Building an Elijah and Joshua Generation

 

“Then Joshua said to the people….”Consecrate yourself today for tomorrow the Lord will so wonders amongst you”….. Joshua 3 v 5

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”….Joshua 24 v 15

 

I have mixed feelings in sharing this teaching. On the one hand I feel so very privileged to share it because I know it is a message that the Holy Spirit wants you to hear and yet I feel the weight of responsibility upon me because of it great importance.

Those who listen to it will either receive or reject it or be apathetic towards it and their response will have eternal significance both for them individually, for their generation, for the Church itself and the eternal purposes of God. I want to encourage you and inspire you but not just to bless you. The message is very very serious and so I also want you to warn you.

I believe that God is doing something very significant with this generation. He is challenging this generation like no generation before. He is looking for a generation who will respond to His demands in total commitment. He is raising the bar. His expectations of you are higher than perhaps , His demands greater. The challenge is awesome!

Firstly we need to realize that we are in the last days and maybe the latter of the last days. Time is short. The day of the Lord’s return is fast approaching. Do you understand how privileged you are to be alive as a ‘saint’, a believer, today? Can you read the ‘times and seasons’?

Never before in history has there been so much prayer and intercession rising up to the Throne of God from planet Earth. Never has there been so much praise filling heaven, pouring out from the hearts of men, women, youth and children and going up from planet earth. Did you know that in India for example, in one State alone there is a Children’s Prayer Network supported by a week TV programme and run by the children, of over 200,000 members? In China today they estimate that over 40,000 new converts are added to the Chinese Church daily. God is on the move and the ‘Days of the Gentiles’ is fast coming to an end and the ‘Day of My People Israel’ will arrive. The Messianic Jewish movement is accelerating. The Prophetic Word is being fulfilled. Jesus will have His Church complete both in number (size) and in character (maturity).The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are being poured out upon all flesh and He has restored the five-fold ministry gifts of the ascended Lord Jesus back to the Church in our day (by the year 2000 AD in fact). Now we have every opportunity to be mature and prepared as the Bride for His coming.

For as Eph 4 tells us these fivefold ministry gifts are given….”to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Then He, Jesus, will come for us as the Bridegroom King and take us to heaven for the Wedding of the Lamb. These days are fast approaching but first there are many more to be saved by the Great Harvest which must take place.

As the Church accepts her privileged identity as the Bride She will receive the anointing reserved only for the Bride and this will equip Her to bring in the harvest and the full number of the Gentiles and My people Israel. However….only a generation of dedicated believer, of awesome warriors will accomplish this and He is now them forth. This is referred to the Elijah and Joshua generation.

Its called the Joshua Generation for two reasons. One because the Holy Spirit is also calling this generation to sanctify, consecrate or dedicate themselves to the Lord like never before and two because if they respond like the generation in Joshua’s time did. then they too will enter all that God wants them to fulfill in these end times.

Why Elijah? Why is it called an Elijah Generation?

Throughout biblical history the ‘coming of the Messiah’ has always been preceded by the appearance of Elijah or a type of Elijah

This ‘appearance’ is prophesied in scripture. Mal 3 v 1 ‘Behold I will send my messenger who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come’ and Mal 4 v 5 ‘Behold I will send you Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord’. So it was in the time of Jesus when John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to herald and announce His first coming. In fact John in quoting Isaiah 40 v 3-5 referred to himself as that ..’voice crying in the wilderness. Prepare the way for the Lord. Make straight paths for Him’ (Matt 3 v 3).

In these latter days as the sense of expectation of Christ’s second coming increases, at least in the form of the rapture of the saints for the Wedding of the Lamb, the expectation of another ‘Elijah’ appearing to herald in this ‘coming’ is also increasing. However this time i will not be one person but a whole generation since the Spirit of God seems to be raising a generation of Elijah’s who will carry his anointing and display his commitment and character.

The Elijah generation will be totally dedicated to heralding in His appearance….a generation of highly motivated people, a generation of Levites who will position themselves to be the priests committed to serve the Lord in righteousness that Malachi referred to in Mal 2 v but who failed in their generation to fulfill their destiny. God willing this generation of Elijahs, of Levites, will press through and fulfill the purposes of God decreed for them.

