In the last note (Signs of the End parts 1 and 2), I mentioned some things that we ultimately decided not to include in that post. We cut them out not only to shorten the note, but also because of our concern that some of the analogies God had given us could seem too graphic to some and we weren’t certain He wanted us to share those details publicly yet.
Since that time we’ve been astounded by confirmations He has given. In the past weeks these have also included reference to some of the quite graphic terms He’d been speaking to us through, once again providing unmistakable, undeniable confirmations that we could not dismiss or ignore.
I mentioned in the last note how God has continued to strongly emphasize the necessity of repentance for the church. Several months ago He gave us II Chronicles 29 (below), the book of Amos (quickening, among others, 5:4 and 6:1 which I posted last week – Woe to Those Who Are Complacent – Seek the Lord and Live), and the account of Hezekiah turning his face to the wall to cry out for mercy and more time (II Kings 20, Isaiah 38). As we began to cry out to the Lord about this, He led me to check a prophetic friend’s page (Wander) that I had not checked in a LONG time. When I went to her page, we were OVERWHELMED to see that she had just posted a short paragraph which referred to ALL THREE of these exact same accounts from Scripture! This undeniable confirmation launched us into a more intense season of seeking.
In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. [sanctify (purify and make free from sin) yourselves and the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place. (AMP)] Our fathers were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the LORD our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the LORD’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. Therefore, the anger of the LORD has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.
Now I intend to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.” Then these Levites set to work: …. When they had assembled their brothers and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify the temple of the LORD, as the king had ordered, following the word of the LORD. The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the Lord’s house. And the Levites carried it out to the brook Kidron. (AMP) They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of the LORD. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of the LORD itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month. Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: “We have purified the entire temple of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles. We have prepared and consecrated all the articles that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. They are now in front of the LORD’s altar.“ … II Chronicles 29:3-19
Here is part of what the Lord spoke to us during that time (and earlier in the year):
In order for His “temple” (ourselves, individually and collectively as His church) to be returned to what He intended it to be, the priests (which we all are in Christ) must carry the filth out of even the innermost rooms of the “temple” (our individual lives and then the church collectively) and consecrate it (ourselves) again for Him and His service.
This level of cleaning out “the house” that He’s calling for is not merely the surface cleaning that most are accustomed to, but deep cleaning of hard to reach and out of sight places. Thankfully, many still repent from sins they are still able to feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction for, which we are certainly called to do. But God is calling for a much deeper examination and accounting in His house ~ repentance from sins that we are no longer even aware of or sensitive to receiving His conviction about which are resident in our lives. Toward the beginning of this year, He began speaking to us about these kinds of sins in terms of “spiritual leprosy.” Just as physical leprosy, spiritual leprosy keeps us in exile from His will and purposes for our lives. Also like physical leprosy, spiritual leprosy is characterized by desensitization ~ a loss of feeling to things we used to be sensitive to. This is the nature of tolerated sin. The Bible also refers to this desensitization as a searing of the conscience in certain areas, so that our conscience is no longer a reliable indicator or guide.
Though He has taken many of us as individuals, the church, and the nation through refining fires, He is still saying that in many cases these fires have failed to remove the impurities/toxicities/and dross (the spiritual disease and leprosy) within. This is NOT always the result of willful rebellion toward God from one who is purposefully choosing to stay in sin, but rather can be due to our desensitization to sin which causes us to be deceived in our hearts and no longer able to see our true condition. When we no longer feel the Spirit’s conviction in an area because of this desensitization, rather than repenting, the deep deposits of impurities fail to be successfully purged/refined/ and removed.
Therefore, He has been calling us as individuals, a church, and a nation to cry out for wisdom that our hope will not be cut off and for understanding that we may live, to draw as close to Him as possible, seeking Him with all our hearts, crying out to Him to cause us to see, hear, perceive, and understand ~ to recognize and face the truth about these areas in our lives so that we are not deceived. This seeking requires a posture of TOTAL surrender ~ willing to lay anything on the altar of sacrifice that He reveals.
God’s messages meant for the whole body hit those He asks to deliver it before they go elsewhere; we must eat them before serving them to others. As in Scripture, though His words can taste sweet in our mouths (symbolizing that it’s awesome to hear from the Lord), they can turn bitter in our stomachs (when we begin to digest what He’s saying). So we have gone through an intense season of seeking and crying out in response to this message. While we never want to err on the side of failing to apply His messages first to ourselves, He has had to show us the danger on the opposite extreme of becoming so introspective with what He has showed us that the message stops with us and never makes it through us.
This message He’s given can also be connected to the necessary “circumcision” process that He began talking to us about in January of this year. In route to our Promised Land, He showed us that once we have left the wilderness and “crossed the Jordan,” just like the Israelites, He requires that we stop at “Gilgal” to circumcise ourselves and heal before we proceed to take possession of the land. As I’m sure any man would acknowledge, circumcision is a delicate and intricate process demanding DISCERNMENT and PRECISION. While we certainly do not want to undercorrect, leaving “flesh” intact that needs to be removed, neither do we want to overcorrect and cut away the parts that are essential to remain. This was a profound revelation for us as we’ve been walking through this process with the Lord, trying to discern exactly what He wanted cut and what was to be kept. At the beginning of May, when we believed He was telling us we were in a “Jonah” storm for “leaving our post” and failing to faithfully continue with our assignments, as we sought Him about this He told us that He had said “CIRCUMCISION – NOT CASTRATION” (sorry if these are shocking analogies, too graphic for some). If, in an attempt to cut off and discard excess “flesh” surrounding the fulfillment of our assignments, we inadvertently also cut off what is essential, it leaves us impotent and unable to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. God is calling His people to cry out for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding so that He can help us begin to see with precision exactly what should be cut and exactly what must be kept in order for us to effectively fulfill our purpose. The church individually and collectively must receive this revelation from the Lord in order to accurately discern, distinguish, separate, and divide the pure from the profane, the holy from the vile, the worthy from the worthless, the Spirit from the flesh, the truth from error, and God from the enemy.
References to “leprosy” through Ivan Tait, our pastor, and Robin Gatto, to “circumcision” from Robin, and to “castration” from our pastor in the past weeks have been astounding, beyond the shadow of a doubt confirmation and evidence to us that the Lord IS releasing this message to the body at this time. Though it could include MANY things, Ivan included in his list of “leprosy” ~ not being able to speak the things that God is calling us to speak (b/c of fear of man). (Though “leprosy” can also include offense, bitterness, strife, pride, selfishness, wrong motives, and any other thing that causes us to be spiritual diseased). Our pastor spoke of “castration” in terms of pastors who are no longer speaking truth to their congregations (in an effort to be politically correct).
This process prior to entering the promised land can also be likened to Jacob wrestling with God (Gen 32). When He calls us into this time of wrestling, He asks us our “name,” representing our character, thus causing us to face truth about ourselves. When we prevail in the struggle, not letting Him go until He blesses us, He will change our “name,” (character), so that we are prepared to go forward to fulfill our destiny.
to be continued…