Father Forgive Them - Deep Waters Ministry

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2 Φεβ 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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Father Forgive Them

By Diane Scalchunes





I believe the body of Christ can be separated into two groups. That statement may cause
various ways of segmenting the church to run through your mind. Protestant and Catholic?
Modern and Traditional? Evangel
ical and Charismatic? But the categories I have in mind do not
fit into these groups.


I believe the church can be separated into those who worship at a type of Eli’s altar, which
shall be cut off, and those who worship at the altar of Zadok, which sha
ll endure forever. These
two altars need to be explored because one is acceptable to the Lord and the other isn’t. If we are
honest with ourselves, these two altars operate inside all of us, but it is the Lord’s desire that we,
His children, offer up our s
acrifices on one alone.


Light exposes and deposes. The more light we allow in, the more clearly we can see the ways
in which we are simply playing a religious game. But we must not stop there; we must let the
light depose the charade as well.


In
our first newsletter, we expressed that part of the commissioning of this ministry is to pray
for an all
-
out, first
-
c
entury
-
plus Holy Ghost revival.
Once we hunkered down and sat still long
enough to take the focus off of our theater and put it on Jesus, w
e were perplexed when He
started to show us problems with His church.


"What about mammon and alcohol and ambition that hold the people of this land captive?"
we asked. "Aren’t we supposed to pray against the spirit of lust and the various idols the pe
ople
worship?"


The Lord responded, "If you break the church of these things, then the church will have
authority in the land. If you first break yourselves of them, then you will have the authority to
break it off of the church."


Since 1989 the L
ord has been "breaking these things" off of me personally and others along
the way. I do not believe we will "arrive" until the coming of the Lord, so this is an ongoing
process. But each week more and more is revealed to us by the Spirit about the working
s of the
kingdom of God and the workings of the flesh. And the more we see Jesus, the more we see the
subtleties of the flesh.


That is, in a nutshell, what the altar of Eli and the altar of Zadok deal with. I would like to
share with you my understand
ing of these two metaphorical altars, things that the Lord has
taught me over the years, and my most recent perceptions.


The Altar of Eli



Eli was a high priest and his sons were priests to the Lord during the early part of the Prophet
Samuel’s life.

Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were evil in the sight of the Lord and it was
the Lord’s desire to kill them. Their sins were greed, lust, and irreverence, for they did not know
the Lord
. "Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the

Lord" (1 Samuel
2:12 NASB).

They oppressed the people of the Lord by tampering with their offerings. They
refused to let the gifts be presented to the Lord according to His purposes because they used the
offerings for themselves. They were what the Lord J
esus referred to as "hirelings," for they cared
nothing for God or His people.


Eli’s sin was that he became spiritually fat. He barely addressed the sins of his sons, and in so
doing showed his preference for them instead of the Lord. He scarcely repr
imanded them
because he was enjoying the bounty of their greed. His zeal, if any, turned into zeal for the things
of God instead of the Lord Himself, and because of that His spiritual eye had all but shut down.
"Eli was lying down in his place (now his eye
sight had begun to grow dim and he could not
see well)" (1 Samuel 3:2
-
3 NASB).

Eli was asleep to spiritual things. So much so that when
Hannah, the mother of Samuel the prophet, was travailing before the Lord, he thought she was
drunk
. "Now it came about,
as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was
watching her mouth. As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were
moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. Then Eli said to her,
‘How long will you make you
rself drunk? Put away your wine from you.’ But Hannah
replied, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor
strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:12
-
15 NASB).


Eli chose not to rebuke
his boys because he was deceived into thinking that his sacrifices to
the Lord would make up for this lack of obedience regarding the issue.
"Therefore I have
sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice
o
r offering forever" (1 Samuel 3:14 NASB).

No amount of sacrifice on our part can counteract
our deliberate lack of compliance to the directives of the Lord.


Phinehas and Hophni were murdered and a curse was put upon Eli’s family line. Phinehas’s
wife
gave birth to a son moments after she found out that the Ark of the Covenant was taken and
her husband and father
-
in
-
law were dead. She named the baby Ichabod, which means "the glory
of the Lord has departed."


Instead of immediately wiping out Eli’s l
ine, the Lord allowed it to continue for a season.
Although pain and suffering would be their lot in life, for a time, Eli’s descendants would be
anointed to minister at the Lord’s altar.
"And Ahijah son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the
son of Phinehas, t
he son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh, was wearing the ephod." (1
Samuel 14:3a AMP).


