A CONVERSATIONAL INTERVIEW WITH SPECIAL GUEST
Part 1: Intimacy with Yeshua
I had the immense pleasure and honor of interviewing our very special guest, Jill Shannon of Israel, a Jewish believer who is an anointed author, speaker, song-writer and musician. Jill offers the Body of Christ powerful messages for the elect bride through her books, teachings and worship that are centered in intimacy with Christ, repentance, and genuine prophetic teaching for Jewish and Gentile believers. Jill brings revelation to the heart of God for His people in light of the scriptures. She has a beautiful spread of work that can be found via her website at coffeetalkswithmessiah.com. I strongly encourage you to visit her online. Her message is perfectly in sync with the core purpose of Appointed Time Ministries which is to prepare you for the LORD’s return.
Interestingly, the LORD did not permit me to prepare questions for Jill ahead of time, as traditionally practiced. Instead He wanted us to flow with Him as He led our conversation. What transpired was powerful! The LORD showed up! Both of us enjoyed His sweet presence as He led the way. Jill and I discovered very quickly what was on His heart for the Body of Christ. The message is urgent.
In this candid conversational interview Jill and I hit topics such as intimacy with Christ, what preparation for His return really looks like, what the Body of Christ can anticipate in the days ahead, the condition of the western Church, deception in the Body of Christ, and Israel’s awakening to her Messiah in light of the prophetic events being fulfilled today.
This interview was two hours in length, affording us plenty of time to dig deep into these topics. Therefore, this interview will be presented in two parts. You do not want to miss this! This week I offer you PART I: Intimacy with Yeshua… Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy! And please visit Jill online! You will be blessed!
EP: Jill as we prepared for this interview, it became very obvious that intimacy is so central to God’s heart. He really brought that to the center of our discussion, and it’s something you teach on frequently. Can you please share more about that with the Body of Christ and what that intimacy looks like?
JS: Well, you know, I was a believer for thirty years serving the LORD, teaching bible study in churches, and I thought that I knew the LORD, walked with the LORD, and if you had asked me about intimacy I probably would have had a blank stare on my face.
But, you know, I thought I was doing the normal Christian service, and in 2006 the LORD called me to three days of seclusion with Him – three days and three nights with no interruption, no CD player, no anything, no media and those three days and nights changed my life very radically. And I wrote about it in my first book, but I’ll give just a little bit of a synopsis here for your question.
During those three days and three nights I had absolutely nothing to do but look at the LORD, worship the LORD with my guitar (which I was allowed to make my own worship), talk to Him, intercede, wait on Him in a rocking chair, dance, sing, uh, just do everything to do with Him, and basically in those three days I poured out my heart in a transparent way – in the most transparent I’ve ever been in all those thirty years of thinking I knew the LORD. And to my shock the LORD came to me and answered me like a friend for the entire three days and three nights. And it shocked me, like I never knew Him that way. I never knew He liked me. I never knew He was truly respectful of my thoughts and my feelings and wanted to hear what was in my heart. He was deeply interested in every tiny detail of my heart. And you know, it was a pleasant shock to realize that He feels so differently about us than we really realize.
And out of those three days and three nights came a completely new lifestyle – a completely new way I began to relate to Him in my time alone with Him. I began to experience His glory and an intimate love that He feels for all of us. It certainly wasn’t about me, but I got to step into something that no one had ever taught me. No one prepared me for that first time when His intimacy overshadowed me, and nobody’s preparing God’s children for the way the Bridegroom King feels about them, and the yearning and the desire in His heart would shock most people. And in fact, it would make most of us awkward. Like, you know how, like Erin, have you ever seen a deer in the field? Like a gazelle?
JS: And you know in the Song of Solomon, she keeps saying, ‘I swear by the deer in the field, and the gazelle, and the young stags. I charge you daughters of Jerusalem by the gazelles…’ She was speaking about the timidity of a deer, for a human to approach them. And if you just barge up to a deer, they’re not going to let you put your hand out and feed them! Right? And so He was showing me that most people fear intimacy with Him because it’s the great unknown. And all of us can relate to fear of the unknown.
And when He says, “Spend three days and three nights in your room without coming up for air,” you can’t use all your props like putting on a CD or something – that’s one of my great props, is putting on music – He’s like, ‘If you’re gonna have music, you’re gonna make the music yourself.’ And so, I realized that I was so afraid like a bride on her honeymoon. Because you know, Erin, in the old days, parents didn’t tell their young daughters what would happen on their wedding night. I’m using a human analogy. I’m obviously not speaking in a sexual way about the LORD, but I’m just saying, I’m making an analogy – that if, you know, if you see movies from the 1800’s, young girls went to their wedding day in complete ignorance and innocence. And they were like a frightened bird or a frightened deer, because they didn’t know what was gonna happen! And I actually experienced those emotions going into my three days, because I thought, “What if He doesn’t show up? What if He does show up?!” (laughs) I didn’t know if I was more scared if He would or wouldn’t show up!
