T HE S ECRET OF H IS P URPOSE …. T HE P LAN FOR THE F ULLNESS OF THE T IMES
TO HEAD UP ALL THINGS IN THE KING,
E VERYTHING IN THE H EAVENS AND ON THE E ARTH ,
IN JESUS ….
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
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Engedi Moment is Coming!
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During the early morning hours of June 8, 2011, as I slept, I was awakened with the word
"Engedi." I knew of the word but, frankly, had no clue what it meant or where it was found in
scripture. Based on past experience with the Lord, I was pretty sure it was from Him, which led
me to search it out in His word.
History of Engedi
Engedi was an important oasis town and fresh-water spring west of the Dead Sea. The name
means "spring of a kid (goat)" or "fountain of the goat, " It was also known as Hazazon-tamar or
"the cutting (felling) of the palm." Engedi (Hazazon-tamar) is mentioned seven times in
scripture, dating it as far back as the time of Abraham and as far forward as the manifestation
of New Jerusalem.
Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, defeated the Amorites at Hazazon-tamar (Genesis 14:7), but was
himself later defeated by Abram the Hebrew and his 318 trained men. When Joshua brought
the sons of Israel into Canaan, Engedi was the last city named in the inheritance territory given
to Judah (Joshua 15:62). While escaping from the pursuit of Saul, David stayed in the
strongholds of Engedi, also described as the "wilderness of Engedi" and the "Rocks of the Wild
Goats" (1 Samuel 23:29; 24:1). An overwhelming army or great multitude of Moabites,
Ammonites, and Meunites camped at Engedi in preparation to make war against Judah and
Jerusalem during the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:2). Solomon poetically referred to
the vineyards of Engedi (Song of Solomon 1:14). Finally, Ezekiel prophesied of the river of living
water giving life to all that it contacts and of fishermen standing by this river from Engedi to
Eneglaim as they catch a great many of all kinds of fish (Ezekiel 47:10).
Obviously, each of these references is spiritually significant, but the account of King
Jehoshaphat in Chronicles caught my attention as being most relevant to our day. You could say
it was an "Engedi moment" for the king and his fellow Judahites.
Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah after the death of Solomon and the breakup of his
kingdom into Judah (2 tribes) and Israel (10 tribes) as ordained by the Lord and prophesied by
Ahijah (1 Kings 11:9-13, 29-36). He was one of the good but not "perfect in all his ways" kings.
He followed the example of his father David's earlier days, and he required that the law be
taught throughout the land. As a result, the Lord was with him, and he amassed a million plus
army (1,160,000), along with great riches and honor. But consider what happened when he
received word that an army was ready to invade his kingdom.
Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude is coming
against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar
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(that is Engedi)." Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and
proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. (2 Chronicles 20:2-3 NASB)
Amazingly, in spite of a million-man army, Jehoshaphat feared this enemy encamped at Engedi.
It must have been a massive army for him to have such fear. However, this caused him, along
with all of Judah, to turn to the Lord. They didn't presume that the Lord was on their side or
that their own military might was sufficient to win in battle. Out of desperation, they sought the
Lord.
So, Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the
cities of Judah to seek the LORD. Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and
Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, and he said, "O LORD, the God
of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the
kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand
against You. (2 Chronicles 20:4-6 NASB)
The king rightfully and humbly appealed to the Lord as the ruler over all the nations, just like
the psalmist, who declared that God is a great King: For the LORD is a great God and a great
King above all gods (Psalm 95:3). By his question, he declared that the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob-Israel is the King of all, and on this basis, he appealed to Him alone.
As the whole nation of Judah stood before the Lord, the spirit of the Lord spoke through a
Levite.
All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their infants, their wives and their children.
Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of
Zechariah…; and he said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King
Jehoshaphat: thus, says the LORD to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this
great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's. … 'You need not fight in this battle;
station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and
Jerusalem.' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is
with you." (2 Chronicles 20:13-15, 17 NASB)
What an encouragement in a time of great fear and dismay! Jehoshaphat stood on this word
and encouraged his people to "put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established,"
and "put your trust in His prophets and succeed." So, they went forward singing and praising
the Lord. As the story goes, the Lord caused their enemies to turn on themselves and kill one
another. Judah prevailed and the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands and the
kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides. See 2 Chronicles
20:1-30.
