It has been a while since we brought explanation to the Mattah's or Worship Rods that are used at Passion and Fire Worship Center near Cincinnati, OH and many other churches and ministries around the region.  Some of you have come into Passion and Fire over the last few years and maybe never understood why many of our people use worship rods up front during services.  Below is a teaching that we brought forth several years ago on the Mattah or Rod, and it may be helpful to you if you just never understood what they were or why they are sometimes used in worship.
 
Blessings,
David and Donna Kelly
 
A scripture study on the rod or Mattah is available at our website at www.passionandfire.org as well as the following articles.
 
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The Mattah! Part I  by Donna Kelly (written in 2001)
(This means Rod or Staff in Hebrew)
04294 matteh {mat-teh'} or (fem.) mattah {mat-taw'}  

from
05186; TWOT - 1352b; n m

AV - tribe 182, rod 52, staff 15, staves 1, tribe + 04294 1; 251

1) staff, branch, tribe
1a) staff, rod, shaft
1b) branch (of vine)
1c) tribe
1c1) company led by chief with staff (originally)












We have had many people express their interest in a worship instrument known as the Mattah, that was used during our Passion For His Presence Worship Conference in January 2001 and many services and conferences since.  Many have wanted to know how they could purchase one as well as asking about scriptural precedence for this instrument.  It's kind of funny in a way, but just like in a recent Tape of the Month that we received from MorningStar with Joseph Garlington teaching on the heart of worship, the Lord many times will do something in our midst and then explain it to us after we have begun to move in it.  This is the case with the Mattah.  During August 2000, while attending a conference at a local Vineyard Church, a friend of ours from Nashville, TN (Sherry Smith) brought these 6 foot decorated poles and had them available at the Wings of Worship Ministry table in the lobby.  At the time, I didn't understand exactly what they were about, but I started to notice that these poles were being used during the worship at this conference.  Each pole seemed to have a theme and name tag on them representing different facets of our Lord's character.  Different poles were being used at different times during the worship in an intercessory fashion, that would exalt the Lord's many facets of His personality and Name.  Just like the picture to the right of this text, which is called, "The Lion of Judah."  Others may have the tag, "Joy" or "Gatekeeper" or "Bridegroom" and oh, so many more.  

We are in a season, it seems, when unique and unusual arts and instruments are coming forth in our intercessory worship.  Kathy Kennedy of Wings of Worship Ministry teaches about the use of flags in worship and even has produced a video which explains the use, history and Biblical precedence for flags and banners, but we had not heard much contemporary teaching about the use of a pole or rod in worship.  As Kathy Kennedy explains, the first banners or ensigns, or standards used by the Israelites were not the kind of flags that we see used in worship today.  The original ensign, standards or banners were actually poles that may have had the name of the patriarchal father on it, or the Israelite Tribe name on it, or maybe something tied to the top of it to represent the authority of that Tribe.  As curiosity began to stir me, I was very aware that we needed to bring forth some teaching on the use of the Rod or Staff in scripture.  

As I began to search the scriptures, many examples began to surface.  Begin a word study on Moses' Rod and see how often it is spoken of in scripture.  Even in the study of Moses, it is only one small part of how the rod or staff was used in scripture.  There are many occasions and many characters in the Word of God who used a rod or staff, including our Lord Jesus Christ!

Exodus 4:2-4 
"Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied.
The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground."  Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake and he ran from it.  The the Lord said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail."
So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand."

The staff became a sign from the Lord to the Israelites and to Pharoah of the authority by which Moses would be sent to lead them from their captivity in Egypt.

As I looked up definitions in my Holman Bible Dictionary, I saw that the Staff was used as a walking stick.  It was also used to denote authority of a household or Tribe.  The terrain was difficult to walk on and especially when traveling through the wilderness and the Staff gave stability to the one using it.