And you know, not going into every detail of what happened in that time, I learned a lot and began to impart to His bride and His children, whether young in the LORD or old in the LORD; whether just now coming out of a sinful lifestyle, or those who have known Him like I did for thirty years – We all need to give Him a level of our heart that most of us keep a big wall around. And I’m gonna give you a moment to respond or ask more, but that’s kind of a big part of my ministry now, is to help people not be afraid to draw very reverently and breathlessly close to Yeshua, and know that He will not harm them.
EP: That is so beautiful, Jill. And I’m so grateful that you’ve brought this topic forward from our first talk, because that has always been at the center of my relationship with the LORD as well. And that is something that I’m very thankful I had developed from the time I was born again. Not many Christians do, and I think being the type of person I am, I’ve always been completely raw, completely honest and transparent with the LORD.
And I came to the LORD at the age of nineteen. I’m now forty-three, and I remember when I got saved, the gentleman who led me to the LORD taught me to talk to the LORD just like a friend. You know, just go to Him and say whatever — He already knows what’s there. He just wants your heart. And I thought, ‘How beautiful’. And I remember, my goodness — the freedom and the liberty that brought into my life. I had never ever had that before with anyone — ever! Where I could just be completely, completely raw and totally honest — even when it was painful, and it was bad, or maybe sinful things were going on in my mind. I remember just bringing it to Him like He was — because I already knew He knew what was in me. Nothing surprised Him! But He wanted it.
Like you said, He was so intimately… that, that interest and that desire that He has to draw close is just — it’s amazing. And the response that I got from the LORD, I tell you, I’ve shared many, many things with God. I mean, I’ve had everything from ‘temper tantrums’ to you know, the most intimate worship, and He’s always very, like you said, I love that you used the word ‘respectful’, and He’s always — He understands, Jill!!!
JS: Yeah! He does.
EP: That’s what amazes me, is that He’s God, and that He understands those so human — human emotions, and He’s able to go into places and bring clarity to us, and bring that healing, and bring that, even deliverance, and bring that understanding for us where we’re just completely set at liberty. And the love, the love, the unconditional love!
JS: Yes! And one of my friends made an analogy about what you’re speaking about, which is like a surgeon, who has to do delicate, delicate yet critically dangerous surgery where he needs a very fine scalpel, and he has to go into a place where if he makes one wrong move, he could cut the spinal cord accidentally or damage a vital organ.
And one of my very dear friends, he compares the way the LORD changes and heals our heart to like the best surgeon in the world, who doesn’t just plow through us with either anger or bringing shame to us, or condemnation, sort of like ripping us apart in one big giant blow. He’s very delicate like a surgeon, a very loving surgeon. And sometimes it takes years for Him to adjust one thing after another and take us through the Shulamite journey of refinement. And it’s a process. And for some, even when it’s quick it still takes time. And so I like that analogy of His delicate, respectful, surgical process on the inner workings of our shame, our emotions, sinful patterns, uh, abuse from childhood – you know, everyone is wounded in one way or another, and He is such a good doctor, and sometimes I call Him, Dr. Yeshua because of the way He works on my heart — my broken soul.
EP: Yes, and you know, Jill, I’m glad you brought that up because we are all broken. We’re all in need of healing. And I can… that’s a beautiful analogy, and it’s a very accurate one. I’m an RN, and I can tell you there are surgeries like that where you can make one wrong move and cut an artery, and that person will bleed to death. I mean, and if you do, saving them can be impossible at times. I worked as a cardiac nurse for three years in a step-down unit where we would receive heart surgeries back to the floor, and some of these patients were critical. And I know that even if they go in for a heart cath, you know, they don’t crack the chest for that, they go in through the groin, but even with that tiny little line that goes into the heart, if you go into that artery and you damage that artery, that patient can code on the table and you may not get them back. I mean, it’s just, there’s no promise. There’s no guarantee.
These things are very delicate that the LORD does. And something that, um, I’m reminded of is that there’s so much deception in our own hearts. We don’t even know what’s really in us — even when we’re being completely honest with Him. What shocks me is that when I’m talking with the LORD and sharing with Him so honestly and just really opening myself up with abandon — He comes back many times and reveals another layer — pulls back another layer that I didn’t even see, and I’m like “WHOA!!!” And I mean, it’s just like, I’m just always shocked and amazed at how He sees, and what He’s willing to reveal to me about myself! Or about Him, and how He really feels or what He thinks, and He always — it just amazes me because He always, um, lined and encompassed with compassion and that respectful understanding. And I’ve even had times when I’ve known the LORD was displeased, or when the Spirit was grieved, or when He was upset. He feels those things. But He always, always comes to me with that truth and that love, and that ability to bring restoration and reconciliation, and repentance, and complete healing. The truth is, the LORD doesn’t want anything between us. And when it comes between us He wants it removed. And He will go there! He’s willing to go there with us! If we give Him that permission, and that’s really all He needs.
