1995: The Coming of Peniel
Many significant events occur each year, and their relevance is usually revealed by the way they connect with other events on specific time cycles. Time has a way of connecting events in a cause-and-effect relationship, and when we see how events relate, each helps to explain the other and reveal their importance in the progression of the Kingdom of God.
The most important event of 1995 occurred on the Sunday morning of October 8, 1995. On that day the angel Peniel was released into the world. He is the angel of the feast of Tabernacles, whose job it is to give the overcomers “the face of God.” His handiwork can be seen in the glory of Moses' face in Exodus 34. First some background.
I have already shown how the Church under Pentecost was given opportunity to declare the Jubilee in 1986, if it had responded to the call to intercession from 1981-1986. In their refusal, God separated the overcomers in order that they would do ten years later what the Church had failed to do.
The year 1986 was the 120th Jubilee from Adam. It was also 70 Jubilees from the day that the 12 spies gave their report in Numbers 13. If Israel had believed the good report of Caleb and Joshua, they would have blown the trumpet of the Jubilee on that day, and then they would have entered the Kingdom (Canaan) five days later on the first day of the feast of Tabernacles.
Likewise, the Church might have entered into the Kingdom in 1986 as well. However, like Israel, they preferred the golden calf (Prosperity Message). In Israel's day the people's lack of faith had been evidenced primarily by their worship of the golden calf, built by Aaron himself, representing the priesthood of Levi. We are seeing a modern parallel as well.
On the morning of October 8, 1995, as I was having breakfast in North Carolina (where I was teaching at a conference), I suddenly saw an angel standing in the corner of the room. It was evident that no one else saw him. I asked (silently), “Who are you?” His reply was: “Peniel.”
I thought that was quite strange, because I had always thought that Peniel was a place, not a name. I quickly finished eating, and then excused myself to search this out more fully. Only then did I come to see that Jacob named the location Penuel, but the name of the angel he had wrestled was Peniel. Genesis 32:30 says that “Jacob named the place Peniel,” but the next verse says, “Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel.”
The word “place” in verse 30 comes from the Hebrew word, which often means “a condition of body or mind” (Strong's Concordance #2725). It appears that the condition of Jacob's body or mind was called “Peniel,” but the place on earth was called Penuel. Years later, during Gideon's battle, it was still called Penuel (Judges 8:8).
I believe that the condition of Jacob's body or mind was the work of Peniel, and the account tells us something of Peniel's job description. In the sequence of Jacob's prophetic journey to Padan-aram and back, he prophesied of all the feast days. (See The Laws of the Second Coming, chapter 4.) His experience at Penuel represented the Jubilee just before he concluded his journey at Succoth (Tabernacles).
As I studied the Scriptures that day, I discovered that Israel had been led by Peniel in coming out of Egypt, but that they had lost Peniel's presence when they worshiped the golden calf. God gave them a substitute angel at that point to lead them into the Promised Land after 40 years in the wilderness.
Peniel means “God's face” or “God's Presence.” The Hebrew word panah (or paniym) means both face and presence, and the “El' at the end means “God.” Isaiah refers to this angel in Isaiah 63:9, in reference to Exodus 14:19. Is. 63:10 refers to the day Israel lost “the angel of His presence” when they rebelled against God by worshiping the golden calf.
If you look at Exodus 32, you will see that after the people worshiped the golden calf, Moses interceded for them, beginning in verse 31. God's response in verse 34 was:
31 But go now, lead the people where I told you. Behold, My angel shall go before you; nevertheless, in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin.
But a few verses later, in 33:2 and 3, God says,
2 And I will send an angel before you . . . 3 for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, lest I destroy you on the way. 4 When the people heard this sad word, they went into mourning, and none of them put on his ornaments.
This was BAD NEWS, because God's personal presence was not going to lead them into the Promised Land. Peniel was being replaced by a different angel, later known as Michael. Peniel would have led Israel into Canaan from Kadesh-Barnea in the south, without having to cross the Jordan River. Michael, however, would eventually lead them into Canaan from the east, and they had to cross the Jordan to get there.
In other words, Peniel, the Angel of Tabernacles, gives people the glorified body (“face”) without having to die first; Michael, on the other hand, is the Angel of Resurrection, who brings people into the Kingdom through death and resurrection. Either way will work, and both are important. But Peniel is the Angel who was released in 1995 to bring those who are “alive and remain” (1 Thess. 4:17) into the glory of the feast of Tabernacles. For “we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51).
Israel's lack of faith in the days of Moses postponed the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles for 70 Jubilees. It is like a great 70-year captivity to the Babylonian flesh. But then, a year before the Jubilee was to be declared in 1996, God released the Angel of His Presence back into the world in order that the feast of Tabernacles could be fulfilled in this generation (or this Jubilee cycle).
When Peniel revealed himself in North Carolina that Sunday morning, I did not know that he had already been released in Japan by a group of United States Marines. But six weeks later, I had a meeting in Portland, Oregon, and a missionary named Ginny drove up from Roseburg to attend the meeting. She had just returned from Japan. She told me that a group of about 40 Marines at the base in Japan had prayed and fasted from October 1-7 in order to be allowed to have “revival” meetings on the base. But the chaplain would not allow it.
On Sunday morning, Oct. 8, they went to the sea wall and asked God about the dark spiritual force that was over the base. Suddenly, out of the heavens the voice of God spoke audibly, and they all heard Him say, “Its name is Evil Report.”
The voice came again, “Whose report do you believe?” They all responded that they believed God's GOOD report. The voice then came a third time, saying, “Blessed are those who believe all that the Lord has spoken will come to pass.”
The day begins in Japan, “the land of the rising sun.” When the sun later rose over North Carolina, Peniel revealed himself that same day, thanks to 40 Marines in Japan, who broke the power of the Evil Report after 70 Jubilees of history. When Ginny told me that story, it confirmed to me the reason for Peniel's release, and it told me that the feast of Tabernacles will shortly be fulfilled in us.
In 2001 Peniel was actually commissioned, for we did not realize until then this was required. Peniel is the Angel of the New Net of Prayer, and (like all angels) he is called “to minister through those who will inherit salvation” (Heb. 1:14).