Gideons: Type of God's
End Times Army
By Priscilla Van Sutphin
Many years ago the Lord spoke to me
that this end-time generation would be like
"Gideons in His hands". He prompted me to
read about Gideon at the time, and although,
at the time I saw some things, that showed
what He meant, through the years, He made
the vision clearer and confirmed it through the words of other prophets, and seers.
Judges 6:1 to 6:6 paints the picture of what was going on in the land at Gideon's time. There had been 40 years of peace and rest after Deborah's reign, but again Israel began idolatry to Baal, so the Lord had them under judgement by giving them into the hands of Midian. Starvation (representing blight of their spiritual poverty), was the judgement on Israel. "The Midianites would encamp against them", verse 4 says, and "destroy the produce of the earth and leave no sustenance for Israel". Our own country's spiritual blight would seem obvious. Many in our land, and in the church have bowed down to the gods of New Age-Hinduism, and to Baal, or Satanism.
So it says, the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and as a result, God sent a no-name prophet, (as He is about to do in this age). The prophets will be a faceless people, devoid of fame, to speak truth to this generation and ours and to convict us of our disobedience , like John the Baptist. Just as John came before the first coming, the spirit of Elijah (John was called the Elijah to come by Jesus) will be poured out on them to turn the children's heart to our heavenly Father, and His heart to us, via their prayers and worship. The Zondervan Bible Encyclopedia says there was DISUNITY in Israel at the time of Gideon, and so there is NOW in today's body of Christ. The Lord has called this younger generation (generationX-which is NOT x'd out by God) "HIS SHOWBREAD".
In Judges 6:11, it says, "Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon (which means cutter of trees) threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.
So Gideon was in the winepress, threshing wheat. Have you ever pictured that? Something about that went beyond what I've ever heard preached, and then it finally came through the Lord, and Conner's book on "Interpreting Symbols and Types". As stated before the winepress is where proper study of the word brings forth true doctrine so God has had today's Gideons, in the word releasing illumination of scripture separating the bread of the Word getting into the deeper roots of the Word of God, seeking God for understanding not just what man has told them. So when it is time to come forth, like David, they will be filled up with the Word, just as Gideon had his sword. (Although he didn't have to use it at FIRST.) They will be filled with God's wisdom to help others apply it to their lives. Several are already on the scene causing a stir tearing down idols. Those steeped in tradition may not like the looks of these when they come forth like a John the Baptist but they will bend I believe , because of the MANIFEST power of God on them.
John the Baptist sure did not look like the average guy in Jerusalem at the time. And both he and Elijah stirred things up real good. They really angered a lot of unbelievers. Note that the priests who had been hidden at Elijah's time were in caves.like David hiding. John the Baptist was definitely a "wave-maker" ? He shouted, he was not shy about declaring the TRUTH to those who were walking in darkness.
You cannot be complacent and be in this army ! In Zephaniah 1:12 NKJ it says" And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ' The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil'."
The first chapter talks about cutting off the idolatrous PRIESTS, and those who have not sought Him. This is not an army for the fearful -as shown in the history of Gideon in Judges.
According to Kevin Conner "Interpreting the Symbols and Types in the Bible" ,
THRESHING is a symbol of separation, trampling under foot, chastening, and judgement
(see Is.41:15, Micah 4:13, Hab 3:12, Amos 1:3, Is 21:10 and Jer. 51:33, 2Ki 13:7)
WINEPRESS is symbolic of that place where true doctrine is produced from proper study of God's Word. (other scriptures : Nu 18:27-30, Deut 15:14, Is 5:2, Matt.2: [ However if evil wine then false docrines pressed out of God's Word. ]
So the Lord is calling these Gideons, and commissioning them for HIS work. In Judges 6:12, it says, " And the angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!' " Gideon was startled at the words of the angel of the Lord, after all, he was hiding ! Gideon's reaction here, is a lot like Moses. He proclaims his unfittedness for such a title. He also says that if God is with us, where is He ? Where are His works of old, the miracles and healings ? Today's teens have been wondering the same thing.
