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While many Christians today argue about the gift of tongues (and even about the validity of the other gifts of the Spirit), the real purpose of Pentecost is to learn to hear God’s voice. That was the problem with Israel at their first introduction to Pentecost at Sinai. They proved to be too full of fear to hear His voice (Exodus 20:19). This problem was not overcome until Acts 2.
Whether we hear in a known or unknown tongue is a secondary problem. New Testament terminology tells us that the word in a known tongue is prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:2, 3). An unknown tongue is a “mystery,” or hidden unless it is interpreted. Prophecy is, therefore, a more efficient and desirable way of hearing the word—in Paul’s opinion (1 Corinthians 14:1, 5).
Hearing His voice (on whatever level we may hear) is necessary to be led by the Spirit. Even as Israel was led by the pillar of cloud by day and the fire by night, so also are we to be led by the Spirit in our wilderness journey. The Israelites knew that the Spirit would lead them ultimately to the Promised Land, but they did not know the journey. Neither did they know what lessons the Spirit would show them at each of their camps.
So also is it with us today. We know that we are being led to the Kingdom of God and the Land of Promise, but we do not know what lessons we must learn along the way. Furthermore, God normally does not reveal the next camp before we get there. We must pull up our stakes, fold up our tent, and follow where He leads in order to discover where we are going.
The Unexpected Journey
When I began this wilderness journey in 1981, I thought the Promised Land was just around the corner in that direction. I found the journey to be much longer and totally different. I had no idea how many camps lay between here and there, how many lessons had to be learned, and how much work was to be done along the way.
Like Caleb and Joshua, I learned that I could not enter the Promised Land without the rest of the body. There are some who see this journey purely in personal terms, as if to say that they can be perfected as individuals at any point in time. But the lesson of Caleb and Joshua—the overcomers of their day—tells us a different story.
Hebrews 11:40 confirms this, saying that the men of faith in the past could not be perfected without “us,” that is, those of later generations. This is a body work. Though we are all in our own “camp” in the wilderness, some being closer to the Promised Land than others, in the end we must cross the Jordan together as a body. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:51, “we will all be changed,” referring to all generations of overcomers, whether dead or alive.
It seems clear to me that we today are living in the time of this change. While every generation in the past has thought the same, we are the only generation that has lived to see the end of the dominion of the beast empires in “the times of the Gentiles.” When we understand the “seven times” of divine judgment, this gives us renewed hope that we are that generation that might not be required to die and wait for the resurrection.
The Seven Years and Trumpets
The book of Revelation speaks of seven seals. In the seventh seal are seven trumpets. In the seventh trumpet are seven bowls of wine. What fewer people realize is that this pattern is derived from Israel’s calendar itself.
The seven seals are the seven years of a Sabbatical cycle leading to the seventh-year land rest. In that Sabbath year are seven months, or trumpets. It was their practice to blow the trumpet at the start of each new month (or “new moon”). In the seventh month was the feast of Tabernacles, wherein they poured out the drink offering (bowls of wine) for seven days.
Hence, when John wrote the book of Revelation, he was revealing the prophecy in their calendar itself. The calendar was far too general to reveal the details of prophetic events, so John was given the specifics. Unfortunately, most people did not understand the connection between the calendar and prophecy. The revelation was there in plain sight, but the people remained blinded. Their eyes were veiled until the time of the end when these prophecies were to be finished.
We now know more than was known in previous generations, not because we are better than they, but because there are things God needed to show us so we could do the work in our generation. As our revelation increased, so also our ability to conduct this work increased. The level of revelation we received by 1993 allowed us to begin the work of the house of David. The level of revelation we received after November 30, 2000 allowed us to begin the work of the house of Joseph.
The Laodicean church is blind and naked (Revelation 3:17, 18), because it is the church of the captivity to Mystery Babylon, even as its Old Testament counterpart spent time in Babylon as exiles in captivity.
(I explained the seven churches of the Old and New Testaments in The Revelation, Book 1, chapter 11.)
When we saw the rise of the house of David in 1993, we took note of the 7½ year cycle leading to November 30, 2000. When we began the actual work of the house of David in our Jubilee Prayer Campaign, we took note of the 7-year cycle from November 29, 1993 to November 29, 2000. It did not take long to see that this 7-year cycle represented the 7 trumpets of the book of Revelation, and I assumed this would end on November 29/30, 2000.
The Seven Bowls
I assumed also that the seventh year (trumpet) would see the seven bowls poured out that would destroy Mystery Babylon from 1999-2000. It was not until the year 2000 itself that we received revelation that the seven bowls were to be poured out in another seven-year period. The first was poured out at Tabernacles of 2000, and the seventh bowl was poured out at Tabernacles of 2006.
