The Spirit and Power of Obadiah

A Doctrine of Hospitality at the End of the Age

Greetings Friends,

Hospitality is not often a gift we think of as being a spiritual gift, yet this is just what the Bible teaches.

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:7-11 NKJV

Hospitality is both a command and a spiritual gift that requires the manifold (complete and multi-faceted) grace of God. Not only is hospitality a spiritual gift, but it is a spiritual gift that specifically provides a context for others in the body of Messiah to operate in their gifts and callings in love by the prophetic spirit.

Peter instructs us regarding hospitality within the context of being watchful in prayer through the persecution and tribulation of the end-times. Throughout history, many believers have lived through types and shadows of the end-times tribulation, but none have yet faced the final great tribulation. If the commanded blessing of hospitality during tribulation was true for believers in past generations, how much more important will it be for the generation of those who will see the great tribulation come to pass?

Anointed Hospitality at the End of the Age

I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.

Exodus 8: 22-23 NKJV

And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of Ahab’s house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

1 Kings 18:3-4 NKJV

Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for 1,260 days…

And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time, times, and half a time, away from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent hurled water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon had hurled out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Revelation 12:6, 13-17 NKJV
Key Interpretive elements: Woman = Israel; Dragon/Serpent = Satan; Male Child = Jesus; Water like river = Great deception of Satan released through the nations; Earth = natural earth/geography & people/nations; Rest of woman’s children = All those who follow Jesus

Just prior to the Hebrews’ departure from Egypt, the Lord executed a number of mighty signs. These mighty signs, more commonly known as the ten plagues, were for the purpose of judging Pharaoh, Egypt, and most importantly – the Egyptian rulers and powers of the air. These judgments were poured out on the wicked empire, not the people of God.

Now, the people of God, the Hebrews, were facing many trials and tribulations at the hand of Egypt. They were enslaved, beaten, killed, and hindered from worshipping the One True God. Yet, the greater trial and tribulations which came from God and by His means, was specifically executed against Egypt, not the Hebrews, even though for a time the Hebrews remained in the land.

The Lord preserved the Hebrews in Goshen. He made a distinction between the “Goshen dwellers” and those not in Goshen. If you were welcomed in Goshen by the people of God, you escaped the judgment. It doesn’t mean that you will escape tribulation, it means you will overcome it by the means which God provides. Friends, this is the prototype for biblical and anointed hospitality that follows a pattern throughout all Scripture.

Through trials and tribulations, God uses the ministry of hospitality to preserve the prophetic witness, the Gospel of the Kingdom, and the judgment of God against wicked rulers, powers, and authorities in the heavenly realms.

The final and great tribulation at the end of this age will be led in part by the greatest expression of biblical hospitality in keeping with this pattern or “principle of Goshen”. The great tribulation is a re-capitulation and greater Exodus. The majority of end-time judgments against the anti-christ, satan, and their empire follow the pattern of the Exodus. If we want to understand the end-time prophecies provided by later Scriptures, we should start with studying the Exodus so that we have a framework for understanding books like Daniel and Revelation.

The end-times church is called to operate in a ministry of hospitality in the “spirit and power of Obadiah”, the steward of the house of Ahab. While Jezebel was killing the prophets of Israel and filling the land with a harlot religion, the god-fearing man hid, secured, and nourished God’s true prophets. This god-fearing man was Obadiah (not the prophet Obadiah). Obadiah was a trusted confidant of the wicked king Ahab, and the steward of Ahab’s household. He used his position and resources to protect the true prophetic witness and destiny of Israel. To speak figuratively regarding this passage of Scripture, Ahab is a type and shadow of the anti-christ, and Jezebel is a type and shadow of the harlot Babylon.

During the end-times, Israel will again go through a great tribulation the prophet Jeremiah refers to as the “time of Jacob’s trouble”. Some people believe the church will not be on the earth during this time because they will be raptured before the events of Jacob’s trouble take place. For what it’s worth, I believe this robs the church of their greatest calling and anointing during the generation of the Lord’s return. Not only will there be the necessity for followers of Jesus to provide hospitality to Israel during the tribulation, there will also be many new believers from all nations and people who will need discipleship provided by mature believers. If the Great Commission is not finished, neither is the work of Jesus’ disciples on the earth.

