Prophets, Prophecy, Accuracy, and Accountability

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_207f.jpgThere is not one Godly prophet in the Old or New Testaments, including Jesus, who prophesied something that did not come to pass within a reasonable amount of time, much less that never came to pass.

In the Old Testament when someone spoke in the name of the Lord and what they said was not true, or what they predicted did not come to pass, they died at the hands of God’s people.

This tells me that Isaiah, who prophesied a virgin would be with child eight centuries before Mary conceived Jesus in the Immaculate Conception, either had a special grace and favor with God and man, or in some fashion his predictive word came to pass in his lifetime.

In the New Testament, those who speak in the name of the Lord something that is not true, or that does not come to pass is not killed by God’s people, but their ministry can die because God’s people have the right and responsibility to judge what is said to be from God.

Paul and Silas found out that although the people in Berea were extremely excited for them to come teach them, they did not take what Paul and Silas taught as truth as being true until they searched the Scriptures themselves – daily.

“10 The brethren [in Thessalonica] immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” [Acts 17]

This examining of the Old Testament Scriptures [here Greek / graphe – written word] is a different word Paul used when he commanded the Thessalonicans to examine prophecy and those who prophesy. This word ‘examine’ means to investigate, sift, interrogate, question. It comes from a root word meaning to repeatedly and intensively forensically test. When teaching people how to study the Bible I encourage them to be like a detective walking into a crime scene with no preconceived ideas on what happened. There are six questions the inquisitive inquisitor should ask every text they read. They are: who, what, when, where, why and how.

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As you ask those questions gazing into the text you will begin to see the truths that are contained within it. Like looking at a hologram, it may take some time to see what is in there but when the time is taken to see the student will quickly begin to  learn.

This examination will be encouraged by Paul in his great instruction on judging prophets and prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:29. We will “examine” that text later!

Apparently Paul and Silas were fine with being examined, as well as their teaching being examined by the Thessalonican people. Every legitimate minister is okay with being examined!

In many places nobility is lacking both in those who minister and those they minister to.

Credibility is such a rare commodity in our world today and I am greatly concerned a lack of credibility and accountability has crept into the church Jesus is building as well. Fact checking God’s ministers has been around since the beginning of when people started saying they came [to speak, to teach] in the name of the Lord. Too many “hear from God” and leave when the examination commences.

Even Jesus submitted His ministry to those He ministered to – “37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” [John 10]

Jesus’ words and His works matched the works of His Father which should have convinced the Jews He was legitimate. What we say is as important as what we do and when they are not congruent people have a right to reject what we say and do, which means they reject us as worthy to minister to them. unless we become vulnerable and accountable to them.

You cannot disconnect what a person says and does from that person! “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” so what we say reveals what is really in our heart.

Nicodemus who was a teacher of the Jews recognized this connection when he said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” [John 3:2].

In the Old Testament the punishment was so severe for speaking in God’s name something untrue, or that did not come to pass because God’s people did not have the Holy Spirit inside of them and could easily be led astray. Prophets were accepted as God’s delegated spokesmen.

In the New Testament every true born again believer has the Holy Spirit inside of them and it is their responsibility to test everything to ensure what they are told is true. Also, every born again believer has the right and responsibility to speak for the God that saved them, even moving in the gift of prophecy.

John wrote this in 1 John 2: “18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. . . . 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”

When people run away from the very people they have said they love and are connected to because what they say and do come under scrutiny by those they say they love and are connected, it reveals a heart of corruption that John identifies as the spirit of the antichrist. John said many antichrists were on the scene in his day and those antichrists came from within the church. Keep in mind there was one church per region so it was unlikely those who left a church could become part of another one easily and inconspicuously.

Today, accountability is very difficult because there are multitudes of churches in search of gifted and anointed people. Most church growth is simply people shifting to different churches. Some simple fact checking could go a long way to rooting out the rebellious!

Two thousand years ago John referred to the time he lived in as “the last hour” twice in verse 18. John goes on to exhort the people to trust the anointing [Spirit of truth] that was in them would keep them safe from error. This means God’s people best be in God’s written Word [graphe in the Old and New Testaments] so they have God’s plumb line to line up what is being said or done in the name of the Lord with God’s eternal and established Word.

The anointing inside each believer is there to ensure they are not duped by the anointing of someone presenting themselves a representing God. When the one ministering insists their anointing is so good that those they minister to do not need to verify what they say and do is genuine, they misrepresent the God they claim to represent.

For all those concerned that we are living in the last days take a deep breath and relax, John lived in the last hour.

In fact, John wrote that Jesus spoke of this hour in the fourth chapter of his gospel.

“19 The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ 21 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'”

In this text Jesus revealed an hour was coming twice and the second time He referred to it He said, “and now is,” two thousand years ago. John and Jesus were speaking of a contemporary reality that was imminent to that generation. The last hour, which was the hour that was “now is [here]” was the total destruction of Judaism as a life giving system. In fact, by the time John wrote his “last hour” prediction the destruction of Jerusalem and the sacred Jewish temple was fast approaching.