Um, I wanted to ask you about something. I spent some time last night on your website listening to a particular message, which by the way, just blessed me immensely. And you had mentioned your season of seven years in Israel, which you said was a ‘black hole’ for you. (both have laughter) Um, would you mind at this juncture sharing a little bit about that story, especially toward this point were making about intimacy. I’m just going to let you take that forward from here.
JS: Yes, of course, I’d be glad to. Well, you know, I was raised in America. I was born and raised in an American-Jewish family. We didn’t – my parents were not religious Jews, but my father did take me to synagogue on the – what they call the High Holidays, which basically meant Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. That’s what that basically meant. And so, I was raised knowing that there was a God, but it didn’t go much beyond that, so I, you know, grew up in basically a somewhat highly educated Jewish home. I was the firstborn child, and I did well in school and all that, and I got married after I was saved.
I got saved at age nineteen, as you also did. And um, yeah, I got saved in the seventies when it was part of still the Jesus movement, and at that time, a lot of very many Jewish kids from my kind of background, some of us were hippies, maybe some drug background, but we got saved in the early seventies. And so when I got married I was already a believer. So to make a long story short, after we had been married five years, the LORD spoke to me about moving to Israel permanently. And it absolutely shocked me. It wasn’t something… I had never been raised with Zionism – with a fierce devotion to the land of Israel. I hadn’t been taught that by my liberal parents, and so it’s not like I had a deep desire to someday go to Israel. I was comfortable. My husband and I both had corporate jobs at Honeywell, and we were doing well, and you know, had a house, and a life. And we had a ‘yuppie life’, a yuppie life they used to call it in those days, yuppies. And the LORD told me to move to Israel all of the sudden. And it was 1982, and I didn’t tell my husband because I was hoping I had just imagined that word from the LORD. You know how you just hope it’ll just go away, and you don’t have to deal with it, because you probably just made it up in your mind. So, but a few days later out of the blue, my husband said, “Do you think this September is the time we should move to Israel?” So what could I say, but ‘yes’ since the LORD had just spoken it to me two or three days prior?
And so we left our life completely. Within four months we had sold our cars, rented out our house, given away a million things of our possessions, packed up a shipment, and moved permanently to Israel. And I thought it was going to be a great adventure. You know, I was in my late twenties, I was young and adventurous, and I knew I was in the will of God, and that’s a good feeling! And I thought I was mature in the LORD and I would be able to handle any challenges that might come my way, and it started out good. I wrote extensively about the seven years, Erin, just so you know in case people want more. My first book was called, Coffee Talks with Messiah, and it’s kind of my journey of after salvation how the LORD took me through what I call these seven years in Israel, which is my wilderness seminary. And how He took me through great, great hardships that I could have never guessed or anticipated, because I had lived a comfortable life in America. Not like everybody, but like many have. And I had lived a comfortable life, and so I wrote about this in my book, and so there’s a detailed testimony, and I’m just gonna, for the sake of this interview, just give the highlights if that’s okay.
JS: Yeah, and so we… we were… One thing I need to say is that when Jewish people move to Israel, and make immigration, it’s called ‘Aliyah’, which literally means ‘going up,’ in the sense of King David and all the Psalms saying, ‘I’m going to go up to Jerusalem’, ‘I’m going to go up to the land’, you know, and so it means going up. And so when a Jewish couple makes immigration, the government gives them six free months of rent in what’s called an ‘absorption center’. And you can probably tell from the name, it’s not a very nice place. I mean, you’re grateful that it’s free, but when you’ve just come from a suburban American house with carpet, and heating, and rugs, and closets, and light fixtures, and kitty litter (laughs)…. When you come from what I call a normal, American, middle class suburban life, and you’re suddenly in a concrete apartment with cockroaches? And no heat in the winter — zero heat. And people don’t realize this, but Israel gets really, really cold, especially in these stone, unheated apartments in the winter.
And I wasn’t used to having the kitchen floor covered with cockroaches, and I had a horrible phobia! I mean a horrible fear, so that I could scream and punch myself if I thought there was a bug crawling on me. I just had a terrible phobia! If I were in a movie, the nurse would have given me a sedative (chuckles). But there wasn’t any nurse, and there weren’t any drugs to take away the cockroaches, and so I had a very… and then I began to get sick right away, and then I began to get pregnant with what ended up being my three children, because I was right in the middle of those child-bearing years. So, it’s not that going to Israel makes you more fertile, but there’s a culture where you’re at that stage and your biology says ‘it’s time,’ and so I began to get sick with terrible throat and breathing infections because the damp concrete walls were covered with invisible mold. And this was back in the early eighties, and we didn’t know what we know now about mold, at least I didn’t – and so I basically had seven years of bronchial and throat infections. And through all three pregnancies I was sick. And they kept putting me on the same antibiotic, like dozens of times, which is not really good medical practice, but like it was kind of primitive there back then. I can’t explain it, but it’s come a long way now. But it was kind of primitive.
And so I had three pregnancies, and a lot of illness, and severe sleep deprivation, and many other things that I wrote in more detail. And the point is that so many things happened to wear me down physically – emotional isolation. I didn’t have friends or family. I had no one. And at that time, I’m can only, I’m just gonna be very understated about this, and just say that at that time, my marriage was not emotionally supportive to me. And so I felt extremely alone and depressed. I became suicidal.
