What if you don’t need to figure it all out? What if you don’t need to be the one who releases the new deep revelation? What if God is good, Jesus is enough, God loves us, what He says is right, and we just need to believe it? Even if we don’t understand it.
What if taking what He says in simple faith like He expected of Adam and Eve is all that we need? What if doing so is an act of humility because it recognizes that God is so far beyond us that we cannot understand the depths of His doings? What if our pursuit of knowledge is what caused the fall of man in the first place? What if it’s pride to think that we can comprehend the ways of God?
We all get excited when God reveals the deeper things to us, but our pursuit should be God, and not His knowledge. He created us to walk with Him, to visit, yes He teaches, but just remember that things got off track when Adam and Eve thought they could get somewhere or become something by what they knew. That’s why they ate the fruit. It was a way to do it without God. Without having to take His hand and just trust Him.
Yes God gives us revelation. The Holy Spirit is a teacher. But before all of that, God is a father. He wants our pursuit to always be Him, not what we think we need to get the job done without Him. That is the sin of the tree of knowledge and we are all guilty of partaking of it at times. Repent and commit to sit and to visit and to worship. Too much knowledge can kill your faith because if you can’t figure it out, you put it away. Faith says, “it’s ok, I have a Father who can do anything. If He said it, He will do it. It doesn’t matter how, it doesn’t matter when. He will do it, and it will be perfect!”
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
“But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” – 1 Corinthians 8:12-13
Jesus said that offense will come, but don’t let them come from you. He said that it were better that a millstone be hung around your neck and you be cast into the sea than to offend one who is young in the faith and cause him to fall away. God takes it very seriously when someone causes an other to become discouraged or offended by excessive brashness. In fact, it says that he puts himself in danger of hell’s fire.
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!… Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
Matthew 18:6-7, 10-11
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
A truth spoken in love will still inflame demons, it is not possible to avoid all hard feelings. Yet I have seen a very damning thing in the church throughout my life. Those who are meant to help to establish others and be an example to them, mistreating and speaking harshly to those who simply need to be instructed or restored in meekness and in love.
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
Paul called our journey of faith, a race of endurance. When you see someone getting off that narrow path, make sure that you correct them in a way that helps them get back in the race and win! Not in a way that makes them want to give up and quit.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
The Holy Spirit will never give you insight or a word that is meant to cut down a person. That is a misuse of the Sword of the word of the Lord. That is what happens when you use His sword, without having His heart. His word is meant to cut down satan in faith filled proclamation, but to heal and redeem those that he influences and means to destroy. We are here to to the work of redemption and reconciliation.
From the moment that man fell in the garden, God began a plan to redeem him. If we work with Him then we work to save that which is lost. Not run off that which is found but still learning and immature. There are those who are weaker among us. We or obligated to help them, to teach with gentle meekness, to instruct with love and a servants heart, and to encourage them. Help them to win. Don’t push them to quit. There is a spirit that strives to drive people from the house and presence of God and it is not the Holy Spirit. The fruit of it is evident. It is the work of Satan whose fruit drove Adam and Eve (God’s first children) from the garden of His presence and from God’s family.
God loved them, He loves all His children. He loves unity in the brethren. He loves those who help teach and grow and further them on their journey. He loves the fruits of the spirit. Gentleness, kindness, patience, meekness, self control, love, joy, and so on. He loves when we demonstrate these things to the brethren, the young, the newly converted, to everyone!
He hates when we offend needlessly and make no effort to heal the wounded sheep. It’s bad enough when wolves come to devour the lambs of God. He takes it very serious when those among His own flock wounds them and push them out into an even more vulnerable and dangerous position where the wolves can more easily devour them. Do you see that you make yourself the enemy of God by working with the wolves from the inside?
