Where have all the people gone? God is looking, as His Spirit searches across the earth, for a qualifying people wherein He might use them to make up His tabernacle, His dwelling place and His kingdom in the earth. In all of God’s looking, most people’s hearts are pursuing and dwelling among a carnal mind-set that promotes a life style with evil intentions or a life style that has a form of godliness while denying the very power of God. If this were a truth, what is going to happen as humanity begins to see and observe the many changes going on across the length and width of the earth? These changes, along with the multitudes that are crying for change, are beginning to affect the whole world’s mind-set. This affect is causing a large portion of the world’s populace to accept any kind of change, as long as it will benefit their own life-styles in the area of the economy, their social status, their employment, and for some their religious standing, all that seems to guarantee them a happy and secure life.
This all sounds so good, but a hidden deception is at the root of these empty hearted promises given by men. With mankind, looking for some kind of answer to the many-fold problems that the world faces, most of them are finding themselves searching for the answers in all the wrong places. Can we not consider the truth as spoken by the prophet Haggai concerning man’s existence and status as it appears during today’s time and season. Haggai 1:5-7 declares, “Now therefore, thus says the Lord of host: Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways”. This prophetic word, while spoken to the former exiles of Israel, applies also to a Christian community of today that dwells in a spiritual captivity. Nevertheless, God, even now, is stirring up the hearts of those who desire Him. These desiring ones are seeing restoration coming in and among them as Christ appears, for God has purposed to establish His Kingdom here on the earth through His people.
As the spirit of restoration sweeps the earth, this prophetic word of promise is likewise loudly declared. “For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once more [it is a little while] I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of all nations, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of hosts. …..The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts”. (Haggai 2:6-7 & 9). While history shows us that there was a temple built which existed during the time of Herod and Jesus, this prophesy refers to a greater temple and fulfillment. While Solomon’s temple was one of great splendor, and with Zerubbabels temple not able to compare, the prophesy points to its greater fulfillment, that is the temple not made by man’s hands. This temple of God’s interest and making is by Gods indwelling spirit within man, building up His human temples through Jesus Christ.
Where have all the people been? By considering a truth, we can know that children who are born to an environment of poverty, without knowing any other way, they are innocent of the degree of poverty they dwell. If this were true, being born in spiritual poverty is likewise an environment that children are usually unaware of in their innocents. However, does not maturity change all that? As the children mature and their environment expand, they began to behold a better way of life. In beholding this better way of life, for the most part, some began to have hopes and dreams of one day experiencing that better way. The same example holds true to the things of the heavens, the spiritual. Growth instills within the vessel a desire and a hope, a dream of experiencing a much better way, one with a fulfilling spiritual experience. In this, a question comes to mind, why is it that a people are born into spiritual poverty in the first place? How is it that so many vessels are captive to a spiritual place of poverty and death when God has made available so much when it comes to the heavenlies? Eph. 1:3 declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”.
While God through Christ Jesus made available to humanity the treasures of His storehouse, what keeps most of humankind from partaking of such provision? With most of the Christian community growing up in spiritual captivity and poverty, this dulls the spiritual life of the captive and causes them to remain in captivity willingly never knowing true spiritual freedom. A better way of spiritual life, while existing, is foreign to them because captivity has cultivated and produced a people who have eyes to see but cannot see. They have ears to hear but they hear not. The spiritual sick and lame remain in such conditions because true complete healing is unknown. Where have all the called people of God gone?
They have been in captivity so long that they have become seemingly invisible without any real true heavenly identity. Therefore, because they have no true spiritual identity the course of this fallen world has swallowed them up to become a part of the worldly masses. Now, while the masses of the world have many names (political, economical, social, educational, and those of the various religious circles), they remain one mass of confused people. In this, is all hope lost? Nay, for God and God alone, still knows those who are His. While in the world, His true people are not a part of the world. With many hidden away in God, the eyes of the world do not even behold them. However, rest assured, God has each one numbered. Why then is it necessary to speak of such a place of captivity? Could it be because disobedience concerning the things of God, with many being blind to the fact that they are prisoners, results in them being captives? Zech. 7:5-7 speaks, “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years [captivity], did you really fast for Me – for Me? When you eat and you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?”
