Friday, September 12, 2014

The Days of Uzziah

“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’  The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:25-27 NIV).

“Yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in THE DAYS OF UZZIAH” (Zechariah 14:5 NASB).

There is a great earthquake registering in the spiritual realm right now as God’s jealous presence manifests on behalf of His people, and yes, we are all fleeing.  “Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, the world, and all the inhabitants in it” (Nahum 1:5).  Just as the rain falls on the just and the unjust, so God Himself, falls on the just and unjust.  And His presence inherently divides and separates.  God is separating goats from sheep, tares from wheat, profane from holy, evil from good, chaff from wheat.  It is a deep earth division—a true circumcision of heart—which causes His people to REALLY see the Lord high and lifted up.  For the world it is judgment unto condemnation; for His people, it is judgment unto victory.  For us, it is like blameless Job needing to repent, not from sin per se, but from that which is good to that which is best, from a law and slave mentality based on a report about God to a grace and son mentality based on spiritual sight.  Job repented in dust and ashes after he SAW God, whereas he justified himself after he HEARD the report about God.

Much is said of the days of Noah and Lot, but nothing—that I know of anyways—is said of the days of Uzziah.  But as was the days of Uzziah—the days past (and within the timeframe that that great earthquake occurred)—so are we today—and multiplied!  An earthquake is here today in the fullest measure and force possible (inclusive not only of earthshattering but HEAVENSHATTERING impact).  The magnitude of impact and scope of influence that this shaking is having on mankind today is beyond anything the world has ever known.  “When God spoke from Mount Sinai (representing thundered Law) his voice shook the earth (then), but now (from Mount Zion [the city of the Living God resident in the human spirit of the new creation man], representing the idea of interpreting that thundered Law as the Spirit of Truth) he makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also’” (Hebrews 12:26 NLT; my insertions).

The Pattern Son Jesus Christ initiates the process of shaking off all that can be shaken; He initiates the plan of God to give us eternal life by way of an earth-splitting death, a drop into hell as a result of that split, and a resurrection experience to lift us all up and out of that hell and into new life.  Here is that pattern in miniature or seed blueprint form: “And Jesus (as He died on the cross) cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.  And at once the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; THE EARTH SHOOK AND THE ROCKS WERE SPLIT.  The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep in death were raised [to life]; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.  When the centurion and those who were with him keeping watch over Jesus observed THE EARTHQUAKE AND ALL THAT WAS HAPPENING, they were terribly frightened and filled with awe, and said, ‘Truly this was God’s Son!’” (Matthew 27:50-54 Amp.).  

Indeed, He is God’s Son!  And this is as the days of the earthquake of Uzziah AND that day of God’s Son combined.  It was reported by the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius that the earthquake of Uzziah occurred in response to his pride and insolence.  Scripture supports this assertion: “When [King Uzziah] was strong, he became proud to his destruction; and he trespassed against the Lord his God, for he went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense” (2 Chronicles 26:16 Amp.).  King Uzziah, in blind pride and utter disregard for convention and Law, did something only the priests were permitted to do.  Consequently, according to Josephus, “a great earthquake shook the ground and a rent was made in the temple, and the bright rays of the sun shone through it, and fell upon the king's face, insomuch that the leprosy seized upon him immediately. And before the city, at a place called Eroge, half the mountain broke off from the rest on the west, and rolled itself four furlongs, and stood still at the east mountain, till the roads, as well as the king's gardens, were spoiled by the obstruction. Now, as soon as the priests saw that the king's face was infected with the leprosy, they told him of the calamity he was under, and commanded that he should go out of the city as a polluted person. Hereupon he was so confounded at the sad distemper, and sensible that he was not at liberty to contradict, that he did as he was commanded, and underwent this miserable and terrible punishment for an intention beyond what befitted a man to have, and for that impiety against God which was implied therein” (“Antiquities”; book IX chapter 10:4).

A king Uzziah rent the temple, but the King of kings Jesus rent only the “curtain of the sanctuary of the temple”; pride fells the house, whereas humility fells the internal walls, renovates it, and thereby makes it a home.  “If anyone does hurt to God’s temple or corrupts it [with false doctrines] or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy (sacred to Him) and that [temple] you [the believing church and its individual believers] are” (1 Corinthians 3:17 Amp.).  Additionally, in connection with the fact that “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ,” is the fact that God will “destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:15 KJV; 11:18 GW). 
    
Just as Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up in the year that Uzziah died—a time likened to the days within the scope of the year in which Uzziah died—Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up.  It was the year in which God’s train filled the temple, the time of maturation, the time that Christ, the hope of glory, became Christ, the manifested glory.  This earthquake took all the theoretical musings about God in the bottom of Isaiah’s heart up to the top of his heart and all the way up into his mind (understanding) and out his lips (the word of his testimony) into a practical demonstration of power.  The name Isaiah means “The salvation of the Lord,” and God declares that He saves to the uttermost; the earthquake in Isaiah’s day represents what Watchman Nee called “the breaking of the outer-man for the release of the spirit,” a glorious time that corresponds to the full measure or maturation of our salvation, a harvest time that begins when Christ begins to manifest in our mortal flesh.

Finally, the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony is extended outward to its full realization, a place of true testimony grounded upon the grave of our natural life; here on that ground—whereupon we once were threshed like common grain (but now made holy again)—we fulfill the entire overcoming mandate: we die to ourselves, and Christ arises (in our stead) with healing in His wings.  The last feast—the feast of Tabernacles—is come!  Martyrdom is here!  Now we go home.  Herein are the three feasts in overcoming expression: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb (Passover), and by the word of their testimony (Pentecost); and they loved not their lives unto the death (Tabernacles)”—Revelation 12:11 KJV. The rest of faith is the rest implicit in the idea that neither death nor life separates us from Christ, and it is known internally before externally; a true martyr is a spiritual martyr, whether physical martyrdom ever occurs or not. The meaning of the feast of Tabernacles corresponds to the fullness of our inheritance, e. g., the redemption of our bodies (so that we might live in them married to Christ REALLY). We lost our soul/life not to lose them ultimately, but to gain them back forever filled and formed in the cast of Christ. Now the work in miniature (that which was whispered to us in the closet [our hearts] at the inception of our salvation experience) is being seen in maximum (being shouted from the rooftops [of our redeemed bodies] at the backend of our salvation experience).  Finally, we are ministers indeed!  Finally, Christ is in our mortal flesh and is being expressed to the world from heaven to earth without ambiguity!

When God is hidden from our view, like in the days of Esther, and when the Amalekite (meaning “multitudes”) spirit (as personified by Haman the protagonist in the book of Esther) thinks to destroy us, God, from that hidden place inside our renewed spirits, from Zion atop Jerusalem, shines forth and defeats His enemies.  Haman, means “solitary” or “alone” and the close tie to the meaning of “multitudes” is very significant; remember, the nations are but a drop in the bucket to God, and we are no more than a vapor or a shadow past!  Amalekites are those “who lick up the dust” or “exhaust” His people; they rely altogether on their own carnality, the strength of the arm of their own flesh.  Though our Lord was tender toward the multitudes in His days upon the earth in human form, He said that they only came for the perishable food.  Carnality will destroy us eventually; it will certainly rob us of our destiny.  We must fast and pray and breakthrough the inner curtain of our sanctuary in this final push towards this new day and the actualization of our destiny.

If not, we will be as Uzziah, a leper.  These are, indeed, like the days of Uzziah, and many are becoming leprous like he became leprous when he, an exalted king, tried to do what only a humble priest can do (intercede for others).  Josephus said that the earthquake occurred when Uzziah entered the temple, and just like an earthquake rent the way into the Holy of Holies when Christ became leprous with the sins of the world, so Uzziah became leprous when he tried to do what only the High Priest can do.  Though we are a kingdom of kings and priests we must understand the hour and our placement within that kingdom; kings must come down from their thrones in the Day of the Lord; priests alone function on His day. 

God (as we understood Him) is dying in us today, bringing us to gross darkness (to an utter death-to-self experience), that we might be sprung up and out of our graves—like those saints of old who came alive when Jesus died on the cross—to be manifested to the world that we are His.  Uzziah was a king of Judah during the days of several prominent prophets of old (Isaiah being one of them), and the one who, in the year of the aforementioned earthquake, saw the Lord.  “In that day (this day, our inner-man day, which is the beginning of the Lord’s wonderful—and yet ominous to our outer-man—Day of the Lord) His feet (Christ) will stand on the Mount of Olives (that place where God presses us to failure of self and utter spiritual fruitfulness), which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.  You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel (to being “noble” by way of separation); yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!  In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle” (Zechariah 14:4-6 NASB).

The solution to this dissolution of matter—and all that matters to the carnality in us—is summed up well in these few words of the apostle: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28-29 NIV).