Our road map – the Life of Christ

The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy

When we consider the journey of our Lord Jesus Christ while here on earth, it seems very relevant to also see recall that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy[1]. Thus, as He walked out His journey on earth in His first coming, His story (testimony) reveals major milestones, which would therefore be prophetic insights to the lives of those in Christ, as well as His redemptive plan. As ‘The Prophet’, His very life is a prophetic word to us all. As an aside, as we too are the spoken word of God we too have a life that is a prophetic word to many, this is something those who walk strongly in the prophetic gift should particularly recall (especially those in the Office of the Prophet). The lives of biblical figures such as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, reveal their walk was a prophetic message to a future generation.

In ‘following in the footsteps of Christ’, we are in a sense walking in His testimony…and thus the prophetic journey He has laid out for us. It seems that we can both find ourselves in part of this journey, or in fact also be placed by our Lord in places that represent milestones in this journey in order to usher in the key work God wishes to do. As in God the first can be the last, so His order can be slightly different for us all, and perhaps these milestones can be both physical places, and spiritual happenings occurring in parallel. Thus you may be in ‘Bethlehem’, like a church or group where new things are being birthed and intercessions abounds, and yet also find yourself in a ‘Nazareth’ where you grow and feel like you are home but are not seen for who you are in God. We will also have bases in such places, while visiting others.

Consider the major milestones, and look to their prophetic insights as revealed through their positions, and ancient (Hebrew or other) meaning of their name. Remember these are key dwelling places for our Lord in His first coming, and yet He still travelled, and constantly journeyed to Jerusalem (His destiny) throughout His life on earth, and so you may move between these places.

Born in Bethlehem

Bethlehem means ‘house of bread’, and is found in the south (and a little west). Positioned neared the south gate associated with Simeon (means ‘heard’), Issachar (‘wages’), and Zebulon (‘dwelling’) – also known as a refuge (as safe harbour by the sea), where they know the times. Here Jesus came to earth[2], and so a place of birth (intercession/new things), and bringing forth new bread (maybe this is where the expression ‘bun in the oven’ truly comes from!). It is perhaps for this reason the Bread of Life was released on to earth hear. For many a place of dwelling and refuge for a season, and perhaps keys of knowing you are in the right place is the sense of provision, feeling safe, and being heard…and you will know the times of change. While here God may be birthing new things in you, and you may be helping to birth the new things He has for the region. (See attachment at end as an example to how this should have applied to Kingdom Life Centre/Park Ridge Baptist).

Escapes to Egypt

The next step in His walk was to escape with Joseph and Mary to Egypt[3], on the Lord’s leading. Interesting, as Egypt has the meaning of ‘country’, ‘fortress/double stronghold’, ‘black land’, and even once called the house of God) it is perhaps clear why it again became a refuge for God’s people (see Abraham[4] and Joseph[5]), but only briefly for Christ while looking for the next step in the journey. Thus it appears God can use the most surprising places to be our refuge, safe place, while escaping harm’s way or for growing the family. For the Joseph’s this is a place of authority in order to provide a place for God’s people and to prosper a region, for others it is a land that offers a temporary refuge that sustains you where others places (even your home) do not. Go there on God’s leading though, for some in the Bible made the mistake of going there when God had not said so and this was not a good plan[6]!

Grows up in Nazareth

Nazareth means ‘branch’ – which has at its root watch, ‘sprout’, ‘shoot’, and placed in the north is part of the northern gate (Apostolic, priestly) and obviously the appropriate place to grow up. Reuben (first born/’son’), Judah (‘praise’, lion), and Levi (‘attached’, priest) are associated with this gate. This place represents the family who were with you as you grew in to who you are in God, however often cannot see who you are in Him, and only want you to help around the house. It becomes necessary to leave this place to be who you are.

The Wilderness (near Jericho)

On being baptised by John the Baptist (in obedience to God), it is well recorded in the Gospels (see  Matt. 4; Mark 1; Luke 4) how Christ entered a time of 40 days of fasting in the wilderness and testing by Satan, before He was fully released in to His ministry in the region of the Sea of Galilee. This seems to be part of His journey or passage in to His ministry, where suddenly after the powerful miracle that many witnessed as He was baptised, where the Spirit of God alighted upon Him and God spoke, He was immediately thrust in to this shortish but essential challenge. This experience happening in the wilderness near Jericho, and thus probably very near where the Israelites dwelled having passed through the water of the Jordan in to the Promised Land and being confronted with the need to take Jericho. Joshua met with the “Commander of the army of the Lord” nearby Jericho, and so it is said met with Christ Himself, near a place Christ would later visit after He entered the Jordan to receive His promise.

