FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

BY:  JACKIE CAPORASO

DECEMBER 3, 2006

MESSAGE No. 165

THOU ART MY ROCK

A DREAM COMES TO PASS

THE FALL OF A QUEEN

A WORTHY CALLING

A STAR IS ARISING

THE THIRD FEAST BANQUET

Joseph, David and all those who had a call of God on their lives.  We see this in the New Testament saints and in our own lives as well. All that has happened to us were not incidental or coincidental; they were planned by God Himself to accomplish His plan for creation.

THOU ART MY ROCK

“In Thee, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed. In Thy righteousness deliver me, and rescue me; incline Thine ear to me, and save me. Be Thou to me a rock of habitation, to which I may continually come; Thou hast given commandment to save me, for Thou art my rock and my fortress.” (Psa.71:1-3) (NAS version)

David was a chosen vessel of God; he had to go through tumultuous times. His best friend and confident had been Jonathan but he was no longer available to him. David had many loyal followers but as important as they were in his life, they were not able to bring peace to his soul; David was a loner. It was from the depth of his soul that he wrote his immortal songs to the God of His salvation.

David called upon God as his Rock and fortress. He needed the Rock because there was a lot of turbulence in his world. When the things that we depend upon each day begin to crumble all around us, our emotions are tossed into the turbulence. It is then that we need something to hold on to; we need the Rock to steady us and keep us safe. Today we may encounter things that we had never expected and when we turn for help to that which used to stabilize us, we often find that it no longer works for us. What we need is a rock; actually we need “The Rock”. As I was pondering these thoughts I was reminded of times in my past when I should have been destroyed, but somehow made it through.

I am sure that each one who is reading this can also look back and see that whether they recognized it or not at the time, the Rock was with them through the storms of their lives.

Paul wrote that through their wilderness journey, the Israelites “all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (I Cor. 10:3-4)

Without that Rock, they would have died in the wilderness. Recently I read an article by the Quartermaster General in the Army where he reports that in order to feed two or three million people Moses would have needed 1500 tons of food daily. To bring that much food each day, two freight trains, each at least a mile long would be required!

Besides, in the desert they needed firewood to cook their food. This would take four thousand tons of wood and a few more freight trains, each a mile long each day. And they were forty years in transit!

Oh yes! They needed water. If they had only enough water to drink and wash a few dishes, it would take eleven million gallons each day and a freight train with tank cars eighteen miles long, just to bring water! This was only to cover their need for food and water! But the Rock followed them!

As I look back at my life I realize that the Rock that followed me also protected me and kept me from being destroyed. The only power that took me through the hard times of my youth was the love of my heavenly Father whom I did not even know.  But He knew me; of that I am certain. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)

Looking back I also realize that my Father never took me out of my tribulations; He put a Rock inside of me to keep me safe through them all. He also kept me from recognizing the real dangers that I faced so that I had no fear. Unknowingly to me at the time, He was my Rock and my Fortress.

When I was almost five years old my parents divorced. We lived in the suburbs of Paris and my father commuted to his office in Paris each day. One day, my mother left a note on the dining room table informing my father who was at work that she would not be back and that she had taken me along. My father was a man of integrity and honor and I know that he was crushed when he came home to an empty house that night.

And there was my adopted brother Pierrot who was fourteen at the time. My father had adopted him as a baby when his first wife could not have children. His first wife had died of typhoid when the child was just three years old and so he had been raised by my mother until this dismal day when he was just fourteen. My mother sent him to school that morning.

As I stretched my neck to look out of the backseat window of the taxi that was whisking us away, I saw Pierrot standing on the street corner, waiting to see us one more time. His nose was red with crying and his face was wet with tears; it was the saddest face I had ever seen anywhere. Something inside of me was being torn to pieces. It was then that for the first time I found that place. It was the Rock inside of me, a place where I could feel stability, warmth, comfort and strength. It was a place that I would need to run into over and over again in my young life.

When I was barely seven, I was very sick, even unto death. I remember laying in a coma in the hospital. I could see my parents crying but they seemed to be so far away even though they were standing around my bed; I could not speak.

It was then that I felt as though I was propelled through a long and narrow tunnel. I was being pushed by a wind and at the end of the tunnel there was a very bright light. I could hear a chorus of beautiful voices singing in unison as I was quickly whisked away toward that light. I felt neither sad nor glad and I had no fear; I could just feel the warmth of that Rock holding me and embracing me.

There were times during the six years of war in Paris when planes loaded with bombs came right over our buildings. In a short while we heard the deafening explosions not far from where we were and later we witnessed the burning rubbles that were left behind. I did not know at the time why I felt no fear during these years, but now I know; it was Him. He had brought me into my secure inner place again and I knew that we would be alright.

