In a prophetic delivery that spoke to the core of personal and national existence in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Bishop of Mount Tabor Full Gospel Baptist Church, Bishop Neil C. Ellis, delivered a charge at a recent convention.
His delivery came during a time when many people in the Bahamas are frustrated at the crime and unemployment situation, the lack of wealth sharing and the divergence from Bahamianization.
Bishop Ellis’ spoke from the book of Joshua, likening the people of the Bahamas to the children of Israel. He encouraged those gathered to understand that a “shout” or celebration would have to take place before the people’s blessing is manifested and before they are elevated to a higher calling.
He called for them to be courageous: “The book of Joshua is primarily written for and directed towards people who are determined to be courageous. It is very difficult for jelly-backed people to like the book of Joshua. It is difficult for people who are not progressive- minded to read and study the book of Joshua and walk away with the kind of attitude that ‘I can make it happen’. This book of Joshua was written to demonstrate that if you have the faith to believe, God will give you the will to acheive.”
His address hinted that the people should consider the similarities between their own national story and that of the Israelites. His undertones dealt with the leadership of the country, solutions for personal achievement, and he also gave a specific prophecy – that there would be a major door opening before the end of 2011.
He started this journey of the mind for the congregation by starting out with Joshua chapter one. There is the death of Moses and the appointment of Joshua by God to continue the journey of leading the children of Israel over the Jordan and into the land of Canaan, so that they could possess the promised land.
“God never allows you to possess your promised land without strong and determined leadership,” said Bishop Ellis.
In chapter two, Joshua sends out spies to go and view the land with special emphasis on Jericho.
In chapter three the children of Israel are crossing over Jordan by way of a miraculous move of God.
In chapter four, the children of Israel completely cross over and Joshua lead the way. They set up 12 stones as a memorial of witnessing the miraculous power of God in their lives, he said.
In chapter five, in the final verses, Bishop Ellis said we see manna which had been provided for them from God six days a week for forty years had stopped coming; and God’s promise of provision had taken on a new form.
“We see Joshua having a private encounter with somebody from the heavenlies,” said Bishop Ellis. “He discovered during that encounter that there was another commander-in-chief, mightier than those he had seen before, who stood ready to lead the nation into conquest.”
He went on to Joshua chapter six, calling it an amazing piece of scripture. Verse one begins with a powerful word - “now”. “Our time is now!” Bishop Ellis exclaimed. “This is our time to make our move! We cannot as a people continue procrastinating. There must be the spirit of determination for the elimination of procrastination. Our time is now!”
“There is nothing more powerful than right now. This is all u have. This is all you’ve been promised. You can’t live your life for tomorrow. All you have is now! The God we serve is always a God on the move. That’s why I can’t stand lazy people. Lord, deliver me from people who have nothing to work toward or look forward to.”
“He is the God of right now - a very present help in the time of trouble. Obstacles are not designed to penetrate against you forever. So whenever God wants to do something in the spiritual, he gives you a picture in the natural,” he said.
“Chapter six begins with the word, ‘now’. All of creation is groaning. The Earth is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. You have to recognize the theological affirmation and the spiritual implication of the scripture when one words stands in the middle of the present tense and the past tense. Now Jericho was… (right now). As soon as I was finished blinking, Jericho was!”
“Whatever is giving you a problem now will very shortly be your past tense,” Bishop Ellis told those gathered. “Something is getting ready to change. It’s not gonna be this way much longer. Whatever you are dealing with, struggling with, it ain’t gonnna be this way much longer!”
“Now, Jericho was securely shut up. One of the greatest challenges for many people, perhaps, is that too many doors have been shut to them. And God sent me here to say to you – I am getting ready to open up for you a major door.”
He focused on the word ‘major’.
“Sit on this prophetic word,” he charged. “I want the devils, the demons, your detractors, your enemies to hear it… God is about to open up a major door for you and me. Position yourself. This is not time to be sleeping, slacking, crazy; don’t be up and down and all around. Position yourself! Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel. None went out and none went in.”
And the Lord said to Joshua, “See!”
“In these dark, dismal difficult days, what can you see?” “Pastors, Bishops, Overseers, Preachers, believers… what do you see? Because what you see in your mind, you will eventually experience in time. But God will never let you win what you have not yet seen. You will always see your victory before you win your victory. What do you see? What’s your personal outlook for your life for your family, for your marriage, your ministry, your career in 2017? What would you see? What do you see for 2012? Because you see your biggest problem is not your lack of funds. Your biggest problem is your eyes. Because you see, the greatest enemy of your vision is eyesight. Vision is a picture of something that has yet to come into existence, and if you focus in on what you can see with your eyes, it will cancel out what you could see in the spirit because we walk by faith, not by sight. You have got to be able to see for your ministry, your career, your children - ten years down the road, and then pronounce it on them. You have got to be able to see for your country and find ways and strategies to make it come to pass. You have got to be able to see the future before you get there and you can’t procrastinate because any minute, what now is, will be ‘was’.”