This is a very serious charge. Save the lost at all cost, and protect the young and weak of the flock. Do the work of redemption and restoration and reconciliation and heal the wounds and breaches among the brethren. Don’t be used of Satan to wound, divide, and scatter them. Be aware of the spirit that is influencing your actions. Are you chasing after the lambs, or chasing off and scattering them. Don’t end up with blood on your hands. You don’t know how many that one chased off lamb was meant to reach if only you would have helped them. Repent and commit, to bring unity to the brethren and to restore the wounded and fallen, with meekness.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
“I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;” –
“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Do you want to know what God is doing right now? Through the bounty of His creation, He speaks and teaches us to understand what He is saying.
Right now the fields a baron, dead, in ruin. The joy of a day of abundant harvest is far from them. Do I give up on my garden just because it is in a hard season? No, of corse not. This is the time of preparation. I have preserved a remnant of past harvest, seeds that I am now planting, tending, and nourishing as they grow in the little nursery that I have chosen for them. A place where they are preserved from the storms and cold under their husbandmen’s covering. They are fed, watered, and protected. They are taken out only when I know it is ok for them, and withdrawn when I know it isn’t. I know the right season to plant them in their place of purpose, but it hasn’t yet come. There are still a few more winter storms to protect them from.
Yet, while my tender plants are growing, safe under their covering, I am preparing the field to receive them when they come into their appointed season! I plow with blade and burn with fire. I turn with tools of wood and iron. I rip out and I build up. Not because the field is useless, but because I have plans for it!
Have hope and gain vision. The devastation is not the destination. It is only part of the preparation for the greatness of the harvest that is coming. Don’t become despondent in your winter season. It’s where the field is prepared to receive the seedling that was started in the safety of the master’s house. There was a covering for it, a warmth, a purpose for it not being out with the other plants in the yard. It was being prepared for something more. While the field was also being prepared for it. God knows what He is doing. Trust the husbandmen’s wisdom and faithfulness.
God is no different, concerning the church. He always preserves a remnant. No matter how desolate the field may seem in the moment. He always keeps, protects, and plants a seed for future harvest. Just because there is a plowing season, doesn’t mean that He has given up on the field’s fruitfulness. To the contrary, He is preparing it for it’s purpose.
“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.”
There is a point where the seedlings in the house might see the other plants out in the yard (if it could) and think that it had been deemed worthless or unworthy to join it in it’s work. But really, it was not being “rejected”, it was being “kept”. Being prepared for a purpose. The master knows the season and what is coming. He knows that there is a planting and a harvest that will need to come, after the fields have been plowed and burned. Thank Him for His wisdom. Praise Him for His faithfulness.
He keeps His covenants in ways so unexpected that we often cannot comprehend what He is doing. The plant only knows it’s tiny little perspective, it’s days are so short. Yet the husbandman knows the times and the seasons well, He has worked through so many of them before. So we, as tender plants, trust ourselves, our seasons, our fruitfulness, and our great purpose into His mighty, righteous, and very capable hands.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”
“And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly…” – Mark 8:29-32
We know the story of the crucifixion. We know how Peter was shaken and forsook Jesus in the fearful moment. We know how they began to doubt Him after His death. How their faith wavered back and forth, even as Marry waited for her Lord at the tomb, then once having seen Him resurrected she ran to tell them. But what maybe some don’t realize is that non of this should have been a surprise to them. Jesus Himself had very plainly and openly prophesied to them exactly what would happen. Yet once it was set in motion, still they doubted and panicked.
Why? Well for one, without a direct infilling and baptism in the Holy Spirit, you will always lack boldness and divine confidence. Even Peter would later unapologetically confront the very men who killed Jesus in his Holy Ghost filled preaching! But the root cause of this weakness, I think the scripture tells us, was a lack of prayerfulness.
I say this because in the garden, prior to the crucifixion, while Jesus prayed in agony for distress of what was coming, He told His disciples to “pray, less they fall into temptation.” They could not even pray for one hour that night without falling asleep. So what happened while they slept instead of praying as Jesus has said? The Angel of the Lord (a type of the Holy Spirit) showed up and strengthen Jesus, the only one who was up praying.