During these times I could always find that comforting Presence whispering to me that I would be alright but the thought never entered my mind that this was God. As a little girl in France the only places that I associated with God were the many monumental Catholic Churches everywhere. My mother never went to Church and my father who read the Bible and believed never went to Church either.

So I assumed that God lived in the churches and because we never went there I did not feel connected to Him in any way. When I was eleven years old my mother insisted that I go to Church for a time and do my “first communion,” but she took me out as soon as that was over because I seemed to have an interest in the things of God.

Something significant in my young life, were the dreams that I had. I can still vividly remember some of these and I realize now that they played an important role in my life. I remember dreaming once that a big ship came to take me to a far away land with palm trees. The details are engraved in my mind’s eye; I was about eight years old at the time.

As a little girl I never told my dreams to anyone. It was not until I had the dream about the coming D-Day that I confided in my father. It was the end of May in 1944 and still during the German occupation in Paris. I saw little planes coming to land in France. There were coming one after the other and they kept coming by droves. I could see the pilots and they had uniforms that I had not seen before. Most of all I was impressed with their beautiful blue eyes. It was on June 6th that the Americans landed on the beaches of Normandy. The dream had been very significant. As dreams came to pass in my life I could not deny their validity although I did not recognize their source until I met the Lord.

I found out the hard way that dreams that are from the Lord have a way of irritating a lot of people; even Christians. Reminiscent of what happened to Joseph of old, many feel threatened by anyone who hears from the Lord in dreams and they will try to discredit them. I know that there are some who abuse the gift but one should not throw out the baby with the bath water.

I found that most dreams from the Lord are messages to the one who dreamt them. They are never to lead anyone else but they often serve as a warning or a confirmation to someone who needs it. These dreams should be shared with God’s wisdom. Of course there are also prophetic dreams for the Body of Christ.  Those are in another class; they are for teaching and edifying.

A DREAM COMES TO PASS

I was in my early teens when I dreamt that I was on a ship coming into a harbor in the middle of the night. A cold wind was blowing as I stood there in awe shaking and looking at the brightly lit coast line. I felt afraid but then I heard a voice saying, “Fear not, you are in New York City now.” This was the dream.

A few years later, in 1946, I found myself aboard the ship that took me from France to this country. After fifteen days and fifteen nights of rough sailing we were all asleep when the announcement came that the ship was coming in to New York harbor. The ship would not dock until the next day but now everyone was up on top deck to see the sight. I stood in the crowd of war brides, feeling so alone.

It was the middle of the night and coastal lights as well as the stars were unbelievably bright in the cold darkness. I felt the wind on my face and as I wrapped the soft fur of my beaver jacket around me, my heart was pounding. It was then that a feeling of dread came over me and that I heard a comforting voice. I remembered that voice; it was the One that I had heard in the dream several years before, “Fear not, you are in New York City now.” This was all so strange, yet on the spot I felt that it was right.  I had married a young GI and he had been discharged from the service a month previous. By this time he was home in Indiana; he would be waiting for me there.

One of the hardest times in my life was when this first husband became abusive and violent with me. By that time I had two little children and no one to turn to. I could not tell my parents in Europe about this because they could not help me and I would only worry them.  I knew nothing of government help and I don’t believe that it even existed at the time; battered women stayed in the closet.

I turned to my mother-in-law but as a good Mom she stuck by her son. For a time, she did help me with the children, but then she and one of her daughters cut me off from seeing them. I became physically sick and desperate. Little did I know that my life was about to take a sharp turn and I was not sure how it would all work out.

I did not know God and I did not know how to pray but I remembered the time when I was twelve years old in Paris. I had been on my bicycle and I hit a truck carrying coal head on. I should have been killed but I was seriously injured.

My right leg was almost severed at the knee. I was taken into surgery and they repaired it as well as they could. However because the right medications and doctors were scarce during the war, after a while gangrene set in. The doctor who was assigned to me decided on amputation; I was scheduled for surgery the next morning.

That night, I could not sleep and I found myself praying. I had never prayed like that before; actually I was just holding a conversation with a God I did not know. I cried and told Him that I did not want to lose my leg and I asked Him to help me.

The next morning I waited. They did not bring my breakfast and I knew that they would soon come and get me for surgery; but they did not come. Lunch time came around and they brought me food. I told them that I was awaiting surgery but they said that it had been cancelled.

