Do It Again!
Happy Father’s Day to all the men. Every one of you carry the Father’s Heart – and as men of God, you have an incredible privilege to call forth the children of the next generation – and the young men and women who are following in our footsteps.
My message this morning is not particularly about Father’s Day – but it is a call for all us us to to share our lives powerfully and prophetically with others.
Also, if you haven’t already heard, we are meeting again on Sunday mornings starting next Sunday 13th September, at 10am.
We have some fairly strict Covid guidelines to follow – so it will be very different to a normal Sunday – but we don’t want to go any longer without the opportunity for you to at least gather together on Sundays.
Having said that, we are only allowed 100 people in the building, so you need to text your name and the names of those coming with you as soon as possible to 0414813290. We have about half of those places booked in already.
Do It Again!
Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White
Sunday 6th September, 2020
I want to begin this morning with one of the most joyful and feel good Psalms. It was most likely written after the Israelites were brought back to Jerusalem after being held in captivity in Babylon for 70 years.
They had literally been let out of jail.
In the Passion Translation it has a title called “Restored – A song of the Stairway”
This became one of the songs that Jewish pilgrims would sing on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate their festivals. They would sing them as they ascended the hill to Jerusalem – also known as Zion.
The priests would be known to sing these psalms as they ascended the temple stairs in Jerusalem as well. There’s lots of rich history and tradition just in the title.
The Passion Translation
A song of the stairway
It was like a dream come true
when you freed us from our bondage and brought us back to Zion!
We laughed and laughed and overflowed with gladness.
We were left shouting for joy and singing your praise.
All the nations saw it and joined in, saying,
“The Lord has done great miracles for them!”
Yes, he did mighty miracles and we are overjoyed!
Now, Lord, do it again! Restore us to our former glory!
May streams of your refreshing flow over us
until our dry hearts are drenched again.
Those who sow their tears as seeds[a]
will reap a harvest with joyful shouts of glee.
They may weep as they go out carrying their seed to sow,
but they will return with joyful laughter and shouting with gladness
as they bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing!
I don’t know about you – but that’s one of the best things I’ve read all week.
It was a dream. A dream come true. God intervened and returned the captives.
And that’s exactly what the prophet Zephaniah said about the Seacoast.
It’s part of our prophetic declaration over this church. The Seacoast shall be pastures – with shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks. The Seacoast is for the house of Judah – with is the tribe of praise. And it says that God will intervene and return the captives.
What a great way to lean into God’s word – by joining with the celebrations of the people of Israel as they return from captivity.
We could do with some of that joy and laughter and shouting right about now.
And one of the reasons I wanted to bring this psalm to you today, is because of what it says in verse 4 – “Now Lord, do it again!”
He is doing it again – and we do have reason to celebrate – because God is faithful. Over and over He has proven His incredible love for His people.
Throughout history, one generation after another have witnessed God’s saving grace and mercy – and have testified to the generations coming after them of just how faithful and trustworthy He is.
Ps. 145:4 (NKJV), “One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.”
We will have a story to tell the next generation of how we trusted in God through the effects of the pandemic – and although we were restricted and bound by certain government regulations – we continued to carriy a freedom and a joy on the inside throughout it all.
I know it’s nothing compared to what Israel must have been through, but the stresses and challenges we have been experiencing have affected us emotionally, mentally and relationally – not to mention economically…
And so this all leads me to the scripture that grabbed my heart as I was thinking and praying about today.
It comes from Revelation.
And this is one of those moments where the disciple and apostle John was overwhelmed as he finds himself right in the middle of a vision of heaven – so real that he is there – standing in the midst of a great multitude.
There are the elders, heavenly creatures, angels…. And they are all lifting up praise and worship to God.
There’s the sound of many waters and there are thunderings… and there’s all this chatter going on about the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And it all gets a bit much for John – and he kneels down and begins to worship the angel who is revealing all these things to him.
And this is the scripture in which our message for today is anchored.
Rev 19:10, (NKJV), “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy!
For some reason – that just jumped off the page at me.
I want to tease that out a bit this morning – but firstly I have to share with you something that was a revelation to me.
It may not be for you – you may have discovered this for yourself already.
But I started off by exploring what the meaning of “testimony” was.
I discovered that way back in the original Hebrew language, the word testimony means – “to return”, “to repeat” or “do it again.”
And this is what excites me the most about this whole message today!
The testimony of Jesus – Who He is – what He has done – His nature – His character – His promises…. We have all of this through the Word of God as it is brought to life by the Holy Spirit. We carry this witness and this testimony of Jesus on the inside of us.
And in this respect – we are able to release the spirit of prophecy as we testify of Jesus.
The essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness of Jesus.
It may come through ministering a healing word to someone – through encouraging, exalting, strengthening someone for the journey ahead…. But ultimately, its purpose is to reveal the beautiful and divine character of Jesus to the world.
Prophecy is to make known the divine!
Whenever you share Jesus with someone – whenever I preach about Him – or you have opportunity to preach about Him and speak about Him – the spirit of prophecy goes forth. Because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy!
As if that isn’t exciting enough – and I have lots more to say about that – there’s this whole aspect of our testimony that is grounded in the ancient root meaning of the word – where it means – ”do it again.”
When you testify about Jesus, of course He Himself isn’t going to come back and do everything He did again. Yes, He is coming back – but next time it will be a very different scenario – which is another message in itself.
