Five-Fold Today - A New Emphasis on Church Leadership - Habakkuk's Prayer - Birthing of an Army - You Have Not Passed This Way Before

July 1, 2000

A New Emphasis on Church Leadership
- by Mark Kaphaem

Recently the Lord has been speaking to me comparing church structure to the human body. The main point the Lord was making to me was the new emphasis He had for those who would be leaders in His body. The part of the body that represented these leaders was the feet.

The feet are submitted to the Head.

These leaders will take their orders from and be submitted to the Head of the body. The head of the body is Christ. They will not try to raise themselves up to the head ship of the body. They know their place, they are the feet. Feet take orders from the head and go and do what they are told.

The feet lead the way and take the body with them.

When the feet are given a order from the head they begin to move. They do not tell the rest of the body to move. They lead the way and the carry the body with them. They will blindly trust the head that it knows where it is going and move where they are told.

The feet will work together to move the body.

These new leaders will not just take off on their own causing the body to be off balance and stumble. They will work in unison leading the body in the same direction. This is how you will know them. They will not seek their own.

Christ, the Head of the Body.

Jesus is the Head of the body. It is time to come under submission to the Head. A body can not be in unity unless it is of one mind. That mind is to be the Mind of Christ. If you are providing leadership to the body just because it is your job to do so, STOP. If you are providing leadership to the body because you are submitted to the head ship of Christ and to do otherwise would be to disobey Him, GO.

(As I pray about this I feel there are many who feel trapped in positions of the body because of expectations and circumstances. Can a hand be a eye, or a leg be a mouth?)

Be what you are and trust the Lord to take care of the circumstances. Trust Him and you can once again feel His joy as you fill the role in the body that you were created for.

May the Lord give you grace and courage as you seek Him,

-- Mark Kaphaem

Habakkuk's Prayer
By Chad Taylor

"O Lord I have heard your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy..." (Habakkuk 3:2).

The name Habakkuk means "embrace." Habakkuk did not stand afar off at the fringes of Israel and prophecy destruction like a spectator waiting for the gun to go off! No! He embraced Israel and pleaded for her repentance and petitioned for the Lord's mercy to triumph over His judgement. God took Habakkuk from a place of imminent defeat, "O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear?" (1:2). To a place of faith and victory, "The Lord God is my strength, He will make my feet like deers feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills..." (3:19).

Even in the midst of certain invasion and captivity Habakkuk glimpsed beyond the temporal into the eternal and saw God's mercy and faithfulness. In his fear and flesh he finally comprehended, "But the just shall live by faith..." (2:4). Today in the midst of national turmoil and governmental intrigue, a prophetic chorus will rise from the din of defeat to herald a Greater. A greater Power, a greater Glory, a greater God. One that is not bound by elemental and human limitations, but "He that is in me is greater than He that is in the world..." (1st John 4:4).

Habakkuk saw a greater glory than that which was present in Israel. He saw something on the horizon that eclipsed the present distress and destruction. Once he saw it he exclaimed, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea..." From the sackcloth and ashes had risen a vision of a greater day, a greater time, when the Lord of Hosts would visit His people and restore His glory to them.

If we are to prophecy with any eternal effect and impact, we too must see beyond the veil of fears and current affairs and see Him! See Him high and lifted up! Transfigured and like lightning! It is only from that place of revelation will we ever have the understanding to pray with Habakkuk, "In wrath remember mercy..." (3:2).

Fear no longer gripped Habakkuk's heart. Fear no longer influenced his ministry and words. He had come to the divine conclusion, "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food...Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation..." (3:17-18).

In his temptation he saw His salvation! In derision and confusion he glimpsed God's salvation! He was not ruled by fear but faith! A person who prophecies from fear and intimidation only breeds the same. One must glimpse the high places, walk with hinds feet, and breath the rarefied air of Heaven. Then he or she will bring His glory in their wake and declare with Habakkuk, "His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was filled with His praise..." (3:3).

Modern day prophecy must come to this place of inspiration. Where their words and declarations are not influenced by fear but faith. Faith in a God that transcends all current predictions and prognostications. A God "that loves the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son. That whoever would just believe in Him would NOT perish but have everlasting life..."

When our hearts are ruled by that kind of love, when our ministries are ablaze with that kind of passion, then our words and decrees will not bring hopelessness but rather like Paul, "...we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2). We see and hope for a greater glory coming! We expect and anticipate a greater and more glorious hour to visit us! We grasp as did all the prophets, "The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of Hosts..." (Haggai 2:9).

