Part 1: Intercession to End the Famine, August 6 to September 14
Aug 05, 2013
On July 5, 2013 I wrote a blog updating you on potential watch dates for that month. This was designed to focus on the three years since the 8th sign of Elisha was seen in 2010. We have been looking for the 9th sign to begin, but so far, this has not occurred.
Toward the end of the blog I wrote:
“Must we endure a three-year drought from 2010-2013 before the 9th sign is seen? If so, July 9-15, 2013 should end this drought. The problem is that James 5:17 gives the full time period as 3½ years.”
My friend Philip, who lives in Mankato, Minnesota, told me yesterday of recent revelations from the intercessory group where he fellowships. I immediately recognized the value of this revelation, and that is what I want to share with you today and tomorrow. The Father is calling for a 40-day time of intercession beginning August 6 and ending on the Day of Atonement, September 14, 2013.
Forty Days of Repentance
The Jews call this forty-day period Teshuah, or “repent.” It was the theme of John the Baptist’s message leading to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Essentially, this forty-day period includes the entire 6th month, called Elul, “searching” (for Christ), and it ends on the Day of Atonement, which is the 10th day of the 7th month (Hebrew calendar).
Some say that Jesus was baptized at the start of Teshuah and that His forty-day fast in the wilderness ended on the Day of Atonement. In my view, Jesus fulfilled the Day of Atonement when He was baptized, for his baptism signified the death of one of the two goats that had been brought to the temple on that day. The first goat was killed, and its blood was to be sprinkled on the mercy seat in the temple—except, of course, that in Jesus’ day, the Ark of the Covenant with its mercy seat was absent. But Jesus went to John (the priest in the wilderness), who baptized Him as the first goat.
Jesus was then led into the wilderness by the “fit man” (Leviticus 16:21, KJV), known as “the man who stands in readiness” in the NASB. Luke 4:1 identifies this “man” as the Holy Spirit, who led Jesus into the wilderness “for Azazel” (Leviticus 16:10, literal translation). Azazel was the “goat god,” i.e., the devil. Hence, Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil forty days. This is why I believe He was baptized on the Day of Atonement, and that His forty-day fast occurred afterward.
I wrote about this in detail in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming, chapter 10.
At any rate, the theme of John’s ministry is clearly portrayed in the forty days prior to Jesus’ baptism, when John’s ministry reached its climax. John came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17). Even as Elijah’s ministry was replaced by Elisha and his double portion anointing, so also was John’s ministry replaced by Jesus and His double portion anointing.
The Elijah Famine
So what does all of this have to do with us today?
Teshuah begins on Tuesday, August 6, the day before the first of Elul. It signifies a time of repentance as well as the time of Elijah (or John the Baptist) leading to the Day of Atonement and the ministry of Christ.
The climax of Elijah’s ministry was a three-year time of drought and famine (1 Kings 17:1; 18:1), followed by the showdown with the prophets of Baal. In chapter 6 of my book, The Laws of the Second Coming, I showed how the feast-day pattern was fulfilled in the story of Elijah. Just before returning to Israel to confront King Ahab and his prophets, he raised the widow’s son from the dead as a type of the feast of Trumpets (1 Kings 17:22). This was the final event before returning to Israel.
The showdown itself was a type of the Day of Atonement, resulting in repentance. Then Elijah prayed for rain “seven times,” which represents the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles. The rain then came, representing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the 8th day of Tabernacles.
So if you have done your homework, you will have a much better understanding of the forty-day time of intercession that we are entering, as we begin to prepare for the Autumn feast days.
The Famine of Hearing the Word
Amos 8:11, 12 says,
11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.” 12 And the people will stagger from sea to [shining] sea, and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.
The American song, “O Beautiful” describes America as a land “from sea to shining sea,” because it lies between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. I believe Amos was speaking of America, probably without knowing it. We suffer from a famine of the word, even in the midst of an abundance of Bibles and churches. In fact, the worst famine of all is when we think we are being fed, but the food is only another serving of empty calories.
