In an hour when there is no end to the injustices that will enflame our hearts it’s seriously vital for us Christ-followers to remember that it was primarily ZEAL for the Father and His house, not merely HOSTILITY against those perpetuating injustice that Jesus manifested in the temple in John 2.
“ZEAL FOR Your house has consumed me.” (John 2:27)
It’s so easy for our anger to cloud our minds with self-justification regarding our stance over any given issue. How do we know when we’re operating in a spirit of ZEAL, and not a spirit of shallow HOSTILITY?
The spirit of ZEAL will empower us to take up our cross and lay down our lives; not just on behalf of a cause or an issue, but on behalf of those who most oppose us! Jesus’ Kingdom isn’t merely an order of righteousness. It’s an order of righteousness where the unrighteous are miraculously made righteous under the authority of the Righteous One.
Jesus could take up a whip against the wicked because He was also willing to take up a cross on their behalf. His indictment against their evil, was ultimately connected to intercession on behalf of his enemies, as well as an invitation into a new way of living.
In an age when rage is kindled so quickly throughout our culture, we evangelicals (remember what that word means?) do well to remind our hearts that we follow the One Who prayed for His executioners: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24)
Today, He issues the same prayer to the enemies of His Kingdom; (Yes. Even THOSE enemies…) And He invites them, (and us) into a fellowship of intimate forgiveness where His Spirit of love fills our hearts and floods every aspect of our lives. This is the self-denying power of the gospel for which the enemy has no counter-measure; one that witnesses to hard hearts and pierces the angry lies of the devil.
Heaven is not an inch concerned about us merely winning an uncivil war for morality. But there are crowns aplenty for those who win uncivil hearts into allegiance to the King. This must remain the victory ground we’re zealous to take: we only, ultimately win a cultural conflict when He wins the souls of those in hostility to His Kingdom.
I am daily underestimating the kind of preparations that need to be made in my heart… my relationships… the way I think about God… etc. in order for me to receive and gladly herald the perfectly holy, loving, powerful, humble and “other” King on the horizon…
The paradigm-shift the Church and our world has entered into is unfathomable from a human perspective.
Consider: if Jesus’ first-coming to the single nation of Israel was prefaced by a massive move of repentance through the ministry of John the Baptist, what kind of move will it take to herald His second-coming to the whole earth?
We’ve never seen this kind of move of God before…
This King isn’t coming to make our churches big, or our political opinions more popular, or our lives more self-fulfilled. He’s coming to rule 195 nations, as well as the hearts and relationships of every soul on the planet!
Our world is about to go through the most cataclysmic transition in human history – from the age of Adam, and the curse of satanic rule – to an age where the Son of God Himself establishes His sovereign government upon the earth, and goodness and justice are the unopposed social, political and economic operational norms!
In this hour of preparation for His arrival, it makes sense that His (1 Peter 4:17) household would be on the precipice of a furious, soul-rending, fervid, can’t-make-it-stop, everywhere-present, unprecedented earthquake of repentance. The Word of the Lord has promised, every valley, every mountain, every crooked way, and every rough pathway will be brought into alignment with His ways (Isaiah 40:3) as the prelude to His arrival.
The shifting “understanding and expression of Christianity” is much more profound than we have yet believed. And, because of our reluctance to let go of the familiar, it will only “be accomplished” through the shifting of our hearts as we obediently respond to the judgements of the Lord. None-the-less, the signs from the Word and the Voice of the Spirit are telling us that everything is beginning to fall into place – just as He said it would.
A year ago Mike Bickle wrote: “Friends, we can not afford to be Biblically illiterate in this hour, or our hearts will end up confused and offended by the increased shaking (the judgements of the Lord) on the earth.”
If we can say anything about the shaking of this past year, it’s that it produced great confusion and offense within the people of God. It’s important that we settle in our minds that the shaking will only escalate from here on out beloved. Elements of the Church will only grow more confused and offended. Those who embrace humility, “seek His Face”, and align ourselves to His dawning eternal order will find ourselves more and more alien to the thrashing vestige of this world – both in and out of the Church.