And God didn’t seem to be helping me, Erin. This is kind of the bottom line, that I – You know, they talk about the dark night of the soul? All of the great Christian writers mention that in some way or another, and um, I reached a point where I really thought God hated me. And I really, I couldn’t feel – I could see His help – I’m not saying He didn’t help me — He did. But when you get to a certain point of depression, you can’t think straight. You can’t see things clearly. I didn’t have a ministry in those days like IHOP, or ministry that fills you with hope about how much God loves you, or the music that fills you with that. I didn’t have any of those support structures in my life in Israel. And so basically, I came very close to completely renouncing everything I believed in.
And ultimately, the LORD, I really thought He would strike me dead for how far I had gone from Him. I deserved it. He could have, and He should have, but He didn’t, because He’s so incredibly kind. He saw it through different eyes. But I just felt like there was no hope for me. And my three little children, I was alone in a concrete apartment with three babies and no support, no friends. It was just really hard. And that’s kind of, maybe a little bit exaggerated because I’m trying to shorten the story, but that is the emotional sense of what I went through, and after I came back from Israel, then I began to see everything in perspective. I began to be healed – healed of all my diseases. My children were healed of their diseases when we came back. And I’m not trying to make Israel sound like a bad place, because it’s God’s place, and you know I believe in it with all my heart. I live here now. But in those days, I didn’t – it can be a great hardship to people that are in culture shock, or people that are fragile in their health like I was. It can be very difficult, especially back in the early eighties.
So I don’t know. I could share more, but I think I’ve given enough of a summary to continue our conversation.
EP: Absolutely. One thing I remember that struck me, in um, that I was wanting to ask you particularly is that you so candidly shared your last prayer before you went back to the States. Will you share that with the audience again?
JS: Ohhhhh… yes! Yeah, I’d be glad to. It was a profound moment in my life when we had finally made the decision to come back to the United States after seven years.
My husband was happy here in Israel. He did not want to come back. He had served in the Israeli army. He was an engineer. He had great work. Ya know, and he had not left behind friends or relatives, so of course he didn’t grieve anything. He didn’t, he didn’t have any ties that he had left behind like I did. So anyway, when we were finally agreeing to come back with the three little children, and help me heal, help me come to the U.S., we were all packed up and we were going to make our final drive the Ben Gurion Airport. I think it had a different name back then, but anyway, we were going to go to the airport for the last time and make a one-way flight back to the U.S.
And I decided as I looked around my empty house that I was going to pray one last prayer to God. And I made up in my mind what I was going to pray, because I was going to pray out of what my mind, will and emotions were thinking at that moment. And so the prayer that I had completely prepared to pray was, “I thank You so much, God, that You are rescuing me from this black hole of living in Israel that has sucked away all my strength, all my health, all my money, all my joy, and all my hope for the future. I thank You, God, that You’re rescuing me from this black hole.” That was exactly the prayer I was just about to say with every intention, and when I opened my mouth to pray it, guess what popped out instead? What, Jill? What came out of my mouth was, “I thank You, LORD, that I have nursed at the breast of Israel for seven years, and she has sustained me.”
JS: And it gives me the chills just saying it, and when I prayed it, I was surprised hearing it come out of my mouth! But I knew beyond any doubt that it was the Holy Spirit praying God’s heart over the matter, which was overriding my soulish emotions.
EP: That is so incredibly beautiful, and it is extraordinarily powerful. And what a poetic way? You know, for God to speak that through your mouth. That’s such a picture, Jill. You know, to nurse at the breast is incredibly, incredibly intimate. And it’s biblical! It’s very nourishing, and it reveals you as an infant. It reveals you as an infant, and I just think to myself, my goodness… that is just an extraordinary picture of a very dependent infant who is completely powerless in their own right to do anything for themselves!
JS: Wow… that’s very true! I hadn’t even thought of that, Erin!
EP: Yeah, I mean, and you were ‘sustained’. He didn’t say ‘nourished’. I think it’s interesting. He didn’t say you had been nourished, but you were sustained.
JS: He said, ‘she has sustained you’. Yeah…
EP: She has sustained you. So what would you say that sustenance is, Jill? In those seven years?
JS: Well, you know, when a trial’s over and you look back on it, you have such a different perspective. When you’re in the middle of loneliness, depression, isolation, suicidal temptations, you know, even other kinds of temptations – I’d rather let them read it in the book than talk about it right now (chuckles). But anyway, yes, and when it was over and He said, “she has sustained you,” my spirit was agreeing with what God said instead of what I was gonna say. Like, I instantly knew, those seven years had sustained me. In other words, even though we were tight on money, and sometimes I had to choose between two essential foods to buy, because of money – I was sustained. I never lacked anything. I wasn’t comfortable, but, but Israel sustained me. I had the sun, and the rain, and Israel’s fresh fruits and vegetables. I had my three children in Israeli hospitals. I had help from Israeli doctors and lawyers and accountants and bakers, and butchers, and candle-stick makers, you know.
