Tag Archives: prophetic

Deeper Waters Are Calling

Several years ago the Lord gave me a dream about standing in waist-deep water. A friend of mine, who was with me in the dream, was excited about where I was standing. When I later spoke to a  mentor about the dream, he got as excited as my friend who had appeared in the dream. I already knew that the dream was about the river of God (Ezekiel 47), but my mentor added something I hadn’t considered. Water up to the waist represents commitment.

Up until that time I had never considered the very practical aspects of the river of God. I understood that God is very practical about how things apply in our lives; I just had never considered how this applied to the river of God. I should have.

It has been many years since I began to understand that since the belt of truth covered our loins (see Ephesians 6:14), Paul was teaching that spiritual warfare included having our sexuality governed by God’s truth. On the one hand, illicit sexual expression violates our ability to stand before the enemy. On the other hand, godly sexual expression between a husband and wife is spiritual warfare. It not only helps us stand our ground, it takes ground from the enemy. As such, it is a part of our armor that must be defended from every attack launched by the enemy of our souls. This is very practical and important truth.

Since I understand this about the belt of truth, it should not have been a surprise that there is a similar message about the waist-deep water in Ezekiel 47. This very practical section of scripture outlines our walk toward God and his spiritual power in our lives. The first verses outline the work and flow of God’s Holy Spirit.

Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.

Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits,[a] and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” (Ezekiel 47:1-6a ESV)

When the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts, we begin to experience his life, a life that proceeds from the throne of grace. We begin our Christian walk in the ankle-deep water of his presence. This is the level of beginning sanctification. As we walk about in the ankle-deep water, our feet are continually cleansed by the Spirit’s presence. This is a beautiful picture of his work in our lives.

When Jesus was washing the disciple’s feet at the Last Supper, Peter did not want him to do so (see John 13:1-11). Jesus insisted by telling Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me” (John 13:8b). At once Peter understood that Jesus was doing far more than washing his disciple’s feet; Peter grasped that Jesus was illustrating a truth about spiritual cleansing. So he responded by asking Jesus to wash his hands and his head also. Jesus patiently explained to Peter that since he belonged to Jesus, he did not need a bath because he was already spiritually cleansed. However, when one walks in the world, one gets dirty feet. By his actions, Jesus was highlighting the need that Christians have for spiritual cleansing on a daily basis. Jesus urged the disciples to do for each other what he had done. As he helped them by cleansing their physical feet, we need to help each other by cleansing the “dirt” of this world off each other’s souls.

Jesus’ actions and teaching help us understand the Ezekiel River. Once we have come to Christ, we have been bathed so that we are no longer of the world. However, since we are in the world, our feet can get dirty as we go about our daily walk. When we walk in the River of God, our feet are cleansed by God’s Spirit on a continual basis. This ankle-deep water is the water of repentance and restoration.

Obviously, we never take our feet out of this water, but we don’t stay at the ankle-deep level either. As we grow in the Lord, the Holy Spirit begins to draw us into higher levels of understanding and consecration.When we are walking in ankle-deep water, we are still in control. The currents of the Holy Spirit may swirl around our feet, but we can remain standing where we wish.That changes as we begin to wade further into the river. As we go deeper, it is harder to resist the currents of the Holy Spirit.

We must choose to continue moving deeper into the things of the Holy Spirit, but we must also understand the message of the thousand cubits. Each stage of the journey is a thousand cubits long. Ten is a number of completion. Ten cubed is one thousand (emphasizing completeness in God’s season). We cannot truly choose to move deeper in the Ezekiel River until the water has completed its work in us at its current depth. Until the ankle-deep water has achieved its purposes, any choice to move deeper will be shallow and unsustainable. We will simply not have the resolve to move deeper until the Spirit has completed his work in us at our current level. We can speed this work up by cooperating with the Spirit’s goals in our life, or we can slow the process down by resisting his molding and shaping. But we will not move on until we have traveled the thousand cubits in our souls.

