The Danger in Being “of Our Fathers”

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

For decades revivalist preacher, Leonard Ravenhill used to ask, “Where is the Church in prayer?” as the way of evidencing health in the Body of Christ. We have come to a time when it has become vital to ask: “Where is our evangelical family in prayer in a spirit of humility, contrition, repentance and the fear of the Lord?”

The Church in America has spurned the Lord’s prophetic perspicuity. We show little sign of being circumspect, much less humble or repentant regarding the evils that we have embraced.

Three things happen to a people who refuse to respond to the Lord’s prophetic perspective on their lives:

1. When the people despise the wisdom of the Lord they will operate in the natural “foolishness” of this age, and become blind and remain insensible to prophetic “signs”.
For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)

2. In their intemperate loyalty to their idolatrous narrative they will cast off judgment after judgment, until the Lord finally judges no more and brings His charge against the inhabitants of the land… 1 Hear the word of the Lord, for the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land will mourn; and everyone who dwells there will waste away.” (Hosea 4:1-3)

3. Ultimately, people who spurn humility, repentance and the cross will champion “Barabbas” (Matthew 27:20, 21) – in so doing, bring God’s wrath upon their own head and prove to be “sons of our father”… (John 8:44)

20 The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas (a murderer) and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” (Matthew 27:20-21)

You are OF YOUR FATHER the devil, and the desires OF YOUR FATHER you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. (John 8:44)

21 century American believers want to be “OF OUR FATHER”. We clamor for leaders who nurture the way of insurrection and murder. We love it this way. And we have cast off all restraint to want it any other way.

The fact that we can’t see this about ourselves tells us our “violent ways” have become a “familiar spirit” (Matthew 17:19, 21).

Where are the prophets of God who will stand resolutely in persistent prayer the Word that the Lord has spoken? Where are those who have heard His Word of judgment and are found trembling in the place of prayer because they listen, see and know the way of the Lord is to refine His people for His Son. Where are the prophets who will not enshrine the way of the fathers, because they understand that the way of the fathers has been to violently resist the Word of the Lord? Where are those who see from heaven’s perspective knowing the Lord has always refined His people into the narrow way through the sea of cultural “decorum”?

25 THE CONSPIRACY OF HER PROPHETS IN HER MIDST is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; THEY HAVE DEVOURED THE PEOPLE; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, NOR HAVE THEY MADE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE UNCLEAN AND THE CLEAN... 28 HER PROPHETS PLASTERED THEM WITH UNTEMPERED… FALSE VISIONS, and DIVINING LIES for them, saying, ‘THUS SAYETH THE LORD GOD,’ WHEN THE LORD HAD NOT SPOKEN… 30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 22:25-26, 28, 30)

Noah was out of step with the whole of the world.
Abraham was brought out from the legacy of his fathers.
Moses accomplished an exodus through sea and wilderness.
A whole generation of sons and daughters of Abraham and Sarah, were spared by lambs’ blood, but died en masse, in their spirit of rebellion – fearing to dialogue with the Lord face to Face, and believing they were within their right to celebrate and protest.
Joshua and Caleb alone entered the land.
Gideon was called from among the ways of his fathers to faithfully fight the enemies of God.
David alone challenged Goliath.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Nahum were voices that defied the nap of culture.
Daniel.
John.
Y’shua.
Seven churches.

Not only were these ones set apart for the Lord from the world. They were each set apart from within a people who had been set apart unto the Lord.

19 If I SEND A PLAGUE INTO THAT LAND and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” 21 For thus says the Lord God: “HOW MUCH MORE IT SHALL BE WHEN I SEND MY SEVERE JUDGMENTS 22 Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and YOU WILL SEE THEIR WAYS AND THEIR DOINGS. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have broughtand you shall know that I have done nothing without cause…” says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 14:19-23)

The Lord has spoken the words “violence” over our household. This is His judgment. Now He chastens us with the same word. Who bends low?

History testifies to us: It’s not prudent to look to take refuge in the doctrines of our fathers. Our refuge must be in God Himself.

8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to (the people of God) our sin. 9 Now hear this, you (leaders) who abhor justice and pervert all equity, 10 who build up (the people of God) with BLOODSHED and (the evangelical culture) with iniquity: 11 Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, “IS NOT THE LORD AMONG US? NO HARM CAN COME UPON US.12 Therefore because of you (the people) shall be plowed like a field, (and) shall become heaps of ruins, and the (sacred places) like the bare hills of the forest. (Micah 3:8-12)

Fear the Lord. Honor His judgments. Tremble when His judgments cease.