God Bless America!
Can you imagine what would have happened if on September 11, 2001, the leaders of America
had turned to the Lord as Jehoshaphat had done? What if church leadership in America had
turned in such a fashion? We can only imagine that things might have turned out entirely
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different. Oh, many proclaimed "God bless America" in that day as if God were on our side, but
we never truly turned to and humbled ourselves before the Lord God. Instead, we trusted in
our own strength, our military might, and embarked on wars of vengeance and so-called justice .
Rather than taking up the sword of the spirit and waiting for the spirit of the Lord to speak to us
as a nation, we took up the physical sword of man and went to war. Since then, there has been
an ebb and flow of battles on various fronts. The fact of the matter is that conditions for us and
the rest of the world have grown progressively worse with the threat of wars playing a
significant role in leading us to the cliff of bankruptcy, as we put more and more money into the
industrial-military complex. By their very nature, wars rob the wealth of nations.
Did you know that there is precedence for asking God to bless us, but it is not quite what
people think? God requires a response to His blessings. Blessing from God is so that the people
(nation) will turn away from their sins or wickedness. Consider what Peter said to the Israelites
of his day.
God sent his chosen Son to you first, because God wanted to bless you and make each
one of you turn away from your sins. (Acts 3:26 CEV)
I doubt that when any of our political leaders ask God to bless America that they even think
there is anything for us to turn from. Nevertheless, when they do call on God in this way, God is
looking for a national response. He is still looking for it!
See In God We Trust! http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art68.pdf
See Wake Up America! http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art67.pdf
The decline of America on practically all fronts has been accelerating since the beginning of the
21 st century, and yet, as a nation, there has been and continues to be no collective voice or
heart like Jehoshaphat that seeks to draw the nation together as one to seek the Lord, even to
declare that Jesus is King of all the nations. If anything, there is a concerted antichrist
movement to deny Messiah Jesus His rightful place on the throne of the universe and over all
the nations. We are a divided nation!
What will it take for our nation, as well as the nations of the world, to turn to God and humbly
cry out to Him for the answer? We need an "Engedi moment," a moment when all is stacked
against us, and we see no way out. The enemies of all realms (not just of the human) must be
against us to the point of backing us up against a wall, so to speak, so that we have nowhere to
turn but to God. For it is in that day and at that moment that we will hear God's solution to our
Engedi moment. Only when we are desperate enough to hear from God will the spirit of the
Lord speak to us a deliverance message, and when He does, there will be only one solution. The
solution is a person; and He is Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords. We need the kingdom
of our Lord to come. We need the King! Our Engedi moment is coming!
Historical Record of Jehoshaphat
To rightfully place this word in the context of our day, I feel we need to step back a bit and take
a closer look at the historical record of Jehoshaphat and the hostile army stationed at Engedi.
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This is important because, in order to have an "Engedi moment" in which God owns the battle,
one must have the right heart toward God. In other words, it requires more than a nation
having its back against the wall, so to speak. It requires a humble spiritual leader(s) who unites
the people as one with a heart-felt cry to God and an unwavering trust in God, even knowing
Him as their trust.
First, Jehoshaphat's father Asa had a similar experience when an Ethiopian army of a million
men came against Judah's army of 580,000 men. When he saw that the numbers were not in
their favor, King Asa called upon the Lord and put his trust in Him. The Lord heard and routed
the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah (2 Chronicles 14:8-9, 11-12). In other words, Jehoshaphat
had a good role model.
Second, it is interesting that King Asa had an army of 580,000 men at his disposal, but when his
son Jehoshaphat took the scepter of Judah, he had an army of 1,160,000 men (2 Chronicles
17:14-19). How could the size of the Judah army have doubled? The answer is simple. Some
Israelites (not all) from the northern kingdom of Israel defected to Judah. Keep in mind that
Israel under Jeroboam had forsaken the Lord and given the people Baal and a golden calf to
worship; however, not all the Israelites were pleased with this evil transgression. When they
heard that King Asa was removing the idols from the land and restoring the altar, and that the
Lord was with Judah, some of them defected from Israel in favor of Judah, especially from the
tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon.
