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War-free zones

First posted: October 3, 2004

Last updated: December 12, 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 first expand on the concepts studied in our previous article; we will then focus on the "spiritual zones" that God will create in the Church as a result of God's judgments being poured over the Earth in these latter days.

 

Index

The desert of apostolic impartation

The wilderness of prophetic impartation

The gift that keeps on giving

The forest of evangelistic impartation

The female ministries restored

Spirit zones

Peaceable habitations

Sure tabernacles

Quiet resting places

 

 

The desert of apostolic impartation

In order to better understand the "spiritual zones" prophesied in Isaiah 32:18, we must do a recap of what we studied in our previous article, where we studied the passage in Isaiah 32:15-17:

 

"15Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." (Isaiah 32:15-17)

 

As we saw before, the word "poured" in the passage above should have been translated as "uncovered" from the original Hebrew, meaning that God will open up a "hole" in the mantle of darkness that hangs over the nations, allowing for the manifestation of His Spirit directly on Earth:

 

"And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations." (Isaiah 25:7)

 

According to what we learned from Isaiah 32:16, judgments are unleashed as the Spirit is uncovered. These judgments are the starting point of God's true "peace process":

 

Spiritual condition "Prevalent" element  Ministry "forged" in us Soul area
Wilderness Judgments Apostolic Mind
Fruitful field Righteousness Prophetic Emotions
Forest Peace Evangelistic Heart

 

As we have studied before, apostles are endowed with wisdom, and, according to Scripture, wisdom is given by God to execute judgments, meaning that the apostolic ministry is the one most directly related to "judgments". This implies that, as we are exposed to God's judgments in the desert, we come under the covering of God's apostolic anointing, and, as we do, the apostolic ministry is forged in us. As we have also said before, the apostolic anointing breaks spiritual barriers in our minds, meaning that we are endowed with a "right mind" as we go through the desert of God's judgments.

 

The all-important prerequisite for executing God's judgments on others is to allow His judgments to come over our own lives first. In other words, you cannot judge others if you are not willing to take God's judgments yourself:

 

"Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?" (Acts 23:3)

 

"For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?" (1 Corinthians 5:12)

 

"14And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14-15)

 

The passage above will spiritually come to pass during our generation, as God raises up a Church that will execute His judgments on Earth. Notice that those who will be executing judgments with the Lord are "His saints". The word "saint" in Scripture has the connotation of someone who spiritually has separated or "consecrated" him or herself unto God. The "saints" that verse 14 is referring to, therefore, are those who go off to live in the spiritual desert of God's purifying judgments. Those with the "desert anointing" on them are then given authority to judge and restore others in Christ.

 

As you willingly expose yourself to God's desert judgments, you become an apostolic, ground-breaking vessel through whom His purifying and restoring judgments are released upon the lives of others. Through His judgments, the kingdom of God penetrates into new spiritual territories.

 

The wilderness of prophetic impartation

According to Isaiah 32:16, our "wilderness" experience in Christ allows us to become a "fruitful field" of righteousness. As we have studied before, fruitfulness is most related to the prophetic ministry. As God pours out His purifying judgments over us from a clear, unobstructed sky, His righteousness is formed in us, and, as that happens, His cloud of grace comes over us, and we become spiritually fruitful before God. The awareness of our grace in His eyes gives us the freedom to move in God's prophetic anointing. Of all the ministry callings, the one that seems to have the greatest "innate" awareness of its "grace" is the prophetic calling. Prophets have the "audacity" to believe that they are important enough in God's eyes that God is willing to speak directly to them. This is why prophets can so boldly defy human structures, even if they do not build a "coalition of support" to defy those structures. They are so convinced that God can speak directly to them that they do not find it necessary to have the support or confirmation of others (including human authorities) to know that God has spoken to them.

