Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daytona 500 - A Difficult Race, An Arduous Cleansing

Joseph Herrin (02-29-2012)

Number 17 Winning the Daytona 500

There are certain events that the Spirit reveals to be spiritually symbolic, serving as a sign and a message for His people. The 2012 Daytona 500 race was such an event. It was extraordinary in many ways. More than one person contacted me to share that the Spirit was revealing to them the significance of this spectacle.

This was the 54th Daytona 500, and it was unique in a number of significant ways. It was the first Daytona 500 to be postponed. The race was initially scheduled to be run on Sunday, February 26th, but due to persistent rain the event was re-scheduled to be run on Monday February 27th. There have been rain delays in previous races, but the race has never been postponed and moved to another date until this year. It is very difficult to re-schedule a race due to television broadcast commitments, and the tens of thousands of fans who travel long distances to attend the event. (There were an estimated 140,000 in attendance.) In previous years the race has been shortened due to rain, but never has it been postponed. Unusual events serve as flags denoting some important message to those who have eyes to see what the Spirit is revealing.

There were actually two rain delays. The first was on February 26th, leading to a postponement of the race until the next day. The race was then slated to begin at noon Monday, but rain once more prompted a delay. The race did not start until 7:00 P.M.. This resulted in another first for the Daytona 500. It was the only Daytona 500 to be broadcast during prime time.  This assured it of a large audience, and served to put the race center stage where many people would take note of it who would otherwise not have done so. It seemed apparent that Yahweh desired to draw attention to this event.

The race was further delayed when with forty laps to go, Juan Pablo (John Paul) Montoya’s car (# 42) spun out of control under a caution flag and struck a jet dryer truck. These trucks are used to dry the track surface and to blow debris off of the tracks. The truck carried 200 gallons of jet fuel. The impact caused an explosion and jet fuel poured across the track after igniting.

Jet Dryer Truck on Fire

The resulting fire and fuel spill caused a further delay of 2 hours and 5 minutes. Race officials decided to run the full race nonetheless. The Daytona 500 race did not end until shortly after 1:00 A.M.. The television network broadcasting the race did not cut to any other programming, but continued to broadcast the race in its entirety. Though the Daytona 500 is part of the Sprint Cup championship series, this race was a Marathon. Not only did the race go the entire distance, but it went into overtime, running 202 laps instead of the normal 200. This brought the total miles raced to 505 instead of 500.

An aspect of this particular running of the Daytona 500 emphasized by Yahweh is its prolonged nature. Kevin Harvick - who had said just after finishing seventh, “It seems like we have been here for a month, but I’m happy to get in the plane and head home” tweeted from the Daytona Beach runway after the departing drivers’ planes were delayed by fog: “It is like the week that won’t ever end.”

The Spirit has been testifying that the path immediately ahead for His sons and daughters will require much endurance. It will not be a sprint, but a marathon. We are entering a time when great dedication and steadfastness will be required by all those who would finish the race that must be run by the overcomers in Christ. When some have been expecting a quick finish, they will be met with a prolongation of trials and adversity. The words of Christ must be embraced at this time.

Matthew 24:9, 13
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation... But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

This sentiment is echoed by the apostle Paul.

Hebrews 3:14
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end...

I am writing this post from the library. I rode here on my bicycle which is outfitted with Marathon Cross tires.

Marathon Cross Tires

The Father has been speaking much about the need of endurance in days ahead. I have written of this subject often, and the Spirit continues to emphasize this aspect of that afflicted path that leads to life. I recommend the series of posts on Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica aboard the ship Endurance for a further testimony.

There are many details from this race that are spiritually significant. The race was won by Matt Kenseth. It was his 22nd Nascar victory. The number 22 is one I have written about often. It stands for flesh cutting, and the work of the cross in the lives of the saints. Kenseth was driving car number 17. This is also a very profound number that is inseparable from the theme coming forth.

The number 17 is related to those Christians called to salvation in Christ who must pass through the fiery trials Christ has prepared for them. Yahshua said, “I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled.” At the last appearance of Christ after His resurrection, just prior to His ascension, we find Yahshua on the beach with a fire kindled as His disciples are in a boat fishing. The disciples had caught nothing, but at Christ’s direction they let the nets down on the right side of the boat and encompassed a catch of 153 large fish. (Adding every number between 1 and 17 together produces the sum of 153.)

Christ directed the disciples to bring the fish to Him so that He could lay some on the fire. Fish represent the disciples of Christ, and He must subject them to the fire.

I Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

For a fuller explanation of this Scriptural parable, see the following post:

During this marathon race, there was a fiery explosion with 40 laps remaining. The number 40 relates to trials and testing, and wilderness experiences. The Spirit is indicating that fiery trials are ahead for those saints who will compete for the prize. Some of the experiences they will encounter are described by the apostle Paul in a list of 17 things, echoing car number 17 driven by the winner of the Daytona 500.

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
(2)or distress,
(3)or persecution,
(4)or famine,
(5)or nakedness,
(6)or peril,
(7)or sword?
As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither
(9)nor life,
(10)nor angels
(11)nor principalities
(12)nor powers,
(13)nor things present
(14)nor things to come,
(15)nor height
(16)nor depth,
(17)nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Yahshua our Lord.

Symbolically, Matt Kenseth passed through rain and fire to win the race and receive the victor’s crown. The race was filled with images that were related to cleansing. The path ahead of the sons and daughters of God is appointed unto them for their cleansing.

Daniel 12:10
Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.

Christ must have a purified people, a remnant who will be qualified to rule and reign with Him in the coming age. These ones must be cleansed of everything that defiles. The Daytona 500 is held in the month of February. It is the first race of the season, kicking off what is a long series of races. February was named after the Latin term februum, which means “purification.”

The race began with rain. The race also included fire. These two elements of fire and water are used by God to signify the cleansing of His holy vessels, His people.

Numbers 31:22-23
"Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water.”

The words above were given as instructions for cleansing the holy things used in the service of the Tabernacle of Moses. These vessels are symbolic of the sons and daughters of God who are appointed to be vessels of honor in His house.

II Timothy 2:20-21
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

There is a path ahead of those saints of God who would be accorded honor in the house of God that will be one of purging, purifying and refining. Many things must be experienced to remove all that defiles from their lives.

In addition to the fire and the rain, the association with this race and cleansing was further emphasized when after the fiery crash with the Jet Dryer, the fuel had to be removed from the track by applying Tide Detergent to the surface.

Cleansing the Track with Tide Detergent

Tide detergent is used for cleaning clothes. The Bible employs the imagery of the garments of the saints to signify their standing and worthiness before God. Those with soiled garments are unworthy. Those with clean and white garments are holy and approved of the Lord.

Revelation 3:4-6
You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'

Hear indeed what the Spirit is speaking to the churches. The hour of the church’s cleansing is at hand.

Tide Advertisement from the 1950s
(No soap - no other “suds” - no other washing product known - will get your family wash as CLEAN as Tide! THE WORLD’S CLEANEST, BRIGHTEST, WHITEST WASH)

People of God, Christ’s apostles compared the Christian life to a race to be run.

Hebrews 12:1-2
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Yahshua, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

There was only one victor in the winner’s circle following the Daytona 500. Even so, there will be few Christians who attain to the prize that alone will go to the overcomers in Christ. There is a path before us to be taken. It is an afflicted way. It will bring great cleansing to those who will follow Christ down this way. There is reward to be gained, and Christ will be the judge to award His saints.

Revelation 22:12
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Yahweh is speaking through this imagery today. Matt Kenseth endured. He passed through fire and water. He endured the night. He stayed the course. In the end he was rewarded. There is a race that God is calling His sons and daughters to in this hour. Will you accept the invitation? Will your exercise the discipline needed? Will you keep your eye on the prize? The hour of the church’s trial is at hand.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

See the following article for detail confirmations from this race:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Labor Outside the Home

Although the Bible reveals that woman was created to be a helper for man, and her role in child bearing and homemaking is set forth as a pattern for the godly woman, there are occasions when Yahweh will direct a woman to labor outside the home. There is a tendency among Christians to seek to reduce all things to doctrines and formulas in a one-size-fits-all manner. The only formula I have found that will universally reveal the will of God for a person’s life is the following:

Do the next thing the Spirit of God directs you to do.

We can ascertain principles and patterns from the word of God, but individual guidance for a person’s life must of necessity come from an intimate communion with God through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 2:11-1
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

Galatians 5:16
I say then: Walk by the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Some may have concluded from the preceding chapter that the Scriptures, or this author, universally condemns work outside the home. The Bible does not condemn work outside the home, and neither do I. What Yahweh does not approve of is work that is initiated by the soul of man. Most women who work outside the home are not doing so by the commandment of God. They are doing so because their own soul has determined work outside the home to be needful or desirable. The soul is not to be the guide for the Christian. Christ said those who would be His disciples must hate their souls. They must embrace a course in this world that is not soul-directed.

