The Cloud is Moving
Paul Keith Davis
I love it when God confirms His word! Around September 11, I was given an extraordinarily vivid dream that has since provided a source of great encouragement. In the dream I saw a hand being extended holding an open Bible. I was told to turn to a certain chapter of the Bible and begin to read. After reading several verses in this passage I came upon a “Scripture” that simply said, “increase, increase, increase, increase, increase.”
Obviously, there is no passage of Scripture that says this precisely, but it was a symbolic representation of God’s desire to release escalating measures of increase for the coming days. The passage that I was reading was from Numbers 10. Admittedly, Numbers was not a book that has been on my radar in recent days. I have focused much of my attention on Revelations, Daniel, Zechariah and the Gospel of John. Therefore it was a seemingly random and obscure passage for me to read at the time, yet I knew the dream was from the Lord.
As a result, I determined not to tell anyone the specific passage that I was given so when the confirmation came I could have complete confidence that it was from the Lord. The following week I participated in a conference in Knoxville, Tennessee that included Bob Jones. I thought perhaps the Lord would activate Bob’s revelatory gifting and speak to me from Numbers 10. However, by the time I left the conference no mention was made of this passage.
I then flew directly from Knoxville to Dallas, Texas to participate in a Rosh Hashanah conference with Chuck Pierce and Glory of Zion ministries. I was quite excited to be a part of this gathering and felt a certain sense of appreciation to the Holy Spirit for His quick fulfillment of a prophetic word the Lord directed me to give Chuck the year before. It was a revelatory experience involving a huge white tent and the release of the healing anointing comparable to that demonstrated during the tent revivals of the 50s.
This was the first tent meeting they had conducted on property they purchased outside of Denton, Texas. When I arrived the tent was exactly as I had seen in the experience the year before. I still carried in my heart a desire to understand the implications of Numbers 10 but admittedly was not focused on it when the service began that evening.
To my amazement, following worship Chuck brought forward two individuals with silver trumpets to inaugurate the Feast of Trumpets and the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. This of course is taken from Numbers 10:1-2 and the declaration given to Israel for the purpose of calling a holy assembly and alerting the people for times of movement.
Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out. When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
I was even more amazed when Chuck declared that he was going to do a brief teaching from Numbers 10 as a prophetic announcement for the services and the coming season in God. There was my confirmation!
Moving With God
Numbers 10 is a chapter devoted to the preparation of God’s people to move with the cloud of His Presence into a place of promise. Very specific and meticulous instruction was given to Moses when the time came for the cloud to move to another location. Clearly, from this prophetic insight, the body of Christ is being called to a holy assembly and preparing to follow the movement of His Presence. The cloud is moving!
The specific verse that I was reading in my dream that was translated “increase, increase, increase, increase, increase” was actually Numbers 10:28 saying, “This was the order of march of the sons of Israel by their armies as they set out.”
My interpretation of this passage as it relates to the coming increase is derived from our necessity to follow God’s meticulous order outlined by His Spirit. The Lord has a prescribed way that He desires for us to align ourselves with Him in order for His blessings of favor and grace to accompany us, resulting in progressive measures of increase. Much of that order can be found in Isaiah 66:1-2 saying:
Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.
Three things will help align us with God for the coming days:
1. The Spirit of Humility
2. A Broken and Contrite Heart
3. Trembling in Reverence and Awe at God’s Word (Rhema & Logos)
Praise, Times & Seasons, Habitation
The Lord clearly instructed Moses to have three tribes precede the Tabernacle as they began to march-Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. (Numbers 10:14-16)
The standard representing Judah was that of a lion. Clearly, the Lord is presenting Himself as the Lion from the tribe of Judah. He came once in a manger and offered Himself as a suffering lamb. However, now He comes roaring in resurrection power to appropriate His overcoming victory through a body of people identified as the Bride of Christ. Praise must go before us along with a clear understanding of times and seasons as depicted in the blessings of Issachar.
We are now entering an “appointed time” for advancement and especially the recovery of lost heritage. While in South Africa following Rosh Hashanah very clear revelatory insights were given concerning Zebulun and the blessing of Moses found in Deuteronomy 33:18-19 saying:
Of Zebulun he said, “Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going forth, and, Issachar, in your tents. They will call peoples to the mountain; there they will offer righteous sacrifices; for they will draw out the abundance of the seas, and the hidden treasures of the sand.”
The name Zebulon means “a habitation” but the land of Zebulun was once ostracized for its darkness and apostasy. However, one visitation from the Lord Jesus and it became known as a land of illumination and a source of great Light. (Matthew 4:15-16.) This blessing provides a prophetic picture of many places being positioned for divine visitation. I believe this will be especially true along certain coastal areas that have received prophetic promises through the blessings of Zebulun. Naturally, that is not to say this will be limited to coastal areas but this word is identifying those places with this promise.
A New Season
I believe this past fall festival season has been one of the most important in recent memory. Very clear and precise revelations have been granted concerning God’s desire to release not only demonstrations of His Spirit but also a more pronounced measure of His Presence. We are called and commissioned in this season to bring in a wave of harvest that will consist of future harvesters; the Cloud is moving in that direction. Along with our emphasis on evangelism there must also be a corresponding emphasis on equipping, mentoring and preparation.
We hope everyone will please check out our new website. Our staff worked long and hard to revamp the look and function of our web ministry. I am very pleased with the outcome. I believe we have a much more contemporary website in both appearance and capability.
We are especially excited about the new Video on Demand feature. We presently have over 80 DVDs in this library and will be continually adding new and fresh material monthly. We are already receiving numerous reports from those who have subscribed to this resource opportunity with wonderful affirmations. I believe it will be a tremendous tool to help communicate the message the Lord has entrusted to us and the various ministries co-laboring with us in this mandate.
Introduction to Dave Johnson
Dave Johnson and his wife Talia are an outstanding young couple that have been participating in our Alabama SOS meeting for quite some time. When I discovered that he was a writer I asked that he put together a brief article to articulate what the Lord is saying to him as a young adult seeking God’s face and the fullness of his destiny. This is the resulting article that I truly enjoyed and trust that you’ll find enlightening and fruitful. Paul Keith Davis
My first experience with yeast, or leaven, was cooking with my mother when I was just a kid. Since my mom is a great-I mean really great-southern cook, I had many opportunities to watch, learn, and help cook alongside her. Most of the time my motives were purely to taste what she was preparing before anyone else did, but I actually enjoyed those times when I could just help her chop things up, mix ingredients together, and participate with the meal.
Of all the things my mom cooked, I think I liked her baked goods the most and I tried to get her to bake muffins, biscuits, or cakes almost every weekend. The first time I remember using yeast in one of these recipes was when my mom was making pizza dough. I remember asking her if I could mix in the yeast, to which she replied “No,” because it’s such a volatile ingredient and you don’t want to mix too much of it into the dough. Okay. No big deal.
Recently God has really been stirring me up in a great-and strange-way. Just a few days before Paul Keith asked me to write an article for him, I was reading a portion of the gospels where Jesus warned His disciples to stay away from the leaven of the Pharisees. Here’s what He says: “‘Watch out!’ Jesus warned them. ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'” (Matthew 16:6 NLT)
When I read those verses, I heard the Holy Spirit reiterate those words with almost more force than I initially read it-almost like a shout: “BEWARE OF THE YEAST OF THE PHARISEES!”
I stopped dead in my tracks. I don’t even know if I finished the rest of the chapter; I had to know what God was saying here. So I asked the Lord what this meant and told Him that if having that yeast is bad, I don’t want any of it in my life. Well, maybe it’s just me, but the Holy Spirit likes to take His time teaching me things, so I couldn’t wrangle all the details out of Him right that very instant, it took time, but it was a message that, to this day, I still remember and I’m still learning all that it implies.
The first thing that I had to relearn was that every word from God is for me. If it’s in the Bible it’s for me. Of course, I knew that in my head, but God wanted me to really know that-to live that. This is important, because so often we find things in the word of God that we think is important for someone else and we miss God’s voice for our own lives.
In reading this passage numerous times, I always just assumed that this was just Jesus speaking to the disciples about something important for them, as if this was just a detail in the narrative of a biblical story. But God had to correct me in this, because according to 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful…” So I had to see that this portion of Scripture wasn’t just to fill in the gaps of a story; this was Jesus speaking to me. After that was settled, God began to speak to me about what exactly this “yeast of the Pharisees” included and went on to say that we must rid ourselves of this because, to this day, it still exists in the church at large.
I could write about a few aspects of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees, their hypocrisy, their pride, and various other issues, but the primary subject that the Lord spoke to me about was the Pharisees’ emphasis on knowledge over revelation and their blatant disregard for God’s voice.
Of all the people that Jesus encountered, his harshest statements were toward the Pharisees and Sadducees. I’ve always asked myself, as I’m sure others have, why would Jesus be so harsh to those guys? I mean, he called them “dead tombs” and a “brood of vipers”? What? The more I looked at Scripture, though, the more I realized that of all the people who should’ve recognized the move of God and the coming of the Messiah, it should have been the people whom God entrusted with His very word.
But when you read through the gospels, the Pharisees and Sadducees had no clue. They were more interested in asking provocative questions and they tried to justify themselves with their own so-called “knowledge” of the Old Testament. And because of their spiritual ignorance, they missed out on the most important move of God in history: the Messiah. They proved out the Scripture that says, “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18 AMP) Dead tombs, indeed.
As I said before, God has really been stirring my heart this year in a strange way. For me, this has been a year of listening to God and God revealing things to me like no other time in my life. But the strange part, to me at least, has been that God has really been reviving basic tenets and principles of the Word to the forefront of my heart. He’s been speaking to my heart about the cross of Christ, the blood of Jesus, and of grace. But God has so radically changed my life with these simple, basic, 101 messages, that it almost makes me angry that, in twenty-seven years of my life, I’m just now learning these things.
I should have known these all along, but, instead, I’ve heard about a gazillion messages on everything else. Just the other day I was in my car, thinking about this very subject, when the Holy Spirit began to say that, just like the Pharisees, we’ve neglected the revelation of our foundation in exchange for some new knowledge. Jesus told the Pharisees, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law-justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” (Luke 11:42 NLT) The Pharisees majored on minors and eschewed their foundations for head knowledge and rituals that won them favor in the eyes of people. Unfortunately, that happens too much in many churches today.
God wants to move us from living a life full of head knowledge into His understanding and His revelation. That takes us moving into a different spiritual posture. We have to start listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying, waiting on him and His revelation, and start walking that out instead of being satisfied with just knowing about it. And, truthfully, that may take some time. This isn’t just another factoid to remember; this is progressive truth being revealed to our hearts. Do we really think that God is done speaking about the basics? Do we think that God is done with John 3:16 or Romans 10:10 or Ephesians 2:8? I don’t just want another verse memorized; I want the reality of that verse working in my life by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the difference between knowledge and revelation. One has, the other does.
In Ephesians, Paul prayed, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Eph. 1:17 NIV) The ultimate revelation, according to the Apostle John, is The Revelation of the risen Son of God in all His glory. Ultimately, that’s what I want-not a pat on the back, an accolade, a self-esteem booster, a pin, or the praise of man. I want to know God better. Period! I’m not there yet, but by God’s grace, I’m moving in that direction. I’m listening. I want what Peter had when he responded to Jesus’ question and said, by the Holy Spirit’s revelation, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
God has something amazing in store for the Body of Christ-I think many already know this. But if we don’t move out of the realm of the “yeast of the Pharisees” by holding onto what we know and by rejecting the realm of revelation, we’ll miss what God does. We aren’t entitled to a move of God.
But God is inviting us into that move. And, like the times when I participated in cooking and baking with Mom, God is giving us the best opportunity of all: to work with the very Bread of Life and participate in what God is cooking. One of his requirements is just that we leave our leaven behind and follow His directions.