Likewise today, where is the power and glory of the early upper-room church? The prophets have spoken repeatedly over the decades of time, even in spiritual prosperity, but again the people refused to give heed. Zech. 7:11-14, “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words, which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus, great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Therefore, it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen, says the Lord of hosts. But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate”. These verses are pointing to a people concerning a way of life without them knowing and experiencing the promises of God. A life style of desolation, without God’s promises, one that does not know spiritual satisfaction, now a dwelling in the heavenlies as purposed by God.
Thus, we see a like kind captivity today as it captures much of the Christian community in their not knowing nor being able to see the house of God coming forth in a full measure, even to the measure as it was manifested in the upper-room church. What has created such blindness concerning man’s spiritual activities? Man’s ability to function without God has caused the doctrines and traditions of man’s carnal understandings to replace the truth of God’s word. God’s word of understanding, as carnal and humanistic intelligence takes a higher precedence than God’s simplistic word, has become distorted. God’s word takes on this simplistic understanding when the Holy Spirit properly reveals it. Thus, rebellion, an act of replacing God with self, making one’s self his own God, brings a distorted understanding of life. In seeing the results of this rebellious life-style, we should check the conditions of the world about us.
Think upon the progressive enlargement of abortion. That, which began with a stated need for abortion when rape and abuse brought forth an undesired pregnancy, has now become abortion on demand. Also the daily demand for the people to except alternate life-styles, as these groups grow more and more militant with each passing day. They seek to change laws to make perversions a permitted acceptable way of life, with many of them standing in the pulpits across the land. What is happening when over half of the Christian community, out of a deceiving fear of monetary success being lost, as well as other things being taken away, allows their vote to be cast for one that firmly states that he supports both same-sex marriage as well as abortion? Does this not confirm that the Christian community has allowed themselves to compromise the word of God for the sake of selfish motives? This stand taken against the word of God brings forth and stands them in captivity of the worst kind.
Nevertheless, meanwhile we are living in the time and season of restoration, a time when the fullness of God is making its appearance. This is an appearance where the remnant of God, with Christ the head, is coming forth as Zion (sons) and with Jerusalem (the bride) standing up to make their appearance. This appearance is the government that is establishing God’s kingdom in the earth. Zech. 8:2-3, “Thus says the Lord of Host: I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her. Thus says the Lord, I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain”. Herein the invisible ones, those hidden away in captivity, those scattered throughout the earth are beginning to know a stirring from within which shall break asunder the law of blindness, to again see, and the deaf ears shall began to hear. Awareness is coming awake as the Spirit of the Lord allures these to stand-up and count for God. In coming awake, their prayers ascend before God in the form of a request. Zech. 10:1, “Ask the Lord for rain in time of the latter rain. The lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone”. Joel 2:23, “Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month”.
As humanity awakens and begins requesting of God, He shall respond. In God’s response a people, Christ-like in nature shall appear. This appearance shall be the results of a people coming out of captivity as they leave behind all the doctrines and traditions which are the results of humanism, whose source is the carnal mind, that which results in a social gospel which states by their actions and their life-styles that they think they have no need for God. However, in awakening to the restored truth from God, a people are coming home. These are coming back to God’s intended purpose; they are coming home to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Yes, I am coming home. Can you not feel the stirring of God’s call to come home happening within your being? If so, by responding, a people are leaving behind those things that have hindered God’s purpose for them and they are beginning to know God. Friends, in truly knowing God, vessels cannot remain the same, for the power of God’s presence causes and brings about such a change. It was for Him these awakened ones are coming home. These awakened ones are coming back to the place where they can know the fullness of God’s house.