THE TIME IS HERE
Scoffing at the prophetic has had a long history. During the days of Ezekiel there came a word from the Lord that addressed it head-on. It began with: “They say the visions he sees are for many years from now.” That indictment continued by saying, “But this is what the Lord says, ‘the time is near when every vision will be fulfilled, they will be fulfilled without delay. None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever I say will be fulfilled.'”
That time is here.
The scoffing is not limited to that of prophesy. The scoffing extends to matters at the heart of the faith of the early church: its Jewish foundations, the power of God and the spiritual gifts. In short, anything to do with the supernatural …in the now of life. The breach is not unlike the days of Elijah when he confronted the people with the challenge of: “How long will you vacillate between two opinions? If the Lord be God, then follow Him. If Baal, then follow him.”
The dividing asunder characterizing the ranks of the household of faith then was in embracing the strongholds of this world. That is until they witnessed the supernatural intervention of God’s fire. Today, that same scoffing driven by blended faith with the world is far too evident. The time is here for the demonstration of His power and the fire of His presence to silence the scoffing.
Scoffing challenges the standard. It represents a mind-set that dilutes knowing God’s ways with an undivided heart. It manifests by speaking against someone or something representing that standard in a derisive, scornful, mocking way. When Jesus said to “judge not, that you not be judged,” He wasn’t speaking of the judgment tied to chosen vessels upholding righteous standards, He was targeting ones who were foolishly speaking of things of which they didn’t understand, those who were scoffing. Those looking for specks of sawdust in the eyes of others when they themselves were blinded by far more.
The Achilles Heel of God’s People
This vulnerability of God’s people has become pandemic among the lukewarm, not unlike that which described the Laodiceans: in becoming rich, in need of nothing, of allowing the ease of success to be viewed as the mark of God’s blessing or the pride of simply concluding their comfortable perspectives to be above having spiritual blind-spots.
God’s people watering down the supernatural into a blended response to God and His truth, in the quest to be like everyone else, has been the Achilles heel of people of faith since God has had a people. At the same time, this plague of the lukewarm has extended into a watered-down, pop-culture counterfeit of the power of God, as much in need of correction as the scoffing.
During the reign of Solomon there came a serious split between the House of Israel and the House of Judah. From that breach the House of Israel separated themselves, followed by a subtle but a steady, progressive unholy alliance with the world around it. Its momentum continued its buildup into the time of Ahab and Jezebel during the days of Elijah.
Following his encounter with the prophets of Baal, the direction that the Lord gave Elijah in the cave, as his next steps, involved the alignment needed to break the unholy alliance that had begun when the House of Israel began blending their sacred practices with that of the societies around them. This blended faith represented the loss of both the protection and power that once had been theirs.
Ahab then was responsible for these blended practices being embraced at an abominable level. Every sector of the community of God’s people was infiltrated and controlled by the evil influences Ahab had condoned. Eventually the time came for judgment for his reign and the change that would trigger the new season. Elijah and others spoke words of judgment to Ahab that finally culminated in his death at Ramoth-Gilead. It was then time to deal with the wicked influences emanating from Syria.
Childish Perspectives in a Real World
The Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians that when he was a child, he spoke as, perceived as and thought as a child. But when he became a man, he put away childish things. The time in which Elijah was dealing with these alignments was a time of putting aside the immaturity and foolishness that had plagued Israel all those years. The steps in this uprooting were serious and deadly. Following the days of Ahab, the king of Syria sent a sequence of captains of fifty, at their peril, to try to contain Elijah. The final captain had the wisdom to humble himself and submit to the prophet.
There is a distinct parallel to the season we have just entered. It is a time when childishness marked by the seductive alliances with the world and lukewarm thinking are put aside. A time of judgment and alignment. A time of demonstrations of God’s power at the hand of those wielding the mantles. The time is here.