Eli’s line would be under a curse of hardship until it was ultimately cut off. Scripture tells us
that Eli’s descendants were among the priests murdered by Saul
at Nob.
"There were more
chief men found among the sons of Eleazar [because of the misfortunes of Eli, and Saul's
slaughter of the priests at Nob]" (1 Chronicles 24:4 AMP).


Greed. Lust. Irreverence. Spiritual blindness. A form of godliness that is ful
l of religious
sacrifice in an effort to offset disobedience. Lack of courage to stand for righteousness and the
correction of sin (especially while one is profiting from that sin). Lack of fear of the Lord. Not
understanding the outcome of disobedience, w
hich is a curse passed down from generation to
generation. A hireling mentality; not really caring for the Lord’s sheep. These are the
characteristics of the "sacrifice" being offered on the altar of Eli. Ichabod ("The glory of the Lord
has departed") has
been declared over this altar. God will not be glorified through it.


Zadok’s Altar




During part of King David’s rule, Zadok and Abiathar were chief priests. Abiathar was a
descendant of Eli; he was the only priest who escaped from Saul’s murderous r
ampage at Nob.
So Zadok’s and Eli’s descendants worked side by side. Abiathar and Zadok stood for
righteousness when they sided with the anointed king of Israel, David, rather than going with
what looked like a sure thing when David’s son Absalom tried to
take the throne by force. They
put their lives in jeopardy when they went into the palace proclaiming their loyalty to Absalom
as they spied for David. Zadok and Abiathar sided with the anointing; they stood for
righteousness and followed the Spirit of God
.


After Absalom’s death, Abiathar and Zadok carried the message of reunion to the elders of
Judah. Yet Abiathar was under the curse of Eli’s house; his fate had been sealed by the sins of
his fathers.


Abiathar made a huge mistake. He supported Ad
onijah, David’s oldest living son, as king
instead of going with God’s choice in Solomon. When Solomon became king, Zadok was
appointed priest of the royal court. Abiathar was spared his life because of his loyalty to David,
but he was cut off from serving

as priest.
"So Solomon expelled Abiathar [descendant of Eli]
from being priest to the Lord, fulfilling the word of the Lord which He spoke concerning
the house of Eli in Shiloh" (1 Kings 2:27 AMP).


Ezekiel’s Temple



Hundreds of years after Abiathar’
s banishment, Ezekiel had a vision while in captivity in
Babylon. He foresaw a temple that would be built (physically or spiritually) during the kingdom
age. The Lord was very specific as to who would be able to minister to Him during that time.
"But the p
riests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when
the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me,
and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lo
rd God"
(Ezekiel 44:15 KJV).


The priests who were disqualified from serving in Ezekiel’s temple were of the line of
Ithamar, who followed in the steps of Eli, against whom the same punishment was given.
Whether a physical temple will be built or a liv
ing temple made of human stones
("And what
agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God;" 2

Corinthians 6:16a KJV),

we can see a precedent here.


Abiathar, whose name means "father of abundance," started off righ
t with God, but then
trusted in his own resources, his own abundance, his own ability to access things in the natural.
By thinking that David’s oldest son should be king based on his understanding of the law, he
boxed God in. But God cannot be boxed in; He

boxes us in! He is the Lord of the Sabbath, the
Lord of the law, and He can wield the law however He sees fit.


Abiathar did not go with the Spirit of God. He went with his own interpretation of the law.
Zadok, on the other hand, whose name means "jus
t, righteous," went with the anointing. He
followed the Spirit of God no matter what the theological ramifications were or how the situation
looked within the framework of the natural mind. The voice of the people couldn’t influence his
decision. He was co
urageous and he stood for righteousness, which is God’s will and purpose.


Going to Birmingham



As the Lord was bringing all of this up to me, a dream I had years ago was triggered into my
recollection by an intercessor’s contribution during prayer. I
n my dream I was at a hotel staying
in room 11. Eleven, for me, is a symbol for Isaiah chapter 11, which explains why Jesus was
anointed.
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall
grow out of his roots: And the spirit o
f the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom
and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear
of the

Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he
shall not judge after th
e sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears"
(Isaiah 11:1
-
3 KJV).


