March 2024 Partner Newsletter

Dearest Partner,

Discerning the Signs of the Times. 

Why does God speak through these things? That was a question I had for many years as a young believer. Why all the types and shadows? Why all the dreams and interpreting spiritual moments? Why not just say it plainly?

I will never forget when the Holy Spirit revealed to me that things are interpreted and need to be discerned because God likes to be pursued! That was it. He wants to be sought after! 

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

—Proverbs 25:2 

At the writing of this month’s newsletter, we are a few weeks removed from the Super Bowl. I bring this up because it seemed like an unusual amount of prophetic attention was on the Super Bowl this year. We shared prophetic insights regarding what we believed the Lord was showing us regarding the Super Bowl, Las Vegas, and other prophetic insights. 

Over the years, there have been many instances by which the Spirit of the Lord has highlighted an event or a social occurrence—to shine light on something the Lord is saying. This kind of thing can receive negative press from time to time. Some may say, “The Super Bowl has nothing to do with God speaking.” Or there may be those who would convey that any current event has nothing to do with the Voice of God. On the one hand, I appreciate those comments as there is undoubtedly a lot of sensationalism in the greater body of Christ, yet there is still another side to this—signs, wonders, and God speaking in various ways.  

I will show you what I mean shortly, but first, as New Testament believers, we must remember that prophecy moves in a space that must be identified as knowing in part and prophesying in part. We do not have the same mode of operation as the prophets in the Old Testament. For example, before the New Testament era, when a prophet spoke, it was a direct translation! Old Testament prophecies were a complete word-for-word message from the Lord to His people. In the New Testament era, the Voice of God coming through His people is a translation, not an interpretation! 

Interpreting is better than translating.

The sons of Issachar are those who understood the times. There is more to 1 Chronicles 12:32, which references these sons of Issachar, than simply identifying their ability to discern the times. We can find three principles in this insightful scripture. Let’s look at it. 

Of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.

—1 Chronicles 12:32  

  1. Understood the times
  2. What to do
  3. Chiefs and brethren at their command—these were their people, and they were organized. 

In 1 Chronicles 12:32, we recognize that not only did the sons of Issachar discern the times, but they also knew what their nation should do about the times they lived in. However, the following is paramount for the effectiveness of the other two points! Notice it says their chiefs or leaders were two hundred. They knew how many they had with them, but additionally, all their brethren were at their command. What is this referring to? Simply put, this was their tribal alignment. 

So often in my life, there has been a powerful discerning of the times—a revelation!

Additionally, there was a knowing of what should be done—interpretation! 

The most difficult and arguably the hinge pin to making a real impact is the tribal alignment! Why? When you are with your people, you will be in your calling. Your people are part of your calling! We often say in our ministry, “You know you are with the right people because you cannot say the wrong thing to the right people.” You are understood by those who love you and get you. However, equally important is to recognize who you are not called to settle with and lock in with as a tribe. An identifier of this scenario might be that you cannot say the right thing to the wrong people. Tribal alignment is very important. If God is not giving you a relationship or a tribal setting, it is important not to force something prematurely that might be out of season or that God has not graced to happen. We must all be sensitive to where, when, why, but of high importance, who! Who are you called to roll with? For more on this topic, please check out my teaching called Tribes, available at the online store. 

Let’s take a more focused look at interpreting current cultural events and scenarios. 

It is interesting how the Lord sometimes uses current events or cultural issues as a prophetic sign. Why? Someone might ask. Well, current events cover a wide range of eyes and ears; they influence the mood or zeitgeist of society. At times, such wide-reaching events can affect even the entire modern world. Through our devices, we can see or at least have some contact with these types of globally recognized happenings. When something is happening on a global scale, there can be prophetic nuances that the Bible refers to as “signs of the times.” Jesus said in Matthew 16, “How is it you know the signs of the sky but cannot read the signs of the times?”—Hypocrites was the label He used to describe this type of people! It is a pretty strong statement that Jesus said if you cannot discern the signs of the times happening all around you — you’re a hypocrite! 

And in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.

—Matthew 16: 3,4 

It is important to realize we are NOT to seek a sign, but we are to discern what is happening around us. Discerning the times is simply a prophetic and logical action, where you can ascertain the times you are living through the unction of the Spirit and studying the Bible to show yourself approved. This is not a paint-by-numbers way of prediction or date setting. However, it is a way of recognizing the scope and season of time we are in. Much like the season in a year, we know it is fall because, in certain climates, the leaves change, or it is winter from the drop in temperature and the snow falling. 

Newsletter continues below…

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Deploying God’s Angelic Army

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Joseph Z, Bible teacher and prophetic seer, reveals the role of God’s angelic warriors who carry out the Word of God on your behalf.

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An ability to understand or discern the signs appearing as a manifestation of the invisible realm yet being reflected in the natural is important. 

Seasonal transition can be an interesting thing. Sometimes, a season can change on the calendar with little change in nature. Winter can stay longer than anticipated, or summer weather can continue into fall. We should make no mistake, though; just because the weather hasn’t changed to match a particular date does not mean we are not in a specific season. Like Habakkuk 2, which states though the vision tarries, wait for it, for it will surely come. 

For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come— It will not tarry.

—Habakkuk 2:3

An interesting thought is that God spoke through His prophets at various times and in various ways. 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

—Hebrews 1:1 

Notice Hebrews says God speaks in various ways. Pay careful attention to this word various. Various is the Greek word polutropōs and, in context, carries the idea that God disclosed His word in various modes, methods, or forms. The KJV calls it, “divers manners.” This is also a consideration that God is speaking through signs of the times. 

Delay is not denial, and in context, Habakkuk is talking about a word from the Lord coming to pass. Yet, there are times when a season has changed, although it does not appear that it has. Everything seems the same as it always has been. At least in the natural, to the carnal, to the uninformed, to the spiritually deaf and blind. Those who know their God and meditate on His Word will have a leg up on what is coming down the cultural pipe. Those in prayer, in His Word, and keep themselves in a posture of separated living will have a sharpened clarity. One more thing to have a proper relationship with the times is to eagerly desire His appearing, to anticipate it! 

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

—2 Timothy 4:8

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

—Titus 2:13 

Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

—2 Peter 3:12 

Jesus here mentions the sign of Jonah. What is a sign? It is an unusual occurrence that takes place before few or many. In my best estimation, it is the spirit realm pressing the natural, and it manifests in a strange or notable occurrence. Consider the star which the magi followed to discover Jesus! That was quite a notable sign! 

Creation itself speaks of God. The heavens declare His handiwork and marvelous deeds. Yet, were there ever specific times in the New Testament when a modern event was pointed at with prophetic significance? The answer is yes! One example is found in the narrative regarding the tower in Siloam, which fell and killed those 18 people in Luke 13:14-15. Jesus, in that same story, mentioned Pilate, who mingled the blood of those Jews who were fighting against him (Pilate) with their sacrifices. 

Jesus used it as an example with prophetic implications of a day when all mankind would face judgment one way or another. Jesus prophetically was saying, “I tell you, unless you all repent, you will perish just as these ones did…” Jesus was saying the way they perished was horrible and dramatic. So shall the end be for anyone who does not repent! 

The Super Bowl itself is a godless event filled with the world’s form of celebration. However, any event globally recognized and on display for all to see should be viewed by the discerning for a sign of the time. Why? Because if we cannot discern it, Jesus said that was the behavior of a hypocrite. He was speaking in plain terms that those who cannot discern what the Spirit is doing in these times are led by their natural senses only. It is hypocritical to only place an emphasis on your natural self. Why? Because we are not only natural beings living in a natural environment. Rather, we are also spiritual beings having access to the realm of the unseen. 

However, it is the natural things that often speak of the invisible! Or the natural corporeal situations that have spiritual implications 

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

—Romans 1:20

First Corinthians 15:46 states the spiritual is not first but the natural then comes the spirit. What does that mean? 

All creation is groaning with expectation for the sons of God to be revealed! This is why there are such dramatic things unfolding even in our environment. Some induced some due to the lack of the sons of God being revealed.

Here is my conclusion for you this month. Keep discerning, keep watching, stay in the Word of God and you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! 

On a bad day you are anointed to be the best there is! Because a man or woman with a revelation is not at the mercy of a culture gone mad! This is your time!

Partners and friends… I love you. 

For Jesus, 

Joseph Z