Breaking the challenges and roots of division of the scoffers, from within, will involve direct encounters by modern-day Elijahs, ones wielding the needed voice and authority and mantle of fire. This will be far more than the mealy-mouthed rants on Facebook or other modes, from those with more than just specks in their eyes, preaching to their own choirs. The authority of the voices will be from ones directly facing the opposition, ones who are tested and steadfast, not as it was attempted by the young prophet sent to King Jeroboam.
When the King of Syria sent the series of captains of fifties to rein Elijah in, Elijah was no longer overwhelmed to where he might run away like he did following his exploits with the prophets of Baal. THIS was the season in which Elijah’s spirit was fixed and so rooted and aligned with God’s Spirit that he was able to say to Elisha: “Ask what I might do for you before I am taken.” He was in complete oneness with the Lord. It was the alignment that literally overcame death and got Elijah the transition out this world by the chariots of fire.
Chief Among Scoffers
Understanding what took place during the days of Ahab is important to understanding this season. Ahab was one of the chief scoffers of Scripture. His role as king of Israel had the expectation of advancing God’s initiatives. Instead, the Word records Ahab as attempting to blend and dilute the power of God. Despite severe judgment, miracles and direction from Elijah, Ahab not only was too full of himself, but he allowed the undermining influence of his wife and her cohorts to redirect God’s purposes for His people. Finally, Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, came to Ahab to ask if he would join forces with him to take back from Syria, Ramoth-Gilead.
In doing so, Jehoshaphat asked if they might inquire of the Lord before going into battle. So Ahab gathered the prophets embedded by his wife, 400 of them. Upon hearing them, Jehoshaphat knew they were counterfeits and pointedly asked: “Is there not a prophet of the Lord?” Ahab, aware of what he had been doing, confessed there was. There was Micaiah, but he explained that Micaiah wasn’t currently present because: “I hate him because he never prophecies anything good concerning me.” So Micaiah was called in. Following some political jockying in the exchange with Micaiah, the word of the Lord came forth, giving a unique glimpse into the throne-room of God, which dramatically pronounced final judgment on Ahab.
The story of Ahab has an uncomfortable parallel to the lukewarm spiritual leaders today, whose efforts and messages are blended with the world’s culture and who scoff at the gifts and supernatural power of God operating through believers today.
It is a season in which the entanglements and diluted focus will be addressed. First will be the issue of influence. This involves not only the influence we defer to but the influence we wield.
The issue of “influence deferred to” represents a very fine line. Specifically, it involves matters we may not necessarily agree with, but out of weariness have yielded to by simply doing nothing. Tied to this matter is that of the spiritual alertness needed to major in major issues rather than getting sidetracked with minor issues.
Daniel understood the spiritual foundations that were tied to God’s power and protection and the requirements of living by God’s standards in a culture of sorcery that bore little spiritual significance to his faith. His name-change had little significance, whereas his habits of prayer did. The importance of knowing what to major in and what to ascribe little importance to is tied to the degree of influence wielded by religious spirits. Daniel was in touch with heaven and knew the ground rules for exercising his authority in God while navigating in a court of the occult.
The apostle Paul spoke of zeal without knowledge that creates a negative contagion that impacts the community itself. It is the impact of giving focus to minor things, overlooking the more important big-picture things, one of the major intents of religious spirits.
Scripture indicates that Ephraim, the son of Joseph, was a cake unturned. He had mixed himself among the peoples. Foreigners had watered-down his strength and he did not know it. It caused him to miss his calling. Despite all that, there does come a time when God’s covenant promises overtake the digressions implanted by those nurturing the blind-spots. A time when God begins sovereignly to restore. The prophecy concerning Ephraim is that the Lord would not again destroy Ephraim, that Ephraim would roar like a lion and his sons would come, like fluttering birds from the West, to settle in their rightful dwellings. Fulfilling the promises of restoration.
