Authority of the Almond Rod
Issue No. 272
The Supreme Court of God has ruled in some very important cases over the millennia. We see it in Scripture as well in our own time. One of the most important issues that we must understand is how God chooses and calls both individual people as well as groups and empowers them to rule in the earth.
Every calling of God is a divine appointment, from the least to the greatest. Not all who claim those callings have legitimacy, of course. There are many in the ministry who do not have genuine callings, but this fact does not undermine those that are legitimate. It is up to the people themselves to recognize legitimate callings and to support those as led by the Spirit.
History is full of usurpers—those who are not truly called of God, but who believe they have the right to rule, based upon their own carnal criteria. For example, David was called, but Absalom was a usurper. Likewise, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a genuine call of God upon his life, for Jer. 27:6 says,
6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him.
At the time, most of the prophets in Jerusalem did not believe this and so they supported King Zedekiah who wanted to remain on the throne in spite of God’s ruling. So Jeremiah said in verses 9 and 10,
9 But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, or your soothsayers, who speak to you, saying, “You shall NOT serve the king of Babylon.” 10 For they prophesy a lie to you, in order to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish.
The prophets of Jerusalem were going by old revelation which promised that the seed of David would rule on God’s throne forever (Ps. 89:36). They interpreted this to mean that regardless of sin, David’s physical seed would always rule in the earth.
They forgot verses 30-32 which promised that God would judge David’s seed if they violated the Covenant under which they had received the mandate to rule. They also did not know that God had other ways of keeping His promise to David besides King Zedekiah himself.
Zedekiah had daughters (Jer. 41:10; 43:6) through whom the promises would continue. Jeremiah was their great-uncle and as such was their guardian after the fall of Jerusalem. History shows that he brought them on a voyage to the West, where one married into the kingly line of Spain, and the other in Ireland. Thus, the promise to David was unbroken even on a physical level, though, of course, the ultimate fulfillment of the promise was in Jesus Christ Himself.
It was necessary that David’s seed would continue to rule some portion of Israel in the interim between the fall of Jerusalem and the coming of Christ. And even when Jesus came the first time, He was rejected and His throne usurped by those who disagreed with God. For this reason, a physical seed of David had to continue to the present day in order to keep the promise to King David.
So we see from history that the throne of Ireland moved to Scotland about 834-840 A.D., and with it Jacob’s pillar on which the kings of Israel were crowned. From there it was taken to England in 1296, where a coronation chair was built to house the stone. This stone was returned to Scotland in 1996 after 700 years in England.
The point is that in Jeremiah’s day, the people and the king did not want to submit to the divine ruling which transferred authority from Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar. Seldom do the kingdoms of men submit to such divine rulings. Carnal minds do not voluntarily give up power. Invariably, they revolt and so bring the judgment of God upon themselves. This revolt was supported by the prophets and political leaders of the day, except for Jeremiah and those few who believed the word of the Lord through him.
One could write many volumes on the history of man’s disagreements with God, the history of usurping power not given to them, and the history of men’s claims to have the “divine right of kings.” Few monarchs of the past and present have ever understood this properly, because they seem to think that the right to rule is the right to be served. The Kingdom of God, however, says that a ruler is a servant, and he who has the greatest authority is the greatest servant of all.
In other words, power is to be used to benefit the people, rather than being used to secure one’s throne, or increase one’s territory and wealth. The example of the character of a godly king is Jesus Christ Himself. The chief priests of His day give us the example of usurpers, for they and Judas followed the earlier pattern of Absalom usurping the throne of David with the help of Ahithophel.
History of the Chosen People
Adam was the original “chosen” one to rule the earth. He was not chosen for salvation, but chosen to subdue the earth to the principles of righteousness and to put all things under the feet of Christ. His failure brought about a long detour, but even so, this “Birthright” continued to be passed down from generation to generation to Noah, Shem, and finally to Isaac.
Abraham died before Shem, so although he was in line to receive the Birthright, he did not actually succeed Shem. Instead, it went to Isaac, who passed it down to Jacob, who passed it down to Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1, 20.
Judah was “chosen” to receive the Scepter, but Joseph was “chosen” to receive the Birthright. Thus, the only “chosen people” were those in association with Joseph. When Judah and Israel split after the death of Solomon, the “chosen people” were in the north. The people of Judah were not “chosen” insofar as the Birthright was concerned. Only the king was “chosen” to bring forth the Messiah-King who would be the chief ruler.
When Judah produced the Messiah in the Person of Jesus Christ, they exhausted their calling as a nation. The tribes of Israel, however, which included Joseph, have yet to establish the Birthright—which is the manifestation of the Sons of God. This is the calling of Christ in His second appearance through Joseph, and His “chosen” ones are those who remain united with Him and in agreement with Him in the divine plan.