The Gideons God is raising up will be thought by the "churched" to be the "least likely" To lead in revival by the more "sophisticated" and "educated" church members. They will proclaim to be the least in their Father's House; the rebellious, and the discarded, the weak and afflicted. And so this is not a new idea of the Lord, as He sent His own Son in the humility of a stable birth, and out of the town of Bethlehem, which was thought to be the least in the kingdom of Israel. They may come to us with tatooes and earrings in their noses.
And then there are the testimonies of great heroes of the past like Hudson Taylor and David Brainerd, who were weak and sickly much of their time of service. And like Gideon, God will make today's army of men and women, boys and girls what HE wants them to be by HIS GRACE and the POWER of the Holy Spirit. The LORD will affirm them. "Surely I will be with you" He told Gideon. (Judges 6:16) In verse 17, Gideon asks for a sign that it is the Lord who came to him. So, this generation will know to test the Spirit of the Lord who talks to them. (Those who are His chosen Gideons)
In Judges 6:22, it says "Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, "Alas, O lord God ! For I have seen the Angel of theLord face to face." This generation of Gideons will also see the Lord face-to-face. In verse 24 it says that Gideon built an altar in that place and called it after the Lord Who is our Peace (Jehovah Shalom). So also this generation in the end will have real encounters with the LORD of Hosts.
One summer a young man and his mom stayed with me for the teen conference at our church, and the last night of the conference, he had a vision of JACOB preaching in that church, and the Lord was saying, " In this place", then he had the vision again, later the same evening and this time there was more detail. Jacob ( Jesus is called the Portion of Jacob in Jeremiah) was preaching in the church, and he instinctively knew there was an attack of the enemy on that church, but God's light was shining in the side windows of the sanctuary and would drive out the attack. Also the Lord was saying, " In this place, I will.." [ like a ticker tape going across the screen ] Two weeks later, I was reading in Haggai, and the Lord quickened this as the verse from Haggai 2:9 which says " And in this place I will bring peace, says the Lord."
Haggai 2:6-7 NKJ says, "For thus says the Lord of Hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,', says the Lord of Hosts." Now I realize this was a vision not just for our church, but for the Church in America.
These 'Gideons' will proclaim and impart the Lords' peace. Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace, and his peace is not like 'world peace', but the peace which passes all understanding, an inner peace which made Paul able to say "To live is Christ, to die is gain", a peace which brings ability to forbear, and perservere and to love which endures and never fails.
The first commission the Lord gave Gideon was to tear down the idol in his father's house, and so these modern 'Gideons' will be instumental in bringing down the idolatry of Jezebelic influence in our churches, through prayer, worship, and preaching the TRUTH of the Word of God. It says, and in it's place, Gideon built an altar to the TRUE God. And so these 'Gideons' will help establish this, by God's grace,and our hearts will be the altar. Where will His resting place be? In the hearts of men, not in buildings made of clay or stone, said the Lord.
In Judges 6:27 it says , that Gideon tore down the idol in the night (in hiddeness) because he was afraid of retribution from the men of the city which also speaks of his awareness of the wicked nature of idolaters, and his ability to discern. While others are in the church, busy planning, or being distracted, these Gideons will be giving their hearts to the Lord in prayer or praise to bring down the powers of darkness and rulers of darkness in heavenly places. Rulers, and terrors are also brought down by worship that is represented in the "one anothers", i.e. Loving one another. By that I also mean working in the opposite of the prevailing spirit. For example if greed is a prevailing spirit then they would sow seeds of righteousness, by doing things for no pay. It is the nature of spiritual warfare to work in the opposites. Another example would be, where there is driveness, to rest and be like Mary and not Martha.
Verse 6:30 of judges shows the attitude we have when our idols are smashed;
a) we are angry at first b) we have prideful, murderous attitudes sometimes towards those who convict us or correct us. [they wanted to kill Gideon because of wanting MY way, not God's way ] But true fathers in spiritual Israel will stand up for the TRUTH and REPENT. and they will be protective of these sons of Israel.
