*NOTE: This message was originally broadcast on June 21, 2015 as part of a live prophecy marathon.
God is judging America, and he is starting with His house.
Specifically, He is judging the leaders in the Body of Christ, and this is God’s message:
Tornadoes are coming— get to low ground.
This is a Tornado Warning.
1 Peter 4:17-19
“For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God? And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners? So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.”
Watch vs. Warning: Wisdom from Tornado Alley
For those of you living in states that don’t experience tornadoes, you may not be familiar with the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning.
But those of us from Tornado Alley know the difference quite well.
A Tornado Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
A Tornado Warning, however, is issued when a tornado has been sighted. That’s when you hear the sirens mounted on the water towers going off.
That’s when you know it’s time to get to take cover—to get to low ground.
So when you hear a Tornado Warning, it’s very different from a Tornado Watch.
Some of you have been hearing watchmen for a long time, saying, “Judgment is coming on America!”
This was something that could be spotted a long way off. They could see that conditions were favorable for the formation of such a storm, such a tornado— such a judgment.
However today, what the Lord is bringing to you is a TORNADO WARNING.
There is one thing to do when you hear that siren.
You do not pass “Go”, you do not collect $200; you do not try to take care of any other business. As quickly as possible, you take your loved ones and get to low ground.
And that is what the Lord, the Spirit of the Lord is telling you today— those of you who are in the Church: it is time to get to low ground.
There is no time for negotiating, arguing, or debating; because if you take that moment, and you do not listen to this warning, you are going to be swept away.
Specifically, God is targeting the leadership— in the same way that a tornado, or a bolt of lightning, targets everything that is exalted. If you are in a high building, if you are up on top of a hill—even if you are on a flat plain—that it NOT where you want to be.
Job 36:32-33: God Directs Lightening Against Its Target
“With his hands he covers the lightning, and directs it against its target.
His thunder announces the coming storm, the cattle also, concerning the storm’s approach.”
When you hear the tornado siren, and you are in the second or third floor of your house, you go downstairs. If you have a basement or a cellar, that’s ideal. You go down to the lowest place you can possibly find. And if you don’t have a basement or a cellar? That’s too bad, because it’s not really going to be safe for you.
But the safest place is still the lowest one. So you go to the ground floor and try to find an inside hallway, duck, and cover your head.
That’s what you do— and you do it fast, you do it immediately, because that tornado is on the ground.
I have been sent to tell you today— the tornado is on the ground.
God is coming to judge everything that is high and exalted.
Isaiah 40:3-4 (NET): God Will Level Every Mountain
“A voice cries out, ‘In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord; construct in the desert a road for our God. Every valley must be elevated, and every mountain and hill leveled. The rough terrain will become a level plain, the rugged landscape a wide valley.”
This is what God is doing in the Church: He is leveling the mountains and the hills. If you are in an exalted position in the Church, God is going to take you down.
You may say, God would never do such a thing.
But when you look to Israel’s history, you will see that He has done it before.
Peace & Prosperity? No! A Storm and a Whirlwind
God sent a tornado named Nebuchadnezzar to Israel, to judge them for their sin.
Jeremiah 21:7 (NIV): God Sends Nebuchadnezzar
“After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.”
God had dealt with Israel about their sin repeatedly. They rebelled against Him continually. They would come into His Temple, give Him gifts— and practice all kinds of evil at the same time.
And so God sent his prophet Jeremiah with a message, to say, “I know all of your prophets are prophesying peace and prosperity to you. But God has sent me to tell you that He has chosen Nebuchadnezzar as the instrument of His wrath— and he is coming like a storm.”
Jeremiah 23:19 (NET): The Wrath of the Lord Is a Storm
“But just watch! The wrath of the Lord will come like a storm!
Like a raging storm it will rage down on the heads of those who are wicked.”
Of course, there were many other priests and religious leaders in the land. Many prophets as well, who were quite vocal. How did they react to the message that their beloved Jerusalem— the home of the Temple of God— was going to be given over to a pagan king? That God had actually given this king favor, and would allow him to take the people captive?
They hated Jeremiah. They even dragged him to court and demanded his death. Why?
Because they were prophesying that God was saying exactly the opposite: “peace and prosperity.”
What are your pastors preaching to you? Peace and prosperity?
This is not the time for that. If that’s their message to you, they are not listening to the Spirit of the Lord. They are not standing in His council.
They do not have eyes to see what is on the ground and coming your way.
Jeremiah 23:16-19 (NET):
16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions from their own minds,
not from the mouth of the Lord.
