This article was written by Maurice Hamel. His perspective resonated with me, so I asked him if we could share it with our friends at House of Good Hope. I pray this article also speaks to you.
What Does God Expect of Us
During the Coronavirus Shut-down?
In His great mercy, God has allowed this Coronavirus pandemic to get the attention of people throughout the world in a way that we have never experienced. Literally billions have been told to stay indoors in hope of stopping the spread of the disease. Much of the Church seems preoccupied with riding this out, with the expectation that it won’t last forever, and things will soon be back to normal. Few seem to grasp that God is doing something big here, that this is triggering a revival in every nation that has been forced to shut-down. Even fewer seem to grasp that there is work to be done in the hearts of the saints to enable that awakening to reach its full potential.
Instead, there seems to be the perspective that this will bring revival and that God is going to judge the world for its wickedness. But that is not how God’s promise to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 reads:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Consider how God used Jonah to bring revival among the Gentiles in Nineveh. Jonah wanted nothing to do with showing mercy to the enemies of Israel and needed to be disciplined by God, until he got with the program. Being in the belly of the whale was not pleasant experience, but he needed to be persuaded by God to not be arrogant and uncaring for the lost, even the lost who were wicked sinners and enemies to God’s people. Jonah needed to be brought to the place where he humbled himself. Even after preaching the message he was sent to give, he did not intercede on their behalf, but instead chose to be a spectator sitting in the shade waiting for evil to be punished.
There is some Jonah in each of us. Have you considered that we might be in the belly of the whale right now, and it is us whose attention God is trying to get? Yes, He wants to bring a revival, a Great Awakening, but each of us who decide we would rather be spectators, rather than seeing what God is doing and getting to work, will miss out on the eternal reward that He had planned for each of the workers in His field.
When Daniel realized that the 70 years of captivity prophesied in Jeremiah 25:11-12 had been fulfilled, he did not merely start watching the news to see what God was going to do in fulfilment of His promise. He took it upon himself to actively take the matter to God to ask that the promise be fulfilled.
You see, while God is going to accomplish what He has pre-ordained, it is left to each of us to decide whether we are going to participate in His accomplishing that plan. We are his ambassadors on earth, His people, and to some extent that we cannot only partially grasp, He does things through us as His ambassadors here. That is what prayer is about. He wants us to ask. He wants us to participate.
Our ultimate protection is not the vaccination that will be available next year. God is doing something much bigger here; something with eternal value. The Coronavirus pandemic may not be the judgment of God on sinners. It may be the warning to the lost to repent, because something worse is yet to come.
God has a plan and it is good. He is merciful, wanting none to perish. In His mercy, there a revival among the lost throughout the world is occurring. In His good pleasure, we are being allowed to participate.
God has work for us, for as long as He leaves us here. He has a role for us to play in enabling this revival. Yes, it will happen regardless of what we do, but if we participate as a laborer in His field, we will be given a share of the harvest.
There will be different levels of reward given to each of us depending on whether we build with wood, hay and stubble or with gold, silver and precious stones. In heaven there are mansions being prepared for us. Do you want a mansion with a view or a mansion in a trailer park?
Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Rather than being a Jonah sitting in the shade waiting to see what God is going to do, be a Daniel, humble yourself, confess your failings, and pray for His mercy. Ask God to fulfill His promises. Participate.
The portion of 2 Chronicles 7 promise that the story of Jonah shows us is that we must humble ourselves and that we turn from our wicked ways, even if we don’t seem that wicked in comparison to the things that the world is doing. How can we do this? Hebrew 13:20-21 explains it this way: “May the God of peace … make you complete … to do His will, working in you what is good and pleasing in His sight.” Instead of focusing on God’s laws, seek to live the heart and spirit of God. Then you will accomplish the works of God.
Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to your heart and make the changes that are necessary. God will accomplish the great things He is trying to achieve through this pandemic. He needs our participation. Going out to share the gospel with other is good, but first do what He has asked you to do, humble yourself, seek His face the turn from your wicked ways.
By Maurice Hamel 5/13/20
TABERNACLE PRAYER: GOLDEN LAMPSTAND
7 Spirits of God – Isaiah 11:2
“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING, the Spirit of COUNSEL and MIGHT, the Spirit of KNOWLEDGE and the FEAR OF THE LORD……
Spirit of WISDOM…..
2 CHRONICLES 1:10
Now give me WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE that I may go out and come in before this people……
Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud; “To you, oh men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. Oh simple ones, learn sense. Hear, for I will speak noble things and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth, wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
….that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give you the Spirit of Wisdom…..
As I was reading 2 Chronicles – Solomon’s request to the Lord when he was asked for anything he wished – that request struck me! Of course Solomon’s request pleased the Lord so much. But is there more? The Lord has been leading me for years to ask Him for the Spirit of Wisdom. I once went on a sabbatical several years ago. I spent an entire month doing nothing but sit at the Lord’ feet. All I heard was this: “ASK ME FOR WISDOM”. Through Ephesians 1:17 I saw that wisdom is a Spirit, not part of me or my intellect. For years I used to believe that wisdom was a cultivated discipline of the mind, of our own intelligence. Or at the very least, wisdom was obtained through many years of living. When I prayed about this for a month, the Lord revealed to me that WISDOM is not part of me, never was and never will. WISDOM is spirit, a manifestation of Holy Spirit. We can only get true wisdom through intimate relationship with Holy Spirit. Wisdom is never generated from us! As least not the kind of wisdom I want.
I believe the Lord asks from all of us, “What do you want? What do you truly want?” This is our opportunity, just as it was with Solomon. The Lord sets us up so we can run to Him and ask Him – our Heavenly Daddy – what do we want? Our Heavenly Daddy sets up so we can run to Him and ask for Wisdom.
Lord, You are my Heavenly Daddy. You are my “Papa” And as my “Daddy”, my “Papa”, You ask me what I want? What do I truly want? Lord, I ask You for the Spirit of Wisdom. I need to know which road to take. How can I use what I have to fulfill all that what You placed inside me and cause my heart to burn. That’s what I long and yearn for. Dear Lord, I cannot do anything without Wisdom and Revelation. Give me Your Spirit of Wisdom and Revelations so I can do what You call me to do.
When Paul wrote those words in Ephesians 1:17, was he remembering back to King Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chronicles when he had that encounter with God so many years before? When Paul wrote that prayer to the Ephesians, did he know that this was the heart of God; to ASK GOD for wisdom and revelation? Somehow I believe he did.
Lord, give me the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. I so want to understand You more! I want to know You more. I want to think only Your thoughts. No more misguided ideas!
WISDOM: Chokmah (Hebrew) This feminine noun originates from Chakam. The word means wisdom, intelligence, insight, judgment. It is always used in the positive sense. Chokmah is used to describe an entire range of human experience: embroidery, metal working, military strategy, diplomacy, shrewdness, prudence, and practical spirituality. Therefore, all wisdom has its source in GOD. HE is all-powerful and all-knowing. Chokmah is personified only to a point. It does not have a separate existence. The figure of wisdom was never regarded as independent of God. It is only one of His attributes. The noun is not a woman, only feminine in gender. True wisdom leads to reverence for the Lord. Therefore skeptics will never, ever find this kind of wisdom and they will never know the true meaning of life.
The Lord, the Beautiful One is sending us to Israel! We are not going to Israel even though we’ve all of us very much want to go. No!! The Lord is SENDING us to Israel!
- Such a difference.
- Such a vast difference.
- Such a vastly great difference!!
I totally believe in and I expect life-changing moments – God encounters! We could go to Israel and it would be a wonderful trip. I love to travel and any trip is a beautiful learning experience that would broaden my horizons. I love learning about different cultures, different lifestyles, why people think and believe the way they do. I love the incredible variety of scenery, high mountain peaks, oceans of water and oceans of plains and fields. I love exploring ancient societies, especially those I read about, and am curious about. I may not know much about it, but I love to see and experience the atmosphere for myself. I can pick up sensations, spirits. I smell the atmosphere and I pick up stuff. I become aware and sensitive to all that goes around me, possibly what went on before.
But this trip to Israel is different. This trip will be vastly different! I expect it to be different. Especially vastly different from the last time I went. Twelve years ago I went with my sister’s church group. That was so beautiful! It was especially dear to me because I was able to experience Israel for the first time with my mother and my sister. This was a time of bonding and a time of healing with my family.
We are going as ministers not as tourists. The Lord has a plan for me, the Lord has a plan for all 4 of us.
The anticipation of our going to Israel is as delicious as the actual trip! The preparations and the plans are so delightful! I feel as though I’m “ascending the mountain toward Jerusalem” as the children of Israel did in ancient times, full of anticipation of entering the gates of the temple! Psalm 84 is so coming alive in me! The very thought of our entering through the gates gives me such a wonderful anticipation! As what Hali Berry says, this thought makes me want to wag myself tail! I am excited! Like a high-energy puppy, I am wiggling all over, jumping up and down with joy and excitement at the thought of going on this trip to Israel!
God is sending me to Israel! God is sending US to Israel! We are not going because we want to. We are going because God is sending us! Something very incredible is going to happen to us while we’re there. Had we ever thought about the preparations we’ve already made by our going through Tabernacle prayer this past year? This may be part of the preparation process for our Israel missions trip. Our using the Tabernacle prayer format sensitizes us to the process of praise, repentance, cleansing, infilling of Holy Spirit, assimilating the Word, all of which leads to pure worship and intercession. The Tabernacle prayer is the Lord’s design: our going to HIS “house” instead of our asking God to come to “our” house.
Now we’re going to His land!
I feel like tiny Frodo in The Lord of the rings, with the ring in his pocket. Frodo risked everything as he, a tiny Hobbit was entrusted to do a mighty huge thing with that ring. He is freeing up, releasing the very atmosphere of a huge demonic darkness as he takes this journey with the ring. Others around him have no clue, no understanding at all about the vastness of his assignment. It was huge! The whole world depended on a small weak little Frodo to complete his assignment or it will fall into further darkness and chaos. Yet the whole world had no clue about Frodo or what he was planning to do.
We four women are traveling from Hartford CT with an assignment to pray for prayer houses, Messianic congregations, churches and Ministries in Israel. We are all middle-aged, insignificant, unmarried women. We all are weak in our own individual ways yet we are assigned to go to Israel now, through of all places, Moscow, Russia! Even with the way we’re going: flying on a Russian airline to Tel Aviv via Moscow – there is a sense of destiny. The whole world might be ignorant of our assignment, but the Lord knows. HE is sending us. He will keep us and he will protect us. Our names will not be on the 6 o’clock news, but we are famous in God’s eyes.
I have a sense there will be a shift in the very atmosphere of the world through our missions trip. We will do things no one may know or even care about, but what we will do will shift the very atmosphere.
We have no clue absolutely no clue at the vast importance of this assignment! We are going for one reason, but there is more that we will make ourselves available to. Something vastly more. Who knows? We may meet that one person, sow into his or her life, and that person would have powerful influence over what’s going to happen in the next generation.
The Lord has magnificent plans for us, we have no idea how magnificent they are! Possibly we may have no idea until we get to heaven.
Today is the first day of the month of Av. What a better day to start a blog on our Israel missions trip! Someone at my office, a young girl suggested that I write a blog describing our trip. That way we can keep people posted and what we’re doing while in Israel. I will do this as often as I can.
Our missions team has been reading books and watching videos about Israel, especially the history of this marvelous country. There are four of us going on this mission trip:
We are all going on this trip by faith. We’ve all done fundraising, worked extra hours on our jobs, sold things; anything we can do to raise money for this missions trip. I am amazed at the faith and the tenacity of my friends! None of us are young girls, all are in our 50s & 60s. Yet even in our middle years, we’re all up for an adventure, even with little to no money! Two of us are on SSI, and one is between jobs.
And God has been so good to all of us! Somehow the money has been coming in, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly, but all miraculously! if you are reading this blog, please keep two of us in prayer? Margarita and Deb are still working towards getting money for the trip. They have most of the money in, but still need another $1,000. Please pray the Lord will bless all four of us with the finances to go?
Right now I’ve been praying through some of my own fears and concerns. We’ve been doing the Tabernacle format of prayer at the house of prayer, and one thing that the Lord has taught us is when we’re at the Altar of Sacrifice, we must throw everything into the fire. All all of our worries or concerns, our fears, our hopes, our desires, as well as our sins. All must go through the fire. This is a place of unloading and unburdening; a place of letting go. So, as I was unburdening myself, I found I have a lot of concerns about this missions trip, possibly even a little fear. One of my biggest concerns is the airline that we will be flying on to get to Israel. We are going on a Russian airline, Aeroflot, flying a connector flight to Tel Aviv by way of Moscow. I’ve read the reviews online about this airline company, and they have not been very good! The airline has a reputation of losing luggage, not making connections on time, not to mention the two Aeroflot airplanes crashing within the last year! I’ve been doing a whole lot of praying in this area. But I trust in the Lord. I believe in a good and a great God! I believe that if the Lord wants us to fly to Israel by way of Moscow, there must be some sort of reason. God in his sovereignty, is leading us into a divine setup. Our missions team have been praying together about this trip, and we all have a sense of destiny. I totally believe that our lives are going to be changed dramatically because of thi missions trip. We’re all excited about our going, even though 1-2 of us may be experiencing a little apprehension.
As you read these blogs, please keep us in prayer? Pray the Lord will remove fear, apprehension, etc. and will provide every last penny so all four of us can make this trip.
One thing we want to do is have enough money to bless some of the ministries we’ll be visiting. If you want to partner with us in this, you can send a check to:
House of Good Hope
P.O. Box 4042
Hartford CT 06147-4042
Or you can donate through our website: www.hartfordprayer.com.
Some of us have fundraising pages through GoFundMe (Margarite Cuevas) and GiveSendGo (Carol Bracken, Audrey McIntyre). You can donate to each of us personally as well.
Many thanks and blessings to you,
Audrey Church McIntyre
PREPARATION OF THE HEART
TABERNACLE PRAYER is a preparation process. As we pray through this prayer format, we are becoming prepared to meet with the Great I AM. Through this format we find we have the privilege and high honor of entering into the Courts of Heaven and being graced with an audience with the One Who sits on the Throne. For so long we run into the Outer Courts and either pray out or shout out our prayers and intercessions. But the Holy One invites us in. When we are invited in to meet with the Creator of the Universe, we must allow ourselves to be made ready. Yes, we are infinitely loved by God and the Lord longs to hear our voice. But to truly encounter Abba, we must allow ourselves to be prepared. This is a time-consuming process. It’s not done in one day. Just as yeast has to be worked thoroughly in the dough to make bread to rise, so this process will work Holy Spirit thoroughly through us. The Bridegroom is coming back for His Bride without spot or wrinkle. (Ephesians 5:27, Revelation 21:2)
“For the Bride has made herself ready….” (Revelation 19:7)
So many of us, in our times of prayer and intercession we rush in and out with our petitions and our cries. We may even shout out our passionate prayers from far-off in the distance. Wouldn’t we be much more effective if we had the high honor and privilege to meet with the King of Kings face-to-face?
The LORD wants us and is calling us to prepare ourselves. The Tabernacle is a portrait of Heaven, Tabernacle Prayer is a beautiful picture on how we can be prepared to have an intimate face-to-face audience with the Great I AM.
We can’t run into the Courts of Heaven stinking like the world wearing our filthy rags when we meet face-to-face with the King of the Universe. Yes, we can offer our petitions and prayers whenever and wherever we are. But wouldn’t it be so much more awesome, and so much more effective to have the privilege of being invited in to meet with the Great I AM face-to-face? It is possible. The Curtain has been torn. We can enter in. But in order to be invited into the Throne Room, we must submit ourselves to the preparation process, the “beauty treatments”.
