Freedom from slavery
The Lord says, “I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highways shall be elevated” (Isaiah 49:11).
Look at your mountains. Mountains are the highest dreams of the human spirit. What did you dream of in the highest degree, hoping for the help of God? – This is your mountain, the top of your dreams. Perhaps, today it is under a cloud of oblivion, or defilement, or disappointment in people, by some circumstance that literally took this mountain out of sight in your destiny. But perhaps it can still be returned.
The Lord says, “I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highways shall be elevated” (Isaiah 49:11).
There are several mountains in my life, and there were also mountains. I climbed some, and some are trying to disappear due to various reasons, and some continue to shine. These mountains are my destiny in the Lord. It is not always straight, because mountain peaks are raised by the Lord, as they are located. And rivers flow between them – the means of empowerment, which are granted to us to provide food and water on the way.
But the Lord wants to elevate highways today, so that they run through the mountain tops. And this is possible only in one case – when you leap like a stag over the mountains of spices, over the tops of the mountains – from top to top, from top to top. This is possible when time begins to squeeze, and you value it, you don’t waste it.
There is a lot of playing religion – when we speak ideas. Many pastors preach extravagant ideas. I’m not interested in that, often they are banal, and I’m not impressed with the thoughts. I want to live, I want to see the glory of God, not listen to someone else’s thoughts. It’s like a psychic session. He comes out and says: “Imagine that you are by the sea, palm trees are swaying above you, and the sound of the waves … We will see the glory of God!” – What for? I don’t want this.
I want to check my mountains. All my life I dreamed of something highest, magnificent, most beautiful, that I can either know, or comprehend, or achieve, in order to have the most amazing and elevated in my life! But then I understand – I look at people, and they lower my bar, because they don’t want it. I even “crashed” at having no one to talk to – many people are not interested in hearing. They keep nodding in agreement but this is even worse: they leave and immediately forget, they don’t understand that this is a trauma, my wound, which I carry in my heart – it is open, it is bleeding; and they didn’t even understand that pain, what it costs to keep this dream before you …
People can really kill the dream. You can have a mediocre marriage. You are like everyone else. New sneakers make you happy? Paid loan? I don’t know. But all this hits the dream hard – because you “average out”, equalize. Your beloved ones can nod their heads, trying to help, but these are not helpers in a secret journey.
How often can we look at those below us and take comfort in the fact that we are not there, but above. Altogether, this is hard.
And today I don’t know who will “catch” this message. I don’t want to inspire anyone right now. You get inspired, but I’m not speaking for this sake – I’m just prophesying from Isaiah, chapter 49: “… I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highways shall be elevated” – these are the people who have mountains in their lives – they will lead others. So it will be! That’s what God does. Elevate your roads! – From materialism, from religious spirituality. Start doing things worthy of the glorious people of God.
I’m really sorry for people. But this “dark people” must be enlightened – with yourself. There is no other way. You can’t change the world with words. And it is difficult to change it with deeds. The only way is – when you yourself become the way.
The Lord speaks such words to a man, He calls him not a prophet: “Son of man! Has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, “What are you doing?” Say to them: “Thus says the Lord God: this burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among them. Say: “I am a sign to you; as I have done, so shall it be done to them, they shall be carried away into captivity” (Ezekiel 12: 9-11). Life becomes a sign. What this man does is he becomes an object that casts a shadow on events, and it will be the same in reality.
“Although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which spoke: “Lord! Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:37-38). Today the arm of the Lord wants to be manifested through the holy people of God. There are such concepts in the modern world as masculinity – guys “pump up” to be masculine – such is the twenty-first century – you have to be “handsome”, it doesn’t even matter what’s in your head. It’s sad, it’s even more disgusting, when a person is stupid or impure, and at the same time – beautiful. Because it is written like this: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion” (Proverbs 11: 22).
There is something that all things should begin with. And the tree of life grows from the spirit – from the human spirit. Man should be kind, loving, spiritual. Then he is handsome. From within, the radiance comes forth.
I call on the arm of the Lord: “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old! Are you not the arm that cut Rahab apart, and pierced the dragon? Was it not you who dried up the Sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over? (Isaiah 51:9-10)
Hear about bondage: “So the redeemed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion; everlasting joy will be on their heads; they will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. The captive will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his food be lacking” (Isaiah 51:10, 14). But it won’t happen by itself.
God has a Name – “Refuge”, “Rock” – for those unfairly offended and taken to death. “Oh, if they were wise, that they understood this, that they could discern their future and ultimate fate! How could one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had given them up! (Deuteronomy 32: 29 – 30)
In Israel, when they took the land of Canaan, one could chase a thousand, because God says to the prophet: “How would you do this if your Rock had not sold them?” One chases a thousand, and two – tens of thousands. This is the norm of our life, we can live like this when the arm of the Lord is with us!
Sometimes you speak, but you understand, how far we are from eating the Word! You speak as if you were in a field of dead bones. To believe what I have just read to you, you need to do an incredibly colossal work of the spirit now! So as finally to believe in it – that “one can chase a thousand.” This is what the Lord said! This is not my sermon! Here you need to work through it all so that we believe, so that we stopped simply listening, but began to eat it. Because right now we’re just listening to it, we are trying to understand what He wants to tell us.
“Is it not laid up in store with me? Sealed up in my treasuries? Vengeance is Mine and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; For the day of their disaster is at hand; what their doom hurries to meet them”. (Deuteronomy 32:34-35). “God is in her palaces; He is known in her Refuge” (Psalms 48:3).
In order to work with those who have been taken into captivity, you need to take His Name.
Time dimension – God in her palaces – in mine – is known as Refuge! Take and get clothed in His Name as Refuge! That He may be known in our palaces as a Refuge.
“… for, behold, the kings assembled, they passed by together; they saw and so they marveled; they were troubled, they hastened away. Fear took hold of them there, and pain, as if of a women in birth pangs; as when You break the ships of Tharshish with an east wind.” (Psalm 48:5-8).
God can allow being a slave as retribution. God can allow captivity, slavery.
Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren. And he said: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; and may Canaan will be his servant; may God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant” (Genesis 9:25-27). Noah cursed, he said – God did.
Ancient faithful people also had bond-servants. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had bond-servants. Hagar herself was a bond-servant. “And he dealt well with Abram for her sake: and he had sheep and oxen, and he-asses, and men-servants and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels” (Genesis 12:16). Abraham had many male and female bond-servants. Eliezer was Abraham’s bond-servant. Hagar was a bondwoman of Abraham and Sarah: “… and I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed” (Genesis 21: 13). Isaac had bond-servants, Jacob had bondwomen for his wives: “But he got up that same night, and took his two wives and his two bondwomen, and his eleven sons, he waded over the ford of the Jabbok” (Genesis 32:22). So two of his wives were bondwomen.
But God cares about the rights of bond-servants: “And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished” (Exodus 21: 20); “… and if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.” (Exodus 21: 27). Such a just Lord! A bondservant is a property. But if you have done harm, let the servant go free. Think how much the Lord cares!
God’s people were themselves in bondage. Israel was in bondage in Egypt. The Lord says: “…remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God delivered you, therefore, I am commanding you these things today” (Deuteronomy 15:15).
The Lord calls the house of oppression the house of slavery. Where there is oppression, even in families – perhaps you have made a house of slavery. Hear what God says: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). Some Christians have slavery at home; wherever there is oppression, there is slavery.
In the Old Testament, God allowed to have slaves. “If he says to you: “I will not leave you, because I love you and your household,” since he is doing well with you, then take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door; and he will be your servant always. Also you shall do the same to your maidservant”. (Deuteronomy 15:16-17).
God took care of the servants in your house: “… and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son, and your daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow who are among you, at the place where the Lord your God chooses, to establish His name.” (Deuteronomy 16:11).
We must remember that we ourselves were slaves to sin: “You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to obey these statutes” (Deuteronomy 16: 12).
