PLEASE WELCOME OUR VERY SPECIAL GUEST
Part 2: The Church
Welcome to PART II of my conversational interview with very special guest, Jill Shannon, who is an anointed Israeli author, speaker, musician and song-writer. This week Jill and I continue our discussion on the issues facing the Church.
As you will see Jill and I switch gears and begin an intense discussion that is very pertinent to the end times in which we are living. We talk about the Underground Church and the Early Church in contrast with the Western Church of today.
As I transcribed this, I was amazed all over again. The LORD brought some incredible things forward in this interview. Don’t miss Jill’s wisdom and prophetic insight! We invite you to join us! Grab some coffee let God speak to your heart and prepare you…
For more information on Jill and the full library of her works please visit her online at
EP: I do want to eventually come to the topic of the Church. I know that’s very dear to the LORD’s heart, and in the times we’re living right now people need to hear truth. And so I’m just going to let you speak into that. Where is the Church right now? What season are we in? What is God doing? What do we need to prepare for? I know I’ve talked with you, you know where I’m at on this. I teach a lot on end times, and this has been a passionate core message for me. But I’d love to hear your perspective, and where God has your heart on this right now.
JS: Sure, I’d be glad to. First of all, I just want to clarify that I’m sure you’re speaking mostly about the Western Church in your question.
EP: I am.
JS: Because that’s where we’re both coming from that, and mostly involved with that.
EP: Yes, precisely.
JS: Yeah, and just to say briefly, just to get the other thing out of the way, as most of us understand, the persecuted bride in other countries, the persecuted children of God are in a very, very different place spiritually, because they don’t have the comfort and the freedom of what we call ‘church’ in the West. And because they pay dearly for confessing Yeshua, for confessing Jesus, you know, they’re in a very, very different mind-set, and so you know, and I get to meet the Asian bride – and I get to meet persecuted believers from time to time in some of my travels. And so some of their hearts… and we all struggle with some of the same things. But I think what you want me to address is primarily the state of the West – what I’ll call the Western Church. Is that true? Is that what you mostly…
EP: Absolutely… On that note, China (the Underground Church) I think it would do us well to encounter some of those believers. And one thing I’d like to say, and I have taught on this before, Jill, in some of my writing, is that you know, the Early Church, they didn’t have the Bible as we have it today. They had the indwelling Holy Spirit of God! That is what they had. And that was the gift of the LORD to every believer. And I don’t think anyone — I think the Chinese Underground Church is probably one of the best. I mean, they’re exemplary when it comes to this. Because they are forced into an intimacy with Him. They are utterly reliant on Him for everything they do spiritually. They know Him in a way that no other — I mean, they put us to shame. It’s just absolutely true.
JS: It’s true.
EP: And I have not met the Underground Church myself. I believe that at some point I will, but I really believe that these are believers who understand, every moment of every day that their life is on the line. And they’ll gladly give it up! I mean, it’s not not an issue for them, Jill. It’s not. They understand the reality of that. They understand the truth of that, and um, I think that we as a Western Church, we have no concept of that. We do not live in that environment that where our faith is so um, it — it is criminal! And so I think that, but I think we’re getting there. I think we’re on the edge of that, and I don’t think it will take as long as we think. But what I want to say is, Yes, I am targeting the Western Church in the conversation because what we don’t understand is that we have so much. We are glutted with Christian material — but we don’t know the LORD. So many of us, like the way we’ve talked about in this conversation. And how can that happen? And I — I really believe we have been done a great disservice, um, because in a similar way I’m going to give you a picture of what the LORD showed me. And it’s not a pleasant one, but I’m going to share it anyway.
EP: The LORD showed me what apostasy looks like. And I saw a whore, uh, that was fat and lazy and she was literally stuffing herself. And she was in a position that, um, a prostitute would assume. And she was stuffing herself at one end and spitting it out the other. And she was just glutted — glutted with material, but it wasn’t doing her any good. And she was literally feeding herself. It was one of the most disgusting images I think I’ve ever seen! And the LORD showed that to me and He said, “That’s what my Church is doing. And they don’t realize it.”
JS: Ohhhhh… that’s horrible!