Exodus 4:20

Notice that the staff is no longer referred to as Moses' Staff, but it is now referred to as the "Staff of God!"  This is what happens when the Lord begins to use whatever is in your hand for His purposes.  What was a simple walking stick is now the "Staff of God" because God's authority has been released upon it for His purposes in leading the Israelites out of captivity.  As I studied these scriptures, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, "I will take that which is ordinary and it will become extraordinary in My Hands!"  That is what the Lord does in your life and mine.  He takes little ole us and we become the Rod of God in His hands in our worship and intercession!

"I will take that which is ordinary and it will become extraordinary in My Hands!"  That is what the Lord does in your life and mine.  He takes little ole us and we become the Rod of God in His hands in our worship and intercession!

Exodus 7:19
"The Lord said to Aaron, 'Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt--over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs--and they will turn to blood."

The Staff or Rod was used to bring about judgment on the Egyptians with one plague after another until the 10 were fulfilled.  The
rod was used to bring forth knats from the dust, when stretched forth toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail and lightning and so forth...

Exodus 14:16
"Raise your
staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground."

The Rod of God was used to divide the Red Sea so that the Israelites could safely pass through to the other side to escape from the pursuing Egyptians.  The Rod in and of itself had no power or authority, but under God's instruction to Moses, it was used for many purposes.  It is the same for us.  These rods are simply dowel rods from Home Depot that have been decorated with beads, strips of leather, feathers, ribbons or fur in order to express an attribute of God's nature.  Of themselves they have no power, but in the hands of God's worshippers and intercessors in the midst of worship, the power of prayer and worship is of great power before the Lord.  Just as Miriam worshiped with the timbrel when they had crossed the Red Sea, the Timbrel had no power of itself, but it was an instrument of worship in Miriam's hands.  So it is when we worship with the Mattah, or Rod.

If you have a Thompson's Chain reference Bible, this writer would suggest that you follow the chain reference's on Moses' Staff.  You will be surprised at all the ways God used it.  The rod was used to strike the Rock for the water to pour out for the people to drink. (Exodus 17:5,6).  The Rod was used to touch the bitter waters and they were made sweet for the Israelites to drink.  It was the tool that Moses had in his hand that God chose to use with great power and authority.

The Amalekites defeated: Exodus 17:9
"Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites.  Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the Staff of God in my hands."
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.  As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.  When Moses hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it.  Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other-- so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword."

Moses held the
Staff or Rod of God in his hands up over his head during this battle.  When his hands grew tired the Amalekites began to defeat the Israelites, but as the intercessors or priests, Aaron and Hur held up Moses hands, the Israelites prevailed.  Our posture of worship many times is with uplifted hands.  When Moses hands held the Rod of God up, they prevailed.  Who knows what happens in the heavenly realm, when we have uplifted arms before the Lord, or hold up the Rod during worship with uplifted hands!  We don't see everything that happens in the spiritual realm, but when God says to do something, there is power in our obedience before Him.

II Kings 13:15-19
"Elisha said, "Get a bow and some arrows," and he did so.  Take the bow in your hands, he said to the King of Israel.  When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands.  Open the east window, and he opened it.  "Shoot!"  Elisha said, and he shot.  The Lord's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!"  Elisha declared.  "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek."  Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the King took them.  Elisha told him,
"Strike the ground."  He struck it three times and stopped.  The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it.  But now you will defeat it only three times."

Do you see what happened? 
The king struck the ground with the arrows that he shot!  If he had only struck the ground five or six times, he would have completely destroyed his enemies!!  Striking the ground has the implication of staking a claim!  Striking the ground says, "This far and no more!"  Striking the ground says this land has been bought and we are enforcing the Authority of the Kingdom of God!  Striking the ground says, we are free in His Name and no oppressor will place us back into bondage. 
The arrows became the rod in the hands of the king, but for us we will strike the ground many more times than the king did and proclaim the Name of Jesus with every blow!!  The Rod or Mattah says His authority, rule and reign has now come!!

