Tonight I would like to continue looking at what is important to us here at The Furnace, what our focus is or is going to be, and what the Lord has been speaking to me about currently, but all lining up with the vision that I was given some time back about this fellowship.
It’s like pieces of a puzzle coming together of who and what we will become concerning the Kingdom to create a new culture that the Lord wants to be displayed here in Kenosha and the surrounding areas.
I have seen the Kenosha in the future, but I am not alone in this. The Lord has been speaking to others outside this church, which have voiced similar thoughts and as we have surmised that we are part of the greater plan and purpose of what God wants to do here. It’s is nothing small, but huge in nature, and it is up to us to partner with the Lord to see His glory unfold and manifested in the area.
Last week I said the #1 priority of The Furnace was to minister to the Lord, because that is and should be the beginning of relationship with the Lord, and that time of worship and adoration to Him leads to intimacy with Him, and that opens the door for Him to give us revelation to His purposes for our lives.
As a church, we will minister to Him, and wait for the Him to move and open doors, then we will move and pass through those doors as directed by the Holy Spirit. We will not attempt to force a door open that should not be opened, or open one before its time.
As we set our eyes upon the Lord, we will find that He has been speaking for some time about a church that is to set apart for Him. He has not changed. That has always been His thought from the beginning that we should be a spotless Bride. Holy and committed to Him. Those who shun the lifestyles of this world and its earthly fleshly pleasures to give Him worship with our lives.
People who are be called out, set apart and consecrated, who will dedicate their lives to His Holy Purpose.
As we read the Word, looking at the New Testament, we read of believers who set themselves apart to possess the Kingdom of God, then after possessing it, giving it away to all who would receive it.
That church was all about freely giving what they had freely received, all because they had a heart after God because they knew Him. Unfortunately, looking at the past century or so, we as the Church of Jesus Christ have turned from our first love, and struggle with that love because we struggle with the things of this world. We have allowed worldly ideals to come in to our lives, and it has dulled our thinking and our spiritual eyes and thoughts to the truth.
We’ve had revivals and awakenings that shook the church and brought people to repentance, drove them to holiness, and a renewed zeal to have relationship with the Lord and evangelize, but as we have seen since the beginning of time really, these revivals and awakenings only last for so many generations, then people forget the great moves of God, and either fall away or just become stagnate.
We have seen a gradual falling away, plus the bar has been lowered concerning Christian living, and because of the low bar, almost everything is acceptable today in the Church, and we now have little power.
When Jesus established His church, He envisioned it to have all power over the enemy that we who believed would be conquerors to take back that which the enemy stole. Unfortunately, our acceptance of sin, and worldliness has made us ineffective, and churches that were once filled with overcoming believers, are now basically white washed tombs.
It’s time for another awakening, and really a time for a new reformation of the church. And that will only happen when the people of God set themselves apart again, and cleanse themselves from this world and come back into relationship with Jesus and become Holy in the sense of what God calls Holy. But it will take a people, who will stand away from the crowd, and “decline” themselves from the American traditional church model to be individuals who are separated to God for His purpose. That can be a lonely position. Moving away from the crowd. But the benefits are staggering.
Back in the Old Testament we read of individuals who set themselves apart from worldly ideals. We would call them religious zealots today; to the Jews they were called Nazirites. These men or women were a special breed of people who set themselves apart to be an expression of the Kingdom of God among the people. They were like a spiritual warrior class of people. They were extreme in their zeal for the Lord, and they definitely did not follow the religious crowd. If anything, the religious crowd was in awe of them and it caused them to want to be the same.
Since I was in my teens, I have had a fascination with these individuals. People who took a vow to serve the Lord down a seemly very narrow path; some for just a short time, and others for lifetime, but all for a purpose of honoring the Lord of Hosts totally with their lives.
Being a Nazirite was bore out of what God said to Moses in Numbers 6:1-21.
Num 6:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, he shall separate himself.”
Nazirite comes from the Greek word “nazir” (naw zeer) which means “separate” , to be consecrated as a prince, as an unpruned vine. Nazir comes from the root Nazar (naw zar) that means to hold aloof, abstain from impurity, to separate or set one’s self a part for sacred purposes, fully devoted.
The Nazirite’s life was all about separation. Separation from the things of this world that would break their vow; earthly pleasures that may keep them from their focus on God.
And you may ask, why this tonight? Nazirites?
It’s because I truly believe that the Lord is putting in our ears now, about a future group of people, who will be from this body of believers, who will set themselves apart to be consecrated to the Lord in the same spirit of the Nazirites from long ago.