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JSB • July 4, 2022

The Corporate Nature of the Judgments of the Lord

“These things says He who holds the SEVEN STARS in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the SEVEN GOLDEN LAMP STANDS.” (Revelation 2:1)

“Corporate” Is Uniquely Difficult for Western Christianity
One of the elements of the Kingdom that 21c western Christianity struggles with is the degree to which we are “corporate”, and not merely “individual”. The Lord (all throughout the Bible) sees and treats humanity on the basis of our “corporate” nature/influence much more than we 21c Americans believe, teach – or like.

Yes. Each of us will ultimately be judged for our own individual covenant relationship with Jesus Christ (Revelation 20;15) But we are greatly influenced (for both good and bad) by the views and values of our corporate family, community and nation – much much more than we often acknowledge.

By neglecting to let God refine and purge our corporate ways, norms, sins and standards we leave influential idols on the high places of our culture, and these idols infect our individual hearts with destructive lies of the enemy.

The judgments of the Lord are primarily about the Lord bringing both reward and rebuke for the ways of family, community and culture.

It’s so vital that we understand how the Lord deals with us in a corporate way in this hour. If we don’t understand this Biblical truth, we can easily find ourselves working against the Lord. On the other hand, if we give ourselves to this reality we will find ourselves (note this is plural) in new dimensions of freedom, authority and maturity unto the glory of our King!

The Kingdom Precedent for Corporate
Jesus, the prophets and the apostles spend a great deal of time addressing the ways of corporate people groups because He/they know three things:
1. We are greatly influenced (for both good and bad) by the values of our friends, family, and culture
2. We greatly need each other if we are to go deep in vibrant righteousness. (Satan knows this too…)
3. Jesus is returning for a corporate Bride; not just a collection of individuals.

Repentance is meant to be a corporate endeavor, not merely an individual endeavor. It’s meant to be both, because both greatly influence the nature and destiny of our soul.

The Biblical Testimony of Our Corporate Nature
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 is a call to corporate repentance.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

The Psalms are filled with references to corporate and generational blessings and corporate and generational curses.

Joel 2 is a call to corporate repentance.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, call a sacred assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders… Let them say, ‘Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not give Your heritage to reproach.” (Joel 2:15,17)

Daniel 9 is a prayer of corporate identification and corporate repentance.

Lamentations is a book of corporate repentance.

Jesus speaks woes upon corporate groups of people.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Matthew 11:21)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13-15)

Peter addresses the corporate sins of the people in Acts 2:36-37
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart…” (Acts 2:36-37)

In Acts 17:11 the whole church in Berea is commended for the nobility of their ways.
“These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”(Acts 17:11)

Paul’s mindset is continually addressing the corporate dynamics in the churches he writes to – for both encouragement and for reprimand and correction.

In the end, the whole Bride makes herself (corporate) ready. (Revelation 19:7) It isn’t some are ready and others are not.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and HIS WIFE has made HERSELF ready.” (Revelation 19:7)
From the whole testimony of scripture, we understand that the Holy Spirit has the capacity to bring the whole Bride into first commandment love for Jesus. This is perhaps the greatest miracle, sign and wonder of history. Our mutual, corporate, wholehearted adoration and proclamation of Jesus will be the pinnacle witness and testimony to the redemptive power of God. Our unity under the reign of Christ will be the dagger in the heart of the devil.

He wanted to divide and conquer and separate us from God, and each other through hostility and alienation. Perhaps the Lord’s supreme expression of the depth of His power to save will be put on display through our unified acclamation of Jesus as the One King that we all submit to. The declaration “Jesus is Lord” is actually, “Jesus is OUR Lord!” This is the complete undoing of the dynamic of blame and enmity that satan sowed into the hearts of Adam and Eve in the garden.
“The Lord said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11-13)

The Seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3
Jesus addresses seven spiritual communities in Revelation 2 and 3.

In the seven churches of Revelation we hear the Lord releasing four realities into corporate bodies:
1. Corporate Commendation – The commendations that Jesus issues have real, cascading/viral blessing attached to them.
2. Corporate Rebuke and Correction – The rebuke that Jesus issues to corporate groups address real sins that can also compound, delude and harden a people-group in the ways of unrighteousness.
3. Corporate Warning – The warnings are issued corporately, because we are meant to help guard each other from the ways of unrighteousness.
4. Corporate Promises – The promises are issued corporately, because Jesus knows that we need each other to propel us deep into the reward of righteousness, and because part of the great reward of righteousness is enjoying it corporately. There is a greater joy to be had in celebrating corporate righteousness than there is in celebrating private righteousness. (This is why you never want to hit a hole-in-one by yourself. We were made for mutual celebration.)