He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who
resided with them, for many defected to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his
God was with him. (2 Chronicles 15:9 NASB)
It is apparent that the number of men in Judah's army had swelled dramatically under Asa so
that his son inherited a very large army.
Third, the number of Jehoshaphat's army was recorded prior to him making peace with Ahab
the wicked king of Israel and joining him in war against Ramoth-gilead. Ahab refused to heed
the warning from Micaiah the prophet and was killed in battle (1 Kings 22). The record does not
offer a count of the casualties from this war that Jehoshaphat should have avoided, so it is
possible that his army was considerably diminished below the 1,160,000 level, which could
have led him to fear the enemy that was invading Judah by way of Engedi. He knew that he had
failed to follow the Lord and could see the result of his disobedience to wage war alongside
wicked Israel.
Fourth, as Jehoshaphat returned from war, Jehu the seer went out to meet him and said to King
Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and so bring
wrath on yourself from the LORD? But there is some good in you, for you have removed the
Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God" (2 Chronicles 19:2-3 NASB).
The king had made a mistake, but there was some good in the man that made him a seeker of
God. Undoubtedly, it was this heart that led him to rally all of Judah as one voice and to call
upon the Lord as they faced possible annihilation by a mighty force staged at Engedi. In other
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words, a spiritual leader does not have to do everything correctly and will make mistakes; he
needs a heart for the Lord.
Fifth, Jehoshaphat did not hide in his closet, so to speak, or appear before his people with some
sort of political speech to positively spin the dire situation. He unabashedly stood before his
people and cried out and appealed to God, based on their history with the one who is in heaven
and the ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations. No one can stand against His power and
might. Even if they suffered, Jehoshaphat vowed: 'Should evil come upon us, the sword, or
judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your
name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us' (2
Chronicles 20:9 NASB).
Sixth, Judah and Israel had a history with the Ammonites and Moabites, and Jehoshaphat
reminded God of this history. When the sons of Israel had come out of Egypt, the Lord did not
allow them to destroy the tribes of Lot, and now these very same tribes were about to reward
them by driving them out of their God-given inheritance. Again, the king cried out: "O our God,
will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming
against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You" (2 Chronicles 20:12 NASB).
Seventh, all of Judah stood together with their king, and when they did, God sent a word to
them through Jahaziel the Levite. He answered their cry for help.
All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their infants, their wives and their children.
Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of
Zechariah…; and he said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King
Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this
great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's. … 'You need not fight in this battle;
station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and
Jerusalem.' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is
with you." (2 Chronicles 20:13-15, 17 NASB)
The battle was not theirs but God's. For their part, they were to stand and see the salvation of
the Lord, that is, stand as one united under God and see Him save them from their enemies.
They did not even have to fight; they simply had to march out and face their enemies. When
they did, God made His move. But how did He rout their enemies? Some say that God sent
angels to the battle, but the most likely scenario is that He caused a distrust to rise up among
the army stationed at Engedi. The Moabites and Ammonites came from the land of Edom
(Mount Seir), and they had Edomites in their ranks. It has been proposed that other Edomites,
ones separate from the Edomites in the invading army, laid an ambush on the Moabites and
Ammonites, which, in turn, led the Moabites and Ammonites to turn against the Edomites in
their ranks, thinking they were co-conspirators in the ambush. Thus, infighting occurred that
quickly led to all the tribes devouring one another.
Eighth, and the most significant, Jehoshaphat was a humble spiritual leader who united all his
people as one nation under God. There was no wavering in the king's heart and call to God
alone as their only way to be saved from their enemies. He was an example of a true leader,
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one that was fertile ground upon which the holy spirit could work. He didn't puff himself up
before his people with rhetoric about how powerful he and his army were, nor did he assume
that God was on their side. No; he did not presume anything except how powerless he and his
people were in such a situation. The king of Judah set his eyes upon the Lord and the people
followed. "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You." This is spiritual leadership.
Think about it in light of our modern-day leaders!
So, an "Engedi moment" is a moment when a nation or a group of people realize there is an
insurmountable enemy at their gate, figuratively or literally speaking, that will overcome
them or even annihilate them without the help or intervention of God. This is what
Jehoshaphat and Judah faced when the sons of Lot, along with some Edomites, gathered a
great multitude of an army at Engedi (2 Chronicles 20).
A Prepared Heart
However, there is one vital point that must not be missed about an "Engedi moment"; the heart
of the people, including their leaders, must be prepared to cry out to God. In other words, the
soil of their hearts must be prepped in such a way that they have already turned to God before
the danger of Engedi presents itself to them. Simply, they cannot be a rebellious, unrepentant
people and expect God to miraculously move on their behalf.
We see this matter clearly in the contrast of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern
kingdom of Judah. Following Solomon's death, the united kingdom of Israel was split into Israel
(holder of the birthright) and Judah (holder of the scepter). For fear that the ten tribes would
return to Jerusalem for worship, Jeroboam, the king of Israel, instituted worship of Baal and the
golden calf, and named priests outside the line of Levi (1 Kings 12:25-33; 2 Chronicles 11:14-17).
This was an abomination to the Lord (1 Kings 13:33-34; 14:7-10), and, as mentioned previously,
some defected from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon (2 Chronicles 15:9).
There is no doubt that all the tribes joined together in Judah were well aware of how the Lord
turned against Jeroboam (Israel) when he warred against Abijah, the king of Judah. The sons of
Judah trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers, and subdued and conquered the sons of
Israel by slaughtering 500,000 chosen men of Israel. Jeroboam did not recover from such
defeat, and the Lord struck him dead (2 Chronicles 13). This event alone should have been and,
in fact, was to many a wake-up call, so to speak, for clearly the Lord would fight for those who
remained true to Him and did not depart to false gods.
God is not unfair with His people. The fact of the matter is that He is just and righteous even
when His people go astray. Throughout the history of Israel and Judah, the Lord often warned
them of their departure from Him and the need to return to Him. Even when He knew they
were not going to return to Him, He would tell them in advance what He was going to do. Proof
of this is discovered throughout the writings of the prophets.
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the
prophets. (Amos 3:7 NASB)
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Further, the Lord often brings certain calamitous events to His people to get their attention.
Case in point is the slaughter of 500,000 Israelites. We might not like such things or even deny
that they are from the Lord, but the historical, biblical record clearly reveals these are the
judgments of the Lord.
America Under Judgment
This leads to the present day and our own country. In light of Engedi, a few questions come to
mind. If America were faced with an Engedi, would our national leaders humble themselves
before the nation and, especially, before the Lord, calling upon Him: " We do not know what to
do, but our eyes are on You "? Do we see any national leaders on the scene today who project
such a heart? Of course, we do not know the heart, only the Lord does, but the words and
actions coming forth from our political leaders indicate that we are in a vacuum when it comes
to true, righteous, spiritual leadership. What about the church and its leadership? Take some
time and visit many of the "church" services in your area and answer the question yourself.
David Wilkerson was a genuine leader who had a heart for the Lord and continually sounded
the trumpet of warning. The Lord took him so abruptly that it should make us wonder if the
Lord has begun to turn up the heat, so to speak, of His judgment of the world and America that
has been gradually turning from Him and trusting in its own strength (Isaiah 31:1). Where is our
boast in this day (Psalm 20:7-9)?
Dear brethren, America is under the judgment of God. Over the years, I have heard so-called
Christian leaders rebuff any notion that our country is under God's judgment, regardless of
what is going on and its source. Of course, the media jump all over any Christian who dares
utter the word judgment , as if the person is an extremist nut. Whether it is violent weather,
earthquakes, man-made crises, or terrorist attacks, God is not seen as having any hand in any of
them.
See Depraved Minds in Our Day http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art69.pdf
Again, after September 11, 2001, there were some in the Christian community that were
declaring the terrorist attack was God's judgment, but, for the most part, it was not a popular
thing to say; it was considered heretical by some to even imply any complicity on the part of
God. After all, as the thinking goes, God could never cause or allow such horrible things,
especially on America that is blessed by God. What about the slaughter of 500,000 sons of
Israel? What I find strange is that some who deny God's judgment are also ones who see God
casting billions upon billions of people created to be in His image into a torture chamber called
hell forever and ever with no chance of reprieve.