Luke 14:26
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate... even his own life (psuche - soul), he cannot be My disciple.”
Matthew 16:24-26
Then Yahshua said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life (psuche - soul) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

The Christian woman who chooses college and career because everyone else is doing it, or because it appeals to her soul, has fallen short of the will of God. The road to life is a path of self-denial. To be a disciple of Christ a man or woman must trade the life they would choose for themselves for that life God has chosen. College and career should be pursued ONLY if God has given commandment to do so. What will a woman be profited if she gets the best education, and lands a great job with good pay and the perks that appeal to her, if this is not the course God has chosen for her? Christ says she may gain the whole world and yet lose her soul.

Many a young woman has chosen college and career due to the excitement and worldly promise that such things could bring. Their hearts have been allured by the possibility of being financially independent. It is very attractive to the soul to be able to buy the clothes and possessions that the world says are indispensable to happiness, to participate in the pursuits and entertainments that others are finding so enjoyable. Some women go to college hoping to find a husband, for they see having a husband as necessary for their own personal fulfillment.

There are many motives that influence the life choices of men and women, yet only one motive will earn God’s approval and praise. The woman who seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, she shall be praised. The woman who has devoted herself to knowing God’s will and doing it will be approved by Him. Whether a woman is a devoted wife, mother and homemaker, or is led to work or minister outside the home, she should do all at the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible gives examples of women who worked, or ministered, outside of the home. Some even accompanied Christ in His ministry, and supported Him from their private means.

Luke 8:1-3
Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.

If these women were conducting their lives contrary to the will of God the Father, certainly Christ would have reproved them. Yet, we find no mention of Christ telling these women to return home and attend to their families, or to focus solely on being keepers at home. This reveals an important truth of the kingdom of God. There are exceptions to the role of the woman who remains at home. Nevertheless, there is a universality to the inviolable law that all must discern and do the will of the Father. These women had a love for Christ. It was the Father’s will and pleasure that they should accompany His Son and minister to His needs, and those of His disciples, as they were able.

It should be observed that these women were not out on some soulish escapade. Following Christ in His journeys and ministry was no lark. These women had seen the Savior. They had recognized who He was, and their hearts longed to give back to Him through whatever service He would accept and they could provide. Yahshua accepted this devotion. The apostles also testify that it continues to be acceptable in God’s eyes for a man or woman to choose service to Christ over marriage and family life.

I Corinthians 7:29-35
But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord - how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world - how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world - how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

Paul is not endorsing the single life in order to seek things for self. He advocates the single life for the purpose of procuring an undistracted devotion to the Lord. The woman who chooses a life other than being a homemaker to pursue selfish pleasure stands condemned. The life of the woman who is single by choice in order to serve God lives according to the same principle set forth for the godly widow.

I Timothy 5:5-6
Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

The woman who would be approved by God must live for His pleasure, not her own. She must seek His will, and adopt a servant’s attitude, ministering wherever, and however, Christ directs. If she is using her time, her resources, and her liberty for the pursuit of personal pleasure, then she has fallen away from the path of life. She is dead (spiritually) even while she lives.

Some of the women who accompanied Christ were single, and some were married. What then of the married woman? The married woman is subject to her husband. Although she has Christ as Lord, she also has her husband as head. This governmental order was established by Yahweh and He will not violate it. The married woman must honor and obey her husband. If he gives her leave to devote herself to the ministry of Christ then she is free. However, if he desires her to abide at home, and perform the duties of a homemaker, she must consider herself under authority of her husband.

We find that God does not violate authority where it legitimately exists. There are times when Christians and some in the world deny the legitimacy of certain authority relations, like that between a husband and wife, or between a master and slave. The Bible does not set aside such relationships, but advocates honoring authority where it exists. God’s instructions to slaves was that they honor their masters. He did not declare their service null and void because they became Christians, not even if they had Christians masters.

Ephesians 6:5-8
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

A servant may be a Christian, but he/she has to honor their master. They cannot abandon their service to their master to serve Christ, nor act rebelliously. Rebellion is the principle of Satan, and God does not sanction rebellion.

I Peter 2:18-19
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable...   
Titus 2:9
Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
I Timothy 6:1-2
Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
Having given the instructions to servants above, the apostles give similar instructions to wives, for they too are under authority.

I Peter 3:1-2
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

Titus 2:4-5
Admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

The word of God would come into great reproach if wives began using service to God as an excuse to disobey and dishonor their husbands. Such an act would be similar to that deceit practiced by the Jews which Christ condemned.

Mark 7:9-13
He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."

I do not believe Yahweh will approve of a woman running away from her husband to serve Him anymore than He would approve of a servant running away from his master. In Paul’s epistle to Philemon, he wrote about a run away servant named Onesimus. Onesimus had converted to the faith and was devoted to Paul. He had fled from his master, but Paul sent him back with a plea to Philemon to treat Onesimus as a brother in Christ. Yet, Paul did not command Philemon to set him free. Paul only entreated Philemon to treat Onesimus with kindness. Service to God is not an excuse for violate that authority that exists in other areas of our lives.

(For those who question why the Bible does not condemn slavery, I recommend the following post:

In the Old Testament a daughter’s vow of service to Yahweh was subject to her father’s approval. Similarly, a wife’s vow of service to Yahweh was subject to her husband’s approval. (Numbers 30:3-16) The father, or husband, could declare the woman’s vow of service to be invalid. She would then be released from her vow of service to God. God would not consider her an oath breaker for not keeping her commitment to Him, for Yahweh upholds the authority of the man in the life of the woman. Similarly, the married Christian woman is under the authority of her husband. She must seek his approval to serve Christ if that service would take her away from her duties as a wife and mother. If her husband approves, she is free to serve the Lord according to the leading of the Spirit of Christ.

There are times when Yahweh will also approve of a woman working in some field of secular employment. The Proverbs 31 woman is set forth as an example of a godly woman. She was very industrious.

Proverbs 31:16-18
She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.

Although the work described here could be considered a “cottage industry,” something that can be done from home, there are women who are guided by the Father to labor outside the home. The godly woman will seek to discern the will of God for her life, and to follow wherever He guides. She will not view the world and its opportunities as a means to pursue a selfish agenda. She will seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

It must be considered an unusual event for a married woman with children to work outside the home, however. The admonition of the apostles is for women to be “keepers at home.” A woman should not abdicate her role as teacher, nurturer, nutritional supervisor, spiritual counselor, or home front prayer warrior, etc., for any other reason than because Yahweh has given her command to do so. Most women today are abandoning the role of homemaker for soulish reasons. Yahweh will judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Society, and even the Federal government of the United States, has put a lot of pressure upon women to abandon the home and enter the work force. This push began in earnest during the two world wars at the beginning of the 20th century. So many men were sent overseas in the military that the government began advocating it to be the patriotic duty of the woman to enter the workforce. Some rather bizarre arguments were set forth. They would be comical if not for the terrible toll that has resulted as families have disintegrated. Following is an excerpt from a government brochure put out during World War II. It was published to convince the women of Mobile, Alabama, a major munitions and shipbuilding area, to leave home and enter the workforce.

If Hitler Came to Mobile...

Every woman would defend her home with a gun, a knife, or her bare fingers.
Hitler and his hordes will not come if women will help to build ships, more ships to transport our men, tanks, planes and munitions to the battle lines on other continents - or if women take other jobs directly aiding the war effort...
To the Women of Mobile...
You are needed in the war jobs, and in other essential civilian jobs directly aiding the war effort in Mobile NOW. Manpower has been practically exhausted. Housing available at this time will not permit the bringing into Mobile of the thousands of additional workers required for the shipyards and other war and essential industries. We must depend upon you - upon womanpower. There are idle machines in war plants which you can operate. There are idle jobs in the shipyards which you can fill. There are jobs in stores, offices, transportation, restaurants, hospitals in which you can render essential war service.
Hitler will not come to our shores if we build the ships which can transport our soldiers and our war material overseas...


These words, and many more, were used to persuade women to leave the occupation of homemaker. Many found that earning their own money, and laboring outside the home, was attractive in various ways. Satan has battered the image of the stay-at-home mother while glamorizing the image of the career woman. Even the most arduous, dirty, and dangerous jobs were portrayed as a fitting pursuit for women, while staying home was cast as something less appealing. Following is an image taken from the Internet of one of the war time ads that were used to lure women out of the homes and into the labor force.

Rosie the Riveter
(Note that the image above was taken from the website called Jezebel. They tag all of their images with their website name. I thought it was fitting to leave it in place.)

