CITIES OF REFUGE

Shelly Mathis
mrsmathis@qwest.net

 

 

Joshua 20:1, 7-8

THREE LEVELS DISCOVERED IN THE NAMES:  (in Spirit-directed order… not as listed in Joshua)

  1. Cities of Refuge:  The definitions of the Israelites’ cities of refuge reveal to us the foundational requirements for what the end-time cities of refuge will be built upon.  Not one “stone” in the foundation will be left out!  Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets (spiritual fathers)
  2. Region/2nd City Name/2nd Definition:  These definitions will reveal (in part) how the cities of refuge will come together and their characteristics .  Cities of Refuge/Places of Birthing
  3. Tribe:  The definitions of the tribes unveils what is to take place within the cities of refuge; in other words – their purpose.  Sons of Glory/Young Lions

 

Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets:

1. Golan: “their captivity, their rejoicing”

         “Many of you are ending an old chapter in your lives which is spiritually similar to the end of Babylonian captivity when I called My people back to Jerusalem.  So, now I am calling you into a new phase of existence and activity.  This new era will require your increased sensitivity to My Spirit and your obedience to My leading.  For, I have called you forth out of old places of bondage, confusion and compromise into new light and freedom, but this new place of freedom will require that you leave behind those places of darkness that you took comfort in.  In the coming days you will be challenged in new ways and have many new opportunities to accomplish My will, but any of those old places of compromise will become anchors that will restrict your freedom of movement and obedience if you don’t deal with them now.”

Jeremiah 51:6 ~ “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life!  Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; He shall recompense her.”

         “their captivity” – come out of the religious system of today

          Ephesians 2:19-22 ~ “their rejoicing”

 

2. Ramoth: “heights”

         “You have been called to this place, this high place.  The Lord God of Israel declares that this is His rock, the high place…”

          Micah 4:1-2 ~ come out of Babylon and go UP! To the mountain of the Lord

 

3. Shechem: “back, shoulder”

         “You shall have your place in order under government, for there is one Lion and He is glorious.”

          Isaiah 9:6-7 ~ government of the church will truly come under Christ – not man’s agenda, religion, etc.

Ephesians 4:11-16 ~ God will establish the 5-fold ministry (spiritual fathers) to equip the Body with pure doctrine that the Body can do the work of the ministry (thus, being a whole Body)

 

4. Kedesh: “holy place”

         “Behold, the light and the power and the glory of God shall descend and shall surround you and shall come upon you, and an intensity you have never known before shall rest upon you, and it shall be as though there is no night again.”

         “For this [Kremmling] truly is a gate, but it is a gate of resource; it is a city of refuge unto those who are called.”

          Isaiah 60:1-3 ~ glory descends on holiness

Isaiah 62:12 ~ “And they shall call them The Holy People [in a holy place], the Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.”

         God’s glory in these cities (regions) will create the atmosphere of a “holy place”

 

5. Bezer: “gold ore”

         “I tell you that you are embarking on opportunities for increase, but not for the purpose of personal, selfish prosperity.  Haven’t I said, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you’?  So, it is with increase.  Those who seek Me first will increase for the purpose of proclaiming My kingdom.”

Deuteronomy 8:18 ~ “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

         God empowers us to obtain wealth to establish His covenant and purposes

Isaiah 23:17-18 ~ the wealth of the nations will come to establish these cities so they are equipped to minister to the Body and the lost

 

6. Kirjath Arba: “city of fourth”

         “I heard in my spirit Eli Melek, which means my God and my King!  I had a vision of four angels coming from four corners of the earth with banners… ribbons.  I saw a pole or standard planted where our conference center site is, and the angels attached the ribbons: NW – blue – Priest – Man – Pastor/Teacher.  NE – red – blood, Savior – Ox – Apostle.  SW – gold – glory, Christ – Eagle – Prophet.  SE – purple – royalty, King – Lion – Evangelist.  The standard (signal) is a rallying place.” 

Isaiah 11:9-12 ~ the glory of the fullness of Christ in His cities of refuge will serve as a banner to rally the remnant together

 

Summary:

1.        Their Captivity/Their Rejoicing: The Church has been building in the incorrect order over the past centuries.  Due to this lack of order, the Church has experienced a type of Babylonian captivity, waiting for God to build His temple in the proper fashion.  God is now bringing forth His order to the church.  He is laying the foundation of the apostles and prophets in this time.  We are indeed embarking on a new era of the church – one that has never been seen before, nor will be seen again – because we will experience both the former and the latter rain together.  The requirement for entering this new phase of existence in the spirit realm is leaving behind ALL bondage and idolatry, including religious captivity to Mystery Babylon.  To those willing to come forth, God will grant them the spirit of liberty and cause their spiritual seed to prosper and bear fruit.

 

2.        Heights: God will take those who abandon the things of old to the heights of His Holy Mountain where He rules with all authority.  Those who come up and yield to the Spirit of God will be changed into a new man.  The spirit of prophecy and worship flows freely from this mountain, raising the people into the heights of the spirit realm… into the very presence of God.  It is here that He will reveal His true doctrine and impart it to the fathers – the apostles and prophets – that they might carry it to the rest of the Body.

