Rick Joyner’s prophecy
Before the millennium shift, Rick Joyner prophesied about the church, that we have not yet seen the church as it’s supposed to be. When it becomes what it is supposed to be, the people of the world won’t understand the connection between the new one, and the one that was.
When the new church comes, the old church will get a chance to change. But in those churches that choose not to change, darkness will gather. In those churches, people who want to have anything to do with God, will have to leave because of the darkness.
The fighting and reigning church
It is our conviction that the type of church Rick Joyner prophesied about, is the fighting and reigning church. It is a church that does not let itself be deceived by the evil spiritual world, and deals with the evil spirits in an effective way. It is a church that the evil spirits hesitate to attack, since the consequence of an attack is, they are neutralized.
However, the church that chooses not to engage in the war with the evil spiritual world will be of no threat to the attackers, and the evil spirits won’t hesitate to attack. Instead, they will gather together in such a church, just like Rick Joyner prophesied.
God gathers His people
God is gathering the people who are willing to follow Him, in order for the fighting and reigning church to be established. They are everywhere, even though we may not immediately see them.
Sometimes we can feel alone just like Elijah did when he was under attack.
And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
Now, let’s see how God answered him, and what message God’s word has for us at this time:
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Even today, no matter what country you live in, there are many who have not bowed their knees to Baal, that is, to the religious system in opposition to Christ. God is gathering these people.
How does God gather His people?
It is God who gathers His people, but He uses us as His tools. Let’s look at how God used 2 different men, Ezra and Gideon in the process of gathering His people.
God gathers His people by giving someone the desire for a change in the situation
1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
The people of Israel had sinned and had been acting in opposition to God’s instructions. How did Ezra reign? Did he get upset? Did he write a letter to the newspaper, or did he write bitter blog comments? No, he got a deep sorrow in his heart.
And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.
Notice what happens next:
Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.
Everyone who had a respect for the Word of God gathered with him. They didn’t come to take part in a protest against those who had been acting wrong, but they came because they felt the same heartfelt sorrow as Ezra.
After this Ezra prayed, and notice how he prayed:
5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,
6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
Ezra didn’t pray: “God, step in and stop these crazy people who have done so wrong!” No, he spoke to God about ‘our trespass’, i.e. he acted as one who had been part of the sin. Had Ezra married a woman from the enemies’ camp? Of course not, but he didn’t separate himself from those who had sinned. He saw himself as one involved in the sin, since he was a part of the people.
1 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.
2 And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
By feeling sorrow instead of accusing the people, and by praying instead of creating a revolt, Ezra allowed for two things to happen. The people gathered, and they were willing to change.
In the time of Ezra, the sin of the people was that they married women from other cultures. Today, we sin by accepting teachings from other religions. We must let God give us a desire for a change, and this desire must lead to us taking time to pray, and confess that we are part of what is happening. This will gather those who have the right attitude, those who have respect for the Word of God.
God calls leaders who dare walk in His instructions
Now let’s look at another part of the gathering of God’s people, using Gideon as our example.
The enemy armies had desolated the Israelites’ harvest time after time, and then the Lord came to Gideon.
14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
16 And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
The Holy Spirit was upon Gideon. First, there was the meeting with the Lord, and then the Holy Spirit’s power and wisdom caused Gideon to gather the people. Something had happened to Gideon, the least in the whole of Israel. God was able to raise him up to be a leader, and now Gideon acted according to his position of leadership. He still had questions and was a bit unsure, but he acted nevertheless.
We know how the story unfolds (you can read about it in Judg. 7). 32,000 men were gathered. After the gathering, God made sure that all those who were scared were allowed to go home. It wasn’t a judgment on those who were scared, but they weren’t currently part of God’s plan. In the same way God separated those who were not vigilant, those who put their needs first. There were only 300 men left. These men, whom God had called for this mission, followed Gideon’s instructions, and dared walk into a different type of battle.
God used 300 men in an unusual way to drive away an unbelievably strong and large enemy who had desolated the whole land many times. Each man carried a torch and blew a shofar. By doing this, the enemy was defeated.
It would be an exaggeration to claim that Christianity is paralyzed, and that the body of Christ is completely useless, but the enemy has been allowed to steal way too much without being stopped. We need leaders, raised by God and filled with the Holy Spirit, to gather to battle those with a right heart. These leaders will follow God’s instructions, instead of getting stuck in traditions.
God wants to make his army function
Every believer is actually a soldier in the kingdom of God, but so few do anything to stop the enemy. It was also like this when David lived. In 1 Sam 17 we can read about the battle between David and Goliath, but we can also read about an army that was paralyzed by fear. The leader, King Saul, was already under demonic influence, and the soldiers let themselves get scared by the giant, Goliath.
David didn’t see the enemy in the same way as the army did. He saw that Goliath was challenging God, and realized that the outcome of the battle was certain. God was, and is, the greatest! Because he saw this, David dared fight Goliath, even though Goliath seemed superior. Goliath was defeated.
What was the effect of David’s victory? The army was freed from its paralysis and engaged in the battle.
God’s people today are called to fight, but fear and lack of knowledge has kept us back. It’s time for change, and those whom God has called must go first and start engaging the enemy in battle, so that others can be free to join i
The coming church
The coming church is like Caleb and Joshua. It will look at how great God’s ability is, rather than looking at how big the resistance seems to be. It will have faith in God and act in faith.
The coming church is like Queen Esther. It will come before the king, i.e. the government, on behalf of an entire people, and save the people from destruction.
The coming church is like David and his army. It will not be the established, the ‘equipped’, or the large mass, but it will trust in God and be faithful to Him.
The coming church is like Gideon and his army. God raises leaders, and lets them gather the people for battle.
The coming church comes willingly.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
The coming church sets the captives free.
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
God gathers His people
Who are considered God’s people? Is it only the well-adapted, those who go to the Sunday service, give tithes and are generally good people? Or, is it even those who for different reasons have ended up outside? God wants to gather ALL His people. God’s reunification is far more important than the continued attempts of churches trying to adjust themselves to each other.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
Ezekiel had to deliver a warning to the spiritual leaders of Israel. How does that warning speak to us today? A lot of the ‘sheep’ are wandering around without leaders who lead them the right way, and God wants a change.
I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
God gathers those who are scattered
And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
Jesus died to gather and reunite the children of God. This can be understood in different ways. Jesus died so that everyone could get saved. But, He also died to reunite those who are saved. His blood has poured over all of those who are scattered today. He also gave His life so that those who have wandered away would be able to find their way back into the living church of God.
God will gather those who mourn for the festival
18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.
18 I will gather those who mourn for the festival, those who have been separated from you and now bear the burden of contempt.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all those who have tormented you …
The word that has been translated ‘solemn assembly’, or ‘festival’ (like in ESV), can also be translated into ‘meeting’. Who are the ones who mourn for the meetings? It is those who have been ‘separated from you’. Notice that it’s God who is speaking here. He speaks to His people, the Jews, but He also speaks to the congregation. God does not say “those who have been separated from me” but “those who have been separated from you”. Since we are currently looking at this text and its meaning concerning the church, we could paraphrase verse 18 in the following way:
I will gather those who mourn for the meetings, i.e. those who have been separated from the church, and now bears the burden of contempt.
So what does it mean that they bear the burden of contempt?
First, it can mean that many, who now are standing outside the church, once were treated with contempt by those inside the church. The contempt they met is now a heavy burden for them to bear.
Second, it can mean that those who have chosen to leave the church have been filled with contempt towards it. That is also a heavy and destructive burden.
Now, what does verse 19 tell us? It tells us that God will deal with those who have tormented the church, the body of Christ. Who are the ones who have tormented the church? Answer: The evil spiritual world.
Verse 19 also tells us that God will save, liberate, “her that halteth”, i.e. God will liberate those who have wobbled between living for God and living in the world. And God will “gather her that was driven out”. What will happen to them? God will get them “praise and fame”.
God’s revenge on the enemy
And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation …
God will raise up those who earlier wobbled in their faith, and those who have been driven out of the churches. Out of this group of people, He will raise a mighty army that will be His tool in the end times.
God is liberating and gathering His people
God is liberating, raising and gathering His people. For His Works He needs those who mourn over the current situation in the land, those who don’t point fingers but pray. He raises up perceptive leaders, who gather the people of God in living churches.
God says: “Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.” (Zech. 9:12 NLT)