The Believer’s Mantle

During worship Sunday, the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors came to mind and I immediately saw it as an archetype for the believer’s anointing, his position in Christ, his receipt of the Holy Spirit, his armor, his mantle. Like Joseph, it is given by inheritance, in the believer’s case inherited by rebirth in Christ. As with Joseph, this inheritance brings opposition and persecution as well as gifting and authority.

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”

– Genesis 37:3-4

I then saw a room full of believers, each kneeling as the Lord placed His mantle on their shoulders. Unlike a natural coat, it seemed to melt into place, fusing with the recipient’s body. I saw that it becomes more and more a part of her over time as she grows in faith and in the use of the gifts and the authority that comes with it.
Unlike Joseph’s coat, the believer’s mantle changes “color” with how it is used. I sensed that there is an infinite number of colors, and hence an infinite number of uses, meaning that in Christ, we have the power and authority to do anything. The capacity to do all things is given to every Christian!

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

– John 14:12

The believer’s mantle is the same as Paul’s seal of the Spirit, meaning that it is central to keeping us secure in Him.

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

– 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

Our mantle is given to us for our protection and for the protection of those we pray for and minister to. It gives us the power to do everything He calls us to do, grants us the wisdom to discern His will, and in the end imparts the beauty of holiness, and leads us to glory.

Interestingly, I saw that mercy and healing are reciprocal. We give and receive mercy, we give and receive healing, all by the same anointing. I was struck by the connection between our own well being and the well being of others. We are healed as God uses us to heal others.

Jesus places the mantle on each of His own, each in her own perfect way. No believer is left out, and each receives her mantle in a manner exactly fitting God’s plan and purpose. Each anointing is unique, yet perfect for the person who receives it.

Finally, I saw that the robes of the multitude in Revelation 7 are white because white is a combination of all colors. It is as if all of what the Spirit can do in the believer today is perfectly realized in the end; the Holy Spirit will radiate from us, flow through us, fully and eternally and in every possible way at once. When our mantle turns white, we will be glorified. This means that when God uses us today, it is a true part of the glory that we will manifest fully in Him when we go to be with Him. Each and every time we move in the Spirit, we manifest a bit of the glory which is to come. What a thought!

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

– Revelation 7:9-10

Anyway, that’s all I heard that day, but I sensed strongly that the Lord would reveal more.*

- November 1, 2014

As I thought about this word over the following week,  I was preoccupied by the revelation that the anointing is a foretaste of glory that finds its full expression when we enter glory. During the week, I read chapter 5 in Waking the Dead by John Eldredge and was surprised to find that he talks about the same thing. Consider 2 Corinthians 3:

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever- increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

– 2 Corinthians 3:7-18

Our ministry, by the Holy Spirit, is glorious. Verse 12 reveals that this glory gives us hope which in turn makes us bold. My heart has yearned for greater boldness, and here it is.

- November 8, 2014

During the second week after receiving this word, I was reading Francis Frangipane’s “This Day We Fight” and ran into a discussion of Elijah’s mantle, which symbolized his anointing and that he used to cover his face when the Lord drew near on Mt. Horeb. This mantle was inherited by Elisha when Elijah was taken up.

I was struck by the thought that the believer’s mantle can be passed on to others. We are to make disciples, imparting the faith to new believers, building them up in Christ and finally passing on our anointing to them. Clearly, the disciple is unique and will move in the gifts uniquely, but we nevertheless can give our anointing away.

In all my thinking about mantles over the past two weeks, Elijah’s mantle had totally escaped me, and I was surprised to run into it in my seemingly unrelated reading. I am amazed by the countless ways God uses to speak us.

- November 15, 2014

* I have had other words like this in the past, and a few more recently that are in the same state of incompleteness. Unlike other ways God speaks to me, these unfolding words come as a conversation. A thought will come to mind that I know is from Him. I can tell because it’s so clear and calm and authoritative, unlike my own thoughts. This thought will bring to mind a thought of my own, a memory or Scripture verse, which in turn is followed by another one from Him. On it goes, my thoughts following His as something larger unfolds. In general, when these “word conversations” happen (I don’t know what else to call them), they can continue for weeks, even months, as the Lord leads me further on.

 

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