I wanted to share some thoughts before we’re coming up to Easter and the Passover season and so, although the Lord has had me in quite a process over the last 2 or 3 months since I last shared with you, it’s quite difficult for me to separate out a single topic, because they all seem to be connected, but the process started with the Lord giving me a series of dreams about the refiner’s fire coming to the Church and I may share these dreams as He releases me at a later stage, but this is really the foundation for the work that He began to do in me, personally and I now feel a release to share with you at this time.
I have spoken of a Transition Bridge in the past and the process that we’re going through, a process of disorientation, recalibration and re-orientation, but the question I have for you this morning as we are headed towards Easter (Good Friday is on the 25th of March), the question I have for you is: What bridge are you crossing? Is it the bridge that God has ordained or is it the man-made bridge, the bridge that the world declares is the right bridge for you to cross, because the actual truth of the matter is, that God didn’t ordain Easter? Its roots are in a Pagan festival and there’s a lot of information on the internet concerning that. The festival that God ordained, one of the 3 that He ordained, is Passover, which was a foreshadowing of Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the world and this is not really about being Jewish at all, it’s about celebrating and aligning ourselves to that which God has ordained, as opposed to that which the world and the spirit of this age has ordained. So, we have the true Passover festival in April. I think it’s on the evening of the 22nd of April it begins and we have Easter before it. Last year Easter and Passover were almost transposed upon each other in timing, but interestingly enough, it seems that this year, Passover is moving away from Easter and I want to ask you this morning: Are you moving away from Pagan roots? Are you moving away from the things the world has ordained are acceptable in God’s sight and are you moving towards aligning yourself with God’s standard and God’s order and God’s Feasts and God’s righteousness; the righteousness of the Lamb that was slain for you?
So that’s quite a big question and I’m bound to offend many people just with this opening paragraph, but the truth of the matter is, that “There is a way that seems right unto man, but it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12) and so, if you want to look into the roots of Easter, feel free to do so, but at this time, I’m going to be talking to you about Passover, the ordained Feast in which God brought His people out of slavery in Egypt, a picture of the world’s system and the world and it’s ways and took them into a place of provision in the Wilderness on their journey to the Promised Land.
During this process, the Lord took me to 2 Chronicles 30 and I would encourage you to read that whole chapter. I don’t have time to read it to you now, but King Hezekiah was putting the Temple in order, sorting it out after a long period of idolatry and he sent out a call to all of Judah and all Israel, to not be stiff-necked, but to yield and to come and celebrate the Passover as God had ordained and I really believe that’s a prophetic call to the Church in this day. “⁸Do not be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield and come”. So, there’s a whole lot hidden in just that small sentence. So I encourage you to go and read 2 Chronicles 30 about the call for God’s people to come and celebrate His instituted Feast and it’s not only in an outward ritual. Please understand that’s really not what I’m saying at all, although it’s wonderful to partake in a Passover meal. God is calling us to a Spiritual Passover again, in this season.
After Pentecost, the Route to Tabernacles is laid out clearly in the Old Testament in God’s Word and we’ve heard much in the Charismatic Church over the last few years about there being a fulfilment of Tabernacles in God’s people, how we have experienced Passover and experienced Pentecost, but we have yet to experience the prophetic fulfilment of Tabernacles and yet the truth of the matter is, that the Route to Tabernacles, from Pentecost, is a specifically prescribed journey:
● It goes through 30 days of what is called ‘Teshuvah’, which means to return or to repent; returning to the Lord.
● Then there is Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. It’s also called ‘The coming of the King’.
● Then there are Ten days of Awe, during which people have a time to align their lives to God’s standard of righteousness and holiness, if they have not already done so.
● Then there is Yom Kippur
● and then only 5 days after that, is Tabernacles celebrated and the modern Church has lost, to a large extent, the understanding that there are prescribed steps in the journey to experiencing the fulfilment of Tabernacles.
The Route to experiencing the prophetic fulfilment of Tabernacles, begins with a journey of repentance and returning to the Lord, even as Hosea 6:1 says: “Come, let us return to the Lord” and I’m really issuing a call in these days for the Bride, first of all, to return to the Lord and you might think, “oh no, the Bride, she’s set apart in holiness, she’s already got her act together”, but believe me, when God began to deal with me, at a very deep heart level, in a purifying and refining process with His refiner’s fire, I soon discovered that the Bride herself needs to make that journey of repentance and returning to the Lord within her own heart.
You know that Sarah died, as I mentioned in my message ‘perfect in One’, when Isaac was offered up, on the same day, but do you know that that actual day was the 1st of Tishrei, Rosh Hashanah. The day that falls at the end of 30 days of return and repentance, was the day when Sarah’s voice was silenced, when Isaac was offered up and after the coming down from the mountain, only the voice of the Father and the Son were heard in the earth. So, it’s really very significant that the Church is being called at this time, because God’s judgement begins with the House of God. He cannot judge the world, unless He has dealt with His Church and that’s why Malachi 3:2&3 speaks of the Lord, whom we see coming as the Refiner’s Fire and the Fullers’ Soap to purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer offerings in righteousness. Now you would think that the sons of Levi being busy with God’s business in the Temple would have been in right standing with God, but obviously they were not and of course God, as always, is dealing with the heart. Long before He deals with the ways, He deals with the thoughts of the heart.