While, according to Hebrew scholars, the name Jericho may mean City Of The Moon (Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) or Place Of Fragrance (NOBSE Study Bible Name List), and the authors of the Bible probably were very much aware that they gave Jericho its two different names, suggesting that this city was known for both moon worship and fragrances. However important the original Hebrew[7] used in the Old Testament for Jericho also speak of a place of force, the wind (Hebrew ‘ruah’), breath of God, as well as a pathway, place of journey, and so this place can also be seen as a place where the breath of God and passage occurs. Perhaps highlighted by the fact it is not far from where the Israelites crossed the river Jordan, a passage through the river Jordan made by God (the Holy Spirit), and near where Jesus was baptised in the Jordan and received the empowering from on high of the Holy Spirit. Jericho was also known as the City of Palms, and God often associates palms with angelic presence (see the decoration of the Mosaic tabernacle, and Solomon’s temple).

On His final journey toward Jerusalem Jesus passed through Jericho, prior to staying with His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus in Bethany and close by in Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Thus this city was once again a key passage way for Him, where the Spirit of God moved powerfully through Him, as He entered the place of destiny. While in Jericho Christ saw Zacchaeus[8] and his household saved, and redemption occurred for those who had money stolen, and two blind men [9]were healed who would not be silenced in their cries to Jesus..and thus sight restored. The rich young man however sadly walked away because he could not give up his wealth for Christ, a stark contrast to Zacchaeus.

So it seems there is a place where we too will suddenly find ourselves tested, or trained, having received amazing miracles to enter the Lord’s promised land or ministry, but before fully released. While relatively brief in time, this season seems to represent a place of learning to trust in God despite all the power or promises you have received. A check that we know it is all about God, and not what the power in you can do. Christ was tested in obedience to God’s word, in the Spirit rather than riches/the flesh, and power; while Joshua needed to humble himself before the Lord, trusts in God’s word in worship and an outrageous plan to take a fortified city.

Released in to His ministry in Capernaum (and surrounds)

Capernaum means ‘village of consolation’, ‘comfort’, ‘village of Nahum’ – and thus village of the prophet, and again a sense of the lion. Again in the north and thus part of that gate associated with Reuben (first born/’son’), Judah (‘praise’, lion), and Levi (‘attached’, priest), and from this place release comes to Christ in to His ministry[10] of the kingdom…so many[11] saved, healed, and set free. Given the gate, the place of comfort, and where a prophet dwelt, one can see why. This place represent the new season of being released in the fullness of who you are, supported and comforted by friends, and where miracles rain down. Honour abounds, and so to challenges as people respond to the ministry. Importantly to be here Christ moved from the earthly family to be with His spiritual family as part of this transition. It is about apostolic release. It was also the home of the Apostle Peter, with whom the Lord used mightily to establish His church. Perhaps such a place for us is evidenced by the presence of true apostolic government…and power, and/or an acceptance of your apostolic calling.

With Capernaum as His base, Jesus ministered in a circuit in this area around the Sea of Galilee and perhaps this also provides insight in to how God uses you in this season of ministry. Galilee actually has at its core meaning ‘roll’, ‘circuit’, ‘district’, ‘wave’, ‘heap’, ‘whirlwind’, ‘heap’, ‘head’, and ‘boundary’ Expect these to manifest in the way of your ministry, and realise it is in the spiritual land of Zebulon (‘dwelling’, haven for ships, partake of hidden treasures and the abundance of the sea) and Naphtali (’wrestling’, a deer set loose, user of beautiful words, full of blessing, possessor of the south). Thus a place of dwelling (and in His presence) but there is a wrestle…including the thought of going to ‘Jerusalem (your destiny)’ thinking your ministry is in full flight, and yet it is not yet time.

[Note: Other villages in this circuit included: Nain (‘green pastures’, ‘lovely’, ‘beautiful’, ‘pleasant’) – where the widow’s was raised; Cana (‘reed – as in ‘bruised reed will not be broken’, or ‘measuring rod’; and a place with various names including Gergesene ‘those who come for pilgrimage or fight’, Gerasenes ‘alien/stranger drawing near’, and Gadarene ‘rewarded in the end’, where great deliverance and healing occurs. Hopefully all this gives some insights as to your placement and ministry that occurs in this season.]

