Sermon February 26, 2006 (afternoon) : Paul Jehle - Psalm 85

Posted in Sermons

Psalm 85, it’s a psalm that was written as a prayer for intercession and specifically intercession for revival. And in the Bible we have a pattern for prayer for revival. God gives us a pattern as the design on how to pray.

How many would agree that there is a rising tide of revival? Amen. In New England and in Boston. The tide is rising but we must be responsible to be able to pray and understand God’s order and how He brings revival. And that is critical because the Bible tells us we can pray amidst. We can pray for the wrong things, or we can pray with the wrong motive. We can pray at the wrong time, in the wrong way.

God wants us to pray according to His will, according to His word, that we will be praying with Him. You see, the definition of prayer that is often understood by believers, goes something like this: ‘it is our responsibility to pray in order to get God to do something. God may not want to do it, but when we pray and we use the name of Jesus, He has to do it. So, when we pray if we use the name of Jesus and we twist his arm, we will get God to do something on our timetable.

That is not prayer. The actual meaning and the actual purpose for prayer is to ask God to do a work in me that I would decrease, He will increase and would be on His timetable. I would report for duty and I would not use the name of Jesus. I would be in the name of Jesus, in his nature, in his will. Prayer changes us, so that God moves through us and change the other things.

We need revival because we need revival and that is the focus of prayer. When psalm 85 begins to outline this prayer for revival we need to see it in its total perspective. The Bible again tells us in the New Testament that every believer is progressively sanctified. That means, from the moment you’re born again, from the moment you meet Jesus, you begin to be changed into His image, every day, every hour, every week. You’re not to be the same this year as you were last. If you are sanctified it means you’re becoming like Jesus. But God tells the way we become like Jesus, is our spirit is sanctified, the deep part of our heart and our soul is being renewed and our body begins to change. In fact in the Bible there are three tenses to salvation.

When I am born again my spirit is saved, my spirit is regenerated, my spirit is indwelled by the power of God. My soul, my mind is being saved, is being renewed. It is present tense change. When the Bible says I’m changed into a new creature, the tense is actually ‘I’m being changed daily. So your soul is being changed, and then will come a day when the trumpet sounds, my body will be changed from corruption to incorruption. So we recognize the sanctification is a three fold process.

We need to understand this when we pray for revival, because we need to focus on the fact that revival involves all three areas. It begins in the spirit, gets to the soul, and then out from us where we live.

When we define culture, the culture of anything, is the atmosphere created from the relationships between people. Every culture is religion externalized, whether that’s Christianity, or some other religion. The dominant religion in a society is reflected in their culture. There is no area of life that is neutral, no law is neutral. Every law in every area of live expresses some religious premise. So what needs to happen, if that the culture needs to change, then the dominant philosophy of religion needs to change. And this means that God’s people need to change, because the culture only reflects the church.

Through our church history we have seen movements that have emphasized one of these 3 areas. There are some that have emphasized the external and they believe if we change the culture, then we’ll change the heart. And so we clean up areas socially hoping that the heart will change. But if we only focus on the external we miss most of revival. Because the Bible tells us your are changed from the internal to the external.

You are not be conformed from the outside in, you’re to be transformed from the inside out. Now there are others, and other movements that are only focused on the soul, the intellect, the mind, and they want an intellectual revolution. If we only change the education we just change what is taught, we focus only on the mind, then what we will have is an intellectual revival because our main problem is what people know. So if we teach enough about drugs, and we teach enough about sexual promiscuity, the more people know they more they will restrain themselves.

We have decades telling them that that doesn’t work just as we have centuries that tell us that social gospel doesn’t work. Now there have been movements of Christians that want to see revival and so they focus on the spirit and the goal is to see the spirit revive. Amen.

