The showdown before the Revival
First posted: July 17, 2004
This article deals with the spiritual showdown that is already beginning to take place in the Body of Christ before the latter-day revival can be manifested. The Church's spiritual condition is not right for God's revival; it has to be purified from human structures that are staunchly defended by leaders who are trying to bring the latter rain while singing Frank Sinatra's line, "I'll do it my way". Some believe that the massive evangelistic crusades by brother Reinhardt Bonke and the massive healing crusades by brother Benny Hinn are the revival, when in fact the revival that God wants to bring goes much deeper than that. A spiritual transformation must take place, and it was prophesied by Isaiah thousands of years ago.
At the beginning of chapter 31, the prophet Isaiah, under the anointing of the Spirit, says the following:
"Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!" (Isaiah 31:1)
Horses in Scripture speak of several things. First of all, they speak of natural grace, since horses are majestic and beautiful animals. They also speak of great natural strength and speed, since they are capable of pulling heavy burdens and can go very fast. They also speak of battle and conquest; the word for "horse" used in Hebrew in the passage above is soos, which comes from another Hebrew word meaning, "to skip for joy"; skipping or jumping for joy is related to the concept ofvictory, which speaks of battling an enemy and overcoming him. Horses also speak of height, lordship, and status, as the following passages show:
"6Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth." (Ecclesiastes 10:6-7)
"Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever." (Jeremiah 17:25)
A "horse" in Scripture, therefore, refers to men and women endowed with great outward grace, strength and authority, and who command natural admiration. In Jesus' days, the Pharisees and the scribes were the spiritual "horses" that everyone admired and looked up to; this is why the Lord said the following of them:
"5But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." (Matthew 23:5-7)
The Pharisees and scribes carried long and elegant robes that made them look like important religious figures. They prayed long public prayers that made them look like "pious" men who were closer to God than the "average folk". If judged by appearance, these men seemed to be righteous men worthy of being followed; however, spiritual authority cannot be judged by the size of the robe or by the eloquence of the prayers:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness." (Matthew 23:27)
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24)
"6And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. 7But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:6-7)
Just as the prophet Samuel mistakenly assumed that the anointing was associated to external attributes, today's believers think that the anointing can be measured by the size of a pastor's congregation, by the size of the temple building, or by the number of TV stations that broadcast his or her sermons. Most of today's believers seem to judge the veracity of a message on the external merits of the preacher and not on the inherent anointing of the message itself. Instead of judging the message on its own merits, they examine the messenger's credentials (i.e.- the size of his/her "ministerial robe"), and judge the message to be true only if those credentials reveal some type of public notoriety or acceptance:
"25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?" (John 7:25-26)
I remember a pastor saying to me once, "Consider the size of the new temple they are building; that proves that God is with that minister", and he was referring to a pastor in Latin America of whom the Lord has spoken terrible things to my heart. Even though he is a well-known and accepted pastor in his region, God has already cast him off, and he will probably be dead or paralyzed by the end of the year 2007. God has spoken to my heart that an earthquake in the year 2007 will destroy the magnificent new temple they are building, and not one wall will be left standing. The temple that Herod built in Jerusalem was one of the most magnificent buildings of ancient times, but the temple's magnificence did not mean that Herod was approved of God. The pyramids of Egypt are awe-inspiring structures, even to this day, but their magnificence does not prove that the Pharaohs were approved of God.
"23And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD;) 24That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street. 25Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms. 26Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger." (Ezekiel 16:23-26)
Many (if not most) believers in the Church know that these are the end-times and that a great revival is about to come. As this revival is awaited, the Spirit of God is making the Church aware of its spiritual stagnation. Slowly, believers are beginning to be hungry for something more than the superficial Sunday sermon that preaches on the "traditional" passages of Scripture. Believers are growing tired of messages without revelation anointing, messages that don't go beyond mere soulish and moralistic exhortations to be "good little Christians". Believers all over the world are hungering for God's spirit of revelation that will unleash life-transforming power and that will take them to a new level of relationship with Him.
