September 2006

Paul Keith & Wanda Davis, Shawn Bolz, & JoAnn McFatter

Dark Night of the Soul

by Paul Keith Davis
A dark night of the soul! That is an expression I am often hearing as I travel throughout the U.S. and abroad. Seemingly, many believers are going through a process that is difficult and painful. Nevertheless it is for a fruitful cause.

The following revelatory encounter that I had several years ago has helped me through this process. I believe it has specific application to leaders but also the body-at-large.

Many leaders have experienced some measure of success in ministry who have suddenly discovered themselves in the midst of “the dealings of God.” The good news is that the end result will be a much more intimate fellowship with the Lord and greater spiritual authority.

The Vision
In the vision, the army of light was aligned in an open field standing in battle formation about to engage the army of darkness. Throughout the
ranks, soldiers of light could be admired clothed in ancient battle armor each having a sword in his hand.

When the battle ensued it was intensely aggressive in what we perceived was the great “end-time battle”. With each blow of our swords we were seemingly driving the enemy back to what appeared to be a sure victory for us.

Although the fighting was forceful and even brutal, persistent progress was being made as we continued to press the enemy and steadily take ground. Because of our ability to push the enemy back, we perceived that we were winning the “end-time” confrontation and were suitably equipped for this great battle.

Withstood by The Holy Spirit
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit arrested us and would not allow us to advance any further. There was a feeling of shock and dismay as we were halted in our battle progress, not by the enemy, but by the Holy Spirit. As I was standing directly before our enemy only a few yards away, I was seemingly paralyzed and unable to advance. Confused and dismayed, I asked the Lord why He was withstanding us. With that question, the Lord caused the clouds above to part and our eyes were opened to the great and massive “guns” of the enemy that were hidden and leveled in our direction.

In reality, we were not driving the enemy back because of our great strength. Rather, we were allowed by the enemy to push them back as a deception to imply we were equipped for the battle. In the condition we remained on the battlefield, we possessed a measure of strength and virtue imparted to us through our walk with
the Lord, however, we did not embody the full dimension of His provision essential for this long foretold conflict.

One of the things most adamantly opposed by the enemy is the complete release of His Spirit upon the Church. Our adversary knows that when God’s people are anointed with the prophetic mandate to be clothed with the fullness His revelation and power, we will return to the Lord and He will heal us. That healing will not merely consist of physical and emotional restoration, but also fully mending the breach that has existed between God and man since the Garden of Eden.

Once accomplished, the reality of “CHRIST IN US-THE HOPE OF GLORY” becomes apparent and we walk in the prophetic destiny foretold in the Scriptures. That explains why there has been so much opposition to the emerging prophetic generation.

The enemy recognizes his only chance for victory is to entice us into battle prematurely. Once the bride of Christ obtains the revelation of the whole measure of Christ available and enters that place of habitation, the enemy will have no chance for victory.

In that place we can stand alone as a raid against all the forces of hell, not because of our own strength, but because we are drawing on the unseen resources of Heaven and His ultimate overcoming victory. It was the mercy and grace of God we were not allowed to advance any further. It would have been to our demise. The Father’s love is so great, He will not allow us to enter this conflict without first having the opportunity to be fully clothed with Christ and the armor of His provision. If we had advanced any further, the massive weapons of the enemy released for the great end-time battle would have easily destroyed us.

The Operating Room
With this discovery, we were transported to what symbolically appeared to be a Heavenly operating room and training facility. Uniquely, in this
extraordinary room, I was both lying on the operating table and also standing behind the angels who surrounded the table. I watched as they prepared to do “surgery”.

There were perhaps six to eight angels standing approximately seven feet tall encircling the table. Each worker was intently focused on the task at hand. Namely, to perform the spiritual “surgery” essential for us to be prepared for our eminent battle. The attendants in the room immediately began to “strip” layer after layer of flesh, removing the issues of carnality and worldly conformity. I watched as my own identities, agendas, ambitions and desires were extracted and discarded. I was permitted to understand that there is no place for mixture in the coming battle. We cannot allow the leaven of our own thoughts and ideas to be injected into the purity of His truth. It must be untouched by the hands of man.

