Listen to the message
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Series: Finished Works
Sun am 1st September 2013 – Kobus Swart
Joel 1:1-11; (Acts 2:42); Matt. 15:6; Mark 7:13; Col. 2:8; (Num. 13:28-33); Joel 2:1-11;
(2 Kings 7:5-9); (Rev. 12:10); (Luke 18:10-14); (Rev. 13:8); (John 16:8-11);
Jude 5; 3 John 1-2; (Prov. 23:7); Joel 2:18-28
The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: Hear this, O elders, And listen, all inhabitants of the land. Has anything like this happened in your days. Or in your fathers’ days? Tell your sons about it, And let your sons tell their sons, And their sons the next generation. What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten; And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten. Awake, drunkards, and weep; And wail, all you wine drinkers, On account of the sweet wine. That is cut off from your mouth. For a nation has invaded my land, Mighty and without number; Its teeth are the teeth of a lion, And it has the fangs of a lioness. It has made my vine a waste And my fig tree splinters. It has stripped them bare and cast them away; Their branches have become white. Wail like a virgin girded with sackcloth .For the bridegroom of her youth. The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off. From the house of the Lord. The priests mourn, The ministers of the Lord. The field is ruined, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine dries up, Fresh oil fails. Be ashamed, O farmers, Wail, O vine dressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field is destroyed. (Joel 1:1-11).
The word “locust” or “grasshopper” appears 28 times in the Bible. Historically this plague desolated Judah, but there is a relevant message here to the church today. The question is what devastated the early church and carried her into Babylonian captivity and into the dark ages? Since the time of Martin Luther of the first reformation what has consumed Biblical truth and laid waste the apostolic doctrine? The answer is simple – religious traditions! Can traditions hamper the word of God? And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition (Matt. 15:6). Thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that (Mark 7:13). See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col. 2:8). God can allow the enemy to do His work for Him as this army of locusts. It was also the grasshopper mindset that kept the ten spies from the Promised Land (Numb. 13:28-33). The two men that came with a positive report stood on the word of God.
Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the Lord is coming; Surely it is near, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it. To the years of many generations. A fire consumes before them .And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them. But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run. With a noise as of chariots. They leap on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people arranged for battle. Before them the people are in anguish; All faces turn pale. They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like soldiers; And they each marching line, Nor do they deviate from their paths. They do not crowd each other, They march everyone in his path; When they burst through the defenses, They do not break ranks. They rush on the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter through the windows like a thief. Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon grow dark. And the stars lose their brightness. The Lord utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it? (Joel 2:1-11). This is God responding.
There is something here that reminds us of what happened with the four lepers (2 Kings 7:5-9). The sound that was released by Calvary was heard by the enemy; but God’s people have not heard it; tradition holds us captive – i.e. a sin-consciousness mindset. Why do Christians still have sin-consciousness and walk in condemnation? They do not yet see the full significance of the finished works of Jesus Christ. Satan is keeping us away from our inheritance by bluffing us. We need maturity in our thinking and singleness of mind to move to the third court of God’s grace. Sin consciousness makes us pray with reservation and we are robbed of our boldness. Satan is the accuser of our brethren (Rev. 12:10) and he usually works though our closest Christian friends. We must embrace the overcomer mentality.
What will give momentum to this message are the corporate overcomers who will tune into that sound that made the enemy flee? For too long satan has intimidated Christians who do not understand the full extent of their forgiveness. There is a wrong understanding of confession of sins (Luke 18:10-14). We were forgiven before we were born; Jesus, the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Jesus took upon Himself the sin of humanity, and reconciled humanity with God. We need to beware of unbelief (John 16:8-11). Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe (Jude 5). We must believe that we are forgiven and be ruled by grace not by law. We are sons of the last Adam who is a life-giving spirit. Our fears and insecurities should have been healed long ago. We must tune in to the sound of Calvary. The enemy has fled that sound but still roars like a lion!
We must demonstrate what we have discovered. The lepers had evidence of food, clothes, gold and silver to speak to the king’s household (2 Kings 7:8-9). We must produce evidence to talk to the household of God. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). We have been put off by the prosperity message that has gone over the top, but we must not embrace poverty. We cannot live in the past and expect a harvest in the future. For as he thinks within himself, so he is (Prov. 23:7). Change the way you think about yourself.
Then the Lord will be zealous for His land and will have pity on His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, …….. And My people will never be put to shame. It will come about after this, that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions (Joel 2:18-28).This in the unlimited scope of God’s blessing. His grace will abound on all. God’s mercy and grace know no limits. We must leave our old spiritual maps behind, they are obsolete. A map shows where God used to move. We now need a compass and its name is Christ.
Sound the alarm! Let the Corporate Son arise and make a clear sound in the earth!