Later we see that after days of praying the Holy Spirit came and fell upon the 120 in that upper room. After which, they preached with boldness and endured many afflictions for the gospel message that they were preaching. They were strengthened in the prayer closet for a battle that no one saw. The battle was already won there before people ever witnessed the physical culminations of them already already determined through grace, by the faith that was gained and released in the place of prayer and abiding.
So if you have faltered for weariness in this last season of intense pressing in, then yes God understands. Even the disciples did. Yet that really is no excuse for it, because we have been given all the resources of heaven, and instructions on how to access them. Can you not pray with Him, one hour? Can you not ask for, abide in, and be baptized in power? You will need it in the dark hour that approaches. Now is the time to draw close and be strengthen. Now is the time to believe what Jesus taught us. Now is not the time for forgetfulness. Now is the time to take God’s words serious. Because a Gethsemane approaches, but after it, the promise.
“But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them…”
“And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” – Ephesians 5:18
The fruit (evidence or manifestation) here is drunkenness, but the root (influencing spirit in operation) is excess. We are told to choose to be filled with the Holy Spirit and not with this spirit of excess. Making it obvious that we cannot be led by both of them. The Holy Spirit will never allow us to be led into excess. We will choose one of them and reject the leading of the other one.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
In Amos chapter 6, God had a controversy with the church. They were being led by and endorsing a spirit of excess, which is contrary to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God determines that He will come and judge it. He will remove the wealth of it. Jesus makes the same charge against the pharisees. Plainly stating that excess is a sin. Expensive houses and clothing, materialism at the expense of God’s kingdom mission, too much food, drinking, addiction, constant entertainment, perversion, and extravagant living. Using something that had a purpose beyond its purpose, for selfish reasons. God was not at all pleased with it.
We stand at the brink of this again because the church has embraced this sin. In many different forms and fashions. It has stollen God’s resources and horded them. God is coming to strip those who have done this and redistribute to the few who will rightly stewart it. To do the work of His Kingdom. He gives us blessings for a reason, to adorn His bride and tend to the family of God. Not to consume upon our own lust. Too many have made it about them and their own little kingdom and God is coming to strip it all from them.
This is why He has been calling for such abundant giving lately, and for fasting, and for willful servanthood in the body of Christ. It is a cry to come out of alignment (or agreement) with the spirit of excess by standing in direct opposition to it’s influence before God moves against it. He is calling for repentance from it, but true repentance is not just saying that we are sorry. It is changing direction and doing something different than we did it before. It is choosing to stand against the influence of an evil spirit and in agreement with the words and teachings of God in faith. It is trusting what God says and trusting that He will send His grace to support and empower us as we do it!
For example, when we give to others in faith and then God provides for us through His grace. When we give up food, fasting in faith and God strengthens us both physically and spiritually by His grace. When we choose to give up our leisure time to pray in faith and He moves mountains through grace, dethroning powers, and principalities to the glory of his Name!
There is a true bride that is not haughty or gaudy, but selfless, sacrificial, faithful, laborers who wait at the well and draw up for all who thirst, no matter how hard or dirty the work. They are about to be entrusted with gold bracelets for her journey and mighty promises of what’s to come, like Rebekah was. The bride that was chosen for the Master’s son. The archetype of what God looks for, for His own.
There is a counterfeit, a harlot. It gives the true church a bad name, it usurpers and perverts and prevent God’s true bride from doing her work. Don’t be found in agreement with her. God does not allow her to stop the work of the true church. He will move to remove. So repent, separate from it and it’s influence, come out from among her, that you not be partaker of her plagues. Choose your side, take your stand. His hand is already rising against it, and judgment cometh quickly.
“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border? Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed. The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.”
