This series we are going to examine in detail what “In wrath” means and see how the Word of God defines Mercy. We must do this because our ignorance can bring us unwelcome circumstances. I have been through this week a battle in prayer over an issue which seems reluctant to resolve, and then with those I relate to in ministry all seem to relate experiences in which the heavens seem closed, the nations in turmoil and injustice abounds. I have taken my time to write these messages because they must bring clear answers in which heaven endorses.
The cry of the prophet Habakkuk is a cry for us today, as we verify that “wrath” is abroad, and we must define what that wrath is, how it manifests, how it fits within the context of the Gospel of Grace. This has not only to balance and hold weight theologically but also it must discern out Scripture to have a solid foundation.
I have taken much prayer, much study to come to today where I write this message. I hope and pray that it enlightens and brings us to the place where we break through into a new level of understanding and a new level of flowing where God is right now.
The Word of the Lord is rare when God is silent
We must examine why God is silent, corporately, where the prophetic word is very scarce. Even some have given up their ministry right now. In the day of Samuel the prophets that came were very far and few between because they were not listened to. The prophetic and the priesthood lived for themselves and their agendas. Jeremiah points us to “ask for the ancient paths”, not modernisms we have today. It seems what has occurred is that our spirituality is so keen to throw off some proven and enriching principles of worship, of preaching, of ministering and of caring for the brethren and the embracing of a new modernistic view of entertaining the flock than alerting and training people for the difficult times ahead. Jeremiah presents us with a starting point to “tune into” the Voice of God again. We moved away, we reacted when we should have stood our ground on principles such as holiness. God goes silent when we ignore His commands, His direction and His correction! We have to as Jeremiah speaks, ask for the starting point from where we departed from the true way. If we ignore God He will be silent. There are many ages when God was silent, the most prevalent being after Malachi spoke, until John the Baptist. 400 years went by when there was not a thundering prophetic voice. What there was was a nation steadily becoming deceived by their own attitudes and contempt for God. How quickly from the restoration of the Temple, the priesthood, the Levites, the city of Jerusalem and yet rapidly the people began to show contempt for holiness, for devotion for God.
The admonition not to despise prophecy in the New Testament is just addressing the current situation. In fact the prophetic at the moment is viewed as being false, being that the Presidential elections, the Covid19 situation, have fallen into discredit. The people now throw off restraint and ridicule the prophets. Of course God is against the false prophets but He is also against a precious gift, anointing and Office being ridiculed this way by the Church that God is grieved. Could it be that the sin against the Holy Spirit is being committed? Jesus holds this sin as the most serious and the sin that has no forgiveness in this life nor in the next. Right now God has allowed this situation for two purposes, one to purify the prophetic and two to highlight those who are true and discerning saints who know the ways of God. However, the Holy Spirit is indeed grieved, and so is Christ, the Messiah, for it was Him in His ascension He threw down gifts to men. Ephesians 4. The other issue that arises also, grieving the Father, in response to Jesus’ prayer of John 17 is the lack of unity amongst Christians, along with it, the lack of accountability structures and an alignment of exhortation for proper reappraisals in the Body. We have both hyper charismatics being fanatics, we have cessationists who vehemently defend that the ministry gifts, the spiritual gifts died out with the Early Church citing that when the Bible had come in its completion there was no need to have these gifts. This is error, nowhere does the Word point to this emphatically, what they point to is a scripture in 1 Corinthians 13, which points to when the need for gifts and ministry gifts will cease when the perfect shall come. In no way has the perfect come, even with the Bible with its many interpretations. We need to return to where and how God is speaking right now, so we may Hear and Obey Him.
The reason for the silence is the corruption of leadership
In 1 Samuel 3 we are seeing that Samuel is growing up in the Tabernacle. There in the tabernacle, the sons of Eli were becoming contemptuous with the offerings, the service of the priesthood. The unnamed prophet mentioned here prophesies the end of Eli and his house. Yet he does not repent nor remove his sons. They continue their prostitution at the doors of God’s holy House. Could it not be today that God is being silent to a Church that is committing the same contempt for God’s word, His Holiness? Could it be that God’s appointed ministers are committing prostitution at the threshold by having other “loves” beyond devotion to the Lord? What loves have entered? Has politics? Money? How do we reconcile the fact God wanted to kill Hophni and Phineas? Even the prophet points to the fact they would all die the same day! In a context of the New Testament we can point to Ananias and Sapphira who lied to the Holy Spirit regarding assets sold. They died instantly. However in this instance the leadership of the Early Church were totally immersed in the Holy Spirit and His presence was welcomed and honoured. Today it seems with all the divisions and turmoils that abound today the Presence of God has not the same honour or seeking for. And whilst the corruption abounds so wickedness gets spread as a dark cloud over a nation. When the priests take of the offering, the best parts and leave the rest to God, shows contempt for the Holy things of God. I sense the same contempt is now part of the DNA of modern leadership. When worship is lowered to be the same styles as the modern music consecrated to demons, when old hymns full of inspired truth are shown contempt and not fashionable. When the tithes and offerings are for maintaining and not blessing, where the Word preached is for pleasing people to continue this maintenance ministry! Is it not time for cancelling our meetings and going to God in intercession and learning how to pray? Is it not a time to learn to dialogue with God…??A corrupt leadership silences the Voice of God.
The Voice of God is silenced when we have leaders who do not know how to repent and remove all wickedness
The tales of old revivals and their thorough seeking of God puts us to shame. I remember over 20 years ago having all nights of prayer, meetings of intercession, seeking God for Him. The nights when God would come in response to our prayers, the songs, the utterances of praise and worship before the Throne. The sense of our quietness before Holiness. The sense that beyond our requests our prayers focussed on His Being, His worthiness, His Greatness. We would know that our repentance would open these doors. We knew that our focus in our repentance was to shift the focus from ourselves to Him. These activities have all been diminished in the Body of Christ. The wickedness of the nations should not drive us into His Presence to seek His Mercy? Did not David offer a sacrifice at Mount Moriah to stop the angel striking Jerusalem? In that instance so the Temple location was established. Our intercession would bring God’s Temple to earth. Repentance must be understood, we have tried to find short cuts in God, our preaching, to get relief and get our needs met, without ministering first to the Lord. This is why a Tabernacle existed, the Temple, and the Church to be a house of prayer for all nations…so that nations may know Him and Love Him. Our repentance must start by retracing our steps to prayer and let go of the sophistication and modernisms we have built up.
It is time to seek Him for Him alone not for what He gives to us
In 1994 I had had a very harrowing experience in that I had ministered and flowed in a particular way, but God brought me into a great turning point, moving me back to Nottingham against the opinion of some I had ministered with. I had seen a life, so good, come to an end. I believed God had wanted it to continue, yet it did not. I spent the following year writing in a black book thoughts concerning what God was about to bring to His People. He showed me a scenario, that He would no longer bless or give to us anything more than that which He had provided through Jesus. We would be a generation like Job, where Satan had come to sift our motivations for loving God. Is it not this process right now we are in? Do we not love Him even if we get sick? Will we not love Him even when our business fails? Will we not enter into worship if our house falls to the ground? Job is seen to prostrate himself and worship God. Even in the midst of the destruction on his house, and his children dead. You can read this in Job 1.
Many of our meetings centre around worship being the feel good factor, the tithe around God giving us abundance, and the Word about God meeting our needs. However the Word is full of people who experienced hard lives yet they lived for God. Enoch walked with God…Abraham a friend of God, and David a man after God’s own heart! I must identify that we have reduced God to meet our needs and frustrations! Yet God is looking for those who adore Him…John 4. God stops speaking, His Word is rare because we have not valued Him for that which He is.
In the midst of the Word being rare ,God raises up Samuel
In the midst of this priestly corruption God heard the prayer of Hannah. Hannah represents the Church now. We desire to birth ministry, we desire all manner of things, but the key to bring a move of “Samuel” into the Church, we must let go of the shame of our barreness and come into a pact with God, that if He would birth His revival in us, we give Him back the movement, we take no credit. We do not claim that we “birthed” it. I shall be for the return of God’s people. We shall not be defined by the thing we “birth”. We shall give over this “Samuel” into the “tabernacle” to be raised up a pure and holy prophetic move of the Lord, exhorting to repentance, obedience and holiness. It is in the middle of the crisis that one dares to enter into God, and bring forth the solution. In the midst of this, the prophetic word is fulfilled, the priest Eli breaks his neck and dies, his two sons are killed, and the Ark is taken. It seems today our “Ark” has been taken, but the Ark shall return, and God shall have His Samuel ready to receive it. God will remove that which prevents His Voice being heard, and He shall raise a new prophetic company, not even called prophets, people who shall renew their commitment to the Word, and shall hear the teachers and have internal discernment. They shall know the times and seasons, and shall love God with all their hearts!
None of the words of Samuel fell to the ground because God saw to it that they were fulfilled. When our worship draws fire from heaven, glory, and our words bring effects in our community is because heavens are open and His Voice is heard and Obeyed. And as God in the midst of His wrath and silence, remembered Mercy bringing forth His Samuel!