The peace process
First posted: September 26, 2004
If you have been reading our recent articles, you will have noticed that we have been studying on what the Lord says about the coming spiritual Revival through Isaiah chapters 31 and 32. This article deals with the spiritual process that the Church needs to go through so that it may enter into God's true and lasting shalom peace.
In Isaiah chapter 32, the Lord declares the following:
"15Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever" (Isaiah 32:15-17)
In our previous articles, we have studied how Isaiah 32:1-14 speaks of the tearing down of earthly kingdoms inside the Church so that those with a true prophetic "wild ass" spirit may be used by God to bring impartations of God's eternity into the Church. This will lead to what the Lord describes in verse 15 above. I was truly stunned when I learned what Hebrew word was translated as "poured upon" by the King James translators in verse 15 above. The original Hebrew word is arah, which literally means "to be bare, nude, uncovered". This word, which appears 15 times in the Old Testament, is used most of the time to refer to physical nudity in passages such as Leviticus 20:19 and Isaiah 3:17. Why would God say that the spirit would be "bared" upon us from on high? To answer this, we have to go to 1 Corinthians:
"3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man." (1 Corinthians 11:3-7)
Before proceeding, it is worth pointing out that the passage above should not be taken as a Biblical command from God ordering women in churches across the world to wear a physical veil. Why? Because Paul himself says the following later on in that chapter:
"But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God." (1 Corinthians 11:16)
This means that Paul saw the literal application of veil wearing within the context of the customs of his time. Some years ago, I was surprised to see the Jewish people at Rabin's funeral wearing blue baseball caps. In our western culture, that would be seen as a sign of disrespect; to the Jewish people, however, this was a way to show their respects to the person being buried. Customs are like a language; they are a physical way to express inner thoughts and emotions, and that physical language may vary with time, just like spoken languages do. If you are a female believer, and wearing a physical veil is a way for you to show God that you are submitting your soul to the Lordship of the Spirit, that is fine, and no one has the right to condemn you for doing so. However, if a female believer wears a physical veil but is not wearing the spiritual veil that counts, the physical veil is meaningless to God. Some years ago, I was at a church service in a congregation where women were taught that they had to wear their veils during moments of prayer or worship. As the music went from music of praise to music of adoration, I saw how a young lady in front of me reached for her veil and placed it on her head. She looked so devout and pious with her little veil on, but, besides the veil, she was also wearing a very tight and provocative pair of pants. At that moment, I asked myself, "What is the point of her covering her head if she is not interested in covering her physical body?" This is the danger of teaching external traditions without understanding their underlying spiritual meaning. Traditions come and go; the underlying spiritual meanings do not, and those are the ones that we should worry about.
The spiritual veil that 1 Corinthians 11 refers to is the submission of our souls to our spirits in Him. As we have said so many times before, "man" in Scripture is a figure of the "spirit" while "woman" is a figure of the "soul". This means that, in "the churches of God" (v16), God wants the spirit of believers to be uncovered and revealed, while the soul of believers must remain under the covering of the spirit. When we were born again, a new "spirit man" was born inside of us, and that spirit man is holy and righteous, because he was created according to God's holy and righteous nature:
"And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephesians 4:24)
When Adam, the man, obeyed the woman in Genesis chapter 3, the domination of the soul over the spirit began, and human history has remained under this soul matriarchy ever since. When we are born again, God places a new spirit inside of us, and our salvation process consists of the constant submission of the soul in us to this new spirit. As our soul yields to our spirit, which has the instant capability to be in Oneness with God, the spirit man begins to grow and grow until it eventually reaches the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; when we reach this point, we can say that our salvation process has been completed.
