Tribe Of The Lion of Judah – Part 1

In Defence of the Prophets.

But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.’” (Revelation 5:5)

The title of this post is a deliberate misquote. We all acknowledge that one of the Lord’s titles is ‘The Lion of the Tribe of Judah‘. What I am talking about here is the new tribe that belongs to the Lion of Judah – a tribe of present-day apostles, prophets, priests, teachers, warriors and followers that are being raised up in these times to put on the Full Armor of God and follow the Lion of Judah wherever He may lead them. Note: this word ‘tribe’ is not synonymous with ‘church’ or ‘churches’ – far from it.

Many will argue that this concept is ‘unscriptural’, that apostles and prophets no longer exist. I say to you that ‘scriptural’ is a sliding scale in many people’s hands: but most certainly it is wrong to deny the latest moves of God on this ground. He is the author of scripture. In this age, He is talking directly to His flock, and in some cases using scripture to illustrate and explain what His next moves will be.

Amos 3:7 says, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”

When Jesus walked this earth, His message was very simple, and He had no time for the leaders of the church of the day. His message was so discomfiting for them, so alien to their beliefs and their entrenched status, that they killed Him.

The story has not changed. Those who are entrenched in religiosity and doctrinal beliefs are still with us. They are still the biggest detractors from what The Father is doing in the present time, and unfortunately since they are largely represented in the established church, their views tend to ‘carry weight’. They are not killing Jesus, but they most definitely ARE killing His message. We have gone from ‘The Law’ of Jesus’ day to a new kind of ‘legalistic’ bondage.

We hear fairy tales like, “There are no miracles today” … “God no longer speaks through Prophets” … “While miracles may have had their value for the early Christians, they have no value for us, for our experience is different from theirs”   et cetera  ….  et cetera.

So… does God no longer speak? Has He gone silent? What are we to make of the testimonies of people who are hearing from Him today? What are we to make of the plain words Jesus spoke when He walked the earth?

Quite clearly, there are people who are happy to count themselves saved by the Lord, but all they want to do is sit in their ‘saved’ bubble, carry on with life as usual, believe what their pastor tells them to believe and wait for the Lord to call them home. “Don’t talk to me, Jesus – I don’t want to hear.”

That is not what it’s about, people – the Lord is still speaking, and He expects us to listen up, take responsibility and act accordingly. How else are we to be transformed “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18)?

You will say, “by applying scripture to our lives”. OK – HOLD IT THERE.

If this is true, then what are we to make of the passages in scripture that clearly point beyond the immediate times of Jesus’ life? What are we to make of even the following two examples from the Word:

Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:18-20)

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:23-24)

So – you say, “This was Jesus talking to His disciples and does not apply in the present day.”   Has it not occurred to you that most people subscribe to the application of scripture to our lives so completely that sermons in the present-day church are invariably built around the application of passages of scripture to the lives of the flock? What then are you going to make of the word ‘whoever’ in the above passage – and what are you going to make of this:

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)

And this:

Behold I am with you always, even to the end of the Age.” Matthew 28:20.

Both of these passages foretell Jesus’ continued connection with His followers, even after His passing from this earth.

Like it or not, God is still speaking. Like it or not, He is in this day raising up apostles and prophets to alert His people to the upcoming moves He is going to make.

Many people waste time taking it upon themselves to second guess Him. How much speculation have you read about when, if and how the rapture will take place (for example)?   How many reams of paper, how many cyber-pages, how many ‘comments’ and forum posts have been taken up with this one issue, when Jesus has already told us that even He does not know the answer to this? (Matthew 24:36) What an exercise in futility! What a waste of time!

It is all further confusion instigated by the enemy to take people’s attention away from the REAL ISSUES of the day.

We need to be preparing to march forth in the Lord’s name and start taking ground for Him and His Kingdom (in our own lives to start with), not wasting time haggling over doctrine.

More to come,

Patricia

I say refuse to doubt and refuse to question yourself in regard to hearing Me. Do not doubt the wisdom I have given you. I want you to go the way that I tell you to go.” (The Father Says Today 20 October 2017)

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Healing Begins

Lift up your hands without wrath or doubting. I see your need and hear the cry of your heart. There will be a reversal of every physical malady that the enemy has brought against you. The blood of Jesus shed in your behalf is healing your physical body. There are angels assigned to your life to break off the word curses and the illegitimate authorities that have sought to bring about the diminishing of your health. The command of heaven is that the health of your countenance will now spring forth speedily and manifest.” (The Father Says Today 7 March 2017)

I decided to sell my beloved 10 acre block in September 2014, I think because everything became too much for me. I’ve loved the place for over 40 years but I’d lost my enthusiasm and interest. I wasn’t even interested in my plants and garden, let alone 10 acres overgrown with gorse. Much had been neglected in the years I looked after my mom with alzheimers, sole charge – there was such a lot to be done and so little funds to do it all with.

