2000: The First Bowl
When we first launched the Jubilee Prayer Campaign in November of 1993, we understood that this was to be a seven-year warfare, corresponding to the Jericho Battle in Joshua 6. We assumed then that the seventh year would simply be the most intense time of warfare, correlating to the seven times that Israel marched around Jericho on that seventh day.
When we reached the seventh year, God revealed to us that the seventh “day” of the Jericho Battle would actually be extended into another seven years. In other words, each march around “Jericho” represented another year in our time. In other words, the seventh year (1999-2000) was really extended to 1999-2006.
Because of the battle’s connection to the feast of Tabernacles, we learned that we were to pour out the seven bowls of wine, along with seven bowls of water, for seven years (2000-2006).
It was a bit disappointing to come to the end only to find that there is more to do before seeing the fall of Babylon. However, we also knew that God reveals His will progressively. In 1993 we knew enough to begin the work, and we really did not need to know about pouring out the bowls of water and wine until the year 2000 when the appointed time came to do that work.
I had been teaching about the eight signs in the book of John for many years already by the year 2000. I understood that these signs correlated with the eight days of the feast of Tabernacles. The first seven signs occur before Jesus’ crucifixion, and the final one occurs afterward. Thus, Tabernacles runs for seven days, but there is also an eighth day—“the last great day of the feast,” mentioned in John 7:37 and Lev. 23:39.
It was not difficult, then, to see that the feast of Tabernacles from 2000-2006 would manifest the first seven signs in John, beginning in 2000 with the wedding feast of Cana (John 2). So when we began seeing wedding signs as early as February 2000, we knew that this was going to be the Tabernacles theme in October.
In February 2000 Ron and I made a trip to two cities in the state of Illinois, where everything seemed to be about roses and the name “Sharon” and “Rose of Sharon.” We were taken to the Rosebud Café, where Ron sat between two women named Sharon. The next day we had lunch with Jerry Rose on Jericho Road.
The next month I was invited to the West Coast where I attended a gymnastics event at Portland, Oregon—the “City of Roses.” The event itself was called “The Rose City Challenge.”
On May 20, I performed a wedding in Wisconsin, and then flew to Spokane for another meeting organized by Sunny Day Roberts on May 23. She called it “Wedding Symposium,” and it was about the marriage of soul and spirit.
In August, I was asked to perform two more weddings. Normally, I might perform one wedding every two years.
By this time, it was quite clear that the feast of Tabernacles in October 2000 was to have a wedding theme. God had shown us “roses” for the wedding all year, along with the name “Sharon,” and He had connected it with the “Rose of Sharon” (Song of Songs 2:1). Sharon is a Hebrew word that means “a plain.”
We scheduled our Tabernacles conference to be held at a newly-remodeled hotel in Quincy, Illinois. However, a group of ministers came from Chicago to threaten the hotel owner for allowing us to meet there. They believed that we were some kind of “hate group,” because we dare to call homosexual behavior a sin and because we do not believe that the Israeli state is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies of the House of Israel.
When these Christian ministers brought up the fact that we did not believe that the Israeli state was true Israel, a rabbi told them that we were correct. He said that the Jews were Judah, not Israel. We were told that the rabbi was then ignored and treated as a pariah for the rest of the meeting. How ironic that we would be condemned by Christians and defended by a rabbi.
They even threatened to pressure the city fathers to withdraw his license to operate in Quincy. So he had no choice but to cancel our meeting. So thanks to those ministers, we went to right place, because, as we quipped, “We have to have Champaign for the wedding.” We thus met in Champaign, Illinois.
Champaign is a Late Latin word which means “a plain.” It has the same meaning as the Hebrew word Sharon.
About ten minutes after changing the location for the meeting, I had a phone call from a woman in Idaho named Sharon, asking if perhaps I might find time at the conference to perform a wedding for her and her fiancé. Suddenly all the revelation about roses and Sharons fell into place, and we knew that God had used those Christian ministers to bring us to the right location for the feast of Tabernacles and to pour out the first bowl of wine.
And so I performed the wedding between Richard and Sharon on October 20, 2000 at the start of the Tabernacles conference. This wedding signified the time when David was crowned king over all Israel. A monarch is said to be “married” to the nation, and so in this case, we knew that the Davidic company had been “crowned” with full authority over “all Israel.” This authority had begun on May 30, 1993 when “Saul” died and “David” was made king over “Judah.”
For 7½ years the overcomers had functioned under a partial authority, but on October 20, 2000 they received the full authority to rule the earth. This increase of authority would be necessary in order to do the work of pouring out the seven bowls of wine upon Babylon and to conduct the warfare that still lay ahead.