EP: They’re prostituting His messages! They’re prostituting the Gospel — for money. They’re prostituting the Word of God! They’re prostituting themselves for what they think is sustenance, and what they think is nourishment, and they have completely, um… that is what’s gonna lead to apostasy. Because when it comes down to the wire, they’re not going to give up their life for Him. They’re not gonna do it.
EP: They will not do it. And they’re not prepared to do it. They’re not prepared for that.
JS: Yeah, right.
EP: So on the converse side, what I would like to share with you is, what God has shown me is that the Early Church, from then until now (nothing’s changed), the LORD always intended that we walk in the Spirit, that we know Him intimately. That we have that relationship there that would allow us — in the absence of all our trinkets and our toys — that we would have HIM. That He would be enough, and the Western Church has no concept of that. They don’t know how to do that. So I’ll let you take it from here. That’s kind of where I was going with that conversation.
JS: Yeah, yeah. I agree with you, and it’s scary what you shared. That hideous picture of that glutted prostitute; it’s just a repulsive image.
EP: It is. It is. Absolutely!
JS: And God forbid – that this is in contrast to the pure and spotless bride that He’s coming back for!
JS: I mean, can you imagine this shining Prince of a Savior coming down with an army of millions on these gleaming white horses. What’s He coming back for? That picture you saw?
EP: No. No…
JS: What does He deserve? He deserves someone of His own kind: shining, white, pure, disciplined, holy, blameless, upright – He’s coming back for a bride after His own kind, just like Adam couldn’t marry an elephant, and Adam couldn’t find a help-meet in a rhinoceros-lady, or in a monkey-lady. You know, Adam needed a bride who was like him in every way, taken right out of his own flesh, and right out of his own bone. And Yeshua is exactly like the greater Adam. He’s even called that in 1 Corinthians 15: the Second Adam; the Last Adam; the Greater Adam. And He’s coming back for someone that most of the Western churches do not fit the picture. And in fact, most of them don’t even believe in what I’ll call ‘The Bridal Paradigm’. In other words, a way of looking at the Church as a corporate bride for the Son of Man, the Son of God. You know, most of the Church doesn’t even operate in that model, as if there even is a bride.
And I don’t know what they do with it, because it’s in many, many scriptures, and it’s right out of the Garden of Eden; it’s right out of Genesis. From Genesis to Revelation we see the bride. We see it in Esther; we see it in Ruth, you know. But anyway, um, you know, just having been in whatever churches I’ve been in over the years, you know it’s almost become – I mean, there are sincere churches that genuinely love the LORD, and I am thankful for them, and we don’t want to paint with too broad a brush.
EP: Exactly. Exactly.
JS: We want to honor those precious churches that labor for the Gospel.
EP: Absolutely! And those individual believers who are passionate for the LORD in their personal walk with Him. There are those out there who do know Him. So I want to clarify for the sake of our interview: I am not condemning the Western Church.
JS: Yeah, yeah. That’s good. That’s good that we make sure we’re very careful. And I agree with you. And I’ve been in churches where the pastors barely take a livable salary. I’ve been in churches where the believers are – all of them have very serious problems in their lives, but when they come together they choose to lift up their voices in worship, whether they’re singing old hymns or modern contemporary worship songs. It doesn’t matter. What matters is their hearts are putting aside their troubles. And so I’ve been in those kinds of churches, and the LORD loves – you know, He loves His Church – His true Church. But I think there is a growing apostasy within the Body of Messiah, if we could just use that larger term. And many, many, many churches have become caught up in celebrity, and famous people coming – the big important people that we see on TV. They’re coming as a guest, and then everybody is in awe of this speaker. And some of these speakers are genuinely strong, beautiful brides, and some of them aren’t. And some of them spend more time taking up and offering than opening the Word of God! And you know, there’s a variety of levels of spiritual maturity that we see across the Western Church. So we both are being careful to say that we recognize that there are many, many varieties and levels of maturity. But for the most part, I believe that His Church has forsaken Him.
JS: And for the most part I believe that the Church has been seduced by the ‘American dream,’ being merged with their version of Christianity, which as you pointed out so well, is incredibly different from what the first century believers went through when they first received Yeshua. They knew that they could easily be thrown into the Roman Colosseum within less than a year of receiving the LORD!