The Double Portion and Sword of Fire
Yielding to the right influence relates to a vital tool needed for this season: the double portion of the undefiled spirit of Elijah. Peter admonished us to seek the “pure milk of God’s word,” avoiding the precepts of men. Spirit and Truth. Elijah had incredible influence over the spiritual environment of his generation, yet there remained much to do in the job of restoring Israel to the standard. It required a “double portion.” It is the same today.
God’s instruction to Elijah at the cave-mount was to “go, return to the wilderness of Damascus and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria, then anoint Jehu as king over Israel and Elisha you shall anoint as prophet in your place. Then whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved 7000 in Israel whose knees have not bowed to Baal, nor mouth kissed him.”
This instruction provided for resetting the parameters of power. From the throne of heaven to the seats of power was released the sword of fire designed to restore the balance of power that would result in heaven’s rule being reestablished. This sword of fire wielded by those in the seats of power required a dimension beyond that which Elijah, even with all his exploits, had operated in.
So it was, that by the Spirit of God that Elisha, when being told to ask what he would prior to Elijah being taken in the whirlwind, requested that his mantle include that of a double-portion of Elijah’s spirit. Understanding this dynamic is significant for the season before us. A season of preparation for the process of restoration that will bear on the Kingdom being restored. It involves the prophetic and seats of power. It is a season requiring a dimension of power beyond that seen operating in the previous generation. A dimension that would exhibit a double portion of the incredible exploits of Elijah. A season marked by ones whose actions are guided by the fear of God.
The Fear of God
Within the global community of faith are those whose faith has become an example for what is needed for the time that is here. These are those who have paid the cost of persecution. Ones who have withstood scoffing at a level not experienced by blended Western expressions of the faith. Not just being considered different or mocked for their faith, but ones who have been arrested, imprisoned, beaten. Ones who have risked their very lives. Those who have paid a cost to have their identities aligned with God. These are ones for whom the fear of God is far more real to them than the fear of what man can do to them.
Such conditions result in unity becoming far more and extending much further than simply a band of local believers getting along.
The examples of what happens when unity combines with the fear of God are dramatic. I’ve seen it in operation in these lands of persecution. As Peter was imprisoned for his faith and the brethren were praying, Scripture notes that suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and the chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him “Follow me.” So he did, not knowing that what he was experiencing was real. The angel took him past two guard posts without incident and to the gate leading out into the city, with the gate opening of its own accord and releasing him.
Those were days in which God’s power was not an option, not unlike the season upon us. A direct encounter is recorded with Paul and a scoffer, a sorcerer attempting to impede his work. Scripture notes that being filled with the Holy Spirit, that Paul looked intently at the sorcerer and said, “You who are full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? Now, the hand of the Lord is upon you and you will be blind, not seeing for a time.” The time is here when the fear of the Lord will trigger the supernatural to manifest.
Ahab’s leadership role in promoting a blended faith resulted in his reign being recorded for eternity as being wicked. Proverbs (26) speaks of fervent lips with a wicked heart being like clay covered with silver dross. Despite being disguised with soft words, such are the beguiled words of scoffers who bear seven abominations in their hearts. These are the days of Elisha when the infiltrators will be exposed and cut off as the wrath of God clears out the dross of the scoffing, from within the ranks of the voices within the household of faith, in preparing a Bride with an undivided heart.
The psalmist admonishes us to: “Seek the Lord and His power. Seek His presence continually. Remember the works He has done, His wonders and the judgments He has pronounced.”
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the higher dimensions of business leadership since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program, Mr. Ruddick imparts hope and equips economic community builders to be blessed to be a blessing 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.
Global Initiatives Foundation (www.strategic-initiatives.org) is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose efforts are enabled by the generosity of a remnant of faithful friends and contributors whose vision aligns with God’s heart to mobilize economic community builders imparting influence and the blessings of God. Checks on US banks should be made out to Global Initiatives and mailed to PO Box 370291, Denver CO 80237 or by credit card at http://strategicintercession.org/support/
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2019 Copyright Morris Ruddick — email@example.com
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