We would not be alone in this. There are individuals, many young people who have taken a vow to the Lord to separate themselves from the so-called pleasures of this world to follow Him with intensity. They are out there now. They are in California, Florida, they are in Dallas, Kansas City, Colorado Springs; they are all over. God is raising up a new generation of believers who will be set apart to Him to bring justice where there is no justice. Love where there is no love, and healing where there is no healing. And they will do that with fierce intercession, and by being out among the people who need it.
Being a Nazirite is not about the long hair, or staying away from dead bodies, it’s about being set apart. Its about being Holy because the Lord God is Holy.
I have heard the Lord say to me that here, He wants Prophetic Nazirite Intercessors. These intercessors will bring justice into this city and the surrounding areas. And I am like yes! Yes, Lord. Fill the place up with them!
The Nazirites of old were just regular people who by their separation and following a Nazirite code or vow had a status just like a priest in their day.
Remember, priests were considered “Holy unto the Lord’ and ministered to the Lord, but the Nazirite, would also minister to the Lord too, not in the Temple because only the line of Aaron and the Levites could do that, but they were like a priest out in public. The Jews actually looked at them as having a higher calling, as they had stricter rules to follow in the Jew’s eyes then that of a priest, they lived in continued sanctification. Their life was a consecrated life.
Priests only had to be consecrated while in the sanctuary; Nazirites lived that consecration until their time of consecration was over or for their whole lives.
For those whose whole lifetimes were to be sanctified as a Nazirite, such as Samson who was a judge of Israel, the Prophet Samuel, and even John the Baptist in the New Testament, they were to live out this narrow life of being set-apart until their death.
So the Jewish people were quite aware of what a Nazirite was. Nazirites weren’t ordinary. Priests were ordinary in people’s eyes, maybe because they were all around, but not the Nazirites. They lived in the extreme in people’s eyes. They were like Zealots for the Lord.
When reading what the Jew’s perspective was on them, the Jew’s said these people “resembled prophets”, especially those called from birth. When speaking of those who were Nazirites from birth, their dedication to the Lord began at conception, and we see that with the Prophet and Nazirite, Samuel, and with Samson the Judge.
In 1 Samuel 1:11, Samuel’s mother Elkanah vowed to the Lord and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
Elkanah Samuel’s mother knew what a Nazirite was and dedicated her son even before conception to the Lord. Samuel was born, and lived in that vow of his mother.
Samson’s mother became a Nazirite by the direction of an Angel, and when she bore Samson, became a Nazarite for life.
Judges 13:3, “And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”
These individuals were purposed by the Lord and set apart for His own good will.
We see it with Samuel, he ministered to the Lord when he was a child, and as it says in 1 Samuel 3, “the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.”
Primarily because the priests were carnal. But because of the life of Samuel from a young age of being set apart and ministering to the Lord, the Lord again spoke, and He spoke to Samuel.
And 1 Samuel 3:19, “And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD.”
Samuel was a set apart one. The Nazirite, had connection with God. Samuel was not a priest, but as a Nazirite, he heard the voice of the Lord and ministered to the Lord and such ministered to the people as directed by the Lord.
The Lord is looking for more Samuel’s to rise up. And really thinking about it, I pray that parents will dedicate their children to the Lord just as Samuel’s mother did. Children that will be raised to minister to the Lord and through that ministry, hear from the Lord just as Samuel did.
So they may be Prophets like he was, or maybe even be Apostles, or Evangelists, or Pastor’s or Teachers. But having a heart that is set apart for the Lord that is evident even when they were young. Parents can do that if they purpose themselves to, but it also takes the parents to be the example of the lifestyle so their children will be that lifestyle.
For us here at The Furnace, I guess it going to take us old timers to train up the younger ones to train their younger ones. Amen!
The Lord is calling us out today. To set ourselves apart from this world, and He is looking those who will say, “God, I will not conform to the things of this world, and in doing so, by my own will, I vow to you to separate myself from the norms of the world even the church that do not line up with Your Word, that keeps me from a relationship with you.”
Yes, there can be modern day Nazirites who have set themselves apart in the same spirit from those long ago.
We need the fire again. The people of God need fire, and fire comes from heaven to those that go after God. He dispenses the fire. He causes His glory to fall down.
And the people of God who worship, pray, and fast to the Lord will receive that fire. The set apart ones who go deep into the secret place with God, know that there are depths in God that you can go to know Him that others will not take the effort to go there. That takes radical persistence on the believer to dig deep to know God.
The Nazirite may seem radical today as they did in the days of early Israel, but our Lord expects radical in this age. We must be radical to not be sucked into the spiritual mess that seems to be all around us. Breaking away from a religious spirit so the Holy Spirit will reign in us.
