Overcoming the Crushing of the Winepress

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The hours of crushing are upon those who are called upon by Jesus Christ.  The very act of the crushing seems as a dirge or a lament to our pampered generation.  Time is short.  Sin and temptations beguile us in this day and age.  When adversity strikes we seek to run as Jonah did or to find a scapegoat to blame.  Who are we to dare challenge the inner workings of the Creator as He refines each one of us in the winepress or the iron crucible?  For you and I are but destined to waste away like a rotting mass, a garment consumed by a moth.  Through the process of affliction the sweet fruit of your spirit will be liberated as He prepares you for your special calling and prepares you for eternity.  Embrace the afflictions that are coming. 

The sands of time are winding down and the Lord is preparing His anointed.  Psalm 51 begins:  To Him Who grants victory, a Psalm of David.  David was always in the cross-hairs of the Lord, a balance between sin and utter devotion to God.  David also endured the rancor of his enemies and scoffers.  David knew His God and turned to Him as Judge with a plea for His favor once again with inner spiritual strength in accordance with His lovingkindness.  Even the most degenerate of us remains His children.  No sin is too deep that the Lord will not forgive.

Overcoming in the CRUSHING

Take heed when the Lord takes you into a four year study of Job.  He is preparing you.

The inklings of a coming crushing began almost three years ago with the death of my husband David.  One the anniversary of his death the Holy Spirit said unto me:  Teach my people who to be faithful in suffering.  I have strive to esteem the Name of Jesus in the midst of my sufferings and knew that they were just the beginning and would not cease until my precious Savior returned.  I trust Jesus so I knew whatever came my way would be for my good.

Quietly and tenderly, just like my Savior, my recent crushing began.  I had burn out and the words of the Holy Spirit seemed elusive to me.  I was as dry as the dry bones of Ezekiel.  Can they live?  Thou knowest Lord. 

I reached for a chunk of wood for the fire when the whole pile crashed down crushing both my feet and breaking them.  I was perplexed for it was the beginning of farming season and I had much to accomplish.  I knew there was a reason although I could not see it at the time.  I did what was required for broken feet and pretty much laid low.  I thought I could write, but the Lord had me lay aside my writing, while a storm swirled around me.  Just as I saw the light at the end of the tunnel my little dog went lethargic, off feed and water, necessitating extraordinary veterinary intervention.  For weeks now, I have burned the pavement between home and the city.  The pathology report will come back next week.

The Lord quite clearly instructed me to farm this year, dovetailing His instruction from last year, not to be superwoman.  How paradoxical!  How could I farm with two broken feet?  Nevertheless, I know the still small voice and so I learned how to farm on my knees…praying…  It is slow, really slow, but it can be done. Then I broke a rib. This is when I turned to the Psalms, the perfect book for sufferer's,  to learn the following:

But even as smoke, slowly fading, blows away, even as wax melts before the fire, so the lawless shall perish before the presence of God.  Psalm 68:3

Fading means to disintegrate into small parts.  It is the nature of smoke that it must fade away, and its disintegration is hastened by every blast of wind.  Even as wax cannot abide the presence of fire, so the enemies and hater's of God and His order shall perish.  The soft part of the rib is cartilage, also known as wax, in Hebrew.  I could go on a rabbit trail on this part but I will refrain.  That said, it has something to do with God's barriers being eliminated and breaking things down into their elemental form as we enter an era of catastrophe.  

Not many knew about my situation and yet I heard comments such as:  "move", "curse", and "bad luck".  But I had this perfect peace from the Lord and that He was directing this whole situation and my job was to listen and learn.  I cried out unto my Savior, repenting of sins which flowed out as spilling water.

Last week, in the thick of the storm, He revealed His invisible hedge of protect about me in the supernatural realm and I was very much comforted.  I was assured that this was not evil in nature.  Rather, He was crushing me to restore and fortify me for the days to come.  He said that I could not fulfill my calling without this crushing. 

