My mouth shall speak wisdom and the meditation of my heart shall give understanding. In the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. And the people said Amen!
This morning I bring you tidings, not from the Mountain of Horeb from whence the legalistic strictures of the Laws of Moses proceed, obstructing our perspective with the veil of fading glory.
Nay, I do not bring you tidings from the Mountain of Ebal, the bicameral legislative mountain from whence proceedeth curses.
Neither bring I tidings from the Mountain of Ararat, whence the ark of salvation terminated its diluvial journey.
I do not bring you tidings from the Mountain of Bashan, the many-peaked mountain fuming with envy against the Mountain of our Lord.
Oh no, my tiding today is not from the Mountain of Gilboa, where the lives of kings are terminated; the inspiration for dirges composed for the fallen mighty.
I bring you tidings this morning from that mountain described by that prophetic factorial, who through proclamations recovered the magnificence of the ruins of the identity crisis of the people of God in exile – the very Prophet Zechariah; he it was who described this mountain from whence cometh our help this morning as the Holy Mountain, the Mountain of the Lord. For in the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided. There’s provision for you this morning! I say there’s provision for you!
There was a man named Jacob. He had twelve sons. These sons are the patriarchal pillars of the political kingdom of Israel. Jacob became his baptismal name because he grabbed the heel of his brother Esau, until Jehovah stepped onto the scene, to teach him how to grab after God and say I will not let you go until you bless me. We must stop grabbing after the feet of men and learn to wrestle with God in prayer; for promotion cometh not from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South. Promotion cometh from the sides of the North, the city of the Great King. It is God who makes, not man. I will make you fishers of men, our Lord promised Apostle Peter. “Fishers of men” is a variable. God can make you anything.
God changed the nomenclatural identity of this man Jacob. He became Israel by divine fiat! For the promise made to Abraham must be fulfilled: I will make you a great nation, Jehovah promised.
Jacob was an important man, the third in the tripartite dynasty by which God earned the triple-barreled sobriquet by which we now pray – The God of Abraham, The God of Isaac and The God of Jacob!
Having traversed this wretched plane, from Canaan, to Luz, to Paddan Aram, to Mahanaim, to Mizpah, to Succoth, to Shechem, to Bethel, to Caanan and finally Egypt, he came to the end of his life. There he was, down to the last hour of his 147 years on Earth.
He gathered his twelve sons around what would be his deathbed, and stepped into the office of a prophet, to make proclamations into time. He was going to consciously create future history through inspired utterances.
I want you to come with me this morning as we walk down the driveway of his house in Egypt, lined with dates and palms until we arrive at an imposing villa. I am your tourist guide. If you will look through the windows this morning you will see twelve men gathered around the comfortable bed of an old man who is about to pronounce benedictions and go benedictory. This is the scene of the last will and testament of an aged patriarch who is satiated with days.
We must take a cue from this in the drafting of our wills and testaments. It is good to divide physical assets to our children but we must also distribute spiritual assets. We must under inspiration make proclamations of blessings into the lives of our children, and consciously create their future history by prophetic proclamation. A good man leaves an inheritance for his children, the Bible says. I want you to know that blessings are spiritual assets.
Now, if you will look through the window of this villa you will see Reuben, anxious and afraid of what his father would proclaim, considering the abomination of his errant libido. He slept with his father’s wife.
There to the left, you can see Simeon and Levi. They’re like twins. Very temperamental, highly sadistic, uncontrollable. They lack rule over their spirits. They kill men in fits of anger and slash oxen on a whim. They’re unforgiving and full of vendetta. Can you see them this morning?
To the right is Uncle Issachar. The man is a donkey – a workaholic and slave driver. He never takes a rest, he never takes a break, even on vacation.
Then there’s Judah. He joined Lions Club and became President. Has a commanding presence. Everyone defers to him.
To the middle is Uncle Dan. He’s a justice of the Supreme Court. He’s relatively small in stature but extremely incisive in arguments.
Oh, can you see Asher. He owns Asher Restaurant. Makes decadent chocolate. Of course he’s everyone’s favourite uncle. What with the candies and sweets! His favourite channel is BBC Food.
Can you see Zebulun? He’s there on the right. He’s into shipping and infrastructure management. Port concession.
And there’s Naphtali with a hippy jacket. He’s a free spirit. But his children are absolutely gorgeous!
Oh, Benjamin! Capitalist to the core! Ravenous, he gobbles up corporations. He’s a leveraged buy-out king. Strips assets to pare down debt and eventually sells off the company, making a kill.
Of course there is Uncle Joe! Some call him Joseph actually. The man is absolutely brilliant! Sheer genius! But his path to the top wasn’t easy. His brothers did him in, and false, grave and grievous accusation landed him in prison. But he survived.
Oh, forgot to point out Gad. That’s one lucky fellow. His name actually means lucky. He’s the seventh born. Very quiet. He’s rich though. Was trailed by robbers last year but he gave them the slip.
