A New Identity
In yesterday's post, we began analyzing the word Holy Spirit gave Chuck Pierce: “There will be a return to Gilgal.” We saw that Gilgal was the place Israel first camped and headquartered after they crossed the Jordan River into the promised land. They named it Gilgal because the word means “rolling,” and it was there the Lord said He had “rolled off of them the reproach of Egypt.” We also saw that this pictured all of humankind’s redemption and the rolling away of our reproach at the Cross. Israel made Gilgal their headquarters for the next few years.
WRITING A NEW IDENTITY
By making this their home base for a period of time, God was writing a new identity in their hearts and minds, renewing their minds (Romans 12:1-2). Every time they mentioned their hometown, they were, in essence, saying, “the reproach is rolled away.” When the men, after venturing into new regions and conquering new territories, said, “let’s head home to Gilgal,” they were literally saying, “let’s go back to the place where the reproach of slavery was rolled away.” Dozens - perhaps hundreds - of times, the Israelites announced to one another, “The reproach is gone; we’re no longer slaves.”
Yahweh wanted them to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they were no longer oppressed, bound, and without purpose. They were conquerors - more than conquerors. As descendants of Abraham, who was in covenant with God, they also were in covenant with God. They were Yahweh’s partners in redeeming the world; He actually intended to bless all the nations of the earth through them (Genesis 12:1-3). Imagine that - from slavery to partnering with God in saving the world! This truth had to be written in their minds and implanted in their hearts until it was stronger than all past knowledge and experience.
The Lord also had them build memorials to remind them of this. After crossing the Jordan, Joshua and the Israelites were told by the Lord to build two memorials there, constructed of 12 stones each. One was to be built IN the riverbed, before the water flowed back. The Jordan was so shallow that most of the time, the memorial would be seen protruding from the water. The Lord told them, “This shall be a sign among you; when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘That the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:6-7 NASB)
The other memorial was constructed on the Canaan side of the Jordan (Joshua 4:8). Both were “altars of remembrance” and picture our Communion meal. Remember, the crossing of the Jordan pictured the Cross and Resurrection. And these two memorials symbolized Communion, through which we “remember” the Lord’s death (the Memorial IN the Jordan), and His resurrection (the Memorial on the Canaan/inheritance side). Please notice: there was no altar of remembrance built on the wilderness (slavery, sin, and death) side of the Jordan! After we place our faith in the sacrifice of Christ, God remembers our past no more (Isaiah 43:25; Hebrews 10:14-18). And He does not want us to remember the shame of our past, either. Build no memorial there! And if you have built one, tear it down!
Through this amazing typology, the Lord is saying to us, “When you look back at your past, your history - sin, slavery, the curse, shameful acts, pains, brokenness, and spiritual death - instead of your shame, you will now see only a memorial to the Cross, that which rolled it all away! There will be no memorial on death’s side! Forget that! Live at Gilgal, the place where the reproach of sin and slavery was rolled away!”
We are told in Psalm 103:6-14 that the Lord removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. Listen to all of these verses:
“The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, and His deeds to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He will not always contend with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our guilty deeds. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our wrongdoings from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our form; He is mindful that we are nothing but dust.” (Psalm 103:6-14 NASB)
We often think of these as blessings God gives individuals. But at Gilgal, He gave them to a nation. Holy Spirit wants to grace America and other nations of the world with these blessings today. When enough people in a nation turn to the Lord, it’s as though a corporate salvation occurs. Corporate blessing, corporate healing and restoration, corporate life - they all flow to the nation. Revival will produce this. I pray that every Christian, every congregation in America would cry out for Revival. If they would only realize this is our only hope of survival! Evil and depravity are destroying us from within; the dragon and the bear are crouching at our door. America will either turn back to God and experience revival, or she will be attacked from without, just as she has been from within.
Yes, I believe America shall be saved. But I believe our prayers and actions affect the timing. And consequently, they have the potential to ward off much devastation that would be caused by further delays. We are praying that further pain and suffering not be required in order for Americans to wake up.
CIRCUMCISION AND PASSOVER
After crossing the Jordan and building the memorials, Israel renewed their covenant with Yahweh through circumcision and celebrating Passover. These two covenantal acts of obedience had been abandoned by the previous generation in the wilderness. They were renewed at Gilgal. Passover was another picture of the Cross, and circumcision symbolized the cutting away of flesh - the “old man” - that occurs when we are born again.
“…and in Him, you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, And when you were dead in your wrongdoings and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our wrongdoings, having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross.” (Colossians 2:11-14 NASB)
Let’s pray this for America.
Pray with me:
Father, returning to Gilgal means we return to the message of the Cross. We return to the place where our sins are cleansed and the reproach is lifted. We cross over into newness, healing, renewed purpose, and destiny. This is why You have been instructing us to take Communion together more frequently. You are reminding us of what Christ did at Calvary and is offering us today.
Psalm 103:8 says You are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. Verse 11 says as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is Your lovingkindness toward those who fear You. Lord, the beauty of intercession is that we can pray and lay hold of promises such as this, not only for ourselves, but also for others. We ask for it today for our nation. Release Your mercy and lovingkindness to us through mega grace and power (Acts 4:33). Circumcise the heart of this nation and free us from the flesh that rules us.
And we turn ourselves to prayer for those suffering in Syria and Turkey. Our hearts break for them. Though most of them do not know and serve You, You love them. Do something through this tragedy to open hearts to the Gospel, to a revelation of Jesus Christ. May those who know You and are supplying relief and care be given open doors to share You with people. We have long believed there will be a revival in the Middle East. Send this, we pray. Comfort those who are hurting, save those who are alive and need to be rescued. Pour out Your mercy, Lord. In Christ’s name, we ask. Amen.
We decree that there WILL be a return to Gilgal.
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