(Sharing 14th February 2011)
<Amos 1-2> Judgment (Gentiles) -> Israel (Salvation, Emmanuel) Acknowledge Jesus Christ
When things around us influences our hearts, that is the reason when judgment from God is announced as a big roar of “Hey, stop!” Yet, this roar is from Zion, His chosen temple (format, systematic doctrine) of belief. At that time, God reminds us that He knows us (yada knowing). Therefore, He chases all of our wrongs as a Father to us out of relationship-love.
<Amos 3-6> Reason -> Altar (Worship, Prayer) -> Love God love men (compassion on men) -> all things fulfilling God’s perfect will (ten commandments) = Essence of the Sermon on the Mount
Yet, He wants us to understand that it is not because of one or two wrongs that we are influenced from the world, but our hearts “can be influenced”. Our altars (prayers, worship, Christian life) are not built in the right way, therefore, our hearts “can be influenced”. Our altars are already in grave evilness. We even compromised the hearts of those whose hearts walked in tune with God’s heart just because they do not look impressive. Secondly, our altars, even if done in the utmost sincerity and effort, cannot fulfill the positive effects of the ten commandments. There is just something wrong and this is the very reason why God has to punish.
<Amos 7-9:10> Warnings (5 times) -> Intercessions (2 times)
God gives warnings, as He is a compassionate God, hoping we will turn at every change:
1) Little holes happen in our lives, but we ignore it. —- If we are sensitive a little bit, we will be able to realize and repent.
2) Some part of everything in us is taken away from us (burnt up, just like money all gone, health all gone, etc), but we still feel it is just a bit dry in only those areas, as we can still have things to rely on. —- If we see there is fire coming non-coincidentally (from God), we will realize and repent.
3) Then God warned us through everything messed up in our lives, so that our hearts, lifestyle, relationships and everything else are chaotic, but yet we only think that if we prosper one thing back, we will be satisfied. —- If we see hopelessness in chaos, not knowing where to start changing new directions, we will cry out and repent.
-> This is the timetable where God will not hold back anymore of His punishments.
4) Amazingly, God will seem to give a very great chance now, because after this, God’s great judgment will come already. He gives a little hope in some parts of our life, giving us time to understand that He is One full of grace, willing to wait, for us to look into our lives and do re-evaluation, because if we are burned up, we also would have no chance to rethink. Originally, the right heart prospers all things, but now, some things can prosper even without the right heart, and yet, we begin to get proud, thinking that the non-upright and non-clean heart full of pride, motives and agenda is not a big matter, thinking that God has blessed because we have made church-going more glorious, or have tried doing more charity. —- If we realize that this is a chance God has given for us to repent out of the seemingly impossible impure heart that we have, we will kneel down in thankfulness and repentance.
5) The last warning is the destruction of the altar (not be able to pray anymore) and the family, work, finance, health, and nation. —- If we can see this judgment and repent, we are the remnants.
=> I realize this is the 5 areas we can pray for and “give warnings” in prophecy to the people around us (non-Christians and Christians). They will turn to God if we told them the works of God in their lives.
<Amos 9:11-15> Rebuild the temple of David (Moses’s tabernacle = Abraham’s altar) -> To Repair the Broken walls
After judgment, tearing down all our beliefs and lifestyle, we need to rebuild the temple of David. There is a temple to be built.
The temple has to be built not using the old methods any more. There must be a new wine for the new wine bags. There must be a reason for the old ways to fail in the new generation, and all those are shown clearly in the judgments that came before even when we held on to God. Our past failures and set of conditions are the very places where the new methods can be proven to work (heal).
So how do we repair the broken walls in this generation?
