DSM has been blessed with a wonderful, hard-working, and loyal team. Ceci and I are going to do a staff retreat with them, then she and I will take a much-needed vacation. I have asked some of my close friends and associates - many being regular contributors to the Give Him 15 posts - to fill in during this time. You will recognize most of the names; and I’ve thrown in one or two whom perhaps you haven’t heard from. You’re going to love the insights from all of them - this will be a wonderful smorgasbord! Enjoy!
The Ascending Ekklesia - Rodney Lord
Hello, I am Pastor Rodney, and it is an honor to be with you. I want to highlight an Old Testament prophetic decree that I believe is very fitting for today. I have titled what I am sharing The Ascending Ekklesia. Dutch and his brother Pastor Tim have done a great job explaining that the Ekklesia is the called-out church that is authorized and commissioned by Jesus to serve and govern through prayer, decrees, and Spirit-led activity.
In 2019, I went to Israel with a group of pastors. We traveled from the Sea of Galilee region in the north down along the Jordan River going south to Jericho. We stopped along the way to do the Christian-tourism thing of being baptized in the Jordan River. I am not sure why thirty pastors needed another baptism, but it just seemed like the thing to do.
From Jericho, the city of Jerusalem is about 3300 ft higher in elevation, and it was there where we started our upward trek to Zion. As we turned toward Jerusalem, it was evident we were now ascending. I remember the feeling. There was something inside of me stirring, some excitement, anticipation, and perhaps I felt just a little of what the early worshipers going to the City of The Great King may have felt. This was the place of priestly worship, celebration, and the throne.
There are 15 Psalms written specifically for this part of the journey. In most translations, they are called “A Song of Ascents.” These were Psalms that were sung as the worshipers would make their way up the hill of God during Israel’s feast days to bring their sacrifice to the temple. With joyful anticipation, they would soon be in close proximity to the ark of the covenant, the very abiding presence of God, and would humbly bring their sacrifice of worship.
This is King David’s commentary in song (a Psalm) about ascending.
Psalm 122 from the Passion Translation:
“I was overjoyed when they said, ‘Let’s go up to the house of the Lord.’ And now at last we stand here, inside the very gates of Jerusalem! O Jerusalem, you were built as a city of praise, where God and man mingle together.”
While in Jerusalem, the other pastors and I were taken on a private tour of a recent archaeological discovery. We went underground into a tunnel near the old city. There we were, standing on the very stairway of stones that ascended from the Pool of Siloam (where Jesus healed the blind man) upwards seven hundred yards to the Western Wall of the old city. Here is the picture of that ancient pathway of ascending.(1) Researchers have wondered how the millions of Jewish pilgrims made their way up to the Temple to worship. Now they know, after uncovering this massive stairway that lay buried underground for 2,000 years.
It seems that God put an “ascending” nature in our spiritual DNA. When we gather as a corporate Ekklesia to worship and minister to the Lord, there is this awareness that our worship and our intercession ascends before the throne of God. In a real spiritual sense, God calls up to be “seated in heavenly places” to see what He sees and to speak what He speaks. As sons and daughters of the Most High, from this place we are to make throne room decrees that legislate spiritually and extend His kingdom rule over the earth.
Today we are seeing an awakened, arising, and ascending ekklesia come forth. I like to say it like this…they are a Jacob-like generation that will not let go until they have been transformed by the power of God and they see their nation transformed. They are relentless and fearless. They are those who know their God and will be strong and do exploits.
Hold that ascension thought for a moment…it’s time for Obadiah the prophet, who wrote the shortest book of the Old Testament, to speak. He was given the assignment to speak a prophetic word over Israel’s perpetual enemy the Edomites, the descendants of Jacob's brother Esau.
In his opening words, Obadiah declares a change is coming that will be the unraveling of the evil forces that have been bent on the destruction of God’s covenant people. The prophetic word begins with this decree: An envoy has been sent. The envoy is a messenger, an ambassador, a prophetic voice with the power and influence to turn the tide. The word for envoy is also the word in Hebrew for "hinge," that which is pressed for turning. An ambassador is like that; he is sent to swing things in favor of his nation.
