For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
Leave my Beloved Alone!
There is work of liberation that the prophets of God must know about and must complete.
A prophet for the House
Looking in the book of Ezekiel we can obtain some characteristics of what a prophet of God is like, and of what the prophetic ministry means.
All the prophets of God say, "The word of the Lord came to me" (e.g. Ezekiel 6:1; 7:1). That is to say, "It wasn't my idea, it wasn't mine, it wasn't something I studied, nor was it something that I could do." Rather they say, "The word of the Lord came to me." Therefore, the first characteristic of God's prophets is that the word belongs to God, and this word comes to each prophet.
The prophet is not the word, either. When I am the word, I want it to remain in me; I want all the glory for myself. But when a man has God's prophetic grace, when the word comes upon him, he wants to let go of it, it is something that he cannot keep within.
Wherever God's word is prophesied in places where the people do not want to hear us, it is much worse for the prophet. It is easier to speak to a people accustomed to hearing about Christ. One comes to understand the Spirit of the Lord in the life of brothers and sisters. Yet even in these circumstances, it is terrible to have to be God's voice to exhort on certain issues.
It was the same in Ezekiel's case. He was sent to the house of Israel. He was not led to Egypt, like Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 43-44). Ezekiel was led to God's house, to the beloved people, those that had God's covenant and promises. Ezekiel could have said, "I am going to speak and they are going to understand me." We speak the same language and they are the same people who saw the miracles that God performed in the desert. Yet God warns him, "If a different people who did not know me nor invoke my name were listening to you, they might possibly hear you, but the house of Israel will surely not hear you." (Ezekiel 2 and 3).
Ezekiel is saying to us that by listening to the same Word so many times, we might possibly, think that we do not need it and that everything is all right. One of the most terrible things for Ezekiel was that he had to speak to the house of Israel.
First, God's Glory
There is no prophetic word that does not first begin for God's glory, which is not used to restore his glory, which is not to place Jesus Christ as Lord over his house, the church. I want to say this because many prophets are glorifying other things first. These are prophets of prosperity, good health, and miracles. All the prophets in the Scriptures had to see God's glory first. They had to see the Lord seated on high - as Isaiah - to enable them to prophesy.
Since all Christians are prophets (1 Corinthians 14:31), Lord is saying to us, "If you are going to prophesy, you must first experience God's glory, the wonderful person of Christ." This is what Ezekiel chapter 1 says to us.
When Isaiah saw God's glory, he fell down. John, upon hearing the sound of the trumpet, fell down as though dead. God's glory is greater. It is greater than the prophet, greater than the prophetic word. The glory of the Lord motivated the prophet to speak! It is what motivates to the church to sing, because when we sing we also prophesy. It is God's glory!
We might fall into the following error, "I am important, I am a part of Christ's body. Therefore if I sing beautifully, I will be able to help the church to sing." No, no, no! You do not want to help in anything. The first thing that you must do is have experience God's glory. This experience cannot be imitated. When God's glory is present, the church praises and sings.
So the first thing that we must say is that before being a prophet, and having a prophetic word, we must have an experience of seeing Jesus at the right-hand of the Father with power and authority. Yes, Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God! That comes before the songs. That comes before all other things. He comes before the communion. The Church is a communion, but in order for the church to have authority it must say, "Yes, Jesus Christ is the Lord! Yes, I have seen the Lord seated on high! Then I can speak. Then I can testify. Then I can sing. Only God's glory can provide the church with life, with a testimony. That is a prophetic church to God's glory!
Lastly, God's Glory
And how does the prophecy finish? It ends with God's glory! (Ezekiel 43 and 47) Again it ends up by putting Jesus in his rightful place as Lord. Jesus must return to h is house. We must bring the lost to Jesus Christ. The prophecy begins and ends, then, with God's glory. The result is that in everything He is praised. How wonderful! Glory to the Lord!
Finally, the prophets stay to one side. For that reason they are chosen... and with much pain they are also left to one side! Often when the prophet wants to continue, he is killed. When the prophet wants to take the word and make it all about himself, he dies. When a Church (a group or sect) believes that it -listen carefully- that it "is" the truth, its lampstand starts to go out. Because the prophecy begins with God's glory, it must end with God's glory. The group, the quantity of members, and even we ourselves, are instruments of God's glory.
Ezekiel 3:12 says. "Then the spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound - May the glory of the Lord be praisee in his dwelling place." It was not in front of him: it was behind him. The loud sound was not singing or speaking in front of him: it was as if it were pushing him. Blessed is glory of the Lord! The glory is behind, and is as if it were saying, "Go, you cannot remain here any more, do not remain in your place any longer. No longer think that this truth is yours to play with, sing to or enjoy for yourself. Go where I am sending you." Blessed is this glory!
There is something behind me which pushes me, as if it were forcing me. I want to say that I do not believe that the prophets of the Scriptures wanted to be as such. I do not believe that they said, "Here I am, I am going and...", but rather they were taken by surprise. They were chosen and God's showed them his glory. And one of them says, "You were stronger than I, Lord." He manages to say, "I will not speak of your name any longer, because when I speak, they beat me. When I am going to speak, they put me in a pit. Nevertheless, he later says, it was like fire shut up in his bones, that he was weary of holding it in, that he had to speak. (Jeremiah 20)
Often we have wanted to say, "That's enough, let's shut the doors and rejoice. We are comfortable like that. But I want to say to you that God's fire is speaking to you again. There are many, many people who need Christ's word in God's house. Not in the world, but in God's house.
If we have something to say to them on behalf of the Lord, it is this, "Blessed is The Lord's glory in his dwelling place. Go out, church of.... you that have the lampstand lit up, move in power, do not remain as you are, open your doors, do not be limited, expand your territory. " But the prophet says, "I don't want to, I am not willing."
Verse 13, "The sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound." I can imagine everything that the Lord had to do to move Ezekiel, and he still remained where he was. I say, "have you seen God's glory? Is Christ amongst you? Is the noise of the wings here in the meetings? Does his glory move when we sing?" Then move, church.
"The spirit then lifted me up." Brothers and sisters what do you think? After having listened to God himself, after having felt the power of God with the wings of the living creatures, the Spirit has no other option than to take me by force and lift me up. Since I cannot go, he has to take me.
"And I went... " This sounds like, "Alright, very well, if it is like that, I have to go." "And I went in bitterness, and in the anger of my spirit with the strong hand of the Lord upon me." Brothers and sisters, what you have of Christ is valuable for the whole church, because you have Christ himself, who is the foundation of the Church.
An Overwhelmed Prophet
"I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Abib near the Kebar river. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days..." how? Can you read it with me? "Overwhelmed." Overwhelmed! Overwhelmed! He says that he was unable to speak. He was overwhelmed by visions of men chained and hung by their wrists, elderly men carrying wood to the elders for fuel, and women being raped. He was overwhelmed seeing what they were doing to God's people.
When we who have been in God's house go to be with beloved brothers and sisters, many of whom are ignorant of the truths of God, not knowing how to sing or preach or understand a lot of truths, we remain overwhelmed. Our heart cries. We have said, "Lord, is this your Beloved? Their shackles and chains are not made of steel. They are of a different kind: a telephone that asks and begs for offerings for the Church, disarming and undressing her, without truths and without grace. It is an offering moved by human ambition. "If you give, God will bless you!" The naked church... Yes, they took off small jewels, their rings and garments, but for the very same pastors of Israel. Overwhelmed, Overwhelmed! This is the word that most represents us: overwhelmed!
After being overwhelmed, Ezekiel himself shows us how the Lord's beloved is enslaved. Is the church the Lord's beloved? Did He not wash it with his blood? "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:2), we listen to the Lord singing beautiful love songs to his Beloved, and answering his Beloved, scarcely with a moan, "Here I am, a slave to your own shepherds."
Chapter 34, verse 3-4, "You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally." If He spilled his blood, why are the pastors striking her? That is why the prophet is overwhelmed amongst them...
Revelation 3:14 and following gives us a small image of what the Church is like today. "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say: ... (Ah, we listen to the people who say, "we have had glorious meetings ... - where one has spoken. We have had tremendous meetings ... - where two or three do everything. Glorious is our meeting - and they refer to the musicians and instruments. Our church is tremendous ..." - and they refer to the physical structure.).