Malachi says that the spirit of Elijah will return the fathers' heart to the children and the children's hearts to the father. Just as Elijah slaughtered the prophets of Baal and removed the evil in Israel, so did Gideon. And just as Elijah was up against Jezebel, and Ahab, so it is also with the "Gideons" of today. They are battling these spirits in the church, and in their own lives, on their knees and in WORSHIP, and with the Word of the Lord. The spirit of witchcraft has entered into the church today in many forms; control, domination, Wicca, New-Age/Hinduism, and satanism by mixing it all up with Christianity which is called syncretism. And it MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE CHURCH SO THAT GOD WILL BE THE ONLY ONE IN CONTROL.
Just as Joash (means: God has given) changed Gideon's name to Jerubaal (let Baal contend), so when these spiritual 'Gideons' are anointed, God will give them a new name which is symbolic for the release of revelation, according to Conner. The church will quickly change her attitudes towards these 'Gideons' when they are anointed, for they will be like Gideon in their God-given ability to deliver those held in "spiritual starvation." And like Elijah they are up against tremendous witchcraft in these end-times and God is now in a process of training them and preparing them for service. Look at Micah 4:6-7 NKJ
"In that day," says the Lord, " I will assemble the LAME, I will gather the outcast, and those whom I HAVE AFFLICTED; I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation; So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever."
He is training them in spiritual warfare, and He will give them great authority over demons, and over all manner of sicknesses and disease. There will be no question that God has ordained them when the glory comes upon them. NO ONE will doubt the authority given them by God Almighty. Isaiah 60: 1-2 NKJ says..."Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold great darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be SEEN upon you."
In Luke 9: 1-6 , the Lord commissioned the 12 apostles, and gave them authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. When the glory of the Lord comes upon the Gideons, (to it's fullest), the apostolic anointing will be restored to the church of Jesus Christ. These Gideons will be fully submitted to the will of the Lord Jesus, NOT to mans traditions, once the Lord has brought them through the 'fire' of His purging. He will encompass them about with His power, in LOVE, HUMILITY, and FORGIVENESS. He will have FULL POSSESSION of their lives. (Judges 6:34)
Judges 6:36-37 shows Gideon testing the Lord's word to him. The Lord said the end-times would be a time of great apostasy, as shown in 2 Tim 3:1-3;
"But know this, that in the last days, perilous times will come; for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, PROUD, blasphemers, disobedient toparents, unthankful, UNHOLY , UNLOVING, UNFORGIVING, SLANDERERS, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traiters, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. And from such people, TURN AWAY !"
This end-times army will also want to be sure of who they are following. And God has and will be patient with them , as He was with Gideon. He is building their faith, to do the greater things, as with Gideon, who thought himself incapable to do anything noble. They will be humble when God gets through with their training.
Many of today's 'Gideons', here in the U.S.A. have a great deal to overcome of the world, because of the affluence and pride of the U.S. and the conditions of this nation. So God has been trraining them in the SCHOOL of REJECTION, PERSECUTION, and AFFLICTION, AND MAKING THEM OF NO REPUTATION LIKE JESUS. They are in the process of dying to SELF. The church needs to be patient with God's 'Gideons', just as He is. We need to pray for discernment to even be able to recognize the calling on them, and to have the same love for them which God has and help to nurture, heal and uphold them.
In Judges 7:2 NKJ it says: "And the Lord said to Gideon, 'The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel CLAIM GLORY FOR ITSELF against ME, saying ' My own hand has saved me.' " This is critical with us too, in that many think by their many prayers, or their special worship, or intellect and insight, they have affected change in the spirit, when everything we do is enabled by the Lord, and without HIM we could do nothing. Much of the church today is steeped in PRIDE. We even have the gall to boast of our knowledge of the Word which if you read Job - it should deter that kind of thinking. And, many who boast of knowing the word, don't know the LIVING WORD: know not the sweet communion Jesus, the Father and Holy Spirit. God is looking for those who will not take the glory for themselves. Or often, they don't know HIS LOVING nature and the GRACE wrought for us on the cross.
