On September 16, 2010 Darla and I left Minneapolis and drove to Pensacola, Florida to teach at a house church. Meetings were scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday evening but I ended up teaching all four evenings, Sunday through Wednesday.
Much of these days were spent at the coffee shop with a half dozen men who wanted to talk about “controversial” teachings on a more personal basis. So the days were full and the evenings even fuller.
Brother Vinnie, who leads this house church, had a visitation back in 1992, when the presence and glory of the Lord filled his room with a very bright light. He said that he felt the awesome love of God in that Presence, but also that it felt like the life of his flesh was being sucked out of him. (That, of course, is why the Israelites did not want to go with Moses up the Mount in Exodus 20:18-21. They were afraid to die, not knowing that the fire of God only kills the flesh in order to end its dominance in our lives.)
Vinnie and I had much conversation about the glory of God, since both of us want to experience His glory daily. My emphasis on understanding the Word is another very important aspect that God wants to impart upon us. And so I found that Vinnie and I are well matched for a balanced diet to know Him.
I found the people in the house church to be receptive and very excited about getting an understanding of the deeper things of the Word that I shared with them. By the time I left Pensacola, Vinnie and I were thinking seriously of holding a special conference together at some point.
From Pensacola, we drove to Sweetwater, TN for the Stone Kingdom Ministries Tabernacles Conference from Sept. 24-26. There the rest of the revelation began to emerge. I shared this at the Sunday morning session, which will be available on DVD or CD by writing to Stone Kingdom Ministries.
The Prophetic Significance of Sweetwater
This was our third Tabernacles conference held at the little town of Sweetwater, TN. At our first conference there two years ago, we understood that the Father chose this particular location to reveal its connection to Exodus 15:22-26. Verse 23 says,
23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah.
Marah means “bitterness.” The solution to the problem in Moses’ day was to insert a “tree” that would make the waters sweet (Sweet Water). This tree obviously represents the Cross of Christ, which turns our bitterness sweet when applied to our hearts. This year, Ron noticed that “Marah” is mentioned three times in this passage. It indicates that we were to meet in Sweetwater three times, and we have now completed our third Tabernacles conference there.
With the pattern of Marah-Sweetwater now completed, the next Tabernacles conference will be held elsewhere as the Father leads. Perhaps the next one will signify Elim, since that was the next encampment of Israel under Moses.
27 Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters.
This prophesies of the Gospel of the Kingdom going to all the nations, because there are 70 nations listed in Genesis 10, springing from the sons of Noah. Seventy is a representative number for “all nations.” It is also the number of Restoring the Glory, because 1000 is the biblical number for Glory, while Adam fell short of this by 70 years when he died at the age of 930 (Gen. 5:5). Hence, the number 70 is what is needed to make up the difference between 930 and 1000. Putting it all together, 70 is the number for Restoring the Glory to all nations.
Quail and Manna
After leaving Elim, the Israelites ran out of food. So we read in Exodus 16,
2 And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly [kahal, “church”] with hunger.
This was the occasion where God then promised to feed them with quail in the evening and manna in the morning.
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, “At evening you will KNOW that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt; 7 and in the morning you will SEE the glory of the Lord . . .
Hence, the quail represents KNOWING what God has done for us. It is more than a history lesson, because it is knowing the spiritual significance of this history. It is a matter of understanding Passover—the day that God brought Israel out of Egypt—and also its purpose, which is to bring us to the Promised Land through Tabernacles.
In other words, quail is the “meat” of the Word. It is about knowing the Divine Plan, not only for our personal lives, but also for the Church as a whole. In Hebrews 5:14, Paul admonishes us to get off the milk and eat the meat of the Word in order to obtain understanding.
14 But solid food (“meat”) is for the mature, who because of practice have their (spiritual) senses trained to discern good and evil.
As for the manna that God gave to Israel, it represents “the glory of the Lord.” This glory then appeared to Israel in the cloud in Exodus 16:10. The glory appeared again after the people arrived at Mount Sinai a few weeks later, for we read in Exodus 24:15-17,
15 Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 And the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.
The timing of the glory, I believe, is prophetic. After the glory first appears, there is a six-day waiting period until Moses is called to go up into the glory on the Mount. I believe that this prophesies of 6,000 years (Ps. 90:4). Even as Moses stepped into the glory after six days, so also are we called into the Mount after waiting 6,000 years for the divine invitation.
Poisonous Quail in Numbers 11
Many have been confused by the story in Numbers 11, when the people desired meat to eat, but when God gave it to them, it made them sick. This requires explanation.
