Feb 10, 2010
When I had the dream about fire sweeping the land on the 8th January 2010 ( see my article ‘Fleeing the Fire’), the Lord gave me a phrase from a scripture passage in Joel 2. He said to me ‘let the bride come out of her closet’. As the dream had been about the Bride, I looked up the passage:
Joe 2:15 Blow the trumpet (shofar) in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Joe 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Joe 2:17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Your people, O LORD, and give not Your heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: why should they say among the people, Where is their God? Joe 2:18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Joe 2:19 Yes, the LORD will answer and say to his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen
The closet is the place where the Bride prepares herself for the wedding. She makes sure her garments are in order and pleasing to the Bridegroom. As the Lord had already quickened psalm 45 to me about ‘leaving your people and your father’s house’, I already knew that the Lord was speaking to me about the Bride having made herself ready and moving on to the next season. Suddenly the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see this passage in Joel in a way I had never noticed before. There is a call to prayer and fasting for the people of God,His Body ( the Lord called me to a 3 week Daniel fast for my family the morning after the dream) and the bridegroom and the bride are called out of their separate chambers in order to take part in this. This indicates that they are not yet married (After a wedding, the bride and groom share a bedchamber). Furthermore, the bride will come out of her closet only when she has made herself ready and the bridegroom alerts her that it is time for the wedding to take place. So this passage in Joel is placed prophetically at the moment when it is time for the procession to the wedding to begin because the Bride has made herself ready. There is a company who have been preparing themselves in holiness, who have been through a long personal refining season under the tutorship of the Holy Spirit. Now the time of preparation is over. It is time for the personal spiritual grooming to cease for this company as the Bridegroom has need of them.
Just as Jesus knew there was an donkey or colt tied up at the point where the paths meet, waiting for her moment when the Master would call for her, so too there is a company who have been shut in and tied up with God, knowing that the time of release would come in God’s perfect timing.
Luk 19:29 And it happened as He drew near Bethphage and Bethany, toward the mount called Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples, Luk 19:30 saying, Go into the village across from you, and having entered, you will find a colt (‘filly or female ass’ in the Greek)tied up, on which no one of men has yet sat. Untie it and bring it. Luk 19:31 And if anyone asks you, Why are you untying it? You will say this to him, Because the Lord has need of it.
This colt or filly has been tied up but the day arrives where she is let loose – just as those who fear the Lord are released and go forth as calves let from the stall in Malachi 4. The day comes that shall burn as an oven for those appointed the refiner’s fire but for those who have allowed this fire to burn out all the dross in the previous season and surrendered willingly to the ministrations and conviction of the Spirit, a season of release and healing is upon them, even as they walk out the path from the porch to the altar.
This filly in Luke 19 has never been ridden by another man. She is in a sense a ‘virgin’ who has been set apart to be ridden and controlled by Jesus alone. She is the one who carried the presence of Christ into Jerusalem as people shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest”. In the same way, this company will be welcomed and greeted with open arms as they enter spiritual Jerusalem because it will be acknowledged they carry the presence of the King of Kings within them. Also, in the same way as Jesus wept over the city because He knew what was about to come upon it, so too this bridal company will weep over the Body of Christ and urge them to turn their hearts back fully to the Lord. Their message will be that of Joel 2:
Joe 2:12 Therefore also now, says the LORD, turn even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: Joe 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents him of the evil. Joe 2:14 Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
‘He repents him of the evil’, not that God changes his mind, but, when the sinner’s mind is changed, God’s way towards him is changed; the sentence is reversed, and the pending judgment averted. The Laodicean church of today feels it has need of nothing and is blinded to her true state. She is in danger of being vomited out of God’s mouth because her state leaves a bitter taste in His mouth. God wants to put salve on her eyes to restore her spiritual sight and give her clean garments to wear.
The trip from the place of preparation to the altar is usually a time of great rejoicing for the bride as she is about to become one with her groom. However in Joel 2:17, there is a call for the priests to weep between the porch and the altar. The journey from the porch to the altar is the one the Bride takes as she goes to wed her groom and in my dream the mockers stood on the porch of the house as the Bride and Bridegroom left. Who are these priests, this bridal company that are commanded to weep on this journey to the wedding ceremony? I believe they are the sons of Zadok, the remnant faithful priesthood who remained faithful when all the other priests went astray and worshipped idols. We read of them in Ezekiel 44:
Eze 44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, says the Lord GOD: Eze 44:16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge.
These priests are declared fit to minister to the Lord because they remained holy and set-apart for the Lord, just as the Bride is holy and set-apart for her Bridegroom. The time of preparation is over. The day of the Lord is at hand. It is time for the Bridal Company to come out of their place of preparation and intercede with weeping saying,” Spare Your people, O LORD, and give not Your heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: why should they say among the people, Where is their God?” (Joel 2) The Bride’s cry is a cry for God to be manifested in the midst of His people again so that the world can no longer look at the church of Jesus Christ and mock them for the lack of authentic power in their midst. The Bride’s time of personal preparation is over and now is the time for intercession and weeping on behalf of the Body of Christ in order for the reproach to be removed. A childless woman in bible times bore a reproach. People looked down on her and there was a stigma attached to because she was unfruitful. In the same way, the church is to a large extent unfruitful.
