HIS TIMES & SEASONS
Everything has its time…
To everything there is a season (an appointed time/appointment),
A time for every purpose under heaven.
Our reality was designed by a wise and benevolent Creator Who exists outside of the boundaries of time and Who sees the end from the beginning, and everything in between. His intention in creating us was that we would remain in continuous relationship with Him and together we could multiply and cultivate this beautiful planet we call earth.
From the very first chapter of the book of Genesis we see that God set a time clock in place that would reveal specific “appointments” for humanity through time…
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons (appointments), and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
With the Lord’s wise decision to grant us free will, He was well aware of the choices we would make along our journey and the subsequent pain and suffering that would result. He understands the best way to guide humanity on a journey which would result in a group of people who ultimately and willfully choose to stay in continuous intimacy with Him. Through that chosen, continuous relationship this earth can become the expression of the King of Glory and His Kingdom that was intended from the onset.
In my life and walk with the Lord, I have experienced a number of “appointments.” Starting from the morning in late 1993 that I first perceived a “still small voice,” beyond my mind, telling me it was “time to go to church,” to my wedding day with Lindsay, and to even this very day as I write this blog with the awareness that it is a “work prepared beforehand for me to walk in” (Ephesians 2:10). As I have learned to lean back and look more thoroughly at the “big picture,” I recognize so many instances of personal and worldly events that are speaking about the timing of God.
KNOWING OUR TIME: Hints, Clues and Signs
As chapter 1 in Genesis expresses, the Lord has placed “signposts” along our path to awaken, guide and protect us. These “signs” can come in just about any form and serve as hints or clues as to the Lord’s will in our lives. It is our job and blessing to perceive the signs in relationship with the Holy Spirit to properly interpret them and walk more deeply into God’s will.
Although any true sign from the Lord is good, we need to be intentional not to elevate our reverence of the signs above the One who gives them, any more than we should elevate God’s messengers (i.e. Billy Graham/BGEA, Bill Bright/CRU, Loren Cunningham/YWAM, etc.) above the One Who sent them. True signs and messengers should always be pointing our attention to the Living Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus). Jesus himself told us not to “look for” (or pursue…we are to pursue Him) signs while at the same time telling us to be willing to recognize them when the Father gives them (Matthew 16:3 – discerning the signs of the times). With that in mind, let’s explore some personal signposts that have come to my attention over the last 17 years that may help encourage us as to the timing of our generation’s significant “appointment” with the Lord.
After 6 years of walking with the Lord, in 2001 I noticed a dramatic increase in the number of “encounters” I was having with our Creator. That is the year I began learning to be still and wait quietly upon the Lord to let Him do more of the “talking,” so to speak. I began growing in the ability to let the Holy Spirit be my Guide through the “road map” of the written Word of God. Our ancient brothers and sisters were given many hints and clues to pass along to us in the Holy Spirit inspired writings of the scriptures.
One of the key ways the Lord has chosen to speak to me is through the use of numbers. He even moved on a young girl (around 10 years old at the time) in Portland, OR to draw a picture of me with numbers falling all around me. This served as an encouragement to embrace the Spirit’s use of these indicators. I recognize that there are many inappropriate uses of numbers such as in the Occult and we need to be operating in the correct spirit. And no, I am not into numerology. I have also matured over the years in the understanding of the Lord’s design of the celestial bodies and constellations as a story to be understood by us. Though I did take Astronomy in college 😊, I am also not into Astrology (although apparently the Wise Men in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2 were astrologists and numerologists as they studied the heavens to know the time and location of the birth of the prophesied King – https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/holidays/christmas/magi-wise-men-or-kings-its-complicated.html)
The following are cursory overviews of some of the appointments, indications and confirmations I picked up along the journey…
9/11 – About 45 days prior to September 11, 2001 the Holy Spirit highlighted verses in Isaiah 30 that referred to a time of “the towers” falling (the Twin Towers coming down on 9/11 are not the only towers being referred to here but are one major indicator). Isaiah continued on to write that after the towers fall there would be a time of healing for God’s people while at the same time the Lord would be dealing strongly with the nations (Isaiah 30:25-33). Since 9/11, I have witnessed a dramatic increase in healing in my life and in the lives of Christ followers I walk with and the experiences continue to grow.
