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EMBRACING THE MESSENGER – PART I

A WORD CONCERNING 09/11/01 by Gale Ward Maiden

We are in the fifth year since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The bulk of this article was written in the days immediately following 09/11/01. I was inspired to release this article after reading a periodical called The Voice of The Prophetic – published by The Elijah List Publications - September 2006 issue. There are at least six wonderful perspectives by six different authors concerning the implications of 09/11/01 as this event relates to the Church of God. I am greatly stirred by the love and hope released in these wonderful articles and recommend that if possible all would read them (www.elijahlist.com).

09/11/01 - EARLY MORNING VISITATION…

Early on the morning of September 11 th , 2001, the Holy Spirit directed me to the Book of the Prophet Malachi. Of course at that time on 09/11/01 I had no idea that terrorist would later that morning attack America. Only after the events of 09/11/01 did I understand why the Holy Spirit drew me to the Book of the Prophet Malachi. In the afternoon after the terrorist attacks, the Holy Spirit directed me to the Book of the Prophet Habakkuk. This is explained in the last part of this article.

In a nutshell, the Book of Malachi is a message of love i.e. discipline and hope to the Old Covenant Levitical Priesthood and the people of God. Malachi means my messenger or messenger of the Lord. The Book of Malachi begins as a message of reprimand to the Levites. Levites were those of the Tribe of Levi whom God had previously chosen to fulfill the role of priests before Himself in behalf of His Israel. The reprimand was because of the Priests failure to properly fulfill their priestly role as advocates or intercessors for Israel before God. God explains to the Levites and to Israel through His Prophet Messenger Malachi the dire consequences of not righteously fulfilling the priestly call.

The Book of Malachi ends with great hope for the people of God. The hope of Malachi's message is that Priests would arise in the spirit and power of the Prophet Elijah, proclaiming the true messenger of our covenant, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness who has come with healing in His wings. As the preeminent messenger of the covenant with God our Father, Jesus comes in demonstration of the heart of fathers being turned to the children and the heart of the children being turned to the Father(s). It is the Father and Son relationship demonstrated by Father God and His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ which serves as the only benchmark in turning the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to the fathers.

God changes not, and I believe that the reprimand to Israel by Malachi is an always seasonal key word to the church especially in light of the horrific events of 09/11/01. As we were shown a few hours later on the 11 th of September, 2001, there is great need for intercession for America and the nations of the world. As was the case in the days of Malachi and Israel, failure to fulfill God's priestly role as New Covenant believer priests, brings curses, death and destruction.

INTERCESSION DEFINED

In order to explain the important implications of the Book of Malachi to the events of 09/11/01, It is important that I briefly define intercession. Since Pentecost, all New Covenant believers are called to be priests (intercessors) of God (Rev 1:6; 5:10). In my understanding Intercession is simply finding out the will of God and implementing such totally by and through His ability (grace).

All effective intercession is Holy Spirit orchestrated and full of love and all of the fruit of Holy Spirit. True effective intercessors are in love with God, themselves and everyone else. True effective priests of God are passionate for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness to be demonstrated in the earth to those for whom we are advocating.

Doing anything outside the voice and ability of God is legalism and produces death. This is not intercession according to the will of God. If I function under this modus operandi then I cannot truly represent the love of the Father. Works other than the loving works of the Father promotes fear, torment and terror.

The word intercession to most in the present church conjures up thoughts of closet prayer . This is most unfortunate. Most saints are not called to stay in a closet but are called to embrace the word of God received in the closet. We are not just hearers of the word of God…but doers. This is true intercession.

Intercession of course does include closet prayer . Intercession for the most part is walking out the will of God producing life. The good news is that many Christians are powerful advocates and intercessors of God and spend very little time in a closet. One simply has to look at the earthly advocacy of Jesus to see that the ratio of closet prayer to shoe leather prayer was overwhelmingly in favor of shoe leather advocacy. Shoe leather priests are those who hear in the closet of their heart and walk out that which they have heard. Could it be that we are now the closets of God? My wife Kay testifies that some of the most profound revelations and directives came to her at the kitchen sink while walking out the will of God to clean our dishes. I am now and forever coining this God given phrase Shoe Leather Priests . Jesus was and is a Shoe Leather Priest.