 

The "grace-prophet" connection is reinforced throughout Scripture. For example, of all the 12 apostles selected by the Lord Jesus, the one who undeniably had the strongest prophetic calling was John, so much so that John was the one used by God to write the most prophetic book of the New Testament: the book of Revelation. The strong prophetic anointing on John's life is also evident in the Gospel of John, which is, by far and away, the most different of all the 4 Gospel books in the New Testament. The Gospel of John is the only one that starts by speaking of the "high" origins of the Lord Jesus, referring to Him as the "Word" that was "with God" and "was God", and who came from above and became flesh to dwell with us. Such bold statements are a result of a strong prophetic anointing over John as he wrote these words, since they can only be the result of "prophetic revelation" and not of "historical compilation".

 

The name "John" literally means "Jehovah has graced", and John's awareness of God's grace over his life is evident in how he "dared" to rest on Jesus' bosom:

 

"Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved." (John 13:23)

 

Throughout the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit inspired John to refer to himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved", and he does so 5 times (John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20-24). Obviously, Jesus loved all of the disciples, but prophets seem to have an awareness of their uniqueness, and they are so aware of God's love towards them that they feel as if they were God's "only" son or daughter. Those who were their parents' "only" child understand this sense of uniqueness very well. Whereas evangelists are endowed with an awareness of being the "first begotten" (i.e.- the ones who have a right to take the inheritance and conquer), prophets are endowed with an awareness of being the "only begotten". This is the reason why the prophet John is the only "named" author in the New Testament who ever referred to the Lord Jesus as the "only begotten Son" (the anonymous author of Hebrews is the only other person who did so, in Hebrews 11:17) . John refers to Jesus as the "Only Begotten Son" 5 times (John 1:14, 1:18, 3:16, 3:18, 1John 4:9) , and "5" is a number that represents "grace to serve" in Scripture.

 

Some who may read the paragraph above with a natural mind might object to any believer seeing him or herself as God's "only" son or daughter on Earth. Obviously, God has a multitude of sons and daughters on Earth, but those who get close to the Father become aware of how special and individually unique they are to Almighty God, and there are times when one does feel like God's only son or daughter. I have heard preachers say (and I agree with them) that Jesus would still have come to Earth to die on the cross, even if you or I were the only person in the history of mankind who would have ever been saved as a result of His sacrifice. That statement shows how unique and special we are in God's eyes, and those who draw near to the Father become aware of their prophetic grace, and that grace gives them the confidence to speak with bold prophetic authority.

 

As we have said before, the prophetic ministry is portrayed in Scripture as the most "emotional" of all the ministries. As you become of aware of God's spiritual grace over your life, you become free, and as you experience freedom, your emotions are loosed from their earthly restraints, and you enter into prophetic creativity. God's limiting judgments fashion righteousness in us, and that righteousness draws in God's cloud of grace over our lives, and that grace allows our emotions to flow freely in prophetic creativity.

 

The gift that keeps on giving

There is a profound difference between the grace derived from righteousness and the "grace" derived from spiritual gifts. When we sincerely repent of our sins and accept God's judgments against us as "sinners who cannot save themselves", God's righteousness is fashioned in us and we become "justified" in His eyes. This righteousness draws in God's grace over our lives (Romans 5:21) and we are imparted spiritual gifts. The word for spiritual "gifts" used in the original Greek text of the New Testament is the word charisma, which is derived from the Greek word charis, which means "grace":

 

"But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." (Ephesians 4:7)

 

Your spiritual gifts (which include your spiritual ministries, according to Ephesians 4:7-11), are a testimony of how you found grace in God's eyes. This grace came over you for the first time when you accepted God's judgment over you which sentenced you as a "hopeless sinful person in need of salvation"; the acceptance of this judgment fashioned in you a righteousness that you could not fashion on your own. There is a fleshly tendency, however, to "take the gifts and run". The gifts are real, and their effects are real, but, when a believer's heart forgets how the gifts came to his or her life in the first place, the believer will begin to use those gifts for earthly purposes and not God's. According to Romans 5:21, God's grace can only reign in righteousness, meaning that a heart that abhors God's judgments cannot have God's grace permanently residing in that life. In such a case, the gifts become remnants of a grace that once was. They can bring temporary, earthly blessings to other people, but they are incapable of consistently producing eternal, spiritual transformations in other people's lives because God's cloud of eternal grace is no longer present. At times, these gifts can produce spiritual transformations if the person receiving the blessing of the gift has a heart that seeks after God's righteousness, even if the heart of the person with the gift is not seeking righteousness. These spiritual transformations, however, will be sporadic and limited, and, eventually, they will cease.

