The Hearts Will Turn—A Prophetic Promise
“Before that great and terrible Day of the Lord comes, He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers...”
(Malachi 4:6 the last verse of the Old Testament, the prologue to the Coming of the Messiah!)
There was a 400 year silence after that verse was spoken! Those words were definitely in God’s mind as something of extreme importance—“Before the great and terrible day of the Lord, the hearts of the fathers will be turned to the children, and the hearts of the children will be turned to the fathers.”
God’s heart longs to see His church and its family drawn to Him and to one another in peace and fullness before He sends His Son with a shout of the archangel and the trumpet call of God for the Second Coming. Before the Second Coming, there is going to be a turning in the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. It is a Prophetic PROMISE of God. The Elijah Church (Luke 1:17) will prepare for Jesus’ Return and see this fulfilled! Jesus will not come back until the children are enlivened and empowered in the hearts of the fathers!
Arrows In The Hands Of A Warrior
(Psalms 127:3-4) Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.
Yet, Not Ours… But His
(l Samuel. 1:11) Then she made a vow and said, “0 Lord of hosts,...I will give my son to the Lord all the days of his life!”
That is an attitude that is going to be pretty important. We must give our sons and our daughters to the Lord all the days of our life. They are not our possessions. They are not things that we take to use, but a precious gift to us. They are arrows in our quiver, as God said, but they are truly God’s children. It’s only as we have that attitude that God can really release a miracle. God was waiting for Hannah’s heart to turn from selfishness to an acknowledgement of HIM before He did that miracle of turning a barren woman into a fruitful woman. He was waiting for Hannah’s heart to turn that she might say, “I want this child to serve you all the days of his life.” She needed a willingness to be able to let him go as soon as he was weaned, as a young child, to put him about his Father’s business.
Of course, he became a type of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, dwelling in wisdom and stature and favor with men. Samuel was born out of the heart of a mother that said, “This child belongs to the Lord all the days of his life. He is not mine. I’m not going to idolize him, I’m not going to grab him or her and hold onto them and coddle and coochy-coo them. This child is born for service, for a purpose. This child was born for such a time as this. This is God’s child, and I will faithfully bring them into the world and serve with this gift rather than seek to be served by this gift.”
(Isaiah 8:18) Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and symbols In Israel from the Lord Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion!
Let Them COME, COME, COME
(Matthew 19:13-14) Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Some of the little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. “We don’t have time for these children—they are a bother, they are trouble. Man, what a hassle. I used to be free, now I have all these children. They make so much noise, and I can’t go where I want to go when I want to go. What a burden these children are.” And Jesus rebuked them for that type of attitude. “Let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
(Luke 9:48) “Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”
Our attitude towards God’s children, if you can grasp this idea, is very closely related to our reception of Jesus and the reception of the Father who sent His Son into the world. You can’t despise children and everything about children—their noise, their bother, their silly questions, the responsibility of always being with them—you can’t despise all of that and still receive Jesus and receive the Father. Those are very intimately tied together, and by the word of the Lord, our relationships with little ones such as these are very closely tied to our relationship to Jesus and His Father.
(Isaiah 40:11) He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
That should be a description of our attitude toward our children as God dwells in our hearts. We are like shepherds gathering the lambs in our arms, carrying them close to our heart, and respecting those who are carrying lambs themselves.
(Ephesians 6:1-4) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Remember, it says “turning the fathers’ hearts to the children, and the children to the fathers.” Fathers, bring them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. Very specific. It doesn’t say ‘parents’. It says ‘fathers’. As we talk about the restoration of manhood, we are talking about the restoration of men of God—not men being drawn along by religious activities. We are talking about being men full of the Holy Ghost and full of wisdom. We are talking about those who are seeing what God sees and taking leadership as Jesus did… as Stephen did, as Peter did, as Philip did, as those men of God did! And the women are there to serve and to be co-heirs with them, but the men are to be restored to vision and understanding and strength and leadership. That’s true in the church, and it is also true in the family.
(Psalms 34:11) Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Fathers, this should be on the tip of our tongues as we live our lives with the little children.
Children…Speaking The Word Of The Lord
(Acts 2:15-17) These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your Sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
I would like for you to envision the possibility of young children speaking the word of the Lord. Young children not just being along for the ride, being coochy-cooed in little “bible classes,” but speaking the word of the Lord. That’s the nature of the New Testament church. There is not a second kind of New Testament church. This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel—the sons and the daughters shall speak forth the word of the Lord. They shall utter the voice of the living God. It’s the nature of the church. We need to view it that way. Our children are not along for the ride. They are a very important part of God’s plan. Children need to be seen that way. Envision the children not as being along for the ride, but as being a very important part of what God wants to do in His church.