During each stage of this journey, we surrender more of our self-will to God. We can easily resist the Spirit’s pull in ankle-deep water. We can even, to an extent, resist the currents of the Holy Spirit when we are standing in knee deep water—as long as those currents are not too strong.* We can certainly feel his nudges at a much higher level, but we can usually resist them if we choose. However, once we get waist deep—the level of commitment—we are at the mercy of the current. The Holy Spirit can push and pull us where he wants us to go. When we get to the next stage of the river beyond that, the water that is so deep that we can only swim, the Spirit’s current will take us wherever he wants us to go.

I believe that we must understand this dynamic of the Ezekiel River, or we will be content to stay in the shallows throughout our entire life. We must go deeper if we want to be used by the Holy Spirit. We must move beyond the ankle-deep water to the deeper waters beyond. How do we go deeper? We choose to go deeper by an act of our will.

When we understand the practical aspects of the Ezekiel River, we can understand how to proceed into deeper waters. We can strive to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in his current work, and we can can consciously aim for deeper waters in our lives. While we can stay in ankle-deep water as long as we desire, those who want to be used by the Lord must press another thousand cubits to the knee-deep water. The knee-deep water is the water of reverence and intercession. In the Old Testament, a bent knee is a sign of worship and adoration. More than that, we learn from Solomon’s example that when a knee is bent in reverence it gives voice to supplication (see 1 Kings 8:54). The knees symbolize humility before the Lord, a humility that recognizes our dependence upon him, and results in supplication to him. We can choose to bow to the Lord’s dominion over heaven and earth in this fashion, and by doing so, enter into the Ezekiel River up to our knees. Knee-deep water is for those who have begun to understand their authority on the earth, and are committed to establishing God’s Kingdom with it.

But deeper waters keep calling. As I have already mentioned, waist-deep water symbolizes commitment. The parts of our body below the waist represent our base nature. This part of our nature must be cleansed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. This is not about denying our sexual identity. Christians are not called to abstinence, rather they are called to celebrate their sexual identities in the bonds of marriage, recognizing that the Lord is at work even in our marital intimacies.** At this level, because we have begun to understand true commitment, we can feel the shifts of the Holy Spirit’s current far more easily. Even if we wanted to resist, we are so committed that we are no longer able to effectively resist his nudges. We have walked through the waters of repentance and renewal. We have knelt in the waters of worship and intercession. And now we have moved on to commitment. All that’s left is to wade in another thousand yards so that our will becomes one with the Holy Spirit’s current, and his will is done in us as it is in heaven.

Now I understand why my prophetic friends (in the dream and in real life) were so excited by the waist-deep water. We haven’t seen much of the church operating at this level. But we will. When that happens, we will see the Bride begin to step into her true role. When that happens, everything will change. That becomes clear as Ezekiel’s vision continues:

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea;[b] when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.[c] And wherever the river goes,[d] every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea[e] may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea.[f] 11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:6b-12)

When the Bride steps into the deep waters, bitter waters become fresh, life is released, fishermen (evangelists) will practice their trade freely, and healing will be released to the nations.

The deep waters are calling. Step into them.

——————————————————–

* Ocean rip currents are often so strong that even those wading in knee-deep water can be swept off their feet and overwhelmed by the strength of this current.

**Of course singles are not excluded from the waist-deep level. While they will not give expression to their sexual energies, their willingness to govern themselves freely according to God’s plans for sexual expression is their spiritual warfare.
——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Storms, Bad Storms, and More Storms

Those of you who have followed my blog posts on the Northwest (Watch the Northwest and Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?) knew to expect the severe storms that we have been experiencing throughout the United States these last couple of months. Many of you, like the folks at my congregation, have been praying to diminish the strength and ferocity of these storms, and asking the Lord to preserve human life. As the season has progressed, I have found my focus shifting from praying that no bad storms develop, to praying that lives would be preserved in the storms.

