Wonderful blessings in the Promised Land
In Zion, we do not only enjoy everlasting joy but also the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction. We do face trials and tribulations. We do eat the bread of adversity...........
Meditation: Isaiah 30:19-26
“Thou shalt weep no more”
“For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will very gracious unto you thee at the voice of they cry; when he shall hear it, He will answer thee” (Vs.19)
We, the members of the Body of Christ, now dwell in Zion, also called the Promised Land. “But ye are come unto mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels…..” (Heb.12:22-24). Zion is the city of the living God. Though the Old Testament saints and prophets could see Zion at a distance, we have entered it through the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant.
Though we pass through the furnace of afflictions in this world, there is a God Who comforts us in Zion. We hold dual citizenship. In the world, we hear men’s voices and the deadening voice of the Devil. But in Zion, we do not hear the same. In Zion, God speaks to us and comforts us. We hear His voice there. Many of the Christians today still are ignorant of their presence in Zion. Since they do not know this truth, the Devil afflicts them. If you know the truth, the truth will set you free today.
As you read this message today, God speaks to you, “thou shalt weep no more”. Since Christ is with you in Zion, you need not weep. At times, due to the intensity of suffering, we go hither and thither in search of the servants of God forwards of comfort or words of prophecy. But we do not sit at the feet of Christ Jesus to hear Him. Let us note that God is very gracious unto you at the voice of your cry. The moment you weep, Christ hears your cry. You need not make any long prayer or go into a long prayer session to make known the cries of your heart. Even when you cry in your secret chambers, Christ hears the voice of your cry. At times, we tend to think that God does not hear us and that we have to approach His servants for deliverance. We are still under the Old Testament. We forget that we have a God Who hears and answers us.
Bread of adversity and water of affliction
“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers;
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Vs.20-21).
In Zion, we do not only enjoy everlasting joy but also the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction. We do face trials and tribulations. We do eat the bread of adversity. We are troubled everywhere. People hate us without a cause. Our own people misunderstand us. Our enemies are within. The Lord thus gives us the bread of adversity. When we face adversity, we should immediately remember that it is the Lord Who gives us the bread of adversity. If your enemy is afflicting you today, it is the Lord Who has allowed him to afflict you. Satan cannot afflict you in Zion because the habitation of dragons stand destroyed in Zion. Satan has no power on you in Zion. So long as you are conscious of your presence in the world and are thus oblivious of your presence in Zion, the Devil attempts to attack you and your family. Once you resist and rebuke Him in Jesus’ Name, he flees from you. “And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes” (Is.35: 7)
In Zion, the dragons’ habitation is transformed into a land of grass with reeds and rushes. So long as you dwell in the world, you are prone to the attack of the devil. However, once you are transformed to be the citizens of Zion, the devil’s power on you stands destroyed. Here, you will fight the devil with the Sword in an offensive war, whereas in the world you have to be in the defensive war against the devil. In Zion, we will not find the habitation of the devil and his evil spirits because the devil stands stripped of his power through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus, with the sin having no dominion over us (Rom.8:37).
In the world, we are afflicted in our bodies due to sicknesses or unexpected accidents. We also face poverty or want. As we are the citizens of Zion, we should remember that it is the Lord Who gives us the water of affliction. When we go to some evangelists for their prayers for healing of sick bodies, they use to tell us that the Devil has brought this sickness to us. Of course, they are right because we have given some place to the devil in our lives to afflict us with sickness. If we give any place to the devil in our lives, he enters our lives and afflicts our bodies with sickness. But, let us remember that it is the Lord Who gives us the water of affliction In Zion.
“And the inhabitant (of Zion) shall not say, I am sick” the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity” (Is.33:24). The citizen of Zion shall not say, “I am sick” because the Lord has healed him/her by His stripes and has forgiven all his/her sins through His blood. Even if one of them is really sick, he/she will never confess, “I am sick”. Through the mouth, he/she will confess, “I am healed by the stripes of Jesus Christ”. Let us confess when we are sick that we are healed by His stripes. In Zion, our iniquity is forgiven by God through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us of all our unrighteousness and sin. We are always holy unto Him.
In spite of the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, in Zion our teachers are not removed into a corner any more. The Old Testament saints did not have the ministry of teachers. And they lived in constant fear of their enemies on one side. On the other side, they faced the wrath of God even for their slightest disobedience. Teachers mean our guides or helps. In the Body of Christ, we have fellowship with one another. We guide or help one another. We comfort one another and share our grief with one another. As we pray for one another, confessing our faults, we find the abundance of grace of God for forgiving our iniquities and restoring us to our fellowship with God. Dearly beloved, at times, you may not find any fellowship with the other children of God in some particular town or place. But you will find “teachers” there. As you open your Bible, you will find some particular text enlightening you. Even if you do not have your Bible in that place, you will hear the small voice of God in your heart speaking to you. It is the voice of the great Teacher. Rev.Richard Wumbrand, spent 14 long years in the solitude of the Communist prisons . But his Teacher was with him in the prison.
Whenever we face confusion in our lives and do not know the will of God, we hear a word behind us, saying, This is the way. The Old Testament saints had to await words of prophecy from the prophets. But, under the New Covenant, in Zion, we hear a word behind us. The word comes to us from the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and Guide. He speaks to us on hearing from Jesus who is seated on the right of the Father. The word means an instant message. In this electronic age, we can send e-mails to our friends who are thousands of miles away from us. Similarly, on hearing the voice of your cry in the wilderness of this world, our God in Zion answers you through the word. The word can be a vision/dream or a message from the written Word of God or a message from a child of God. The word can also be an audible voice from the Lord. God uses any method to communicate His word to you in Zion. At times, we are very particular that God should speak to us only through a particular way. Our Lord is a sovereign God. Please note that the word is not shrouded in mystery or ambiguity. It is very loud and clear. If you turn towards the wrong way, through some circumstances, God will place a hurdle on that way so that you can turn towards the other right way. You must have experienced such guidance from the Holy Spirit in your life.
In Zion, you need not go hither and thither for God’s guidance. Just sit at the feet of Christ Jesus through prayers with your Bible. You need not go in search of any servant of God or prophet because you are not under the Old Covenant. You are in Zion, in the very presence of the living God. You are also being ministered by the innumerable angels in Zion. Sadhu Sundar Singh, the Apostle with Bleeding Feet in India, was ministered by angels many times in his life directly. We find it also in the book of Acts.
Images of silver and gold
“Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence” (Vs.22)
As we live in this world, we get a covering of our graven images of gold. Graven images of silver mean our obsession with a luxurious live. These days, we find many ministers of the gospel live a luxurious life. The people of this world accuse us of leading a life that is quite different from the life of our Master. They find on us a covering of such graven images of silver. In one way or the other, we all get tainted with the graven images of silver in this world. As God starts blessing His people with more money, they have a tendency to spend this money on acquiring all the luxuries of this life. After acquisition of luxuries, they go on accumulating assets, movable and immovable, in the names of their children in the guise of trusts named after their children. We see this ominous trend in our Christian circles. The ornament of our graven images of gold means such properties accumulated in our own names. Gold is normally used in ornaments just to make us comely in the sight of others. Gold should be used in the Temple of Jerusalem for making vessels of gold or golden candlesticks. Let us use our assets and huge bank balances for building the Temple, and for not building our own kingdoms.
In this regard, I give below my testimony concerning a dear servant of God in India who established many missions in the Northern India, under whose leadership the Holy Spirit put me for a period of two years i.e. 1979 to 1981. He is late Brother Gladys Easwararaj. He went home to be with the Lord in 1981. The Lord took him to USA and other foreign nations and used him mightily in these nations. Sine he had a kidney disease, the people of God in USA called him there for treatment. In India, he had never bothered about his health. He had not constructed or bought any house in India nor had he saved sufficient money for his wife and three children. In the USA, he was on deathbed and the people of God there collected some contributions for his medical treatment. Conscious of his home-call, he requested them not to spend this money for his medical treatment but for the Lord’s vineyard in India. When he died in USA, his wife had no money to bring his body to India. One Dr.D.G.S.Dhinakaran, an international evangelist in South India arranged to bring his body to India at his own expenses. If I am ministering to you today, it is because of his words of prophecy and of his ministry to me during the days of my association with him.