EP: Right. Right. And I really believe, Jill, that the time that we’re living in, God is about preparing us for what’s coming. Which I believe is the ‘Sorrows’. We are definitely in the ‘Sorrows’, and we are at the door, I believe, of what is the Tribulation Period. What I have seen is that people are not ready. And when you begin to approach that topic of suffering for the LORD, um, or sharing in His sufferings, which Paul gloried in! And I mean, he was like, everything is dung that I may, you know, know Him, and be a part of His sufferings, and His resurrection, and you know, Paul was all about: the more he could identify with Christ: the more he could be like Him and be one with Him — the happier he was. That was his joy.
JS: Yes, that is true.
EP: And that is not the Christian vernacular today. That is not. We don’t even identify with that. We identify Christianity with um, I think so many times, “Bless me, bless me, make me feel good.”
JS: Right. Right.
EP: And it’s become a self-centered Gospel!
JS: VERY! Very self-centered!
EP: Yeah, and it’s a perversion. It’s no longer about self-sacrifice, and servanthood, and suffering. Um, I call it the three “S’s” that Christ demonstrated. He demonstrated all of that consistently throughout His earthly ministry. And He taught that. And the Apostles taught that. And they gloried in that for the LORD. And we have a Church today who is not even willing to say, “Yes, I’m willing to give my life, and I understand what that means to be a Christian. And I love living for the LORD, but I’m also willing to die for Him.” It’s, it’s not – and they don’t even understand what living for the LORD really is. What does that mean?
JS: You know, I’ll tell you something, Erin. I really believe the LORD is going to point His finger at the shepherds. I really believe that the majority of people who put their trust in their pastor, or their elders, or leadership team at their church – they are not being warned. They are not being taught the truth of what’s coming. They’re not being taught to gird up their loins and brace themselves and prepare ahead of time for what they’re gonna do. Because I agree with you: this is coming very, very soon!
EP: We’re on the edge of it — yeah.
JS: And it’s gonna be: Either get seduced and embrace Satan and his man. Or it’s gonna be: Brace yourself for severe persecution and say, “No, I will not bow the knee to that image, that hologram, that mark, that doctrine, that religious merging of all the religions in the world until this one, big, so-called peaceful thing, that’s actually the ‘Whore of Babylon’ religion.” And I really believe the greatest accountability will be on the ‘false priests,’ I’ll call them. In other words, the leaders who are supposed to be the ones that the people are trusting, that they’ll tell them what to do…they’ll tell them what would please God and what wouldn’t. And what comes out of their mouth is, “It would please God if you give me a thousand dollars, and I promise You that you’ll get back ten-thousand.” You know, and people telling them self-centered things like, ‘God just wants to bless you.’ Well, He does want to bless us. But what He calls blessing is very different than what the Western American dream calls blessing.
EP: That’s right! Absolutely!
JS: And so I’m worried about the fact… I feel for the sheep. Because I feel that in almost every church in America, there is at least a remnant of really sincere people who don’t realize what they are being fed. It would be like a mother sheep giving her baby poisoned milk. And the baby sheep would be dazed and glazed. Her eyes would glaze over, this baby sheep, this little lamb, because she wouldn’t realize why the milk was poisoning her, and she couldn’t see straight. She was, like, sort of almost drugged from it. And I feel like the mother church, as it were, is feeding poisoned milk to the sheep. And the sheep don’t realize it, because it’s all they’ve ever known! And there’s a handful of people on this earth – awesome prophets of God who are warning about the end times! Warning about the preparation of the Bride! Saying, “WARNING, this is what’s coming to America, and to Europe, and we can’t put our trust in the institutions that we’ve always trusted in. They will crumble. They will be shaken.” What will we do? How will we survive? It will be too late to figure out how to trust God then. Because we’ll be so full of fear. When you’re in a panic, you can’t think straight. And you make bad decisions when you’re in a moment of panic. You have to get to know the LORD’s faithfulness now. You have to learn how to run into His invisible sheltering arms now. Because when that trouble hits, people will run to anyone who will give them a quick fix, and it will end up being the Antichrist who will give them the quickest fix of all. And it’ll send, I believe, millions of people – right into hell.
