Another parable put He forth before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. Matt. 13:24, 25
We move into 2017 with great expectancy and great awareness of the coming days. I have perceived in the fall of 2016 a clarion call to the church for 2017. There will be expectancy toward all that the Lord will do in nations, especially in this nation; expectancy of how His purposes and His will shall become reality; expectancy for the church to rise in Kingdom influence and authority.
There will be acute awareness of great battles looming for the soul of individuals, people groups, and nations. A clashing of kingdoms shall occur in 2017. It will bring clarity between darkness and light, good and evil, and righteous and unrighteous cause. People and nations will choose. Yes, there will be a choice of which side and where to abide.
A prominent prophet recently declared we are entering the time of the ‘tares and the wheat and the sheep and the goats’. Many translations interpret the word ‘tares’ as ‘weeds’. A tare was an unproductive weed that looked like wheat until the fruit came forth. Only when the fruit of both became evident near harvest time could one see that the tare was not wheat. Tares are sown when the watchmen sleep.
We no longer live in a time where the murky middle will be allowed and be called ‘tolerance’. A choice for the murky middle is a choice for the tare and the goat, what may seem good but is not God. As we move forward there will be many that see the wheat and the sheep as the problem in their nation. The vision of many, even in the church, has been obscured by the veil of cultural confusion and demonic deception. Some will see the passionate remnant hearts within the church as extreme, out of touch, incongruent with peace, tranquility and social justice. They will see remnant believers as something to be moved aside for the sake of peace and conformity in the global glob.
Grace, the transforming power of God, will stand as a differentiating influence within the church. To embrace grace is to embrace the transforming power of the Father manifest through the Son and secured on earth by the Holy Spirit. To embrace grace in its fullest will be to live and move in the Kingdom. It will no longer just be about eternal life but will be about Kingdom life. Grace is the foundation of the New Covenant whose cornerstone is Jesus the Messiah. Grace is not a slippery slope, but a transforming power to see clearly and make decisions to be the wheat and the sheep when the winds of culture blow against us. The Kingdom of God is a place where sheep thrive.
The pulpits of the church will hold great sway over which direction people and nations choose. The pulpits must bring clarity of choice when the murky middle seems like the pathway to keep the peace. The power of praise and worship, clarity of sound doctrine, visibility of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and apostolic and prophetic alignment will cause many to move to be sheep and wheat. The pulpits of the church offer opportunity to lift the veil. It will be lifted for many.
The pulpits must employ both sword and brick. The sword is employed for battle. The brick is used for building. The exiles of Judah and Benjamin were aware of the enemy as they built the wall. They carried bricks and a sword, mortar and a spear, always aware of the clash of kingdoms. They were warriors and builders for a Kingdom purpose. The pulpits must be occupied by warrior-builders in this season.
There will prophecies of gloom and prophesies of boom. One offers the consequence of being tares and goats. The other offers the blessing of being wheat and sheep. Neither prophecy is wrong. They both bring prophetic clarity to choice and consequence. The sheep and the wheat shall prevail and every tongue raised in judgement of them will be silenced and every hand raised against them shall be broken.