Unfortunately, much of the Church has disagreed with Him, largely out of ignorance. Their leaders were schooled in speech, business administration, Hebrew and Greek, and in certain doctrinal positions of their denominations, but the seminaries did not teach them spiritual things or how to hear God’s voice for themselves. If the leaders learned such things, they learned them outside of seminary.
Israel was chosen
When God redeemed Israel from Egypt, He formed them into a nation at Mount Sinai. He “chose” them to rule the world, that is, to subdue the earth and put all things under the feet of Christ and His Law. He chose them to bring righteousness into the earth and to establish His Kingdom.
However, Israel failed in this calling. Though the glory of God was in their midst, housed in the Ark of the Covenant that was in Shiloh (Josh. 18:1), the people did what was right in their own eyes (Judg. 21:25) instead of following the Divine Law. And so the priesthood also became corrupted. “Like people, like priest” (Hosea 4:9).
The priests reflected the collective heart of the people. Because of this corruption, the glory of God departed from Israel (1 Sam. 4:22) and went to Judah in Jerusalem to see what they would do with it. Psalm 78:60-68 says,
60 So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh… 61 and gave up His strength to captivity, and His glory into the hand of the adversary… 67 He also rejected the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, 68 but chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.
Unfortunately, Judah also corrupted itself even as the tribes of Joseph had done earlier. They turned the temple in Jerusalem into a den of robbers (Jer. 7:11), so God forsook Jerusalem “as I did to Shiloh” (7:14). The glory of God then departed from that temple as well (Ezekiel 10:18; 11:23).
Both Israel and Judah had been “chosen” to house the glory of God during the time of the Old Covenant. Both failed, and so God departed, writing upon both places the name of Ichabod, “the glory has departed.”
God then gave a greater measure of His Spirit in Acts 2 under the New Covenant, choosing the believing remnant of the tribe of Judah. To this remnant were added many others from around the world, who, by faith in the King of Judah became citizens of the tribe of Judah. They came to be known collectively as “the Church.”
The Church started out doing well in their calling to bring righteousness to the earth. However, as time passed, they too became corrupted and lost the glory of God. As a manifestation of King Saul, the Spirit of God departed, and an evil spirit from God replaced the Holy Spirit. We read of this in 1 Samuel 16:14,
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized [ba’ath, “suddenly came upon”] him.
This “evil spirit from the Lord” is mentioned seven times in Scripture, one for each of the seven churches of the book of Revelation. See 1 Sam. 16:14, 15, 16, 23 (twice); 18:10; and 19:9.
Any study of Church history will show how deep the corruption was rooted in the past 1900 years. The Church is the New Covenant extension of the tribe of Judah. So the glory has departed from and is soon to be bestowed upon Joseph (New Covenant Israel).
The overcomers represent New Covenant Israel. These are the supporters of Jesus Christ in His second coming. He comes with his robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19:13), even as Joseph’s robe was dipped in blood (Gen. 37:31).
Take note that the Church had been chosen because they believed that Jesus Christ was the legitimate King, proven by His willingness to fulfill the dead lion prophecies of Judah in Gen. 49:8-11. He was willing to die for us. But in the second coming of Christ, He comes as ‘Joseph,” who is the “fruitful bough” [ben = “son”]. His second coming is about Sonship, and the Israelites of Joseph are therefore the manifested Sons of God.
Those who believe in Jesus Christ in His “Joseph” calling are the true Israelites who will receive and house the glory of God in the Age to come. But this involves far more than mere justification by faith. Certainly, one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Justifier by His blood on the cross. But that is only a manifestation of the feast of Passover. One must continue on into Pentecost, receiving the baptism of the Spirit, and then come into agreement with Him through the feast of Tabernacles.
The Conflict Between Church and Overcomers
To understand this conflict, one must know the story of Saul and David, for this story reveals the entire conflict from start to finish. Saul was crowned on the day of wheat harvest (i.e., Pentecost) in 1 Sam. 12:17. On his coronation day, God sent thunder and rain as types of the voice of God and the outpouring of the Spirit, so that we would make the connection between Saul’s coronation and the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
David represented the overcomers in this story. When Saul was disqualified because of his tendency to usurp authority, God told him in 1 Sam. 13:14,
14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
The Church is fond of quoting Jesus’ words, “Upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hades will not overpower it.” However, the Church is largely ignorant that King Saul was a type of the Church under Pentecost and that Saul’s kingdom did not endure. It was David’s kingdom that endured.
Hence, the message to the Seven Churches of Revelation is a general message to the churches themselves, but each message ends with “to him that overcomes.” The clear implication is that not everyone in the Church would be an overcomer. The promise is ultimately upon David, not Saul, and upon the overcomers, not the Church itself.
The Final Transfer of Authority
Even as Saul reigned 40 years, so also the Church reigned 40 Jubilees from 33 to 1993 A.D. Then, as the pattern shows in 2 Sam. 5:5, the transfer of authority began but was not completed for 7½ years. This time extended from May 30, 1993 to Nov. 30, 2000.