Seven years can be a long time in our lives, so my flesh was somewhat disappointed that things did not end in the year 2000. But my spirit had learned to rejoice in the divine plan and to be in agreement with it. The delay also reinforced what I already knew that revelation was progressive. What God reveals is sufficient to do the work at hand, while leaving tomorrow’s work for tomorrow. Such is the nature of the leading of the Spirit.
The Elisha Work
Again, as we will see later, when we reached the time of the seventh bowl to be poured out in 2006, we discovered that there was still more preparatory work to be done. This turned out to be what we call the Elisha work. While Elijah prepared the way for Christ’s first coming, Elisha must prepare the way for Christ’s second coming. The second coming requires the double portion of Elijah’s anointing, which was given to Elisha (2 Kings 2:9).
This revelation came to us at our Tabernacles conference in Hilo, Hawaii in 2007. The Elisha work was finally launched at the Passover conference in Manassas, Virginia on April 12, 2009. This remains an ongoing work to this day.
The point is that while we have been given much revelation, there is also much that we do not know ahead of time. Nonetheless, past experience has shown us that we will receive all necessary revelation when its time comes. If we try too hard to peer into prophecy before its time, or if we try to force a revelation by prayer and fasting, we will invariably misunderstand it and thereby fail to fulfill it in the proper manner.
We grow spiritually at a steady rate as we are led by the Spirit. Our level of maturity at any point is what allows us to do the next level of spiritual and prophetic work. To receive revelation that goes beyond our level of spiritual maturity can be dangerous, because the work is still beyond our capability. We need to maintain some humility, knowing our limitations, and trusting that God will lead us to do the level of work that we are capable of doing at each point along the way.
By maintaining this level of humility, we also learn patience and endurance. We do not get ahead of the Spirit, as if to lead the pillar of cloud to our perceived objective. Thus, we are able to win every battle and to issue all declarations and decrees in the Divine Court without failure.
These lessons seem simple, but it often takes a long time to learn how to be led by the Spirit. The flesh naturally wants to lead and direct the Holy Spirit. The flesh thinks it knows better than God what to do. The flesh thinks God is always late and so it wants to speed up the timetable. The flesh is naturally impatient and arrogant. My own flesh is no different, but as I have grown over the years, I have learned many hard lessons in having no confidence in the flesh.
The Ongoing Work of the House of David
We were led to pour out the first bowl of wine (and also water) on October 21, 2000 during the feast of Tabernacles. This was in conjunction with the crowning of David as King over all the tribes of Israel the previous day, October 20. This was the point where the house of David received its full authority after 7½ years (2 Samuel 5:4, 5).
David’s first conquest was Jerusalem. So also, the first conquest of the house of David in our time was the Old Jerusalem, replacing it with the New Jerusalem as the capital of the Kingdom. After that, a new phase of prophecy was instituted with the rise of the house of Joseph. This did not mean that the house of David ceased to exist. Far from it. It simply meant that an increase of power and authority was rising.
While the house of Joseph was primarily a calling to overcome the famine of hearing the word, the house of David continued its warfare against Mystery Babylon. Pouring out the first bowl of wine on October 21, 2000 was then followed up with six more bowls of wine, each in its own year. In the fact that the first was poured out in conjunction with the crowning of David, it is clear that the next six bowls were also a continuation of David’s war against Babylon.
Therefore, two things were going on at the same time. Babylon was being overcome while the Kingdom was being built upon the word of God. The warfare, in a way, was the negative work of destroying Babylon, while the teaching of the word was the positive work of building the New Jerusalem. Both works were necessary.
Even so, Jacob’s prophecy to Judah in Genesis 49:10 was that Judah (and specifically David) was to be given the Scepter and the Dominion Mandate temporarily “until Shiloh comes,” at which time the people would rally around Him—Christ in His second manifestation as Joseph. In the end, Joseph’s dreams would come to pass, wherein his brothers bowed to him. When the brothers moved to Egypt, they lived under the authority of Joseph. This included Judah.
Christ came the first time from the tribe of Judah and the house of David. The work He did on the cross will never be discarded, for it prepared the way for His greater work in His second coming. Hence, His robe was dipped in blood (Genesis 37:31; Leviticus 14:6; Revelation 19:13). Nonetheless, the overall goal is to establish Kingdom government and fulfill the terms of the Fruitfulness Mandate that was given to Joseph (Genesis 49:22).
For this reason, beginning in 2001 we entered the era of Joseph after David (Judah) had prepared the way for Kingdom government and the manifestation of the sons of God. This also implies that we are approaching the time of Christ’s second coming and that the work of Joseph is a work of preparing the way for His return.