A Tale of Two Generals
[The following is the essence of a prophetic understanding received at 3 AM EST, 2/20/2001. I pass it on for the benefit of anyone who may profit from it. I preach the message to myself as well as to any! ]
A mighty army was gathered at the river, or so it appeared. Ready for battle? So it seemed. Thousands, yes, tens of thousands had rallied to the call of General Gideon for the final conquest against Midian.
But behind the appearance was a different reality. A testing was in progress, a testing known only to the general, a testing conducted by none other than the Lord Himself. When it was over, 97% of the grand army had been dismissed. Three per cent remained, a mere 300, through whom the Lord would accomplish His victory—and all for the sake of a drink of water!
Today there resounds another shout. A mighty army appears to be in the making. A battle cry of unity and revival is rolling across the nation—and the world—
-Major moves and streams beginning to flow together that have never been woven before. The glue of this army is the working of the Holy Spirit Himself in great power.
-Miracles appearing—waves of glory among the hosts of great worshipping throngs—messages and prophecies coming forth full of promise, full of power.
-A sound of great joy, great hope, and great expectation for final defeat of the evil one and for the coming of the kingdom of God to earth.
Yes, a glorious church appears in the making, clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head (Rev 12:1).
But is she—this glorious forming army and body—Is she the Bride? Is she the Bride that she believes herself to be?
Look again. For again now, as in Gideon's day, a silent testing is underway—a testing that, now as then, is known only to the Lord Himself, and to the One General who has been commissioned from Heaven to complete our deliverance.
I say look again. For deep in the womb of this glorious body is a hidden babe, a distinct "sub-army" in the forming, one whose beginnings are in the glorious church, but who, through the passing of an unperceived, silent and hidden test of the heart, comes forth out of her midst. And it is by this army (perhaps a mere 3%?) that the Great General will work his deliverance and establish His kingdom, a kingdom marked and declared to be established by their overcoming of Death itself (Rev 12:5-10).
But could this really be? Is it possible that we are not as a whole who we really think we are? Is it possible that the glory we are now entering actually masks something deeper and hidden that God is looking into?
Amid our rejoicing, is it possible that we are being secretly tested, unaware, even blinded by our own participation in this mortally touchable Presence—blinded by its visibility to us, and by our own visibility? And if so, how can this be? And what is it over which we are being secretly tested that will make or break our actual ability to be joined to the Lord in His immortal realm?
There was once another supreme commander of the army of the Lord. This general spoke with God face to face and became known for His own encounter with God's governmental glory. It was certain and a foregone conclusion that this general would succeed in leading God's army to its ultimate promised place. After all, is this not for what he had been groomed in the wilderness for 40 years? Was not this the call of destiny upon his life?
Yet in an instant, Moses struck the rock. And in that instant he forfeited his perfect call—a call that once lost could not be retrieved. All the past did not count—all the grooming, all the encounters, all the glory... and so failed the assumptions of certain destiny—fulfilment which would have accompanied the glorious Presence. For underneath the glory, the hidden testing never stopped.
"But it was such a small incident! ... How could a single strike of a rock deprive the most glory-surrounded man on earth of his perfect destiny?"
Like the lapping of water by Gideon's men, the smiting of a rock seems insignificant. And it was. But it's what was behind the striking of the rock that was significant, and it was for that "something" that a make-or-break line was proven in the life of the glory-saturated Moses.
So what was really behind the smiting of the rock?
First glances lead us to believe that Moses' failure was due simply to his exasperation with the people. The people had simply pushed him too far.
But the Lord's own word to Moses after the incident tells a different story. The Lord cites Moses for his failure to "sanctify Me" in the eyes of the people. The Lord's statement was not about impatience with people. It was about Moses' relationship with the Lord.
Specifically, the Lord's charge reveals that, over time, a secret rift had come to grow in Moses' heart toward the Lord—a rift which the rock incident only served to finally catalyze and bring to exposure. Truly, it was not the smiting of the rock per se, but in what the smiting of the rock revealed of a hidden distance from the Lord that had come to exist in Moses.
When we trace this rift back to its source, we discover the fountain of a secret offense toward the Lord that was never actually resolved. Earlier on in Moses' career, we read that Moses blamed the Lord for his situation concerning the rebellious people.
After one particularly bad day, Moses comes to a point of utter frustration and blurts thusly:"Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth?... I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin!"
In response, the Lord gave Moses a solution. But even then Moses remains doubtful and offended. Past this point, no more is said…. But there was no resolution.
While Moses went on to remain faithful to the Lord in everything, there remained this secret hidden rub toward the Lord over the state of this people, and thus over the path he was required to traverse to fulfil his destiny. Now it wasn't something Moses wore on his sleeve. He was too mature for that. We hear no more complaints from him. It did not occupy the forefront of his thoughts. He did not let it "eat away at him on the inside" as we say.
But neither was it healed. Instead, it was just submerged. It was put to the side. It was ignored. It was an aspect of his relationship to the Lord that Moses just did not choose to deal with—until it was too late.
Despite the glory encounters, and for all the face-to-face discussions that continued thereafter, the fact remained that the Lord had also revealed Himself to Moses in a way that Moses could not justify or reconcile to himself—a way that left God seeming unfair to him and for which there never was any reconciliation.