As all of this is happening, most pastors, who for the most part are spiritually anti-prophetic, interpret these spiritual vibrations as a sign that they need to buy new "chariots", i.e.- new "techniques" and "methodologies", so that "their" congregations will grow, and so that "their" sheep may feel spiritually satisfied. They attend seminars on "church growth", in the hopes that some method powered by human effort will bring about the long-awaited revival, which for them means nothing more than "larger congregations" and "more exciting services". In the meantime, they never stop to listen the prophetic voice of the Spirit, Who for the most part speaks through "insignificant" little brothers and sisters whose hearts are after God's own heart and who understand that the key to revival is the manifestation of a prophetic priesthood that is not out to seek human glory for their congregations, but is out to see the purposes of God fulfilled on Earth. God is not calling for a renewal of "techniques"; He is calling for a renewal of hearts; He wants hearts that understand that He is a God of justice and judgment and who understand that He has a spiritual inheritance for us that goes beyond any material blessing or glory:
"12Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? 15Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? 18Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen" (Joel 2:12-19)
The true revival will never come to any congregation where Egyptian horses and chariots are admired and where the prophetic voice of God is not judged on its own merit. Congregations that expect the Kingdom of God to come on a naturally-visible "horse" will not enter into their spiritual inheritance until they understand that His Kingdom comes on "donkeys", through vessels that are seemingly irrelevant and who are rejected by believers who judge by appearance:
"Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass." (Matthew 21:5)
"42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet." (Matthew 21:42-45)
The people of Jerusalem accepted Jesus as King in Matthew 21 when they finally stopped admiring the Egyptian horses (i.e.- the chief priests and the Pharisees) and began listening to the prophet Jesus (as verse 46 above declares). The true prophetic voice is recognized when you hear with your spirit and stop judging with your natural eyes. My brother and sister, the Glory of God will not come upon you, and you will not enter into the mighty anointing and calling for your life until you stop being a horse lover. Horse lovers cannot discern the manifestation of God in their fellow man:
"8Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:8-9)
The name "Philip" comes from the Greek words philos meaning, "friend" or "one who loves at the soul level", and hippos meaning, "horse". In other words, "Philip" means "one whose soul loves horses". If your soul is enamored with horses, you will not see God in your brother or sister, the same way that Philip could not see the Father in Jesus the man.
"Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together." (Isaiah 31:3)
The modern-day Philips do not see God in their "ordinary" brother who is speaking prophetically in the Spirit, but they do see the Egyptians as gods and their horses as spirit. Many believers today revere and blindly trust in the words and commands of the pastors at their congregations, as if these men were God, and they put their trust in the pastor's soul-powered" techniques as if they were true methods of the Spirit, when, in fact, they are nothing more than efforts in the flesh.
As we continue reading in chapter 31 of Isaiah, we find the One who will fight against the Egyptian horses of verse 1:
"For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof." (Isaiah 31:4)
The Greek word poimen, which is translated throughout the New Testament as "pastor", literally means "shepherd"; the word "pastor" and "shepherd", therefore, are synonyms. This means that the "shepherds" mentioned in the passage above represent the modern-day pastors who will gather together to oppose the lion; some might think that the "lion" here is satan, since the Bible refers to him as one who walks about as a "roaring lion" (1 Peter 5:8). However, if you read Isaiah 31:4 carefully, you will notice that the "lion" is not satan but God Himself. Pastors, when not led by the Spirit, become soulishly protective of believers, doing everything in their power to prevent them from any type of suffering, since they are unable to discern between God's judgments and satan's attacks.
As we mentioned in a previous article, pastors have established a pastoral shield over the Body of Christ that seems good on the outside, but which in fact is shielding believers from being exposed to God's judgments. Since the Face of God irradiates judgment because of His righteous nature (Revelation 1:13-17, 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Exodus 33:20, Ezekiel 1:28), the pastoral shield effectively shields believers from the Glory of God's Face. By teaching a "gospel" that emphasizes freedom from suffering, they become as a multitude of pastors that try to fend off God Himself when He comes as a lion to execute judgments and destroy those things in us that are unpleasant to Him:
"The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:8)
"Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch" (Amos 3:12)
The lack of exposure to God's Face has produced spiritual stagnation in the Church, since it is only through exposure to God's spiritual judgments that we can grow in Him and be prepared to abide in God's presence of consuming holy fire for eternity (Hebrews 12:29, Isaiah 33:14-17). This is why the book of Hebrews declares the following:
"11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:11-14)
The word translated as "discern" in verse 14 above is the Greek word diakrisis, which comes from the word krisis meaning "judgment". Those who mature in the Spirit are those who live under God's constant judgments and who allow those judgments to mold the way they themselves judge.
Those who are trying to prevent the manifestation of God's judgments in the Church are a multitude, according to Isaiah 31:4 quoted above. Those, however, who prophetically speak of God's judgments are but a few, and, in a spiritual sense, are but one against a multitude of pastors.
The fact that Isaiah 31:4 mentions one lion against the multitude shows that those who will confront this multitude of pastors will have a strong prophetic anointing on their lives. Why? Because prophets are portrayed in Scripture as "loners". Notice, for example, the "solitude" in the lives of prophets such as Elijah, John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Moses. Throughout the years, I have learned that pastors hate the words "alone", "solitude", and "desert"; they want believers to be huddled up in nice little herds that abound in happy soul communion, so the thought of any type of "loneliness" as being acceptable to God sounds to them as blasphemy. Consider, however, the following passages of Scripture:
"16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. 17I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation." (Jeremiah 15:16-17)
"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." (Luke 1:80)
[This verse is speaking of John the Baptist]
"1And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 2And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 3Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there." (1 Kings 17:1-4)
"26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. 27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. 28He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him." (Lamentations 3:26-28)
"14Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. 15According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things." (Micah 7:14-15)
From the verses above, do the lives of prophets sound as the lives of people who were constantly seeking soul communion with others and who were afraid to be "lonely"? Do these verses give the impression that God abhors those who are alone? Obviously not. The "aloneness" that God abhors is the one birthed out of selfishness and disregard for the rest of our brothers and sisters. I know many, many, many believers who go to church three times a week every week and who have strong friendships with many other believers, but who, in reality, live spiritually isolated lives, because all they care about is their own material comfort and their own mediocre spiritual growth. They could care less if a sister they know has the potential to be a mighty prophet of God; they would not "waste" a minute of their lives praying for that prophetic potential to be manifested. They are not at all concerned about the manifestation of God's Glory on Earth; they don't long for the days when the shamah presence of God will be generalized throughout the Entire Body of Christ. They only care about themselves, about having a good time at church, and about doing enough church activities so as to prevent themselves from having to admit that they stopped growing spiritually many years ago.
Even though prophets in Scripture lived isolated lives (with long periods of depressing loneliness), they never lost spiritual contact with the people of God, and they were constantly concerned about the fulfilling of God's purposes in their fellow brethren. They were men and women whose hearts burned in love for God's people, and who would constantly confront them concerning their iniquity and their hard-heartedness. They were men and women forced into isolation by those who rejected their message with an ultimatum saying: "Better shut up, you prophet, you; if you want to hang out with us, you have to be like us. We are not going to change, so, if you are not willing to love us the way we are, better hit the road, Jack, and let us be":
"4The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. 5Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. 6For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.7Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. 8Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me." (Micah 7:7-8)
"19Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. 20And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 21And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible." (Jeremiah 15:19-21)
"1Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. 2Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD." (Jeremiah 20:1-2)
"7O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. 8For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. 9Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." (Jeremiah 20:7-9)
Those who have accepted the prophetic anointing on their lives are not afraid to be alone. Even though they do not enjoy the loneliness, they prefer to be ostracized rather than stop saying what God has called them to say. They are not afraid to challenge human authorities and be condemned for it; this is why prophets would go before kings and priests and confront them, as is the case in Jeremiah 20:1-2 quoted above, where Jeremiah confronts Pashur, the priest and chief governor in the house of the Lord.
These "lone rangers" are the ones who will face the multitude of pastors alone. They will not compromise God's word in their hearts so as to be allowed to "hang out" with the rest of the crowd. They are willing to tell church authorities what they are doing wrong, even if that implies an immediate slap from some Jebusite accusing them of "rebellion" and disrespect.
If you revisit Isaiah 31:4 quoted at the top of this section, you will notice that it declares that the Lord Himself will be fighting through the lives of these lone rangers. As pastors continue to fight against the prophetic voice of God's judgments, they are fighting against God Himself, and they are preventing God's people from entering into His Kingdom:
"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in" (Matthew 23:13)
Another thing worth noting in Isaiah 31:4 is the fact that it mentions a "lion" and a "young lion" at the beginning of the verse, but then proceeds to speak of the lion in the singular. Why? Because the "lion" represents God and the "young lion" represents the "lone rangers" through whom He will be fighting. The reference to a "young" lion means that it will be a lion that will not be respected for being an "elder"; these lone rangers will not be respected because of their position in the church hierarchy. Those who will heed these "young lions" will do so because they will recognize the voice of God, of the Mighty Lion of Judah, roaring through these men and women. This means that horse lovers, as described above, will not recognize the anointing in these young lions and will not only disregard them but will also oppose them fiercely.
