September 25, 2010
I hear the Spirit saying two things:
Of the World: "It is a Financial Tower of Babel"
And to the Church: "Run to Goshen"
There has long been a message in my spirit over which the Holy Spirit has brooded and impressed within me like a vise. The more I read His Word, the deeper the furrow that is planted in my heart. This is what I hear the Lord saying: there will be a financial collapse, but there will be supernatural provision for the Church. The Holy Spirit is calling, he is warning, he is giving guidance, he is letting us know what is to come and how to prepare for it.
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. – Genesis 11:4-9.
What does the Lord mean by "a financial Tower of Babel"? If we look in Genesis, the Tower of Babel was an attempt by humanity to create security for itself by coming together in a single city, and it was an attempt to create eternal life for everyone by building a tower into Heaven. The problem was that they were building this empire of security without the need for, the reliance upon, or with humility towards God. They were 'self-made' men, proud and independent, self-willed and in rebellion against God and God's righteousness. In fact, they mimicked God in their attempts to make their own salvation through the works of their hands. When God said "Let us make mankind in our image..." as a way of conferring within the divine nature, the people in Babel said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." In contrast, God said to humanity, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." Genesis 1:28. The people did not want to expand upon the earth, but to gather together to find security in one another rather than trust God. So, to short circuit this rebellious instinct, God confused their language and scattered them over the face of the earth.
The night before the Twin Towers came down, Sept. 10, 2001, I was watching a documentary about the Towers, and they gave the address of that place: ONE WORLD Trade Center, and something hit me in my Spirit, and I heard the Lord say, "It is coming down." And what I heard, I passed off as a fleeting thought that one is wont to have and of no significance.... until the next day, when I realized it had been the Lord speaking to my spirit. What was the controversy the Lord had with the World Trade Center? First of all, towers in general are not a good thing. They are a monument to man's self-made rulership of the earth. Men take glory in building the tallest buildings in the world. The Lord's controversy with the Trade Center was that it reflected the attempt of mankind to create for itself a One World system of finance and financial security without Jesus Christ as its center. It symbolized men's worship of human ingenuity and human strength.
Back in the early 1990's, I was working in Cuyahoga Falls at a grocery store, doing front line training. During my break I saw this tower and drove over to it. What I found was an empty, unfinished tower at a ministry center. The ministry was started in the late 1940's by Rex Humbard who was one of the first televangelists in the country. This unfinished tower was called, I believe, The Tower of Faith. As I walked beneath it and looked up into its unclosed top, I asked the Lord what was this about, and the Lord said to me, "I was not in it." Meaning: it wasn't his idea to build the tower. Oral Roberts got into the same trouble building the City of Faith Medical Research Center that nearly bankrupted his ministry. The medical towers now stand empty, except for some commercial leases.
What is God saying to this world today?
It is a financial tower of Babel: it is an attempt by man, working through government and the control of wealth, to create a worldwide system of financial security based not upon righteousness, justice, morals or the Lord, but upon greed, fear, profit, bribery, intertwining treaties and contracts, all without regard to Jesus Christ, God the Father, or the poor. The Federal Reserve, along with its banking compatriots around the world are trying to shore up the financial system of the world by injecting large amounts of capital into the system. To them, Judeo-Christian values are at best unnecessary and at worst a nuisance and those who advocate these values are seen as an impediment to the security of the world that can be gained through global finance. They wish the "values" advocates would just go away so that they could go about the real business of running the world. In effect, these world rulers seek to build a tower of earthly security by having central control of an interdependent world through finance, but they are thumbing their noses at God in the process. They do not think they need, nor do they want, nor do they care to have God involved in this enterprise. The wisdom of men is sufficient. But this tower of Babel is coming down, and all the kings horsemen and all the kings men will not be able to put the financial system back together again.
The collapse will be utter and complete and the end of the world financial system as we know it. It will be desperate times of famine, even in the USA, while products and services will not be able to be delivered because there will be no money to pay the drivers. The banking system will shut down. Money will not be available and the credit card system will be inert.
And God is doing it, or at least allowing it to happen, as a judgment upon this human enterprise that seeks to find salvation in human ingenuity without regards to God.
"Else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there; that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. By tomorrow shall this sign be."– Exodus 8:21-23, RSV.
"But the LORD will make a distinction between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt, so that nothing shall die of all that belongs to the people of Israel." – Exodus 9:4, RSV.
"But against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, not a dog shall growl; that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel." – Exodus 11:7, RSV.