First, it is clear that quail was not a problem in Exodus 16, even though the people had grumbled about the lack of food. God accommodated them and gave them both meat and manna at that time, and no one seems to have gotten sick over it. Certainly, knowing that God had brought them out of Egypt was NOT a problem.
The event in Numbers 11 took place about a year and a half later, just before the 12 spies gave their report in Numbers 14. Obviously, the people had stopped receiving the quail, though the manna had continued. Num. 11 says,
4 And the rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat?” . . . 6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna. . . 8 The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it . . . 9 And when the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.
The big question here is this: When did God stop giving them quail to eat? And why did the manna continue?
I believe that the answer lies in the story of Pentecost, when Israel was at Mount Sinai. The glory of the Lord was on the Mount, and the people beheld His glory. That was acceptable to them. But when He spoke the Ten Commandments, they all ran away and did not want to hear the Word of God (Ex. 20:19).
Since the quail represents the Word of God, and the people rejected the Word, the quail also ceased. Yet they continued to be led by the glory of God that went before them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Thus, the manna continued to be given to them, because the glory was the manna.
From Mount Sinai, the people then went to Kadesh-barnea, from which point they were supposed to enter the Promised Land. However, because they had rejected the Word of the Lord at Sinai, they had rejected Pentecost itself and were not equipped to receive the inheritance. The glory was good, but in itself it did not prepare the people for their inheritance in the Promised Land. They could not reject the Word and expect to be inheritors of the Promise.
Neither could they reject the glory of God while desiring to be fed by the Word. A fully balanced diet is needed of both manna and quail. As long as they had a balanced diet between Elim and Sinai, they were alright, but after this, their diet was unbalanced.
The reason the quail made them sick in Numbers 11 is because they desired it while rejecting the manna. They were tired of manna. As long as they despised the manna, the quail would be poisonous to them.
There are many who want to study the Scriptures while despising the glory of God represented by the Holy Spirit. Bible study is good, but apart from the Holy Spirit, it is poisonous. Numbers 11:33 says,
33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very severe plague.
There was no difference in the quality of the meat between the two events in Exodus 16 and Numbers 11. The difference was that in Exodus 16 the people had not rejected one or the other. In Numbers 11 they had wanted quail while despising the manna. And, obviously, between the two events came Pentecost at Mount Sinai, where the people had rejected the Word (quail).
So the two great lessons to be learned are:
1. Don’t reject the Word (Law) of God, because it is to be written on our hearts through Pentecost.
2. Don’t reject the glory of God while studying the Word, because the glory is His presence that gives life to the Word. Without the divine presence manifesting His glory in the Word, it is just flesh.
The key is to have a balanced diet, for this equips us to inherit the Promises of God.
The Gospel of the Kingdom
I think I can safely say that the Gospel of the Kingdom is a balanced diet that includes an understanding of the Word as well as experiencing the glory of the Lord.
Having now completed three Tabernacles meetings at Sweetwater, TN, we have finished the revelation of Marah and are now heading toward Elim. Elim represents the Gospel of the Kingdom going to the nations in order to begin the process of restoration. Ultimately, His glory will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14). With that glory will come an understanding of the Word, for “the law will go forth from (new) Zion, and the word of the Lord from (new) Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
I believe that this is the next stage in the progression of the Kingdom in our time. We have had revelation of this time for many years, and we have seen signs of it emerge more strongly in the past few years. We just did not realize that we would be spending so much time at Marah before going to Elim.
Proceeding from Elim is the revelation of the quail and manna, indicating that a truly “full gospel” will be preached this time. A “full gospel” used to be defined as Passover and Pentecost, but we know that without the feast of Tabernacles, it is only a two-thirds gospel.
Manasseh and the Inheritance
It is interesting, too, that I was led to speak at Pensacola on the topic of “Your Inheritance.” I took the people through the Scriptures beginning in Genesis to give them an understanding of the three feasts and how they give us a KNOWING of the divine plan.
It is also no coincidence that we have been meeting in Manassas, VA for Passover. We have met there twice so far and are scheduled to meet there a third time next April.
Manassas is the Greek form of the name Manasseh, the son of Joseph. Joseph was the inheritor of the Birthright (1 Chron. 5:1, 2), the right to give birth to the Sons of God. That Birthright was given to the Jewish state in 1948 in order to give Esau his due, as I explained in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright. But the Jewish State is nearing the end of its time to prove itself unworthy. At some point this right will be returned to the true inheritors of Jacob-Israel, who are the overcomers that believe in Jesus Christ and who carry the testimony inherent in the name Israel.
