Tag Archives: Jehovah Sabaoth

M10F Lord of hosts is Assembling His Military Bride

The military Bride is a great host performing in partnership with Jesus Christ here on earth, as well as when we get to heaven

God’s character name of Jehovah-Sabaoth [The Lord of hosts] demonstrates that His love has a soft side and a hard side—He woos and romances His Military Bride as opposed to being Supreme Commander of the universe.

In the book, Two Sides of Love, John Trent and Gary Smalley express the importance of understanding and creating a healthy balance between love’s hard and soft sides in our relationships. This chapter examines the more hard side of our companionship with the Lord of hosts—the military, yet loving, side of this amazing partnership and what it takes to arrive at the “performing stage” of maturity.

The Lord of hosts is assembling His military Bride

The Hebrew word tsâbâ’ (Sabaoth) for ‘host’ is derived from a verbal root which means to amass (an army or servants), to assemble, to muster (soldiers, 11 Kings 25:19; Jer. 52:25), to collect, to fight, to perform, to go forth to war, to wage war (Num. 31:7: Isa. 29:7, 8; 31:4. Zech. 14:12) to do military service.[1] The Supreme Commander has one military bride of many individuals divided by denominational walls. Until now, she has only been practicing her role in small denominational groups, but she will soon be giving the performance of her lifetime.

We will look at the big picture of how unity can be attained in order to get to this performing stage, what the military bride looks like at performing stage and how the walls between groups can come down—where they had not already done so.

What Does this Military Bride Look Like?

Lord of Hosts - what does the military bride look like? Forming, Norming, Storming and Performing Stages

 

The Bride is One Team Performing in Unity

One day, the Lord of hosts showed me what the military bride looked like when the walls come down. It happened on a clear, beautiful fall day in October, 1994. I had just finished taking a teamwork class taught by my husband Jim. He used the analogy of geese in flight to teach teamwork dynamics. I also learned that eagles are solitary, self-sufficient and strong, but that scientists discovered that geese have a 71% greater flying range than eagles. Why is this?

  • To fly from north to south and back again, geese need each other. Each goose depends upon the upward gust of air from the bird ahead to give his wings a push. The wings of the goose behind grab the air that causes another upward lift for the next bird behind.
  • The head goose will fall behind and take his place at the rear, while the next in line will apply his strength to take the lead.
  • Their “V” formation facilitates communication and allows the birds to maintain visual contact with each other while energy efficiency is doubled.
  • The honking of the geese encourages the lead goose that they are right behind him.
  • When one goose falls ill and out of line, two others stop their forward progress to stay with him until he is well again. PLUS, geese mate for life!

military bride geese

I was driving home to Arkansas City, Kansas, in my van filled with books from a day of servicing racks in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Halfway between Pawhuska and Ponca City, in the beautiful, rolling flint hills, suddenly, just outside my left driver’s window, I saw one lone V of about five geese flying a couple feet from me. I immediately pulled to the side of the road so I could watch. I hoped to see the head goose fall to the rear while another took his lead. My heart was pounding hard—another reason I knew it was the Holy Spirit getting my attention.

By the time I had stopped, the one group had crossed over to the right and met up with a large flock of geese in mid-air. None were in formation and going nowhere because they were flying in all directions. The outward perimeter of the hundred or so geese resembled the shape of a large coffee can in the sky. As they were joining together they bumped into each other, each squawking in loud protest. I repeated out loud what was happening so I could hear my own voice and hopefully remember what I saw.

Finally, it was as though each goose figured out which direction the other was going and one by one it started flying in the same direction. As long as the geese were struggling to fly in different directions and bumping into each other, the complete cylindrical group was at a standstill. Slowly, very slowly, one long continuous skein of geese began to form as one goose after another spiraled straight into the atmosphere—following a goose who took off as leader.

Just when I thought the geese would leave my range of vision, they leveled out, group after group falling into ranks—in one huge “V” with several, perfectly arranged, smaller v’s within—of about seven in each. It was the most amazing and beautiful sight I had ever seen!