In view of this, (as Hebrews 12:25-28 instructs us) it is supremely wise to “rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11) at the working of the Lord within our midst. Only those who say with the Psalmist: “My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times” (Psalm 119:20) will ultimately have grace to say “we love the day of His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
“Only those who say with the Psalmist: “MY SOUL BREAKS WITH LONGING FOR YOUR JUDGEMENTS AT ALL TIMES” (Psalm 119:20) will ultimately have grace to say, “WE LOVE THE DAY OF HIS APPEARING.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
This is the responsive, self-crucifying attitude that will sufficiently prepare us for the arrival of a King Whose government will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
One of the cultural dynamics that has tripped us American believers up for more than a generation is the soup we live in, day-in and day-out that tells us Christianity is all about us. It’s not about us. It’s not even mostly about us. It’s only by His grace that ANY of this is about us at all.
If we make the Christian life about us we’ll never give ourselves to (John 3:30). We’ll never see the wisdom of attaching our life to a cross that’s attached to a grave. We’ll never surrender our will to the glory of the Father. Our self (with a little help from the enemy of our souls) will always make sure that our religious experiences are about… our self.
The late Elizabeth Elliot writes: “The fact is, as believers, it is not about us. It is not about my happiness, my joy, my well-being. It is about the glory of God and the Kingdom of Christ. The only means to real joy and content,ent is to make His glory the supreme objective in my life.”
The centrality of “me” is a great delusion, and it’s SO ubiquitous in our consumeristic Christian circles… The Kingdom is not about making my life work. Our part in the Kingdom is about enthroning His reign in our lives. (This is a big difference.) But the truth is, when we DON’T make it about ourselves our lives are filled with infinitely more satisfaction and fruit than we could achieve in our own effort.
The heart of the heart of the heart the Kingdom is about the Father’s promise He made to His Son; that He should rule the nations, and have an eternal partner, redeemed, purified and brought forth in first commandment love. This means that He WILL have a Bride, not necessarily that everyone WILL be a part of Her. It’s the invitation to joy. But it’s an invitation that must be traveled by dying to self. “Rejoice, but with trembling… lest you perish in the way.” (Psalm 2:11)
This is why I like the laconic proclamation of the gospel: “Jesus is Lord. How are you responding to that reality?” This is the gospel that John points to. This is the gospel that Jesus brings. This is the gospel that the apostles and the whole of the New Testament proclaims: “Jesus is Lord! And He’s coming to reign. And you’ll want to be cleansed of your rebellion; receive His pardon; and be filled with the administration and authority of His government, because He intends to co-rule with a prepared people. Nothing! in hell or on earth will stop this King from receiving this promise from the Father. The best life we can know (and it IS unbelievably fulfilling and fruitful) is for us to make our peace with Him, enter into His terms of agreement, and surrender to His reign of love – while we can.”
This is the nexus of the separation that is being accomplished in the Church in this hour. Many will experience the tremors of His voice calling us to come out of the tyranny of our own self-focused-rule and either not see Him for Who He is, not understand His call or reject His authentic call because it doesn’t look like the call they’re used to hearing Christianity issue. Some will gloriously go through the baptism of fire that He is sending to the earth and abandon themselves to come forth “without spot, wrinkle or blemish”. (Ephesians 5:27) ____________________ JSB • April, 2021
Sadly, in celebrating our Vice-President’s unholy blend of humanist Christianity and Hinduism, Sojourners is “true-to-form” giving us a pretty vivid picture of what the Revelation 17 religion looks like in 21c America…
The rise of the false church over the span of my lifetime is extraordinary. It’s one of the major signs of the imminent arrival of our King.
The truth is, when Jesus comes, He is bringing with Him a government that will be more contrary and disconcerting than any regime change in history. The power structures of this world, along with the dearly held values of billions of common people will resist Him immensely; hating what it is that He stands for; despising His exclusivity, offended by His love for Israel, enraged at His opposition to our self-made definitions of gender and marriage; confounded as He confronts our idolatry; and indignant as He exposes our “self-exalting” and “self-justifying” ways.
Billions will stare the God of the Bible in the face, shake their fist at Him and consciously and fervently reject both His “justice-system” and His selection of Jesus of Nazareth as the sole Arbiter of that justice. It will be a totally futile, but thoroughly fierce and adamant temper-tantrum where many people that we know will literally choose a vapid eternity apart from God rather than have His way of doing things rule over them.