"12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Ephesians 4:12-13)
"30He must increase, but I must decrease. 31He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all." (John 3:30-31)
In the verse above, John the Baptist declares that he must "decrease" and that Jesus must "increase". In this context, John the Baptist, whose ministry came in weakness, represents the soul, while Jesus, whose ministry came in strength and power, represents the spirit. As our souls decrease, the Glory of the new spirit man inside of us begins to shine forth with greater and greater intensity. When our souls take center stage, the spirit man inside of us is forced to hide backstage. According to 1 Corinthians 11:5 quoted above, this dishonors God, because that spirit man is made in the likeness of God, and keeping him backstage is equivalent to saying to God,
"My soul is more important than You; better go hide backstage, God, because, when You shine, you take the spotlight away from me"
Your soul, fellow believer, is called to be hidden inside the glory of your God-given spirit; in other words, your soul must be covered by your spirit (which is One with the Spirit of God). On the other hand, your spirit must be uncovered and be allowed to shine brilliantly so that God may be glorified in you. This is what the Lord Jesus did throughout His life on Earth; His soul remained completely submissive to the will of the Spirit, allowing Jesus' Spirit nature to shine forth so that the Father might be glorified. When the Scriptures speak of you as a "son of God", they are not speaking about your soul, but rather about your spirit, and when the Glory of your spirit shines, God is glorified, because the Father is glorified in the son:
"12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:12-13)
Notice how the phrase "whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do" in verse 13 above is spoken in the context of doing the works of the Spirit. It is unfortunate how preachers take this verse out of context and interpret it as God sitting believers on His lap and asking them what they want for christmas. This verse speaks of believers walking in the Spirit, unleashing God's power and authority on Earth so that the Father's will, purposes, and righteousness may be fulfilled. When you yield your heart to God and decide to become an agent of His will on Earth, God imbues you with His sovereign authority, and everything you ask in His Name begins to happen on Earth. Why? Because your heart is yielded to God, meaning that every petition that flows out of your mouth will be a manifestation of God's will and desires on Earth. As you do this, the spirit man inside of you begins to shine forth, and the Father gets glorified in you.
When your soul is the one shining (i.e.- it is "uncovered"), you become an imploding, "me-centered" person, meaning that everything you desire and hope for eventually revolves around you and implodes into you. You become like a "black hole" that sucks up everything around you, because you become a perennial "taker" that is constantly out to see what more it can take in. This is why people who never give their lives to God end up in hell, because hell is the "black hole" for souls that decided to live as "black holes":
"Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied." (Proverbs 27:20)
When your spirit is the one shining (i.e.- it is "uncovered"), you become expansive and "God-centered", meaning that everything you desire and hope for eventually revolves around God. As you do so, God's giving nature is manifested through you, and you become constantly preoccupied with seeing God's will and purposes fulfilled in the lives of others, which makes you an expansive agent that reaches out to unite others to God, not to your own soul:
"15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:15-23)
This is not to say that our souls are inherently "bad" and should be "abolished" in some way so that our spirits may be manifested. When your soul willingly dies to herself, she undergoes a resurrection process in Christ (Romans 6:3-6), becoming an "expansive" and "reproducing" agent of God's authority and power on Earth. When your spirit is the one shining, your emotions (which are a part of your soul) begin to feel what God feels; you begin to intensely feel the spiritual needs of others, and God's emotions will strongly flow through you. When your spirit is the one shining, your mind (another part of your soul) begins to think and judge the way God thinks and judges, and, in combination with your emotions, you will feel the intense wrath of God's indignation when your mind sees things that are unrighteous and abominable in God's eyes. When your spirit is the one shining, your heart (the remaining part of your soul) begins to intensely desire what God desires, and you will become a tenacious and persistent promoter of God's desires on Earth.
When Isaiah 32:15 says, in the original Hebrew, that the Spirit will be "uncovered", it is speaking of a time when the strong, spirit nature of believers will be clearly manifested. Today's churches are filled with feeble and frail believers who have been indoctrinated by the pastoral matriarchy to see themselves as little more than weak and dependent souls in chronic need of emotional love and support. When not guided by the Spirit, pastors tend to see themselves as godsends without whom the poor little sheep would be lost and helpless. I know of a church where preachers would stand in front of the pulpit and literally say something like, "Sheep are dumb animals that have very poor eyesight; they are frail and very needy; this is why God has sent us pastors to lead and shepherd over you". The sad thing is that the people hearing such nonsense not only accepted it as "truth" because it was coming out of the mouth of a pastor, they would also thank God for having been kind enough to send such "great men" to pastor over them. It's no wonder that the Church is in the spiritual state it is in!!!
