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Bread sowing

First posted: October 10, 2004

 

If you have been reading our recent articles, you will have noticed that we have been studying on what the Lord says about the coming spiritual Revival through Isaiah chapters 31 and 32. This article will deal with the meaning of "sowing besides the waters" mentioned at the end of Isaiah chapter 32 and how it is related to the latter-day Revival.

 

Index

The passage

Bread: food for the emotions

Bread, sweat, and tears

Quantum leap of light

Re-do and fill-up sentinels

Wind-holders and cloud-gazers

Blessed are the bread sowers

 

 

 

The passage

Isaiah chapter 32 which we have been studying ends with the following verse:

 

"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass." (Isaiah 32:20)

 

Is God giving believers an agricultural tip when He speaks of "sowing beside all waters"? Obviously not! Who, then, are those who sow beside all waters, and why does the Lord call them "blessed"? Since sowing can be described as the "casting" of seed on the ground to receive a future harvest, and the passage above makes a reference to "waters", we can infer that the answer to our questions can be found in Ecclesiastes chapter 11:

 

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." (Ecclesiastes 11:1)

 

This passage, however, introduces additional question: What is the meaning behind the word "bread"? Obviously, God is not calling us to go to the nearest neighborhood river and throw slices of bread into the water! To understand the meaning of the passage above, therefore, we must first understand how the word "bread" is used in Scripture.

 

Bread: food for the emotions

Psalm 42 declares the following:

 

"1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God" (Psalm 42:1-3)

 

The word "meat" in verse 3 above is another King James mistranslation. The original word in Hebrew is lechem, which literally means "bread", and is the same word that is used in Ecclesiastes 11:1 quoted earlier. Notice how the word "bread" is again used in the context of "waters", since verse 1 speaks of "water brooks", and verse 3 equates bread with "tears". Since "tears" are a physical expression of an "emotional overflow", we can see how "bread" is related in Scripture to emotions. Other passages in Scripture bear out this connection:

 

"Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works." (Ecclesiastes 9:7)

[The word translated as "joy" above is the Hebrew word simchah, which literally means, "mirth, gladness", meaning that "bread" is associated here with an effusive display of happiness. Notice also how "bread" is mentioned once again in the context of a liquid, wine in this case.]

 

"Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure." (Psalm 80:5)

[Notice how "bread" is once again associated with "tears" and how it is also used in the context of the "drinking" of a liquid]

 

"For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping" (Psalm 102:9)

[Again, "bread" is associated with "tears" and used in the context of "drinking"]

 

"A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things." (Ecclesiastes 10:19)

[The word "feast" was translated from the Hebrew word for bread, lechem, and the word "money" was translated from the Hebrew word for "silver", kasaph. Also, the Hebrew text includes the word "living" after the word "merry", and the word "but" apparently is not there. Therefore, this verse should really say: "Bread is made for laughter, wine gladdens the living, and silver answers all". Again, "bread" is mentioned in the context of effusive happiness.]

 

[It is worth commenting that this verse is not an endorsement of money; silver in Scripture is associated with "mental purity", i.e.- a mind that makes correct judgments (Proverbs 25:4-5, Psalm 66:10-11, Malachi 3:3). Upon closer study, this verse reveals the effect of the 3 "male" ministries (the prophetic, the evangelistic, and the apostolic, in that order) on the soul of a believer.]

 

The fact that "bread" or "food" is related to emotions can even be seen in practical life. Food has the effect of "lifting the spirits" of people when they are sad or depressed. Bread feeds the emotions, and this explains why social gatherings generally involve food. There is a connection between food intake and joviality.

 

Now that we have established the connection between bread and emotions, we can also connect bread to a ministry. As we have shared before, the apostolic ministry is mind-oriented, the prophetic ministry is emotion-oriented, and the evangelistic ministry is heart-oriented. From this, we can infer that bread is related to the prophetic anointing. This conclusion is reinforced by passages such as the following:

 

"5So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook." (1 Kings 17:5-6)

[This passage speaks of when the prophet Elijah was sent by the Lord to dwell by the brook Cherith. Notice how "bread" once again is mentioned in the context of moving waters.]

 

"3And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 4For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts." (1 Kings 18:3-5)

[Again, "bread" is mentioned in the context of moving waters]

 

"3Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine: 4And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands. 5After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:" (1 Samuel 10:3-5)

 

"12Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: 13But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court" (Amos 7:12-13)

[Here, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, was telling Amos to "go prophesy somewhere else", because the prophetic word that Amos was giving confronted the king. Religious people in the flesh think that any prophetic word that confronts human authority is "unGodly rebellion".]