So spake the enemy.

Fortunately, I’d been born again in October 2006, at a small fellowship in a coastal town half an hour’s drive from where I live. I hadn’t been a churchgoer since I was a child, but out of the blue some friends invited me to their fellowship that day and I decided to go.  It would be a change, I thought, especially since my mother was in respite care for a week. No-one at this little fellowship knew me.

Well, the worship and the service had such a strong impact that I was in tears for most of it, and decided then and there to be baptized with three others in a ceremony they were going to hold in the ocean near the church.  So in this way the Lord reached out and pulled me into His boat.

Then we went back for lunch, and several people brought scriptures that had come into their minds for me. Out of probably 5 scriptures, 3 were identical:

“So I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten…” (Joel 2:25)

I was astounded. These people did not know my life’s health history, nor did they know that I had looked after my mother with alzheimers for 9 years…

That prophetic scripture encouraged me so much, because I felt it had indeed come direct from God, and thanks to the experience I’d had with the Holy Spirit on that day I really had become a ‘believer’. As very often happens, though, the outcome of the prophetic was not immediate nor has it been instant. Far from it. There is a lesson to be learned for us all in this.

When Jesus walked this earth, He worked many instant miracles – in fact the hallmark of His miracles was the instantaneous. Sometimes though, He required evidence of faith from the people He healed – as when He asked people what they wanted from Him. He knew the answer to that question perfectly well, but He wanted to draw out from them a statement of faith.

Sometimes, He required people to take action in faith – “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8), “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” (John 9:7). For a man afflicted with illness for 38 years who couldn’t get himself into a pool, and for a man blind from birth, these were not trifling commands – they required faith and effort. Sometimes it is so with us, and I believe we are the better for it.

Today, instantaneous miracles are still happening:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-13)

This last quotation highlights another aspect. Many miracles were – and are – worked in such a way that there can be no doubt they are sent by God. Two historic examples are the raising of Lazarus (John 11), and the healing of the man blind from birth (John 9:1-7), as Jesus stated there in answer to the disciples’ question.

I believe there are times when the Lord does not just hand out an instantaneous healing because He wants us to trust the process, and learn something. And so it has been with me.

My mom passed away early in 2007.    I always baked bread from wholewheat and ground sunflower seeds for her because she loved it – the bread was raised with baking powder, so as to avoid yeast.

Now was my opportunity: I was led to stop baking (and eating) bread, and test out a feeling I had about gluten. So I cut out all wheat products. That helped, but was still not the full answer. Then I was reminded other grains also contain gluten, so I swore off all grains except rice and a little corn – some more improvement, but still not the full answer.

I was noticing a strange cramping in my bowel at times, and the words ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome‘ kept coming to mind. So I researched an explanation:
“The small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed, is supposed to have tight cell junctions to separate the chyme (food turns into chyme in the stomach) from the bloodstream. But a chain of factors causes these tight junctions to degrade. Once the connections between intestinal cells are weakened, undigested proteins and bacterial toxins escape into the bloodstream. This leads to a heightened state of inflammation.”  (Empowered Sustenance)
Could this be what was causing my skin problems and ‘under the weather’ symptoms? A condition brought about by years of candida and stress?

The way to treat Leaky Gut Syndrome holistically prescribes avoidance of all sugars and all starches (including grains and starchy vegetables). So the packets of rice biscuits (my bread substitute) went out the window, as did corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes (our NZ kumara) and yams. I put myself on the GAPS diet.

Meantime I’d had polymyalgia, which of course is an inflammatory disease, affecting mainly the legs in my case and almost destroying my mobility. It began late 2014 and thanks to careful management by my doctor, we had a recovery by April 2016.  A wise friend suggested that maybe the reason the prednisone worked so well on me was that I have never taken pharmaceutical medications.

Meantime I had started a course of chiropractic to fix some spinal problems, exacerbated by a couple of falls.

After many months of daily pain and limping, I’d at last begun to feel I was starting to come right when I received the prophecy quoted at the head of this post – 7 March 2017.  Note the 7s: God’s number of completion.  And the 3 (March) – God’s number of perfection.

Hallelujah! This prophecy came like a heavenly benediction on a decision I was in the process of making – the decision NOT to sell my beloved 10 acre block and NOT to move away.