In every era, there are broken walls, and there is an emphasis (I’m not very sure of some of these, but I think some guidelines of facts are here J):
In Adam’s time, the repair has to go through the “blessed heir”, who knows the sacrifice of blood. In Abraham’s time, the repair has to go through “uprightly facing and submitting to God”. (Ishmael probably got to know from Abraham and therefore, only knew God as a strict God.) In Moses’ time, in fact, 1000 years before China can write words that are old drawings, Israelites already had the Torah. That was the time when the complete Law (in words and 10 commandments) and humility was used to repair. In David’s time, the law in words is no longer enough. David was a man of prayer, who was after God’s heart. That was the time when the law plus the upright heart were used to repair. In Jesus’ time, there was the span of time from the return of the exile. There were revival meetings to restore the people of Judah, but they only recovered the remains of the Law and Psalms of David. They could not overcome the vast advancement of Assyria (barbaric in violence), Babylonian (greatness in beauty), Persian (powerful in brotherhood and seduction), Greek (swift in wisdom and gods) and Roman (grandness in compiling everything). The empires all around advanced from just god of fertility to many Greek gods in all areas. (It was the Greece gods that brought the start of Europe). The prophets, relied on the Spirit and prophesized, collectively saw ahead of Jesus’ time, when the broken walls can only be repaired by a new commandment from Jesus Christ. (Daniel, Mordecai and Esther went through the slavery period and overcame the empires, but their work preserved Hebrews and restored scriptures to prepare for Jesus’ coming instead of repairing anything.)The prophets saw Acts where the Spirit will descend after great judgment to Israel (big empires). Here Jesus showed that God has been meaning grace and truth, not a rigid law and godliness of the Pharisees. He totally came as a Son of God, died and rose again, and repaired the broken walls through the working of the Holy Spirit’s in the human form to show His coming again in the Spirit’s form. Jesus Himself is the perfect wall model that showed the exact wall that was to be rebuilt. The church was then born through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Through the apostles (especially Paul), the church pastoral teachings was written down through Acts and the Epistles. They explained and baptized people with the help of the Holy Spirit, and laid down the Apostle’s teachings to build the church. They used the gospel and church pastoral to repair the broken walls. There were then a lot of wars in the Roman world. “Power and authority”, kingdom of light and kingdoms of darkness were used to organize, and theology started from St Augustine to protect and guide the church at close to the end of the Roman empire. Wars continued but slowly people found meaningless in fighting, leading to arts. Paintings, construction and music were used to repair and show the destination of the church to rest all in peace from much war. At this point, many monks went into seclusion away from the corrupted authority of the Roman Catholic church, and used quietness and meditation to repair the broken walls. Then, there were sciences. Printing press, distribution of the bible, and reformation to all commoners were used to make the layman experience God totally through reformed theology. Personal faith was used to repair the broken walls. There was then a seeking to go for romanticism in the world culture, stressing personal emotion, free play of the imagination, and freedom from rules of form. Many revivals went into Bible Study for discipleship, testing and approving in all things, and a lot of denominations were born to repair the broken walls, especially present in the American world emphasizing democracy. Then there was Charismatic movement, who were filled with the Holy Spirit but there was abstractness (cannot be seen working similarly in all things, therefore, what was in the church and in the fields are contrasting), but they repaired the inflexible, ritualistic and dry congregations, trying to use “charismatic worship and tongues” to experience the supernatural and absolute in order to influence the dry everyday living.
What is it now?
Emmanuel – “all things 24 hours” is used now to repair the broken walls. The understanding and belief of the absolute Word of God, Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ are all rebuilt from understanding “all things 24 hours”, ordered, joined together, relevantly confirmed, and concretely written and expanded. The era has already come to a stage where multitasking has come from man’s thought to be greener and more efficient. Doing more with less is all in the world because the world has lots of information flowing freely. From America to the poorest countries, it has become a global village so that all even the least of positions, roles and financial power have access to the latest technology and belief systems of the elites once they get onto the internet, and vice versa. Mental problems are prevalent in this era. Emotions get the better of man as they share more openly about their inner problems than before. Compromising and gray areas are sipping into everywhere to make crimes look compassionate, so that absoluteness is done away with. Charismatic beliefs and conservative beliefs both split a person up so that he is different in church and in the fields (family, work, etc). It does not help but in fact make things worse. By using “Emmanuel in all things 24 hours”, blessed from God absoluteness, God-driven practicality, not just experiencing but knowing that God is delighted is needed so that we can discern the spirits going into the world, the walls can then be repaired. We need to re-organize the answers we have, rely on the Spirit, and live it all out if we know there is a grave problem.
13) What is next?
I don’t know. But I do know that through pastoring and discipleship, especially towards youths and children, there will be answers for the next generation, who will take up all the history and have a new format. The message for the next era is always in 2 Timothy, where Paul prayed for children and descendants – beware of truths that are half-truths, godliness that are just of man, relationship love that requires payback, pastors and elders showing works with the best of morals but with deep selfish motivations not for the kingdom, and easily discouraged confirmation of truths as the era of evil voices flying around has never been as real as before. The message that we have now can also become apparently true and right, but really actually wrong, not now, but much later. The message of Paul to Timothy is to go right back to the basic truth of beliefs (what they have learnt from young), and then receive the Holy Spirit to format through pastoral and discipleship from there.
Most people just sang out sorrowfully trying to give their heart out. But Women of Faith sang it so joyfully, and so full of promise!