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The Mattah (Staff) Part II

The Mattahs that we use when we worship become an extension of our passion for the Lord.  They become an instrument of proclamation in our hands as we offer up our praises to His Name and character.  The Lord has shown us so many times that there must always be teaching whenever we introduce something new into our worship services.  A newcomer may come into our service and without proper understanding, it would be very easy to misconstrue the use of new and unusual worship instruments.  We have often heard JoAnn McFatter from Metro Christian Fellowship in Kansas City, Missouri state that there are many cultures in the earth and each has it's own cultural expressions of worship unto the Lord.  We have been so guilty of a western mindset that limits in our minds what worship can and should look like.  At Passion and Fire, we believe that it is the heart that our heavenly Father looks at and not necessarily the outward appearances that man judges.  There are many creative expressions of worship and art that are coming forth in this hour and we must be careful not to judge according to our own paradigms and experiences, but allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts and bring forth His definition of worship, which is not always our definition of worship.  The blood and smoke of the sacrifices in the Old Covenant were a sweet smelling savor in the Lord's nostrils, but you can bet that all that meat and blood and animal parts stunk to the human nostrils, but the Lord said, Give Me More!!  I accept your sacrifice of worship.  So it is with the Mattah.  When the organ first came forth in the early 1900's, many rejected it as evil and not to be used in the church.  Now most see the organ as a significant instrument of worship in most churches.  When the drums were introduced to the church, many said, "they are evil and should not have a place in the church."  Now it is quite common to see the drum used in a worship team in many churches.  The Mattah is not necessarily a worship instrument, in that it plays music, but it is an intercessory tool that proclaims Him in our worship and the many facets of His nature.  It may stretch you in your mindsets, but it is used to glorify Him in worship and intercession.

Numbers 17:1-11
"The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes.  Write the name of each man on his staff.  On the staff of Levi, write Aaron's name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe.  Place them in the Tent of Meeting in front of the Testimony, where I meet with you.  The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by all the Israelites.
    So Moses spoke to the Israelites and their leaders gave him
twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron's staff was among them.  Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the Tent of the Testimony.
    The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that
Aaron's staff, which represented the house of Levi had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.  Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord's Presence to all the Israelites.  They looked at them, and each man took his own staff.
    The Lord said to Moses, "Put back
Aaron's staff in front of the Testimony, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious.  This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die."  Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.
    The Israelites said to Moses, "We will die!  We are lost, we are all lost!  Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die.  Are we all going to die?"

In the passage above, the Lord chose to reveal to the whole house of Israel who He had placed His authority upon.  The Israelites had repeatedly grumbled against Moses and the House of Levi, and the Lord instructed Moses to put it to the test.  The instrument that was used was the Tribal Staff of each of the leaders of the House of Israel.  The only staff that budded, blossomed and produced almonds was Aaron's, thereby making known to the people God's choice.  The Staff was a symbol of authority not only in each individual Tribe, but was now the symbol of the man that God had chosen for not only authority alongside Moses, but he who would be the father of the priesthood.  The staff represented God's authority to the people of God.  The House of Levi was to become the household of priests who would minister to God in His sanctuary and the Staff was a continual reminder to the people of that choice which was made by God and not man.

Judges 5:13-15
"Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek.  Benjamin was with the people who followed you.  From Makir captains came down, from Zebulun, those who bear a commander's staff."

The staff in this passage once again represents authority.  The commander had a particular staff that everyone would recognize him by, just as a general in the military is recognized by the number of stars on his uniform.  It was a symbol of power and authority to all who saw it.


Judges 6:20-22
"With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread.  Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread.  And the angel of the Lord disappeared."

The Angel of the Lord (preincarnate Yeshua) had a
staff in his hand when he appeared in visitation to the household of Manoah.  The staff was used to accept the sacrifice that had been offered in worship to the Lord by Manoah and his wife.  By stretching out the staff toward the sacrifice, the Lord was saying yes and amen to that which had been offered.  Fire flared from the rock, the sacrifice was accepted and the angel of the Lord disappeared.  That would be quite a dramatic scene if you or I were present for this occasion.  The stretching forth of the staff was God's approval and acceptance of the worship presented to the Lord.  It was God's stamp of blessing upon their worship, Alleluia!"

Psalm 23:4
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your
rod and your staff, they comfort me."