This process continued until I finally pulled myself over the shoulder of one of the angels and asked the question, “Where am I, for I no longer see myself?” A voice spoke, pointing to a small yet vibrant seed of life that remained on the table. All that was allowed to exist after their deliberate work was the impartation of life given to me from God.

This stripping process had in essence carried us back to the very origin of life, removing all fleshly attributes born in the Garden of Eden with the fall of man. This was done to enable us to “put on Christ” and become spiritually qualified to stand victorious in battle with the armies of darkness.

Flesh of His Flesh
The attendants began the assignment of putting us back together, now using divinely powerful attributes mighty in God and adequate for the awesome battle. The angels undertook the reconstruction procedure with the same vigor and determination as the stripping process. Except, now the materials were “bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.” Any other preparation, than the one here described, would result in certain defeat.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil —Ephesians
6:10-11

When the restoration process was complete, we were returned to the battlefield. Now, in lieu of having a sword in our hands, we WERE the sword or weapon in the Lord’s hand. Instead of having a “promise,” we BECAME the promise. The sword in Scripture is indicative of the Word of promise. Presently, we are attempting to battle the enemy with our promises. It is the Lord’s intent to MAKE us the promise. We are to become the Living Word.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts -Romans 13:14

Christ In Us
One of the greatest mysteries that will be fully realized is the wonder of – Christ in us, the hope of Glory. We recite the words but very few experientially discover the absolute and complete reality. However, the Scriptures have promised, an entire company of believers will soon emerge anointed with this certainty. They will walk in the fullness of truth with great power and authority and, more importantly, radiate the nature and character of Christ through His manifested Glory.

For many being enlisted in the Lord’s army, this transformation process is presently taking place. The new divinely powerful make-up represents the increased dimension of the Spirit of Revelation and Power enabling us to call upon Him that He would answer us and show us great and mighty things which we presently do not know. This will provide the Heavenly strategy and blueprint for ultimate victory.

There are a number of saints who are being given spiritual experiences featuring themselves stripped and re-clothed with brighter and more glorious garments as we enter this new day in the Spirit and progress from Glory to Glory.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit —2 Corinthians 3:18

The Audible Voice
An audible voice then spoke in the vision declaring, “the weapons set against you are much more powerful than you ever imagined! … The divinely powerful weapons provided for you are also far more powerful than you ever imagined.”

One of the foremost strategies of the enemy in this hour is to deceive the Church into thinking we are properly equipped for the coming battle. The enemy knows his only opportunity for victory can result by keeping us from the absolute realization of God’s provision. This birthright can only be released when we allow the Holy Spirit to purge the carnal nature and align with Christ as One Spirit becoming a recipient of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

When this occurs, the Lord finds His abode in us, living out His life through us in perfect union. The cost is great, death to self, yet the reward is exceedingly greater than our human minds can comprehend.

The Great Preparation
by Shawn Bolz

There have been prophetic words for the last four decades about accelerated growth and maturity in those who believe. This has never been truer than right now. When we look at what John the beloved saw in Revelation 19, we can begin to understand why God is going to invest so much resource and heavenly activity to equip the church, or in ohn’s picture the bridal company.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and the bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints) — Revelation 19:7-8

The bride, or church here, is shown as someone who was wrapped in white, which was the fruit of her cooperation with heaven’s agenda for Jesus. I elieve that part of this accelerated growth is God giving us eyes to see the group of believers we belong to according to this pattern of heaven. Either we will see what they are invited to and prophecy and intercede over it, or we will see the fruit they are currently participating in and declare it or make it known.

Lastly, we might see the areas where we are falling short of the invitation and go into times of changing and transition so we can come into the place of true partnership with this eternal mandate.

There Is A Harvest of the Bride Going on Right Now
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field — Matthew 9:37-38

When Jesus spoke about this I believe He was addressing the church not the unsaved. Most of us look at this scripture and think of the harvest that is coming, but there is a first harvest and a second harvest. The first harvest is the harvest of harvesters or the harvest of the bride. This is when those who are called to participate with the great harvest are made ready.