This generation will ignite a ‘Golden Revolution’: This revolution will be carried out by the Lord Himself but through His people, the Elijah Generation, those ‘priests and kings unto God (1 Pet 2 v 9… ‘a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation) who desire nothing else but the fulfillment of the purposes of God. Gold in scripture always represents royalty. In Ps 45 v 9 and 13 we see the royal bride, the Church, the Bride of Christ, in clothes embroidered in gold. ‘Gold of Ophir’. This revolution will be a Royal Revolution executed by the true Kings and Priests _of the Kingdom who as the Elijah Generation serve the King of Kings in total submission and loyalty. This generation will be the ‘shakers and movers’ of society, who will move in the power of His Spirit to usher in the Great Harvest of Souls that proceeds the Rapture and so prepare the ‘Way of the King’.

a. The Marks of this Generation

What are the marks or characteristics of those who the Lord considers to be a part of this special generation. Now a generation can refer to all those living at certain time in history of whatever age. Or it can refer to those living for a set period of time usually considered about forty years. Or as in this case it can refer to a special calling of God upon a generation of people of all ages who qualify by their positive response to that call and their dedication to the cause. Not all believers who are living today will qualify. It is always a case of all are called but few are chosen. The qualification for being called ‘the chosen’ resides in the correct response of the believer. God always uses a remnant.

So……what are those characteristics that will qualify or disqualify us?

Generally:

  • They will be those who are totally dedicated to Jesus and His cause.They will express unswerving loyalty to Him, willing to ‘lay down their lives for Him. What is good for the Master is good for the servant as Jesus said in Jn 15 v 20. What is good for the mentor is good for the mentored….just as Jesus laid down His live or us..’obedient unto death’ (Phil 2v 8). Jn 10 v 14…’I am the Good Shepherd and I lay down My live for the sheep’
  • They will have purity in heart and life. Matt 5 v 8 Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God’. Ps 24 v 4 …’Who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord. He who has a clean hands and a pure heart’. Rev ‘Come out from among them and be different’. ‘Touch no unclean thing!’ Proverbs 8 v 13 ‘the fear of the Lord is to hate evil’. Rom 12 v 9…’Abhor (hate) evil. Cling or cleave to what is good’ Note the word ‘cleave’. It is used of a marriage relationship (See Gen 2 v 24 …’leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife’) As the Bride of Christ She will cleave only to Her Husband.
  • They will be single minded, unwavering in their focus. ‘A double minded man is unstable in all he does’ James 1 v 8
  • They will be singularly focused people will be able to fulfill Gods purposes because clear focus: produces passion and clarity of vision, generates impetus and motivation, gives stability, instils confidence in others and in self, develops perseverance and faithfulness, positions a person for blessing, attracts God’s favour, breeds humility, deepens dependency and develops intimacy. In the Song of Songs we read in Ch 8 v 5 ‘Who is this coming up from the desert, leaning on her lover’ ….it was the Bride leaning on Her Bridegroom.. This Elijah Generation will live in dependent intimacy upon Jesus.

Let us now consider more what this Elijah Generation will be like by studying in more depth the life of Elijah:

1)    Elijah the non-conformist.

Elijah was a man who was the complete non conformist when it came to choosing between God’s purposes and the pressures and expectations of the world.
a) He rejected the status quo, the accepted norms of the day if in any way they conflicted with those of his God. He refused to bow to Baal. This is a key requirement. Everyone who wants to qualify for this ‘generation’ must settle this issue once and for all…Which Kingdom do I belong to? The Kingdom of this world or the Kingdom of God. Jesus said so clearly in Jn 15 that we are not of this world and that the world would hate us. We really are from another place born in heaven in the heart of the Father before the foundation of the earth and in the fullness of time ‘downloaded’ onto planet Earth. We are of a different kingdom, having been translated ‘from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light’..Col 1 v 13
If we want to be of this special generation then we must ‘reckon ourselves dead to self, the world and all its deception, its values and standards’. Rom 6 v 11 and this will be uncomfortable
especially when it comes to issues of fashion conformity, of media, of national culture or social/family customs which conflict with the kingdom, of matters of politcal or cultural correctness. The issue is ….there is only one culture that in the end we belong to and that’s the culture of the Kingdom.
b) Elijah also challenged the status quo. Not only did he reject the immorality and idolatry of his day but actively confronted both the issues and the perpetrators. This generation will also challenge the unrighteous and idolatrous issues of their day. They will have their Mt. Carmel’s and will see the Glory of God prevail in a demonstration of the same supernatural power which Elijah experienced when he called fire down from heaven to consume his sacrifice. The God who saves by fire! They will be the ‘shakers and movers’ of this generation.

