God is doing a great work in our midst and it is very exciting.
God wants to transform our culture. It may sound like foolishness to those without faith, but I can trace similar movements throughout the history of the church, and the radically committed always prevailed.
Why did they prevail? Because the Kingdom belongs to the King!
1 Corinthians 15:24–26 (NIV) — 24 Then the end will come, when he (Jesus) hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Yet the victory of Jesus is worked out in the midst of His people. The kingdom is being birthed through labor pains. We can better understand what this looks like by studying scripture.
Resurrection Life is a major biblical theme.
Israel Restored as a nation after being sent into exile. What happened?
They Forsook Gods commandments and precepts
Had been warned in scriptures what would happen, but also what would happen with repentance (the song of Moses).
Did not heed the prophets
Became worldly rather than manifesting the kingdom – injustice, tyranny, oppression, sin.
Even godly leaders could not stem the tide of corruption in the land.
Sent into Exile, but God went with them - Daniel
Daniel 9:1–3 (NKJV) — 1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
Notice how Daniel Responded to scripture.
Isaiah about 200 years before prophesied about Cyrus
Decree to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.
Exiles return, build the altar and lay the foundation of the temple.
Trouble breaks out regarding the rebuilding of the temple.
The people quit building the temple and began focusing on building their own lives.
The prophetic ministry of Haggai and Zechariah got the work going again.
Haggai 1:2–11 (NKJV) — 2 “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.” ’ ” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! 6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! 8 Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. 9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
The people rebuild the temple in the midst of persecution. God actually turns the persecution around and forces them to fund the building and administration of the temple from local taxes.
There is always constant warfare around morale, and it often centers around perspective.
Haggai 2:1–9 (NKJV) — 1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying: 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying: 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? 4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ 6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
The result of success in rebuilding the temple was cultural transformation
Haggai 2:15–19 (NKJV) — 15 ‘And now, carefully consider from this day forward: from before stone was laid upon stone in the temple of the Lord—16 since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid—consider it: 19 Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’”
Birthing the kingdom in our lives
All creation groaning awaiting the revelation of God’s sons.
Where births take place
Every member doing their part.
Trouble and conflict
Discouragement and morale
Committed to the message and forms that will harvest this generation.