I am not saying that we should stop praying that no storms ravage our geographical areas. I will continue to lead my congregation to pray ferociously against any possibility that major storms hit our area of influence. We will release a hedge of protection in intercession that we believe no violent storm will penetrate. But I do not not currently have unlimited authority over every geographic area in the United States. My primary authority lies in the geographical area that God has posted me. As I have prayed against storms in other areas of the United States, I have seen storms, bad storms, and more storms. This has confirmed something that I suspected in January. When I watched the northwest I saw anointed local intercessors in the northwest rise to the challenge and pray for their area. I saw intercessors throughout the United States respond to the call and pray for the northwest. And yet an incredibly bad storm still hit the northwest.

As I wrote in January, I believe the intercessors, especially the local ones, had an impact on the storm which hit the northwest. Here is an excerpt from what I wrote in January:

Since I know that prayers have authority, I can tell you that the storm was not as severe as it could have been. When I alerted the friends whom I had dreamed about in Washington state, they shared that they were already praying against negative weather patterns. They then took the alert I issued to heart and prayed with more focus. As a result, I was not surprised that the Seattle-Tacoma area (where they live) was not hit as hard as had been forecast. At the last minute one of the Low pressure areas dropped a bit further south than expected, and forced the worst weather just to the south of their area. I don’t believe that was an accident. I believe that was a sign of their intercessory authority.

However, even with this victory, the storm still hit. I was, and am, extremely concerned about this. The Lord had told us that what they experienced was going to come to the rest of the United States. Since then, even with all the prayer coverage, we have seen brutal weather patterns and many deaths. I am certainly not saying that the prayers have been ineffective. I believe, especially in view of the severity of the tornado outbreaks, that many more people would be dead without those prayers. I believe the intercessory coverage is having an effect and that we must continue to pray for all those in harms way when storm systems threaten. But I also believe that we are going to see many more storms this year. They will continue to impact all over the United States.

So, my strategy is this: I will continue to raise a hedge around our immediate area of influence so that no storm winds bring damage or death to our area. I will also pray for God’s mercy to be evident throughout the United States as these storms continue to manifest. My main focus outside my immediate area is that life be preserved through the storms. Last week’s outbreak in which 6 people died in Oklahoma highlighted this primary need. I may not be able to stop these storms, but I can sure pray that lives be spared. I suggest this strategy as one that will help focus intercessors throughout the world. Raise hedges of protection around your area, and cry out to heaven for those in harms way outside your area of primary geographic influence. The storms may come, bad storms may occur, and more storms may multiply, but mercy triumphs over every judgment. His mercy is what we desperately need in the face of this stormy onslaught. Cry out for it.

——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Watch the Pope

This bit of information may appear to be a bit odd, being that I am a protestant and all, but over the weekend the Lord told us to pay attention to what is going on with the Pope. He indicated that we should watch the stands that the Pope is taking, and also let us know that he is approaching the end of his tenure as Pope.

While protestants usually don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the Pope, and some are even antagonistic to him, most appreciate how he has attempted to represent Christ to the best of his knowledge and ability.

This blog post is not about theological debate or disagreement on Roman Catholic teaching. This is about praying for a man who, for better or worse, represents Christianity to much of the world.

Since the Lord told us to watch the Pope, I read several articles about the Pope today. Our local newspaper mentioned that he looked tired as he gave his Easter address at St. Peter’s Basilica yesterday. Another article stated that he would be curtailing his travel schedule because it was too much for him. Both articles raised alarm in my soul about his health.

I believe it would please the Lord if we would pray for the Pope. No, I’m not saying that we bless all of his theology. I do believe that he loves the Lord and has taken courageous stands based upon that love. I would like to see him stay firm in his resolve and focus, and stay healthy to do his job. I’m not asking for prayers for the office, but the man who bears the weight of that office. He is a brother.

——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.

 

The Cross or the Switchblade

I have been reading various news reports about the expected price of gasoline this summer. The word from those who know is that gasoline prices will continue to rise for the near term. I read one report this morning that predicted that when the summer gas supply begins to arrive, we will see prices jump another twenty cents a gallon. After that, we can expect gas prices to peak at about $4.20 a gallon. This scenario, of course, doesn’t take into account the chance that an Israeli-Iranian confrontation would drive prices much higher based upon fears of a diminished flow of oil out of Iran. This could be an interesting summer.

