THE JOSIAH GENERATION--FREEDOM FIGHTERS FOR HOLINESS!

by Catherine Brown

"Josiah was eight years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem for thirty-one years. His mother's name was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left." 2 Kings 22:1-2

From being a young child of eight until the end of his reign at thirty-nine years of age, God used Josiah throughout his life to pursue and promote purity. Josiah was a type of child prodigy--called from an early age to reign and rule as a Kingdom ambassador for God on the earth. Josiah ushered in a rebirth of holiness in God's people. He was a king (literally reigning on the throne as king of Judah), a priest (in his desire to minister to the Lord), and a prophetic "sign of the times" in the way God used him to speak to and affect change in the nation and the Church. King Josiah was eventually killed at Megiddo by Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, as he marched out to meet him in battle.

Today, Josiah represents those who will be used by God to usher in purity, holiness, and the fear of the Lord. This Josiah generation WILL include children and young people, but will not be limited to just the younger generations. The end-time revival will be a holiness revival, and the Lord will vindicate His Holy name and reputation by raising up a "Josiah-type generation" who will be freedom fighters for holiness.

LOVE THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, YOUR STRENGTH, AND ALL YOUR MIND

Josiah loved the Lord with his whole being. "Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did--with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses" (2 Kings 23:25; see also Matthew 22:34-40).

"Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the Lord with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord and keep His commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant" (2 Kings 23:1-4).

God says, "I am raising up a 'promise keeper' generation that will joyfully obey My commands and decrees entering into covenant relationship with the Lord their God in a profound way. As My children spend time in My presence I will reveal the power of My covenant-keeping promises. I am birthing a fresh wave of love for right living by My commandments. All those who love Me and love My Son, will desire to live by My standard of righteousness. This will not be done legalistically, rather it will fulfilled through the Spirit of Grace outworking My Kingdom standards in My Body. I am raising leaders who will champion holiness."

Josiah was required to approach the Lord's temple; furthermore, Josiah went with all the people, the priest and the prophets. In other words, Josiah was part of a remnant called out to live by grace. Josiah chose to draw near to God. James teaches us that if we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8).

THE READING AND THE RENEWAL OF COVENANT

Josiah rediscovered the book of the covenant and read it in the presence of the people. Reading the word of God had a profound effect on the gathering--it led them to a place of renewed dependency on God. They were convinced it was necessary to re-pledge their affections to God by renewing the covenant in His holy presence (2 Kings 23:2-3).

THE PLEDGE--REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION

All the people pledged themselves to the Lord (2 Kings 23). To pledge means to solemnly undertake, to do, or to give something. A pledge is something given as a token of love, favor, or loyalty. God's people were reaffirming their hearts' affections to Him. They turned in a spirit of repentance from the world to God.

The Lord says, "I am calling forth an emerging holy generation that will seek My face with undivided hearts. Pledge yourself and your affections to Me, for I have etched your names on the palms of My hands, and I love you with an everlasting love."

THE BURNING

It was necessary that the temple be cleansed. All the cultic articles for Baal, Asherah, and the starry host were removed from the Lord's temple. Josiah did away with pagan priests and ground the Asherah poles to dust. He tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the Lord's temple, and also where the women wove for Asherah (2 Kings 23:5-7).

The works of the people's hands and the affections of their hearts had been defiled. Because of Josiah's radical commitment to the Lord, his heart burned for purity in his own life and the lives of his people, so he took bold action to remove from the Lord's temple the things that were idolatrous and impure.

The Lord says, "I am seeking a Josiah mentality in My bride, desirous that she will turn from all that would defile her in the spirit of the world and be cleansed by My Blood. I am purging My Church of spiritual prostitution. Throw away that which would cause you to stumble and fall into sin. Discard all detestable practices and pagan influences from your life. Devote yourself to spending time in My presence, to prayer, to fasting, to praise, and to my Word. Dedicate yourself to Me with fresh zeal. Pour your lives out as a love offering for the orphans and widows and keep yourself from being corrupted by the world."