EP: It will. You’re absolutely right, Jill. And people um, will choose a false peace instead of the Prince of Peace. And – and what we will need to be able to discern is, you know, when they take our Bibles from us, and it becomes illegal. It’s already illegal to pray in the schools over here. When they tell you you can’t pray in your own home; when they tell you, you can no longer read the Bible, or the Bible becomes an illegal book – Do you have the Word of God in you? Do you have the Holy Spirit in you? Which brings me back to, you know, the example of the Underground Church. I do believe that there will come a time when the Church here in America will need to go underground if it’s going to survive.
JS: Absolutely! I totally agree!
EP: And I really believe that the persecution we hear about; we may know about it; um, you know, we may know in theory, but we have no experience of it. And here’s something that God’s been speaking to me about Jill (just as a sidebar here), is that the LORD has many ways of teaching His disciples. We’re all His disciples. And He is our Teacher. And I’m big on that. I’m really huge on that. Because I am a writer, and I am an author, and I do write bible studies, but I’m all about bringing people back to the Teacher, who is Christ. And so, what the LORD has taught me is, He said, “Erin, there’s things I tell people, and there’s things I show people.” And He said, “And then there’s things that I neither tell, nor do I show them. But I will take them into a place where they can experience it.” There’s a place of experience, where people don’t understand, “Why am I going through this?”, “Why am I living through this?”, “Why has my life taken this turn?” It’s all about — I call it the ‘field trips’ that He takes us on. (laughs) He takes us on field trips in life, where He doesn’t show us; He doesn’t necessarily tell us; He lets us experience it. That’s our Teacher. That is our LORD. That is how He chooses to teach us. There are certain things He can’t tell us; He can’t show us; we have to live it. We have to experience it with Him. He is the One walking us through that experience. And I believe with my whole heart, Jill, that the Body of Christ, as a whole, is about to enter into one of those seasons where we take a ‘field trip’, if you know what I mean. I mean, we’re about to go…
JS: Right! Yes, I do! Well, there’s ‘Wilderness Seminary’ that we – yeah, ‘Wilderness Seminary’.
EP: It’s upon us. And I believe, you know, we’re in the Shemitah year right now, and it’s — we’re just months away from Rosh Hashanah. And I believe that once that closes, I sense very strongly in my spirit (tell me if you don’t agree, please), but I sense in my spirit that once this year closes, we are gonna see a shift, not only in the spirit, but in the political realm. I mean, it’s just — I sense that we just really need to brace ourselves for what’s coming.
EP: Um, and so I’m just gonna let you run with that, and whatever God’s showing you. I feel like I’ve almost said too much. I want to give you an opportunity to speak more.
JS: No, no, that’s fine. I think we’re flowing fine here. But yeah, I don’t know exactly – I mean, I do believe in these markers, these calendars, and all that Jonathan Cahn has taught about the Shemitah – I respect that tremendously. But I don’t – I also feel that God is not obligated to act upon an exact precise time table with regard to that – because He’s sensitive to the prayers of His people. And so, while I don’t – I do believe we’re headed for some tremendous, rocky, turbulent times where much will begin to be shaken. I completely agree with you on that. And I believe it – I actually thought it was going to have started last Fall. And I thought it was gonna start after the last blood moon of 2015. And so, I was even surprised that God has continued His blessing and His mercy. And so I do agree with you. Yet I also know that there’s a company of people, especially in America and Canada – there’s a company deeply repenting. Deeply crying out to the LORD, and they’re not asking Him to just keep all the good stuff going. They’re not crying out that He won’t let the economy falter, or that He won’t let people lose their jobs. They’re not crying out that way. They’re really crying out for righteousness. They’re really crying out for God to do whatever it takes to bring us to a place where He doesn’t have to harm unto destruction.
And so, I do share you views very much so, but I wouldn’t want to put a time table on it. I do believe actually the shaking and the breaking has already begun – I think the shifting has already come. My opinion is it will come gradually. My opinion is that it’s already started. And as time goes by and we come to these next Fall feasts, I believe they will shift even more dramatically. And there will be significant seasons of upheaval that we haven’t known yet, and so I agree with you there. But what I would say is, whenever there’s a people crying out in repentance in a city or a region, or you know, even one or two churches out of a whole city, wherever there’s fasting and weeping between the porch and the altar, as the prophet Joel said, you know I really believe that God mitigates judgments; He delays judgments. He’s very quick to bend His ear to the cry of His people. And He’s willing to do the maximum revival-restoration-purification process – the maximum of that with the minimal damage, if His people will cry out. And so, you know, I’m just always agitating with the warnings we’re talking about, and I’m with you one hundred percent on warning the people to get ready for hard times (much harder than we could imagine) – I’m with you on that. But I’m also saying, do not be fatalistic about it. Keep praying and repenting, and keep opposing Satan’s plan to destroy America. Oppose it! Because it’s not the heart of the LORD to destroy. It’s the heart of the LORD to save as many as will come to Him – to all who will call upon Him in sincerity will be saved. And I believe He will even lessen, delay and mitigate judgments if His people will not give up and keep praying.