The full transfer of authority occurred on Nov. 30, 2000. But even then the Church did not accept God’s verdict. On January 22, 2001 we discovered by revelation that the Church had agreed with the Prince of Persia in filing a petition in the Divine Court to retain their authority.
The Spirit of God led us to answer that petition a week later on Jan. 29, 2001. Less than two hours later, a letter arrived in the mail at my office in which a Pentecostal woman heatedly told me to cease all ministry and spiritual warfare. In the midst of her threats, she actually admitted that her army had been defeated by ours!
“Henceforth, I shall bring you to the ground, for you, with your carnal, Satanic moves, have crushed and put to death all hope of My true anointed ones from coming forth…”
That, of course is what one would expect to come from a defeated army of King Saul, which had lost all hope of the manifestation of the Sons of God, but which considered itself to be yet the “true anointed ones.” I knew better than to take her letter personally, for it was plain that she was simply acting as a spokesperson for the Church. Her words were not her own, though she thought they were.
I did not respond to her directly, but turned it over to the Supreme Court. It was far more than a conflict between her and me. It was really the Church challenging the overcomers for authority in the earth to house the glory of God as manifested Sons. So the Lord showed us how Moses reacted when his authority was challenged by Korah in Numbers 17. All the challengers had to lay their staves up in the tabernacle, and the one that produced fruit (“almonds”) was the one that God had chosen and called.
In the story, Aaron’s rod, representing both Moses and Aaron, bore ripe almonds (Num. 17:8).
By the way, Korah’s challenge actually occurred in the previous chapter. The divine judgment upon Korah and his house is found in Num. 16:28-30,
28 And Moses said, “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing. 29 If these men die the death of all men, or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, then you will understand that these men have spurned the Lord.”
That, of course, is what occurred. An earthquake opened up the earth and swallowed them up.
In 2001, we were led to lay up our staves before the Lord on Feb. 2, 2001. In other words, we gave the Lord whatever authority we had and allowed Him to confirm or reject it as He willed. He then told us that His answer would be given at noon, February 21, 2001.
Meanwhile, another friend, Sunny Day, was led to call for a meeting at the DoubleTree in Bloomington, MN on February 21. The theme was “almonds.” Our friends, the Berrys, flew in precisely at noon.
They represented Aaron’s rod bringing forth almonds right at noon, Feb. 21. So that was when the divine verdict was given, confirming the authority of the overcomers. There was also a second meeting held at Arise and Shine Fellowship the next day, Feb. 22.
It is now ten years later, and according to the Hezekiah Factor, we expected to see some echo effect that would again confirm the divine verdict. For this reason, on Feb. 19 I began to write a series of weblogs called “The Almond Chronicles,” where I told the story from ten years ago. This was designed to give people a little background that would prepare them for whatever event might occur on Feb. 21 or 22 that was connected to these dates in 2001.
The Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch was struck by a 6.3 Richter earthquake at 12:51 p.m. on February 22 (their time zone). It was still Feb. 21 in America. The same city was struck by a 7.1 Richter quake last September 4, but it was deeper and centered a bit farther away, so there were no casualties and little destruction. Even so, it revealed a hidden fault line under the city, and also revealed a sandy foundation. This reminded us of Christ’s words in Matt. 7:26, 27 about building a house on the sand.
Andrew Strom wrote that last December he attempted to organize a time of thanksgiving and praise that God had spared the city, but the Church leaders rejected the idea. The dean of the Anglican Cathedral specifically told him that they “could NOT use the main square in Christchurch for a worship even for the whole body.” He reported,
“I called a number of prominent pastors and worship bands around Christchurch. I said we had the support of Radio, the Council, the sound and everything. No response. Worship bands not interested. Pastors not returning calls.
Instead, a number of rock bands came to give a free concert in the part, turning it into a secular event with 20,000 people showing up.
Christchurch is an obvious sign of the Church. When the second quake struck on Feb. 21/22, it destroyed much of the city, including the Anglican cathedral whose dean had refused to use the main square to give thanks to God.
In my view, the quake in Christchurch was a sign and an echo of events that actually occurred ten years ago, yet it is as if it were the same event. Because there is no time in the spirit, spiritual events can manifest in the earth at virtually any point in our history, as long as they have some connection with divine time cycles.
In this case, because of its name, Christchurch became the symbol of the Church itself in this Korah rebellion. Even as the Church in the wilderness rebelled against God under Moses, so also has the Church rebelled in the NT Church. King Saul, too, was told that his “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (1 Sam. 15:23).
What does this tell us? It tells us that on Feb. 21/22, 2001 the Lord issued His ruling in the case of the modern “almond rods,” wherein He confirmed that authority had been transferred from the Church to the overcomers. This means that the glory of God is soon to be given to the overcomers, who will become the manifested Sons of God and who will rule in the Age of Tabernacles that lies ahead of us.