Each of these patriarchs represents us in the flesh. We see the adulterer, the temperamental, the sadistic, the workaholic, the capitalist, the food lover, the brilliant, the envious, the envied, the slandered, the unforgiving, the socialite, the political prisoner, the dreamer, the leader, the professional, the justice, the free spirit and even President Goodluck Jonathan…
Like the sons of Jacob, we all are gathered before the Oracle for blessing this morning. These sons of Jacob are typologies through whom we must appropriate vital lessons:
One: There are consequences for sin. Reuben learnt the hard way. Grace covers us but we cannot continue in sin that grace may abound. We must not take grace for granted.
Two: God is not against capitalism or riches. Gad represents the rich. In the light of this, a rich man has no excuse not to approach God this morning.
Three: God wants us to think big. Zebulun managed shipyard infrastructure. That’s big industry.
Four: God recognizes our passions. Religion kills passion but God says he’ll give you a future through your passion. Asher had a passion for food and he excelled at it.
Five: Whatever your professional calling you can serve God. Dan was a judge. Professionals welcome!
Six: We must be free in the presence of our God. Naphtali was a free spirit. In the presence of the Lord there is liberty, and fullness of joy.
Seven: God loves sinners. Even vile Reuben approached the Oracle for blessing. God wants you to come as you are. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Come he says!
Eight: God has a future for each of us. A future was created for each of Jacob’s sons. “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you” says God – “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
The Message translation puts it this way:
“I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Trust God!
But we must hear the Oracle louder this morning. And so we must step away from the window and move into the house. We need to hear louder. In the same vein, we must step away from the window of the House of God and move into the House of God.
To gaze through the window is to go to church on Sunday but not commit our lives to God.
To gaze through the window is to drop our children in Children’s Church but not step into adult church.
To gaze through the window is to be like the daughter of Saul, Michal. She looked through the window and saw David dancing before the Lord with abandon, and for that she despised him.
We may seem like a spectacle this morning, dancing with our might in reckless abandon before our God; but that’s because we know we’re nothing in ourselves.
We lie prostrate before him like the abject vassals we are, throwing our crowns on the floor in humility. Like Apostle John, we have been caught up in deep worship before the King who is like jasper and a sardine stone.
His throne is encircled by the rainbow of the effulgentia of variegated shades of magnanimity of divinity. Before His throne are the seven lamps of fire, the seven spirits of God. In the midst of His throne are terrible creatures full of eyes in front and behind. Around the throne are the thrones of the twenty and four elders, and from His throne proceedeth lightings, and thunderings and voices. Like the twenty and four elders we don our garment of imputed righteousness this morning and we cast our crowns – all our accomplishments, all our earthly glory, all our powers, all our resources, all our honour – we cast our crowns before the Great King, saying, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Do not laugh at me this morning for dancing before my God. I know what I’m doing!
We dance because we recognise God as our maker, the exalter, the supplier, the horn of our salvation, our present help in trouble, the lifter up of our head, the guardian of our souls.
Don’t you despise me this morning – I am only rejoicing before my God. And I will yet dance before him who put the crown of glory on my head. For as I dance I titillate the heart of my God; as I dance I bring an oblation before Him; as I dance I bring a sacrifice of praise before my King; as I dance I acknowledge before all that I am nothing without him; as I dance, I cast away my sorrows. Do not despise me this morning! My God is well pleased with me!
We must move into the house of God this morning. No more window-shopping for the grace of God. And it is for this reason that I invite you to turn with me to the 49th chapter of the Book of Genesis. I need to show you something. Genesis 49. Let’s read from v.1:
And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days: gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.”
Pause. There is something in there.
Jacob said, “Gather together and hear, you sons of JACOB, and listen to ISRAEL your father.” Two names!
They gather together as the sons of Jacob but they listen as the sons of Israel. This is a juxtaposition of two statuses – the natural and the spiritual.
It was Jacob that defrauded his brother. But it was Israel God gave the utterance to create the future. If we must create our future, we must transit from Jacob to Israel. We must shed our worldly and carnal tendencies, the sins that doth so easily beset us; we must lay aside our filthiness and the superfluity of naughtiness, that we may receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save our souls.
And to my friend who does not know Jesus this morning, God says come as you are. For we gather as the sons of Jacob this morning. We gather in our weaknesses; we gather in our imperfections; we gather in our unrighteousnesses; we gather in our filthiness. Yet we are the commonwealth of Israel. We have the unction to create the future. I invite you to join the Commonwealth. Don’t say I’ll come when I stop committing sin. Salvation is not based on morality or discipline. Salvation is based on the finished work of Jesus at Calvary. Come as you are and God will accept you!
In Genesis 49:3, Jacob begins to proclaim the future of Reuben: “Reuben, that art my first born, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power; unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest to thy father’s bed; then defilest thou it.”
But I want you to note something. This “something” is the gateway to the theme of this ministry.
I want you to note the phrase that comes after: “He went up to my couch.” Can you see it? Genesis 49:4.
Perhaps it is the most important phrase in the entire narrative! It is not important because it is a moral exclamation. It is important because in its innocuousness it opens our eyes to another dimension.