We believe that we have one final meeting in Manassas that will complete the revelation. Manasseh was named because God had caused Joseph to forget his troubles and His father’s household (Gen. 41:51). In other words, the true inheritors were to forget who they were and their connection to their father Jacob. Only in the end would they remember and in so doing they would overcome the prophetic meaning of the name Manasseh.
We are currently seeing the revelation of Manasseh unfold with all of its ramifications. With this, of course, is also his younger brother, Ephraim, whose name means “fruitfulness.” This son of Joseph prophesies of the Sons of God that were to come through the Birthright given to Joseph. Hosea 1:10 says,
10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and it will come about that, in the place where it is said to them, “You are NOT My people,” it will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.”
Manasseh is about the inheritors being told that they are “not My people.” Ephraim is about the inheritors bringing forth the Sons of God in spite of forgetting their father’s house and not knowing that they are the true inheritors.
Much of the Church today believes that the Jews are the true inheritors of the Abrahamic Promise whether they believe in Christ or not—when, in fact, they cannot inherit anything apart from having faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. As long as the cross is a stumblingblock to them, they will continue to stumble, rather than inherit.
Repairing the Breaches
The location of these Passover conferences in Manassas, VA is also prophetic for another reason. Manassas was the place of the first great Civil War battle in America in 1861 between the North and the South. One could say that it was the start of the great BREACH in America.
The hotel where we have met these past two years is located within walking distance of the Park where this battle is remembered. This breach is a type of the biblical breach between Israel and Judah that occurred after the death of Solomon (1 Kings 11:11-13).
Jesus is the Repairer of the Breach (Isaiah 58:12). There are many breaches to be repaired, of course. The breach between Israel and Judah is the breach between the scepter and the birthright, which his repaired through the two comings of Christ. I explained this fully in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming. Christ came the first time of Judah to receive His Scepter, and He comes the second time of Joseph to receive His Birthright.
Likewise, the breach between the North and the South in America still lingers and can only be repaired by a new government based upon the Kingship of Jesus Christ. Both sides of the breach must elect one Head, Jesus Christ, as prophesied in Hosea 1:11,
11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together (unified), and they will appoint for themselves one leader (Jesus Christ), and they will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
Another breach that is being repaired is the breach in the tabernacle of David, as I explained in my previous FFI. This breach was seemingly repaired when Jesus came the first time, because the Gospel of the Kingdom destroyed the dividing wall (Eph. 2:14-16). The tabernacle of David established a Melchizedek priesthood and abolished the old Levitical order, wherein the priesthood was closed to all but the descendants of Aaron. David ministered in that tabernacle as a priest after the Order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4), for he was of the tribe of Judah, not Levi. And Jesus became the High Priest of that Order a thousand years later (Heb. 7:17).
In the 1850’s a new doctrine was set forth, known as Dispensationalism, which taught that the Jews were chosen and would return to Palestine, build another physical temple, and set up animal sacrifices once again under the Aaronic priesthood. Such teaching is now mainstream among Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, and Pentecostals.
That teaching rebuilt the dividing wall that the Gospel of the Kingdom destroyed in the first century. So once again God must destroy Jerusalem and “cast out the bondwoman and her son” (Gal. 4:30). Even as God’s destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. settled the controversy between Paul and the Judaizers in the first century, so also will God destroy Jerusalem in our time to settle the same controversy in favor of the New Jerusalem.
In Matthew 24:14, Jesus said,
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
I believe this refers to the true Gospel of the Kingdom, which is a gospel that breaks down the dividing walls and repairs all of the breaches. It is not the Dispensationalist “gospel” any more than it was the distorted “gospel” of the Judaizers in the days of the Apostle Paul. (See my new 121-page book, The Book of Galatians: Paul Corrects the Distorted Gospel. Spiral bound, $15 each.)
The distorted gospel of the Judaizers was refuted in greater detail in the book of Hebrews, the book of “better things.” It shows how we are to leave the temporary and inferior things of Judaism and embrace the New Covenant way. But Dispensationalist Christianity has reversed this, believing that the Old Covenant and its sacrificial system will again be set up in the coming Age.
What the world needs now is the true Gospel of the Kingdom, having both the meat and the manna, knowing the Word and seeing the glory. It is only by this balanced diet that the Gospel of the Kingdom will succeed in unifying all nations under one Head, Jesus Christ.