I'd like to share with you some thoughts that I have been mulling over as we have begun the month of Elul in the Hebrew calendar. Elul is the sixth month of the year, and it is known as the month of teshuvah - the month of return. It is the month when God's people were called to sort their lives out; to get ready for Rosh Hashanah, the new Hebrew year, beginning in 30 days time. The Hebrew word ‘Elul’ is also an acronym for ‘My Beloved is mine and I am His”. It was a month in ancient times when the king would come and set up his tent in the field, among his people, and he would be available for them to approach him with their requests for the whole month of Elul. They would have a face-to-face encounter with the king, who normally was closeted within his palace and only seen by his officials.
So, the month of Elul has a lot of themes to it. Of course, God is our King. So, the King dwelling in the midst of His people in the month of Elul is a prophetic declaration of the coming feast of Tabernacles and its manifestation in the earth realm, because Tabernacles is a time when the Jews celebrate God in the midst of His people in the wilderness, protecting them and providing for them when they came out of Egypt. Tabernacles takes place on the 15th of Tishrei, which is the seventh month. The King comes and sets up His tent; His tabernacle in the field as a declaration, “I'm coming to dwell in the midst of My people”.
Now, in Zacharia 2:5, God sends a messenger to tell His people that He will be a wall of fire around about Jerusalem and glory in the midst of her. In other words, that's another description of Tabernacles; glory - the manifest glory of God in the midst of His people and His fiery wall of protection around them. What's very important is the instruction that God gives concerning what is to be done before He comes to be a wall of fire and glory in the midst. Zachariah 2:7 says the following:
‘Deliver yourself, O Zion, that dwells with the daughter of Babylon.’
That's a really interesting phrase! Obviously, those whom He refers to as Zion are dwelling or situated in the wrong place. Babylon speaks of mixture; it speaks of worldliness, the world system, the spirit of this age, and God says that we are to deliver ourselves. Now, when I was meditating about this, it came to me that when you speak of being delivered, it's also a word that's used for birthing. The people of God have been in a place of preparation, a ‘womb’ in Babylon or the world system, and now the process is being initiated of moving out of that womb of preparation in the fullness of time, and traveling down the birth canal. This journey is in order to be ejected from Babylon and to dwell in the wilderness in the place that is being prepared. What I saw was a picture of a baby moving down a birth canal, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck. Now, anyone who is a midwife or who has witnessed a birth knows that this is a very dangerous situation because as the baby is pushed further and further down the birth canal by the birth pangs, the cord becomes tighter and tighter around the baby's necks, threatening to strangle it so that it would be born dead.
Zachariah 2:7 says ‘deliver yourself’. So, this implies that there's something that can be done to take the umbilical cord off from round our necks and slip it over our heads and move forward freely. Even though that umbilical cord continues to supply the baby with food and with oxygen until it fully emerges from the birth canal and takes its first breath, the enemy’s plan for the continued birth pangs and the noose-like cord to destroy those exiting Babylon can be foiled. As the baby emerges and fills its lungs with air, the umbilical cord is cut completely and the emerging company is distinct and completely separate from Babylon and all its resources. Then it is important to flee Babylon and not be nursed at her breast but rather throw yourself upon El Shaddai; the many breasted One – He will meet your every need.
The umbilical cord of Babylonian provision has to be disentangled from the neck of the company that is moving out of the place of preparation; out of Babylon. WE move forward toward breakthrough into liberty, to a place of dwelling in the wilderness provided for only by God.
This birth canal is a confined space, a place of pressing and inability to discern direction by any form of natural light. I'm sure you can all identify with the birth pangs that are pushing us out of the womb of preparation in Babylon into independence from Babylon. This instruction ‘deliver yourself’ speaks of disentangling yourself from the supply line of Babylon, even while you are in this confined space and season of transition. Because the removal of the umbilical cordis over the head, the first way we have to do this is mentally and spiritually - we have to no longer see Babylon and all that it alludes to as our source of nourishment. Yes, while we are still in this birth canal, and it's very disconcerting birth pangs are becoming stronger and stronger. The pressure gives us the feeling that we may perish in the transition. We are all fed during this journey by the supply line of Babylon financially; whether it's with work or whatever way you would look at it. But we are moving towards a face to face encounter with God in our midst. That cord is going to be cut once we emerge fully out of the birth canal and now, during this transition, it is imperative we repent for seeing Babylon as our sole source of provision and safety. That is how we disentangle ourselves mentally and spiritually from the umbilical cord of Babylon, because if we continue to see Babylon as our only source of supply and safety and covering, that umbilical cord will strangle us even as the birth pangs are pushing us out.
Interestingly enough, the word ‘deliver yourself’ in Hebrew is malat, and it means ‘to slip away or escape’. So, if you can picture that baby slipping that umbilical cord off its head; that noose from around its neck by repentance of seeing Babylon as a source of supply, you can see with the eye of faith your deliverance from the slavery of Babylon.
Remember, God's people were exiled to Babylon for 70 years. And while they were there, Babylon was the source which God had appointed them. And they ate the food of Babylon and they were supported by Babylon, but there came a time when they left Babylon. And in a sense, they journeyed along that birth canal and emerged to rebuild the temple of God in the place that they had been exiled from.
Zachariah 2:10 says, ‘Sing and rejoice, o daughter of Zion, I come to dwell in the midst of you’. First, God says ‘deliver yourself’. And then he says, ‘sing and rejoice’. What God is saying is that Tabernacles; the experience that the spiritual fulfilment of Tabernacles is ahead. So, sing and rejoice in anticipation of that as you travel down the birth canal. That is also another way of disentangling yourself from Babylon. While you travel through this valley of the shadow of death, stop looking behind to the womb of Babylon, where you have grown to maturity, and look forward to God who is going to dwell in your midst. Look forward to the fulfilment of Tabernacles, the wall of fire that's going to be around us, and the glory of God manifesting in our midst. See with the eye of faith Him providing for and protecting us during the three and a half years of the flood of the Dragon.
If we look at Isaiah 4:4, it says, ‘When the Lord has washed away the filth of the Daughters of Zion and has purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon its assemblies, a cloud in the smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory shall be a defence (or a chuppah, a canopy).’ This speaks about what is going to take place after the purging of Jerusalem; the purging of God's people, and the washing away of the filth of God's people by the Spirit of burning. After this is the glory! You remember, my last message was ‘the purge must come’? And God spoke about judgment beginning with the House of God. So the purging comes and what carries out the purging? It is the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning. What it's doing is preparing a place for the creation of a fiery wall around God's people and His glory to be manifest in the midst. In other words, it is describing the preparation for a prophetic fulfilment of Tabernacles. It entails a visitation by the Spirit of burning. It entails purging.
This morning, I had an urge to burn some frankincense resin. And anyone who has burned frankincense knows it is a whitish colored resin, but when you light the coal and the frankincense catches alight, it begins to release a white smoke, and the resin goes black. This amazingly fragrant white smoke arises into the atmosphere and fills the whole room in which it is being burnt. And the word ‘resin’ in Hebrew means ‘to fumigate or turn into fragrance by fire’. God wants to fumigate our hearts, to release the fragrance of Christ from them. I didn't realize when I was doing my frankincense this morning that I was doing something prophetic which depicted the visitation of the Spirit of burning upon God's people, because when the frankincense has released all its fragrance by fire, what remains is white ash. The word for frankincense is lebonah and it comes from the root libbah, which is the feminine word for ‘heart’, the masculine word for ‘heart’ is ‘leb’. That is where we get the word for frankincense and seems to be depicting a feminine heart. In other words, frankincense depicts the heart of the Bride and the burning of the frankincense resin, which releases this white smoke, depicts a visitation of the spirit of burning upon the heart of the Bride. And that is what is appointed for us in this month of Elul - a cleansing and a preparation for Tabernacles and the glory of God in the midst of us.
Now, let's look again at Isaiah 4:5, it says ‘the spirit of the Lord will create…’ - not us, His hands will do it. He will set it up. He will arrange it. He will bring about the manifestation of glory in the midst of His people and the cloud and the smoke, just like a cloud and the smoke rise from the frankincense resin as it is consumed. It says this will take place on every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon the assemblies… So, where are you living, remnant of God? Are you dwelling with the daughter of Babylon or you dwelling on the heavenly Mount Zion? Because it's only those who are dwelling on the heavenly Mount Zion, who get the manifestation of the glory in the midst of them and the wall of fire around them. The word for ‘assemblies’ actually means ‘called out ones’. So here again, it's those who have called out of Babylon; who are dwelling on Mount Zion, who experience the glory of God in the midst of them. They have a chuppah or canopy of protection over them and a wall of fire around above them. Those who have been called out of Babylon and have responded; those who have been called out to Babylon and freed themselves from the stranglehold of the umbilical cord of Babylon – not looking to Babylon’s supply system! These ones who move out of the womb of Babylonian preparation and set up permanent residence in the heavenly Mount Zion will be experiencing the glory of God.
Now, obviously, it is not the earthly Mount Zion that we are to set up house on. We have to separate ourselves emotionally from the earthly Mt. Zion, because there is going to be a terrible shaking in the land of Israel. WE have borne the image of the earthly and now we must come up higher and bear the image of the heavenly. In Hebrews 12, Paul clarifies this very specifically. It is really important for those who love Israel, who've loved looking into the prophetic fulfilment of the feasts and all the richness of the types and the shadows of the Old Testament, sometimes get a little bit out of balance in their attachment to the earthly nation of Israel. Yes, Jesus was born in the earthly nation of Israel, and, yes, Jesus walked there and yes, Jesus died and was resurrected in Jerusalem. However, Paul explains the difference in destination:
For you have not come to the mountain that might be touched and that burned with fire, nor to blackness and darkness and tempest,
Heb 12:19 and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words (which voice they who heard begged that a word should not be spoken to them any more, Heb 12:20 for they could not endure the thing commanded, "And if so much as a beast should touch the mountain, it shall be stoned or thrust through with a dart," Heb 12:21 and so fearful was the sight that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake). Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, Heb 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are written in Heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb 12:24 and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Hear that, remnant of God? You haven't come to the earthly Jerusalem, you've come to the heavenly Jerusalem! This journey that you are on in the month of Elul is to cause you to come to a place of residing totally and permanently on the heavenly Mount Zion, so that you can be one of the dwelling places that receives the outpouring of the glory of God. You are not a citizen of the earthly Jerusalem. You are a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem; the city of the living God which descends out of heaven in Revelation.
Paul speaks of ‘the spirits of just men made perfect’; or ‘of holy men made perfect’. The word ‘made perfect’ comes from a root word, meaning ‘to complete, of full age and mature manhood’. Remember, in Ephesians, it speaks about the five fold ministry being given to the church until we all grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. When we reach the place in our spiritual journey where we are part of the church of the firstborn and our names are written in heaven and we are residing on Heavenly Mount Zion, our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth. This is part of the separation that is coming as we travel down the birth canal out of Babylon. We are separating from the earthly and we are positioning ourselves fully in the heavenly.
Heb 12:25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape, those who refused him that spoke on earth, much more we shall not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from Heaven, Heb 2:26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will not only shake the earth, but also the heavens." Heb 12:27 And this word, "Yet once more," signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, so that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
The journey of this Elul is the journey away from dependence on the earthly into complete dependence upon the heavenly - both for provision and for protection. And we must deliver ourselves from that umbilical cord. Of Babylon that is around our necks, so that we can access the mind of Christ. We need this to position ourselves completely in heavenly places, seeing as He sees and hearing what He says. So, it is a month of journeying to complete realignment of heart and of positioning; alignment with His ways, His will and His Word. Elul is a time when the Spirit of burning visits the hearts of the Bride in preparation for the manifestation of Tabernacles in our midst, as we move toward the place prepared where we may be fed and keep safe by the glory of God in our midst and the wall of fire around about us.
Isaiah 4 discusses what takes place AFTER the Spirit of burning has done its work. So therefore, Isaiah 3 speaks about the conditions and reasons why Spirit of burning was appointed visitation.
Isa 3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory and defy His glorious presence. Isa 3:9 Their respecting of persons and showing of partiality witnesses against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil [as a reward upon themselves]. Isa 3:10 Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. Isa 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with them, for what their hands have done shall be done to them.
In other words, they will reap what they have sown. And if you carry on reading in Isaiah 3, it says that God is standing up to judge the deeds of His people; to deal with pride. Because of their words and their ways, some will go into captivity and they will be stripped of the mantles and all the trappings they have adorned themselves with. This is the work of the Spirit of burning: they will have a rope put around their necks, because of words and ways. And at the end of this process of the Spirit of burning’s work, Isaiah 4:1 says that ‘seven women will say to one man’, in other words, the seven women speak of all of God's people that are left after the Spirit of burning sweeps through; they will say to ‘one man’; who is the one man? The Bridegroom, Yeshua These seven women say they don't want His benefits. They are not in it for what they can get; they don't want mantles and callings. They don't want garments. They don't want to be spoon fed with bread. They will provide their own bread. All they want is to be known by His name. All they want is Him to be a spiritual Husband to them, to come under the wing of His garment.
They want to be known as His. They don't want to make a name for themselves any more. They don't want ministries. They don't want callings. They don't want glorious mantles and all the trappings and excesses that they have paraded about in the past. All they want to be known as is the bond-slave Bride of Lamb. And that, beloved remnant, is the end goal of the Spirit of burning - to sift out and purge and separate those who have the heart, the lebonah; the frankincense heart of the bond-slave Bride. And it is these that are positioned upon Mount Zion. They have fled, slipped out of the umbilical cord of Babylon and moved away. They are the called out ones, the ecclesia that have come out of Babylon and are positioned fully - mentally, emotionally, spiritually in heavenly places and known as part of the church of the firstborn.
So, the month of Elul, when the King is in the field; available and dwelling in the midst of His people is the prophetic preparation time, the journey time towards manifestation of the prophetic Feast of Tabernacles in the midst of His remnant company. They are those who have come out of dwelling with the daughter of Babylon and are content to be known by His name. The King is available for an audience with you, to help you return, realign and refocus on laying hold of what lies ahead.
I will share in part 2 about the other things that the Spirit has been showing me about the month of Elul, the sixth month, but I think that's enough to give you something to chew on. May the Lord bless and increase and add to the revelation I've shared with you. Amen.