Friday, December 3, 2010


“The foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of Him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.’"
Isaiah 6:4-4 NASU

In the mid-seventies, I experienced a touch from God that released what I can only describe as a gift of repentance. It involved an intensity of the Lord’s presence marked by the contrast between His holiness and, despite my sold-out commitment, what was the reality of my human short-comings. For three days I did not speak, as there was an awareness that anything I might have said would have polluted the awesome sense of His presence.

This encounter preceded my entering a path of major change. God’s call on my life was beyond my conception of His purpose for what lay ahead. What the Lord had done through this encounter was to prepare me for the passage into a journey beyond my grasp of its long-term ramifications and my natural abilities. He provided a spiritual inoculation to override the limitations of my human perspectives, as He afterward began showing me the steps for the out-of-the-box path before me.

Those called to pave new ground, to serve as pioneers, bear a unique mantle defined by the timely execution of the Lord’s purposes. It involves moving beyond ourselves; which is more than just yielding to and moving in a flow of the Spirit. It requires a oneness with His heart transcending any human point of view.

For those with this mantle, the changes in seasons are pivotal. They also can be abrupt. The steps demand a resolute intimacy with Him. They require steadfastness when facing severe pressures that will accelerate the normal process of maturing. For that reason, God provides inoculations to immunize uniquely chosen pioneers against digressions of human effort and religious trappings that would cause them to misfire in executing the higher levels of His purpose.

There are many measures, both individual and community-wise, that the Lord applies when preparing His forerunners for change reflecting strategic significance. Visitations of His Spirit accompanied by deep repentance, as Isaiah had in the above passage, is one. Visions, like Joseph the Patriarch experienced as a young man, is another. Angelic visitations such as Gideon had is another form of preparatory inoculation. Suffering, as in those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, is still another. Certain types of judgment to bring back straying individuals or communities is yet another. Each serve to prepare key individuals and communities for a change in season and the need for “something beyond” themselves.

The Change of Season
A recent news item described the bankruptcy of a respected ministry, as they attempt to navigate through a generational leadership vacuum after the retirement of their founder (WSJ, 10/23/10, Markets). In another instance, with parallel conditions, a ministry leader confided that their ongoing decline in revenues was due to the need for a new business model. Both are addressing changes in the times and seasons. Both are grappling with the reality for the “something more” needed for the season.

Cycles in seasons are defined by change. The Body is maturing. The venues that two, three and four decades ago served to bring about the next step in Body maturity are transitioning into purpose-driven initiatives that mobilize the brethren.

There’s a process involved. However, using the wrong model based on anything short of the Kingdom path will undermine fruitfulness, producing stagnation. Missing the transitions will diminish into stumbling blocks and strongholds.

In short, initiatives begun in the spirit that begin declining into an imbalance of human effort initially will face erosion and then an undermining of the spiritual impact the effort might have once achieved. Snares and entanglements will produce a framework from which, apart from deep repentance, judgment will fall.
“Woe to world because of stumbling blocks, for stumbling blocks must come; but woe to those by whom they come.” Matt 18:7

The change in season is linked to the process of maturing. Serving as His good stewards, achievement produced by means of the anointing must be matched by a comparable mix of maturity and wisdom in the Spirit. The maturing process advances with the distinction of emerging from our limited human perspectives and grasping God’s priorities and heart. It is the foundation for initiatives and movements that endure.
“From now on we regard no one from a human point of view.” 2 Cor 5:16 NRSV

The Gateway
The gateway into this path begins through serving as agents of blessing. It is the mantle God gave to Abraham: “Through you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Isaiah 58 provides a glimpse into the Abrahamic mantle that mirrors the heart of God.
“If you extend your soul to the hungry and reach out to the oppressed, then your light shall dawn in the darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall rebuild the old ruins; you shall raise up the foundations from many generations; and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:10-12

The mantle given to Abraham is uniquely linked to the DNA of the Jewish people, as repairers of the breach. It is why Israel and its calling are so strategic and close to God’s heart. From them has come the true Light that brings light to every man coming into the world (John 1:9).
“I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” Romans 11:11-15

Preparing for the Passage
God’s spiritual inoculations prepare us for the passage into new seasons and for a path that is beyond ourselves. God’s inoculations bypass the natural process to give release to the intentions of His purpose.

Each of the feasts or sacred assemblies outlined in the Torah, such as Pesach, Succoth, Yom Kippur, Shavuot, and Rosh Hashanna are given as annual spiritual inoculations against the forces of darkness. Yet, for passages into new seasons there is something more.

Changes in seasons are typically characterized by turbulence. When God begins doing a new thing it involves dominion and the taking of new ground for the Kingdom. There are shifts in seasons directed by the Father’s authority alone. This is one of them. For this reason, when that which was begun in the spirit begins to be worked out by human effort, the authority for results will short-circuit.

Previously successful spiritual efforts will run into a juncture described in Hebrews as the dividing asunder between soul and spirit. It is the sad characteristic of every cooled-down revival. It is the demarcation giving entrance to the seedbed by which corruption gains traction.

When the enemy is unable to entice into temptation, his alternative is to divert the flow of the Spirit by the misguided application of human effort. The right thing done the wrong way may have its own season, but eventually will undermine the anointed purpose for being. It’s in these perversions of well-intended practices and behaviors that strongholds that eventually evoke judgment are nurtured.

Bypassing the heart of God will always be a trap leading to a path of destruction.
“Behold, one shall fly like an eagle, and spread his wings over Moab. The strongholds are surprised; mighty men's hearts will be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs. They shall be destroyed as a people, because they exalted themselves against the Lord. Fear and the pit and the snare shall be upon you. He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who gets out of the pit shall be caught in the snare.” Jeremiah 48: 40-44

Paul wrote Timothy (2 Tim 4:3) that a time would come when there would be those who shunned sound doctrine and instead be driven by their own desires, as they are drawn to that which “tickles their ears.” Arrogance and self-centered ambition create the blindness that fuels the process.