In this hotel room there were a few intercessors, and they were all sitting on blue chaise
lounge cushions that had been placed on the floor. A lawyer friend, who

I believe was a symbol
of Jesus our Advocate, said to me that we were going to Birmingham. I knew the reference to
Birmingham was during the time it was a hot spot in the civil rights movement. This dream was
one of hundreds, if not thousands, of times th
at Jesus spoke to this ministry about His desire to
liberate His people from those who oppress. From those who judge by sight and reprove after the
hearing of their ears.


The Lord is going to vindicate those who are being oppressed by His priests, His

leaders.
Those who are using the offerings of the people (money, time, talent and giftings) incorrectly
and He is looking for instruments of righteousness; those who will take a stand against this and
follow His anointing, His purposes, in this hour.


Mar
tin Luther King Jr
.



Martin Luther King Jr. started a revolution against the injustices of greed and oppression in
and out of the church, just like his namesake had done some 400 years before. He was destined
to usher in the winds of change that would

blow out the hateful crime of judging a man by the
sight of the eye; judging a man because of the color of his skin.


Martin Luther King’s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is one of the most important
documents in our country’s history. In this letter
King wrote, "I am in Birmingham because
injustice is here.… And so I am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my hometown.
Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid."


A believer of nonviolent protest, he said that i
n any nonviolent campaign there are four basic
steps:


1) Collectio
n of facts to determine whether
injustice exists

2) Negotiation

3) Self
-
purification

4) Direct action.



About the process of self
-
purification he wrote in his letter, "We began a serie
s of workshops
on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: ‘Are you able to accept blows without
retaliating? Are you able to endure jail?’"


No great accomplishment occurs by wishful thinking; greatness is achieved through resolve.
Throughout h
istory God has raised up deliverers who believed that retreat was not an option,
who burned with the fires of resolution.


Martin Luther King gave his riveting "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop" speech the day before
he was assassinated. In it he said:


"I

remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic
struggle there we would move out of the 16th Street Baptist Church
day after day; by the hundreds we would move out. And Bull Connor
would tell them to send the dogs forth and they did come; b
ut we just
went before the dogs singing, ‘Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round.’
Bull Connor next would say, ‘Turn the fire hoses on.’ And as I said to
you the other night, Bull Connor didn’t know history. He knew a kind
of physics that somehow didn’t rela
te to the Tran physics that we
knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire
that no water could put out."



As a child King was aware of the injustices of society that loomed all around him. It was at
that time that Martin Lu
ther King’s vision was sown deeply into his heart. Only a childlike heart
can enter into the kingdom of God and understand its operation. Only a childlike heart can see
that the emperor has no clothes.


God gave Martin Luther King a dream and showed hi
m that the Negro people would enter
into liberty with thanksgiving resonating in their hearts and immortal words on their lips: "Free
at last, free at last; thank God Almighty we’re free at last!" In his dream he was on the
mountaintop and he saw his peopl
e entering into the Promised Land. As he put it in his "I’ve
Been to the Mountain Top" speech:


"I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I
want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised
Land. And I'm happy toni
ght; I'm not worried about anything. I'm not
fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the
Lord."



I believe the Lord is looking for a people who are not afraid of any man, who are willing to
fight for His kingdom and who are wil
ling to see it first be established in His church.
"And from
the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured
violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize
--
a share in the
heavenly kingdom is
sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion]" (Matthew 11:12
AMP).


Rough Riders



Like Martin Luther King I suppose God has given most, if not all, of his deliverers’ dreams.
The Lord has said that in the end times, during the transition between

the church age and the
kingdom age, the spirit of prophesy would fall on all flesh and God communicating with man
through dreams would be commonplace. That increase is becoming more evident, for even
unbelievers are acknowledging that they have had dreams

that have conveyed to them accurate
directives. They may not attribute their dreams to the one true God, but they know these
experiences are apart from their own psyche.


As a mother of two, housewife, pastor, and many other roles, it makes sense that

the Lord
would speak to me through dreams. God is a great time manager. What better time to instruct His
children on His ways than through the seemingly unproductive time spent sleeping? Yes, He
speaks through difficult sayings that you have to puzzle out

in those dreams, but what better time
to receive such a puzzle than when you are sleeping? Dreams are an important vehicle for God
because they are comprised of highly superior metaphors that guarantee we are not the originator
of the notions buried withi
n. In other words, we couldn’t come up with this stuff.