Years ago I came to understand that the famine prophesied by Amos was connected to Elijah’s famine. The Elijah drought/famine was literal, but the famine in our day would be of hearing the word of God. Later, the Father showed me the cause of this famine, specifically as it applied to America. It was explained by yet another three-year famine in Scripture, this time the one which occurred in the days of King David. We read of this in 2 Samuel 21:1,
1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year, and David sought the presence [paniym, “face, presence”] of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
In other famines, we are not told their spiritual causes. But here we are told specifically the cause of this famine. It was because Saul had “put the Gibeonites to death.” Who were the Gibeonites? Why was this a cause for divine judgment? We are told in Joshua 9 that the Gibeonites made a covenant, or treaty, with Joshua. Joshua 9:15 says,
15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them.
The treaty was made by stealth, for they pretended to be from a far country. Nonetheless, even after the truth was known, Israel was bound by this covenant. Joshua 9:19, 20 says,
19 But all the leaders said to the whole congregation, “We have sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. 20 This we will do to them, even let them live, lest wrath be upon us for the oath which we swore to them.
In other words, from then on, Israel could never use their deception as a pretext to annul the covenant. God planned it to happen this way in order to establish this point of law. They knew that God’s “wrath” would be upon them if they violated the oath of their covenant, and they could not annul it by claiming they were deceived.
Yet King Saul was presumptuous enough to “put the Gibeonites to death.” In other words, he violated the covenant between Joshua and the Gibeonites. This brought God’s “wrath” upon the whole nation of Israel—not in the days of Saul, but later in the days of King David. Saul seemed to get away with his actions, but in the end, Israel suffered the penalty for Saul’s sin, because Israel was held responsible for Saul’s actions. After all, the people were the ones who wanted a king, having rejected the direct rule of God (1 Samuel 8:7).
God held off on the judgment until the time of David to ensure that the nation could discover the problem and know the solution by revelation from God. If the judgment had struck Israel during the reign of Saul, the famine might have continued for a very long time, because the word of the Lord had departed from Saul. He was incapable of receiving this revelation. David, however, inquired of the Lord and thus gained understanding of both the problem and the solution.
David sent word to the Gibeonites, asking them what they would require as restitution to restore the breach and to satisfy the terms of Joshua’s covenant with them. Their answer is seen in 2 Samuel 21:5, 6,
5 So they said to the king, “The man who consumed us, and who planned to exterminate us from remaining within any border of Israel, 6 let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will hang them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”
David chose seven men of the house of Saul to be handed over to the Gibeonites, and 2 Samuel 21:9 says, “they were put to death in the first days of harvest at the beginning [or first day] of barley harvest.”
This event is thus dated. They were hanged on Easter, the day that the priest was to wave the sheaf of barley in the temple, beginning the seven-week countdown toward Pentecost. After the first fruits of the barley were waved to the Lord, the people were allowed to harvest their barley (Leviticus 23:14). Hence, it is called the first day of barley harvest.
In the 1800’s, as the white settlers began to move west toward the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. government made countless treaties with the Native Americans. Hardly a treaty was made that was not broken in some way. Too few Christians objected to this breach of divine law, whereas they should have marched to Washington D.C. and demanded that they keep their oaths. This did not happen, however, and so they allowed America to come under divine judgment.
This, I believe, is the origin of America’s blindness and deafness that prevents them from hearing the Word of the Lord. This is the source of today’s famine.
Most of my readers are familiar with the idea that King Saul represents the church. Saul was crowned on Pentecost, the day of “wheat harvest” (1 Samuel 12:17) and manifested signs of Pentecost throughout his time as king of Israel. If you are not familiar with this side of Bible prophecy, read my book, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost.
By contrast, David represents the overcomers, who are called to rule after Saul’s reign ends.
We see, therefore, that the church in America is liable for the sins of its government, especially during the 1800’s, when their government leaders were elected by the people. The majority of the people claimed to be Christians. So the prophetic parallel can easily be seen between King Saul’s plan to exterminate the Gibeonites (Native Canaanites) and the U.S. government’s plan to exterminate many of the Native Americans.
The result, of course, as I have said in the past, is divine judgment upon America and the church. The first important judgment was when God put us into captivity to Mystery Babylon in 1913, after the powerful bankers conspired at Jekyl Island in 1910 to write the Federal Reserve Act.
We are now nearing the end of our captivity, but the original cause of that captivity needs to be addressed. That is the purpose of the forty-day intercessory period beginning August 6, 2013.
I will give more details in Part 2.
This is the first part of a series titled "Intercession to End the Famine." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones