Month 4:8, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:097 AM|
SHABBAT 4:1, 7 Sabbaths + Omer Count Day #30
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 27 June 2012
The White Pillow & Red Harvest Visions
Learning to Walk in the Prophetic
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el!
I always feel a heavy responsibility each time Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat and sometimes it is a struggle to get properly alligned with Yahweh to hear His Davar (Word). As the spiritual father of this congregation it is not my purpose to be a substitute for the right and blessing of every believer to receive revelation from the Heavenly Father and one of my duties as a teacher is to point how everyone can become an independent prophet, seer and revelator in his own personal or family sphere. Indeed, the heart of every congregational leader should be that of Moses who declared:
I therefore have to work against the very real fleshy temptation on the part of members of the congregation not to be used as a substitute for personal revelation. It is not my calling to be some kind of 'medium' or 'channel' or to take responsibility for your own personal lives and relationship with Yahweh. Indeed as a spiritual father it is my duty to teach heads of families in particular to become independent of the need to view me as some sort of oracle. I have never claimed to be a prophet in the sense that one understands Moses, Elijah or John the Baptist to have been - this is a very special calling. And yet every single pastor and husband/father is required to be the prophet of his congregation or family, respectively, but not alone. Each congregation should have its prophets and prophetesses acting as multiple witnesses with the ideal being that everyone receives from Yahweh and receives the confirming Davar (Word). I expect whatever I bring to be tested in the manner explained in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament). Neither is it for me to impose what is received - it is up to every individual family and individual to choose.
"Oh, that all Yahweh's people were nevi'im (prophets) and that Yahweh would put His Ruach (Spirit) upon them!" (Num.11:29, NKJV).
Finally, we are blessed by Yahweh's promise that those who assemble at His appointed times or moedim using His Creation Calendar will receive a prophetic word for the week, month, season or year (depending which moed it is) if their lev (heart) is pure. I can say that He has never yet failed us in this regard. So I had to chuckle when the other day a brother dropped me a line and asked whether we had had any new prophetic words from Yahweh since we had last been in communication many years ago - I referred him to our daily and weekly devotionals and sermons where there is a constant stream of these.
I must admit that I get anxious if I have not received a Davar (Word) from Yahweh by the time I have got up. This morning I awoke around 6 a.m. and saw a shining, white square pillow in vision. It stood there briefly and then began to turn and speed away in a spiral. I knew that the pillow denoted rest and that whiteness represented purity, the fact that it was shining represented the Ruach (Spirit), with the square-shape representing exactness and perfect balance or order. It was a picture of Sabbath Rest. It was plainly His will that I have my Sabbath rest in Him and not be anxious. But I was already agitated in my anxiety to hear what Yahweh wanted both for me and for you this morning which is why the pillow sped away - I was not properly resting in Him.
Well, the vision closed and I was left wondering what I should do - the 'pillow' seemed to have slipped beyond my grasp but there was nothing I could apparently do about it. Then I heard Yahweh speak audibly: "Hear what the red harvest is...". He now wished to communicate something specifically to me. I knew that red here symbolised sinfulness and rebellion and that He was speaking of the harvest of sin. Then He spoke again: "Look at My Head", a statement full of multi-layered meanings - I was to hear His thoughts, not fret in my own, by looking towards His thoughts which are not at all like our own:
It is so easy to let our own thoughts race ahead of us and wander into the unknown, there to fantasice and speculate and be lead into disturbance of soul. The secret of the Sabbath Rest is to rest in Him and not just simply relax:
"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says Yahweh. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isa.55:8-9, NKJV).
You see, the Sabbath is not just about ceasing from regular work or about relaxing. And it's not just about assembling for worship, study and praise. In its inner dimension its about letting go of our own thought processes and entering the mind and lev (heart) of Yahweh through Messiah so that we can walk in the prophetic. It is specifically set-apart or made holy so that we can learn how to do this the rest of the week when in our business we rarely have this luxurious time for focussing on Him so intently and specifically.
"If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of Yahweh honourable, and shall honour Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of Yahweh has spoken'" (Isa.58:13-14, NKJV).
Now I said that the white pillow had appeared, spiralled away, and that Yahweh had spoken to me about the "red harvest" of sin and rebellion and to look to His Head and not my own. Shortly afterward these these things had happened, to my surprise the shining square white pillow appeared again in vision and this time I reflexly grabbed it, without even thinking and without a moment's hesitation, and straight away lay my head down on it to get out of my thoughts and into His.