Ultimately, any thought of a transcendent religious body will be swallowed up by a government that is entirely hostile to the order of the Perfect and Rightful King of the Earth, Jesus. And both religion and government will come to an agreement that will unite the world in a very “Babel-onian” (See Genesis 11) rebellion against the God of the Bible and His Son. (Incidentally, it’s the same spirit that we see in Isaiah’s [Ch.14] pre-creation depiction of the rebellion of satan in heaven.)
Of this hour Jesus says, “Many (or most) hearts will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) – both in love for God, and for others…
Do you know what Jesus’ remedy for this soul-condition is? Do you know that in many chapters in both the Old Testament and the New the Lord repeatedly gives us clear, single-pointed instruction on how to avoid being swept up in this “great delusion”? If you had to explain it to a loved one who is seeking refuge from the mounting spirit of the age, what would you tell them to do?
“As we behold the One Who first took up His cross for us we gain the passion needed to take up our cross for Him.”
If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)
Jesus gives the invitation to take up our cross to more people, in more contexts than any other invitation into the Kingdom. (Matthew 10:38; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23,24; Luke 14:27)
Where do we find the strength to respond to Jesus’ call? Where do we find the power to endure the real suffering and death that’s connected to this journey into wholehearted love for Jesus?
We find power to endure the difficulty of our cross by taking the time to listen to the One Who first bore His cross for us. This is called doing the ONE THING. In Luke 10:42 Jesus declared that Mary of Bethany, who sat at His feet and listened to the Words of her Lord, was engaging in the ONE THING that was necessary for the human spirit to thrive in our relationship with God. He also declared that it was the ONE THING that could not be taken away. It was an experience that the enemy of her soul could not rob from her. It’s as we do the ONE THING of Mary of Bethany that we find the grace to obey the ONE THING that Jesus asked of the rich, young ruler in Mark 10:21 – Take up your cross and follow Me. And this is the way for all followers of Christ. We must cease from our anxious, self-driven, on-the-run lifestyles to behold Who Jesus is, and what His affections are for us. As we see His beauty and the majesty of His ways we gain the courage to remain faithful to Him through our hardships, and accumulate the passion that’s necessary to honor Him – even through our trials.
In John 17 we see Jesus praying to His Father just before His own death on the cross. Truth-be-told, what’s recorded in this chapter is as much about Jesus praying for our strength to take up our cross, as it is about Him taking up His cross. As you read these words, insert your own name in the blanks and imagine you’re listening to Him as He is praying for you in the garden of Gethsemane.
What strength enters your soul as you listen to Jesus pray these words for you?
WATCHING & PRAYING WITH JESUS from JOHN 17
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
01 And this is eternal life, that ______ may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
02 I have manifested Your name to ________ whom You have given Me out of the world. __________ is Yours, You gave _______ to Me, and ________ has kept Your word.
03 Now ________ has known that all things which You have given Me are from You.
04 I have given to _________ the words which You have given Me; and she/he has received them, and has known surely that I came forth from You.
05 _________ has believed that You sent Me.
06 I pray for ________.
07 I do not pray for the world but for _________ whom You have given Me.
08 _________ is Yours, and ________ is Mine, and I am glorified in ________.
09 Now I am no longer in the world, but ________ is in the world, and I come to You.
10 Holy Father, keep through Your name ________ whom You have given Me.
11 I pray that __________ may be one as We are.
12 While I was with my disciples in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You give Me I keep; and none of them was lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that ________ may have My joy fulfilled in her/him.
13 I have given _______ Your word; and the world has hated ______ because she/he is not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
14 I do not pray that You should take ____ out of the world, but that You should keep ____ from the evil one.
15 _______ is not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
16 Sanctify _______ by Your truth. Your word is truth.
17 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent _______ into the world.
18 For her/his sake I sanctify Myself, that _______ also may be sanctified by the truth.
19 I do not pray for _______ alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through _______ word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
20 And the glory which You gave Me I have given _______, that ______ may be one just as We are one: I in ______, and You in Me; that _______ (and those who follow with her/him) may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them (all) as You have loved Me.