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
“But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,” – Matthew 26:60
At the end of Jesus’s ministry there came two false witnesses. They testified lies about Him. Twisting what He had said.
At the end of the antichrists ministry comes two true witnesses. They testify the truth against the antichrist and untwist all the lies spoken about Jesus.
The antichrist’s reign will last 3 1/2 years, just as Jesus’s earthly ministry lasted 3 1/2 years and will parallel it in opposites. It will be the opposite of Jesus’s ministry but many will follow Him because they don’t know who Jesus really is.
The spirit of antichrist is already in the world teaching things that are the opposite of Jesus’s teachings and example. Those who do not know the word of God and the character of Christ will be deceived. The enemy is very cunning. Therefore, will God’s final mercy be these two witnesses. The ones who preach the truth and call all to repentance one final time before the end of all things.
Just as the two false witnesses testified lies against the truth of Christ. These two true witnesses will testify truth against the lies of the antichrist.
After the false witnesses spoke their piece, Jesus was put to death. After the true witnesses speak their piece, they will be put to death.
After three days dead for Jesus, the resurrection happened. After three days dead for the two witnesses, the resurrection will happen.
Know the life and ministry of Jesus and be prepared to recognize the counterfeit and antithesis of it, because it is coming. And if you ever hear of two crazy bold prophets preaching repentance and judgment in Jerusalem. Trust them.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”
In 1 Samuel, chapter 25, we read the account of the interactions of Nabal, Abigail, and David. Nabal was a wealthy man and an evil shepherd. His own servants stated that he was such a son of Belial that no one could speak to him. He was cruel, crude, arrogant, short tempered, and short sighted. Yet he had a good wife whom the scriptures recorded as being both smart and beautiful. She tended well to his affairs and the servants could speak to her with ease. Much of his increase and blessings could have very well been attributed to her management of his house. She feared the Lord and trusted His words.
David and his men were camped in the wilderness in Carmel for a season. While they were there, Nabal’s pastorers (shepherds over his flocks under him/where we get the word “pastor” from) were in Carmel where David was. All the while they were there, David was good to them. His men were a wall to them by their own description. Meaning that they protected them. Nothing was lost while they were there. No sheep lost to thieves or predators. No men lost to the enemy. Non of David’s men treated them harshly. They were very good to them and helped them selflessly.
Therefor in the time of sheering, when profit would be made from the sheep. David sent his young men who had labored to help look after Nabal’s men and goods to ask for a portion of the increase. After all, it would not be so plenteous without their compliance and assistance. A tithe for them having rebuked the devours for them, and for allowing them to peaceably prosper in their territory under their covering.
To this Nabal railed against them. Telling David that he was a nobody who ran from his master. Striking a blow to what he knew in his heart to be right. He wasn’t a nobody, he was God’s chosen. The future king. How could this man be so ungrateful and arrogant!
David orders his men to get their swords and they ride out to kill every male of the house hold of Nabal. Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants tells all to Abigail. Abigail gathers an offering and rushes out to meet David. She acknowledges him for who God says that he is. That he will inherit the Kingdom and is worthy of the offering. His men had rebuked the devours which had caused increase to begin with. Therefore the increase was theirs regardless, so would she give it and more.
Yet for David, he was reminded how he had not taken matters into his own hands as long as Saul pursued him. She reminded him to maintain this testimony and allow space for God to defend and validate him. Don’t fight back against this injustice and end up with innocent blood on your hands and ruin the testimony and message that God is delivering through your experience.
David, blessed Abigail for her advice, wisdom, prophetic insight, humility, obedience, and offering. Yes, Nabal was a bad shepherd, but there were good people among the servants of his house. Abigail interceded for them. So what happened?
David took the offering and waited. When Abigail told Nabal all that had happened, his heart died within him and within 10 days, he passed away. So David sent his men back in, and offered Abigail to come and be married to him. She left the house of Nabal, the bad shepherd, the son of Baal to be married to David, the good shepherd, the King of Israel.