The doctor who going to operate had been called out on an emergency and now another doctor took over my case; during the war this was not unusual. As it was, my new doctor was an older man who decided to try to kill the gangrene with silver nitrate. He had found some “pencils” of silver nitrates and with several nurses holding me down he proceeded to dig trenches into the gangrene of my leg. It was painful but whatever he did, worked. He saved my leg and a few months later I was learning to walk again.

Over the years my leg has never bothered me; it was truly a healing from God. He had answered my prayer. So now I was in great distress again and I remembered how He had answered me that night; I called upon Him again. I said, “God I know that you are real and that you can help me. Please take care of my children.” I cried myself to sleep that night but somehow peace came over me and I felt assured that everything would be fine.

I had never met this God that I called upon, but I knew that He was my Rock and my only true friend; I could trust Him. Later He said to me, “You take care of my children and I will take care of yours.” He certainly did and still does.

It was when I was thirty years old that I finally met Him. I fell and broke my knee cap so I was laid up for a while.  A nice neighbor came to bring me lunch on a tray with a little flower from her garden and a Bible. She began to speak to me about the Lord and invited me to her Vacation Bible School where a man was teaching on the Book of Hebrews.

It was there that I truly met the Rock that followed me through my youth and comforted me through all my despairs. It was there that I recognized the Light at the end of the tunnel. He had led me through so many hardships and troubles; He had always been there to strengthen me and show me the way and now He was revealing Himself to me.

Today we pray that we may know Him as He is and that we may love Him as He loves us.  He is our Rock and each of His chosen can relate to this because each has found His great faithfulness without fail. He is a God who has proven that His word is not just ink on paper, but His Word is the very life and Spirit of His Son made flesh in us! He is our life. THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

Today there is a book that has been on the best seller list for months. The title itself unveils the reason why people are buying it; it is called “The Purpose-Driven Life.” People need a purpose in life. If they feel that they have no purpose they give up and become derelicts or die. Everyone has a need to belong and to accomplish something meaningful.  This is why Christians always want to do something for God.

We are blessed when we accomplish something useful in life, but the greatest blessing comes when God reveals to our hearts that we are part of a much greater purpose than we had ever thought possible; we are part of His plan and purpose for creation.

And so we can look back and see God’s Hand on our lives. We realize that this is why God has brought us through so much and has used the things that should have destroyed us to bring us closer to Him and prepare us for our calling in Christ.

When we realize God’s great love for us we want to do something for Him in return. So the question is, “What can we do for God?” The answer is short and simple. God desires to see His Son in us; the only way we can ever repay our Father is to come to Him in the name, the nature of His Son.

To approach God, Abel offered a lamb from his flock. His brother Cain offered the best of the fruits of the earth but God rejected it. Today we approach God with the only acceptable sacrifice, His Lamb. It is when the Father sees His Son in us that He hears us. We come in His name when His nature is birthed in us.

No matter how great our works of righteousness may be; our many prayers and the hours we spend in the study of His Word, all these are but the fruits of the earthly man. It is only the obedience of the Son in us that pleases God. And it is through the workings of His Holy Spirit in the testings of our daily lives that we become more and more as He is. So the answer to the question, “What can I do for God?” is, let this slain Lamb nature that was in Jesus also dwell in you. As Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5) This was the mind of the One who came down from the place of being equal with God to the form of a servant of no reputation. The Lamb came to do the will of His Father. He was willing to come down from His glory and be unknown and unloved. He became One on whom the masses, led by irate religious leaders, spit upon. This is the mind that was in the King of glory.

THE FALL OF A QUEEN

We have been taught in the school of life and all that has happened to us has been to prepare us for our calling as the Church- the Bride of the Lamb. The Book of Esther is the captivating story of a beautiful young Jewish woman. Esther was raised by her wise uncle Mordecai and groomed to be thrust into the high position of queen. She is a perfect type of the Church who is in position to take up her role at the right hand of the King.

In His wisdom, God has chosen the characters of the Old Testament like actors in a theater playing out the details of His eternal plan for His creation. It is one way that God’s Holy Spirit unfolds these mysteries to us one by one and that we begin to understand God’s marvelous purpose for His people. This is why the study of the Old Testament in types and shadows is so fascinating and enlightening. The book of Esther is no exception to this rule.

Over the centuries God has always moved among a people. In the Old Testament He chose the nation Israel as His people. Then because of their stubborn disobedience, He separated them and chose Judah as His people. After Calvary we find that only a remnant of that first nation chose to follow Christ. Then the Lord opened the door to the Gentiles and the remnant of the Jews and the Gentiles in Christ formed the new nation of God that we call spiritual Israel.