 

"15Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. 16Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread." (Psalm 105:15-17)

 

So far, we have established that bread is associated with emotional overflow, and thereby associated with the prophetic anointing, since prophets must allow their emotions to overflow and supersede their natural thinking. We have also seen how bread appears in the context of flowing waters. Why? Because flowing waters are a figure of flowing emotions. An emotionless person is a "dry" person, while a person who allows his or her emotions to flow is a person "full of life". The Scriptures establish a strong connection between flowing waters and life:

 

"37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:37-38)

 

"13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:13-14)

 

Bread, sweat, and tears

Besides being associated with the overflow of prophetic emotions, "bread" is also associated in Scripture with another concept, as the following passage shows:

 

"17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:17-19)

 

The passage above speaks of how God condemned man to earthliness and temporality. Since man forsook his eternal calling for the sake of temporary blessings, he came under the grip of Girgashite spirits of earthliness and temporality. When a person places his or her faith in temporality, he or she comes under the curse that God pronounced over the earth in verse 17 above. This is why people who live under Girgashite spirits expose themselves to a life of earthly toils and burdens. They are condemned to eat bread "in the sweat of their face". Their bread (i.e.- their emotional provision) is at the price of sweating under the oppression of a sun that slowly dries the life out of them. From what I have heard, 75% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, and man's physical body is also 75% water. As the oppression of the natural laws sweats the life (i.e.- the water) out of us, all that is left of us is dry dust, disintegrated powder that is eventually blown away by the wind.

 

"Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust." (Psalm 104:29)

[The word translated as "breath" here is the Hebrew word ruwach, which can also be translated as "wind" or "Spirit"]

 

"7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 8Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 12:7-8)

[The word translated as "spirit" here is the same Hebrew word ruwach mentioned above]

 

As verse 8 above declares, all of the Girgashite's efforts reach a vain, empty, and purposeless end. Since the prophetic ministry is the one used by God to fill people with a sense of God's purpose and vision for their lives, we can say that Girgashites are extremely anti-prophetic. Girgashites are like warehouses that store up earthly blessings in the hopes of someday retiring to enjoy them, without realizing that their earthly existence is fleeting and ephemeral and that they will never get to enjoy all the temporary things they worked so hard to collect.

 

God has prophesied the end of the widespread presence of the Girgashite spirits inside His Church:

 

"22They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. 24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 65:22-25)

 

The word translated as "meat" in verse 25 above is, once again, the Hebrew word for "bread", lechem. The "serpent" refers to Girgashite spirits of earthliness, since serpents are literally attached to the earth. It was through a Girgashite manifestation that satan induced the fall of man in Genesis, and satan's Girgashite presence inside the Church, to this day, continues to drain the prophetic life out of believers. However, God is about to change that. As the passage above declares, the serpent's bread shall be dry dust, not the prophetic potential of God's people, and the work of God's people shall no longer be "vain" (v23); in other words, it shall no longer be devoid of prophetic purpose.

 

To bring about this transformation, God will make evident the Girgashite influence on believers throughout the world. He is bringing judgments on His people that will bear out the fact that the Church, which rejoices and prides itself in its religiosity and ceremonies, is trapped in Girgashite, Egyptian dryness and Canaanite, Assyrian uncleanness because of the pastoral matriarchy:

 

"1Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor. 2The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her. 3They shall not dwell in the LORD’S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria. 4They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD." (Hosea 9:1-4)

 

As verse 4 above declares, Girgashite bread is the "bread of mourners". The Hebrew word from which "mourners" was translated is aven, which speaks of "exerting oneself in vain". Girgashite bread is a bread of sweat and futile tears at the end.

 

Quantum leap of light

In a previous article, we shared on how Girgashites die by "drowning", meaning that they lead self-centered lives and refuse to shed their blood (i.e.- their life) in sacrifice for others, thereby dying with that life inside of them, the way a drowned animal dies without shedding its blood. Since "blood" is related in Scripture to "life" (Leviticus 17:11), and "life" is related to "emotions" (as we saw previously), we can infer that Girgashites do not place their emotions on the line for others. Their manifestations of emotion are all geared towards getting their own needs met, and they are rarely willing to suffer emotionally for others. As we shared in a previous article, Girgashites become mind-oriented, methodical perfectionists with an emotional dryness about them. What triggers this selfish dryness? What makes them unwilling to pay an emotional price for others? In a sense, the answer can be summarized in one word: "time".