It’s significant that Jesus specifically calls the seven churches (corporate) to repentance seven times. Not one of those exhortations are a call to individual repentance. They’re each a call for corporate repentance.

Vital Current Controversy
We are the inheritors of a great corporate blessing from the foundations of our nation. We are also inheritors of great potential threats from the curses (like any group of fallen creatures) attached to the foundations of our nation. We need to take both as seriously as God does. He does not only see us as individuals. He also sees how inextricably linked we are to each other; to our forefathers and to our children’s children. We bear a debt of mutual responsibility to each other.

This also goes for churches, church cultures, regions and families. We inherit both the strengths and the weaknesses of the corporate groups we are a part of. This is the way we were made.

We were made for family and community. God is family and community. We are called to family and community.

The enemy wants to divide us and separate us from each other. He knows the wisdom of “separate and conquer”.

There is a powerful two-fold spiritual truth attached to the corporate that the end-times Church must avail herself of:
1. We will go further and deeper and more brilliant in righteousness and Christlikeness in the company of others.
2. We will also go further and deeper and blinder in unrighteousness and godless idolatry in the company of others.  This is the testimony and lesson we can derive from all 66 books of the Bible. Every single one.

This is why Paul admonishes those who are caught in the downward spiral of sin:
THEY did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave THEM over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; THEY are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also give hearty approbation to those who practice them.
(Romans 1:28-32)

This is also why Jesus takes our mutual influence and potential to cause others to sin so seriously.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1)

There are more than 100 references to “one another” in the New Testament. The Lord knows, indeed, He has built within us the capacity to enlarge and enhance each other through corporate life together. (This is why every team wants to play the championship game on their home field. It’s called the home-field advantage for a reason!)
“Exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”(Hebrews 3:13)

“Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24,25)

We Need Each Other to Cultivate A Responsiveness Posture to the Lord’s Prophetic Voice
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common.” (Acts 2:44)

We need spiritual family to help us be responsive to the Lord’s voice. We need to live and be surrounded a culture that values:
1. A Spirit of Humility
2. Prioritizing the Pursuit of First Commandment love
3. Fear of the Lord
4. Maintaining a Spirit of Repentance
5. Lifestyles of Corporate Prayer

One of the most vital things pastors and leaders in the body of Christ can do in this hour is to realize our capacity to help each other prioritize cultivating these five traits of responsiveness to the Lord. Cultivating communal values for these five values is great spiritual warfare in this hour.

____________________
JSB • June 29, 2022

A World Rages for Abortion

Singer, Kendrick Lamar closed the Glastonbury Music festival Sunday night with the song / chant: “Godspeed for women’s rights”

“Forced pregnancy is a crime against humanity.” (NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)

“It’s burn it to the ground time.” (Seattle Sounder soccer player, Megan Rapinoe)

“The whims of idealogues have attacked the essential freedom of millions of Americans.” (Barack Obama)

“I am pro-abortion. I loved my abortion.” (Billie Eilish)

Watching the world’s colective, demonic rage against the Dobbs’ decision may be the most bonafide, objective verification of the God of the Bible we’ve seen in a long time.

And yet, in even this, God is manifesting His justice. When His Son returns to rule the earth His judgment of 7.8 billion human hearts will be “altogether just, and true, and righteous” (Revelation 16:7). 

People argue, “How can a loving God order people to go to hell???” 

On the day that the world sees the resurrected Jesus return to earth to set up His government, they (Planned Parenthood, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Starbucks, Ms. Rapinoe, and Mr. Lamar) will tragically love their sinful ways and opinions no less than they do today. They will rage for their right to abort human life no less than they do today. 

The Father will not suffer insurrection against fidelity to His Son. (See Psalm 2) The supreme expression of justice on the earth is that our Redeemer King is worshipped and loved and honored by all of creation. His judgment (to finally turn human beings over to the torment and fear that’s been raging in their hearts) will be altogether just and true and righteous. They will not love nor submit to the way Jesus administrates His reign over humanity any more in His presence than in His absence.

This is also why it is SO VITAL that the Church respond to the (1 Peter 4:17-18) judgments of the Lord in this hour by giving the world an example of how to respond to a holy, sovereign and gracious God. If the world sees us casting off the judgments of the Lord with self-justification and violently demanding our own way, they will find no reason, and see no example of how, or why to respond to the Lord any differently than we have.

The judgments upon the Church right now are intended to be a witness to those who don’t know that there is a salvation to be had from the tyranny and murderous ways of unrighteousness.

The way into that salvation is through HUMILITY • CONTRITION • REPENTANCE • IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD

“As soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you (and the way you responded to the sovereign judgments of the Lord), for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath… So the two men… said to Joshua, ‘Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.” (Joshua 2:11 and 23)

____________________
JSB • June 27, 2022

Since We Last Had “Revival”

Since America’s last “revival” in the 70’s, our “born-again” spiritual family has had a spate of high-profile leaders exposed for fraud and numerous adulterous affairs in the 80’s…

In the 90’s we also unanimously elected a man who was having multiple gay affairs to be the president of the National Association of Evangelicals…

In the 2000’s scores of evangelical leaders publicly celebrated a young minister who was sexually grooming his interns as “God’s man for this generation”…

In the 2010’s predatory sexual behavior became an epidemic…

…including thousands of sexual harassment cases being brought ag the largest evangelical denomination in the world, and the removal of one of the most sought after evangelical teacher/leaders in our culture…

In 2020 the president of the largest evangelical institution in the nation was abruptly removed from his multiple education and political posts for bizarre sexual sin…

…this same man was one of the very first to wholeheartedly endorse our 45th President; the first twice-divorced man to seek the office; and who openly flaunted his pornographic, adulterous sin prior to winning 82% of our vote…

Maybe it’s time to consider that we’ve spent a generation being deluded by crossless evangelicalism…

Maybe it’s time to NOT believe what our evangelical leaders are saying about a life-long cheater’s behavior re: January 6…

Maybe it’s time to listen to Nathan

Maybe it’s time to stop this nonsense about God giving cultural prominence to us…

Maybe it’s time to recognize that we’ve looked a lot more like faithless Israel in the desert, and deluded Jerusalem in the day of Jeremiah than the 1st century church at Antioch…

Maybe it’s time for us to let the God of 2 Samuel 12 confront our adulterous ways…

Maybe it’s time to plumb line our churches, our conferences, our ZOOM meetings and prayer gatherings to the fear of the Lord…

Maybe it’s time to abjectly humble ourselves, operate in a spirit of contrition, and repent in the ashes we’ve spent a generation producing in His Name.

JSB • June 26, 2022

What Have We Done With Nathan?

“See that you do not refuse Him Who speaks…” (Hebrews 12:25)

Beginning with the Bridegroom fast, (June 6, 7 & 8) the Lord has put an unusual sobriety upon our little house. I’ve not spent so much time on my face since last summer when the Lord led us to pray through Jeremiah. I am accustomed to praying, “Father, give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us.” For the past ten days I’ve been praying, “Father, give Your people a ‘WILL’ to hear what the Spirit saying to us.”

This is what I am hearing Him say: Our evangelical family has wielded violence against our nation. Violence will be wielded against us. We’ve been pregnant with “revival”. How shall we give birth if we choose to abort the prophetic Word of the Lord? We’ve brought violence into our house and wielded it against our nation. We’ve attached false prophecy to our hearts while violently resisting the Lord’s many prophetic warnings; stoning both His kind and stern judgments. We’ve refused to repent of it. We smolder with a spirit of rebellion within His courts. Now the fruit of our labor is lost; now we bring holy violence upon ourselves and our nation.

“23 The land is full of murder and the city is full of violence. 24 …I will put an end to the arrogance of the strong, and their sanctuaries will be desecrated. 25 Terror is coming! They will seek peace, but find none. 26 Disaster after disaster will come, and one rumor after another. They will seek a vision from a prophet; priestly instruction will disappear, along with counsel from the elders. 27 The king will mourn and the prince will be clothed with shuddering; the hands of the people of the land will tremble. Based on their behavior I will deal with them, and by their standard of justice I will judge them. Then they will know that I am the Lord!” (Ezekiel 7:23-27)

Just like the church in Laodicea, we’ve grown so dull to the Spirit of the Lord, we cannot even perceive a severe judgment like this; a pronouncement that all heaven is acutely aware of.

“18…anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:18-19)

If we did understand it, a great sound of weeping and lament would overtake everyone of our conferences, our social media accounts, our gatherings and prayers. Our silence, testifies to our numb spirit.

How ironic (not) that the word “abortion” would come to us, as we await the Supreme Court decision re: Roe vs. Wade.

We’re upon an hour when the Lord is saying, “I would have given you revival. Now I will only give you the fear of the Lord – but only to those who ask. Those who will not ask; will be the godless. They will be swept away by delusions and violence.”

“2 Do not envy evil people, do not desire to be with them; for their hearts contemplate violence, and their lips speak harm.” (Proverbs 24:2)

There will still be churches that exhibit popularity. But if they have no humility, no contrition, no repentance and no fear of the Lord do not to envy them. The foundation of their fellowship is like a poison.

Humility, contrition, and repentance in the fear of the Lord.
Humility, contrition, and repentance in the fear of the Lord.
Humility, contrition, and repentance in the fear of the Lord.

I say this with no pride. I know dozens of evangelical friends and groups who were at the capital January 6 (some for the third time in 4 months) at the behest of notorious prophetic voices – praying, jeering Vice-President Pence, hoisting “Stop the Steal” banners, proudly defending President Trump’s bid to overturn the Senate’s ratification and the 2020 election…

January 6 was our gathering; our spirit; our protest; our cause; our festival. The fact that we bear the same hostile arguments in our soul 18 months later testifies to our own condemnation. The fact that we cannot recognize that it’s our spirit that’s on trial signifies the depth of our blindness.

Beloved. The Lord is aiming this arrow squarely into the heart of our American evangelical family. We have run out of time to put our false narratives, and false prophecies on the threshing floor. 

The utter silence of American evangelicalism re: January 6 and the season surrounding it is nothing less than massive denial and – I might even say “cult collusion” – to keep ourselves from bringing our sins to the blood of the Lord. The absence of our humility, contrition and lament before the Holy God, our fanatical attempts to sweep these strong delusions under the rug, and our utter disregard for repentance and the crucifixion of our self cries out to heaven to our shame.

“14 Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captives, but have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.” (Lamentations 2:14)

“You cry for Me to bring revival to your nation, and yet you do not cry to Me over your sins and your violence against your nation.”

In the heavens we’re accruing a violent whirlwind.

“18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury – A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. 21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.” (Jeremiah 23:18-22)

Even as I am writing this, in the middle of the night, a violent wind has come into the courtyard of our house of prayer. I can hear it thrashing the trees and vehemently clanging our heavy chimes.

“3 You refuse to believe a day of disaster will come, and you establish a reign of violence.” (Amos 6:3)

The judgment of the Lord has come to American evangelicalism in the very same way that the prophet Nathan came to David in (2 Samuel 12). The prophet’s words to the king have parallel application to our own house in America…

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! (This indictment is directed at you!) Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed to his house.

The enormous difference between the (2 Samuel 12) narrative and our own is two-fold:
1.) Unlike David, our American evangelical family is turning Nathan away. We don’t even care to hear his words.
2.) We’re not turning Nathan (what God intended to be a “gift”) away – we’ve been turning His Son away. It’s to this reality that the Lord speaks the following parable from (Matthew 21) 

“33 Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. 37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” 41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” 45 Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.”

Here’s the question before us: If we, unlike David, turn Nathan away, and we do not even have the awareness of the chief priests and Pharisees, what should be our outcome?

I will tell you what will happen. We will experience no revival, and violence against us will continue to increase, and we will see this as a hostile threat against the Lord from the outside, rather than a judgment FROM the Lord upon His own household. (1 Peter 4:17) Indeed, we are already arming ourselves under the guise of protecting ourselves with the second amendment. We are clothing ourselves with more violence. And just like the people in Jeremiah’s day, we will take up arms against this Word of the Lord and we will fail; we will fall; we will both lose the promise of the “land”, and we will be ground to powder. (Matthew 21:44)

For the last two weeks, (even before we had a sense of the Lord’s heaviness) our house of prayer has been praying from Hebrews 12.

“25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. 26 For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25-26)

We’ve been undone by the holiness of the Lord in Hebrews 12:18-24; receiving revelation of Who and where we’ve been called… the holiness of His summons.. the utter abnegation of self… the abandonment to trust the cross and the way of the cross – or not… I’ve even heard the Lord whispering “the way of the cross or the way of satan..” from (Matthew 16:21-27).

“21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

It is significant that in (v.27) Jesus speaks about His return, right after He gives one of His most ardent calls to the crucified life. What seems arbitrary – and perhaps a little disconnected from the rest of the narrative is actually prophetic, in that Jesus is saying He WILL have a Bride who is equally yoked to the cross with Him… Our crucifixion is where our covenant in Christ has always been intended to go. Anything less, anything divergent, no matter how “good” it appears is of “satan”…

I believe we’ll look back through the lens of heaven and see what a disastrous choice we (American evangelicalism) have made in this hour. No less than Moses striking the rock in hostility.

“12 the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Since you did not trust in Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, for that reason you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)

This is a deeply holy moment to the Lord… we’ve crossed into a new realm in the spirit.

He is holy. All His judgments are just and true and righteous.
7 “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.” (Revelation 16:7)

While I will celebrate every church that wins the lost, and every soul that is baptized into Christ – how do we continue to plead for revival for our nation? To do so is to ignore Nathan and ply the kingdom on our terms – without the company of the King. To do so would be to join Peter’s objection at Caesarea Philippi. It would be to say, “We want a kingdom of insurrection, where we can live before God dishonestly; without accountability to His leadership.”

This is how I am praying for us as a people: I’m praying for the fear of the Lord to be upon us.

Perhaps we can still give the next generation a pattern of how to respond with humility to the One Who is entirely holy and sovereign. Whatever our hope, it will only be found in “selflessness”.

Humility, contrition, and repentance in the fear of the Lord.
Humility, contrition, and repentance in the fear of the Lord.
Humility, contrition, and repentance in the fear of the Lord.

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JSB • June, 17, 2022

Dare We Be Consumed?

I am hearing this scripture in so many places during this season. Especially in my own place of prayer.

The truth is, Hebrews 12:29 isn’t really a statement about the existential nature of our God. It’s a summons into God Himself. The God of our refuge.

It’s a plea to live an abandoned life unto His increase.

It’s a call to the Man, Jesus and to His gospel call for us to “take up our cross” (Luke 9:23).

It’s the gate into the inferno of first-commandment love and the fear of the Lord.

All who dare enter (Luke 14:28) this perfectly holy fire are consumed by the Eternal God Himself. THIS is the baptism of Pentecost. Indeed, this is baptism itself. There is no baptism that neglects the consumed life.

If we want to survive the God-ordained shaking that’s on the earth we must also understand: THE CONSUMED LIFE IS THE ONLY LIFE THAT WILL REMAIN. Put another way: If we’re not consumed by Him we WILL be consumed by something else. Let me say this again: If we’re not consumed by Him we WILL be consumed by something else.

This is the Lord’s intentional plan for the Church, so that His Son’s Bride comes forth prepared (Revelation 19:7), without spot, wrinkle or blemish, (Ephesians 5:26-27) wholly leaning on her Beloved (Song 8:5).

“Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)

In spite of the world’s illusory evidence to the contrary we must learn to walk with singular fidelity to the Voice of the One Who is bidding us into the fire of Himself. Again, THIS (and only this) is the veritable proposition of Pentecost.

This is also the deeply disturbing “why” beneath Annanias and Saphira’s fate in (Acts 5). They had entered into the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling God could not be disloyal and dishonest to Himself. Annanias and his wife were attempting to control the consuming nature of the Lord. And that which offers half-measures to the pure fire of the Lord Himself is the “strange fire” of Nadab and Abihu in (Leviticus 10:1-3).

In this next season, we will see a lot of “strange fire” that bills itself as “an offering unto the Lord” (Leviticus 9:22). It’s only those who dare to let God be Who He is in our lives who will experience anything that can be considered by heaven as true revival.

The Church cannot content herself with asking the question: “Who will dare enter into His fire?”. We must orient ourselves to asking, “Who will dare NOT enter into His fire?”

“This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” (Leviticus 10:3)

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JSB • May 30, 2022

Memorial Day 2018

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

For the past 5 months I’ve been hearing the Spirit say, “The American Church’s posture for the year 2018 is Luke 20:18.”

2018 is a year of intensifying JUDGMENT & REFINEMENT of the house of God. (1 Peter 4:17-19).

The call to Luke 20:18 is a call to “FALL UPON JESUS, OUR ROCK”. 

Falling on Jesus means that we radically sacrifice ourselves, our time, our priorities & our resources to deeply receiving & being shaped by revelation of the beautiful and holy character of our Rock & our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

The more we FALL ON HIM in adoration, humility and receptivity, the more we will NOT FALL for the multiple temptations, the polarizing offenses & the intensifying pressures that ARE BEFALLING us in this season.

Unless we Evangelicals saturate and strengthen our hearts in the beautiful character of Jesus, we will fear to “fall on Him” and we WILL “be crushed” (suffer great loss) through the refining judgment of God and the escalating rage that is being released against the Church in this hour.

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JSB • May, 2018