Let us consider another example occurring in 2011. During this period, in parts of our country,
we experienced extreme flooding the likes of which has not been seen for many years, and, in
other parts, we experienced extreme drought accompanied by massive wildfires. So, we had
rain deluging one city (region) and rain withheld from another. Does this sound familiar?
"Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you while there were still three months until
harvest. Then I would send rain on one city and on another city, I would not send rain;
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one part would be rained on, while the part not rained on would dry up." (Amos 4:7
NASB)
(1:11) "I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new
wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of
your hands." … (2:17) 'I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind,
mildew and hail; yet you did not come back to Me,' declares the LORD. (Haggai 1:11; 2:17
NASB)
Many other present-day examples could be cited, but they are left for you to discern. What is
clear is that God's judgment has fallen on America in many realms, both natural and manmade.
It is also clear that, at the same time, an antichrist spirit has raised its ugly head in many sectors
of our society. At times, there is a blatant attempt to isolate that which is of Christ using a
variety of labels to characterize Christianity as something outside mainstream America that
holds extreme views contrary to the "values of America." Of course, this is a lie! This is an
obvious attempt to redefine the term values , moving it away from Christian values held in this
country for centuries and into ideologies that are contrary to these values. It is also an attempt
to either alter the true meaning of morality or to redefine it based on these ideologies,
resulting in amorality that leads to immorality.
Now, I realize there are still many righteous in America, so do not take what I have to say as an
indictment on all. Thank God for His 7,000, which is a symbolic number that means He always
has a remnant in the midst of declension. No doubt, God has many more than 7,000 in America.
What I am speaking to is the heart of the nation. Right now, if we were faced with an Engedi,
would we expect our leaders to humble themselves before the nation and, especially, before
the one true God and rally us with the cry: "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on
You, the Lord God of our forefathers" ? Or, would they posture for political position and power
and feed us spins, lies, and hypocrisy? Again, I realize there are exceptions, even among our
leaders (I can think of two in particular), but given all that is going on in our country today, do
you have the confidence that our leaders would respond as Jehoshaphat did? Do you have the
confidence that a majority of Americans would cry out in such a fashion, or would they demand
the government save them? I will leave you to answer the question.
I have come to the conclusion that, at this point in history, as every day brings us closer to the
end of our present age, the responsibility rests with us individually, not nationally. We need to
seek the Lord and submit to the spirit of the Lord to break up all fallow ground that remains in
our heart.
Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow
ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you. You
have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies and
trusted in our own way (Hosea 10:12-13 NASB).
Judgment is upon us! It is time to turn from all unrighteousness, seek the Lord, and trust Him!
As previously shared, Jehoshaphat was not alone, for his father King Asa also had a similar
experience that led him to cry out to the Lord. However, we can go back even further to their
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forefather King David who wrote: In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for
help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears
(Psalm 18:6). The fact of the matter is that there are numerous examples throughout scripture
of men that had a heart for the Lord who found themselves in desperate situations that led
them to cry out to the Lord for help.
Desperation and Dependency
What lesson can we learn from these men, especially from Jehoshaphat and the enemy
encamped at Engedi? Desperation and dependence! A study of the men of old reveals they
were often led into great crises that were so beyond their ability to overcome that they became
desperate for God's help. In their desperation, they cried out to the Lord who heard their pleas
and acted on their behalf, often in miraculous ways. Through their cry of desperation and the
Lord's mighty response to their cry, they learned the essential lesson of dependence on the
Lord. Later, Jesus' disciples learned the same lesson from Him: " For apart from Me you can do
nothing " (John 15:5).
Thus, desperation is a good thing if it leads us to dependency on the Lord and a knowing deep
within our soul, as if set in concrete, that we can do nothing apart from Him. Another way to
state this is that God-ordained crises are designed to bring us to the end of our old Adamic life
of self-dependence and drive us to a new Christ life of God-dependence.
I must confess that I know why the Lord spoke to me the word Engedi , a word that had no
special meaning to me when I first heard it. In the days leading up to hearing this word, I had
been crying out to the Lord exactly as Jehoshaphat had cried out: " Lord, I do not know what to
do, but my eyes are on You. " This had to come from the spirit that helps our weakness and
intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26).