I would like to expand on two dreams I recently received that deal with the Lord’s desire for
liberty to reign in His church. In one dream I was in my great
-
grandfather’s house. It was like
Theo
dore Roosevelt’s home. A mob of people were trying to break into the house. Judging from
the symbols in the group, I believed they represented the demonic forces that manipulate the
oppressive, controlling church. Inside the house a group of people were lo
oking for an increase
in Jesus’ kingdom, not man’s. I brought the children in the house to the third floor. (The Lord
dwells in the third heaven, and it is only the childlike that can dwell in that place with Him.)


As I observed various segments of th
e situation without being detected, I noticed that many of
the people were not fighting the opposition. Those who did fight were throwing apples, which
represented ideas from the tree of knowledge.


Still undetected, I went to the outside of the house,

where I saw intruders breaking through
the front door with a battering ram. I realized I had to fight with some real weapons. So I went to
my great
-
grandfather, who had fought in the Spanish
-
American War and was supposedly a
Rough Rider. I asked him where

he kept his guns. He told me where his gun cabinet was. I
grabbed a .22
-
caliber rifle. An intruder came in and I shot him in the neck. There was no blood;
he just turned around and left.


Later, I showed my sister my great
-
grandfather’s Rough Rider ge
ar. There were two saddles
--
a blue and a brown one
--
symbols for the prophetic and humility. I wanted to use his gear. I woke
up with a song in my spirit that had to do with Satan not having any authority in this place.


We wrestle not with flesh and bl
ood. We can’t use tree
-
of
-
knowledge methods to see the
kingdom of God increase in the church and in our lives.


In my dream I hit one of the attackers in the neck. The neck can represent inflexibility.
"Thy
neck is an iron sinew" (Isaiah 48:4b KJV).

A
stiff
-
necked person is a stubborn, self
-
willed
person determined to resist God’s will. This is also a familiar expression for a rebellious spirit.
"You men who are stiff
-
necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting
the Holy Spirit; you a
re doing just as your fathers did" (Acts 7:51 NASB).

We need to take a
shot at this in our own lives as well as taking a stand against it in the church. God’s ways are not
our ways; we cannot get bogged down in theology that turns out to be erroneous.



In many cases we err because we do not know the Word of God or His power. We may think
we have faith in the Bible, but in actuality we have faith in our interpretation of the Bible. Our
ears must not resist the Holy Spirit; we must go with the anointing a
nd not with our limited
theology. God’s ways are not our ways, period! Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be
broken.


Spanish
-
American War



I think there is something to glean from the reference in the dream to the Spanish
-
American
War. One
of the reasons this war started was a revolt in Cuba, prompted by the failure of the
Spanish government to institute reforms it had promised the Cuban people. The Spanish leaders
were oppressing the Cubans. Spiritually speaking, I believe they represented
the oppressive
church I alluded to.


The aggressive behavior of the United States in this war was often justified by references to
"Manifest Destiny," a belief that territorial expansion by the United States was both inevitable
and divinely ordained. S
piritually speaking, we believe there shall be no end to the increase of
Jesus’ government or of peace.


The Fifth Army Corps, which the Rough Riders were part of, attacked the Spanish in Cuba
and drove them out of the land into the hands of the United

States’ superior fleet. (Five is the
number of grace.) Wherever this group fought, there were great casualties, but the U.S. took the
land. God has grace for us (U.S.) to take back the land, starting with His church, for His
kingdom; but it isn’t going to

be without a fight.


I remember prophesying once to a man at a small conference a truth pertaining to Theodore
Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. The Rough Riders were comprised of all types of men, from
Wall Street bankers to horse thieves, but they had

one thing in common. They weren’t fighting
for personal glory, to make a name for themselves or some lofty cause. Most fought because they
loved Theodore Roosevelt like a father. The name Theo means "God." That must be the reason
we fight: for love of the

Father.


It will be a rough ride, and it is going to take courage. But we must take more land for the
Father, more ground for the kingdom of God, starting in the church.


God Is Not



God is not a respecter of persons.
"And Peter opened his mouth
and said: Most certainly
and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no
respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34 AMP).

