Amos 5-9

God’s presence is glorious, and it will prevail.

But let’s back up. Both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel were prosperous during Amos’s ministry. However, the prosperity was leading to more and more materialism, immorality, and injustice – especially in the north. In fact, the prosperity led many to believe that they just couldn’t be overthrown.

When everything is going well in the life of an individual or in a country, most can’t imagine that it would ever be different. An arrogance can set in to make some think that they are impervious to hard times. That’s where Jeroboam II and his northern kingdom were while Amos was bringing his message. They couldn’t imagine anything but prosperity.

Just three decades later, however, the Assyrians invaded and ended their false assumptions. They just wouldn’t listen to the prophets.

As with most of the prophets, however, Amos ends on a beautiful note. In fact, he has some insight which will help the new believers in Jesus centuries later. “In that day I will raise up the fallen tabernacle of David and wall up its breaches…That they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name.”(9:11-12).

So what is he saying? The tabernacle of Moses had three parts to it: the outer court, the inner court, and the holy of holies with the ark of the covenant – which only the priest could go into once a year. And this is not the tabernacle which would be raised up again.

The tabernacle of David was a simple one. No outer or inner court. Only the holy of holies – the ark of the covenant under a tent. With continual incense and music, praisers were assigned to worship continually – 24/7. It represented the presence of God which would be available to all people on the earth, and not just the priests.

This presence of God would be what would make all nations of the earth come to know Jesus. No longer would there be this argument and that argument concerning the nature of God, but people would come to know Him by His presence in their midst.

In Acts 15, the elders of the church gathered for a major discussion concerning the gentiles. Paul and Barnabas had been preaching the gospel to the gentiles, and the gentiles has been coming to the Lord. But there were some Jews who wanted everyone to be circumcised according to the Jewish custom. So the council met to discuss what should be done.

As they met, James stood up and quoted from Amos. (Acts 15:16-17). The tabernacle of David (God’s presence) would be restored that all the gentiles who are called by His name should seek the Lord and find Him. Obviously, the Father was endorsing the gentiles seeking the Lord. (This is a case of the meaning of scripture being revealed to the spirit-filled believers by the Holy Spirit).

Jesus said that only those whom the Father would draw would be His. (John 6:44) That’s what we see here. The presence of God, as demonstrated by the holy of holies in David’s simple tabernacle, was a type for the drawing of God’s people from every nation and every tongue to worship Him. The curtain which separated the holy of holies in the temple would be ripped from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:51), and God’s presence would be for all to experience.

God’s presence and His love were not just for the priest. Not just for the Jews. His presence and His love were for all mankind who would believe in Him. The meaning of these scriptures written by Amos was revealed by the Holy Spirit to James and the elders.

For all of us who are not from Israeli heritage, these scriptures are really significant. God’s love is for me – and you!!

Revelation 9 – 11

Three more trumpets. The fifth and sixth trumpets blast and initiate more tribulation in the earth. Locusts, horses, and angels carrying out the judgment of God. Torment and death. But the people “did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.” (9:21)

Many of the images from Revelation are seen also in the book Zechariah. The two “olive trees” or anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord, representing Him in the earth. They are also called the two witnesses. If you have seen the movie “Left Behind,” you have seen these as two very prophetic looking men who prophesy doom on the earth.

Personally, I am not sure that these are actual men. I think that they are the Bible and the Holy Spirit of God – the two witnesses of Him in the earth. You can already see the attempt to put to death these representatives. Many want to mock and discredit God’s Word in order to live their ungodly lives with zeal. And they mock those who have a relationship with God’s Holy Spirit.

In either case, when the two witnesses seem to be dead, many in the world will rejoice. Yet God’s plan will prevail.

There is resurrection and there is life! “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” (11: 15) Whew! I love it!

God Almighty has taken His great power and He has begun to reign. And the time came for the dead to be judged and for His reward to be given to those who “fear His name, from the small to the great.”(11:18)

God’s Word is true and it is powerful. Whether we believe it or not, His Word will eventually come to pass. His covenant will move forward and His “wrap up” will take place.

His kingdom is here now and He reigns in the hearts of those who believe. Eventually His kingdom will be all that remains.

My prayer is for a great awakening to take place in our world, so that many will come to know Him and choose to live forever with their God. I hope that you will join me in that prayer.