Yet, there are warning signs when that which was begun in the spirit begins to short-circuit and take on a life of its own. Extended declines in spiritual impact is one sign, as described above by the ministries with generational transition issues. Another sign is evidenced by the thinking and decisions influenced by loose, misguided tongues ( Still another is a failure to wait on God as with King Saul, leading to premature acts and the forcing of issues. Likewise, Jesus frequently made reference to activating seeing eyes and hearing ears; to go beyond the hindrances of blind spots, to reach for true spiritual clarity.

Passage in seasons pivots on the issue of maturity and getting beyond the traps of our limited human points of view. The bar has been raised and the threshold narrowed.

Spiritual Inoculations
Yet, Jesus imparted everything that we need to pass the threshold and not be consumed. Key to responding to the heart of God is a purity of heart. The pure in heart, the meek and the humble have hearts bearing a clear passage between them and God. Jesus said that it would be the pure in heart who would see God. He blasted those who had reduced this simple truth to the precepts of men.

Repentance is at the core of a pure heart. It was not doctrine that gave rise to Jesus’ judgment of the Pharisees. It was their array of stumbling blocks flowing from human responses to eternal truths. They missed the heart of God through their misuse of the power of God for their own elitism and self-righteousness. It was for most of them their short-sided blindness that convinced them of their lack of a need of repentance, which by itself, was enough to defile their hearts.
“Then I will take away those who rejoice in pride and will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they will trust in the name of the LORD.” Zeph 3:11-12

As God moves the Body into purposeful maturity, into the mode that demonstrates the reality of God to the world around it, it will involve more than just character or doctrine. The pathway will be built on trust. It will be a trust based on a pure heart. You can’t have trust, individual or community, without a vital connection to God’s heart. The right trust with a pure heart will be the catalyst for inoculations that release the supernatural for navigating the pathway of change such as followed Isaiah’s encounter, Gideon’s visitation and Joseph’s visions. For those called as forerunners, these inoculations will be a jolt to the status quo, but an indelible catalyst for the new thing God is entrusting them to steward.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery ordeal, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings ….that the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

The New Thing
The threshold of distinction for the “new thing” is the Body emerging into one that is mobilized and purpose-driven, according to God’s heart. It bears a stamp of holiness and is a distinction that will separate the sheep and goats; as the Body moves toward a role of greater influence in the midst of society.
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’” Matt 25: 34-36

The distinction reflects God’s original mandate for His people: the dominion that comes from those known by His Name ruling over the work of His hands. From dominion will flow the mantle of Abraham: to be blessed to be a blessing.

The process of maturing has made a turn from primary efforts that feed the Body to a mobilization of remnants initiating purposeful agendas serving society around them. From this point, the process of maturing will grow into an influence of not just the few; but a mobilized, anointed movement of those bearing His identity with a mantle of being blessed to be a blessing.

God gives gifts to those bearing His identity to wield His nature to create, innovate, build and multiply. The result will be fruitfulness designed to impart life and blessing recognized by the world as coming from God.
“The Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man and everyone saw that the Lord was with Joseph and made all that he did to prosper.” Gen 39:3

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We will soon mark the anniversary of a day our family will never forget.

On October 24, 1996, our 30 year old daughter Trisha Stemple was brutally murdered. Trish, a beautiful young mother of two, was the administrator for an overseas disaster response ministry and loved the Lord with all her heart.

This post was originally written days after her funeral and with minor adjustments, it is being re-released because of the significance of the truth it contains.

During the time of shock and pain at her death, we had many questions. But the Lord clearly let us know that there are some issues, in terms of our need for answers that you simply don't touch. The only recourse is in turning to the Lord and in trusting Him. Some answers in this life will only be understood when we meet the Lord face to face. In a tragedy like this, those include the 'whys' and the 'if onlys.'

However, as a prophetic intercessor, the morning before Trish's funeral I asked the Lord for the context of what had been taking place in the heavenlies.

The Increase in the Intensity of the Battle
My first impression was a strong sense of an incredible increase in spiritual activity --- much, much warfare: the type of warfare reflected by what Scripture refers to as a time in which "the very elect might be deceived." At the time, I had a distinct sense that this warfare had been building to new heights and levels. Since that time, it has continued escalating.

Then, shortly after the funeral with my heart aching but on the alert for answers, a brother shared a vision a friend with a prophetic gifting had had, just prior to Trish's death. The vision was of a heavenly being's hand pointing and saying --- "YOU TALK TOO MUCH."

Shortly afterward I was told of a similar dream two intercessors had had, related to this vision. In each dream, there was a fire raging --- a fire set in motion due to loose, misguided tongues.

Combined, this Word targets a broad spectrum of anointed members of the Body; a broad group of those anointed for service.

The Fire Released by Loose, Misguided Tongues
The morning after these things were shared with me, as I was praying, additional revelation began coming. First, I realized they pointed to the broader context by which loose tongues create open doors of vulnerability within the Body to attacks from the enemy. Indeed, a fire has been set in motion and is raging.

With that insight, I also recognized a critical need for the saints to bond together in both unity and intercession to put out this fire.

There likewise is the need for the loose tongues --- and the soulish nature that guides them --- to become completely subject to the Lord, together with the 'thoughts' referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:5 in order to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The Enemy's Target: Believers Anointed for Service
There was more. The misguided tongues of primary concern were among those 'called' to and anointed for ministry service; and believers close to those who are called --- in most cases, well meaning believers.

It involves soulishly-driven tongues that lack adequate spiritual understanding of specific situations and circumstances --- who jump to conclusions, backbite, accuse, criticize and pass judgments on persons and matters on which they at best don't understand --- who simply talk too much --- and in so doing have become dupes of the devil.

The Word comments on the prophet Samuel, that "the Lord let none of his words fall to the ground." The words of those anointed for service have potency. A potency the enemy wants to harness.