But the goal becomes having spiritual experience. I asked one individual, what does revival mean?, and they said to me ‘more church meetings, more time spent at the altar’, or as one person said ‘carpet time’, more time before God. We need more time before God, but that is not the totality of revival. Christians that are focused merely on the spirit for experience have found that the river that God begins to have flowing doesn’t touch the soul and never touches the culture, and it becomes revivalism. Because, you see, the goal of God is to have all 3 and it is in His order, but wee need to have a vision, a design for intercession when we begin to pray for all 3 to come forward in God’s design. Because you need to realize that the revivals in this history of America illustrate these truths.

In the second great awakening which began in the eighteen hundred and began to peak in 1806, two hundred years ago, began with a phenomenon revival touching individuals’ hearts. The world view in the mind of the believers had shifted and they believed the purpose of revival was to revive the church but not touch society. It is written by the revival preachers like Finney, and later by Moody that they pleaded with the church ‘don’t let revival stay in the church, let’s go beyond the church, it’s in the soul and the body’, but the church as a whole did not listen, because what happened revivalism began to be so nurtured in the church that the monuments to the second great awakening are camp meetings, and cottages built in circles around tabernacles. People came to experience the presence of God, it was the same God, same river, but the mind it was not touched, ending up beginning to turn that river into itself. There were actual brigades in the civil war that were called ‘camp leading babies’. These were the individuals who had been born out of wedlock during the great awakening. While the parents were in the service in the power of God, their children were out in the woods having a good time and what happened, we sold the next two generations into bondage because our idea of revival was for us. That we cannot do.

The church needs a new vision for revival so that in that day the Congress of the United States in the eighteen fifties turned to the church and said to the church ‘you have not dealt with slavery. You have not preached against slavery. You have not disciplined slave owners. You have not called it sin. And because the church was unwilling to let the revival touched society, what can the civil government do when the church fails? Because they recognized this nation split within the church before it did in society.

What the church does is a model for society. We ought to repent and say ‘never again’, not in our days. We let the river go to every area of live and every area of society. You and I must say ‘Lord God, revive my spirit, renew my soul, and change my body, change my mentality, and how I live and how I work, and let your word guide every part of how I view every area of life’. It begins with repentance.

In psalm 85 says ‘Lord, that has been favorable on to thy land, that has brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou has forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou has covered all their sins. Thou has taken away all thy wrath: thou has turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, oh God of our salvation, cause thy anger toward us to cease. Will thou be angry with us forever? Will thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Will thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Revival begins with God, God moving in our heart, God moving in our spirit, bringing us to repentance, to repent from our sins, to repent for the iniquity which is in the culture as the consequence of unrepentant sins. Iniquity is the corporate expression of unrepentant sin. That which the church refuses to deal with becomes the bondage of iniquity of society. We need to understand that it is significant that we repent because God begins the revival in the heart of people. Whatever you want to change in the culture first needs to change in you.

When the church of Jesus Christ came together because of the ruling of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, there was a great concern that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, was no longer following the rule of law. Their opinions were becoming law. The constitution of Massachusetts has declares clearly that every decision of the Supreme Court is an opinion, no court can write law, that is reserved to legislators.

The word opinion is a legal term and it means an opinion in that one case alone. So when Christians begin to understand what’s going wrong in the culture, in the state house, the judges aren’t ruling by law. And we go to prayer ‘Lord Jesus, change the Supreme Court, change the judges, let them rule by law.’ And you know what God does? He puts pressure on the church because the church for 100 years has not liked the law.

We thought we were delivered from law, we’ve said ‘law is our enemy’, grace is our friend. But the Bible tells us ‘you are delivered from sin, not the law. The law is holy, the law is righteous, the law us just, the law speaks the truth, the law exposes the heart of the believer. The law does not save you, but what the law does is convince you need to be saved. And we have to have that. Why in our culture so many young people, and so many adults have no fear of God, no fear of consequences? The reason is Christians in the church no longer fear God or His consequences. We need revival in our hearts not pointing our fingers. Yes, the culture needs to changed, but yet it can only be changed at the rate the body of Christ is changed. That’s why God says He’ll turn the heart of God’s people and will restore you to your original destiny.

It says in this section ‘I’m bringing back the captivity of Jacob, and I’ll bring you back to your land’, because God has a covenant and God has a purpose for every inch of the globe. We need to brought back in our spirit to this one fact: God is sovereign and He owns the earth. The devil does not hold the earth, the devil does not own your neighborhood. The devil does not own your streets. The devil does not own the earth. God owns the earth and God owns the fullness of the earth, that literally means everything that comes from the earth, all technology. God is the one that brings it forward to advance his kingdom. The people that invent them, may not know him, they don’t know who’s ruling but that doesn’t change a thing. He is still the ruler.

You and I must gain a destiny. We were saved for a purpose. We were born again for such a time as this. You do not live in your neighborhood by accident, the apartment you live in, the home, the street, its very name is by design, His design, for His purpose because God owns it all.

And you begin to recognize: God, why am I here? Bring me out of captivity in my spirit so I know why I am here, why did you save me. And we think immediately ‘I am saved to go to heaven and thank God, we will go to heaven, and the first consciousness, going from earth to heaven. That is our final hope, but that is not the purpose for which we got born again. If that was God’s ultimate purpose, from the moment a person comes forward to be born again, they would vanish, they would go. Where did they go? They got saved and God’s sole purpose is to get them to heaven. So the moment they get saved, they go. No.

When you got saved, that was the beginning. Now, you get a vision for why you were saved: to make a mark here before you leave. This very place, where this church dwells, Roxbury, was founded in 1630. It was founded by Christians who walked three miles from Boston and came to this narrow neck at the time. The strategic place of Roxbury, you could not get into Boston unless you went through Roxbury. It was the neck of Boston that turned Boston’s head, very strategic. The Christians got together and they made a covenant to follow God in all its ways and to fulfill his callings.

I believe none of the gifts and calling of God changed because He owns the earth, and what providentially happens in the earth is to bring forth His purposes for the earth. And when the enemy ratifies a covenant, God’s people can reverse it. I’ve understood the enemy’s covenant is the opposite, a counterfeit of what God initially intends. The devil does not create anything, the devil does not have sovereign power, he’s on a big leash. He’s God’s tool box.

When I was in Guatemala, in Nicaragua, we went to places where the enemy had a covenant. When we examined that covenant we could dimly see God’s original intent. In your case, look at what Roxbury has become: the center of crime, the center of darkness, the demonic neck that turns the intellect of Boston, because you understand this church, not this one right here, the first one in Roxbury was one of six churches that founded Harvard, because they recognized that they needed to raise up people with a vision for the kingdom. The preamble to Harvard said that all learning, all education, every subject should rest on the foundation of Jesus Christ; the word of God because they didn’t know it, they were the neck that was turning the head. Roxbury was the spiritual fervor that gave life to the intellect in symbolism in Boston.

Do you know that the first church of Roxbury published the first song book in 1640? It started the first school within the church to train up young people that they would not leave the God of their fathers. It was also the first church that became bilingual, that of course, is merely coincidence. Ah….. no, we see a divine purpose.

The pastor John Elliot became the missionary apostle to the Indians. He learned to speak the Indian language and he translated the entire Bible into the Indian tongue by 1663, without a computer. The first Bible published in this colony came from the Roxbury church.

God’s destiny has not changed and you are not be the only Roxbury church, but God has a destiny to fulfill, He has a purpose, because you see, these purposes in our spirits. You’re not here by accident. You do not come to this church by accident, you are here by design, God has something to do, in you and through you.

Therefore your educational programs to train underprivileged young people to give them a hope and a destiny, to tell them that the lies they’ve heard from birth are gone. This is more than some bandage for a problem, you’re following in the footsteps of God’s original plan, that is bigger than you are.