God has servants even not of this fold: “… and say to them: thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and bring Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden, and he will spread his royal pavilion over them” (Jeremiah 43:10). They are world leaders – but they are servants of the Lord.
There were also slaves in the first church. Paul writes: “Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it” (I Corinthians 7:20-21). “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free” (Ephesians 6:5-8). Paul didn’t let slaves go free. He instructed slaves to stay with their masters. Isn’t this an interesting teaching for you? We are all democrats, we want to release everyone at once. But everything is not so simple here. I am reading the Bible to you, because I am a man of God.
There is a spirit of slavery. “Because you did not receive the spirit of bondage to live in fear again, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry out: “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15). I dealt with the spirit of slavery. A person is so dependent on another person that it humiliates him. It doesn’t matter to him how humiliated he is, it is important for him to achieve his goal with the spirit of slavery.
The status of a highest dedication is a voluntary slave of God. The Lord calls to be slaves to your neighbor for the sake of Christ. “But Jesus called them to Himself and said: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you: but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant; and whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave” (Matthew 20:25-27).
The Apostles had a tradition of being called “bondservants of God.” Jude, James, Paul – “bondservant” or “slave” – it was the Apostolic tradition – to be called a servant of God. “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, brother of James, to those called who are sanctified by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1). What a sound! How sweet it is to ears!
Jesus Himself is called the Servant of God. “He shall see the labor of His soul and be satisfied. By His knowledge of Him, My Righteous Servant, shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). “Who is blind but My servant or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? (Isaiah 42:19). Jesus is called the Servant even though He is the Son.
In Christ, His saints are no longer slaves. Do not become slaves of men. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew, nor a Gentile; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29). There is no free, no man, no woman. You are Christ’s.
According to the UN, there are about 50 million slaves in the world, but these are only those countries that have been admitted to the statistics. More than 70% of the world’s victims are women and girls. And a third of all victims are children!
There are types of slavery – debt, serfdom, forced labor, child labor, child slavery, sexual slavery.
What are we going to do about it? We must come to the point where our brethren begins to do something about it. Three things.
The word is: “In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Defender, and deliver them ”(Isaiah 19: 19-20).
Lord, send me as a savior and a defender to deliver them! This is the promise of God, this is not my prayer. I want to be in this Scripture. It is my choice. And the position of the church is prayer.
Pray specifically for these children that they’ll be miraculously delivered. Pray straight for them – with direct honesty and speed. Pray for the workers – like that man who quit his job and began saving children, he saved about six thousand in a few years. Therefore, you need to pray for the workers and become these workers and laborers yourself. Let’s work hard, brothers and sisters. Not just spending time in meetings listening to wise thoughts.
The second is involvement – to penetrate, destroy and deliver.
The third is prevention, teaching, Word, work, evangelism, testimony.
And add your own points, turn on your own creative spirit so you can work. Today is International Day of fighting slavery.
Hear it. It is the Lord Who is leading us. This is a sign for us – as always. And this is not a coincidence – this is the will of God.
I speak only to those who hear. Why does Christ say: “He who has an ear, let him hear.” He addresses them only. Today I am addressing those who have an ear and a heart. And the spiritual ear is in the heart, not in the head. You need to hear with your heart, respond with your heart and go.
Today I call: let us make the Defender “known in our palaces.” God is the Defender. The Defender is known in our dwelling places. He will rise and stand for those captives, oppressed and slaves. And to live according to the flesh is a crime, it is a sin. Determine this for yourself and live in the spirit, because only the spirit can please God. And without the Holy Spirit it is impossible. Because “whoever doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, that one is not His”, and only “those who live according to the Spirit please God”, “but according to the flesh they will not please God and cannot please, because those who live according to the flesh will die, but the one who lives according to the Spirit, he shall live.”
Blaze in spirit, raise the spirit of your church – prayers, evangelism, thirst for God, holiness. And preach, bring the light, for the time is short. The Lord can interrupt us at any moment. What will we bring Him? Conscience knows what you have done and what you have not. May God bless us.