The Enemy's Goal: Harnessing the Anointing
Unfortunately, these loose, misguided tongues from within the Body are being used by the enemy to harness the potency of the anointing to come against initiatives, pathways and even movements the Lord has been setting in motion.

James 3:6 addresses believers, and in the Amplified version reads: "And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole Body and setting on fire the wheel of birth --- the cycle of man's nature --- being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna)."

Similarly, the truth outlined in Proverbs 4 and 5 presents the sequence by which the unsuspecting are seduced. Proverbs 4:23 begins the admonition to "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." But then without even getting to the doorway to seduction, the 24th verse deals with the role of the tongue: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you." Likewise, in Proverbs 5:3 it is clear that the pathway to seduction involves "words" that are smooth, attractive --- and beguiling: "For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil..."

This passage clearly outlines the dynamics in sexual seduction. Yet the truth it reflects is equally applicable to the seduction of our actions to benefit the enemy; or a seduction in which the enemy deceives us into agreeing with his role of accuser against the brethren. This harnessing the potency in the anointing of those called to serve the Lord is actuated through loose, misguided tongues. The result is the same as seen in verses 9 and 10: "Lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner."

We live in critical, pivotal and perilous times. The margin for error among those anointed for service is far less today than what it may have been a decade ago. And the intensity of the battle is increasing, while the margin for error decreasing.

The Lord is setting in motion critical pathways, strategic alliances and moves of His Spirit --- that do not need to be hindered or diverted from their course --- nor have inroads of attacks opened by misguided, loose tongues from the camp of those anointed for service.

Countering the Enemy's Strategy
Addressing this issue has its start by becoming aware of its reality. This awareness carries a distinct need among the mature to fervently stand in prayer against it: a strategy designed to deceive and gain 'agreement power' according to the principle in Matthew 18:19; a strategy to seduce saints into agreeing with the enemies intentions and as a result lend the anointing (Proverbs 4:23 to 5:10) to serve the enemy's purposes as the accuser of the brethren.

We each need to bring our thoughts and tongues captive to the Lord, and to be increasing the time spent listening in prayer. With that, there needs to be an escalation and increase in the potency of standing in the gap and supporting those serving as Kingdom pioneers.

The "fire" released by misguided tongues represents uncontrolled, fleshly, impulsive actions of well intentioned saints who simply do not have a good grasp of a given situation; or of the potential negative impact that their loose words creates.

The times demand that those who hear the voice of the Lord --- who are genuinely called and anointed for service, press in more closely to the Holy Spirit. The need is to genuinely examine and crucify fleshly desires. Jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissension, competition, and the like, have no place among those called to service. The flesh is a volatile luxury that mature believers or any in ministry cannot afford.

The need demands a double-, triple- and quadruple-checking of key leadings and guidance received from the Lord --- before acting on them. Once revelation is received, haste and impulse needs to be avoided; with time given to waiting before the Lord for the illumination and the release.

It is a time when every member of the Body needs to be fervent in prayer, pressing in and staying very close to the Lord --- and standing in the gap for those who represent the leaders within their spheres. There is no question that the enemy has targeted those who are anointed for service and has them in the cross-hairs of the scope of his schemes.

Because of that, special attention needs to be given to avoiding the enemy's traps of deception, diversions and division. Special attention needs to be given to guarding our tongues --- of bringing every thought captive to the obedience of the Lord --- and of praying fervently for the wisdom, maturity and self-control needed to genuinely operate as living sacrifices to the Lord.

Gap-Standers versus the Accuser
Ezekiel 22:30 calls us to stand in the gap against the accuser of the brethren. Yet, far too many --- even among the mature; sometimes because of impulsive responses to preliminary revelations; sometimes unfortunately in a perverted sense of self-righteousness; sometimes simply due to frustrations --- wind up functioning in alignment with Satan as gap-finders, rather than in their God-called role of standing in the gap. It is a tragic blindness resulting from misguided tongues.

Proverbs 10:18,19 provides the wisdom we need to face and embrace: "Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." This will involve dying daily to self. It will involve diligently working toward bringing about the unity of the Body spoken of in Ephesians 4 and John 17. It will involve the steps toward the fullness outlined in Isaiah 58:9,10 (Amplified):
"If you take away from your midst the yokes of oppression, the finger pointed in scorn (toward the oppressed or the godly); and every form of false, harsh, unjust and wicked speaking; then shall your light rise in darkness and your obscurity and gloom become as the noonday."

Moving Onto the Offensive
Spiritual warfare involves dedication and obedience. It involves an ongoing intimacy and brokenness before the Lord; a humility that refuses to take ourselves or the exploits of our callings too seriously. It requires a genuine servants heart --- always ready to forgive and always ready to repent.

I know of no other time in history that as a believer that I would want to be about my Lord's business. We simply need to be wise in pursuing the opportunities the Lord entrusts us with and avoid the traps set up by the evil one to divert and ensnare us. The words of John the Baptist seem to aptly draw together the wisdom needed for the answers I was seeking during that time of personal grief in late 1996 when, in referring to the rise in Jesus' ministry, he stated that "He (Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease."

We need to seek the Lord for the Issachar context --- that we might have an accurate understanding of the times we are living in --- and know what to do --- within the spheres of our callings. The battle out there is very real. But so are His manifold means to equip us for the battle. In terms of being used in the days ahead, we have only begun to scratch the surface in terms of the mighty ways He is going to allow us to be participators in His divine plans and purposes.

Central to avoiding the traps of the enemy and walking in fruitfulness with the Lord in the times we have entered will be the extent to which we embrace the truth in Galatians 2:20 --- the exchanged life. It is no longer our lives we our living --- but His. It involves what Paul referred to as the necessity of "dying daily to self." And, as anointed and called servants of the Lord, we cannot underestimate the importance of the control of our tongues and of the corollary of bringing EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Jesus.

