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The Truths Of Revival 3_sun 10-05-08

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The Truths of Revival-3-OT -Asa_SUN 09-28-08

§ Introduction {TT – 2 Chronicles 14}

w The Truths of Revival

Ÿ We’ve begun looking at examples of Revival in O.T.

Ÿ After that we will move onto the N.T.

Ÿ After that – church history since Book of Acts.

w Last week looked at Revival in Samuel’s day.

w What did we learn from Samuel’s Revival?

Ÿ Healthy, Godly revivals have common elements:

Þ INTERCESSION with fasting (sacrifice).

Þ REPENTANCE – call to holiness (sanctification)

Þ STRONG, GODLY LEADERSHIP

Þ DEEP, DEVOTED WORSHIP - Before, During, and After

Ÿ The fruit we saw?:  SALVATION & RESTORATION.

§ Israel’s revival during Asa’s Day –  Background –

w  Asa was the 3rd king after Solomon.

Ÿ His story is helpful not only in telling us about …

Þ … how revival comes, but also in telling us about …

Þ … how it can slip away!

w 2nd Chronicles parallels 1st and 2nd Kings, but …

Ÿ … it barely mentions the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

w Historical Note:  The United Kingdom split in two à

Ÿ Solomon (wisest man in world) becomes idolater.

Þ Influenced by idolatrous wives.

Ÿ Rehoboam – Solomon’s Son – King of Southern Kingdom (Judah)

Þ Rehoboam inherited a mess from his father.

§ Solomon taxed the people to near destruction.
§ People came to Rehoboam to seek redress.
w Rehoboam sought council.  (That’s good thing.)

Ÿ Listened to wrong people.  (That’s bad thing.)

¯ Elders – “Be kind to the people”

¯ Buddies – “Give em’ something to cry about!”

Ÿ Jeroboam – Became king of Northern Kingdom (Israel)

Þ 10 tribes split off in rebellion to Solomon’s son Rehoboam

§ Reuben; Simeon; Levi; Zebulun;
§ Issachar; Dan; Gad; Asher; Naphtali; and Joseph

w Judah and Benjamin remained and formed Southern Kingdom.

Ÿ Ten against Two – but God was not calling for a vote!!!

Þ Correction from Last week – 1 Samuel

§ Transition from Theocracy à Monarchy (not Democracy)

Ÿ Democracy is not God’s preferred form of government.

Þ Majority rule implies the majority is inherently right.

§ Not true! – think of a “lynch mob”!

­   IE: You and spouse taking a walk at night.  A gang mugs you.  Tell police.  Officer says, “Did you take a vote?”

Ÿ Abijam or Abijah (Jeroboam’s son) followed Jeroboam.

Þ Bible says he, “walked in the sins of his father”.

Þ Reign only lasted about 3 years.

§ Brings us to Asa’s Reign and Revival

2 Chronicles 14:1-6 (NKJV) - 1So Abijah rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Asa his [Abijam’s] son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet for ten years. 2Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, 3for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images.  … … …

w Sound familiar?  Look at amp:

AGAIN 2 Chr. 14:3 (AMP) He took away the foreign altars and high places and broke down the idol pillars or obelisks and cut down the Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah]

Ÿ Same mess Samuel dealt with.

Þ Lots of definitions of idolatry possible, but …

§ … ultimately it amounts to something you resist …
§ … giving up FOR, or giving up TO God.
w It could be a statue or a false God.

Ÿ It could be a hobby.

Ÿ It could be a habit.

Ÿ It could be a career.

Ÿ It could be a person (ie: one’s children!!!).

Ÿ It could even be your ministry!!!

Þ Idolatry is a violation of the 1st two commandments:

§ The Lord commented on them when giving them:

® Exodus 20:3-6 (NKJV) -  [1st Commandment:] 3“You shall have no other gods before Me. [2nd Commandment:] 4“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. [Commentary:] For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Þ Jesus later summed up these and all the commandments-

Love God whole heartedly and love others as self!

… … … 4He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment. 5He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him. 6And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the Lord had given him rest.

w A key benefit of revival = peace.

Ÿ Peace has a purpose!

Þ Permits unhindered development and prosperity!!!:

2 Chronicles 14:7-8 (NKJV) - 7Therefore he said to Judah [one of the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom], “Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8And Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah who carried shields and spears, and from Benjamin [the other tribe of the Southern Kingdom] two hundred and eighty thousand men who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty men of valor.

w God’s peace is not the absence of war.

Ÿ True Godly peace is present even in the midst of war!:

2 Chronicles 14:9-11 (NKJV) - 9Then Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10So Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”

Ÿ Asa kept his focus on the Lord and not the enemy.

2 Chronicles 14:12-15 (NKJV) - 12So the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the Lord and His army. And they carried away very much spoil. 14Then they defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord came upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them. 15They also attacked the livestock enclosures, and carried off sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.

Ÿ God will turn the enemy’s attacks to your benefit, IF …

Þ … you continue to rest in Him.

§ “Faith is a rest.”   “Faith is a sabboth.”
§ Make no mistake about it –
w “If you are not resting, you are not in faith!”

