We have been sharing about deliverance from the evil of this present darkness. Activation of certain ancient Hebrew word picture demonstrates the power of God over the forces of darkness. We have several options in this current time frame from doing nothing to proactively acting on our faith. Like the famous Queen Esther, we know that salvation will come to the people of God with or without us but who knows if we have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" (Est 4:14)
If we have been born into a specific hour, then we can trust that we have been equipped for that same hour. There is nothing about this hour that is a surprise to our God. Let’s look at some instruction from the Apostle Paul about this in 1 Corinthians 10:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. (1Co 10:1-4)
Paul is speaking about Israel in the wilderness, but the same could be said to be true about us and our salvation. We all have tasted of the goodness of the Lord. Paul continues:
Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY." Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1Co 10:5-11)
Like Israel, being “saved” isn’t the whole picture. All of Israel was “saved” but NOT all of Israel fulfilled their role in that hour. Paul is telling us to learn from the story. Specifically, he is warning against craving evil things in a similar way and avoiding idolatry. He is also warning against immorality, or “trying” the Lord, or grumbling.
In this hour these might look like, agreement with the world power system, donning their masks, taking their shots, or just criticizing by the flesh. It might go darker into being unfaithful in our marriages, breaking covenants or worshipping ourselves on the altars of public discourse.
Take hope. God has a plan:
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1Co 10:12-13)
Our way of escape is into our calling. We are not just saved out of the world but also delivered into a purpose, a destiny.
This chapter, I want to look at another power word to activate us in that calling. This is the Hebrew word “natzal”, which means literally deliverance. In Greek a synonym is the word harpazio, which is the word used for the great deliverance, which some call the Rapture.
Deliverance is based on the concept of a delivery. Think of the mail. For a piece of mail to be delivered it must have an origin and a specific destination. The destination is as important as the process of delivery. Think of your destiny as the address on a letter. The mailman in this analogy is the Holy Spirit. He takes us by the hand and delivers us out of the slavery to the system of the world and into the destiny that God has for us, which is called the truth.
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (Joh 16:13)
Looking at the Hebrew letters in the root we have nun, tzade, Lamech. Let’s begin with the Lamech. Lamech is the ancient Hebrew word picture for a shepherd’s staff. This tells us that deliverance is a guided process. We are the sheep of the Lord and He is the good shepherd.
John 10 describes this key aspect of our deliverance:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers." This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. "He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. "He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. (Joh 10:1-16)
The shepherd’s staff, the lamed, is the symbol of the personal guidance level of natzal, deliverance.
The middle letter is the tzade, which in its ancient Hebrew picture represents a trail or a pathway to a destination. The shepherd is leading us to a destination in our deliverance, with a definite pathway that is unique to who we are and what our calling. A Tzadik, which relies on the same word is a righteous person, one who is on the correct path in life. Tzad also means the side, a right turn is a tzad yamina and a left turn is a tzad smollah. The side defines the act of being directed. Our deliverance, natzal is directed specifically to a destiny
The third letter is the nun, which leads the word. The ancient pictograph is a picture of a seed sprout representing the idea of continuing to a new generation. This pictograph has the meanings of "continue," "perpetuation," "offspring" and "heir." This tells us that our deliverance contains the seed for more deliverances. This is the power of our testimony. Yeshua tells us:
"When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." (Luk 12:11-12)
Part of our deliverance is an empowerment to our words. We can go forth with confidence and share our testimony of how the Lord has brought us out and in bringing us into a destiny.
So the composite idea of natzal is the leading by the Shepherd along a specific path which makes a generational impact through the telling of the story.
Now, let’s turn to the idea of “natzal” or “harpazio” which is spoken of as the great rapture of the church. The only way this idea fits our deliverance is if we assume that we have no destiny in this word and that our only destiny is after this world.
In that scenario the destruction of the world is a faith accomplishment. Our entire purpose then is to endure the devastation until we are rescued from it. There would be no real purpose to make a positive impact on our culture or any aspect of the world because it is not our destiny.
Of course, the very existence of Yeshua and all of His miracles would have been a waste of time except perhaps as proof of His divinity and to validate that He is the Messiah. Beyond that any empowerment by the Holy Spirit would be for the strict purpose of evangelism and for no other life improvement in this world.
I know there is a sect of Christianity that believe this very picture I am painting. BUT and I believe it is a huge BUT, God may have a purpose for our salvation in this world. He may have created us to not only exist in a particular time but also equipped us for that very time.
The 5-fold ministry gifts would then be an equipping for specific destiny in and beyond this world.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Eph 4:11-13)
I believe that this description is in the world. Who needs a mature body of Christ in heaven? Won’t the body already be fully mature? No. I believe that our deliverance is for a purpose here on earth.
We were chosen for a specific destiny that is unlocked and revealed as we learn to be guided by our shepherd along the paths of righteousness that He has selected for us to leave a legacy through our impact.
Deliverance Activation: Ask the Lord to reveal your purpose in Him. What is the address of the letter that you are?