotten root, the issue is not the fruit, it is the root. That is why in this translation it says, God goes to the root of things, for it you go to the root, you can change the fruit. So, as this pertains to the transgender issue what we are seeing is the fruit of a deeper unseen root.
The root of the transgender issue is one of identity. Transgender people are manifesting because people have an identity crisis. They don’t know who they are. But the root goes even deeper, the reason they are having an identity crisis is because people have grown up fatherless. Fathers instill identity, so when fatherlessness is rampant, identity issues will take root and the fruits they produce are countless, but the root is an identity issue that came from fatherlessness. Now this is not a slam on men, for most men are products of fatherlessness themselves and they too have their own identity issue, that is why they don’t themselves know how to be fathers.
I believe the reason God is releasing the revelation of the Father, that songs are rising about Him being a good good Father is because, we are so in need of a Father, who will instill identity into us as sons and daughters. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 we see the 5-fold restoration of God, the first thing a Father restores is relationship, no shame, no condemnation, no questions, no scolding, just an embrace, a restoration of the relationship. Next we see the restoration of identity, by the placing of the robe on the son, I Peter 2:9 says, we are a royal priesthood, the robe is a symbol of identity. Once the relationships is restored, the Father restores our identity. The only way this happens is by spending time with the Father. When we are fatherless, we fear getting close to the Father, so we talk about Him, sing about Him, but do not let our hearts get close to Him.
Jesus said, You honor me with your lips, but your hearts are far from Me (Matthew 15:18). The invitation from heaven is to come near, come to your senses, you are a son, you are a daughter of God, every human being was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), if you would turn toward Him He will run to you. Prodigals are not in the streets only, they are in the church and if we would return, we could show those in the streets who our Father is and then He would restore their identity as a son or daughter designed in His image. The transgender truth is not about malicious sexual, deviant or heinous sin, it is a cry for identity, it is a call for someone to show them the Father!