Well, our Father is a God of Breakthrough. He is also a God of knowledge and understanding:

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 3:33)

For over 2 years I’d pursued the idea of selling up and moving – hampered continually by one major thing after another – my health issues, a tree falling on my roof, having another tree taken down with massive fallout scattered everywhere, repair work needing to be done on 3 outbuildings, a huge overgrowth of wandering jew weed – you name it, I had it.

I don’t think I was meant to move away from here, and things were allowed to happen that made it virtually impossible for me to move quickly.

But what does it take to deal with all these problems?

I’ll tell you what it takes – faith, that’s what – and being prepared to trust the process. Being prepared to take action when a fast outcome is unlikely. Being prepared to listen to the still small voice, and obey. Being prepared to step out in faith without having a clue how it will work out.

Plus a healing miracle.

More to come.

Patricia

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Woe? Really?

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers of the false prophets.”  (Luke 6:26)

When we read the Beatitudes, we all love the “Blessed are…” bits – but we tend to overlook and forget the “Woe to…” admonitions that appear most strongly stated in the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus is indeed love, light and truth – and we all love focusing on that.  But part of the truth of loving Him and understanding His message involves remembering the other things He said:  His powerful rejection of the mores of the day’s religious leaders, emphasis on the causality created by God in our world, and the many warnings about being careful where we focus our attention.  The above passage falls right in line with His many statements on this last topic:

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  (Matthew 6:21)

And even more directly in point:
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:1)

The passage is a reminder that what ‘everyone thinks’ is not necessarily the truth – and that people flock where they see numbers, often without any real perceptiveness.  It also hints at the soul-eroding quality of craving popularity in the eyes of men.

Dangers of the Internet

The dangers of seeking man’s approval rather than God’s have become even more powerful with the advent of the Internet.  Marketers and frequenters of social media (now a key factor in marketing success and the inflow of money and ‘all good things’) are taught to strive for ‘hits’, ‘visitors’, ‘likes’ and favorable comments.   Algorithms in search engines further feed into this.  And of course, the practice has moved beyond marketing into straight social activity, where it is in danger of becoming a fetish on the likes of Facebook.

Please understand I am talking here as a 20-years-on-the-net, ex-marketer who several years ago threw marketing away for this very reason, that I perceived the huge pitfalls of letting this whole approval-seeking, Internet fad become ingrained in the soul.

There are indeed many ways to fall into ‘The Trap’.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8)

Patricia
http://damascusroad.news

I Make All Things New

new-lion If there is one message that comes consistently through most of the prophetic utterances of recent months, it is this:  God is moving in a new way – he is opening up the Kingdom Age upon this earth, releasing new change, doing new things, and breaking bondages.

These prophecies, and recent events around the world, are an exciting confirmation that our God is truly the master creator, that He has not finished (and never will finish) creating, that man was made and called to work with Him, and that He has not taken His hand off the wheel – although there are times when, in our limited perception, He seems to have forsaken us.

These prophecies are also a vindication of many years of prayer by spirit-filled intercessors world wide.  Why should that be?

We need to remember our beginnings:  that God created us to manage His creation, to walk with Him in the cool of the day to strategize, and plan, and fellowship.  Making a huge investment in man, He also limited Himself by arranging our relationship so that the exercise of His power on earth needs the acquiescence (ie prayers) of His people to fully release it.  If you doubt me on this, Dutch Sheets’ excellent book “Intercessory Prayer” is regarded by many as the best guide and explanation out there, as to why intercession is so important.

As an example, check out 1 Kings 18  where God used His prophet Elijah to deal with the wicked king Ahab:
And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

And Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.” (1 Kings 18:1-2)   We know from James 5:17-18 that this drought and famine had been brought on 3 years previously by Elijah’s prayers at God’s request.  The story continues:

And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Is that you, the one who troubles Israel?

And he answered, I haven’t troubled Israel; but you, and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and you have followed the idols of Baal.

Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.”  (1 Kings 18:17-19)

There follows a test of strength between Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal, to prove whether Baal or Jehovah is the true god.  This is a must read at 1 Kings 18:20-40, and it culminates in the total defeat of Baal and the vindication of Jehovah.

So the people are overcome, and turn from their wicked ways.  Now comes the illustration of intercessory prayer to restore rain upon the land:

And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, [the birthing position]

And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again – seven times [seven is God’s number of perfection and completion].

And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there arises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.   And he said, Go up, say to Ahab, Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.

And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.

And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” (1 Kings 42-46)

Why would God limit Himself to needing man’s prayers in this way?  For one big reason – He wanted that relationship, that fellowship, that companionship – and He wanted it freely given by beings with a choice.  He did not want to work with a bunch of robots and He didn’t want to rule the world like a despot – and if we imagine ourselves in His situation, we can most certainly buy into that.  It is a beautiful plan.