This iconic image drawn by Norman Rockwell has become a symbol of the women’s movement. It is fitting that she appears very masculine. She has the arms and the mannerisms of a man. Notice that Rosie has a copy of Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography, under her feet. What a ridiculous ploy Satan used to draw women into the workforce and out of the home; Women need to abandon the role of homemaker to defeat Hitler. Yet it succeeded.

The second world war became the gateway for millions of women to enter the labor force. A critical mass was reached whereby women working outside the home was no longer considered unusual, or undesirable. The entire attitude of the country was altered. During World War II the female labor force grew by 6.5 million. At the height of the war, there were 19,170,000 women in the labor force. One in ten married women entered the labor force. The percentage of married women working outside the home increased from 13.9 to 22.5. The percentage of working women with children under 10 years of age increased from 7.8 to 12.1 from 1940 to 1944.  From 1940 to 1944, the percentage of women workers employed in factories increased from 20 to 30 percent. Female employment in defense industries grew by 462 percent from 1940 to 1944. Between 1943 and 1945, polls indicated that 61 to 85 percent of women workers wanted to keep their jobs after the war.

The genie is now out of the bottle. Christian women today give little thought to working outside the home. This is a matter that should be given deep consideration. Yahweh has a plan and purpose for every one of His daughters. It is important that they discover what path He has chosen for them.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, February 27, 2012

Keepers at Home

What is the mind of Christ regarding women being homemakers? Is it the will of God for Christian women to pursue careers outside of the home? Is there a norm, a standard role within the home that Yahweh has appointed for women who aspire to godliness? Are there exceptional cases where God will direct a woman to deviate from this pattern to fulfill some other purpose that He has determined?

As I begin to delve into these issues, let me affirm that Yahweh does have a specific plan and purpose for the life of every son and daughter. The Scriptures reveal that God has a predetermined path appointed for everyone who comes to Him. He has prepared every work beforehand that the saints in Christ are to accomplish.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Yahshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

A foundational theme that Yahweh has directed me to proclaim to His people (men and women) is that He does have a very specific will and plan for each of our lives. Our success as Christians, as sons and daughters of God, will be determined by our perceptiveness in identifying God’s will for our lives, and our obedience to do all that He has determined. To be a disciple of Christ we must lay down our own plans and agendas and embrace wholeheartedly that path God has chosen for us.

The second book which the Spirit of Christ directed me to write was titled Sabbath. This book explores the spiritual meaning of Sabbath rest. The church has largely focused on the types and shadows of Sabbath in the Old Testament. They see the laws relating to the cessation of labor one day out of the week. These Old Testament laws and ordinances were given to direct the saints to the substance of Sabbath rest to be obtained in Christ. The Son of God was the first man to ever fulfill the Sabbath rest of God.  Paul defines this rest in the following words.

Hebrews 4:9-10
There remains therefore a [Sabbath] rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

True Sabbath rest is defined as ceasing from our own works, those things our soul would direct us to do. Sabbath rest is living daily to accomplish the will of the Father. Sabbath rest is Christ living in and through the people of God.

Yahshua is our pattern man. He always lived to do the will of the Father. He never did any work that arose from His own soul, His own intellect, will, or emotions. He was perfectly surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He did only those things the Father revealed to Him to do.

John 5:19-20
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.”

Christ was always beholding the Father. The Father showed the Son all things that He would have Him to do. Christ was careful to do all that the Father revealed to Him. Yahshua would do nothing that arose from self, that is to say, from His own soul. He testified to this truth numerous times, and His words are recorded for us by the apostle John.

John 5:30
“I can do nothing on My own initiative... I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
John 8:28
So Yahshua said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative.”
John 8:42
“For I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.”
John 12:49
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.”
John 14:10
“The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”

Christ walked in perfect Sabbath rest. He did no works that arose from His soul. All of His decisions, actions, and words, were determined by the Father. He ever lived to do the Father’s will. If we abide in Christ, and He abides in us, we will find ourselves living the same life of rest.

I John 2:6
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

I can say with all confidence that God does have a specific will for all of His daughters. He does care whether they remain at home, or whether they work; whether they raise families, or pursue a career, or ministry. It is requisite that every daughter of God discern what God’s specific will is for her life. Failing to do so will result in a life of self-direction, personal initiative, and a failure to enter God’s rest.

Hebrews 4:1
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

There is reason to fear falling short of the will of God for our lives. We will reap what we sow. If our lives were self-directed, God will not judge us to have been conformed to the life of His Son. Christ ever lived to do the Father’s will. He was attentive to the Father, inquiring constantly to know what He would have Him do, and He was careful to do all “in like manner” as the Father revealed it to Him.

If a woman chooses employment, or college and career, or even devotes herself to fulfilling some vision of ministry, apart from being directed by God the Father to do so, she will be accounted as lawless in His sight. Consider the message of the following words of Christ.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘LORD!,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘LORD!, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”

Yahshua is not condemning those here who are doing overtly evil actions. He is not saying that adulterers and murderers and liars and thieves will be judged as evil doers. He is speaking of men and women who are casting out demons, prophesying, and performing miracles. Why then are they declared as “lawless”? The answer is found in the opening sentence of this passage. “He who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter (the kingdom of heaven).” If the Father has given you no command to do a work, even an apparently good work, you are out from under authority. To be out from under authority is to be accounted as lawless.

A person’s soul can direct them to do good works and God will despise those works. Why? Only that which He commands is approved in His sight. All else is striving and works of the flesh. It is not enough to do good works. We must do those works God has appointed to us.

When Christ went to the Pool of Bethesda we are told that there were a multitude of sick and injured present waiting for the stirring of the waters that they might be healed. Christ healed one man who had lain there for thirty-eight years. He then departed and hid Himself. He left the multitude in the condition in which He found them, for He had no command from the Father to heal all of them. (John 5)

How many Christians today having the power to work miracles and to heal the sick would have acted with such restraint? Many Christians consider only what they are able to do. They do not consider whether God has commanded them to do it. A need does not constitute a calling. In the book of Acts we read that the apostle Paul and those with him had perceived a great need in Asia. There were multitudes of people dwelling there, and the gospel of Christ was unknown. Nevertheless, it was not the will of God that Paul take the gospel to Asia. The Father had other fields of labor prepared for the apostle.

Acts 16:6-10
Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Is it not evident that God has a specific will for His sons and daughters? Those who are mature are led by the Spirit in all their works.

Romans 8:14
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Christ was a mature Son, and He did only that which He saw the Father doing. If we are to follow in His steps we must live as He lived. The invitation of Christ is “Come, take up your cross, and follow Me.” We must be equally surrendered to the direction of the Spirit of God in our lives as He was.

Let us return now to the subject of women and their occupations. Many Christian women spend decades of their adult lives working in jobs and careers outside the home. In many cases, indeed the majority of them, the woman was led to this life consuming activity by the counsel of her own soul. She did what seemed good and desirable, according to the reasoning of her mind, rather than seeking the mind of the Father to know what He would command her to do. Christian women in great numbers are leaving their infant children in the hands of daycare services and babysitters while they go off to work outside the home. They have given the training and education of their older children to the godless public schools that promote a humanistic world view. They neglect the nutritional needs of their families, setting before them the dead, heavily processed convenience foods of the stores and restaurants. They neglect to pray for their husbands and children, or to train up their children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. Their time is demanded elsewhere. They have given themselves to careers, and activities outside the home, while neglecting to inquire of God about His will for them. Will He say “Well done, good and faithful servant,” when they have failed to do His will? What sorrow it will be to stand before Christ on the day of judgment and to hear the words, “Depart from Me you workers of lawlessness. I never knew you.”

Before you assume that I have concluded that it is always wrong for a woman to work outside the home, hear what I have to say. I am speaking to those women who have made their life decisions independently of God. I am speaking to those who CANNOT say with Christ, “I do nothing of My own initiative. I only do the will of the Father.” The church by and large today knows very little of the cost of discipleship. Pastors and teachers encourage their congregations to envision the dreams and desires of their own souls and pray that God might fulfill all. This is not the teaching or example of Christ. It is “anti-Christ.”

James 4:3-4
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?

The Christian woman today who finds her life conformed to that of the world around her should question how she arrived at this condition. Did God give her command to pursue employment outside of the home, to labor to acquire the goods of the world, a nice home, a car, and many material things? Was it the direction of the Spirit that led her to abdicate her role as homemaker, wife, and mother while adopting the pattern of a world under the influence of Satan?

I do not doubt that there are occasions when Yahweh will direct a woman to work outside the home, to engage the assistance of other teachers for her children, or to give herself to some ministry besides homemaking. Yet, I am equally convinced that there are few women who can testify today that the life they are living is one which Yahweh gave them commandment to live. If you are one who has followed the crowd, following mindlessly the pattern of other women in and out of the church, or you have been self-directed, determining the dreams and ambitions that you will pursue, I would awaken you to your great peril. Paul said, “Let us FEAR lest any fall short of entering into God’s rest.” It is the one who has ceased from THEIR OWN WORKS that has entered God’s rest.