Last June, the Lord spoke to us about gasoline prices. He told us that when gasoline hits $5.00 a gallon, it would be the cross or the switchblade.

Of course, we all know about David Wilkerson’s book (and movie) The Cross And The Switchblade. I had not read the book or seen the movie for years. But I realized that the Lord was using the imagery in that book to communicate to us. I also knew that the Lord changed the conjunction in the title of the book from and to or in order to highlight a choice that we will have when gas prices reach $5.00 a gallon.

If you have not read the book or seen the movie, you will not as readily appreciate the imagery that the Lord chose to use. The cross, of course, represents dying to our own selfish choices and fears in order to let the power of God flow through us. It represents the power of God to redeem even the most violent urges within humanity. On the other hand, the switchblade represents the base tendencies of our nature. The desire to provide for self without giving thought to the needs of others, or the consequences to self and society. If you read The Cross and the Switchblade, you will quickly see that the switchblade represents mindless hate and perverse greed released in violent attacks as gangs focus on their own turf to the exclusion of all else.

I believe the Lord is telling us about a line of demarcation that is swiftly approaching in these United States. When gas prices reach $5.00 a gallon throughout the United States, we will have crossed a boundary line in the spirit. Up until that point, it will still be possible to live in the United States without giving much thought to issues of principle. Things will still be relatively stable enough so that the thin veneer of civilization functions to hide our more crass instincts. But when we cross this spiritual boundary, the illusion created by civilization will begin to crumble. It will quickly become more evident who is embracing selflessness (the cross) and who is embracing selfishness (the switchblade).

The truth is that most people simply get up and walk through their day without much regard to their bedrock principles. Those principles show themselves at times of stress or temptation. We usually do not confront open stress or public temptation on a daily basis. We are not often faced with difficult situations that reveal our core selflessness or selfishness. That will change once we cross this boundary. Things will change in our culture to such a point that it will be obvious who is embracing the cross, and who is grasping the switchblade.

When gas prices reach $5.00 a gallon throughout the United States, our choices are soon going to become more obvious. It will be a time that God’s people begin to show who they really are. It will also be a time when those who do not yet know him or his cross, reveal that lack in their own lives. This will provide many opportunities to let the power of God flow through us to others. The switchblade takes life. The cross releases it.

——————————————————–

As a side note, I am not unaware that the late David Wilkerson had some prophecies about the world economy that were not all that rosy, and that could be an additional reason that the Lord used David’s imagery. The Vision, which David published in 1973, included some pretty stark reminders of how difficult things could get, and how God can use such events to accomplish his purposes in the United States.

——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Always Winter, Never Christmas

The Lord used Narnia to speak to us the other day. Those of you who have read C. S. Lewis’ delightful tale, The Chronicles of Narnia, know that there is a lot in those books that the Lord can use to highlight current events and his plans. Lewis had the wonderful knack of building deep Christian themes into his fantasies. If you only know Narnia from the movies, do yourself a favor and buy the books. The inane drama and silly plot devices of the most recent movies have deprived viewers of Lewis’ overall vision and purpose. Lewis built his series like a caramel apple. He used the sweet covering of his story to flavor the nutritious fruit of his theme underneath. While the first movie was fairly faithful to the original tale, the producers of the second and third movies injected artificial flavoring into the caramel of the story covering, and pretty much did away with the apple. The third movie was so bad, my kids, who have loved the Narnia books, decided that it would take a lot for them to go see another one of the movies.

So what did the Lord say to us through Narnia’s images? He told us that the long winter is just about over for the United States. He showed us that the plans of those who have prolonged this winter are no longer going to succeed. If you remember from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the white witch wanted to keep Narnia frozen in winter. Narnians despaired of the weather because it was always winter, but never Christmas. But as the Great Lion, Aslan, began to move, the witch’s plans were thwarted and Father Christmas, with spring right on his heels, came to Narnia for the first time in one hundred years. From that point on, the witch’s hold on Narnia was broken. While the struggle wasn’t over, the Great Lion was now in control and was able to direct events so that the witch was defeated, and her hold was broken forever.

