2021 is here and it is a year for the Lamb to be more real in and through us than ever before in our lives. I believe this is the desire in God’s heart and the true purpose behind everything. Please forgive me, but I struggle to find the words to express all I long to share with you. I don’t know how to describe the urgency in my heart, and the depth of my longing and need for the Lamb to be so much more given through me. I apologize for that which has not been His nature through me, and commit my heart to Him and you for more of Jesus and less of me.
I look at the names and hearts of those I send this newsletter to, and I am humbled and deeply touched by the Lord that has cared for me through you and made it possible for us to share Jesus and serve Him together in so many ways. What a privilege to stand together with you, to be ignited together as one offering, and to release Jesus in His sweet savor and beautiful nature together. Yes, at times we fall, we fail, but we get back up and look at HIM Who is our all, and we continue to let Jesus the Treasure pour through broken earthen pots of clay. All glory to this precious, beautiful Lamb that gives Himself through us. Oh, He is our all. May He truly be seen more and more as we pour Him forth together.
Again, words fail me to express the thankfulness in my heart for each and every one of you. Welcome to 2021, dear Jesus family.
From His heart and mine,
A song from when I recently
It is in all of our hearts for our worship to not just be songs, but actual pouring over Jesus, pouring into His wounds, loving Him, reaching His heart... this song came from that heart desire that burns in all of us at this time...
Click the image below to listen, and I pray it blesses you as you pour out on Him.
For the next quarter at ACTS, I will be sharing on Wednesday nights from the Book of Daniel. This time together, from the Lord's heart, is not a just a class, but a time of deeply pressing into Him and all He is wanting to do in us right now. This month's article is from the first Daniel sharing, which happened last Wednesday.
All the videos and audios will be up on the Fire Ministries website, under "Classes" and then the tab "Daniel 2021."
This article also pertains to our Math Equation! Some of you may remember that last month the Lord started laying groundwork for opening Himself through a math equation in the book of Daniel! The content of this article is more of that groundwork! May it be truly laid in our hearts so the Holy Spirit can do all He is longing to through the math equation of Daniel!
King Jehoiakim – A Warning and A Sign Taken from a transcription of our first Daniel sharing on January 6th, 2021
Prayers as we begin…
Lord, we thank you for what is burdening Your heart right now. We long to be so in tune with You that Your Word will break the cedars, will devastate, will re-form, bringing forth Christ and doing the work You need to do in us right now. Lord, we don’t put any confidence in our wisdom, in our righteousness, in our Bible knowledge, in anything. Lord, we humble our hearts before You. We are so desperately needy. We open to You. This is not a class. We open up to the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We open to you, Lord: have Your way. Father, have Your way in us. Son, have Your way in us. Holy Spirit, have Your way, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit, that when we start going down an old path of hearing or reading a teaching as just information, that He will arrest our hearts and say, “Right now is not the season for teaching.” And He will re-guide our hearts to the feet of Jesus, to the cross, to the dealing of God.
Holy Spirit, we believe for that, for one another… for us as one, and for our own hearts, that when we start listening with those ears of teaching or being puffed up with knowledge… in those moments, redirect our hearts, Lord. Holy Spirit, pierce our hearts, break our hearts to be open to what Jesus needs. Help us. Some of these ruts have formed so deeply over such a long time, that we are halfway down the river before we know that we are being carried away from Jesus instead of into Him. Help us for Jesus’ sake, to not allow this to be just a teaching. Amen.
King Jehoiakim – Pro-Self on the Throne
We are first going to cover a bit of history from the Old Testament, but may we not simply comprehend the history of God’s people, even though there is so much the Lord can minister and do in us through what He has laid forth in the Old Testament. But we are not learning history. May it be the personal dealing that the Lord is seeking in us right now.
Daniel 1:1, “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.”
This verse may appear like just a little sentence to give historical context to “the real meat” of what follows in the first chapter of Daniel, but I believe the Holy Spirit inspired people to write these things with great purpose, and that purpose has to do with the Crucified… and His sufferings and His Nature in us. Therefore this sentence carries great significance.
In this verse, we are given these details: In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim, king of Judah… in that year came King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem and besieged it.
There is a reason why Jehoiakim is the one on the throne at the very time that Nebuchadnezzar is besieging Jerusalem, and looking more closely at the details surrounding his reign can be very impacting in that regard.