You may have heard this expression before, “We are at a hinge moment.” Queen Esther was in a hinge moment when Haman made the decree that the Jews were to be killed. King David had many of these hinge moments when battles or circumstances needed to turn in his favor. Jesus, Himself, experienced this, especially in the week of His passion. From the Mount of Olives, Jesus wept over the City of Jerusalem because they missed their opportune time of visitation. They did not turn in the direction of salvation.
Over the past 245 years, America has had many “hinge moments.”
General George Washinton during the Revolutionary War had lost battle after battle and was now facing a long cold winter at Valley Forge. His men were in a desperate situation… lacking clothing, food, and hope. Washington realized that without decisive action, the Continental Army was likely doomed. He planned a daring assault on the Hessian garrison at Trenton.(2) During Christmas of 1776, 2400 weary worn men marched to New Jersey. They crossed the Delaware River in stormy weather and won a decisive victory. It was a turning point; it was a hinge moment.
In America today, we see evil forces that are aggressively working to destroy life, liberty, and anything that represents the Kingdom of God. They push for the killing of the unborn; they are lawless and corrupt in their leadership; and they reject the very Christian heritage and foundation of this nation. They are globalists who want America to be assimilated into their one-world vision, and religious freedom is a threat to their plans. Dutch said it a few days ago… they are now out in the open, no longer hiding their agenda. Their arrogant pride is on display.
In this hinge moment we are facing today, the Ekklesia must be awakened and engaged. Thank you for your anointed prayers and bold decrees you have been making over the past months.
Now to Obadiah’s powerful concluding decree in verse 21.
“The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom will be the Lord’s.” Obadiah 1:21
The word for “deliverers” is yasha. It means to save, be delivered, give victory and open things up to bring freedom. When the crowds cried out to Jesus at His triumphal entry they shouted out the word “Hosanna,” which is directly traceable to this word “yasha,” deliverer, savior, and the One who brings freedom. As well, the personal name of our Savior derives from this same root.
Obadiah goes on to say these ascending deliverers will “govern the mountains of Esau.” Governing is the very nature of God that He instills and empowers the Ekklesia to do on His behalf.
I love this final word that the prophet speaks: “...and the kingdom will be the Lord’s.”
What a prophetic picture. The Ekklesia who are ready and able to release Christ’s freedom and victory are ascending Mount Zion, the place of His presence. They are being commissioned from there and sent with governing authority in the spirit realm. They become an envoy of kingdom ambassadors moving with heaven’s authority into every situation in our broken world that needs to be turned. Into every hinge moment, we are declaring, “Come, Kingdom of God, be done will of God, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Pray with me:
Father, thank You for the church today that is awakening, arising, and ascending to be the true Ekklesia that the very gates of hell will not prevail against. I thank You that there's a fresh hunger and passion for Your presence and power in this generation. I thank You, Lord, that we are stepping into this hinge moment in history with a greater understanding and revelation of who we are in Christ. We see a great turning on the horizon. We decree You are shifting the courts in favor of life. The unrelenting attacks on the children of this generation will be halted. Lord, anoint the Ekklesia to move into its full stature and let the fresh wind of revival sweep across America and the nations. In Jesus' name, Amen.
The Ekklesia is ascending the hill of God and descending to govern in the earth...and the kingdom will be the Lord's.
Today’s post was contributed by Pastor Rodney Lord. You can find out more about Rodney here.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
1. Pilgrim's Road up the Temple Mount Uncovered | Patterns of Evidence (The Pilgrimage Road, dating to the Second Temple period. (Credit: Kobi Harati, City of David)), Steve Law | August 16, 2019 | Evidence p1
The American Story by David Barton and Tim Barton, ISBN 978-947501-24-9, Wallbuilder Press, p185