SPIRITUAL PROSTITUTION

Jesus once ate at a Pharisee's home where a sinful woman (a prostitute) washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, anointed Him with oil, and kissed the Lord profusely as a sign of her desperate longing and love for Him. Her heart's motivation was pure, and in that moment, all she wanted to do was to minister to Christ. Because of this, her sins were forgiven, and she received new life in Christ (Luke 7:36-50).

To prostitute means "to put to an unworthy or corrupt use for the sake of gain." Simon the Pharisee had abused the presence of Jesus. He did not treat the Lord with decency or respect. He did not revere the presence of Christ in his home. Is the Church today abusing Jesus' presence? Are we, as believers, guilty of spiritual prostitution? Do we, like Simon, misuse and insult the Lord in our midst by ignoring or neglecting Him, not treating the Lord with proper respect and reverence? Do we put other things before Christ rather than making the Lord our priority? Do we seek to impress man more than we seek to serve and bless the Lord?

May we attain the humility of the spiritually destitute woman and access the atmosphere of glory as we draw near to Christ, seeking Him with an honest heart. Despite (or perhaps because of) her lifestyle, the sinful woman sought Jesus with tears in her eyes and was found by Him. In such a place of brokenness, she received personal salvation.

If we desire to see many souls won for Christ, we must realize afresh our need of cleansing and humility. Confessing sinners and Jesus are always found near to one another. We are united in our humanity, and as we honestly face our frailty and failings, we are able to receive the Divine grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the pathway of purity that leads to both personal and corporate revival.

DESECRATION OF IDOLATROUS SHRINES AT THE CITY GATES

Josiah was responsible in his generation for desecrating the high places and breaking down the idolatrous shrines set up at the city gates (2 Kings 23:8). To desecrate means "to treat a sacred thing or place with violent disrespect." Josiah violently disrespected the idolatry of Israel and the false idols and altars that stood as an affront to the Lord God.

I hear the Spirit of the Lord say, "The Josiah generation of today will confront ungodliness in spiritual seats of power (city gates) and pull them down through anointed prayer and praise. This is the time for a resurgence of those who have and will yet embrace the heartbeat of 2 Chronicles 7:14. IF is not a lost word to My children. IF you will embrace humility and holiness, I will release anointed prophetic utterance, decrees of Kingdom authority, acts of love and humility, and unity in My Body. By My Spirit, I will dismantle the kingdom of darkness and the enemy's web over entire cities and nations. I will hear from Heaven and heal your land. But beloved children, you can only impart that which you have received by revelation and application of My cleansing word to your hearts. The warfare for purity must begin first in your heart. From this place of renewed holiness, you will walk in My authority and affect the destiny of nations through your testimony, prayer, and acts of servanthood."

NO MORE CHILD SACRIFICE

Through Josiah, God drew a line in the sand and said an unequivocal "NO!" to the needless death of children, particularly in relation to child sacrifice to other gods. God cares deeply and profoundly for the welfare of children. He calls the Church to share His heart for children, especially for orphans. We must pray protection on this end time generation of valiant warriors for Christ, some of whom are as yet unborn.

"I am raising up a Josiah generation to stand in this hour against the enemy's plans to destroy the end time army of children," says the Lord. "Through murder, rape, abortion, war, famine, and every kind of abuse, the enemy has sought to destroy this end time generation of children and Josiahs. But I have raised a mighty shout in the Heavens, and his plans will not prevail, for I am a God of justice, and My righteousness shines forth like the dawn. I am causing My sleeping bride to awaken and to stand to her feet and fight valiantly for those who have no voice for the Voice of the Lord is powerful."

The Josiah generation represents an army of God's holy people who are willing to serve sacrificially with their lives. Ones who are willing to campaign and fight for social action and change, and to pray for justice from Heaven's courts to prevail on the earth.