Rain for our seed
“Then shall He give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures” (Vs.23)
God will give us the rain of our seed only if we obey His voice in the preceding verses. Let us note the word, “then”. If we want God to send us the showers of blessing, we should cast away the graven images of silver and the ornament of the molten images of gold. As soon as our land receives the rain, the seed of the gospel sown in our mission fields will germinate and grow. This is called the revival. Unless the showers come down the heaven, the seeds sown by us will not germinate.
The increase of the earth will be fat and plenteous. Millions of souls will be saved through our ministries during the revival. Every saved soul will be spiritually fat so as to become a missionary to other lost souls. That is what happened during the Welsh revivals.
On the day God blesses our land with the increase, our cattle will feed in large pastures. The people of God whom the ministers serve today as shepherds will feed in large pastures. During the Heaven-sent revivals, the people of God will experience abundance of blessings, both spiritual and material. Today, we do not find “large pastures” in our midst, though we experience drops of blessings during our evangelistic outreach campaigns. In place of drops, we need showers.
Oxen and young asses
“The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan” (Vs.24)
The ministers of God are likened to the oxen and the young asses that ear the ground. There are spiritual elders likened to the oxen in the Lord’s vineyard. Similarly, there are spiritual youngsters likened to the young asses in the Lord’s vineyard. I am not talking of the elders and youngsters in the sense of their ages. Both these categories of ministers shall “eat clean provender” once the revival breaks out. Clean provender means “the biblical doctrines which are interpreted rightly as led by the Spirit”. Today, we find a plethora of false doctrines. A day will come when we will feed on “clean provender”. Through the ministries of apostles, prophets and teachers, the ministers of God will learn the right doctrines. Today, many pastors in the churches do not eat “clean provender’ with the result that they teach certain false doctrines to the flocks under their care and many evangelists preach certain doctrines which are not in accordance with the Word of God.
Let us note that such clean provender has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. Shovel and fan are instruments used by a farmer in winnowing the provender. There are apostles, prophets and teachers in the Body of Christ who examine every doctrine with the shovels (God-given wisdom) in their hands. They blow out the dusts and husks with the help of fans (God’s anointing). The dusts and husks are likened to ambiguous and superfluous materials which are mixed with the right interpretations.
In the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall
“And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.” (Vs.25)
Every high mountain means every big ministry and every high hill means every small ministry. God’s anointing or God’s power will flow like rivers and streams to all these ministries. God does not distinguish between these two types of ministries. But we call a particular evangelic ministry or a particular pastoral ministry a high mountain using the yardstick of the statistics of the number of people who flock to hear the minister concerned. God’s blessings will flow from these mountains and hills to those who live in the plain country. Those who live in the plain country are those people who are to be blessed by God with salvation or other material blessings.
In this verse, let us note the word “in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall”. This prophecy tells about a great slaughter due to the fall of towers. In the word of this prophecy, it is not “a” great slaughter but “the” great slaughter. This means God had in His mind a great slaughter which would take place after thousands of years in His nation which the prophet refers to as “the great slaughter” while writing his prophetic book. This prophecy speaks of “slaughter” and not of “death” caused due to a natural calamity. It is important to note here that the end-time revival which would precede the second advent of Jesus would take place around or some time after the day of this great slaughter.
It reminds me of the great slaughter when the twin towers fell on 11th September 2001 in USA due to the terrorists’ attack. I believe that due to the fall of these towers, this could be the highest toll of slaughters of human beings in the entire human history. Now this is the time that the glory of God is going to be revealed in this world.
An angel proclaims in Rev.14:8, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”. The fall of the twin trade towers in USA is symbolical of the downfall of the present global economy system controlled by the Dollar. In every nation, its economy is not sound with unemployment soaring high, and with poverty showing its ugly head. Now this is the time God is going to cause His rivers and streams to flow from our mountains and hills.
Light of the moon and of the Sun
“Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound” (Vs.26)
The moon radiates the light of the sun and has no light of its own. The sun is symbolical of Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousness. In these last days, the Church that radiates the glory of Jesus Christ will be glorious as the Son of God. Jesus prayed to the Father, “And the glory which Thou gavest me I have given them (the Church): that they may be one, even as we are one:” (Jn.17:22). During the Heaven-sent revivals, the glory of Jesus Christ will be revealed to he world more than ever before. His glory will be equivalent to the light of the sun accumulated over a period of seven days. The total sum is a day’s sun-light for seven days. In these last days, the glory of Jesus will be revealed in such an abundant measure that we have not seen before.
Recently, the film on Jesus, titled, “The Passion of the Christ” produced by Mel Gibson has made such an astounding impact on the whole world. A mere Hollywood film radiates the glory of Christ Jesus in this sin-laden world! Mel Gibson’s film is only a tip of the iceberg which is hidden from our view. We have never expected that a Hollywood film like this would make such a breakthrough in the field of evangelism. We were aghast at the manner the Harry Potter’s books had taken the whole world to the brink of the hell-fire. But now the Holy Ghost has snatched the very instrument of the Devil i.e. production of the Hollywood films that take millions of souls to the brink of the bottomless pit, and uses it for preaching the gospel. This is the great work of the Holy Spirit in our midst!
Now it is time for the Lord to bind up the bruise of His people and to heal the stroke of their wound. The divine judgment has bruised us in the past. The slaughter of the thousands of innocent people during the terrorists’ attack on the WTC towers in USA, the persecution of thousands of His people all over the world, especially in Asian nations, etc. can be seen as symbolical of the divine judgment on the people of God. God judges His Church because of its lukewarm attitude towards the lost souls; because of its lack of love amongst its members. The apostasy has begun to raise its ugly head in the churches and God judges all the churches so that He may purge and purify them as gold is refined in a furnace.
For a revival of the Church, individual members of the Church, the body of Christ should humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways; they should repent and return to God (2 Chr. 7:14, Hosea 6:1-3 and Rev.2:5). Let us now meditate on Hosea 6:1 to 3 prayerfully.
Hosea, the prophet of God, exhorted the backsliding people of Israel who had been afflicted by God, to return unto Him. God had not spared His chosen people but afflicted them for the multitude of their transgressions and sins in execution of His righteous judgment. “The Lord shall judge His people” (Heb.10:30). Similarly, our God, the righteous Judge is judging His children who have backslidden “for the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (I Pet.4:17). His soul “shall have no pleasure in him” who draws back (Heb.10:38).
Do not be weary of His correction as it is our loving Father who has torn or smitten you, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction. For whom the Lord loveth, He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Pro.3: 11-12). If you endure chastening, then God deals with you, as with sons; for what son is he whom his father does not chasten? Without chastisement, you shall be illegitimate children, and not sons. You are chastened for your profit that you may share His holiness (Heb.12: 6 to 11).
It is God who will revive us by binding up the breach of His people and healing the stroke of their wound. (Hos.6: 2). On the third day, God will raise us up and we shall live in His sight. If God has smitten you, you are now fast approaching the 3rd day, the day of your personal revival. “The third day” announces the point of time ending your convalescence and the point of time for your returning to God after repentance. It is time for God to revive you, the individual members of the body of Christ. It is on the third day that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
Upon our revival, we shall live for God and His people. Unless He revives us, we will not be profitable to Him for His work. We, the individual members of the body of Christ, need to be restored by God so that He sends a mighty revival upon our world. Through His revived Church only, God will shake this world. Unless we return to Him, we will not be revived. We cannot revive ourselves by our human efforts. We cannot heal ourselves of the wounds inflicted by God but we have to return to Him for healing.
In Isaiah 30:25, we find the day of the slaughter which can be termed as the day of divine judgment. In Isaiah 30:26, we find the day of the Lord binding up the bruise of His people and healing the stroke of their wound. This day can be termed as the day of restoration. I believe we are now in the day of revival i.e. restoration.