Like Jehoshaphat, my cry was of desperation that came forth as I considered all that has been
going on in the world and where the world is heading. At first, all I could see was the multitude
of enemies at our gate, and I became desperate to know what to do. How are we to prepare?
What steps are we to take? After all, the enemies are many, even a great multitude, and they
will crush us unless we get some help. I was feeling like a speck of dirt being swept away. The
more I cried out for answers, the more desperate I became. It was in this hour of desperation
that I heard Engedi , as if the spirit of the Lord was saying: " Remember Engedi. Remember the
battle is Mine. Stand and see ."
I realize that some reading this might be wondering: Where is his faith? Where is his joy?
Where is his victory? I realize that we are to walk and live by faith, that we have Christ in us,
that we are to have joy, which is a fruit of the spirit, and that we have the kingdom within us, at
least to the degree we sanctify Christ as Lord in your [our] hearts (1 Peter 3:15). But let us be
real; life is seldom like a leisurely stroll through the park, and the Christian life is no exception.
Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)! Besides, life is full of twists and turns, mountains and
valleys, smooth paths and rough ones, darkness and light, successes and failures, and the list
goes on. These are called trials that test our faith and builds it through these tests. In this way,
we become more like Jesus.
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I don't know about you, but, as each day passes, I get a greater sense of how Lot felt prior to
the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Peter reminds us: He [God] rescued righteous
Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that
righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their
lawless deeds) (2 Peter 2:7-8 NASB).
I would prefer to be like Abraham who was residing on the high ground and looking down upon
the plain on which Lot lived. The high ground or mountain signifies the kingdom of God , while
the plain signifies the kingdom of man , that is, man trying to live apart from God; today it is
often called the new world order . Others would label it humanism ; where man is the center of
his universe.
But the truth of the matter is that the kingdom of our Lord Jesus, although it was inaugurated
on earth roughly 2,000-years ago, has not been consummated or fully manifested on earth
among the nations. On one level, we are seated with King Jesus in the heavenlies as Paul tells us
(Ephesians 2:6); and yet, on another level, we are stuck, in a practical sense, on the plain. We
wait for His Son from heaven (1 Thessalonians 1:10). His consummational arrival will forever
change us to be like Him and wherever He is we will be. In that glorious day, we will be
ministering to the nations on the plains and ministering to God the Father in the heavens. We
will be a new humanity that resides where heaven and earth come together, as God has always
intended it to be. Are you desperate for His arrival? Are you dependent on His life until He
comes?
Dear brethren, in this present age in which power and money rule the day, which is idolatry, it
seems as if the common man and woman are being enslaved to and manipulated by a system
that has little concern for them other than to keep them under control and pre-occupied and
distracted from seeing or knowing what is really going on behind the scenes. Most of humanity
falls within this group. In some ways, the global elitists are the great multitude, not in numbers,
but in power and money (mountains of it). Today, the danger is that there is an unrest growing
among people in parts of the world who are seeing the great divide between the rich elite and
powerful that control the world system and the rest of humanity. Some see civil unrest, even
civil wars on the horizon. At this point, only God knows how far this unrest will go.
For us who belong to the Lord, what are we to do in this day of unrest? We don't need to join
the crowds in unrest. We need to be like Jehoshaphat: "Do not fear or be dismayed because of
this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's. You need not fight in this battle;
station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf. Do not fear or be
dismayed; go out to face them, for the LORD is with you."
Paul the beloved apostle has given us the same word, only he reminds us of the true nature of
the battle. It is a spiritual battle against wickedness in high places (among the celestials or
heavenlies).
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the
whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the
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rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places . Wherefore
take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…. (Ephesians 6:10-14 KJV)
As the darkness tries to overcome us, we need to be depend totally on the Lord, face the
enemies with the whole armor of God, which is Jesus Himself, and having done all, stand and
see the salvation of the Lord. The good news is that it is the Lord's war. He will overcome them.
We need not fight in it by taking up the ways of man or his physical sword. We are on the side
of peace, for our Lord is the consummate peacemaker. Our command is to stand and
withstand.
To those who were in tribulation leading up to 70 AD, John, who was also in tribulation, gave
them encouragement of the victory that is won by King Jesus, known also as the Lamb of God.