21 Father, I desire that ________ whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that _______ may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
22 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and _________ has known that You sent Me.
23 And I have declared to her/him Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in _________, and I in her/him.”
In the nearly 3 years that All Nations has been in existence, the Lord has given us 3 prophetic words to pray through:
1. The wind of the Lord is coming (March, 2019)
2. The time of trouble is coming. Seek My Face. (October, 2019)
3. Decapitation (April, 2020)
Each of these words have been dramatically underscored by incredible, supernatural events that have been tangibly manifest within the Church, and our world. The closeness of the Father’s voice has been extraordinary.
Our little house of prayer sought none of these 3 words from the Lord. They just came. He has, however, called us to be faithful to thoroughly pray through them. (This is what you do with words from the Lord, so that you have the Holy Spirit strength and insight to obey them.) Other than to provide a House of Prayer for our region, we’ve received no other words of the Lord.
The “Decapitation” word we received last April is still being played out across our American Church culture – like terrible echoes of long, rolling thunder. We, the body of Christ, are savaging each other. Like the Jacobians of the French Revolution, there seems to be no end to the number of heads we want to “decapitate” outside our family, and within. Our generation is “devouring” (Galatians 5:15) each other through the spirit from (1 Corinthians 12:21) “I have no need of you”.
One half of “The Wind of the Lord” word has not yet come about – the wind of the Lord’s presence to bring the Church increased signs and wonders, conviction of sins and revival. Again. I pray for this daily.
I do not believe we will see the fulfillment of this second portion of the “wind of the Lord” prophecy unless we respond to the tenderizing work of the Spirit of the Lord, and repent of our “decapitating” each other. The Lord has a revival He wants to bring to our land. He longs to bring millions into our family, but like the older generation of Israelites in the wilderness, we may die outside of the promise by virtue of our hostile unbelief to the ways of the Lord.
I believe one of the chief, distinguishing questions the Lord is pointedly asking of His household in this hour is: “Do you want revolution, or do you want revival? If you want revolution, the blood of many will be spilled in your land… And you will also die by the sword. (Matthew 26:52) If you want revival, you all need to die… but My blood shed for you will give you resurrection life.”
Over the last year, many, who have heard the story of how the Lord prophetically called our little House of Prayer to “seek His face” (Psalm 27:8) in “the time of trouble” (Psalm 27:5) have asked us, “What is God saying to the Church? How is He calling His household to respond to Him?”
A scripture the Lord repeatedly turned us to during the 180 days of corporate prayer was Psalm 2. In this short chapter He paints His own fierce perspective of the sweep of human history. In the last few verses of the Psalm, (v. 10-12) He issues several injunctions that tell us how to respond to Him now, so that we are prepared for the great day of His arrival. Every phrase in these three verses is worthy of long meditation, dialoguing, prayer. Heeding these instructions is supremely wise. Obeying His Words in these verses will infuse our lives with vibrant strength for the time that is coming.
Now therefore, be wise, O kings;Be instructed, you judges of the earth.Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way,when His wrath is kindled but a little.Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Psalm 2:10-12)
A. REALIZE THAT THESE ARE WORDS OF INSTRUCTION FOR BELIEVERS These words are not only an exhortation to the unbelieving nations. They’re also an exhortation to the luke-warm Church. Believers are called to be kings and priests. (Revelation 1:6) The redeemed are also to be judges of the angels and the earth. (1 Corinthians 6:3) (Luke 22:30) The Psalmist here is speaking to all kings and judges on the earth, including those within the household of God.
The Lord is saying it’s wise for His people to know how to respond to His judgements. Not only do we need to know how to modify our behavior, we need to know how to establish new lifestyles that have the capacity to rejoice in the unearthly ways of the King.
When we perceive His pressure on our world, it is wise to cultivate a way of living that is able to be instructed, so that we learn the attitudes that are pleasing to our coming Lord. (Isaiah 26:10). The seven judgements of the Lord are intended to instruct the Church about her ways, and demand a wise response from the household of God!