From Merriam – Webster's 11 th Collegiate Dictionary I found Shoe Leather defined as: involving or using basic, direct, or old-fashioned methods. *shoe*leather journalism*

POLLUTION OF ISRAEL…THE SINS OF THE PRIESTS (INTERCESSORS)

Could it be that New Covenant believer Priests have been remiss in fulfilling their advocacy role allowing the tragic event on 09/11/01? How did the priests of Malachi's day disdain the call to intercession? What was the condition of the hearts of the Levites and what were they saying?

Israel says, “How Lord have you loved us?”

The Lord had continuously shown Israel His love, but Israel was not seeing God's love. Failure to understand the loving kindness of the Lord leads us astray from the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God has its foundation only in the love of God (Psalm 107:43). In Malachi 1:1-5, God reminds Israel that He loved Jacob and hated Esau and that as children of the seed of Jacob, they would see and be blessed as the Lord is magnified even beyond the border of Israel.

Effective intercession is permeated with the love of God. We must speak forth and demonstrate the truth of God in intercession with love. The fruit of love is an unquenchable passion to see the will of God in the Earth. This is a season in which multitudes are being tested with fire in order to dismantle anger, hate, and disappointment and replace it with the Holy Spirit fruit of love. Love never fails and love will totally destroy hate and terror in the Earth.

He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction, and makes {his} families like a flock. The upright see it, and are glad; but all unrighteousness shuts its mouth. Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things; and consider the loving kindness of the LORD. (Ps 107:41-43, NAS)

Oh that all men everywhere would praise the name of the Lord for His loving kindness to the sons of men.

Israel says, “How have we despised your (the Lord's) name?”

That which we love is that which we will honor. Malachi 1:6-14, describes vividly the lack of commitment by the priests of God to honor the name of the Lord. How was this realized? Real worship of God is to simply yield His gifts back to Him for Kingdom of God use. For example, God had blessed Israel with unblemished males as gifts for sacrifices, yet the priests were bringing blemished males to the altar of God. These blemished offerings by Israel typify our failures in offering our giftings and callings for Kingdom of God purposes. God said that my house (the Church) shall be called a house of prayer. Again that which we love is that which we will honor.

God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. As I pondered the implications of what the Lord was saying to me, I realized that I had not given my best in worship to Him through intercession. The Lord calls us swindlers when we fail to commit our gifts wholeheartedly unto Him (Mal 1:14). Lord cause us to be rooted and grounded in Your love.

The Lord will discipline intercessors. Blessings will be cursed!

It is one thing to be cursed and yet quite another to have even our blessings cursed.

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. (Mal 2:2, KJV)

It is important to remember that intercession or advocacy is not just closet praying but it is fulfilling the will of God in all areas of our lives. By doing this we become true advocates and intercessors. True priests of God are allowed behind the veil into God's presence and are able to then implement His perfect will in the Earth.

Could this early 09/11/01 visitation to the Book of the Prophet Malachi be a call to the New Covenant believer priesthood to awake to the love of God? Awakening to the love of God means that instead of half-heartedly interceding, priests will again boldly commit back unto God all which God has given, thereby releasing tremendous blessings on America.

EMBRACING THE MESSENGER – PART II

09/11/01 AFTERNOON VISITATION

After the initial tragic attacks on America's world trade center towers and the pentagon, like many others, I sought the Lord for insight into the events of that morning. Immediately the Holy Spirit directed me to the Book of the Prophet Habakkuk. With the same sure degree of knowing that I had heard the Holy Spirit earlier that day to read the book of Malachi, I turned to the book of Habakkuk.

It is significant that the name Habakkuk means to embrace . Habakkuk, as Malachi begins with questions. In the first four verses of the book of Habakkuk, we find Habakkuk perplexed over God's seemingly unwillingness to judge rampant sin.

The charge that Habakkuk the prophet received in a vision. How long, Yahweh, am I to cry for help while you will not listen; to cry, "Violence!" in your ear while you will not save? Why do you make me see wrong-doing, why do you countenance oppression? Plundering and violence confront me, contention and discord flourish. And so the law loses its grip and justice never emerges, since the wicked outwits the upright and so justice comes out perverted. (Hab 1:1-4, NJB)

This is not a cry of anger or resentment towards God by the Prophet Habakkuk, but a loving cry for understanding. All who love God will replicate this plea at some point in their walk. Since 09/11/01, many throughout the Earth have probably asked these same questions posed by the Prophet Habakkuk. God's answer to the Prophet Habakkuk's perplexity is one filled with hope.

God essentially says to Habakkuk that He is and will work a work (wonderful work of salvation) which Habakkuk could not believe even if God were to give him the details. Habakkuk is well aware that it is from his God appointed position as a watchman on the wall that God will continue to execute and reveal the essence of justification by faith. Justification is God's realm of total freedom and victory over the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world…even our faith.

Since 09/11/01, many throughout the Church, have sincerely attempted to explain the horrific events of that day. I am not in any way saying that I have heard the whole counsel of God concerning the events of 9/11. We receive the word of the Lord in part. The whole counsel of God normally will come from various members of the body of Christ. In that light, I will share that which I believe is a part of the understanding concerning this key event in the history of the Church.

A SURE SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE – SEEDTIME AND HARVEST

How sure is God's principle of seedtime and harvest? Without going in depth on this subject, it is noteworthy that God stated in the beginning that every seed would produce after its own kind. After the flood, which destroyed the world, leaving only righteous Noah and seven others, God again reiterated the principle of seedtime and harvest. This is convincing!

Also in the New Testament, God declares,

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

(Gal 6:7-8, KJV)

What portion of all events and things are products of sowing. Do things just happen? I don't think so. The above verse is very clear. Sow to the flesh and a harvest of corruption will come. Sow to the Holy Spirit and the life of God will be harvested.

Are the tragic events of 09/11/01 a harvest of sowing to the flesh? Who is ultimately responsible for the sowing and reaping of this tragedy? What did we harvest? What was sown to produce such a harvest?

IS THE CHURCH RESPONSIBLE FOR 09/11/01?

…and MY PEOPLE who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

(2 Chr 7:14, emphasis added, NAS)

God's people who are called by His name obviously have a role in bringing healing to a nation. Although America is a giving nation, a leader in world evangelism and no doubt blessed of God, Is the church in America perfected (mature)?.

Because America is truly blessed, we have a greater responsibility to be a true light unto the whole world. Rest assured that judgment (choice) begins at the house of God. God desires for the nation of America and all nations to be His house…a house without sin and corruption. Judgment simply means choice. The Holy Spirit is constantly presenting us with choices or judgments. As our choices are one with His, righteousness reigns. The fruit of righteousness is the life of God. God's heart is for righteousness to rule the universe and we can rest assured that He will accomplish this task.

HARVEST – TERROR …FRUITS OF LEGALISTIC UNRIGHTEOUSNESS

The attacks of 09/11/01 were not the fruit of righteousness, but the fruit of unrighteousness. As Jesus is the door, He has made the church porters of the door for the church and America. We, the church, are the temples of God, and must not open the door to the plans of the enemy. We, the church, have that authority. We are told throughout the word of God that we are not to give place to the enemy. We are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the works of the flesh. A Spirit led church will not fulfill the lusts and desires of the flesh. We are told to awake to righteousness and sin no more. We are told that sin shall not have dominion over us.

*The just or the righteous shall live by faith.

The perennial enemy of grace is legalism. Legalism is just another word for the abilities of the flesh void of the Spirit of God. All legalism is unrighteousness. We have just reaped a tragic harvest carried out by the most legalistic group on the face of the Earth. Islam is the epitome of legalism. These are religious zealous people, who without the loving power of the Holy Spirit wrought through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ are reaping a harvest of corruption from the works of the flesh. The word of God is plain in its assessment of the nature of legalism. Legalism is not peaceful without the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not loving but fearful and full of terror. Only the perfect love of God will cast out fear and terror.

Could the church in America be sowing seeds of legalism? The traditions of men will nullify the power of God and open the doors for more evil traditions. Only by true heart repentance through and by a demonstration of the goodness of God will the church see the enemies of Zion destroyed. If we believe that seed time and harvest continues then we must believe that seeds of legalism, sown in the church of America, have given place to the attacks of legalistic Islam.

I recently read a book by Judith Miller called God Has 99 Names in which there were several interviews with radical Islamic men. One of the outstanding characteristics of those interviewed was that there was an obvious self-hatred and an absence of self-esteem.

IN CONCLUSION:

How are we to identify with the events of 09/11/01?

We can only use the word judgment if is defined as choice. In the western mindset the word judgment unfortunately conjures up thoughts of a no-faced Judge, sitting high on his bench, constantly bringing down his gavel loudly on the bench. If this is how we perceive judgment then we are not free of legalism. The great Judge our God has lovingly lowered His gavel forever setting us free. We are not guilty but are free and therefore simply need to do all things God's faith way. There is no working to be set free when God our judge through Jesus Christ has forever set us free.

As I have explained, all things are a result of choice. God's choices are always good. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to demonstrate His choice to love and save the world and to condemn (choose against) sin. God emphatically declared to the world through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His eternal choice or judgment. Therefore are we to look for more judgments or choices from God or do we understand that the wages of sin is death and the gift of our good God is life eternal?

This has always been the nature of our loving Heavenly Father i.e. God chose goodness and chose against sin and evil. Therefore there remains no more judgment in the heart of God. All judgment has now been given to the sons of men (John 5).

FEAR, TORMENT AND TERROR SOON TO BE DESTROYED

The manifold wisdom of God is being declared unto the principalities and powers in the heavenlies in an unprecedented way since 09/11/01. The manifold wisdom of God is the love of God. God has a way of turning “bad” situations into kingdom of God building blocks. Many of the tragic fruits of legalism and religiosity sown by the church will continue to serve as a catalyst to compel the hearts of men to turn to God. It is not calamity that is the power behind repentance to intercession, but the knowledge of the loving kindness of God. With this understanding, we can readily see why walking out our believer priesthood, depositing God's goodness into the Earth through true intercession, is essential to bringing the Lord's final harvest in the time of troubles.

The sons of Ishmael will soon begin to cry out, not to Allah but to Jehovah God and Jehovah God will hear. ISHMAEL (ish'ma-el means; "God will hear"). I believe that unprecedented revival is now stirring in the whole earth.

The Holy Spirit spoke recently that God is about to get the attention first of the church and then the world. The Spirit of God said that this will happen by an undeniable demonstration of love and goodness. Simultaneously and as a result of this demonstration of love and goodness, we will see the wrath (desire) of God in destroying all sin and evil in the earth. Wrath is simply God's desire. The wages of sin are death and the wages of righteousness is life eternal.

This true power evangelism will first open the heart of the church thereby opening the way for the world to come to the love and goodness of God. It is only the goodness of God which will bring forth repentance. This is the heart of God's judgment (choice) i.e. to demonstrate His love and goodness thereby condemning or choosing against sin.

Let this true word from the Book of the Prophet Malachi and the Book of the Prophet Habakkuk strengthen your love and resolve to bodily administer the will of God in the earth. When the body of Christ gives place only to the loving voice and will of God then fear, torment and terror will have no place in which to minister. What the world needs now is love. Perfected love is the fruit of hearing and doing the word of God as God directs. Perfect love casts out fear, torment and terror.

As God continues to call us into a place of loving discipleship (Book of Malachi) let us embrace (Book of Habakkuk) the faithful voice of God…this is the victory which overcomes the world, even our God given gift of faith.


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