No church can do it all but I believe what God is doing here is once again going to be prophetically, the neck that turns Boston once again. You and I need to recognize we repent for our sins and for the iniquity that is the depart of the neglect and then we ask God: bring all three aspects together and we can shout here, we can get filled with zeal, but the spirit must touch the soul, must touch the mind, you need to think differently. Your will needs to be set in a different direction. Sin has dampened the mind.

The Bible tells us in verse 7; “show us your mercy, oh God, grant us your salvation”. I will hear what God, the Lord will speak but He will speak peace to his people, and to his saints let them not return again to folly. Surely your salvation is near to those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are meant together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. We will know revival has come and it already has begun, but we will see this mark when we see people excited about a new way to think as much as they are a new way to live.

Now, if I said to you, we are going to have a healing service and the power of God is going to move, in every one that has a disease could be healed by the power of God, and anyone that’s oppressed by the enemy, those demons will flee in the name of Jesus. People would come, they’d be hungry because it’s a revival of the spirit.

Now, if I would say, I call you all here for a six hour seminar on how to think biblically; bring your notebook, a thick one, bring your pen, three of them, sit down and let’s find out what God has said in his word about every area of life. What is God saying about civil government? What does God say about economics? What does God say about child training? What does God say about music? What does God say about arts, and literature and science, and mathematics? Not as many people would come. Amen.

That’s too hard. The spirit, oh yes; the soul, oh no… don’t make me work. I want God to do it all. Why don’t you just lay hands on me? Cast off that old mind and put a new one in. God says ‘I do that with your heart, but not with your mind’. Your mind has to be renewed because, you see, with the mercy that you have in your spirit: Thank you God for forgiving me. Thank you for saving me. That’s mercy. I’m now at peace with God. Thank you for your peace.

But God says, the prayer for revival is that mercy and truth would meet together, because in the soul, we need the truth of God, the truth of his word. God’s word is true in every place in which it speaks and it speaks in every place. Therefore we need to say to the Lord ‘God I want to be the place where two rivers meet, the river of the spirit, the river of mercy, the river of peace and the river of truth, the river of righteousness on things that never change. God’s view point. God make me zealous for your truth as I am for experiencing your presence.

God is not upset with your hunger for his presence, but is must kiss and meet with his truth. That’s what happened on the cross. Jesus Christ, fully God, fully man, breached the gap where the two rivers could meet. The righteousness of God said nobody could meet the law unless they do it perfectly. And if you sin, you die. The mercy of God said ‘go free’, but the law of God was not done away. Jesus didn’t come to do away with the law, so what could happen?

A man, fully God, walked on this earth perfectly, without sin, met the demand for righteousness. That same man said ‘I will die as the penalty for sin on the cross’. Righteousness and peace kissed each other and now forever two rivers can meet: truth and forgiveness, righteousness and mercy.

We need to pray, God make your church a place where two rivers meet. May we be hungry for your word, whatever it says. Then, Lord, temper me so when I walk with that truth I emanate the same mercy you gave me when I was a rebel.

How many would agree that we need both rivers? Alleluia! We cannot just take one and hit someone over the head with the Bible, what’s wrong with you? You rebel! This is what the Bible says. Look at the way you’re living, you’re not even close to this. That’s true, but neither were you.

You need both rivers. Neither can you be the individual that simply says ‘I love you. I don’t care what you do.’ That will not work in child training. I love you, son, I know what you just did, you ruined your room, you hit your sister on the head with your toy, but we love you and because we love you there are no consequences. Because, we tolerate everything. It’s ok, because we’re sensitive people and we do not want to harm your mind or your view of self. So, it’s ok. No, it’s not.

We need the two rivers in the home, we need we need both of them in the home. Son, don’t you ever do that again. But, son, even if you do my love won’t change. And because my love won’t change there are consequences, with a smile. God bless you, get to your room, so that when I calm down I will deal with you biblically. Amen.

When both rivers meet there is an explosion in the earth, in the culture, in the atmosphere. There’s something that’s produced when the parts of God which dwell together: law and grace. Grace is the ability of God given to you to keep the law, we need both. When both come we see what happens.

You see, the Bible says in this chapter that God’s goal is the glory of God to fill the earth. The word glory means wait. The glory of God is heavy, it’s actual meaning is simply this: if the glory of God comes in your life, God’s ideas have more weight than any other. No other idea has the weight of God’s idea and it blows away the chaff.

We need the glory of God to come to the church and the glory of God is not only His presence that draws us in, but when we get here it’s the ideas of God that ought to be heavier than any other idea. So when the wind blows and the shaking comes, only His ideas will remain. Amen.

Look at the last three verses. This is what will happen “truth shall spring out of the earth, righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that what is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

You see, God is telling us, when we intercede for revival we are asking God, we’re not commanding God, but we’re saying to God ‘revive our spirit, make us sensitive to repent’. Let us not point the finger: the culture is a mess because of these people or those, or the Supreme Court, or the Legislate. No, God it is I, it is my heart that needs to change. Lord, in order to have the culture to change, change me. Do a deeper work in me and then we intercede. Lord, God may my life be the place, the ford where two rivers meet. Build a mill where it can be ground down fine …… that I may decrease so that he may increase. The ultimate goal of that, the result, the effect will be in the culture.

The Kingdom of God does not come through politics, otherwise the kingdom would come from the outside in. But when the kingdom comes, politics change as the effect of the kingdom. We don’t get involved in the community in order to bring the kingdom, we get involved in our community as a result of the kingdom coming forth, because He is victor and He is the one who reigns.

As the scripture says righteousness looks down from heaven. Righteousness means everything that’s right. Everything in heaven is righteous, there’s nothing unrighteous in heaven. And here’s the goal: God said ‘the goal of revival is to bring some of heaven to earth’. Before we go to heaven that the Kingdom of God, bigger than any church, will spring from the earth. May the Kingdom of God in all of its aspects spring from this earth, and this earth in Roxbury, because may it come forth because we’re interceding, we are shouldering God’s f revival. ……if you will have it done your way. If you want the kingdom to come it begins in your heart. It’s God moving within us.

I close with this. The church I am in is actually spiritually related by destiny to this church. John Elliot planted fifteen Indian praying villages, so many thousands came to know the Lord that he needed help. So, he trained two disciples and there names were Thomas Tupper and Richard Borne. They worked with John Elliot, they learned the Indian language and they were sent to Cape Cod, and they began to preach and they came to a certain tribe that was committing human sacrifice. A white person was being tied down on a huge role pole and ready to be killed. Richard Born, disciple of John Elliot, came upon the scene and he stood there and he said to them ‘Stop, in the name of Jesus’. They looked at him and said ‘away with you’. He said ‘In the name of Jesus, stop this act.’ They continued. He looked up in a clear blue sky, and he said ‘Lord, God, ruler of heaven and earth, I call on you this day. Intervene. Stop this.’, in a clear blue sky, a lighting bolt came out of the sky, struck the rock, broke it in several pieces. The entire tribe got saved. And after they got saved they had their own pastor, Indian pastor, discipled by Richard Borne and that Indian pastor passed down the legacy for more than 150 years, the Indians were in revival. In 1880 they came to the little village of Cedarville and they found white backslidden carnal fishermen and they preached the gospel to the white men and there was a revival in 1880 that lasted 25 years, and the result of that revival was the birth of the church I’m in now. Alleluia!

So, you see now all these centuries later we are related because of this. Do you know why? Because his kingdom is progressively coming and we’re going to see more of each other, not our two churches, all the churches because God is bringing his kingdom.

Therefore, Lord Jesus, may your kingdom come, may your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Alleluia!

Leer version en español

Sermon by Paul Jehle (translated by Dr. Roberto Miranda) taped February 26, 2006 (afternoon session) in Congregation Lion of Judah Listen | View (100K) | View (400K)

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