17 They keep saying to those who despise me,
‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’
And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts
they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see or to hear his word?
Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm of the Lord
will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind swirling down
on the heads of the wicked.
Jeremiah was telling them, a storm is coming…just as I am coming to you today, as a servant of the Lord, to tell you this tornado, this storm, this lightning, is coming. It is on the ground, it has been spotted.
The sirens are going off— and it’s headed for you.
This tornado is a result of the disobedience of God’s people
God’s people in America have chosen to sow the wind, and so they are reaping the whirlwind.
Hosea 8:7 (NET):
“They sow the wind, and so they will reap the whirlwind!
The stalk does not have any standing grain; it will not produce any flour.
Even if it were to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it all up.”
Galatians 6:8 tells us what this means— how we end up reaping destruction.
Galatians 6:8 (NIV):
“The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
The leaders have been sowing to please their sinful nature, and have not obeyed the instructions from God to His shepherds— to be humble, and to deny their flesh.
As a result, they do not produce any wheat…“The stalk does not have any standing grain; it will not produce any flour”. There is no substance, no bread, no sustenance.
They sowed to their flesh, they sowed the wind… and now they are reaping the result.
It is a whirlwind of destruction, and it is coming on the leaders.
Your Exalted Position Will Testify Against You
- Jesus said not to take the highest place at the table, it will be taken from you.
Matthew 23:2-12: Don’t Be Called Rabbi
“23:2 “The experts in the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. 23:3 Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 23:4They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them. 23:5 They do all their deeds to be seen by people, for they make their phylacteries wide and their tassels long. 23:6They love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 23:7 and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, and to have people call them ‘Rabbi.’ 23:8 But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers.23:9 And call no one your ‘father’ on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 23:10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one teacher, the Christ. 23:11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 23:12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14:7-11 (NET): Don’t Pick The Place Of Honor
“14:7 Then when Jesus noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. He said to them, 14:8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host. 14:9 So the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then, ashamed, you will begin to move to the least important place. 14:10 But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host approaches he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
- Any religious leader who is in the highest place now has taken it in disobedience. Therefore their placement at the table testifies against them – they are the target of the tornado.
- There is only equality in the Body of Christ, because every position of honor is tempered with humility, and vice versa. (1 Corinthians 12:20-26)
- The rich already have their honor – they have low positions in the church. (James 1:9-10)
- The poor have been chosen by God to be rich in faith (James 2:5), and have the high positions in the church. (James 1:9-10)
- Church leaders have the honor and respect of the sheep who listen – so they are not allowed to indulge in material possessions or personal glory. These things are tempered by specific commandments especially for them. (Luke 14:33) (1 Peter 5:1-4)(1 Corinthians 4:6-7)
Instructions to Church Leaders
This storm that is coming may take the form of your enemies, as it did in Jeremiah’s time. It may come through unrighteous, godless, pagan people.
But make no mistake. It is sent by God, with God’s approval, because of your disobedience.
- Suffering is coming to the Body of Christ.
- If you suffer for Christ, you will have a reward.
- If you are not willing to suffer, step down— you will be targeted.
- If you have not suffered for Christ, but are now willing to, here are your instructions. Step down and follow your true leaders—the ones who are ahead of you in the race, who outpace you in obedience to Jesus and personal sacrifice. These are LOW people.
- Your true leaders are already low. Follow their example, and get to low ground.
- If you follow the example of an exalted person, you will be destroyed.
- If you remain in your tower, you will be struck by lightning, and carried away by the tornado.
You Can’t Charm A Tornado
So if you don’t happen to be from Tornado Alley, here are a few things to remember when you hear this prophetic tornado siren:
- You can’t stop a tornado.
- You can’t outrun a tornado.
- You can’t negotiate with a tornado.
The tornado isn’t listening, and neither is the God who sent it.
Jeremiah 8:17 (NET): Vipers That Cannot Be Charmed
“The Lord says, “Yes indeed, I am sending an enemy against you that will be like poisonous snakes which cannot be charmed away. And they will inflict fatal wounds on you.”
Jeremiah 14:11-12 (NET): I Will Not Listen
Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for good to come to these people! Even if they fast, I will not hear their cries for help. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will kill them through wars, famines, and plagues.”
You can argue, you can prophesy prosperity, you can attack the messenger; but you can’t stop what God has sent.
This tornado will not stop for you, it won’t even slow down. If you’ve never been close enough to hear a tornado, it sounds like a freight train.
And that’s exactly what it is— it’s coming, and it is not going to stop. Get to low ground. Do it as fast as you can.