B. DEVELOP A WORLD-VIEW THAT SEES YOUR LIFE FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE Serve the Lord with fear is essentially a call to live our lives with a clear understanding of the magnificent majesty of God, and the rightful claim that He has on our lives. We are His people. He calls us to live unto Him according to the sweep of His eternal storyline, not out the littleness of our own temporal perspective. This is living life through the lens of David, of whom Paul recalls in Acts 2: “David served the purposes of God in his generation and then he fell asleep.” (Acts 13:36) David lived his life in radical pursuit of understanding all of Who God is, and what God was doing in his age. The wisest thing a person could do is to give themselves to beholding the magnitude of God, and catching a glimpse of what He is doing in her/his generation, so that she/he may throw her/himself into the Lord’s purposes with abandon. Through the seven judgements of the Lord, He is displaying what He is like, and what He values. He is also summoning those who will lay aside the personal liberties of our culture in order to serve His purposes re: abortion, sexual immorality, Israel, racial relationships and faithfulness in a Sermon-on-the-Mount lifestyle of prayer.
C. REJOICE WITH TREMBLING Rejoice with trembling. This exhortation is simply stated, and is the most vital of phrases in the Lord’s prescription. The Hebrew word for rejoice is “gheel”. It has a 3-fold meaning: It means to REJOICE; to REPENT and to EXALT. Let’s break these words apart even further:
Gheel = REJOICE with trembling The first element of this phrase entails an command to shout for joy, with trembling.
Our glorious Bridegroom, Jesus is coming! He is the perfect leader our hearts have always longed for. He is majestic in His beauty. He is also more radiant, holy, powerful and “other” than our senses can bear. Though we are filled with exhilaration at Who He is, we, like John in Revelation 1, fall at His feet like dead men because of the density of His glory. If our hearts do not rejoice, they will flee from the presence of this One. There is coming an hour when it will be supremely wise to have learned to rejoice in Him. To cultivate joy-filled confidence in His goodness no matter what the external circumstances look like. This is a muscle that needs to be developed today. We will have great need of this muscle to carry us through the judgements of God as we transition from this age to the next. This is the reality Paul describes in 2 Timothy 4:8 “Finally there is a crown of righteousness reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day, and not to me only, but also to all who love His appearing.” This rejoicing, first commandment love for Him actually serves as a protection for our hearts, so that we remain faithful to Him through all the shaking and purifying fires that are about to come upon our world. A rejoicing Bride, steeped in first commandment love is also the great promise that the Father and the Holy Spirit have made to the Son.
Gheel = REPENT with trembling The type of repentance that David is exhorting us to here is one that is borne from the revelation of the Son, Himself. In the wake of the revelations of His glory our appropriate, trembling response is repentance. He is perfect and holy and filled with glory. And we… well. When we come at repentance from this angle we see an endless ocean into which we may repent – not merely a dank mud-puddle of unrighteousness that we’re repenting out of.
The most sufficient enticement into repentance is the beauty of Jesus. Every bit of repentance empties into His increase. And the closer He comes, the more we’ll see what and WHO we desire to repent into. The longer we prayed in 2020, the clearer it became that the Lord intends to release a viral repentance in the Church, and in our nation that’s borne out of a viral revelation of Jesus’ beauty.
Ultimately, a spirit of repentance brings us to our own cross; the cross we take up daily. When we come to repentance from this angle, repentance is no longer an avenue unto the salvation of self. Repentance is only the avenue unto the utter loss of self, and all that it promises, for the abject purpose of worshipping and being aligned with the arriving King. Though we love Him, as we yield ourselves to Him we nonetheless tremble at the real pain, the real loss and sacrifice that we endure as we do.
Gheel = EXALT with trembling The true fact of the matter is, nothing will deter the increase of the Son, and His inheritance of this world. The Psalmist exhorts all of humanity to “Be still and know that He is God. He WILL be EXALTED among the nations.”(Psalm 46:10) The Father, and all of heaven will exalt His Son in that day. It is profoundly wise for the inhabitants of the earth to use times of shaking, like 2020 to acclimate ourselves to that reality. Our world is not going to always remain the same. We’re under the guidance of a Divine timetable. We’re transitioning from the age of the curse, to the age of His blessing.
He’s looking for a people who will exalt and herald the sufficiency of Who He is for this hour of human history. He is the perfect lover of weak human hearts. He is also the perfect judge of that which corrupts love, and His reign of love. And He is coming to earth, to save and to separate. The spirit of exaltation is our RSVP to His inauguration over the governments of this world.