But here’s the thing. Jesus Himself – in Person – mightn’t be going to do it again – but you and I will release again prophetically the same words of wisdom – the same healing power – the same miracles, the same life changing teaching…. Everything that Jesus did – as we testify about Him – we will see the spirit of prophecy powerfully released again through our own lives…
In fact – we know that Jesus has said to us:
New King James Version
The Answered Prayer. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
And Jesus is speaking here about the imminent moment when He will ascend into heaven, and the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all disciples…
The key point today is that as we testify of Jesus as the Son of God – we can expect him to do it again through us.
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
In other words, the “do it again” message of Jesus is released prophetically by the Spirit of God, through us.
That’s probably the most exciting thing I will be sharing with you this morning.
You can see why I started out today by sharing Ps. 126.
As the Israelites were rejoicing over their new found freedom, the miracles, the faithfulness of God…. They were also saying – Lord, do it again!
Let the streams of refreshing flow freely again. Let the harvest freely come forth again – with joyful shouts of glee!
Bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing!
But theres more!
If you’ve been in a place of prayerful battle and confrontation in the spirit over some area in your life or some circumstance, then you’ll have no doubt been declaring another scripture from revelation:
New King James Version. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
Don’t you think it’s an amazing thing that the word of your testimony is put right alongside the Blood of the Lamb? I’m not even going to try to attempt to unpack that – except to say – look at how powerful your testimony is! It also goes right next to laying down your own life.
You know – as I speak about these things – I’m just about shaking at the knees – not in fear – but in total awe!.
Even speaking out these powerful words just about causes me to do what happened to John – to get down on my knees and worship.
But here’s the other thing about testimony.
It’a not just about testifying to the nature and character and power of Jesus.
It’s also the power of your won testimony – which is course rooted in the person of Jesus.
Your testimony – the witness of how Jesus has changed your life – healed you – transformed you – opened your eyes to the truth – turned your heart of stone into a soft heart of flesh…. All these things about your own life also carry the prophetic power of the Holy Spirit.
And as you testify to these things about the transformation of your own life – you are basically declaring – Jesus do it again!
Do it in the life of the person I am sharing with.
Repeat the work of salvation in this one that I’m talking to.
Because as you share – you are prophesying – this miraculous change can happen in your life too!
And when you tell people about the healing He has done in you – whether that’s a spiritual healing – a physical healing – an emotional or mental healing – you are prophesying – Jesus – do it again – right here – right now – with this person standing in front of me.
Does that get you excited? Surely there must be some of you who are on the edge of your seats with this stuff.
It’s as we get the revelation of what we carry that we are then able to release it.
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy…
Prophecy changes atmospheres – it changes lives – it brings heaven to earth – it breaks open the Spirit realm and releases the power of God.
Only the Holy Spirit can convict a person’s heart – bring them to repentance – and save them. But we make room for Him to do all that through the powerful tools that He has planted within us – and one of those powerful tools is our own story.
Our own story must be shared in love – and it must be shared in truth.
Just as we are called to worship God in spirit and in truth – this is part of our worship – giving our lives to be used by Him.
And I know we all come under intimidation – and fear of man – and all those kinds of thing.
But no one can refute your own testimony. No one can say it’s not true or it’s not real.
And when we get it – just how much power – prophetic power – is released as we open our mouth and share Jesus – it’s so much easier.
I think we’ve all heard the phrase – share the gospel, and use words if necessary.
It’s basically saying, you can show the love of God through actions alone. That may be true…
But is that going to save someone? Have good works alone ever saved anyone?
Remember when Jesus was entering Jerusalem – and everyone was declaring that Jesus was the Messiah – that He is the King who has come in the name of the Lord?
And when the Pharisees said – Jesus, tell your disciples to be silent – He says to them:
Luke 19: 40 (NKJV “….“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
The message of salvation has to come out from somewhere – from someone…
Don’t underestimate or undervalue your personal story. If it has Jesus at the centre – it may be the most powerful thing another person might hear.
And don’t simply trust in your own understanding – or your own ability to share. You have a Helper – a powerful Helper in the Holy Spirit.
The Passion Translation
“But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power.[a] And you will be my messengers[b] to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces[c]—even to the remotest places on earth!”
Plus the day is coming – who knows how far away it is for us here in Australia – when we will have no choice but to declare our faith publicly in Jesus Christ – because intolerance and persecution will bring us up against all kinds of opposition – and we will have to take a stand.
Matthew 10:19 is a very sobering prophecy:
(The Passion Translation) “So when they arrest you, don’t worry about how to speak or what you are to say, for the Holy Spirit will give you at that very moment the words to speak.”
Good works won’t cut it in that moment. We will need to have faith in God’s supernatural power and sovereignty – with that is expressed in words..
Many have gone before us in this. In fact, many around the world face these situations daily.
The choice will be clear. How can you go against your own testimony? How can you go against the testimony of Jesus?
He has delivered people from difficult places many times before. And He can do it again.
He has done mighty and powerful things through many believers in past generations – and He can do it again.
What does it say in Ps. 126?
“Now, Lord, do it again! Restore us to our former glory! May streams of your refreshing flow over us until our dry hearts are drenched again.”
I pray that you will experience streams of refreshment right now – through God’s Word to us today – through the streams of Living Water that flow from His throne.
Restore us to our former glory – the glory of God – the glory of supernatural power – the glory of salvation….
Father, help us, by Your Spirit, to be ever ready to share the testimony of Jesus Christ – because it carries with it the power of prophecy. It’s the power to speak life into being – to release Your anointing – to change spiritual atmospheres.
Let the word of our testimony be used mightily to overcome the strategies of the enemy to deceive and blind those around us.
We don’t have all the fancy words – but our heart cry is Lord, do it again! Do it afresh and new in this generation just as you have done it in others.
We ask these things in Jesus Name.