In the Seven Years of Plenty, 2016-17

Wealth of the Wicked Stored Up

Isaiah pictures what is available in the atmosphere as rain in ways that help us understand how God changes the conditions to release. A desert atmosphere contains a reservoir but the conditions distribute the moisture so randomly that it seldom produces rain. Water is available but the conditions don’t release it!

Consider the same concept with respect to seed in the ground that lies dormant when it is not germinated. When rains come, what is hidden but available begins to sprout. Consider what would happen when that germinated seed combines in one season with the seed we are planting. Consider the momentum that would come if that bumper crop were to be immediately proportioned for greater planting because we understood that the next seven years will provide optimal conditions for abundance with incremental increase and exponential multiplication year after year.

We may be looking for the wealth of the wicked in the wrong places. The wealth we are looking for isn’t for our ascendancy in Egypt but our investment in kingdom. We aren’t looking for a way to take over the seven mountains of culture so we have positioned people in them who are presently positioned in church-anity. That is, we shouldn’t be picturing “success” as TD Jakes for president and Joel Osteen as Secretary of State while Mr. Strang who owns Charisma magazine buys the New York Times and John Maxwell becomes the Secretary of Education or Michael Murdock becomes the Secretary of the Treasury or Benny Hinn becomes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to administer Obamacare.

While we aren’t establishing a subculture, we must always function in kingdom culture to influence and impact the cultures of the earth. We can’t properly confront those cultures with kingdom culture until we get it right ourselves! Judgment begins at God’s house.

Shifting the Balance of Power

Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh with an international strategy for the strongest nation in the world. This scenario repeats throughout history, that God speaks into nations with international influence, especially the strongest of nations, to release something to all nations.

The US remains the strongest nation in the world by nearly any measurement of influence and leadership. While this makes other nations envious, jealous, and angry, allowing them to place blame upon the US for things that are not our fault and take for granted the good that we do at the expense of their weakness, God still speaks into the US because He has a strategy to touch all the other nations.

In Brasil, God is speaking about all the nations because He is originating something there that will touch the US as Brasil takes the lead in releases “the next move of God” and Latin Nations take the lead in kingdom expansion.

God directed a storehouse nation to become a center of influence economically and shifted the balance of power and the influence of culture in strategic ways. In the midst of this shift, He made provision to enhance the influence and impact of His covenant people, and He moved them into position to ultimately receive the wealth that Egypt gained from this strategy. When Israel left Egypt, they took the wealth of Egypt with them.

Seven Years

Joseph interprets the king’s dream of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of leanness and releases a strategy that puts the entire agricultural economy into a seven-year plan of action: during the seven years of plenty, because they will be followed by seven years of leanness, we will store harvest increases so we will have food for starving nations.

What I see coming, beginning in 2014, is just the opposite in sequence, therefore, opposite in strategy. I see that we have come through seven years of leanness and are coming into seven years of plenty. So, the strategy won’t be storing up for seven lean years but immediate reinvestment of increase for multiplied abundance. Each year will have the capacity for greater abundance if we continually to plant a portion from the harvest while we are harvesting.

The first year will produce bumper crop from seed already in the ground that has not germinated. The new atmosphere will cause it to germinate and sprout. It will begin to appear during the spring season of 2014. This will produce a harvest of restored purpose. When this harvest appears, the harvest from this seed already in the ground and the seed we are planting this spring with it, the plowmen must be in the field with the reapers, and a first-fruits portion of the harvest must be planted at the same time it is harvested. This portion never leaves the field.

In this way, as we continue this pattern into 2015 and 2016, momentum will increase and harvest will continue to expand.

Your Personal Position for Preparation and Producing

Most modern American believers are out of position. In order to be in position, they need to align with a blueprint leader who has been given both revelation and authority at a broader level. Notice I didn’t say “higher” level. Notice I said “broader” level. The ability to see enough of the blueprint to position people isn’t given to everyone, and those who insist upon positioning themselves, no matter how anointed, called, and precious they are, will create dysfunction in their own lives and bring that dysfunction into the Body. Blueprint leaders are positioned by other blueprint leaders who have a broader perspective than theirs; at the international level, the blueprint leaders have a perspective of purpose about nations.

Discover the power of accountability! Discover the peace of accountability! Discover the protection of accountability! Your alignment will position you in a place where God’s blueprint for your life can be fitted into God’s blueprint for the kingdom, and your accountability to be in that position and function from that position will release the greatest grace, favor, and anointing!

First, ask God for a revelation of personal purpose.

Expect that revelation to necessitate an alignment with an assignment greater than yours. Expect the revelation to be limited as opposed to exhaustive. None of God’s revelation is exhaustive, including the Bible. All revelation is limited, and the limit of your personal revelation should motivate you to seek alignment with a blueprint leader who can give you interpretation, application, and implementation of that revelation.

Purge yourself of the world’s thinking! Stop allowing the enemy to move you out of position so that your function frustrates more than it bears fruit. Consider that all the “pursue your own dream,” “be a self-sufficient person,” “get yours or someone else will get it,” and “God is there to get you what you want” slogans are of this world and not of God!

Get ready for God to clarify your personal purpose through His leaders. God has designed leadership strategies for marriage, family, Ecclesia, and kingdom through which He clarifies personal purpose: personal purpose can never be realized in a vacuum.

Our thinking and approach is to blend kingdom and Ecclesia leadership in this way: we are an international kingdom apostolic resource center with worldwide locations in which and through which a growing and maturing Ecclesia functions.

Second, submit personal purpose to the greater purpose that comes through alignment.

Consider alignment as a positioning, a “positioned to produce” privilege to be valued. Consider how this alignment and positioning releases greater fulfill of purpose in your life as you are prepared and positioned, that honor releases anointing, wisdom, favor, and grace.

Consider that the promise demands a position that honor will place you in: that is, the first commandment with a promise is “Honor father and mother;” and, this promise is released through honor. The people through whom you came into life – through honoring them, you receive long life. Apply that honor principle to your kingdom leaders at every level, then honor one another because of the mutual positioning of their personal purpose and promise. When positioning properly aligns the Body, it produces a perpetual “building itself up in love.”

Consider that the major message of the metaphor, the Ecclesia as a Body, focuses upon the how we relate to each other in ways that produce the greater purpose of the kingdom. Consider that this describes how Jesus, the Head, organizes His Body through leaders. Consider how your assignment and alignment with a greater assignment prepare and position you within the Body to produce the greater goals of the kingdom. Then, consider that this positioning isn’t a detraction from personal purpose, that the submission and sacrifice doesn’t diminish your purpose but prepare and position you to fulfill that purpose.

Third, get ready to learn and change. Be teachable and transformable.

Allow the preparation that will position you to work in every area of your life: physical, family, finance, friends, and fellowship (koinonia). Embrace change as a welcome friend! Stop blaming others, demanding God and others to do things your way, excusing your own silliness and foolishness with justifications that leave you saying that your present condition is someone else’s fault.

When you say, “If only they would do this, I could be successful.” That is the most obvious form of rebellion and rejection! Imagine Joseph looking back at his path to purpose and saying that!

Change produces a “prove the will of God” dynamic for your life. That dynamic never stops operating, a continuous lifestyle of personal learning and transformation. The “renewing of the mind” involves “the spirit of your mind” in a SpiritFirst, “top-down,” “trickle down” lifestyle. This is a lifestyle: consider that the posture of your priesthood is a condition of sacrifice, the world isn’t by source and resource thinking, a renewing of the mind transformation that results in living in a way that “proves” the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. The what-God-wants lost in my life before entering the kingdom becomes the what-God-wants of my personal restoration.

“Prove” [dokimazo] means to test to determine its level of authenticity or purity like testing metals for the purity or integrity of their condition. When applied in this statement to the what-God-wants, we can see a process in which only by self-sacrifice, mold destroying or avoiding, and mind-renewal can be more certain that we are actually doing the what-God-wants. No separation between experiencing the understanding of His will and doing His will exists.

Fourth, get some measurable, long-term goals that tell you what to do right now.

To be who God what you to be, to do what God wants you to do, where God wants you in 2020, you will need to know what to do about it right now, and your goals for 2014 should be goals that look to the next seven years for meaning, priority, measurement, and purpose. “I am doing this as a priority today because of where I’ll be by 2020.” Your goals for right now should be fully integrated with who to be, what to do, and where to be when you reach 2020.

You don’t want to wake up in 2016 with a sense that what you’ve done for this and the next years hasn’t pushed or propelled you closer to your purpose.

Transformation is about identity: stop identifying with the world in a way that allows you to measure your goals by your environment and start identifying with the what-God-wants for your life!

To the extent you are offered up, you can do the worship and intercession of your priestly position so that you can be transformed by spiritual mind renewal, breaking off the molds you and the world place as limiter on your purpose. To that extent the transforming can be worked out in lifestyle and behavior. Getting to a “hands-off” mode of surrender is key to personal preparation and positioning.

Fifth, get into a submission relationship and alignment with blueprint leaders so you will be accountable to those goals.

This will strengthen you in distraction and substitution when hell attempts to move you toward a sell-out for immediate happiness, offers you a glamor route to your dream, and asks you to align with him to get what God promised.

Measurable means accountable to a standard of normal outside and above yourself. Accountability enables and empower. If you become accountable to someone for their mold of your identity, you have surrender to that person; if you become accountable to a leader who recognizes God’s mold of your identity, you become enabled and empowered by the additional strength of their wisdom and strength. Their accountability doesn’t come in making you fit their mold, but in finding a leader who can see and understand your purpose in a blueprint that fits you into God’s great vision for the kingdom.

By submission we do not mean that man has a system, and your surrender to man allows you to be hammered into the system irrespective of your created design, calling, charismatic grace gifts, or life’s work.

Beware the pursuit of “I want my own way into function” that basically says you can just get the anointing and activation of gifts and “be me” however, feels good to you personally without proper alignment with blueprint leaders; such a pursuit is dysfunctional no matter how great you are at anointing and activation of gifts. Submitting to yourself as a way of submitting to God is a great deception.

Sixth, begin to immediately reinvest harvest in this place and position of preparation and invest a portion of that harvest back into the process.

Consider what you have time, energy, and money for, the passions that motivate you, that would be hard ground, shallow ground, or ground filled with drama that would choke the fruitfulness of what you’ve planted.

This doesn’t mean money only or even money first and last. It means life. Note the words, time, energy, money as examples of things to be invested properly.

Examine the major areas of your life: physical, family, faith, finance, and function.

Physically, I need God’s temple in a condition consistent with my calling.
Family, I need my role, responsibilities, and relationships healthy and functioning consistent with God’s designed norms.
Faith, I need my spirit to rule my life, personal alignment of spirit, soul, and body, to live SpiritFirst.
Finance, I need my wealth, to grow and mature consistent with my assignment, inheritance, and life’s work.
Function, I need my kingdom alignment of assignment to properly released charismatic gifts, anointing, calling, and my life’s work.
Here at FreedomHouse, we are putting together a personal path for your growth and maturity. We have instituted and maintain a strategically designed path to assist your personal commitments in reaching these goals.

We may enhance the offering of these enabling and empowering leadership dynamics as existing and emerging leaders grow and mature, so that everyone of you can be who God created you to be and do what God has called you to do. We may mature these discipling dynamics. We may expand them to include tens of thousands of people worldwide. But, in reality, you can plug into a preparation and positioning process right now, a path that will bring you to an international level of kingdom function in your life if you fully avail yourself of this pathway and make its provisions, procedures, and processes a priority of your life and lifestyle.

Seventh, reset intercession and worship.

Rediscover what Worship meant to Jesus. Rediscover what Intercession meant to Jesus. Then, partner with His worship and intercession by releasing what is happening in heaven into the earth. Examine how the previous years of intercession and worship have prepared intercessors and worshippers for this reset. Examine trends, what still has life on it, and what still has promise in it.

First, examine how your own intercession and worship may have stale formalities in it. Expect that all forms of intercession and worship can become ends within themselves. Examine your own intercession and worship for “this is how I do it” assumptions that basically turn your SpiritFirst response into soulish performances or processing. Examine your worship and intercession for a self-centric posturing instead of a heaven-centric reality.

“Father is seeking for those who will worship Him in spirit and truth.”

Spiritual reality is the beginning point of what Father is doing, and a return to this SpiritFirst “ministering to the Lord” is essential. Experience seems to reveal that God’s people require strategic leadership to enter this and maintain its purity.

We need to measure “success” with a new, fuller standard of fruit in our worship and intercession. The “Worship” to which Jesus refers in John 4 is more than music or prayer because it engages heaven in a way that releases kingdom into every part of our lives and region.

Certainly, “one new man” refers to the blending of Jewish and non-Jews in kingdom, but the “one new man” also moves the entire kingdom into a new worship to which Jesus alludes, saying, “The time is coming and now is” when this worship will be the kingdom norm.

The closer we get to the original design of Ecclesia, the more fully we experience this kind of worship, a worship that includes every aspect of kingdom culture.

The Leviathan Strategy

God authorizes apostles to represent Him through assignments and alignments. Once apostles receive assignment, God brings others into alignment with their assignments. Authority flows toward assignment–you have the authority of your assignment—aligning with apostolic assignments positions you to function in that authority as the apostle functions in his.

All authority comes from the King and flows toward His assignments. As Head of the Body, He makes all assignments, authorizations, and alignments work together so they accomplish kingdom purposes.

In this way, kingdom consensus combines kingdom coalitions to produce kingdom cooperation and collaboration. Kingdom systems are made by aligning assignments. Jesus has infinite genius to appropriate systematic spiritual dynamics, and the power of Holy Spirit in each of us that operates in these assignments, in a way that completely fulfills both personal destinies and corporate purposes.

In other words, the quickest and most efficient pathway to personal destiny fulfillment always lies in our surrender to align ourselves with apostolic assignments given by Jesus.

All the assignments come from Jesus; we submit to kingdom leadership because we are submitted to Jesus. This is the ideal seldom seen, difficult to experience, because we have lost so much of the kingdom norms. Without a good understanding of kingdom protocols, we fail to recognize these systematic spiritual dynamics. And, our distaste with religious institutions and substitutes for this kingdom leadership has made us leery of nearly all leadership dynamics. Our rejection of institutional bureaucracies has left us longing for Jesus to allow us all to be free spirits and turned the kingdom into a charismatic Woodstock. We mistake chaos for freedom, hoping God will somehow just make it all work out.

Enter Leviathan, hell’s answer to God’s systematic spiritual dynamics. Leviathan is a systematic spiritual delusion, the opposite spirit to that which functions in kingdom dynamics.

As we examine the many Scriptures that directly discuss the spiritual dynamics of Leviathan, and parallel them with the manifestations of the serpent/dragon who heads the spiritual conspiracy against the Messianic King, we see that Leviathan is a system of spiritual coalitions functioning strategically in a region, with an agenda to pervert God’s purpose for that region with confusion, substitution, and delusional pride. We should define pride as the distraction that produces substitution, the distortion of purpose that we welcome when we accept deceptions about ourselves instead of pursuing the rule of God.

Whatever Jesus is for, hell is against. We wrestle with the spiritual entities that produce the spiritual conditions called, “this present darkness.” The agenda of darkness is simply to avoid and empty the world of light. To defeat this darkness, we must reveal the Light of His Glory, punching holes at strategic points in the occult veil that Leviathan spreads over a region. Light pours through these punched holes and floods the region: “the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord fills the region as waters cover the sea.”

The punched holes become portals or windows through which God outpours Blessing for Curse, Glory for Pride, freedom for captivity, sight for blindness, favor for poverty, and rejection for the time of God’s acceptance!

Step 1 – Spiritual Refuge

“Church” has become a dangerous place. The stories about this syndrome are pretty extensive: first for leaders, because they have been drowned by false expectations created by warped “church growth” strategies. The disappearance of the “middle class of churchanity” has driven leaders out of the ministry: leaders are leaving ministry at an 1,800-per-month clip for various reasons. The expectation that every church of less than 200 should be larger is a delusion that drives many leaders out of ministry. Chad Hall says, “Perhaps more significant than the rise in the extremes is the decline of the middle: consider the disappearance of the middle-class, the demise of mid-sized companies, the loss of status for anything considered average and the polarization of politics in America. Our tastes and choices are shifting away from the middle and toward the extremes.”

We have moved toward extremes of massive or micro. Some demand intimacy at the expense of kingdom coalitions and other demand massive so they disappear in terms of accountability in the crowd.

The “middle class churches” are disappearing rapidly as those with the expectation that church and Disneyworld should merge so their children and youth will “want to go to church” shop churches in the city to find the mega-flavor they enjoy most. The “show” must be entertaining. The leaders must look like someone who could win “Dancing with the Apostles,” and the worship band should sound like something downloadable from “Iplod.” God forbid the leaders aren’t sculpted and beautiful! This level of Leviathan pride is simply stated as: “I deserve the highest level of professionalism, excellence, and identity because I’m so unbelievably hip myself!”

The middle class is also disappearing as another large demographic disappears into smaller expressions of church-anity, often something that is not and cannot function as an Ecclesia at all, that allows people to avoid accountability and nearly any form of leadership. This false refuge is another form of escapism that has fragmented the functional Ecclesia as millions of believers redefine “church” to fit their fears, rejections, and need for everything in their lives to be “tailor-fitted.”

We do not have refuge in these dysfunctional versions of church-anity in this season of confrontation with Leviathan; these dysfunctional forms manifest an invasion of Leviathan into the cultural mountain labeled “church.”

Isaiah records God’s promise of refuge in a season when He intends to deal with the dysfunctional substitutes to His expectations for Israel. “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon You, because he commits himself to You.” After making several specific observations about getting into this place of refuge, Isaiah says, “Because God is sure to come from His place to visit the people on earth [for an accounting of His expectations].” We need not fear the season of visitation! We have a refuge!

He will “visit” the people and the Leviathan. Some translations say, “Punish.” However, the sense of the Hebrew word, paqad, is basically “number.” When applied to specific situations, it is used to speak of “an accounting for expectations.” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says, “the basic meaning is to exercise oversight over a subordinate, either in the form of inspection or of taking action to cause a considerable change in the conditions of the subordinate, either for the better or for the worse.” From this root, Hebrew language also says, “visitation, overseer, officer.” Also, words for “allocation, appointment.” This is the root of the word for “precepts, statutes, commandments” because it speaks of God’s expectations.

God’s expectations and assignments have been clearly communicated, and God is arriving for a visit to account whether His expectations are being met.

God plants a vineyard expecting grapes, an apple tree expecting apples, a nation expecting that nation to fulfill His expectations in their specific assignments, purpose, culture, and mission. God shares His expectations, and visits for an accounting to see if His expectations are being met; He shows up to bring people, places, and generations to account for what He expected of them, and He uses the originating assignment parameters to make that decision and subsequent correction so the enterprise returns to its originating purpose.

Jesus made the same reference to His own season of ministry: “One stone will not be left upon another because you failed to recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:44] The Greek word for “visitation” [episcope], means “investigation, inspection, oversight, officer, elder,” the word from which we get “bishop,” which means, “overseer.” In other words, this verse speaks the Greek word that answers directly to Hebrew word Isaiah uses.

Jesus also mentions that God has sent prophets and leaders previously to bring His people to account only to have them persecuted and murdered. Jesus makes it clear that God has now sent His Son to bring them to account: they murdered Him as well!

This is the sense in which I use the word, “assignments.” God has expectations for people, places, and generations, and He will periodically “visit” them to measure how well they are fulfilling assignment, maintaining alignment and maturing agreement. This is the only way to meet His expectations. He will deal strongly with people, places, and generations who have wandered off task, perverted His expectations by substituting their own, and He will deal strongly with His enemies who have perverted His expectations for people, places, and generations.

In the times of visitation, God’s righteous remnant can stand in refuge while a great cacophony of distress noises around them because they are being positioned to reset the expectations of God after the time of accounting. Our refuge is in our agreement with God’s assignments and our alignment with God’s authority.

So, we put Isaiah 27:1 with 26:21 in order to get the full scope of what Isaiah says about Leviathan. This enemy has come out of the sea and involved himself in God’s expectations for His people, place, and generation. In this picture we understand that a time of visitation means “open season for Leviathan hunting.”

Step 2 – Spiritual Restoration

Isaiah does not bring the division between verse 21 and Chapter 27:1. They read together. Verse 2 turns to another subject in response to “in that day,” but verse 1 is the conclusion of the discussion of Chapter 26. During a season of visitation, God brings the Leviathan to account for involving himself in God’s affairs.

Leviathan comes out of the sea, inserts and intertwines itself within God’s assignment and perverts His expectations (His Word). Leviathan is a systematic spiritual delusion that functions in a culture to pervert its assignment with substitutes. The system affects the beliefs, values, and behavior of the people in a place during a time. People and time are a generation; people and a place are a culture.

To better understand this scenario, recall Jesus’ discussion of the kingdom by the parable of the wheat and weeds. A man sowed wheat in a field but during the night an enemy sowed weeds. When the seeds germinated, it was obvious that weeds had been sown among the wheat, and some suggested that the weeds should be removed. To this the Master says, “No, you will destroy the whole field doing that. Wait until the time of harvest (accounting for expected return) and then separate the weed seeds into the fire. We don’t want to plant wheat and weeds next year.”

God deals with the separation of wheat and weeds in the day of visitation because the interwoven invasion of Leviathan must be dealt with strategically to avoid further damage and destruction to the people, place, and generation Leviathan has invaded. Otherwise, God would destroy the whole thing like Sodom and start over. But, He is not destroying the whole thing and starting over! He has put the remnant into refuge from which to partner with Him. He is doing a surgical strike against an ancient foe.

That He isn’t destroying the whole thing and starting over is made clear in Verse 2 with the song of the Vineyard: “During the same time, a new song for the pure wine will be sung! I, the LORD, will watch over the vineyard and tend its fruitful vines. Each day I will water them; day and night I will watch to keep enemies away. My anger will be satisfied. If I find briers and thorns bothering her, I will burn them up. Enemies will be spared only if they surrender to My power.”

God will deal with this Leviathan system that has invaded. He will restore His expectations to His dominion so that His paqad expectations have dominion. Keep in mind that the measurement of success in kingdom isn’t the disappearance of things that do not meet God’s expectations but the dominion of His expectations over these enemies. Do not fall for the idea that we will only see the kingdom of God when everybody is born again! God’s expectations can be realized by His remnant so that His enemies surrender to His expectations. Psalm 110 says He will rule in the midst of His enemies!

Isaiah introduces the spiritual entity, Leviathan, who is the dragon of the sea, as the culprit behind a culture-wide delusion. God will visit the Leviathan and bring him to account for coming out of the sea and intertwining himself in God’s affairs and assignments.

Leviathan appears a surprising number of times in Scripture. The picture of a very real physical creature also depicts a very real, spiritual condition. In the picture, we see a spiritual condition personified in the Garden of Eden and manifesting throughout history to reach ultimate exposure in the days of ultimates as that “old serpent or dragon, satan.” Revelation 12:9 says, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world.”

Two words are used here, “Livyathan and Tanniyn.” The first term is transliterated “Leviathan.” It is identified as a living creature in many accounts while appearing figuratively or prophetically to represent manifestations of a very real systematic spiritual delusion in others. The second term comes from the basic word, “tan,” to speak of serpents, sea or river monsters, dragons, whales, and poisonous snakes. We are not trying to track down these meanings in terms of dinosaurs and mythical creatures; we are looking wide-eyed at the revelation of a spiritual condition and systematic function God gives through the use of this identity.

“Leviathan” is a transliteration of the Hebrew that comes from the root word, lavah, “to join together” with a sense of “bringing together.” A variation serves as a root for “wreath, twist, coiling.”  Isaiah notes the “systematic joining and interweaving” of this spiritual condition with the terms, “piercing” and “twisting.”

Since Isaiah is speaking of Leviathan in prophetic language as well as the sword of the Lord that will be visited upon Leviathan and destroy or ruin the Tanniyn of the sea, we should learn why this picture is being presented so we can understand the spiritual revelation. From its name and descriptors, we see its character and how it works. It inserts into the culture and moves into place creating a spiritual condition, weaving itself into a people, place, or generation. In particular, we see the strategic and systematic way into which this spiritual condition becomes interwoven into the culture so that people, places, and generations are influenced and controlled by the Leviathan delusion.

Have you asked yourself or said aloud, at any time in the last decade, “How can people be so blind?” Did you ever say, “How can people be so easily lead around by obviously foolish, fantastical, and foundationless ideas?” Have you said, “It seems that the population is walking around dazed?” Perceptive and prophetic people commonly have this spiritual perspective with regards to a systematic spiritual delusion produced by Leviathan.

Leviathans live in the deep waters of the sea, come out of the sea to function in conspiracy against God’s purposes. “The sea” represents “humanity.” I propose that the “dragon or tan” represents this spiritual condition present in the populations, the ever-present spiritual conspiracy against Messiah that has been at work since Eden to thwart and frustrate the purposes of God in the earth. The “Leviathan” represents a specific, systematic, spiritual delusion of pride, a dominant and dominating characteristic of this spiritual conspiracy, rooted in humanity that weaves itself into place, people, and generation.

Leviathan in an individual is a root of pride. Pride in a culture is a Leviathan system. As this systematic spiritual delusion is expressed in a culture, specific characteristics of this principality are exhibited in the beliefs, values, and behaviors of the people living in that place.

“Systematic” answers to the characteristics of Leviathan’s scaled hide and the sense of the root word, lavah, “to join together, woven, wreath, twisting, coiling.” His scales overlap to create a system skin that is difficult to pierce, with a protective of overlapping that symbolizes the coalitions and patterns this spirit manifests in the seven cultural mountains. Leviathan joins coalitions of delusion into every aspect of society. With this patterned protection in place, it seems to hold together when attacked. It also maintains a pattern of growth through a coalition of movable parts.

A Leviathan pierces and weaves its way into a people, place, and generation in a way that protects the whole systematic delusion from outside attack. The system holds together and its overlapping layers make it seem impossible to penetrate, and intimidatingly fierce.

When we look at the inroads of delusion in the seven aspects of American culture, we discover a philosophical system that gradually perverts the foundations of medicine, education, arts, government, business, media, family, and religion. None escapes the pollution because each is infiltrated with this penetrating invasion, weaving itself into the fabric to produce a different pattern from that produced by God’s expectations.

For example, Leviathan thinking has so inserted and woven itself into medicine that what should be the safest place in the universe is now the most dangerous: the most dangerous place for a baby in modern America is his mother’s womb. A baby is more likely to be killed in his mother’s womb than anywhere else on earth! In New York City alone more than 80,000 babies are aborted each year, and in some demographics more than 60% are aborted! While not all medical personnel participate or approve of this spiritual condition; none are able to stop it.

“Spiritual” answers to the character of the Leviathan spirit. We can recognize any demon by its character, and we often name a spirit by its character. Paul says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” A spirit of fear is a demon most easily recognized by its character. Paul identifies a more systematic spiritual condition in Ephesians 2:2 as “the prince of the power of the air” and clarifies that this is “the spirit that is operating among and within the obstinate, rebellious children.” Paul says pre-saved people are influenced and controlled in their behaviors by this principality. Leviathan represents a manifestation of this kind of darkness. It is a spiritual system.

Leviathan is identified in Job 41 and here in Isaiah 28 with pride, or as God tells Job, as “the king of the children of pride.” In other words, Leviathan senses that he is impossibly powerful, overwhelming in his dominance, and becomes arrogant in his intimidation. He sees himself as undefeatable. He begins to throw his weight around, consuming more and more of the culture, growing fat by absorbing increasing amounts of the values, beliefs, and behaviors of the people, place, and generation. Leviathan is insatiable in its conquest of a people, in a place because it inserts and weaves itself into the fabric of culture as a way of substituting the expectations of people for the expectations of God.

A spiritual system affects the behavior of a people by perverting their beliefs and values. The purpose of God for that people and place becomes something foreign to the culture. Certainly, this is a clear picture of modern American culture! At times this culture ran nearly parallel with Scripture; now, it runs cross grain to Scripture.

“Delusion” answers to the understanding that pride is deception, and pride developed at a cultural level becomes a “strong delusion.” Isaiah 28 speaks of the “crown or wreath of pride.” Ephraim is “drunk” with pride, moving from deception and delusion into drunkenness. This is the picture of Leviathan interwoven into a culture, systematically deceiving the generation.

Delusions strike deeply into the minds of people driven by invading their beliefs. They believe someone is in love with them. They believe they have a great talent or ability unrecognized that makes them an exception or more valuable. They believe they are persecuted and treated unfairly or unjustly as a way of understanding their present conditions. They believe they are suffering from some malady undetectable to tests and examination. They believe people in their lives are betraying them or being unfaithful to them. They believe, and the belief affects behavior in a fundamental way.

Delusions provide a justification for personal problems. Delusions provide an explanation for why others succeed, have more money, friends, and happiness. Delusions invest value into things that are worthless as symbols of a fantasy. Delusions are escapes from realities too difficult to face.

Delusions are another level of deception because they affect beliefs, values, and behavior in a more systematic way.

Pride is deception. Pride is satan’s spiritual DNA and essential character. He is the father of lies because his DNA is deceptive pride. He raised his five-fingered fist in the face of God and said “I will” five times, and each of his “I will” deceptions define the delusions of pride.

Step 3 – Spiritual Retribution

God says He will visit the Leviathan with His sword. In other words, He will bring this Leviathan system to account with the very expectations He has for the people, place, and generation being held captive by this systematic spiritual delusion. This serpent inserted itself into God’s designs and twisted them into perversions, piercing weaving itself into the fabric of His designed purpose and using God’s people, places, and generations to produce an unholy result. Upon arrival for an accounting of His expectations, Jehovah sees that Leviathan has usurped His purposes and influenced and controlled His people by systematic deception.

So, He will lift and wield His Sword, His Word, the rhema of the Spirit, a revelation of His expectations. He will again speak His expectations and purposes over that people, place, and generation with the authority of the Originator. When we look at Isaiah 28, we will hear the phrasing, “precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

The Message version says, “He said before, ‘This is the time and place to rest, to give rest to the weary. This is the place to lay down your burden.’ But they won’t listen. So God will start over with the simple basics and address them in baby talk, one syllable at a time – “Da, da, da, da, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s a good little girl, that’s a good little boy.”

In other words, the revelation that visits Leviathan will be an empowered Word of restoration. All transformation is restoration because God is restoring His expectations during a season of visitation.

Three specific characteristics of God’s Sword against Leviathan: unrelenting (qasheh), massive (gadowl), and sharp (chazaq). The Word that will “visit to bring to account” the Leviathan will have these characteristics, and it will also slay or ruin the dragon in the sea. God’s Word will strategically deal with the interwoven serpent and will strike so hard that the source of this systematic spiritual delusion will be ruined or destroyed among the population.

To understand the Leviathan and God’s Sword, we must understand the contrast between what God is doing to establish His kingdom purposes and what the enemy is doing to frustrate that establishing. God invested His expectations in people, place, and generation: He expects grapes so He plants a vineyard; He comes for an accounting of the vineyard to see if His expectations have been met. This is the sense of God walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. This is the sense of God’s leadership strategies throughout history. This is the sense of the Incarnation. This is the sense of the New Testament kingdom leadership strategy of discipling. This is how God deals with men, nations, and generations. This is one of “the ways of God.”

When God invests purpose, hell invests perversion of purpose. To understand transformation and the process through which it arrives, we must comprehend purpose because all transformation is restoration. God removes the delusion in order to establish the authentic. In other words, to speak of city transformation, we must have a very clear picture of what our city would look like in full restoration because the transformation will return the city to God’s original expectations. No matter how perverted the work of hell, how far afield the wandering of culture, or how deep the stain of blood on the ground, God maintains His insistence upon original purpose and empowers that Word to be spoken with authority!

God’s purpose cannot be destroyed because the power of the Cross, the Life of the Resurrection, the Authority of the Ascension, and the Intercession of Jesus guarantees that full restoration of purpose is possible so fulfillment of that purpose can be realized!

Once the Leviathan is engaged with the restorative Word, the effort must be unrelenting. We cannot pierce this monster without finishing the job! The systematic spiritual delusion, like overlapping scales, protects the serpent from piercing. Once God reveals the fatal flaws of that system, we must engage the monster with the idea that we will not stop until he is dead!

The indigenous people of North Florida killed alligators by driving a long, slender tree into its open mouth. They would cut down a tall tree, trim off its branches and sharpen one end to form a long pole. Several young men would hold onto it in pairs, and approach a gator. When the gator would open its mouth, they would thrust the pole into the gator and continue thrusting until they had driven it to the tail!

The most powerful part of Leviathan, his mouth, is the place of his vulnerability. His boasting is his fatal flaw. While the scales do not allow for piercing, the mouth does! The terror of facing that open mouth certainly makes gator hunters think twice, but God’s Sword must be thrust completely through the vitals of the beast. We do not want to wound it! We want to remove it! So, once God’s visitation starts, the Sword must be unrelenting.

In this same way, the Leviathan response must be massive. It cannot be piecemeal or patchwork in terms of dealing with the systematic spiritual delusion. Efforts to win “moral victories” that merely scratch at the scales or play games with the beast only stir the monster to greater delusion. Harassing the Leviathan will cause the system to rise up in defense, lead with its strengths, and increase its level of intimidation.

Efforts of this kind will bring discouragement to the warriors of God, and we have experienced this weariness for a decade. The monster cannot be tamed or domesticated! The Leviathan cannot be appeased or educated. God has allowed it to remain in place simply because any human effort to remove it would destroy the whole. The system is so entrenched that only God can unravel it. It is wrapped around the vitals of this region but must be destroyed in a way that does not sacrifice the vitals.

God introduces Job to His strategy of Leviathan hunting: “Can you hook a Leviathan with a fly rod or put a noose around his neck? Can you put a ring in his nose and lead him or secure him on a spike? Will he beg you for mercy and ask you for pity? Will he become your workhorse? Do you put Leviathan in a cage like a songbird or give him to your daughters like a kitten for play? Do you throw spears at his hide or harpoons at his head? If you attempt to wrestle him, you will always remember that struggle! It is useless to attempt his capture, and the hunter who tries will hit the ground hard!” God concludes by saying, “Of all creatures, Leviathan is the proudest, the king of pride.” Or, “Leviathan is the king of the children of pride.”

Leviathan is a system but the piercing Sword will deactivate the system at the source of its power and the resulting restoration will be massive. It is a territorial principality, entrenched and interwoven into the seven mountains. The Word of the Lord that brings it to account will be massive.

Then, Isaiah says that the Sword of the Lord will be sharp. This speaks of specific, strategic revelation: Not a blunt instrument to batter down the outside shell. This is scalpel-like precision. The sharpness of this rhema Sword of the Spirit speaks of a specific revelation of strategic words that punch holes in the occult veil blinding people’s minds. The holes will be punched at places in the veil that allow the inserted Word to penetrate to the source of spiritual power supporting and guiding the Leviathan’s spiritual structure.

Here, we must return in humility to wisdom; wisdom is strategy or the strategic use of revelation. Here, we must have a revitalization and maturation of our intercession and warfare. Here, we must have some mighty men and women like David developed in the wilderness. Here, we must immediately remove ourselves from the silly and supercilious intercession left when the intercessors went home bruised and discouraged from Leviathan wrestling.

Move away from the “internet conspiracy wonders” wishing to do intercession and warfare from a vantage point of “inside information.” This represents a Leviathan insertion into our regional intercession, people believing themselves to be more than they are, a product of illegitimate leadership and warfare malpractice. Out of place. Out of mind. Out of order. This kind of intercession must be marginalized from the strategy of God that will release a sharp sword with surgical strike capabilities.

The word, chazaq, speaks to the concept of the strengths of something reaches its greatest use or design, and with respect to a sword, it refers to its tensile strength and sharpness, or ability to hold an edge. Only the strongest steel can maintain sharpness in use. The best scalpels are made with hardened and tempered steel, or even high carbon steel. Modern scalpels made are coated with Zirconium Nitride to improve and retain sharpness.

So, whatever condition our warfare readiness may have been, or whatever strategy we have employed in the past, dealing with Leviathan requires us to run into the refuge of God’s visitation. It is time for new weaponing and training. It is time, perhaps most of all, for a deeper level of humility and surrender, submission and obedience, agreement and alignment with apostolic assignment. Any holes in our armor or pride in our souls will make us vulnerable to the same fatal flaw we intend to exploit to defeat Leviathan.

Step 4 – Spiritual Revolution

Isaiah says that God has been repeating the same message over and over, but the leaders of Israel are stupid with drunkenness. They simply refuse to listen to the revelation of God’s expectations, insisting upon God speaking a different message. So, God will reset the foundation cornerstone and put a plumb line on the foundation wall these leaders have built.

Deception and delusion have moved into drunkenness. A stupor has overcome the leaders; an occult veil has blinded the masses.

This revolution is a revolution of the spirit of leadership. The crown or wreath of pride sits upon Samaria, the capital city. Destruction is certain for the seat of pride, the delusion that leads the whole culture away from its purpose and calling. This is the focus of the reset coming to the leadership dynamics of Israel. The strategy of God to deal with the system of delusion is to strategically impact the leadership: a new spiritual leadership dynamic will reverse the effects of the delusions of Leviathan.

The crown or wreath of pride speaks of the leadership delusion that must be eliminated in order for a new systematic spiritual dynamic to be established. When that occurs, the crown or wreath of Glory will be restored, and the expectations of the King will be the motivating influence of the culture. This returns that culture to beliefs, values, and behaviors more consistent with the kingdom of God. Isaiah says judges will love justice and warriors will have the courage to stand guard at the gates.

The drunkenness of pride a deep delusional deception so that leaders hear the repeated, simple revelation of what God wants for the culture over and over without really listening. Leviathan turns deception into delusion, and drunkenness in the leaders best positioned to affect reform. Isaiah calls this “the pride of a people brought low by drunkenness.” Drunkenness removes inhibitions, causes unsteadiness in forward movement, and identifiable behaviors motivated by delusions.

Isaiah 28:16 says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a splendid corner stone, fixed and established as a foundation. He who believes in it will not be shaken.”

Understand “Zion” by its initial and primary use: the citadel in Jerusalem where David established kingdom. In that sense, “Zion” is the establishment of God’s kingdom by a people in a place at a time or during a generation. While whole books can be written about “Zion” from many perspectives, this simple understanding makes this verse clearer in its application.

The work, “Look,” says, “Spiritual awakening.” When Isaiah hears God say, “Behold!” He knows God is calling attention to something, and he knows that He is doing so because the people He is speaking to are not hearing or seeing because of an occult veil.

About a year ago, I went south to share in meetings some apostles. I went on assignment and in alignment. I went also because I heard God speak to me about a word Chuck Pierce had released for Florida. I didn’t hear the word personally, didn’t see any pictures or charts. I simply heard someone tell me that Chuck had a word for Florida in which he saw a dark ribbon like a snake running through the state from south to north, so I looked up the word. I went that weekend, changing my schedule in obedience to the assignment, because God told me it was time to learn my assignment with reference to this word from Chuck Pierce. (I was in Brasil at the time Chuck released this revelation, but I knew Chuck was in Florida and knew that the word was something I needed to hear. I went looking for it.)

During the conference while preaching, the speaker turned toward me from the pulpit and prophesied, in part, “Don Lynch, there are thousands of people in Jacksonville and North Florida with your spiritual DNA, but they are blinded by an occult veil.” He went on to speak of some strategy to deal with it, and for a year we have been engaged in this strategic battle bringing us to where we are not as we begin this new year by the Jewish calendar.

Leviathan is the origin of the occult veil. God says, “Behold!” His voice contains the power of awakening! “See this!” He says. “I am setting a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a splendid cornerstone for the foundation, established. He who believes in it will not be moved to panic.”

Awakening overcomes the systematic spiritual delusion, the spiritual blindness, that Leviathan uses to veil the Light and Life of Jesus Christ. The battle for awakening is, in this sense, a battle with Leviathan.

In terms of revolutionary revival and reformation, God answers Leviathan with a reset of His original design and intention. He resets the foundations and recalibrates the meaning of “true” with a plumb line. This answers to the word “paqad” because God’s expectations haven’t changed, and He is resetting the foundation in order to restore the original design.

We can see this as well in the song of the Vineyard. To establish the vineyard that will produce the vintage God desires to drink, rootstock must be established and engrafting must be done. The rootstock is God’s systematic kingdom leadership dynamics, the apostles and prophets at the foundation of function; the grafted scions are true sons and daughters who align with the assignments of Jesus Christ. In the cornerstone picture, this means the authorized architecture of the building He is building will be assigned to leaders who can bring all the activities of His people together in a way that meets His expectations. In any case, a return to the original design is a first step toward giving God what He expects.

Our Mount Carmel and Its Meaning

Several years ago, when I was beginning to interpret and obey the heavenly vision I had about the nations, I wrote a book, The Spirit and Power of Elijah. In it, I began to work out some principles for preparing the Lord a people ready to respond in the next season. I was doing so because of the vision and the need for a new leadership paradigm in the kingdom.

Now, nearly 14 years after the heavenly vision, the book sold out in Brasil, and I find myself tonight coming to a sudden revelation download about where we are with this process in terms of the United States. We are ready for a Mount Carmel showdown in the United States, and that showdown will reach a point of political crisis because of a point of cultural crisis. However, that cannot become a distraction for the Elijah company in creating a spiritual crisis.

“Your head crowns you like Carmel, and the king is secured in his place by your flowing, royal tapestries.” (Song of Songs 7:5)

The Elijah story is one of preparation for confrontation, and the spirit and power of Elijah always apply at this point of conflict. The confrontation is about lordship, and the Elijah company fights every challenge to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

We must ask, “What kind of people can participate in an Elijah company?” What is the spirit and power of Elijah that remains in the earth in what we refer to as the mantle of Elijah?

These were questions I answered in the book, and these are questions that apply to how to assemble, prepare, position, and lead that kind of prophetic company. While this can be done by any kingdom leader, that kingdom leader must operate in the spirit and power of Elijah. The kingdom leader must become a prophetic leader.

A prophetic leader accurately anticipates what is coming next and prepares the Lord a people ready to respond in the next season.

I am very concerned that while we have had Elijah leaders, the process of preparing the Lord a people has been short circuited by efforts to preparing ourselves a people. Once the shown down occurs and the rain falls again, will the Elijah’s run or realize that the day of the Remnant has arrived?

This isn’t about the several leaders who lead the showdown as targets of the prevailing spiritual condition but the preparation and positioning of the Remnant for establishing and expanding the confrontation’s shift in who crowns the Bride.

We sometimes mistake the confrontation on Mount Carmel as one between Elijah and Jezebel, but she wasn’t there. King Ahab was. The battle on Mount Carmel was to defeat Jezebel but to reset the lordship of Jehovah. That infuriated Jezebel, and Elijah was unprepared for the next step.

To properly finish our assignments, we must always be focused upon the Remnant more than the specific confrontation. Winning one battle does not finish the war. Finishing the war merely begins the process of expanding the kingdom culture: kingdom without culture is a smoking altar on a distant mountain, soon to become a memorial instead of a mandate.

Objections:

  1. We need to focus completely upon the Mount Carmel or we will not win that confrontation.

No, that is exactly what Elijah did. He ran when the confrontation didn’t fix all the problems. He was bewildered by the confrontation’s amazing and miraculous success, just as we often are when God does something as powerful as the lightning strike on Carmel. We assume that a victory in one skirmish will translate into instant success when that victory is the turning point toward the establishing and expansion of that victory.

Defeating some prophets of Baal in a public way does not translate into Awakening. It is a strategic victory about lordship, but lordship becomes the source point for expanding the culture of the King.

Jesus has already won the ultimate victory over the ultimate enemy, yet His mandate is to disciple cultures, teaching them to do all that He commands the Remnant. We should read this as “kingdom has a culture that you must prepare people to live as kingdom on earth norms, principles, procedures, and protocols of how kingdom functions is necessary to kingdom.”

After the blood of 400 prophets washed off Elijah as he ran down the mountain of reestablished lordship, he was immediately confused that this mighty victory didn’t fix everything. We suffer the same level of immaturity in leadership. We prepare ourselves a people when we should prepare the Lord a people: we should prepare the Remnant for more than a miraculous moment or successful confrontation. Having won the victory for the King, we are now positioned to expand the culture of His kingdom.

  1. Once we restore the lordship of Jesus, He will take care of fixing the culture.

No. If that were true, He would also restore His own lordship! The point of the confrontation on Mount Carmel is to validate His representatives and position His Remnant. After that moment, the validated leader runs off into the wilderness, and God asked him what he is doing there.

Jehovah validates Elijah and the prophet immediately run away from his responsibilities as a leader thinking he is the only one left. God laughs at him! “I have 7,000 who haven’t bowed the knee, Elijah. I have a Remnant waiting for the next step, now get out there and do your job.”

God told him what to do with the rest of his life. Elijah then started doing what he should have been doing all along: he started preparing the Lord a people so that a prophetic company, an Elijah company would be available for leadership in the land.

By “prophetic company” I do not now assume only prophets but people who can accurately anticipate what’s coming next and be prepared for the Lord to respond to what He is doing next.

Having taken the high places, we are ready to take the low places, not to maintain the high places as memorials of past victories. If Jesus wished to do it Himself, it would already be done. The point of the entire strategy is for men to do it, for the Lord to have a people who represent Him in the earth with influence necessary to expand His influence.

  1. All this talk about Old Testament doesn’t relate to the New Testament.

No, it is the fulfillment and fullness of a Divine pattern. The pattern of prophetic leadership was introduced to welcome Messiah. Messiah would do another confrontation with universal and eternal consequence of victory, but first He would prepare representatives to establishing and expand His culture. The pattern is consistent with the prophetic anticipation of it, beginning with John the Baptist as the Elijah who would come. Accepting John would have been the beginning. His rejection produced the rejection of Messiah.

The Prophetic Prayer Meeting

When establishing a prophetic atmosphere in which revelation becomes more easily heard or seen, we always begin with intercession. We begin with aggressive, intense, and prolonged seasons of praying in the Spirit. We pray in the Spirit for one hour, intensely.

Even though some people cannot sustain praying in the Spirit more than ten or fifteen minutes at first and tend to slip into soaking as a posture for the remainder of the time, they should begin to develop the capacity to extend that initial prayer time until they can pray for one hour. As we do so, we have loud music to allow everyone to pray out loud, encourage people to pray aloud, in fact, with leader in charge or other leaders the leader designates praying in the Spirit in a microphone.

During this time of praying in the Spirit, we know what the people praying will be experiencing will be from and by the Spirit because they pray from and by the Spirit. They will sustain a season of SpiritFirst experience in which hearing and seeing will be much more likely to be spiritual experience. They will hear and see simply because they will have little else to hear and see, joining in the prayer.

If the leader sees that people step into something other than intensely focused praying in the Spirit, tending toward a worship response to the music, the leader should encourage and exhort them back to sustained praying in the Spirit the entire one hour.

After one hour, gather the people together and begin a process of sharing what they each heard or saw in the Spirit. They will immediately realize that Holy Spirit has been opening their eyes and ears to prophetic revelation. They will recognize a pattern in the revelations as the leader organizes the revelations into that pattern. They will see that Holy Spirit has an agenda for that season of intercession that can be prayed out or prophetically decreed.

In this way, nearly everyone who has actually prayed in the Spirit for one hour will have heard or seen something to contribute.

Then, the posture and authority of decree will enter into prophetically speech as the agenda is prayed out and declared with authority. Move the people from talking about what they heard or saw to prophesying what they heard and saw with authority.

Ask the question of yourself, “How many such prayer warriors can the kingdom afford to have?

Praying in the Spirit builds along the lines of edification so that it is improbably a person doing so for an hour, learning to sustain focused, intense praying in the Spirit can even avoid hearing and seeing the Spirit. Since this aspect of the SpiritFirst life is rather simply, the process we have described makes the realization of the experience easier by removing the human tendency to attempt to conjure up something by means of imagination or struggle with doubt about what they hear or see is actually from their own thoughts, not God’s mind.

This scenario diminishes unbelief while edifying the spirit, maturing both prayer and worship while opening the soul through the spirit to the reality of Spirit. It serves as the basis for increasing SpiritFirst function in the people so that they carry this capacity into public meetings, prayer meeting, personal prayer and worship, and every other ministry function that releases anointing.

When we have created a prophetic atmosphere, we have the basis for creating a prophetic culture. When we produce a prophetic culture, prophets will emerge who can train more and more people in the same way and expand the culture.

As we mature this culture, we continually engage in confrontation with limitations the adversary has placed within people that distract them from SpiritFirst living. We offer continuous spiritual experiences that challenge domination of the body or soul over the spirit of man so that SpiritFirst living overcomes these limitations in increasingly greater measure. This often brings people face to face with really personal, deep issues of the soul, but this confrontation of God’s design for their lives and the limitations of hell is a necessary part of discipling and transformation.

The method of the enemy is distraction that leads to substitution. The entire process of maturing prophetic experience, atmosphere, and culture involves the deeper work of personal transformation, the renewing of the spirit of the mind. That process will not experience greater success without SpiritFirst living.

What You Don’t Say Confirms What You Say

I heard twenty-five or thirty ‘trumpet’ words from intercessors before I heard one prophetic word from a prophet.