“Come. Let us EXALT His Name together” (Psalm 34:3)
Again, as John beheld the One Who was coming, he cried out: “He must increase. And I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Today is an excellent time to exalt Jesus and give way to His increase. The more we give ourselves to His exaltation, the more we see that this undertaking is even worthy of our decrease.
In the book of Revelation, we have a more complete picture of Jesus Christ than we find anywhere else in the Bible. And the revelation of this Man engenders more of the complete nature of “gheel”, than perhaps anywhere else in the Bible. “In the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Revelation 1:13-18)
The wisest endeavor we could give ourselves to in this hour is to learn to rejoice in, repent unto and exalt the Jesus of these verses.
D. CULTIVATE A LIFE OF INTIMATE WORSHIP Kiss the Son is an admonition to worship Jesus with intimacy and deep honor and affection. This is the believer’s primary and indispensible power-source in this hour.The more we experience the tenderness of His heart toward us, the more our hearts are tenderized toward Him and His ways. Around the world, the Lord is raising up marvelous communities of praise that are steeping the heart of His Bride in intimate worship. The increase in this dynamic is no accident. It’s a bonafide, strategic movement of the Spirit intended to strengthen and exhilarate the Church through the exaltation of the beauty of the Son.
Even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. (Isaiah 56:7)
E. DEVELOP A MATURE THEOLOGY OF GOD’S ANGER AND WRATH But the phrase also says, “…lest He be angry and you perish in the way when His wrath is kindled but a little”. Why would Jesus be angry? As His reign dawns on the earth, should we not acknowledge all that He is, all that He’s done to show us mercy, and all that He’s capable of, He is right to consider us as rebels to His leadership. There are real reasons to fear the anger of a perfectly loving God Whom we resist. The choice is ours. See Him for Who He is, and let His love overwhelm us, or resist His reign and declare that He is unfit to rule the world, and your heart. “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed!” (Romans 2:5)
Those who resist His love, and essentially make this declaration against God will perish, meaning, they will be bannished from the life-giving reign of the Lord. Many who perish will be real, Church-going, Bible-reading Christians. Many will be leaders who operated in the rhetoric of delusion, who failed to surrender their view of themselves and the world when God revealed His perspective through His judgements. Millions will suffer loss (1 Corinthians 3:15; James 3:1) And some will be lost altogether. (Matthew 7:23; Matthew 25:12)
“So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes from the vineyard of the earth and tossed them into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” (Revelation 14:19) “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)
Beloved, the Lord’s wrath is about to be “kindled but a little”.
F. SECURE THE BLESSING THAT COMES FROM TRUSTING THE WAY OF THE LORD Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. As the Lord illuminates our hearts with His judgements, He is inviting us into the way of faith; to trust what He is saying about our lives, our churches, our beliefs, our politics, our society, and our heart attitudes. Putting our trust in Him looks like the Church giving themselves intently to what the Lord is saying, establishing ways of “seeking His face”, listening to His Words, heeding His directions, repenting of everything that is out of line with His heart, and learning to revel in His ascending beauty. Those who relate to God in this way during the time of troublewill experience the blessing of the Lord. Their heart will be kept safe. Their voice will be honored and empowered. They will experience the anointing of the Lord. They will understand themselves to be favored, and smiled upon by their Father in heaven as He is preparing a place for them in His Son’s emerging Kingdom.
The alternative to trusting the Lord is to live under the weight of the flesh-trusting curse described in Jeremiah 17. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert. And shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness. In a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord… The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart. I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways…” (Jeremiah 17:5-7; 9-10) The veraicity of our trust should be a matter of great dialogue with the Lord in prayer.
Friends, I can’t overemphasize what a vital passage Psalm 2 is for the Church to understand and apply in this hour! As we concluded our 180 days of prayer in 2020, the Lord led us to the narrative of this Psalm again and again. It was abundantly clear that He was telling us: “It is soundly prudent for you to thoroughly respond to these directives.”
Praying and growing in these dynamic realities is how we respond well to the judgements of the Lord. In this way the Bride makes herself ready for His return.
“See that you do not refuse Him Who speaks. 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)