“That’s why God never was ‘was’. God always was ‘is’. He never shall be ‘shall be’; he always shall be ‘is’. God is a ‘right now’ God and he is so much God, that while you are in His house worshipping Him, He could be right here blessing you and in your house fixing things. He just ‘is’ like that!”
“See! He says I have given Jericho into your hands and the fight hasn’t even started yet. He says see! What you are getting ready to fight for I have already given it to you. This fight is on the procedural operation. This is the modus operandi for the manifestation of what I have already put in your hand. Don’t sweat it, just follow the instructions. Before you even get up to fight, know that it is already in your hands… with benefits. I have already given you Jericho, its kings and its mighty men of valor. I have not just given you the city, I have given you authority for the city and influence in the city.”
But you have to see this. The lord said to Joshua, ‘I have given Jericho into your hands its king and the mighty men of valor. In verse two, God gave the revelation to Joshua and in verse three and four, God tells him how to get it.
“You shall march,” said Bishop Ellis, quoting from the book of Joshua.
“See, this marching thing isn’t new! It’s biblical. You shall march all around the city, you shall go all around once for six days and then go around seven times on the seventh day. That wasn’t the challenge. The challenge was do it in silence. See, God will shut you up for a period to stop you from talking foolishness. You could imagine what the people on the sidelines were saying, the names they were being called and if God hadn’t warned them to shut up, they would have allowed people on the sidelines to distract them.”
“Herein lies the problem for many of the Saints. They are not focused. Anybody could come up with anything and sidetrack you. You are not focused, you know why, because you are not clear on what you are seeing. And when you don’t know where you are going anybody will come and give you directions. And when you don’t know clearly where you are going, you never know when you arrive.”
Verse five: “It shall come to pass when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn and the sound of the trumpet that all the people shall shout.”
Bishop Ellis said there has to be a co-operate celebration for any kind of individual manifestation. “All of us have to share in this. All the people have to celebrate simultaneously. All of us have to get together if we will see the manifestation of all God has in store for us.”
“Before this year is over, you will have something to celebrate and shout about; all of us,” he prophesied.
“Some people connected to us will celebrate with us and for us. Can you hear it? Can you believe it? Can you receive it?”
“I want you to notice something here - all the people shall shout with a great shout. What he is saying to us is there has to be a shift in your mindset. In order for your wall to fall, you have to shout before it falls. Your shout is going to bring the wall down. I know you have been accustomed to having a celebration after manifestation. You have to shift!”
“Bahamar was talking about their project before they had the funding. Matter of fact, Bahamar went ahead and bought out Nassau Beach, the Mariott and the Sheraton before they had the funding for the expansion. That’s their own way of shouting on the way to the bank. You can’t wait! Anybody in here needs a wall to fall, shout!”
“I know my wall is getting ready to fall but I have a praise and I gatta let it out! I see walls are tumbling! I gat a wall that gat to come down; but my praise will bring down my wall. All the people shall shout. All the walls shall fall.”
“Celebration, manifestation, elevation,” he continued. “You are not shouting just to make noise, you are shouting because you have seen the mountaintop!”
“Job said, ‘in all the days of my appointed time I am gonna wait until my change comes’; Joseph said, ‘you meant it for evil but God meant it for good; David said, ‘the Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes came up against me to eat up my flesh they stumbled and they fell. Though an host shall encamp against me, of this shall I be confident. One thing that I desire of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord’.”
“I don’t know how you feel about it, but I feel some walls are getting ready to come down… prejudices, bigotry, poverty!”
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them all. I will never leave you nor forsake you, though you walk in the midst of trouble, I will revive you. Your wall is coming down! Shout to God with a voice of triumph. Sing unto the Lord a new song. This is the day that the Lord has made. I shall rejoice!”
“So lift up your heads oh, ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your head oh, ye gates, and be ye lifted up. The Lord of Hosts, wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, bridge over troubled water, doctor to the sick! God by himself - north and south, there is no one like Him.”
In conclusion Bishop Ellis said: “Every Prime Minister has to bow, every President, every King have to bow to the mighty presence of God.”
He reminded them that his prophecy is that God will give them ‘something to shout about’ before the end of 2011. All of our walls have to come down and all of us will get elevation.
“Tell your neighbor, ‘I don’t mind if yours come down first, I will be right here to help you celebrate’!”