The Prayer
Lord God Almighty, in the Name that is above all Names, in the Name of Jesus, we approach your throne boldly on these matters. And as we come into your Presence, we bow our hearts before You in repentance. Lord, we've failed in this area and we need Your help. Enable us each to take the moats and the beams out of our own eyes, before we consider noting the splinters in the eyes of others. Lord anoint us afresh as gap-standers for our brethren and deliver us from the trap of becoming gap-finders. And give us a right spirit in these matters.

Lord, we purpose to forgive and to bless those who may have inadvertently, or even intentionally, cursed us by their words. And we ask you to forgive them Lord. We purpose to trust You with these matters Lord, and not to align ourselves with the accuser. Help us Lord; help us to walk through these pathways in faith; and help us to overcome our unbelief. Help us to recognize and avoid what your Word speaks of as idle words and to bring every thought captive to Your obedience.

Deliver us O God, from impulsive and soulish responses --- from selfish ambitions and misguided words and actions. Lord, we are nothing without You anyway --- so we re-consecrate our callings, our ministries; and those things we have come to protect and consider precious before You --- and we put them into your very capable hands. In so doing, we die to our own selfish ideas and ambitions, and simply make ourselves available to you anew and say in deepest humility, "here I am Lord."

Holy Father, keep us in Your name, the name which You have given to the Lord Jesus, that we may be one, even as You are one. We do not ask that You take us out of the world, but that You make us instruments of Your presence and a deterrent to the evil one's schemes. Sanctify us in Your truth. Your Word is truth. Make us one, even as You are one, that the world may know that Jesus the Messiah was indeed sent by You as Savior and Lord. The glory You have given to the Lord Jesus, to Yeshua, we receive, as He gives it to us, for the purpose of being one, just as You are one.

Thank you Lord, that we will be perfected in unity, so that the world will see that we are Yours and are the objects of Your love. Lord, we ask for the Holy Spirit's anointing and infilling to go out into the world, to where you are sending us --- to minister, to give our lives as a ransom for many, to seek and to save that which is lost and to do Your Holy will.

Lord, let trust and love flow within the Body. We need your supernatural intervention in this area Lord. We cry out to you to cleanse us Lord. Cleanse us individually and as a Body. Help us and enable us to be able to truly stand in the gap for and love our brethren. Bring us as a Body into that place in You, O Lord, that the Scripture refers to as the full knowledge of the Lord. Open the eyes of our understanding and give us the balance we need to operate in spirit and in truth. In spirit and in truth Lord.

And Lord as you bring us together, mobilize us to genuinely intercede; to stand in the gap for those called to pioneer new pathways and agendas. Lord, put a guard over our tongues and give us a deeper revelation of Your heart on these matters, as well as the tasks before us. And contain us Lord, to operate within the sphere that You have called us to operate in.

Lord, we pray that by Your power; that an army of intercessors would be mobilized; that there would be significant changes of heart within each of us called to serve you; and that an axe might be laid to the root of this insidious strategy of the enemy --- of releasing this fire of misguided tongues.

Lord, You are awesome and worthy of our praise. Nothing is too hard for You. Mature us as a Body and bring us to the place that when we, Your people, come on the scene, that the enemy will scatter. Reveal Your heart to us Lord and open the eyes of our understanding; that we may know what is the hope of Your calling; that we may align ourselves with your priorities and initiatives for the era we have entered.

May Your peace and presence be upon Your people Israel as You bring fulfillment to Your promises for Your chosen people. These are indeed incredible times to be about Your work, Lord. Release revival, we pray. Renew us and let revival reign in OUR hearts. We thank You Lord, for choosing us, for anointing us, and entrusting us to be used as instruments of Your purpose in the strategic times before us! Amen.

Misguided Tongues (c) Morris Ruddick

Friday, October 15, 2010


"Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away." Mark 4: 24-25

After teaching the multitudes, Jesus took His disciples aside to instruct them on the Kingdom. Having already been challenged on His lack of adherence to the traditions of men, He cautioned His disciples on what they hear.

World-views and mind-sets are both the gateways and the limitations to our thinking. The boundaries of our thinking determine the extent to what we do in making a difference. It all pivots on the hearing and discerning between pertinent revelation and what can be distorted or premature glimpses of reality.

Jesus' admonition is even more pertinent today, a time of not only information overload, but of information distortion. More than any other time in history, we need to take heed what we hear.

Strategies of Deception
Among the enemy's primary stratagems is deception. Hitler employed the concept of the "big lie" as a key part of his modus operandi. The "big lie" strategy is based on: "the more preposterous a claim; the more likely it is to be believed." Hitler put the free world at the brink with his ploys of manipulation, confusion and lies.

More recently, in an address to the United Nations, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an array of outlandish claims. They included:
* The recent floods in Pakistan being the result of a US military project that controls such things as earthquakes, tsunamis and floods;
* The US invading Iraq not only for its oil, but to harvest a lucrative trade of organs from dead Iraqis;
* The culprits in the recent Times Square bombing not being Muslims, but an American think-tank; and
* 9/11 really being an inside American job.

The Perception and Reality
Laughable? Conspiracy theories seem to boomerang around as frequently as the wind whistles through the trees. Not unlike Hitler's big lies, these claims represent a grand strategy of the evil one.

In a recent Wall Street Journal column (9/28/10), Bret Stephens cites The University of Maryland's World Public Opinion survey results that just 2% of Pakistanis believe al Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, whereas 27% believe it was the U.S. government. Among Egyptians, 43% say Israel is the culprit, while another 12% blame the U.S. Just 16% of Egyptians think al Qaeda did it. In Turkey, opinion is evenly split: 39% blame al Qaeda, another 39% blame the U.S. or Israel. Even in Europe fifteen percent of Italians and 23% of Germans finger the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks. Take heed what you hear.