The “hour” was not understood to be a literal sixty minute time span but an imminent time change that was about to take place. I believe that “hour” started ticking down when Jesus died on the Cross and God ripped the veil in the temple from the top to the bottom exposing the Holy of Holies as being void of the Ark of the Covenant.

Now I know that what I just said is considered ridiculous in our pop-culture Christian world but I believe every Book of the New Testament, including The Revelation of Jesus Christ, was completed prior to 70AD.

Paul said this in Hebrews chapter eight verse thirteen, “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” It is understood that Hebrews was written in or about 67AD meaning within three years or so Judaism died and was burned with fire along with Jerusalem and the temple.

Jesus had predicted prior to His Olivet Discourse and in that Discourse that the generation who heard what He said would see the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Jesus even referred to His disciples multiple times in His discourse. [See Matthew 23, 24; Mark 13]

The pre-incarnate Christ appeared to Abraham and Sarah revealing, “At this time next year you will have a son.” Here is the text found in Genesis 18 – “9 Then they said to him, ‘Where is Sarah your wife?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ 10 He said, ‘I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ 13 And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.’ 15 Sarah denied it however, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. And He said, ‘No, but you did laugh.'”

Now we could take this predictive prophecy two ways. First, we could say that the Lord was saying Sarah would have an immaculate conception. But we know that is not what was meant because there could only be one immaculate conception and that would not happen for approximately 2,021 years. Second, Abraham and Sarah, although past the age of childbearing and quite possibly the age of engaging in sexual intercourse, went into their tent and had marital relations needed to conceive a child.

The second option seems more likely to me based on what Paul said in Hebrews chapter eleven and Romans chapter four.

Hebrews 11 – “11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.”

Sarah’s faith energized her reproductive organs and quite possibly activated her sexual desire. They had tried for twenty five years to have a child without success. In addition to being too old to have children in the natural [Sarah was ninety and Abraham was one hundred] we can safely assume the desire to try waned over the years too.

Romans 4 – “16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 [as it is written, ‘A father of many nations have I made you’] in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore It was also credited to him as righteousness.”

‘Perform’ here means he was able to do the necessary work required to produce what the Lord promised them. Abraham took inventory of his natural condition and weighed that against the weight of God’s promise of a son with Sarah. Abraham faced the facts of Sarah’s and his condition but chose to focus on the truth of God’s word. As he considered what he was facing his respect for God far outweighed his history of losing expectation of becoming a father of the son of promise. Abraham’s faith grew stronger as he glorified God. As he became fully assured that what God promised was going to come to pass he was given the ability and desire to perform. His performance was credited to him as righteousness.

Agabus was a recognized prophet in the church in Jerusalem. His prophetic ministry is revealed in Acts 11 and Acts 21. What we find in those texts is Agabus was a predictive prophet because both times he is mentioned he is predicting future events.

It is interesting to me God used a prophet whose name means locust to prophesy a famine, but He did. Maybe Agabus himself was the message to the saints about a future problem in Judea!

“27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate [signify] by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.” [Acts 11]

Luke writes that a plurality of prophets arrived in Antioch from the Jerusalem church. We do not know how many prophets were with Agabus and what the additional prophets did in Antioch. All we are told is Agabus prophesied a famine that would affect the whole world. Now, “whole world” can be interpreted as the whole world, the whole world Rome was ruling over, or the whole land of Judea. My guess is he was predicting a famine throughout Judea because that is where the relief supplies were directed and delivered to the elders – in Jerusalem!

We do not even know if Agabus and his team of prophets were a part of the eldership team in Jerusalem, just the provisions were delivered to them by Barnabas and Saul [Paul].

Did you notice his predictive prophesy came to pass during the reign of Claudius. Luke does not record Agabus placing a time frame on his word from God. Historians put this famine in 45AD. If Agabus prophesied in or about 40AD then his prophecy came to pass within five years.

The next time we find Agabus prophesying is in Acts 21 where he prophesied in Caesarea that Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem. Luke writes that Paul was arrested in the temple during that trip to Jerusalem.

Do you see that predictive prophets cannot claim they speak for God when what they predict does not come to pass in a reasonable amount of time? Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem within a generation [forty years – 30AD – 70AD] so the people had every right to expect that within forty years His prediction would come true. And it did!

Agabus did not put a time frame on either one of his predictive prophesies although it could have been, and very well may have been, understood Paul would be arrested on that trip into Jerusalem. And he was indeed arrested on that trip to Jerusalem.

There is no evidence that God ever releases a prophetic word that does not have a shelf life of a reasonable amount of time. And when a prophet gives a specific time frame, just as Jesus did in His Olivet Discourse, that prophet is on the hook for what they predicted to come to pass.

How else could God’s people “examine [test] everything carefully” and “hold onto that which is good” as Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5, if they must continue to hang on forever waiting on the word to come true?

“19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

Paul first said, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” Many have interpreted that to mean “do not despise prophesies” but that is not what the Holy Spirit meant when He had Paul write it before “do not despise prophecies.” Quenching the Holy Spirit first and foremost means to not allow Him to function in His primary calling to comfort and convict, as well as to lead people into all the truth [God’s written Word].

Jesus first reveals the Holy Spirit as ‘Helper.” Then as the “Spirit of truth.” Then as the One who “will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” [John 14]

Helper means One called to come alongside for the purpose of providing aid, to advocate, assist, counsel, console, and intercede for.

.Then he said, “Do not despise prophesies” which means it is possible for God’s people to despise prophecy. We know that many church cultures refuse to allow prophets and the gift of prophecy to operate in their environments. Apparently prophecy is despised in some places today and I believe the reason is because of all the “words from God” that never come to pass.

Then he said, “Hold onto that which is good” meaning not to hold onto anything or anyone that is not good.

Lastly he said, “abstain from every form of evil.” ‘Abstain’ literally means: To prevent, to keep your distance from, and to not receive [have] anything evil [harmful, perverted, diseased, impoverished, and not productive].

What did Paul mean when he wrote, “examine everything carefully”? Paul uses language that those who tested metals and currency for purity and authenticity understood. Paul wanted the saints at Thessalonica to test by fire and by pressure what was offered to them, and those who offered it. Paul had written something similar to the saints in Corinth. “each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work [and words]” [1 Corinthians 3:13].

Paul was instructing the Thessalonican saints not to be credulous but to examine everything and everyone with great care. Where Luke wrote these same people poured through the Scriptures [Old Testament] carefully to compare what they were being taught as truth with the Truth, Paul wrote they were to examine everything and everyone with heated discourse, applying pressure in private, just like a smelter of silver and gold and the person tasked with ensuring the currency was not counterfeit, to discover what was in the heart of the people presenting themselves as legitimate ministers.

One great tool for the initial examination is the gift of the Spirit known as discerning of spirits. This gift is given by the Holy Spirit to alert us to what kind of spirit is operating in any given situation, individual or group setting. This gift discerns [distinguishes and identifies] whether it is the Holy Spirit, human spirit, angel or demonic spirit operating in our midst. The Holy Spirit is the first line of defense when we are hearing anyone speak for God. Being sensitive to the Spirit is vitally important and we must learn to recognize what He is saying inside of us. Then we must allow the Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth as found in the Scripture [graphe].

I believe this gift was used by Paul when he confronted the slave girl operating in divination [false prophecy] in Philippi [Ats 16]. “16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, ‘These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.’ 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!’ And it came out at that very moment.”

Here we see it is possible to have an accurate word come from a person with a demonic spirit. Divination is obtaining unknown knowledge through a spiritual source other than God, thus the slave girl had a spirit of divination. She had given herself over to it because it gave her the ability to profit monetarily.

This spirit is a counterfeit to the gifts of the Holy Spirit called words of knowledge and words of wisdom, which often work in tandem with prophecy. The Greek word used is Pýthōn. Isn’t it interesting how that serpent is always looking for an opportunity to slip into our midst to deceive us? How did Paul know she was not a legitimate prophetic person? The Holy Spirit’s gift of the discerning of spirits is what I believe he used to recognize she was a fortune teller.

Paul cast that spirit out of her and that caused a riot and eventually a revival church to be birthed! In between there was pain, prison and then greater manifest Presence! That is usually God’s process to revival in an individual or a region!

In Philippi Paul and his team met a lady from Thyatira named Lydia. Lydia was an entrepreneur who sold purple fabrics. Lydia means travail and Thyatira means the odor of affliction. Lydia was a worshiper of God whose heart God opened to receive Paul, his team and their ministry. Lydia provided a temporary base of operations in Philippi for the advancement of the gospel of the kingdom to proceed into Europe.

I encourage you to read the resurrected Jesus’ words to the church at Thyatira found in Revelation 2:18-29. He begins with [verse 18] – “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:” In the middle of His word to Thyatira Jesus says in verse 23, “and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” Do you notice a pattern?

We saw above what John wrote in 1 John 2 about the Holy Spirit [anointing] protecting us from being deceived in. He also wrote this in 1 John 5 [KJV] – “6 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

Jesus, before he came as a human was known in eternity past as the Word [John 1:1]. John wrote the Word became flesh [1:14]. Now, since He ascended to the throne next to His Father He is known as the only Mediator between God and man, “the Man Christ Jesus,” Now in eternity present and future He is known as the Man who Mediates.

This is in and of itself a huge subject but suffice it to say the Father, the Word that still remains in heaven now that Jesus came to earth and returned as a resurrected Man, and the Spirit all bear witness in earth to that which is accepted in heaven for use in the earth.

Look at what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12 – “29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Paul did not allow for prophecy to go without being judged and neither did he allow for prophets to escape judgment. Lets examine carefully Paul’s instructions on how to steward prophets and prophetic ministry.