God is also weeding out those who would be too fearful for the job. At Gideon's time, this conformed to the Mosaic laws for military exemption (Deuteronomy 20:1-8). And just as God made it clear in Gideon's time that the victory was HIS, and not one of superior might in Israel, so again this end-times battle belongs to the Lord. Zechariah 4:6 NKJ." Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord ! " Over two-thirds of the army left Gideon because of their fear. This is also significant and representative, I believe of the great "falling away" of the church in end-times. They will succomb to the fear of man especially with the persecution and rejection that is coming. IT IS HIS GRACE to TEST US NOW that all fear would be OVERCOME.
Judges 7:5-7 has always been a puzzle to many , but I believe that those who lapped (only 300) putting their hands to their mouths, remaining upright, alert to danger and ready for action , represent those who don't give in to carnality, especially to the accuser. There is a possibility here that comes to mind as I type this out, and that is the MOUTH is symbolic of our testimony, these drink water, in this case it may be the water of adversity, and they remain upright in right standing with God, not giving in to the accuser, alert to the wiles of the enemy, not sinning with their mouths. In Rick Joyner's book, the Final Quest, the enemy's troops ride in on the backs of those who are professing Christians.
The war in the church has already started. Some have been deluded into thinking they are supposed to be the judges dividing who are sheep and who are goats, but Jesus said, the ANGELS would come and separate them, though many will be obvious and we must separate ourselves from the carnality - the Word says HE is the only JUDGE. Yet there are those who have already aligned themselves with the accuser like in the Spanish Inquisition full of pride, bitterness, fear, or suspicion & unbelief which are the fruit of WITCHCRAFT. Most of these brothers and sisters are UNHEALED people who think they are doing God a favor, doing HIS service like Paul did when it was his fervor to persecute & murder Christians.
The rest of those who drank, lapping with their mouth to the water like an animal may represent those too carnal for the Lord to use, for His glory, and they are not WATCHING, Re, not praying. The Lord knew they would end up in the position of taking the glory for themselves, as He indicated in what He said "lest Israel claim glory for itself.." Many in the past have done this as many in the present do now. The Lord said, "BE HOLY AS I AM HOLY !" David knew his fleshly nature, when he said, " I am but a beast before you".
God is looking for vessels willing to empty themselves of all flesh to do HIS work those committed to walking in holiness and to HIM alone. He has called the youth of this nation ( in a word to me) " A HOLY NATION UNTO GOD!" and His "SHOWBREAD". The showbread was in His presence on the table all the time. And there were 12 loaves representing the 12 tribes, which represents the UNITY that should be in the church which also brings authority. It will come through the youth. I have seen it in my son and his friends...how they hold each other up, how they stick together and help each other financially, emotionally, as most of them come from homes with some form of neglect or abuse, very wounded, yet they are supportive to each other. God is looking for those who will not compromise His Word and who will give Him ALL the glory, and who will LOVE like Jesus loved.
Matthew 7:13-14 NKJ "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
Just as in the time of Deborah, God used a woman to lead an army, and with Gideon and others, used the "least" to confound the wise in their own opinion, today, God is assembling an army of those thought to be the least likely by the formal church to lead an army. He's spoken to me that these will be LIKE GIDEONS, not skilled orators, with a bunch of educational degrees, but those humble ones, that never had any such ambitions, such as to lead an army. ( It is not that He only uses non-educated people, but that knowledge has a tendency to puff-up, and the proud He cannot use). God delights in using the weak to confound the strong, and the foolish ones to shame the wise. He has done it so many times before in such forms as David Brainerd, Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn Kuhlman, Aimee Semple MacPherson, Madame Guyon, King David, Peter, James and John, etc.