This next segment in our study of Amos consists of only three verses, yet they are to me vital for the life of The Church and every believer. The Lord has shown me much about this time, and it breaks my heart. How I long to see hearts turn from the sin of pride, humble themselves before The Living God, and take hold of the horns of the true altar through Jesus Christ. Please pray that The Lord will prepare you to receive these words, and follow The Holy Spirit’s leading.
“Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts (armies),”
A “house” can refer to a nation or group, but it is also symbolic of the human body. Note that in the previous verse, God refers to His people as Israel, “God prevails,” referring to their covenant relationship. Yet here, He uses the name Jacob, “the supplanter,” leaving no doubt that they have reverted to their sinful nature.
Amos 3:14: (NKJV)
“That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions,
I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel;
And the horns of the altar shall be cut off
And fall to the ground.”
Now God uses “Israel” again. It is because the covenant has been breached that judgment has come.
But most telling is the name Bethel. It literally means “house of God.” The dwelling place, or temple, of the Most High God. Where is that temple today?
“For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.'” 2 Corinthians 6:16
God has had enough of “religiosity.” The sheer number of denominations under the umbrella of “Christianity” is a testimony to the pride of man, not the Glory of God. Before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed,
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one” John 17:22
One—not many. Many is what happens when doctrine is elevated above The Living God. That is idolatry.
The “horns of the altar” symbolize power and glory. The priest would put the blood of the sacrifice on the horns of the altar of God, foreshadowing the power and glory of the blood of Jesus to atone for sin.
Pagan altars were copies of the original altar of God, horns and all. However, as we see in Amos, these horns foreshadowed only destruction. Outside the Holiness resulting from a right relationship the Jesus, any and all sacrifice is unacceptable to God.
First Kings 1:50-53 tells us that the horns of the altar provided sanctuary for those who caught hold of them. A man could not be killed if he held on to the horns of the altar. Adonijah, Solomon’s older brother took hold of the horns of the altar after a failed attempt to take Solomon’s throne. Solomon had mercy on him and gave him a second chance. Unfortunately, Adonijah continued to rebel and was killed anyway.
Then we have Joab, the source of this rebellion. Joab cared for nothing but power. As far as we know he had cared nothing for God, His commandments, or His Holy Tabernacle. Years before, he had ruthlessly murdered two men. He had blood on his hands, and had never sought atonement.
Yet, when Solomon called for his death, Joab in desperation did what he’d seen Adonijah do. He took hold of the horns of God’s altar. Not because he feared The Lord, but because he didn’t want to die. He had no right to that refuge, he was in breach of contract, and he died there.
So it will be when judgment comes. Religion will be just as impotent as government, when it comes to helping the people. There will be no refuge for those who call themselves Christians, yet have no relationship with Christ. Nor will there be for those who deny Him all their lives, and then run to Him when trouble comes to save their own hides.
Amos 3:15: (NKJV)
“I will destroy the winter house along with the summer house;
The houses of ivory shall perish,
And the great houses shall have an end,”
Says the Lord.”
I saw this in a dream I share in my post, “The Church in Ruins.”
New churches (the summer houses) spring up that teach the all inclusive “gospel,” and seek not to offend the masses by mentioning their sin or the blood of Christ which can cleanse them from it. Some teach that God is like Santa Claus, doling out riches, blessings, or spiritual gifts on demand, because Christ’s blood has entitled them to it.
These churches are just as offensive to God as the old established churches (the winter houses), mired in doctrine, ritual, sacraments, and loyalty to establishment. They worship the Book of God, but deny the Holy Spirit who reveals The Truth hidden in its pages. In so doing, they serve the enemy of our Lord by denying the very unity The Spirit was sent to establish.
These churches place a high value on theological knowledge, works, and appearance. They attack any new movement of God as the work of the devil, because it’s easier to fear something than to seek revelation from God. For some, their fear that God might ask something of them which would threaten their position or cause them discomfort, is far greater than their fear of the enemy.
Both of these churches are driven by headcount and measure their success in the number of people filling the seats and responding to the altar call. Yet, this is where it ends. New converts are not discipled. They’re not taught that this is only the beginning of their journey with The God of their Salvation. Or worse, taught they can now begin working their way to heaven by sacrificing their time and money to the church.
They may look grand on the outside, but inside they are dead.
This is why Jesus said:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve gone to church, how many offices you’ve held, committees you were on, or degrees you have. It doesn’t matter on which day you worship, or what you eat or don’t eat.
The only thing that matters is, do you know The Lord? Do you love Him enough to give Him the first fruits of your day? To meet with Him daily, to worship and adore Him daily, and to learn to know His voice?
Then, when He speaks to you, are you willing to abandon everything for Him? Your position, your church, your friends and family? That is what He did to restore your relationship with Him. That is love.
Are you willing to let go of everything you think He is, and really get to know this God who loves you so much?
My desire, and I believe God’s, in sharing what He reveals to me is not only to draw you into His Word, but to stir in you the fire that drives you to a deeper relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.
I hope my studies do that. For, greater than all the knowledge about our Lord and Savior, is oneness in His incomprehensible love. The unstoppable flow from His enormous heart, transforming our own hearts and flowing on, driving out the darkness in the world.
Please do not let your heart be hardened to this word. How we emerge from the tribulation to come is directly related to our response to The Lord’s rebuke. Ask The Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. That is what He came to do.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
I pray, Lord, that every eye reading these words will be opened. That Your truth will saturate them to the core, bringing them to their faces before You. That they might know Your great power and awesome love and seek You above all else. Change hearts, oh, Mighty God, and renew minds, that we might walk with You, in Your Glory! Amen, and Amen!
God’s grace and peace be yours,