In the early 1980s, there was a popular song that said the following:
Some of them want to use you,
some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you,
some of them want to be abused
It is easy to surrender your spiritual authority to a human leader; it seemingly absolves you of your God-given responsibility to have a direct relationship with God, and there are many out there who will gladly take your spiritual authority because it serves to feed their sense of importance and self-worth. God's true leaders feed your spirit so that you may be like them (or even better). Earthly leaders drain your spirit authority so that they may permanently remain above you.
Isaiah 32:1-15 prophesies that God will rain judgment on those who have actively tried to cover the believers' spirit authority and on those who have been passively indifferent to this cover-up, because the time has come for the sons of God (i.e.- the new spirit man in us) to be finally manifested:
"For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:19)
As our soul undergoes a resurrection process, we become like angels:
"34And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:34-36)
As we briefly share in a previous article, angels are not portrayed in Scripture as cute little winged creatures that go around making people's wishes come true. They are portrayed as fear-inspiring executors of God's judgments, and as encouragers and strengtheners of those who are suffering for the sake of righteousness. They are portrayed as invulnerable beings who "exude" strength. When our soul dies to self and we undergo resurrection, the weakness of our soul becomes wrapped up in the strength of the Spirit, and we become like invulnerable angels who execute God's judgments and who strengthen others in their quest to abide in righteousness.
In a sense, angels are like "soulless" spirits, i.e.- spirits who exhibit no weakness whatsoever. It's no wonder that they can execute God-given orders of judgment and kill men, women, and children without being moved by human, sin-condoning mercy:
"15So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 16And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. 17And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house." (2 Samuel 24:15-17)
[There is so much to say about why the angel stopped by the threshing-place of Araunah the Jebusite, but, God willing, we will study this in more detail in a future article. As a small "hint", let us say for now that the pestilence mentioned in the passage above was God's judgment on an attitude harbored by David and the people of Israel in general; this sinful, Jebusite attitude (which seems righteous on the exterior) was manifested by David in 1 Samuel 24:4-7 and in many other times during David's life.]
As the word in Isaiah 32:15 comes to pass and our spirits are "uncovered", the "angelic" nature of believers throughout the Church will begin to be manifested. This is what the Lord Jesus was referring to in the following passage:
"47Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 50Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." (John 1:47-51)
Notice that the Lord speaks of "heaven opening up", which, refers to the impartations of eternity that Isaiah 32:14 speaks about when alluding to "dens for eternity". The angels of God "ascending" from the "Son of man" refers to believers like you and me "ascending" spiritually from our weak human condition in order to manifest an angelic nature of justice and judgment that will unleash deadly spiritual punishments on sin and iniquity, thereby cleaning up the spiritual atmosphere. The angels of God "descending" upon the "Son of man" refers to believers like you and me strengthening one another in our weaknesses so that we may abide in God's righteousness and perfect will, as was the case when an angel came down to strengthen the Lord Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane while He fought in His "son-of-man" weakness to stay in the Father's perfect will (Luke 22:43-44).
The Lord also prophesied about this angelic impartation in the book of Genesis:
"10And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. 16And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 17And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. 18And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 19And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first." (Genesis 28:10-19)
Stones and rocks in Scripture are generally associated with "eternal spirit nature" because of their solidity and "permanence" when compared to dust or sand (1 Peter 2:5, Matthew 7:24-27). Therefore, the fact that Jacob dreamed this vision as his head rested on "stones" (v11) instead of allowing his head to rest directly on the ground illustrates a very important principle: if you do not allow your head to rest on earthly things and maintain your awareness of your spirit nature, God will set up a "Jacob's ladder" on you, and you will become a gateway of powerful angelic visitations on Earth.
The fact that the ladder was "set up on the earth" (v12) refers to the "land base" that Heaven has on Earth, i.e.- God's believers who follow Him faithfully and who build their lives on the rock-solid foundation of God's righteousness and judgments (Matthew 7:24-27, Hebrews 4:12). Fellow believer, as you become such a "land base", you will be a Heavenly outpost from which God's very presence (v13) will spread out throughout the Earth (v14). Are you willing to dream that God can use you like that? If you are willing to dream, believe, and pay the price, God has promised that He will make it come to pass (v14-15). Those who are not willing to dream, believe, and pay the price because they find it more comfortable to lay their heads directly on the ground will fall into a spiritual mediocrity from which they will never wake up.
"And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20)
In the passage above, the reference to "foxes" speaks of Amorite manipulators who do whatever it takes to establish an earthly kingdom, a hole in the ground, a niche for themselves in this temporary world. The reference to "birds" speaks of the principalities and powers that establish their fortresses and their spiritual kingdoms of iniquity in the spiritual atmosphere. The reference to the son of man not having a place where to lay his head refers to the righteous believers who don't want to establish an earthly kingdom because they are temporary, and who can't quite yet establish God's kingdom in the spiritual atmosphere because satan and his hosts need to be stricken down first (Luke 10:18, Romans 16:20, Revelation 12:7-9). The time is approaching when a mighty Church of believers will open a gaping hole in the spiritual atmosphere through their determined, wild-ass unwillingness to sleep in religious mediocrity. This gaping hole will allow for direct impartations of eternity from God in Heaven into the Earth. Believers will "ascend" into the spiritual atmosphere and execute mighty judgments, and they will "descend" to impart strength to fellow believers who are struggling to abide in God's truth and righteousness.
Notice that Genesis 28:17-19 quoted above declares that Jacob called the place "Bethel", which literally means "house of God" because he perceived God's very presence there. Notice that God's presence filled Him with a sense of dread and awe. So it will be in the latter-day churches throughout the Earth. We will have visitations of God's dreadful and awe-inspiring presence where His judgments will be felt and everyone will know that He is indeed Lord.
In Genesis 28:19, the Lord declares that the name of the city was "Luz" before Jacob renamed it to "Bethel". The name "Luz" literally means "almond tree", but is exactly identical in Hebrew to a word that means "to depart, turn aside" and has the connotation of something that "goes crooked". The Church's name today is "Luz", because it has strayed from God's True Gospel of justice and judgment. The Church has served as a "den for thieves" (Matthew 21:13) where people go to escape from the judgment of their guilty conscience without fully repenting, the way that thieves hide in their caves to escape from the hands of justice without changing their "stealing ways". However, this condition, which has lasted for centuries, will be changed. The Church will go from being a "den of thieves" to a "den for eternity" (Isaiah 32:14) where God's Holy and Dreadful presence will be felt. The Church will then be called "Bethel", because everyone will perceive that the consuming-fire God is indeed there.
"27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:27-29)
Isaiah 32:15, quoted at the top of this article, declares that, as the spirit is exposed from on high through the "gaping hole" mentioned above, the wilderness (or "desert") will be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field will be considered a forest:
"15Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field." (Isaiah 32:15-16)
This illustrates a spiritual process that we must all go through:
The 3-step process shown above also appears in the following passage:
"29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30)
The "calling" mentioned in verse 30 above refers to step #1, when God calls us to the wilderness to be judged, just like He called the people of the Israel out of Egypt to be judged in the desert. The "justification" in verse 30 refers to step #2, when we become a fruitful field where grace reigns because of the righteousness formed in us through God's wilderness judgments. The "glorification" in verse 30 refers to step #3, when we become like tall and strong oaks that manifest God's strength and Glory on Earth.