The glory of God will be our hope and our anchor. Our mainstay and our Rock. "That we no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine...but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ." (Eph. 4:14). We will walk the earth in a knowledge of that glory "as the waters cover the sea". We will not be influenced by "wars and rumors of wars". But we will comprehend what it meant when Jesus prayed, "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one." We will be like Him. "...being transformed into the same image from glory to glory..." (2nd Cor. 3:18).

Only then will the masses of pierced and tattooed bodies heed our words. Only then will the derelict and heretic come to His feet to be washed. Then, and only then, will the unloved and unlovely open their hearts and minds and be saved. As long as we parade our own personalized doctrines and treatise they will perish as we prophecy. We must get a hold of His heart! His glory! His willingness to redeem even the most decadent of people or place. God is not standing over the nations of the world with a hammer of judgement, but rather a hand pierced and bleeding, aching for His people to grasp this kind of Love, and pour out to the earth like He did as they lifted Him up. The promise still remains true today, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself..." (John 12:32).

Chad Taylor

Birthing of an Army
Maria Magruder-Taylor

Micah 4:9

The Lord says, "Why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in your midst? Has your counselor perished? For pangs have seized you like a woman in labor."

There is a birthing happening in the body of Christ. This birthing is a birthing that is happening among God's women. For those of you who have been laboring, God is about to deliver!

You O woman, who have been waiting, you have been waiting to see God's hand move. You have been waiting to see the Word of God come to pass in your life. You have been in labor. You have wept and wept. You have searched for the Lord your God and could not find Him. You felt abandoned by Him, yet He has been with you as He was with Joseph in his darkest hour. You have waited for so long, some of you years, some months, you have waited to the point of death. You said, "Oh, God! I cannot bear to carry this word, this seed in which you have planted in me!" "Oh, God help me deliver, help me wait to see this Word come to pass!" You have cried, "Where is the God of Elisha!" Your God, says, "this is the hour of delivery. This is your hour my daughters."

As Sarah and Abraham had to wait for their seed to be conceived, they had Ishmael. Sarah doubted in my Word, and took things into her own hands, and the result was Ishmael. I still blessed Ishmael and made him into a Great nation, but it was not without conflict my daughters. There have been those of you who have questioned the "conflic" in your own lives, and it is because you have not waited for my BEST that I have for you, but I tell you now the WAIT IS OVER! The best is upon you! Your Isaac shall be birthed! For I am a faithful God, and I am not a liar. Every word I have spoken unto you SHALL COME TO PASS IN THIS LAST HOUR. I will deliver you!

Vs. 10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, You shall dwell in the field, And to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; There the Lord will redeem you From the hand of your enemies.

The enemy has tried to take many of you out, as he tried to do with baby Moses and even Jesus! The enemy has pressed you on every side even to the point you have wanted to die! But you have called on the Lord your God, and He will deliver you! He is your protector and deliverer!

Vs 11 Many nations have gathered against you, held you down, pushed you down, who say "Let her be defiled." But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord! Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.

Arise and thresh, O daughters of Zion; For I will make your strength as iron!

Micah 5:1 Now gather yourself in troops O daughter of troops, for you are a Great part of the Army of God. For I am doing a New Thing, and I am birthing an Army for My Kingdom, that eye has not seen nor ear has heard of. Arise my daughters! Arise!

by Pastor Francis Frangipane

"Then Joshua said to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you'" (Josh 3:5). Every new dimension in God requires a new consecration of ourselves. We cannot ascend higher in Christ without shedding the limitations of our previous attainments. Israel was about to enter a new realm of spiritual fulfillment. Earlier they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt. Then, in the wilderness, God delivered the Hebrews from their inward taskmasters of sin and unbelief until, finally, they learned the source of their well being came, not from themselves, but from "every word which proceeded from the mouth of God."

Just as the Jews could not survive the wilderness with the mindset of a slave, neither could they enter the Promised Land with perceptions limited by the harshness of the wilderness. The wilderness was to prepare them for something greater than itself: a promised land, with new victories, greater power and greater enemies as well.There is a sequence to our spiritual experiences: we begin enslaved, God delivers us, He then begins to train and discipline us. Yet, this also leads to a time of fulfillment, a spiritual "promised land,"where the Lord's promises manifest in power in our lives. We must not forget what we learned in the lesser levels, but we must also remember: the wilderness is not the promised land. God has something better for us. Indeed, the living, praying church is about to be given more power and victory than we have ever known. And just as theLord instructed Joshua to have Israel consecrate themselves before entering Canaan, so the Lord is calling for a fresh consecration among us as well, for He will again work wonders among us.

To consecrate oneself in the Old Testament meant to set aside all you were , along with your possessions and goals, and present yourself afresh to God. It means the same to us today. It cannot be done superficially and also be done right. We come like children, soft and willing to be taught new truths. Even if much of our understanding had previously come from God, there is more to learn. Consecration is fresh surrender.Now, the wonders which God is about to perform are to reveal His glory and His goodness. This world is full of hopelessness, fear and corruption. Thus, the Father wants people to know the power and the glory of His Son. The times of extended dealings are about to be put behind us. The "wilderness era" for the church will soon lead to adifferent dimension: "the time . . . when the saints took possession of the kingdom" (Dan 7:22; see also Matt 24:14).

"It came about at the end of three days that the officers went throughthe midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, 'Whenyou see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your placeand go after it'" (Josh 3:2-3).God called Israel to follow the ark of the covenant. Their covenantrelationship with God was their source of power and direction. Itdefined their range of possibilities."However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way bywhich you shall go, for you have not passed this way before" (Josh3:4).He said, "You have not passed this way before." They had spent fourhundred years in Egypt and forty years in the wilderness. They hadmany experiences, but nothing from their past would enable them tograsp their future. So, the Lord commanded them to focus on thecovenant ark and follow it.

Likewise, we have had many dealings and blessings from God, but mostChristians really have not known how to define themselves in light ofGod's covenant. Yet, something is happening my friends. I've talkedwith many national leaders. We all are sensing that a new, powerfulmove of God is approaching. People are feeling something deep inside.A new move of God is coming. The Lord is about to do a new thing thatwill release far greater power. Thus, we cannot rely on ourunderstanding or personal, subjective experiences or traditionalchurch procedures. Neither can we rely on what other church peoplehave told us. Nothing in man's recent past is fit to define theunfolding glory awaiting God's elect in the days ahead, but at its essence is the unfolding of Christ's fullness in the church.Joshua commanded Israel, not to follow the military, not to walkbehind their weapons of war, not to trust the strategies of man: hesaid follow the ark of the covenant. As much as they had learned inthe wilderness, there was more. They had learned discipline,obedience and worship, but the power of God's covenant was about to beunleashed on a new level. The covenant would break former limitationsand release new wonders and revelations of God for the Israelites.

Listen, my friends, we too have "not gone the way" of the covenantbefore. Wait, you argue, we know about the blood covenant. We are going to heaven because of Christ's covenant, we know forgiveness.Yes, we have known a limited experience of covenant power, but most ofour expectations are for the next life. The Almighty has manyunfulfilled expectations for this life-power and gifts He wants togive that will proclaim the fullness of what Christ has purchased forthis realm!Beloved, we are children of God, yet we've been reduced to man-sizeddreams and limitations. We worry about health care, retirement,finances and job security. However, through the unleashed power of the New Covenant, we are about to step up to God-sized boundaries,power and fulfillment! Just as God gave Joshua the nations of Canaan,so Christ's blood will purchase the peoples of the world. Is it notwritten, He shall "sprinkle many nations" (Isaiah 52:15)? Yes, entirenations shall come to His light and kings shall bow at the brightnessof His rising! (Isaiah 60).

A covenant is the highest form of commitment that can be made betweentwo parties. Just as the Jews are a covenant people, so trueChristians are also a covenant people. The Jewish covenant was madebetween God and Israel with Moses serving as mediator. Their covenantrequired that they fulfill all the demands of the Law, and if theyviolated just one stipulation a curse rested upon them until properatonement was made, usually the blood of bulls or goats. Our covenant, however, comes with greater promises and potential.While Moses was imperfect, the New Covenant is an agreement betweenGod the Father and God the Son."When He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, 'Take this andshare it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of thefruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.' Andwhen He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gaveit to them saying, 'This is My body which is given for you; do this inremembrance of Me.' And in the same way He took the cup after theyhad eaten, saying, 'This cup which is poured out for you is the newcovenant in My blood'" (Lk 22:17-20).

It is important to understand that the New Covenant was not madedirectly with us, but made between the Father and Son for us. Theonly conditions put upon us are that we believe and receive what Godhas done.The terms of the covenant were as follows: If Jesus would live Hislife in holy, sinless purity, never once failing to obey the Father;and if through His humiliation, chastening and crucifixion, Christwould suffer the penalty due man; then God would put the punishmentdue all of mankind upon Christ, freeing those who would receive Christof the eternal penalty for sin.By looking to Jesus, mankind acknowledges we are sinners in need foratonement; when God looks at His Son, He is satisfied that atonementhas been paid. Jesus gave a perfect life in exchange for ourimperfect lives, a holy life for our unholy lives. Oh what a God weserve! The Father sends His only-begotten Son-the very essence andsubstance of Himself-to represent us as a man, so that God couldcovenant with God and secure our eternal redemption!

Yet, not only have we received salvation with Christ, but Paul tellsus something perfectly wonderful. He declares, "How will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Rom 8:32) In other words, ifGod would go so far as to give His Son, what would He withhold? Theanswer, of course, is nothing. The blood covenant has purchased forus everything we need pertaining to life and the appropriation ofgodliness (see 2 Pet 1:3).Everything has been granted us because of the blood covenant. Eventhough we know this truth, we have not walked in it, even as Israelknew of the promised land, but had not entered it. For us, thecovenant we are called to follow will lead us into Christ's fullnessin virtue, gifts and power.

"Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherdof the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus ourLord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us thatwhich is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be theglory forever and ever. Amen" (Heb 13:20-21).Not by human virtue or self-righteous, but by virtue of "the blood ofthe eternal covenant," we receive "every good thing to do His will."We have God "working in us that which is pleasing in His sight." Paultells us that God has blessed us "with every spiritual blessing in theheavenly places" (Eph 1:3). We have received all because Jesus gaveall. Everything is based on what Jesus accomplished in the New Covenant! God, grant revelation of this until this one holy truthbecomes a fire unveiled within us.Such is the power of the covenant. We are on God's side; He is on ourside. We are united with God against every enemy known to man.

Let's return to Joshua because the next scene in this propheticparallel to the church reveals an awesome event. Joshua told thepeople to follow the priests as they carried the ark of the covenant.The priests were to stand still in the Jordan as Israel passed by."And it shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests whocarry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest inthe waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off,and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap" (Josh 3:13).

It is interesting that, almost as a foretaste of how the impossiblebecomes possible, the priests are required to step into the Jordan.It is deep. The text tells us that "the Jordan overflows all itsbanks all the days of harvest" (Josh 3:15). This water does notgradually recede as the priests draw near; it has not dried over nightfrom a stiff wind like the water of the Red Sea. It remains flowinguntil the priests, carrying the covenant, step out in it.As they dip their feet over the edge of the deep, churning water, attheir right side, the river instantly stops! As the weight of theirbodies follows the downward pull of gravity, the foot of the firstpriest lands solidly on dry ground! It is almost as if God is saying,WELCOME TO THE REALM OF COVENANT POWER, THE REALM WHERE ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

In the wilderness, for the most part, the training, the lessons, thematuring all took many years. But, when God's covenant power isunleashed, things are hastened in their time. The covenant gives youdirect access to the power of God. You do not have to go through an operator to get through to God. You have the covenant hotline to theAlmighty! The priests had to obediently step into the flowing waters. This issymbolic of the land of the covenant. Here, God intends to do thingsinstantaneously. It's not any harder for God to do somethinginstantly than it is to do it gradually. We have thought that"gradual" was one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The most familiaradjective in the book of Mark concerning the miracles of Jesus, is theword "immediately."

This is about covenant power, God's power. It is not aboutevolutionary power. Even though we are Christians, we live as thoughwe believe in evolution: like everything has to evolve in our lives.There is a power coming that is an "immediate" power.Again, look in Romans. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son,but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freelygive us all things?" (8:31-32)This is the land of our inheritance: the land of the covenant God whofreely gives us all things. Whether it is the Jordan stopping as ourfeet touch it or the sick coming forth for healing, all things areours because of the covenant of God with Christ.

From now on, when you talk about the great things of God, themiracles seen and those that are yet to come, let us refrain fromsaying, "unbelievable." It is time to say, "Yes, Lord! I believe!"When the Lord heals people and does His great works of grace and youhear the report of many salvations, do not say, "It's too good to betrue."The promises of God are good and they are true. Receive His love andthe fulfillment of His promises. It is not based on us. It is basedon the power of the blood covenant.Listen afresh to Christ's confidence:"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you"(Mk 11:24).

Faith works by believing we HAVE received what we ask. This is not amatter of "confessing" over and over the promises, but believing that,through Christ's covenant with the Father, He has given (past tense)us all things. Before we even asked for help, God's response wasalready secured. As Paul said, "How will He not also with Him freelygive us all things?" Surely, in a world where our advancement is based on our performance,now we abandon ourselves to God and advance based on how wonderfully Christ performed! Truly, we have not gone this way before."Oh God, topple the limitations of our minds! Destroy that thinkingin us that still relies upon our own righteousness instead of trusting fully in the blood of Christ. Father, let this message be arevelation, not just a teaching to us! Open wide the eyes of our understanding that we might be aware of the fullness of what You have given us in Christ! Amen.

Francis Frangipane

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