777 – In the month of August 2001 between the time I received those Isaiah 30 verses and the fall of the twin towers in New York, I had a very unique encounter with the Lord. In that experience He told me very clearly to “go to Danville Virginia where you were born and see your aunt and uncle”. Interestingly, the last name of my aunt and uncle was literally “Angel.” During that visit several significant things happened and among them I was given a tour of Danville (I had only lived there the first 6 months of my life). On that day we found the house where I was born and the house number was 777. At the time numbers didn’t mean that much to me but the “still small voice” gave me a very needed message for where I was at that time in my walk.
Over the subsequent years I have had so many unusual confirmations using this number set that I can’t even count them and it would take a small book to share them in writing. Some special ones include receiving a picture of a license plate from Tennessee with the message “ABBA 777” on Father’s Day 2016 (Abba meaning Father). This year on my birthday my wife saw a South Carolina license plate with the message “IAM 777.”
The Lord has also shared some key understandings with me around these numbers (for another writing). One notable piece of evidence came on a specific date on the Hebrew calendar in 2008 known as the Shemitah/Shmita (7 years after 9/11). Our nation experienced a record decline in the stock market. The fall was 777 points. The significance of this event has been documented and taught on by various leaders in the Body of Christ (including Rabbi Jonathan Cahn). Finally, early in 2016 the Lord brought to my attention that the upcoming Fall marked the start of the Hebrew year 5777 (Oct. 3, 2016 – Sep. 20, 2017). He shared with me that the 5777 year would serve as a significant demarcation in time that will result in a noticeable difference in Kingdom productivity from that point forward. I can honestly say that it has been like a night & day shift for me personally since that year. In short, the numbers 777 speak of the invitation from the Lord for us to now fully yield our lives to him, individually and corporately, and experience transformation in spirit (7), soul (7) and body (7).
11:11 – Another significant “wonder” in my life also initiated in 2001. I began noticing the number set 1111 in extraordinary frequency and I felt impressed in prayer that it had purpose. As with the 777, over the years the Lord has used 1111 at key moments to facilitate awareness of His intentions. One special occurrence happened in 2009 after a dependable Spirit-filled leader in Charlotte prayed for me and told me that my name, Matthew, had been given to me on purpose by the Lord. He went on to say that it is very important for me to focus on the book of Matthew because it is all about “the Kingdom.” Well, a few weeks later while reading the Bible I felt led to start at the beginning of the New Testament again (Book of Matthew) and wouldn’t you know that it starts on page 1,111 in the bible I was reading at the time. Another instance happened on the date 11/11/11 during a time of waiting on the Lord silently. Holy Spirit showed me a man’s face and I perceived His voice saying “I am sending you to Chicago.” Upon researching to track down the face online I discovered the man was Dr. G.E. Bradshaw and he was living in the greater Chicago area. We met the next year and he has been instrumental in my life in so many ways as the President of the G.E.M.S. Network (Global Effect Movers and Shakers), as a mentor and as a friend. Finally, I have recognized several key verses in scripture at the 11:11 marker in various books that speak to these latter days. Not the least of which is the following…
It shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time…
3…2…1 – During my first 40-day fasting season in 2008, the Lord shared with me elements of His plans for our Day that are spread throughout the Old & New Testament. As He took me through them I became aware of a designated season of “Restoration” that has been spoken of by His prophets from the beginning and I learned that Yeshua was waiting in Heaven until the time comes for the “Restoration of All Things” (Acts 3:21). In the humorous way the Lord works with me, He kept showing me the number set 321 in mass and gave the concept of a countdown “3…2…1” referring to the inevitable timing for this Restoration. I have uncovered other 3:21 verses that speak powerfully of God’s intentions for us including in Ephesians and Revelation. More recently, I have heard a couple globally established prophets (James Goll & Johnny Enlow) proclaim that we are now in the “Times of the Restoration of All Things.”