Isaiah 32:17 declares the final result of the 3-step process shown above:
"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever" (Isaiah 32:17)
The word "peace" above was translated from the Hebrew word shalom, which has the connotation of spiritual prosperity and abundance. The word for "work" comes from the Hebrew word maaseh, which comes from asah, meaning, "to fashion". This means that, as we abide in God's judgments and allow His righteousness to be fashioned in us, that righteousness will in turn fashion peace between us and God, and will allow for a permanent channel of spiritual blessings and abundance to be established between God and us (this is, in essence, the angelic ladder mentioned above).
The word "effect" in Isaiah 32:17 was translated from the Hebrew word abodah, which literally means, "service". In other words, the righteousness in us will allow us to be served "quietness" and "assurance" for ever, or "for eternity", meaning that this quietness and assurance will be of eternal, not temporary, value.
"6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
The phrase "Be careful" in verse 6 above was translated from the Greek word merimnao, which comes from the word merizo meaning "to divide". In other words, "worries" are the result of the enemy dividing your mind with multiple worries. As we have said before, Girgashite spirits get people to focus on earthly temporality, and as such, produce "division" or "disintegration", in the same way that a temporary human body disintegrates upon death (Genesis 3:17-19). Girgashite spirits like to bombard the minds of people who are mind-oriented with multiple worries and concerns. Martha was such a person:
"38Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)
As we share in a previous article, the focus of our lives should be on doing the one thing that God has called us to do at that moment. When we get in the flesh, we become concerned about multiple problems and worries, and tire ourselves out unnecessarily. This is why the disciples got all worried and upset when the storm raged as they headed for the "land of the Gergesenes", ("Gergesenes" is a Greek form of the word "Girgashites"):
"23And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! 28And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way." (Matthew 8:23-27)
Jesus had so much "peace of mind" that He was able to sleep in the middle of the storm. He did not allow the Girgashite spirits that were attacking that ship to steal His state of quietness. When He arose, He rebuked the winds, and filled that sea with the "quietness" and "stillness" that was inside of Him. Because of their faithlessness, the disciples decided to get all anxious and worked up, and became unable to rebuke the winds and the sea themselves, which was the Lord's original intention.
Besides "peace of mind", Isaiah 32:17 declares that the righteousness in us will "serve" us "assurance". This refers to "emotional peace". We will be able to freely and carelessly lie down on God's green pastures, comforted and served by our Pastor, Jehovah God:
"1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." ( Psalm 23)
[The words "shepherd" and "pastor" are synonyms in the Greek and in the Hebrew; so verse 1 could have been translated as "Jehovah is my Pastor; I shall not want"]
Notice how Jehovah God, our Lord, King, and Master, has declared that He will "prepare a table before us" (v5). This means that God wants to serve those who seek His righteousness. What a wonderful and glorious God!!! If God, who is Lord over all, says that He is a Pastor who serves the sheep, why do human pastors constantly seek to be served and revered by the same people that they are called to wait on?
"Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them" (Luke 12:37)
According to Isaiah 32:17, we can now say the following: if we are willing to go through the 3-step process that involves exposing ourselves to God's judgments, we will have "peace of hearts" with God, and, as a "side benefit", the Lord will serve us "peace of mind" and "emotional peace"; notice how the three components of the soul are covered here. The peace of hearts comes from seeking God's kingdom and His righteousness. The other two "peaces" are added unto us (Matthew 6:33). Most people strive for these other two peaces and forsake the peace of hearts, because that implies exposing themselves to God's judgments in the wilderness.
We can then conclude, from all of the above, that true peace, the peace that counts, can only come out of the establishment of justice and righteousness, and justice cannot be established unless spiritual judgments are made.
