Last night, my wife Rachelle had a dream that speaks into the new season the Lord wants to bring the Body of Christ into now.She writes:
“I was in a large home with lots of people.I noticed Bob Jones sitting in a chair in the corner of the room wearing a candy red shirt with slim white horizontal lines. I was so excited to see him and I started walking towards him.As I walked towards him, Michael (my husband) was behind me and called out “Rachelle!Honey!”I heard him calling in the natural in my dream.I didn’t answer because I wanted to talk to Bob.
When I got to Bob, I said, “Hi” but I knew I was speaking with my spirit instead of in the natural.This is because it wasn’t a fleshly Bob—it was a “spiritual” Bob, who was there in spirit only.Bob didn’t answer and I didn’t understand why because I was so excited and I had a lot to talk to him about.”
As Rachelle and I were discussing this dream, I felt strongly that the red and white striped shirt was the message.I was reminded of candy canes, “candy stripers,” and the prophetic significance of stripes and the colors red and white. A few minutes after discussing these things, when I arrived at the Morningstar campus this morning, there were two boxes of candy canes on the front entry table, confirming that the Lord wanted to speak to us through these symbols.
Symbols of Redemption Obviously, the color red directs our attention to the Blood of Christ and the color white directs our attention to the spotless Lamb of God and the righteous robes He wants to clothe us with.The prevalence of stripes, both in the dream and in the candy canes, highlights the Biblical promise that, “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).In other words, the Lord wanted to highlight the great redemption and healing that He purchased for us.
Candy Canes and New Breath The recurring red and white stripes—and the surprising appearance of actual candy canes in my morning routine—direct our attention to the need for us to purify our words.Of course, peppermint is the most popular flavor for gum and candy because it cleanses our breath—bringing us from halitosis (bad breath) to pleasant and refreshing breath.This is a reminder from the Spirit that He wants to cleanse our speech and bring us from speaking words of death (which is like halitosis/bad breath) to speaking words of life (purified breath and redemptive words).
What we say or declare can bring death or it can bring life.The most powerful declarations are those that apply Christ’s redemption to the areas of brokenness in our lives.For example, whether we are confessing Christ for the first time or praying for the sick, salvation and healing are released through our declaration of Christ’s finished work—His atoning death for our sins and sicknesses.Likewise, when we are crying out in intercession, the power is released through our declaration of the power of the cross.
Now, we find ourselves in a season where the Body of Christ has been ravaged by the enemy.There is not just a handful of wounded people left from the fiasco of the last few months, but thousands.However, the principle of redemption remains the same—the same redemptive power that we tap into when we are saved or healed can also be applied to heal the Bride of Christ of her wounds and divisions.We can choose to return to the power of cross and apply it—both to the wounds we have received over the last few months and to the larger divisions that remain now in the Body of Christ as fallout from the dangerous way everything was paraded on social media.
Candy-Stripers When Rachelle described the red of Bob’s shirt as “candy-colored,” I was immediately reminded of the candy-stripers of yesteryear.In the 1950’s and 1960’s, candy-stripers were volunteer nurses who would minister to the hurting and broken without pay.In the Charismatic movement, we often look to professional, paid ministry leaders to bring healing or a timely word to us.We see ourselves as mere spectators and assume that those with big ministries will always be the ones who have the keys to heal the Body of Christ.However, the “candy-stripers” are those who will come in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, to minister to the hurting and broken that the Priest and Levite have ignored and walked by to preserve their own religious reputation (see Luke 10:25-37).
I originally stepped in to walk alongside Todd Bentley because I could see that he was hurting.However, I have also chosen to speak out repeatedly about the public spectacle of accusations—and the dangerous way they were handled—out of love and concern for the larger Body of Christ.For those who want to go back and understand my perspective on this issue, you may listen to the final statement I gave on January 2 through my personal Facebook page.I still stand by that position and the facts that I shared in other previous broadcasts.Behind the scenes, I also believe that some of the healing we need will come as leaders identify some of the dangerous things that happened behind the scenes and bring accountability and repentance to those involved—I believe this accountability should be private and face to face and based on actual facts, just as it should have been with Todd.However, in terms of the wider, public life in the Body of Christ, it is now time to move on.It is time to heal.It is time to guard our words.And above all, it is time to set the storm aside and refocus on the only message that has the power to transform the nation and birth the next great move of God—the message of the Cross of Christ.
