Intro By Michael Sullivant:
This is a continuation of Bob Hartley's last word published on August 27, 2013 on The Elijah List.
A Brief Re-Intro: In July of 2013, two old friends, Bob Hartley and Bob Jones, met once again and had a divine appointment that has inspiring implications for many people beyond themselves. The night before their meeting, Bob Hartley had a vivid dream that included several themes with associated specific dates and names of people related to Bob Jones' spiritual history that confirmed the divine nature of this encounter.
The Lord then began to show him many overlooked, forgotten, and even undiscovered "faces" of God in these night hours, which only deepened their conversational friendship. Hundreds of Bible verses regarding the nature of God opened up to him that confirmed the divine visions he was receiving. The Lord recently spoke to him in an audible voice that He is the "big God" and Bob is a "little janitor" who is called to go forth and simply tell the testimony of his God-encounters in hope and love. The Lord said that He would take care of all the rest!
Our heavenly Father is now activating His hope reformers to be His instruments for this global spiritual awakening and celebration. Since 1981, Bob has continued to have spiritual dreams and visitations that build upon one another and create an unfolding and ongoing prophetic narrative that relates to a Second Reformation of Hope that God has inaugurated. These dreams and visitations have intensified since 2007.
As the dream was happening, the Narrator referred to the various Bible passages to which we refer in this article and embedded their application into Bob's understanding. Part 1 covered the first four scenes of this divine visitation: Revealed Fissures, Rest, Relationships, and Revelation. This article will outline the last four scenes of the dream and draw some conclusions.
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Reformers of Hope: God Says, "Reformation Equals Love"
Scene 5: Reformers
In the fifth scene of this divine dream, Bob Hartley saw the setting apart of many hope reformers. Their release into more effective ministry with and for the Lord has been a matter of God's timing. And now is their time. They are the "Jeremiah 1:11-12 people."
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" And I said, "I see an almond branch." Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it." Jeremiah 1:11-12
The Lord compares them to almond branches that are blossoming in this season in which He is bringing to pass for them His precious promises. They have been prepared for many years and have been in faithful waiting while subject to strategic confinements. Simple prophetic declarations will now suddenly activate them into their reformational callings. God will use prophetic patriarchs and matriarchs to lay hands upon them as when Moses laid hands on Joshua. These "voices of hope" will be clothed with majesty and commissioned with authority by the Spirit of the Lord.
And Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole congregation, and he laid his hands on him and commissioned him as the LORD directed through Moses. Numbers 27:22-23
These commissioned reformers will go into the "mountains" of the world in which "Baal" has been worshipped and people will witness the superior power and love of God. Though not always as dramatic, the effects of these power encounters will not be unlike the showdown that Elijah had with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 when the Lord revealed His glory to His conflicted people. Hope reformers will be sent by the Father into these various spheres of influence to represent Jesus the Lord and display openly the wisdom of His heavenly ways of life in this world.
Scene 6: Rattlesnakes
The increase of spiritual blessing and power on these reformers will not go unnoticed. These servants of Christ are being birthed in the nighttime hours...hours of darkness...but they suddenly come forth as shining lights. Their light will attract attention, even the attention of the enemy. Lights in the night attract large bugs! It comes with the territory. The evil one will even raise up "professional accusers" as in the days of Nehemiah when his adversaries hired false prophets to try to put fear in Nehemiah and hinder the reconstruction of the wall around Jerusalem.
And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. Nehemiah 6:12-13
In this visitation, Bob Hartley saw these professional accusers as rattlesnakes. They seek to get into our heads and "rattle" our thinking. However, a beautiful and comforting truth was also revealed in this encounter. If God's hope reformers will resist the enemy and endure the bothersome bugs of the night season, a new day will dawn and the warfare will cease! Our endurance through Christ can wear our enemies out and then they will be scattered. But now...back to the battle. (Photo courtesy: Gary M. Stolz/U.S. Fish and Wildlife)
The first rattlesnake was Condemnation. It's amazing how even mature Believers will sometimes fall prey to subtly attempting to pay for our own sins over and over, when Jesus has already died for our sins once and for all! He has translated us into eternal life here and now. Often this is because when we somehow fail or display weakness, we imagine that "by now we ought to have known better." If we do fail to love well...may we frankly admit it, receive forgiveness, and leave all regret far behind. Ongoing shame can easily become a greater spiritual enemy than the failure that triggered it in the first place!