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
“And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.”
“And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)”
“So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.” – Matthew 27:3-8
In Zachariah chapter 11, we see a prophecy given by way of similitude. Which is an experience that the prophet lived out in order to get the full revelation of what God was saying. The charge given to this prophet was against the shepherds over a doomed flock. The flock was going to be slaughtered and the shepherds were cruel and selfish and were not taking care of them. Not feeding them but were only concerned with themselves. How they could live well and become wealthy off of them.
Zachariah comes and shepherds them, he feeds them, he tends to them, he cares for them. The other shepherds hate him, and he is not fond of them either. When his time was done he broke his shepherds staff which he had named “Noam”. This means beauty, pleasantness, favor, or grace. It was broken to show that the covenant promise to cover Israel with those attributes would end. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a messianic foreshadowing of Israel, in the time of Jesus.
You see at the last supper, the cup of promise for protection and blessing, (Noam) were drank by the disciples, but not Jesus. That covenant protection was lifted and He took it upon Himself as he drank the cup of wrath for us. This cup is prophesied in the very next chapter of Zachariah. The favor was lifted, Jesus stood in the way of it, received it for us, then traded His grace for our judgment. Of course some rejected this great gift and mercy. The damned shepherds and flock that the chapter speaks of.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem… And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
Zechariah 12:2, 10
Once this had been done, Zachariah goes to the leaders and ask them what they think his value was as a shepherd over this flock. They determine that he is worth 30 pieces of silver. Zachariah then, cast the silver into the house of the Lord, to be given to the potter. This is no doubt a prophetic reference to Judas receiving 30 pieces of silver for the life of Jesus, and then throwing it to the priest, who then used it to buy a field from the potter.
Judas does become convicted of his actions, I have to question if God did not cause him to read this passage and see his actions in it. Regardless, Jesus would have known it’s meaning and perhaps found some small comfort in the 30 pieces of silver, since the prophecy declared that He received it because He had done a good job as the shepherd.
“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.”
Jesus’ Word: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
There is, however an other use for 30 pieces of silver listed in scripture. In Exodus 21:32 a commandment is given. That if an ox kills someone’s servant, a price of 30 pieces of silver must be paid for that servant, and the ox is to be put to death. Many times through scripture the ministers and priest of God are compared to the oxen that tread the corn. That they are to be given their fair share of living from the labor they do for their master’s kingdom. However, this commandment is against to murderous ox.
Jesus was the servant of God, and more than a servant, a son. Yet he only was paid a servants price by the house of Israel who did consider Him a prophet, but not the son of God. Yet God brought the judgment of death upon the murderous oxen who killed Him. Judas died right away, but the priest and the nation itself would face annihilation within 70 years of the crucifixion of Jesus. God honors His words down to the finest details. Therefore, is 30 pieces of silver not so much the price of betrayal, as it is the price of murder. So let’s look then, at the motive a little further.
It is estimated that 30 pieces of silver by today’s standard would likely be between $12,000 – $15,000. Hardly a price that would tempt most to betray their friend to the horrific death of a crucifixion. Remember that Judas had been among those who had just recently condemned Marry for pouring her expensive box of perfume out on the feet of Jesus. The worth of that perfume would have been 2 – 4 times what the 30 pieces of silver were. Add to that, her status in society, and you can imagine that it was probably worth even more to her as she could not easily earn much money as a woman, and one of poor reputation at that.
In essence, it was likely all that she had. The money wasn’t the problem, the love of it was. Mary loved Jesus and used her finances to pour out her adoration on His feet as she humbly obeyed God’s lead. She used it to do the work of the Kingdom. She showed with every means that she had, that she believed that Jesus was the Son of God! Mean while, Judas rebuked her for it, did not seek God, drew His own conclusions, then sold out His friend of whom he likely envied for the price of a fallen servant.
