Welcoming our guest speaker, Pastor Shane Willard. He’s a friend of the house. He is not only an incredible communicator. He’s just a really good person. He loves God. He loves people. Which comes across in his messages as well. We’re privileged that he is here with us this morning. He travels all over the world to speak. We have him here at King’s with us today. So we honour Pastor Shane as he comes this morning to bring the word of God.
It’s so good to be here with my King’s family. If you’re the type who likes to follow in an actual Bible, Exodus 20, my opportunity today is to open the Bible and anytime you do that, you want to ask a couple of questions. One, what happened? Two, more importantly, what’s happening in me right now because of what happened. So, we’re going to explore some things together.
I get to open the Bible today and anytime that I do, I want Jesus to get bigger, the cross to work better, the resurrection to be central, and scriptures to get bigger, not smaller. I hope that your experience wherever you are and I hope that’s the experience of everybody here in the room.
So, if you need Google Maps to get to King’s Church, what you do is you search King’s Church in Google Maps and what you’ll find is that it says, King’s Church, 68 Gemvale Road in Reedy Creek and underneath that it says, a Pentecostal Church on the Gold Coast. I started thinking, we just are coming out of the Easter season and we’re heading towards Pentecost.
So, I got curious as I travel because most of the churches I speak for are Pentecostal and I just got curious. I started informally asking Pentecostals what Pentecostal means. And what I found was that almost no one knew. I heard all kinds of stuff. I heard we’re the tongue talkers. Right? Is that, is that all, is that what it is? I’ve heard we enjoy loud worship. Well, okay, I enjoy your loud worship but is that Pentecostal? I actually heard a couple of people say, we’re the people looking forward to the end times. What do you mean by that?
I want to as we head to the Pentecost season restore the beauty of the word Pentecost. I promise you if you stick with me, this is going to be an incredibly helpful thing because words don’t matter. How people picture words working matters, right? And so if I say Pentecostal and you picture the tongue talkers that creates certain imagery.
I say end times and you picture the end of the world, when actually a first-century rabbi or prophet when they said end times, they meant the end of an age. There’s a way to have an Orthodox word but a toxic belief about that word. Let me give you an example, okay?
So, I’m going to say something that’s true and it will definitely create an untrue imagination, right? One day, you will stand in front of Jesus and he will judge you. True. That’s not the problem. The problem is the picture that creates. Almost every Western person when I say you’re going to stand in front of Jesus and he’ll judge you, you picture a courtroom where Jesus is looking at your life and deciding if you’re in or out and often times that involves premeditated shaming.
My Sunday school teacher, when I was 7 years old, told me one day, I would stand in front of Jesus in front of all of heaven and he would play my life on a giant movie screen. Which leads to all kinds of questions like, how mentally unhealthy do you have to be to sign up for a relationship with someone who tells you ahead of time, that they’re going to shame you in front of everybody.
That’s first, second, how boring can you make heaven? My life’s not that interesting now. Imagine heaven sitting around watching the lives of seven-year-olds. That would be horrible, right? And you just didn’t really think that through. 13.7 billion people have lived and died with an average lifespan of 50 years. That means the first 650 billion years of eternity is watching people’s lives. Who would want to distract everybody? Take a restroom break. Next up, Mathusula, right? So, you don’t really want to do that.
You don’t really do that and here’s the problem with the word. Jesus will judge you. It’s true. The problem is not the truth of the word. The problem is the imagery. It is because in Hebrew, the word judge is not a courtroom official. Is somebody anointed by God to set you free. And you already knew that.
There’s a whole book in the Bible called the book of Judges. Yeah. They’re not court officials declaring people guilty or not. They’re people anointed by God to set you free. So, when we say one day, you’ll stand in front of Jesus and he’ll judge you. What we mean is, is that one day you’ll be in the presence of the one fully and finally anointed by God to set you free from everything that’s held you back.
It’s a much more beautiful picture which leads me to Pentecost. What do we mean when we say Pentecost or Pentecostal? I’ll tell you the end before I tell you the beginning. I want King’s Church to be the most Pentecostal Church on the Gold Coast but I want to restore what actually means in Exodus 20.