 

Girgashites are people who have decided to forsake their eternal calling and live in their temporality (many people do so, even while being born-again believers). Like Adam in the garden of Eden, they make such a decision because pursuing their eternal calling involves too much sacrifice. Once they have decided to live in temporality, the short time that they know they have on Earth becomes all-important, too precious to be "wasted" away on others. Since they are mind-oriented, they reject everything that their natural minds cannot see, so it is very difficult for them to make a sacrifice for others when the reward for that sacrifice is "invisible" and when that reward takes very long to come, sometimes not even coming in this lifetime.

 

Physicists have found that the maximum speed that physical matter can travel at is the speed of light. They have also found that time ticks more slowly the faster you go. For example, if you could go on a 1 year roundtrip on a spaceship that travels at half the speed of light, you would find out upon returning that 1 year and 56 days transpired on Earth while you were away. The faster your spaceship would have gone, the more time would have transpired on Earth, to the point that you would never come back if the spaceship traveled at the maximum speed, the speed of light; in other words, you would "disappear". It seems, therefore, as if the speed of light acts as the barrier that separates this earthly realm to the eternal realm:

 

"14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:14-16)

 

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)

 

In the spiritual world, we are transported from the realm of time-constrained earthliness to the realm of the eternal when we offer ourselves as living sacrifices for others and, in a sense, "disappear". When Jesus gave Himself in loving sacrifice and went down to Sheol for us (disappearing for 3 days and 3 nights), He went from the realm of human weakness to the realm of the Spirit. After resurrecting, the Lord Jesus could physically appear in a closed room without using any of the doors:

 

"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." (John 20:19)

 

Girgashites do not understand the difference between "quantity" and "quality", since they actually believe that greater quantity can compensate for lower quality. Many Girgashites on the workplace, for example, believe that 15 years of mediocre work in the company gives them an automatic advantage for promotion over a fellow worker who might only have 1 year in the company but whose work is of a much superior quality. Girgashite pastors believe that 30 years of mediocre ministry are more valuable in God's eyes than 6 months of fully-yielded ministry in the Spirit. Consider, for example, the ministries of John the Baptist and Stephen. Both had very short public ministries, yet the effects of these two believers' lives are being felt even to this day, because their ministries had eternal weight.

 

There is a quantum leap that must be made so that the quality of our lives may go from "time-constrained and earthly" to "eternal", and that quantum leap cannot be made by piling up a great "quantity" of earthliness. The only way to make the quantum leap is by acting as light, which happens when we are willing to go through the emotional torment of Sheol on Earth for the sake of others, just like the prophets. None of the true prophets ever cared about the time-length of their earthly ministries. They were willing to go through emotional pain in the form of isolation, rejection, torture, and even death, in order to see God's purposes fulfilled on Earth:

 

"10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)

 

"9He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." (1 John 2:9-10)

 

Most believers think that the passage above is referring to gooey, make-you-feel-good, pastoral love. However, the love that this passage is referring to is the ability to see God in your fellow brother and sister and to love that God-potential in him or her. What makes us brothers is the fact that we belong to the same Father, who is God. This means that, as sons of God, we all have a "God-potential" because the image and the likeness of our Father is inside of us. If we abide in the light, we will long to see the God-potential in our fellow brethren blossom and be fully manifested, and we will be willing to pay an emotional price in order to see that happen. If the manifestation of that potential at times requires speaking confrontational word that challenges human structures and paradigms, one who abides in the light will do so, even at the price of being rejected and isolated for speaking the truth in love:

 

"15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:15-16)

 

A person with wishy-washy love that does not speak truth is not abiding in the light, because the light of God always abides in truth and righteousness:

 

"19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." (John 3:19-21)

 

The difference between a legalistic believer and a believer who speaks the truth in love is that the legalistic believer will never be willing to suffer for the sake of his or her brethren, while the believer who speaks the truth in love will be willing to "go to Sheol", if necessary, in order to see the fulfillment of God's purposes in the lives of others. The legalistic believer focuses on the external works of righteousness of others, while the believer who abides in the true light will keep his or her focus on the "un-seeable" God-potential of the other person.

 

We can now return to Ecclesiastes 11:1 and understand what the Lord is trying to say to us:

 

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." (Ecclesiastes 11:1)

 

It is difficult for the Girgashite to cast his or her bread, because he or she is selfish by nature. The Girgashite finds it difficult to deprive him or herself of "emotional provision" (i.e.- "bread") in order to sow spiritually into the lives of others. Since the Girgashite believes only in what he or she sees, the Girgashite cannot discern the eternal, life-transforming, spiritual consequences of spiritual sowing. These consequences are real, and they even affect the physical realm, but the Girgashite is unable to see the connection between the spiritual and the material realms.