Of course, those who have read the Narnia stories know that the Great Lion represents Jesus in these stories. While Lewis theology wasn’t always orthodox—this is most evident in his display of universalism in The Last Battle—he had a firm grip on King Jesus. So when the Lord told us that the long winter is ending for the United States, he was also telling us that King Jesus is on the move. He is working behind the scenes even now to rally his people and break winter’s grip over the United States.

There are a lot of ways that the United States has been held in winter’s grip, but the Lord made certain we knew exactly what he was showing us. He told us that the policies and control emanating from Washington D.C., currently personified in President Obama’s administration, represented the reign of the white witch. Before we get all caught up in politics, let’s remember that the power of the white witch held Narnia under the spell of winter for one hundred years. So winter began its long reign in the United States long before our current administration.

In order to fully understand what the Lord is saying, we need to understand a tiny bit about the book of Revelation. In Revelation 13 we are introduced to the beast from the sea. Without going in to great detail,* suffice it to say that the beast from the sea represents governments that attempt to replace or displace the authority and priority of the Kingdom of Christ in the world. Beast governments attempt to step into the place of the true Church by attempting to meet the needs of the governed in ways that only Christ truly can. Along the way these beast governments supplant and often persecute the true Church—while the false prophet church openly supports beast governments, fulfilling their role as the beast from the land.

Of course, you can see the hoof prints of the beast government in the current contraception/abortifacient drug mandates aimed against the Catholic Church. In this debate you see the mature beast government boldly attempting to displace and replace a Christian institution by these wicked mandates. You can also easily see the false prophet church in action supporting and defending these wicked mandates. It doesn’t get much more obvious than this.

So, if the winter represents the rise and maturing of the beast government revealed in Revelation, we would expect to see it begin its rise one hundred years ago—the length of time winter reigned in Narnia. What happened one hundred years ago? Well, among other things, Woodrow Wilson was elected for his first term as president of the United States. Again, without getting into a lot of historical detail, Woodrow Wilson is the president whose vision initiated and gave impetus to the government programs and mandates that have finally begun to mature in our current administration. We are currently reaping what Wilson sowed. His beast government policies, which moved government from its rightful role as defender and protector of the people, to the beast role of nurturer and provider for the people, began their long ascent throughout the United States political system. Since his time, the government of the United States has moved steadily toward the fullness of beast government policy that we see today.

But that winter is ending. The Lord still has plans for the United States. He still plans for the people of the United States to be a vital and free people. Beast governments and true freedom, especially religious freedom, cannot coexist.

In his 2012 Shepherd’s Rod, Bob Jones prophesied that President Obama’s purpose and plans would be exposed this year, and as a result they would fail. I believe that process is already beginning. Roman Catholics are experiencing the negative results of our beast government policies. They recognize that their very survival as a charitable institution in the United States is at stake. They are currently the most visible victims of these policies, but untold victims have been trodden under this beast’s feet for the past one hundred years. Religious organizations that were once vital and active transformative agents in our culture have been turned to stone as government policies, procedures, and restrictions have undermined their ability to complete their mission over the past one hundred years. That is about to change. Once again, the Church is going to take up the mantles that government has taken away. Once again, the Lamb is going to lead his people to the fullness of their calling and purpose.

Spring is coming.

——————————————————–

*Shameless Plug: I have produced a 36 DVD series on the book of Revelation that does go into great detail. It is a study that does not get bogged down by idle speculations, but stays firmly grounded in the context and themes of Scriptures. It reveals the major “behind-the-scenes” players of world history in an understandable way. It is entitled Revelation Unfolded. You can get the series at my congregation’s DVD Store.

——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: Some folks who have wanted to subscribe to this site have been stymied by the RSS feed not working. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe. You will receive an email whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.