In my home one morning, I was overwhelmed by the presence of several mourning doves. They seemed to congregate near the fountain trickling in the garden. I sat mesmerized by what was playing out before me. The soft cooing of the doves, that melodious sound…loving it. Five mourning doves scratching at the ground, then popping up to drink from the water fountain. I was so enjoying this sight when I realized I was being “ministered to”. My eye caught a finch – a green one – heading toward the fountain to drink and perhaps to take a splash. To my surprise and delight, the mourning dove made way for the small finch, even covering this finch with a wing (truthfully, I know nothing about doves). Then in came a couple of blue jays, a few robins and a woodpecker. Also, there was a huge blackbird. Then I saw a sparrow. All the while one mourning dove was standing on top of the fountain.
I was so drawn to this vision that I crept out my front door to try to snap a picture from outside the garden. Ha! That didn’t happen – they knew I was there and they all flew into the trees. I went back into my house and watched some more from the window. BUT, what my eyes beheld was amazing! Several mourning doves had come into the garden; all were eating the garden seeds and drinking from the fountain, when suddenly the Spirit of the Lord met me there and said, “Theresa, what do you see?”
Oops, here we go again…I thought. I was enticed to look again. A flutter of many wings and some of the birds flew into the trees. Now I saw five mourning doves; they were all on the fountain. The sparrows and other birds, including the blackbird, were now in the garden picking whatever it was they liked in my garden.
The Five-Fold Ministry
“Theresa, see those five doves?”
“Yes, Lord, I do.”
“Theresa, those five doves represent the five-fold ministry: the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the pastor, the teacher.”
He went on to share that each office of the five-fold is about to be granted access to a fresh peace for the sake of the people: “This peace will bring many toward the healing from abusive and misguided leaders. Each officer holding the office will require peace to get the job done, for troubled times are upon the Church. I am sending that peace even now. Man is betraying man. Betrayal and sabotage are amongst the leaders of the earth. I am about to give an ABRUPT intervention for ministers who have been abused by sheep and by media. I am a rescuer, not a divider. Divisions will be stopped.
“Theresa, tell My people they are loved and that the cornerstone has not been moved. Tell My people to stand and stand some more! For I will give them strength to stand, for soon I am about to change the course of things and I will show once again I am GOD, the Rescuer. My covenant will not be broken! I am rebuilding the five-fold ministries!”
It was so strong, that I swayed in His presence. Scripture was awakened in my heart. I was alive with many Scriptures.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief corner stone. Ephesians 2:19-20
“This foundation is the anointing that will make man’s yoke be destroyed. For the anointing will destroy the yoke. I tell you the yoke of bondage will be broken,” says the Lord.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. Isaiah 10:27
These five birds were prophesying to me by their actions. The “other birds” found refuge in them. See how they MADE ROOM for all the others.
I noticed that I had been standing a long time watching and waiting for something. It was then I was keenly aware of another nature sign: My own small dog was sitting on the chair next to me watching as well. The atmosphere was charged as if the birds were carrying a presence, that even she could not deny; she who chases everything was still as I. The unity of the doves reminded me of how the harmony of the five-fold must be established.
In that will come a fresh new unity as in Psalm 133:1-3: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing – life forevermore.”
In each ministry of the five-fold there is about to become present a new “Anointing”:
Apostolic = sending
Prophetic = directing
Evangelistic = capturing
Pastor = loving
Teaching = keeping
Healing in Her Wings
I then began to weep, for I knew that it was so. The five-fold ministry is about to rise with healing in her wings! And I wanted in! The wings of covering, the wings of gentleness, the wings of beauty, the wings of gathering, the wings of healing, the wings of restoration, and the wings of remembrance. It was then I heard a Scripture that resonates in me still; I can’t shake it:
“If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences” (Ecclesiastes 10:4).
My mind began to reflect on how many differences there are in the Body of Christ and how many offenses (If only people would talk to one another is what was racing through my mind), just as there were many different birds who visited me that day (equated to the differences): Some small, some large, some bold, some shy, some insecure, some radiant, some just some. I was captured by the very bold sign I had received, but what I truly believe is the Spirit of the Lord operating anew. Those five that stood upon the fountain were not moved. Not afraid. Nor were they at war with one another. They all watched the garden together AS ONE. No pecking orders, no chattering amongst them. Not even one trying to scare another away, not one. In that brief moment, I learned something vitally important:
“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
• The Dove is the symbol of peace: Matthew 10:16 “…be gentle as a dove…”
• The Dove is the symbol of provision ahead: Genesis 8:11 “…an olive branch in her mouth…”
• The Dove is the symbol of the Spirit: Matthew 3:16 “…and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting upon Him.”
• The Dove speaks: Song of Solomon 2:12 “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle [dove] is heard in our land.”
I can’t tell you how long I was there, but I can tell you this: I have been singing an old song as a prayer over this land, over the Church, over my own people the Lord has entrusted me with: “On the wings of a snow white dove, He sends His pure sweet love, a sign from above, on the wings of a dove…”
Let us pray for our leaders, for the Bible says that they watch for our soul.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I lift up every apostle, every prophet, every evangelist, pastor, teacher. I ask You to release to each one a fresh peace that surpasses all understanding, a supernatural peace that transcends all human ability.
I ask for the five-fold to be kind and to recognize the gift of each in their midst. I pray for the grace to fulfill the call on each one’s life and the grace to finish the course with dignity.
Dear Jesus, grant each of the five-fold access to higher realms, peaceful minds, and strong bonds of love. O Jesus, I ask You heal every minister, every leader, and every soul that has a heart to be mended. May You, O Lord, be magnified by steadfastness and renewed covenant by us Your people all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen.
Chicago Prophetic Voice
Theresa Phillips is the presiding bishop of Praise Ministries. She recently formed The Encounter, a sub-ministry of PMI Glory Institute that reaches out to area churches to develop intimate relationships with Jesus. Theresa is dedicated to helping you encounter the living God and be filled with His never-ending glory. Pastor Theresa and her husband Robert have started an online publication called Chicago Prophetic Voice. This online publication is intended to help you see and hear the unseen and unheard realms of God as they are portrayed in the written Scriptures of the Holy Bible.