One of the deceptions the devil implants into the
souls of the people of God is that they will not have to
reap what they sow. If a sin is committed
and put under the blood of Jesus, we are forgiven, but the effects of that sin continue. I praise
God for His grace and mercy, which He pours into the situations we earnestly repent for. But too
often Spirit
-
filled

Christians buy into the lie that if they bask in the love of God, their sin won’t
affect them. That is simply not true. He is a just God. Righteousness and justice are the
foundations of His throne.


Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth.

He governed millions of rebellious
people. He was known by God, and the Lord called him friend. The Lord even spoke with Him
face to face. But Moses made one mistake. He told the people that God was angry with them
when He wasn’t. He also hit the rock twi
ce instead of once. (The Rock, Jesus, was not to be
struck down twice, just once.) It was a prophetic act and Moses messed up. I don’t think many
people were hurt by that. Yet he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of it.
Perhaps Martin Luth
er King Jr. was not allowed the privilege of entering into the Promise Land
because of the stain of his marital infidelities. These were both great men of God, visionaries, yet
one mistake had great consequences upon their lives.


The Jacket




A fear
of the Lord was mounting in me as I was focusing my prayers on the Lord’s timing
one day. A desire to obey is one thing, but the right timing is crucial. I prayed that I would not
miss His timing, for it is an integral part of His plans and strategies. Tha
t night I had a dream.


I was looking for a jacket for my husband. It took me a while to realize that in the dream the
jacket was a mantle. My husband was Jesus and the jacket was for me. I went into the Banana
Republic store. I understood that to be a

section of the church that is going to slip.


I saw a male model who was wearing an olive suit. (Olive is the color of the anointing for
me.) The suit was smashing, but I knew it wouldn’t fit my husband. The model walked out of the
store. His work tim
e was over and he wasn’t going to stick around one minute more than he had
to.


Later, when I was praying about the dream, the Lord used the word
hireling,

the same word
used to describe Eli and his sons, to describe that man. He was anointed, he looke
d great, but he
was not a true shepherd.
"But the hired servant (he who merely serves for wages) who is
neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the
flock and runs away. And the wolf chases and snatches them an
d scatters [the flock]. Now
the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the
sheep [cares nothing for them]" (John 10:12
-
13 AMP).


I would like to put in an aside here. Another deception in the body of Christ

is this: "I am
anointed; therefore, I am right with God." The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. We saw
that although Eli’s line was cursed, they were anointed by God to minister for a time. We cannot
lean on our anointing as some sort of safety n
et. We must periodically check ourselves to see if
we are in the faith. Is Jesus truly reigning within us? Is He Lord over our motives and actions?


In my dream a woman was trying to help me. She was showing me some dungaree jackets,
work
-
mode jackets
(the Martha church doing dead works), but I knew that wouldn’t be right for
my husband. As I was leaving the store, another woman came in. She had come from the
corporate offices to inspect the place because there was a lot of chaos there.


I left and
went next door to Brooks Brothers. (I understood this to be brothers who dwell in
the brook, the river of life.) As I was looking around, a NYC firefighter’s jacket caught my eye.
There were two styles: yellow with blue trim, and blue with yellow trim. (Bl
ue is the symbol of
the prophetic for me, and yellow is the symbol of prayer.)


Two men came into the sto
re, engrossed in conversation. T
hey sort of looked at the jacket, but
they were more engrossed with each other than the jacket. I knew this was the

right jacket to buy
and I was surprised how the men were so distracted with each other that they missed the
significance of the jacket.


The jacket had a picture of a bottle of Absolut vodka on it. I recognized the symbol, but it
didn’t offend me. The
re can be no truth without absolutes. Then I saw something else on the
jacket: a girl in a bikini lying on her side. I said, "This won’t do. I don’t want that." I really liked
the jacket and I knew that was the jacket to buy. I browsed around contemplating

it, thinking
perhaps I could find one without the girl. I came to a round display table on which were a watch
and some money. I picked them up and said they belonged to my husband, which they did. I was
not half as happy about the money as I was about the

watch. The money for the ministry was
great, but picking up on the Lord’s timing was an awesome answer to prayer. I walked over to
the jacket and looked at the price tag. The price of the jacket was $99.00 (which I knew
represented Psalm 99). The dream th
en ended.


Psalm 99 is a symbol for me. Most commentators agree that this Scripture has to do with the
Lord dealing with the sins of Israel, and it can very well mean that. But the symbol for me is
found in verse 8
. "When Moses and Aaron and Samuel, hi
s prophet, cried to him for help,
he answered them. He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud and they followed his
instructions. O Jehovah our God! You answered them and forgave their sins, yet punished
them when they went wrong" (Psalm 99:6
-
8 TLB).

There

is a grammatical rule that when you
use a pronoun it must refer to the noun directly before it. So, although the context of this passage
seems to indicate that God’s combination of forgiveness and punishment applied to all the people
of God for whom Moses

and Aaron and Samuel prayed, for me, this Scripture is a symbol of
God forgiving Moses, Aaron, and Samuel themselves, yet punishing them when they "went
wrong."


This Psalm always gets to me. It reminds me that God is not a respecter of persons. Sins
will
be paid for. Spiritual giants are mentioned in this Psalm. God heard them, and answered them,
but He avenged their evildoing. Through the symbolic reference to the number 99 in my dream,
God was letting me know that there was a big price tag on that j
acket, and that price is radical
obedience.


I have always tried to box God in by saying, "Lord, please don’t give me anything I can’t
handle. I don’t want it if I’m going to blow it." But God doesn’t buy that.


I believe the Lord was telling me th
at this jacket was the mantle He wanted me to have; and
what He said to me next is an important truth that pertains to everyone a jacket is being offered.
"But be careful," He warned me, "of the seductive spirits that come with it. They will try to
seduce
you into thinking that you are something special because you have that jacket. They will
try to get you to rely on the anointing, the gifting, instead of on Me. You can’t have the mantle
without the seduction; it comes with the territory. If you blow this,

there will be consequences;
the severity of which depending upon the act. But if you don’t take this mantle, another will be
raised up, and you will suffer the consequence for turning down My will in your life." My
thoughts immediately went to Esther.



"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from
elsewhere, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows but that you have
come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?" (E
sther 4:14
AMP).


Esther picked up the jacket.
"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan,
and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids
will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king,
though it is against the law; and if I perish, I
perish" (Esther 4:16 AMP).

Esther made a courageous stand. No matter what happened to her,
no matter who she offended, she was fighting for the freedom of her people and she fought
through the seduction of f
alse flattery to do it.


We Want To Be Liked


A friend of mine called right around the time of my dream. The Lord gave her an incredible
revelation. She was thinking about the story of Esther, particularly about Haman, just when I was
contemplating Esther’
s radical obedience. What was wrong with Haman that he hated the Jews
so much? She decided to look at his lineage to see if she could find anything there. Here is what
she discovered:
"After these things, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of
Hammedatha

the Agagite and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who
were with him" (Esther 3:1 AMP).


Haman was an Agagite, which means "from Agag." That also means he was an Amalekite
since Agag was the king of the Amalekites.


Remember the s
tory of how Saul lost his kingdom because he feared man more than God?
How he did not wipe out all of the Amalekites along with King Agag, as God had commanded.
He wiped out most of them, but not all. Saul disobeyed the Lord. God knows what He is doing.
He

knows that many people can get hurt if we don’t obey.


Haman was one result of Saul’s disobedience. Saul’s one mistake could have wiped out the
entire Jewish nation!


So many times we don’t do what God wants us to do because we want to be liked. B
ut God
doesn’t make suggestions. He gives orders. People can get hurt if we don’t obey.


Saul disobeyed the Lord because he feared the people more than God. We disobey God when
we fear man more than Him. "What will they think if I make a stand for righ
teousness? I can’t
say that God, my reputation will be ruined." But Esther said, "If I perish, I perish."


God will get His word across. If not through us, He will raise up someone else. But we will
not escape His vindication. We can’t pick and choose
what we want to do. We can’t have the
jacket without a fight. We will be persecuted. But God is raising up a people to fight the fires of
oppression in the church and bring a new level of liberty in.


The Weapons




Birmingham wasn’t a thought during t
he unraveling of the abovementioned two dreams. That
word was given to me a long time ago, but it was brought to my mind when that aforementioned
intercessor said during a prayer meeting that she was awakened that morning to Martin Luther
King Jr. and his
nonviolent marchers singing in her spirit, "We shall overcome."


Martin Luther King knew that a fight was necessary to obtain freedom. In His "Letter from a
Birmingham Jail" he said, "We know through painful experience that freedom is never
voluntarily

given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."


Martin Luther King fought with supernatural weapons. First off, he would only use people
who would not retaliate, who would not succumb to the methods of their oppressors. People who
allo
wed the Lord to rip out of them the very thing they were marching against. These were
warriors who refused to use apples from the tree of knowledge as weapons, but instead focused
on the Lord, who always leads His people into triumph.


The Lord during
this time also gave me dreams about church leaders scowling at me. He
spoke about being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. I started bracing myself for this. I thought
taking blows for Jesus without retaliating would be the key, but I was wrong; there was

so much
more to it than that. Little did I know I was about to get undone by randomly selecting a
children’s book off the shelf to read to my five
-
year
-
old. Little did I know I was about to get a
new hero.


Ruby Bridges was born in Tylertown, Mississi
ppi. Forced to leave their home because of
economic hardship, her family moved to New Orleans in 1957. Her dad was a janitor during the
day, and her mom scrubbed floors in a bank at night. According to Ruby’s mom, they went to
church every Sunday because "
we wanted our children to be near God’s Spirit. We wanted them
to start feeling close to Him from the very start."


At that time New Orleans advocated segregation in their city’s educational system. That was
against the law. In 1960, a judge ordered fo
ur black girls to attend white schools; Ruby was one
of them. Three girls went to one school and Ruby went to another. Ruby and her family prayed
for the grace to get through any trouble, and that Ruby would act in a way that would be a credit
to her race.


On Ruby’s first day of school, an angry mob gathered around her as she entered the building
escorted by federal marshals. They carried insulting signs and hurled verbal abuse at her. She
was the only student to attend the school that day and in the d
ays to follow; all the other children
were forced by their parents to stay home. Every day Ruby hurried through the angry, snarling
mob, not saying a word. She went to school ready to learn, and her teacher marveled at her
tenacity and peace.


One day,

as Ruby’s teacher was watching her enter the school, she saw Ruby stop and address
the crowd, but she couldn’t hear what she was saying. Thinking that Ruby had finally cracked,
she interrogated the young girl upon her arrival. Miss Hurley told Ruby that s
he’d been watching
and that she was surprised when Ruby stopped and talked with the people in the mob.


Ruby became irritated. "I didn’t stop and talk with them," she said.


"Ruby, I saw you talking," Miss Hurley said. "I saw your lips moving."



"I wasn’t talking," said Ruby. "I was praying. I was praying for them."


Every morning, Ruby had stopped a few blocks away from the school to say a prayer for the
people who hated her. This morning she forgot until she was already in the middle of th
e angry
mob.


When school was over for the day, Ruby hurried though the mob as usual. After she walked a
few blocks and the crowd was behind her, Ruby said the prayer she repeated twice a day before
and after school:


"Please, God, try to forgive t
hose people. Because even if they say those bad things, they
don’t know what they’re doing. So You could forgive them, just like You did those folks a long
time ago when they said terrible things about You."


Ruby Bridges walked into the William Frantz

Elementary School every day for months with
her head held high and with a warrior’s spirit that was not going to retreat in the face of an
enemy of God. She faced an oppressive, dehumanizing spirit that hovered over a great many
people in our country at t
hat time. Ruby eventually broke the back of the evil she faced, and
children returned to school. Much land was won in the kingdom of God because of Ruby
Bridges.


It wasn’t Ruby’s tenacity that broke the wickedness that engulfed so many people. It wasn
’t
the cause. It was because she fought with one of the greatest weapons available in the kingdom
of God. She fought with a .22
-
caliber rifle. That weapon being that her caliber, her quality, was
that she embraced the Lord’s death (the number 22 is a symbo
l for Psalm 22 which is an Old
Testament prophetic description of the Lord’s death).


Ruby fought with the very heart of Jesus. A heart filled with insurmountable compassion for
those who diabolically schemed to kill Him. The Father is looking for peop
le who will take a
stand for righteousness; a people who are childlike enough to say that the emperor has no
clothes; a people who will not look the other way in the face of injustice.


But proclaiming absolutes is never enough to advance the kingdom o
f God. It has to be done
with a heart filled with anguish as it cries out for those who hate them, "Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do." Such a proclamation has to be done with the kind of compassion
that can only come from embracing the
cross.