c) Like Elijah they will be ruthless in their exposure of sin and the sinner. Just as Elijah destroyed all the priests of Baal so this generation will deal ruthlessly firstly with their own sin and ungodliness and then expose the unrighteousness in the Church. Sin is so deceptive and often the journey towards spiritual corruption begins with small compromises. Beware….”Its the ‘little foxes that devour the grapes’ Song of Songs 2 v 15.

2) Elijah, a man who lived by faith, prophetic action and prayer.

a) By faith and by the supernatural:

The Scriptural record is full of examples
We first meet Elijah in ! Kings 17 when completely unannounced he confronts King Ahab with a warning and prophetic declaration of the coming drought. A fulfillment of this prophecy puts him in a desperate state too and he has no food or drink himself. But as a man of faith he trusts God and is feed supernaturally by the ravens whom God commanded to meet his need and was watered by the brook. (1 Kings 17 v 6)

Then when the brook itself dries up he is fed by a widow at Zarapheth, who obeys his instructions even though she has very little supply and another miracle occurs. (1 Kings 17 v 7 -16) Later when her son dies unexpectedly, Elijah responds by raising him to life (1 Kings 17 v 17 – 24)

The Mt Carmel incident is perhaps the best known in the OT. (1 Kings 17 v 20 – 40). Here Elijah demonstrates his faith in the God that ‘answers by fire’ and exercises tremendous authority. He humiliates the priests of Baal exposing their falsehood and utterly defeats the ruling spirits that control them. Throughout this confrontation Elijah really puts his faith on the line because defeat for him would have certainly resulted in his own execution.

In 1 Kings 18 v 12 -14 we see the respect that Obadiah, the manager of Ahab’s palace, had for Elijah as a man of the supernatural. Obadiah was frightened to go to tell Ahab that Elijah wanted audience with him in case Elijah was translated away by the Spirit of the Lord and he appeared both time waster and liar.

Then after Elijah’s announcement of the end of the drought Elijah outruns Ahab’s chariot all the way to Jezreel and breaks the land speed record. (1 Kings 18 v 46) In 1 Kings 19 v 5 he is fed by an angel and in 2 kings 2 v 1 – 11 he strikes the River Jordan and parts the water. This was no ordinary fleshly man but a mighty ‘Man of God’!

This Elijah Generation likewise will be a generation of mighty men and women of faith who do mighty exploits for the Lord

b) Elijah was a man who acted prophetically

Our first meeting with Elijah is where, as a prophet, he announces to king Ahab that a few years of drought is to come (1 Kings 17 v 1). Then in 1 Kings 17 v 14 he prophetically declared to the widow that her oil would not run out until after the drought. 1 Kings 18 v 1 Elijah announces its end even though there were no signs of it abating and in 1 Kings 18 v 41 he even declares that to the king. He heard the rain falling in his spirit and declared…’for there is the sound of heavy rain’. In 1 Kings 18 v 43 – 45 Elijah confidently send his servant to see the approaching rain even though the skies were cloudless

In Chapter 21 he condemns King Ahab over the murder of Naboth the Jezreelite and pronounces Jezebel’s death and the eventual end of Ahab’s family line.

Perhaps the greatest and most famous of his prophetic actions are seen in the whole of the My Carmel incident recorded in 1 Kings 18. He certainly didn’t make it easy to burn his own sacrifice by the dowsing of it and the altar with so much water prior to his invitation prayer. NB the shortness of his prayer v 35 and the request that God would vindicate His Name and give glory to Himself.

Finally, notice how Elijah acted out the birthing of his own prophecy regarding the coming of the rain, when he took up the Hebrew birthing position as he ‘travailed’ in prayer on Mt Carmel.