The book of Esther describes how Hadassah had to submit herself to a year-long beauty treatment before she was allowed an audience with the king. She already was very beautiful, because she was one who was hand-picked. She was chosen. Like her, the Lord is attracted to the beauty in us. But that beauty is marred and stained by the filth of this world. As with Esther, the Tabernacle format of prayer can potentially be the beauty treatment process so we can be invited in to meet with the King. But, like Hadassah, we must yield and submit to it. The process can be, and is painful. But what a great high honor to be invited in to have face-to-face audience to the Great I AM, the Creator of the Universe!
The Tabernacle is a model on how we can go through the preparation process so we can gain entrance into the Holy of Holies – the Heavenly Throne Room. Wouldn’t it be so awesome to have the high honor and privilege of going there…..DAILY? Instead of a once in a lifetime encounter?
We must prepare ourselves
We must allow ourselves to be yielded, probed, stinking flesh and sin burned off so we can enter in.
In our house of prayer, as we’ve been practicing this model of prayer this past year, at times I’ve been a little frustrated. Why aren’t we in intercession? Why aren’t we praying for our cities? Our regions? Why aren’t we praying topical crisis and needful prayers? I took this frustration up to the Father and this is what I heard:
“Too many times you and others rush in, dump all your prayers and you rush out. You don’t encounter Me. You don’t sit with Me. Sometimes you don’t want to hear Me, or My response. You must be invited in. Worship, prayer and intercession isn’t something you “do”, it is who you are. You must realize you are called to be a priest and a king (I Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6), yet you don’t even identify with your role. You don’t even know who you are! When you learn the greatness of the authority you carry, then you speak differently. You will think differently. You will act differently. Allow yourselves to undergo the preparation process”.
We must prepare ourselves as children of the Most High God.
The basic steps of the Tabernacle Prayer model are as follows:
• Praise and Thanksgiving
Decide daily this is your time to encounter the Great I AM. Thank God for all His benefits (Psalm 103:2). Remember all of the Lord’s goodness toward you and offer up sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.
“You make known to me the Path of Life; in Your Presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”. Psalm 16:11
ALTAR OF SACRIFICE:
Death to self, death to pride, death to everything who you think you are. Everything has to die within you, every love, every passion, every sin, everything has to go. You must learn to come to a place and grow comfortable with the fact that nothing else matters…..except HIM. Pride must be killed in us…..daily. If not, the Gifts and Anointings given to us will be in danger of being dirtied, perverted in our fleshly pride. We must come to the place where we can say:
“No longer I who live, but CHRIST IN ME, hope of Glory….” (Galatians 2:20)
Allow the Great I AM to probe you, open you up and expose those “hidden closets” and cleanse you from all sin. Allow the Lord to reveal to you all that needs to be removed and allow the Lord to remove them. Lay down your identity and allow the Lord to give you a new identity – HIS identity.
• Fresh Infilling
• New sight
• New vision
This is a place where we come to the realization that we can’t see. All that we’ve seen in the past was through dirty lenses, all distorted. We can’t be filled until we are first emptied. We can’t be dressed in our new identities until we are first stripped bare from our earthly security and our titles. And, as the oil lamps are refilled twice a day, morning and evening, we also must be refilled at least twice a day, morning and evening.
TABLE OF SHOWBREAD
• Assimilating the Word
• Feasting, banqueting on the Word
As the eyes of our spirits are opened and we see through new lenses, the Word comes alive to us and we banquet on it. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a Light to my path…” Psalm 119:105
ALTAR OF INCENSE
This is the place where we offer up the worship first, then intercession. Or….we can offer up both in the form of “harp & bowl” worship and intercession. As priests of the Most High, we exalt His Name and sing with the angels: “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY” (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8). As we worship, a realization hits us that this is a place where it’s not about “us”, it’s all about HIM, the Great I AM. There is a difference between praise & thanksgiving and true worship. Very rarely do we enter into this place in our church services or even in our worship & prayer meetings. Much of it is because we do not undergo the death, stripping away and cleansing process in the Outer Court. True worship has nothing to do with us…..it’s all about HIM.