  • In a particular service only two to three prophets should speak
    • I believe this is because every matter is to be established out of the mouths of two to three witnesses which means the two to three prophets prophesying should prophesy things that are in harmony with each other and God’s eternal Word
    • 2 Peter 1 – “19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
      • Scripture, all of it, is to be how we judge any prophet or prophetic ministry
      • If someone prophesies anything contrary to Scripture it is to be rejected and if the person prophesying refuses to admit what they have prophesied is not in line with Scripture they are to be rejected because they are self interpreting and judging their own prophecies and prophetic ministry
  • As each prophet speaks “the others” pass judgment
    • Is Paul referring to the other prophets or the others in the hearing of the prophets
      • I believe the answer is yes, both the other prophets and the others in the hearing of the prophecies are to judge what is prophesied and those who prophesy
      • What does “pass judgment” mean
        • Pick it apart
        • To separate by straining through a strainer
        • To render a judicial decision based on every aspect of what is said and or done
  • The purpose of judging prophets and their prophecies is so:
    • All may learn
    • All may be encouraged
      • Who are the “all” who may learn and be encouraged
      • I believe all is all inclusive meaning all the prophets and all those exposed to their prophetic ministry
        • Prophets, just like apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers are to equip the saints for the work of ministry, so their primary function is training everyone in prophetic ministry
    • Each prophet is to steward his own spirit by keeping it clean and pure and submitted to the other prophets and prophetic people who have learned and are being encouraged in their prophetic ministry
    • A prophet who refuses to pass through the judgment is to be judged as false
    • Encouragement is one of the three legs the gift of prophecy stands on [v3]
  • God is not confused and He does not spread or allow the spread of confusion in any of the churches of the saints

Again, to judge prophecy is to judge the person prophesying, whether that person is a prophet or not.

The New Testament warns about these false people and ministers:

  • False apostles [2 Corinthians 11:13; Revelation 2:2]
  • False prophets [Matthew 24:11,24; Mark 13:22; Acts 13:6; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10]
  • False Christs [saviors] [Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22]
  • False teachers [2 Peter 2:1]
  • False brethren [2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4]
  • False witness [Matthew 15:19; 19:18]
  • False circumcision [Philippians 3:2]

A cursory reading of church history reveals within the generation that was alive when Jesus was walking the planet all of the above were contemporary concerns for the genuine Christian, Christian leader and church community. And in the two thousand years since they are still a concern for leaders of the churches of the saints.

James tells us in chapter 3 verse 1 – “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

“Stricter judgment” means a greater, larger, louder and stronger condemnation of wrong. This means the decisions made carry more weight and will travel farther than the judgments [decisions] of those who do not teach God’s people. This phrase comes from a Greek word that means: To separate for the purpose of approving or disapproving, determining what is right or wrong, and what is safe or unsafe. What is intended is to determine whether the one teaching is worthy of being trusted as a teacher.

That is why James uses the word “become” a teacher. Teachers are gifts of Christ who He calls to be[come] teachers. This means anyone called better know that it is a holy calling and not to be taken lightly. ‘Become’ means: To arise into the position, and onto the public stage you were called to take.

Paul reveals that teachers are third in line of importance in the church Jesus is building [the churches of the saints]. “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers.” [1 Corinthians 12:28]

So, if teachers who are third in line come under a “stricter judgment” what kind of judgment do apostles and prophets come under?

This is where accuracy and accountability intersect. If a person who teaches or prophesies speaks something that is not true or does not come to pass within a reasonable amount of time, then that person must be willing to give an account of what they said to those they said it to. Not only that, but they must root out the root problem[s] that caused them to speak in the name of the Lord something the Lord was not saying. It is not enough to say, “I’m sorry!” The person must understand and articulate why they said what they said.

If they refuse to make themselves and their ministry accountable then they are to be judged as false ministers because their heart is not holy.

The only way for a person judged as false can be reinstated in good standing is by repenting and submitting to the delegated authorities in the church of the saints they worship in.

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A spiritual revolutionary

 

Politics, Prayer and the Peace of Jerusalem

Some believe President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol of the State of Israel on December 6, 2017 will bring peace. I am more concerned with what Jesus said Jerusalem must do before God allows peace to come to her.

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones to death those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you didn’t want to! 38 Look! Your house is left to you deserted! 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘How blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!'” [Mathew 23, International Standard Version]

The Amplified Bible translates verse 38 like this, “Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God’s help).”

Verse 38 is in reference to Jeremiah 22:5 which says, “But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, ‘that this house will become a desolation.’”

One of the definitions of the word ‘desolation’ in Jeremiah 22:5 means to dry up or to be dried up. This is chilling! I know it is very difficult for the modern Christian to accept but God dried up [made barren] the land of the Jews and their hallowed city. This is true both in the natural and the spiritual.