Ÿ (No matter how many scriptures you confess!!!!)

¯ But don’t stop; at least it is faith building!

Þ Prophecy comes forth:

2 Chronicles 15:1-7 (NKJV) - 1Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4but when [Judah] in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5And in those [earlier] times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7But you [Judah], be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”

® 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (KJV) - 13But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Þ Most Christians can quote this scripture, yet …

§ … far too many violate it when the pressure’s on!

w Asa redoubled his efforts:

2 Chronicles 15:8-9 (NKJV) - 8And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord. … … …

Þ “I thought they already cleaned up the idols!?!”

§ The closer you get to God, the more there is …
w … of this world that will bother you!
§ The closer you get to God, the more things will …
w … become sin that were not sin to you before!

® James 4:17 (KJV) - 17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

w This is accurate signal that it’s true revival:

Ÿ It’s one thing to experience “Righteousness Consciousness”

Ÿ It’s another to enter “Holiness Consciousness”

Þ When it happens as result of nearness of God – Revival

Þ When it doesn’t – Legalism

§ REM: What often begins as holiness response to …
w … God’s manifest presence can turn to …
w … unholy legalism once His presence departs!

­   Hairstyles, jewelry and clothing choices have been holiness responses based upon a specific culture.  Later, they can evolve into a prideful show of exclusive-ism.  “We’re going to heaven and you aren’t – na, na na, na, na!

w The point is:

Ÿ Don’t be quick to judge others

Matthew 7:1-5 (NKJV) - 1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

... … …  9Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

w Some of those involved in rebellion return.

Ÿ Some from the old church split came back!!!

§ The Revival Continues

w Worship; Sacrifice; Selfless Devotion

Ÿ Peace continues [skip to:]

2 Chronicles 15:15 (NKJV) - 15And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.

§ Holiness must  be modeled by Leaders

2 Chronicles 15:16 (NKJV) - 16Also he removed Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah; and Asa cut down her obscene image, then crushed and burned it by the Brook Kidron. ... ... ...

w Asa’s own mother was continuing in idolatry.

Ÿ Leaders can’t make exceptions for themselves and …

Þ … for their loved ones!

­   How easy to fall into:  think of how often parents of smaller children will often let their own kids run wild, but complain about how the neighbor kids are “out of control”.  

Ÿ ANYONE is susceptible to this because of the …

Þ … special strength of family relationships.

w Same is true for Leaders, themselves.

Ÿ As a leader, don’t “assume” you’re OK.  Check it out!

Ÿ Sooner or later, leaders concealing sin are exposed by God.

2 Chronicles 15:17-19 (NKJV) - 17But the high places were not removed from Israel. [referring to the Northern Kingdom]

Ÿ You often can’t change where you have no authority.

Ÿ Don’t assume that every local church will embrace revival!

Þ Sometimes there are only 2 things you can do:

§ (1)  Be an example to them.
§ (2)  Pray for them.

... ... ... Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days. 18He also brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated: silver and gold and utensils. 19And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.

§ And everyone lived happily ever after! (?)

w A successful past doesn’t guarantee a victorious future!

Ÿ (2 Chr. 16:1-5)  King of N. Kgdm (Israel) moves against Judah.

Þ Rem: Israel are the rebels (the church split group).

Ÿ To counter – Asa makes treaty with Syria (their sworn enemy).

Þ Syria attacks Israel and they retreat from borders of Judah.

Ÿ Sounds successful, but you don’t make deals w/ the devil!

w God sends another prophet to Asa:

Ÿ We always like what God says when we agree with Him.

Ÿ But when He is dressing us down (discipline), … well!:

Prophet Hanani – “You relied on natural means instead of relying on the Lord!”

Þ  Context – well known verse:

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV) - 9For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

w Asa gets mad and puts prophet in prison.

Ÿ (Shoot the messenger?!?)

w Also begins to oppress the people.

Ÿ People who are offended at God often hurt others.

w Obviously Asa got out of the will and protection of God.

Ÿ He develops a serious foot disease and dies.

Þ What about God’s mercy?

2 Chronicles 16:12 (NKJV) - 12And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.

Ÿ Passage implies that mercy was available, but …

Þ … Asa refused to repent!

w Never, never stop praying for the leaders of the church.

Ÿ They are especially targeted during moves of God.

§ Conclusion

w What can we learn about Asa?

Ÿ Idolatry in all it’s forms must go!

Þ Sanctification is a process.

§ Tomorrow’s sin is often today’s indulgence.

Ÿ Revival brings Godly peace.

Þ Even in the midst of war!

Ÿ The peace of revival will attract the enemy.

Þ Purpose?:  Get us focused away from the Lord.

Ÿ Revival Leadership must scrutinize selves.

Þ Can’t give self or family a pass.

Þ Responsibility of leaders is greater, not lesser!

Ÿ As with other examples – congregation will experience:

Þ Worship; sacrifice; commitment.

Ÿ For revival to begin –

Þ MUST turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Ÿ For revival to continue –

Þ Must KEEP your eyes on Jesus.

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