I thought, they should be able to go a long way like this. But, so very soon they fell out of rank. From the opposite direction, a new flock of geese flew into view. I could not hear them, but I could see them squawking and honking at each other, just as though they knew each other.

Suddenly, both groups turned in unison and flew directly into the sun. At that moment, cars stopped to see what I was looking at, but unfortunately, the other drivers had missed it, and there was no way I could tell them what had just happened.

Blinded by the sun and filled with an incredible joy, I jumped into my van and took off. My thoughts went immediately to the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. When the bridegroom arrived at midnight it was too late for the five foolish ones to buy oil for their lamps. Like the ones driving by, they had missed the opportunity of their lifetimes to go to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. It was then I knew what Jesus meant when He said, “Behold, I come quickly” (Rev. 3:11; appears six times in KJV Revelation).

Later, I discovered the verse that says, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief” (1 Thess. 5:4). Jesus tells us that two men will be in the field; one taken and the other left; two women will be grinding; one taken the other left. (see Matt. 24:40-41).

I knew I had just witnessed the Rapture where we will meet our loved ones, who have already died, in the air and then we will all turn to see Jesus face to face in the air:

We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him [the second group of geese]. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive, and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.—1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (emphasis mine)

military bride at rapture

The Military Bride  Must Move Forward in the Four Stages of Teamwork

While witnessing this phenomenon, I was thinking about the four stages of teamwork that I had just learned in that class and how they relate to the Church and denominations. The purpose of the geese was to find a way all individual birds could rise high enough in the air to gain altitude needed to fly to their next landing place. For that to happen, they had to find unity by learning how to work together as one whole. The walls between them had to come down.

The stages of team dynamics can help us understand how this can happen if we have unity as our goal. Members have to learn how to work out personal differences, find strengths on which to build, balance commitments to the goal against demands of everyday jobs, and learn how to improve processes. In contrast, a team that fails to build relationships among its members will waste time on struggles for control and endless discussions that lead nowhere.

As a team matures, it will go through fairly predictable stages. As the Church sees herself as the Bride of Christ, and that Christ can only do His work through a mature bride, she will be willing to persevere through these four stages to her military hard side–through forming, storming, norming and performing.

Stage 1: Forming stage of the military Bride

This is the stage of transitioning from individual to group status, and of testing the leader’s guidance both formally and informally.

Forming includes feelings of excitement, anticipation, optimism, and pride in being chosen for the team; initial, tentative attachment to the team, suspicion, fear, and anxiety about the job ahead. The analogy of an orchestra helps to picture these stages. In this forming stage, there is great excitement in being chosen for the “performance.”

So much is going on to distract members’ attention in the beginning, the group accomplishes little. Most discussions or practices lead nowhere. It is difficult to identify relevant problems. This is normal, The most successful team spends more time in this stage which allows them to get to know each other better.

Stage 2: Storming  stage of the military Bride

This is the most difficult stage. The task seems more different and difficult than imagined; persons become testy, blameful and overzealous. Members argue about just what actions to take, and they become impatient about the lack of progress. They are inexperienced and try to rely solely on their own personal experience, resisting any need to rely on other member’s wisdom and/or experience.

The feelings of those in the storming stage include resistance to the task because it is different from approaches used in the past. Fluctuations arise in attitude about the group’s chances of success. They may argue even when they agree on the main issue, become defensive and compete, choose sides, have unrealistic expectations with disunity, tension and jealousy.

All the above leaves little energy for progression, but individuals are beginning to understand each other, just as the geese gained an understanding of each other and started flying in the same direction.

Our leader as the Lord of hosts, our Supreme Commander, can also be seen as the head conductor of an orchestra. This is a stage of starts and stops, that He initiates, as we practice for our big performance—a most frustrating experience. Just as it seems the music will flow uninterrupted, it happens again. Over and over, the same piece of music is practiced very slowly in order to get it just right. Practice is all a necessary part of the end product— the big picture.

Military bride of geese going no where
Military bride going no where. Storming and Norming stages.

Stage 3: Norming

Finally, team members come to accept each other’s individuality and their roles in the team. They are learning to work together. Emotional conflict reduces to a cooperative approach. In other words, the team realizes they just might make it.