 

Since Girgashites are mind-oriented and emotionally dry, they are very wary of "emotional overflows", i.e.- "waters". They prefer to maintain waters inside earthly, controllable vessels, and they hate all those whose waters come to break their vessels (i.e.- their methods and time-honored traditions). This is why Girgashites hate prophets so much, since prophets are prone to issuing tradition-busting waters of emotional overflow from within them:

 

"13And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 18Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?" (John 2:13-18)

 

Notice that Ecclesiastes 11:1 speaks of finding the cast bread "after many days". This word, therefore, is not for the "hasty of heart". As we said above, Girgashites, in their temporality, are very time-oriented, which makes them "now-people". They have a hard time doing something where the reward is "a long time coming". Those who are not time-bound, however, are willing to wait, because they have their eyes on God's Eternity:

 

"17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." (Romans 4:17-21)

 

When Moses' parents cast baby Moses into the waters (Exodus 2:1-4), they were freely giving up their emotional rights on Moses and were handing him over to God's care. After "many days" (80 years to be exact), the "bread" that they cast, i.e.- the prophet Moses, appeared before the people of Israel to set them free from their Egyptian bondage. Only those who are willing to make "the quantum leap of light" can break from the slavery of time in order to make the sacrifices that testify that God's prophetic light is shining from within them.

 

Re-do and fill-up sentinels

After the verse in Ecclesiastes 11:1 that speaks of casting our bread, the Lord says the following:

 

"Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth." (Ecclesiastes 11:2)

 

The number "7" in Scripture is associated with "perfecting" or "completing" something, while the number "8" is associated with the concept of "regeneration" (there were 8 people in Noah's ark when God regenerated the human race -- 2 Peter 2:5). Therefore, the verse above is saying that "bread sowing" sometimes implies sacrificing ourselves in order to help "fill up" an area where a brother or sister may be lacking spiritually ("7"), while at other times it implies sacrificing ourselves in order to tear down earthly or sinful structures in the other person so that God may start anew ("8").

 

A person with God's prophetic light inside of him or her will be on a constant outward "spiritual lookout", concerned that the perfecting and regenerating that needs to get done in themselves and others actually gets done. Those who don't have the prophetic light will be on a constant inward "material lookout", and will be surprised when God's curse on earthly temporality kicks in to destroy their earthly investment. This is why the second part of Ecclesiastes 11:2 quoted above speaks of "the evil that shall be upon the earth".

 

Wind-holders and cloud-gazers

The Lord goes on to say the following in Ecclesiastes chapter 11:

 

"He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

 

The Hebrew word translated as "observeth" above is shamar, which literally means, "to guard", and can be taken to mean "to restrain, to keep within bounds". The Hebrew word translated as "wind" here is ruwach, which is also the word for "spirit" in Hebrew. Therefore, the verse above is saying that those who restrain the flow of the Spirit shall not sow. This, therefore, refers to Girgashites who establish earthly methodologies in an attempt to contain the flow of the prophetic Spirit of God. Such people are unable to sow their bread, because they are trapped in schemes of temporality that deny the laws that operate in the eternal realm.

 

When you become an instrument through whom the prophetic wind of the Spirit blows, God regenerates the people around you. Notice how the following passage speaks of the wind of the Spirit and about being born-again, which is a reference to "spiritual regeneration" (this corresponds to the "8" mentioned in the section above):

 

"6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:6-8)

 

In Ecclesiastes 11:4, the Lord says that those who "regard the clouds" shall not reap. Clouds represent "frail", "non-solid" masses of matter that may seem insignificant to the natural mind but who can hold massive amounts of water that are essential for the prosperity of crops on Earth. Considering that our physical bodies are 75% water, the clouds that Ecclesiastes 11:4 is referring to are you and me, fellow believer. To a Girgashite who "regards" you with his or her natural mind, you may be a frail and insignificant believer, but inside of you there is a massive amount of spiritual waters that can bring great spiritual prosperity when you pour out those waters in loving sacrifice for others. While the wind reference corresponds to the number "8" of "spiritual regeneration" in Ecclesiastes 11:2, the cloud reference corresponds to the number "7" of "spiritual completion".

