Amos 9:5-16; Acts 15:6-21
The book of Amos speaks about God‚Äôs judgement of His people ‚Äď it paints a big picture of Almighty God. But alongside the promise of judgement is the promise of restoration. The key verse is¬† v.11 ‚Äď the ‚Äúbooth‚ÄĚ or tabernacle of David ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď a foretaste of the New Covenant of grace.
iii) The Temple:
- This was God‚Äôs next dwelling place for his manifest presence.
- However, with the second temple there was no presence of God ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď He identified Himself with the temple, of God dwelling with man ‚Äď and the resurrection after 3 days.
- The coming temple was not one built with stones, but with people ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď that Christians had to obey the Old Testament laws.
- Here we see displayed the following:
i) Relationship leadership:
- The leaders discussed this issue ‚Äď whether new Christians should obey the Law of Moses.
- v.16 ‚Äď James quotes Amos ‚Äď the restoration of David‚Äôs tabernacle, the covenant of grace, no more sacrifices or rituals.
- The church are to fulfil the cultural mandate ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď the fruit of restoration
ii) Expect the Spirit ‚Äď He is given to us to reach out to others, not just for our benefit
iii) Build the church
iv) Change the city ‚Äď rebuild the city, take Eden into it, release the captives, see people restored to God
v) Expect stability