So what about the matter of God’s judgment and the idea that believers are not appointed to wrath? We need to remember that the Exodus is our pattern for understanding the end-times judgments. Out of 21 specifically described judgments in the book of Revelation, only one appears to be specifically directed towards believers in Jesus. That means 20 out of 21 judgments are specifically directed towards the judgment of the Anti-Christ, his empire, and the Harlot Babylon. The one judgment that focuses on the martyrdom of the saints actually leads to a believer’s escape from tribulation and it heaps further judgment on the Anti-Christ. God will not remove saints from the scene of the crime, He will keep (preserve them) through tribulation, making a distinction between the people of God and the followers of satan. Throughout history millions of saints have been martyred. Were they martyred because God was judging them or because He was judging their adversaries? When they were martyred, did they experience God’s wrath or did they go to be with Jesus eternally wearing a crown of glory? Amen.

The Prophet’s Reward

Go; behold, I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money belt, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one along the way. And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you.

Luke 10: 3-6 NASB

“The one who receives you receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. The one who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and the one who receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person shall receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

Matthew 10: 40-42 NASB

Then the word of the Lord came to him (Elijah), saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide food for you.”

1 Kings 17:8-9 NASB

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.

Matthew 25: 31-33 NASB

We’re going to work from the Matthew 25 passage first. The context of this passage, which Jesus gave us to teach about the end-times, is to instruct us that there is judgment and reward for all nations and peoples throughout the earth in relation to how we provide hospitality to Jesus’ natural brethren, the people of Israel. (This different from the context of the Luke 10 & Matthew 10 passages, which we will examine later).

At the end of the age there will be two feasts. The first feast is for the birds of the air, who will feast upon the slain of the nations who committed violence against Israel. The second feast is the wedding supper of the Lamb, preserved for the time when all Israel is saved. Both the Jew and the Gentile who hear and obey the call to repent and profess that Jesus is Lord will be saved and invited to the great wedding banquet of the Lord. Matthew 25 provides us more context. After Jesus teaches us about the talents, He points us to the prophet Joel and tells us about the valley of decision (see: Joel 3; Matt 25: 31-46). Those who oppose Israel and commit violence against her, or those who do nothing to help Israel at that time, will be separated like sheep from goats. The destiny of the goats is eternal punishment. The destiny of the sheep will be to inherit the Kingdom of God.

The fruit of true repentance in the generation of the Lord’s return will be demonstrated by a spirit of hospitality, first to the Jew, and then to all who follow Jesus. This is a restoration of the call to be “our brothers’ keeper”, and this work will fulfill the mystery of God. (Psalm 133; John 17; Ephesians 3-4; Revelation 10)

The spiritual gift of hospitality nourishes the prophetic witness (the testimony of Jesus). It nourishes the apostolic witness of the Gospel of the Kingdom to every tribe, nation, and tongue. Those who embrace hospitality will receive the prophet’s reward. For the widow of Zarephath, it meant that her son lived. For the servant Obadiah, it meant that he would witness the overthrow of the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, where Elijah operated in the same spirit that the two witnesses will operate in during the end-times.

The ministry of hospitality provides a secure context for prophetic intercession. Obadiah wasn’t hiding random people. He was hiding prophets. In Obadiah’s time, prophets were typically (though not always – see Elijah), musicians and intercessors who ministered before God day and night. This ministry is the source of many of the Psalms. (see: the Psalms written by Asaph and the Sons of Korah). Biblical hospitality fosters the prophetic spirit in worship and intercession.

In the case of the 12 and 72 sent by Jesus, the ministry of hospitality provided peace, security, and nourishment for those proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom to every tribe, tongue, and nation.

There are many examples of this ministry of hospitality throughout Scripture, and the importance of this gift has never been greater.

In our day and time, the Lord is establishing the greatest expression of hospitality to have ever existed. Do you hear the call? Even now, the Lord is calling people to establish systems of hospitality in different “Goshen” regions throughout the earth, who will provide practical ministry to the Jew, the prophet, and those who are persecuted. The hospitality ministry in our generation will provide a context for the greatest and complete fulfillment of the Joel 2 prophecy throughout the earth, resulting in the great harvest and the fulfilling of the great commission throughout all the earth!

The ministry of hospitality is the chariot from which God will send forth the sprit and power of Elijah in the generation of the Lord’s return. It will unite many peoples and provide the safe community necessary for the hearts of the fathers to turn to the sons and the hearts of the sons to the fathers.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

Malichi 4: 5-6 NKJV

The anointing for hospitality will release the prophetic spirit unto unity and power within the church for the healing of the land and freedom from the curse.

Let he who hears, hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. Amen.

-J. S. Marek

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