EP: I believe you. I totally believe you. I completely agree with you. And I want to clarify the point that I made earlier is that when I mentioned the Shemitah year closing, I didn’t mean there’d be a finite ‘oh everything’s breaking loose’. It is gradual, and it’s been gradual for many years. I do believe that it has begun. We’ve seen many things. I mean, it’s here. The turbulence — it’s here. If you can’t see it, you’re blind, you know what I mean? It’s hard to miss!
JS: So much has already happened, yeah!
EP: Oh my goodness! Yes! Very strategic things!
EP: But at the same time, I do believe that um, you know, I just sense in my spirit, I don’t know how else to say it Jill, once this Shemitah year closes, I do believe that — like you said — there will be another shift that comes.
JS: M-hm. I do believe that, too.
EP: Now, how that plays out — I do think it’s gonna be gradual. But we’re gonna see another uh, layer of it perhaps, or another season. And I think that we do need to be prepared. Because the Shemitah year is every fifty years. I don’t think we have another fifty years. Um, to play around. I’m not saying He’s going to return necessarily. He may tarry beyond that.
EP: But the Church doesn’t have fifty years to get it together! We’ve got to really be aware of what He’s trying to accomplish. The LORD is — I feel a desperation in the LORD’s heart to get this message to His people. There’s an urgency. There’s not time to play.
JS: Yes, He has extended so much mercy. But the thing that saddens me so tremendously is that with all the restraint and delaying of judgment, and all the mercy He has shown – it has not moved most people to repentance.
EP: Yes, and that’s scary.
JS: And it makes me sad that the Church just thinks, “Oh, good! We have more time,” or “Oh, good! I told you nothing would happen.” I’ve had Christians say to me, “Oh, you thought the blood moon was so significant!” They go, “Oh, look! Nothing happened!” And I don’t even dignify that with an answer, but in my heart, I’m like, “Nothing happened?! Have you been reading the news?! Have you– Do you know what’s happened since the last blood moon?!”
You know, we could both take an hour right now and just recount the prophetic events on the news that are staggering – that have never happened in human history since Ezekiel and Zechariah prophesied them! Till now! And they say, ‘nothing happened,’ and so it’s gonna take a lot to wake up some people, unfortunately.
EP: It’s gonna take something personal, Jill. That’s when I believe it’s gonna be too late, is when it finally touches the individual believer — not the corporate Church or the corporate Body, but the individual believers who are not prepared — whose eyes are blinded. And here’s what I really believe, is that the LORD is desperately trying to awaken His people from the least to the greatest of them. And I really believe that there is a sifting of the Church that’s coming. And it’s going to be painful. There will be a great falling away. He said it. It’s gonna happen. It will happen. And it’s happening right now, I’ll just be honest.
JS: I agree.
EP: That is what’s so interesting, is that it doesn’t look like what we thought it would. Ya know, we always think apostasy is somebody is just blatantly turning their back on the LORD, or renouncing Him, or you know — it doesn’t happen like that.
EP: Most believers really think, you know, ‘I haven’t turned my back on the LORD.’ Okay, but what does your life look like? I sense that um, there’s a lot that the individual believers – they’re not prepared. And I think a lot of them truly believe that they’re just gonna get yanked out of here, and that the Christian life is not synonymous with suffering.
JS: It’s scary. It’s scary. I do believe what you’re saying, but it’s scary. Because many will be so offended at the LORD. They’re going to be so offended, and get mad at the LORD, and blame Him. And He’s been begging them and warning them all these years! And they were mocking His prophets all these years! And they’re gonna say, “How could You?!” And the LORD will say, “Why didn’t you?”
EP: Right. Right.