The Birthing of Prophecy: The place of prayer in the birthing of prophecy

It was revealed to me that most if not all prophesies have to be ‘birthed’ into being. They do not happen automatically. God announces his will through his prophet but it is the intercessor who releases or births that into being. Prophecy does not just come to pass unless there are those intercessor who will birth it by prayer. We describe the birth process for a women as the travailing process. We also describe intercession as ‘travailing’. To intercede sometimes is to ‘travail in prayer’. Elijah birthed the rain, Hannah birthed the miraculous conception of her son Eli, Simeon and Anna released the prophecy regarding the birth of Jesus. This emphasises the important significant role of the intercessor.

c) Elijah was a man who lived by prayer and intercession

Elijah was a great man of prayer. Likewise the Elijah generation must be a mighty army of ‘Prayer Warriors’ who know what it is to travail in prayer and to accompany it with fasting.

Although we have only three records of Elijah’s prayers they are obviously examples of a lifestyle of prayer. No one could have authority with God like Elijah had nor an anointing like his unless he walked and talked prayer. All this stems from his relationship with God and relationship with God is developed by a prayerful life.

In 1 Kings 17 v 20 -21 Elijah implores God to raise the dead son of the widow of Zarapheth. Although the story is brief Elijah no doubt was desperate in His intercession. His action of laying upon the child three times was not a passive move.

In 1 Kings 18 v 36 and 37 E;ijah invited God to destroy the Sacrifice on Mt Carmel and in 1 Kings18 v 42 he travails and births his own prophetic word about the rain into being

Such authority with God is received only in the Throne Room of heaven. Authority speaks of anointing and that anointing flows out from beneath the throne.

What is anointing?

One day I was seeking God about ‘anointing. I was asking Him what anointing was. So many books written on anointing. So many sermons preached on anointing. I wanted to know His definition and to have it clearly and precisely. After a while of seeking His face He spoke

“Anointing  is having authority with me. You preach it….I’ll bring conviction

You teach it. I’ll bring revelation

You command it. I’ll do it….that’ having authority with me!”

This anointing comes only out of relationship with Him and that is through constant prayer.

The Elijah Generation will be marked by the quality of their prayer life.

3)  Elijah the man who was just like us.

InJames 5 v 17 we read these telling words ‘Elijah a man just like us’. Despite all the authority that he had he was also a man of vulnerability and weakness. In 1 Kings 19 after the success of Mt Carmel and the threats of Queen Jezebel, we see Elijah reduced to a frightened whimpering mess having a ‘pity party’. But that’s encouraging for us because it reminds us that it is only by grace that any of us has any credibility.

How did Elijah fall so quickly from his position of authority and confidence?

Firstly, beware of ‘spiritual success’. Dwelling on it can promote pride, distort our self image and cause us to BE DEFLECTED FROM SEEING AND FOCUSING ON JESUS. It can lead to all kinds of deception and fear.

 

Elijah feared  1 Kings 19 v 3

Elijah took his eyes off the Lord and onto himself and his circumstances. In Song of Songs 2 v 14 Solomon, a picture of Jesus describes, His precious Bride to be, as a dove. Why? Well yes they are pure and gentle but more so they are the only bird that has only peripheral vision. They can only see things directly in front of them. They must always focus on the thing they want to see. Like the dove we too must only have one thing. one person in view. That’s Jesus. The Shunamite girl only had ‘eyes for the King’ and so must we too! Looking at the circumstances and not at Him can lead to disaster. Compare Peter walking on the water story where he too took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves and the storm.

Elijah ran 1 Kings 19 v 3

Elijah ran away from the place of his calling….the place where the provision and anointing was. Elijah organised a ‘pity party’ for himself until  the angel turned up uninvited and sent him to Horeb, where the Lord also turned up to listen to Elijah’s feeble excuses and complaints.

Self pity and complaining is unbelief since it questions the goodness and faithfulness of God. For Elijah it deteriorated into suicidal thoughts, the worst of all deceptions. The Elijah Generation must be wary of this trap.

However……although we see Elijah’s weakness in the story, vulnerability has a positive side to it. We are reminded that ‘in my flesh there is no good thing’, as St Paul said. We see so clearly that the ‘flesh profits nothing’. Only God can produce God successes. Eternal things can only be achieved by eternal means. At the best it is ‘Christ in us the hope of Glory’ Col 1 v 27 that enables us to see any victory or gain. ‘Our strength is made perfect in weakness’ 2 Cor 12 v 9 ETERNAL ASSIGNMENTS CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED BY ETERNAL RESOURCES. It is arrogance to think otherwise. So our awareness of our own vulnerability throws us onto the Lord and humbles us. The Elijah Generation will be a company of those who are humble and totally dependent of the Lord.