The
staff and rod in this passage are the symbol of Jesus as our Shepherd.  He is the Good Shepherd who uses His rod to prod us as sheep into the right directions and pastures.  He uses the comfort of the staff to correct and guide us.  How often children as sheep become so lost when there is no discipline or boundaries set by parents.  They have no idea who they are or where there boundaries in life fall.  Jesus our Good Shepherd keeps us on the good path and the straight pathways by treating us as sons and daughters and bringing help and discipline when we begin to lose our way.  The rod and staff are a comfort to us, because they are God's symbol of protection to us.  If we need to feel the prodding of the staff, it is a comfort, because we are keenly reminded of His care and protection over us.  It is His assurance that He has not left us without direction or help, but He is ever there directing our footsteps, even when we are not sure we are walking in the right way.  If we begin to lose our footing, we will feel the comfort of the staff and His ever present love.  Even in great darkness of the trials of life, He lets us know He is there and we are not alone.  That is truly the best comfort we could possibly have.

Isaiah 30:16-18
"A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a
flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill."

Remember in Part I of this teaching, we mentioned that the original flags and banners of Israel were poles or staffs?  The
Mattah is a staff or banner in our hands as we worship our Lord.  The Mattah with it's specific declaration of God represents intercession in our hands and in our hearts.  The Lord our Banner!!!  His banner over us is LOVE!  The Lord our Commander, He is the Captain of Hosts of Armies!!  He is Jehovah Shalom our Peace!!  He is Jehovah Sabbaoth, Captain of Hosts!  He is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our Banner!!  He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who Provides.  The Mattah is a declaration in our hearts, in our hands and to the people of Whom HE Is and Whom we Worship and serve!!  The Lord, He is God, the Lord He is God, Yes, the Lord He is King!!  It is He whose name is above every other Name!! The Lord, He is God!!

There is so much more.  There is enough instruction on the rod and staff of God that we could do ten pages of instruction.  He will so open up your spirit man to His authority and person that you will just have to stop and praise Him!!  How can this writer put it all on this website?  There is so much more.  Pull out your concordance.  Use the Bible Gateway link on this website and look up the words staff and rod.  You will be blown away as you see the many ways the Lord proclaims His nature through the Staff.  Our Lord Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron!  He will smite His enemies with the sword of His mouth!  The Rod is His authority!!  The Rod is the symbol of His strength.  Are you getting this?  He is the King and Ruler of all things and of every nation.  His death, burial and resurrection is the confidence of His authority and power, and He has been given a place beside the Father to rule and reign with His scepter of righteousness.

Do you want to know how the Lord used the Rod to defeat the devil?
  Remember the cross?  It was the vehicle by which our Lord Jesus was put to death.  Don't you know there was a hole in the ground that the cross or tree was placed into to hang Jesus upon?  When the cross struck the earth with Jesus upon it, it was a sound that rang throughout the heavens and caused a great earthquake that day.  When our Savior said, "It is finished," he had offered the greatest act of worship on a pole that could have ever been offered.  The Israelites looked to a serpent on a pole and they were healed in the wilderness, but Jesus became our once for all sacrifice and it was upon a tree that struck the ground with an authority that ripped the veil of the Temple from top to bottom and released the dead from their graves.  Don't you think that when we strike the ground with our Mattah in His name that we are reminding the enemy of the sound that struck the earth 2000 years ago that with His death and resurrection purchased our salvation?  It was the highest form of worship Jesus could have ever brought to the Father, for it was His obedience in sacrifice that purchased all of mankind back for our Father in heaven, that we may even call Him our Father in heaven.  Every time we strike the ground in our worship with the Mattah, we remind the enemy of the territory that has been taken by our Lord Jesus and His authority at the cross.  Every sound of the Mattah pounds into the earth, We are His, He is Lord, He is King and we now multiplied throughout the earth proclaim, He is King, Yes He is King!!  He has purchased men for Himself through His own blood.  Yes...He is King!!!  So strike the earth with the Rod and proclaim His glorious name, for He will judge His enemies with His rod, and who knows...if we as a worshiping army will not help Him to accomplish it as we strike the earth in intercession and proclamation of His great power and glory!  Alleluia and Amen!