If I put fifty or sixty seasoned intercessors into a room and have them pray in tongues for an hour, they will come back and report what they heard in the spirit with the same level of accuracy as 98% of the prophets blasting on Facebook.

They will say what prophets say but they aren’t prophets.

Now, this tells us two very important things about “How Things Really Work in the Spirit”:

1. Using Elijah’s experience to illustrate, God has 7,000 in the caves for every prophet on the mountain. (Or, something like that.) The abundance in the kingdom of intercessors determines the influence of the voices that shout “no rain until I say so.” The travail of intercessors in the hidden closets determines the cloud the size of a man’s hand birthed in the prophet’s decree of thunderstorms. When Elijah runs from Jezebel, God explains that He has 7,000 intercessors so Elijah will understand.

2. Intercessors who hear in this way (as I mentioned above) and assume they are prophets err on “How Things Really Work in the Spirit.” And, prophets who think they are “the only ones God talks to” teeter on the fine line of “false” because their motivations are impure. Challenged, they exhibit defensive avoidance behaviors. Roles played do not measure value. Faithfulness and obedience measure value. (In terms of kingdom efficiency, not personal worth. I speak of value to the team to fulfill purpose, not the innate value of each person.)

Immaturity

I’d much rather be in the cave or closet, and I have a bit of insecurity with the prophet who doesn’t feel the same way. I will be pushed into the pulpit by God, but I tremble at His Word so that speaking with an accurate voice becomes more important that being known as a famously spiritual man.

Jesus emphasizes what is done in secret in stark contrast to what is done in public. He makes the value of what happens in the closet infinitely greater than what is performed on the street corner. [See especially Matthew 6.]

I’m always a bit concerned by the modern penchant for fame, and the readiness at which prophets desire “to go viral.” The subtly of the secret desire to be famous has pretty much lost it subtlety now. The thought that I might get a call from CNN for this word has captured the imagination.

The prophets with chips on their shoulders because they are not the famous ones should find a cave and closet for a season until they come out with a different motivation. They would say the same things they said before in terms of accuracy, but they would say them with a different motive.

If we mix the new emphasis of love, goodness, and acceptance flooding our consciousness with the penchant for fame in prophets and teachers, we end up with shallow surface slush instead of deep wells of revelation. Half the “powerful words” I hear now cause me to think of the SNL skit: I say, “Well, now isn’t that special!” Prophets sound like people hoping to get on Sid Roth more than men and women burning in the bones, speaking because they only when they will explode if they don’t.

Meanwhile, Back in the Closets

I remember praying with a group of intercessors and accomplishing a lot, on our way to more maturity, until an apostolic conference came to town. I came in for prayer one morning and the predominately female group was squealing with delight like little girls getting a new doll baby at a birthday party. “We are finally going to become apostles and prophets!”

I threw up a little in my mouth and wondered where the verse that reads, “Be thou a good intercessor for a short time and thou shalt surely become an apostle,” appears in Scripture.

Nonetheless, that was the beginning of the end for intercession. The closet emptied even when the group gathered for prayer because the intercessors had to be heard, seen, known, and promoted after that moment of coronation. They demanded to be honored and respected, and they pouted like diaper-clad brats when they weren’t celebrated by titles.

Meanwhile, back in the closets, the work Jesus is doing continues with the 7,000 who haven’t bowed their knees.

I’m not inferring that all cannot prophesy; I already mentioned that every seasoned intercessor can communicate an accurate revealing of God’s mind and heart. That’s how they intercede the will of God! The inference I make is that immaturity in the prophetic seems to lead to spotlight promotion, and spotlight promotion leads to “I’ve got another one even better than the other one.”

The real work is the intercession. We don’t pray for the ministry; prayer is the ministry. We don’t leave the ministry to minister; we take the ministry with us to distribute it.

The immature see the microphone and fly like moths to the fire. The immature wish to shout, “Hey, I heard God say, ‘trump it’, months ago.” I say, “Of course you did. That’s the whole point. Don’t be distracted by ‘getting the word out’. Pray it to pass.”

Hearing in Public what You Prayed in Private

If I didn’t hear in public what I prayed in private, I’d rethink my capacity as an intercessor. 80% of what I hear in the closet is for intercession, not Facebook. Another 15% is for a very small group of people. The 5% I get to prophesy makes me tremble! If you stop trembling, sit down and shut up.

I mean, when you read the blogs and receive your monthly word from the apostles and prophets, the prayer alerts and updates, you should assume that some confirmation and understanding of what you’ve been pregnant with comes through. Like a checkup at the doctor where you see the baby move and hear the heartbeat of what you already knew what there, or decide if you want to know the gender or wait for birthing.

We don’t just pray warm up tongues until we get a bulletin from the big boys and girls! We know the big boys and girls will invest the treasures we mine from the hidden places and shatter with the shocks of doom, fire with the passion that burns in our bones, purified by the Gethsemane of blood-letting perspiration.

Blah, blah, blah is not intercession. No wonder God wants us to pray in tongues so we won’t know what we are praying! The baby we birth doesn’t belong to us. The baby we birthed turns around and names us instead of us naming the baby. The pregnancy ends and we get pregnant again almost immediately. The blah, blah, blah needs to die.

When I discover the closet and cave, I asked God if I could stay there the rest of my life. Praying Hyde was my dream. God says, “No, you must come out of the closet and represent Me.” I know that is my calling and have known that as long as I can remember, but the closet is the place of real power, prestige, permission, and peace.

When you get to the place where you don’t have to be part of the photo op and selfie sludge, you know you are ready to be trusted with birthing God’s babies.

The recent mini movements that are going to fix what’s wrong with intercession and prophetic function seem to have an underlying sentiment. I can smell it — discern, in other words — as the fine aroma of “when I am heard and lead, things will finally be right.” Yet, what is wrong isn’t who is being heard and leading but motivations for speaking at all.

If your strategy for correction is to destroy the present leaders to make room for your own untested and presumptuous “I am better than them,” you need to get into the cave with the pickle jars, crawl in one, and stay there until the only vinegar is on the outside of you.

Jesus Didn’t Say That

“Why won’t you just speak to us plainly?” the crowd says, exasperated with Jesus for using stories to secure the treasures of revelation.

We seem to think that our job is to improve upon His shortcomings, that after the Resurrection we are now sent to do what He could not. From whence cometh this concept? Misperceptions of the finished work of Christ or further exaggerations of what He does as opposed to what we do? I hear prophetic people declaring that we are now going to do what could not be done before, and I wonder the basis for their exaggeration of the prophetic opportunity; they assume they know how to improve on the basic principles and protocols of “How Things Really Work in the Spirit” by adding mysticism and superstition to the kingdom.

What Jesus didn’t say was often the real key to what He did say.

The mature prophets always function in this way and have no eagerness to be seen as the sources of breakthrough Truths.

Beware any motivation that presses you to be seen and heard, the deep sense that you have been passed over for years but your moment of ascendancy is coming. I hope not! If you carry that in your heart, and listen for that in prophetic words, you are being set up by the devil. (Time God hit in the face with a wet squirrel! Do you good.)

If the prophet trains by having learners sit and watch him or her do the stuff, the immature become worshippers at the wrong altars, hoping to someday get their chances to hold the mic. If the prophet trains by having others do the stuff in a secret place where the word requires no audience but God, intimidation is removed so the learner doesn’t learn to perform but to tremble.

Better to develop prophets and prophetic people from their intercession than from their performance. “High fives” at the operation of gifts doesn’t measure character. If a wannabe can do the stuff, we only know they can do the stuff like every false prophet in history does the stuff. If we know they can intercede, we know they know something no false prophet in history has ever known.

If you are learning to prophecy for God by speaking to God, as intercessors do, you come out of the process a different kind of representative  when you speak for Him.

When you learn that what you don’t say is the key to what you say, you will mature more rapidly in intercession and prophecy.

Spiritual Worship

God creates worship; worshippers release worship.

Worship comes from heaven. Authentic worshippers release worship God creates into the earth. Authentic worshippers are the sacrifice Father is looking for, and when He finds this kind of worshipper, He releases what He’s created through them as “spirit and truth” worship. Their spiritual worship engages the reality of spirit. Worshipping God is spiritual and must be released spiritually.

Worship is Spiritual

“The time is coming and has already started when the authentic worshippers worship Father in spirit and truth, for Father seeks for this kind of worshippers. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” [John 4:23-24]

  • Worship the Father. This becomes possible because Messiah has arrived, because Messiah arrives with the passion of the Father, worshipping as a living sacrifice in the reality of spirit, releasing the reality of spirit into the natural world. In this way, Messiah establishes what Father has always wanted, something David approached in the Tent, but the vast majority of generations knew little about. Glory becomes available because the spiritual worship of the Father occurs in the passion of the Father instead of the passion of the worshippers.
  • Worship the Father in the reality of spirit, for He is Spirit. This becomes possible when worshippers release what God creates instead of bringing God what they want Him to have. The worship of Cain will not be received as what the Father wants, even when it done in the Name of Jesus and glorifies God, even when it occurs in spiritual people with burning passion for what they are doing. What is released must be created in the spirit so that worshippers sacrifice what Father wants – they are the sacrifice! – And what God creates in spirit is released through them in spirit to bring the reality of spirit into the natural world.
  • Worshippers who worship in spirit are the target the Father searching to find. Here’s the cap sheath of revelation about worship: Father is searching like a detective with a magnifying glass for this kind of worship! Father has created worship in heaven that He wants released into the earth, and only this kind of worship can connect what is real in spirit with what is real in the natural. God creates worship, and worshippers release what He creates.
  • Worship comes from Spirit and releases spiritual reality where it occurs. If we release what we create, even when we do so by spiritual means and power, we still release from the natural into the spiritual instead of from the spiritual into the natural. Infusing natural with spiritual cannot begin with the worshipper because the sacrifice isn’t what the worshipper can create. The sacrifice is the worshipper! Once the living sacrifice is offered with an eternal but continual position of surrender, Father can answer that altar with what He creates. Remember, that the offering must be accepted, and will only be accepted when we bring Father what He wants, not when we bring Him what we want Him to have.

Worship is Positional

Worship comes from a surrendered position; the very words mean, “bow down and kiss the ground.” Picture that moment as if you are a photographer or videographer, someone approaches the King, and suddenly, one is on the ground, out of the frame, and the Other fills the whole frame. This is the position for worship. “Worship the Father” as a sacrificed worshipper. The worship removes us and exalts Him! Worship is a position from which to exalt and position Jesus.

  • Worship is sacrifice. Nothing about authentic spiritual worship can be selfish, even while pure worship will touch every part of the worshipper as God accepts the holy sacrifice.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by God’s mercies, to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” [Romans 12:1]

Worship as a sacrifice means the sacrifice lives but isn’t the worship. The worshipper, once fully surrendered to living “absent from the frame,” receives the response of Father’s acceptance – “I’ve been searching for you! – And the worship Father creates is released through the spirit and truth worship!