4) Elijah was a man of humility

Certainly Elijah was humbled by the Lord. Humbled but not humiliated. Was he a better person for it? I’m sure he was but scripture doesn’t tell us but what we do know is that he picked himself up from that moment of depression and continued in his obedience, going as instructed to anoint Hazael King of Aram, Jehu King of Israel and Elisha as his successor. If humility is ‘teachableness or meekness’ then certainly Eiljah was that. The end time generation must, like Elijah. It must be teachable and full of humility.

Another came in the spirit of Elijah who said about himself in relation to the Lord Jesus..’I must decrease but He must increase. I am not worthy even to unstrap his sandals’. He was the most humble of men…a true Elijah Generation for-runner, and that was John the Baptist. Jesus said of him that no one had been ever born who was greater than John the Baptist.

But of course John’s greatness was simply because of the role he had to play in relation to Jesus. He was called to be the herald of the coming Saviour King, the Messiah and in the same way this Elijah generation living today is called to be the herald of the coming Bridegroom King who will return to earth to collect His Bride.

And finally,

5) Elijah the man of intimacy

After all the noise and the drama of his active public life, we finally meet Elijah on Mt Horeb. Elijah had to learn that God was not in the ‘earthquake, wind or fire’ but in the still small voice of calm which could only be heard as he quietened himself humbly in the presence of God. The cave experience on Mt Horeb was the place of intimacy.

Intimacy with God can only be developed in the humbling of ourselves and in the stilling of our souls as we wait upon Him. It begins as we recognize our own vulnerability and this produces a dependency upon Jesus which causes us to continually ‘seek His face’.

“It is not by might our by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord” Zech 4 v 6

Humility allows us to recognize our dependency upon Him and dependency cultivates a desire for intimacy with Him’….and this is what He prizes more than anything. We will also have discovered the key to ‘spiritual significance’ and the fulfillment of our personal and collective destiny.

‘Find me a man’ called the Lord God through the OT prophet. Today He is calling again but this time its…’Find me a generation’. A generation of true ‘sons’ who will be totally dedicated and single minded. These are they who are miracle working, devil destroying, kingdom taking,  humbly bowing, interceding, praising, mankind serving, righteousness championing and corruption fighting.,,,,and the Lord Glorifying!

WILL YOU BE THAT GENERATION?

This and this alone will hasten His coming.

About the author: Howard Barnes

Howard Barnes was born in England in 1944 to Salvation Army pastor parents. After secondary education he went to university and studied Theology and subsequently become a Secondary School teacher and served in several London schools as the Head of Divinity. During these years he also was a youth leader and then served as a pastor of a local church in Cornwall, England. In 2003 he retired from teaching, after 37 years’ service, to take up a position as director of an evangelistic ministry called Harvest for Christ but in 2008 he became Co-director of Time Out Mission International and more recently director of The Body and the Bride Network Ministry International (UK). These last two ministries which he co-directed with his close friend and ministry colleague, Michael Pike (Apostle), were deeply passionate about two things. 1) to see the worldwide Church discover the meaning of real unity and so fulfill the prayer of Jesus in Jn 17 v 21 and 23 ….“that they may be One even as we are One” and 2) to understand and embrace its end-time identity as the precious Bride of Christ and to prepare her for the coming Bridegroom King. These experiences have paved the way for the creation of this new ministry called The Call2Come which, while still holding to these emphasis, calls the Church to prepare Herself as His precious Bride and so position Herself to cry the prayer that only the Bride can¬ pray. It is only the “Spirit and the Bride” that can cry Come. Howard has received two honorary doctorates in recognition of his mission and reconciliation/peace work in over 70 nations around the world. He is also an official representative for Foundations for Biblical Farming (FFF) which comes out of Zimbabwe, Africa and for the World Prayer Assembly (WPA). He is a regular speaker at international church conferences and operates under an apostolic mantel. He has been married to Tricia for 50 years who was herself a music teacher, and they have two lovely married children and four beautiful grandchildren. He is both a musician and a gifted artist.