Once more we bid farewell to another Passover and step into the Appointed Time of Shavuot (Pentecost), the times appointed by our Heavenly Father to remind us of His great deliverance from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, and the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.
As awesome as these sovereign acts were, they were ultimately foreshadowing the greatest acts of love in the history of man: the shedding of the perfect blood of Yeshuah to redeem us, and the gift of the Spirit of Jehovah, Ruach Elohim, to live inside us and guide us into all truth.
While this season is a time not only to rejoice in the Salvation of the Lord, but to reflect on our own personal journeys to the Promised Land, I have been inundated with dreams in this season revealing the church’s refusal to leave Egypt, and the spirits behind the deceptions that keep us there. Through these dreams, the Lord has drawn me back to the Exodus to rediscover what it truly means to be His people.
Did you know that there is a Hebrew word for “Hebrew?”
The word is Ivri, the plural of which is Ivrim. This word comes from the base word, avar, which means “to cross over.”
This word, Ivri, is first used to describe Abram, the father of the Hebrew people, or Ivrim, in Genesis 14:13.
This word is the essence of what it means to be Hebrew, whether by birth or adoption. We are “the crossing over people,” who, once Messiah came to fulfill the Torah, would come to be known as the ekklesia, “the called out ones.” Specifically, representatives of the sovereign God on Earth.
The name Ivri, as all names of that time, was not chosen at random, but was a description of the nature of the person or people. Abram was called out of his homeland to cross over into a new and unknown land with the promise of blessings he could never imagine. Abram crossed over in faith and was called righteous because of it. But, perhaps the most vivid picture of what it means to be a crossover or called-out one is found in Exodus, when the Ivrim were called out of bondage and into the Promised Land.
The church as a whole seems to have lost sight of this basic teaching, wanting to claim the blood of the Lamb to save them from judgment, but refusing to leave the bondage of Egypt and move into the wilderness to be tried and prepared to take the Promised Land. This, unfortunately, has led to idolatry in the church on a massive scale, as the church attempts to recreate God in their own image through false doctrines, adopting worldly practices, and even embracing demonic spirits.
In one of the dreams I mentioned earlier, I was in a church, when I looked out of a window and saw a giant black and white python coming rapidly toward us. I turned to the leaders of the church to warn them of the attack and form a defensive line in prayer. But, when I turned, what I saw stunned me.
The church already had a python inside! They laughed at my alarm, assuring me that everything would be all right, because they would just take in the python like the other one they had and train it for their own purposes! Before I knew what had happened, the giant python was inside, and I’ll never forget the sly, knowing look in its eyes. I was dumbfounded at the ignorance…and arrogance of these people.
The Python Spirit
Like people, spirits are named for their nature, and in dreams will often appear as the symbol of that nature. In this case, we’re talking about the python spirit, so how does this spirit operate?
Dr. Sandie Freed, tells the story of a church member who called her for prayer. Her daughter’s pet python had stopped eating, and they were concerned for its health. The family eventually took the python to a vet, who asked them where the python was kept. The girl told him the python’s tank was in her bedroom. Then the vet asked where the python slept and was told that the girl actually slept with the python on her pillow!
The vet then explained the nature of the beast. Pythons live to eat. Once they have chosen their prey, they size it up and begin preparing their bodies to receive the meal. In other words, they stop eating in order to make room in their bodies for their next meal!
While this child saw the python as a friend and companion, the python saw the child as nothing more than its next meal. A python is a python. It cannot be a puppy, or any other animal that bonds to people and provides companionship. It simply does not have the capacity to deny its true nature.
In studying black and white ball pythons, I learned that while they are docile for the most part, they can be aggressive and bite their handlers. While commonly believed that pythons kill their prey by suffocation, recent studies have shown that they actually kill by constricting blood flow to the brain.
This is true to how the python spirit operates, causing confusion, difficulty thinking and making decisions, and often a feeling of being overwhelmed—to the point of suffocation. (I won’t go into dealing with this spirit here.)
The fact that this python was black and white gives a clue as to what this spirit’s assignment is: to constrict and muddle the thinking of believers by imposing legalistic requirements as a determination of worthiness. In other words, what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for doing. This can happen when men interpret the Word based on their own understanding instead of allowing the Spirit of Truth and the Word itself to reveal its true meaning.
The size of the python tells us that this is a huge problem in the church. And, while legalism creates an illusion of control, what it boils down to is bondage to the enemy. When we accept the Blood of the Lamb to redeem us, we are transferring title of our lives, lost in the Garden of Eden, to our Creator. As Paul wrote, we go from being bond servants of sin and rebellion, to bond servants of Christ—the One who paid for us. That being said, any attempt on our part to control our own lives, yet alone our God, by recreating Him as anything other than what it is, is idolatry. In essence, we remain in Egypt.
The Bottom Line
We must, as the Ekklesia, take full responsibility for our relationship with and obedience to God. We must stop settling for business as usual, being spoon-fed the Gospel of Christ by others, pretending that everything will be all right. We need to get the heck out of Egypt! It’s time to grow up!
In the coming weeks, I’ll be delving deep into Scripture to reveal what it means to be a called-out one. The pattern was laid out generations ago by our Creator to testify to His sovereignty and ultimate purpose for creating us. Basically, we will be seeking an answer to one question:
Is being “saved” the same thing as being “a called-out one?”
This study will challenge the very foundations of your faith, and force you to make some tough choices, which, as we will learn from careful examination of the journey of the Hebrew people out of the bondage of slavery and into the Promised Land, is the key to answering that one question.
I hope you will join me on this journey of discovery, and I hope you will be seeking the Lord’s guidance and direction even now. Pack your bags, and don’t bother putting yeast in your bread dough. It won’t have time to rise!
God’s grace and peace be yours,