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The promises of the New Covenant are set forth in many ways. To Abraham the promise was to be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:3). To Moses the promise was interpreted to mean that Yahweh, the God of Israel, would be their God and that they would be His people (Deuteronomy 29:12, 13). To Jeremiah the promise was that all would know Him (Jeremiah 31:34).
All of these different statements should be blended together to understand the full meaning of the New Covenant. To be a blessing to all nations means to turn them all from their iniquities (Acts 3:25, 26), but one is not fully “turned” without coming to know the God of the New Covenant. Neither can one fully have Yahweh as one’s God without knowing who He is.
So the Scriptures most often set forth the promise of God in terms of knowing Him. For this reason, when Jeremiah spoke of the New Covenant, he was told that its fulfillment meant that no one would have to say “Know the Lord, for they will all know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them” (Jeremiah 31:34).
To know God begins with an introduction, of course, but no one really knows another until they have plumbed the depths of the other’s personality, nature, and character. Often we think we know someone, only to discover that they surprise us (for better or for worse!). Each surprise shows that we did not really know that person fully.
It is the same with God. We do not yet really know Him apart from His word (1 Samuel 3:7). So when God promises that the Egyptians will “know the Lord” (Isaiah 19:21), we know that the New Covenant promise applies to the Egyptians. This promise is an extension of Exodus 14:18, where God promised that the Egyptians would know the Lord even while God was hardening the heart of Pharaoh and bringing judgment upon Egypt.
It also applies to the dispersed House of Israel (Hosea 2:20). God gave them the same promise in the context of divine judgment upon them (Ezekiel 11:10, 11, 12). All of God’s judgments are designed in the end to bring about the New Covenant promise that all will know the Lord. His judgments are not the end of the story but the means to the end. So even as God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to cause the Egyptians to “know the Lord,” so also did He do so to Israel and Judah, when He blinded the eyes of their prophets (Ezekiel 13:9).
God has strange ways of teaching them His character and nature. His judgments disrupt their view of Him and show them an unexpected side of His personality. That is a painful revelation, but it is necessary to light a fire under them so that they no longer remain in their state of ignorance.
We are all in need of an occasional shaking, because we tend to settle down into a mistaken belief that we already know Him—or at least well enough to get through life. I have been shaken more times than I can remember. Forty years ago I thought I knew pretty much all of the major doctrines that I needed to know, but then He shook me with something new that I did not know. So I studied that new thing and once again thought I knew all that was important until He shook me again… and again… and again. I finally gave up on complacency as a way of life.
The Coming Revival
Each genuine Holy Spirit revival in past history has implanted within the church a particular revelation/word from God in order to cause the church to grow in understanding. During the Middle Ages (in particular), revelation had largely been replaced by settled creeds from earlier Church Councils. Men only needed to submit to the doctrines that the “experts” proclaimed to be true, and the average person was threatened if they voiced a contrary revelation.
The Protestant Reformation shook the church, first with the revelation of justification by faith alone (Luther), then by the revelation of sanctification (Wesley), then healing (Finney), then the missionary movement (C. T. Studd and many others), then Pentecost and the gifts of the Spirit (Parham and many others), then the revelation of Tabernacles and the Restoration of All Things (George Hawtin in the Latter Rain Movement).
In each case, their revelation was accepted by some and rejected by the majority in their time. In each case the revelation was a piece of the whole truth. God’s plan of knowing the Lord was incremental over many centuries. In seeing the broad pattern of incremental truth, the question then arises: What truth will God implant in the church in the final outpouring of the Spirit? What is yet lacking that will drive this final revival? What type of manna will carry the church for a thousand years?
I believe that one of the main missing ingredients is the revelation of the law, which will reverse the church’s aversion to the law. They must see the law as an expression of God’s character and nature (pictured as “fire”). They must see the fire as His glory and passion, rather than as His wrath. They must see the fire as a purifier, rather than as an agent of eternal punishment. Only then will they be drawn into the fire instead of running from it in fear, as in the days of Moses.
Even so, the revelation of the law is only part of this. We cannot truly understand God’s fiery nature apart from having New Covenant eyes. Men fear or hate the law because they see it with Old Covenant eyes. The Old Covenant is based on fear; the New Covenant is based on love. Both covenants use the law—one as a command, the other as a promise. The way in which we use it depends on which covenant shapes our perspective.
Overall, the revelation of the law teaches us the nature of the Lawgiver, and if we have New Covenant eyes, it reveals to us what our own nature will be when God fulfills His promise to us and to the rest of the world. The promise is that we will have no other gods before Him, we will not steal, we will not murder, we will not commit adultery, we will not bear false witness, we will not covet. When God is finished writing the law in our hearts, we will be like Him insofar as our nature is concerned. Of course, He will always retain sovereignty, but we will have authority.
So the revelation of the coming revival, I believe, will be the revelation of the law, and its purpose will be to “know the Lord.”
Others have different ideas—if they have thought of it at all. There is a growing expectation of this outpouring of the Spirit, even as the world sinks deeper into lawless rebellion, but many are just waiting for the Spirit to convert sinners or heal the sick. These things will certainly happen, but if that is all that happens, the church will again degenerate in the next generation. We need more than that. We need a long-term revelation of truth about His nature and His promise.
As long as some believe that God’s judgments are forever, they do not really know His love. As long as some believe that God would never judge sin, they do not really know His love, for God has no intention of leaving sinners in their present state of imperfection. Neither will He tolerate an immortal sinner, whether that sinner remains in heaven or “hell.” God is passionate about this, and He is willing to bring sinners into judgment in order to fulfill His promise to save all men and bring them to a knowledge of His nature.
I believe that this will be the driving force behind the coming Holy Spirit revival. If I am wrong, then let the Holy Spirit go elsewhere and drive another man’s better revelation. In the end, I will be happy either way and am willing to be among those in need of correction. But at the present time, I can only go by what God has shown me in the past forty years.
God Himself will decide what to do about which revelation and when to pour out His Spirit. Regardless of our opinions and revelations, we all must lay up our staff in the temple in heaven and await His decision. If His decision goes against our own revelation, we must all comply with His word and be willing to change our views accordingly.
About July 22, 2019
When I wrote about the birthing of the sons of God yesterday, I should have mentioned that I had not seen anything like this since 2007 at our Tabernacles conference in Hilo, Hawaii. For new readers, let me just say that a 19-year-old Hawaiian girl at the meeting went into (spiritual) labor in front of everyone on the floor of the meeting room, which surprised and shocked some of the people who were not used to such spiritual drama. The biblical prophets often shocked the people of their day as well with some of their drama.
That experience in Hilo was a prophecy that Elijah/Elisha was about to be brought to birth. That birthing prophesied the launch of the Elisha ministry on April 12, 2009. New readers may want to go back and read the past weblogs telling about those incidents.
This week we are seeing a new level of revelation that is similar. It is nearly 12 years from that original birthing in 2007, and 10 years from the actual launch of the Elisha ministry.
I received many responses to yesterday’s weblog in regard to the revelation of 7/22. Here is one:
Yesterday I was watching Evan Almighty with my younger kids. It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie. I took note of the day of the flood in the movie, September 22, among other things. It dawned on me that it was 7-22 and that July is like September. There are a few years coming up where feast days overlap September 22 but I’m thinking more in terms of Tabernacles and Pi. Who knows?
While watching the movie I was drawn to the animals and how they were watching the building of the ark. They seemed expectant and were eager to load once the ark was completed. Anyway, I was reminded of this when I read your blog today. Something in my spirit was checked.
This movie came out on June 22, 2007. I remember waiting a month or so before taking my family to see it. Who knows, maybe it was around July 22. Anyway, I remember walking out of the theater back then and asking Father if He had anything to do with this film. I distinctly remember turning around and seeing the most brilliant double rainbow arching over the theater.
He was referencing the old revelation from 1980 that “July is like September.” That parallel means we ought to watch September 22. (September means “seventh month,” because it used to be the seventh month on the old Roman calendar.) If the movie, Evan Almighty, is part of the revelation, perhaps we could see a political event in Washington occur on September 22 that may disrupt the corruption in “the swamp.”
I read with interest the experience [Sharon] had about a spiritual birthing. I have never heard of anyone else having that sort of experience, so I have not talked about mine much to anyone.
Years ago in Chicago at a conference where an evangelist was from North Carolina, I had the same thing happen to me. He called me out of a large crowd and said the Lord wanted to minister to me specifically. He spoke a few prophetic words about the healing and told me “the latter glory of my house will be greater than the former”.
I woke up on the floor in a process of birthing something. Laughing, crying. Pushing. I was so blasted that people who touched me after they finally got me (long time later) and into a chair fell down on the floor. I was out of it for months after that.
Since that night, and it’s been years no one can explain why I was travailing in birth. I’m just glad to know I’m not crazy and someone else had something similar.
Yes, I have encountered a few over the years who have had birthing experiences. No doubt each was intended to birth some particular event or revelation, just as every woman gives birth to a different baby in the natural. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is pandemonium. I think Paul said something like that.
Vanita wrote again, which I read this morning….
Stephen, I hardly know where to begin! This morning I cracked an egg and there was another double. Then the second one once again. I started for my iPad camera and was stopped to not do so. Always I scramble the eggs for Bob. This time one was to be kept intact and eaten as a double even to the yolks still intact. I did so. When the coffee was half drunk I was stopped and felt instructed to add the morning orange juice to the coffee and drink the two as one. What all came into view was that the Lord was trying to show me that as He has said “eat my flesh and drink my blood” that He wants us to receive and fully embrace the double portion He is to give and to bear the “ new fruit” He will give. I saw it! The egg is the double portion and the coffee bean is as the seed and the orange juice as the fruit (to be now in double portion) that He is ready to bring forth from us.
I saw this as being really specifically for you and from you it would flow to others and, of course, beyond the Muslims, which is already happening. I think this is the close of the double egg saga! I felt this note was specifically for you.
What Vanita did not know (until I told her) was that yesterday we had an unexpected session wherein we received the revelation of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. I actually read aloud that passage from John 6:35-58, and we discussed it at length. So thanks again for the confirmation.
I don’t have any particular revelation of timing, but it seems to me that the outpouring of the Spirit has to be getting close. Regardless of the timing, it is clear that God is telling us to prepare our hearts and to fasten your seat belts for take-off. The better we know Him, the less surprised and shocked we will be.