Has God given you commandment to live as you are living?

The Scriptures reveal that there is a general calling for women to be homemakers, devoted to family. This pattern is seen throughout the Bible. It is observed in the lives of the godly women of old whose lives are set forth as examples to women who aspire to godliness today. Sarah is cited by the apostle Peter as an example of a godly woman whose life is to be emulated. She was a keeper at home. In Genesis, when Abraham was greeted by some angelic visitors, we read the following.

Genesis 18:9
Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "There, in the tent."

In contrast, Jezebel serves as a type to be avoided. Jehu describes Jezebel as a harlot.

II Kings 9:22
When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?”

Harlots were widely perceived to be women who strayed from home. They would go about and engage in activities outside the home that were unbecoming of a godly woman.

Proverbs 7:10-11
And behold, a woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home...

A pattern of godly women being keepers at home is set forth by the apostles of Christ in the New Testament.

Titus 2:1-5
But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine... the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
I Timothy 5:14
I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach...

To a great many women today, the thought of staying at home is a very unpleasant one. It conjures up images of extreme boredom. This is partly a byproduct of changes that have occurred in the past century as women have exited the home en masse to pursue careers or employment elsewhere. The home has been rendered impotent, bereft of life and activity, no longer serving as the center of family life as God intended. Women have consequently lost the multitude of skills that were once the hallmark of the successful homemaker. The chain has been broken whereby homemaking skills were passed on from mother to daughter, leaving many women today with no idea of the character of that life their forebears knew.

In the past few generations much of the labor that took place in the home has been agglomerated. Whereas women used to make their own clothes at home, this work has been centralized into large textile manufacturers and clothing factories. Today the thought of “homespun” cloth strikes most as antiquated, yet women in relatively recent times used to use spindle and distaff to spin their own thread and yarn, to weave their own fabric, and to sew their own clothes. In the book of Proverbs we find mention of women engaged in this activity.

Proverbs 31:10, 13, 19-22, 24
An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels... She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen.

These words in Proverbs describe what would be termed a “cottage industry” today. Not only did the woman use her homemaking skills to clothe her own family, but she would earn money at home by skillfully crafting products to sell to others. Following is an image of a distaff and spindle.

Clarke's Commentary explains the use of these items:

"She gives an example of skill and industry to her household. She takes the distaff, that on which the wool or flax was rolled; and the spindle, that by twisting of which she twisted the thread with the right hand, while she held the distaff in the guard of the left arm, and drew down the thread with the fingers of the left hand. Allowing that spindle and distaff are proper translations of kishor, and pelech, this was their use, and the way in which they were used. The spindle and distaff are the most ancient of all the instruments used for spinning, or making thread. The spinning-wheel superseded them in these countries; but still they were in considerable use till spinning machinery superseded both them and the spinning-wheels in general."

The spinning wheel is a more recognizable item for most people today, though for many its usage is as mysterious as the more ancient distaff and spindle.

The Bible identifies the making of clothing as part of that work traditionally performed by the woman in the role of a homemaker. I am not suggesting that women today need to return to using the spindle and loom anymore than I would suggest they need to learn the art of candle making to light their homes. Electricity serves very well for lights today. Nevertheless, it does reveal that those duties performed by the woman who was a keeper at home have been given over to others.

The change has been by degrees, but it has been accomplished with relative swiftness. Fabric and thread became readily available for purchase during the industrial revolution, making it no longer necessary for the woman to create everything from scratch. The sewing machine became the workhorse for the stay at home woman, and tens of millions of sewing machines were sold. Women prior to World War I worked outside the home in relatively small numbers, and those who did so were usually unmarried, and from the lower classes. Those women who could do so, chose to remain at home and they used the modern convenience of store bought cloth and a sewing machine to make garments for their families, and to sell or trade with others.
The Bible mentions food and clothing as two of the most basic needs of mankind, and women had key roles in both of these areas of life.

Proverbs 31:14-16
She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

These verses reveal the woman’s involvement in every aspect of food preparation in the same way that she was involved in every aspect of manufacturing clothing for her household. The woman would choose a field, plant it, harvest the crops, and prepare wholesome and savory dishes for her family. The godly woman worked with her hands, and was not idle.

Proverbs 31:27, 31
She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness... Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

As society has been changing, and women have abandoned the home to seek outside employment, that work formerly done by the woman has been delegated to others. Women have less time at home, so they look for shortcuts. They buy clothing already made for themselves and their families. If they do cook at home, they often purchase prepared, or partially prepared foods such as baked breads, and Hamburger Helper. The nutritional value of these products is vastly deficient from those whole foods that were formerly prepared by women who were keepers at home. The result is seen in a myriad of health problems among family members.

The nutritional value found in home baked breads that are made with freshly ground whole grains is vastly superior to the loaf of prepared bread one will find at the grocery store. I know from personal experience that there is a lot to learn to educate oneself in the preparation of healthy, nutritious and satisfying foods. I have discerned the difference in my own health as I have abandoned the Standard American Diet (SAD) and have returned to cooking my meals from scratch. I make my own soups, bake some of my own breads, and have eliminated the highly processed foodstuffs that used to make up the bulk of my diet.

Another realm of responsibility for the homemaker is providing healthcare. The woman has long been involved in acting as nurse and chief health proponent of the family. This is closely related to her role in food preparation. Hippocrates, the Greek physician from whom the Hippocratic oath is derived, said, “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” There is a wealth of naturopathic remedies for sickness and injuries. God has provided mankind with plants and herbs for healing. Women used to pass along this knowledge from generation to generation.

Many women have also abandoned child rearing. Many women are employed when they become pregnant, and take only a few weeks off from work after bearing their child. Children are left in the care of daycare facilities, babysitters, or nannies while the mother works outside the home. The age in which children enter public school has been dropping as the government provides earlier programs for children with kindergarten, and pre-kindergarten programs. The mother has given over the role of educating the children to hired “professionals,” and the results are tragic for both the parents and the children. It has ever been God’s order for parents to take personal responsibility for the training and education of their children.

Proverbs 1:8
Hear, my son, your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching...
Proverbs 6:20
My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother....
Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Many parents have given over the academic education of their children to school systems, and have largely given their spiritual training into the hands of others as well. Many Christian parents take their children to Sunday School and church, and feel relieved of any further responsibility for their children’s spiritual training. The deficiency in the lives of most young people in the church is readily apparent. There is no substitute for the parents bearing the responsibility themselves for their children’s spiritual training.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Who can say how much the family has suffered by women abdicating their roles as the clothiers, nutritionists, educators, spiritual nurturers, and moral centers of their homes? When Paul wrote to Titus and Timothy and gave the instruction of the Lord that the women were to “keep house” and be “keepers at home,” these words encompassed a wealth of activities that would influence the family in profound ways in both natural and spiritual realms. It is little wonder that the older women were exhorted to instruct the younger in this calling. There was a great need for instruction and training from one generation to the next.

Titus 2:1-5
But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine... the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things - that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Staying home was no idle occupation. To be a homemaker was a rich and fulfilling calling. The opportunities for the woman at home were endless. For the woman who has an active mind, and a love of learning, there is no reason that she should be left dissatisfied with the opportunities before her. To become knowledgeable and skillful at the art of homemaking is a lifelong endeavor. Learning to be a home nutritionist, to plan and prepare healthy, life promoting meals for one’s family, is something that many women have devoted years unto. Just the art of baking bread, or being a skilled seamstress, are areas in which a person may continually advance as their knowledge and skill increases. For the woman who would take on the healthcare of her family, the field of naturopathic medicine is vast. Learning the medicinal and health promoting value of herbs, plants, and natural remedies is an immense field of learning. Great harm has been brought to millions of families as the children consume soda pop, loads of sugar, chemicals and heavily refined foods, and then are diagnosed as having an attention deficit disorder and are put on mind altering drugs like Ritalin. Do not women bear some responsibility for abandoning their role as the nutritional supervisors of their homes?

The church should be the chief guardian of the home, and of those God assigned family values and traditions. Yet, the church has given itself to the pursuit of the same passions and desires as the world. The family has been abandoned. The nuclear family, where life is centered in the home, has been neglected. In the time that families are home, the children are often playing video games, listening to worldly music, or the family is being mesmerized by the television and Internet. The entire family is sick morally, spiritually, and physically. By one family member, the wife and mother, abandoning that calling God has given her, trading it for the allure of the world and a career outside the home, great devastation has resulted.

(Please note that I believe men have equally transgressed, and bear even greater responsibility in God’s eyes because of their position of headship. However, this book is written for the instruction and admonishment of the woman who aspires to godliness. She can do much to restore her family to spiritual and natural health by giving herself to apprehending and fulfilling the will of God for her life.)