 

The great latter-day revival has not yet fully come upon the Earth, because pastors and other believers are "regarding the clouds", constantly looking up to the sky, expecting Jesus to literally appear in a cloud and do some sort of spiritual work that is independent of any of us. This is what the disciples did shortly after Jesus' ascent:

 

"9And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11)

 

Some "regard the clouds" by expecting "the Rapture" at any moment. Others "regard the clouds" by expecting God to raise up some big-time ministers (like brothers Benny Hinn or Reinhardt Bonke) who will get a lot of people saved and bring spiritual revival while the rest of the Church watches in dumbfounded admiration. However, such believers fail to understand that Jesus' return involves running Acts 1:9-10 "backwards". Why? Because, according to Acts 1:11, Jesus will come in the same manner that He ascended, which means that His return will be like His departure, only in reverse.

 

If we "run the tape" of Acts 1:9-10 backwards, we get the following sequence of events:

  1. Two men standing beside the disciples in white apparel

  2. Cloud appears in the sky

  3. Jesus appears from out of the cloud

  4. Jesus descends upon the Earth to be among His disciples

 

Here is the prophetic interpretation of these events:

  1. Two men standing beside the disciples in white apparel

    These two men represent the manifestation of the apostolic and prophetic anointing within a pioneer, "John-the-Baptist-type" remnant of believers inside the Church. Notice that these two men did not appear in the sky. They were standing beside the disciples on the ground, meaning that these modern-day John the Baptists are already inside the Church, announcing the manifestation of a latter-day Revival that will shake the foundations of the Earth.

     

    Their white apparel speaks of their commitment to be covered by the Spirit and not by soiled, earth-contaminated clothes of human methods and traditions. When God confronts the Girgashite church at Sardis in the book of Revelation, He speaks of a remnant group of believers who have not "defiled" their garments and who will walk with Him in white (Revelation 3:4-5). These are the believers who are not satisfied with a Girgashite, earthly "gospel" but who seek to manifest God's spirit nature in them (2 Corinthians 5:1-7) by making the quantum leap of light. If you have such an attitude, fellow believer, God will imbue you with an apostolic anointing of judgment and a prophetic anointing of vision and self-sacrifice, and you will help to prepare the way of the Lord inside the Church, just as John the Baptist did with the people of Israel. You will act as winds of regeneration, winds of change inside the Church.

     

  2. Cloud appears in the sky

    As we said above, you are the cloud. Those who "regard the cloud" with their Girgashite minds will not recognize the "latter rain" that is inside of you, because they are either waiting for the literal Jesus or some big-time international minister to bring that rain; this is because Girgashites only "see" the God-potential in believers with "ministerial titles".

     

  3. Jesus appears from out of the cloud

    Since you are the cloud, Jesus will begin to manifest Himself from inside of you as prophetic rains that will come to bring spiritual completion and harvest to the Earth.

     

  4. Jesus descends upon the Earth to be among His disciples

    Notice that the final step is not "Jesus taking us all to Heaven". Before the end of the current stage of human history, God will manifest a powerful latter-day Church where believers in general will manifest Jesus on Earth. God will not "rapture" a spiritually mediocre Church like today's Church because He has declared that He will vindicate His Name, which has been profaned among the nations because of our spiritual mediocrity (Ezekiel 36:23), and He will do so through a mighty latter-day Church.

 

Blessed are the bread sowers

We began at the top of this article with this passage:

 

"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass." (Isaiah 32:20)

 

We have learned that those who sow beside all waters are the "bread sowers" of Ecclesiastes 11, who are willing to place their emotions on the line as living sacrifice in order to see God's purposes fulfilled in others. Bread sowers act as prophetic light that speaks truth in love and is willing to suffer in weakness in order to lift others up. Bread sowers are not satisfied with the "quantity" of earthliness, because they long to make the quantum leap into the "quality" of the Spirit, and they know that the leap "upwards" is done by "descending" to Sheol in sacrificial death. Bread sowers act as winds of regeneration and as clouds that bring spiritual completion to others.

 

According to Isaiah 32:20, these bread sowers loose the feet of the ox and the ass. The word "ox" was translated from the Hebrew word showr, which comes from the word shuwr meaning, "to travel". This refers to the "winds of regeneration" that travel (John 3:8) through the Church in the ox-strength of the Spirit to tear down Girgashite structures in order to raise up God's spiritual structures.

 

The word "ass" was translated from the Hebrew word chamowr (notice that it is different from the word "pere" that we studied in our article on "wild asses"). The word chamowr is derived from chamar, which means "to boil". This speaks of the "vapor clouds" of prophetic rain that will bring spiritual completion to fellow believers.

 

Through their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and to go through "Sheol experiences" on Earth for the sake of others), bread sowers will send forth winds of regeneration and clouds of prophetic completion that will lead to the greatest Revival in the history of mankind. It's no wonder that the Lord calls them "blessed".

 

"6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." (Isaiah 55:6-13)