We must be set apart. A person who allows parts of their lives to be influenced by the darkness of this world even a little bit will limit their usefulness for the purposes of God.
John the Baptist was an example of one who grew up in a Godly family, who was set apart by the will of God to be a forerunner for Jesus. It states in Luke 1:80 (that’s a long chapter)
Luke 1:80, “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.”
Even though John the Baptist grew up in a great family, he had to purpose himself to grow in the strength of the Lord to be ready to go out. Here it states that he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance.
A couple things stand out to me. One it states that John grew and became strong in the Spirit. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and I imagine his time in wilderness, he cultivated his time with the Lord in the Spirit. John was bold, we see that in scripture, and that boldness only comes from knowing God. So that wilderness experience strengthened him.
Jesus had that wilderness experience when He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. When He came out of the wilderness triumphant, the Word says, “He returned in the power of the Spirit.”
Jesus was not a Nazirite because He was Jesus, but you see that those who have set themselves apart, who have walked a time in the wilderness, many of us have, when reaching out to God have received revelation and power to do great things for God. The wilderness is not bad.
Samuel grew up in the Presence hidden away in the Temple, his wilderness.
It takes those who willfully take themselves out of the mainstream whatever that mainstream is in your life that keeps you from hearing the voice of God, to lay it down so you can move into His Presence, and let Him transform your mind, so you can become strong in the Spirit.
And when you move, and breath, and live the Spirit, you grasp what Heaven on Earth means, and you use that God breathed knowledge and understanding through supernatural faith to bring Heaven here.
The Lord is looking for forerunners. Those who will step out. Be the tip of the spear so to speak.
I’ll end with this.
I read a story from the book Nazirite DNA by Lou Engle, where he speaks of the days in Israel during the time of Deborah, who was a Prophetess and a Judge of Israel. Sisera a Caananite general started a war with Israel. Israel defeated him and his armies with supernatural help from heaven. In some texts it states that the leaders who led the fight, were the long haired ones. The long haired ones when they fought viewed that the war was against God, thus it was a Holy war.
Lou Engle states, “from the original Hebrew, that the leaders of Deborah’s battle were actually Nazirites who had made vows to the Lord to grow their hair in preparation for the conflict. When the Nazirites loosed their locks and their long hair was revealed in front of their own outnumbered forces, suddenly the citizen army was filled with a spirit of faith, energized with holy zeal, and ran freely into the battle, knowing that the God of the Nazirites was with them.”
Engle, Lou. Nazirite DNA (Kindle Locations 327-330). TheCall. Kindle Edition.
Those who set themselves apart, who minister to the Lord, who know His heart, He builds up. They stand out. We may even know some, but it is time for the long haired ones, in the spiritual sense to begin to prepare themselves to battle for the Lord as we are in a Holy war.
God is looking for spiritually violent ones who will challenge the political systems of death and injustice. People who will demonstrate the love of God in situation that love would be hard to display. People who will offer compassion beyond the norm who will offer forgiveness, hope, and compassion that has not been seen, being done by the church in mass in years. People who will be outrageous, who will stand for those who have no protection; the poor and oppressed.
As in the times of Deborah, we need a people who will rise up. It’s time to grow out our hair so to speak.
Because the church needs to be filled with a spirit of faith, and energized with Holy zeal to cause a new revolution of the church, and a massive paradigm shift to cause the church to wake up again to the destiny that Jesus created it for.
We need to violently pray, and prophesy, and engage in spiritual warfare to change the culture of death, to a culture of life around us.
The church needs a higher rule of life, a higher life of purity and holiness. And when we move into that direction, we can’t be self-righteous about it. We need the fire of inward intimacy with the Lord and live in His mercy in humility so we can accomplish His purposes how great or small.
“The Consecration and discipline of the Nazirite must spring from the filling of the spirit and the fire of God’s jealousy on the human heart.” Mike Bickle
Engle, Lou. Nazirite DNA (Kindle Locations 433-434). TheCall. Kindle Edition.
It is my prayer that this church in time will be filled with people who have that heart. The heart of a Nazirite, because who knows what we can accomplish with people who are enriched with the Holy Spirit who see with Holy Spirit fire.
All things surely would be possible to that generation, and the culture would change, and who knows, that prophecy of an awakening for southeastern Wisconsin, well, it would surely happen, wouldn’t it?
I pray for us here tonight, and the future generation of young people you are calling out to be outrageously set apart. Forerunners of the next awakening. Full of the Spirit who stand against injustice. Stand for the poor and the sick. Cry out against abortion, and the other ills of our society that go against your word. and refuse to give up ground….