It was with a broken heart that Jesus gave Israel the news, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” (Matt.21:43) And again, Jerusalem, Jerusalem… I wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See your house is left to you desolate.” (Matt.23:37b-38)  They did not make it into the kingdom of God.

Over the years, Christians have gathered together for fellowship and worship, but because their hearts lean toward the ways of this world, they often end up committing spiritual adultery with the world. The church that commits adultery with the spirit of the world is called the “harlot” in the book of Revelation. In the book of Esther, the king on his throne in the palace represents, in type, the high governing powers of Christ in His church. Up to a time, the King has been very lenient and the Queen had pretty much done according to her whims; grace was multiplied to her!

And so it has been with the Church that was formed after Jesus left this earth. Grace has been abundantly poured out while God’s Spirit has proceeded to cleanse and sanctify (set apart) those who would keep the faith unto the end.

The words of Paul ring true and clear, “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:20-21)

As the Bride is prepared under God’s grace, she is expected to be obedient unto Him who called her.  Grace abounds while the Holy Spirit reveals the offensive nature of the worldly system she has loved. That nature of Cain who wants to offer the fruits of the earth to God is the very nature of which she must be cleansed.

Grace is not given so more of sin can flourish; grace is given to reveal sin unto repentance. Grace is given so that we do not die while we are separated from our sin nature but there comes a time when the church is expected to answer the call of the King to His third feast banquet. At the palace in Shushan, it was the third year of the King’s reign and a sumptuous celebration was planned. The reigning Queen Vashti was summoned to come and stand by the King so that he could show off her beauty to the world. However the Queen refused. This was a great affront to the King but she wanted nothing to do with that feast. Vashti was satisfied living as queen in his palace and enjoying all the privileges, but she wanted to keep her own agenda. “Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.” (Est.1: 9)

The king had made this feast for all his officials and servants. It was of great importance that he show off the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty. The royal wine flowed in abundance, served in golden vessels, according to the generosity of the king. It was on the seventh day, when his heart was merry that the King commanded the queen to be brought to him wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and to the officials; for she was beautiful to behold.

“But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command… therefore the king was furious and his anger burned within him.” (Est. 1: 11) For three years she had been his queen and she had been given great honor. The king had given her much grace and she had no idea that her position could ever be in jeopardy… she had a surprise coming.

Do you see the parallel here? The one who had been reigning as the Bride and had been given so much grace is being summoned to partake of the banquet of this Third Day Feast. She had been there for the first feast; she had loved the dainties of the Passover banquet.  She had also attended the second feast and had savored the word of Pentecost and of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the manifestations and the gifts. But now she was satisfied and settled in her ways; she refused the third feast.

Vashti represents those who are satisfied with their Christianity. They have a God who provides for them, takes care of them and lavishes the riches of this world upon them; they want nothing more! They have their reward now. One thing is certain; only one queen can stand by the King. One is chosen and the other is rejected; she will no longer live in the palace. Jesus prophesied of a day when all things would be made manifest. “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17)

We are entering this third feast and the harlot Queen that has been sitting on the throne of men’s hearts causing them to bow down to her is being revealed. She does not represent just a few; we all have been part of her and there may still be some remnant of her ways ruling over our minds and hearts. This is why John wrote about the time when this cry would be heard, “Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sin, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4)

A WORTHY CALLING

Christianity has been tossed in the same bag with all the religions of this world, but in reality, in Christ, we are not of this world; we are under the governing power of God’s Holy Spirit; that makes us citizens of the Kingdom of God.

Today we see a visible church that pretends and proclaims to be married to King Jesus, but who is doing what she pleases.  She is an impostor, blatantly calling herself the Bride of Christ yet she loves the riches of this world.  She is not one with the Word in Spirit and Truth, she can only see on a literal and intellectual level at best; her role is played by Queen Vashti.

Because of her disobedience, this church has been stripped from her high place in Christ. But in the secret place, there is another who has been groomed and prepared by Mordecai who plays the role of God’s Holy Spirit. Esther represents that true church. While she has been hid, she has been going through all the necessary preparations for her amazing calling.

The palace where the king of Persia sat on his throne is where the entire story of Esther unfolds. The palace is also where life and death decisions are made. Judaism and Christianity have had an enormous influence in shaping the societies and laws that govern the people of this world. But the Kingdom of God does not work by the laws and precepts of men, no matter how good they may be. The King of God’s Kingdom works to change the hearts of His subjects as he writes His laws in their hearts and on their minds. Esther is not aware of the depth of her calling.  She only knows that she is in line to be chosen by the king to be his wife. This is the motivation that moves her to prepare herself for that wonderful day and this is our motivation as well; that we might know Him and be one with Him. But just as there was much more to Esther’s calling as the Bride of the King, so there is much more to our calling.

A STAR IS ARISING

The name Esther means Star. Esther was a Jew and the true church is a Jew after the Spirit. Paul tells us, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” (Rom. 2:28-29)

The word Jew came into being after the ten tribes of Israel were separated from the kingdom and only Judah remained as the nation of God. The word comes from the name Judah and signifies one who has remained close to God.

After the tribes were re-united the word Jew remained and became inclusive of all the tribes. David was from the tribe of Judah and so was Jesus who was called “King of the Jews.” So in Spirit, a Jew is one who is close to God and remains faithful.

Just as Esther was not revealed to be a Jew, the true church who is close to God remains hidden. The devil is out to destroy the literal nation Israel as well as Christian nations but he has no idea that they are not the true Jews. The Church that the devil is destroying is Mystery Babylon. He cannot touch the true Church who is in Spirit.

The carnal mind cannot understand the things of God; it is at enmity against God. So those who are spiritual can never be understood by those who are in the flesh. Haman has determined to kill all who are close to God but God has prepared His Bride. She is a rising Star and will take her place in the palace and sit with her King at the third feast.

THE THIRD FEAST BANQUET

We are all acquainted with the wonderful gatherings that we have seen when God’s word flows as He unfolds the beautiful truths that thrill us. Then God’s Spirit takes us through experiences in our daily lives, to work this word in us so that it becomes part of who we are in Christ. This is the way we have walked out the truths that He has lavished upon us at these banquets.

We have experienced changes in our lives as the words of the first two feasts have become real in our lives. We had our Passover change when we ate the Lamb for the forgiveness of our sins. Then our Pentecostal change came when we met up with the power of God’s Holy Spirit within. But even after all this, we still looked very much like the world and the worldly church; we knew we were not the same, but it was not obvious to most.

But this Third Feast word will not leave us as we were; it is the word that transforms us from inside out. It is as the Feast of Tabernacles, when God puts the final touches on His complete new creation man. For this to happen, we must fully partake of this banquet.

When Queen Esther arises to her place with the King, she finds that there is still a strong enemy that must be confronted in this palace.  In the Book of Esther this enemy was Haman. He had prepared personal gallows for Mordecai and also a decree for all the Jews in the land to be killed. The enemy had a plan to annihilate all that named the name of the true God; Haman thought that it was a done deal.

But Esther was sent in for such a time as this! She came in just in time to foil the plans of the foe. She saved the lives of all the Jews in the land and of herself as well. This sounds like a fairy tale, but it is what is taking place in the Spirit today.

The devil who works through man’s carnal mind believes that his plan will put an end to anyone who names the name of Jehovah or Jesus. He is out to destroy literal Israel and to bring down any peoples who believe in Jesus Christ. He is going after them with a vengeance. He has no idea that God has prepared His Esther to reveal this foe and to move God’s Hand to put an end to the power that he exerts over men’s hearts.

We cannot fully partake of this Feast and be tied down to carnal Christianity at the same time. We can no longer follow our own agenda and continue with our own schedules; it must all come to an end. We must truly be led by the Spirit on a daily basis. If we bring this word down to an intellectual level, it will not work.

The reward for our obedience is glorious. When we come into His image, we possess Him and He possesses us; He is our reward. As we have been prepared individually in our hiding places, we discover that God has prepared us corporately as well. We find that we are not alone. This true Bride is an entire Body of people who are in His image.

The bride is summoned to come “Wearing her royal crown.” (Est. 1:11) And so the Bride has been summoned to appear in the authority of His life. The old bride is being replaced and it is Esther, the Star. She has triumphed over death and she appears wearing her crown of life for the world to see. When she takes her place, the foe is defeated; he can no longer stand. There is no way that the carnal man can continue with the programs that kept the people in bondage. Now there is a new day arising.

When the Day Star appears it is the end of the night. We have been in darkness and semi-darkness long enough, the day is dawning and the Sun of Righteousness is about to arise and bring healing to all the nations of the earth. Thus will be fulfilled the promise that God made to Abraham, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” The seed of Abraham is Christ and we are the harvest of that Seed.

That Third Feast Word is the transforming Word that brings us into manifested resurrection. He is our reward and He is the Resurrection and the life. How wonderful it is to stand on the threshold of this Day! It is for such a time as this that He has brought us through it all!

Because of His love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS – MSG. No. 165 [Jackie Caporaso] 12-3-06          1

 

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