Left unhealed and unforgiven over time, the offense proved its power to be revealed toward the people in a moment of simple weakness, violating the sanctity of relationship between Moses and the Lord. And in its revelation, it derailed a man from his glorious perfect destiny.
The point to it all is this: the festering of this offense in Moses' hidden heart transpired under the full sway and power of the glory cloud over Israel! Of note is that Moses' hidden offense did not cripple the cloud's Presence. But of even greater note is that the continual presence of the Lord's glory did not lead to the healing of this offense. It only served to mute it and cover it over.
Outwardly, the Presence of the Glory seemed to assure that all was well with this gifted leader and that his destiny's fulfilment could never have been in doubt.
And therein, under the cloud of glory, lay the test.
For those who can receive it in these terms, the Lord has shown me that, as with Gideon's army and with the General Moses, the great cloud of glory that has begun to roll in on us is as much for our proving and testing as it is for our blessing, revival and promise of great destiny.
Underneath the apparent glory, there is an ongoing secret proving in force. The focus of that proving is unhealed offense in the Lord—specifically, offense over ways God has revealed Himself to us that have seemed unfair or unfaithful toward us, or otherwise have not lined up with what we wanted to believe about His character.
Not only so, but our purifying and victorious healing over that offense is set to form the dividing line between a vast number who will be confined to participate in the glory under this mortal realm, and an advancing remnant who will actually be birthed from the womb of this glory into the true manifest immortal kingdom authority and Brideship that awaits us—
and which everyone otherwise now believes is for us all.
Indeed, the Lord has shown me that there are now heads and generals of major prophetic, intercessory and worship movements who, as Moses, retain some deep-seated unhealed past offense toward the Lord. These offenses are not on the forefront of their minds. But they are there. They in no wise diminish the Lord's ability to reveal his glory in our midst now. Yet they sit as real unperceived ticking time bombs under His scrutiny.
One subtle manifestation of this offense is a prevailing denial in much teaching that seeks to redefine the harder nature of the Lord's character qualities. Another partial fruit of these offenses is the inability of certain leaders to fully merge their streams with one another as the Lord would have. It is nothing personal between the leaders. But because of their personal unhealed rifts with the Lord, a certain blockage prevents a truly satisfying sense of unified purpose between them under the glory cloud.
Perhaps the largest evidence of unresolved offense in God is the inability of our glorious gatherings to see past the mortal to our ultimate destiny in the immortal realm. So much teaching not only discounts the more offensive ways of the Lord among his people, but leaves us oblivious to the immortal realm as our true destiny along with the requisites of endurance necessary to obtain it.
So the broad assumptions prevail under the present growing glory—that we all as one large happy mortal "army bride" are about to "walk in" and "take the promised land" of the earth's dominion—that revival in the present earth is the essence of our ultimate inheritance—that we really can somehow inherit the kingdom as flesh and blood after all. This is all seemingly supported by the glory.
But in reality it is all blind assumption which we are using the glory to assist—using to hide our hearts from harder things about God that we do not want really to deal with, believe in or make room for.
It is over such blindness covering such offense under such glory that we are being sifted now.
At this hour, I believe the Lord would urge us to let him uncover and heal our hidden offenses in Him. Each of us has experienced many major disappointing things on our journey of faith. Instead of reconciling our hearts to God over these things and letting Him heal us, we move on in denial and simply rewrite the image of God the way we want Him to be to us.
And we use the glory to do it. We don't want to hear about any more hard things. We don't want to hear about remnants or qualifications. We just want to believe good things now, happy things, unifying things, peaceful things. After all, the glory is here now.
(Those who harbor the greatest and most consequential offense are, like Moses, those who have pursued Him the hardest and risked the most for Him! This may seem unfair, yet it is true.)
If we would truly obtain the perfect fulfilment of our destiny in the promised land of immortality, if we would truly overthrow the evil one from his place in the earth, and if we would truly escape the subtle blindness of the present glory that hides us from our heart of hearts, then we must pause to let the Lord open and heal us in that place of secret wounding from long ago.
To this end, some prominent names have already stepped back from their place in the glory to reflect in the place of the shadows. They are moving silently from being part of the womb to becoming part of the holy fetus God is preparing. Their sense of destiny is being re-attuned to an immortal wavelength. They are giving up the glory of the mortal with its premature declarations of "kingdom come" that they might be counted worthy to put on the glory of the immortal. And they will not be disappointed.
Let's make no mistake. The glory is here, but so is the testing. Let's be no longer deceived by our own engagement with the glory. The Word of God cannot be broken. There will only be a remnant from the glorious mother that is actually birthed into the immortal glory for which we were ultimately chosen and by which the kingdom of God will earnestly come into force. If Gideon's army or Joshua and Caleb are at all relevant indicators, we could be talking less than 1% of the glorious people who will make this transition!
Another generation is destined to move into that which the glorious mother now envisions for herself. In the face of this, let us allow God to minister to us in the secret place, to heal us of all secret offense in Him, that we might have our vision retooled. Let's embrace Him for all that He is and requires of us, and so be truly found as the Bride and Army of Sons that we so earnestly long to be, but have perhaps carelessly and naively assumed ourselves to be.
Lord, help us pass the test under your glory!
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created June 6, 2003