Now, Exodus 20 is famous for something called the Ten Commandments. Now, it’s interesting because the word command isn’t there and I don’t mind calling it ten commandments. I have a series called the Ten Commandments because that’s what people call it but in Jewish culture, it’s not called the Ten Commandments.
It’s called a ten-word marriage proposal. It was God proposing a relationship. This was a relational sort of word. This is Exodus chapter 20 verse 2 and God spoke all these words, not commands, words. God spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord, your God. So, this whole thing starts with an affirmation of a relationship, not a condition for one. It was a beautiful thing.
Now, to understand this, we’ve gotta understand that the book of Exodus was outlined by a Hebrew wedding proposal. So, a Hebrew relationship goes through a five-step wedding proposal in the book of Exodus. I want to show you the five steps. So, this whole thing will sit around these five words and I want to teach you these five words because they’re really, really important and it’ll help us build a better picture.
The five words are Lacah. Segula. Mikveh. Kattubah, and Chuppah. So, that is the five stages of a Hebrew relationship. Lacah. Segula. Mikveh. Kattubah, and Chuppah and yes, that’s the one you’re thinking. So, I actually want us to learn these words really bad. So, I want you to repeat these words with me.
Alright. So, I want to tell a totally made-up story. There’s no truth in this story at all. It’s just meant for meaning. It’s called a parable. It’ll illustrate what these words mean. So, let’s say, I’m dating someone and let’s say for the sake of example, her name is Pam. Now, I gotta be very careful. I’m in a Pentecostal church and so sometimes if I use a specific name, they’re like, well, I have a friend named Pam.
Maybe God saying something or not. It’s just a made-up word, okay? So, Pam’s awesome. So, let’s say I’m dating someone named Pam and let’s say we get through that initial chemistry, you know? It’s how attraction works. An ungodly amount of dopamine is released in your brain when you’re in their presence. You get addicted to them. This is in psychology. It’s called limerence. Limerence is the release of dopamine in someone’s brain.
When you’re initially attracted to somebody. You can’t get enough of them. This is at this stage of the relationship. These are the kind of things where you like, hey, how’d it go? How’d it go with Jim you’re like, oh, it’s going so awesome with Jim. We talked for four hours the other night and it felt like 10 minutes, you know? You’re like, shoot and see if you’ve been married 20 years, a four-hour conversation sounds like hell, right?
And so, it’s like, what’s going on here? So, we get through all that and then at some point, Pam says, look, look, no disrespect and no manipulation here. I just want to know if this is going anywhere. Like, are we going to date forever? Or do you see us going somewhere? It’s a reasonable question, you know, and I was like, oh yeah. I see it going somewhere.
Well, soon, as soon as we decide that, the word Pam would be longing to hear from me is Lacah. Lacah would be the initiation of the process. So, we go on a date and we go to Thai Mudgee, right? And Thai Mudgee, she gets the super spicy version of the green curry and I’m thinking, man, a woman that eats super spicy curry. I want to spend the rest of my life with her, right?
And I take her to her house and I walk her to her door and I hold her by the hand and I’m like, Pam, Lacah. Well, she could barely contain her excitement. Why? Because if you sleep in and drink Coke, you too can one day have a body like this. She runs inside. She calls her three best friends and she’s like, he said, Lacah. He said, Lacah. Ho. Yeah. He said, Lacah. Facebook status change. He said, Lacah!
Lacah, means to take as my own. Now, again, this is really old language. Today’s woman be like, what you going to take me? This was like endearing to be chosen by a man in that world that was like, oh man, it’s like a better way to say it today would be, will you be mine? It’s the initiation of the relationship.
So, that’s so this group of slaves. There’s a family that came up in Egypt and they end up enslaved and God gets them out of slavery into freedom which is really good, right? Partially, if all you know about a God is that he’s powerful but you have no idea what he expects in return. That’s quite frankly terrifying. At some point, God might show up and say, after all, I’ve done for you, this is what I expect back and it could be something horrible.
You didn’t know. You know you don’t know anything about this God other than he’s really powerful and you don’t know what he expects and so this God opens the discussion this way. Exodus chapter 6 better together I will free you from being slaves to them and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement.
Yeah, thank you. But what do you expect from us? And I will take you as my own. The word is Lacah. When you have to explain to them, you don’t have to explain, hey, like, did God just say Lacah? Is God using relationship words? No, God in the history of the world up to this time. Use relationship words. It’s you go to their temple at their moment, at their time, and their posture. You pay their fee and then maybe that God might act on your behalf.