And so I was sustained in my natural life, and even spiritually, what God meant – I know now, by, “she sustained you,” was that a seed of spiritual depth had been imparted into me during those seven years that I saw as bad, and negative, and black. But a tremendous richness of my spiritual identification as a Jewish person with the nation of Israel – and even if I weren’t Jewish, it would be very similar anyway. But a deep seed was imparted to me that would end up – I would live on that nourishment of spiritual truth from those seven years – I am still living off of that now. And it has given birth to everything that I’ve done since then. And so, it even more than sustained me. It did actually nourish me.
EP: Oh wow, that’s beautiful. That’s powerful. And it’s so true because we don’t always realize what God is doing in us. I um, I think it’s interesting Jill because we haven’t talked about this until now, but I have such a similar story to yours, even in my own life. God took me through my own wilderness when I first moved to Tulsa back in 1996. I was here for eleven years. I went through every imaginable hell one could possibly imagine. And I say that respectfully. You cannot imagine the things I encountered. I never dreamed — I came here right out of college. I never dreamed in my entire life that I — I knew I was in the will of God, just like you, I was so excited and full of zeal, totally on fire for the LORD. I had a deep, deep intimate relationship with Him. I could honestly say that I knew the LORD, and I knew I was in His will, and went through tremendous heartbreak. I nearly lost my life to a fatal illness. I was literally on my death bed; went through five years of a journey of healing, that um — I could go on and on. It was just one — literally — one trial after another. It was constant. It was in my body; it was in my soul; and it was in my spirit. I mean, I encountered the enemy at every single turn. And the LORD was with me.
In my personal life there was a juncture where He, in a similar way — He called me to a fast for six months. And going back to our topic of intimacy I want to expound upon this, and have you expound upon it. I’d love to know what you think. But the LORD said, “I don’t want you talking to anyone.” He said, “I want you going to work in the morning. I want you coming home”, and He said, “you’re gonna eat breakfast and lunch, but you’re not gonna have dinner — for the next six months”. He said, “I want the time from the moment you get home — I want that time with you until you go to bed.” He did not allow me to read anything — nothing. I had no TV, no telephone — no kind of media whatsoever of any kind. None. No other voice — He did not permit any other voice coming into my life other than His. He told me to tell all my friends and family. People thought I was a bit nutty at the time, but I knew it was God.
And I was so excited, really, to have this venture with Him. And so I got up in the morning, and surprisingly enough I cleaned homes at the time. Which probably sounds funny; I was a college-educated woman, but I was cleaning homes for the sake of doing ministry. It gave me that flexibility. But I was often completely isolated in these homes I would clean. I had Christian clients — wonderful families and people that were just a joy to serve, and I’d be in their house alone. And I’m telling you, God saturated me — saturated me. And when I consecrated myself completely to Him for those six months — I’m telling you, it did — it changed my life. I came out of that season, not wanting to come out of it, do you know what I mean? It was like, LORD, are you releasing me, are you sure? I mean it was almost scary coming out of it, because I was like, Well, what am I gonna do now?!?! (laughs). I’m like, Who am I gonna talk to?
JS: You know, Esther spent six months preparing for the king.
EP: That’s just incredible, and I will tell you the truth — I will tell you what He talked about to me. He talked about the Church. And He revealed the Church as He sees it. And Jill, I wept, and I cried — and it still brings tears to my eyes to this day because people don’t understand what’s happening in the Church. And um, so I really want to make that point with your point — that intimacy that we have with the LORD, not to be afraid to go there, and to make room for Him. And that when we abandon ourselves to Him, it’s critical in our walk with the LORD. To be able to say, “I know the LORD.” I know Him — not just know about Him. Not, I go to church, and I read my bible, and I have my devotional everyday, but I know Jesus Christ. I know Yeshua. And to be able to say that is something very precious. And so I would love to hear whatever you have to say in reply to that.
JS: Yeah, um, it stimulates a lot of thoughts in me, hearing your testimony. Um, one thing I thought about is that six months is kind of an Esther time. It just reminded me of someone having to take a very lengthy time of specific kinds of preparation. You know, in your case, it was getting to know the King, and in her case it was preparing to meet the king. I just thought of a little bit of a parallel there.
And then, you know, uh, the other thing is your saying that knowing Him is different than knowing about Him. And yeah, I so deeply agree with that statement. And none of us know Him perfectly. None of us. There’s always so much more to know, of course, He’s inexhaustibly God, of course.
