The Captivity of Israel from 586BC-516BC is 70 years that Israel is violently taken by Nebuchadnezzar from the land and made to settle in Babylonia.
Jeremiah 29 tells us specifically that 70 years were established for them in that place, seeing the temple torn down, the city a ruin of Jerusalem.
For those who valued the temple and all that it meant was like tearing out the heart from a body, the very life departing in a moment.
Yet in the process of destruction and devastation is hidden a restoration that will bring God’s people into desiring “Zion” again. He Himself would birth that heart cry.
The dream of a glorious Zion came into their heart as desire for God Himself. Zion is interchangeable in the symbolisation of Zion being synonymous with the Glory.
The Lord turns us into captivity so He can turn our Captivity.
Ephesians 4 says that Jesus led captivity captive and gave gifts to men. We need to understand that captivity is a sense of temporary displacement. This displacement is brought about by leadership leading the collective into error and sin.
If there is one thing occurring is the lack of teaching the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD.
You may sense that this means we need to know the full revelation of His Word at any given time. No, it means we teach blessings but the qualifications to receive them, like forsaking sin, and embracing holiness. We need to be aware that the Word is a two edged sword. God is Love but He demands Holiness.
With the errors present and the world invading the Church we begin to see that God will allow “captivity ” to displace us. Some move city, church, nation. Many a Church close because they did not adhere to obedience.
The captives of 586BC were not the same as the returnees of 516BC. Their heart of stone was replaced by a heart of flesh. God had put His Spirit in them. Ezekiel 36&37. Their corruption spiritually had been replaced by a desire for God Himself.
Those who came back came in a dream of so much sighing and prayer.
The priests and levites who lost their place of service were coming back to a foundation.
The Lord will bring a purifying and displacement on His People so He can turn their hearts!
The captivity was a shadow of the work was doing inwardly with Israel, their captivity was spiritual so that God was their only love and devotion.
What is our “captivity” today?
It is deception, division, death.
The deception abroad today is about our condition. Whilst the world looks for spiritual answers we are preaching a Word God does not “bear witness to”. Hebrews 2:4.
With the 3 D’s of the “captivity” are 3 dimensions of the Holy Spirit which need to return. Signs and wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. These 3 levels correspond to the 3 layers of spiritual service in the Church. Signs and wonders come when apostles and prophets are free to flow in their functions, miracles occur when ministries are released to flow, and gifts are released to grow in the saints.
When the Word is “given witness” by God deception is shown up for what it is. May God come to our preaching.
Ephesians 4 exhorts us to the unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace. When Paul qualifies this he speaks of one Baptism, one Lord, one Spirit, one faith. Yet denominations abound speaking about the same Lord and all these things yet ringfence the truth in human structures.
Division is breaking covenant and the unity that comes from the Spirit, and whilst denominations exist speaking badly about each other, the Lord cannot “bear witness ” with particular efficacy.
What is supposed to be the Word of Life becomes death through man’s interference.
Ezekiel 37 gives us the prophetic picture what God desires to do today. He wants to join together first, then cover, then fill them with His Breath that gives life. It is not just about being ecumenical if the 4 winds are not called for. It is just a collection of lifeless bodies. What needs to happen in unity is come together, forgive, make friendship and then TOGETHER call for the 4 winds.
This vision came in the context of captivity in a time when there was no hope to return. Some 30 years after the fall of Jerusalem. Yet God uses vessels to bring Word of hope.
It is evident across the world that politicians are beginning to take the place of the Church in influence, yet God is going to bring the Church back into rebuilding the Sanctuary of Glory in the earth.
What needs to change is the heart.
So captivity is God’s managed process to bring us into new freedom and purity in Him.