MANTLE OF FIRE REVISITED
Note: This post from mid-2015 became the hallmark chapter of my book by the same title. At the core of the purpose of SIGN is unwrapping the insights tied to understanding the times, in order to know what to do. That is to know what we, as God’s people, are to do. The series of posts that became the book on this topic have great pertinence for what is now unfolding globally. As the season shifts, there is a distinct need to get past the passive expectation of the momentum triggered by others …. to embrace and engage our mantle for this significant season. May the Lord give us the courage and wisdom to pay the cost of wielding this timely mantle.
“If you walk in my ways and perform my service, then you will be given authority over my House. I will let you walk in and out of my presence along with these others standing here.” Zech 3:7 NASU and NLT
Again and again, the word of God describes the Lord’s presence and glory as a consuming fire. From Exodus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah to Hebrews, the awesome essence of the Lord’s holiness is revealed in this manner.
Throughout the word of God are instances in which individuals have been consumed by the fire of His presence. Isaiah describes the response of the unrighteous to His presence simply as being terrifying.
“The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless. For who can dwell with the consuming fire?” Is 33:14 NIV
There are also situations in which the Lord made allowance by covering ones with the shadow of His hand. Scripture then unveils a time of salvation, when supernaturally, God Himself will intervene to present the prophets, the saints and all who fear His Name, as faultless before the presence of His glory. (Jude 1:24-25 and Rev 11:18)
In moving toward that time, we recognize if only by a glimmer, a role of the chosen in this pathway of walking with Him. It is a role marked by holiness, as described in the opening passage from Zechariah. It reveals those who are given authority, a mantle of fire, drawn from broaching the gates and accessing His presence.
The Turmoil and the Expectation
With the heightened level of confusion and disorder taking place in the world today, it is essential to stay focused on what God is doing. God is restoring His order to His creation. We are marching toward the fulfillment of restoration described in Isaiah 60, which points to the rebuilding of the broken walls of prophetic destiny designed for His covenant people.
The mantle of fire marks the anointing of those whose callings usher in agendas that fulfill key prophecies and the release of accompanying moves of His Spirit.
Once again, not unlike the days described by Acts 15, God is restoring the tabernacle of David. In the same way that this bore great significance for the early Church, so it will be the catalyst for the greatest move of God this generation has ever seen.
“With this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written: ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it; so the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’” Acts 15:15-17
When God is sovereignly moving, “more of the same harder” will run into the ditch. It is a time to hold steady and move with faithful caution. Being alert and prepared incorporates the need to understand what is to be expected.
Embracing the New Thing. It is a time to look sharply to discern what has been embraced as truth, but in reality falls into the realm of the precepts of men. The times call for careful search of the ancient paths to discern and embrace the dimensions to be restored. This restoration will be a new thing to our generation.
This new thing God is doing and the authority for the mantle of fire are tied to His holiness and power. It will be marked by the restoration of many ancient mysteries.
“Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads and look. Then ask for the ancient paths where the good way lies. Then walk in it and you will find rest for your souls.”
Being alert to the new and restored dimensions of what God is doing may stretch us beyond our comfort zones and require a fresh alignment of our hearts with His. Such an alignment is predicated on seeking Him with a pure and unencumbered heart.
Acting on Unusual Prophetic Authority. The clash in the spiritual climates taking place around us will trigger the release of unusual prophetic authority and the mantle to open gates. These are gates of opportunity for change in the alignment of God’s purposes. These alignments will often be accompanied by miraculous signs not unlike the time Elijah called down the fire to break the grip that evil had over God’s people.
Recognizing the God-Alliances between Jews and Gentiles. The mantle of fire will result in unexpected alliances between committed believers and Bible-believing Jews.
The latter-day restoration of the tabernacle of David will trigger the spark for manifesting great waves of God’s glory.
Enmities held for generations will dissolve and manifest in supernatural, biblically cooperative alliances between the most unlikely. Isaiah prophesied that jealousy, enmity and hostility generated by Ephraim (Hos 9:8) would end, giving rise to a coming together, a unity that would overcome the forces long being arrayed against Judah.
“Yet the Lord will lift up a standard for the nations, and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the corners of the earth. Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, and those who harass Judah will be cut off.”
Maintaining the Momentum. Between the turmoil and what God is releasing will be events that transpire fast. The potential to be overwhelmed must be resisted by a fervent focus giving priority to time in seeking the Lord. A word for this hour is that whatever sphere of influence we walk into, that we should immediately begin looking beyond it, lest it overwhelm us.
Having appeared to Moses in a burning bush, God’s awesome, holy manifested presence has a long history of providing strategic direction and changing the course of things. From the pillar of fire by night to the demonstration of the tongues of fire with the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost; the demonstration of fire has punctuated His power accompanying a holy and pure mantle.