But the other thing that struck me when you said, “I know Him,” what was going through my mind was to answer you, “And He knows you.” And the thing is, and this was – I just wanted to jump back to the Coffee Talks experience, because it really does comment on what you were just saying, because… I don’t know – I’m not sure if you’ve seen this, and most of the listeners have – There’s three places in the New Testament, not just three accounts of the same thing, but three separate times, Jesus (Yeshua) said to someone, “I don’t know you.” And He wasn’t saying it as a man walking the earth, like He bumps into someone in a grocery store and says, “Oh gosh, I don’t know you.” It wasn’t that kind of a statement. And in Hebrew, you know, there’s two different words: to know someone as an acquaintance, it’s “l’hakir” is the infinitive. You know someone. It has an acquaintance feeling. You see them every day. You see them in their shop, you might talk to them, or email them. You know them. But in the Bible, when Adam knew Eve, in Hebrew – it’s a completely different verb. It’s “la’da’at” is the infinitive, and what you’ll see in Strong’s concordance is “yada,” meaning he knew her. And when Adam knew his wife, it was a completely intimate sense of knowing. It’s very different from being acquainted with her.
So, in the three places in the New Testament where Yeshua is speaking about what He’ll say to people on “that day,” He’s not talking about His day-to-day work in the marketplace. He says, “On that day I will say to them, ‘I don’t know you.’” Or in one case, “I never knew you.” And on the third case He says, “I don’t know you or where you’re from.” Those are the three different ways it’s phrased, in each of the three cases.
And this is what He said to me at the end of my three days, this is what I want to say, is that – He knows everything. He’s God. He knows our thoughts. He can read our mind. He knows what we did. He knows what we’ll do in the future. He obviously knows us, in some sense. And I never understood, “How can You say, ‘I don’t know you?’ Of course, You know me! You’ve known everything about me since I was born.” Right? So theologically, God knows everything about everyone. But how could He say, “I never knew you?” And He spoke to me personally about that after my three days were over – on the fourth day, I was like, back in my normal life, but I was waiting on the LORD again. I was thanking Him for the three days, and I was marveling over all that had happened. And the LORD actually appeared to me – not with my eyes opened, but He did actually appear to me and said – I thought He was going to compliment me on certain promises I had made during the three days, and certain commitments I had agreed to that seemed very sacrificial to me. And He didn’t mention any of those things. He may have appreciated them, but He didn’t mention them.
Instead, He said, “Now I know that you are My friend. Because you were willing to spend these three days just enjoying My company – without expecting anything from Me.” And then He said, “My people think that they don’t have to tell Me everything that’s in their heart. They think to themselves, ‘God knows all my thoughts anyway. Why do I have to tell Him?’”
He said, “They’re wrong.” He said, “If they don’t tell Me what’s in their heart, I will say to them, ‘I never knew you.'” He said, “It’s true I know their thoughts, but I am a respectful person and I will not invade their privacy against their will. If they don’t voluntarily reveal to Me everything that’s in their heart, and be transparent,” He said, “those are the ones I’m going to say, ‘I never knew you.’”
JS: And that message was so deep in me, when He spoke it to me Himself. And then He actually did a very precious prophetic act over me, which was sealing me in His blood. But the point was at that sentence, that very sentence, “I want My people to actually know Me – I want to know them, because they let Me know them – not because I forced My way into reading their thoughts.” And so that that one thing was why He told me to write Coffee Talks with Messiah. That was the big motivational theme for writing it. “Let My people know – they think I know them, but unless they open their heart to Me, I will say, ‘I don’t know you.'” So I don’t know if that responds to what you were sharing in a way.
EP: It absolutely does. It confirms so much. And that is what God had shown me as well, Jill, many years ago. So I want to confirm that.
JS: Wow, thank you.
EP: Yeah, absolutely, because people really do — people read those verses, and they think, “Oh, well that means He never — they never got saved, or they’ve never given their soul to Christ.” And that’s not what that means.
JS: No, it’s not.
EP: It means that there was no intimacy there. There was never a relationship.
EP: Um, so here’s what I want to ask you, Jill. And what would you say to the individual who is going through — who has had that intimacy with the LORD at one time, but they’re going through that dry season, and — or even that busy season that robs them of that time or that energy. Their heart’s crying out for the LORD, but they can’t seem to find the time, OR perhaps whatever it is, something’s keeping them from that intimacy. What would you say to that individual right now?
JS: Yes, yes, thank you for asking that. You know, not only can I say I have been there many times…
EP: Myself, too.
JS: But, I can say even recently I’ve been in a long, long season – years – of exactly what you’ve just described. So, what I would say to anyone who’s going through that now, is: It’s part of the journey. In other words, our feelings come and go, but the LORD doesn’t come and go. Our zeal for Him, with regard to how we feel inside or what – even our schedule forbids us sometimes from making the time for Him. Sometimes it’s not our fault at all. I can relate to all of those things. Sometimes we’re sick, or we’re in so much pain, we just don’t have the energy to really pour into Him, because we’re too busy trying to manage our pain. And there’s so many factors, and He is so aware, and compassionate to anyone who’s going through – they don’t have their first love zeal. They don’t feel Him anymore. They feel like He used to answer them, but now He doesn’t. And, and all I can say is, it’s an agonizing but necessary part of this broken world and walking through this journey as a pilgrim, as a stranger, as a – I don’t like to say “alien” anymore, because that has a kind of weird meaning – but as a foreigner on this earth. And the LORD sees you hanging on the vine to dry. He sees that you feel somehow, you’ve lost it, or you’re left out, or you’ve almost been abandoned by Him, some people feel. I’ve been through that. And I want to encourage everyone from the depths of my heart, as a fellow journeyer, that He never ever abandons or forsakes us. He promised it, and that is the truth. He never leaves. And He doesn’t withdraw His presence in a cold, or calculating, or unkind way. That’s not the kind of a Father He is. That’s not the kind of a Husband He is. That’s not the kind of a Savior or Shepherd He is. His heart is for us not against us.