Not this one. This God’s using wedding talk. He’s using relationship talk. He’s using marriage talk. Lacah.
So, Pam and I, I’ve said Lacah. Now, only the women can answer this because men don’t understand this but women will, right? Once I say lacah, what word would Pam be longing to hear from me? Segula. Yeah, let’s make sure we’re paying attention. Once they say lacah, the things she belonging to here is let me ask you women something. How long before the excitement of Lacah wears off?
Not 2 or 3 weeks, Pam’s friends are like, has he said Sagula yet? Is he scared of commitment? What’s his deal? And Pam’s like, shut up. Shut up. He’ll say Segula when he’s good and ready, right? Right? But in her heart, she’s like, please, I want you to say, Segula.
So, where? On a date at the Indian Palace and she orders the spicy lamb vindaloo. And I’m like, man, boy, that is brave to order spicy lamb vindaloo on a date. Like, this woman, this is my kind of woman. So, I walk her to her house. I walk her to her door. I hold her by the end and I say, Pam… Sagula. Well, she could barely contain her excitement. Why? Because if you sleep in and drink a coke or two, you can one day have a body like this.
She walks into her home. She calls her three best friends. He said Sagula to me. He said, Segula to me. He said Segula to me. Facebook status change. He said Segula. Segula is Lacah 2.0. Segula means treasured. Treasured possession. Again, this is old language. Like I realized today’s woman be like, what do you think you own me, right? Right?
It was actually more endearing than that. Lacah was will you be mine? Segula would be, I don’t want you just to be mine. I want you to be the most special person in my whole world. It was Segula, special to think special treasure, or treasured possession literally, but special treasure.
So, this group of slaves, they hear Lacah and Exodus chapter 6. In Exodus 19, they hear this. Now, if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations, you will be my treasured possession. The word is, Segula. Again, you didn’t have to explain to them what was going on. It was like, wait a minute, Lacah, Segula. Is God serious? Does he want a relationship with us?
Once I’ve said Lacah and Segula, the next thing Pam would be longing to hear is Mikveh. Now, Mikveh is far less romantic. I’ve been asked specifically to do this message at Women’s Conferences all over the world. I’m talking about arenas full of women, right? I’m the only guy there. It’s the strangest, strangest feeling and when I explain this and I go, Lacah means, will you be mine? And there are 2,500 women, right? And they all go, ohhh. If I say, Segula means special treasure and everybody goes, ohhh. Mikveh was far less romantic.
Mikveh means go wash. Girl, you need a bath. Your breath is stinky. Mikveh was a three-day notice. See, I’m 46 and so back, you know, 25 years ago when I was of dating age like dating is just a hard, it’s just a horrible experience but when I was a dating age, there was a little bit of mystery involved with is tonight the night you’re going to ask me to marry him. Like, you know what I’m saying?
So here, here’s what happens, right? A guy books a restaurant that’s way out of his budget like he books the top steakhouse on the Gold Coast, right? So Pam’s girlfriends are like, girl, he’s taking you where? Right? And then she’s like, I know. They’re like, wait a minute, he normally takes you to Nando’s and now, you’re going there! I bet tonight’s the night.
You know, she’s like, I don’t know. I don’t want to get my hopes up. There was some mystery when I was dating about, is tonight the night you’re going to get asked to get married? Ain’t no mystery now because of social media. Listen, if your boyfriend drives you to the base of a mountain where the mountain meets the ocean and there’s already a professional photographer waiting. This is your day.
In this world, there was no mystery. When I said Mikveh, that meant go wash for 3 days. The idea is, is that three days from now, I’m going to ask you to marry me. I don’t want you to be surprised and I want you to be ceremony clean when I do so I can touch you, right?
You see this all over scripture. The most overkill version of Mikveh you’ll see in all of the Bible is in Esther where it says, she bathed in Mikveh she bathed in perfume for a year before she approached her husband which I think we could all agree is a bit overkill, right? Like seriously, if you need to bathe in perfume for a year, see a doctor, right?
It’s like, girl, you hiding something, right? That is Mikveh, Mikveh is go wash because three days from now, I’m going to ask you to marry me. So, this group of slaves, Lacah, Segula. Here’s Exodus 19 verse 10 and the Lord said to Moses, go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow and have them wash their clothes and be ready on the third day. Mikveh.
So, you got Lacah, Segula, Mikveh. Now, what I’m going to do now is I’m going to do Kattubah and Chuppah together and then we’ll look at the scriptures. So, three days after Mikveh, there is a marriage proposal. So, with Pam, back to our made-up story. I’ve said Lacah, I’ve said Sagula, I’ve said Mikveh.
Three days later, I show up. I pick Pam up and I’m going to ask her to marry me and this is how this worked, right? My Dad and I would be there and her dad would be there. The dads were there for witness and wisdom, right? Like, we’re going to we’re going to write a Kattubah together. A Kattubah was a marriage proposal but in that marriage proposal was a contract on how we’re going to behave with one another.
What’s inbounds, what’s out of bounds, what’s what is this going to look like? Think of it like a prenup but bigger that like with behaviors and things like that and here was the rule. I could put anything in the Kattubah I wanted. She could put anything in the Kattubah she wanted. So long as we both agreed. How can two walk together? Lest they be, agreed.
Once that Kattubah was agreed upon, that became the boundaries by which our marriage would be run. Some of the worst teaching you’ll ever hear on marriage is a covenant. What that means is you gotta put up with whatever they do to you. No. You don’t. That’s called abuse. Marriage was based on a Kattubah of agreements and if you broke your agreement in an unrepentant pattern, that was called marital unfaithfulness, okay?
So this is a safer way to go. In other words, we’re walking into this relationship with clear agreement and intention and agreement and truth and expectations and all of that, right? And so, here’s what would happen. We’d write the Kattubah. We agree on it. We’d sign it and then after that, I would stand and pay close attention to this language, I would say, I would hold her by the hand. I would say, will you marry me? Based on this, will you marry me? Of course, she’d say yes at that point and I would say, great.
Then, I go to prepare a place for you. That where I am, there you may be also and she would say, well, when are you going to come back to receive me under yourself? I would say, I do not know the day of the hour but when my father approves the wedding chamber, I’m going to build for you. He’ll send me back. So, be watchful and ready, right? Is that language familiar? Like, when Jesus is using words like that, this wasn’t like, this was like is Jesus still wanting to have a relationship with us? This was relationship talk.
I would then go and I would build an extra room on my father’s house. This is hard for western people because in our world, our children leave home. Hopefully, and get married. It’s just the world we live in. We have money now. So, our Church, listen, if you’re 31 and still living at home, I want to speak up for your parents. They’re ready for you to get out. I don’t know how to Adults living in the same house is like, irritates each other.
But in their world, that wasn’t the case. You had these very long, narrow homes and to be, it’s a caricature but that your storefront would be on the road and then you’d have rooms on each side down a central hallway and the youngest people were at the back of the house for obvious reasons and then, as you got older, you got graduated to the front of the house and when you died, you were out the door, right?
That’s how that works. So, if there’s a new young couple getting married, they gotta have a place to live. You can’t go buy your own house. Not back then. So, you would build an extra room in my father’s house or mini rooms, right? It’s in other words, there’s plenty of room for a lot of people in God’s family, right?
There are a whole lot of things like get in order before you get married, right? There are a lot of lessons in that, not for today. So, what I would do. I would build an extra room on my father’s house. My father would approve it and go, yes, that’s suitable.
Then, I would go back and fetch Pam. I’d return for her, right? And then, we would have the Chuppah. So, the Kattubah was the marriage contract. The Chuppah, there was two Chuppah’s. The Chuppah, every in this room has seen a Chuppah. Chuppah in early days was just a prayer shawl that indicated the covering of God’s presence and what they would do is they just put four sticks in the ground and they tie the prayer shawl as a canopy.
It just means covering. It was a canopy of God’s covering over the top of this mare of this wedding and so at a wedding, there was Chuppah. The first Chuppah was at the wedding in front of everybody and so you would make your promises and your Chuppah in front of all the witnesses and underneath the witness of God but there was always a second Chuppah.