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24
The second snake was Negation (in one of its forms), and it works in a peculiar way to create a terrible irony. It tries to evoke in us a false sense of satisfaction with a minimized or reduced degree of blessing, when God has promised something much greater to us. In this case, the good becomes the enemy of the best.
This then is the challenge of spiritual wisdom: While we must always be grateful for every kind of breakthrough and blessing granted to us by our Father, we must also be eager to receive all that Christ has purchased for us and enter into the fullness of our inheritance in Him. May God help us to avoid the passivity of Joash who only struck the ground with the arrows three times, when he was invited by the word of the Lord to be more spiritually assertive.
...Then Elisha said, "Shoot," and he shot. And he said, "The LORD's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria! For you shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them." And he said, "Take the arrows," and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground with them." And he struck three times and stopped. Then the man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times." 2 Kings 13:17b-19
The third rattlesnake was Fatigue. In this manifestation, the enemy seeks to convince those called to be alert and active spiritual fathers and mothers that they are too old and worn out to be of much use. They would just as soon retire and leave important ministry and mission to the younger generation. They are even tempted to prematurely release their spiritual sons and daughters into spheres of responsibility that they are not yet prepared to inherit and/or steward.
God is desirous of creating a powerful joining of the generations. It will take the combined strengths and gifts of the old and the young alike to match and surmount the spiritual enemies of our Father's agenda for substantial earthly reformation and restoration. The promise is not for retirement, but for renewed youth! May we not be ashamed for having spent energy, but may we also find the courage from Christ it takes to come to our Father for the renewal of our strength!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:2-5
...but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Where is the spirit of the "85-years-young" Caleb among us? May the Holy Spirit use the challenge of his testimony to awaken many fainting hearts in hope!
...And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day... Joshua 14:10b-12a
Scene 7: Reach
In Bob's spiritual dreams, God continues to identify Himself as "The God of All of Life." Years ago, in one of his divine visitations, he saw Church leaders huddled around Jesus in the corner of a church sanctuary. They were afraid for Jesus and were protecting Him from becoming tainted by the world outside the Church. However, Jesus was brimming with joyful vigor and was more than ready to break out of the false "holy huddle" that religious men had created to confine Him. The Lord was quickly on the move to reach out and engage the world with His undeniable resurrection life, presence, and wisdom.
As Bob Hartley and Bob Jones conferred in their meeting this past July, they witnessed that God is presently holding out to His hope reformers a "lambs-wool sweater" to wear rather than a "linen ephod." This represents our call to not function as mere priests in religious cultures, but as royal priests in all of life. The Gnostic and false notion of a wall of division between the sacred and the secular must come down in the hearts and minds of God's sons and daughters. We must not be intimidated by how sin has affected our cultures, but we must humbly and unashamedly confess and declare the Lordship of Jesus over all the earth...as well as the heavens.
...All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations... Matthew 28:18b-19a
...and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:19-23
In regard to Christ's universal Lordship, it might be even more transformative to say, "Not only in the age to come, but also in this age." That Paul didn't say it this way only highlights the gap between his apostolic thinking and the beliefs of too many Believers in our day. May that gap forever be closed!
The veil between the holies of holies has been forever rent and the presence of God now floods out to all of God's creation. It is in all creation that we are to live, function, and reach out as His ministers and hope reformers. We must not be afraid to "mix it up" with people in our cultures and get "a little sweaty" as we daily work for the glory of the Lamb of God...over the long haul...for the restorative outcomes implied by His global hope reformation. This worldview and way of life enhances rather than diminishes genuine spiritual life in Jesus Christ.
Scene 8: Roped
In Bob's dreams, the image of Mount Carmel and the mountains that represent the various spheres of cultural influence merge together and become "Mount Everest." This image is associated again and again with this passage:
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths..." Micah 4:1-2
"Ever-rest" holds out to us the promise of installing a New Operating System (that is, as old as the New Testament's teaching!) based on entering the rest of Christ. Great preachers and teachers throughout the centuries have held this open secret of spiritual power and life out to the Body of Christ. For Believers, the one in seven Sabbath Day has blossomed into a 24/7/365 Blessed Way of Life. (Though taking a literal day of rest from work each week is still a great recommendation.)
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Hebrews 4:9-10
Furthermore, we all know that no one climbs Mount Everest alone! Only those who are willing to be roped together and to work together as a team during the climb can ever hope to reach the summit. (Photo courtesy: Subin Thakuri, Utmost Adventure Trekking)
The Lord is reforming old teams of Believers into new configurations. He is also forming new teams altogether. We must be willing to be roped to the ones He shows to us. He is dispensing the wisdom we need to understand the various roles we are to play on our teams so that we can be coordinated and efficient in our efforts. There are even ways in which we will be called to "divide and conquer."
God is inviting us to a "table of wisdom" in order to learn about these new configurations. He is teaching us to cultivate the quality of hope we will need to endure the challenges of the great ascent. At this table He will outfit us with advanced tools so that we can thwart the schemes of the enemy who is so terribly threatened by our destiny. A second reformation is afoot on the earth.
In that day the Lord will extend His hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of His people... Isaiah 11:11a
At this "table of wisdom" we will gain the spiritual authority as overcomers to accomplish things above and beyond what we can ask or imagine.
And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. Isaiah 22:22 (See Revelation 3:7)
Since having this dream, Bob has recently dreamed again about the rattlesnakes and...our relationships. In these revelations the rattlesnakes are always stationed right at the base of the mountain pathway. They seek to intimidate and especially to keep God's servants from embarking on the expedition up the mountain. In this most recent encounter, Bob saw that one of the main strategies of these snakes is to create an ungodly "relational detachment" between those whom God is calling to be "roped together" in His purposes.
It seems obvious that we actually need the encouragement that flows through these strategic connections to effectively resist the works of the enemy right from the outset of this hope reformation journey. The Lord told Bob that "reformation equals love." He reminded him about how love is costly and always involves giving away and letting go. He isn't asking us to do anything He Himself has not first done for us.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Bob saw the richness of the community that the Holy Spirit inspired in the first Church in Jerusalem.
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. Acts 2:44
A similar quality of fellowship (Greek: koinonia) with our fellow Believers will be required in order for us to accomplish the Father's purposes and spread the hope reformation like a holy virus. Jesus made it clear again and again about the profound impact...even on the watching world...of our loving one another.
The evil snakes – condemnation, negation, and fatigue – specifically seek to entice us to wrongly "detach" from our friends in Christ when we do not feel well-loved by them. A "revolving-door" relational culture is seeking to encroach upon our hearts and our communities of faith to destroy the fabric of our relationships. Who are you presently tempted to "write off" as a friend? Seriously pray and ask God for His relational wisdom to prevail. Beware of overreacting to any sense of rejection you may have experienced with a good friend.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails... 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a
In our quest to experience the "glory" of God, let us remember that it is this shared divine glory that bonds us properly together with Him and one another! Jesus prayed and prophesied that it is a glory-based relational oneness that is both vertical and horizontal that will ultimately be the best evidence of His reality that the world will ever witness. May it be so!
The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as you loved Me. John 17:22-23
May we take a bold stand and resist this temptation to disconnect from our marvelous comrades and continue to love even though we do not always feel love in return. May many healings of broken and strained friendships come to pass. May the vicious cycle of rejection be broken. Peacemakers will be called the children of God. Let it begin with you...and me!
Bob Hartley, scribed by Michael Sullivant
Deeper Waters Ministry
Bob Hartley is the founder of Hartley Institute/Deeper Waters Ministry in Kansas City, Missouri. Bob served as a pastor at Metro Christian Fellowship with Mike Bickle before entering the marketplace in 1983, with a vision to see the marketplace redeemed and cities established that value and love the person of Jesus. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Hartley Group, a "Hope Center" for the marketplace, consisting of Hartley's Executive Cleaning, Swift Chemicals & Supply, Prize Properties and H&H Management in Kansas City, Missouri. Bob is a frequent speaker to youth, churches, businesses, and national leaders throughout America and the world. His quest has been to bring the Kingdom of God into every arena of life and give spiritual tools and equipping to those seeking to know and love God in the midst of their everyday lives. Currently, Bob resides in Kansas City with his wife and four children.
with Michael Sullivant
Michael Sullivant resides in the Kansas City area, has been married to Terri since 1977, and is a father of five adult children. Their lives have been marked and shaped by a naturally-supernatural relationship with God as unashamed followers of Jesus Christ. Terri and Michael have been involved in active ministry since their days at Miami University in Ohio. They have given themselves to planting communities of faith in several U.S. states, pastoring, teaching, writing, coaching, building leaders, and traveling to offer ministry in many nations. Michael is the author of Prophetic Etiquette, Your Kingdom Come, and a devotional commentary called, The Romance of Romans: God's Big God-Story (2011). Michael and Terri are co-founders of Radius – an equipping ministry that reaches out to many people.