On March 5, 2002, a very famous religious figure who claims to speak in the name of Jesus said the following in his so-called "sermon": "There will be no peace on Earth if the peoples are oppressed, and suffer social injustices and economic inequalities, as is the case today". Even though this "seems" to coincide with the previous paragraph, where we concluded that there can be no true peace without the establishment of justice, I was deeply angered at the hypocrisy of this world-famous religious leader, who during those very days declared that a war against Iraq would be "immoral". He even sent emissaries from his earthly little kingdom to speak with Saddam Hussein in order to promote the "peace". This means that this man wanted the world to have peace with a tyrant who ruthlessly oppressed and murdered his own people, and who was a danger and a menace to all of his neighbors. This religious leader was thereby contradicting his own words.
This man not only wanted to preserve Hussein in power. He is also a promoter of idolatry, and does so "in the name of Jesus". I have known of trips that he has made to various countries around the world to promote the worship of statues. He has even visited countries in the last few years in order to do things such as place "crowns" on statues revered by the locals. Wherever he goes, he requires people to bow before him and kiss his hand. Instead of being a pastor who serves others (like God), he demands to be served by men.
It seems ironic to me how a public outcry broke out when a singer by the name of Sinead O'Connor "dared" to rip up his picture during a live comedy show aired in the U.S. in the early 1990s, yet, no such outcry was manifested when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to kill thousands of his own people a couple of years earlier. Seekers of "false peace" become promoters of a very perverted form of "justice".
This religious leader is a living symbol of the pastoral matriarchy. This is the spiritual reason behind his support of Saddam Hussein, since Hussein was another living, prophetic symbol of that matriarchy. As some of us have prayed for God's judgments on this man's life over the last 2 and a half years, God has stricken him down, and he has become weaker and weaker and weaker. The only reason why he has not yet died is because of the "ground-swell" of "soulish" support that the pastoral matriarchy still has from many souls around the world, including Christians. Since the pastoral matriarchy is being attacked and destroyed even as we speak, the spiritual support that keeps this man alive is becoming weaker and weaker with every passing day. I have the Spirit's testimony that his death will help to release many spiritual captives and be a spiritual blessing for the entire Earth. May God Almighty destroy this man and any man who dares to promote a false peace that is not based on true righteousness and judgment. Cursed be any person who dares to promote idolatry and the worship of men in the name of Jesus, no matter what religious title he or she may hold!!! I will leap for joy whenever men like these are stricken down by God's Holy judgments!!!
At the very time of this writing, the Jewish people are celebrating Yom Kippur. Fellow believer, please pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. 2Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. 3Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: 4Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. 5For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. 6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. 7Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. 8For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. 9Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good" (Psalm 122)
Notice that the psalm above, which is famous for its call to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in verse 6, speaks of "thrones of judgment" in the previous verse. This seems to go unnoticed by those who quote this psalm. There can be no peace without justice, and there can be no justice without judgments. There will never be a true, lasting peace in the literal Jerusalem until God's judgments are accepted. God has decreed in His word that that land belongs to the Jewish people. It was God who gave it back to them in 1948, not the U.N., so there will never be peace as long as judgment is not completed against those who commit terrorist acts, falsely claiming that the land belongs to them. No diplomatic effort that gives any moral credibility to the men and women who make these false claims (which are based on lies, half-truths and intimidation) will ever succeed. The only peace process that will ever succeed will be one where these people openly recognize Israel and choose to be absorbed into the Israeli state, without claiming any right to any of the land that Israel holds. The only right they can demand is to be treated with fairness inside the Israeli state.
When you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, pray for the continuation of God's judgments against Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are daring to defy God's decree concerning that land. Pray for God's death judgments on all those who oppose Israel and are unwilling to repent. Human mercy in favor of such unrepentant men will only give them more opportunities to kill people who may be saved during the spiritual revival that will break out among the people of Israel in the latter days.
Even though Psalm 122 can be applied to the literal Jerusalem, its deeper application refers to the spiritual Jerusalem, i.e.- the Church. Pray for the establishments of "thrones of judgment" in the Church. Pray for the thrones of "the house of David" to be established. Since David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), this means that we must pray for the manifestation of God's prophetic remnant, a remnant that will seek to fulfill the desires of God's heart, not the desire of man.