JS: And it’s very disturbing. Sadly, I agree that a huge number of people are going to be completely flabbergasted in a negative way – completely shocked. And it’s not just that they won’t be ready with food and water. That’s the least of it. It’s that their hearts won’t be ready to not be offended at God. That’s the problem.
JS: And they’ll run after the wrong man! After some years of, God forbid, but let’s just say some years of war, hardship, famine, deprivation – they’re gonna run to the person who is going to solve it for them. And they’re going to turn to someone who is going to offer relief from tremendous insurmountable problems, and that man’s going to look real good. And they’re going to feel like, “Well, what can I do? I’ve got to go with him. He’s the only one who can help us out of this. I can’t live like this.” And you know, that’s the real apostasy, is when His people literally run after the false messiah because Jesus isn’t doing what they think He should have done.
EP: The god that the Western Church has taught them about, who is just the ‘fairy god mother of the faith’ so to speak, who is going to give them all these blessings and do all the, you know, we’ve made Him a Santa Claus. And it’s a type of Sugar Daddy, so to speak.
JS: I was just gonna say Sugar Daddy! I can’t believe you said that! (laughs) I was thinking Sugar Daddy and then you said it! It’s funny. It’s sad, but it’s funny. Go ahead…
EP: (laughs) So, that was God! Thank You, LORD!
JS: It’s scary!
EP: But that’s what people think He is! And if He doesn’t give them what they want or make them feel good, then He’s not being the god they want Him to be — and they’re not going to serve Him.
JS: You know, Erin, when I listen to the testimony of believers that I really respect that have really fed my maturity and fed my walk and intimacy with the LORD – every one of them has gone through heart-rending trials. Unbelievable anguish of heart. And many of them have lost children. Many of them have lost complete finances. Many of them have been through terrible, terrible things. They’ve been through the fire, because they had to be tested. And, “Will you still love Me? Will you still trust Me when I let this happen, and you don’t know why I let it happen?” They’ve been through that kind of test. And almost every true bride that I know has been through something where they have hit this bottom dark night of the soul – where they’re either going to just give up on God like I almost did at the end of my seven years in Israel – I was real close to that, Erin. But thank God He put that prayer in my mouth so I could get some perspective. But now since then I’ve been through several very dark, dark, hitting bottom type of places. I’ve been through horrible things. Not all the time, you know, but things happen. And I’ve been brought to – and I believe there’s more testing ahead for me – not because He’s mean, but because He’s got to make sure my heart is ready for what’s much worse than death.
EP: Right. And Jill, I totally agree with you. And something that I will say is, I know exactly what you’re talking about, because every person I know who is what I call the ‘elect bride’ (they are the elect) — they have gone through hell. They have absolutely encountered, they have lived through so much trial and tribulation. And they’re like, “Why is my life like this?” I can ditto that. I have been through it myself. And for years I thought, My goodness. Is this what my life is gonna be like? Why am I going through this? And like you said before, looking back you get perspective. I would never know the LORD the way I do now had I not gone through those things.
JS: Exactly, me too. Yeah!
EP: I have witnessed the miracles! Ohh….
JS: It’s out of those pits that we’re in – it’s out of that, that we can encourage others.
EP: Absolutely! And I would never trade the intimacy and the faith I have in my LORD, that I have now, for going through those things. You know what I’m saying.
EP: You can live a cush life, but it doesn’t bring you to the Master. It doesn’t bring you to His feet. And I mean, I went through what I call ‘The Divine Reduction.’ You know, where I had nothing but Him.
JS: Right, right.
EP: And I’ve been there many, many times over the last twenty years of my life. And I’m not kidding you, Jill, when I say I have been through one battle after another — just contiguously. And it has literally —
JS: I believe it.
EP: And I mean, I have periods of rest, but sure enough — and I mean, it’s not just little things. It’s life-altering things! It’s just incredible what I’ve gone through. But I have some incredible testimonies, and I know you do, too. But I think that is almost the norm? It seems, for people who are called of the LORD, who are, like you said, the elect bride. The people who are truly His. And I have asked the LORD. I’ve said, “Lord…” and I know you’ve probably prayed this prayer, too. At least I have. There came a point in my walk with the LORD, I said, “LORD, I don’t want to hang out with people who are not truly Yours.” I said, “You know, unless I’m meant to be a light for them,” I said, “Please, just fill my life with Your chosen people. Because I don’t want to waste my time developing strong intimate relationships with other people that I’m, who are not eternally going to be eter…” you know what I’m trying to say?