"These will wage war against the Lamb, and THE L AMB WILL OVERCOME THEM , because He is
Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and
faithful." (Revelation 17:14 NASB)
Engedi Life
Now, there is one more thought about the word Engedi , and it has to do with life, specifically
the river of the water of life that comes from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
On one level, Engedi means that the battle is the Lord's; therefore, stand and see the salvation
of the Lord. It is a good word, and one that should encourage our hearts in this day of great
uncertainty and enemies that are set against God's people and His kingdom. On yet a higher
level, Engedi signifies life .
As mentioned at the onset, Engedi or Hazazon-tamar is mentioned seven times in scripture
(Genesis 14:7; Joshua 15:62; 1 Samuel 23:29; 24:1; 2 Chronicles 20:2; Song of Solomon 1:14;
Ezekiel 47:10). It could be argued that all references have some connection to life, but it is
Ezekiel that most definitely links Engedi to life.
Engedi was an important oasis town and fresh-water spring west of the Dead Sea and on the
eastern border of the Judean Desert. The elevation of the surrounding land goes from the level
of the Dead Sea at 423 meters below sea level to the heights of the Judean Desert at 200
meters above sea level. It was known for its rugged terrain, including many caves carved into
limestone, and fertility, all of which made it an ideal place for refuge. For example, David hid
from Saul in the terrain of Engedi.
The name means "spring of a kid (goat)" or "fountain of the goat," which recognizes the spring-
fed streams that flow year-round and the goats that roam the surrounding rugged terrain.
Today, it is a nature reserve that is a sanctuary for many types of birds, animals, and plants. Its
natural springs are used for agriculture and water for human consumption.
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So, on the natural level, Engedi is a source of life for man, along with many of God's creatures.
But, on the spiritual level, there is an even greater meaning to the word, as revealed through
Ezekiel and explained through John. Ezekiel saw the shadow of the reality that John saw and
called New Jerusalem .
Much like John, Ezekiel was caught up in spirit and given a vision of a city. This is easily seen by
comparing the two visions.
In the visions of God, He brought me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high
mountain, and on it to the south there was a structure like a city. … And the Spirit lifted
me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the
house. (Ezekiel 40:2; 43:5 NASB)
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the
holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. … I
saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
(Revelation 21:10-11a, 22 NASB)
Without any doubt, John saw New Jerusalem, but there is controversy among commentators as
to what city Ezekiel saw. Did he see New Jerusalem, or did he see an earthly Jerusalem with a
rebuilt temple with animal sacrifices (administered by Levites) reinstated that will rise up in the
Middle East in some future age? I believe Ezekiel's vision was a type or shadow of what John
saw and called New Jerusalem . Ezekiel's vision must be seen spiritually, not literally.
Danger of Dualism
The systematic theology called dispensational dualism or holds to the latter view that Ezekiel's
vision was literal. I reject it, for it comes all too close to trampling underfoot the Son of God
(Hebrews 10:29). It seems to me that those who hold this view overlook Ezekiel 43:11: If they
are ashamed of all that they have done, then make known to them the design of the house….
The prophet seems to have placed an if clause in regards to what he described from Ezekiel 40
to the end of the book. If they were ashamed, then the city and the temple would be rebuilt as
described. Given this interpretation, it seems to me that it would not be rebuilt if they were not
ashamed. We are never told that all the people were gathered together and given this vision
after confessing their shame. Dualism assumes this. I reject it.
See Dualism, Reversionism, Graftage http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art39.pdf
The book of Hebrews starts out reminding us that, under the old order, (that is, what is called
the old covenant or the old testament ) God worked in types and shadows. He spoke long ago to
the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways … in these last days (end of the
Mosaic age), God has spoken to us in His Son. Everything under the Mosaic order pointed to
one thing—the person of Jesus, the Son of God, who inaugurated a new order, a new creation
order based on everything new. When He came to this earth, all the types and shadows gave
way to the reality—the reality of Jesus as the life.
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This new order and new life of all new is now manifested, at least inaugurally, in what is
described in a variety of ways—the new covenant, the new creation, the sons of God (sonship),
the body of Christ, which is the ecclesia (church), the one new man, a holy temple in the Lord,
the dwelling of God in Spirit, the engrafted olive tree, and finally the new heaven, the new
earth, and New Jerusalem.