History records Jerusalem and the hallowed Jewish temple were destroyed in 70 AD.

So why is the land coming alive in the natural and why is there so much excitement over what President Trump did yesterday? Man has an amazing capability to be creative and to be highly productive with their creativity. That is the mark of the Creator in the makeup of man that God made! None of those facts prove God should be given credit for what is an obvious improvement in the land.

But Kevin, what about what Isaiah said about God causing the desert to bloom. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” [Isaiah 35:1 KJV]

Jesus is known as the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys [SOS 2:1]. Friends, there is no blossom or rejoicing of the desert that is divorced from the One who is the Rose! No Rose, no rejoicing! No Lily, no Life!

But Kevin, aren’t you spiritualizing the text? No! Paul said, “First the natural then the spiritual” [1 Corinthians 15:4]. Why do you think Jesus came as a human being [in the natural]? Jesus came to bring revelation of spiritual realities that are greater in every way than natural realities.

Everything the prophets said must be viewed in light of the Light of the world [Hebrews 1]! “1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”

What “words” were the Jews to obey according to Jeremiah that would keep desolation from coming to the people and the place of their habitation?

“1 Thus says the Lord, ‘Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word 2 and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates.’ 3 ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you men will indeed perform this thing, then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people.’”

“Do justice and righteousness”

We know they failed miserably in this as the leaders and some of the people constantly were in conflict with Jesus, and they eventually conspired against Him and murdered Him at the hands of the Romans.

“Deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of the oppressor”

Again, the Jews failed miserably here as they were the original oppressor of Jesus and instead of delivering Him they handed Him over to Pilate. In other words, they abandoned God and left Him in the hands of an oppressive politician.

“Do not shed innocent blood in this place”

This is the most egregious sin the Jews committed. In fact, they screamed, “His [innocent] blood be upon us and our children” [Matthew 27:25].

The commands of the Lord come with conditions. Obey and the gates to ‘this house’ will be open to kings, his servants and his people.. Disobey and ‘this house’ becomes a desolation. They chose desolation as their destiny!

The Jews in Jesus’ day declared, “We have no king but Caesar.”  Until that confession is fessed you can forget about them entering the kingdom of God.

There will never be true and lasting peace until the Jewish people corporately repent for rejecting and murdering God’s free gift of salvation and peace to them. They must admit the Jesus they crucified 2000 years ago is the Prince of Peace, and until they do they will never see Him.

14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 22 Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.'”

Peter is not the only Jewish believer in Jesus who attributes Jesus’ murder to the Jews.

Look at what Paul wrote to the believers in Thessaloníki [1 Thessalonians 2], “14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.

What Jesus had to say about Jerusalem is of more importance to me than what any President or politician says. Jesus made some astonishing statements about Jerusalem. One of which I mentioned above.

Another one is found in John 4. “19 The woman said* to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ 21 Jesus said* to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’”

Jesus makes it abundantly clear that beginning 2,000 years ago Jerusalem is not the center of the worship His Father is seeking. Again, Jesus said in at least 2 ways the Father is not seeking worship in Jerusalem so Christians need to back off the misinformation on the importance of the city of Jerusalem. And by the way, Jesus said ‘an hour is coming’, and then He said ‘and now is’. There are no words in between those two truths and there are no words that can replace His words!

Jesus removed Jerusalem as the primary place of the worship of God, and Jesus said that Jerusalem was desolate, lonesome, abandoned by Him [God], a woman neglected by her husband, divorced and devoid of God’s help [Strong’s and Thayer’s].

People misunderstand David’s plea for prayer found in Psalm 122:6 – “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.”

Love is not love if it is not accompanied with truth! We are to “speak the truth in love.”

There is no truth that violates the One who identified Himself as, “the Truth.”

When we define ‘prosper’ by human standards we reduce the power of what God intended when He dictated that word to be used. To prosper from heaven’s perspective is to obey God at all costs. That is true prosperity!

“I desire obedience rather than sacrifice” is a core value of the Father. Why? Because it is possible to sacrifice without obedience but not possible to obey without sacrifice.

Isaiah spoke of the Messiah when he prophesied, “Behold, My servant will prosper. He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.” [52:13] Jesus confirmed what this was speaking about when He said, “”And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” [John 12:32] Can we agree that Jesus completed His mission by being completely obedient to the Father by carrying His cross to the very end?

David spoke approximately 1,000 years before Jesus. We must take what David said in view of what Jesus said. Does anyone really believe God will listen to any prayer for Jerusalem that does not consider what Jesus said about Jerusalem?

David is considered a prophet. Peter declared that on the day of Pentecost. “29 Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.” [Acts 2]

Paul said this in Hebrews 1, “1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”

Whatever God said before Jesus and whatever God [said] says after Jesus must be viewed in the light of Jesus’ life, ministry, message, mission, mandate and methods.

So, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem we MUST pray for the Jewish people to accept the gift of repentance God has been offering them for 2.000 years so that they can repent for their rebellion and receive the free gift of eternal life that is found only in Jesus, the crucified and resurrected Lord of glory!