 

3.        Back, Shoulder: God will establish this foundation of the apostles and prophets by bringing them into true doctrine and apostolic order.  Those appointed by God will have their place in order under God’s government and be responsible to govern the body of Christ, training them up into the fullness of Jesus Christ.  God is zealous to bring His Church out from under man’s traditions and rules into divine order - His rule and authority.  This will be accomplished to establish unity of the true Body of Christ.

 

4.        Holy Place: Those who submit to God’s divine and perfect doctrine, thus forsaking Mystery Babylon, will abide in His holiness and their locations will be established by the standard and purity of Jesus Christ.  They will be Holy Places, not because men set them apart for their purpose, but because God Almighty has decreed it and come down in their midst with the cloud of His glory and power.  These “Holy Places” will belong to Him for His purposes.  In that pure environment, the glory of God will be manifest in extreme liberty and intensity.  The spiritual fathers placed in authority there are responsible to prepare the way for the people to come.  By God’s leading they will prepare the paths, open the gates, and proclaim the Good News to the lost and the weary… equipping the disciples of Christ… training up the spiritual children in the way that they should go.

 

5.        Gold Ore: God will fulfill His promises and pour out unlimited supply and provision to the faithful stewards and servants within these Holy Places.  It will be for the purpose of equipping the disciples of Jesus Christ who come to receive the impartation of the anointing within these houses.  They will then leave there equipped to spread the glory in their spheres of ministry and influence.

 

6.        City of Fourth: God is doing this foundational work of apostolic order and divine government throughout the entire world.  The ministry of Jesus Christ will manifest in fullness and perfect order; He will be a whole man, the Head ruling the Body.  These Holy Places, or Cities of Refuge, will be the rallying points for the body of Christ, and the people will be sent out as laborers of the harvest to influence and possess the four corners of the earth.

 

 

Cities of Refuge… Places of Birthing:

1. Hebron: “association”

         “Those in covenant with you shall flourish as you.” 

2 Samuel 1:1-4; 2:1-4a, 11 ~ Those in covenant with the Lord will be united by His Spirit.  As Jesus is “promoted” to His rightful position of authority over the Church, those in covenant with Him will flourish as well.

 

2. Galilee: “circuit, district”

          “He will spread you and extend you and multiply you.”   Associations

         “…Lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.  I am planting your feet in a broader place.  Make room in your heart for expansion…  The key word is expansion.”  Boundary lines

         “…Your spiritual boundaries have been pushed back or expanded…”  Boundary lines

Circuit:  a boundary line; the regular journey through a district of a person in his work; a chain or association; the path or line of an electric current

District:  a division of a state, city, etc. made for a specific purpose; a region

          Isaiah 54:2-3 ~ possessing the land for God’s purposes

 

3. Bezer: “remote fortress”

         “The Lord God of Israel declares that this is His rock, the high place, the mountain fortress established on His word, His mighty power.”

Isaiah 33:14-16 ~ Those who meet the standard of holiness can take refuge in these cities for safety from the coming judgment on the world.

 

4. Gilead: “rocky region”

         “Today, I could see the rampart of rock again, and the Lord spoke this to me concerning you: Just as the rampart you see in the natural, so am I establishing a rampart in the spiritual that will touch nations concerning My purposes and My plans.” 

Rampart: an embankment of earth that is topped by a wall for screening troops from enemy fire; the purpose is to defend a fort (the safety/protection of a “remote fortress”)

          Matthew 16:18-19 ~ our “rampart” is the rock of revelation that we have authority over the devil

          Matthew 7:24-27

         When we are hewn from the ROCK, Jesus Christ, we become rocks ourselves (little rocks).  The cities of refuge will be cities of Christ-like rocks (a rocky region) for the purpose of establishing His standard.

 

5. Bashan: “fruitful”

         “…the Lord brings fulfillment of the prophetic word for the land to become fruitful.”  

         “I say, your seed shall prosper and the vine shall give its fruit and the ground shall give her increase and the heavens shall give their dew.”

          Ezekiel 36:33-38 ~ every aspect of our lives and the cities of refuge will be fruitful!

 

Summary:

1.        Association: God will divinely unite those who yield to the process of leaving Mystery Babylon and submitting to God’s divine doctrine.  He is even now creating these associations and bringing the hearts that are after His own heart into covenant relationship.

 

2.        Circuit, District: A chain of associations will link these Cities of Refuge together, united by the electrical current of the Holy Spirit.  Districts will be created within the associations and will be assigned specific objectives, utilizing their areas of influence and anointing.  Communications of various means will unite the cities in purpose and provision.  God is establishing unity among the remnant; this will release Him to shower down His glory and might.  God’s vision is so large, that His word to us here is to expand not only our vision, but our spiritual territory as well.   His purpose is more grand, His provision more abundant, His vision more extensive than we have ever known.  The Body of Christ will indeed be united.

 

3.        Remote Fortress: The “Cities of Refuge” will be isolated, hidden away from the purposes of both man and the devil.  We will not be able to recognize these cities by our own natural reasoning, but by the Spirit.  The Spirit of God will test the hearts of those who come to these cities.  The remnant will be recognized by the same Spirit that abides within them; but the “foreigner” will be blinded by their own fleshly reasoning and will not be able to stay.  God will separate the spiritual from the natural.