Prophecies and dwells on the Mt of Olives

Mount Of Olives meaning ‘place of olives’, ‘olive press/oil’, where Christ’s close friends dwelt[12], where He too would dwell, and His principle base[13] before entering Jerusalem. Characterised by prophetic watch[14] over your destiny and a dwelling place with Christ, and in the anointing, this place can be one of refuge and ministry, and where you close friends dwell. Her resurrection can occur, and the long term future is revealed with piercing accuracy.  Your Bethlehem may be a physical place associated with a gathering, or a particular ministry/gathering of the Lord’s saints. There is more information in the attachment that follows on this most significant place, the watch of His presence, in true family.

Christ’s main base before His triumphant trips in to Jerusalem, as He had to come in through the east (prophetic/worship) gate. Situated in this gate characterised by Joseph (‘he will add’, favoured, prophet), Benjamin (‘Son of the right hand’, ‘blessed child’), and Dan (‘judge’), these elements very much describe the place from which entrance to the destiny will come…and describe Christ.

Has victory in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, that special ancient place, that God made clear since the times of Abraham (and even before), would have such a strategic role to play in the heaven on earth.  Meaning place of ‘peace’ or ‘foundation of peace’, it is the throne of Christ on earth, and yet a place of sacrifice. This holy mountain/city is characterised by a place where God’s presence truly dwells in His house…or is revealed as such. Only Christ needed to die on the cross, and paid the price that we could come to our Mt Zion.

For some Jerusalem: is that place you keep coming back to but never really settle in until completion of your ministry; for others it represents your spiritual home but often you are sent out from it; to a few it is a place of enthronement, where your destiny is received; for a region it is where He has chosen to be the heart of a region, where all the gates meet; and I guess for all in Christ it represents the place of our final days before we ascend to heaven, where we will meet with our Lord, first in the heavenly Jerusalem, then on earth with Christ in His thousand year reign, and then in the New Jerusalem.

 

Ascends from Mt of Olives

This is where we arise to our spiritual Jerusalem/heaven. Thus also giving insight to the place the ‘Mount of Olives’ on earth can be while we dwell here…open portals of heaven where we see in to eternity and the end of days. See the attachment for more on this. There will be a Mount of Olives in your region.

Decrees He will return to Mt. Of Olives

Christ returns here[15] to enter through the glory gate[16] in to Jerusalem, and while this is true in His second coming, it also foreshadows the way His Spirit operates in preparation for His return. Thus there are places, mountains of His anointing (houses of prophecy and prayer) where He meets with His friends as we sit as His feet, and from and on this place He releases a profound a move of His Spirit that causes a major inflowing in to His church and even community…revival and reformation. Some will be called to such places to wait on our Lord’s presence, to relate with Him and each other, prophecy, set in order things and wait for His outpouring. The ‘upper room[17]’ was such a place.

Be enthroned in Zion.

Full victory!


 

Attachment 1

Bethlehem (House of Bread)

(Note: The following was a word for Kingdom Life Centre, Parkridge, however it gives some insight on what ‘Bethlehem’ can mean for us now).

“Did I not birth heaven on earth in Bethlehem, grow Him in Nazareth, release in Capernaum, Prophecy on the Mt of Olives, have victory in Jerusalem, arise from Mt of Olives…and will return there to then be enthroned in Zion. Will I not then birth My greater Presence in this place, (park Ridge) to reach across this land unto the east gate of the nation, even covering Brisbane and beyond. Only My beloved, have His eye, and see the greater works, look beyond your boundaries, unto the nations. Nurture My presence, honour Me in each of you, strive for the more, for great is the work He will do in you.”

I will leave this for your testing. There is much more I could share due to a journey The Lord has had me in in relation to His journey on earth, however the above is the one thing I felt he specifically spoke about your church. Perhaps there is something for KLC in to understand the seasons and times for them when looking at our Lord Jesus’ journey.

Summary: Feel Park Ridge will be used mightily to usher in a greater manifestation of heaven on earth in Queensland, particularly through the east gate of Australia – from Byron bay to Gympie – so don’t think you are “just a little church in the southern suburbs” ….. He has mighty plans for you, think and dream bigger. You are a significant ‘birthing place’ for heaven on earth.