  • Spiritual reality becomes available to natural reality when a spiritual worshipper becomes a natural sacrifice. This is a spiritual exercise and activity, and it is more real than any natural sacrifice: the natural sacrifice model has always been a failure when it was not spiritually motivated.
  • Spiritual worship and natural worship look and sound the same when discerned by natural means. The same song can be performed at various levels of professionalism or amateurism while the spiritual worship can only be discerned by the spiritual character of the worship, not the natural appearance or sound. The quality of the performance is highest when the worshippers producing the sound and appearance are kissing the ground and the worship experience gives way to releasing worship instead of experiencing worship. That is, experiencing worship can occur through vessels of musical performance using vocal, instrumental, dance, and artistic means at various levels of artistic skill, the highest form of skill being the ability to release worship that best releases what God is creating, whether that be simple or complex in terms of artistic expertise. However, limitations in artistic skill may also limit release of what God is creating when God is creating artistic complexity requiring greater artistic dexterity. So, it is not inaccurate to say, “Sometimes God would like to release worship at a greater level than the people releasing are capable of producing; and, sometimes the artists have achieved a level of mastery that allows a higher level of release. In this scenario, we should strive for the highest levels of artistic skill simply because we can become vessels of honor to release sounds and appearances closer to what God is creating; at the same time, we understand that the greatest skill sometimes rests in fully releasing a very elementary or simply sound, movement, and appearance.
  • Worship begins in Spirit. When “worship” becomes an emotional or mental experience, we are caught up in natural experience of creativity. It is moving for sure, but the passion that is released is human passion. If worship begins with our emotions or minds instead of beginning with God, we use the natural experience as a way of releasing sounds, feelings, passion, and love that originates with us and flows from us. That is beautiful, but it is natural influencing natural even when the people who release it are anointed people. The scope of that spiritual reality influence is meager though beautiful. This position of worship exalts us, and God becomes a corollary partner.
  • We can experience worship without releasing worship: there is a difference between experiencing worship and releasing worship. Only living sacrifices that “disappear from the frame” can receive and release what God creates in spiritual reality. God gets this worship into the earth through living sacrifices; He responds to the sacrificial position of submission.
  1. “Concert mode” worship begins with my enjoyment and emotional response to music that unlocks and expresses my inner experiences; but spiritual worship begins with God’s design and purpose and unlocks heaven so heaven can be released into earth through His worship. That’s what Father looking for: spiritual worship!
  2. In a conference setting, seldom does the Glory of God rest upon a people (The way His Glory rested upon a conference I was in the recent past). Each session, the thousands of leaders present surrendered to spiritual worship, and Overshadowing Glory rested upon us for hours. It was powerful! Then, in one session, a popular worship leader took the platform, a wonderfully anointed worship leader, but immediate that worship leader began to lead worship, the people moved into concert mode, cell phone extended for photos, swaying with the music they loved, and generally operated from “me first” mode to something they had grown to appreciate as great worship music. It was not the worship leader’s fault. Nonetheless, the precious thousands that had enjoyed Glory were now experiencing worship instead of releasing worship. After the worship leader finished, my good friend sat down at the keyboard for a moment to lead the people in very simply worship, and in five minutes, the thousands of leaders switch back to spiritual worship. The Overshadowing Glory immediately rested upon us again! Experiencing worship and releasing worship contrast starkly once you come to recognize spiritual worship.

The Passion of the Father

God is spirit, so we must worship Him in the reality of spirit. While we often assume that means we can do this because we have Holy Spirit or the worship is anointed, the actuality is that we can do this only when we are worshipping in spirit – capable of this because of Holy Spirit, for sure, but not necessarily spiritual worship just because we have Holy Spirit and do something we call, “worship.” So, we can participate in anointed worship and experience worship without worshipping in spirit and truth. We can bring God what we want Him to have without releasing spiritual worship. We can do something we call, “worship,” without actually worshipping in spirit and truth. Father’s worship comes with fire, a consuming of the accepted, holy sacrifice our spiritual worship releases as living sacrifices.

  • Our passion must become a sacrifice, so we can receive and release His passion.
    1. Jesus never operated in His own passion. He lived by the passion of the Father. The fire in His eyes doesn’t come from His head or heart, it comes from His belly, a release from the womb or matrix of living waters. Jesus lives with “what Father wants” as His only alternative.
    2. Jesus makes His passion a sacrifice for what Father wants. This is the oneness He describes and prays will be the condition of His representatives.
  • Once we “disappear from the frame,” becoming a living sacrifice accepted by Father, we submit to a proving process of one particular thing: what Father wants. [See Romans 12:2.] This is above all things that are mentioned by these verses the highest form of surrender, consecration, obedience, and submission arrived at through spiritual worship, releasing what God creates through our priestly offering of All we are. Worship reveal the immediate measure our present level of obedience and submission to God.
  • When our passion is as dead as the rest of us, lying on the altar of completed consecration, we come alive with His passion! In Christ, we experience Father’s passion because He burns with the same consuming fire as the Father!
    1. We cannot understand love without this completing process of surrender, for in it alone do we mature in love so that we can experience Father’s burning, passionate love for us.
    2. Understanding agape love as a sacrifice to God so that we experience Him, Agape Love personified, alters the internals and externals of our lifestyles and enables us to receive and release the worship God creates properly.
  • Reconcile your worship with the words of Jesus: that people will do many things in His Name who are not doing what Father wants!
    1. To this Jesus speaks clearly: “Many shall approach Me in that day to say, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not done great things in Your Name,” but they are people of which I am unaware. The people what Father wants have My attention.”
    2. “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who operate in lawlessness.’ [Matthew 7:21-23]
    3. The Father seeks those releasing spiritual worship because that is what He wants, so we include spiritual worship in this concept of “doing what Father wants.” People can engage in great things, both personal and public, on a scale of private devotion or massive convocation, that do not accomplish Father’s purposes or fulfill Father’s dreams, or build Father’s designs, or answer to Father’s definitions. Jesus says He ignores that just as Father seeks for spiritual worship exclusively. So, we must conclude that Father and Jesus ignore human designs and definitions for “worship” and give attention exclusively to the release of spiritual worship.
  • Ask yourself this question: “What is the fire?” If God is fire, if God is love, if God is spirit, if God is holy, then what is the spiritual fire that burns, purifies, consumes, and accepts the sacrifice? That fire is the passion of the Father, the burning of His passionate love for His purposes, and that burning passion for you was the fire of Creation burning to give you life, that burning passion was Jesus on the Cross, rising from the dead, receiving all authority, and His present priestly intercession for purpose now. That fire burns for purpose, so all worship that God designs has fire in it!
  • As we were worshipping, March 7, 2003, in a University of Ministry class on Spiritual Warfare, I was caught up in open vision, looking down on South America. I prophesied what I was experiencing in the vision for more than an hour and a half, and I am living out the vision today, in 2016! During the vision, I saw Jesus stand up to claim the land, people, and purposes of Brasil, and I saw the fire in His eyes that John saw when He saw Jesus walking among the Ecclesias. I saw that fire, but more importantly, I experienced that fire! I experienced a portion of the burning passion focused upon nations through Jesus’ eyes. As I did, I was shocked to understand that the fire in Jesus’ eyes is not the passion of Jesus. The burning passion released through His eyes doesn’t come from His mind or heart, but from His belly! The passion released in Jesus’ eyes is the passion of the Father, for Jesus always functions in the passion of His Father!
  • Does Jesus worship now? Did Jesus worship while here on earth? Does Jesus remain a living sacrifice, a priest offering Himself before the Father. Stop for a moment and picture the reality of spirit, in Heaven, where all authority, power, wisdom, riches, glory, and honor comes into Jesus so that it can be released through Jesus in both heaven and earth. In heaven through His positioned intercession at Father’s right hand; on earth, through those who represent Him and His kingdom. [See Hebrews 12: 28-29.]
  • We can participate in anointed worship and experience worship without worshipping in spirit and truth.
  • We can bring God what we want Him to have without releasing spiritual worship.
  • We can do something we call, “worship,” without actually worshipping in spirit and truth.

Prophetic Worship

So, spiritual worship reveals. And the revelation of what God creates and releases through us, we call “prophetic worship.”

  • Worship doesn’t begin in our heads. Worship isn’t something you figure out or imagine with the same creative juices that originate other valid kingdom responses. It is not enterprise or entertainment, as legitimate as they may be. It is worship.
    1. The term “entertainment” need not be separated from the kingdom, but entertainment cannot be worship. We should have a clear distinction between the two. I encourage the production, development, and excellence of christian entertainment, and I will enjoy it for its artistic, wholesome literary and entertainment value. Just don’t ever substitute entertainment for worship.
  • Worship doesn’t begin in our hearts. Human passion can never burn hot enough to consume spirit; it can only fire flesh. Only when spirit becomes the burning ember of Father’s passion can we release heavenly worship. God is a consuming fire, and His fire upon the altar will consume the entire sacrifice that He accepts.

 

  • Worship begins in our bellies, in the womb of the spirit.

Corporate Worship

  • Spiritual worship begins at the person level, of course, as does every aspect of kingdom. The reality of spirit has no limitation based upon how many people are involved. You can worship God all the time, in many ways, with prophetic and spiritual worship as an authentic worshipper.
  • The scope of “spiritual worship influence” is as large as the scope of your personal spiritual influence. That is, however you could measure the influence you have in spiritual reality, that would be the measurement of influence for your spiritual worship.
  • Corporate worship is kingdom participation. We can worship God together, in specific times and ways, including prophetic and spiritual worship. However, corporate worship requires us to be where we are assigned to be, prepared and positioned in kingdom location, submitted to kingdom leadership and agreeing with kingdom leadership strategy. Corporate worship releasing spiritual worship comes from people with pure hands and holy hearts. Corporate worship blighted by rebellion, division, pride, strife, and bitterness stemming from unforgiveness and unreconciled offenses fails to release the worship God creates in heaven. That spiritual worship is designed and defined for release by holy beings, created to worship in spiritual reality. It is designed and defined for release into the earth through redeemed souls who seek first kingdom and God’s right behaviors. So, corporate worship cannot be defined as “believers together in the same place singing the same songs at the same time.” Nor does the oft misappropriated Scripture that begins with “where two or three are gathered in My Name” tell us that such a gathered group automatically does everything they are doing with corporate anointing in corporate assignment and corporate authority to represent God and kingdom in the earth. We can be assured, however, that all those corporate factors and variables apply to receiving and releasing corporate worship.
  • Matt Redman song:

Let our praise be Your welcome;

Let our songs be a sign;

We are here for You, we are here for You.

 

Let Your breath come from heaven;

Fill our hearts with Your life;

We are here for You, we are here for You

 

Note the concept that something comes to us so it can be released through us. Kingdom of God means something real in heaven becomes real in the earth through kingdom born citizens who represent heaven on earth. Worship is such a key of release: “what has already been released in heaven, you release in the earth.”

The concept that we can create something on our own, even with His inspiration, that will become worship simply because He has gifted us or we are filled with His Spirit, misses the mark of spiritual worship. The idea that “using your God-given talent” is worship because you are a believer doing something misses the mark. (The worst kind of death metal maniac music “uses God-given talent.” The most immoral rants of hip-hop aggression and sexual anarchy use God-given talent.) Singing the best hymns of history isn’t worship simply because the songs are inspired, inspiring, or sung inspirationally.

God wearies with human performance as a substitute for spiritual worship, not matter how closely the presentation resembles what He designs. We must be the sacrifice so that what we receive becomes what we release.

Worship empties out as it fills up.

  • We must submit our personal worship to corporate worship. While this sounds easy, and many people sincerely believe they are doing so simply because they are in the same room with other believers while something they can call “worship” is going on, the reality is that believers by the millions experience worship without releasing spiritual worship. They measure worship by how they feel, what they like, what fires their own passion, and what they enjoy. They seldom even concern themselves with oneness or even unity (the two are not the same thing), even choosing where they gather together with believers based solely upon their personal tastes, desires, and experience in “worship” as an experience. In fact, I would have to assume, based upon any measurement of modern worship experiences, that the very idea of “corporate” worship has not occurred to but a few, a much smaller group of believers would recognize “spiritual worship,” and the numbers of believers who would discern corporate, spiritual worship would be a small Remnant. Even then, those that recognize and discern it would agree that it is not easily achieved.

Kingdom Worship

  • We are all part of the kingdom by virtue of being born from above, so we can receive and release spiritual worship; kingdom of heaven worship can be released into the earth.
  • But greater kingdom influence can be released when we move out of our personal worship and surrender to a corporate assignment. We release kingdom worship to the extent that the individuals involve surrender to the Ecclesia assignment.
  • The Palm Sunday celebration revealed disconnect between the kingdom and the existing religious and political structure of God’s chosen people. The only place on earth where kingdom of heaven could be released through spiritual worship was Jerusalem at that time, and the King of the kingdom rode into that spiritual arena the day they chose the family Passover lambs.
  • The people were singing songs they had been singing for centuries, and Messianic Scriptures that prophesied Messiah’s arrival in ultimate Passover. Yet, they fell far short of releasing the reality of spirit into the natural. They were singing about something instead of prophesying the reality of something. Even though they had sung, “Hosanna,” for centuries, they missed the meaning and message so much that when Messiah actually arrived they were singing about something instead of releasing spiritual worship.

Spiritual Prophetic Kingdom Worship

  • So when we combine all these elements, in spiritual kingdom worship, the scope of influence in the Spirit changes the atmosphere as large as the scope of our spiritual influence, and as a kingdom gathering we can change the atmosphere over a region!
  • With this kind of spiritual and prophetic worship, our worship releases into what God is doing with a manifestation of power and authority. The children prophesied and what they sang happened! They lifted Jesus into the position of His power and authority as Messiah, and then Messianic things happened. For Israel, the scope of their kingdom influence would have been the scope of their worship influence; that is why God required them to return to Jerusalem for worship events, to celebrate worship as a kingdom people. Had Israel ever produced the level of kingdom culture influence God designed them to have, their worship would have been released as broadly as their influence.
  • Acts 4 prayer is worship and intercession blended together so that we cannot tell the difference between the two. In this setting, their prayer ascended from corporate, spiritual, prophetic, kingdom worship. Lacking a worship band, a fiddle, or a lyre, they worshipped. We can achieve worship without music, but we can ride the vehicle of music into the release of worship is valid ways in any cultural setting: with or without music isn’t the issue of releasing worship.

