(Part One- "Scattered Gems")
A few weeks ago God laid it heavy upon my heart to begin to study the fourth chapter of Lamentations. Upon doing so, I was reminded that in the book of Ecclesiastes 1:9 Solomon states, “The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun. The book of Lamentations was written based on the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple. Because of their disobedience to God, He removed His hand of protection from His people whom He loved so much. Since we know that God is always faithful, it doesn’t take long to see that man has always ended up being unfaithful. It is very burdensome to look back upon the history of the Bible and attempt to understand why God even bothered giving us more and more opportunities. But in the end He always has a remnant set aside and today I would like to talk about the prophetic forthcoming of seeing this chapter once again unveil itself in our time based upon the actions of the current predominance of Christianity. Because of the in depth study that I have done on this current topic I am going to post this in three sections to complete the study without posting an extremely long blog.
In Lamentations Chapter 4 verse one begins to speak of the sacred gems being scattered which is in reference to the men of God scattered abroad instead of coming together in unity in the ways in which Christ pleaded for us to do. (Ephesians 4:13 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”) I wonder how many roads are truly necessary for us to lead souls to the foot of the cross? Can you imagine being a mouse in a maze trying to find its piece of cheese? The mouse is confronted with twelve different paths all that end up at the same door but it can’t get through any of the twelve endings to that door because there is a ramp that it can’t climb? What the mouse doesn’t realize is that if he just goes around the outside of the maze around all the squabble and confusion he would realize all he has to do is walk under the ramp and the cheese is right there. You see the Body of Christ is the same way. There is only one way to Heaven and if we just point those souls to walk under the covenant of the Blood of Christ they will be able to pass through that door when the time comes to receive their reward. Many souls would have the comfort and desire to come to the Lord if His Body wasn’t separated by so much squabble and confusion within it’s own path.
As we see in verse two those who were once recognized as sons of Zion have lost their authority and their reputations have been lost. It talks about how once worth their weight in gold, they have become as pots of clay. Woodrow Oliver pointed out that, “Clay without moisture becomes hard and brittle, and like a clay pot that has been marred, all of man’s concepts and traditions must be broken, discarded and reformed.” (Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not my word like as a fire? Saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
Verse three speaks on how even Jackals are aware enough to know that it is important to nurse their young. However, as the body of Christ begins to lose focus on the purpose of our walk we are leaving new Christians to fend for them selves and seek out truth because so little of it is being taught in the churches. God states that His people have become heartless, which means they have their own desires to gain stature and position. And just as Ostriches in a desert they hold their heads high in pride, yet they don’t realize they are in a desolate dry place. If you look in the book of Job 39 vs.13-18 the Bible describes Ostriches as being joyfully proud of it’s small wings, nonchalant about the safety of its nest, treating offspring harshly and lacking in wisdom. Yet their speed is phenomenal. In other descriptions they are known as bad parents and known to eat just about anything especially when opportunity presents itself when they are in captivity.
Just as the ostriches are known as bad parents, the church and those who walk in Christ are leaving God’s children starving. As verse 4 states “The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, [and] no man breaketh [it] unto them.” Many who would like to have a relationship with the Lord are unable to grow and/or mature after they have accepted Christ because what they are being fed is not enriching their sprit. Why is it that people are ignoring the silent cries that are echoing through our land? There are people hurting, lost without purpose in life. Without the hope of a Savoir, or what awaits them on the other side of this life. Yet, no one gives them the manna in which they need to feed their souls. There is a lack of truth being taught today in the church and it’s time that those who have been called according to the purpose of the faith of the cross turn it up a notch.
In verse five we see that those who were once exalted and in high places where delicacies were eaten are now destitute and in the streets. Those who were nurtured in purple now lie in ash heaps. What became clear to me in this verse is that those who were exalted, was in reference to those who have today been lifted up in wealth and prosperity by the prostitution of the Gospel. Where when God brings judgment upon their misuse of His truth they will be empty (dead in spirit) in the streets. As we know through Biblical references those who wear purple are considered High Priests, it was the same color of the robe that was placed on Jesus as a mockery before He was taken up to be crucified (John 19:5). Also whenever men of God in the Bible were pointed out and acknowledged that they had done something against God they would tear their clothes and cover their head in ashes (EX: Daniel 9:3).
We go into verse six talking about the punishment of Gods people is going to be greater than that of the destruction of Sodom. Now, since I mentioned earlier how this book originated, it is important to recognize that God refers to the punishment of His people. This also lines up with the prophetic announcement in I Peter 4:17 “For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Therefore God’s judgment is beginning in the House where His name is spoken. So those in authority positions in Churches need to humble them selves before the throne of Grace; seek His face and pray in a broken and contrite spirit so that they don’t become one of the one’s covering their head in ashes. We don’t have to look far to recognize and see the things that God is bringing to light in the Body. He is coming back after a Bride without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:27) and in order for that to happen He is preparing and sorting out His remnant that will be upon the rock when He returns. His Word says that He will expose your hidden sin and that whatever you do in darkness shall be revealed in the light (Luke 12:3).
At what point do we feel we can block sin from God? At what point does a Pastor see that he is prostituting the Gospel of Christ? When He says that what He gives unto us He gives unto us freely (Romans 8:32). Not only does He give it to us freely, but He instructs us to do the same unto others in Matthew 10:8 the Word says, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” What Pastor feels he has the right to charge for God’s Word? God is not about making a profit in the House of God. Need one be reminded of Jesus’ reaction when He walked in and saw the moneychangers in the House of God? They were selling blemished animals, but that was not the point (Matthew 21:12). Micah 3:10-11 says, “They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, [Is] not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.” I find it quite disturbing today that we see the same thing happening. I do believe that we should support ministries faithfully and with great discernment. But when I see a Pastor want you to pay him 60-150 dollars to hear the “Amazing Word” God has delivered to Him to share with you on his/her latest 6 CD collection set something in my spirit begins to do flip flops. At the most it costs them 20 to produce that collection. There is no need to charge that much money for what God tells us to offer freely.
(Part Two-Can these bones live?)
When Peter and John passed by the man at the temple gate of beautiful he was begging for alms (Acts 3). When they stopped the man expected to receive some money from them but Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
I am not saying that God does not want His people to be blessed, but have you ever wondered and thought about how some of the poorest nations and poorest people, seem to be the ones that love God the most? It’s not because they feel they should be broke, it’s because no matter what their circumstances are, it’s the peace and the hope in which God has placed in their heart that makes them rich. (II Corinthians 6:10 “As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.”) Many feel that because they go to church on Sunday and tithe and thank God for their provision that they are walking in obedience to what the will of God is in their life. However many people who walk in life in this stature do not have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore the scripture states in Revelations 3:17, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” When the church of Laodicea was confronted which was the last of the churches to be addressed they were living it up in the House of God. They had filled God’s House with goods and they were rich in earthly things, but God spoke and said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” I feel God is trying to warn the last of the churches before His glorious return. The Bride must be prepared before the Son of God can return and the only way that is going to happen is if God presses her dress for the divine appointment.
Revelation 22:17 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
You see God does not want to punish His people. He has never wanted to punish us. He desires for us all to walk in the light of His love when we choose to make Him our Lord and Savoir (I Timothy 1:15). But if one loses focus off the cross and gets caught up in the things of the world and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life then they have granted Satan access as Lord of their life (I John 2:16). If that happens God will send judgment upon those who use His name to glorify his/herself or to boast of spiritual things or talents. Psalm 49:6-8 says, “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None [of them] can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: For the redemption of their soul [is] precious, and it ceaseth for ever:”
In verse seven we see a description of God’s people before they turned from the truth of His way. It describes the Men of God as being purer than water and abounding in good things. Those they were teaching as well as each teacher having a countenance being that of wisdom, as rubies are referred to as wisdom. In God’s eyes they were like that of a precious stone. But verse eight talks about how they have become blacker than soot. Their sins have left them covered in ashes as they turn sorrowful in grief for how they lost focus and misused the Gospel. Their skin shriveled on bones, as dry as a stick.
When Ezekiel prophesied to the land of dry bones He spoke life to them to arise. The Lord in chapter thirty-seven approached Ezekiel and asked him if the bones could live (vs.3). God has the authority to speak life into whatever circumstance or situation He desires. However, He specifically asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Then Ezekiel responded, “Lord, only you know.” Then God spoke to him and told him to Prophesy to the bones and say to them, “Dry bones hear the Word of the Lord (Ezekiel 37 vs.5-6)! God is calling those who are able to boldly speak to those who are in authority positions within the “Christian Body”. It is time we speak the Word of God into this situation before it’s too late. (Ephesians 6:19-20) “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
In the next verse we see how it correlates with Pastors and Preachers (High Priests) that are no longer recognized in the streets because they are not portraying the true message of Christ. Therefore, their flesh (pride of life and lust of eyes) has shriveled up on their bones (foundation) of the (body) and has become spiritually dry. God is looking for true prophets who will stand up to this land of dry bones and speak life to them. You know Jesus is referred to as the way the truth and the life (John 14:6). It is time that we begin to teach Jesus and repentance again and let others know that it’s not about monetary gain, it’s about dying to ourselves and sacrificing our lives into the divine will and nature of God. Billy Graham states in his book (Approaching Hoofbeats),
“ The Christian faith brings it’s own blood, sweat, and tears to those who would follow Jesus Christ. Christ calls us to discipleship. When we come to Him, He takes away one set of burdens, sin, guilt, separation from God and hopelessness. But He also calls upon us to take His yoke upon us and to learn from Him (Matthew 11:29). It is not a yoke that is too heavy for us to bear, for Christ bears it with us: “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Nevertheless, Christ calls us to follow Him, regardless of the cost, and He has never promised that our path will always be smooth. There is no life that is without its own set of burdens. I have chosen Christ not because He takes away my pain but because He gives me strength to cope with that pain and in the long run realize victory over it. When we oversell the material and spiritual benefits of the Christian faith, we ally ourselves with the deceiver.”
In the next verse (9) the punishment that God has rendered suggests that those who are now being judged would have been better off to die a violent death by way of the sword, then to die of famine. God uses His creation to destroy His people, because it says that they wasted away for lack of food from the field. Jeremiah 34:17 “Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.” It is mentioned that many times dying by the sword was a very violent death, yet they would die swiftly. However, famine is death by means of starvation. Though this could go two ways, I must throw it out there that I personally feel it is a spiritual metaphor by means of death by the Word and/or death by lack of the Word. If you read in Ezekiel 7:15 it says, “The sword [is] without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that [is] in the field shall die with the sword; and he that [is] in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.” I believe there are many people who profess Christ but don’t know Him. I believe there are many workers in the field who feel they can gain their salvation by works. I believe that there are many Pastors and Evangelist who are working the field but they don’t know the farm owner in other words. So when it says that, “he that is in the field shall die with the sword.” I believe that is in reference to spiritual death. Because though they may know and study the Word, they do not know the one who became the Word. The one who brought forth Salvation through the cross, where by repentance we can begin to build an intimate relationship with Him as Lord and Savoir.
Then it mentions those who are in the city shall die of famine which I feel are those who are starving for the Word. I feel many people are seeking the truth and many teachers are not supplying them with what they are hungering for. I fear for those God has called to share the truth who are not sharing the truth, yet they are charging for a word God has given them freely to share. The Bible states in Acts 20:28-30, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” It is important as children of God to test the spirits whether they are from God or not. Many men are rising up in the Church sharing half truths and watered down Word and leading thousands of people down a path of half sold out faith seeking blessings but not the one who blesses. Seeking monetary earthly gain and wisdom, but not spiritual gain and divine wisdom. When we see such things coming to pass in the church of the Living God today it is imperative that we call people to repentance. Ezekiel 3:17-19 says, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” This scripture fascinates me because if you read on further a call to action is administered for your own soul. It mentions that if God burdens your heart with a spiritual matter concerning brethren and you do not heed God’s call to speak the oracles of God to those individuals, He will place a stumbling block in front of you and you yourself will die because of your disobedience. You will also carry the blood of those who died in their ignorance on your hands. However, if you speak the truth from the guidance of the Spirit of God and they ignore His call to turn from their sin, you have saved your soul, though they choose to ignore His reproach are a rebellious house and they shall die in their sin.
(Part Three- A call to repentance)
Throughout the history of the Bible when God wanted His people to repent He would send someone to warn them. There were a few times where man would heed the warning of the prophet and fall on their face before the throne of grace and true repentance from their heart would fall upon the altar of forgiveness. Therefore returning as a people under the protection of the Most High. For example when God called Jonah to go into Nineveh he didn’t want to go into that land because of the wickedness and sin. However, when God wants you to do something, you will not be able to escape His calling in peace. So, Jonah went kicking and screaming the whole time. When he delivered the word God placed in his spirit to the King of Nineveh in chapter 3, the King heeded to what the man of God brought unto his ears and removed his robe and sat in sackcloth and ashes and cried out to the Lord. He also ordered the whole land to repent and cry out to God. Jonah chapter 3 vs. 10 says, “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.” Acts 17:30-31 says, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
If we look at Lamentations 4:10 it talks about how compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when “my people” were destroyed. There are many women who are holding their unborn children up passing them through the fire of Molech. Jeremiah 32:35 says, “And they built the high places of Baal, which [are] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through [the fire] unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” Our nation as a whole needs to repent for allowing abortion to steal so many of the lives that Christ ordained to be born for the purposes that He had for them. Specifically the Body of Christ needs to repent because if we were reaching out to a lost and hurting world as we are called to do, many children could have been born of God out of a hand of salvation reaching out to a distraught woman. I pray that as a believer each night we would take out our Bibles and read aloud Daniel chapter 9 in a prayer unto the Lord.
We are being called to be a missionary on our own street, in our own neighborhood, at the local grocery store. What is stopping us from sharing the Gospel with our neighbors? Many Christians seem to think going to church and reading the Bible and saying a little prayer every once in awhile is what Christians are supposed to do. That is why we need to repent, because that is not what Christian’s are supposed to do. That is what Religious people do. Christ spent most of His time in the streets with the unsaved, performing miracles so that the unbelievers might be transformed in the faith. When He did go to the synagogues He went many times only to correct them in their way of thinking. Wow, wouldn’t it be nice if He would just come back for a week and spend some time in the synagogues today? I thank God for men who do not back down from preaching the true Word of God unto the Body of Christ. They are few and far between and I pray God’s head of protection over their ministries and wisdom in continued humbleness of spirit and truth.
Lamentations 4:11-13 speaks of how God will pour out His judgment upon the separate foundations that are calling themselves the “Body of Christ”. It says that the rulers of the earth did not believe in the truth and power of the Gospel so they felt they were untouchable to the enemy. I wonder at times why the United States feels they are untouchable, when the only reason we have been protected this long and blessed economically is because of the Gospel of Christ being spoken in our Nation, who once was regarded as being “United Under God”. Unfortunately the rulers of our nation now which includes the Media have spit upon the Word of God and therefore the more we allow abominations of His Word to become engrafted into our laws the faster He will begin to unleash His judgment.
However, since judgment begins in His house, verse 13 begins to speak of the sins of the church leaders and the lies taught by her (The Church). This instigated by prophets and the misguided direction given by the Pastors of the churches wherein the blood of the righteous is shed within the walls of His church. Through the false teachings and doctrines of man, by emotional preaching, through demonstration of cartwheels, laps around the building and swinging towels. Rather than by demonstration of the sound doctrine and teaching through the guidance of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in I Corinthians 2:4. God doesn’t want our emotions to be stirred up, He wants our spirit to be stirred up and the only way that will happen is by receiving messages taught out of the infallible Word of God revealing unto us the hidden mysteries of the Gospel. I Corinthians 4:1 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.”
There are well-known men and women teaching the Word of God but not walking in integrity and in the spirit of truth. God is getting ready to sift out of the body, lest they repent from their sin and acknowledge the true teaching of Christ both in walk and in talk. When He brings to light hidden iniquity they will be “groping in the streets” so covered in the blood of the “saints” because of their lack of teaching that no one will want anything to do with them. (Again referencing Ezekiel 3:17-19) In Proverbs chapter 6 there are six things that are mentioned that God cannot stand and He considers an abomination unto Him. Three of these things are a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. There are many boastful “men of God today that teach half truths and lies about the Christian faith who are shedding the blood of the saints by misguiding them by teaching a man-ordained Gospel teaching a monetary faith based salvation. Proverbs 17:23 “A wicked [man] taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.” I Timothy 6:5-6 “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
If these people do not repent unto God He will pour out His judgment upon them and those who have yet to be exposed will be with the others who have already been judged. They will be mocked and insulted in the streets because of the shame they have brought upon the righteousness of Christ. When their sin is revealed the people who make up the body of Christ will be insulted by them and no longer claim the association. Though they have the opportunity to repent, many times it will consist of a long, lonely road. Because when God sends a Word of warning and His people ignore it, they turn their back on Him. We must pray for and embrace those who have exposed because there is still hope for their repentance and eternal hope of glory.
The Lord Himself will sift through the wheat and the chaff and towards the end there will be a great falling away of the faith (II Thessalonians 2:5). False teachers (II Peter 2:1) and prophets or “profits” who have sold their salvation as merchants (Revelation 18:23) and taken it upon themselves to turn the House of God into a den of thieves (Matthew 21:13). Filling their pockets with the money they have exchanged the truth of the Gospel for. The priests will no longer be honored because as I mentioned earlier they have taught a monetary salvation as though our spiritual blessings and growth are based only on financial sowing and reaping.
God does desire His people to be blessed so please don’t misinterpret what I am sharing. However, the blessings of God come in numerous ways when we are faithful to tithe to our Home church and give offering where we feel led to do so to further the Gospel. A family member could be healed of cancer. A job offer could come through. If you are single He could bless you with a potential companion. If you are a parent, your kids could be delivered from bondage. There are so many other ways God pours out His blessings upon His children. Yet, very well known “men of God” are focusing on money. Therefore if these men do not turn their focus back to the cross, God will remove His protective covering over their ministry and they will fall. (Proverbs 16:8 “Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”)
(Lam 4:17-19) People today are looking for a purpose something more meaningful that what they know. A life with a reason, yet their eyes are beginning to tire because they are looking toward those that have been exalted and they have no idea what salvation and a life with Christ is truly about. We are being taunted in our streets by demonic influences, strongholds and by principalities of darkness because the true church has not taken authority over the powers of darkness. How do we as the Body of Christ expect to take deliverance and salvation into the World when deliverance and salvation are rarely found within the church? (I Peter 4:18 “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”)
Rather, the church has become infested with the sin of pride, divorce, worship of idols, and false teachings of man’s doctrine scattered about at the head of every street. Divided and separated and torn. A house divided cannot stand (Matthew 12:25). It has become a somber day when the principalities and the powers of darkness are more in unity then the Bride of Christ. Just as Lam: 4:20 says, “The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.”
This is my cry out to others who through the spirit of the living God are carrying a burden for souls and for true deliverance in our nation and within the body of Christ. For the church to get focused on the true meaning of salvation and call to service. This is my release of the Word God has placed within my spirit so that I have released it in obedience and the blood of others will not be required at my hand.
II Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
My name is Tina Leonard. I have been writing my entire life, but it wasn't until I accepted Christ in 1998 that I began to write for the edification of the body and to bring the rightful Glory to His Kingdom. Feel free to visit my website at www.myspace.com/christisking2.
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