Amos 9:5-16; Acts 15:6-21
The book of Amos speaks about Godâ€™s judgement of His people â€“ it paints a big picture of Almighty God. But alongside the promise of judgement is the promise of restoration. The key verse isÂ v.11 â€“ the â€śboothâ€ť or tabernacle of David â€“ one day the people of God will live with God in the new heavens and new earth.
1. The Prophetic Mandate (Our Vision):
- Adam walked with God and was able to hear God and minister to God on behalf of creation. He had authority on earth to expand Eden â€“ the cultural mandate.
- But Adam sinned and the fellowship was broken.
- But from Genesis to Revelation, we are shown that God is restoring this and wants to dwell again with His people.
ii) The Tabernacle:
- The dwelling place for God and His glory on earth.
- The tabernacle of Moses on Mount Gibeon was about rules and rituals, but the tabernacle of David on Mount Zion was about being able to freely enter and worship God â€“ a foretaste of the New Covenant of grace.
iii) The Temple:
- This was Godâ€™s next dwelling place for his manifest presence.
- However, with the second temple there was no presence of God â€“ just rituals and religion. God wanted a restoration of the tabernacle of David.
- When Jesus was on earth He said the temple would be destroyed but that He would rebuild it after 3 days. He was talking about Himself â€“ He identified Himself with the temple, of God dwelling with man â€“ and the resurrection after 3 days.
- The coming temple was not one built with stones, but with people â€“ the Church.
iv) The Church:
- We are being built into a temple, experience God and His presence and power, by the Spirit.
2. The Prophetic Pivotal Point (Our Theology & Practice):
- This is where the passage in Acts comes in. The era of the early church, filled with the Holy Spirit. The Jews were adding to the gospel â€“ that Christians had to obey the Old Testament laws.
- Here we see displayed the following:
i) Relationship leadership:
- The leaders discussed this issue â€“ whether new Christians should obey the Law of Moses.
- v.16 â€“ James quotes Amos â€“ the restoration of Davidâ€™s tabernacle, the covenant of grace, no more sacrifices or rituals.
- The church are to fulfil the cultural mandate â€“ to take the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
ii) Operational power
iii) Defining grace
iv) Missional vision
3. The Prophetic Process (Our Lessons from History):
- There is a process with promises being fulfilled. Things in history have happened in order to get us further towards that end fulfilment of the mandate and of the restoration.
- 3 key words from the last 30-40 years: revival, renewal, restoration.
- We are restoring the Church â€“ building right. God has a bigger plan than just little pockets of revival.
- What God does in one generation is different but all part of the big plan.
4. The Prophetic Challenge (Our Commitment):
i) Expect to grow â€“ the fruit of restoration
ii) Expect the Spirit â€“ He is given to us to reach out to others, not just for our benefit
iii) Build the church
iv) Change the city â€“ rebuild the city, take Eden into it, release the captives, see people restored to God
v) Expect stability