 

If you want your spiritual gifts to consistently produce eternal transformations in the people around you, you must desire God's judgments over your life, because these judgments guarantee that your heart will abide in righteousness, which, according to Romans 5:21, will produce a permanent cloud of grace over your life that will constantly produce profound impacts on the lives of others. The gifts of those who seek God's righteousness are the gifts that keep on giving, all the way to eternity.

 

God's true prophets are the "wilderness prophets", i.e.- those who are aware of their uniqueness and prophetic grace in God's eyes, but who understand that the sustaining foundation of that grace is a righteousness derived from wilderness judgments. The false prophets are those who take the prophetic grace and "run", forgetting about God's righteousness and judgments altogether.

 

The forest of evangelistic impartation

As we are imparted apostolically and prophetically in our wilderness experience, we become like oaks in the "planting of the Lord" (Isaiah 61:3); this is why Isaiah 32:15 speaks of a "forest" at the end. Here, we as oaks begin to manifest spiritual tallness and strength. As we have shared before, evangelists are endowed by God with strong-willed hearts that are capable of tearing down strong men in the spiritual atmosphere. This is the reason why evangelists can be used by God to convert great multitudes of people at a time; they have the capability of tearing down the giants that hold captive the hearts of great numbers of people, giving these people the free will to surrender their lives to the Lordship of Christ. The tearing down of spiritual giants, however, is achieved after the apostolic and prophetic anointing have laid the necessary spiritual foundation:

 

"20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:20-22)

[The reference to "growth" in verse 21 speaks of spiritual tallness, while the phrase "builded together" in verse 22 speaks of spiritual strength and solidity, which are manifestations of the evangelistic anointing on our lives]

 

A true evangelist is one who has a foundation of apostolic judgments and prophetic grace on his or her life.

 

The female ministries restored

From the sections above, we can see how the "wilderness experience" leads to a restoration of the "male ministries" in our lives; in other words, we become apostolic, prophetic, and evangelistic. As we saw in our previous article, the result of this is true shalom peace between our hearts and God's heart. As "side benefits", God gives us quietness ("peace of mind") and assurance ("emotional peace").

 

As we shared in our previous article, the "quietness", or "peace of mind", that Isaiah 32:17 refers to means that we will be able to rebuke the Girgashite spirits that bombard our minds with earthly worries and concerns. Since Girgashite spirits are strong on teachers who deviate from God's purposes, the rebuking of these spirits means the restoration of the teaching ministry. A mind that is free from earthly methodologies and principles will be free to manifest an anointing to teach God's heavenly methods and principles.

 

As we also shared in our previous article, the "assurance", or "emotional peace", that Isaiah 32:17 refers to means that our emotions will be able to lie down on Jehovah God's green pastures of pastoral care, meaning the restoration of the pastoral ministry.  As our emotions end their Canaanite resistance against God's judgments and righteousness, and as we learn to trust in a Pastor who is also Consuming Fire and Holy, we will be free to manifest an anointing of true pastoral nurturing and support.

 

"1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." ( Psalm 23)

[The words "shepherd" and "pastor" are synonyms in the Greek and in the Hebrew; so verse 1 could have been translated as "Jehovah is my Pastor; I shall not want"]

 

Notice that verse 3 above speaks of the Pastor who leads us in "paths of righteousness"; it does not say " paths of blessings" or "paths of kindness and mercy". Despite the fact that our God is a Pastor, He never ceases to be a Righteous and Holy God. Notice also that verse 4 speaks of the Pastor's "rod". The word "rod" here was translated from the Hebrew word shebet, which is used in passages such as the following:

 

"34Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: 35Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me." (Job 9:34-35)

[Here, Job is speaking of his trials as God's "rod" being upon him]

 

"10By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. 11Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud: 12And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth. 13He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy." (Job 37:10-13)

[The word "correction" was translated from the word shebet meaning "rod". Notice, again, how the Hebrew word for rod is used in the context of God's correction judgments.]

