1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, “
This is an open vision given to me by the Lord to help me and those called to join with the King in the final quest to bring home the bride (the True Church). I sense the Lord communicated this to me for the purpose of clarifying and directing me and those who have committed their lives to finish their course in Yahusha Ha Mashiach (Lord Jesus Christ).
We begin in a small company.
The Lord Yahusha (Jesus) Himself is leading through what appears to be a thick forest. All that we can see is the back of His head. Long smooth hair. He is slender and swift and sure of His direction.
There are just a few in this company. 12 or so, I could not count. All eyes were on Him as we moved through the forest. Thick underbrush covered a path that was barely discernible. Were it not for the King knowing the way, getting lost in this jungle would be very, very easy.
Slowly yet steadily the King picked up the pace. I could see His crown and He was wearing a cape. We kept up with Him as we glided through the brush. All of us silently moving in unity with our leader. Communication was not necessary, we were one. He moved left and each would instinctively follow. No questions, we just did it.
After some time we come to a part of the forest which opens up a bit. The path is move visible here. Not quite a clearing but a lot wider than the other parts of the forest. Something isn’t right. We can all feel it. Still no words. None needed. We can feel the danger.
The King slips behind a tree just off the path. We all imitate Him. Each of us with our backs to a tree waiting. Something is coming up the path behind us. There is no fear. The King waits like a hunter awaiting his prey.
Suddenly through the brush come beasts which look like pigs and one large black one which looked like a bull. As they pass the King they are killed by the sword that is suddenly in His hand. One after another. We seem to participate to some degree although I mostly am observing. Finally the last one, the black bull, passes and stumbles to his death. His body is pierced with several arrows. He dies.
Immediately we resume the journey with the King at the head again. The path widens a bit more and again we sense danger. Ambush. Men which look like savages with paint on their faces and spears begin to emerge from the bush. They are too late. Their timing is off. We were past them as they came down and they begin to pursue. The King never turns. His just increases the pace.
One of our company is in the back. “Keep moving, stragglers get killed.” We all heard it in our hearts. We all knew, this is one race where you don’t look back. The last of our company pressed something in the middle of what looked like his breastplate and suddenly he was propelled up with the rest.
The pursuers fade away as this little band led by the King simply outrun them. They cannot catch up. We move too swiftly staying right behind our King. The forest begins to recede away and we appear to be coming upon a river. I can see the King better now. His crown upon His head. He never breaks stride and does not look back. He knows we’re right behind Him. We all instinctively trust Him with our lives. He will take us through.
Without breaking His stride or slowing a bit, He runs right over the edge of the cliff. It’s at least a 100 foot drop to the water. I can see a rope tied to his legs. I wonder if He will make it to the water. Splash. He is in and up on the other side and fastens the rope to the other side.
Now I see what He is doing. We all follow. We climb up the other side and follow again. Again, He runs. Instinctively we follow. We should be tired. We are tired, but we can’t stop. Why not? It is not clear why, we just know. He is setting the pace and we must just follow.
We finally arrive at a vast clearing. It is massive. I am doubled over catching my breath. The King is not even winded. My hands are on my knees as I just try to catch my breath. That was a long run. That was a great distance. All of us are tired.
“Now that you know the way, you must go back!” Said the King with absolute certainty that we would. It was not a request. He already knew we would do anything He asked. “You must go back and lead the people back here, then they can all rest.” He said it and that settled it. I instantly thought of the river.
How would we get them across the river. The rope. The rope now spanned the river. We could construct a bridge. I began to just understand.
At that moment, after that long run, I understood the responsibility of an apostle. We would always go twice.
Once with the King to train us and then again with the sheep. It brought new meaning to being “out in front.” None of us were concerned or nervous. We were made for this. This is what we do and who we are. We were called to serve and serve we will. I understood. The greatest shall be a servant.
We make our way back to the river. Together we string the bridge across the water. It will hold. It will work. While He is not visible to our eyes, we can sense the King’s presence guiding us as He did before. There is no difference. His fragrance, His essence is still there. Silently directing our every move.
Without thinking or reasoning, we just work together. There is no conversation. None is needed. We are one. We know what we must do. We must return to the sheep. Back through the woods. We knew the way.
We arrive at the other side of the forest and suddenly I am alone as I come through the last stretch of woods to see the company assigned to me. The other apostles were gone. I knew where they went. They were with their companies. I came through. The leaders of our company instinctively run toward me expecting news of the road ahead.
“Prepare to move out. We must go through.” The words come out of my mouth with absolute assurance and authority. Instantly they began to prepare.
A shepherd (pastor) is there and comes up to me. He has been crying over one of His sheep. It is wounded and He has been praying for healing. I touch the sheep and instantly it is healed. The shepherd is overjoyed. Whatever reservations or doubts he had were dissolved as he saw the healing. He immediately goes to join the other shepherds working with the sheep to gather them all together. We must travel together.
Remembering the dangers ahead and that we will not be able to move as quickly and swiftly as the first time through, I order the commander of the archers to take lead position with me and to form a phalanx formation with archers on each side of the path.
Before we begin, I walk through the flock. They all seem to see something in me. They seem to know who I am and whom has sent me. The Sheep know the voice and scent of the King. His scent was upon me and HIS voice coming through me.They are very calm.
I find many being taught and instructed on order and obedience. Some of the younger ones being trained over and over again. Their teachers showing such patience. The Shepherds move with me. They do not say a word but they beam like a proud father as I survey their little groups. Each one in order, ready to move. You can see the love they have for their little flocks. They would give their lives for them.
True Pastors can be trusted to stay with them no matter what.
Arriving at the rear I find those with the task of catching stragglers. They are grim as they look about. They each have a staff with a hook at the end. Should any stray from the rest, they will meet these lost sheep gatherers who’s only commission is to catch and return all stragglers that none are lost. Today they scour the landscape looking for anything that moves.
They are always hungry for stragglers. They are ready at a moments notice to retrieve any lost sheep and return them into the arms of their shepherd…and a long discussion with the teachers.
As I move back to the front, I have a new understanding of the five-fold ministry. I understand the tremendous responsibility of the Apostle.
The Prophets are commissioned with guarding and protecting. They head the archers, the intercessors, who offensively destroy all ambush and attacks.
Then there are the shepherds (Pastors) and Teachers who tend the flock and keep them clean, strong, and well fed.
Then there is the Evangelist who pounces on stragglers and gets them back to the shepherds. It is not separate as I once thought. They are not independent of one another. It is a family. They are one. Each serving in the role for which they were designed and given. None envious or jealous of another. All in one accord.
There is such unity among all of us as we move out. The follow me like the Apostles followed the King. I can feel His essence in front of me again. I can almost see Him. The Prophets are looking out for danger. They fully trust that I know the way. That I will keep following the King through. The Pastors and Teachers keep the sheep in order.
They comfort and exhort them to keep moving and that all will be well. They warn them not to leave the flock and that they protected while they stay together. They answer the same questions over and over again. “Where are we going?” To be with the King! “When will we get there?” Soon, very soon.
The Evangelists are spread out in the rear. Not one should be lost. Not one! They will not tolerate even one lost sheep. No matter what, none will straggle on their watch.
As we come to the place where the path widens, the procession stops. The archers take position. “Clear the path!” I shout. To one side they all go. In just moments the path is clear. As though right on cue, the beasts I saw the first time come through. Foolish beasts.
They were easy picking for the archers. “Let’s keep moving.” I say to the Pastors, and again the procession continues. I know what is next. The ambush. We will not be able to outrun them this time. This time they will BE ambushed.
I instruct the prophets who have already smelt the danger. They line up the archers and again, right on cue, the ambush arrives…only to meet their death at the hand of archers that don’t miss. All the savages are dead. Not one survives.
We move through the rest of the forest without incident and arrive at the river’s edge. The bridge is there. It is secure. No one knows and no one needs to know how it got there. It’s not important. The apostles know and the King knows. That is enough. We all pass over the river.
Finally we arrive into the clearing where the Lord our King spoke to us and commanded us. From every direction, Apostles are bringing their companies into the massive valley. Each in order. All the sheep well cared for and altogether beautiful. The valley is quickly filling with company after company.
I realize that there are thousands upon thousands of apostles leading groups large and small. All in formation. All in order. All spotless and beautiful. The quest is over. The King and His herds are united. All the danger is past. From here on they will be with their King!
As I reflect on this powerful panorama, I realize the tremendous responsibility of each part of the family of God. None are less important than others. None can be left out. They are all needed. We can’t live without any of them.
As I look out on the church today, I see Pastors trying to be Apostles and vice-versa.
I see Evangelist getting lost sheep together but not sure what to do with them after that. Shortly thereafter, they are lost again, only to be corralled by another evangelist.
I see teachers trying to teach but they are not being listened to.
The Intercessors shoot as many arrows at one another and at ministers as they do the enemy. Almost all of them are wounded.
Ministers of Miracles and Healings start going their own way. They just keep marching around and around, going nowhere. Helps and Administration ministers are trying to help but they just keep getting frustrated and keeping moving from place to place, hoping that the next “herd” is going to be better. “The sheep are not in order” is all they keep saying.
I see Prophets hollering at everybody and chasing after wolves and other predators who are able to devour at will. Massive chaos. Tremendous pain and bloodshed. Disorder and petty fighting among leaders.
My heart breaks. They cannot travel like this. They cannot reach the other side like this. No, we must have order. God’s divine order.
This cry comes from my heart. The Spirit of the Lord, the essence of our King, would lead us to safety. We must submit ourselves to the word of the Lord and the will of the Lord or all is lost. The True Apostles of the Lamb are emerging.
Order must be restored. Apostles must be willing to go the route twice. Once with the Lord and once with the brethren.
Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ”