Thursday, November 8, 2012

                                              ITS TIME TO PIVOT
Last Sunday morning, November 4th, the Lord dropped a scripture into my heart, and I knew that it was a "NOW WORD" from the Lord. That text was I Chronicles 12:32, "from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do--200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command."On Monday morning as I began to study this scripture, nothing was coming to me. I just couldn't get a handle on it. So I tried again on Tuesday morning, but again nothing! As I prayed about it, the Spirit whispered to my heart, "you will know what I want to say to you from this Word after the election." Early on Wednesday morning the Word of the Lord came to me. It is that word that I submit to you now in Jesus' Name.
In Genesis 30:18, we find that Issachar was the fifth son of Jacob, born to him by his wife Leah.
In the Hebrew language, the name Issachar can be translated, "he will bring a reward." And if you look at the name of Issachar prophetically, and move forward to our text in I Chronicles 12:32, you will see how that this prophecy found fulfillment.
According to the Jewish Targum (Jewish commentary on the Old Testament), "the men of Issachar 'that had understanding of the times' were skilled in fixing the beginning of months as well as years; skillful in changes in the moon; in the doctrine of solar periods; and were astrologers in signs and stars." And "they knew what Israel should do." Again, we look to the Targum for commentary. "Their teachers were 200 chiefs of the Sanhedrin and all their brethren excelled in the words of the Law(the scriptures) and they were endued with wisdom and were obedient to their command." From this commentary, it is obvious that Issachar was living up to his name in "bringing a reward" to the chosen people of Israel. Let me break it down a bit further so that we can truly hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us from this text.
The men of Issachar were God's people who had a handle on the time in which they were living. Or said another way: they knew prophetically the time that they were in. They were discerning as to what the Now Word of the Lord was to His people. They were the ones who could say to Israel, "this is where we are in God's plan and there is where we need to go." They had, as it were, their hand on the pulse of the Holy Spirit. You could call them "the eyes of Israel." They were devoted to the prophetic word of the Lord as to what that word was saying to the people AT THAT TIME.  The tribe of Issachar was a prophetic voice of the Spirit to the people of Israel. Issachar was living up to his name, he will bring a reward.
As I was thinking about this text, I remembered another "unusual" text in the same book of Chronicles, I Chronicles 4:9-10. Perhaps you are familiar with the prayer of Jabez. You have been reading along for over four chapters the seeming endless genealogy of the chosen people of Israel, and suddenly from out of the blue you read these words, " Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, 'I gave birth to him in pain.' Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, 'Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory; let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.' And God granted his request." As Jabez was obviously set apart from his brothers, so too does it appear that the tribe of Issachar also had the honor of being set apart for God in a special way. In both texts, it seems that the Holy Spirit is saying, "pay close attention here--something is being revealed that you need to know and understand."
Again, it is said of the men of Issachar that "they understood the times and knew what Israel should do." But what exactly does that mean? What did it mean then and what does it mean to us today? To answer that first question, of what did it mean in its original setting, let's examine the context. What was it that the men of Issachar understood? They knew that it was THE TIME to make David king over all Israel! That is actually what is going on in I Chronicles chapter 12. David had ruled over Hebron for seven years, but now the time had come for him to rule over all Israel. The men of Issachar knew where they were on God's calendar of time. This was  not just a chronos time(sequential time) but a kairos time--a special time when God was ready to do something special. That "something special was to set up the Davidic Kingdom in Israel!
I also find it interesting that whereas the other tribes of Israel mentioned in this chapter numbered into the thousands, there is only 200 mentioned here from the tribe of Issachar.  Why just 200 instead of the thousands like all of the other tribes? The answer is found in our text which says, "with all of their relatives under their command." This to me, along with the first part of this verse, suggests that the tribe of Issachar was in spiritual order; the leaders and the people were in unity. They were doing things God's way which always leads to greater revelation and blessing. "He will bring a reward."
Now, when you put all of this together, what the is the Holy Spirit revealing to us about the tribe of Issachar? They were believers in Israel who knew and understood the time and the season in which they were living. They were not just ploughing along not really understanding what was going on around them and not caring. And this group of believers in Israel not only knew God's time and season in which they were living, but they also knew what God's chosen people needed to do! Again, they knew that it was God's timing to establish the Davidic Kingdom in Israel. This was what the people should be focused on and what should be priority number one!
Now, you may be saying, okay, I get it. The tribe of Issachar was spiritually discerning of the times in which they were living and they knew what to do. But what could this possibly have to do with us today? In a word, EVERYTHING!
