Covenant with Death

by Morris Ruddick on September 16, 2015


© Morris E. Ruddick


“Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers, who rule this people, because you have said, “WeRUINS_9793 have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by for we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”
Isaiah 28:14-15

False images and illusions permeate the portrayal of developments in today’s world.

From the beginning, the people of God have been the standard bearers. When mobilized and trained, God’s people will have reached a point to be deployed. Before any deployment there will be operation orders. From the operation orders the leaders being deployed develop strategy.

Yet before there can be a sound strategy, precision discernment is needed to discern the battle lines. Understanding the enemy and the alternatives of what can be expected is critical.

The enemy’s strategy is falsehood and concealment. Its highest order of design is to keep us from the place of deployment. So, in approaching operational deployment, the planning to maximize our strategy must begin by identifying and removing entanglements embedded deep within the Body. The mission begins by exposing and canceling the covenant with death.

Some have observed that to a certain degree the reversals happening in the world today reverberate what has been operationally hidden and sometimes not so hidden within the Body. With the level of pollution that has found its way within the Church over the centuries, wisdom shouts the need to clean out the defilements before deploying. While some have reduced the issue to one of character and flesh, it entails more and taps the maturity and training necessary for a martial mobilization.

In other words, before the Body can deal with significant spiritual issues impacting the world with more than fragmented deployments, it needs to get cleaned up and properly prepared.
“He will send out His angels and gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend and those who practice lawlessness.” Matt 13:41

The prophet Isaiah saw past the illusions and false images in the camp of God’s people and called it for what it was: an alliance with death. In short, Isaiah was saying that in playing it safe, in trying to be like everyone else and using a playbook guided by the world’s standard, the rulers in Jerusalem had stubbornly made a pact with the devil.

Many leaders within the Body today are in over their heads. The Apostle Paul described the dynamic as having zeal without knowledge. The masks are being removed and the balance of Spirit and Truth is being restored.

When the response is shaped by anything short of biblical foundations and a truly humble dependence on the Spirit of the Lord, be it the precepts of men or the approval of men, we have entered a time in which the results will be catastrophic.

Authority to Meet the Challenge
It is an issue of having the authority and focus to meet the challenge. The misguided leadership styles of modern-day Ahabs, acquiescing to domineering, power-mongering Jezebels will either draw the line or have their mantles removed.

Those whose exploits have been based on weak foundations and bluster, together with a touch of grace need to make the transition. The authority for the challenge has a cost. That cost was described by John the Baptist that: “He (Jesus) must increase and we must decrease.” The Kingdom cost of authority begins with a fresh and potent dose of humility.

Despite illusions to the contrary, there is no single segment of the Body with sufficient grasp of the big-picture needed to deploy. Isaiah had strong words to say about those with their fingers pointed in scorn (Isaiah 58), who themselves failed to measure according to their own standard.

We need one another and the unique spiritual capabilities given to the various parts of the Body. It is the time in which every joint is needed to be fitted to the place of their purpose in preparing for deployment. That will take humility, wisdom and the leading of the Spirit. Segments in the Body depending solely on their own uniqueness or elitism will be at best vulnerable to the seductive encounters with the covenant of death.

Deployment will mark a time of restoration of the foundations of the ancient paths.
“Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads and look. Then ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies. Then walk in it and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

Restoring the Ancient Paths
The Lord is restoring the biblical foundations of our faith that have been masked and replaced with paganistic precepts of men. From the days of the early Church the battle lines were fiercely deployed around issues empowering the Body, matters that kept its efforts connected to the flow of the Spirit.

Systematically, the power of the Spirit once ascribed to the early church has been replaced by an anemic institutional power that has resulted in a church history rife in corruption and politics. Even today, the precepts that encourage a weak institution rather than a vibrant Spirit-led organism that changes cultures are only exceeded by those who ridicule people of faith who have sought to emulate the power of the early church, only to fall. The deception is in treating the reach as sin rather than the fall.

The glory that has consistently manifested from the days of the patriarchs is being restored. From the forgotten covenants, to the foundations laid out by Moses, to the tabernacle of David, all significant elements of the vibrant dynamic of the early church, are being rediscovered and restored.

