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Dutch Sheets: "Dance of the Passover Lamb: Rebuild the Altar & Ask for the Fire"

Dutch Sheets, Batesburg-Leesville, SC
Apr 22, 2024


Hebrew is an amazing language. Though I am no expert regarding it (I simply know how to use various tools), I do have a great appreciation for its brilliance. As I have said, at times, it is a pictorial language: Letters represent pictures, which are combined to present concepts. Meanings are understood, in part, based on the context of the letters'/pictures' use. This obviously means a Hebrew word can represent numerous things.

For example, to pass over, leap, skip over, become lame, halt, and limp are all the same word in Hebrew: pacach (which is the root word of pesach, or "Passover"). The picture, obviously, is the up and down, side to side, halting movement. Interestingly, though seldom used as such, it is also a word for dance. Again, this is because of the movement the letter's picture.

What Is Passover?

Passover is a joyous celebration, commemorating Israel's exodus from Egypt, when God judged the Egyptians with the death angel but "passed over" the Israelites. The exodus was their deliverance from slavery and oppression. This, of course, was a picture of Christ, our Passover Lamb, whose Blood delivers us from spiritual death and bondage.

After Israel's deliverance, they celebrated at the Red Sea with timbrels, singing, and dancing (Exodus 15:20–21). Though dancing in this passage is a different Hebrew word, it nonetheless was a picture of the great joy of Passover.

From Dancing to Limping

In 1 Kings 18:21, Elijah asked the Israelites how long they would "halt" (pacach) between opinions. Other translations use different words here: hesitate, waver, limp, hobble, and more. Elijah is obviously confronting their inability to decide between serving Yahweh or Baal, their back-and-forth double-mindedness. But by using pacach ("to pass over"), the play on words cannot be missed: You could be, and should be, dancing the dance of pesach ("Passover"), celebrating the deliverance and freedom given to you by Yahweh. Instead, you are limping the "limp" (pacach) of Baal!

What a picture!

Israel had gone from a dance to a limp, from freedom to bondage, from God to demons. They had moved from the provision of God to the oppression of Ahab and Jezebel. The book of Psalms speaks of God turning our mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11); they had allowed Baal to turn their dancing into mourning. (Photo via Flickr)

Baal worship, or yielding to any other demonic influence, often begins with dancing. Satan paints a picture of sin as fun, freedom, and joy. But the temporary pleasure always ends in mourning, and the dance becomes a limp. The same word for Israel's limp (pasach), by the way, is used for the "leaping" and "dancing" of the Baal worshipers trying to persuade this spirit to respond to them (1 Kings 18:26).

America's Limp

America once danced the dance of Passover, celebrating the goodness of God and salvation of the Passover Lamb, Jesus. We rejoiced in our prosperity, freedom, wholeness, and partnership with Yahweh; we were the envy of the world, a light into darkness, rescuers... Who in their right mind now questions the fact that we are lame, limping around the altar of our new god, pleading for him to answer by fire and prove that he is everything we thought he was? Like the Laodicean church of Revelation, we still pretend to be "rich... wealthy, and have no need of anything," and won't admit that we are "wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:17).

We sacrifice our homes, children, health, and wealth to this false god, hoping that he will give us back our dance. We elect liars and fools to government, Ahabs and Jezebels who worship this god, hoping they can give us back our dance. But our limp becomes more pronounced, our leaders stumble off of platforms, while the world laughs and mocks our downfall.

What is the solution for this crippling demise? It is the same today as it was in Elijah's day: We must reject the worship of this false god and return to the God of Passover. Like the church at Laodicea, we must stop our denial and do as they were told: "I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to apply to your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent," (Revelation 3:18–19, NASB).

A good time to begin doing so would be Sunday mornings. Limping into powerless gatherings with broken-down altars, acting as though everything is fine while Baal steals our children and rules our nation, is tolerating evil Jezebel. When Elijah asked Israel how long they would waver between opinions, they were silent (1 Kings 18:21), just as many in the Church today.

Elijah rebuilt the altar and asked for fire. What would happen if thousands of pastors around our nation rebuilt the altars of intercession into what Jesus said should be "houses of prayer"? What would happen if desperate cries for the fire of revival and its cleansing power were issued from the pulpits and pews of America? We know the answer to this: The God who answered Elijah by fire would answer our cries as well. The rain would fall, Baal's strongholds would be torn down, and our land would once again dance the dance of the Passover Lamb. (Photo via Flickr)

Now, for some good news. Though the majority in Israel did not join Elijah in his prayer that day, God nevertheless answered and sent the fire. He didn't require a majority. Elijahs are being raised up in our day, a remnant is joining them, and God will respond to their repentance and prayers. They ARE rebuilding the altar, they ARE asking for the fire, and the fire WILL fall.

Pray with me: Father, we thank You for Christ, our Passover Lamb. We thank You for the many benefits You have given our nation, and the blessings that came from serving and partnering with You. We have danced with You, rejoicing in our salvation, freedoms, and abundant blessings. No nation has been blessed with the abundance of this land, and it has all been because of our loving and serving You. We are proof that "blessed is a nation whose God is the Lord" (Psalm 33:12).

And yet, this once dancing nation now walks with a terrible limp, the limp of Baal. We are the Laodicean church: wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. If not for the supernatural healing You can provide, we would never dance again. But You also said to this church, "...I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him..." (Revelation 3:20). Though not a majority, many are hearing this knock, opening the door through repentance, repairing prayer's altar, and asking You to enter with Your fire. And we believe You will do as You said.

We dare to ask that the latter glory would be greater than the former. We ask that this next dance would be the greatest dance in America's history. We ask that the god of Baal would be overwhelmed by You, the true and living God, just as he was at the Red Sea and on Mt. Carmel. We declare that our mourning will be turned into dancing again, that we will put off our sackcloth and be wrapped in the garments of gladness. We and our children will once again sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb: "...Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear You, Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed" (Revelation 15:3–4, NASB).

Our decree: We declare that the fire of God will fall on America again, our limp will be healed, and we will dance like David as the ark of His presence returns.

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Dutch Sheets
Dutch Sheets Ministries

Email: click here

Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized author, gifted teacher, and conference speaker. He travels extensively, challenging believers for passionate prayer and societal reformation. Seeing America experience a sweeping revival and return to its Godly heritage is Dutch's greatest passion. Dutch has written over 23 books, many of which have been translated into over 30 languages. His international bestseller, Intercessory Prayer, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Dutch has pastored, taught in several colleges and seminaries, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. He is fondly known to many as Papa Dutch. Treasuring time spent with their family and grandchildren. Dutch and Ceci, his wife of 40 plus years, enjoy quiet walks in the woods, reading, and playing a little golf. They make their home in beautiful South Carolina.

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