This looks like a great awakening to the church on the earth to see the purpose of Jesus and what the Father had planned for Him in our generation. When God sends forth the angels that gather they first go to those who already have the qualities in their heart prepared to cooperate or work with heaven’s agenda because they are hungry to have real intimacy (like a bride) with Jesus. God is allowing a supernatural hunger to be birthed right now in people’s desire that only a spiritual journey of radical obedience can nurture.

The Training Methods Are Changing For Leaders
If the church is really about to receive a harvest of harvesters or the harvest of the bride, that means that God has new strategies to train and equip people. Not just new strategies but a new culture of church as well that will provide a nurturing environment for people to go deeper in the knowledge of God.

God is calling forth a generation of leaders, and as current leaders we have to bless people in their transition. Obviously the home church that believers relate to will be able to nurture them in a large way, but God is going to create a divine dependency on the whole body. He will invest resources and strategies so that we have
to partner with another across our own city, across cities, across country, and even across nations.

There was a pastor who was in a very isolated church who was discouraging his body from going to any conferences, training programs, or even listening or watching outside teaching sources because he felt that it was taking their focus off of what he was equipping them with. The problem with this is that the kingdom of God does not have four walls….it is a river and we need all the streams to come together to make glad the City of God.

We can not allow this to be a season that we isolate ourselves even as churches. The mentality of the 1980’s in many churches was “God will give us everything we need for our own church we don’t have to seek it or go out to others meetings.”

This is not true in this day; we need what God is bringing in through many people in our region, our nation, and the nations. We need to identify the areas we are weak in and begin to sow into others who are strong in those areas so that we can inherit through them.

I had a vision of a long birth canal that people were being born into the kingdom with. It was made up of not just their local church, but of every event, conference, mentoring course, Christian show, etc that it would take to birth them through the womb of these kingdom devices. In the western world God is going to bring a new type of unity by allowing us to sow our people to be trained by many trustworthy sources.

The Best of the Best Vision
In the 1980’s a well known pastor named Mike Bickle, who now leads the house of prayer in Kansas City, received a prophetic word from a prophet. The prophet said “God is going to take the best of the best from you as they are raised up and sow them all over the nations. But then it will make room to raise even more up.”

I believe this word is for any kingdom minded church in this day. God is sowing people all around and this is a time of great preparation and transition. Leaders, God wants to multiply you and many times to do that you have to sow in a sacrificial way what you have labored into! This sometimes means that other leaders and valuable church members, who have been equipped, begin to do what they are equipped for.

Although this process is usually painful, God wants to give us His Spirit of Understanding so that we don’t have to have the deep heart pain. Growing pains are normal though, and this is a season where there might be a lot of those for some groups.

The Divine Exchange Between Heaven and Earth, pt 3
by JoAnn McFatter

HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.

Sound is a profound thing when understood and utilized in its fullness. Mankind has barely begun to realize the effect it has on our body, mind, and spirit. During the days of the harvest we must grasp the implications of sound relative to the triune nature of man.

The scripture records the Lord oftentimes saying “He who has ears to hear, let him hear. ” This clearly implies that we can have ears, yet not hear. (Matthew 11:15, 13:9, 13:43, Mark 4:9, 4:23,7:16, Luke 8:8 and 14:35.) It’s a statement made to highlight a point, much like “Truly, truly I say to you “

That particular line of thought is taken even further in Romans 11:8 saying,

just as it is written, ‘ God has given them a spirit of stuper, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, to this very day’

During days of apostasy, God at times even closes our ears to what is being said. Yikes! It needs to be a conscious prayer of ours that He would open our ears to what the Spirit is saying in this hour. Just like it takes God to love God, it takes God to hear God. We would be wise to ask Him to do that in us.