JS: Yes, I can totally relate. I can.
EP: And it was amazing to me the people that God brought into my life, and the people that God took out. And so it was just incredible to me. It was just really surprising.
JS: Me, too. Me, too. And I think those of us who are really hungry to make our hearts, you know, we can make our hearts as pure as we can. We can never perfect ourselves in our own efforts.
EP: No, we cannot.
JS: But – but, He wants us to go as far as we can. He wants us to do our utmost! Ya know, to try and root out those bad thoughts; to try and root out those mixed motives; those false desires. And then, as we walk that, we develop a hunger to have kindred spirits in our life; to have those like-minded desires; people who can be transparent with us; people who won’t be false with us; people that are as hungry for the LORD as we are. And people that don’t want to use us, but really want to care for the welfare of our souls, as we care for the welfare of their souls. And just like in my life, too, He’s given me a network of people – not people I’ve met in the Church meeting, or people – it’s not a human-made network. It’s not an organization. It’s like the invisible network of the bride – of the true believers. Not that we’re perfect. I’m not saying we’re an elite club.
EP: NO! Absolutely not! (laughs)
JS: Anyone can join this club! All it takes is a desperate heart in love. Anyone can join this club. It’s not an “elite club” – it’s an “elect club,” because the LORD has chosen those whose hearts will say, “yes,” or are saying “Yes” right now, even as we have this conversation. There are people saying, “I say yes, LORD. I want to walk that way with You.” And I can say, Erin, just like you, I’ve lost friendships along the way. But God has put special people in my life. Some aren’t like nearby personal friends that I have coffee with, but some of them I only get to see on Youtube, and some of them I only get to see at a conference once a year, and I get to say, “Hi, thank you for all you’ve taught me.” But it’s a network of people that we really have the same heart at the bottom.
EP: Yes, and Jill I want to talk about that heart a little more, because I really feel like God is hitting this hard today. I believe that you do, too. So I want to ask you a question. How can the Church prepare? For those who are hearing what we’re talking about, who are nodding, who are saying, “Yes, I want to repent, I want to walk with the LORD. I want what you’re talking about.” How do they get to that place with the LORD? How can the Chruch prepare for what’s coming? What would you say to that?
JS: Yeah. I, I would say it’s vital that they get connected. Many, many people, including myself, say, “I don’t know anyone like that at my church,” or “I don’t know anyone like that in my city.” And they can’t stay isolated. And I would say this, if the Church you go to, if there are churches in your area – if they’re not preaching a very solid deep message of repentance, holiness, and bridal preparation for the very last of the last days – if they’re not teaching that – no matter how nice they may be – or what a great children’s program they may have – it is not going to get this person ready (these people saying ‘yes’ in their heart, now). It’s not gonna do it! It’s just like giving somebody “Tasty-Kakes,” (a Philadelphia treat) when what they need is chicken and rice.
JS: You know, it’s not going to do it! So, in my personal situation, I live a somewhat isolated personal life here in Israel. I mean, you know, I have believing friends here in Israel, they’re wonderful. But I get my deepest teaching on the internet, to be honest with you. And of course, being with the LORD personally. Nothing is more important than spending that time alone with Him. But we do have to feed our spirit with those who have walked ahead of us, and those who are more advanced than us in intimacy, in revelation, in humility, and in the authority that goes with that humility. And I’m not talking about superstars, but in my own personal life there’s a very small circle of prophetic teachers. And if you wanted me to, I’ll name them on air who my favorite. I don’t mean that in sort of a popularity way, but the ones of whom I have said, “I could grow thirty years in the LORD after two hours of their teaching.” That’s what I mean. They’ve built me up to who I am now. And we don’t have to name them, I’ll leave that up to you.