And so, a quick history about Jehoiakim:
King Jehoiakim was the son of King Josiah. Josiah loved and obeyed the Lord, and during his reign the book of God’s law was rediscovered, and he personally sought to remove all idol worship from Judah (2 Kings 22 & 23). Jeremiah’s ministry had begun during this time (Jeremiah 1:2), and he prophesied that if the people did not turn their hearts back to the Lord, they would be removed from the land and made captives in Babylon. King Josiah was killed in battle against the Egyptians, and the Egyptian king placed Jehoiakim on the throne in his father’s place, as a puppet king to pay him tribute (2 Kings 23:34-35).
Jehoiakim maintained nothing of what his father had done to bring the hearts of the people back to the Lord – he brought back idol worship in full force. The nation followed suit, and Jeremiah again warned the nation that they were going to be taken captive by the Babylonians. The word of the Lord to Judah through Jeremiah was to submit to Babylon in a right spirit (Jeremiah 27:1-17). Neither King Jehoiakim nor the people ever heeded Jeremiah’s words.
Then Jehoiakim heard that Egypt – the nation to whom he was subject and paid tribute – had been defeated by Nebuchadnezzar in battle at Carchemish. Meanwhile, the Lord had Jeremiah dictate his prophecies to a scribe named Baruch, who then read them to the top leaders in Judah. The prophecies again indicated that the Lord wanted his people to submit to Nebuchadnezzar.
When the men brought the prophecies to King Jehoiakim, he was in his winter house, with a fire burning nearby to keep himself warm. As they read him Jeremiah’s words, Jehoiakim cut that portion they were reading from the scroll and burned it in the fire, until the entire scroll was consumed. He would not heed the warnings, and ordered Jeremiah’s arrest, though at the time God hid Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:21-26).
However, Nebuchadnezzar subsequently defeated the Philistine city of Ashkelon, and then began his march on Jerusalem. Eventually, King Jehoiakim did in fact surrender to Nebuchadnezzar, effectively switching his allegiance from the declining Egypt to the presently powerful force of Babylon (2 Kings 24:1). He paid Nebuchadnezzar tribute by giving him vessels out of the temple of God, as well as handing over some of Judah’s nobles and the best and brightest of the people as captives – Daniel and the three Hebrew children were among them (Daniel 1:1-2).
After three more years, Egypt began to regain strength and pushed back a Babylonian force in 601 BC. Against Jeremiah’s warnings, Jehoiakim switched his allegiance back to Egypt, betraying Nebuchadnezzar, despite the Lord’s word to submit to Babylonian rule (2 Kings 24:1).
Nebuchadnezzar responded by marching on Jerusalem and laying siege to the city. During the siege, King Jehoiakim died, and the people threw his dead body over the city wall (Jeremiah 22:18-19).
That is the basic history of King Jehoiakim.
Governed By Pro-Self
We begin the book of Daniel with King Jehoiakim on the throne in Judah. The government of the man who sat on the throne of David was pro-self during the time of God’s people going into captivity! All Jehoiakim wanted was to align himself with the world power that he felt was best for his own survival. He was a puppet king for Egypt, and when it suited him, he switched to Babylon for a time. He did not do this to submit to the word of the Lord coming through Jeremiah, but because it was what seemed best for him and his comfort. It was a pro-self motive. And then at the end of his short eleven-year reign, when it suited him, he switched back to Egypt, despite the word of the Lord, which resulted in a siege on Jerusalem.
This man is the king of Judah and son of King Josiah. He should understand the altar, and the spirit of that throne and the slain Lamb, more than anyone. And yet he is totally ungoverned by God’s nature and true King.
Also, Jehoiakim hated Jeremiah. He hated Jeremiah’s preaching. Why would he hate Jeremiah’s preaching? Because Jeremiah was preaching to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, to go into captivity and to bring forth the right spirit, to fellowship in the Lord’s sufferings in those fiery trials and manifest the Son in His eternal nature of sacrifice. Jehoiakim hated that. “I want to stay here. I don’t want my world shaken and turned upside down. I don’t want turmoil. I don’t want to have to submit in the Spirit of Christ. I don’t want to have to lay my life down!” He was a pro-self king all the way. He hated Jeremiah’s preaching for that reason. He hated his prophecies. Jeremiah even prophesied Jehoiakim’s death, that his dead body would be cast over the wall of Jerusalem and buried without mourning (Jeremiah 22:18-19).
Jehoiakim cut and burned Jeremiah’s prophesies to destroy them. When this king got his hands on Jeremiah’s scroll as it was read he cut it portion by portion and burned it in the fire. He is in his winter house, and he has his fire going. But what does he use that fire for? To burn the prophecies of Jeremiah. He should have been receiving those words like fire from the living God, and allowed those words to burn within him like altar fire, fulfilling the word of the Lord for His people to be consumed in a right spirit of sacrifice!
And you know, Jehoiakim might have liked Jeremiah as a person, but that Pro-Self king despised the word of the Lord that came through him. Jehoiakim might have loved Jeremiah’s words if they were not impacting his life in personal and real ways, if they did not hit him right where he was at. But everything Jeremiah prophesied was relevant to Jehoiakim. That is why he hated him.
Crisis Reveals True Government
At that time the whole earth was in turmoil. Jehoiakim could not figure out to whom he should give his allegiance, with whom he should be united. Maybe Egypt? Maybe Babylon? But he is supposed to be united to God! He is supposed to be in union, married, bearing the living God! Yet, to Jehoiakim, Egypt is just fine, and in fact Babylon is just as good – “Whichever one will make my life good, save me from suffering, and keep me comfortable,” he would say. Jehoiakim’s biggest dilemma was deciding which one was going to make him happier – Egypt or Babylon?
This is the king on the throne when God sent them into captivity.
The last days of Jehoiakim’s life were spent under siege in Jerusalem. So, he is put into this situation because he chose to align himself with Egypt in the end, and now he is under siege from Babylon. History records the momentary success of Egypt against Babylon in 601 BC that prompted Jehoiakim’s rebellion, and that Nebuchadnezzar sent forces in response to destroy Judah. But in 2 Kings 24:1-2, where Jehoiakim’s rebellion is recorded, it says the Lord sent those forces against them. And if you read the book of Lamentations, you can get a little feel of what that siege felt like to the people of God. It was horrible. And Jehoiakim is stuck in there with them, this man who was trying to avoid suffering and the altar.
Jehoiakim is stuck in there with God’s people who were supposed to be prepared for the altar and times when they would be able to be offered up as a living sacrifice in the nature of God’s own Son.
Yet Jehoiakim didn’t know up from down. He is burning the scroll. He is trying to kill the prophet. He has no heart to lift up his eyes and see that redemption drawing nigh (Luke 21:28), to see that wedding feast and the table that was spread (Revelation 19:7-9). He would not lift up his eyes and see the King, a slaughtered Lamb, enthroned in the heavens (Revelation 5:6), but meant to be enthroned in the hearts of God’s people that are in the earth (Revelation 21:9-10, 22-23, 22:1-3). Thatwas the government he should have been joined to.
But he only had a heart for the earth. He only had eyes to see what was going on down here and, “How does it benefit me? Which side should I take?” Whichever side he took, he was not on the Lord’s side (Joshua 5:13-14). He was not united with the Living God; he had not married the Lamb (Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 3:1, 14, 20; 31:32). He did not lift up his heart and his eyes and say, “Glory to God, now is my time. Now is my time to show Him I am with Him, and to manifest who He is in me, a slaughtered Lamb who serves and gives His Life in love. Now is my time to show that I am one with You, Lord, in reality and not doctrinally. Halleluiah!”
Yet the people he was with belonged to the Living God. They could have had revival under siege! A revival of the Slaughtered Lamb and altar fire and a releasing of burnt offerings through the people! That is revival of the altars of releasing Christ in crisis! Jehoiakim could have led them in that. What an opportunity that would have been in the siege! He could have said, “This is the best time we have had as a people. We are surrounded on every front, but lift up your eyes, people! We are One with the Living God! He is our King! He is our Life! He is our bread and our water – it is sure!”
Isaiah prophesied of such things! In Isaiah 33:16-22, he prophesied what should be happening under siege when a heart is lifted up and is being written in the Lamb’s book of Life, and is at the Lamb’s wedding feast joining with the True King and His government! So the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ (Revelation 11:15)! Not Egypt, not Babylon. Jehoiakim kept thinking, “Which one, which one? I have got nothing. I am stuck. I made the wrong choice. Oh, we are under siege, what do I do? Oh crisis!” Jehoiakim died during that siege and they threw his dead body out. They just threw it out. No spirit of life to raise it back. Just a crisis. This was the king of Judah, who sat on the throne of David, was the second son of Josiah, just a corpse – no spirit of life. No word of God. Jeremiah was his prophet, and yet no leading the people to the altars of the Most High God, to the throne of the Slaughtered Lamb, to the Communion Feast of Wife, which they were meant to be (Jeremiah 31:32).