 

Davidic Worship in Kingdom Worship

  • To understand Davidic worship, we have to understand kingdom. David did not establish this worship until he had established kingdom, and the worship influence was always equal to the kingdom influence. To attempt Davidic worship without kingdom foundations moves us into forms that speak to it but do not produce that experience.
  • Since kingdom influence measures worship influence, Davidic worship always responds to kingdom authority and government. David came into kingship, but immediately sought to move the nation into kingdom; then, he immediately wished to bring worship into the heart of that kingdom by moving the ark to Zion. This was unique to any previous kingdom and worship, and it best prophesied Messiah.

Moving From Preparation into Awakening

God wants everybody but He never starts with everybody. He starts with a remnant and remnant start with leaders. More specifically, He starts with Remnant leaders. Remnant leaders function as forerunners.

To identify the next season properly, we must identify the forerunner anointing preparing the Lord a people who will be ready to respond when that new season arrives. Because the remnant prophesies the “what-God-wants” of the next season that the forerunner and the remnant receives and releases. God will put something in you so He can release something through you: so, God puts what He wants everybody to have into a forerunner who prepares the remnant.

The Forerunner Identity

Avoid the impression that the forerunner identity should become a brand name, a trophy design, and an oil painting over the fireplace or another chapter in “God’s Generals” someday. I mean, avoid the sense that forerunners have the right to make their forerunner identities into next season identities. The forerunner must sacrifice his or her identity to the next season in order to finish the work he or she was assigned. Forerunners cannot say, “See me? What you see tells you who I will be in the next season.” Because the forerunner and remnant prepare people for the next season, they are living the next season before it arrives; however, when the next season arrives, they must walk through the most challenging, gut-wrenching identity crisis of their lives.

Forerunners always say, “I must decrease as He increases.”

When forerunners fail to understand their identities, they tend to speak, act, and lead in ways that say, “I must increase.” They assume, “I am a forerunner because that is God’s strategy to expand His purpose. Therefore, more of me will mean more of God’s purpose. I must increase in order to establish the next season.” Nope.

Reject immediately the perception and practice of good, wonderfully anointed leaders who assume that the strategy of the forerunner is “I must increase.” The move of God received must be the move of God released if it is to become what God has in mind: for revival to become Awakening, and a simultaneous, starburst, similar-but-distinctly-different, “I die to produce life” leadership must move the moment into a movement and feed the momentum of the movement with new leaders. These new leaders can do what the forerunner does and do greater because the next season will cause the things done in the forerunner’s ministry to accomplish much more.

When the next season arrives, the things done in the forerunner’s season remain in place but will be redefined by the next season.

John baptized in water. Water baptism would continue in the next season when Messiah Jesus was announced and revealed; however, water baptism would take on an expanded purpose when the One greater arrived with His baptism of Holy Spirit fire. Repentance marked John’s message and Jesus would preach that message with greater meaning and experience because the Greater One was preaching. And, when Jesus’ disciples – some of whom were formerly John’s disciples – preached the same message in kingdom reality, repentance produced an expanded experience of kingdom in those living and repenting in the next season. These are examples of the concept that the next season defines the season that produced it, not the other way around.

Immediately the forerunner says, “This is it. This is the source and resource. This is the fountainhead. This is the identity of the move of God. This is the DNA,” the forerunner has usurped the role of “the One who comes after is mightier.” And, fallen prey to the limiting assumption that “I must increase” will produce the next season.

The forerunner identity prepares and positions. The forerunner demands repentance – I change to be changed – and the behavior of repentance. The forerunner marks that transformation by the baptism a forerunner can administer in anticipation of the baptism of the fire that never goes out: that baptism marks the transformation available when the next season arrives.

The Revival that Births Awakening

Awakening cannot be controlled by man or any particular kingdom leader. It immediately requires regional leadership that no one personality can provide. Awakening is the work of Holy Spirit upon and through the kingdom that raises the awareness of God and His purpose in the general population. While God uses the forerunner and remnant leaders to prepare the Lord a people, the moment the Awakening arrives, the identity of that forerunning leadership must radically shift. They must decrease during the season of revival in order for the leadership dynamics of the new season to increase.

Whenever revival leaders demand to increase instead of decrease, they may successfully expand revival without moving the moment into a type of spiritual momentum that can sustain an Awakening.

Compare the work of Holy Spirit upon the King in John’s baptism of Jesus to the baptism of revival. Can you discern a pattern in it that parallels moving revival into Awakening? The strategy for kingdom momentum that resets of the kingdom follows this pattern, to move the kingdom into greater expressions of restoration. Like John’s ministry preparing for King and kingdom, so revival prepares the Lord a people to restore kingdom.

This was one of the principles I wished to document in the book, The Spirit and Power of Elijah. This Elijah forerunner anointing remains available in the earth, a mantle for the preparation of a people ready to respond to the Lord when a new season arrives. Once Elijah brought the people to Carmel for the showdown between Jehovah and Baal, Elijah had an identity crisis about his leadership after the general population saw God’s fire and the people of God said, “Jehovah, He is God! Jehovah, He is God!”

It took Elijah so long to get to the mountain, to bring down the fire, to heal the wounded altar of covenant worship, to cleanse the land, to kill the prophets of Baal, that Elijah had some difficulty with his leadership function. The next season for which he had prepared Israel demanded the greatest shift in his leadership, and Elijah ran from his place and position at the very time he should have embraced the new season his leadership was designed to produce.

The forerunner identity sets the forerunner up for the most intense, personal, sacrificial, personal betrayal, Gethsemane perspiration, and “Father, into Your hands” period of his life. In order to be successful he must be a forerunner. In order to walk in the season for which he was prepared and prepared others, like John the Baptist, he must “lose his head” and embrace the new identity that Awakening alone can bring him.

The forerunner identity demands that the move of God that is “next” be exactly like the revival that produced the Awakening. The forerunner demands people reject the very thing for which the forerunner prepares them if he or she rejects the personal identity transformation required to lead in the next season. If they maintain the “I must increase” strategy they thought would expand revival, they will be functioning in the opposite spirit a forerunner should maintain.

The Forerunner Identity Crisis

The spirit and power of Elijah prepares the Lord a people. It never prepares the forerunner a people. The forerunner always assumes “something greater is coming because Someone greater is coming.” The very process that prepares and positions people for “what’s coming next” also moves them out of the preparation and positioning of the forerunner, at some point, and into the “greater.”

Elijah was a forerunner. John was a forerunner. Both faced the greatest personal crisis of identity after producing a great turning of the hearts in their respective generations. Then, Elijah ran and John was offended. Each seemed disappointed with God after the revival produced Awakening, so to speak. Elijah thought the remnant was gone and he alone remained because he was still trying to define remnant with the definitions of what brought the culture to Awakening. John was offended because He thought Jesus would produce a very different outcome in his generation; instead, he was in prison and would soon lose his head.

You say, “Wow! I surely don’t wish to be a forerunner. John lost his head.”

Of course, you want to be a forerunner and lose your head! First, you want to experience both because anything else would grieve God. Second, because you have the passion of the Father for the revelation of His Son. Third, because you won’t literally have to lose your head when the Awakening occurs.

You can walk through the identity crisis, receive the burning immersion that purifies the harvest of the season, and become part of the plowing and planting of that harvest for a season of double harvest! When Awakening comes, Awakening will redefine the revival that produced it and redefine the forerunners and remnant leaders who birthed it.

In the new season, the forerunner doesn’t physically die, merely wishes he or she were before he or she really does die spiritual! The identity crisis is so severe forerunners experience their own Gethsemane and Cross before an identity Resurrection resets their entire lives and ministries.

If the forerunners reject personal transformation, they move their ministry into a prison and may lose their heads to a Jezebel they were designed and destined to destroy! The forerunner doesn’t have to physically die when the Awakening arrives, but the forerunner must embrace the greatest, scariest, deepest, and most personal season of transformation they have ever had! If the forerunner begins to experience a crisis of identity when the move of God matures, he or she should cheer up at that moment! It is going to get worse!

To paraphrase Jesus in the context of our metaphor for forerunning identity: “No one born of woman had what the forerunner had, but the least in the Awakening season will be greater than the forerunner.”

Awakening Redefines the Forerunner

To understand how a forerunner should respond when the preparation season is ending, we must fully embrace the spirit and power of Elijah and fully overcome the spirit of Jezebel. These spiritual strategies and conditions are ancient – God’s strategy and hell’s response – but they remain the way God works and hell reacts. Forerunners may assume “the fire falling” will deal with Jezebel and may become disenchanted when she gets stronger at the very moment they expected her to fold her tents and slink away.

Jezebel manifests intimidation and manipulation. However, we do not fully overcome Jezebel by overcoming her intimidation and manipulation. We need to eliminate her! To fully function in the preparatory leadership of a forerunner, we need to kill Jezebel. Fully function in the spirit and power of Elijah and fully overcome Jezebel.

Jezebel says, “Trust me. Let me get you what you want.” Moreover, at the very moment a forerunner sees the outcome of his or her leadership reaching a point of Awakening, Jezebel will rise up with her greatest influence. She will offer the substitute. She will say, “Let me get you what you want.” But, her substitute offers the forerunner the option of increasing what the forerunner has been doing to position God’s people for Awakening when he or she should be in a position to decrease so the Awakening can define the move of God.

The substitute for a proper prophetic anticipation of a forerunner’s success is a perverted prophetic projection the forerunner’s identity.

A false oracle re-identifies God’s purpose in a way that falsely defines the revival. If hell cannot keep us from God’s purpose, hell will work to limit the fulfillment of God’s purpose. The method of hell is to distract and substitute, to turn the move of God toward the fulfillment of the wrong purpose, to move us toward the “anything but that” sidetrack. Many moves of God sidetrack nearly as soon as they begin: the leaders embrace a false oracle of the purpose of the move of God that opens them to distraction and substitution. It remains a move of God, but it moves toward an “anything but that” destination. It doesn’t produce Awakening.

The forerunner experiences the battle thoroughly, personally, and completely. The forerunner’s identity crisis, when it appears they have reached their highest in leadership, becomes his or hers greatest preparation and positioning for leadership so they can continue to lead when the Awakening arrives. If you are a pioneering forerunner, get ready for the greatest identity crisis of your life and ministry!

Your pride will demand that people respect and receive you upon the basis of your forerunner identity, and you may resist change in your own leadership and life. You may resist change in the sights and sounds of the move of God.

However, it is not your role in the Awakening to repeat the process but to provide blueprint leadership to the Awakening about how to continue the preparation and positioning of Awakening leaders. That is why you experienced the process so thoroughly, deeply, and personally, so you could understand the process that others will experience. They may receive an outcome that took you fifteen years in just fifteen days! They will need the re-identified forerunner to be a father in that moment!

You become an expert in the strategy of leadership development so you can provide leadership in the new season. Your leadership will shift dramatically. You will not recognize yourself. You will wonder if the process of identity crisis isn’t the devil instead of “the One who comes next.”

Therefore, immediately the revival the forerunner leads bursts into flame, pride will be invested in the leader so that pride can be used to limit that leader’s ability to embrace his personal Gethsemane, Calvary, and Resurrection. It will be the third temptation: “You can get what you want without the pain.” The hiss of Jezebel’s voice: “Trust me to get you what you want.”

God doesn’t want you to get what you want. God wants you to get a people ready to get God what God wants.

Even a casual reading of revival history will back up what I’m saying. Moves of God destined to be Awakenings became denominations, doctrinal idols, devotionalized duplicities, and personality cults. So few became Awakenings because forerunners kept demanding the “I must increase” strategy be implemented. They wished to define the Awakening by the revival that produced it. They wished to put the Glory on a cart so the Glory could ‘go on tour.’

So, the leaders that carry a forerunner assignment will experience as much of the “what not to do” as the “what to do.” Unless the forerunner leaders obey completely – Gethsemane – submit completely – “Father into Your hands” – and transform completely – Resurrection – they will not be available to identify the difference between “what not to do” and “what to do.” The Awakening may degenerate into a charismatic Woodstock instead of maturing into a Reformation.