When I heard these words "run to Goshen," I had to look up what Goshen meant in the original Hebrew. It means "drawing near." And in this place, the people of Israel drew near to God and were protected. Three of the ten plagues fell upon all the people: the waters of the Nile turned to blood, the plague of frogs, and the plague of gnats. But the rest of the plagues fell only upon the Egyptians and their houses. What was happening? God was judging the world system, represented by Pharaoh, religiously, politically, financially, socially and militarily. First God judged Egypt religiously, for Pharaoh's magicians and diviners were unable to turn back the plagues. He judged it politically, because he showed Pharaoh to be powerless before God and Moses and Pharaoh was forced to let the people go. He judged it financially, for when the Hebrews left Egypt after hundreds of years of slavery, they "plundered the Egyptians" of their gold and silver (Ex. 3:22), and I believe that was repayment for the years of unjust labor the Hebrews were forced to do. He then judged Egypt culturally and socially with the death of the firstborn through Egypt. Why such a harsh punishment? Because Pharaoh had commanded the slaughter of all the male new born children of the Jews (Ex. 1:16), and that curse came back upon his own house as a plague. (If we reap what we have sown, this precedent bodes ill for all who have supported abortion!) And finally, he judged Pharaoh's world system militarily, for after releasing the Hebrews, Pharaoh wanted to wipe them out, but his army was destroyed and its horse and rider were "thrown into the sea" (Ex. 14:23 – 15:1).
Goshen is the place of protection, of drawing near to God. It is the place where God makes a distinction between his people and the people of the world; between his kingdom and the world's Babylonian system of finances, political government, immorality, and false religion. And when he draws his people out, he is ready to "make a distinction."
Three times in Scripture, the Lord makes clear that there is a difference between His Kingdom and the world's system. Three times he declares judgment on the world, but provision and protection for his own. The first was in Egypt. The second was in Malachi:
"Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another; the LORD heeded and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and thought on his name. "They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. "For behold, the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall." – Malachi 3:16-4:2, RSV.
Malachi wrote during a time of spiritual complacency, when the priests and the people alike were just going through the motions of religion, without serious commitment and passion for the Lord. For much of the Church today, God is taken for granted. His Word is not treated with reverence or awe, nor is his Word considered The Truth: the standard for us for matters of faith, life, and practice. If measured by their finances, where Christians put their values or what they value, God gets our $5 and we feel like we have done God a favor, but we go out to lunch after services and spend $50 or buy groceries for $200 and think nothing of it. Our commitment to God and his ways is revealed by our wallets. Jesus said as much:
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." – Matthew 6:19-21, RSV.
Yet God wants to purify his Bride and draw them into intimacy with himself. So he is going to allow all our trust in the world and the world's system to be broken and give us a reason to run to Goshen. No more idolatry of looking to the world for our provision and our security. No more looking to governments to fix the economy, to solve all our problems, and to give us healthcare. The State cannot be a god to us. Our allegiance and our trust must only be in God the Father. God is jealous for us and he will shake everything that can be shaken so that we will look to the One who cannot be shaken. He will do that by showing the world's system as bankrupt, so that all will see that the governments of this world cannot be trusted to fix anything! This judgment upon the world system is mercy towards the Bride of Christ and to all mankind. For out of this failure of the world's system will come the greatest salvations the world has every known, as people become desperate and look for The Anchor in the midst of the storm. But at the same time, the darkness will increase and become increasingly dark, as those who still refuse God look for answers in even greater darkness. "And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold." Matthew 24:12, RSV.
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." Luke 21:25-28, NKJV.
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." Isaiah 60:1-3, RSV.
This is a time for rejoicing! It is not a time for weeping and mourning as the world will do; for it will be the Church's greatest hour, filled with the Spirit, with supernatural provision and supernatural power to fulfill the Great Commission given us by the Lord himself. The Lord is preparing his Bride, and he is not coming back for a failed Bride, but one without any "spot, wrinkle, or blemish," and to be that beauty in his eyes, we cannot have failed the charge he has given us: "And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come." – Matthew 24:14, NRSV. So this time of drawing out and "drawing near" to God is for our benefit and for our witness to the world. It will be a time of great suffering and distress, and we will not be immune to its effects, but we will be protected IF we seek God as our source and supply. More on this shortly.
A Third Time!
When God is serious, he sets about a third witness to confirm his Word (Matt. 18:16, 1 Kings 18:34, Deut. 17:6). So again God declares he will set apart his people a third time to make a distinction between his Kingdom and the world's system. This passage from Revelation is long, but worth the read, for in it, God makes clear that the Babylonian system of finances is the seed of great wickedness and of human opposition to God's just rule over the earth. God warns us not to tie our destiny to this sinking ship of state, for he prophesies the end of the financial world as we know it. The financial tower of Babel is coming down:
And he called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird; for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness." Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and played the wanton, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning. Since in her heart she says, 'A queen I sit, I am no widow, mourning I shall never see,' so shall her plagues come in a single day, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she shall be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and were wanton with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, "Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come." And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo any more, cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. The fruit for which thy soul longed has gone from thee, and all thy dainties and thy splendor are lost to thee, never to be found again!" The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, "Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, bedecked with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! In one hour all this wealth has been laid waste." And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, "What city was like the great city?" And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out, "Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! In one hour she has been laid waste. Rejoice over her, O heaven, O saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her! – Revelation 18:2-20, RSV.