God’s glory, operating through Moses, led the children of Israel out of bondage and into the threshold of the Promised Land. So the awesome manifestation of His presence will move God’s modern-day, sold-out remnant, appointed and anointed, walking in repentance and consecration, into times that will see an application of His power that will exceed that of the Book of Acts.
Stewarding the Mantle of Fire
The mantle of fire incorporates the stewardship of power.
Two of the three temptations the devil brought to Jesus involved the profane, misuse of power: “Command that these stones be made bread” and “throw yourself down, for it is written ‘He will give His angels charge over you.'” The third involved the enticement of corrupt power: “All these things I will give to you.”
Each of these temptations was a profane, unauthorized means to replicate and bypass the power that comes from God’s glory. They represented myopic, religious defilements of God’s power and counterfeits of both the glory and the blessing. In the time before us, the enticements and evil use of power will abound.
God’s antidote is the mantle of fire which employs only a pure holy fire.
“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
Before becoming the pure sacrifice that would bring fulfillment to what was outlined by the law and the prophets, Jesus gave his followers the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper, referred to by some as communion, is a significant New Covenant practice paralleling the Leviticus 9 process to actuate the glory that releases the blessing and power of God.
The Pure Mantle of Fire of Glory and Power
Jesus warned of strange fire through the parable of the tares. When attempting to mix the impure with the pure, it backfires.
Pure fire is the most potent catalyst to the release of the blessing and power of God. It is also the most powerful response to encounters with aggressive strongholds, and actuates the release of judgment.
“If you have run with footmen and they have wearied you, then how will you contend with horses? If in the land of peace in which you trusted, they wearied you then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?” Jer 12:5
However, strange fire results when the pure process is modified or defiled with a replacement.
Strange fire and replacement of the purity of God’s process has been at the core of the enemy’s strategy from the beginning. The pure was defiled by eating the forbidden fruit in the garden. Similarly, the pure process was corrupted by the sons of Aaron, just as the profane was added by Ananias and Sapphira. The defilement of the pure was reflected by the Hellenization of the Gospel, the expungement of the Jewish roots to the faith in the time of Constantine; and in each instance whereby the precepts of men employed the seductive use of strange fire that impeded entrance within the veil. It is within the veil that the pure fire is released.
The times demand not just the pure fire, but the restoration of the holy process without the polluted add-ons. Daniel noted that in the time of the end many would be purified and refined, but that wickedness would increase and abound. The times upon us are bordering between the times of sorrow spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24 and the times of the end described by Daniel. Wickedness is on the increase and gaining root.
A recent dream received by a respected ministry associate of ours showed three gargoyles: one with its hands over its ears, another with its hands over its eyes and the third with its hands over its mouth. From the pit has been released an assault of spiritual deafness, spiritual blindness and a perversion of spiritual authority.
High-level religious spirits wielding deception and confusion have been planting disorder and division (James 3:16) among the very elect. The cleverness of the clever will fall short. It is the time Jesus described (Matt 24) in which “many will be offended and betray one another; false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
The Unstoppable Dynamic
The early church was seen by the world as “those who are turning the world upside down.” Their faith-response involved sacrifice and, as a people, THEY became the catalysts to releasing the Glory and Power. There’s nothing to compare with that complete exchange of His life for ours, within community, to actuate the maturity spoken of by Paul to the Ephesians.
True spiritual maturity leads. It is evidenced by those who take responsibility beyond their selves, face the fire, and penetrate the veil to reverse the bondages. The full knowledge of the Lord (Eph 4) is not a head-thing or the resolution of all our soulish issues; but rather an operational application of the mantle of fire.
That doesn’t come from a Sunday-go-to-meeting, adapted to-the-world orientation. It demands a pure Kingdom mind-set and identity; by which we live by dying, our weaknesses become the seedbed for His strength, we advance by yielding and lead by serving, we bless our enemies, wisdom comes from simplicity, our purpose in life comes from giving it up, honor flows from humility and growth results from proactive generosity. Jesus raised the bar.
We are in a time in which the wisdom and power that flowed in the early church is not just being restored. It will become the launch-pad for even greater levels of the release of His power and glory.
Those wielding the mantle of pure fire will pierce the extremes of darkness with God’s glory and power. The pure fire has always been tied to God’s presence and the consumption of darkness in its wake. The word to the church for this day is to reach for the fire, the pure fire.
“I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Then the nations will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst.” Ezek 37:26-28
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and voice for the higher dimensions of spiritual game-changers and intercessors since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program and the Jewish Business Secrets YouTube series, Mr. Ruddick equips economic community builders with strategy where God’s light is dim in diverse regions around the globe.
He is author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling;” “Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;” “The Heart of a King;” “Something More;” “Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;” “Leadership by Anointing;” and “Mantle of Fire,” which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders with destinies to impact their communities. They are available in print and e-versions from www.Amazon.com, www.apple.com/ibooks and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
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