Mount of Olives

While the real Mount of Olives is obviously found in Israel, and is actually often referred to in the Bible, there is a strong sense that it also points to a spiritual place that can be found in other places around the world, or life events or milestones in our lives. Like so many other aspects of the Word of God’s there is deeper meaning, and with the knowledge that the Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, so our Lord’s mount is also something we will need to visit.

Some insights to this spiritual place can be found in the Bible, let us consider the following.

Mount of Olives:

  • Mount of Olive/Oil – where oil is pressed from olives
  • Bethany[18] (home of good friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus), and Bethpage[19] (place of mounting the colt of a donkey for the triumphant ride into Jerusalem) are on this mountain.
  • From here prophetic vision of the future were declared by Jesus
  • Scene of ascension and His return
  • Place of the anointing of Christ
  • Place of resurrection
  • Sitting at His feet
  • Place of weeping
  • Place of His presence (even as a close friend)
  • Where you come away with Him
  • Where King David also escaped too.

In Psalm 23, we see the journey prophesied here through David, so beautifully walked about by Jesus Christ. As He journeyed from the Mount of Olives though the Kidron Valley (Kidron Brook), to the Temple Mount, we see so much of that Psalm walked out – places of rest, valleys, and meal/table laid before the enemy, drinking from the cup of salvation, anointing, ascension and return.

Remembering that Kidron[20] (Brook) valley, near the Garden of Gethsemane – John 18:1, is next to – and in some respects over-shadowed by the Valley of Hinnom (the valley of death). Thus the Kidron (“dark one/shadow”) valley can be seen as the valley of the shadow of death. The Valley of Hinnom was where idols were burned, death, horrible sacrifice, and a place of decision and judgement, and Kidron valley where false altars cast down and crushed (Jer. 7:31,32; 31:40; 2 Kings 23:10,12 etc.).

Thus, we learn that these “Mt. Of Olives” are mountains/places of His intimate presence, anointing (oil) and glory.  The place where He dwells with His friends, where anointing comes, a place to be before walks in to valleys, where the dead are raised, and is anointed for burial. A prophetic watch over spiritual Jerusalem (and the nations), and the place of ascension and glory, and where He return in fullness such that the whole world will see Him….what a place to be, where His friends are to be. The Mount of His anointing, restful presence, miracles, prophecy, and intercession.

As mentioned above, in Psalm 23 we receive a prophetic revelation of how this walk unfolds, from the Mount of Olives (where Jesus gathered with His friends), through the Kedron Brook Valley, up to Jerusalem (where He was/will be enthroned). The sense of God presence is real through the whole journey, and the peace even in the darkest part sublime, where we sup with the Lord at His table in the face of the enemy, unto the overflow of His cup. His presence nurtured on the mountain now continues with us through the journey. As Christ prophesied this through King David, and then walked it out, and will again at His return, so too prophets have also paved the way. Importantly this journey in the days leading  Christ’s victory at Calvary saw Him walk to and fro through this valley a few times before He paid the price for our sins, and so perhaps we see journeys could occur…this time though working out the victory that Jesus has already achieved. As we are in Christ, the journey now to Jerusalem is the one taken to sit upon the throne (or perhaps one of gathering to His throne room). Interestingly Christ journeyed to and fro through the valley from Mount of Olives (representing the place of His abiding presence with friends, and a prophetic watch), to Jerusalem (representing the place of His throne and heaven, and where His glory abides).

[1] Revelations 19:10

[2] Matthew 2:1

[3] Matthew 2:13

[4] Genesis 12:10

[5] Genesis 41:41

[6] Jeremiah 44:15,16

[7] As ירחו in Numbers, Deuteronomy, 2 Samuel, 2 Kings 25, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Jeremiah; and as יריחו in Joshua and 2 Kings 2

[8] Luke 19:1-10

[9] Matthew 20:29-34

[10] Matthew 4:13

[11] Matthew 9

[12] Luke 10:38; John 11:1 – noting Bethany is on the slopes of the Mount of Olives

[13] Matthew 21:1; Mark 13:3; 14:26

[14] Matthew 24:3

[15] Zechariah 14:4

[16] Ezekiel 43:4; 44:1,2; Matthew 21:1-11

[17] Acts 1:12; 2:1,2

[18] Hebrew meaning is “date house”, or “house of figs” (see Strong’s no. 6963)

[19] Hebrew meaning is “fig house, or “house of un-ripe figs” (see Strong’s no. 6967)

[20] Hebrew meaning is “dark one”, even shadow

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