Many are living in hope and faith of promises being fulfilled but as yet, have no visible evidence. In essence this prayer of the priests is saying, ”let Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” – let what is written in heaven for our lives manifest in the earth realm, let it not be merely words but substance!
“Spare Your people…” – why is there a need to ask this? It seems that God’s people have turned away from Him and He requires not an outward show as in tearing of clothing, but a real heart change from His people. God has no delight in executing judgment and has made provision through the cross for all to receive mercy but the condition is repentance- a topic seldom mentioned in today’s church circles. He also has eternal principles, one of which is ‘you reap what you sow’. Yet, right up until the moment of reaping, God’s Spirit is crying out to men to repent so that He can avert the judgments due because of our own stubbornness and hardness of heart. He is looking for a company who are willing to stand in the gap and intercede with weeping to remove all the barriers to the arrival of the manifested promises in the lives of His people.
Joe 2:18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Joe 2:19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say to his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
We are so quick to quote that the Lord will restore the years the locust has eaten but we neglect the prior verses which call for repentance in order to release restoration. Corn, wine and oil are the harvests of the different seasons. Jesus, the Bridegroom, laid down His life as a seed in order to bring in a harvest and He is looking for a Bride who is willing to lay down her life in order to bring in the fullness of harvest, the last great in-gathering of souls before He returns. Sadly, within the church are a number who have put their faith in the doctrines of men and lived lives which are contrary to God’s building standard – they too are appointed for judgment unless they repent and return with their whole hearts to devotion to Christ alone.
The sons of Zadok were not only appointed to minister to the Lord. They also had other functions prescribed by the Lord:
Eze 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. Eze 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall honor my sabbaths.
So this bridal company, the filly that carries the presence of the Bridegroom into Jerusalem shall also carry an anointing to teach God’s people the difference between what is clean and unclean. Why do they need this lesson?- because they are naked and blind and do not realize their true state, that they are the prodigal sons who have squandered their inheritance in loose living and cohabiting with strange women (doctrines of demons) and are presently occupied in feeding the appetites of pigs or unclean spirits through their actions! Just as Jesus turned over the tables of the moneychangers and cleansed the temple, so too this company, on fire with zeal for God’s house, will address the areas that need cleansing in the Church. The message this appointed and released company brings is not one that strokes the flesh. Rather they speak the Truth in love, their hearts burning with the passionate love of God for His wayward people. John the Baptist’s message was confrontational and direct and he was the messenger who was sent to prepare the way for the Lord’s first coming. In this end-time there will once again be released a company who go out in the spirit of Elijah in order to restore the hearts of the sons to their Father God and to reunite God with His body. They will declare, ”repent for His coming is at hand. Bear fruits in keeping with repentance!” They act with the heart of Hosea who went and fetched his adulterous wife from the slave market and brought her home and washed her clean.
To the forerunner bridal company who is still preparing in her closet, the shofar sounds. From the Throne-room the call goes out, “who will go for us?” as it did to Isaiah. (He had had a personal encounter and vision of the Lord of Hosts and what he saw caused him to realize his own state and that of the people of God. He required a personal cleansing which was provided by a burning coal to his lips and then the call came) :
Isa 6:5 Then I said, Woe is me! For I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts. Isa 6:6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, snatched with tongs from the altar. Isa 6:7 And he laid it on my mouth and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged. Isa 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me!
Father God has sent many messengers to His people over the centuries and in these last days He spoke to us through His Son. Now, as the last moments on God’s clock tick over, He releases another trustworthy final messenger to this church He loves so intensely. He is not looking for a messenger who will minister the Law to His people. The Law came through Moses. Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ – but the church of today has largely lost sight of Truth, majored on grace and fallen into the mire. God is not mocked. What a man sows, that will he reap and those who sow to the flesh, even those giving their loyalty and service to soulish fleshly doctrines masquerading as spiritual doctrines, will from the flesh reap corruption.
Remember the message of Haiti and that of the tower of Siloam:
Luk 13:4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were sinners above all men who lived in Jerusalem? Luk 13:5 I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
God is sending out a prepared company who minister not according to the letter of the Law which kills, but in the power of the Spirit which gives life. The people of God need to be taught again what is clean and what is not good to eat. They need to be taught the Truth in love by those who weep at the thought of what will come upon the Body of Christ if they do not return to the ancient paths where they can find rest for their souls. And they can only be taught by those who have had their own lips cleansed by a coal from the altar, by someone who has walked the path of repentance and cleansing and knows that God is full of mercy and compassion and is waiting like the father of the prodigal son to embrace the one who returns and reinstate him in the position he lost.