The Bible consistently reveals God’s purpose for the woman as a homemaker. Even as the woman is absolutely vital to reproduction, for the man cannot bear children by himself, so too is the woman’s role in homemaking irreplaceable. Man needs a helper. Yahweh declared this to be true, and He fashioned the woman to be man’s helper. The title of “helper” seems inadequate to describe all the ways in which the woman renders assistance to man. All of mankind suffers when the woman fails to apprehend and fulfill Yahweh’s purpose for her life. May Yahweh raise up a remnant among women who will demonstrate a spirit of excellence and zeal in seeking to fulfill the role for which they were created.

Dare to be different. When the world is showing great scorn for the role of the homemaker, let the godly woman by her attitude and example reveal the wisdom and blessing that results from embracing the role for which Yahweh created her.

To be continued...

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Babylon Rising - Part Six - Waking the Dragon and the Great Tribulation

Joseph Herrin (02-25-2012)

Waking the Dragon

As I was doing some follow-up study on the XXX Olympiad, I came across a further significant testimony of the lateness of the hour and those things which approach for the people of God. In Wales, just a short distance from London, a 6 million pound (by money, not weight) project called Waking the Dragon is being constructed. The project overseers hope to have it completed in time for the 2012 Olympics. The bronze dragon would be 75ft tall on a 135ft glass and steel tower and have a wingspan of more than 150ft - bigger than a Boeing 737. It would be the tallest sculpture in Great Britain.

As Satan’s kingdom comes into open view in the world, the symbols of the dragon’s rule are becoming much more prominent. The XXX Olympiad in London will serve as a celebration of all things Luciferian. Concomitant with the appearance of the Beast Kingdom on the earth will be increased persecution of those who are disciples of Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah. The name Satan means “adversary.” He is the enemy of God the Father, and of Christ the Son. Satan, however, has no power to touch the Yahweh, and his short lived triumph over the Son of God became his greatest defeat. As a result, his wrath is turned upon the followers of Yahshua.

I had prepared an excerpt from one of J. Preston Eby’s writings to share in today’s blog. When I opened my e-mail this morning I found that a prophetic word had been forwarded to me from Awinta Chenoa. It fit so well with the subject of brother Eby’s writing that I took it as confirmation of this message being set forth at this time. Although the words are moderately lengthy, I encourage all those who receive these posts to give them your patient and serious attention. These are words for the present hour. Let he who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

The following word was written by Awinta Chenoa and posted on February 22nd (2-22).

Sovereign God
Pray for the people in all nations of the world. Do not judge the people of a nation by their leaders, for the heart of the government is rarely the heart of the people. A remnant of My people can be found within every nation.
My people are those who have repented and believed, who walk in faith and pick up their cross to obediently follow My Son. Many have been persecuted and suffered torment, even death.
Behold the Hour
My judgment began some time ago, yet many are only becoming aware of it now. Persecution has begun and shall increase in countries unfamiliar with persecution in blatant measures. Behold the hour and the time you are in!
Many in nations that are considered peaceful are beginning to see the start of persecution now, yet many other nations have constantly lived under oppression and persecution.
The great persecution of disciples of My Son in the peaceful nations is soon to begin, yea, for great tribulation (Emphasis added) approaches for the inhabitants of the earth. There is no escaping, for I shall execute My justice and judgment. Many shall perish.
Others shall go forth to bring in the harvest. Then shall multitudes be in the valley of decision; then shall those who flee due to great troubles, begin to mourn for their iniquity. Many shall flee into the wildernesses. Exodus soon begins. I tell My people not to fear. Do not fear or be dismayed; neither be discouraged. Be strong.
Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid neither be you dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with you wherever you go. [Josh 1:9]
Prepare, prepare ye the way of the Lord. Look up to the skies, yet pray for discernment, for the enemy has plans of his own. He is the prince of the power of the air and he shall use the skies to show forth signs and wonders. Many shall be deceived, for they loved not the truth. I shall allow this, for My judgments that were prophesied long ago shall come to pass. It has begun.
Judgment versus Wrath
Do not confuse My judgment with My wrath, for My wrath shall be seen in that which is called, the day of the Lord. All people will come under My judgment, but the children of obedience shall not experience My wrath. My wrath shall wax hot, in fierceness, great indignation and righteous anger. It shall consume My enemies and sinners, children of disobedience.
Day of the Lord
For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
And the idols He shall utterly abolish.
And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth.
[Is 2:12, 17-19]
Read My word carefully, for again, it is written:
Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:
And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travails: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
[Is 13:6-11]
Do not desire the day of the Lord. Be sober, be vigilant, watch and pray.
Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it to you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. [Joel 1:15; Amos 5:18]
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
[1Pet 1:13 and 1Pet 4:7]
Pray for Repentance
My people, pray for hearts to be turned to repentance, that they will see the truth in believing in the Messiah, Jesus/Y’shua of Nazareth. Selah. Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice and listening (hearkening) than the fat of rams. [1Sam 15:22]
Watchmen, Sound the Alarm
Watchmen, speak forth. Write what I tell you upon tablets, so he who sees will run with it. Sound the alarm once again! Great waters come to destroy; heed My warnings. Listen and prepare, for when the earth is shaken and the ground opens wide its mouth, in the days soon ahead, great destruction and death shall be seen.
A great war is coming and the leaders of many countries shall hinder their people and allow great destruction. They will look out for themselves and those they care about, but not the people of the nation.
My people shall not fear. Comfort My people, love and pray for one another. Assemble yourselves, fast and pray. I shall direct your steps. You shall not walk in fear, for I AM your shield. Out of the seven churches shall come forth those who walk in My commandments obediently.
If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God loves his brother also.
[1Jn 4:20, 21]
Beware of False Teachers, False Prophets and False Brethren
Woe to the false teachers and false prophets who turn the people to themselves and not to My Son. Woe to those who lead the people to compromise and complacency, who turn the unsuspecting away from truth.
Such as these refuse correction; they harden their hearts against My rebuke. I have stricken them and they are not grieved. They deny truth; deny My ways and deny My judgment. Woe to such as these.
Come out from amongst them and do not partake of their evil ways. Execute judgment and seek truth. Be ye separate and touch no unclean thing and I will forgive you. Beware, beware of false brethren.
I pleaded with them: Turn, turn, turn from all unrighteousness and come unto Me with a broken and contrite heart - but they will not return to Me. Judgment goes forth.
Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executes judgment, that seeks the truth; and I will pardon it.
And though they say, The LORD lives; surely they swear falsely.
O LORD, are not your eyes upon the truth? you have stricken them, but they have not grieved; you have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.
[Jer 5:1-4]
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you [2Cor 6:16, 17]
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
[Gal 1:6-8]
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage [Gal 2:4]
Rise Up and Pray
Lo! A fire shall be amongst the people in the areas of My choosing. There is a great power of darkness covering the land and shall greatly increase. The shroud is prepared for America. Pray for London; woe to Britain for the sorrows coming upon her. Woe to the allies of America! Pray; come to Me in humility and prayer. Pray, for the people of all nations are in need of prayer.
Rise up My people and pray. Yea, a shroud is over America and it shall fall. The flickering light is about to go out. A spirit of heaviness (discouragement and hopelessness) has pressed many into a hard place. The wearing down of the saints has begun, but it shall increase as the evil one arises, speaking great words against Me, as Daniel forewarned.
The Weary Ones
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. [Dan 7:25]
There are those crying out to Me, who are losing hope and are impatient in waiting. To My people who are weary in waiting, losing hope, I say: I have not forgotten you. Why stand you there without hope? You are as My Son, for you have learned obedience by the things that you have suffered.
Yet, as Job, you say, What is my strength, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? Yet I remind you: Behold, My eye is upon them that fear Me, upon them that hope in My mercy.
[Job 6:11 - Ps 33:18]
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the LORD. (Is 54:11:11, 17)
Resist not My Spirit, for I have come to gather you as a hen does her chicks, as a caring shepherd does his precious lambs and sheep. I shall strengthen the weak hands, and establish the feeble knees.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness (with your obedience) and put your trust in the Lord. I am He who sees the end result from the beginning. I believe in you, for I am He who knew you before you were in your mother’s womb. I formed you in your mother’s womb. Trust Me and do not listen to the negativity of flesh or the enemy.
Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Call to Repentance and the Word
Understand the times you are in. Understand the call to repentance; the call to holiness and the call to obedience. Stand strong in faith. I am positioning My people. Those who obey shall take the forefront to speak to the multitudes.
Those who mingle the precious with the vile, the clean with the unclean and the holy with the unholy shall weep, as they are brought low and are passed over. Repent and believe.
Fear not. Babylon is full of confusion and tyranny. Do not give up. Focus on your Savior, Redeemer and King and read the scriptures. The light in many of the church leaders has become dim, for they seek to satisfy the world and compromise the very gospel.
Yet even amongst the church leaders is a remnant, who walk in My ways and My will. They lead the people in truth, far from the traditions of men and the doctrines of demons. They do not compromise with the world.
Unite and Pray
They lead by example and encourage the entire Body to come together as one, allowing each to do their part and operate in their gifts. For this reason, they are rarely noticed, for as each part functions in unity, no one part is exalted above another part, for it flows in harmony, just as the physical body works as one unit. Pray for one for another.
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. [1Cor 14:26]
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves. [Phil 2:2,3]
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; [Eph 4:4]
Yea, I shall rise up those who shall lift their sword in one hand and a torch in the other, so that those who stumble in darkness can see. Those who desire truth will hear truth. Lift high the torch (light) and the sword (Word of God spoken through you by the Spirit of truth).
Days of My Spirit
The day is fast coming where people will be healed where they are, unlike many of the false crusades today. The enemy seeks to discredit My work, yet in My timing, I shall present those I have been preparing and then My Spirit will be seen in the land again.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith Yhvh/God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: [Act 2:17, 18]
Spiritual Darkness
The day is here when seven women (churches) will take hold of one man (they grab a hold of Y’shua/Jesus, yet it is He who chooses the true Bride). They eat the bread of deceit and they cloak themselves with robes of self-righteousness.
The power of many leaders shall be shattered. The dragon desires to shatter the power of My people who walk the highway of holiness, but he shall not. Rise up and take the kingdom, for from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, but the violent shall take it by force. [Mat 11:12]
Great spiritual darkness has fallen upon the land, and the days are fast approaching where the hearing of My word shall be as a famine upon the people. Be not deceived when those who speak of no falling away whisper in your ear.
Shout from the rooftops…remember Cain, Saul and Esau; so it continues, even unto this day. I shall rise up shepherds who will gather the scattered sheep and bring them to the Good Shepherd (Jesus/Y’shua).
Repent, for the Time is at Hand
Temptations have come abroad and into the grasp of many, who took the bait of the silver-tongued devil. They shall fall, they shall fall. Satan has lured them away, offering them what they thought they needed. He has taken time to learn the weaknesses of My people. Repent, for the time is at hand…
He will slice them through as a knife through butter and many will become divided and the division shall be swift. ‘Now you have all that you need and desire’, he whispers, and they fall as did Samson. Repent, for the time is at hand…
He will present himself in a man or woman, if they are not walking in My commandments and abiding in me. ‘You shall be accepted and respected,’ he lies. He offers power and riches to the greedy and wicked, yet the cost is their very souls. Repent, repent, repent, for the time is at hand!
Yea, but I shall rise up those who are considered the most unlikely. The wise shall be confounded by the foolish things and the mighty shall be abased by the weak. They shall be a shock and a horror to the enemy and all who oppose them, for I have brought them through hard trials and testing.
Vessels Unto Honor
Yea, I have been preparing My people. My warriors have been in training, overcoming hard tests and trials. The Bride is making herself ready. Be ready, prepare! The glory, light and magnificence of My Christ shall fill My vessels of honor and their beauty is comparable to none.
They bear much fruit and move in the power and authority of Y’shua/Jesus, which shall and does infuriate the oppressor. It is the last of the last days, as the evil in the end of this age escalates. The horror of calamities shall become unbearable, yet is it not written that the time would be shortened for the sake of the elect?
Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! He who torments the people and destroyed much over all the ages with his own evil armies (demons), coupled with his own evil people, is filled with great wrath, for he knows he has but a short time. [Rev 12:12]
Satan, his evil armies and the workers of iniquity, who follow after and obey him, shall be brought to judgment and justice shall be carried out.
The enemy seeks to come against My people with fury, accusing them always, for He knows that they are Mine. He would seek to destroy them, yet he is not allowed to, as they remain in faith and obedience. They are hidden under the shadow of My hand. He cannot touch their spirit nor do anything that I do not allow. Hold fast.
I will send forth just the right ones, anointing their words, by which I will draw many to Me. Satan does not see the heart, but he has watchers, an army and a government. They work together to tempt My people in their weaknesses, in an attempt to seduce them away, when they least expect it.
He tempts My people to sin, endeavoring to convince them that it is My will. Yea, but I do not tempt My people, nor would I ever direct them towards sin.
By Faith, Overcome and Endure
I am not capricious nor is discouragement ever from Me. Overcome My people, overcome the flesh and its lusts by dying to self; overcome and endure! Those who hold fast to their faith, clinging to My Son, walking in obedience to My word and doing My will shall be overcomers and receive the crown of life.
Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed
[Jam 1: 12-14]
For they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and loved not their lives unto the death [Rev 12:11]
In justice, judgment and wrath, this war shall end in victory, for I AM the LORD of the battle. My armies are being positioned and rising up to go forward into battle. Yea, again I say, I AM the Lord of the battle. Selah
End Times Are Here
There shall be no strains of harmony amongst My people, for they shall walk with one mind, in one spirit and in one accord, despite the blackness of night and the evil around them. They shall plumb the depths of My word and I shall reveal hidden treasures to them. They shall walk in the realms of brightness, coming through the darkness victoriously.
The winds will fight together with a dreadful blast. With the exaltation of each ocean wave, the shores of this nation shall be overcome, as a great wall arises out of the waters and pushes inland with no mercy.
These Things Must Be
Fear not the earth changes, or pole shifts, or the stars and constellations, or the earth reeling to and fro as the seas rise, for the earth shall vomit and spue forth destruction. I have forewarned in My word; I am Sovereign. These things must be. The winds of war shall blow across this nation, as well as other nations and great shall be the death and destruction.
Keep the Faith – Trust God
Everything I do contains wisdom and knowledge, for I am not the author of confusion. Fear not, My people, for I lead you as you trust in Me. Jam 1:12, 5, 6 I know what you are able to endure. Keep the faith and hold fast My people. I AM the Sovereign God; none can stay My hand… Trust Me!
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest you? [Dan 4:35]
And said, O LORD God of our fathers, are not you God in heaven? and rule you not over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee? [2Chron 20:6]
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him. [2Sam 22:31]

The following is an excerpt from J. Preston Eby’s series on the book of Revelation which is titled From the Candlestick to the Throne, Part 18, Companions in Tribulation.

For the elect of God, called to sonship and the kingdom of God, the pressures are increasing, not diminishing. Travail is upon us, as upon a woman with child. To the woman in pain, ready to be delivered, the doctor commands, “Press! Press! Press!” And to you who read these lines I exhort, “Press on, dear ones, for a son is about to be birthed!” Through great travail and pressure the manchild shall come forth and we shall enter into the kingdom of God as kings and priests to reign with Christ. Then all the earth, all men, and all nations shall behold the glory of the Lord on a level it has never been seen before! The many-membered son, the complete Christ, the many sons brought to glory shall bring forth mighty deliverance in the earth! Only those who are brothers and partakers with the exile of Patmos in the tribulation and patience of Jesus shall win the kingdom of heaven. To him that overcomes, and to none but him, will the King give to sit down with Him in His throne. The watchword is — PRESS!

The idea that the “Great Tribulation” is going to be poured out upon the world is a stupidity that contradicts every scripture passage on tribulation in the whole New Testament! Perhaps we have been casual in reading the very words of the Lord Jesus to His own, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). Mark the connection of thought! He clearly did not say, “On this earth the world is going to get the tribulation. (He did not say) I will surely rain out upon the unbelieving, misguided, sinful and rebellious masses of earth the fierceness of my wrath and the fury of my judgment. But be of good cheer, precious little ones, for you will not be partakers of this tribulation — I will come and evacuate you to heaven before that great and terrible day of the Lord comes.” No such optimistic tantalization as this! The testimony of the Lord standeth sure, “In the world YE shall have tribulation.” YE!

Tribulation simply means “pressure,” and great tribulation mean “great pressure.” Everybody, on some level, experiences pressure in this world...

Ah, “In the world ye shall have pressure! But - be of good cheer - take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted, enheartened, inspired, invigorated - for I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!” The mighty Christ is raising up within the life of every son of God in this new kingdom day of the Lord the victory that overcomes the world with all its pressures! HE overcame the world in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, and now He is doing the same within us! Praise His name!

There is a poem by Louise S. Pridgeon that expresses this so beautifully:

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length,
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressed by foes, and a pressure from friends,
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured!

All across the land today we hear the radio and television preachers convincing vast multitudes of naive and gullible babes in Christ that the saints of God should have the best of everything. They should have instant healing, the most lucrative businesses, the finest homes, the most prestigious positions, the most expensive cars, the finest clothes, and freedom from want or pressure of any kind. Why, they will even bless our billfolds for ten dollars and assure us that, if we will give them one hundred dollars, we will get one thousand in return! Then, wonder of wonders, when these highly favored saints have lived their lives in ease and luxury, they will fly away to heaven at last with nothing to do and all eternity to do it in. And if the great and terrible tribulation should come while they are still on earth, they will be immediately evacuated by way of rapture to spend seven years sitting on a cloud with Jesus eating pork chops, or some other such foolishness. Let all who teach these fairy tales hear the voice of eternal truth ringing clear above all other voices, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!” I hear Christ warn His beloved saints in these awesome words, “Yea, and A-L-L that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” To all who would reign with Him upon His throne He says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” To those who seek the glory, power, and honor of the kingdom of God He declares, “Ye must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” And Paul adds his voice of admonition, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience…”

One well-known television preacher was bombarding the air waves with the tearful complaint that he was being “persecuted” by the press. And what was the cause of his persecution? Why bless your heart, the press had discovered that while pleading a financial emergency and making impassioned appeals on his show for millions of dollars to keep his work from collapsing, he was, at the same time, secretly purchasing an elaborate beach house in California, and Rolls Royce and Mercedes automobiles for his personal use at a cost of almost a half million dollars, not to mention the expensive furs and diamonds accumulated by his wife. Persecution indeed! I am making no mistake when I tell you that this man was not being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, nor for the faith of Jesus, nor for the word of God, nor yet for the kingdom of God — rather, he was being persecuted for foolishness’ sake, and that is stating it kindly. Over the last forty years there has been a bumper crop of these worldly-minded deceivers, and I tell you the truth when I say that such know nothing at all about the path of sonship and conformation to the image of Christ that comes only by the correcting and transforming ministry of suffering, persecution, tribulation, trial and testing.

The shallow Christians and the hireling ministry of the church systems know absolutely nothing about the divine principle of the refining, purifying fires of suffering, or the oil and wine of revelation and life that flow out only through the tremendous pressing and crushing of tribulation and trouble. As long as men’s eyes are blinded to the great and glorious purposes of God for His sons in the ages to come, they will be looking for a spiritual life of ease and a short-cut to glory, remaining blissfully ignorant of the supernal blessings of suffering with Christ. When believers are deluded by the popular but erroneous notion that they have been saved to escape this sin-cursed world and spend eternity shouting and dancing up and down Hallelujah Boulevard to the rapturous music of harps and the fluttering of angel’s wings, then indeed there would be little purpose in suffering during this present time at all, for even if saints were no worse off for their suffering, they would be no better either!

When the eternal Father through His matchless grace reveals to the child of God that it is His Master Plan for the ages to come to effect a universal reconciliation, restitution, and restoration through the agency of a royal race of kings and priests who through trial, suffering, and fierce tribulation have experienced within themselves the sorrows and pressures of this dark world, thereby learning infinite compassion and unconditional love for every anguished, tormented, pain-wracked, enslaved soul of man, then all our tribulation is freighted with divine significance! When we clearly see the sublime and incontrovertible truth that it is through much tribulation that we are conformed into the image of Christ the King-Priest, to reign and work with Him in the plenitude of His wisdom, the perfection of His holiness, the fullness of His understanding, the intensity of His compassion, the infiniteness of His love, the beauty of His justice, and the omnipotence of His power, every son having the mind of God, discerning all things, knowing all things and having the perfect nature, character, and ability to carry out the intricate and infinite will of God, then all our tribulation will redound to the glory of God and the eternal blessing of all creation! Among that perfect, omnipotent race of king-priests there will be no carnal minds, no fleshly actions, no emotional responses, no selfish desires, no self-serving, no weakness, no limitation, no mistakes, no dissensions, no disobedience; but with justice, wisdom, understanding, compassion, righteousness, love and power shall they shepherd the nations, and ultimately the vastnesses of the unbounded heavens until all things everywhere are subdued unto Christ, and Christ shall present a perfect kingdom to the Father.

Now since such glories are in store for the sons of God, can any man longer question why our all-wise heavenly Father should take such pains to bring His sons to perfection? None knows better than He exactly what is needed to transform His sons from corrupt and carnal creatures of the dust to beings of divine understanding and heavenly glory. I have often said that I have strong confidence in the ability of my heavenly Father to bring me to perfection and maturity as a son of God. My Father is a great son-raiser! He was a colossal success with His firstborn! Anyone who can raise a Son like Jesus Christ knows exactly what He is doing and can surely handle you and me, my precious brother and sister! “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings…wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Heb. 2:9-10; Phil. 2:9-10).

Beholding the glory of Jesus Christ we can understand why the Father takes such infinite care to bring all His sons to perfection! Would you dare to imagine that any of the presidents, prime ministers, senators or members of the parliaments of this present world system would be found fit candidates to straighten out the mess this world is in, bringing an end to crime, poverty, ignorance, violence, fear, deceit, greed, war, broken homes and hearts, sickness, pain, and death, restoring all into God again? Ah, the ages to come will be given into the hands of God’s choicest sons - saints fully developed, perfected through suffering, matured through trial, proven through testing, beyond the reach of corruption, greed, selfishness, limitation, or any such thing. For twenty long centuries the Father has been meticulously qualifying and forming His government for the ages to come by the work of the Holy Spirit in His elect. The hour for the presentation of this government of His sons is nigh at hand!

This great work of perfection is done by the Holy Spirit leading us through the counsels, corrections, and disciplines of the Father. As the pressures and persecutions of this world system come against those who are moving on in the Spirit of God, the very test and fire is our purifying fire! It purges out the dross, making us smaller and smaller in our own eyes, and meek and humble in the mighty life of God being wrought in us. As we surrender more and more to Christ in us, it makes our natural man perish more and more until he is completely dead so that Christ alone can come forth in us.

There is a natural law in human experience that proclaims the means by which the sons of God shall be made manifest. When we want to temper a piece of steel, we place it in the fire and heat it until it is red hot. When it is almost at the melting point, we plunge it in the cold water. It almost instantly becomes hard for perfect use. So God, when He brings us forth as His sons, places us in the furnace of trials and testings, bringing us to the melting point. When we are tested to the breaking point, then He plunges us into the refreshing cold water of the River of Life. Then we become the manifest sons of God!

Not one son of God can escape the process! You can be a nice sweet Christian and go to heaven when you die without suffering or tribulation. But you cannot be a son apart from chastening and tribulation! You can be saved by grace and blessed with all the free gifts of God without testing and trial. But you cannot reign with Christ apart from being perfected by the things you suffer! And, matters not how much revelation we have, you and I still need to be purified; we need to be heated, beaten and pressed! Sometimes when the word of the Lord comes to us our understanding is unfruitful, it speaks nothing to us, there is simply no light. There is no light until one day God places His hand of dealing upon us and so orders our circumstances that we are brought under a certain kind of pressure. Under this pressure we turn to the Lord and suddenly His word to us gives light! Oh, we must have the dealing hand of God! Under pressure and bruising we turn to the Lord in a deeper, more intense way, and the Spirit moves mightily on our behalf to guide, comfort, encourage, rebuke, teach, correct, counsel, reveal, instruct, develop, strengthen, mature and perfect us. In all this the Spirit operates and we learn the ways of the Father! There comes the expression of His grace and glory and power in our walk. Then not only are we blessed, but the heart of the Father is satisfied, and through us creation will be touched by God!


Life on this earth is filled with affliction, reverses, calamities, heartbreak, disappointment, trouble, suffering and tribulation - everything that breaks and processes and molds the character of God into our lives. People often say, and sometimes even those called to sonship say, “I don’t know why God allowed all this to happen to me!” Ah, that’s an easy thing to solve! He lets it happen because we need it! When it happens we don’t think we need it, it seems that God is unjust or has turned against us or forsaken us. We are like little children. My father used to tell me, when he gave me a threshing with his razor strap for some act of disobedience, “Son, this hurts me more than it hurts you. I do this because I love you!” And under my breath I was muttering, “Oh, yeah! I’ll bet!” I couldn’t believe that! It took me many years to understand the heart of my father, but after growing up into a responsible and mature manhood, having children of my own, at last I understood. That which appears to be unneedful and unjust becomes our crown and our glory when the process is finished and at last we understand! Since we are now His sons, we ought not be surprised at any of the processings which He brings our way, but rather see the hand of our Father in all these things, knowing that in His own mystical and divine way He is working it all for our good and for His glory!

The apostle Peter expressed the truth of it this way: “Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered by the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange - unusual and alien to you and your position - were befalling you” (I Pet. 4:12, Amplified). “THINK IT NOT STRANGE,” the King James Version says - do not be amazed and bewildered, do not be astonished, do not be alarmed or incredulous as though the experience is foreign, unwarranted, unexpected, abnormal, a surprise. It is not an accident - it was PLANNED. It is not a surprise - it was PURPOSED.

