From the desk of Steve Shultz:
The reoccurring word we've heard over and over for this year is "harvest". It is a time of great harvest, none like any other time. The Bride is to make herself ready and you'll read more about this in Paul Keith Davis' latest word.
Happy New Year to you, dear readers. I pray this year of 2013 is full of God's presence and power moving mightily in your life to reach those who desperately need to know their true Savior.
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The Bridal Mandate and Harvest of Souls
Part of the great commission is the harvest of souls in salvation through the demonstration of the Spirit's power in our generation. Another part is the
ministry of deliverance to set the captives free and liberate prisoners from spiritual dungeons.
Then there is the ministry of healing including restoring sight to the blind, unstopping deaf ears, and making lame limbs whole; but it also comprises inner healing of wounds to the soul and the spirit, which can take many forms. These are all wonderful and lofty purposes which we devote ourselves in preparation and equipping.
But, in the process of pursuing the Holy Spirit's power and anointing, we also discover an even higher quest for which we were created – to have intimate relationship and communion with Him. For most people, even some Christians, the Lord Jesus is not a living reality but an inference or an unapproachable influence in a far-distant domain.
He is often spoken or referred to in generalities or coined phrases – such as "the man upstairs" – and remains personally unknown to individuals. Creeds and dogmas are formulated from this form of thinking that converts our walk with the Lord from relationship to religion. We cannot love an ideal or express loyalty to an influence. Most people fail to consciously understand that the Lord is a Person who is perceivably present and ardently desirous of relationship and personal exchange.
While there is a collective acknowledgment of the Lord's existence, there is nevertheless an overriding misperception that He is unknowable or unapproachable on a personal level. That deceiving influence in the Church must be overcome in this generation. It is a form of spiritual wickedness that keeps us from the knowledge of God.
Comprehension of someone is best attained through intimate partnership and shared experiences. A holy dialogue – through spiritually granted access to hear His expressions and experience His Presence – promotes awareness of Him and
energizes us from a dead religion to a living relationship.
We have the clear spiritual doctrine, verified through the Scriptures, that God can be known in personal experience. The pages of the Bible are filled with heroes of the faith who discovered this reality. We find God walking in the Garden with Adam, expressing Himself with Moses through a burning bush, talking with disciples on the road to Emmaus, meeting with His apostle on the way to Damascus and on the Isle of Patmos and promising to be with us, even in us until the end of the age. Personal encounters transform and equip us to function in the supernatural realms of Heaven and walk in God's anointing as well as to sustain that place of relationship and authority.
Perpetuating the Anointing
Far too often many devoted saints throughout history gave themselves to the work of ministry but somehow lost the intimacy and communion that brought them consistent anointing and power. A loving Personality communicating with His people is a dominant theme throughout the Scriptures. Where He finds a place of receptivity among humans, He shares insight, direction, correction, encouragement, and promise through various manifestations of His Spirit.
Consequently we must invest ourselves in intimate exchange and sacred fellowship with the Lord and be completely unwilling to compromise that relationship for any purpose. Notice the heart cry of the apostle Paul. Even after many years of powerful ministry, his passionate desire was to "know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings" (Philippians 3:10).
Besides the Great Commission to bring the Gospel of salvation and power and the more important necessity of having intimate relationship and exchange with the Lord, a third mandate that is perhaps equally as important – to be the agency through which the entire earth is to be filled with God's glory.
Revelation of His Glory
The Lord descended upon Mount Sinai in all of His glory and power and desired to use Israel to begin to fill the earth with His glory. Unfortunately they missed the mark. The Lord was so grieved with the unbelief and disobedience of the people that He was prepared to destroy the entire nation with the exception of Moses.
Because of Moses' intercession, the Lord stayed His hand of judgment but made a profound declaration: So the LORD said, "I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD." Numbers 14:20-21
There must be a generation who cooperates with the Lord to fulfill this solemn oath given so many centuries ago.
It was the Lord's desire to reveal Himself to the entire nation of Israel. The chief longing of His heart is still to present Himself to a holy nation and a royal priesthood and use them to fill the earth with His glory. Thus our directive along with winning the lost and healing the sick is to participate with the Holy Spirit in filling the earth with God's glory.
The Year King Uzziah Died
To better understand this great mandate, we can glean key insights from Isaiah 6:
In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Isaiah 6:1
The Lord wonderfully blessed King Uzziah until his heart was lifted up in pride. This presumptuous arrogance caused Uzziah to enter the Holy of Holies and attempt to offer incense upon the altar without the priestly anointing and consecration essential for this duty. For this grievous error, God struck Uzziah with leprosy, as observed on his forehead by the priests.
According to Levitical law, when the priests identified leprosy on the forehead of a person, that person was pronounced unclean and required to cover his lips and cry "unclean, unclean" (Leviticus 13:43-45).