A new ability arises when each person sees where their contribution fits. There is a relief that everything is going to work out. Attempts are made to avoid conflict. There is a sharing of personal problems and trust is strengthened. All have a common spirit and goal.

Team members are working out their differences and finally there is more time and energy to make significant progress. The task at hand becomes worth the time and effort it will take to be successful.

Members of an orchestra meet in small group settings according to instrument, or gifting, and help each other with the hard parts. Finally, when all members come together they make the most amazing music.

The Lord of hosts showed me what the military bride looked like when the walls come down. It happened on a clear, beautiful fall day in October, 1994. Click through to the video so I can tell you in person

Stage 4: Performing stage of the military Bride

In order to perform, the mature team has developed relationships and expectations of each other. They have discovered each others strengths and weaknesses, have accepted them and learned what their role is—where their seat is in the grand orchestra and who their neighbor is. They are playing in concert and giving a grand performance.

The team elicits these behaviors: constructive self-change, the ability to prevent or work through group problems and a close love and attachment to each other. The group is now one cohesive unit. One can tell when this stage is reached because a lot of work is accomplished. Progress is made. People want to be a part of this group and volunteer to fill the empty chairs.

 

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[1] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1767.

Lord of Hosts is assembling His Military Bride! CLICK though for VIDEO Divine Encounter #1 or 2

M10A Lord of hosts [Jehovah Sabaoth]

For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His Name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called.—Isaiah 54:5 Amplified

Your Maker Is Your Husband: Lord of hosts is His Name

Lord of hosts maker is husband

This whole Bible study explores twelve of the more prominent attributes of God that help us understand who He is. This one module addresses twelve attributes the Church must possess if she is to overcome and be given the “right to sit with [Jesus] on [His] throne, just as [He] overcame and sat down with [His] Father on his throne” (Rev. 3:21).

The Bible tells us “Your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name” (Isa. 54:5). If He is our husband, then we must be His wife who will share His throne. Paul Billheimer writes in his book, Destined for the Throne, “The human race was created in the image and likeness of God for one purpose: to provide an eternal companion for the Son. After the fall and promise of redemption through the promised Messiah, Israel was born and nurtured in order to bring in the Messiah. And the Messiah came for one intent and only one: to give birth to His Church [believers] thus to obtain His Bride. The Church, then—the called-out body of redeemed humankind—turns out to be the central object, the goal, not only of mundane history but of all that God has been doing in all realms, from all eternity.”[1]

“From this it is implicit that a godly ‘romance’ is at the heart of the universe and is the key to all existence. From all eternity God purposed that at some time in the future His Son should have an Eternal Companion, described by John the Revelator as “the bride, the Lamb’s wife”[2] (See Rev. 21:9). We will be His Eternal Companion. In this module we will use the term bride—from the female point of view. The bride defined in Webster’s is a woman just married or about to be married; bridegroom defined the same way.

Sometime in the near future Jesus will come for His mature Bride. He does not want to marry an immature child, so He is willing to wait until she grows up. He is looking for those who have learned to overcome in His strength and power; thus, expressing His love— becoming as He is in this world.

This Bride exhibits an unshakable faith and determination as fulltime encouragers who worship and praise Him. He is looking for totally committed persons willing to spend time to know His mind through His Word. He is looking for—in the same persons—those who have dropped all excess baggage so they can fight the battles in the Promised Land Plan, and those whose trust—in Him and for one another—has matured. He is looking for those who have learned to respond rather than react, who communicate with Him about absolutely everything—including money—never trying to hide anything from Him. They cannot anyway. Their hearts are exposed so His love can flow through His royal red blood in them, reaching out to others.