The Lord says, "Many despots and dictatorships will be deposed through the prayers and the righteous actions of the modern day Josiah generation. This holiness move is birthed in the throne room of Heaven and has been prepared for such a time as this, as an extravagant gift in the Blood of Christ. Now is the hour for My people to embrace holy living. Now is the time for the total abolishment of slavery. Now is the time to declare freedom in Christ to the multitudes. The time is short."

REMOVAL OF IDOLS

"And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars all the heavenly array do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshipping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under Heaven" (Deuteronomy 4:19-20).

Josiah pulled down, smashed to pieces and threw away the rubble of the torn down altars from the roof to the temple courts (2 Kings 23:11-12). He desecrated the high places Solomon had built, smashed sacred stones, and cut down Asherah poles, covering the sites with human bones (verse 14). He demolished the altars and high places at Bethel, removing and defiling all the shrines and high places in Samaria (verse 19). Josiah slaughtered all the priests of these high places on the altars and burned their human bones on them (verse 20). He had the people observe Passover, a lasting reminder of the escape from Egypt and God's mighty deliverance (verses 21-23).

It was love for God that compelled Josiah and enabled him to be used to bring about a mighty purging and cleansing to the people and the land. Josiah confronted counterfeit spirituality and the spirit of compromise. There was no room for divination and false prophetic anointing in Josiah's kingdom!

"My people will rise up as a Josiah generation under a prophetic mantle, and in purity they will confront and cast out all that has come into the Church as the spirit of compromise, of deceit, of rebellion and of witchcraft. I am tired of My children living corrupted lifestyles. I call My bride to the altar of faith, whereby there is forgiveness of sins and cleansing by My Blood. I will not tolerate idolatry in My bride. By the Spirit of truth I am pulling down the strongholds of the enemy and in this move of My Spirit, every deceitful heart will be exposed, and every thought that raises itself against My sovereignty will be confronted, and every contrite heart will be received in grace and mercy.

Children will speak with accuracy and authority in the word of knowledge, in some instances exposing decades of wrong living in individuals. In these cases, I will pour out My healing through the children to those who are willing to repent. Furthermore, I am birthing a fresh wave of discernment in My Church to enable My believers to distinguish between that which is holy from that which is unholy."

JOSIAH GOT RID OF MEDIUMS, SPIRITISTS, HOUSEHOLD GODS, IDOLS, ALL OTHER DETESTABLE THINGS IN JUDAH (2 Kings 23:24)

The Lord is exposing sinful fascination with corrupt spiritual practices and is rooting out the spirit of the new age movement that has subtly entered the church and now masquerades as pseudo-spirituality amongst many believers. The Lord God of Hosts will not tolerate tarot cards, horoscopes, divination, and witchcraft in the Church. It is time for these things to be purged from the Bride of Christ. No more!

We are to worship and serve Jesus only. Righteousness is characteristic of faith, whereas lawlessness is characteristic of unbelief. To be "full of lawlessness" is to lead a life characterized by sin and wrongdoing. Lawlessness and sin are acts of rebellion against God and, this is idolatry. Idolatry is lawlessness and violates holiness. Sin cannot, and must not, be disregarded or trivialized. In His great kindness, God calls us to repentance that we might have no regrets but only Life in Him (2 Corinthians 7:8-13).

ONLY ONE WAY IS PERFECT--GOD'S WAY

"As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless" (Psalm 18:30).

It is love that compels a parent to direct their children on the straight and narrow path. There is no greater love than that of our Abba Father for His sons and daughters. The path of Life is narrow but is illuminated by the beauty and majesty of Jesus' holy Presence (Matthew 7:13-14).

Let all who have an ear to hear, listen to the Spirit's call to the Bride to purity and holiness. May we bow the knee today with contrite hearts and embrace the Spirit of Grace that cleanses us from our sins and unrighteous acts as we confess them to Christ. May each man, woman, and child be like modern day Josiahs and faithfully pursue holy lifestyles in and for Christ.