I have been teaching for several months that we are in a "set time" for the manifestation of God's people. We are standing in the midst of what God has been prophesying for generations. The kingdom of God is here, and I believe it is our responsibility to wrap this age up.
In Psalm 102:13 David makes a prophetic statement during his prayer saying, "You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time, has come." In this passage, "Zion" refers to the church and “set time” to an actual chronological moment in history when something will occur.
An important part of this teaching about the manifestation of the church is "vengeance" and "recompense"; but God's vengeance is not defined the way most people think it is.
His vengeance has nothing to do with emotional resentment or hate; rather it is affliction that proceeds from the love of justice. It took vengeance for Moses to move the children of Israel out of Egypt. One plague after another came upon Egypt, destroying the country's economy and livelihood. Yet pharaoh, the king of Egypt, still would not release God’s chosen people into their destiny. God eventually had to deal with pharaoh in the most extreme manner. Why? Because of a “set time”--a time set by God Himself.
Things had happened with Israel just as the Lord had spoken it to Abram (see Gen. 15:13-14). Israel went into captivity for 400 years, and the set time for their release could not be altered. Not even by one year or day. God manifested His prophetic timetable through Moses, whom He had raised up to execute His plan of deliverance (see Ex. 3:19-22).
Pharaoh didn’t know he was trying to resist God's “prophetic season." Have you ever tried to stop a season that has begun? Maybe like wearing short sleeves outside on a cool fall night hoping that you can delay winter? Forget it! You can’t do it.
Now, most people who have been in bondage (slavery) for 400 years would be satisfied just to be free, but the plan of God for Israel included more than that. He promised them one more thing besides vengeance: “When you go, you shall not go empty” (Ex. 3:21). The Bible calls this “recompense.”
Isaiah writes: "For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion" (34:8), and "Say to those who are fearful-hearted, 'Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you'” (35:4).
The word recompense means "to compensate; to make a return of an equivalent for anything given, done or suffered, to make amends, to pay back" (emphasis added). This recompense of Israel was to be a payback for all the years they worked and were not paid, and were afflicted and held in bondage as slaves in Egypt.
Because of our enemy’s resistance, many of the things God has placed in the hearts of His people have never been done, built, started or invented. Businesses do not exist that should have been started and should be producing millions for God's kingdom by now. There are schools that should have been built, ministries that should have been started, marriages that should have been consummated and contracts that should have been awarded.
It's no wonder that Christianity has not been attractive to many people—they have witnessed the church being bullied, when the truth is that the church has a strength that cannot be measured. Think of how many kids in our high schools might have been saved from trouble, incarceration—even death—if God’s presence had been in those schools through His Word.
Well, God says that “the set time has come" for the Lord to favor Zion. That means the set time has arrived—it is now, it is today. He is announcing to us that our struggle ends today.
Everything that has been resisting you, everything that has been held back from you, ends today. Say it out loud: “Everything resisting me, my struggle, ends today!” Your season of frustration and failure is over. Your season of success and victory has begun.
About the author: Bill Winston is founder and pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a 19,000-member church located in Forest Park, Ill., and Tuskegee Christian Center in Tuskegee, Ala. The church has a broad range of entities that include the Joseph Business School, Living Word School of Ministry and Missions, the 32-acre Forest Park Plaza shopping mall, Washington Plaza shopping center in Tuskegee, Living Word Christian Academy, and many others. For more, visit Bill Winston Ministries at billwinston.org.