While the storm clouds amass and distort the reality held by large population groups across the world, what is even more alarming are the deceptions embraced by large segments of the Body. Conspiracy theories and big lies have an audience not only outside the parameters of the believing community, but within. Paul described it to the Romans as zeal without knowledge (Romans 10:2).

Shutting the Gates Spiritually
In Matthew 23, Jesus depicted the characteristics of those whose actions shut out the ones genuinely seeking the Kingdom. He referred to them as blind guides and blind fools (v 16, 17). From that stance, He illustrated examples of practices of the bind-guides that are short-sided; that miss the forest for the trees.

He then summarized (v 33) by saying that over the generations, it has been from within the ranks of God's own that spiritual myopia has manifested, pulling down those who have been the ones truly anointed and called. Despite the rage of the nations (Psalm 2), the catalysts to undermining genuine advances of the Spirit have come from within.

In Revelations, the church at Thyatira, known to be growing and seeking God, was admonished for being influenced by the teachings of Jezebel. The judgment for those seduced by her influence was severe. It punctuates "taking heed what we hear," as we scrutinize both the teaching and revelation that we receive.

Avoiding Distorted Influences
So, after teaching the multitudes, when Jesus was alone with His disciples explaining more fully the secrets to the Kingdom; He admonished them "to take heed what you hear." One translation reads "consider carefully what you hear."

In John 14:12 Jesus noted we would do greater works than He, because of Him going to the Father. Hebrews speaks of Jesus entering within the veil, as a forerunner for us. Yet, we stumble on the very thing Jesus pointed to in Mark 7 in ignoring the words of God for the traditions and whispers of men.

The prophetic rightfully has regained the place in every believer in hearing God on the decisions of life. Yet, amid a world filled with distortion and deception is the need to "consider carefully what we hear."

The example to be followed in validating claims of truth was the Bereans in Acts 17, who searched the scriptures to verify what they heard. The means to confirming revelation will come not only by avoiding the seductive, impulsive influences of information overload and distortion, but by checking the subtleties of our hearts. Proverbs suggests that the one who trusts in his own heart is a fool (Prov 28:26). Avoiding seductive influences will come from nothing short of spending time with the Lord and entering the maturity that discerns between soul and spirit; and the heart-whispers of men.

The Dividing Asunder
The way of the Kingdom is opposite to that of the world. It is the dividing asunder between soul and spirit. James 3 explains the source of our conflicts: those things that press against our souls impelling behavior that undermines God's best by giving entrance to disorder and every evil work.
"If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing." James 3:14-16 NASB

Jealousy is the catalyst giving entrance to disorder and every evil thing. Jealousy works together with selfish ambition, which has as its root, competition. Just as jealousy in its extreme seeks to eliminate the righteous efforts of another, so it is that competition out-of-control aspires to undermine the efforts of those it targets.

Having fallen short of God's approval, it was jealousy and competition that marked Cain's response to Abel's oneness with God. This vile mix is the seedbed of every power struggle. It is the source of anti-Semitism. It is behind the high-handed ways, disguised as righteousness, wiggling their way into undermining viable works of God.

James further describes the role of slander, which is the subtle art of discrediting or of making ill-conceived judgments about others. Jealousy, arrogance and slander lie against the truth. They are relational manifestations of demonic power designed to bring destruction. They short circuit the way of the Kingdom by giving entrance to disorder and every kind of evil.

Jesus warned His followers to be wary of those who betray. Betrayal is when one who should warrant trust proves faithless or treacherous. Betrayal encroaches on the freedom released through trust. It encompasses words or actions that in short desert one who depends on the betrayer, especially in a time of need.

Soul-Dominant Hearing
Soul-dominant hearing is enticed by the whispers of men and blind spots.

Whispers of men, from within the circles of God's own, bring adverse influence and premature conclusions. Premature conclusions result in that which is birthed in the spirit being worked out in the flesh.

Blind spots occur from falling in love with our emotional and soulish impulses. Spiritualizing and pampering the soulish gives rise to becoming double-minded. James tied it to maturity and said the double-minded one would become unstable in all their ways (James 1:8).

There is no short-cut to maturity. Maturity is a result of the process of individual transformation that comes to discern between soul and spirit. Immaturity emerges from religious spirits, which bring the allure of the Spirit without the cost, by depending on the soul.

Take heed what you hear. The whispers of men and blind spots pander to egos and ambitions which gives entrance to the disorder and embedded evil noted by James. They neutralize inferential leaps, essential to sound wisdom and decision-making; and lead to invalid conclusions that lie against the truth.

Inferential Leaps
Inferential leaps are a means of thinking that have a key bearing on decision-making and innovation. Inferential leaps enable conclusions, based not on the next logical proposition, but rather on an association or other means of inference. Inferential leaps provide us the ability to break the mold by leaping beyond the constraints of the obvious.

Spiritually, the result of inferential leaps depends on whether spiritual input is distorted or truth. Distortion always includes an element of truth. However, the balance between soul and spirit is marred by the traditions of men, short-sided revelation and soul-dominant hearing.

It is often a fine line whereby the leap misses the reality to which it seeks to connect. Within the prophetic, the "miss" will be due to the subtle difference between fact and feeling; confidence and cockiness; humility and upmanship, imparting life and put-downs; honesty and coarseness; extending righteousness and the need to be right. The right side of the fine line is distinguished by the maturity that only comes by means of the Kingdom path.
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the cleverness of the clever." 1 Cor 1:19

Before us lies the fulfillment of the words Paul wrote the Ephesians of coming into maturity and the full knowledge of the Lord. Those who rule their own spirits are mightier than those who can take a city (Prov 16:32). Through the coming of His Kingdom, His will is going to be done. God's Kingdom will be seen by the world through community, as the world sees a people demonstrating His reality and truth. Community as designed by God operates with trust as its foundation.

So Jesus imparted the significance of taking heed what we hear before acting, since it will be as we give it out that it will be measured back to us. For those who grasp His Kingdom and demonstrate its reality, more will be given. It's the measure of His Kingdom. Reality, trust and increase are interwoven. However, those who heed the whispers of men and are diverted into the wide path will have even what they have taken away.