People enter into this path of sonship and I hear them saying, “I’ve never had trouble like I’ve had since I came into this walk!” Of course you haven’t. That’s the way it’s supposed to be! The higher the position, the more rigorous the training! “I had it better back in the church system,” they moan. I wouldn’t doubt that one little bit, because God is not at this time interested in either Babylon or the world. His purposes lie with those He has selected, drawing them out and beyond the course of this world’s religion, and placing within them a divine call, a sense of destiny which must be fulfilled. You wonder why things are so difficult, why all hell breaks loose, why as soon as one door opens another door closes, you wonder why you have all the troubles, trials, difficulties, problems, and tribulations, while the way of the religious is not so. Brother, you’re in the furnace - Jesus is being to you what He promised He would be - a REFINER’S FIRE! You are in the crucible of His purpose.

How long will this continue? I would like to promise you some respite, but I dare not. The Psalmist says, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, PURIFIED SEVEN TIMES” (Ps. 12:6). Seven is the number of perfection! It reveals the great truth that God’s own nature will be produced in the fire. He will heat up the furnace until you have been perfectly cleansed and purified, nothing remaining but HIMSELF. That which the Lord is receiving unto Himself cannot be of an inferior quality to Himself. The gold — ah, it is HIM. The silver — it is of HIM. How marvelous is the grace by which He has birthed us out of His own Spirit, making us “partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4). It is like the grades in school, the farther along you go the harder the lessons become!

How long, think you, would it take a workman with a hammer and chisel to crush the ore and extract the gold from the rocks in which it lies so closely embedded? But if they are flung into the great furnace, and fires fanned to torrid heat and the draught roars through the burning mass, eventually a great glowing stream of pure fluid metal, from which all dross and rubbish are parted, flows into the waiting mold. This is a parable of what God will do for us! At first the surface of the melting metal may be dark and lurid - deep orange red, over which a flickering flame shall pass; but, as the process is pursued, the color will become lighter, the dark fumes will pass off, and the metal shall bear the appearance of a highly polished mirror, reflecting the beholder’s face. The process may be long and hot; BUT THE RESULT IS SURE!

Those who love the Lord and long to see His purpose fulfilled in their lives, are willing to accept Him as a refiner’s fire, as a thresher of wheat, as a presser of olives, as a crusher of grapes, and as a scourging Father! We accepted Him as Saviour, Baptizer, Healer, and Blesser; now we are accepting Him as the Lord of the fires! Our Father has made us willing to embrace the means He uses to perfect us. He perfects us in the crucible of adversities. The tribulations He sends us are not punishments for past failures, but divine tools to conform us to His image. Paul’s thorn in the flesh, Job’s loss of all his possessions, family, and health, Joseph’s betrayal by his brethren, his being sold as a slave, and later his being falsely accused and thrown into prison, were all for a divine purpose.

Taken to the isle of Patmos, John was made to see a “great multitude” of saints which no man could number, from every nation, kindred, people and tongue, standing before the throne of God and before the Lamb. Each was clothed in a white robe and held a palm branch in his hand. The white robe speaks of purity; the palm branch denotes victory. Being made pure by the inwrought righteousness of Christ also brings victory over self! Asked by one of the elders, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, with palms in their hands, and whence have they come?” John answered, “Sir, you know.” And the elder said to him, “These are they which have come out of GREAT TRIBULATION; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Each of these white-robed saints had to experience great tribulation.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that these are the very people who had been followers of Jezebel, the false prophetess, the false ministry of the church systems, who committed spiritual fornication and ate spiritual food that was defiled by idols - by false images and conceptions of God. Were we not all there at one time? To these the Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I will cast her into a bed (of trouble), and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds” (Rev. 2:22). It is interesting to note that the term “great tribulation” appears only twice in the book of Revelation, and neither time does it apply to the world. In both cases it has to do with the Lord’s own people! Jesus said he would cast the spiritual fornicators of the church age into great tribulation, unless they repented. What do you suppose would be the purpose of the great tribulation? Why, bless your heart, would it not be to influence and motivate them to repent! And then John sees a great multitude that has come out of great tribulation. A wonderful transformation has taken place in them through the process of the great tribulation. They have now “washed their robes” and have “made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” They were already God’s people, and were not now washed from the filth of the flesh they walked in before they were saved, rather, they were washed from the defilement of religion and religious systems! As a result of their going through that great tribulation, God’s purpose was accomplished in their lives. Cleansed and purified by the Lamb, they were transformed and brought very near to His throne of love, grace, and power.

Let us understand clearly just who these white-robed saints of God are! They are the redeemed of God who have washed their robes from the defilement of the false doctrines, empty rituals, fleshly methods and carnal programs of the church systems of man. White robes in the book of Revelation denote “the righteous acts of the saints” (Rev. 19:8). It is the righteousness of Christ with which they are clothed, resulting in righteous, truly spiritual acts manifested out of their lives upon this earth. All of them have endured the strippings, purgings, prunings, threshings, refinings, and purifying dealings of God and have been thoroughly chastened and corrected by the Father. They are seen coming out of this great tribulation clothed in the white robes of Christ’s righteousness and waving palm branches of victory and praise to God! They are a righteous people, and they are a joyful, praising people! The Lord has led them through the processings of His Spirit, which made them pure and righteous in God’s sight while they walk this earth in the midst of worldly sin and religious corruption. These are the ones “coming out” of “the great tribulation” having their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb! Praise God! It is His own harvest! How many are there? “A great multitude that no man could number.” It is the “great” tribulation because of the “great” multitude! No man can experience more than his own tribulation. This “great tribulation” has lasted throughout the two thousand years since Christ came and began to form His body in the earth. All through the age He has called out people after people, company after company, from the apostate church systems of their day, and now, praise His name, there is a great multitude that no man can number!

It should be obvious to every spiritual mind that the great multitude that no man can number is not the same company as the 144,000 that can be numbered. Not that 144,000 is a literal number, but it is the number of divine government ascribed to a select called and chosen company who reign with Christ upon His throne. As the spirit of revelation and understanding floods our minds, we are left without question as to the meaning of all this. Notice, now, the position of God’s kings and priests. To him that overcometh to be a son of God is granted to sit with Christ in His throne, even as Jesus overcame and is set down with His Father in His throne (Rev. 3:21; 21:7). The manchild is caught up to God and to His throne and rules all nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 12:5). The 144,000 stand with the Lamb on mount Zion (Rev. 14:1).

To correctly unlock this term, “mount Zion,” we need to go back and consider the shadow. Israel was the whole nation; Jerusalem, the capital city. And while Jerusalem comprised all the governmental class, yet in Jerusalem there was only one who, with his household, dwelt on mount Zion. He was the king! His was the highest pinnacle of glory attainable. But that Zion was only a shadow of the true and heavenly mount Zion to which we are come (Heb. 12:22). And of this mount Zion the Spirit testifies, “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Ps. 132:13-14). David was king over natural Israel. Christ is king over spiritual Israel. David dwelt on the natural mount Zion. Therefore Christ dwells on the spiritual Zion! And this spiritual Zion is composed of those who have reached the very highest pinnacle attainable in Jerusalem... the spiritual mount Zion is the “little remnant,” the manchild, the 144,000, the kings and priests, the ones who have attained the highest pinnacle of majesty in the spiritual realm and sit with Christ upon His throne! Though there is a great multitude on different levels of the governmental realm in the heavenly city of God, yet only the kings of the kingdom sit upon the throne and reign from the heavenly mount Zion!

You will notice especially that the overcomer sits on Christ’s throne. The manchild rules the nations from the throne of God. The 144,000 reign with the Lamb from the heavenly mount Zion. The “great multitude,” however, are not “on” the throne - they are “before” the throne of God and of the Lamb! Neither do they “reign,” but they “serve” God day and night in His temple, and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They are a blessed company indeed! They are the vast multitudes of the redeemed out of the age who have walked with God in a pure walk in the Spirit. And, while they are a redeemed and sanctified and spiritual people, they are not the sons of God who reign with Christ upon His throne. They have not taken the spiritual steps that cause them to fully grow, mature, and progress all the way in God to become kings and priests. They have not attained to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Yet, they are the Lord’s own people, precious in His eyes! He who sits on the throne of the Lord - Christ and His many brethren - dwells among them; they dwell in the wonderful, rewarding, sustaining presence of the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst any more; neither shall the sun (the illumination of the outer court) light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall FEED THEM, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:15-17). Blessings are lavished upon this holy people who have “come out of great tribulation” and have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

No saint of God can escape the Great Tribulation! You will not be raptured out before it comes, for it is already here! It is not some horrible judgment of vindictive wrath and unrestrained vengeance poured out upon the nations, my friend; it is God’s own process of discipline and purification for ALL WHOM HE IS REDEEMING AND TRANSFORMING INTO HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS!


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