I learned a valuable lesson about overcoming.  We humans like our comfort and dislike, even hate, suffering.  We will do almost anything not to suffer.  As a farmer, I know that one does not snap their fingers and go from seed to food.  Such is the case with overcoming.  One must practice overcoming to be able to overcome.  I had my physical reality and the Word of the Lord, two opposites collide.  I had to choose to be obedient and overcome or not. I chose to view the situation through the eyes of Isaiah 11, more on that later.

I am in the healing process but what a powerful faith lesson the crushing of the winepress has been in my life!   

Dual-Nature Sin

Sin is dual-nature for it trespasses upon our fellow man and our inner purity.   The crime of practicing sin is a crime that takes us upon a deviant path departing from what is good and proper and leaves one leaving the world of light, purification, and reviving power of the Divine fire of the Living God.  Iniquity spiritually defiles us, thus causing a residue and stains which penetrate deeper than that which causes the transgression.  We can see this in the physical realm if you have ever attempted to cleanse away coffee or tea stains from a mug or fabric.  Furthermore, the tarnish of each sin you and my sins are imprinted indelibly stamped on to the organ which committed the sin.  This sin imprint has memory that can cause your life many miseries and sufferings and this blemish can be inherited unto the next generations unless they rebuke it. 

When we transgress there are primarily two different ways this occurs:  a distortion which causes a person to err or neglecting your relationship with Jesus Christ.

When we ask Jesus to wash us from our iniquity and cleanse me from transgression we grant permission for the Lord Jesus to subject us to suffering and trouble to the extent and duration needed to atone for our sin and change us.  In these moments we do not trivialize the seriousness of our transgressions because it is our levity that which causes us to sin before our holy God.  All we can do it but to fall at the feet of Jesus and repent and ask that He restore our inner purity and that I might be receptive to His goodness and correction. 

We live in a physical world where sensual sin, not necessarily of a sexual nature, but rather physically indulgent erodes our relationship with Jesus Christ which requires confession of repentance.    Sin sits at the door waiting to pounce every moment we live.  Verse 7 of Psalm 51 says

Lo, I was begotten with the capacity to sin and with predisposition to iniquity did my mother nurse me. 

As we examine this verse recall that Eve did not bear children until after she sinned so we have all been conceived with the propensity to sin.  The words in the Hebrew indicate that we may enter the gate of affliction because we have the capacity to sin-where God intervenes with affliction knowing what lies ahead of us so that we might walk the correct path and not deviate from it.  Once again, in the Hebrew this means "to warm" or "to nurse" or "to cover".  God is covering and nursing our inner man (woman), those faculties and abilities hidden by physical sensuality.  Once again, that is not necessarily sexual in nature. 

God ministers to our spirit as it says:

"Who has put wisdom into the faculties hidden by the body?" Job 38:36

These are concealed to the human eye and cannot be perceived by the organ of physical sight.  It is interesting that ancient man believed that the kidneys were the seat of human intellect (Job 38:36) and today we have an epidemic of kidney disease.  Coincidence? 

David prayed to God not to spare him but to accomplish what was necessary to atone and blot out sin.  He also reminds God that he is dual nature both physical and spiritual.  We have access to the intangible, hidden power of the Holy Spirit residing within our physical body. 

Sadly, our dual nature makes us vulnerable to succumb to the temptations of physical desires in their vast array. Even Jesus was tempted, He overcame and we can overcome when we trust in Him. We have free choice.  But we know and have confidence that this dual nature is symbolic of "the Living Water in the vessel of the dust of ashes."  For us, this might require that we be purged with hyssop so that we will be clean and be freshly washed anew so that we might become whiter than snow.  It also might be necessary, for many reasons, for this suffering to be obvious to all of those around us.  Hyssop with cedar-wood and sprinkled with pure waters- was used in the final phases of purification for a leper.  Biblical leprosy is a punishment for arrogance.  The proud man or woman who lifts oneself up like the towering cedar tree is afflicted and is modestly lowered himself to the station of the humble or modest hyssop shrub.  Leprosy also erupts into white skin lesions that indicate an inner spiritual problem requiring repentance.  This is what Isaiah was referring when he declared:

Though your skins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.