To comprehend the significance of King Uzziah's transgression let us begin with the statement of the prophet Isaiah as he stood before the very throne of God witnessing the exchange of the seraphim giving glory to God:
And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of Him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke." Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Isaiah 6:3-5
When Isaiah found himself not in the type and shadow on the earth but in the literal Holy of Holies in Heaven before God's throne, he clearly must have remembered the grotesque and distorted appearance of King Uzziah before his death. With that image in mind, Isaiah in essence stated, I am like Uzziah stricken with leprosy; I am likewise unclean and unworthy to stand in this Holy Place.
A Divine Provision
Interestingly an angel flew to the very place in which Uzziah was stricken, the altar of incense, and extracted a coal and applied it to the lips of Isaiah. There was an atoning provision for Isaiah. The Lord had made a redemptive provision allowing atonement and cleansing for the condition in which Isaiah found himself.
No correction of the statement was made by Isaiah that he was unclean. Rather, the Lord's atoning attribute altered the condition of Isaiah and made him cleansed and worthy to participate in the exchange of glory taking place before the throne of Heaven. Uzziah entered the Holy Place on earth with pride and presumption, while Isaiah appeared with lowliness and contrition.
Filling the Temple with Glory
Then the Lord asked Isaiah the question: Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8
When Isaiah yielded himself to this commission, he heard the unusual instruction coming from the Lord concerning the eyes and ears of the people of his generation. They were to be rendered spiritually blind and deaf. Grace was not given for that generation to see with their eyes nor hear with their ears God's unfolding plan of redemption and His determination to fellowship with a Body of people on the earth, spreading Kingdom authority.
Jesus emphatically quoted this passage in His discourse to the religious leaders during His earthly ministry as well. From among all the people living in Jesus' day, only a small remnant received the Messiah and the life He imparted (Matthew 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10).
As Isaiah's instruction continues, the Lord states "lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed" (Isaiah 6:10). Healing occurs when our eyes and ears are opened and our hearts are permitted to understand.
Healing the Breach
Healing is not merely the restoration of bodies and emotions, but more importantly the restoration of the breach between God and humanity. That is why our adversary has so emphatically opposed the impartation of revelatory gifts.
We can only participate in this Kingdom plan to the extent that we "see" and "hear" with Spirit "eyes and ears," thereby eliciting comprehension to our hearts. This insight cannot be the mechanical articulation of words with merely an intellectual perception of the Almighty's sovereignty and glory. We are recruited when we are "overcoming" saints anointed with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation who view, comprehend, and experience the unveiling of God's kingly authority, dominion, and glory and give expression to it.
The prophet Isaiah was granted the great privilege of seeing Heaven's design at the throne of God as seraphim declared to one another: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts." They were allowed to see with their eyes demonstrations of His majesty and authority and give expression to it. Their words began to fill the temple with smoke and glory through the witness of their eyes and the expression of their lips the revelation of God sitting upon His throne in absolute and perfect supremacy and sovereignty.
As the seraphim gave glory to God and God received the glory due Him, more of His divine attributes emanated to them causing an even greater demonstration of praise and glory. This Kingdom exchange and heavenly design continued filling the atmosphere with the glory and illumination of God until the entire temple was saturated with the appearance and revelation of His glory.
That is the fashion of Heaven to be transferred to earth and our assignment – to create an atmosphere on the earth that is consistent with His nature and character in which He can dwell. If we can fulfill this mandate, all the other purposes and desires for which we long will naturally be established and achieved by His Presence and anointing resting in us.
Certainly, Isaiah must have been compelled to likewise participate in this exchange of glory, yet he recognized the unworthiness and impurity of his own lips to give glory to God in such a holy surrounding. Fortunately, the provision of Heaven purified him and removed his uncleanness allowing him to give glory to God.
Who Will Go For Us
This commissioning of Isaiah was not as a prophet. The Scriptures plainly report that he was already functioning in the office of a prophet long before the experience of Isaiah 6. Perhaps, Isaiah was being asked "Who will go for Us?" to begin filling the earth with the glory of the Lord of hosts as witnessed in Heaven before God's throne.
Isaiah observed the atmosphere surrounding Heaven's throne. He saw Heaven's design created around the kingship and dominion of the Lord and the unveiling of His glory as seen by those witnessing the nature and character of His kingly authority.
In a similar way, this same atmosphere must be created on earth in His Bride, for the Lord's dominion and Presence to be fully manifested in our generation. That is the will of Heaven being done on earth. It is the creation of the environment in which the Lord is able to dwell. This eternal atmosphere of glory and beauty provides a surrounding consistent with His divine nature and holy character. This is our lofty mandate.
Paul Keith and Wanda Davis
Paul Keith Davis has written numerous articles appearing in various Christian publications, including the MorningStar Journal, Charisma and Church Growth International. He has also written four books including "Thrones of Our Soul," "Engaging The Revelatory Realm of Heaven," and "Books of Destiny," all dealing with prophetic mandates placed upon the end-time generation. His newest book, "Angels That Gather," provides a Biblical outline for the harvest and insight to help access our end of the age inheritance. Paul Keith and Wanda reside in Orange Beach, Alabama. Together they have five children and five grandchildren.