There is coming a time soon, when this financial tower of Babel will fall, never to be resurrected. But great will be the calamity of those days.
So How Will the Lord Provide for His Own?
The Lord has set forth a pattern of provision in the Scriptures, whereby he provides for his own while he judges the world. It is important for us to see these patterns, so that we may have confidence in the God of our Covenant, who through Jesus Christ has blessed us in heavenly places with every spiritual blessing.
There are two types of supernatural provision: natural abundance in a time of famine and lack, and direct access to the resources of heaven. I don't know which type the Lord has planned for his people in Goshen, or if he has both planned.
Natural Prosperity in a time of lack:
"Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the LORD appeared to him, and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Abraham your father." Genesis 26:1-3, RSV.
"And Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks and herds, and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him." Genesis 26:12-14, RSV.
Famines in ancient days were usually caused by severe droughts. Isaac, against all reason, planted seeds in the middle of a drought in obedience to the Word of God. While all the peoples around him, the world of them who were not in covenant with God, were starving and withering due to lack, Isaac prospered a hundredfold. God gave him wells of water to the point that the world became jealous and stole the water, and forced Isaac to move away. Nevertheless, Isaac continued to find water and prosper. God blessed the natural work of his hands and gave Isaac wisdom to prosper in the midst of the famine, but it came at a price. Do not think that God's provision for you in the time of famine will come without persecution, fear and envy, for those who see the Lord's provision will either worship God or be envious of you and want to take what you have.
Supernatural Provision in a time of lack.
There are many examples of God's supernatural provision in times of famine. When the people of God wandered in the desert wilderness, God fed them with manna from heaven. They ate for years a free supply of food that fell upon the ground (Ex. 16:15). When there was a famine in Israel, God fed the prophet Elijah by supplying a widow with a bowl of flour did not get empty and a jar of oil that did not run out (1 Kings 17:10-16). Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish (John 6:11). Like the prosperity of the Hebrews in Goshen, who were protected during the plagues, they went out of Egypt in health and wealth, while Pharaoh suffered: He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. – Psalms 105:37, KJV.
But I believe there is a better example for our time, where we are entering into a new dimension of the supernatural provision and presence of the Almighty God. It is from Exodus, when the barrier between heaven and earth was removed and people crossed between heaven and earth to sup with the Father:
Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!" So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words." Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they beheld God, and they ate and drank." Exodus 24:7-11, NASB.
We have a foretaste of this intimacy with God where the barrier between heaven and earth is removed, and we walk between those places. Do you think the elders brought the food with them? It does not say so, yet they were fed with heavenly food and drink, prepared for them by God. Like Enoch, who "walked with God and was not, for God took him," (Genesis 5:24), the way back to a heavenly fellowship with God the Father is prepared for us through the blood of Christ, who sanctifies us, just as did the blood that was sprinkled on the elders of Israel. Just as they were purified and allowed to approach God in heavenly realms, so we have been purified by the blood of Jesus.
What if, in this time of the greatest tribulation the world has ever known, the people of God will receive their supply directly from heaven and like the children of Israel, be fed with a present day manna? Not only in order to supply our own needs, but with such abundant supply that when all the world suffers lack, we can provide for those who come to our doors with a cruse of oil that does not run dry and a bin of flour that does not run out! It will be a time when we can feed all those who come begging to our doors and give them not just bread for their stomachs but the Word of Life to make them whole; that they too might come to know Jesus. Maybe it will be a time when we can walk into heavenly places and bring back gold and silver, or diamonds and sapphires not cut by any human hand! The resources of heaven are abundant while all the world suffers lack. Surely, it will be such a time as this, when all the world will have a choice whether to continue to live under the lack and oppression of the realm of darkness (the kingdoms of this world ruled by Satan); or in desperation will cry out for the true liberty of the sons of God, dwelling under the freedom and light in the place where God has total dominion! God will indeed make a distinction so that those who are oppressed will truly see the difference and be able to make that choice for salvation in Jesus Christ, or be left without excuse to follow the devil to their doom.
How this provision will come about, who can know? But we do know that God is able, and that is all we need to know. What we need to heed and to hear is the call to "run to Goshen," so that like the wise virgins, we can be prepared in body, soul, and spirit for the coming of the Bridegroom.