 

4.        Rocky Region: The “Cities of Refuge” will be grounded and built on the Solid Rock, Jesus Christ.  The gates of hell and attacks of the enemy will not prevail against them; their coming forth will not be aborted, nor will they be torn down once they are established.  All power and authority will be given to the remnant, and the signs, wonders, and miracles that come forth will touch the nations!  The words of the spiritual fathers and sons stationed within the cities will be a double-edged sword: bringing healing balm to those who embrace “The Rock” and an offense (or judgment) to those who do not.

 

5.        Fruitful: These “Cities of Refuge” will also be places of birthing.  They will be like the secret places where mothers seek to bring forth their young… hidden away from sight… a place that is secluded and safe.  Who will the spiritual fathers birth?  The Sons of Glory, the Young Lions.  There, they will be brought up in the true doctrine of the Lord Jesus and endued with power from on high.  These will be true disciples with pure hearts, dedicated as bondservants of the Lord.  The fathers will train them up and send them out to become the powerful manifestation of God to the whole earth… before the end comes.

 

 

Sons of Glory… Young Lions:

1. Reuben: “behold a son”

         “Regarding Kremmling… A spiritual Petra.  A womb for birthing the true church.  A time of birthing.”

Micah 4:10a ~ “Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs…”

         What will the spiritual fathers labor to bring forth?  Spiritual Sons!

1 Corinthians 4:15-16 ~ spiritual fathers (not instructors) bring forth spiritual children

          Malachi 4:5-6

 

2. Naphtali: “wrestling”

         “I am removing forces that have hindered you in the work that I have called you to do…  Now is the time, My precious people, that you must press on and break through.  Rise up with renewed faith and vision, and take the land!”

Joel 3:9-17 ~ Sons of glory are Young Lions, God’s warriors and mighty men, who wrestle against Satan to loose the harvest

 

3. Gad: “troop”

         “…A mighty breakthrough of the equipping of the army and the release of the army that is about to break out.”  

          Joel 2:2b, 7-11 ~ the army is equipped through revelation of weapons of war (i.e. Bill’s latest series on angels)

 

4. Judah: “praise”

         “You shall have a new song.  Your songs will be songs of deliverance that will break bonds, set captives free, bring sight to the blind, bring hearing to the deaf.  You will help the lame walk…”

          Psalm 149:5-9 ~ weapons of war: Sword (prophetic/revelation word; new song; angels; etc.)

 

5. Ephraim: “doubly-fruitful”

Zechariah 9:11-17 ~ God will give double-portion anointing to the sons (like Elisha), filling them with 3rd Day anointing and power to work the works of God and destroy the enemy

 

6. Manasseh: “causing to forget”

         “Do not proceed with caution, but throw caution to the wind and let My wind carry you as you leave the safety of old places of familiarity.  Behold, I am doing a new thing and releasing My people to go forth and labor in the fields.  Fear not: I am with you.”

          Philippians 3:13-14 ~ We all must forget the old in order to lay hold of the new.

 

Summary:

1.        Behold a Son: From the places of birthing, the spiritual father will bring forth spiritual sons.  These are the Sons of Glory and Young Lions that the Spirit of God has spoken of.

 

2.        Wrestling: These who are birthed will be the Elishas of this day, manifesting the power of God in all authority and boldness, taking the Kingdom of Heaven by force.  They will conquer the land that is before them, wrestling with the enemy who holds the harvest captive.  Not only will they loose the captives, but they will also confront the powers of the unholy Mystery Babylon, tearing down their false images of worship and exposing the deception of the enemy.  Theirs will be a violent faith and no weapon formed against them shall prosper, as they continue to yield to the True God and worship Him alone.

 

3.        Troop: These soldiers will be trained for all manner of spiritual warfare, bearing the countenance of the Lion of Judah – their Commander in Chief.  Joined as a mighty force by the Spirit of God, they will possess and conquer. 

 

4.        Praise: One of the most powerful weapons (or keys) given to these Young Lions will be the weapon of praise… for in the fullness of time, the “new sound” will be a two-edged sword in the hands of these warriors.  At the sound of God’s high praises, demons will flee, the deaf will hear, and the blind will see.  The anointing of God will be loosed in praise and worship as never seen before in the history of the Church.  It will be in the Spirit of Liberty, Intimacy and Power.

 

5.        Doubly-Fruitful: It is in these times that the double portion of Elijah shall rest upon these spiritual sons; they will operate in the anointing of their fathers and in the anointing given to them by God.  It will be a double-edged sword, twice the power that has ever been manifested by the Church.  It will be the manifestation of the former and the latter rain operating as one.  These sons shall experience fruitfulness in all areas – spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially.

 

6.        Causing to Forget: The fathers and sons will indeed experience “birth pangs” in bringing the sons of glory forth; however, the receiving of them will be so glorious, that the fathers will rejoice in the captivity they endured that enabled them (through process) to bring these young lions forth.  Indeed, there will be great rejoicing!

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