As far as we know, there were only thirteen people present in that bedroom: Jacob the prophet, and his twelve sons. Jacob is speaking but he wasn’t talking to his sons. He was prophesying into the time dimension. None of his sons said a word. They were mere listeners – passive witnesses of proclamations. Jacob spoke of them as if they were not there.
But in Genesis 49:4, Israel momentarily steps out of his priestly robes and spoke as a mere man. He spoke as Jacob. He makes a comment, “He went up to my couch!” In today’s language he would probably have said, “Can you imagine?! He slept with my wife!” This statement is not in tone with the elevated language of the prophetic proclamations. It’s colloquial. Who was he talking to in such familiar manner?
We know he wasn’t talking to the Lord because Joseph never used that tone with God. It’s too familiar. This is a man who made an oath with his father-in-law by the “fear of Isaac his father” (Genesis 31:53) He referred to God as “Fear”.
And we see that reverential disposition in v.18 when he does the same thing, stepping out of the prophetic groove, this time to address the Lord. This is what he said, “I wait for thy salvation, O Lord!” His tone with God is different. He was always reverential with God.
Could he be talking to himself? That’s most unlikely. And that will turn him into a rambling, muttering, vindictive old man; and we don’t get that impression from the body of the narrative. He was deliberate and lucid in prophetic proclamation. He spoke from the prophetic third person, projecting himself and his sons virtually, addressing those projections from his own projection in the spirit of prophecy. It was never personal or personalized even when it seemed so.
We know from v.18 that there were multiple visions and conversations going on in that room. When he said, “I await thy salvation O Lord!” he was responding to something God told him. He knew he was about to die. Indeed, the imagery is that of a man checking his wristwatch as he waited for his limousine ride to Heaven. The Lord had told him his limo ride would soon arrive, and he replied, “I’m waiting! I’m awaiting for deliverance from this mortal body! I’m waiting for the ride to take me home.” Note that as soon as he finished prophesying, he gave instructions on his burial and slept in the Lord. The man just stepped into his limo and went home. What a glorious way to die! He conquered the fear of death!
So, whom was Jacob addressing? Who were the others in the room?
We are left with the inevitable conclusion that there were angels in that room. Jacob as you know is well familiarised with angels. He had a dream of angels ascending and descending at Bethel. He knows what they look like. And his lineage was familiar with supernatural visitation.
There were angel witnesses in that bedroom as Jacob was making proclamations of prophecy. Jacob saw them and made a side comment to them. And so we have Jacob the prophet and we have the twelve sons of Jacob as earthly witnesses. But there were heavenly witnesses as well, celestial visitors who came to give divine imprimatur to the proclamations of Israel – angels as witnesses of future history.
In 1 Timothy 5:21, Paul charged his spiritual son, Timothy, “before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels”. It was exactly the same scenario with Jacob. He made his proclamations before God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels. As we make proclamations of the deep things of the Word of God this morning, I want you to know that there are angels all around us. There are angels surrounding this place. If only God will open your eyes as he opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant, you will see our fortification. You will see horses and chariots of fire around us.
Angels are not just on assignment. They are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation. (Hebrews1:14). An angel is asking this morning, What is your pleasure, madam? An angel is asking this morning, What is your pleasure sire?
And just as Jacob is a son of Abraham so are we sons of Abraham by faith in Christ Jesus. According to Galatians 3:7 and 29, if you belong to Christ you are a son of Abraham. Therefore, God is no longer just the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he is the God of Leke Alder, he is the God of Tony Rapu, he is the God of Taiwo, he is the God of Mariam, he is the God of Pastor Del, he is the God of Osayi, he is the God of Chukwudi, he is the God of Joy, he is the God of Junaid, he is the God of Toyosi…by oath and by covenant. God is your God!
In Acts 13:47, the Bible says, we have been set up as light to all nations to proclaim salvation to the four winds and seven seas (MSG translation). We can speak to the winds, we can speak to the seas, just like Jesus did. And if Jacob can speak into the womb of time, we can speak into the womb of time. If Jacob can consciously create future history, we can consciously create future history. If Jacob can create a nation with words, we can recreate our nation with words. If Jacob can speak to angels, we can speak to angels. If Jacob can bring together two dimensions, we can bring together two dimensions. We can bring Heaven down to Earth. This is what is known as governmentalism. When we bring the order of God’s plans into our environment that is governmentalism. When we enthrone our Lord Jesus as Governor of the nations, that is governmentalism. When we invoke the powers of Heaven to alter the course of humanity, that is governmentalism. When we resist the ambitions of Satan and curtail the spirit of the Antichrist, that is governmentalism. When we enthrone Jesus over our lives, over our family, over our home, over our profession, over our businesses, that is governmentalism. You are a governmentalist! You are a governmentalist because the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, the word of faith we preach.
I want you to stand up this morning and begin to prophesy. Prophesy on your nation, prophesy to your spouse, prophesy over your children, prophesy over your health, prophesy over your finances, prophesy over your future.
Begin to prophesy!
Delivered at This Present House (The Dome), Lekki Phase 1, Lagos
Sunday, July 14, 2013
© Leke Alder | email@example.com