In my last message, I shared how the Lord used the breaking of my ankle as a prophetic parable. Having been told it would take 6 weeks or 42 days to heal, the Holy Spirit said He was going to begin teaching me what the 42 months or 3&1/2 years ahead were going to be like. During this 42 day teaching period, He also began to impart a message to me through my husband.
On Friday 10th July, he had a stroke which paralyzed his left side temporarily. Much intercession was offered up for him and, thankfully, by the afternoon of the next day, all effects of the stroke had gone and he was discharged from hospital. In the historical Biblical calendar, 10th July/18th Tammuz was the day Moses destroyed the Golden Calf, and re-ascended Mount Sinai to plead God’s forgiveness for His wayward people. This day marked the beginning of a period of intercession for mercy by the bondslave leader, but also a separation unto God of those who stood completely with God and His standards for holiness.
Exo 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Whoever is on the Lord’s side, let him come to me. And all the Levites [the priestly tribe] gathered together to him. Exo 32:27 And he said to them, Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Every man put his sword on his side and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. Exo 32:28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about 3000 men. Exo 32:29 And Moses said [to the Levites, By your obedience to God’s command] you have consecrated yourselves today [as priests] to the Lord, each man [at the cost of being] against his own son and his own brother, that the Lord may restore and bestow His blessing upon you this day.
Levi means ‘joined’, from a root meaning ‘to cleave or abide with’. The Levites were intended to be joined to the Lord, holy unto Him. They represent the holy bondslave Bridal Company of the Lord. The day of the destruction of the golden calf was a day of separation of the holy from the profane among God’s people. It was also the day of a limited measure of judgement falling upon those who had been unfaithful to the Lord — and a severe warning to those who remained not to enter into idolatry or spiritual adultery again. Moses ascended the mountain to offer his own life in place of God’s sinful people but God was having none of it:
Exo 32:33 But the Lord said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him [not you] out of My book. Exo 32:34 But now go, lead the people to the place of which I have told you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I punish I will visit their sin upon them! Exo 32:35 And the Lord sent a plague upon the people because they made the calf which Aaron fashioned for them.
Interestingly, the word for ‘blot out’ also means ‘to stroke, rub, destroy, wipe out’. Who knew cancel culture existed back then?! But it is God who decides who is removed and who remains, not man — and it doesn’t necessarily happen straight after the sin is openly displayed. The God of Heaven warned in Exod 32:34 that there was a day of visitation coming in which his people would receive the just judgment for their sin. Malachi 3 speaks of just such a day! The people of God have been crying out for God to visit them but He warns that when He comes, it will be to deal with the sin among His people; to separate the holy from the profane!
The Spirit said to me that not only was the breach in my ankle a sign which speaks, but that this event with my husband was speaking a final warning for those who called themselves by the Name of the Lord. As I sat at home that fateful night with my husband in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, the Holy Spirit made a statement that this stroke experienced by my husband represented ‘a shot over the bows’; a term used to describe a strong warning that, if unheeded and necessary adjustments not put in place, certain disaster would follow. It originates from the naval practice of firing a cannon shot across the bows of an opponent’s ship to show them that you are prepared to do battle. The day the golden calf was destroyed and 3000 people killed for their spiritual adultery was a warning shot sounded to a people who had set themselves up in opposition to their God — and He was saying He was prepared to confront and deal with them if no change of heart was seen.
Note also that Exod 32:35 says that God sent a plague upon His people. We are used to thinking of a plague in terms of a virus or bacterial infection that sweeps through a population. However, the Hebrew word for plague, nagaph, has a much broader meaning: to push, gore, defeat, stub (the toe), inflict (a disease): – beat, dash, hurt, plague, slay, smite (down), strike. It is used both to describe God smiting Egypt with plagues and to describe God’s people being slain by their enemies in battle (Lev 26:17, 1 Sam 4:10). It is also used to describe Nabal’s stroke and subsequent death in 1 Sam 25:38. It appears again described God’s hand of judgment in 2 Sam 12:15 when David and Bathsheba’s child became very sick. So broadly speaking, nagaph is used whenever sin of some sort against God is involved and He executes a righteous judgment either upon His people or the world.
The year of 2020 has been a year of experiencing a shot over the bows for the people of God. Remember the first 3 plagues in Egypt were experienced both by the Egyptians and the Israelite slaves. Everyone struggled with blood in the water, frogs in their kneading bowls and lice in their hair. But when the 4th plague (nagaph) was announced, God decreed He was now going to make a distinction between those who served Him and those who did not.
Exo 8:22 But on that day I will sever and set apart the land of Goshen in which My people dwell, that no swarms [of gadflies] shall be there, so that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. Exo 8:23 And I will put a division and a sign of deliverance between My people and your people. By tomorrow shall this sign be in evidence.