 

"9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel." (Psalm 2:9)

 

"31If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; 32Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes." (Psalm 89:31-32)

 

Notice, therefore, how God's Pastoral Rod of Psalm 23:4 refers to God applying judgments of correction upon us. It is amazing to me how so many believers sing Psalm 23:4 in church services all around the world without realizing what they are singing!

 

Psalm 23:4 also speaks of God's Pastoral "staff". The word "staff" was translated from the Hebrew word mishenah, which is derived from the word shaan meaning, "to lean on". This means that, as a Pastor, God is willing to say the following to you and me:

"Lean on Me as I lead you through the valley of darkness. Since I am a Pastor who will lead you down the paths of righteousness, I will make you go through the valley of the shadow of death. I will lead you to the desert to be tried and tested, as I did with My son Jesus and with My son Israel, but I will be there to strengthen you and to lift you up in the middle of the judgments that I Myself shall bring upon you, for I am a Holy and Righteous God, faithful and merciful unto those who seek My righteousness and My Kingship over their lives. I want to see My Image in you, but that will only happen if I pass you through the Fire, for I am Consuming Fire."

 

In conclusion to what we have said so far in this article, Isaiah 32:15-17 prophesies that God will restore all 5 ministries in the Body of Christ in the latter days. He will restore the "male" ministry anointings in us through judgment, bringing us to a state of true shalom peace. He will then give us peace of mind and emotional peace so that the true pastoral and teaching anointings may be manifested in us, thereby restoring the "female" ministries.

 

Spiritual condition "Prevalent" element  Ministry "forged" in us Male / Female Soul area
Wilderness Judgments Apostolic Male Mind
Fruitful field Righteousness Prophetic Male Emotions
Forest Peace Evangelistic Male Heart
  Quietness Teaching Female Mind
  Assurance Pastoral Female Emotions

 

Spirit zones

As the true peace of Isaiah 32:17 is reached throughout the Church, God will establish certain "spiritual zones", according to Isaiah 32:18-19:

 

"18And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; 19When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place." (Isaiah 32:18-19)

 

To the natural eye, verse 18 may seem like a "repetition" of verse 17. However, we know that not a single word that proceeds out of the mouth of God is purposeless. Therefore, God is trying to tell us something different in verse 18. Whereas verse 17 speaks of "peace", "quietness", and "assurance" as the spiritual results of the "peace process", verse 18 associates these same concepts to "spiritual areas" or "zones". "Peace" is associated with "habitations", "assurance" with "dwellings", and "quietness" with "resting places".

 

The word translated as "dwellings" in verse 18 is the Hebrew word mishkan, which is derived from the word shakan, which is used in verse 16 when referring to "judgment dwelling in the wilderness". As we said when we studied verse 16 in our previous article, the word shakan refers to "desert tabernacles". Therefore, the phrase "sure dwellings" would better be translated as "tabernacles with assurance". We can now expand our previous table to include the spiritual zones that God will create in the latter-day Church:

 

Spiritual condition "Prevalent" element  Ministry "forged" in us Male / Female Soul area Spiritual zone
Wilderness Judgments Apostolic Male Mind Wilderness
Fruitful field Righteousness Prophetic Male Emotions Wilderness
Forest Peace Evangelistic Male Heart Peaceable habitations
  Assurance Pastoral Female Emotions Sure tabernacles
  Quietness Teaching Female Mind Quiet resting places

 

The reason why the Lord speaks of "zones" in verse 18 is to declare that, as "peace", "quietness", and "assurance" are established inside of us, each one of us creates a "spiritual zone" around us where these 3 things will predominate and influence the lives of others. When you are imbued with the evangelistic anointing (the middle line of the table above), you become a conqueror, a "kingdom establisher" in the spiritual atmosphere around you. As believers begin to go through the peace process of Isaiah 32:15-17, churches around the world will become powerful spiritual zones where true "peace", "quietness", and "assurance" will prevail in the atmosphere and literally affect anyone who physically enters the space in those churches.

 

In the rest of this article, we will study each of these 3 types of spiritual zones that God will create in the latter-day Church, according to Isaiah 32:18.

 

Peaceable habitations

The word translated as "habitations" in Isaiah 32:18 is the Hebrew word  naveh, from which the name "Naioth" is derived. Naioth is the name of a place in Ramah of Israel that is only mentioned 6 times in the Old Testament, all of them in a passage where David fled from Saul:

 

"18So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. 19And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. 20And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. 22Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah. 23And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets? 1And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?" (1 Samuel 19:18-20:1)

[As a parenthesis, notice how Saul's prophetic gift manifested itself at Naioth (v24), even after he had already been cast off by God and was no longer the true king of Israel. Saul's heart was not one of righteousness, but, still the gift moved in him. This confirms what was said above on how spiritual gifts can be the remnants of a grace that "once was". Notice that the gift in Saul did not serve to bless anyone else; it only served as self-condemnation for Saul, as he was compelled by the Spirit to strip off his clothes and lie naked before Samuel, as a prophetic sign of how God Almighty had already stripped this man of his calling and his kingly anointing. In God's eyes, Saul no longer was the "wearer" of the kingly robes of Israel; it was David. This was so lost on everyone that even David did not know it; David never understood that Saul no longer was the anointed king of Israel, as can be seen in chapters 24 and 26 of 1 Samuel, where David forgave Saul's life on the grounds that Saul was an "anointed" man of God. After David's anointing in chapter 16, the Spirit of God rested on David and departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16:13-14), meaning that the one and only true king of Israel was David, not Saul.]

 

David in the passage above is a prophetic figure of those who have God's anointing but whose anointing is not recognized by men because they lack a human title. On the other hand, Saul represents those who have the human title but who do not have the anointing because of their arrogance and the hardness of their hearts. In today's Church, the "Davids" are under constant persecution by a religious structure that promotes unconditional loyalty and submission to those who hold human titles. Notice how Saul sent 3 groups of messengers to apprehend David, but none of them could stand against the prophetic anointing in Naioth. Instead of disobeying Saul, these groups of messengers thought that the "right" thing to do was to obey the "official king" (i.e.- Saul) and to hand over the true king (i.e.- David), even if that meant the death of David. Notice also how people obediently gave Saul information on David's location (v22) when Saul decided to go to Naioth in person to kill David. By being submissive to the "established authorities", all these people were unknowingly conspiring against God. Many believers in the Body of Christ today pat themselves on the back every time they un-discerningly submit to human authorities because of the authorities' official titles, not realizing that their obedience has served many times to hinder God's spiritual work. God's fierce judgments await all these "obedient" believers who think that they are doing God a favor when they surrender their loyalty to human structures. Boy, will they be surprised!!!

 

"17But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:17-20)

 

"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." (John 16:2)

 

Saul was unable to capture David in Naioth because the prophetic anointing that was physically present in that place prevented him from doing so. Why? Because, as we have said so many times before, prophets are called to defy human structures and human authority for the Lord's sake, even at the price of being isolated or even murdered. Therefore, the "peaceable habitations" of Isaiah 32:18 refer to spiritual zones where the prophetic anointing will be so strong that Amorites like Saul and submissive Jebusites like Saul's messengers will not be able to attack God's prophetic remnant. The giant-killer wild asses, under a strong evangelistic and prophetic anointing, will establish impenetrable spiritual strongholds that will allow for the secure spiritual growth and shalom prosperity of God's people.