From a larger perspective, I believe that the swirling storm of the last few months was designed to sidetrack us from our purpose, at a time when we need the Body of Christ to be prepared for greater challenges and greater harvest in the nation. For this reason, the need to heal the broken and "get things right" is an urgent task that simply cannot wait.
There is one last detail here in the dream that we need to address. Bob was silent. First, this indicates that, in many of the new challenges we face today, we will have to go to the Lord for ourselves to get a fresh word. However, it also reveals that sometimes, silence will give us the healing we need.
When it comes to an authentic move of God, what we need to look for is the same message the apostles preached, the same kind of lifestyle Jesus lived, and same kind of impact on society that we have seen in previous moves of God. On that note, these "four markers of the next move of God" are what I believe we will see in the next great move of God, both in America and in the nations. As we move throughout this year, I'm going to dedicate all my teaching to restoring these foundations:
Marker #1--The Spirit of Truth
Look for people who hunger for the Holy Spirit to bring deeper conviction, increasing Wisdom, and weightier revelation. The kind of community we need to build is one where we are eager--not only to receive revelation--but to respond to what the Spirit is saying and doing because we are hungry to become His resting place and His habitation. This is why Jesus said:
"When He, the Spiritof Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." — John 16:13
I will ask the Father, andHe will give you anotherHelper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth,whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with youand will be in you.I will not leave you orphans;I will come to you." — John 14:15-18
Jesus wants us to be filled with the Spirit of Truth, to have the Spirit of Truth living inside of us. The fruit of this indwelling is that we are never alone and we never have to live "as orphans." This is because the Spirit of Truth is the voice of our Father, giving conviction when we step off the path of Life, revelation of how to move forward, and Wisdom that will help us to overcome in every challenge we face.
Marker #2--The Apostolic Gospel
The message of the Apostolic Gospel is the primary message that the true end-times church will carry. I include the word "apostolic" because the gospel I am referring to is the same gospel that the apostles preached: It is a gospel that releases great salvation, healing, and deliverance on many because it harnesses all of the power of Christ's death and resurrection. The main purpose of this message is to apply the atonement of Christ's blood to our lives.
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power."--1 Corinthians 2:2-5
"God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood--to be received by faith..."--Romans 3:25
Marker #3--The Father's Glory
Salvation, healing, deliverance, and personal transformation are all part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, the real heart of the matter is restored fellowship with Father God. This is why Jesus said to the Father:
"Now this is eternallife: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."--John 17:3
Everything else that happens in our lives flows from the renewed relationship we have with God, from our intimate knowledge of who the Father is. This means that if we draw closer to God and build the kind of intimacy with the Father that Jesus enjoyed, we will see much more restoration in our own lives and in the lives of those we touch.
First, we need to have the "spirit of adoption" that allows us to truly see and relate to God as our Father:
"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”--Romans 8:15
When we really know the Father in this way, we will treat other people just like the Father would, which is with unconditional love:
"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen."--1 John 4:20
Last, as our relationship with the Father grows in depth, we will have His heart towards others and begin to step out to "do what He is doing" and "say what He is saying," just like Jesus did:
“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."--John 5:19
Marker #4--Greater Works
The first three "markers" I have outlined allow us to reclaim the source of conviction, the message that brings transformation, and the lifestyle that will give us Christlikeness. However, the last marker indicates the kind of fruit we can expect once these other foundations have been restored. For the "greater works" of power--including creative miracles, resurrection, a vast increase in the number of souls saved, and a greater impact on society, will only come once the other foundations have been properly restored.
If you carefully study Bible prophecy and the words of trustworthy contemporary prophets, you will find that the "greater works" of power are one of the primary markers that we have crossed the threshold into the last and greatest move of God:
"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."--John 14:12
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."--Matthew 24:14
Restoration Happens through Biblical Community The context in which these things will be restored is Biblical community. We cannot afford to be isolated from each other because the restoration we need was handed to us like a boxed jigsaw puzzle. All of us have been given only a "piece" of the restoration--and the bigger picture can only take shape when we meet together regularly. Of course, this does not mean that every community will look the same. For example, there are communities of prophets, where stewarding revelation from the Spirit of Truth is the primary mission. There are small groups meeting in homes where applying the power of the gospel to the practical concerns of life and encouraging each other is the primary mission. And there are evangelistic events where preaching the gospel and demonstrating the greater works are the primary mission. So, our goal must also be to find where we fit in the Body, to know our mission, and to zero in on it like a laser beam.
As we continue to build our lives as a launchpad for the next move of God, may the Spirit of the Lord reveal to you where you fit in the picture!
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfectwill."--Romans 12:2