True intercession also has nothing to do with us. It’s all about HIM, all about what the Great I AM can do in a broken, fallen world. True intercession is coming to a place where we don’t ask so that “we” can be benefited. We come to a place where it no longer matters if we even see the results of our prayers. We cry out for a broken, fallen world because we now have the Father’s Heart beating within us and we feel His pain. True intercession is praying the Great I AM’s prayers, not our prayers. Never, ever “our” prayers. Even among intercessors, this place is a rare place to come to.
HOLY OF HOLIES
As we worship and cry out with the cries of the Father’s Heart through intercession, we look up and to our amazement, we see the Curtain has been torn! The Curtain that separates us has been ripped from top to bottom! We can now enter in! We do enter in! Finally we can see what it truly means to “be seated with HIM in the Heavenly Realms” (Ephesians 2:6)
Some, very very few intercessors have visited this place regularly. When they do, as they come out they have been dramatically changed.
Some have experienced translations, some have such incredible encounters with the Lord that it boggles our minds!
I have yet to be in that place, am anticipating the time when that Curtain will be ripped for me!
GATES, CURTAINS AND DOORS:
Steps to Entering into the Fullness of God’s Presence
There were 3 curtains in the Tabernacle:
- Entrance to the Outer Court
- Entrance to the Inner Court / Holy Place
- Entrance to the Holy of Holies
Could this represent 3 major types of believers? Or our going through 3 different steps in our faith walk?
- Christians saved by Grace (Outer Court)
- Disciples desiring greater intimacy with the Lord
- Those who have gone in and are familiar with the Secret Place
KELLY VARNER: 3 levels of Christian maturity based on the 3 entrances to the Tabernacle:
There were 3 different lights:
- Outer Court – Natural Light (sun)
- Inner Court – Holy Spirit Light (Golden Lampstand)
- Holy of Holies – Light of God (Shekinah Light)
Doors, gates and veils mark or delineate a separation. There is a process that has to be done so we can enter in. We also don’t go in unless we are first invited.
The entrance to the Outer Gate is always open. Everyone is welcomed to enter in. Many go in and out and actually never experience true salvation (though some may think they do). If one says he/she is saved but there is no actual change in their lives, they may not be. Many come in through the Outer Gate, get caught up in the praise and thanksgiving. They may even “dance” with us, but when they face the Altar of Sacrifice, they leave. The Lord wants and calls for a change in all of us. We must allow ourselves to be changed, be transformed.
- We must be teachable.
- We must be moldable.
No matter where we are, we must allow the Lord to probe us, we must learn to let go. There is a preparation process and we must allow ourselves to be prepared.
The Bride must make herself ready. Revelation 19:7
No matter where we are in our walk with the Lord, we always have the freedom of choice. We can choose now how far we go with God. As we submit ourselves at the Altar of Sacrifice, and decide to go no farther, we are saved. Our salvation is not jeopardized if we choose to go no further. At the Altar of Sacrifice we ALL are saved. No question. But….the Lord is wooing us closer! All of this is available to us, right here, right now. All of God is available to us….right here, right now. We don’t have to wait until we die and go to heaven to have the ability to experience the fullness of God’s Presence.
The Tabernacle is a “portal” into God. Into God’s Presence. I challenge you right now: How much of God do you want? Right here, right now? You don’t have to wait until you die to meet with the Great I AM. You can meet the LORD even now. Even here. But in order to do this, we have to allow ourselves to be molded, transformed. We may have to let go of some things. In fact, we have to let go of EVERYTHING.
Sh’ma: “Here oh Israel, the Lord your God is One. You must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your mind, and with ALL your soul”.
