From the desk of Steve Shultz:
Rick Joyner just released this prophetic bulletin – and when Rick speaks, I listen. This is one of the most potent "now words" of THIS YEAR. It's longer, but it's well worth reading every bit of it.
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The Fullness of Time and the Valley of Decision
The world is now in the Valley of Decision. The consequences of every decision will be magnified and a little turn can lead to strikingly different destinations. This kind of repercussion for our choices has not been seen since the Garden. This is because the world is getting very close to becoming the Garden again – the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Because of this, it will be the time of the greatest darkness for those who do not love the truth, but the time of the greatest glory for those who do. The response to this by those who do not have true faith will be to think negatively about the Valley of Decision, becoming fearful and timid. For those who have faith, the reverse is true. This is the greatest opportunity of all, when our positive choices will do far greater good. Even a small decision to do what is right in the sight of the Lord could spark a great revival. A subtle turning in the direction toward the Lord by a nation can begin a Great Awakening.
We have examples of this in history. When a humble, black housemaid named Rosa Parks stood on her convictions and refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, it sparked the Civil Rights Movement that changed a nation. Who could have foreseen such consequences from this one little action? Such is the result of it being "the fullness of time" for civil rights in America to include all of its citizens. As we see in even the Old Testament prophets, the Lord deals with nations concerning righteousness and justice. The wood had become so dry for the Civil Rights Movement in America that even a tiny spark could set it ablaze.
One of the great factors making this time so opportune is that it is so dry spiritually. Just a little spark and a little breeze from the Holy Spirit and great fires of revival will begin blazing. Those who complain about the dryness of the times do not have vision. We have come to the time when even a seemingly insignificant prophetic word from an unknown prophet can set worldwide events in motion. The fullness of time means the times are full of potential. We should be rejoicing that it has become so dry!
The harvest that Jesus said would be the end of this age is "the fullness of time," for many such sparks will ignite many revivals. Once ignited, these fires will spread even faster because of the dryness. Some will ignite before the end of this year, and next year there will be many more.
There also will be magnified consequences to evil choices. The harvest is when all of the seeds, both the wheat and the tares, come to full maturity. This is why we see in Isaiah 60 that when darkness is covering the earth and deep darkness the people, the glory of the Lord will be revealed in His people. We are entering the ultimate battle between light and darkness, between good and evil. After this conflict, all will be able to see clearly what both good and evil are. Now we are in a time when many are calling good evil and evil good, honoring the dishonorable and dishonoring the honorable, but that will change. This is only exposing the wheat from the tares. As we see in the Gospels, the tares are the first to be plucked out of the earth, and that time is coming.
In Isaiah 60:3, we see that the result of this clash between light and darkness will be that the whole world will come to the light. Ultimately, the light is going to win every confrontation with evil. Even a small light can be seen much farther in great darkness. Light is going to prevail, regardless of what it may look like for a time. Now is the time to choose the light and resolve that we will only walk in the way of the light. Now is the time to let our light shine boldly.
Now is the time to establish in our hearts that evil is what God says it is, not man, and good is what God says it is, not man. Those who do not speak according to the Word of God do not have the light, and they are not of the light but are in darkness. Now is the time when all are in the Valley of Decision, determining who they will follow.
Seize the Day
Great people are rarely recognized on earth in their own times, but only after they have passed and are no longer a threat. Then the living will lament, having not appreciated them more or listened to them better. The same is often true of great times and great opportunities. Only a few have the vision to see them early. The source of the greatness of the great ones is that they see and understand their times, and they seize the opportunity. Now is the greatest time there has ever been to walk with God, to stand for His truth, and to preach His Gospel. Now the consequences, the fruit, will be magnified.
Great spiritual movements are often referred to as waves of the Holy Spirit because they move like waves of the ocean. To ride a wave requires balance and skill, but those would not matter if one did not also have the ability to discern where the wave is going to break and get into position at the right place and time. Even then, the wave rider cannot be idle but must be moving in the right direction when the wave comes.
One reason so many Christians have been repositioned in recent times is because the Holy Spirit is helping them get into position to catch the spiritual waves they are called to ride. There is a great wave of the Holy Spirit that is about to move across the entire earth, but it is still crucial for every individual to be in the place that they have been called.
The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, so we may think that it does not make a difference if we are in a specific location, but it can make all the difference in the world for us. The Lord Jesus appeared to more than five hundred people after His resurrection, and He instructed them to go and wait for the promise of the Father in Jerusalem. Three hundred and eighty did not wait long enough and missed the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Hopefully those who were of the three hundred eighty received this promise later through the Church, but we do not know for sure. Certainly the Lord is gracious, but as the Apostle Paul warned, we must behold both His kindness and His severity. God resists the proud, and it is the pride that caused the fall in the first place, which has us thinking we do not need to obey the Lord, but rather we can attain by our own means.
We are told in Hebrews 6:12 to be imitators of those who through "faith and patience inherit the promises." Waiting forty days in Jerusalem did require patience, and it sifted out those who did not have it. Impatience is not a fruit of the Spirit, and those who are led by their impatience will not be led by the Spirit. Three hundred and eighty did not fully obey the Lord, and they missed Him on the Day of Pentecost. Being in the right place is one of the telltale signs that we live our lives in obedience to the Lord. He told us not to call Him "Lord" if we do not do what He says. Only those who follow Him, obeying Him as Lord, will be in the right place at the right time to receive what is promised.
Impatience is a main reason why some never receive their promises. Another reason why opportunities, great movements, and visitations of the Lord are missed by so many is that their vision is clouded by the affairs of everyday life. Few are able to pull themselves away from the clamor of their lives to climb up to a place of vision where they can see with His eyes. This is why the Lord rebuked those who could perceive the signs of impending weather better than the signs of the times. The weather affected their everyday lives, and this is what they had most of their attention on. To discern the purposes of the Lord, they have to be our main focus. We must truly "seek first the Kingdom" in order to see its coming.
The "Sons of Issachar"
When the strength of King David's forces was recorded in I Chronicles 12:32, we have a unique and remarkable group listed: "Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do." For many years, I prayed for the Lord to raise up those with these gifts for our times. I felt that this inability to know the timing of what we were seeing was one of the greatest weaknesses in the prophetic ministries today. I also knew that in the times to come, this ability would be crucial. Seven years ago, I was shown that such last-day "sons of Issachar" would be raised up, and they would receive this anointing the way that the sons of Issachar did, which is recorded in Genesis 49:14-15:
"Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds.
"When he saw that a resting place was good and that the land was pleasant, he bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, and became a slave at forced labor."
In prophetic symbolism, the shoulder represents authority because "the government will rest upon His shoulders." I was given an invitation to pursue this anointing and shown how to do it. I would have to lay aside growing in authority and influence with people, and instead become a slave and do what others did not want to do. I would have to go through a second seven-year period when I would be given very little prophetic revelation, but instead I would be given hard labor to do. I would have to leave the high place I had in the mountains and go back into the valley to the city to embrace hard labor. I think it was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I had the choice, but I also had the promise that it would be worth it.
One of my assignments was to begin restoring the Heritage USA property. This property had brought reproach upon the entire Body of Christ, and we would have to bear this reproach to be associated with it. At that time, this property had been vacant for seven years and looked like it had deteriorated beyond where it could be restored. However, I was shown that one day this property would be a worldwide testimony of God's power of redemption. It has not fully become this yet, but we have made progress, and it will become a marvel to the world in due time.
The work has been hard, and the reproach we've had to take on at times has been hard, but it has been worth it. Now it is the most wonderful home we could have ever dreamed of having for our ministry. The best part was being joined by so many noble souls who had the vision for this and were willing to work or contribute to it.
I am not claiming that the sacrifice I made to come down out of the mountains was that great. It has been hard at times, but there has also been too much joy for me to think of it as a sacrifice. In truth, there is no greater freedom than we can ever know than to be Christ's slave. Even the "hard labor" in Christ leads to rest and refreshing when we take His yoke. It is always better to choose the highest purpose. So, I am not claiming to have done anything that hard or great, but rather the results have been greater for me.
Then, I was instructed to help restore people that no one else wanted to restore. To do this we would also have to bear reproach and attacks just like Nehemiah did when he sought to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. However, people are more important than buildings, and even though this would hurt my reputation, to receive the authority with God requires that we, like Him, are willing to "become of no reputation." Even so, there is possibly no greater way to gain the favor of God than to help His people whom no one else wants to help. The favor of God is far better than our reputation with men.
The Dream of Favor
In 1989, I was given a dream in which one of my children had fallen into a sewage ditch and could not get up. A large crowd gathered around my child just to ridicule and scorn as he struggled in that terrible filth. As a father, my grief was unbearable, but in the dream I could do nothing. Then a man pushed through the crowd, reached down and helped my child up, got him clean, and on his way again. My appreciation for this man was unlimited. If I could have given him all that I owned, it would not have been enough. Then I heard the voice of the Lord in my dream saying, "Jim Bakker is My child. Will you help him?"
At that time, Jim Bakker was possibly the most scorned and ridiculed person on the planet. I knew the Father felt just like I did watching my child struggle while people scorned and ridiculed him. Even though I was dreaming, I think this was the worst feeling I have ever had. When I woke up, I knew that to relieve the Father of what He was feeling for Jim Bakker was worth any price I had to pay. I also had it implanted in my spirit that there is no greater way to gain the favor of God than to help His children who no one else wants to help.
Since then, I have considered it a mandate to help Jim in any way that I can. I also think it is one of the great opportunities to help any of His children that I can who have fallen. Still, I can't help them all, but only the ones He shows me. I count this as one of the most important things I can do.
I do not mean to imply that this is something I am very good at. I often think I may be the worst one at this, and that the Lord's people deserve someone who can do it much better, but I do think it is the greatest honor I can have and do try my best. If I was to leave this life today, I would consider that I have already been rewarded many times over what I deserved for the little I did give. I am sharing this now for your sake. If you want to gain the Father's favor, help His people. If you want to receive the greatest favor, help those no one else is willing to help. The more unpopular it is to help them, or the harder it is, the more of His favor you will receive. As Tommy Tenney once said to us, "One moment of the favor of God is worth a lifetime of effort." This is true.
It may be the greatest wisdom to help God's people who are struggling, but even if we were to receive nothing, the Father deserves this. When the world rebelled against Him, He did not condemn us, but sent His own Son to redeem and restore us, even when we were still in our sin. Those who have His heart, who are truly spiritual, are like Him, always looking to restore (see Galatians 6:1), not condemn. When He walked the earth, consider how much patience He had with sinners and how little patience He had with the self-righteous.
Restoring was the main labor I was called to do to receive the "sons of Issachar" anointing. I am sure others have been called to pursue this too, because there will be a great company with this gift in the coming times. Their call to hard labor may have been different than mine, but I do know that most had to bear great hardship and reproach, going through a long period of being humbled and made "of no reputation." That will be a hallmark of the true leaders who are to come.
As the Apostle Paul spoke of how the apostles were considered to be the "dregs of the earth," this is a hallmark for the true apostolic ministry God is about to release. They may not be very well-known on earth, but they will be very well-known in Heaven. Many who are considered the dregs of the earth are kings and princes in Heaven. When the Kingdom comes, those who have been lifted up here will be humbled, and those who have embraced humility here will be lifted up.
Many people write to tell me how sorry they are for all of the attacks that I receive. I appreciate their concern, but this is actually a part of my reward. We get more "martyr points" when we receive reproach for doing the will of God. After the apostles had been beaten and threatened for doing what they were called to do, they went out rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for the sake of the Lord. They understood the true riches of the Kingdom. This is why it was said of Moses:
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward" (Hebrews 11:24-26).
Consider how Moses chose affliction rather than pleasure and considered the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. Moses could see, and as we are told in the next verse, "he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen" (Hebrews 11:27). Do we see? Can we see what others cannot see? Those who see, like Elisha, can have an entire army coming after them and sit in perfect peace because they can see that those who are with us are much greater than those who are against us. This vision is available to us now.
Those who see the true treasures of the Kingdom know that all of the treasures in this world are not worth as much as a single grain of sand in the Kingdom. When we see, we will feel like the Apostle Paul – that all of the things we may have given up here are but rubbish. The favor of the Lord that we have experienced has already been much more than I could have ever dreamed, and much more of His favor is coming. His generosity knows no bounds, and He rewards many times over what we ever deserve.
A Clear Trumpet Sound
I do not mean to boast, but even if I am, I am doing it for a purpose. From 1980 to 1987, I went through a seven-year period where I received almost no prophetic revelation, but at the end of this, I received a two-and-a-half-day prophetic experience that was the greatest revelation I had ever received. It became a trumpet call heard throughout the world when a brief of it was circulated as, "A Vision of the Harvest." When I completed the book on this revelation, The Harvest, it became a #1 best-seller in many nations and remains one of our top distributors twenty-five years later. It has proven true.
Most of what I was shown in that vision has now come to pass, but the biggest and most important event in that vision is still to come – the harvest that is the end of the age. I was shown two waves that composed this harvest, both of which would be the biggest the world had ever seen, but the second was far more so than the first. The first wave began just a couple of years after I had the vision and lasted for more than a dozen years. It was estimated that more people came to Christ during that move than had come to Him from the original Day of Pentecost until that time. Whole nations were transformed, and at its peak, it was estimated that as many as 475,000 people a day were coming to the Lord around the world. However, it virtually missed North America and Western Europe. Now our time has come.
I was shown a time of relative spiritual quiet between this first wave and a much bigger one that was coming after it. This quiet time would last a few years, and we needed to use it to prepare the laborers for the coming much greater ingathering that would mark the end of this age. Last year I began to receive warnings that this great wave would soon be upon us, and that we were not ready. We had not used this time wisely to get ready for the next wave.
I was shown that this next wave would come like a tsunami. When a tsunami approaches, the ocean waters recede. I was shown that it would look like Christianity was in retreat around the world just before the greatest move of all time broke upon the earth. I was told that when we see this happening, we must not chase after the sea, the people, but we must get to the high ground. That "high ground" is to be seated with Christ in the heavenly places, not just doctrinally, but in reality united with Him and His authority. I will have more to say about this momentarily.
After the first seven-year period ended and I received the vision of the harvest, it seemed to open a floodgate of prophetic revelation for me that just kept getting better. Then I was given the promise of the "sons of Issachar" anointing and began another seven-year period of almost no prophetic revelation. I am now within weeks of the end of this second seven-year period. In July, I was given a foretaste of what is coming in a series of dreams. In some ways, these were the most exciting dreams I have ever had. I was also told that after the first seven-year prophetic wilderness I went through, I was given a vision of the harvest, but after this one, I would see the harvest itself – the fulfillment of the vision.
I was also given some insight into the kind of authority that would be released to those who had made it to the high ground, to be seated with Christ in the heavenly places. This high ground was also the top of the mountain that I had been shown before and wrote about in my book, The Final Quest. Unprecedented authority is about to be given to those who have been faithful and obedient.
The following are just a few things we can expect just from the prophetic ministry:
– Prophets will be raised up who will have a permanent place in the presence of the Lord and access to all of His plans and secrets.
– Prophets will be raised up to do exploits that eclipse anything done under the Old Testament prophets, including Moses and Elijah.
– This was to demonstrate that the New Covenant really is "a better covenant."
– Some will tell literal mountains to be plucked up and cast into the sea, and this will be done to prove that the Lord's Word is true.
– Some will be used to unravel a thousand years of the enemy's strategy and dominance over a nation, which they will do with a single prophetic word, setting multitudes free in a day.
– Some will have authority over all natural laws such as gravity, time, space, and mass, demonstrating the authority of the Kingdom of Heaven over all earthly authority.
– This would even make the Jews jealous so that they would pursue the Lord like they had not done since they were in Egypt.
– There will be companies of prophets that no enemy can hide their plans or their secrets from, and these will constantly thwart the attacks of the enemy and those who serve him.
– There will not be a major event that happens on the earth that God's prophets do not foresee.
– There will be companies of "sons of Issachar" who know the timing of coming events and have words of wisdom about what God's people are to do to be prepared for them.
– The counsel of these "sons of Issachar" will be sought by the most influential of this world, but it will be more important for them to serve the least of God's people than the mighty of this world. They will help leaders of this present age, but their main devotion will be to the future leaders of the coming Kingdom.
– Some of God's people will be given authority over every disease and affliction of man.
– Food and other resources being multiplied will become a common occurrence.
– Counsels between God's people and angels will be common and expected.
– Every great thing in Scripture was but the seed of what we will now see as a harvest. Even the first century Church was but a seed of what the Church will become.
– The Lord Himself will be so close to His people that He will be loved far above any gift or power by His people.
I have witnessed many great things in the Lord, but what I saw in these dreams was greater than what I had ever imagined that we would see on the earth. The "greater works" that the Lord said would be done in His name are much greater than I had ever considered. I should have known – the Lord always exceeds what we can ask or think. We are heading into the most exciting times there has ever been to walk with God.
Hear the Call of the Trumpet
The Lord has saved His best wine for last. The greatest move of God that has ever come upon the earth is very close. For those who have given up much to pursue the purposes of the Lord, now their reward is near.
Others have been distracted during the dry times. Like the remnant who returned to rebuild the temple of the Lord, after the foundation was laid, they got discouraged and went off to build their own houses. Like Haggai and Zechariah, prophets will arise to call them back to the work, and the work on the house of the Lord will be finished. Even many who have fallen away from the faith will come back.
In James 3:2 we are told that "we all stumble in many ways." There has only been One who has not fallen to sin. In Galatians 6:7 we are told, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." If we want to receive mercy, we need to sow mercy every chance we get. If we want to receive grace, we need to sow it every chance we get.
Proverbs 24:16 says, "A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again." Our falls do not displease Him as much as our getting back up and pressing on pleases Him. This is not to imply that our falling pleases Him – it does not. However, He knows that the faith it takes to get back up and continue on after a fall can be the greatest faith, and faith pleases Him.
Many have fallen in the same way that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob fell. When it got dry, they left the land they had been promised and turned to Egypt for their sustenance. It ultimately led to the bondage of their whole family. God let this happen so that they could taste the pain of their bondage and be willing to pay the price to pursue His promises. When they cried to Him, He delivered them. Regardless of what you have gotten yourself into, He will deliver you if you will call upon Him.
Israel's deliverance was not easy because it took much longer to get the Egypt out of them than it did to get them out of Egypt. Even so, He brought them into their Promised Land, and He will bring us into ours. If you are alive today, you were called to serve the Lord in the greatest move of God that has ever been upon the earth. Get free and get in your place.
The last few years have been exceedingly dry prophetically for many of God's people. Because He has not said as much to us does not mean that He has not been close to us. Even so, this spiritual dryness caused many to turn away from their purpose and become occupied with other things to seek fulfillment. For those who remained faithful, doing the work they were called to, the reward will soon come, and it will be great. For those who drifted, have the wisdom of the prodigal. For those who did not drift, but remained faithful, let us not become like the older brother, but rejoice at the return of the prodigals for the sake of the joy our Father has in this.
We are entering the fullness of times. The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam.