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DEAR THRESHOLD WATCHMEN,
What a year it has been. When Jon was told from the Lord at the beginning of the year to shelter in place, who could have known what all this was going to mean! When Jon asked me to pray about this, I was given a confirming scripture from the book of Isaiah chapter 26 to enter our chambers and shut the door behind us while the coming judgement passes by. The tagline for the passage in my Bible is “Take Refuge from the Coming Judgment.”
Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past.
For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain (Isaiah 26:20-21 NKJV).
The Sword is the Key
So far we’ve largely focused on the experience within our chambers. But today I want to concentrate on why we were told to enter our chambers in the first place. The Lord spoke to me recently in the middle of the night this phrase: “The sword is the key….” I believe that this phrase has many applications in this hour but one of the greatest for me is that the sword of the Lord—in other words, the Word of God—is going to be the primary way that the Lord unlocks revelation to answer many of our deepest questions.
And in this scenario of sheltering in place, when I asked the Lord why we are being sent to our room, He showed me the answer was clearly given in the verse that follows. We are going into hiding so the Lord can come out of his place. And when He does He will be doing three things specifically.
First, punishing the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.
Second, the earth itself is going to disclose her blood.
Third, the earth will refuse to no longer cover her slain.
Sobering, right? We are in a season of an uncovering of the slain. In other words, unjust bloodshed. Ponder this for a moment. The midnight hour is upon us and the cries of the intercessors have been filling the bowls for justice. The bowls of heaven are being poured out in a culminating Midnight Cry!
Not only have we been crying, but the blood itself has been crying and the earth has been crying. Remember all creation is groaning. Louder now than ever before! All creation is working with us in this season of culmination. That in and of itself strikes Holy fear in me! And to that end we are seeing pockets of our country having greater difficulties than other places. There is great disparity between certain cities and states and we must begin to ask the question “why.”
Critical thinking in this hour is key. I ask the Lord a lot of questions. Not because I doubt him; actually it is quite the opposite. My faith asks questions. Yours should too!
Mass Exodus at Hand—From “Sanctuary Cities”
The other prophetic word that I am hearing whispered in my spirit is “Mass Exodus.” I am going to attempt to show how those two things correlate in this posting. There is the obvious answer that we have been talking about for more than a year. We are in the midst of Exodus and the extended Passover season. That is what the effect is on the body of Christ.
But I also believe there is a greater application even to those who do not know the Lord. There is going to be a Mass Exodus of those who have lived in certain cities and even certain states and they are going to wake up and realize that the consequences of living where they live have been greater than they are willing to pay. They are going to begin to leave these places en masse. The very agendas that the governments above them have pushed on the people are going to be the cause of the Exodus!
Talk about a great turnaround… In the beauty of God, He uses the same plan the enemy uses to capture people to eventually free them. For many, the same road that they have travelled on many times will lead out of the city this time. Their sanctuary cities will no longer prove to be a sanctuary but quite the opposite. From the beginning I have found the use of this terminology interesting because how many of us know that the term “sanctuary city” is a perverted version of a biblical concept called “cities of refuge.” This concept is described in detail in Dueteronomy 19. The tagline from my Bible is called “Three Cities of Refuge.”
When the Lord your God has cut off the nations whose land the Lord your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, you shall separate three cities for yourself in the midst of your land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess. You shall prepare roads for yourself, and divide into three parts the territory of your land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, that any manslayer may flee there.
And this is the case of the manslayer who flees there, that he may live: Whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally, not having hated him in time past—as when a man goes to the woods with his neighbor to cut timber, and his hand swings a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he shall flee to one of these cities and live; lest the avenger of blood, while his anger is hot, pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and kill him, though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated the victim in time past. Therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall separate three cities for yourself.’……add three more cities for yourself besides these three, lest innocent blood be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and thus guilt of bloodshed be upon you.
But if anyone hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises against him and strikes him mortally, so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him over to the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you (Deut. 19:1-13).
Avenger of Blood
There are many interesting points in this scripture. The first is that true cities of refuge are a concept that has to due with innocent bloodshed. Their God-given purpose according to the Bible is to be a refuge for one who unintentionally kills, and has been turned over to the “avenger of blood”. The “ avenger of the blood…” what exactly is that? Even the name sounds like a horror movie. I can assure you that I have heard very few sermons about this topic in my life. But I have studied this topic in depth because it has to do with the bloodguilt on our land. Here is what a ible dictionary has to say:
Avenger of blood (Heb. goel, from verb gaal, “to be near of kin,” “to redeem”), the nearest relative of a murdered person. It was his right and duty to slay the murderer (2 Samuel 14:7, 2 Samuel 14:11) if he found him outside of a city of refuge. In order that this law might be guarded against abuse, Moses appointed six cities of refuge (Exodus 21:13 ; Numbers 35:13 ; Deuteronomy 19:1; Deuteronomy 19:9). These were in different parts of the country, and every facility was afforded the manslayer that he might flee to the city that lay nearest him for safety. Into the city of refuge the avenger durst not follow him. This arrangement applied only to cases where the death was not premeditated. The case had to be investigated by the authorities of the city, and the willful murderer was on no account to be spared. He was regarded as an impure and polluted person, and was delivered up to the goel (Deuteronomy 19:11-13 ). If the offense was merely manslaughter, then the fugitive must remain within the city till the death of the high priest (Numbers 35:25).
Escaping the Bloody Cities
Returning to our original text in Deuteronomy 19 the guilt of bloodshed is still upon you unless it has been redeemed by the nearest kin. The law of retribution is still in full effect. As a matter of fact verse 21 of this exact same chapter is the famous eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth scripture:
Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Many seem to believe that since we are living in New Testament times that eye for an eye is no longer valid. Nothing is further from the truth. The law of retribution and the need for blood to be redeemed is still in full effect. The beauty of being on this side of the cross is that Jesus takes the law’s full consequences as we appropriate it by his blood. We get to live in him as our continuous refuge or under the shelter of his wings by his actions and our appropriation of his actions in our lives. Psalm 91:2.
But it brings up the question in my mind what about those who don’t have the covering of the Lord Jesus Christ in their lives. What about those who “intentionally” slay the innocent? The bible addresses this quite clearly it actually calls them bloody cities. There are 6 of them in the Bible but I want to focus on one specifically. The cities name is Ninevah. This is a story we have heard about in our sermons and Sunday schools because of Jonah and the whale. The city is named Ninevah, as referenced in Nahum.
The Woe of Nineveh—Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. Its victim never departs. The noise of a whip and the noise of rattling wheels, af galloping horses, of clattering chariots!
Horsemen charge with bright sword and glittering spear. There is a multitude of slain, a great number of bodies, countless corpses—they stumble over the corpses—
Because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations through her harlotries, and families through her sorceries.
“Behold, I am against you,” says the Lord of hosts; I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.
I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile,[e] and make you a spectacle.
It shall come to pass that all who look upon you will flee from you, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste! Who will bemoan her?’ Where shall I seek comforters for you?” (Nahum 3:1-7 NKJV).
The last part of the scripture is amazing. It shall come to pass that all who look upon you will flee from you… where shall I seek comforters for you? There is going to be an awakening of many that have realized that the very states and governments that they have chosen to live in. and underneath of, will literally be life and death decisions. The stakes are very high in this season, much more than many have realized. The Lord has been showing me that multitudes are in the valley of decision in this moment. Even to the place of where they will reside in the future.
Between Mercy and Comfort
I have found it very interesting that we are currently as a nation placed between two rescue boats on our shores. One is named Mercy and resides off the west coast. The other is harbored in NYC and is named Comfort.
Every time I hear of the ship off of the New York harbor I think of the scripture about “comforting of those who mourn.” The Lord has been using these two ships to talk about the nation in the balance between mercy and comfort. Mercy triumphs over judgment but must be embraced and applied, including turning from unjust ways where needed. Our prayer is that many see this.