I believe that the Holy Spirit has been grooming and raising up a modern day "tribe of Issachar" in the Church. I will attempt to describe them for you. This group of twenty first century believers within what is called the "church," are those who are committed to the Word of God--taking it literally. And they are not only committed to taking the Word of God for what it really is, the Word of God, but they are also committed to obeying what His Word says. Also, this remnant within "the church at large," have a passion to not just do "church" as usual, but rather they desire to hear the NOW WORD OF THE LORD! They are deeply interested in what "season of God" we are living in. They want to know what God is saying and doing in the earth today. Just like the tribe of Issachar who made it their business to know the seasons of God, so too does this twenty first century "tribe of Issachar."And like the Old Testament tribe of Issachar who was in divine spiritual order and so was experiencing divine unity, I am sensing that the Holy Spirit is at work--setting things up--to bring a supernatural unity into the twenty first century "tribe of Issachar" or the remnant church. And as this remnant church is discerning the season that we are entering into, they are being drawn closer to the Lord and to one another. I further believe that this discernment went to another level with the results or outcome of  the presidential election on Tuesday night. To the church in America, especially, the Lord made it clear that we can no longer look to the government. So many had hoped that with a change in Washington there was a chance to right the moral compass. But it was not to be. The Lord spoke to me very clearly. He said, Jimmy, you must now pivot away from government and turn totally to Me. It is time to pivot away from having any hope or trust in government. We must now look to God and God alone. Let me explain.
Months ago I made the statement that if Barack Obama was reelected for a second term, then that would be a sign that we are much further along on God's prophetic calendar of end time fulfillment than we realized. Why do I believe that? Because America reelected a man and a party who affirms the killing of unborn children (abortion); who is for homosexual marriage that is contrary to the Biblical definition of marriage of one man to one woman; and who is no true friend of Israel. And I have told you more than once that these three things always bring the judgment of God on a nation. Consequently, if there is no strong pro-church, pro-Israel America, then we are likely much closer to the last days than we know. Look at it this way. If America was raised up as a superpower in the 1940s to stand with and to protect Israel who became a nation again, ironically in the 1940s, 1948 to be exact, then if America is no longer a superpower that is standing with either the church or Israel, where does that leave us? It means that the only One who can save both Israel and the Church is Jesus the Messiah. And there is a remnant of believers who are truly beginning to discern this unusual season that we are entering into. Like the Old Testament tribe of Issachar, this modern day "tribe of Issachar" or remnant church are believers in Jesus who "understand the times that we are in." Also like their counterpart in the Old Testament, who understood that it was time for the Davidic Kingdom to be established, these believers understand that it is time for the coming of the Kingdom of the greater David--even the Lord Jesus! Yes friends, I believe that the tribulation and the return of the Lord Jesus from heaven is close--yea, even at the doors!
The prophetic dominos are even now being made ready to fall: 1. The Middle East is a virtual powder keg ready to be ignited and explode, 2. The global economy is on the verge of collapse as socialistic countries are getting to the point where they can no longer afford to pay entitlements (sound familiar America?) 3.  The last Islamic Caliphate is even now being formed. Just recently the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt made it clear that the goal of the Muslim countries is to form one Islamic state ruled by Sharia law based on the Koran. This is, I believe, the last world empire that will be lead by the Antichrist.
Dear friends, this is the season that we are entering into! And the modern day "tribe of Issachar" or remnant church understands this! And as this discernment grows, so too will the supernatural unity among this group of believers. That of itself is exciting! And with one voice these believers will declare what the church should do: PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND! 
Now you may be saying, this makes me afraid. It all sounds a little scary--actually a lot scary! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, don't be afraid, we are coming to the Church's finest hour! As God's kingdom draws near, we will see a Church operating in the supernatural power of God with signs, wonders, miracles and healing. And we will see the greatest harvest ever come into the Kingdom of God! Along with this great harvest, the remnant of Israel will be saved as they turn to Jesus as their Messiah--their literal and spiritual Savior! When David was made king over all Israel and the Davidic Kingdom was established, it was not a time of fear or anxiety. Rather, it was a time of great joy! Likewise, as we know that we are in the season of the return of the much greater David--yea even the God-man Himself--the King of all Kings, I tell you it is not a time to be in fear or anxiety! This is the time for the true church to be filled with anticipation, excitement and celebration! Hallelujah, the King is coming!!!