All of God is available to all of us. But we have to choose. In the Old Testament, in the Tanakh, only the priests were allowed to go further into God. But at the sacrificial death of Jesus, the veil had been ripped. We all now have the capability of our entering in, both Jew & Gentile, both man & woman. No matter who we are, how old or young we are, no matter where we came from or what we did in the past. We all now can go in. Through the Blood of Jesus, we all now have free access to God:
- ALL of us can have dreams and visions.
- ALL of us can have incredible encounters with God.
- ALL of us can see the angelic.
- ALL of us can “do the stuff”:
- Preach the Gospel
- Heal the sick
- Cast out demons
- Raise the dead
In fact, we are commanded to do this in Mark 16:15-18. This is not for a special “few”, who have been “anointed” to do this. This is for all of us. We all are commanded to do this. But I know that I am incapable of doing any of this in my own flesh. In fact, I can’t do any of that without the “power”, or the anointing of God. So….where do we get this? How much do we want to be obedient to God? How much of God do we want? We have to want it. We have to want God so badly that we’re willing to lay our “stuff” down, lay everything down to follow after Him. We have to lay it all down, lay down:
- Our preconceived ideas
- Our assumptions
- Our pride
- Our theology
- The way we identify ourselves
- Our careers, our jobs
- Even our loved ones.
Like the question Jesus asked Simon Peter 3 times: “Do you LOVE Me?”, this question is asked of us. How much do we love God? How much of God do we want? Are we willing to go through the doors, curtains and veils in order to get to God? Do we want God more than any of this? What’s holding us back?
- Fear – of the unknown, of our being identified as “slightly off”, or “crazy”?
- Desire – for that what the world has to offer?
- Familiarity – for that what is comfortable?
All 3 doors are available to us. We can go through them at any time and at any season in our lives. We can choose to linger in the Outer Court until we die, or we could go into the Inner Chamber. Or we can go all the way into the Holy of Holies. We can also go in and come out at will, at any time or any season.These doors get smaller, narrower as we pass through. It gets tighter, a tight fit going through these doors. We can’t take our “stuff” with us as we enter in.
The Blood from the Sacrificial Lamb had to be carried through every door, brought into all 3 places:
- Outer Court at the Altar of Sacrifice
- Inner Chamber / Holy Place
- Holy of Holies
The Lamb was slaughtered and offered up on the Altar of Sacrifice in the Outer Court.
ALTAR OF SACRIFICE
Everyone had to slaughter the Lamb; everyone had to receive the Blood. There were no exceptions. If you entered the Outer Gate, you had to be redeemed, bought back from the slavery of sin into the Kingdom of God. We all have to accept what Jesus did on the Cross for each one of us, or we are not part of the Kingdom of God. We have to receive Jesus’ offered Blood on the Cross for our redemption or we are not truly redeemed. We are not truly the children of God.
Everyone has to come here for salvation. There is no question. You can’t go any further unless you take and appropriate the Sacrificial Lamb of God to yourself. As in the days of the Tanakh, everyone has to come here, at least once. They were required to come here at least once a year.
Everyone can enter into the Outer Court. Everyone can enjoy the Presence of God if they are willing. But they are not truly part of God’s Kingdom – they are not saved from eternal death and hell unless they first receive the Blood of the Lamb. Once they we accept and receive what Jesus had done for them on the Cross then and only then are their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We all have to first ask for, and then receive the Blood of Christ as our redemption. No one is unwillingly redeemed.
The is still Outer Court, we haven’t yet gone into the Holy Place. But not all go to this place. We are drawn to the Cleansing, but not all hear the call or respond to it. This is a Priestly Place, a place available only to those who long for and are willing to go deeper into God. This is a place of preparation for those who want to go into the Inner Chamber and minister to God. This is a place of humility, a place where pride and the flesh are killed. Being cleansed, allowing ourselves to be cleansed is a humbling place. It’s a place where pride and independence have to die. This is a place of preparation to enter through the Narrow Door.
In order to enter into this place we have to see ourselves differently. We have to let go of our ordinariness and see ourselves as part of the Royal Priesthood. We must begin to identify ourselves as a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS.