But there are times when He allows us to either get too busy, or just dry out. And sometimes there are things we could’ve done to keep it fresher and more alive. And other times, as I said, it’s really out of our control. And I think both kinds of circumstances can occur in anyone’s life in many cycles, many seasons at a time. I would just encourage that person – He is with you. He never has left you. What you feel is not the reality. Things are not as they seem. Your eyes are blinded by either pain, or busyness, or distraction, or financial worries, or doubts, or fears or sleep deprivation – you are blinded by the cares of this world. And this world is a very broken place. And no one can get through this world on this journey without real breaking, and real pain, and real sorrow, and doubt and confusion. But the LORD will never leave you, and you need to begin to speak the truth, whether you feel anything or not. You need to say, “You are a good Father. You love me. I know You hear me. You see every tear. You know my cry. You know I miss You. You know I’m sorry that I haven’t made time for You, and You know the reasons I haven’t! And I’m not making any excuses, LORD, but I miss You! I need You!” And you just have to be honest with Him, and cry out, and you will have breakthrough.
No one can give the LORD a time-table and say, “If You don’t answer me by seven days from now, I’m gonna be really mad at You.” You know, we can’t tell Him when to break through. He really holds that time table in His very capable pierced hands. He holds it in His hands. But I tell you, the timing of the LORD is perfect. He’s never early. He feels late to us, but He’s not actually late.
He’s letting us come to a certain point where our spirit will be forced to rise up and meet the challenge of what feels like abandonment, or what feels like dryness or rejection, or injustice – or sickness. Chronic sickness wears a person down. I know that myself, and so do you, Erin. So, I would just say, let your spirit continue to confess the truth that is in His Word. Find every scripture that promises – Isaiah says, “Doubtless, you are our Father. Cling to the Rock who formed you.” You are the Strong Tower I run in to. You are the Name I cling to. You are the One I run to. Just make statements from your own spirit, declaring what you know is true about Him, as opposed to what you feel and what you’re going through. And I absolutely promise you in the name of the LORD Jesus — Jesus Christ, Yeshua Hamashiach — that your light will break through like the dawn; like the sun finally coming through the clouds. The LORD will make your light to shine in the darkness. And you will have breakthrough. But you have to fight. You can’t be passive. And you can’t give up, and you can’t throw it away. That’s what I would say to them.
EP: Praise God, Jill. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and something that continued to come to my mind as you were speaking is what David had said: is that his heart communes with Him upon his bed. And that he would lay there. And I get this picture — David loved the LORD. And he was very human. You know, he had his own trials, tribulations, and God always rescued him and was faithful to him. And I love David’s transparency to just let it all hang out.
JS: He’s incredibly honest.
EP: Oh, painfully honest! Embarassingly so, even.
EP: And I think that what people need to know — that there’s no safer more secure place they will ever find than in the presence of the LORD. They can completely unveil themselves. And I call it getting ’emotionally naked’. Because truly — that’s what we’re doing. We are literally just becoming naked before the LORD. And just saying, “Here I am”.
And going back to that analogy of the bride on her wedding night — people aren’t used to doing that. It’s a very uncomfortable thing when you’ve never been with someone before, and you don’t know what to anticipate. Getting naked in front of someone is very vulnerable. And when you come, and allowing someone to have that intimacy with you, and um, you know, when you think about being a bride, the dominant one in the relationship is, of course, the husband. And so you’re positioning yourself to be very vulnerable. And it’s — you have no idea what to expect. The thing that I know with the LORD is that His gentleness, His tenderness, His compassion, and the way He often responds to even my most angry outbursts, and my times when I am just exasperated. I mean, I’m sure you can relate. You’ve reached a point where you’ve crossed your threshold! I mean, you’re just — and the LORD — I have never ever found Him to be punishing me or reprimanding me for feeling those things.
JS: That’s true. I can agree with that testimony, too.
EP: Even in the ugliest emotions! He has always said — He’s always validated (I want to say validated, but even more than that) — He has shown me, “Yes, Erin, I understand. And this is why you feel this way. This is what’s really happening inside of you.” And when He unveils what’s really going on, He’s able to do that surgery. I’m able to come into position. And I am just so broken before Him, and you know what it does, is it reveals to us, when He responds that way, that He’s trustworthy with even our most intimate, painful, and exasperating emotions. Wow… It’s like, it clicks with us. It’s like, wow — He gets it — and He’s God! I mean, it’s like, He really understands. It’s just almost, shocking.