What an opportunity he missed. Instead of being like the two witnesses in Revelation 11, when there was shaking and quaking, and there they were, spiritually pouring out slaughtered Lamb! And their dead bodies lay out on the ground too, and people even partied over them. But oh the spirit of life that is going to raise them back up after three and half days! Yet Jehoiakim’s dead body just lay there, in the midst of the people, who were besieged and had no understanding that they belonged to the living God above the earth. No spirit of God’s life to quicken and release in that crisis, just a pro-self corpse not worthy of a proper burial in God’s eyes.
He failed them. He failed God. He failed his purpose. He failed their purpose. And so… in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Jeremiah 22:18-19, “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him saying, Ah my brother! Or, Ah sister! They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! Ah his glory! He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”
Daniel 1:2, “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of god: and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.”
The Lord gave. You would think it was Jehoiakim who caused all this or did this. But the Lord was Lord. He is in control. He gave Jehoiakim into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand. And He gave those vessels and those people that were carried away in that first deportation in 605 BC, of which Daniel was part.
He gave Daniel. And He gave those vessels. And those young men and women carried away in that first deportation during Jehoiakim’s time. God gave them to Babylon with purpose… with so much purpose. Man did not do that. God did it. God was stirred up.
Have you ever felt God was stirred up? Personally, I have never felt that God was stirred up more than I feel right now. Never. That is me personally. I have never felt it so strong in my life.
God was moving. God was behind the shaking earth and the shifting kingdoms. God had something in His heart. GODhad something in His Heart, something that only Jeremiah and few seemed to be in tune with.
What about Babylon? Or what about Assyria? It was such a big power for so long! What about Egypt? What about these kings and these sieges? What about these things that are happening?
What about God? What about His Heart? What about “the Lord gave”? What about King of kings and Lord of lords? What about God?
Looking into the Heart of God or
Inhabiter of the Earth?
Over a hundred years earlier, Amos had been a prophet from the southern kingdom of Judah who prophesied to the northern kingdom of Israel, before they were conquered and carried away by Assyria. A hundred years earlier, God’s people were upset with him for prophesying. They said, “Go back home, don’t tell us what to do.” Amos said, “I am not a prophet; I am not a prophet nor even a son of a prophet” (Amos 7:12-15). But in chapter one of Amos, he felt the roaring of the Lord’s Heart for Zion roaring out from Zion, and this two years before the earthquake came (Amos 1:1-2). Two years before the judgment came on Israel and the Assyrian captivity and dispersion, two years before anything manifested in the earth, Amos felt the roaring of the Lord’s heart. A roaring that did not manifest in the earth until two years later. But Amos heard it. He was in tune with the Lord. Amos’ name means “burden” – it was the Lord’s burden he bore.
Jeremiah was also in tune with the Lord. Things were quaking and shaking. It was not the things in earth quaking and shaking first. It was God’s heart. God’s heart was quaking and shaking… for His Son. And that is way bigger than anything that will happen in this world. Read the book of Revelation. It is all about one thing. And that one thing is not down here. It is up there. It is a Person, a slaughtered Lamb, and He is meant to be in us.
There is a time to learn about it as a teaching. And then there is a time to say, “Oh God. Right here and right now it is time to let the Lamb manifest through me in this trial (1 Peter 1:7). Right here Lord, in me. Your Son and this altar.” Amos and Jeremiah were not looking for the earth to answer these questions. They were looking into the Heart of God. Not even His teachings, but His Heart. Read Jeremiah and his prophecies…
All the kings, the false prophets, and most of the people were caught up in the shifting powers in the earth. This was the climate of the first deportation to Babylon in 605 BC, of which Daniel was a part. The turmoil surrounding these conflicts. The injustice, the hardship. Most approached it with a pro-self viewpoint. Like Jehoiakim, they approached it as inhabitants of the earth. What does Revelation have to say of these inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 8:13, 12:12, 17:1-2)? It will be profoundly important in the book of Daniel. But, more importantly, in the book of my own heart.
They approached it all from a pro-self viewpoint, like Jehoiakim, as inhabitants of the earth, rather than those joined with the slain Lamb above. They did not look up when these things came upon them as Jesus tells us to…
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
Fire in Babylon
(sharing from New Years Eve 2020/2021 - click below to watch)