God’s means of making His people the head and not the tail have from the start included the provision needed to compensate for the Chaldeans, Jihadists and alliances of sorceries that have amassed in a fallen world.  As the Church increasingly sheds its non-biblical practices and blind-spots to get reacquainted with its Jewish roots, the times call for a re-embracing of the biblical feast-days and days of rest that the Lord set aside to corporately empower and align His people spiritually.

The Lord has always provided the means by which His people can avoid the spiritual ambushes and backlash created by the frenetic machinations of God’s enemies.  The doctrinal sacred cows with no foundations in Scripture that leave us unprotected are being scrutinized as the church restores its biblical foundations.

Regaining the Maturity Standard
Scripture outlines a sequence of Christian maturity. Beginning with being a follower, one progresses to become a disciple, then a servant. Servants graduate to become friends, with the design of them finally becoming the sons that Paul described to the Romans.
“For creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God ….. that it might be delivered from the bondage of corruption.” Romans 8:19, 21

Rick Joyner has commented that 90 percent of the Body in the West is stuck between the untrained and unprepared follower and the disciple stages.

Vital to the maturity standard is the recognition of the operational big-picture and the myopia that results from elitism. Like true Kingdom authority the cost is humility and an awareness of the reality of the roles of the various parts fitted together to accomplish the big-picture, grand-strategy.

It is also an issue of commitment and sacrifice. Jesus admonished us to embrace this level of commitment and sacrifice, one that is willing to give your life for your friends (John 15:13). Veterans of real combat understand this. Commitment and sacrifice underscore Communist ideology in their zeal for a Communistic world. In the early 1940s, as a convert to Christianity from being editor of London’s Communist tabloid, “The Daily Worker,” Douglas Hyde was disillusioned by the lack of commitment he found in the church (“Dedication and Leadership,” 1992, Notre Dame Press).

Yet, before us are days that will separate the tares from the wheat, during which the truly committed among the brethren will shine like the brightness of the sky.

The Deployment of the Josephs
“Let the blessing come on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separated from his brothers. His glory is like a firstborn bull. Together with them he shall push the peoples to the ends of the earth; they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.” Deut 33:13-17

The Josephs are those apostolic-prophetic, forerunner-leaders who have submitted to the maturity process and have been prepared as friends and sons. They wield the authority to restore and with promotions orchestrated solely by the Spirit, they will establish redemptive alliances with modern-day Pharaohs and Cyruses.

They will be the challenge to the scoffers, the rulers who have made a covenant with death. They are the forerunners who will be in position to mobilize those willing to humble and yield themselves to the most rigorous training and are willing to face the highest risks in deployment. Within the military are those who play it safe with desk-jobs, who map out safe careers that keep them out of the perils of battle.

However, then there are those who operate beyond the political games with the hearts of seasoned lions who are willing to face the realities and costs of the battle. These are those who will wield the authority that changes the course of nations.

The Restoring of Israel
“Yet the Lord will lift up a standard for the nations, and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the corners of the earth. Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, and those who harass Judah will be cut off.” Isaiah 11:12-13

Israel is the pivot point in this drama. Not only is it targeted as the enemy seeks to fuel the alliance with death, it is the flashpoint for the battle globally. It is the prize from which the promises to Abraham and his descendents will be gleaned by the great cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1) who have paved the way before us, along with those in this hour who prove themselves as faithful friends and sons.

With the authority, along with the restoration of the ancient paths, the maturity standard and deployment of the Josephs will emerge an alignment that breaks the power of the covenant of death. It will be a demonstration of the Lord’s judgment as we prepare and deploy.
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation. Whoever believes will not act hastily. I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plumb line. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. The covenant with death will be annulled, and the agreement with Sheol will not stand.”
Isaiah 28:16-18

Isaiah 60 portrays an intense time of turmoil and change. Isaiah 60 has begun to be played out in this day. It describes the spiritual battle ground as the Lord releases His order into His creation and brings the restoration to fulfill the promises He has long ago extended to His faithful ones.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples. But the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3

As the Body sheds its paganistic illusions and once again embraces its position of power, it will be deployed as one. Its light and power will shatter the darkness and restore not just ancient truths, but become the critical mass toward releasing the power that actuates the fulfillment of the resurrection in making all things new for the age being birthed.
“Go through, go through the gates, clear the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth, say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” And they will call them, “The holy people, the redeemed of the LORD”; and you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.” Isaiah 62:10-12

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