The second Chuppah was in the marriage room and so what they would do is they would take four sticks and put it around the marriage bed and they would cover the marriage bed over the top with a canopy of Chuppah, the presence of God. The reason is because for the consummation of a marriage to be legal, it had to be witnessed but sex is not a great spectator sport.
So they did is they said, listen, you’re going to consummate your marriage underneath the witness of the presence of God. It was called a Chuppah and so what would happen is we would have our wedding and then this is really cool language if you’re like an eschatology fan. So what happened is I they would walk me and my wife would walk to the door of the of the marriage room and I would pick her up.
Today, that’s called carrying them to the threshold or carrying them over the threshold. You pick your bride up. It’s a good idea for some. Others not that great of an idea but you would come out and pick your bride up and carry her into that room. But by the way, the word to pick your bride up is where we get the word rapture from.
Rapture is not about going somewhere else. Rapture is about being snatched into the fullness of the presence of your groom, right? Then, this gets a little awkward. It was a little awkward. So, I you would walk in this room and now, they were way less. We’re embarrassed about our sexuality, comparatively so.
They couldn’t afford to be. Essentially, we would go in there. They would shut the door behind us and we would consummate our marriage underneath the Chuppah and they just waited for us to be done. It’s a little awkward. Now, you know, in those days, we’re 13 years old and so, 20 seconds later, here we’re out. We’re ready to go, right? And then you’d have a party, right?
That was Lacah, Segula, Mikveh, Kattubah. Now, Exodus 19, verse 10, have them wash and wait for the third day. This is no tricks. What happened three days after Exodus 19? Exodus is 20. I know. I know. In Exodus 20 is the Ten Commandments. Can you see why in Jewish culture, it’s called a ten-word marriage proposal, a ten-word Kattubah.
It’s God is proposing a relationship, not conditions for a relationship. This is what it says. This is the Kattubah exit nope. Exodus chapter 20 verse 2. And God spoke all these words saying I am the Lord. your God. This whole thing starts with an affirmation. Before we get going, I want to affirm you belong to me and I belong to you. What what’s coming now is unbelievable. And those three, I am the Lord your God is only three words in Hebrew.
Let me show you those three words. Next slide, the three words are Anochy, Jehovah, Elohim. Now, if you know Hebrew, you know, you can say I am the Lord, your God with two words, Jehovah Elohim. But he doesn’t do that. The first word of God’s marriage proposal to this group of slaves is Anochy.
Now, Ano like all Hebrew words are pictures. Every Hebrew letter is a picture. Every Hebrew word is a comic strip. They learn to write in Egypt. That’s the way it goes. So, the A is an ox head going into a yoke. The N is fish multiplying. Looks like a crescendo. The CH is a hedge or a fence and the Y is an up-raised hand. It means to praise or submit. Let’s stop.
Let’s think about this for a second. If all you know about this God is he’s infinitely powerful but you don’t know what he’s going to expect from you. This is quite terrifying. What if he’s going to expect child sacrifice? Self-mutilation. What if he’s going to expect what the other pagan gods expect. This would be terrifying but here is where the relief starts to happen.
The first word of the marriage proposal is Anochy which when you put the pictures on it, next slide says this, your authority is multiplying inside the hedge of praise and submission. In other words, let’s get this straight from the start. I’m here to make you bigger. I’m here to multiply you, not make you smaller. I’m here to humble myself so that you can be larger. I’m here to save the day.
Now, if you think about the ten commandments as a marriage contract, how much more beautiful does it get? Here, here we go. Ready? Don’t have any other gods before me. In other words, if we’re going to be married, I’d like to be the only one. Hello?
Hey, don’t have idols. In other words, if we’re going to be married, could you put the pictures of your old boyfriends away? That sort of hurts my feelings, right?
Hey, let’s have 1 day in seven and just spend it together. Right? Like, who is he talking to? Slaves. When was their last day off? Never and so this marriage proposal comes down and the first thing he says that sounds anything like a rule, says, oh, let’s have 1 day in seven and just have a day off. You imagine being those people what? What? Did he just give us a day off? We’ve never had a day off in our life. Like, hang on. Let me just get this straight. In our new world, we get a mandated day off. You realize no slave was there going, oh no, it’s the law.
Now, this is like, this is like unbelievable. Oh, hey, don’t use my name in vain. Which by the way is not a language issue. It’s not like saying, oh my God or something. Although that’s probably distasteful probably shouldn’t, the word is not saying. It literally says, don’t carry my name in a way that disappoints the hope that rests upon it. In other words, if you’re going to be married to me, you’re going to have power of attorney on my name. Don’t sign checks I wouldn’t sign. Don’t use my name to forward your idea. Uh okay, okay. If you have a really bad idea and no one’s buying it, don’t say God said. Don’t do that.
Oh-oh if you’re in traffic and someone cuts you off in traffic, don’t race beside them, point your fingers at the sky, and call them number one and then go around in front and only have a bumper sticker. Follow me to King’s Church. Jesus saves. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. If the waitress is taking too long to take your order, don’t curse her out with a cross around your neck. Right? Don’t do that. Don’t do that.
Hey, don’t don’t don’t insult the intelligence of your husband when he leaves his underwear on the floor for the 18000th time, right? Take on your underwear, you stupid idiot. Of course, you’ve just insulted the intelligence of a man you would fully expect to die for you if an intruder came in tonight. Over a pair of underwear I find that a little short-sighted. Um now, you men pick up your nasty underwear, hey? Seriously, you’re disgusting and light a match every now and then. Um. Don’t be with your wife when she disappoints you. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t tie yourself to God’s name and then live in a way that disappoints the hope that rests upon it.
Oh, here’s a good idea. Ready? Brace yourself. Don’t kill each other. Right? What a great idea. Hey, hey, don’t kill you. But hang on, be a slave for a second. Just be a slave for a second. Hang on a second. In our new world, the biggest strongest people can’t kill us for their entertainment? What? In our new world, our life is pretty. Oh, oh, here’s another good idea. Don’t sleep with each other’s spouses. Wife swapping sort of tears down. It’s a terrible thing. Be a slave for a second. Hang on a second. In our new world, the biggest, strongest people can’t rape our wives. They were slaves. How often did Egyptian masters rape the women? Always. Oh, here’s another good idea. Um, don’t steal each other’s things. Wait a minute, in our new world, the biggest, strongest people can’t take our stuff.
I just want to make sure I get this right. So, you’ve done all this for us and here’s what you expect out of us, to create a society where my life, my wife, and my stuff are all protected and we get a day off. This is like the greatest idea ever. This is Kattubah but relationships don’t end with Kattubah. They get consummated with the covering of God’s presence. This is Exodus chapter 20 verse 18. This is the verse after, Don’t covet.
When the people saw the thunder and the lightning. And they heard the trumpet and they saw the mountain and smoke. They trembled with fear. What a weird sentence. Let’s look at that sentence slowly. When the people saw the thunder and the lightning and heard the trumpet and then saw the mountain and smoke. What an odd use of the verb Saul. You would think he would say when they saw lightning and smoke and heard trumpets and thunder but it doesn’t say that. It says they and it’s not like he doesn’t know how to use the word heard. He says they saw thunder. How do you see thunder? Can’t see thunder. It’s weird.
So if you go if you go look that up in Hebrew the Hebrew word for thunder is voices or languages. It’s the same word Moses used when he said, I heard, I saw the voice of God in the fire of the burning bush. Same two words. The word lightning is glorified fire. So, here’s what happens. They stand at the base of the mountain. The Kattubah is there and the covering of God’s presence, Chuppah, covers them and they look up and they see languages inside fire over the top of their head. What would the languages have been saying? Will you marry me? In others, you want a world like that or not?
Your life, your wife, your stuff, protected days off. Anybody want a world like that? Uh will you marry me based on that? The Talmud says, this is such a beautiful quote that on this day in history, God proposed, proposed to all of creation by using 70,000 tongues of fire from the sky, went out as far as the eye could see. Oh, oh by the way, 1857 in Rangoon, Burma, an English sociologist was studying the Burmese people and he found a weird group of people called the Kiran people and he asked the people. Who is your God and their answer. In 1857 without electricity was, we serve a God named Yavah who proposed to us thousands of years ago with languages of fire over our head. You can read that story in Don Richardson’s awesome book, Eternity in their hearts. In other words, God has been reaching out to people before we ever got there.