David cries out that God inflict him with visible suffering so that his iniquities could be blotted out.  As a follower of Jesus Christ our iniquity is blotted out by His blood although, as His children, we may have to trod the winepress as He did.

Winepress Time

And He will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what His eyes see, and He will not decide by what His ears hear…  Isaiah 11:3

I do not know if you have verses that catch your eye or that to which you gravitate, but I do. I have appreciated the verse above for decades now.  It is attached to the seven-fold spirit God and how to view things and decide things from HIS perspective. 

Day of God's Vengeance on the Horizon?

Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. And when He stood up to read [the Haftorah portion], the scroll of the prophet Isaiah [61] was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it was written:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,

because He has anointed Me

to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to release the oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then He rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him, and He began by saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

He did not read:

"and the day of our God’s vengeance." 

For that verse was to take place in the future.  Jesus was living the Torah portion that the people were learning that week, real-time.  That time is rapidly approaching my friends.

 Catastrophism and the Winepress

As most of you know, my crushing by the winepress came at a time when I was writing about catastrophism.  I began looking at catastrophism through the lens of a garment.  What is the ultimate purpose of catastrophe?  We can find clues in Isaiah 63 where in a metaphor it is as if God appears as a human avenger wrecking destruction upon His enemies.

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?

As a Christian, you know by the language that this can only be Jesus Christ. 

Traveling in the greatness of strength…can be translated in a causative to move as in God will uproot the nations from their homelands.  What are we witnessing and expecting?  Large migrations of people around the world are being uprooted and into a forced migration by God due to their sin. It can also be translated as shouting by those horrified Edom's calamity and who justify her sins.

Bozrah may indicate a literal place, but can also be a metaphor for any place that adopts the culture and beliefs of Edom.  So vicious is Edom-Bozrah that even today satellite shots show the area stained red in color.  Some commentators believe that the verse to means that Jesus slays the guardian angel or territorial spirit of that region severing that areas heavenly source of life.  When the angel is removed the nation ceases to be a world power and spirals into a Black Swan leading to death.

The language of strength certain reminds me of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. 

I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 

Only the righteousness of Jesus is mighty to save any of us.

Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel?  And thy garments like him that treadeth in the winepress?

Jesus is now the mighty warrior.  His majestic raiment is sullied with the blood of His enemies which has a vile odor.  His majestic raiment may also indicate His manifestation as the Avenger to inflict harm or death such as we saw during the Ten Plagues of Egypt.  It is described as raiment because it fits the sin perfectly. 

The word Edom means red a color that connotes justice.  Edom's warped sense of justice destroys all who do not adhere to its values.  At the end they will be subject to God's justice. 

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me:

Since Jesus alone can save, He alone, is required to tread the winepress. 

for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury;

This is an illuminating verse when we examine the words anger and wrath.  Anger connotes an outward expression of displeasure with wrath referring to an inner wrath.  This plays out in two stages.  God will display His anger to induce the nations to repent.  The reference to treading grapes in a winepress symbolizes the crushing of the nations for the purpose of extracting repentance, as one removes the outer [bitter] shell of the grape to reveal its inner value.

When they do not respond, God pours out His inner wrath and destroys them. 

and their lifeblood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

Like it or not, victory and overcoming is in the Blood.  Here and in verse 6 uses the world lifeblood as their victory.  Commentators explain that blood is the strength and life source of man.  Throughout history man has been consumed with glorifying himself and his success when in reality God's supremacy causes their downfall.  Jesus will ultimately triumph over all. 

For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

This is the verse in Isaiah 11 that Jesus did not read in Nazareth.  But as He says above the year of my redeemed is come [arriving soon].  No man, no angel, not even the Son of Man knows the day or hour.  God allows Edom to flourish with unending success.  At the End of Time God will take Edom to task demanding a full reckoning of its deeds. 

And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

God is astounded that there is not even a righteous prayer of support for His actions.  A helper is one who assists with deeds.  A supporter refers to prayers and supplications. 

You might also view helper as someone who assists someone to do something that they could not otherwise accomplish.   A Savior on the other hand, rescues entirely on His own.  Thus God declares that since there is no helper, I acted as Savior. 

I got a faint hint of what Jesus will experience through during the winepress crushing.  As Christians, we believe that we will have community or family when the trials begin.  Oftentimes, these days this does not happen as self is glorified.  You may find yourselves alone with Jesus in the wilderness with community far removed.  I say this only so that you might be prepared.  Hear the Word of the Lord:

When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. Truly I tell you, you will not reach all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for a disciple to be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!…Matthew 10:24

And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

God's wrath is an allegory for wine which causes a drunkard to loose his mental faculties.  The extent of retribution will be beyond their comprehension. 

This may also refer to the loss of Edom's free will to repent as we saw during the Ten Plagues with Pharaoh's hardening heart. 

All people and nations who fall into the physical coercion and seductive temptations are complicit in Edom's corruption and will suffer Divine wrath.

Three Things to Remember when Called to the Winepress

Be content with your lot whatever it may be. 

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:11-13

Do not complain.

Neither should ye murmur, as some of them also murmured — and were destroyed by the destroyer. 1 Corinthians 10:10

Listen to the still small voice of Jesus

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?  I Kings 19:11-13

Crushing Trials

Mayest Thou be able to make me hear joy and gladness once more, and then the bones, which Thou hadst crushed and deprived of strength, is caused to rejoice again.  Psalm 51:10

Proverbs 16:30 says:

Good tidings make the bones fat, but mourning crushes them. 

We have all seen the tidings in the news transform from good tidings to ones that provoke a Christian to mourn.  This transition can catapult you into a crushing experience. 

After a crushing trial God restores your purity, physical and spiritual condition and your communication with the Almighty are one of supreme bliss and joy of the Spirit as you have grown and flourished in the Spirit because of this spiritual and physical rebirth.  Through the crushing you will be weakened but will discover that your physical and spiritual strength will rise again.

One of the many purposes of the crushing is to create a clean heart, will power, and fortitude of a steadfast spirit.  This character trait is what will distinguish you from the beasts at the appointed time of the Anti Christ when the predatory beast roam the earth without restraint.  The beasts have no free will choice but you do have access to that Divine favor that creates a new, clean, and pure heart. 

Once the process was complete David called out to be restored to being an appointed messenger and servant for the Lord's purposes and tasks.  This is when he called out:

Cast me not away from Thy countenance, and take not Thy holy spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and let the spirit of free devotion uphold me. 

What supreme joy and elation when one has endured the crushing and salvation is brought to earth once again through God's sovereignty and with your cooperation for you helped advanced that goal, with your sweet surrender to the crushing. 

You then have opportunity to use your crushing for the advancement of salvation as you share your journey and tell transgressors that Jesus Christ is prepared to restore even when men and women have grown old (practiced) in their sin and it has become the very fiber of their being.  You still have opportunity to return to the path that leads to Jesus.

If the crushing visits upon your life, welcome it, for the Lord Himself is providing you opportunity to shine His Light upon your life bringing repentance and decluttering the sin in your life. 

The true sacrifice of Jesus, our Judge, expects of us, is a spirit broken by the awareness that we have sinned and have potential to sin.  God does not despise a broken and contrite heart. Remember, He is the Enforcer of Strict Justice who has the power to erase your transgressions.  Jesus Christ is your fortification against future sins and an ever present help in times of trouble.  God is close to those who are broken at heart and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.  Those my dear friends are precious promises.

Mystery Puzzle

Thankfully, we learn something new every day.  Sometimes we need to enjoy our learning.  There is a tie-in between King David's sin with Bathsheba, Uzziah her husband, and Goliath.  Do you know what it is?


Author Information

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Going where angels fear to tread...


Celeste has worked as a contractor for Homeland Security and FEMA. Her training and activation's include the infamous day of 911, flood and earthquake operations, mass casualty exercises, and numerous other operations. Celeste is FEMA certified and has completed the Professional Development Emergency Management Series.

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Celeste grew up in a military & governmental home with her father working for the Naval Warfare Center, and later as Assistant Director for Public Lands and Natural Resources, in both Washington State and California.

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