The Act of Hearing

It is reported that our own minds can close our ears to certain sound frequencies. If fact, if you have been exposed to someone who constantly
says things to you that you don’t want to hear, things that berate you, your ear will stop itself from ingesting, so to speak, the frequency levels of that person’s voice. It could affect your hearing the rest of your life. Fortunately, they are now coming up with treatment to repair the damage. It’s just something a person does to survive the sound that is causing death in them. That is why it is so important what we speak over our children.

There are numerous studies being conducted today involving sound and vibration and it’s affect on us. Organs can be affected positively or negatively by sound; yes, even music. The Spirit has been showing me some very interesting things about our hearing that we need to be aware of. Many times Paul warned the saints about what they listened to that would lead them astray. We are approaching the day that

“Even the very elect would be fooled “if God did not intervene.

Now, I’m not trying to scare you, but I feel like we need to be educated in some of these things to make the most of what God gave us to use. We often hear that “the new sound” or “the sound of heaven” is about to be released. What if we don’t have ears to hear it? In the last article I referenced a vision that I had of the people working in the field and a few of them heard a sound that the rest did not.

Actually, our ear is much more than something we hear with. When a fetus is in the womb the ear is the first sensory organ to be fully developed and there is a reason for that. When sound enters the ear, it goes through an amazing technical process that actually turns it into electrical impulses which charge the brain.

In a fetus, this charge actually causes the brain to grow as early as 4 ½ months. There is a muscle that is activated at this point inside the ear that never rests until you die. This is the only muscle in the entire body that this is true of. We literally “absorb” sound non-stop until the day we die.

The Mechanics of Hearing
There is a cranial nerve attached to both sides of the eardrum that extends throughout the body and is attached to every organ except the spleen. To some extent, what we hear with our ears affects every organ in our body. We not only hear by sound being transferred through the air, but also through our skin and bones. Our entire body takes in sound in one way or another. Jeremiah declared,

His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones. I was weary of holding it back and I could not – Jeremiah 20:9

There is a spiritual and natural implication to this verse. The sound of God’s word had entered his bones and he was compelled to let it out. Have you ever felt like that? I certainly have-especially during time of intense worship. This truth can give us even greater understanding of Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones. He was told to,

Prophecy to these bones and say to them, ‘ O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! – Ezekeil 37:4

He is commanding the bones to hear a sound-a particular sound that they might live. Is that “the sound” that is being released today? A sound that causes spiritually dry bones to come together and produce life!

It is interesting that the bones are dry because water is one of the most effective conductors of sound. I remember “communicating” with my first son while he was in my womb by lying in the bath tub full of water. I would knock on one side of the tub and he would shift to that side of my belly. Then I would knock on the other side of the tub and he would move to that side. It was a game I played with him – a way of interacting with him. Because the child is in a sack of water in the womb, the water outside the womb was most effective.

Natural and Spiritual
As it is in the natural, so it is in the spirit. The words we listen to and the sounds we allow to wash over us, affect us in diverse ways. Jeremiah 6:10 says, “indeed their ear is uncircumcised and they cannot heed.” If we do not have God’s Spirit flourishing in us, our ears remain uncircumcised; Jeremiah says they CANNOT heed. It’s not that we just choose not to, it’s not possible.

We can have uncircumcised hearts as well as ears. We must learn to hear what the Spirit is saying in this hour, particularly in a day when we are given the warning that even the very elect would be fooled apart from the Lord’s intervention. Lord, cause our hearts and ears to be circumcised that we may hear with understanding, your sounds!

What is our Sound?
Sound is measured by vibratory frequencies. Science has discovered that we all vibrate at a certain frequency. They are presently determining how to take the frequency of an individual and convert it to audible sound. There is actually music that each of us carries within our being at sound frequencies that are inaudible to the natural ear, but are sensed by those around us -even by creation itself.

Do we resonate with His Truth? Do we echo the sound of the Spirit? Perhaps, the more of Him that resonates in us causes us to “sound” just like Him and become one with Him.

These are all things to ponder as we attempt to hear the sound that is being released today in this “divine exchange” between heaven and earth. This realization is only going to increase……”He that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying.”