You say, "I am rich, I have acquired wealth, and do not need a thing ... (we might add "from Christ") ... But you do not realize that you are ... (without Christ) ... wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in fire, so that you can become rich, and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes so you can see ... (see whom? Christ!)... Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline."
The church is poor, blind and naked. When we were traveling up here, a brother passed us a magazine which contained an article about television preachers. The world looks on, laughing and joking. I do not want to defend those pastors. I want to defend the thousands of our brothers who are enslaved, who are wearing shackles, poor in Christ, naked in Christ, blind in Christ. Help us Lord!
Called a church that has the testimony
Church, you that you have a lit lampstand, do not ignore what the Lord is saying to you, "What are your children going to say about you tomorrow? What are men who knew your testimony going to say? " In Hebrews chapter 11 we see the men who ran the race and passed on Christ's testimony to us. The writer of Hebrews says to us: "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out" with the testimony that we have. Take it further, take it to yet another, take Christ's testimony to another. Do not keep it for yourself, do not remain where you are, yes! Proclaim the truths. Do not let them become mixed truths. Retain them, but freely give, for freely you have received. Pass on the testimony to others.
Pray to the Lord, and say, "Give me grace, give me wisdom to speak, put me in the correct place to protect your church, your Beloved." You, servants of the Lord, He is speaking to you, "Take care of my Beloved, liberate my Beloved." It is not an easy task. I assume you have probably criticized those who have gone out. Now you must leave them alone. What can one say to a worker? "I did not want to go." What's more, I said, "No, I'm comfortable here with my brothers. But the Lord lifted me."
We knew of a pastor who had a red carpet with a cord that surrounded the stage and officials and the people approached in rows to embrace him, not entering the cord, and had their pictures taken. Two thousand pesos (Three Dollars) for the photo! "It's for the church work" they said. Whose work? ... The church is blind. We cannot rebuke those in the rows, because they are blind. What can we say to a blind person? Walk, walk? And if a blind person guides another blind person what can we say to them? The two are going to fall down! The church is blind.
What shall we say about Europe, brothers and sisters? You do not want to hear about Europe. It is terrible to see homosexual "marriages", guiding 500 people, and calling it "church". Naked, naked, they have become unclothed, and have showed their shame! "Whom shall I send?" the Lord asks. This is the Lord's cry, his weeping, and his lament. "Who will go to my Beloved? I planted a vineyard, he says, but they cut it to pieces." This is what Ezekiel saw, "I am overwhelmed, overwhelmed."
The Final Scene
How this proclamation resounds! The righteous will not be fallen forever. Yes, there is a remnant of grace! Yes, there is a people that will rise up! Glory to the Lord! It seemed that everything was lost, but this is not so. In Revelation 4:1 look at what it says, "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven... (Glory to God! There's an exit. This door represents something other than decadence. It represents one who took the form of the Son of Man, filled with glory and radiance. Who was it? "And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this. At once I was in the spirit" ... (what is it he saw?)... "A throne in heaven with someone sitting on it ..." (Hallelujah, glory to God!)... From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and pearls of thunder. Before the throne seven lamps were blazing... " (Hallelujah they were blazing, they weren't snuffed out!) ... Day and night, they (the four living creatures) never stop saying: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is, and is to come... The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
How does the prophecy begin? With God's glory. How does it end? With God's glory! It does not end in the decadence of the Church. He did not wash it in order that it would become dirty again. He did not die in order that the church would be lost. Blessed is the Lord! Hallelujah! What is the attitude of a prophetic Church? It is the Church that goes out! Its objective is not only to loosen shackles, because this is not the prophet's final work. Not only is it to set the church free. It is also to place it in front of God's glory.
And what does the church ultimately do? It will kneel before the throne saying, "You are worthy." It is not the Church who says, "Look at how many things we have done! Look at how far we are reaching out! Look at how well known we are!" Rather the church should be saying: You are worthy Lord! You are worthy to receive power! You are worthy to receive power! Twenty-four elders ... the entire church humbled before the only one that receives glory, Hallelujah! Holy, holy, holy! Hallelujah!
Who will go to bring God's glory? Who will go? Your word is sometimes bitter, and we want to resist it, but Lord you are speaking to us. Now, take us, Lord, and lift us up. In Jesus' name, Amen.