JS: I so relate to what you’re saying. And I just want to add one thought, which is totally tracking with what you’re saying, which is: He’s asking for honesty – not perfection of behavior.
EP: Exactly, exactly.
JS: It’s like all those raw things we scream at Him: Why couldn’t You have fixed this? Why couldn’t You have saved her? Why couldn’t You have healed my child? These desperate, loud voice screaming, crying hysterical things, which I’ve been through, too – He feels our pain, and He loves our honesty. The only thing He cannot handle – He can handle our anger, He can handle – even if we think He’s betrayed us – even if we yell that at Him – He can handle that fine. The only thing He can’t handle is hypocrisy. But our honesty – you’re right. He’s not validating, like, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re furious at Me.” He’s not validating it in that sense. He’s saying, “I’m the Creator. I’m the One who gave you these emotions. All emotions have a source, and I’ll take you back to the source that’s created this frustration, this agony, this rejection, this exasperation – I’ll take you back to what really is triggering it, and then we can work on the source together. Will you let Me heal you?” And that’s what I love about Him, and I can testify just what you were saying is that, I’ve had those meltdowns many times. And as long as I’m honest, He’s so kind. He’s so kind. He’ll let me have my say and let me put the puddle of tears on my floor, ya know, and need ten million Kleenexes to wipe it up. He’ll let me do that. But then, you know, like the kindergarten teacher who says, “Now blow your nose, and sit on my lap, and I’m gonna make you some cocoa and we’re gonna talk about what happened on the playground.”
EP: (laughs) Right.
JS: And He’s such a good Daddy.
EP: He is.
JS: And such a good Husband. I didn’t want to interrupt you, I’m sorry. But I was bursting with what you were saying!
EP: (laughing) Those are beautiful pictures. And you know, Jill, it’s so funny you say that because I’ve literally had Him do that with me.
JS: Me, too! That’s why I said it! (laughs)
EP: (laughs) He will take me into the bathtub, and He’ll say, “Now Erin, you just need to soak awhile. Just light your candle.” He’ll take you to what I call, “beside the still waters”. He’ll take you to the “green pastures”. He will do things to bring you physical comfort that will literally soothe you to the point that He can get in there, so He can do the work He needs to do. Because just like sheep, He knows what agitates us, and that we cannot rest if we’ve got the flies in our nose, and if we’ve got the wolf out there. He knows when to carry us in His arms and put us down beside the still water in the green grass where we are alone with Him. He will provide that environment, so we can get with Him.
JS: It is true. In the spirit realm He absolutely does that. I even had an experience – I won’t share it right now, but He literally picked me up from a place of incredible agitation, and He literally picked me up and set me down on a green pasture next to still water in the spirit realm – the exact – He actually did that. And all my agitation disappeared in one split second.
EP: Wow, that’s beautiful, Jill.
JS: Yeah, so is what you shared, too. I really relate. And if people could know Him that way, Erin. If… we wouldn’t have normal church the way it is, which is sometimes so superficial. And people go home without having received true food, and true drink.
EP: I agree.
And this is where Jill and I switch gears…
Stay tuned next Wednesday for PART II of my interview and discussion with Jill Shannon, when we hit the hard topics
of the Church’s condition, deception, and the awakening of Israel to her Messiah!
Don’t miss it next week on Wednesday, August 24th!
CLICK TO GET JILL’S BOOK ON KINDLE!
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WHEN INTIMACY MEETS REVELATION, YOUR PRIORITIES CHANGE AND YOUR PURPOSE AND DESTINY BECOME CLEAR!
Jill Shannon, a Spirit-filled Jewish believer, came to know the saving power of the Lord Yeshua, the Messiah. She later experienced life in Israel for seven years with her husband and three children. After moving back to the States, Jill learned at the feet of the Lord—during “Coffee Talks” with Him—how to cultivate personal intimacy with God, an astonishing reality that is available to everyone.
“The purpose of our life is intimacy with God. It is out of this intimacy that all ministry must originate. Coffee Talks With Messiah will accelerate your intimacy with God as well as allow you to discern the counterfeit from the authentic.” —Sid Roth, President, Messianic Vision
“…Everything you wrote about is truly from Him…. Thank you so much for your awesome testimony. God’s favor is continually on you.” —Choo Thomas, author of the best-selling, Heaven Is So Real
“This book contains truths, life experiences, and biblical principles that will bring Christ-like transformation to those who receive and believe them.” —Dr. Bill Hamon, Bishop of Christian International Ministries Network
JILL SHANNON is a Messianic Jewish Bible teacher, author, and singer/songwriter. Growing up in a Reform Jewish home, she accepted the Lord in 1973. In the 1980s, Jill and her husband immigrated to Israel and started their family. Jill speaks and writes about the Feasts of the Lord, the preparation of the Bride of Yeshua for His return, intimacy with the Lord, holiness, and a prophetic understanding of Israel and the Church in the last days. She has written 5 books and recorded 9 worship CDs. Jill has three grown children and two grandsons. She lives in Israel with her husband and continues to travel for ministry.