PROPHETIC INSIGHTS FOR 2002
Bob Jones & Paul Keith Davis
As we have stated in prior articles, many from among God’s people have been going through a refining and preparation that has been seemingly difficult and trying. Nonetheless, faithful champions will begin to emerge in this season with an increased level of anointing and spiritual authority to face the responsibilities imminently ahead.
One area of highlighted emphasis the Lord is desiring for us to pursue is genuine fraternal affection and brotherly love one for another. Not only does the Holy Spirit desire for us to embrace these feelings for our brethren, particularly those with whom we are joined, but also give expression to it through words of encouragement, devotion and blessing.
(1 Peter 3:8-9) To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
Many Christians and leaders have kept their affections for their brethren internal without giving expression to them. Although many have prayed for friends and brethren they have observed in difficult and trying circumstances, they have never actually verbalized their charitable feelings for their fellow Christians and spiritual teammates. This will be a time to begin to articulate Christian love and charity one for another through words of blessing, reassurance and edification. As spiritual teams are being fitted together, it is essential that trust and confidence in our relationships become clearly defined.
(Philippians 2:1-4) Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
TEAMS FUNCTIONING AS ONE PERSON
We live only a few miles from the home base of the “Blue Angels.” This elite team of Navy pilots perform various aerial maneuvers requiring pinpoint precision and flawless teamwork incorporating ultimate co-operation. Their personal commitment to one another and exemplary devotion to their cause provides a strategic model for the framework we can follow as a finely tuned company of “spiritual aviators”. This select group has learned to live together, work together and function as one person although consisting of many members...They must, for their very lives depend upon it and the success of their commission.
The Lord desires our internal affections to be externally expressed as we learn to relate and function as one unit. In this process, we will begin to lose our individual identity and emerge as a corporate image of the Lord and the pattern of representation He desires on the earth.
This concept could possibly best be described as a delicious gourmet dinner which is the combination of many ingredients all coming together to form one delicacy earnestly desired. Each of the ingredients on its own would provide some sense of flavor but combined it will provide a much more enticing meal.
MOVING BEYOND 2001
In many respects, the year 2001 was one of the most difficult seasons in recent memory. This was detectable, not only in the spiritual arena but also the natural.
Very often natural circumstances reveal spiritual realities. When the prophetic indications we are sharing in this article were given by the Holy Spirit, they were spoken to Bob while in North Carolina. In reality, North Carolina experienced one of its driest meteorological seasons in recorded history during 2001. This also paralleled the spiritual condition of the Church on a corporate level. Although there were various expressions of life in diverse places, on the whole it was a very dry and challenging time.
The pain of the past is our preparation for the future. Like Joseph, we must reconcile ourselves with the past in order to make our future more fruitful. The Patriarch Joseph demonstrated this truth in the naming of his sons.
(Genesis 41:51-52) Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household. He named the second Ephraim, "For," he said "God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
GROWTH MEASURED BY “TREE RINGS”
Very often, the Lord uses various symbolism and prophetic pictures to depict spiritual truth. In a vision given to Bob prior to the end of 2001, the Holy Spirit revealed a spiritual forecast for promised growth in the days ahead. In this analogy, the Lord displayed “tree rings” to illustrate a picture for increase and maturity during the coming season.
A “tree ring” is a method for determining the annual growth of a tree. It is a visual indication of the layer of wood produced by a single years growth of a woody plant. We are described as oaks of righteousness and the planting of the Lord and the Holy Spirit has given an indication of our future growth if we will follow His admonitions for this hour.
(Isaiah 61:2-3) To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
The “tree ring” for 2001 was the smallest amount of visual growth experienced. That is, our outward expansion did not reflect an abundance of increase, although a deeper foundation was established. The future years will begin to inflate in the amount of growth realized in the Church as depicted by the increasing measure of the “tree ring” illustrated in the vision..
During a drought, it is not necessarily a time to bear fruit but to deepen the root systems. Through the dry seasons, plants and trees are forced to go deeper than ever before to obtain moisture. That is very often the purpose for spiritual droughts... so that we deepen our foundation in the Lord to obtain the moisture we need to survive during the trying season, thus allowing for more fruitfulness in the future.
The difficulties and dryness we have just endured is for the purpose of making us more fruitful in the coming period. We will begin to experience this reality this year and the years to follow.
GATHERING BLUE LEAVES
In another revelation, Bob saw blue leaves that were being gathered. These leaves were depicted as dry and even partially consumed to illustrate the pruning that has taken place spiritually, naturally and financially. However, once leaves have fallen there is the season for new growth which will be much more productive than in the past.
Leaves are portrayed in the Word as “healing for the nations.” (Revelation 22.2) They were blue to convey the revelation of His healing grace in the various issues of life affected by the past years.