100 Years – In 2013 I was doing research on some of the key leaders in the Holy Spirit movements of the early 1900’s. I discovered that some particular ministers that were moving powerfully in the Spirit of God (signs, wonders, healings, miracles) had received a “heads up” from the Lord that the full “outpouring” they were expecting would not come for another 100 years. One of these leaders was Maria Woodworth-Etter in Chicago who received this revelation in 1913…100 years exactly to the year I recognized these facts – http://greatawakening.blogspot.com/2012/03/100-year-old-prophecies-of-revival-is.html.
In all this, I would have to say that the greatest sign of our timing that I have seen over the last many years is the metamorphosis under way in my own life and others with whom I walk with in relational proximity. We may still be a good distance from where God is taking us but I cannot deny the change as I observe myself from a 3rd party perspective. Through my early adulthood I found myself experiencing tremendous outbursts of anger, seasons of depression, frequent fear, a psychiatrist’s diagnosis of bipolar, low levels of self-control, and cycles of destructive behavior. As my relationship with God deepened and my submission to Him ensued, I found these shackles falling off my life to the point of knowing such a living daily Peace beyond my imagination.
These leading indicators along with many others (eclipses, blood moons, constellation arrangements and global events) have convinced me that the Lord is, at this moment, up to something major…so what is He up to?
BUTTERFLIES & GEMS
You can hardly find a better expression of Transformation than the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I believe the butterfly is a sovereign design of God to display what is destined for mankind.
In 2016 as I worshipped the Lord with my eyes closed in a corporate setting, I caught a vision of people as gems/jewels. I saw us full of color and light as our insides were becoming gel like in consistency. It was like our chemistry was changing and our physiology was being transformed into something very different than we had been. Eventually our composition was fully transformed into a new substance and we solidified into colorful shining gems. I perceived the words “Chrysalization and Crystallization.” Like the process of the chrysalis covering the forming butterfly until the time of manifestation, in the vision we were protected by the shell of a crystal while our internals were experiencing a complete metamorphosis soon to be revealed.
As written earlier in part 1 of this blog, I had a God appointment with Dr. G.E. Bradshaw in 2012. Interestingly, before I realized he was leading a global network called G.E.M.S., the Lord was highlighting the following verses…
“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My gems/jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.
As I searched the scriptures, the eyes of my understanding began to open and I saw other key references to “gems/jewels/precious stones” laid throughout the Bible…
O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
The Lord their God will save them in that day,
As the flock of His people.
For they shall be like the jewels of a crown,
Lifted like a banner over His land.
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald…
As the Bride of Christ we are becoming His Gems and the City He is bringing down out of Heaven (Rev. 21:2) is made up of US!!
IT IS T-TIME!
A couple weeks ago we released a blog I wrote entitled “Your Provision is NOW” where I shared about how staying consciously present in Christ each moment is one key to receiving His provision. Well, as I am writing this blog I felt led to take a break and walk the neighborhood to deepen my immediate focus on the Lord’s Presence before continuing to write. During that time I received some insights and “signs” encouraging me as to what the Lord would prefer I share in this writing.
After deciding to use the sub-heading in the section above “Butterflies and Jewels,” I ended my walk around the neighborhood with an actual butterfly encircling and landing in front of me to get a picture…
I also decided to pull up Youtube to search for something and as I did a series of videos from David Wilkerson popped up. After watching the brief video, this is what I gleaned…
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being TRANSFORMED into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Let us each focus frequently (until continually) on beholding the Glory of God to let Him Transform us into what we were designed to be. I believe the Holy Spirit and the Word of God is proclaiming to us that the time for our transformation has arrived. And we being transformed into maturely operating children of God is the key to seeing city transformation and the Restoration manifest. The change in our communities is a function of the change in us and between us as Children of God.
In closing, and in fun, the Lord has determined that it is T-Time, Transformation Time (individually, organizationally and communally). As in the game of golf where there is a Tee Time (time to tee off and start the game), our God has put the earth on His “Tee” so to speak and is ready to take a swing at us becoming (a) “WHOLE in ONE”. 😉
Transformation Time (Part 1)