|Sons to Glory book by Paul Jablonowski||
Part 3 - Being Mature Sons - Intercession
Alabama Ten Commandments Monument
On August 27, 2003, a Ten Commandments monument in the Montgomery Alabama courthouse was forcefully removed. The former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, and many other Christian supporters gathered together from all around the nation to pray and make a strong stand against this action. Alabama is my home turf, and so for over two months I made this a very serious matter of personal intercession. First, I will write a personal testimony regarding the spiritual warfare behind the removal of this Ten Commandment monument, because there is so much more going on in the Spirit behind this issue than just politics and opinions. Then I will answer some common questions regarding being put "under the law."
On July 22, 2003, over a month before Judge Roy Moore's National stand, I participated in a statewide Christian prayer gathering here in Decatur Alabama where Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce and many local equipping ministers were present to hear Judge Roy Moore speak and then pray for him.31 My region of the country has a destiny for birthing unity and standing up for civil rights. Therefore, the Spirit of God is present in a powerful way here to intercede for JUSTICE and RAIN (an outpouring of the Holy Spirit) to flow from Alabama and go to the rest of America. I believe God is indeed about to judge that which does not line up with Him and His word.
It was not a coincidence that on the very same day the Ten Commandment monument was removed that the planet Mars was at its closest approach to earth that has yet to date happened in history (this too was national news). Mars represents Michael the archangel who is the warring angel, hence WARFARE was the key message. In many ways it seems like the Church of America has positioned herself in a warfare stance against God's word.
It was also not a coincidence that the day after they removed Roy Moore's ten commandment monument (Aug 28th) began the 40 day Jewish season of Teshuvah - a time of introspection / repentance / and returning to God before the high holy days in the fall. Teshuvah means "to return" in Hebrew. These 40 days include the Hebrew month of Elul (30 days), plus the 10 "days of Awe" which starts at the Feast of Trumpets and goes through the Day of Atonement. The message is that we need to repent and "return" to God's word.
These Jewish Feast days are part of God's order for Christians to worship Him in truth. While this may sound pretty strange now, within the next few decades and centuries it will become more and more commonplace for Christians. Weekly small group meetings, larger monthly "tribal" meetings, and three yearly city wide meetings (Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles) will soon become staple celebrations in the Church in replacement of the way we currently celebrate Christmas and Easter. Chapter 2 in this book contains a chart of this type of apostolic Church order.
In Chapter 2 we saw how much of the pattern (or matrix) for church assebly is found in the Old Testament, which is the wrapper for containing the New Testament life in Christ Jesus. You MUST have the life before you use the pattern otherwise you will just have dead religious works. Nevertheless, we have neglected for far too long the correct pattern for having church out of fear of "legalism" or being "under the law."
This brings us back to part of the warfare involved in the removing of the ten commandment monument. For the most part, the Church is removing the structure on how to assemble in "Church" by relegating the Old Testament to a secondary role in relevance to Church government. The foundation of the entire Scriptures is Jesus Christ, and the Word of God is neither old nor new, it is eternal. If we remove the Old Covenant from New Covenant Church practice we will pay the price of setting ourselves against God's pattern and be at war with His word. His word is a sword of JUSTICE and it is being drawn for sure, but we want to be on the right end of that sword!
My friend Louise Switzer had some similar insights in regards to the warfare behind this issue regarding the ten commandments monument here in Alabama. Louise writes:
May the church arise and fulfill its call to disciple the nations and see the Lord glorified in His people! - "Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: This people says, "The time has not come, the time that the Lords house should be built." Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins? Now, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, "Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little, you eat but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes." Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified. You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says the Lord of hosts. "Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house." Haggai 1:2-9
Exactly two years after this Ten Commandment monument was removed, hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans as well as my home state of Alabama (August 28, 2005). When you sow to the wind, you will reap the whirlwind. It is a spiritual law that works just as sure as gravity or any other law of nature. I don't think it was a coincidence that the planet Mars made its second closest encounter with earth on the same day that hurricane Katrina was at its strongest point the day before making landfall. The only recorded closer approach of the planet Mars was at the same time this Alabama Ten Commandment monument was being removed two years earlier to the day.
Another interesting example of reaping and sowing is the parallel between this hurricane Katrina and the nation of Israel's recent "disengagement" from Gaza. The nation of Israel is the Lord's prophetic timepiece. Nations will be dealt with in judgment based on their treatment of Israel (Genesis 12:3). America sowed seeds of pressure on Israel for the "disengagement" of Israel's God given land in Gaza and Judea and we have therefore reaped our own "disengagement" with this hurricane. Israel was forced to tearfully bus 8,500 Israeli people out of their Gaza homes during the month of August 2005. One week later, Hurricane Katrina caused 850,000 Americans to be sadly bused out of their homes in the South East. On the same day over 800 people in Iran were killed in one of their religious holy days when they stampeded each other due to a suicide bomber threat. America and Islam reaping what they have sown in their treatment of Israel, and these judgments are only going to get more pronounced in the days to come. This is only because God loves mankind and desires us to repent:
As imperfect as the modern day nation of Israel may be, God has still chosen Israel for the sake of the nations to represent His Covenants that he has made with our spiritual fathers such as Abraham, Moses and David. The Ten Commandments that He gave to us through Moses is a major sign of the Covenant of Law given to Moses. When nations reject Israel, and the signs of God's Covenants such as the Ten Commandments, then we are rejecting Him and setting ourselves against Him. I can recommend to any serious student of the Word a book by Robert Somerville called "The God Contracts" which details the seven major Covenants that God has made with mankind.4
May the Lord give us His grace to see that His Law is a good thing and something that He desires both individuals and nations to obey from a free will heart:"Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it, For Your judgments are good." (Psalms 119: 33-35,39) "For we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully." (1 Timothy 1:8)
Are you putting me under the law?
Because the Lord's law has been given such a negative connotation in most Christian circles today, I would like to take some time to explain why loving the Lord's law is not a bad thing. A better translation of the word "law" or "torah" is "instruction." Once people come into God's Kingdom there must be some kind of instruction or teaching in the ways of God. God's law is instruction, and not some legalistic mumbo jumbo that people must follow. Once you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit you WANT to follow God's instruction not because you have to, but because you want to love Him who first loved you. The problem is that our generation of "church" has been so removed from her Jewish roots that when instruction is given and it sounds "Jewish" (such as celebrating the Feast days) then people reject it as legalistic. However, in reality this order will bring us into liberty when we follow it after the Spirit.
In reality every family, church group, company, organization and even nation ALREADY HAS some type of instruction that they already conform to. It may be unwritten and undefined, but a group of people cannot function together without some type of common understanding of laws and rules. Just consider any type of organized sporting activity. If there were no rules or guidelines and penalties for breaking them, then there would be no game! The question is: Are we going to organize according to God's instruction, or make up our own rules?
According to Galations 3:29: "If ye are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." True Christians are New Testament spiritual Jews. The natural Jews were given the correct order for God's kingdom, but their leadership did not have the right heart attitude, so God looked to the Gentiles (see Rom 9-11). The true Church since Jesus (spiritual Jews) have been given the right Spirit (heart attitude) but we totally lack the proper order. This is due mostly because the early Church severed herself from her Jewish roots in order to compromise with the pagan traditions and bring in more "converts."
Because I celebrate the Lord's Feast days, people have accused me of being led by rituals and wasting my time. But rituals in themselves are not bad. Rather it is when we start putting our trust in the rituals that it becomes sin. Any time we meet together on a larger scale with other believers, there will have to be some kind of structure (ritual) as to how you will share and worship. Why not follow the order for meeting that the Scriptures give? The Jews were given the divine order of worship, not Constantine and the Catholic church from which most of the modern day church derives its order of worship. We celebrate birthday's and the 4th of July and Thanksgiving, and there is nothing wrong with this. So, how much more should we celebrate and honor days that are special to God? Far from a waste of time, it is the best way to honor God with our time. One day soon, the whole earth will be celebrating these days. Why not get a head start on everyone!
When Israel became a nation in 1948 the Church had to re-think her "replacement theology" where she said the Gentile church had totally replaced the natural Jewish people as God's chosen. Paul in Romans 11:1 says that God has not cast away the Jewish people. Since 1967 when Jerusalem was captured by Israel, there have been thousands of Jewish people who have come to know Yahoshua (Jesus) as the Messiah. These Jewish believers are being led by the Holy Spirit to still keep the Feasts as part of their faith in Jesus. They have a definite contribution to make to the Bride of Christ before Jesus returns, but who is listening?
The "Jewish questions" are not going to go away, and they will be a stumbling block for many believers in our generation, just like allowing the Gentiles to come into the Church in the first century was a stumbling block for their generation. It is unfortunate that there are many people in the "Messianic Jewish" and "Hebrew Roots" movements that take these truths to extremes and put an overemphasis on the order (Feasts) instead of the content (Jesus). But it has always been a tactic of the enemy to discredit truth by pushing it to an over-emphasis. People who do not have first things first (a relationship with Jesus) will be out of balance in one form or another anyway. Following God's order is never a burden or a distraction when we do it in the Spirit, and we need to start talking about these issues because having a proper understanding of the law and the Feast days are a big part of God restoring ORDER to His body. I certainly don't claim to have the total revelation on this issue. It is going to take a company of revelation from the Lord to bring further light on this subject.
Ephesians 2:14-16 says that Jesus broke down the wall of division between Jew and Gentile and that we are now ONE NEW MAN reconciled to God through the cross. So, Jesus is not coming back for a Jewish bride and a Gentile bride. He is coming back for ONE Bride. Therefore, we can't just say, "well, let the Jews do their feasts, and I'll do whatever I want." There is a biblical order that these "appointed times" bring to our worship and we must find the proper balance.