Even though this season could be depicted as a drought, many received strategic visions for the future showing productivity and prosperity through the Lord’s divine favor. These revelations also outlined a blueprint for the future. The Lord is now calling us to seek Him for the provision to begin to experience and sustain the vision.
We are given the admonition to not judge the coming year by the difficulties of the prior. Very often leaves that are partially eaten or destroyed can prophetically represent worms that have had access to the leaves. The “worm” oftentimes is symbolically portrayed as our thoughts.
(Isaiah 66:24) Then they will go forth and look On the corpses of the men who have transgressed against me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.
Our own thoughts and ways have been partially responsible for the depletion of the leaves.
We must begin to bring our thoughts into captivity and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to gain full fruitfulness and begin to access all that is available to us in the Spirit. This will be a time of new beginnings in the coming year.
The Lord has not allowed us to be as fruitful as we would hope during this drought season because fruit that is born during drought is unsubstantial, diseased and ultimately perishes. Instead, it has been our directive to continue sowing so that the coming abundance of rain can produce a more bountiful and fruitful harvest.
(Psalm 126:3-6) The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Every arena of life will begin to be affected by this season of fruitfulness. Financial, social and spiritual arenas will see a restoration that is exemplified through the Lord’s healing touch. Many have experienced difficult physical and financial trials that will begin to dissipate through the “leaves of healing.”
COME OUT OF ISOLATION
Because of the challenges of this season, many Christians have withdrawn into seclusion and isolation. The Holy Spirit is encouraging us to join ourselves with others of like-mind and vision and learn to trust again. This is particularly true in marriages. It is the Lord’s intent to begin to reconcile and restore strained and broken marriages produced by the adversities of past days.
There are many organizations and fellowships who have felt the direction of the Lord to expand or acquire other buildings but have seemingly been unable to fulfill the vision. This new season will now allow for the acquisition and expansion that many have felt was coming for quite some time. This will also be an indication of the fruitfulness the Church will begin to experience.
THE VISION VERIFIED BY A NATURAL STORM
The visions providing these revelation were given on December 30, 2001. As an indication that these things are from the Holy Spirit, the Lord allowed Bob to see an ice storm that would soon be approaching as a validation of the prophetic word. Within days of releasing this message in North Carolina, an ice storm formed across the south and traveled through the eastern portion of the United States into the Carolina’s doing substantial damage.
DESTROYING THE REFUSE OF LIES
The Lord is promising that He is going to release “hail” to begin to destroy the fruit trees of Egypt. This analogy is taken from the judgement of Egypt at the time of Israel’s liberation from captivity. In the areas that evil has seemingly prevailed, the Lord is going to release a form of judgement or pruning upon the spirit of this world that has prospered in unrighteousness.
(Isaiah 28:16-18) Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level; then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies and the waters will overflow the secret place. Your covenant with death will be canceled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, then you become its trampling place.
Many of the difficult trials have been for the purpose of extracting issues within us as individuals that would keep us from flowing in unity as a team with others. The Lord has made it abundantly clear that He blesses those who dwell in harmony and flow together as one. Lies and talebearer wounds have successfully hindered this divine purpose. The Holy Spirit is going to expose the lies and allow truth to reign. This will also be true from the pulpits as fresh messages of Truth emerge to dispel the mists of deception and traditions of man formerly taught as truth.
Although it was difficult to discern, many people made progress in the realm of the Spirit and matured to a place in which they can be trusted with additional spiritual provision. The leaves that were demonstrated in the revelation were not fully developed nor in great abundance, but the trees did produce leaves and a measure of maturity. By virtue of this growth, many within the body will be promoted and receive greater releases of the Spirit for this next season.
A CHANGE IN OUR MENTALITY
The mentality for a large percentage of the Church has been placed upon survival and simply holding our ground. That mentality will now change with various leaders emerging with a warfare perspective beginning to take ground. These times have required us to dig deeper into the well of our spirit and the Holy Spirit than ever before; yet that has produced a greater foundation upon which the Lord intends to build.
Our desire is “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” The Holy Spirit residing in the deep recesses of our spirit and soul will begin to lead us into the place of fruitfulness and productivity
for Kingdom purposes. We are living in a new day that will be characterized by the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom which He desires to unfold within and through His people.
The Bible declares that the Lord Jesus is our ultimate example and the life He led on the earth is
our pattern. Through His Holy Spirit fully residing in us, we will also do the works He did and even greater because of His indwelling Presence. The Holy Spirit is preparing us to rule and reign with Christ in governmental authority. Governmental leadership is an aspect of His Kingdom exercising the Spiritual Dominion obtained through the cross and His resurrection.
When the Holy Spirit is resident in us, He will keep our focus on the realm of the Spirit and the Lord’s overcoming victory and not the issues of this world and the distractions of carnal inclinations. When our fascination is placed upon Him, we do not see our own failures or limitations but only the abundance of His eternal ability. When we reflect on Him we do not focus on ourselves.