 

"15Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: 16For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief." (Proverbs 24:15-16)

[The word "dwelling" in verse 15 was translated from the same Hebrew word naveh mentioned at the top of this section]

 

[The reference to the "just man" falling 7 times in verse 16 is one of the most misunderstood passages in Scripture. The Lord here is not referring to a believer sinning 7 times, since a "just man" would stop being "just" if he sinned. Instead, the Lord is referring to righteous men and women who are made to fall and suffer by wicked people (v15) who oppose them because of their righteousness, as was the case with the Lord Jesus. The "7" times refers to righteous men being attacked by the 7 different types of evil spirits that we have studied in previous articles. This passage, therefore, declares that none of the 7 types of evil spirits, even the Amorites, are capable of inflicting permanent or eternal damage on those who persist in abiding in God's righteousness and judgments.]

 

Sure tabernacles

As we said above, the phrase "sure dwellings" in Isaiah 32:18 should have been translated as "sure tabernacles" or "tabernacles with assurance". The word "sure" refers to emotional peace, thereby addressing "emotions". On the other hand, the word "tabernacle" refers to judgment in the desert, thereby addressing the "mind", since the mind is the area of the soul related to making evaluations and judgments. As we have said before, the mind is right-handed, while the emotions are left-handed. Why, then, would the Lord combine a right-handed word such as "tabernacles" with a left-handed word such as "sure"? Because, in the latter days, God will combine two ministries that should work together but have for centuries been seen as different and unrelated by the Church: the prophetic and the teaching ministries.

 

Of the 10 possible pairs of ministries that can be made from the 5 ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11, the only 3 pairs that are mentioned together in a single verse in the New Testament (outside of Ephesians 4:11) are the following:

  1. Apostles and prophets (in 7 verses)

  2. Apostles and teachers (in 4 verses)

  3. Prophets and teachers (in 3 verses)

 

Combination #1 is understood and accepted by many believers, and so is combination #2, since apostles are generally endowed with the teaching ministry to teach the wisdom that they are given (this is the case with Paul, for example, who was an apostle and a teacher, according to 1 Timothy 2:7 and 2 Timothy 1:11). Combination #3, however, is the least obvious of all the combinations, and that is because prophets and teachers are very different in their nature and behavior.

 

The teaching ministry is a right-handed ministry that is mind-oriented, since it is geared to nurture and reinforce the minds of fellow believers. As we have said before, teachers are methodical and perfectionists; they are designed by God to be analytical and logical people who pay close attention to details. On the other hand, the prophetic ministry is a left-handed ministry that is emotion-oriented, since prophets must allow for the free flow of their emotions in order to hear and speak God's prophetic word and visions; they are designed by God to be "non-rational", instinctive people who allow their emotions to supersede natural thinking, thereby appearing to be "crazy" at times. While teachers channel and organize already-existing information, prophets are creative producers of "new" information. All of this explains why people with a teacher calling and people with a prophetic calling generally have a hard time getting along (when either side is in the flesh). Prophets and teachers are the spiritual version of the "odd couple".

 

The problem in today's Church is that most teachers are so mind-oriented that they become anti-prophetic. These men and women, however, fail to realize that they are teaching "material" that is prophetic by nature:

 

"19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:19-21)

 

When teachers deny the prophetic nature of Scripture, they reduce the Bible to a book of literal, lifeless regulations and historical information. As you may have noticed from our articles (and your personal experience), the Bible is a book where the true meaning of God's words lies underneath the surface and can only be discerned spiritually, as we open our prophetic ears to God's spiritual interpretation. The Scriptures come alive and acquire their true, life-transforming significance as we allow God's Holy Spirit to flow prophetically through us. In these latter days, God will establish spiritual zones where prophetic emotions will be "sure" or "secure" from the war of Girgashite attacks instigated by teachers who interpret the Scriptures literally and belittle any interpretation that may sound too "mystical" or "unusual" to their literal and carnal minds. Under these "sure tabernacles", God will raise up prophetic teachers who will teach Scripture under God's true prophetic anointing.

