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Jesus asked His disciples,
"Whom do men say that I, the Son of man am?" Matthew 16:15
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
"Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven." Matthew 16:16-17
God gave Peter (Simon) a Spiritual revelation. This same Spiritual revelation must become evident in every person who wants to be part of the body of Christ. Jesus proclaimed to Peter:
"I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18
Jesus made two distinctly, different statements: "Thou art Peter", and "upon this rock I will build My church". The name Peter means "stone or pebble". In contrast, the word rock means "large rock, cleft, or ledge". Jesus was not going to build His church upon Peter, a small stone. Jesus would build His church upon the rock, Christ Jesus. This very important Spiritual revelation given to Peter was that Christ the Son of the living God was the Rock. Peter was not that rock. When the church is built upon Christ, the rock then, as Jesus proclaimed. . .
". . . the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:12
As we view the church today we know the gates of hell have prevailed against it. A better word for church is the assembly. The church is the assembling together of the saints to worship, praise, and glorify our God. We need to ask, "Why have the gates of hell prevailed against the assembly of God? It is because the Word of God has been watered down to tickle the ears of an apathetic people. Needed changes in people's lives are not taught, nor encouraged. In the organized church it is not taught we can have a personal relationship with our Maker. Too much emphasis is placed on full buildings instead of full people.
Gates are the symbol of the power of separation. Separation causes a breach in the body of Christ. Every denomination is guilty of causing this breach. Satan has been allowed to enter in and bring separation in many assemblies.
Speaking to the church at Pergomos, Jesus disclosed:
"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast My name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you where satan dwelleth." Revelation 2:13
Many churches hold fast to the name of Jesus and have not denied their faith in Him. Nevertheless, satan's seat is in their midst. Satan's gates have prevailed, his power of separation has come into their midst, causing a great breach in Christ's body.
God's true church must stand against these divisions and separations by not allowing satan to get a foothold in their assemblies. The true church must remain faithful to God's Word, teaching the assembly the need to change and repent, and walk into an overcoming life through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is an on-going work in each believer's life to prepare them for God's Kingdom.
The prophet Isaiah recorded:
"Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching His vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And He fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes." Isaiah 5:1-2
God revealed His plan for His assembly to Isaiah. He called the assembly His vineyard.
". . . a vineyard in a very fruitful hill. . ."
God planted His vineyard in a fruitful hill. The hill respresents the high place in God.
". . . He fenced it . . ."
God build a Spiritual hedge about His body.
". . . He gathered out the stones. . ."
The stones are the things that offend
". . . He planted it with the choicest vines . . ."
God planted His vineyard with His chosen and elect.
". . . He built a tower in it. . ."
The word tower means "an elevated stage or pulpit"
God supplied a place where His people could be taught.
He also. . . ". . . made a winepress. . ."
God made a winepress in the midst of the assembly. The winepress is where the grapes are brought and placed in vats. The grapes are then crushed to where no grape retains any identity, becoming one. Only the grapes who have gone through the winepress will be fit for the King's table.
God desires for His assembly to bring forth His plan and His purpose for the church. He looked that His assembly should bring forth grapes, instead it has brought forth. . . wild grapes. . ." Isaiah 5:2. When we think of wild grapes, we picture a small, bitter grape unable to produce much fruit, and mostly seed. This is not what the phrase wild grapes means. The phrase wild grapes means "stinking, worthless fruit". This is how God views the fruit the organized, religious system of today is producing.
The fruit God desires His choicest vines to produce is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, lowliness, righteousness, and patience. Instead His body has produced the stinking, worthless fruit of division, separation, selfishness, and worldliness. As Jesus stated:
"Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Mark 7:6-7
Jesus said of His assemblies who are bringing forth stinking, worthless, rotten fruit . . .
". . . in vain do they worship me . . ."
The gates of hell have prevailed against these assemblies. The hedge has been broken down that God placed around His body. Because of this satan has come in like a flood, and has his seat in their very midst. The All-wise Solomon wrote:
". . . whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him." Ecclesiastes 10:8
The church of today wonders why it has no power and cannot feel the presence of God. It is because they have forgot that light and darkness cannot dwell together. The prophet Ezekiel proclaimed:
"Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." Ezekiel 13:5
The Bible tells us our battle is not physical, but spiritual. The hedge God has put around His vineyard is a Spiritual hedge, the Holy Spirit hedge. God's Holy Spirit hedge has been broken down and talked down until the gates of hell have prevailed against God's assemblies. Ezekiel states...
". . . you have not gone up into the gaps to make up the hedge . . ."
God's true church must take on the responsibility of going into the gaps to make up the hedge. God has already hedged His assembly. He gives His leadership the responsibility, power, and authority in the Holy Spirit to protect His hedge from being broken through. But many leaders in the church today are allowing this hedge to fall down. Many leaders have stood back and watched division and separation enter into their midst through this great breach in God's hedge.
We are in the battle in the day of the Lord. The assemblies have not gone up into the gap, nor repaired the breach in the body of Christ, nor made up the Spiritual hedge to ward off the attacks of satan. Instead many leaders in today's church have come into agreement with satan. This they have deemed to be the easy way. Because of this, their worship before God is vain. This apathy and selfishness is a stink in the nostrils of God. Many in God's leadership have indeed become wild grapes in the sight of God.
Isaiah continued his proclamation of God's vineyard:
"For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah (the people of praise) are His pleasant plant: and He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." Isaiah 5:7
Not only God's leadership, but the whole house of Israel have allowed God's vineyard to be broken. The word Israel means "princes of God". A prince is the son of the King. The house of Israel is God's house made up of His sons. These are the men of Judah. The word Judah means "praise". The men of Judah are the men of praise. An unknown Psalmist wrote of these last days:
"This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord". Psalm 102:18
God has promised He is going to create a whole generation of people who will praise Him. These are going to become His pleasant plants. The only question we need to ask ourselves is, "Are we that generation, or will God have to wait for another?"
God is looking for judgment upon sin to come forth from the tower (the pulpit) which He has set in the midst of His people (the assembly). Instead, God is seeing oppression. He watches as the denominations continue to bring His people under their control by teaching them their precepts and doctrines which cannot produce life. Satan's seat is secure in their midst and the breach is ever widening.
God is desiring an overcoming people who are willing to change into His image. The prophet Isaiah declared:
"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Isaiah 59:19
The word standard means "to put to flight, to cause to disappear". Isaiah declared:
". . . when the enemy comes in like a flood . . . "
Many believe this to be satan. Satan is not our enemy. He is our adversary. The word adversary means "opponent, one who challenges our position". The Bible states:
. . . our enemy is the carnal mind and our fleshly desire . . .
So when the enemy comes in like a flood, it is when we allow our fleshly desires and our carnal thinking to override what God desires in our midst. This results in backbiting, speaking against God's chosen leadership, and disagreeing with all that is said or done. Because of this, the body begins to separate and the breach becomes very evident. Small groups are formed, the grumbling begins, division and unrest prevail. The enemy of self, self-esteem, and self-rule have come in like a flood.The hedge is broken, and the serpent will bite. When satan bites, he bites hard.
The gates of hell have prevailed, and who is to blame? Each and everyone who has not stood in the gap. We need to ask ourselves if we will be the one the Spirit of the Lord will lift up as a standard against the enemy of self? Or, when division comes will we be to blame because we refused to stand in the gap? Are we the cause of the breach because our feelings were hurt by a word or deed? The Spirit of the Lord is wanting to raise up a people who can put the enemy to flight. He desires to raise up those who will put down self and lift up Christ as the standard in their life. Will you be one who sets up the standard in the land?
When Israel returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian captivity they rebuilt the temple, but the walls were broken down. The people became complacent. Many years passed and God raised up a man, a repairer of the breach. This man had a heart to set up a standard for the Lord in the land of Israel. This man was willing to stand in the gap. This man's name was Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the cupbearer for the King of Babylon. When Nehemiah was informed the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates burned with fire he. . .
". . . sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven," Nehemiah 1:4
Nehemiah was heart-broken because the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates had been burned. He mourned because there was no repairers of the breach. Today there are those who are sorrowing for the church, and the division between God's people, but who is willing to stand in the gap, to weep and mourn before God, to fast and pray? Nehemiah's prayer is for the modern church:
"Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned." Nehemiah 1:6
Nehemiah had a broken and contrite heart for the condition of God's people. Because of his concern for Israel, he was given permission from the King to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. Upon entering Jerusalem, Nehemiah remained alone for three days telling no one his plan or purpose until the third day:
"I arose in the night, I and some few men with me, neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon." Nehemiah 2:12
Nehemiah arose in the night. Anytime there is division and a breach, darkness is always present. But Nehemiah arose from this darkness. On the third day Nehemiah began to repair the breach in the walls of Jerusalem. We are coming to the end of the second day from the time Jesus was crucified. The third day lies directly ahead of us. We, too, are truly in the night of darkness. As Nehemiah we must arise from the night, and prepare for God's plan and purpose for the third day. The prophet Isaiah spoke of our day:
"For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee." Isaiah 60:2
Darkness is truly covering the earth, and the people are walking in gross darkness. But God is arising upon a people who are beginning to walk in the light of His glorious gospel of truth. God is going to bring His glory upon those who are mourning, fasting, praying, and confessing the sins of the people before Him.
Nehemiah stated, ". . . there was no beast except the beast he rode upon."
The beast is the old, beast nature of man. Nehemiah had his old, beast nature under him. Nehemiah had overcome the Adam nature. When Adam sinned, God clothed him in the skins of beast. Man has had to deal with his beast nature every since. The apostle Peter revealed to those who have not yet dealt with their old, beast nature:
"But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities." II Peter 2:10
These are all traits of the old, beast nature walking after the flesh. These lust for uncleanness, despise all authority, they are self-willed and have no conscience, they speak evil of the glorious things of God. Peter reveals the end of those who refuse to deal with the old, beast nature:
"But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;" II Peter 2:12
Those who refuse to deal with their old, beast nature will perish in their own corruption. Nehemiah had his beast nature under him. Before we can stand in the gap and repair the breach in the body of Christ, we, too, must destroy our old, beast nature. Those who are not willing to do this will perish in their own corruption.
Nehemiah and a few men went out to view the breach in the wall. Generally, only a few can see the division in the body. Those who had returned to Jerusalem with Ezra many years before viewed the wall every day and never saw the breach. If they saw it, they accepted it, and were not willing to do anything about it. God had to raise up a standard in the land. That standard was Nehemiah. Nehemiah saw the breach, and with a few men they were determined to do something about it.
Today God is raising up Nehemiahs who not only view the breach in the church, but are determined to do something about it. Their goal is to not only point out the breach, but to reveal through God's Word what the people need to do about it so they will not perish in their own corruption.
God is heartsick about the division in His body. The name Nehemiah means "comfort of Jah". Today's Nehemiahs who are determined to do something about the breach in the church are a "comfort to God". Nehemiah begins to point out the breach, saying. . .
"Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach." Nehemiah 2:17
Division in the body of Christ is a reproach unto God. When Nehemiah viewed the broken walls and the gates burned, he recognized the distress of the people. The same is true with the church today. The walls of protection have been torn down and the gates burned allowing the gates of hell to prevail against them. The sad part is most do not recognize the distress they are in. They continue in their religious ceremonies, maintaining their numbers, tickling the ears, and heading down the road to be destroyed in their own corruptness.
Nehemiah had a few men who were determined to, once again, build the wall and take away the reproach upon God's people. The word reproach means "shame". Division brings shame upon God and upon His Body. Those who bring division are a reproach unto God and bring shame upon His name. The Bible states there is to be unity in the body of Christ. Yet, all we see in God's body is division, separation, and bitterness. There is nothing worse than division in the body. Anytime one member of God's body speaks against another, there will be division. When one starts complaining and telling everyone about what they disagree with, they are actually building up satan's camp. Before you know it, the assembly is divided into many camps, each with their own idea or complaint. One camp will not talk to the other. This brings division and separation. The gates of hell have truly prevailed.
People say they walk in the Spirit and are led by the Spirit; yet, they allow themselves to be agents of satan. Satan will use any available person to get a wedge in. A wedge is very sharp on the end and does not require much room to get in. Just a very small lesion, crack, or cut will allow entry. It is not necessary to hit a wedge with great force. All you need to do is to tap it. It is this constant tapping that causes the fall. The little wedge, which started out with only a minute lesion, will with constant tapping topple the largest tree.
It is the same when a wedge comes into the body. If it is not dealt with, it can cause the biggest split. This is the way satan comes in. He does not come in and state, "I am here to separate and divide". He says, very subtly, "I want to be a part". The steady tapping of the wedge allows satan to draw one and then another aside, until he causes a great division. At first, the lesion is very small, but great is the division in the end.
Nehemiah could find only a few men who were willing to stand in the gap with him. But, when the repair started, it took the entire third chapter of Nehemiah to list those who took part in the work.
But there were also those who refused to help with the repair of the walls of Jerusalem. The same is true today. Many do not want to be a part of repairing the walls of Jerusalem. They are unwilling to stand in the gap, to make up the hedge, to repair the broken walls and burned gates. Nehemiah lists those who hindered the work:
"And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord." Nehemiah 3:5
The name Tekoa means "trumpet blast". The trumpet can represent two things: the voice of prophecy or it can mean a loud noise. Although the Tekoites helped with the repair work, their noblemen would not help. The noblemen are the men who have taken authority over God's people. There are a few true Tekoites who are trumpeting the true voice of prophesy. But there are also noblemen who have usurped power and have raised themselves up to someone great. These are only loud noises, big mouths who will not enter into the work. These noblemen are high and lifted up in themselves, always talking about how Spiritual they are, and how much they know and do, believing they are more Spiritual than anyone around them, more blessed with God. Yet, they are agents of satan because they will not bring an end to the breach in the walls of Jerusalem. They refuse to stand in the gap and make up the hedge. The prophet Isaiah spoke of those who consider themselves to be the mighty noblemen of God:
"Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day." Isaiah 65:5
These are the noblemen of the Tekoites. There are many nobles of Tekoa in the church today. God's judgment will be sure upon them.
Where are the Nehemiahs who will become comforters to God? God sought for repairers, instead he found many who only stand and judge and condemn those who desire to repair the walls of Jerusalem.
It is God's desire there be no schism in His body. He desires for His hedge to be strong. He desires leaders and disciples who will stand in the gap when a breach appears so division and separation will not enter and destroy the body.
God has given us another example of the hedge being broken in the time of Joash. Joash was seven years old when he was anointed King over Judah. Joash was one of the few Godly kings Judah had. King Joash gave instruction to the priests:
"All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the Lord, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the Lord, "Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found. But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of King Jehoash (Joash) the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house. Then King Jehoash (Joash) called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said unto them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the house? now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house." II Kings 12:4-7
Joash informed the workers ALL the money of the dedicated things was to be used to repair the breach in the house of the Lord. The King was patient, waiting for the priests to accomplish this purpose. The same is true in our day. Our King has been patient many years for the priests in His body to accomplish His purpose in His body.
When Joash discovered the priests had not closed up the breach, he commanded they receive no more money. These priests were not using the money given them to do the work of the ministry. They were using the money for their own needs, while the house of God was falling into ruin. What a picture of what has happened with the big television and radio ministries in the past several years. God's people have given them millions and millions of dollars, which many of them have wasted.
Not only did they refuse to repair the breach in the body, they caused a greater breach. They not only wasted the money by their deception, they enticed God's people away from His true ministers in local assemblies. These unfaithful priests have squandered God's money on self, big buildings, jet airplanes; whatever came to their mind. They did not repair the breach in the body. In fact, they became the breach. God's people have paid their tithes to these ministries, but have never received one thing from the storehouse.
These big ministries are failing, and will fail. Many attempts have been made to keep these ministries going, but they cannot because the judgment of God is upon them. God is going to place His money in the hands of the repairers of the wall, as He did in Joash's day. This becomes very clear as we look further at the actions of Joash:
"Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the Lord: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord. And it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king's scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags, and told (totaled) the money that was found in the house of the Lord. And they gave the money, being told (totaled), into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the Lord: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the Lord, And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the Lord, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it." II Kings 12:9-12
King Joash took charge of all the money that came into the house of the Lord. It was his responsibility to make sure the money was used wisely. Joash laid out money to the carpenters, builders, masons, and hewers of stone to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the house of the Lord. The same is true today. God is going to put His money into the hands of faithful pastors who are doing His bidding.
God took the money out of the hand of the unfaithful priests, and put it into the hands of the builders who were stopping the breach in the house of the Lord. God is doing the same today. Those who are doing the work of God are going to be given the money to do His work. No longer will His money be used to build big ministries and fancy buildings. It is the job of God's faithful ministers to build and repair the breach in His body.
Paul wrote of those God will use in this last hour of time. Speaking of Jesus, Paul declared:
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" Philippians 2:6-7
God is looking for men of no reputation who are willing to do His work. He is looking for faithful men who are not looking to be lifted up and glorified in themselves.
Today we have those who have their reputations. They also have the people's ears. Today most will only listen to those who are held in high esteem. They buy their books, and hang on every word that comes out of the mouth no matter how much error they speak. But God is changing that.
Joash took the money and put it in the hands of the carpenters and builders, the masons and the hewers of stone, and those who worked the works of God with their hands. Joash took the money from the wasters and put it into the hands of those who were going to do the work. These are God's servants who desire to serve, not those who desire to be served.
Carpenters, builders, masons, and hewers of stone are symbols of construction. God uses simple terms to disclose His deepest secrets. God is truly revealing Himself to His people as we come to the end of the age. The prophet Zechariah prophesied concerning the carpenters God would use in this hour:
"Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." Zechariah 1:18-19
Zechariah saw four horns in a vision. When he asked the angel what these four horns were, the angel said they were the horns that had scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Horns are a symbol of "power". Paul listed four realms of satanic power.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12
The four satanic powers are
3 rulers of darkness
4 spiritual wickedness in high places
There are also four powers that rule in the flesh:
When Zechariah saw the four horns (powers) he asked, "What are these powers?" These are the powers that separate Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem are God's called, chosen, and elect. What Zechariah was seeing was the division satan and the flesh would bring into the body of Christ.
We know the satanic realm can cause division, but pride, greed, lust, and selfishness can cause as much, if not more division than the satanic realm. The four powers of the flesh destroy from within. Satan needs only to sit back and watch. He does not have to be involved while the body destroys itself.
After God revealed the four horns, Zechariah was shown four carpenters:
"And the Lord showed me four carpenters, Zechariah 1:20: "Then said, I What come these to do? And He spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it." Zechariah 1:21
God raised up the four carpenters to overcome the damage caused by the four horns (the four powers of satan and the four powers of the flesh). When Zechariah asked, "What come these to do", the Lord's answer was, "these come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles". The word fray means "to cause fear, to shudder, to shake, or to quake."
The four carpenters were come to strike terror and to cast out the power of the Gentiles (the aliens of God, those who bring division and separation in God's people of praise). These aliens of God lift up their power (pride, greed, lust, and selfishness) in the midst of the people of praise. They bring separation, not only by separating themselves, but by drawing others after them.
God is sending His carpenters into the midst of His people to destroy the power of the four horns. Zechariah was shown these powers had such a control on the people they could not lift their heads. What a picture of today's modern assemblies. They have been so robbed and spoiled of their inheritance in God, they hang their heads because their power is gone. They have no power to resist satan, and they have no power to overcome the pride, greed, lust, and selfishness in their life.
The carpenters will cause the Gentiles to tremble with fear in our presence. God's body needs to know and understand that pride, lust, greed, and selfishness will not be tolerated in His body. God is looking for a people in whom He can move mightily. He is looking for those who will stand in the gap repair the breach, and stand against the wiles of satan and self. We need to realize self is a greater hindrance to the body of Christ then satan ever has been. He is a defeated enemy. Speaking of satan, the prophet Isaiah disclosed:
"They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;" Isaiah 14:16
God's body needs to learn satan has no power. As Jesus declared to His disciples after His resurrection:
"All power is given unto Me (Jesus) in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18
All power has been given to our risen, glorified Christ, both in heaven (the Spiritual realm) and earth (the flesh realm). Satan has no power except what we give him. Those who tremble in his presence have denied the overcoming power of the Christ anointing in their life.
The prophet Joel was given a vision of God's army in the last days. Those who have overcome satan and the flesh will make up this army.
"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;" Joel 2:1
Here we see the trembling and shaking spoken of by the prophet Zechariah. The day of the Lord is truly at hand. The Gentiles in our midst (those who have not dealt with the flesh) are shaking and trembling. Their hearts are failing them for fear, Luke 21:26. These have forgotten God's promise to Joel about the army God will raise up in the day of the Lord:
"And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His Word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the Lord, Turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil," Joel 2:11-13
Joel was speaking of the army God is raising up who will execute His Word. The word execute means "to attend to, to institute, and to accomplish". This army will do God's bidding in the great and terrible day of the Lord.
The Lord admonishes those who desire to be a part of this great army to weep, fast, and mourn. We are to rend our hearts and not our garments. God is going to use the people who are weeping, mourning, and fasting for the division in His body.
God only has one body, and it will be made up of those who stand in the gap and repair the breaches in the walls of Jerusalem. We need to ask ourselves, "Are we one of the Nehemiahs willing to stand in the gap and make up the hedge to repair the breach? Are we willing to put pride, lust, greed, and self under our feet and become an overcomer? Are we willing to put away darkness and come totally into the light?" Or, will we be as the nobles of Tekoa who refused to become part of the work?
We also need to ask ourselves, "What kind of fruit are we bringing forth in our life? " Is our fruit fit for the Master's table? or, is our fruit wild grapes, stinking and worthless in His sight? Will we continue to look at the breach in the body of Christ and never see the problem? How many are willing to see the problem and do something about finding solutions. Or will you remain part of the problem?
God desires an overcoming people, a generation who will go forth in His name to reclaim what has been lost. God desires a people who will allow Him to change their lives. He desires those who are willing to become a unifying force in the body of Christ. Isaiah spoke of this overcoming generation:
"And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in". Isaiah 58:12
God's people need to start raising up the old foundations. What is our foundation? The Word of God is our everlasting foundation. For many generations the Word of God has been replaced in the assemblies by the doctrines of men. God's Word needs to be reestablished as our foundation on which we build.
The foundation of God's Word needs to be reestablished in the assemblies. But today many assemblies are full of pew warmers who only take up space. This is not to be. Everyone God has called, He has called for a purpose. We need to seek God for the purpose He has for our life.
We need to come to the understanding that no man-made doctrine or religion will repair the breach. Man-made doctrines and religion are the main cause of the breach. Jesus spoke to His disciples about the day in which we live:
"For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them" Luke 10:24
Jesus declared the prophets and kings desires to see our day. God is raising up His Word, the Word many generations have not used as their foundation. This is the generation God has raised up to see and hear the things that are coming upon the earth and the glory that will be revealed in His people, Romans 8:18.
The All-wise Solomon informed us:
"Where there is no vision, the people perish. . ." Proverbs 29:18
The vision we should share is the oneness of the body of Christ. Can you share in God's vision to see the whole body of Christ coming together into oneness? God's body will not be led by man, but by Christ. This is not to raise up another big ministry, but for the healing of the nations. This is the vision for God's body in this last hour of time. Those who have this vision have their enemies. When Nehemiah wanted to close the breach, his enemies raised their ugly head to hinder the work of God.
"But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? Will ye rebel against the King?" Nehemiah 2:19
The Sanballats, Tobiahs, and Geshems will hate you. They like division. They are the loners. Loners find unity only in bringing division. They hate those who are desiring to serve God. They are always accusing. But the God of heaven will prosper those who bring unity and close the breach.
Those who have no vision of God's unified body will always hinder. They will even want to be a part of the work so they can become a further hindrance. Such was the case with Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem. When they wanted to join Nehemiah in the work, he proclaimed:
"The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem." Nehemiah 2:20
The Sanballats, Tobiahs, and Geshems have no portion, no right, nor memorial in Jerusalem. They have no place in the kingdom of God. Only those who bring unity and order will be part of God's Kingdom. Where do you stand? Alone, or in the gap? Are you stopping the breach and making up the hedge?
We have seen the examples of those who will have no part in the Kingdom: the wild grapes, the stinking, worthless fruit, and the hinderers of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's day (the Sanballats, Tobiahs, and Geshems).
All the prophets and kings wanted to see our day. They longed for and desired to see the day when God's body would become unified. They desired to see the day when the Word of God would once again become the foundation for the body of Christ.
What is your vision for the body of Christ? What is your part in the vision? Are you part of the division? Or, are you standing fast in the gap to see the breach closed between all God's people?
It can happen! This move of God is not going to be headed up by man or his organizations. This is going to be a Holy Spirit move that far surpasses all others. God is not coming back to His church as many have taught. God is coming back to His body, and from His body, He will make up His church.
If you are not part of His body, you will not be part of His church. Our whole concern should be that we are part of His body. The ones who stand in the gap are the repairers of the breach and will be part of God's new day.
For Further Discussion
Christ Jesus, the Rock of the
Overcoming Division and Separation
God's Nehemiah's, the Comforters
The Vineyard of Wild Grapes
Overcoming the Beast Nature
Willing to Stand in the Gap
The Tekoa Noblemen
The Construction Crew
The Four Scattering Powers
Men of No Reputation
Hinderers of the Work
We need to ask ourselves...
1.God has promised He is going to create
a whole generation of people who will praise Him. "Are we that generation,
or will God have to wait for another?"
2.Will we be the one the Spirit of the Lord will lift up as a standard against the enemy of self?
3.Or, when division comes will we be to blame because we refused to stand in the gap?
4.Are we the cause of the breach because our feelings were hurt by a word or deed?
5.Or, will we be one who sets up the standard in the land?
6.Today there are those who are sorrowing for the church, and the division between God's people, but who is willing to stand in the gap, to weep and mourn before God, to fast and pray?
7.Where are the Nehemiahs who will become comforters to God?
8.Are we one of the Nehemiahs willing to stand in the gap and make up the hedge to repair the breach?
9.Are we willing to put pride, lust, greed, and self under our feet and become an overcomer?
10.Are we willing to put away darkness and come totally into the light?
11.Or will we be as the nobles of Tekoa who refused to become part of the work?
12.What kind of fruit are we bringing forth in our life?
13.Is our fruit fit for the Master's table?
14.Or is our fruit wild grapes, stinking and worthless in His sight?
15.Will we continue to look at the breach in the body of Christ and never see the problem?
16.How many are willing to see the problem and do something about finding solutions.
17.Or will you remain part of the problem?
18.Can you share in God's vision to see the whole body of Christ coming together into oneness?
19.Where do you stand? Alone, or in the gap? Are you stopping the breach and making up the hedge?
20.What is your vision for the body of Christ? What is your part in the vision? Are you part of the division? Or, are you standing fast in the gap to see the breach closed between all God's people?
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