So I want us to go to Psalm 29 which speaks about the voice of the Lord and what it does and what it accomplishes. Psalm 29:7 says “The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. ⁸The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh” and at this time the voice of the Lord is resounding over His Church and He is dividing the flames of fire. That word ‘divide’ actually means ‘to cut, to quarry or to engrave or to dig’. So, at this moment, the sound that is being released from the heavenlies, by the Spirit of the living God, is a sound that is engraving on the hearts of God’s set-apart people. The actual process of engraving involves cutting into the surface, even as a plough cuts into the surface of the ground in order to prepare it to receive seed. The sound the Lord is releasing is engraving on our hearts. He’s ploughing up the hard soil of our hearts. Now we might think that we don’t have hard hearts, but the Spirit of the Lord is about to show us by applying His plough and engraving in the very area where He knows we need something written on our hearts - and the thing is about a hard heart, it encompasses deaf ears and blind eyes.
Do you know that the eyes of your heart can be blind and the ears of your heart can be deaf, even though you are outwardly serving the Lord and the way this happens is when we deliberately harden our hearts, when we hear the voice of the Lord, but we don’t obey the voice of the Lord? We block our ears and eventually after a repeated blocking of our ears to the still, small voice of the Spirit convicting us, the ears of our heart become dull and deaf and the eyes of our heart can no longer see the light, because of the hardness of our hearts and our unwillingness to repent. So, when Psalm 29:7 says that “The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire” or engraves the flames of fire, it’s talking about a preparation process, a writing upon the hearts of God’s people, a ploughing up of the soil of their hearts, a breaking up of hard ground in preparation for the seed that God wants to sow for the crop that God wants to bring forth out of the hearts of His people.
The next verse says that “⁸The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;” Now that word for wilderness can also mean ‘a pasture or a speech, including its organs’. In other words, when it says “The voice of the Lord is shaking the wilderness” it’s speaking of Him dealing with our organs of speech. Now, first and foremost, the first organ of speech, although it doesn’t really seem connected physically, is our heart, because “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34) and the organs of speech are the voice box in the throat, the mouth that shapes the sounds and the lips that are the gate that release the sounds. So, God is busy, through the sound He’s releasing, shaking the organs of speech, shaking the treasury from which the organs of speech make a sound in the earth. You know, there is a scripture that speaks about “if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound (or a mixed sound, a blurring sound), how can the people gather?” (1 Corinthians 14:8) and the problem has been in the earth and in the Church that there has been an uncertain sound released, a mixed sound, not a clear sound, a muffled sound, a sound that’s not tuned to the chords of heaven and so God is shaking His people at this time. He’s shaking us up, He’s dealing with our hearts and He’s dealing with our organs of speech, because unless He deals with the heart and unless He deals with the vocal chords in order to get a clear sound and unless He deals with our unclean mouths and our unclean lips, we will be unable to make a clear sound in the earth and the enemy is just going to ride right over the Church in the coming days.
So the voice of the Lord is shaking the wilderness, He’s shaking the organs of speech. The voice of the Lord is shaking “the wilderness of Kadesh”. (Psalm 29:8). Kadesh is the word for ‘holy’, so He’s shaking the wilderness of holiness, but the word for Kadesh also comes from a root word meaning ‘a male prostitute’. So, there’s a two-fold meaning there. He’s dealing with a depth of uncleanness in this wilderness that calls itself holy, that is actually prostituting itself with the world.
Do you remember when Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up and then he said “I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5)? The dealings of the Spirit of the living God and the Spirit of judgment and burning in these days are going to reveal to our dull eyes and our deaf ears the very fact that we are of unclean lips and we dwell amongst a people, the people of God, who have unclean lips. This is the primary place where God is dealing in these days. You know, when we take Communion, which is a celebration of the Passover meal, the first thing the bread and the wine touch are our lips, our tongue and our throat and this is a clear indication of the very first thing that God wants to deal with, the lips, the mouth, the voice box and then the heart. So, God works from the outside to the inside, because we are so blind and deaf as to what our own hearts contain and He first starts dealing with our own lips. If you would just listen to yourself when you speak in the company of others, in a sense putting yourself in their shoes and listening to what you sound like in their ears and asking the Spirit of the Lord to send you light, you will begin to understand the concept of having unclean lips and as you begin to repent of that, then God takes you further to your mouth and your tongue that shape the sounds that come out between your lips and then He starts dealing with the voice box, the tuning and then, finally, He takes us to the root of the issue, which is actually our hearts. So, when the cleansing and refiner’s fire comes to purify the sons of righteousness, He’s dealing basically at root level with the heart, because “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”.
In Isaiah 33:14 it says “The sinners in Zion are afraid;” What, are there sinners in Zion?! But isn’t Zion the place where God’s people dwell? Isn’t Zion the place where the Bride resides? Oh my, but there’s sinners in Zion. That’s quite a shocking thought. “The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling seizes the godless ones”. So there’s godless ones in Zion? My word! This is what they say: “Who among us can dwell with that devouring fire? Who among us can dwell with those everlasting burnings?” Obviously the refiner’s fire has arrived at Mount Zion and then God answers. He says in verse 15 of Isaiah 33: “He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises gain from fraud and from oppression, who shakes his hand free from the taking of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes to avoid looking upon evil. ¹⁶[Such a man] will dwell on the heights; his place of defence will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; water for him will be sure. ¹⁷Your eyes will see the King in His beauty”.
So, the first part of that says “¹⁵He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly”, will be able to “¹⁴dwell with the everlasting burnings” and I just want to mention that the Spirit of judgment and burning is not really a thing that passes through our hearts and leaves. God is wanting to baptise us with fire, but in order for us to dwell with that fire burning within our heart, that zeal and godly jealousy for God’s house, which will empower us and thrust us out to do the works of God, in order for us to be able to dwell with that and not be consumed by it, we have to walk righteously and speak uprightly. So there we have again the mouth, the speaking uprightly and you can only speak uprightly if you have an upright heart. So, the cry of the Bride in these days should be: “Lord, shake my vocal chords, which are yours. I set myself apart in holiness. I want to dedicate my mouth and my lips and my tongue and my vocal chords to be your instrument. May they be kadesh, may they be holy unto You,” and as you go through that process, God begins with His searchlight to show you every area in which your lips and your mouth and your tongue and your vocal chords and your heart are not holy and not surrendered and not set-apart to Him. It’s a chastening process, but it’s a joyfull process, because when we know the truth, the truth sets us free. Returning to the Lord, that 30 days of repentance before Rosh Hashanah that the Jews walk through, in a sense, for us, is the journey back to Passover in this year. Passover starts on the 22nd of April in the evening and so we have time, if we haven’t been about this business already, to begin the 30 days of returning to the Lord and of setting ourselves to be rightly aligned with Him in every area.
So, Psalm 29:9 then says: “The voice of the Lord makes the hinds to calve, and discovers the forests: and in his Temple everyone speaks of His glory”. The word for ‘shake’ in the previous verse where it says “he shakes the wilderness” and the word for ‘calve’, where “He makes the hinds to calve” are exactly the same word and it means: ‘to dance, to writhe in pain, to bring forth, to calve’. So the voice of the Lord is making the hinds bring forth. What is a hind? Well, a hind is a female deer, but that word in Hebrew also means ‘a mighty man, an oak or a strong tree or a strong support’. So, the voice of the Lord, the sound the Spirit of the Lord is releasing at this time over us, is making His mighty men bring forth. So let that be your prayer daily as you awaken: “Lord, utter your voice over my heart, release your sound over me, shake me Lord, shake my vocal chords, shake the wilderness of Kadesh, engrave upon my heart oh God, plough up my heart where it needs ploughing up, utter Your voice over me”.
The voice of the Lord also ‘discovers the forest’. Now that word ‘discover’ in Hebrew is ‘to make naked, to drain away, to discover or to draw out, uncover’. Well, that does not make much sense. He’s drawing out the forests; what is the forest about? Well, interestingly enough, the forest, in Hebrew that word means ‘honey in the comb’. So He’s drawing out the honey in the comb. This is what the voice of the Lord is doing at this time over His Bride. He’s drawing out the honey in the comb. Honey has always been a symbol for revelation in the Bible. Do you remember when King David ate the honey and his eyes were brightened? So, honey is connected with revelation and light and the voice or sound that’s reverberating from heaven, at this time, over us, is drawing out the honey in the comb. In Song of Songs 5:1 it says: “I have come into My garden, my sister, My spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;” Here we see a description of the Bridegroom coming into His garden, which is us. He says, “I have come into My garden, my sister, my spouse”. His sister, His spouse is His garden and He’s tasting what He finds there. He’s gathering myrrh, which speaks of repentance and death to self and He’s eating honeycomb with honey.
It also says: “I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends! Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved”. So Jesus comes into His garden to taste what is there, to test the quality, just like on the wedding at Cana on the 3rd day, the water that’s turned into wine is poured into a goblet and taken to the Master of the feast first and after he’s tasted it, then he gives permission for it to be distributed. So, first of all, those stone water pots at Cana were filled. Jesus said: “Fill them” and they were filled to the brim with the waters for purification and that water for purification was first in the stone vessel, before it got poured out and turned into wine and the Master of the feast tasted it. So it speaks first of the waters of purification, cleansing the inside of the vessel first and then, Him coming into His garden and tasting what He finds there and then as it says in Song of Songs 5:1 “I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends!” He’s calling His friends to eat and to drink, because He’s tasted it and He’s declaring it, it’s of the best quality. The best wine has been kept till last. In another place in Song of Songs verse 11 of chapter 4 it says: “Your lips, My bride, drop honey as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue” So, the Bride is supposed to have honey and milk under her tongue, not gall, not the gall of bitterness. And so, as Jesus comes into His garden and tastes and the refiner’s fire works and brings to the surface any dross in our lives, He’s dealing with the root of bitterness. He’s dealing with things that would taint the honey and the milk that are supposed to be under the tongue, because we do have some revelation and we think we see, but we are not seeing clearly, because there are logs in our eyes and so, that is why Jesus comes to sup with us first.
So, is the water that’s coming from your heart bitter or sweet? If there’s any trace of bitter water, it’s your own mouth that’s causing barrenness and miscarriage in your own field. Do you remember Elisha, after he received the mantle of Elijah, he was called first to Jericho, because the spring there was bitter and it was causing barrenness and miscarriage and what Elisha did was, he took a new cruse or a new vessel with salt in it and he threw salt into the mouth of the spring and the waters were healed and there was no more barrenness and miscarriage and in this season, the Spirit of the living God is throwing salt into the springs of our hearts where there’s any trace of bitter water coming out. Remember, if there’s barrenness in your life, if you’re not seeing the fruit of your prayers, if you see things almost come to fruition and then you miscarry, the problem is not what other people are doing, because the Word of God says in Proverbs that we eat “the fruit of our lips”, “the power of life and death is in the tongue and those who love it eat the fruit of it” (Proverbs 18:21). So, those who love life, will eat the fruit of life and those who love death, will eat the fruit of death. So, if there’s death, as in miscarriage or barrenness, then it’s got to do with your heart spring and that’s why the Spirit of God is throwing salt into the spring in our hearts in these days. Remember, salt is representative of truth. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. So ‘let your conversation be full of grace, seasoned with salt, that it may benefit those who listen’. Salt is a symbol of truth, therefore ask the Lord, ask the Spirit of the living God to throw salt into the spring of your heart, to throw truth into your heart, into the engraving that He’s ploughing into your heart. If He sows truth, you are going to bear the fruit and the harvest of truth in your life. I even, when I break bread these days, I sprinkle a little bit of salt on my bread and I pray and I ask the Lord to come and share salt with me, come and break bread with me and share salt so that I can have eyes that see and ears that hear and a heart that understands. So the throwing of salt into the spring at Jericho is the application of truth. When you know the truth and when you see the truth, it has the power to set you free.
So we’re in a time of yielding to the Lord and beginning the journey of return to celebrate Passover as God ordained it, because as it says in 2 Chronicles 30, the people have not celebrated Passover in the prescribed manner for a very long time and that was why Hezekiah issued this call and as you read that passage in chapter 30, you’ll see that a lot of people came and responded to his call, but some of them had not prepared their hearts, but there were those at the Temple that had prepared their hearts and they helped the other people with going through the process of the Passover.
Do you remember I shared in another message how God says He is bending Judah as His bow and fitting it with Ephraim, which speaks of a double portion of light? I want you to notice, it’s in Zechariah 9:13, it says: “I have bent Judah for Myself as My bow”. The bow that He’s making is His own bow. Do we want to be a part of God’s bow? Then we need to yield and not be stiff-necked as our fathers were. When Hezekiah sent out that call in 2 Chronicles 30, he said to them specifically in the message that was read throughout Israel: “Do not be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield and come”, just like the call of Hosea 6: “Come, let us return to the Lord”. The word for return in Hebrew is ‘shuv’ and it’s the root of the word teshuvah, which means ‘repentance or return’ as in the 30 days of return before Rosh Hashanah. In Hosea 6, the first 3 verses, it speaks about returning to the Lord, because “He has wounded so that He may heal; He’s broken down in order to build up. Let us be zealous to know the Lord”, for “His coming is prepared and as certain as the dawn and He will come to us as the heavy latter rain”. So Jesus is coming as the latter rain, but He’s only coming to His flock as the heavy latter rain, only to those who yield and allow themselves to be bent as his bow, only to those who accept the burning coal on their lips and allow the spirit of judgment and burning to work a thorough purging in our hearts and in our mouths.
You see, God is not only dealing with our words, but with our thoughts. David prayed and said: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable...” (Psalm 19:14) So it’s not only about the words we speak and the sound we release, it’s about what we’re thinking in our hearts, because God can hear you. What are you thinking about? The Word says: “Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Are you walking in obedience to that instruction? If you’re not, you need to repent, change your thoughts and renew your mind. I’ve been through a huge process of governing and taking EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ, not every 10th thought, not now and again when I remember, but every thought, taking it captive to the obedience of Christ and repenting for not thinking on what is pure and what is lovely, because the thoughts of our heart are as loud as when we speak to other people to Heaven and Proverbs 6:16 lists the things the Lord hates: “There are six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: ¹⁷A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, ¹⁸A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, ¹⁹A false witness who breathes out lies, and he who sows discord among his brethren”. A lot of the things listed in those 7 things that are an abomination to God have to do with the mouth and the heart and the thoughts. So take time to read Proverbs 6 from verse 16 in your quiet time and really ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to ways in which you’re not walking in this. I think you will probably as shocked as I am, because self righteousness is an insidious thing. It creeps up very easily upon our shoulders like a gossamer-light garment, but it has a stench of death and quite often we don’t realise that we’re wearing a garment of self righteousness, because it rests so lightly on our shoulders, but others who stand around us, can smell the stench of death from our self righteousness and that is what puts people off Christianity and puts people off receiving the Lord, is the stench of self righteousness.
You know, when my son was little, he used to crawl into bed (I think I told you before) in-between my husband and myself and ask my husband to tell him a story and when my husband would begin to tell the story, he would say to him: “Oh, I don’t like the smell of your voice”, obviously because it was the early morning breath and he hadn’t brushed his teeth yet, but there’s a principle there that very often people don’t like the smell of our voice, because there’s a stench of death coming from a root of bitterness and the shawl of self righteousness that is resting upon our shoulders. So, there’s an awful lot to be repented of and it’s actually a joyful process, because the more you repent and re-align, the more you ask God to cleanse you, the more you say as David did in Psalm 51 “Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight. Wash me with water and I shall be clean. Cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow. Cleanse me with hyssop. Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me”. The more we do that, the closer we get to the Lord and there’s a joy that breaks forth in aligning yourselves to the path He’s ordained.
Do you remember the scripture about asking for the good old path? It says in Jeremiah 6:16 “ask for the good old paths and walk in them and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not!” And then it says: “¹⁷Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hear and obey the sound of the trumpet! But they said, We will not listen or obey”. So they’re being shown a path to walk in and they’re refusing to walk in it, they’re hearing a trumpet of warning and they’re refusing to listen to it or obey. Then God says in verse 18 of Jeremiah 6: “Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation (that’s His people), what I will do” and “¹⁹Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts because they have not listened and obeyed My words, and as for My law, they have rejected it”. When the Lord began to deal with me concerning hard-heartedness and the need to repent, I began to repent, first of all, of stiff-neckedness, because that was the word that came from Hezekiah to the people: “Do not be stiff-necked like your fathers were”. Now I’ve suffered from a stiff neck in the natural for many years and now I’ve come to see that it’s almost a prophetic sign and so I began to repent of stiff-neckedness, of walking in stiff-neckedness like my fathers have done, just a kind of a blanket prayer and asking the Lord to begin to show me my own stiff-neckedness and then He began to remind me of times I’d been convicted by the Spirit of the Lord with a still, small voice, saying “That’s not the way to walk, rather do this, rather be like this, rather behave like this” and of just refusing to take the Holy Spirit’s direction. You know like when a GPS says to you: “Turn left at 200 meters, turn left at 100 meters, turn left at 50 meters; you have missed the turning, go back!” Well, the Holy Spirit is also like that and often we just refuse to heed that still, small voice. Well, that is stiff-neckedness that is stubbornness. That is walking in our own way and in our own will, instead of yielding. So, as I began to see this, repenting of stiff-neckedness became very real and very close to the bone and the Lord took me through a deep, deep repentance of stiff-neckedness and stubbornness, because stubbornness is as idolatry. You know, we look at the world, we look at other religions, we see their idols, we look down upon them for their idolatry and their spiritual adultery and we pray for them and intercede for people to come into the Kingdom, but the Church itself and even the Bride herself has been in idolatry and spiritual adultery in every instance where she’s been stiff-necked and stubborn and not yielded to the still, small voice of the Spirit and grieved the Holy Spirit.
So, those are thoughts. You know, we don’t very often voice that out loud, because when you are spiritual you don’t say “I refuse to listen to Your Holy Spirit” out loud, but the actual ignoring, the not listening or obeying instead the thoughts of our own will and our own way, will cause us to eat the fruit of our own thoughts unless we repent, and the time is almost over for this to happen, for we have the light, we have the truth, we have the Word and yet there are many instances where we have been stiff-necked and rebellious to the Spirit of Truth when He has tried to lead us in the way of righteousness and it’s time, it’s time to repent and to re-align. It’s time to make that journey of teshuvah; it’s time to sup with the Lord and to yield. Do not be stiff-necked, yield and come, let us return to the Lord.
In Isaiah 62:10 it says “Go through the gates, prepare the way for the people, cast up the highway. Gather out the stones; lift up a standard over the peoples”. Jesus is the only door to go through. When it says “Go through the gates”, that word ‘gate’ also means ‘door’. There’s an instruction to somebody to go through the door and to prepare the way for the people. So somebody has to go through first and prepare the way, just as John the Baptist was preparing a way for the coming of the Lord. He had to first go through the door, he had to first yield to the Spirit’s leading into the wilderness, to leave the comfortable and the known and the safe and the religious and the upright family and to yield to the leading of the Spirit and have at long time of being dealt with by the Spirit, making him into a vessel and into a sound that could prepare the way for people to accept the Lord. Jesus said: “I am the door” and it’s the door of the cross, the door of repentance that is the door we need to go through in these days.
The Spirit of Elijah resting on John the Baptist prepared the way for the first coming and the same Spirit is busy preparing the way for the Spirit of the Lord who is coming to be glorified IN His people, before He comes FOR His people. What does it look like? What does the spirit of Elijah coming look like? What does the coming to be glorified in His people look like?
● Firstly, it’s a voice. John said he’s “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord”. (Mark 1:3) He didn’t say: “I’m a face”. When people asked him who he was, he didn’t give them a list of his credentials, you know: I’m the son of the High priest, I come from a really spiritual family, I’ve been trained well, I’ve been trained in the Law. When people asked him who he was, he just said: “I am a voice” and that word also means ‘sound’. He just said, “I’m a sound; I’m a vessel releasing a sound, doing a job, building a road, making a way”. You know, often when I drive to town, I see that the Municipality are building and attending to roads, the blue collar workers, kind of considered by society the lower class. They’re road-builders; nobody takes too much notice of them. In fact it’s a little bit inconvenient when they’re working on a road and you want to actually travel on it, but that’s what John the Baptist was and that’s what the spirit of Elijah does. He’s building a road and making a way and the sound of the spirit of Elijah in this day is a sound being released in the wilderness, calling people to repentance, to come out of the city of religion - and it’s not only lip service to repentance that we’re being called to, but repentance that bears fruit.
● The Spirit of Elijah is a spirit that rebuilds the altar of sacrifice, even while the prophets of Baal are making a tremendous noise, performing and going through the motions on the very same Mount Carmel. The real and the counterfeit are side by side at this time, but the one is calling people to repentance and re-alignment and re-building the altar of sacrifice and the others are just going through the things that they’ve always done: whipping themselves, cutting themselves, making a tremendous noise in calling out to God, but there are no actual results, but there is a point in this dual performance, where the spirit of Elijah says to the people: “Come near to me”, Come near to me, come let us return to the Lord” and Elijah begins to show them how to rebuild the altar and when he does it according to God’s standard and God’s instruction and God’s blueprint, then the fire falls and consumes the sacrifice and the people return to the Lord.
So John said in Mathew 3:8 “Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance”. It’s not enough to do lip service to repentance; you have to bring forth fruit. The roots that are in our heart need to be dealt with in order to bring forth different fruit. “⁹And do not presume to say to yourselves, We have Abraham for our forefather”. We can’t just say we’re sons of Abraham by faith, we’ll be safe, we’ll be protected in this day that burns like an oven. We have to bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance, because Mathew 3:10 says “the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire”. So these are... these are fearful days that we’re living in when God starts to open our eyes to show us the extent of idolatry and stubbornness and rebellion and self-will deep within our own hearts after knowing the Lord for many, many years. Mathew 12:33 quotes Jesus saying again “Either make the tree sound, and its fruit sound, or make the tree rotten, and its fruit rotten; for the tree is known by its fruit. ³⁴You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks”.
So there’s choices and decisions to make, in this day, that have got nothing to do with being glorified in the church for a ministry or self-realisation or fulfilling your dream or laying hold of your promised land. At this point, before we get to Tabernacles and the experience of that, we have to go through the days of returning to the Lord. We have to go through the days of the coming of the King, the days of repentance and re-alignment and the days of the blood of the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world being poured upon the altar and applied to the doorposts of our hearts, before we get to the experience of Tabernacles. The Spirit of Judgment and Burning is busy ploughing up the hearts of His Bride and converting the heart of stone to a heart of flesh, so that we can actually hear what our own words sound like and taste the water flowing from our own hearts. Isaiah recognised he was a man of unclean lips and needed a burning coal. David recognised that against God only had he sinned and done what was evil. He didn’t say he’d sinned against Bathsheba or against Uriah, but against God himself and his cry was for cleansing and purging. The word ‘purge’ means ‘to bring up to the surface in order to expel’, thus cleansing and Mathew 12:35 says “The good man from his inner good treasure brings forth good things, but the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. ³⁶...on the day of judgment men will have to give an account for every idle word they speak. ³⁷For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned”. Beloved, that’s a scary thing! Words, by our own words, by our own words. Not only the words that come out of our mouths, but the words we’ve thought in our hearts, we will be justified and acquitted or by those words we will be condemned and sentenced.
So, the Refiner’s Fire is dealing with the inner storehouses of our heart. Do we have an inner evil storehouse where we mutter and moan under our breath and in our hearts against our brothers and sisters in Christ or do we have a good storehouse of good grain from which there comes forth things to feed others and up-build and edify and bring life to others. What is coming out of our mouths?
- Is it pride and self-righteousness, pointing out the splinter in others when there’s a log in our own eyes?
- Is it slander and gossip, uncovering the nakedness of our brothers and sisters in Christ under the guise of: “oh, I just want to share something with you so that you can pray about it?” It’s long passed the time for the plague of gossip and slander in the Body of Christ to be dealt with.
- Is there self-realisation coming out of our mouths? I will ascend; I will sit on the throne. We’re sounding more like the father of lies, Lucifer, if we’re talking like that. Jesus, knowing who He was, where He’d come from and where He was going to, took a towel and washed His disciple’s feet. Quite different to ascending to the throne.
I have a friend who is a Jeweller and I asked her to explain to me just exactly what happens in the process of dealing with dross, and she said to me: the metal, silver, for instance, is in the crucible and heat is applied from underneath. Now, silver, is chemically bonded to dross, so the initial fire brings the dross to the surface so that you can see it and this is what happens when God initially applies the Refiner’s Fire to our hearts. Suddenly we’re able to see what has been lurking underneath the surface, because a lump of solid silver before heat is applied, just looks like silver, but when the heat begins to drive out from the innermost part of the silver, the places where dross exists, then it comes to the surface and we see it. Now, in the past, I have heard many times from the pulpit that the dross comes to the surface and you just skim it off, but this Jeweller friend of mine explained it very differently. She said: when you see the dross come to the surface in the crucible, then intense fire is applied to the specific area where the dross is and finally it causes the bond between the silver ion and the dross to be broken and the silver ion, which is positively charged, let’s go of the dross and the dross, because of the breaking of the bond, is driven away from the silver ion and it moves to the side of the crucible and fastens itself, because the thing about dross is that it needs something to attach itself to. A dross ion, an impurity in silver, is negatively charged and if the silver is no longer holding on to it, it has to find something else to hold on to and the other most solid thing that it can find is the edge of the crucible and it stays in the crucible. The silver then becomes liquid and it’s separated from the dross in that way.
Now the process of becoming liquid is actually a picture of yielding to the Refiner’s Fire. Normally when God begins to shine his spotlight on something by bringing it to the surface, the stubbornness and self-will in us holds on to that dross. We don’t want to let it go. We call it by any other name other than what it really is. We just... we do not want to admit the presence of the dross and its almost as if we are embracing and in adultery with that dross rather than in embracing Jesus, who is the Truth and so, when we yield and are not stiff-necked as our fathers were and we come to the Lord, we open our arms, we let go of the dross and the dross is driven away from us and we can embrace Christ again and the cross.
So, if you find the Lord bringing something to the surface in your life that needs attending to, realise that that’s not the end of the process. Don’t get disheartened when the fire gets hotter and hotter and hotter dealing with that thing, whether it’s self righteousness or pride or unbelief or whatever. What God is doing is completely purging you of that thing. He’s breaking the bond between you and that thing once and for all. If you will dwell with the everlasting burnings, if you will take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, if you will humble yourself and repent as David repented and embrace the cleansing, refining process instead of resisting it, then that bond between you and that thing that has been a part of your life right up to this point, is broken. Thrust it from you, because when the silver begins to show the reflection of the refiner in its surface, then he knows it’s pure and its ready to be poured out of the crucible and you leave the dross behind in the crucible. It’s not a part of you anymore. You’re not going to struggle with that thing for the rest of your life if you co-operate with the applied intense heat in specific areas until the root is dealt with. Then you are poured out, you are liquid, you are completely yielded and surrendered and you pass over the threshold and the cusp of the crucible into the next part of the process.
Did you hear I said the word Passover? As the blood of the Lamb is applied to the the doorposts of your house, which is your mouth and your lips and your tongue and your vocal chords and your heart, as the blood is applied, as you accept the sacrifice of the slain Lamb; you have no righteousness of your own, your righteousness is as filthy rags, but as you say: “Jesus, I need Your blood and I accept this and I repent of having embraced this filthy, ugly piece of dross in my life and I thrust it from me and I will no longer commit adultery with this dross, I will no longer stubbornly hold on to this ‘strange woman’, but I thrust it from me and I embrace you, my Bridegroom,” that’s when we pass over the cusp of the crucible and are poured out and it’s the doorway of the cross that is that threshold. The cross is the only way out of the crucible. The longer you are stiff-necked and do not yield to the Spirit of conviction and to the Spirit of Judgment and Burning, the longer you stay in the crucible and the hotter it gets. So the cross is the only way out of the crucible.
Do you remember that I shared with you in another message about David fleeing from Absolom and how Jonathan and a son of Zadok went to warn them? In 2 Samuel 17:16 it says this: “send quickly and tell David, Lodge not this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over, lest the king be swallowed up and all the people with him”. By all means, cross over, pass over. That was the urging of the Spirit to David at that time; don’t lodge here. The word ‘to lodge’ means: ‘to stop, (usually over night); by implication to stay permanently’ and it also means’ to be obstinate, especially in words’. Don’t be obstinate in your words, Beloved, don’t be obstinate and don’t pass the night here on this side of the Jordan. Pass over, embrace the cross, pass over. The cross is the only way out of the crucible. To be obstinate means to be stiff-necked like your fathers were. Don’t be a chip off the old block. Yield to the Spirit of God, yield to the Spirit of Judgement and Burning and don’t lodge this night at the fords of the wilderness, but pass over, pass over so that you are not swallowed up.
The word ‘ford’, where it says “lodge not this night at the fords”, that word ‘ford’ means ‘to grow dusky at sundown’. Dusk is a mixture of dark and light. So, don’t lodge, don’t be obstinate and stop at the place where there’s mixture. Yield and go with the flow. Let go of things the Holy Spirit is urging you to let go of. Repent and thrust them from you. Any resistance to the conviction of the Spirit at this time is solidness within you and if you don’t yield to the warning not to camp where there’s obstinince, you will be destroyed. Resistance at this point in the process is nothing but rejection of the cross of Christ and the sacrifice that’s been provided for you. Resistance at this point, being obstinate at this point, is looking to the idol of your own opinions and your own stiff-necked self-will in exchange to looking for the cross of Christ - and your self-will and your obstinince cannot save you. There’s only one place in which salvation is to be found and there’s only one shelter in which we’re going to be safe in the coming days and that is under the wings and the secret place of the Most High and the only doorway to that place is the cross of Christ and embracing and accepting His righteousness. If you continue to obstinately hold on to your own self-righteousness, that stinking garment and you stop at this point where the Refiner’s Fire gets applied hot and you stay and lodge this night at the fords where there’s mixture of darkness and light, you’re going to be swallowed up by what’s coming to destroy you, people of God.
It says: “do not lodge this night at the fords of the wilderness”. The word for ‘wilderness’ there, as I’ve mentioned before, is again: ‘a pasture, a desert, but also the organs of speech’. So it’s saying: don’t obstinately stay at the place where there’s mixture in your speech or you will be destroyed. Urgently cross over, yield. “Do not be stiff-necked like your fathers were, but yield and come celebrate the Passover”. Pass over this bridge, over the Jordan, cross over by all means. In fact, in that scripture where it says to David “by all means pass over”, it’s actually in Hebrew it says the word ‘pass over’ twice, which is ‘abar’. It says: “Do not lodge this night at the fords of the wilderness, but abar abar”, in other words, pass over pass over. It’s the only way to protection in the days that are lying right ahead of us. So don’t resist, don’t be stiff-necked Beloved. Don’t in any way lodge at the place of obstinence. When you are truly liquid and fully His, you will go wherever the Spirit leads. So, whenever you feel yourself digging your heels in where the Spirit is showing you to do something, just instantly repent there of stiff-neckedness and even if you don’t understand why the Holy Spirit is telling you to do or say something, do it, become liquid, become liquid in the hand of the Lord at this time.
The interesting thing my jeweller friend also shared with me, is that when the silver is poured out of that crucible, the next place it goes to in its liquid form, is a mould for whatever it is going to be made into, but what is interesting, is that mould is also red-hot, because if you poured liquid hot silver into a cold mould, it would spatter everywhere and be wasted, so the mould is heated as well, so that there is no difference in the heat of the mould or of the crucible. So the silver in its liquid state moves into a different situation that still feels hot and yet nothing is coming to the surface and once it’s in the mould, it takes the shape of the mould. I really believe what God is doing with us through this refining process, through this bringing up the dross and purging it thoroughly from us, what He’s doing, is making us liquid to pour us into a mould that makes a key and the key is the key to the House of David. The key to the House of David opens the front door of the House of David and the House of David is the house from which Christ comes forth in the earth.
So, just bear that in mind as you go through this very intense refining time... and it’s a time where the fire is burning inwardly. It’s not even so much outward circumstances, but just every day when you open your eyes and every night when you close your eyes, the Holy Spirit is just convicting you in your dreams. The Holy Spirit was so helpful to me in giving me dreams in this past few weeks, of where He would show me things in the dream that I needed to repent of and as I woke up, He would give me scriptures that would go with that and as I co-operated with the process it went deeper and deeper and deeper until the thing was completely dealt with and so, trust the Holy Spirit to use whatever is necessary to help you get the whole picture. Just keep asking God to utter His voice over you and to shake you and to engrave upon your heart and to apply His fire, because we want to be pure vessels of silver, vessels of honour, fit for the Master’s use in these days.
Remember that ‘rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry’. (1 Samuel 15:23) So when God sends a watchman to you saying: “Hear and obey the sound of the trumpet!” If you say: “We will not listen or obey” (Jeremiah 6:17), that’s deliberate rebellion. That is the turning of your shoulder away from God and away from the voice of the watchman and in God’s eyes that is as the sin of witchcraft. That’s all very well praying against witchcraft that’s coming from the New Agers and the ungodly religions and the occult and all that kind of thing, but there’s plenty of witchcraft and rebellion and idolatry and stubbornness in the Church of Jesus Christ, if only we will actually look in the mirror and ask the Spirit of Truth to come and shine His light.
So Beloved, begin the journey to Passover today - this is what the Spirit of the Lord is calling us to. Easter (from the word ‘Ishtar’) is connected to idolatry and Paganism. Don’t celebrate the things that feed the flesh. Don’t partake and align yourself with the things of this world, but rather begin the journey to Passover and cross over, cross over; don’t lodge at the place of stubbornness, but yield to the Spirit of God. He’s doing a work so that you can offer offerings in righteousness. He’s doing a work to prepare you and mold you and make you as His instrument, His key in the earth to unlock the storehouses of heaven in the coming days.
I’m going to share the next part of the message in part 2 as I know that this has been very long and I really pray that you’d be able to meditate and begin to process. I know that the Holy Spirit is probably working deeply with many of you in these particular areas, but I just want to send this as a confirmation to you at this time that you are on the right track. The voices that say to you: “It’s now time to arise and shine and step out, are not the voices of the Spirit of the living God or the Spirit of truth, because when the Bridegroom comes at midnight (we need to be aware of the pattern in the Jewish wedding), when the bridegroom comes at midnight to collect the bride, he took her to a private meal in the inner chamber with the bride’s attendants and the groom’s attendants and then just before dawn the bride would have a mikvah, which is a cleansing ritual bath as the last preparation before the public wedding vows and so, those prophetic voices that are saying now is the time to set out, now is the time to rise and shine, are actually urging you to step out in the most dangerous and darkest period of the night season and they’re not in step with the Spirit of Christ, because yes, the Bridegroom is coming, but He’s coming for a private meal, He’s coming for a private engagement. The first appointment of the Bride face to face with the Bridegroom is in privacy, like it says in Revelation 3:20 “I stand at the door and knock, whoever opens, I will come in and sup with him and him with Me” and “¹⁹Those who I dearly love, I tell their faults, so be zealous and repent”. It’s not a time for you to arise and step out just yet. First He’s coming to be glorified in His saints and that means cleaning house time. That means no leaven in your house. That means its repentance time, with fruit, not lip service!
Ruth’s first appointment with the bridegroom was privately during the 3rd watch of the night, from 12 to 3 and during this time her mantle was filled with barley. Nobody else knew about that transaction and the bride has to have this face-to-face supping with the Spirit of truth first, as the final preparation. The first fruits is Jesus coming into your garden and tasting what’s in there and working with you, working with the fountain in your heart.
So I want to end by reading the scripture that I started with: Hezekiah’s call to come and celebrate Passover:
2 Chronicles 30:1 “Hezekiah sent to all Israel and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the Lord's house to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. ⁵So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, that the people should come to keep the Passover to the Lord, at Jerusalem. For they had not kept it collectively as prescribed for a long time” and the letter said from the king, hear “⁶O Israelites, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that He may return to those left of you who escaped out of the hands of the kings of Assyria. ⁷Do not be like your fathers and brethren, who were unfaithful to the Lord, so that He gave them up to desolation. ⁸Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you”.
Beloved, may the Lord add understanding and light and truth and be encouraged, if the Refiner’s Fire is working with you, it’s because He wants you as a chosen, pure vessel, fit for the Master’s use.
in His service