Lord of hosts is looking for people who know who and what they are

Lord of hosts assembling troops

Our Heavenly Father, as Jehovah-Sabaoth, is looking for men and women who have learned to face where they came from so they can see where they are going in an interdependent relationship [marriage partnership] with His Son, Jesus Christ, right now on this earth. In other words, they know who they are—one with Jesus. Shortly before Jesus was crucified He prayed to His Father for his disciples and all future believers:

All I have is yours, and all you have is mine . . . I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one . . . . My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.—John 17:10-11, 20-21

This prayer of Jesus is no less than the traditional marriage pronouncement a minister gives the bride and groom after they have made their covenant vows of commitment. He says to them from Matthew 19:6, “‘[You] are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore, God has joined together, let man not separate’” (NASB). We have been made one in Jesus who was one in His Father through the Holy Spirit. He has given us His name in holy matrimony and is responsible for us, protecting us through the power of His name. He bought us for Himself with a great price by dying for us. He put a ring on our finger—a seal on our foreheads—“having this seal[3] the Lord knows those who are His” (2 Tim. 2:19; see also Rev. 9:4).

What does this mature bride look like who is still in the world—who proudly wears His ring and identifies with His name so that the world may believe? Three women, Barbara Watts, Pat Jessee, and Jo Anne Swezey, exhibit all the twelve attributes of the mature Bride. Although their stories are told in this chapter, it does not take away from the significance of other stories in this book. All are fully committed overcomers and reflect these values as well. These three women’s testimonies possess certain qualities in a more pronounced and easily discernable manner. However, before we look more specifically at the Bride, we need to understand just who Jehovah-Sabaoth is—the Lord of hosts.

Lord of hosts commander entire universe
Image of a painting by Pat Jessee: Out of the Darkness Into the Light: www.patjesseecreations.com

Who is Jehovah Sabaoth [Lord or hosts]?

  • Lord of hosts is husband to Israel and to us—as adopted Gentile believers. The Hebrew word for husband (bâal) means – “to be master, to rule, possess, marry, to be married, to be taken as a wife.” This is a verb, occurring more than 100 times in the O.T. God is the husband to Israel (see Isa. 54:5, Jer. 3:14, Jer. 31:32, and Mal 2:ll). The land of Israel is “married” (bâal) to Jehovah in the Book of Isaiah (see Isa. 62:4). This is similar to the relationship between Christ as husband of His people, known as the ekklesia (Eph. 5:21, “be subject to one another in the fear of Christ”). There is a covenantal tie of love and loyalty between God and His people. He has dominion over us (see Isa. 62:4).[4]
  • Lord of hosts is our bridegroom. Matthew, Chapter 25, tells the parable of the ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet their bridegroom. Five of the maidens’ lamps went out and they wanted the other five to give them their oil. They were told to go purchase their own. “And while they were going away to make their own purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10). When the five finally arrived and banged on the door to get in, the bridegroom said, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you” (vs. 12).

Lord of hosts rules over entire universe

  • Lord of hosts is Supreme Commander of Israel and the universe—ready to intervene. Host means, tsâbâ’, “The basic meaning is service done for a superior, usually military service . . . . Although the title of tsâbâ’ had military overtones, it pointed directly to Jehovah’s rulership over the entire universe. He stands ready to intervene for His people at any moment.”[5] The Lord of hosts took David from among the sheep to rule over His people Israel (see 2 Sam. 7: 8). He did this by working through David who killed the giant Goliath saying, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted” (1 Sam. 17:45 NASB); thus, the Lord of hosts intervened for Israel in defeating the Philistines through one willing vessel—David. Psalm 110:3 speaks of people who will volunteer freely in the day of His power—as in military service of the Lord.
  • He is the King of Glory. Psalm 24 is a beautiful picture of the Lord of hosts as mighty in battle. Who can stand before Him? Only those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who have not lifted themselves up to what is false. Lift up your heads, so the King of glory may come in. “Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory” (Ps. 24:10 NASB).

The queen, who will share the King’s throne and His glory, has faced Truth and is living before Him with clean hands and a pure heart, right now, along with those who have already gone before.


[1] Paul E. Billheimer, Destined for the Throne (Minneapolis, Bethany House, 1975) p. 22.

[2] Ibid. p. 23.

[3] In the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, seal means “to stamp for security and preservation; impressed as a mark of privacy, or genuineness,” p. 70.

[4] Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1990) p. 1716.

[5] Ibid. p. 1767.