Standing in the Gap
Apr 04, 2013
Last night we returned home from the Passover Conference in Gap, Pennsylvania. During the trip, I was unable to post any weblogs. Some of you were worried about me. That is alright if it motivates you to keep me in prayer. However, if anything happens to me, my web manager will post it online to let you know. If you see no such posting, be assured that I am doing just fine.
Attendance at the conference was down a little this year, no doubt because of its remote location. We saw only one person from California. Even so, I think about 80 people found us, including one Amish man who lived about a mile away from the meeting center. (He has been on our mailing list for some years and reads my weblogs on the computer at the library.) The town of Gap is just east of Lancaster, PA and is in the heart of Amish country.
As usual, this conference had a prophetic purpose. This time, the main purpose was to “stand in the Gap” (Ezekiel 22:30). In verse 18 the prophet tells us that “the house of Israel has become dross to Me,” and in verse 21 he says that God intends to put the nation into the fire of divine judgment in order to purify them as silver. Ezekiel then continues by listing some of the sins of the nation, before telling us in verses 30 and 31,
30 And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads, declares the Lord.
Last year we built up the wall of the New Jerusalem. This year we are standing in the Gap. These are the two aspects of Ezekiel’s prophecy in verse 30.
Israel always had its prophets who were called as intercessors to stand in the gap. Ezekiel himself was one of them, as we see in chapter 4. Perhaps Ezekiel was using exaggeration as a literary tool to make the point that there were few (or too few) intercessors to stop the judgment from hitting the house of Israel. Yet ultimately, this prophesies of Jesus Christ, who alone could intercede adequately to prevent destruction. But in Ezekiel’s day, Jesus Christ had not yet come to do that intercessory work on the cross.
The descendants of the lost house of Israel migrated north and west after the collapse of Assyria and now form the Western nations. Once again, these nations have corrupted themselves to the point where, if there were no intercessor(s), they would be destroyed again. Isaiah 1:9 says,
9 Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a few survivors [“a remnant”], we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah.
In the next verse the prophet proceeds to address Israel as Sodom and Gomorrah. Likewise today, we have become Sodom and Gomorrah, which is a specific biblical reference to the legalization and approval of homosexual relationships. Jude 7 describes such practice as “gross immorality.”
So it is significant that in the week leading up to this conference in Gap, the Supreme Court was hearing two cases involving the legalization of homosexual marriage. For many years now, homosexual relationships have been legal, but they seek the right to prosecute anyone who dares to agree with the Bible and call it a sin. This is not really about legalization, but about normalization. Anyone who says or writes that homosexual relationships are a sin will eventually be prosecuted for libel. Eventually, they hope to ban any Bible translation that calls it a sin as well, as is the case already in some European countries. In fact, it is already against the law in Colorado for a business establishment to display any literature that is objectionable to the homosexual movement.
The Babylonians have also infiltrated the church in order to change it from within. In this case they are stepping forward to question the Bible’s stand against homosexuality. In doing so, they are trying to change Scripture by the traditions of men.
It appears from Isaiah’s prophecy that we must again come to the place where we are Sodom and Gomorrah before we are delivered. Yet many seem to misunderstand Isaiah’s words in 1:9. His intent was to say that had it not been for the overcoming remnant, we would be like Sodom and Gomorrah. In other words, we would be destroyed like those cities, had it not been for the overcoming remnant—the body of Christ—standing in the Gap.
In the original pattern, God removed Lot from Sodom before the fire of God destroyed it. Years later, God removed the prophets from the house of Israel, for it too was destroyed by the Assyrians. Isaiah himself went to Jerusalem, the capital of the house of Judah. (See 2 Kings 19:2.) We are now in the third such pattern, but we are fortunate to live in a time when God is NOT removing the remnant. Instead, He is having them build the wall and stand in the Gap, for they are now empowered by the intercession of Christ Himself.
Only Jesus Christ can prevent such destruction, and He stands in the gap with us and in us. Hence, this Passover Conference at Gap, Pa was a revelation to all that the overcoming remnant was identified with Christ, who stood in the Gap on the cross at Passover many years ago.
In other words, the Western nations are not going to be destroyed, but God is certainly going to refine them like silver in the fire. His purpose is not to destroy but to refine. In other words, He will pour out His Spirit—the baptism of fire—so that the hearts of men will be changed. Instead of simply outlawing homosexuality, God will heal them and change them into His image, so that they may conform to His perfect pattern of marriage in Genesis 2:24.