Goshen means ‘to draw near’. It is a picture of those who dwell in the secret place, who are held close upon His chest. In the judgments or plagues which are unfolding in the earth, there comes a point where only those who know Him intimately are spared and protected (as described in Psalm 91). This first plague we have been walking through in 2020 is a shot over the bows for the people of God. Both believers and unbelievers have died. It is a final warning that the time of repentance for spiritual adultery with the world is rapidly drawing to a close. Judgment is coming to the House of God. Not in 5 years time but soon. Just as Rev 11:1,2 describes a measuring and a separating of the outer court from the rest of the temple, so too, the Body of Christ will be measured and those positioned in the outer court will be trampled for 42 months. The flesh and sins of the flesh in the Body of Christ must be dealt with. And the trampling will take various forms, be it disease, defeat before enemies or other strokes. The distinction between the true bondslaves of the Lamb, His jewels, and those who just name themselves Christians will become ever clearer.
God doesn’t want a mixed multitude representing Him. He is prepared to have smaller numbers but greater purity among His representatives. When He says, “And I will put a division and a sign of deliverance between My people and your people”, the word for ‘division’ is peduth. It also means ‘redemption’. It is only the redemption provided by the Blood of the Lamb that is accepted by God. We cannot think we will be saved by the size of our army or our large congregations or the books we have written or number of followers we claim to have on our Youtube account. The line in the sand that God draws to make a distinction between His people and those who follow the ways of the world/Egypt is the Blood of the Lamb and the redemption purchased by it. ‘Just as I am without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me….’
If the shot over the bows we have just experienced has not caused you to clean up your act and toss away the sin that so easily besets, any spiritual pride and confidence in the flesh, so that you stand justified only by the Blood of the Lamb, then you are on shaky ground. Paul determined to preach nothing else but Christ and Him crucified. He considered everything else as dung compared to the priceless privilege of knowing Jesus. Daniel was not prepared to bow down to a foreign God, even if it meant a night in the lion’s den. Shadrach, Mesach and Abednigo chose a fiery furnace over denial of the God they served. How about you? Have you asked yourself where you stand? The Word says we must examine ourselves to make sure we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:15). What will you do if you are asked to choose between the shelter of Egypt and the Blood of the Lamb. Are you prepared to suffer for the priceless privilege of Bearing His Name? Will you choose to keep your name in God’s book, no matter the cost?
My husband’s stroke came suddenly, without warning, just as the plague that has caused so world upheaval came on the scene suddenly, unexpectedly. We all had certain understandings of how the prophetic endtime prophecies would unfold, but the shot of the starter’s gun took a form which we did not expect. The year of 2020 has been a time of preparation and recalibration, of getting onto the page God is on; a year of adjusting compass needles, of sifting through disinformation and searching for truth in His Word. For those who received understanding of the times, it is easy to recognize the ‘shot over the bows’ for the Body of Christ. And sadly, some sectors of the Body have already thrown their lot in with the coming New World Order, pastors casting their sheep to the wolves because of their lack of spiritual knowledge. But now is a time for the sheep to press in to hear the voice of the Chief Shepherd as never before. And the Spirit is warning through the watchmen that night is almost here.
Dealing With the Wanderers
I heard once years ago that when a sheep continually strayed from the main herd, continually putting itself in danger, a shepherd would finally decide to break the sheep’s leg, place it on his shoulders and return to the flock. That sheep would remain there, between his shoulders, until the leg healed, fed by his hand. And once released to walk freely, it would never stray again. Sometimes, God’s strong discipline looks like this.
Psa 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now Your word do I keep [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it].
Any judgment on the House of God is carried out with redemption in mind, to turn the hearts of His people back to Himself. God strikes in order to wake His people up, to get them to realize the things they have bowed down to have no power to save them. He brings us to the valley of decision because He wants us to choose Him. The shakings and the siftings are to both purify and empower His remnant army. Nothing of self, everything of Him; devoid of the clever arguments of man and full of the Word of power. As Hosea 6:1-3 so clearly portrays, He strikes in order to have us run into His arms to experience His binding up. Let us take careful heed of the shot over the bows and make sure we are standing firmly on the Lord’s side.
Job 5:17 Happy and fortunate is the man whom God reproves; so do not despise or reject the correction of the Almighty [subjecting you to trial and suffering]. Job 5:18 For He wounds, but He binds up; He smites, but His hands heal.
Hos 6:1 COME AND let us return to the Lord, for He has torn so that He may heal us; He has stricken so that He may bind us up. Hos 6:2 After two days He will revive us (quicken us, give us life); on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him. Hos 6:3 Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us as the [heavy] rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth. Hos 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do with you? [says the Lord] O Judah, what shall I do with you? For your [wavering] love and kindness are like the night mist or like the dew that goes early away. Hos 6:5 Therefore have I hewn down and smitten them by means of the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; My judgments [pronounced upon them by you prophets] are like the light that goes forth.
Jas 4:4 You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God. Jas 4:5 Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?…. Jas 4:8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. Jas 4:9 [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].
Isa 30:15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not, Isa 30:16 And you said, No! We will speed [our own course] on horses! Therefore you will speed [in flight from your enemies]! You said, We will ride upon swift steeds [doing our own way]! Therefore will they who pursue you be swift, [so swift that] Isa 30:17 One thousand of you will flee at the threat of one of them; at the threat of five you will flee till you are left like a beacon or a flagpole on the top of a mountain, and like a signal on a hill. Isa 30:18 And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him
Isa 30:26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days [concentrated in one], in the day that the Lord binds up the hurt of His people, and heals their wound [inflicted by Him because of their sins].