Now, If you’re here and you’re married what do you do every year on the day you got married? You celebrate your anniversary. It’s a really good idea to go out and remember how you used to feel, right? Remind yourself. Yeah, there was a day I could have talked to you for 4 hours. It’s healthy, and so what happens is God says, I want this day remembered every year as our anniversary and he instituted a feast that was to be there every year and that feast was called Pentecost. Do you want to know where the word Pentecostal comes from?
It was a celebration of an offer of relationship between God and a group of slaves. Now, the feast of Pentecost is weird. Everywhere else in the Bible. You bring unleavened bread, unleavened bread, unleavened bread but not Pentecost. Pentecost, they were commanded to bring leavened bread, yeasty bread but and the reason is because that he – God wanted to remind them that I want to be in your life leaven and all, issues and all, flaws and all. This was a celebration of grace and so what you do is you break the leavened bread and you fill it with oil because oil and bread taste good and it was metaphorical that God’s presence wants to fill beings.
Pentecostals for years have said, you gotta get the leaven out of your life for God to use you and look, I agree, the less leaven in your life, the better but the whole point of Pentecost is God wants a relationship with you, flaws, and all issues and all leaven and all that god is not wanting to banish anybody. God is wanting to involve his presence in every broken story. Issues and all leaven and all falls in all in order to make a better narrative out of that story. Who wouldn’t want like that?
So, years later, it says in Acts chapter two that they were all together in one accord. Why? It’s a weird sentence. Why? It says, because the day of Pentecost had come. Why are they all together? Because it’s Pentecost. You’re supposed to celebrate this every year and it says, when the day of Pentecost had fully come, which meant the leaven loaf had been broken and the oil had filled the bread. It said that in their upper room, they looked and a cloud of smoke covered them and they saw voices inside fire. Hang on a second. Where’d you see that before? Exodus chapter 20. So, the same exact thing is happening on the same exact day.
The only difference is this time, they spoke back. Which is the birth of the church. Which is the bride of Christ. The question is, how should we then live? Like are Pentecostal supposed to be known as the tongue talkers? No. I celebrate spiritual language and it’s our love language. It’s a gift given us by God to remind us that God is in our life, leaven in all issues and all and it’s a very powerful spiritual gift and I celebrate that but we hardly should be known for that. That the Pentecostals in Acts chapter 2. They had this amazing encounter and what did they do? It says, they went outside and sold everything they could and ministered to the poor and the afflicted.
Why? The whole point of Pentecost was to be so moved by God’s grace with you that you can’t help but live for the betterment of somebody else, particularly people who could do nothing in return. God has lifted you out of slavery and given you this life. Now, do that for somebody else. Where did they get this from? Glad you asked. Leviticus 2-3, which gives all the rules around Pentecost. Watch what it says. On that same day, you’re to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come wherever you live. It’s about Pentecost but watch the last command around Pentecost.
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleaning your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner among you because remember, I am the Lord your God, Anochy, Jehovah Elohim. In other words, I made a commitment to make your life better. Be so moved by that that you make a commitment to make everybody’s life better regardless of their ability to do anything in return for you. What are Pentecostals supposed to be known for? The people who engage the Spirit of God in such a way that leaves them so grateful that they exhibit extraordinary generosity in our world.
So, may my brothers and sisters, may you be the most Pentecostal Church in the Gold Coast, the most generous church in the Gold Coast. I bless you all, my brothers and sisters and everybody watching online to know that God wants to engage your broken story eleven and all issues and all flaws and all God wants to involve himself in your story in order to make a better narrative. If you’re here today, I want you to consider. Where are you in this process?
Are you in Lacah? Sagulah? Are you ready to experience? Maybe you’re wondering, I need to take my next step with God. Maybe you just need to respond to the invitation. Will you be mine? Maybe we need to understand that God wants us to be his special treasure. Maybe it’s time in our life that we offer our hearts to be cleaned up a little bit. Maybe we need to be so moved by God’s presence in our broken story that we can’t help but go make everybody else’s life better. So, may Jesus be bigger. The cross work better. The resurrection and scriptures be big or not smaller and may you, my brothers and sisters, allow the presence of God to flood your leavened being and reorder your broken story into a better narrative and may we be so moved by his gracious offer of relationship that we can’t help but be uber generous to the world around us. May we all Kings Church be the most Pentecostal place on the Gold Coast. Thanks for letting me be here today day. Grace and peace everybody.