Then and only then will peace come to the Jews and Jerusalem!

Keep HIS Passion! Keep HIS Priority! Keep HIS Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

His Hisstorymaker

 

Fathers, Discipline And Personal Training

God has always been a Father!

God is pro fatherhood! Fatherhood in His Kingdom is a level of maturity, not merely a male who impregnates a woman.

 God has always been a personal trainer!

Kingdom fathers and personal trainers believe in discipline. Fathers and personal trainers know that undisciplined people rarely achieve greatness or fulfill their potential. Fathers and personal trainers “push” people beyond what they believe they can achieve and beyond where they are, and they help them see that there is a price to pay to get where they are going and that price is well worth paying.

There is a heavenly clarion call being trumpeted by apostolic and prophetic voices calling their tribal people home – into communities [common unities] where fatherhood is valued over denominational truth [their denomination’s version of truth] – and where true father’s are disciplined and exercise discipline as compared to quasi-father’s who just want to be friends and have “fun”.

Fun is such an overused word in the Kingdom of God!

Hear the words of the writer of Hebrews as you read this text from Hebrews 12:5-17 NLT ~~~~

5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, ‘My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.’ 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.”

V5 – “Have you forgotten the ENCOURAGING words God spoke to you as His children?”

  • The writer then quotes Proverbs 3:11,12 – “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord DISCIPLINES those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.

It is interesting to me that the writer of Hebrews use the phrase “encouraging words” to describe the discipline of the Lord. This tells me that discipline involves injecting courage into [in courage or put courage in] the hearts and minds of those who ‘receive’ correction.

V6 – “For The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one he accepts as His child.”

  • Discipline and punishment are equated with love and acceptance. You don’t hear that taught in most pulpits today!

V7 – “Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by a father?”

  • The writer expresses surprise that anyone would consider not being disciplined by their father!

V8 – “If God does not discipline you . . . it means you ARE illegitimate and not REALLY His children at ALL.”

  • One of the signs that we are truly God’s child is we accept discipline. If we run from and refuse to receive discipline it is an indication that we are not related to God. Rebellion is associated with witchcraft! Witchcraft is an expression of the core value of the prince of darkness.

One of the contemptible issues in our modern Christian churches is leaders who refuse to exercise discipline in regard to unruly members. There are so many churches to choose from and there are too many leaders willing to accept people into their community for the sake of having seats filled and bank accounts with plenty of money in them.

“Christians” will migrate to places where they can have “fun” and “enjoy”  the benefits of the community without truly being connected or committed to the community. The “fun loving” Christians feel entitled to the benefits without the responsibility to those in authority.

V10 – “For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best the knew how.”

  • Our earthly fathers may be natural or spiritual. They represent God’s delegated authority in our lives. Human fathers, even in their imperfect attempts to bring correction, do what they think is best for us. This is not speaking of the obvious abusive fathers that some have had in their lives. Abuse is never to be tolerated by anyone on any level.

We are to honor those in authority over us, whether in the home, at work or in church. We demonstrate respect for God in the way we respect those God has placed us under in life. We may not agree with everything they do or say but we are not responsible for what they do or say. We are responsible for treating them with the same respect we treat God Himself. No real respect for God’s leaders shows no real respect for God.

Jesus said on judgment day we would give an account for how we treated the poor and the imprisoned. “Inasmuch as you did it to them you did it to Me.”

How much more will be be held accountable for the way we treated those in authority?

V10 – “God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we may share in His holiness.”

  • Holiness, or separation to God for His holy purposes lived out through us is connected to discipline.

V11 – “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

  • Discipline is NOT fun! How about that for all you who think that God is only interested in you having fun? “It IS painful!” But the result of discipline is a harvest of right living for those who are trained by it. The Greek word trained is ‘gymnazo’. According to Thayer’s Dictionary of New Testament Words it means:
    1. to exercise naked [in a palaestra or school of athletics]
    2. to exercise vigorously, in any way, either the body or the mind

It comes from a root word that means to be stripped, or laid bare. Seems like the Lord’s training regimen is thorough and is meant to expose every flaw we have in our life.

This is the same word the writer of Hebrews uses in chapter five verse 14 to speak of the mature in Christ. Maturity requires discipline and discipline must be applied personally by the individual and individually by the Lord.

ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?

V12 – “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.”

  • Get a grip! Reevaluate your position concerning God’s purpose for your life. Take personal responsibility for your inability to handle what God’s dealing are with you and your inability to walk it out in a way that is honorable.

V13 – “Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”

  • Straighten up! Do you not realize your inconsistencies are adversely affecting the walk of other people?
  • Your walk should help others not hinder them!

V14 – “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”

  • Stop causing trouble! Do your homework as it relates to being holy! If you don’t, the Lord will know it and will not allow you to see Him!