We later see in Judas’s repentance that he was convicted in his heart for betraying innocent blood. It never said that he had remorse for betraying his Lord. Judas knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong, worthy of death. Yet I doubt that he ever came to true faith in who He really was. Because we know that anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord in faith can be saved.
Judas’s actions showed that his faith was in mammon, while Mary’s showed that her faith was in Jesus. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Better to be with the King of eternity, than on the temporary mammon and ambitions of these temporary kingdoms of men and of demons.
Yet as humbling as it is, we can still learn this: That Jesus was ok to be counted a servant, even though He was so much more than that. He did not seek titles, or accolades, or notoriety, or validation. He trusted God to do what was right by Him. If we are led by His Spirit, then we ought to feel the same. Because if we don’t then we risk succumbing to the spirit that Judas did. Judas wasn’t content, he was envious, succumb to ambitions, and motives, and influences from Satan.
Break agreement with that spirit, whatever it takes. Even if you have to give everything away like Mary did. Stop thinking of Jesus as your servant, and start serving. Envy arose in Judas when Mary knelt at Jesus’s feet and poured out riches on Him openly. I have to question if his envy wasn’t based on a desire to be served himself, and not just a desire for the money. After all, 30 pieces of silver is hardly enough to make him rich, but it was enough to make him feel like Jesus was nothing more than a fallen servant.
“Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.”
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 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: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.”
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of Lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” – Revelation 17:9-14
This passage may seem a bit cryptic, but it’s actually pretty straight forward and easy to interpret. There are eight world empires that rule the earth until Christ’s return. We are currently in the seventh. The spirit at large that is ruling over the seventh is the great whore, this Ashtoreth spirit. She goes by many names in many cultures, but she has always fought God’s true prophets who can expose her. She often works undercover in manipulation and coercion, according to revelations 18, she is responsible for the deaths of many Christian’s through the ages.
She sits as a principality over seven mountains, some claim this to be territories of influence, some say it represents the seven continents. Implying that she rules over the whole earth in her season. Yet she is dethroned and overthrown, in a suddenly.
The city from which her seat of power (in the spirit) emanates is destroyed by fire in one hour, on one day. This causes the collapse of the whole system, economics, social, political, military, and influential holds of the seventh world empire which has ruled the world for several hundred years.
Understand that this is where we stand in our current place in history. This is the principality that we fight against. The same one that hunted the prophets, the apostles, the true Christian’s of history and still does currently. She has no problem with celebrity Christianity, she knows it’s all vanity and will save no one, but will actually bring them into agreement with her own spirit. Just like Jezebel hunted and killed the true prophets of God, but was more than willing to replace them with her own counterfeit prophets of Baal until there was a false church worshiping a false version of god in Israel.
So she is a problem to say the least. Therefore God moves against her in judgment, by empowering a beast. Now understand this, God does not control this beast as though it was His friend. This beast is the enemy of God, of the Jew, and of the Christian’s. God simply stops restraining it, because the wicked will attack whatever it can to advance it’s own position and ambition. It is selfish and opportunistic, therefore will it kill it’s own without remorse if the opportunity arises. The beast is the Spirit in charge of the eighth world empire. It comes out of the seventh, so for a time they existed together. Yet the eighth over powers the seventh in a sudden attack from a coalition of those that the heads of the seventh once’s trusted and controlled. In one hour they launch and attack by fire on the main headquarters of the seventh world empire, and everything collapses.
Then the beast rises up to replace it. It is allowed to seem like it will succeed for a short season while the believers are being tested. It will implement a new economic system, the Mark of the Beast. It will war against the Christian’s. Yet those who endure in faith and obedience to the words of God will be saved. Then God Himself will come and defeat this final enemy and bring the great city of promise, New Jerusalem. He will also bring with Him those who had died maintaining their faith in Him. They will be resurrected! They will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years from New Jerusalem. Then forever, from heavenly places.