The moment I did so another vision opened and I saw part a naked woman lying down on a bed whom I recognised. Her body was scorched as though it had been in the sun too long and her skin was covered in a dirty black-brown grime. She looked absolutely filthy. Then I realised I should have been praying and interceding for this person far more than I had, and that this was Yahweh's will. Then this scripture flashed into my mind:
How very true but this passage, famous from King Lemuel's discourse on the ideal wife, is more than about the perfect bridal companion - it's about all of us as the allegorical Bride of Messiah on the sod or mystery level. Yahweh is seeking for a Messianic Community (Church) whom He can rely on and trust so that we rest in the knowledge that Yahweh is pleased with us:
"Charm is delusion and beauty fleeting; it is the Elohim (God)-fearing woman who is honoured" (Prov.31:30, NEB).
Can Yahweh rely on us in every situation to be a loyal, trusting Bride? Have we yet attained those bridal qualities, or are we fickle and unreliable, more concerned with our ability to "charm" or impress Him and one another, more concerned about our "beauty" and appearance than about fearing and honouring our allegorical Husband in Heaven? For we cannot as believers claim to be His Bride or Body if we don't exhibit the character of a Bride which of course is why the Seven Annual Festivals tell us that our relationship is progressive depending on our faithfulness or otherwise. Not all who are born again are the Bride of Christ but those who are properly submitted and obedient like the Messianic Sukkot Woman. We must first be dedicated at Yom haBikkurim (Firstfruits) and then betrothed at Shavu'ot (Pentecost), the festival representing Torah-obedience and infilling of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), which we are still waiting for in 20 days' time.
"Her husband's whole trust is in her" (Prov.31:11, NEB)
What kind of a Messianic Bride are we supposed to be?
There is nothing passive about being an authentic believer. The Bride is full of the vigour of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) because she has been baptised in or, filled with, the Ruach (Spirit) which is the fruit of one who is walking in the Shavu'ot (Penetcost) endowment. Indeed:
"She sets about her duties with vigour and braces herself for the work" (v.17, NEB)
None of this cannot be done artificially - it has to be real and it has to be moved by the Ruach (Spirit) and not by mere human will else it will certainly fail. Many, when put to the test, are shocked to discover they were not what they thought they were in their heads. Many find they are not even born-again, others that they hever were filled by the Ruach (Spirit) (as opposed to being filled with spirits) and they discover this when they find how easy it is to walk away from Yah'shua (Jesus) and the Besorah (Gospel). Someone who has met and knows Yah'shua (Jesus) personally does not walk away from Him easily - the love-bond is simply too strong.
"She does not eat the bread of idleness" (v.27b, NEB).
Whenever sin is in our lives it will ripen and there has to be a Red Harvest if we don't finally choose to abandon that sin. There are three harvests in the Festivals - the barley, wheat and grape corresponding to Bikkurim, Shavu'ot and Sukkot, respectively. The longer we delay our repentance, the more bitter each successive harvest becomes:
To be harvested at Sukkot (Tabernacles) - the grape harvest - is indeed bitter in the extreme for by then their character has become so serpentine and cruel that it does not take a seasoned observer to see how lost they really are. Each year as the festival approaches we are offered a choice by Yahweh to repent or to go deeper in the gall of bitterness until the last one - death - slays us and consigns us to hell. Do any of us really want this? Is not the taste of hell while we are yet alive enough? Or are we determined to utterly destroy ourselves?
"For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of serpents, and the cruel venom of cobras" (Deut.32:32-33, NKJV).
There is a harvest approaching at Shavu'ot (Pentecost) that we can either take advantage of or ignore. If we ignore it in our sins then we will simply descend further into the gall of bitterness. This is Yahweh's message to everyone of us refusing to let go of sin areas. Bitterness is not a fruit of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) but of the devil, and if we are in his trap, then we are to be greatly pitied.
It is time to get fully right with Yahweh and not just because the outer world is in crisis and collapsing (though that ought to be motivation enough for those thinking on a survivalist level - we are going to need Yahweh in the days ahead like never before) but because grace is not extended to us indefinitely - there is always a time of reckoning, a time of judgment, that comes at Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).
Indeed, Yahweh gave me a vision of a shofar (ram's horn) this morning too because He wants this message broadcast urgently and as far and wide as people will hear it. The whole Body of Messiah is coming under judgment, not just individually or our particular congregations. The enemy has foolishly chosen to attack us at this time through others who are unaware of what the cost is going to be for them if they do not repent. For us it is a blessed refining time (about which I will speak more another time) but for them there awaits a fearful judgment:
Remember also that hating someone, especially Yahweh's people, is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. Let us rather choose to be like King Lemuel's ideal woman, vigorous, loyal and happy:
"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the emet (truth), there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" (Heb.10:26-27, NKJV).
Let us be inspired by the vision of King Lemuel of Maasa and be that Bride Yahweh intended us to be - fruitful and full of simcha (joy). Amen.
"Many a woman shows how capable she is; but you exceed them all" (v.29, NEB).