The best intentions, based on wrong input, will yield results ranging from questionable consequence to the opposite of the intention. Inferential leaps either close the gap leading into the Kingdom path or they shut the door to it. It pivots on what we hear.
"We do not want you to become slack, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." Heb 6:12

Inferential Leaps (c) Morris Ruddick

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


© Morris E. Ruddick

The restoration of God’s economy and the wealth transfer will usher in changes that dramatically impact priorities, perspectives and approaches to advancing His Kingdom. Many of the now-familiar ministry models have been refined and reached satisfying comfort-levels. Yet, rather than having arrived, much work remains. Much of it incorporates new challenges.

God’s Kingdom is advancing. The scope of both the risk and the opportunity are demanding change. The shaking and resistance underway is to spur us on. For those who begin embracing the new paradigm, the shaking and resistance will be met with sovereign responses of the Holy Spirit and a fresh release of signs and wonders and miracles. In this process the Spirit of the Lord is preparing us for a timely and more strategic-level impact, as the paradigm shifts.

The accelerated pace of events and the ease and speed with which the world interacts today is demanding much more. Opportunity seized in the arena of the mass media since the fifties has been combined with inroads made by Kingdom pioneers through the medium of the Internet. The result has been a quantum leap impacting the means by which this generation of the Body is informed, connected and matured.

Catalysts for the Wealth Transfer. As the Body has been awakened, matured, informed and connected, there has been a convergence tied to a fresh, major move of redemption and restoration. The convergence will actuate the Deuteronomy 8 principle of the “power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant” as a transfer of wealth tied to the power shift emerges. This dynamic will serve as a catalyst for unfolding redemption and Kingdom restoration that will be unlike anything seen in recent times.

Two other key scriptures, together with Deuteronomy 8:18 form the broader perspective encompassing the transfer of wealth. The first is the Proverbs 13 principle that the “wealth of the wicked is stored up for the just.” The second is from Isaiah 60 and marks the expectation of what will unfold with the restoration of Israel.

We have entered an era in which numerous end-time conditions are being aligned. When they mature and converge, they will be significant catalysts to the release of enormous wealth and resources into the hands of those at the forefront of strategically advancing the Kingdom of God. These four dimensions include the restoration of God’s economy; a new outworking of Body-unity whereby community initiatives become Kingdom initiatives; strategic partnerships between spiritual, community and economic Kingdom entrepreneurs, and the restoration of Israel.

Restoration of God’s Economy. Because of the nature of these times the restoration of God’s economy will be as a light shining in the deepening darkness coming upon the earth. These are times described in scripture as times of earthquakes and famines; of wars and rumors of wars. They are described as evil days. The principles in Deuteronomy that govern entrepreneurial communities work in the face of adversity. The awakening and calling of Kingdom entrepreneurs will globally penetrate bastions of poverty and destruction with hope. The restoration of God’s economy will become foundational to the groundswell of “repossessing the land” that is tied to the release of the wealth transfer described in Proverbs 13.

Body Unity Whereby Community Initiatives Become Kingdom Initiatives. There are numerous models operating today, which parallel the days outlined in Genesis 26, when God told Isaac to sow in a land of famine. Isaac heard, he obeyed and he prospered. God’s economy operates against all odds. Each of God’s economic models is in some significant way tied to community. The Kingdom entrepreneurs of this day will not fit the superstar mold often seen in high profile corporate settings, but rather a servant-leader model. Joseph was a servant-leader whose strategies bypassed the destruction of the famine and strengthened his nation while accomplishing God’s redemptive purposes.

As the world views those who have been given the “power to get wealth” and those who sow in famine and reap a hundred-fold; they will see the tangible result of how God Almighty establishes His covenant among His people.

Strategic Partnerships Between Spiritual, Community and Economic Kingdom Entrepreneurs. As we enter a time when the clash of kingdoms is intensifying and the struggle over dominion begins reaching vicious levels, we will also see a convergence of the spiritual, community and economic Kingdom entrepreneurs. With this convergence will arise partnerships that will flow in the principle of “God giving us the power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant.”

These partnerships will build communities and change nations and advance and align the kingdom of God. In the process, there will be a monumental “Proverbs 13” power shift, that will result in an incredible release of resources into timely, strategic and effective kingdom initiatives: Kingdom initiatives that merge the functions served by spiritual, community and economic Kingdom entrepreneurs.

The Restoration of Israel. Restoration and redemption has always included the apple of God’s eye, Israel. The throne-room perspective to God giving us the power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant comes from Isaiah 60. It speaks of the restoration of Israel. It points to the truth that in the overall scheme of what the Lord is releasing for the days before us, that Israel and the Jewish people returning to the Lord is the pivot point.

“For the wealth of the seas will be brought to you and the riches of the nations will come. Your gates will stand open continually, so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations. You are the Lord. You will do this swiftly and they will be called ministers of our God and they will feed on the wealth of nations.” (Isaiah 60:5,11)

The restoration of Israel, both the land and the people Israel is already in process. The nation of Israel has become the number-two center for venture capital projects in the world. Israel’s Technology Incubator program produces a high ratio of new business enterprises entering the world market.

Despite more than 50 years of war and the impact of an intifada designed to destroy Israel, the desert blooms in Israel and against all odds, it thrives. But the pressures against Israel have never been greater and they mark the steps toward the time Scripture points to as when “all Israel is saved.” As the spiritual “restoration of Israel” unfolds, the initiatives that merge the efforts of spiritual, community and economic Kingdom entrepreneurs will serve as catalysts for the macro-level releases of the wealth transfer. An Israel-directed wealth-transfer is described by these verses of Isaiah 60 as “the riches of the nations” and the “wealth of the nations.”