To get a clear description of this, you can read Revelations chapter 17-18. Just know that when we pray against powers and principalities, against rulers in dark places, as the scriptures command us in Ephesians, that things won’t always get calmer in the short term. Sometimes it will cause plagues in Egypt, or Rome to burn as the seats of these principalities power get over turned. This world is not our home. The world is the enemy of God according to scripture. Those who desire to save it will fall into a snare if Satan.
Our commission, purpose, and desire should be to save the eternal souls of people out of the world that is already corrupted and damned to destruction! Just as Jesus prayed to the Father for us. In John chapter 17. Everything here will burn in the end. Just like Sodom and Gomorrah did. The destruction of the seventh world empire that we are now facing, is only a small glimpse of it. A global Sodom is coming. So choose your side, stand in faith, put on the whole armor of God, and pray; and when your prayers began to tear down Kingdoms, don’t be shaken. You’re not here to fight for the temporary things of men and of demons. You are here to usher in God’s Kingdom; the promise given to Abraham. That city (and kingdom), not made by human hands. Who’s builder (the carpenter) is the Lord (Jesus)! That’s the home that we are waiting, warring, believing, and enduring for! So take your eyes off of the seven mountains that will all burn and melt with fervent heat, and put it on the one whose foot will split the mountains at His returning.
“Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;”
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and split the mountain”
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
2 Peter 3:10-14
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
“And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.” – Ezekiel 22:15-16
In this chapter, God brings some very serious charges against the Kings, the priest, the prophets, and the people of Israel. They are vial, selfish, full of sin, extortion, lewdness, error, idolatry,
perversion, and all manner of wickedness stemming from a lack of conviction over their lack of time in His presence.
Striking and severe warnings come forth, God tells them that He will cast them into the fire of His furious wrath like silver into the furnace. He will scatter them like wheat and chaff tossed into the wind. Yet in our opening passage, do we see that God is not going to do this because He hates them, but rather because He loves them. He says that He will, “consume the filthiness out of them” through this process.
God delights in mercy, He wants us to win, He wants us to make it, He wants us to be with Him. If we refuse to choose to come into His presence where we can receive His instruction and correction in how to stay upon the narrow path of righteousness, then He will allow us to become desperate if it brings us back to the narrow path that leads to life everlasting.
The chapter ends with God confessing that He searched for someone who would make up a hedge of intercession for the land so that He would not have to destroy it. He is required by His justice to punish sin and wickedness. Yet if the righteous will cry out in intercession and will preach righteousness, then an other chance for repentance can be given and the sentence can be stayed for a season.
This is the essence of what revival really is. We see a clear example of this in the testimony of Nineveh. This is what Christ Himself did for us. It is also what Christ through His Holy Spirit, desires to do through us, for those around us. He intercedes for us, and He expects us to intercede for the lost. It is part of our great call and commission for which we will one day give an account to Him for whether or not we fulfilled it with faithfulness and endurance. It will be among the truest fruits and evidences of whether or not Christ was really in us and working through us. Because He does not fail to do the work of intercession. It is part of His mission. It is why God sent Him. To stand between us and judgment and call us to the safety of repentance.
In the final verses of this chapter, what we are really seeing, is God’s desire to see us saved from the consequences of our own decisions. His desire for mercy and goodness. His lack of desire to have to enact judgment as a means of cleansing the church of her selfishness. He would rather have revival and repentance. But without prayer, and time in His presence, you will have non of it, because He is the only one who can bring it and He won’t bring it, unless we seek it and ask for it with all our heart. So the hard times come, and with it, desperation, and with desperation, intercession, and with intercession, repentance, and with repentance, restoration.
So that chapter ends with the words that any good parent knows well, saying in essence, that He doesn’t want to have to teach and bring correction this way, but because the church wouldn’t listen, then He must. Yet He wanted them to know that what He does, He does it in love.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”