Listen carefully: the water baptism of John continues to prophesy the new behavior of new life, but the prophetic sense of his baptism compared with the baptism that completely cleanses the harvest should never be forgotten. The greater One will bring a deeper work that redefines the identity of the previous work. Water baptism received an expanded definition when functioning in the next season. The spiritual language that many adopted like a Boy Scout patch to prove they were “Pentecostal” had much more power, meaning, and purpose in the Awakening season than could be understood sidetracking that gift into an identifier within a doctrinal system. The doctrine could be legitimate, absent exaggerations, but the meaning and application would be limited in its use to define the revival instead of being defined by the Awakening.

Revival births Awakening but immediately gives way to a greater identity because Awakening redefines the revival that birthed it. When revival demands to define Awakening, the Awakening morphs into something foreign to its spiritual DNA. Awakening redefines the DNA of revival, not the other way around.

Forerunners tend to keep the baby instead of birthing the baby so they can continue to be the source of revival. Forerunners assume they will name the baby once its born but will be shocked when the baby turns around to rename them!

A Forerunning Region

God’s strategy is kingdom. Kingdom strategy is leaders. Leadership strategy is discipling. Discipling strategy is fathering.

Awakening is a kingdom strategy led by kingdom leaders. The preparation and positioning of kingdom leaders is the measuring standard of revival growth and maturity, not anointing, manifestations, activations, visions and dreams, or demonstrations of power, miracles, signs, and wonders.

Beware the subtle sidetrack that redefines leadership as “people who can do the stuff.” A little finger can do the stuff, but a whole Body of little fingers does not grow and mature. Beware the tendency to measure Awakening by miracles, signs, and wonders. Beware the immaturity of measuring maturity by the scrapbook photos of who laid hands upon you and your most memorable “experience of God” as if the fire falling is a finished work. Beware the tendency to want to experience another pregnancy and birthing process merely because you enjoyed the attention, acceptance, and anticipation of the previous one. After you have given birth, you have to get on with the business of maturing the baby you have. The next babies you birth will all benefit from the maturity you learn in making a champion of your firstborn.

What I mean is this: the manifestations of a revival should produce maturity in leaders so those mature leaders can have greater influence and impact in the season of Awakening. Not so those manifestations can become a monument to a moment. God will punch a move of God in the belly when it starts becoming a destination instead of a distribution center. The manifestations only produce maturity when they are part of a fathering and discipling process that prepares and positions people to produce purpose.

Therefore, a revival should produce apostolic and prophetic foundations, a fathering leadership dynamics for dramatic, deep, disturbing personal transformation. The leaders a revival produces are not merely prepared so they can go light more fires as if “I must increase” is the measurement of a move of God. The leaders must be prepared to lead at the next level when revival becomes Awakening.

Beware the tendency to stop with “you will do what I do” in leadership development. This is more of the “I must increase” mentality that limits revival to remaining a revival instead of preparing and positioning revival leaders for the spiritual momentum of Awakening. Be certain of this, revival will not become Awakening until forerunners prepare and position Awakening leaders (not revival leaders) no matter how strong the manifestations, activations, and demonstrations.

Recognizing the Forerunner Identity

The very word, “visitation” means “accountability.” The word, “visitation,” translates the root from which history developed the title “bishop.” The misunderstandings invested into that word through church-anity, blending spirit of the world definitions of leadership into the church, misses the point of the term, a foul ball that hits the crowd in the face. The term means, “oversee, bring to account, inspect.”

Jesus says, “You didn’t recognize your season of accountability.” Amazingly, few translations or commentaries mention the meaning of the word or the context of Israel as a forerunner culture and region. They rejected Messiah when He arrived because He didn’t fit their descriptors and presuppositions, but the context of Jesus’ words is much greater than that their immediate rejection of His Messianic claims. Israel was God’s forerunner culture: God put something in them so He could release something through them. They failed to fulfill their forerunner purpose even though they accumulated people and provisions.

We have redefined “church” as “the accumulation of believers.” Because of this faulty definition, we also put intercessors, prophets, and apostles into that paradigm. We accumulate intercessors, prophets, and apostles. The accumulation of things as a measurement of church growth redefines the function of the very things we accumulate. Accumulation doesn’t define success. Function that fulfills purpose does.

Jesus might say: “Not one of the things you have accumulated – places and people – will displace your enemies because you weren’t fulfilling the purpose of your assignment when I arrived for accounting your progress of producing purpose.” (See Luke 19:44 where Jesus says, “Your enemies will crush you and your children; they will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize the time of your accountability.”)

“See these buildings you’ve built,” Jesus says, “not one stone will be left sitting upon the other.” Accumulating people and provisions does not fulfill purpose, nor does it help us recognize success in our forerunner leadership. The pathway of kingdom leadership preparation that prepares leaders to fit into the accumulation paradigm works against and scatters the pathway of kingdom leadership preparation needed to prepare leaders for Awakening. Perpetuating something accumulated, with a mind that “it must increase,” redefines the very thing accumulated and the leadership dynamics that function to produce it. It can never produce the purpose for which it is accumulated.

Forerunners should blow up these perceptions. John baptized in the muddy Jordan instead of the beautiful baths of the Temple. John preached in the wilderness instead of celebrating the accumulations of Herod’s Temple. John calls people out so they can be prepared to go in. John anticipates Someone greater doing something.

John anticipates a different preparation because the present order cannot fulfill its assigned purpose. John breaks the mold of “what is” so that a new leadership dynamic can influence and impact the culture for “what is coming next.”

When God’s people miss or dismiss purpose, they will accumulate people and provisions instead of fulfilling purpose. Consider the words of Jesus in this context: “Many shall say in that day of accountability, Lord, Lord, didn’t we do a bunch of stuff in Your Name, and I will say, ‘Who are you and how did you get in here?’ I ignore that stuff and give attention to those who do what My Father wants done.”

When a forerunner properly prepares kingdom leaders, they will only be able to function properly in a new season. They will be out of place in the present season. They will only be able to fill up new wineskins. They will only be able to reach fullness and fulfillment by resetting the kingdom, establishing a new spirit of leadership, and laying a new foundation.

When we see revival as restoring the church to glory days of previous generations without the total overhaul Awakening brings, we will rewrite the history of revival to only include the parts that fit our present paradigm of accumulation.

Accumulation of believers isn’t Ecclesia. Accumulation of intercession isn’t an army. Accumulation of prophets doesn’t produce maturity. Accumulation of apostles doesn’t provide a broader blueprint. The function of these aspects of kingdom can only be “normalized” when the forerunner identity prepares the Lord a people who can inherit and fulfill purpose. Then, the forerunner identity must give way to new norm set by Awakening.

Revival has purpose but the purpose, not the revival, must define the move of God! More than the accumulation of people, power, and provision that perpetuates the present conditions, the moment must become a movement, and the momentum must be fed with those who can do “greater,” who can lead in the next season of Awakening.

So, when a revival becomes “come and get this fire, watch this show, feel this experience” as an end within itself, the main focus of kingdom leadership preparation isn’t even discussed except to say, “Come get this and you can do the stuff, too.”

The main speaker or team of leaders moves around on tour developing a following of groupies that carry that identity with the assumption that “I must increase.” This is a subtle substitute for a forerunner assignment. The idea entertained is “if we can accumulate a lot of people who act like us, get what we have, and become carriers of our DNA, we can become the source of the next Awakening.”

You cannot become a source because a forerunner does the very opposite, then must anticipate the greatest test of obedience, submission, and personal transformation will come only at the point of his or her decrease. Accumulation models operate opposite a forerunner strategy. Forerunners don’t accumulate anything. They prepare and position leaders to function in another season, not the season they are operating in during preparation.

Ephesians 4 tells us Jesus bestowed His kingdom leadership dynamics upon the Ecclesia to accomplish this very end: “To prepare and position the holy ones to do the servant’s work. In this way, the Body can experience the fullness only measured by the Christ’s mature stature. It can then, build itself up in love.”

In the transition between revival and Awakening, purpose must be reestablished as the definition of success. Forerunners must mature and finish one season’s assignment in order to lead in the next season. To birth, forerunners must be willing to release the baby, to allow the baby to turn around and rename them.

The Forerunner Ecclesia

Forerunners Ecclesia’s operate as apostolic and prophetic centers. The pattern looks like clusters of empowered gatherings in which and through which kingdom influence and impact alters the spiritual atmospheres of definable regions in measurable ways.

They should reorder their structures, provisions, and people in ways that prepare and position them to function when Awakening arrives. They should reset their leadership dynamics so that their present levels of hundreds or thousands can accommodate tens or even hundreds of thousands. They must be prepared to influence and impact regionally.

Without doubt, Ecclesia’s must be ready for tens of thousands coming into the new season of leadership preparation and positioning. The leaders in the state must learn to function at an international level no matter the scope of their leadership or the location of their assignments. No doubt, thousands prepared and positioned in a forerunner region will be assigned by Holy Spirit to travel and function in the five aspects of Jesus’ ministry leadership to prepare and position others in other states and nations. The role of forerunner leaders moves into fathering because the purpose of their forerunning expands so that other regions can experience preparation and positioning that moves revival into Awakening.

Immediately someone says, “Well, it would seem to me that the big churches already know how to best provide leadership for an Awakening.” Yet, that seldom mirrors reality or the testimony of history. Not because they are evil, more because they are structured to produce the accumulation of believers instead of maturing kingdom leaders who can influence and impact a region.

Churches that accumulate believers cannot prepare and position as forerunner Ecclesia’s as long as the dynamics of leadership by which they function are founded upon evangels and shepherds, not apostles and prophets. They may accumulate but they cannot prepare and position a forerunner Ecclesia. Every function of the Ecclesia that provides a forerunner dynamic must begin with apostolic and prophetic blueprints for a much broader purpose from that the localized vision. The forerunner leadership must prepare the Lord a people who can fulfill a purpose, and that purpose is much different from the purpose of normal churches.

God has a Remnant in waiting, prepared and positioned for release.

Elijah failed to recognize this Remnant because he was resisting his transition as a forerunner. He continued to function in what got him to Carmel when he needed to finish the forerunning assignment that would position the Remnant God had waiting. Elijah thought, “I’m the only one left. If I don’t increase, it is over!”

Yet, God needed Elijah to decrease so the next season could be realized and Elijah could be transformed into a functional kingdom leader. God had a lot more in mind than merely destroying Jezebel! God wanted to reestablish His kingdom on earth. Elijah was caught up in his forerunner identity to the point that he couldn’t see past it.

What to Do with “What Is”

I know you may be thinking, “What do we do with all the churches and ministries? What do we do with ‘what is’ in order to prepare for ‘what is coming next?'”

Great question: the answer would come from Jesus in His consideration of bringing what is His to a season of accounting, an oversight visitation. And, a strong hint would be “not one stone will remain upon the other” if you do not respond to the season of accounting.

Wait! Before you get the idea that Jesus is going to destroy everything, reconsider the meaning of that natural phrase in the context of the kingdom description of “living stones.” Think: “Jesus will reset the whole of the structure.” One stone won’t be left upon another because every living stone must be reset through preparation and positioning to produce the building His kingdom blueprint has designed.

He can and will do that without destroying any of it. Only those who refuse His leadership will experience the destruction that comes from their enemies; none will experience destruction from Jesus.

Jesus builds an Ecclesia that displaces the authorities of hell, right? When the church cannot displace, the inability of the Ecclesia to do what Jesus builds her to do reveals a dysfunctional structure. Therefore, Jesus rebuilds the Ecclesia to function as an extension of kingdom so that she has the authority to displace the authorities of hell. When churches do not respond to this reset, the enemies they cannot displace set up gates around them.

Acts 19 helps us understand the process and progress of a region being touched by a forerunner, becoming a forerunner region, and then becoming an apostolic and prophetic epicenter with international level leadership function. Then, we see how these forerunners became fathering leaders through which Ephesus became the center of Christianity for 200 years. Paul spent three years there preparing and positioning kingdom leaders. He had revival and riot. The “what is” didn’t limit his function in producing the “what is coming next.”

“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. However, some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. Therefore, Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.”

After resistance from “what is,” Paul moved to an apostolic training center, prepared, and positioned leaders who could influence and impact the entire region. “The word of the Lord” means “the purpose of God for the region.” In a very short time, through an Awakening, the kingdom Ecclesia in the region exploded, influenced, and impacted the culture of Asia Minor.

When Jesus appears in John’s vision, He speaks to the Ecclesia’s that this move of God birthed. In each case, the message assumes that Ecclesia functions differently from the present prevailing paradigm of “the accumulation of believers.”