It says in psalm 104:4 that God makes his ministers a flaming fire. At the beginning of Joel 2 is a description of this fiery, orderly, trained, bridal company that is released at the sound of His voice:
Joe 2:3 A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yes, and nothing shall escape them. Joe 2:4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Joe 2:5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Joe 2:6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. Joe 2:7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Joe 2:8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. Joe 2:9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. Joe 2:10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: Joe 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executes his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
God’s eyes are like a flame of fire. Where is the company that sees through His eyes, that will not judge according to the sight of their own eyes or the hearing of their own ears but with righteousness and justice will decide and decree God’s judgments? They are those whose eyes are washed with tears, having experienced the broken heart of the Father as He looks upon His Jerusalem, His city that was intended to display His Name to the watching world. They are those carrying the presence of the sevenfold Holy Spirit, in the pattern of their Bridegroom, according to Isaiah 11:
Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; Isa 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth (and the oppressor AMP)with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
‘Smite the earth and the oppressor with the rod of his mouth’ – the rod of our mouth is for disciplining the flesh/earth and dealing with the enemy but there also has to be grace and compassion in dealing with those in bondage to things they cannot see. The idea is to pluck them out of the fire, hating the garment stained with sin but loving the sinner. Remember the scene in Zechariah where Joshua the high priest stands before the throne in filthy garments? Satan stands there to accuse him but the Lord rebukes him calling Joshua a brand plucked out of the fire. He commands his filthy turban and garments to be removed and clean ones to replace them. This is the way the Father wants His church dealt with. So this company does not side with the voice of the accuser of the brethren who knows only too well how dirty Joshua’s clothes are. They speak after the manner of the Lord motivated by a fiery love for the one standing before them:
Zec 3:1 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. Zec 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke you, O Satan; even the LORD that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. Zec 3:4 And he answered and spoke to those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And to him he said, Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with change of raiment. Zec 3:5 And I said, Let them set a clean turban upon his head. So they set a clean turban upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
Notice it is Zechariah who suggests a clean turban or a pure holy mindset to be given Joshua. This is indicative of the Zadok priesthood participating in teaching and restoring Truth to God’s people.
As the bride comes out of her closet on her way to the wedding, she becomes visible to those who are waiting. We have all been to weddings where the wedding march strikes up and all heads turn to see the bride as she walks down the aisle supported by her father. As this bridal company comes out of her closet and begins the walk from the porch to the altar, weeping and encouraging those on either side of the fence to join her on this highway of holiness, the beauty of the Lord is upon her. She is moving out of her place of preparation just as the Holy City, the New Jerusalem descended out of heaven from God, arrayed as a bride for her husband before John’s eyes. The city is moving from heaven towards earth – Let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven – and the Bride carries the kingdom within her, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
This bridal company, the colt who carries the presence of God within her is the wall (see song of Songs 8: 10)t hat ministers to a church which she surrounds and protects as fiercely as a woman surrounds and defends her husband. They are the Body of Christ and one who accuses the Body accuses Christ, her Beloved.
Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Rev 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
The jewels which are revealed in Malachi 3 are those who make up the foundation stones of the wall in the heavenly Jerusalem. They are those who fear the Lord, who are written in the Book of Remembrance (Zechariah means ‘the Lord remembers’) who have been found worthy to rule and to judge and to decide because they do not lean on their own understanding but in all their ways acknowledge Him.
Rev 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
Jasper is the substance signet rings were made out of and a signet ring is used to endorse and stamp decrees with the crest of the King in order to make a decree law. Esther and Mordecai were released by the king to issue decrees to overturn and counteract the declarations of the enemy over the lives of God’s people. This approved faithful intercessory company are being released with the same authority because they have proved themselves trustworthy in the time of preparation. When asked by the King of Kings what they desire, they have not chosen things of this world or their own pleasure but instead, like Esther, have pleaded for the freedom of those they love. This is the heart of the Bride, which beats with the same heartbeat as the Bridegroom and burns with the same jealous fiery love as the God who is a consuming fire.
The Bride in my dream entered the house of lukewarmness and compromise and began to polish silver spoons (removing tarnish and dross) and seek out vessels to hold living water before leaving with the Bridegroom as the fires of judgment fell. To those who repent, God promises restoration and a harvest of corn, wine and oil. It is the latter rain that brings the fruit harvest, the wine and the oil to full ripeness. The latter rain comes in the form of a rain of fire and hail (just as it did in Egypt) – carried by fiery Spirit-filled vessels bringing hard words, water of the Word put on ice for this appointed time but spoken in love that burns like fire, purging the dross from the church. They speak with a passion and an urgency borne of an awareness of the lateness of the hour. They speak with the heart of the Bridegroom and His tangible presence through their words bears witness that He has sent them.