The second aspect of our intercession at Gap has to do with casting out the bondwoman (Hagar). As Ron explained at the conference, this takes us back 15 years to the late 1990’s, when Stone Kingdom Ministries began holding conferences at Hagerstown, Maryland. There were two Passover conferences at that location in 1997 and 1998, followed by ten conferences in the Philadelphia area (1999-2008).
The 2/10 pattern points to the two tribes of the house of Judah and the ten tribes of the house of Israel. However, this also speaks of the change from Hagar to Sarah. Just before the second conference in Hagerstown (April 1998), I flew to Spokane, Washington to attend a special “Symposium” with Sunny Day Roberts. I wrote about this in chapter 20 of The Wars of the Lord.
Part of Sunny’s revelation about this meeting was given to her a few months earlier:
“This is about the placing of My Overcomers in lieu of the important events that are approaching” (October 1, 1997).
The “important events that are approaching” are applicable today. In April 1998 there were eight of us, representing all of the overcomers, to decree the spoken word (or “Spokane word”) about approaching events. I believe that this foreshadowed what is unfolding today in 2013, which is 15 years later. This 15-year cycle is the Hezekiah extension (2 Kings 20:6).
The first Hezekiah extension began on the Day of Atonement in 1996 and ended on the Day of Atonement in 2011. We saw the same extension from 1997-2012, and now we are seeing a third from 1998-2013.
For this reason, the Symposium in Spokane is now unfolding 15 years later. It is as if Hagar received a 15-year extension before being cast out in 2013.
Incidentally, if you read my account in The Wars of the Lord, you will see that after this Symposium in Spokane (April 1-4, 1998), I then flew to Hagerstown, MD for the Passover conference there. This provided a double witness to the revelation.
What exactly was revealed and decreed in 1998? It was revealed that as long as both Hagar and Sarah were competing to be the woman chosen to bring forth the promise, neither were able to do it. It is like the case was tied up in the Divine Court until He ruled one way or the other. Only after the bondwoman and her son were cast out would Isaac be able to come into his calling and fulfill the promise.
Hence, it was necessary to cast out the bondwoman and her son, so that Isaac might be able to extend the blessings of Abraham to the world—including Hagar and Ishmael. They were not evil people, but neither did they have the calling to extend the Abrahamic blessing to all families of the earth. As long as they contended for that calling, the blessing was delayed. For this reason, we saw that it was necessary to cast them out, so that they—and everyone else—could be blessed.
And so God made the decree in the Divine Court, and we bore witness in the earth to God’s decree by speaking it into the earth. This concluded the Hagerstown work, and so from there the conferences moved to Philadelphia in 1999. Going by the 15-year extension cycle, we can say that we have now officially entered the year-long transition from Hagar to Sarah. The next Passover conference (2014) will be 15 years from the first Philadelphia conference (1999).
This was the main subject of Ron’s teachings at Gap last week end. We realized that we were now seeing the result of the Spokane Word in 1998, and that we were standing in the Gap for the Hagar company on many levels.
As I wrote earlier, the prophets stood in the Gap for the house of Israel, which was depicted as Sodom and Gomorrah. How is the house of Israel connected to Hagar and Ishmael? It is in the fact that God called Israel out of Egypt. Hagar was an Egyptian, and so when Israel came out of Egypt, the nation was God’s “first-born son” (Exodus 4:22) being born from an Egyptian mother. In essence, Israel was birthed out of Egypt as a spiritual Ishmaelite, for even though God was their Father, Hagar was their mother.
The prophecy of Ishmael in Genesis 16:12 was that he would be a “wild ass man” (pereh awdawm). But Israel was supposed to be the “sheep” of God’s pasture. How does one change from a donkey to a sheep? The law in Exodus 13:13 gives us the answer,
13 But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb… and every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem.
All first-born donkeys had to be redeemed. So did all the first-born of Israel. In other words, God recognized that the Israelites were like donkeys, and for this reason, all of their first-born sons had to be redeemed with lambs. This symbolically turned donkeys into lambs. It is also why Israel could not leave Egypt until they had kept the first Passover, where they were redeemed by the lambs.
The problem was that in later generations the house of Israel reverted to being rebellious donkeys with stiff necks and full of sexual promiscuity (Jeremiah 2:24). It was for this reason that God destroyed the house of Israel, and we are now seeing the same situation in their descendants in the Western nations. This is why we were called to stand in the Gap, both in 1998 and again in 2013.
In view of the rampant sin, we are fortunate that we have the promise of God to turn our hearts by the power of His Spirit. The “fire” today will not have the same destructive effect as it did in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. It will take the form of a great baptism of fire as the Spirit is poured out from on high.
Dr. Stephen Jones