It was great to be home for the holidays and great to be able to share in my home church yesterday. I was blessed to share a message on finding satisfaction in life. I am very hopeful for the new year. I closed the year blessed and alive and I entered the new in that condition.
I want to begin this year by presenting some prophetic perspectives, thoughts, and declarations that I feel are relevant to the new season of 2018. In the past God has spoken to me through trees in my yard. I have an apple tree that I planted in 2000 and it has six grafts. God told me to plant the tree and that the six grafts represented the kind of church that He wants. Six is the number of man and God’s church is both Spirit and human. It is a place of connection of God with man where God reveals who He is through diverse expressions of humanity. Each branch on my tree produces a different kind of fruit. There are red apples, green apples, yellow apples, and many combinations of diversity in the fruit of apples. There is one tree, one root, and one life-flowing sap in the tree, but there are six branches with unique fruit on each branch. I believe that this is truly the kind of church that God is revealing in the earth at this time. God does not want unity through conformity, He wants unity through diversity. He doesn’t want many trees, He wants one tree. He wants a tree of life that produces life in many wonderful and diverse ways.
In the past years God has used my tree to speak to me prophetically. In 2001, I had my first apple on the tree. It was an August Red apple. Just before I was about to go through a huge test in my ministry, there appeared twenty blossoms around the apple overnight. This was in August. Ten years prior to that, in the month of August, I had received a prophetic word: “You have been a faithful servant. Where you have reaped one you will now reap twenty.” God was speaking to me through my tree. I didn’t know I was about to go through a tremendous test in the ministry. God was telling me that everything was going to be ok. He was telling me everything was going to work out. I was in the season of reaping one, but He had promised me twenty.
Once in a winter season, in late October, my tree was absent all of its leaves and overnight every branch was filled with blossoms. I was in a season of transition in the church and I was calling for the inheritor of the ministry. Although it didn’t look as though there was hope in what seemed to be a winter season spiritually, God had everything taken care of. Blossoms filled the branches in the midst of winter to assure me that the fruit of the future was still in the hands of God and it was planted in my yard. It was planted in the soil of my inheritance.
God is always speaking and He speaks in supernatural ways. It is not strange for God, only strange for us because we are so used of looking at things through natural perspectives. God speaks supernaturally and if we have ears to hear it, or eyes to see what He is trying to reveal to us, we can grasp on to His prophetic word in the seasons of the earth.
My grafted apple tree continued to grow and a couple of years ago that tree began to really bother me, because that tree is extremely short. I was a little frustrated at the time because things in ministry had not taken off the way I thought they should. I knew the tree represented the church (locally and globally). I was now in a season of supplying equipping and resources to the body of Christ internationally. The tree being short was bothering me a bit because it was short. I thought things should be growing, expanding, and becoming more influential that had been. I was training some young people in Spain in the area of the prophetic ministry and I stepped in front of a young man to challenge him to prophesy and declare what he could see. He began to speak; “I see you as a tree and there is fruit all over you and it is different kinds of fruit, but the tree is really short.” His first words grabbed my attention. I thought, “I need to listen to this!” He continued; “God says you are the kind of tree that even little children can reach the fruit.” I fell in love with my tree! That is the kind of church God wants, even little children can reach the fruit! I have a picture in my office of my grandson reaching up and pulling an apple off of the tree. God wants a tree that has one root but diversity of fruit and even little children can reach its fruit. Perhaps we must become like little children to reach its fruit as well?
I have a second grafted tree in my yard. It is a pear tree with four grafted pears. Four represents covenant and God wants the fruit of our lives to be the result of covenant connection and not ministry opportunities. In 2016 my trees were full of fruit, both my grafted apple tree and my grafted pear tree. There was an expectation at the close of the harvest season that 2017 would be a year of even greater fruit. In the winter season of 2016 there was a strong windstorm where I live. I believe that 2016 closed with a strong windstorm in many ways, naturally and spiritually. My neighbor has a huge trampoline and in the windstorm that trampoline became converted into to a flying saucer! Something that seemed to be a tool of pleasure and personal fitness became an instrument of destruction. It turned on its radar detection system and targeted my pear tree. It literally obliterated my tree! It was a beautifully shaped tree that was all of a sudden devastated! I was shocked and concerned! My tree that represented covenant relationships was being tested to its very life! What would happen now? I wondered if I could graft a tree to itself? Could I mend its existing branches in the same way new branches were added before? I grafted my tree back together. I fastened it, tied it, sealed it, and propped it up so it could be healed. Last year there was no fruit on the tree, but it lived! By the end of the year the tree was beautifully shaped and full of green foliage everywhere. It had more than survived, it was set to thrive!
In 2017, my grafted apple tree didn’t have any apples. I was shocked! I was ready for a year of fruit. My apple tree was barren, except at the end of the season I found two apples hiding under a branch. They were huge! I picked those two apples and I shared one apple with my grandson Kaden and my granddaughter Zaria and I shared the second with my granddaughters Aubrey and London. I did that, because God wants a church that bears fruit for our children’s children. Those two apples were a witness of the life for the future! The tree is planted and the future is still in the fruit that will come from that tree. This is a testimony to God’s church!
For 2018 I prophetically declare: Things are not as you suppose. God has taken you through a season of roots and He has brought your root down to a place of dependence upon Him and that rooting has been taking hold and you have been in a season of roots – not been in a season of fruits. And although you thought there was going to be a season of abundance it seemed like there was a season of depletion and a season of lack and there was even a season of devastation, like the neighbor’s trampoline became a flying saucer and destroyed the tree. Some things seemed like they would be destroyed, but God’s hand has been in the midst of your situation and He has grafted things together that seemed like they would be apart and because the root has gone down – you get ready, because this is going to be a season of two things. One, this is going to be a season of new fruit – fruit you have not seen before. Fruit that you have not expected before. And even where things have been laid bare to the ground this is going to be a season of new shoots. This is a season of new shoots and new fruits, because this past season that you just came out of was a season of roots.
So, don’t despise the darkness of dirt. The darkness of dirt is where God takes you down to the place where you cannot see and you don’t know where you are going, because it is not your ability to see or your ability to go that is going to cause it to grow. It is in your ability to be connected in the place of the root. And God says, this is going to be a season of great fruit! Things are not as they suppose.
Happy New Year,
Ted J. Hanson