But every person that’s saying “yes,” they have to find the ministries where when they hear that message, their spirit leaps inside them like the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy when she heard the voice of the mother of her LORD walk in the door. And there are a few teachers, the very first time I ever heard them teach after being in church for thirty years, I heard one message, and my spirit leapt like a baby in my womb! And I said, “This is what you’ve been wanting to hear all your life! Why didn’t anybody ever say this before?! This is what you knew in your heart, but nobody every articulated it, and now this man is!” And so they need to find someone that feeds that deep urgency in their spirit – that zeal they have that no one else has that they know. The zeal that they just want to press on with the LORD, and say, “I’ll give up my TV; I’ll give up my entertainment; I’ll give up, you know, those games you play on the cell phones where you put little balls in a hole for ten hours! Or you put submarines on a ship and you shoot them down on your video games; youth that are addicted to these video games. If they’ll get out of their chat rooms and get into their closet with the LORD and listen to some people who will actually change your future. What you’ll hear on judgment day will depend on how you feed your spirit now. So those people that are saying “yes,” they need to put aside every distraction and if they read my books – and I’m not trying to sell books, Erin, and you know that – but if they read my books, I name some of these teachers, and I won’t say them on air if you’d rather I not…
EP: No, please do [share your books]!
JS: I mention every one of these people who have helped me.
EP: That’s fantastic, Jill! I will be showing your books. I will be showing your books on this post and giving them links to each one of those, and links to your website. I’m not going to ask you to name specific individuals at this time, simply because there are a lot of Christians out there who – what they do, they go and they run with that, and they don’t seek the LORD.
JS: Right. Right. Yeah, that’s why I didn’t want to say them.
EP: (laughs) Yeah, they replace Him with man. And a mature believer can listen to someone like that and balance that. But for someone who is… I really want to, I really want to urge the readers and the people who are hearing this message to seek Jesus Christ for themselves, to hear His voice and get to know Him, to develop that intimacy with Him, and then He will lead them to the individuals. Because I believe it’s going to be different for everyone. And there are key people out there. But I would hate to, um, put those people before them right away, because the human response – you know how it is.
JS: Yes! Absolutely! I just know what they’ve meant to me.
EP: (laughs) Yeah, it’s just very human. It’s easy. And I don’t want people seeking man instead of Christ, so…
JS: Right, right. Absolutely not. So, you know, I apologize if I went too far.
EP: No, no, no! You didn’t! Not at all! (laughs)
JS: And me now bragging on these people. They really have changed my life, and I wish that for everyone to have solid food.
EP: I think that, I do want to make a point — going back to the point of preparing for Him. The deeper we surrender, um, the freer we get. The more liberated we are. The more we are willing to surrender to Christ. In every area of our lives. Every thought we have. All our emotions. Everything that we are, and everything we possess — the more we surrender that to the LORD, the freer we become, and I was just going to ask you to speak into that if you would.
JS: Yes. Well, it’s all about priorities. It’s all about day-by-day; choice-by-choice. We become overcomers by how we prioritize our hours; our minutes; our days. How we prioritize what is the most important thing we can do? If we only had one free hour either late at night, or early in the morning, or on our lunch break, or when — or in the middle of the night for me, sometimes, you know. But how we prioritize is going to be that act of surrender, and little tiny decisions. It’s the small things, Erin. It’s… God sees those little moments where, like I could reach for chocolate (which is what I always want). And to be honest with you, many, many times I choose the chocolate. And I’m just being honest with you, so I’m not an overcomer in that area. But um, but there’s times I don’t choose to entertain myself. Like, just to give the bad and the good. Like, there’s many times I really want to watch a movie, and I mean a good movie! I mean, a Christian movie! But that’s not the best use of my time. And like, why should I watch a movie about the LORD, where some film director did a great job about talking about the LORD — which I love Christian movies, and I’m not against them at all — but the thing is, I could be spending that time with the LORD, which isn’t as interesting in the sense of momentary stimulation, but it’s much more fruitful in the long run, because in the end He’s gonna prove Himself much more fascinating than anything Hollywood could come up with.
EP: Exactly. Excellent, yeah.
JS: And so I think the surrender is in all the little things — the little foxes that spoil the vine. The little compromises we make are going to add up to regret later. And the little choices when we say no to our flesh; no to the world; no to the devil; no to the cravings of our eyes for financial gain; no to materialism; every time we say no to one of those things that is a test of our soul, we will be overcomers little by little, day by day, choice by choice.
EP: Amen. I agree with you, Jill. Thank you so much for saying that. Excellent point.
Stay tuned next week for PART III – Israel, on August 31st, 2016! Don’t miss it!
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