The rest of Isaiah chapter 31 describes the result of this latter-day confrontation between the prophets and the pastoral matriarchy:
"6Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. 7For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. 8Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. 9And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 31:6-9)
We, as a people, have "deeply revolted" against God (v6). Our current state of self-centered, sin-condoning, don't-make-me-suffer Christianity has produced a deep state of apostasy and separation from God. Even if the gifts of the Spirit are being manifested throughout the Church, and God is blessing us materially, we are only receiving the blessings from His Back. Christians who seek His Back get blessings and benefits from their relationship with God, but never get to see the Glory of His Face, and will eventually be left to die in the desert and never enter into the spiritual heritage that God has for them. Gifts and material blessings are not necessarily a sign that you are right with God:
"18And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen." (Exodus 33:18-23)
In this passage, Moses is speaking on behalf of the people of Israel that perished in the desert. Notice, however, how God told him that He would make His goodness and His glory pass before him while Moses was hidden in the rock. This is similar to someone smelling the aroma of a pie that just came out of the oven without actually eating it. The Church has been getting whiffs of God's Glory all these years!!! Imagine what it will be like when we finally turn back to seek His Face and experience the Mighty Weight of His Glory. This is what the latter-day revival is all about.
Face-seekers are willing to die to self so that God's Glory may be manifested through them. Face-seekers don't believe in a self-centered "gospel" that is only out to get things from God through token sacrifices that do not really represent a true yielding of the will.
In verse 7 of Isaiah 31, the Lord declares that, when the prophet-pastor showdown of verse 4 is over, the people of God will cast away their idols of silver and gold, fashioned by their own hands. This refers to the "golden calves" that today's Aaronic priests have fashioned according to the soulish likings of the people, calling the golden calves "God". Silver in Scripture generally refers to purity (Proverbs 25:4-5, Psalm 66:10-11, Malachi 3:3) and gold refers to the Glory of God, meaning that, to make these calves, the Church gave away a mind that stays pure by executing God's judgments (Psalms 12:6, Hebrews 4:12), and it also gave away a heart after God's own heart, which is an essential ingredient to abide in the Glory of God (2 Samuel 6:17, Acts 13:22). In the latter-day revival, however, we will cast away these idols and seek the Face of God.
In verse 8 of Isaiah 31, the Lord declares the following:
"Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited." (Isaiah 31:8)
The phrase "mighty man" above is a translation of the Hebrew word iysh meaning, "male", while the phrase "mean man" was translated from the Hebrew wordadam meaning "man". Therefore, this verse should really say,
The Assyrian shall fall with the sword, not of a male, and the sword, not of a man
When the Lord says that the sword will not be of a "male", as opposed to a "female", He is declaring that the Assyrian will fall through the judgments of those who are not in human eminence in the Church. It will be "weak women" who will tear down the Assyrian stronghold, i.e.- people who may be seen as weak and insignificant by the Church but who have authority in the Spirit because they have been willing to be faithful to God, even if that means being left alone.
The fact that the sword will not be of "man" means that the Assyrian will not be overcome through human methods and techniques. He will be defeated by people who fight with the Sword of the Spirit, in prophetic intercession that will be mostly invisible to the Body of Christ. There are men and women out there who are waging this battle in the Spirit against the spirit of Assyria in the Church. But what is this spirit of "Assyria"?
The Hebrew word for "Assyria", ashur, comes from the word ashar meaning, "happy" or "blessed". Therefore, we can say that the spirit of Assyria is the spirit that promotes a left-handed "gospel" of blessings and happiness. This spirit lulls believers into settling for limited spiritual growth in return for a "gospel" message that will give them earthly happiness, prosperity, and contentment. The spirit of Assyria has stayed in the Church because of Canaanite pastors (the "horses" of Isaiah 31:1) who preach a "gospel" where believers don't have to suffer and be exposed to God's judgments. Assyrian pastors want churches that act as social clubs or theme parks where you can take your entire family and have a "good time". God curse the Assyrian spirit, and God curse all those who hard-heartedly support it:
"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema. Maranatha." (1 Corinthians 16:22)
[The word "Anathema" means "Accursed"; "Maranatha" is Aramaic for "our Lord comes"]
Despite the Assyrians' current domination of the Church, and despite all those with Canaanite and Jebusite hearts who defend them, God has prophesied that He will drive them out of the Church. My brother and sister, are you willing to be one of the "lone rangers" described above through whom God will drive out the Assyrians? Are you willing to enter into the prophetic anointing and love the people of God more than your soulish communion with them? If so, you will be part of the "young lion" (Isaiah 31:4) that will stand against the multitude of pastors, and you will help to usher in the greatest revival in the history of mankind.
In verse 9 of Isaiah 31, the Lord declares the following:
"And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 31:9)
In other translations, the first part of this verse is translated as "his stronghold shall pass over in fear". The word for "stronghold" in this verse is from the Hebrew cela, which comes from another Hebrew word meaning "lofty". This means that the "stronghold" is referring to spirits of self-exaltation (i.e.- Amorite spirits) that have exalted themselves over the people of God through ministers who consider themselves to be made of a superior spiritual material than the rest of God's people. These Amorites have intimidated God's people through the indiscriminate use of their spiritual authority, with the help of Jebusites who act as their bodyguards and the Hittite spirit of Jezebel that murders the prophetic voice. Since the Amorites have used their authority to intimidate and cause fear in God's people, God will intimidate them back and make them flee in fear. Hallelujah!!!
The Lord also declares in Isaiah 31:9 that the princes will be afraid of the ensign, i.e.- the banner of Jehovah-Nissi ("Jehovah is my Banner", Exodus 17:15). This name of God appears in the passage where Moses wages spiritual warfare against Amalek with the help of Aaron and Hur, who held up Moses' arms while Joshua and the people of Israel fought in the valley against Amalek. This means that the "princes", i.e.- today's Church leadership that upholds the Assyrian spirit, will learn to fear those who, like Moses, Aaron, and Hur, are fighting the spiritual battle behind the scenes. These young lions of God are not visible to man, but their prayers are unleashing punishing blows on the Assyrian spirit, so much so that the Assyrian leadership of the Church will come to fear them greatly. Assyrian princes will enter into a state of spiritual irrelevance as the people of God with the Jehovah-Nissi Spirit (the Spirit of Philadelphia) take their place. When this happens, according to verse 9, the fire of God's prophetic Shamah presence will be in Zion, and the apostolic Spirit of Judgment will be as a furnace that processes and purifies all of us as believers so that we may abide in that fire forever. This is the revival that God will start, a revival that will empower all believers so that they will all move in God's prophetic and apostolic anointing. Those will be some Glorious Days, my friend!!!
If you are one of those who wants to be part of that solitary lion that fights against the multitude of pastors, consider the following passage of Scripture:
"1Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth." (Isaiah 63:1-6)
As you begin to fight like the solitary lion of Isaiah 31:4, you will at times feel very lonely, and the words of verse 5 above will make all the sense in the world to you. As verse 5 declares, let your prophetic indignation uphold you, and keep on fighting. Through punishing and unrelenting spiritual warfare, tread on the winepress of Edomite earthliness in the Church, and unleash God's judgments in the Church so that it may be restored. This is why verse 1 above declares, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save". Through the establishment of God's justice and judgments, the Church will be saved from its purposelessness. It is a lonely task, because most people prefer the Assyrian "gospel" of happiness, contentment, and compromise.
As you destroy the gold and silver idols of Isaiah 31:7 through prophetic intercession, consider the following passage:
"9For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. 10All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. 11In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. 13Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt." (Amos 9:9-13)
I have heard so many preachers preach on verse 11 and on verse 13, basically because these are the "nice" parts of the passage. To my recollection, however, I have never heard anyone preach on verses 9, 10, and 12, and this is because these verses speak of restoration through judgment. Notice how verse 9 speaks of a process of sifting that the people of God will go through, a sifting that is not based on legalistic oppression but rather on prophetic purposes, because, as verse 9 declares, "not the least grain will fall upon the Earth". God's judgments are good; they destroy all that is bad in us, but never destroy His potential in us (Isaiah 28:28). When the judgments are made in Him, He will remove all the chaff, leaving all the good grain intact.
Notice also that verse 10 above speaks of the sinners among God's people dying by the sword of the Word; it's no wonder that preachers skip this verse!!! God's judgments are starting inside His house and will then extend outwards to the rest of the world (1 Peter 4:17). After all this sifting and purifying, the tabernacle of David will be restored (verse 11), and all believers will enter into a direct relationship with God, without the intermediaries of today who separate people from God through a doctrine of human submission. We will all enter into the tabernacle of David, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept (2 Samuel 6:17) and have a direct encounter with the Shekinah Glory of God. We will, as a mighty prophetic and apostolic people, see God face to face.