V15 – “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

  • You are not in this by yourself. You are responsible to others and for others. The way you relate to people affects your access to God’s grace [His divine ability]. Your negative attitude toward others is poisoning you and corrupting others because you have negated the grace of God in your own life. How is that working out for you?

V16-17 – “Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.”

  • What will it profit you if you get your way but lose everything God predetermined for your destiny?

Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker!

It’s Time To Act Up! #3 – Where’s Your Focus?

Where is your focus?

Our focus determines our outlook!

Our outlook speaks of our mental view, or the way we see things in our mind. It also means our point of view or where we “point” our sight. Our outlook is our line of sight…

The apostle Paul prayed for the saints in Asia Minor this prayer found in Ephesians 1:17-19 ~

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

Paul prayed for the first century saints, who were under the earthly rule of Rome yet more importantly were citizens of heaven, to receive “a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge [intimate awareness and connection to God] of Him [the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory].”

Please notice the order:

  1. “A spirit of wisdom” –
  2. “A spirit of revelation”

Wisdom must precede revelation so that we can rightly steward heaven’s downloads. Otherwise it is like a river without banks. The water just runs all over the place without clear direction or purpose.

Paul then proceeds to ask God to grant these saints with multiple citizenships [earthly and heavenly] eyes to see. The eyes he desired them to see out of are not the ones in their heads. These are the eyes of the heart, or of the regenerated new man, or new creation.

As citizens of heaven on earth we must see from heaven’s perspective or we will find it difficult to  overcome life’s obstacles and earth’s limitations. Our faith [seeing what God sees and saying what God says] is what overcomes the world.

These “eyes of the heart” are to be enlightened, opened, illuminated, and focused on God, who is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father of glory. In other words, we must see that the Father and the Son are truly One and the same. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father.”

What did Jesus ever face that caused Him concern and consternation? It was never the problems of the planet such as sin, sickness, poverty, or lack of resources. His problem was with the perception of the people.

“Only believe” was a central theme of His ministry. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can . . . . “

Jesus never needs a lot to work with. He can take the little we offer Him and transform people, places and even the planet.

This synergistic understanding creates continuity in our heart and head which leads us to seeing Him who is invisible, understanding that He loves to do the impossible, that He has really good plans for us and tremendous resources available to us to bring transformation to the planet.

What are these resources?

They are:

  • “The hope of His calling” – Do you realize that we have no calling apart from His calling. Our call in life is simply a product of His calling. His calling is redemptive and transformational. He came to bring heaven to earth not rescue His people off of the earth. “Occupy until I come” is a command. The purpose of an occupation force is for transforming the area and society where the “force” understands it’s mandate and enforces the will of the conquering King.
  • “The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” – Did you ever stop to think that Jesus has an inheritance in us – His saints? We know that we have an eternal inheritance in Him but what about His inheritance in us? God has deposited in each of us a ton of grace, ability, intelligence, opportunity and a host of other beneficial resources. And He fully expects to receive “much good fruit” from us.
  • “The surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” – Think about what you just read!
    • “Surpassing!”
    • “Greatness of!”
    • “His power!”
    • “Toward!”
    • “Us!”
    • “Who believe!”

And the problem is?

Our problem is not what opposes us! Our problem is our perception of what opposes us! Actually, our problem is us! “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us” [1970, Walt Kelly, author of the comic strip Pogo].

Apostolic and prophetic ministers pray prayers, write blogs and books, prophesy and preach sermons that redirect people’s focus off of themselves and whatever they face, and onto the only Source that provides solutions to the seemingly overwhelming problems that “appear” to be standing in their way.

Look at what the prophet Isaiah said 8 centuries before Jesus came in the flesh.

Isaiah 60:1-5

“1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

4 Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. 5 Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you.”

This text is a dichotomy!

On the one side are the obvious problems that Isaiah saw, which represent your target and your mission in life, which you are facing [have the opportunity to see].

They are:

  • “Darkness covering earth” and
  • “Deep darkness covering the peoples”

Memo to self ~ You are not responsible for what you cannot control!

On the other side is YOU!

In addition to you is all that you have at your disposal to dispose of the problems facing mankind.

Isaiah saw these as well. Genuine apostolic and prophetic ministry does not focus on the problems. They look right past the “dirt” and get to the gold!

You and I are responsible for utilizing the tools God gives us to approach life with faith and joyful expectation of success. This is where the grace gifts of apostle and prophet are vitally important. These gifts of Christ see the unseen [what God sees and says] and they release courage to face life in such a way that helps people overcome. Apostles and prophets, among other things, equip the saints to live from the superior, unseen spiritual world toward the natural world. Our faith is anchored in the spirit world, where God who is Spirit rules from His throne.

Isaiah saw and declared that we have:

  • “Your light!”
    • Your light represents your revelation and understanding of God
      • Use the revelation and understanding of God that you have in a way that is productive
    • “[That] Has come!”
      • What are we waiting on?
        • Using what we presently have ensures access to whatever we need now and in the future
  • “The Lord!”
    • This should be enough, but along with Him comes all that He is and all that He possesses
  • “The glory of the Lord [that] has risen upon you!”
    • The Lord’s glory represents His manifest presence
    • His manifest presence represents His tangible activity
    • His tangible activity represents His supernatural interventions
  • “The Lord will rise upon you!”
    • This speaks of the baptism in the Holy Spirit
    • We will touch on this in a minute
  • “His [The Lord’s] glory will appear upon you!”
    • I believe this is another way of stating the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the anointing that will flow out of you

You are responsible for YOU! You are to responsibly ~

  • “Arise!”
    • Get up! Stand up! Act up!
  • “Shine!”
    • Be bright, cheerful, full of expectation of imminent good!
    • Be happy and joyful [full of joy]!
  • “Lift up your eyes!”
    • Look at the goal not the obstacle!
    • Get God’s perspective!
    • In the sport of track and field there is an event called the “100m and 110m hurdle race.” These races consist of a distance of 100m for the women and 110m for the men. For the race ten hurdles of a height of 83.8 cm [2.75 ft] are placed evenly spaced along a straight course. The racers know that the hurdles [obstacles] are there but they don’t focus on them. They focus on the goal [finish line] and visualize themselves hurdling [flying over] all of the hurdles [obstacles].
  • “And see!”
    • Really see! Or, see what is really real!
    • See the solutions not the problems!
    • See what you possess not what you are lacking!
    • God asked Moses, “What do you have in your hand?” God wanted Moses to see what was available to him to carry out his mission.

What did [does] God want His people to see? He wanted [wants] them to see their harvest!

“Nations will come to you!” We know we are to go to the nations but what about expecting nations to come to us?

“Kings [will come] to the brightness of your rising!” Can you handle attracting people of influence and authority? Can you see powerful people being attracted to you and your business or ministry?

“They all gather together!” You will not have to go out and look for them. They will assemble themselves and make it easy for you to recognize them.

“They come to you!” Oh Yeah! I bet you did not know just how attractive you are in God’s eyes!

“Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms!” Distance, danger, discouragement, despair, dysfunction and disillusionment cannot keep your covenant family from getting to you.  This is very important I believe because it appears Isaiah is predicting the arrival of “children” that have our DNA.

DNA is vital to furthering legacies and inheritances. Physical and spiritual DNA are critical components to handing off to future generations of “relatives” what we have worked hard to obtain. If we hand over our life’s work to someone that does not have our DNA then is could be squandered.

“Then you will see and be radiant!” The realization of what your faithfulness in dry and desperate seasons produced will result in you radiating the glory of God.

“Your heart will thrill and rejoice!” You will not be able to contain the unmitigated pleasure, excitement and joy of this moment of satisfaction in seeing for real what was really there all along.

“Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you!” Abundance? Yep! More than you can comprehend.

“The wealth of the nations will come to you!” Wealth? Yep! God is provision [pro – vision] and He will provide for His people of vision.

The Isaiah 60 text immediately follows what Isaiah saw and said in chapter 59. Let’s look at what immediately precedes verse 1-3 of chapter 60.

19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun for He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives. 20 A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, declares the Lord. 21 ‘As for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says the Lord: ‘My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring ‘s offspring,’ says the Lord, ‘from now and forever.'”

Here Isaiah declares there will be a holy respect for God and His glory. He says the wind [Spirit – John 3] of the Lord will drive a rushing stream [move of God]. This move of God will result in “A Redeemer is coming to Zion, and to those who turn from their transgression in Jacob.” In the natural Zion is the Eretz Israel, or Land of Israel, the physical inheritance of a physical people who were to be in covenant with God, and Jacob is Israel according to the flesh.

In their completed form Zion is the Church, the community of blood bought saints of God who are rightly fitted, formed and fashioned into a spiritual house of worship [Hebrews 12; 1 Peter 2], and Jacob is the new creation, or the Israel of God [Galatians 6].

God’s promise to these repentant people is an eternal –

  • Multi generational blessing of salvation and Holy Spirit baptism
  • Multi generational blessing of respect for revelation of and in God’s Word

Notice the word “upon” is used by Isaiah to illustrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit upon the repentant ones in Jacob. Luke wrote that Jesus used this word in Luke 24 and Acts 1 to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “You shall receive power WHEN the Holy Spirit comes UPON you, and you shall . . . “

The  initial fulfillment of this promise  is found in Acts chapter 2.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ —this Jesus whom you crucified. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

Luke records this historical event by clearly communicating God’s intent for salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit to be multi generational. God’s Promise is to our literal and spiritual offspring.

So, what are you focusing on?

Is what you are focusing on creating confusion, consternation or confidence?

Just because there are obstacles does not mean you have missed God. Keep your eye on the goal and sail right over every hurdle.

Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!

Our Hunger And Thirst For God Escorts Us Into Deep Satisfaction In God!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury

A Hisstorymaker!