 

"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Corinthians 3:6)

 

Quiet resting places

Just as the "sure tabernacles" represent the combination of two "conflicting" ministries, the "quiet resting places" of Isaiah 32:18 also refer to the latter-day appearance of an odd combination of ministries in the Body of Christ.

 

The phrase "resting places" in Isaiah 32:18 was translated from the Hebrew word menuwchah, which also appears in Psalm 23:2, translated as "still":

 

"1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." (Psalm 23:1-2)

 

From this, we can see how the "resting places" point to the pastoral ministry where people can lie down and rest under God's pastoral care.

 

As we said in our previous article, "quietness" points to a mind that is free from Girgashite turmoil and is thereby free to think in the Spirit, i.e.- with the mind of Christ, which opens our understanding to the wisdom of God:

 

"12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:14-16)

[The reference to the "natural man" in verse 14 speaks of "earthly man", which points to the Girgashite spirits, since these spirits get people to focus on earthliness and temporality]

 

All of the above means that "quietness" of the mind opens the way for apostolic wisdom and judgment to be manifested in our lives. However, we have also learned that pastors who deviate from God's perfect will are strongly influenced by Canaanite spirits, and such spirits hate judgments. This means that earthly pastors hate spiritual apostles, since apostles who move in the Spirit are "judgment-makers" by nature.

 

A detailed study of 2 Timothy 4:2 reveals that pastors are innately designed by God to "reprove", which means that they are designed to execute "correction judgments". Pastors are innately good at correcting believers when they are committing willful and conscious sin against God. However, since pastors hate to see fellow sheep suffer, they shy away from chastisements that are not "completely necessary" in their minds. This means that they can become comfortable with fellow believers who are not sinning, but who are not growing either. This is similar to an elementary school math teacher who helps her students to perfect their adding and subtracting skills, but who is never willing to teach them to multiply and divide, since that would expose them to new "growing pains".

 

On the other hand, apostles are innately designed by God to execute "formation judgments". These are judgments that come over believers who are not "sinning", but who need to go through the fire in order to reach a new level of spiritual relationship with God. Correction judgments are associated in Scripture with "iron", while "formation judgments" are associated with "bronze".

 

Both types of judgments can be seen in Job's life. The first wave of "disasters" that hit Job (Job 1:13-19), where his sons and daughters died, were iron judgments, since Job never seemed to be brave enough to confront the iniquity in his sons and daughters' lives. He would "intercede" for them in order to prevent them from suffering God's punishment (Job 1:5), but he never prayed for God to change their sinning ways. Job's constant intercession for his grown sons and daughters reveals that they were spiritually irresponsible men and women who were so uninterested in God that they would never pray to God for themselves; it also reveals that they had sinful habits and practices that they were uninterested in changing. When God killed Job's sons and daughters (using satan as the "weapon"), He was unleashing on them all the punishment that Job's sinful human mercy had tried so hard to prevent.

 

The second wave of "disasters" that hit Job's life (Job 2:7-8), when he was "smitten with sore boils" all over his body, were bronze judgments. According to God's own testimony, Job was a righteous man (Job 1:8), meaning that the terrible disease on his body was not punishment for sin. It was God's way to break through a spiritual barrier in Job's life that was preventing him from reaching a new level of knowledge of the Lord. Because of his moral and upright behavior, Job was falling into the "good Christian" syndrome, where people believe that the Christian life boils down to leading a decent, moral life. God had to deal with Job during 40 long chapters (chapters 2 through 41) before Job could finally understand that "knowing God" goes way beyond being a "decent citizen". This is why Job said the following at the end of his bronze judgments:

 

"3Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 5I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:3-6)

 

In these latter days, God will establish spiritual zones where apostolic, judging minds will be free from the war of Canaanite attacks instigated by pastors who believe that any type of judgment must be suppressed. Under these "quiet resting places", God will raise up apostolic pastors who will not hesitate to execute bronze judgments that will help fellow believers to grow and mature spiritually.

 

 

In conclusion, the conflict and hatred between the spiritual antitheses will disappear in the latter-day spiritual zones.