- Kings & priests look different.
- Kings & priests act different
- Kings & priest see different.
- Kings & priests dress different.
Have you ever met someone and you’ve noticed change in the way they carry themselves from before? They could have spent some time in the Inner Chamber. They carry themselves with a greater authority, a greater assurance. They know who they are in Christ and no one in this world can label them differently. They start to see themselves and identify themselves through God’s eyes. You know it’s not fleshly pride; there is some sort of an assurance about them.
Not everyone is willing to submit to this. Many come, but when they see what it costs to have the ability to enter into the Holy Place, they may walk away. Some people come and come and come and keep coming, only to leave at a certain time. But they keep coming back. Eventually they will finally come to a place of yieldedness so they too can enter in.
We who have gone in must not discourage those. Even if the stink of their flesh offends us. We are called to LOVE THEM!!
INNER CHAMBER / HOLY PLACE
When we enter here, we mistakenly think that finally we’ve finally arrived! But in actuality, we haven’t. This is only the 2nd step, still only an outer room.
The Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb is brought here not once but twice a day. The priest brings the Blood and pours it twice daily on the Altar of Incense: the place of Worship and Intercession. Both worship and intercession are ministries that never “glorify” us. They totally glorify the Lord. Just as the Inner Chamber is a place where no one can see what’s going on, the ministries of worship and intercession are not seen nor acknowledged in most churches.
Every other ministry is totally Outer Court ministry:
- Raising the Dead.
The ministries of worship and intercession are not valued because they are hidden: eyes off us and eyes onto God. There is nothing about us. It’s all about God. Others shouldn’t and can’t see us when we’re here doing this. No pride and the world doesn’t value this. This is why we must go through the Preparation Process. We must yield to the cleansing, the stripping off, the purging and the “redressing”, the whole re-identification process. None of the worship and the Intercession can be properly done without the cleansing and redressing process.
We must also be filled with Holy Spirit, the Light of God. We cannot see the LIGHT when our eyes are covered with dirty lenses. We cannot properly nourish our spiritual bodies if are filled with the “junk food” of this world. We have to go in clean, re-identified and dressed in Kingdom Garments.
And….we have to go in hungry.
Have you ever noticed after you spent a season of fasting that there is an increased hunger for more of God? Our spirits are sharpened and cleansed; our awareness of our need for God is greatly increased. The Inner Chamber is not “junk food” Christianity. This is not a “shake it & bake it” place where we just go for the thrills and chills and then go home. We cannot enter into this place unrepentant and stinking of the world & our flesh. This is not a place of pride, a place to be noticed. We have to experience death, know death, and even embrace death: death to our flesh, to our ideas of who we think we are, and allow ourselves to be re-identified with Christ.
This is a place where we have to be ok with our not being noticed. No one needs to know we are here…..except GOD!
But this is also a place of incredible anointing and incredible authority in the Kingdom-realm. This is where the Lord wants us to be. HE notices we are here and all of this pleases the Lord. Wouldn’t you rather be famous in God’s eyes than in man’s eyes?
HOLY OF HOLIES
Again the Blood of the Lamb is brought here, poured out on the Mercy Seat. But it is done here only once a year, on the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur. This is also only done by the High Priest.
- This is a special place.
- This is a unique place.
Only a very few have truly been able to enter into this place. Also, they are not who you think they are. Most likely they were never known as famous prophets, apostles or evangelists or pastors or teachers. These people may have humble women who spend their lives pouring out in prayer and intercession. They may have experienced translations and miracles that are so beyond our comprehension that others could call them “crazy” or a little “off”.
I have to confess that I’ve not yet been here yet, though I want to. I can’t teach on that what I have yet to know or experience. But this is a place where we can aim for.
Are you willing to enter into the Holy of Holies? Are you willing to go in to the fullness of God and all that He has for you? There is only one way in, there is only one process to enter in. We cannot and must not bypass any other place in the Tabernacle so we can meet with the GREAT I AM. This is a journey into the Presence of God. We cannot skip any step.