The new order as presented in the new testament, especially through Paul, gives us no
indication whatsoever that God is going to revert back to an earthly city with a temple for
animal sacrifices, even if they are memorial sacrifices, as the dispensationalists say. Those in
Christ are the temple of God. Why? Because Jesus Himself is the temple of God and all who
have been brought into Him are joined with Him as the temple. Why would God institute
another earthly temple when all is finished in His Son? He wouldn't and He won't!
Obviously, this is a topic unto itself that is beyond the scope of this article. However, in my
mind, it is an essentially vital subject for which the Lord's people need to be reminded. The
danger I see, that is quite real in our day, is reducing Jesus to something less than what He truly
is. We need to see Him high and lifted up in all His glory as the one new man who is the new
reality for humans. God is not going back to things old; He is pressing on to the all things new.
The new order is the reality, and this reality is all about life, the life of the Son that broke into
humanity to usher in a new humanity in His image. Let us not regress to something that has
been made obsolete.
River of Water
Returning to Engedi, starting in chapter 47, Ezekiel describes a river of water flowing out of the
house of the Lord toward the east, which means it was flowing in the direction of the Jordan
River and the Dead (Salt) Sea.
(As an aside, I read an interesting article by a geologist-pastor who described how this could
occur based on the movement of tectonic plates. In light of Ezekiel's vision and Zechariah's
prophecy of the Mount of Olives splitting in two due to a major earthquake (Zechariah 14:4),
the Sinai plate would move south and the Gaza plate would move north, thus splitting the
mount in two, with one portion moving north and the other moving south. At the same time,
the Arabian plate would move east, thus shifting the Jordan River toward the west, and
Ezekiel's river would then flow into the Jordan and south into the Dead Sea. Frankly, I am
surprised that dualism doesn't make more of this to bolster their argument. I look at it
differently. It is interesting on the natural level, but it does not negate what must be seen in the
spiritual.)
In Ezekiel's vision, the command was given to measure the depth of the stream every 1,000
cubits until it was 4,000 cubits east of the gate of the city. Each measurement revealed that, as
the stream moved east, it grew deeper and deeper until the river could not be forded; one
could only swim in it (see Ezekiel 47:1-6). Ezekiel was brought back to the bank of the river to
see some trees.
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Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on
the one side and on the other. Then he said to me, "These waters go out toward the
eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to
flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. It will come about that every
living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will
be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything
will live where the river goes. And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it;
from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be
according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many." … "By the river on its
bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will
not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water
flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing."
(Ezekiel 47:1-10, 12 NASB)
These verses speak of life that comes forth from the river that flows out of the house of the
Lord. Wherever this river flows and whatever touches it is given life. The Dead Sea will no
longer be a sea that cannot sustain life.
(Again, another aside, the geologist-pastor states that the Dead Sea is a dead end, so to speak,
due to a risen fault at its southern edge. With a great earthquake, this fault or plate would
move and open up the Dead Sea so the river of life would flow through it and out to the Gulf of
Aqaba. Under this scenario, trees would bear fruit for food and healing, and fish would thrive in
the water from Engedi (to the south) to Eneglaim (to the north).)
At any rate, Engedi is associated with life , and, on a spiritual level, fish signify humanity that
needs to be saved and given the life of God through His Son (see Matthew 4:19; 13:47-50).
When the river of life reaches an area that once was dead, abundant life springs up, and Engedi
is the first place identified with this life.
Now, theologians can continue to do what they do best; debate scripture with one another,
including whether this is a picture of something natural that will occur in the next age or not. As
for me—I believe this to be the truth—this is clearly a spiritual picture of New Jerusalem as
seen by John.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of
God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of
life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 NASB)
New Jerusalem is all about life; life in the oncoming eon (eonian life) and beyond. Engedi is a
recipient of this life. So, as the crisis comes upon the world, remember Engedi!
Let us turn to the Lord regardless of the times, crisis or not—repenting of our ways that are
contrary to life—and drinking from the source of life, and receiving abundant life—the life of
King Jesus.
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