The Power Shift. There is an awesome alignment in process. It is an alignment that will release the greatest move of redemption and restoration the world has ever seen. Restoration and redemption tied to a massive power shift: the power shift of all ages. God’s sovereignty over His creation is being restored, His covenant confirmed and His covenant people becoming the head and not the tail. It is a shift that will incorporate new venues of resources and wealth that will be entrusted to the hands of prepared and chosen vessels like Joseph the Patriarch, who understand the times and will administrate them in the accomplishment of God’s purposes for this strategic hour.
This article is reprinted with permission from “God’s Economy, Israel and the Nations,” authored by Morris Ruddick. Mr. Ruddick is also the author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling. Each of these books addresses the present move of God through the business community. They are available from, and other popular outlets.

2005 Copyright Morris Ruddick —

Thursday, July 29, 2010


“You enlarged my path under me; so my feet did not slip.” 2 Sam 22:37

In approaching the Isaiah 60 shift-of-all-ages, there has come a manifestation of seducing, lying religious spirits. The potency resulting from the distraction, confusion and uncertainty they generate is masking realities on which major Kingdom decisions are being made.

The impact is assailing many modern-day Josephs and Daniels at the point when strategic agendas are being released. The result is "choking up," "stalling out" and creating slippage of these efforts. Those with callings tied to the creation of resources seem to be especially targeted. Restoring the momentum, which in some cases follows extremely long-term efforts, will require the release of “something more, “ a dimension extending beyond natural abilities and human effort.

Long before becoming king, against all odds, David challenged and defeated the giant Goliath. In so doing, David stepped into a realm beyond his natural abilities. With his life and the future of Israel on the line, David entered an arena of oneness with the Lord that pierced the spiritual veil. He turned what seemed a hopeless situation into a gateway of opportunity for all of Israel, as well as himself.

Years later, after many feats in battle as king, in 2 Samuel 21:15 David and his men were again fighting giants among the Philistines. During one particular clash, the scripture tells us that David grew faint with one of the sons of the giants moving in to kill him. At that critical point, Abishai came to David’s aid, killing the Philistine giant. Then David’s men admonished him, saying, "You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel."

In this encounter, David was enticed into presuming on the success he had previously wielded against the Philistines. He overlooked getting his direction and strategy afresh from the Lord. The result was that he was overwhelmed and apart from the valiant intervention of Abishai, his future as king, along with Israel’s destiny would have been short-circuited.

The Seduction
Religious spirits specialize in infiltrating the ranks of the successful among God’s people to undermine and derail. Their modus operandi carries a potent seductiveness. They impersonate and mimic the Spirit’s intentions, but like David’s near fatal skirmish with the giants, they provoke myopic exertions that divert, counterfeit and fall short of the Spirit’s big-picture intentions.

The current plague of distracting religious spirits appeals to a “purist” expectation of perfection, when reality calls for simplicity and movement, which will bring forth the alignment required for the impending birthing.

Sophisticated Snares
The schemes that entrap, trip up and create slippage to those stewarding strategic agendas are subtle. They mask an almost indiscernible fine line between soul and Spirit. The seduction of the soul in these instances goes beyond basic issues of righteousness, targeting the wisdom needed to clearly discern the Spirit’s guidance.

At the forefront of these schemes are obsessive principles, positional pride, fear of humiliation and illusions of reality. In short, religious spirits bring distortion and perversion into what should otherwise be strengths within a mature believer.

One of my primary mentors used to say that if the devil can't entice you to become lukewarm; he'll get you so red-hot that you're no earthly good. Either way, you've slipped off the narrow path. The quest we each spend a lifetime developing, of doing the right thing right, can become an obsession that distorts ones balance and perceptions in a way that results in “ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of truth.”

A man I worked with some years ago embraced some of the highest principles I have ever seen. Together with his sense of excellence, he demonstrated, through his ministry, a dimension of biblical operations few have ever broached. Yet, the extreme nature of his principles was accompanied by an equal level of blind spots that eventually began undermining the core and essence of the significant impact he had developed. The scheme is one of being entrapped in a delusion of self-righteousness, as was evidenced by the oppressive mandates of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.
“Hypocrites, for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” Matt 23:14

Overlapping this stratagem is one reflected by a ministry associate I heard described as belonging to a "tribe of peacocks." The description of this "tribe" of leaders reflected ones "who have been groomed to be peacocks; and when they come out ‘among us,’ they preen themselves to display their peacock splendor; and in so doing let you know that they deserve to be peacocks." This ministry associate is incredibly accomplished in the work of his calling. However this perversion of positional pride represents a serious weakness in the infrastructure of his accomplishments. The seduction is in “thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.”
“Then I will take away those who rejoice in pride and I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.”
Zeph 3:11-12

Strongly related to these snares is the fear of humiliation. This devious fear creates behavior that distorts and destabilizes the foundations of what might otherwise become a great work for the Lord. At its center is the concern with the approval of men rather than giving prime focus to God’s approval. True humility is based on one flowing within a foundation of it “no longer being us, but Christ who lives within us.” Avoiding this subtle scheme represents a deep and abiding trust in the Lord.
“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.” John 7:18-19

Obsessive principles, positional pride and fear of humiliation are each examples of diabolical traps used to seduce the soul of the mature. Jesus warned that in the last days, the enemy’s schemes would be designed to deceive even the very elect. They entail pushing what is good to extremes and making it perverse. Applied against ones wielding the mantles birthing strategic agendas, they involve riding the wave of past successes; creating increasingly greater pressures against the soul, until the mind and emotions are overwhelmed.

These and other such schemes lead into distortions of reality that gradually diminish the operation of the Spirit because of being overwhelmed. The result is in crossing a fine line into being dominated by the subtle entrapments of the soul.

Just as maturity is progressive, so stewarding the mantle of one’s calling evolves with the bar becoming increasingly higher. The narrow path of the Kingdom takes its practitioners into new levels, as the Spirit leads from faith to faith. It is at these transitions that the impossible become possible. However, these transitions will not succeed through increasing the complexities of human effort or the repetition of past achievements, but by the simplicity defined by the order demonstrated by the Spirit.

Approaching the Gateway
The approach to these new levels will contain a unique “key” or strategy from the Lord; designed not only to open the gateway, but meant to sustain the next level of the pathway. Obtaining this key will require the fine-line discerning and avoidance of the enticements, along with clarity in ascertaining the Lord’s strategy.

Not unlike the exhaustion and sense of being overwhelmed that hit David at a critical point in his effort against the son of the Philistine giant, so today many of the ones entrusted with vital initiatives are facing weariness in their well-doing. Preventing the sense of being overwhelmed calls for a special wisdom the Lord spoke to me many years ago: "Whatever sphere you begin walking into; immediately begin looking beyond it, lest it overwhelm you."

New arenas demand something fresh and something more, to not only navigate the transition, but to eventually sustain "the new thing." The crucible for release will entail an approach that has already begun reaching beyond the challenges at hand.

In the passageway from faith to faith, just repeating what worked in the past may prove to be a snare. In Jesus’ earthly ministry, there was a progressive nature to the miracles He performed in raising the dead. From the daughter of the ruler who had just died, to Lazarus who had been buried four days, to His own resurrection, each reflected a unique response along with an increase of its link to the Spirit’s power.

Careful discerning of spiritual cycles provides wisdom for avoiding these traps. As there are cycles in the times and seasons, so there are cycles in the realm of the spirit. Defining the boundaries of ones calling within the parameters of the spiritual cycle will release an authority that moves mountains.

The reality is that those with the callings of modern-day Josephs and Daniels need to be operating beyond themselves. Yet too often the inclination, like David’s near-fatal encounter with the son of the giant, is to be snagged on the wrong side of the "dividing asunder between soul and spirit." That’s not to suggest a backslidden state, but rather an increasingly higher standard, along with the need for realistic priorities and balance to release God’s intervention. It calls for spiritual traction that conforms with the progressive nature of our callings from faith to faith.

Penetrating the Threshold
The sophistication of the devil’s schemes against the mature will be outclassed by God’s supernatural strategies. However, that supernatural dimension will only manifest by what was begun in the spirit seeing its conclusion being brought about by the Spirit, rather than by human effort. This means reestablishing the spiritual traction needed to pierce the veil in the realm of the spirit.

Deuteronomy 17: 18-20 represents apt guidance needed for leaders and those entrusted with high-level agendas. It tells us that the one who sits on the throne, the one wielding God’s authority, must copy for himself the words in the Scripture. He must keep this copy of the Word close at hand and read it daily as long as he lives. It’s not a head-thing. It’s a practice that brings the soul into subjection to the spirit. Tradition holds that the original requirement for the rulers of Israel was to memorize the Books of Moses.

Those anointed, called and entrusted with Joseph-Daniel agendas can do no less. Memorizing and rehearsing key segments of God’s Word represents the catalyst that will bridge the gap of the well-intentioned operation of the soul to release the fire of the supernatural power of the Spirit.

It is the brand mark of those anointed to be priestly-kings. Its practice differentiated those kings who would be remembered for good in the generations to come from those who fell short. It is the foundation to the subtle distinction between what we try to do for God and what He allows us to do through Him. It reflects a constant inquiring of the Lord, along with the practice of consecration and a willingness to wait upon the Lord before traction is gained into the new levels of the pathway.
“You’ve not passed this way before, so consecrate yourselves, for the Lord is about to do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5

This pathway takes a special measure of anointed, Word-washed self control combined with obedient faith to bypass the sophisticated schemes and distance its practitioners from the illusions of reality planted by the enemy of our souls.
“Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom 12:2

Word-washed self control maintains the fine-line pathway between soul and spirit which displays the reality of God operating in our midst that the world longs to see. It is the radar in the spiritual guidance system designed to alert and evade the seductive entrapments of the soul bearing on past victories; impulses that play into the devil’s array of sophisticated schemes; preliminary impressions of the heart that haven’t been sufficiently prayed through; or simply giving heed to perceptions that play into soul-level feelings and ego.

David’s encounter with the son of the giant followed all the confusion and disorder of Absalom’s unsuccessful overthrow of his throne. David was still overwhelmed and falling short of the mantle of his calling. The skirmish bordered so closely on losing it all for all Israel that his men rightly counseled him on the current priorities of his kingship. The result was the “something more” that pierced the spiritual veil to regain the focus for what lay ahead. From David’s response of a listening and humble heart, came repentance and the spiritual traction that released him into the final steps whereby the throne of David was to become a light to the nations and the one on which the Messiah will reign over His Kingdom.
“You are my lamp, O LORD. The LORD will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven. He is a shield to all who trust in him.”
2 Sam 22:29-31


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome to the Strategic Issues Global Network

Welcome to the Strategic Issues Global Network [SIGN]. SIGN addresses strategic-level issues impacting the Body globally. Each blog is a short article drawn from my time of prayer, that targets and defines the dynamics of one of these “issues.” Rather than analysis or opinion, what is sought is God’s heart and His priorities.

SIGN is very Israel- and marketplace-focused. Along with the persecuted church, these are God's priorities for these times. SIGN also is prophetically contemporaneous, as we reach for the standard of maturity Paul outlines in Ephesians 4 that combines the full knowledge of the Lord and unity within the Body.

Originally birthed in early 1996, as a private email list, SIGN is a part of the ministry of Global Initiatives Foundation ( I have authored four faith-based marketplace books including: The Joseph-Daniel Calling; God’s Economy, Israel and the Nations; Heart of a King; and Something More.

My wife and I typically spend over half the year overseas with entrepreneurial community development programs mobilizing believers in lands like Russia, Belarus, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Botswana, Nigeria, China, Vietnam and Israel as faith-based community builders. Thank you for praying for us.

Morris Ruddick