Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hebrews are Coming Out of the Holes

“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I WILL STAND UP; though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against Him, I must endure the LORD’s rage until He argues my case and establishes justice for me. He will bring me into the light; I will see His salvation. Then my enemy will see, and she will be covered with shame, the one who said to me, ‘Where is the LORD your God?’

My eyes will look at her in triumph; at that time she will be trampled like mud in the streets” (Micah 7:8-10 HCSB).

“This shall be the sign to us...when both of them (Jonathan and his armor bearer) revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, ‘Behold, HEBREWS ARE COMING OUT OF THE HOLES where they have hidden themselves’” (1 Samuel 14:10-11 NASB).

“Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in faithful love. He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19).

“‘For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,’ Says the LORD your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:7-8).

Sharon Benary-Mann, writing on behalf of “Hope for Israel,” an organization that “supports a variety of food and social service programs, all aimed at providing relief for the impoverished of Israel while preserving their dignity,” said this recently:

“Right now, children all over Israel are getting their Purim costumes ready. They are decorating hand-made masks and coming up with creative ways to conceal their identities for a celebration they look forward to all year.

WHY DO WE HIDE OUR TRUE IDENTITIES ON PURIM?

Purim is all about what is hidden — what we cannot see. Not only did Esther (whose name means hidden) hide her true identity as a Jewess until that epic moment when the tables turned, and she boldly stood on behalf of her people. But, God Himself is hidden in the Book of Esther. His name does not appear in the entire text!

WHAT IS THE POINT OF PURIM?

Purim is the perfect moment to pause and take a fresh look at the land and people of Israel. I know you understand the significance of modern-day Israel and recognize the hand of God at work among His chosen people. This is what we see and focus on every day.”

Now if you want to support physical Israel in material fashion you can at hopeforzion.org, or by calling them at 888-ZION-123, and that is a good thing. But I want to look at a deeper aspect of the idea of Purim, God’s hiddenness, and His table turning ways.

The book of Esther, and the events which occurred therein, are speaking strongly as of late. From a place of hiddenness God arises in us and His enemies (inclusive of our own flesh) are scattered (like confused tower builders of monuments to self). Well, we are coming out of our holes this year! I wrote an article in January of this year called “2014: The Year of the Three Tables.” Before I say more, here is that article in full (you are not in a rush are you?); I would advise listening deep and not moving too quick because God has something to say; here it is:

God is going to TURN THE GAME TABLE on the enemy. “On the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was TURNED to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them” (Esther 9:1, NASB).

God is going to OVERTHROW THE MONEY TABLE of traffickers and merchandizers, those who peddle the word of God for profit, prostitute the anointing for publicity, and sell the Holy Spirit for money. “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12-13 KJV).

God is going to PREPARE A COMMUNION TABLE, a feast, and He is going to sit down and commune with His people. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5 NASB).

THE GAME TABLE

To “turn the table,” is to change a game situation that was not in one's favor into one that is. An idiom, probably derived from a card or board game, to TURN THE TABLE around, is to take the losing cards or pieces in front of you and place them in front of your opponent; likewise, the winning cards and pieces that were in front of your opponent get placed in front of you. It’s a switcheroo! It’s being taken from the brink of death or jaws of defeat and being suddenly placed on the podium of life or pedestal of victory.

This is exactly the kind of thing that happened to the Jews back in the time of the book of Esther. First, King Ahasuerus was duped into issuing an irrevocable decree which allowed the people, on one designated day only, to lawfully kill any and all Jews in his kingdom. Then God turned the tables around by orchestrating circumstances in such a way as to overcome what seemed like an impossible situation. This is going to be a common theme this year.

Because the first decree was irrevocable, and could therefore not be undone, God caused a second irrevocable decree to be issued which had the effect of nullifying the power of the first one. So “on the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them” (Esther 9:1 NASB).

And this is exactly how God saves people today. A decree was issued long ago which condemned humankind; it is, and was, irrevocable: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20 KJV). Then another decree was issued, equally irrevocable: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 KJV). Both remain forever decreed and eternally irrevocable, but this year in particular, God is going to turn the table around for many people.

Destruction and mayhem are going to get traction to the degree that it will seem disaster is inevitable; unfortunately, for many, disaster will be their fate. BUT ALL THAT CALL UPON THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED, and miraculously and extraordinarily so much this year. Many gamble with their lives because life to them is a game; as God turns the game table around this year, it will not only change the game, it will change life from a game into a reality.

THE MONEY TABLE

“There He found in the temple [enclosure] those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting there [also at their stands]. And having made a lash (a whip) of cords, He drove them all out of the temple [enclosure]—both the sheep and the oxen—spilling and scattering the brokers’ money and upsetting and tossing around their trays (their stands). Then to those who sold the doves He said, take these things away (out of here)! Make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise (a marketplace, a sales shop)!” (John 2:14-16 Amp.).

God is angry with those who sell doves (sell the Holy Spirit), who traffic to and fro within the inner chambers of their hearts (who walk about inside the temple of their bodies doing menial tasks and performing common labor in sweaty old and ordinary work clothes, not observing the holy Sabbath of rest and reliance on God alone to accomplish their salvation) and those who transact goods and services for monetary or material gain in the deepest recesses of their hearts, in those places reserved for God and His holiness.

In wrath, God ALWAYS remembers mercy, but even God, the kindest, gentlest, and the most gracious of all, made a whip and used it on those who made a marketplace out of the Holy Place. I imagine hardly anything angers God more than those who try to quantify the incalculable and invaluable, those who make common what God has made holy. Indeed, it more egregious to put a price tag on God than it is stupid to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel; both are out of proportion to reality, but the one who tries to sell God is infinitely more disingenuous and ridiculously more stupid than even those who cannot make heads or tails of either gnats or camels.

I believe that God has already fashioned out His whip and is about to drive out the flesh from His peoples’ sanctuaries; He is determined to purge away carnality. Implicit with that is changing a servant mentality into a son mentality. The land of Canaan was the Promised Land; it was undeniably given to the Israelites by God, but Israel had to take it, conquer it, and remove all the pesky “ites” from it in order to realize their dreams and inherit their destiny.

Now the Canaanites were the indigenous people of the Israelites’ promised land, but they had to be displaced in order for the Israelites to see their dreams come true. Likewise, that which is born of the flesh, the first Adam, must be displaced by that which is born of the Spirit, the second Adam, for one’s destiny to be realized; Jacob must become Israel, and Israel must inherit the promises.

The name “Canaan” literally means, “to be humble, to be subdued, to be brought low,” or “merchant,” or “servant” (according to Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names). It was a name given to the youngest son of Ham who ended up exposing his father Noah in an inappropriate and unredemptive way: while love covers a multitude of sin, hate maliciously exposes people only to make themselves seem better by comparison. To be humbled or brought low is not in itself God’s purpose for man (although it is the place God starts from); before humility comes honor, and Christians are promised that if they humble themselves, God will lift them up in due time. We begin as servants who know only how to merchandize in order to survive, and are converted into sons who know only how to inherit in order to flourish. Canaanites are interlopers, flesh people, traffickers in commerce people, money grubbers; God is about to chase them out of the temple!

Note these illuminating words written by a Christian from the 1600s; truth is eternal! Thomas Bromley (1629-1691), wrote a powerful article called: “The Seven N A T I O N S of Canaan, which Joshua cast out, prefiguring the Works of J E S U S, casting out the evil Properties they signify, out of our Souls.” About Canaan/Canaanites he said,

“The C A N A A N I T E S, the Merchandizing Spirits, that Traffic in our Minds, Wills, Thoughts, Senses, Imaginations, and Affections; they fetch in Buyers and Sellers into the Temple of the Soul, and make it run out beyond due Measure, in its trafficking with them: Sometimes, in things we have nothing to do withal, or over-concerning ourselves with a Multiplicity of Cares, about things of a little Moment; and thereby pollute and defile our Souls by opposing the Lamb's Law of holy Silence and pure Stillness, and departing from the one thing necessary, into the many, and so from Unity and Harmony, into Multiplicity and Discord.”

Also pertinent to our theme are these words penned by Watchmen Nee:

“All the occupations of God’s people cited in the Bible are related to nature. Fishing, for instance, is taking in the produce of the sea. Farming is taking in the produce of the land. Such professions may increase my money without lessening another’s. We may increase our own money, but we should not decrease another’s. The increase of Abraham’s and Isaac’s herds and flocks was God’s blessing upon His servants (Gen. 24.35, 26.12-14), but the increase of Jacob’s herds and flocks was stealthily gained at Laban’s expense (30.31-43). Abraham’s increase was right, while Jacob’s increase was wrong, for the latter sinned against Laban in such activity. Today, many there be who are like Jacob. How can we serve our God well if we have not settled this issue? We should resist works in the realm of pure commerce.

The King of Tyre mentioned in Ezekiel 28 points to Satan. He fell by the abundance of his traffic, and traffic there has reference to pure commerce (see Eze. 27). Ezekiel 27-28 marks the earliest commerce while Revelation 18 marks the last. Ezekiel 27-28 is the beginning of world commerce whereas Revelation 18 represents its conclusion, with its prominent mention of the “merchants of the earth.” At the end time the Antichrist will do business through Babylon. Pure commerce represents more than a matter of acquiring or earning money; there is also the issue about it as to just how money is actually acquired. Today we cannot but pay attention to the matter of how money is gained. We may increase our own, but we should not cause society to suffer loss.

Today our thoughts need to be disciplined by God. The profiteers see nothing else but money. They look not at how many fishes they have but only at how much money they can acquire. The Jews were originally occupied in farming, pasturing and laboring, for in Old Testament times God had distributed land to the children of Israel that each might work on his own land. Here the Jews learned a lesson. But after their fall and dispersion, they have become some of the biggest merchants in the world. This becomes a stronghold that is very hard to break through since pure commerce is such a great temptation. How we all need to do an about-face in regard to it. May God transform our thought.”

A major shift in the Christian mind will begin this year in the minds of many in regards to money and money making. For Americans in particular, the god of capitalism is going to totter and begin to fall over, not hard work and enterprising minds (mind you), but greed and avarice. American Pragmatism, being so practical, scientific, and calculating, that you suck the life out of extravagance, the art out of inquiry, and the soul out of everything worthwhile, is also about to change.

The money table is about to be toppled over, and the American dollar is going to spill (into those who will, like the Samaritan woman who ate the crumbs that fell from the children’s table, humble themselves enough to not take no for an answer to prayer in hard and desperate times) and scatter out to many on the fringes of our society. The meek are about to inherit the earth of purple mountain majesties above fruited plains; they are about to realize not only the American dream, but their supernatural destiny.

THE COMMUNION TABLE

“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. YOU PREPARE A TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place” (Psalm 23 Amp.).

Breakthroughs and double potions of blessings are on the menu this year, but like an utterly still and perfectly quiet eye of a storm, so they will occur in the midst or middle of chaos and swirling magnificent destructive forces of winds of tremendous changes. As God accosted Job by speaking to Him from out of the whirlwind, so God is going to speak to many this year from out of the storms of their lives. Many Christians are going to enter the promised land of the true Sabbath rest for their souls this year; indeed, “Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves],” because this year is the favorable year of the Lord (Hebrews 4:11 Amp.).

“And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood]. He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has (possesses now) eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day. For My flesh is true and genuine food, and My blood is true and genuine drink. He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood dwells continually in Me, and I [in like manner dwell continually] in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live by (through, because of) the Father, even so whoever continues to feed on Me [whoever takes Me for his food and is nourished by Me] shall [in his turn] live through and because of Me” (John 6:53-57 Amp.).

Masses turned away from Jesus then (and masses turn away from Jesus and Christianity today) because they wrongly thought (and still think) that Jesus and Christianity are bloody, gory, and cannibalistic; it seems like everybody today is a vegan or vegetarian (perhaps rightly divining that we ought to be herbivores, but not discerning the omnivorous times we live in, and the carnivorous times that intervened between the two. Jesus spoke to gluttonous eaters of meat, and tomorrow will be the eternal salad days, but today is the day of the moderate mouth, days that yes, have teeth, but not all on edge and not all sharp enough to eat meat. This is the year of the mature, those who eat meat, have sharp teeth and tongues, but mostly because they have to feed and nurture the enormous influx of spiritual babies that are going to be born (again) soon.

“Look! I’m standing at the door and knocking. If any hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to be with them, and will have dinner with them, and they will have dinner with me” (Revelation 3:20 CEB).

CONCLUSION

“This is what the LORD says: ‘There will be a special time when I show my kindness. Then I will answer your prayers. There will be a special day when I will save you. Then I will help you and protect you. And you will be the proof of my agreement with the people. The country is destroyed now, but you will give the land back to the people who own it.’ You will tell the prisoners, ‘Come out of your prison!’ You will tell those who are in darkness, ‘Come out of the dark!’ The people will eat along the road, and they will have food even on empty hills” (Isaiah 49:8-9 ERV).

Again, this is the year of the three tables: God is going to turn things around for many (the game table is being turned around and the enemy who was winning will SUDDENLY be losing); God is going to overturn things for and against many (the money table is being spilt and scattered, some falling through the cracks in the capitalistic system and some being distributed to those on the fringes of society); God is going to come to dinner at many people’s houses (a grassroots movement of God has begun and He is going to come to anyone who will invite Him; like water in the plumbing, he is going to arise in every home that turns the faucets on).

Reversals of fortune, disruptions of wrongly obtained wealth, and divine intervention is the order of the day in 2014. Get on the right side of the table (get on the right side of justice and righteousness), humbly grab your crumbs that fall from the children’s table onto the floor (not thinking more highly of yourself, but thinking soberly and with deep gratitude for all that you have), and come to the dinner table and commune with the lover of your soul, eating all that is on your plate, all that He divinely places in front of you. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good (and especially in 2014!).

Okay, that is the end of the article I wrote in January of this year; today is the Ides of March (3/15/2014). And,

“Do not flatter yourself that you shall escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And WHO KNOWS BUT THAT YOU HAVE COME TO THE KINGDOM FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS AND FOR THIS VERY OCCASION?” (Esther 4:13-14 Amp.).

COME OUT OF YOUR HIDING PLACE AND FIGHT FOR THE PROMISED LAND!!!! Do not be afraid, for the Lord has given them into our hands. Be courageous, and fight the good fight of faith; your salvation is come full bloom.

Purim this year is at sunset March 15 to nightfall tomorrow March 16; it is the CELEBRATION of God moving through His people while He remained hidden. It is the commemoration of those in Israel who REALLY found their identity in Christ. I am posting this word in the midst of that remembrance, in the boundary of Purim. I did not know as I wrote this, until I looked it up right now as I write this last part. THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD people; please wake up children, the time that your redemption draws nigh, is over--It's here!

Remember "Purim is all about what is hidden — what we cannot see...Esther (whose name means hidden) hide[s] her true identity as a Jewess until that epic moment when THE TABLES TURNED."