God has a vision of what He wants in eternity, and it includes man – a redeemed man – working alongside and fellowshipping with Him, and it has taken the sacrifice of Jesus to make that possible.

So we need to remember that it is not God, but man, who delays the fulfillment of this great partnership.

In the Book of Revelation, John wrote:
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”  (Revelation 21:5)

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This is God’s promise for the future – the end times future. But I believe it also has relevance right now, when He is getting ready to pour out His spirit on the earth and we can expect renewal, restoration and change in many things, including the churches – and great revivals.

We need to be open-minded enough to accept change, and the new ways God is revealing Himself to people on this earth, because THAT is changing radically.  We also need to press forward with intercessory prayer to enable the fulfillment of God’s plans for renewal at this present time.

Go, prayer warriors, go!!

Blessings,

Patricia

Prayer For Help

deliverance-iconWho among us has not been in this situation?

Who has not felt themselves dwelling among the tents of the wicked?  In a strange land?  Surrounded by enmity to which there is seemingly no response?

David the mighty king and quintessential warrior knew this so well.  And while his fame lay in his mastery of the slingshot and the sword, he knew the most effective weapons, and in fact the only truly effective weapons, are spiritual:

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“I call on the Lord in my distress,
and He answers me.
Save me, Lord,
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
What will he do to you,
and what more besides,
you deceitful tongue?
He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,
with burning coals of the broom bush.
Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
that I live among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I lived
among those who hate peace.
I am for peace;
but when I speak, they are for war.”

Psalm 120.

Meshek –  a son of Japheth, the people descended from him, and their land (Russia – Scythia).
Kedar – a son of Ishmael, the people descended from him, and their land (Arabian Desert).

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Leave vengeance to the Lord.  It is His prerogative, not yours.  If you are truly walking with Him, He will take care of you and your reputation.

Sometimes the hardest thing of all is to say with Paul, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)    This is not an empty phrase, and it helps to remember that the desire for revenge is one of satan’s favorite mind controls.  With it, he keeps people on endless treadmills of bitterness and retaliation.

Artwork and Products available in my Damascus Road Gallery. Or click on the images.

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news

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The Spirit of Man

candle-icon“The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts of his being. ” Proverbs 20:27.

The word ‘spirit’ here is from the literal Hebrew word `breath’; and it refers to that ‘breath of life’ which God breathed into mankind in the person of Adam (Genesis 2:7)…   It is the equivalent of conscience, God’s lamp, that searches out the innermost recesses of a man’s heart.   This is a very important verse.  It stands alone in the Old Testament in its affirmation that the Divine element in human life is the conscience.”  (Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible).

Jesus referred to this scripture when speaking to His disciples not long after He chose them.  The reference in Matthew 5:14-16 is encapsulated in a statement of the special nature of the disciples, whom He likens to the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  It also occurs in Mark 4:21, again as part of His explanation to the disciples of the parables He had taught to the multitude.

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In both of these renditions of the event, Jesus uses the simile from Proverbs to show the importance not only of walking in the spirit, but of doing so openly.  For, as He says in Matthew 5:16:  “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, who is in heaven.”

And in Mark 4:22 He concludes: “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed;  nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.”

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How many people light candles and then hide them away?

This work is part of an ongoing series in a style inspired by the art of New Zealand painter, Colin McCahon – now recognized as one of NZ’s foremost artists of all time.  McCahon painted over a period of 45 years, his work being mainly Christian subjects and powerful landscapes.  One of the identifying elements of his style was the use of text (scripture), mostly as a primary element of the works, especially so towards the end of his life.

Obviously, with the paintings in this series, fitting at least part of the text  and an image into a 8″x8″ or 12″x12″ space requires some thought and brevity of expression, while remaining true to the essence of what Jesus said.  These works are the result of a directive from The Father: “Paint My Son’s Words.”

From the same series, see also “Out of The Heart“, and “Wonderful Counselor“.

Artwork and Products available in my Damascus Road Gallery. Or click on the images.

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news

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I Am The Way

the-way-iconJesus spoke these words to His disciples at the Last Supper in answer to a question put by Thomas:

“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.'”    (John 14: 5-7)

One can picture Jesus, knowing full well what was ahead of Him, trying to explain to His disciples so that after the event they would have some understanding and comfort, but not wishing to go into details “for the prince of this world is coming.”  (John 14:30)  He had to keep His focus on the Father for the events ahead.  Nevertheless, His  loving, servant nature shines forth in these last, sad hours, from the washing of His disciples’ feet to His final prayer of stewardship in the Garden of Gethsemene.

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Artwork and design by Patricia Howitt.  Click on the images or view artworks and products at my Damascus Road Gallery.

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Patricia

http://damascusroad.news

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