…Living In The Desert
(Luke 1:80) And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared Publicly...
That’s John the Baptist. We have talked in the past about how Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth raised John the Baptist. Their raising of him as a child was to send him out into the wilderness. Doesn’t this seem like an odd thing to do? The mindset that we often have about children is “Well, you have to give them the “right” kind of education. You have to get them to the dentist. You have to make sure they have medical insurance. You have to get them involved in Little League and make sure they are dressed nice and that everything about them is good.
You have to make sure they have a car as soon as they turn 16. You have to make sure they have all the tools and all the benefits of modern 20th century society. Let’s just make them all prim and proper and conform them to the patterns of the world so they will be accepted, popular, and so they can be good citizens. That’s our attitude, and of course, John the Baptist never had that opportunity. Yet, Jesus said he was the most powerful man, the greatest man ever born of women up until that day. No “formal” education, no prom, no Little League, no friends, no Friday night at the ballgame, no going out with the boys afterwards with an 11:00 curfew. No girlfriends. We just don’t see that mentality that is blending in with the world system. Yet, John the Baptist was the greatest man born of woman up until that day.
I want you to fix in your mind that these children are seed for Jesus and His Kingdom. That’s why they were born. They weren’t born to have a nice, lovely family that sits around the dinner table at 6:00 pm sharp every night to have a nice little discussion. “What did you do today?” “What did you learn in school today, Johnny?” It is so much bigger than that.
It should be said of our children from a very young age “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and (in a sense) he lives in the desert until he appears publicly.” In a sense, he lived separated from being engrossed in the world system. There might be a time where one might be educated like Moses was in the midst of the world system, but in a sense he is still in the wilderness, and he rejects the riches of Pharaoh for the cause of Christ. (Heb. 11) That separation of heart needs to be part of their training, part of the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
…About Dad’s Business
(Luke 2:49)”Why were you searching for me, Jesus asked. Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? Didn’t you know I needed to be about my Father’s business?”
I long for the day, and I hope you do too, for a twelve year old to have that kind of intensity, purpose, focus and vision. “I must be about my Father’s business. I live for my Father, not Joseph and Mary.” Jesus did honor and respect Joseph and Mary—he went back and was obedient to them. It wasn’t until eighteen years later that you see him separate and appearing publicly to the people. But still remember that even at age twelve his passion and his heart was to be about His Father’s business. Not just being religious, not just reciting little bible verses, not just singing, “Jesus loves me this I know (ha ha ha ha) for the Bible tells me so (elbow elbow, laugh laugh). Not trying to modify their behavior to look religious during their little religious sessions, but a passion for the glory of God and for His house. Jesus had a jealousy for His Father’s house even at a young age.
If we want to see that happen in the lives of the children, we are the ones who play a big part in that. Whether you are single, married, grandparent or parent or parent-to-be, it makes no difference. As we receive the little ones, so we receive Jesus Christ and his power.
Prepare Your Heart…
(Luke 15:24) “This, my son, was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to be merry....before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord...He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers...”
That’s a revelation to our hearts that my son is dead—I was dead to my son and my son to me. I couldn’t see. I was too dense to know what was in his heart. I didn’t have eyes to know what he was thinking or even to care. I was dead to him and he was dead to me. Behold, my son is alive again and I feel what the Father feels when He looks at His son Jesus and He looks at us, his children. We see that when we see our children. We feel what the Father feels—“Behold! He was dead and now he is alive, and we make merry.” That is the nature of hearts that are prepared for the return of Jesus.
Prepare The Way…
(Luke 1:17) “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
That service of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers is truly a service of preparing men for the return of the Lord. To repeat what was already said, “It is a Prophetic PROMISE of God. The Elijah Church (Luke 1:17) will prepare for Jesus’ Return and see this fulfilled! Jesus will not come back until the children are enlivened and empowered in the hearts of the fathers!”
(Revelation 19:7) “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride (the church) has made herself ready.”
The readiness of the people of God is and must be tied to the character of those people and their sensitivity to what is important to God’s heart. A people that are not sensitive to what is in God’s heart are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ.