UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
IN KING JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14)
#05-1133
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
June 1, 2011
Seek Me That You May live
God said He would remove those things that can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot
be shaken may remain (Hebrews 12:27). Why? Because we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, and that
kingdom is the kingdom of the Son of God's love (Revelation 11:15) that is coming soon!
Well, last night I was having a restless sleep, and early in the morning hours I kept hearing Amos 5:4 over and over
again. I did not hear the actual words of the verse, just the numbers of the chapter and verse. It has been some
time since I read Amos, so I was not familiar with this particular passage.
For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, "Seek Me that you may live." (Amos 5:4 NASB)
Amos was a herdsman and a grower of sycamores who was called by the Lord to give a prophetic word to the house
of Israel in the days of King Jeroboam II.
A little short history lesson is needed in order to understand the significance of this word, especially to us Americans
in this day. Believe me, this is a word for us.
The Lord made great promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 13:16-17; 22:17; 28:14; 32:12) that began to
be fulfilled under King David but were fully manifested during the reign of his son Solomon. The twelve tribes of
Israel became a great nation. Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance
(1 Kings 4:20); Solomon had peace on all sides around about him, and they lived in safety (1 Kings 4:24, 25; 5:4);
and the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord (2 Chronicles 7:1). Solomon's kingdom was the head of all the
nations on earth with its influence stretching across the globe, even to North America.
Unfortunately, this renown was short-lived, for Solomon turned from the Lord. In turn, the Lord told Solomon: I will
surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant (1 Kings 11:11). Following the death of Solomon,
Israel rebelled against Judah and the kingdom was divided into a northern kingdom made up of ten tribes called
Israel and a southern kingdom made up of two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) called Judah . From this time onward,
the name Israel was always associated with the ten tribes and the name Judah with the two tribes. This is a vital
historical and prophetic fact that many Christians of our day do not understand.
Now, Jeroboam I, an Ephraimite, was the first king of Israel. Thirteen kings later, Amos was called forth as a prophet
to the kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam II. This was during a time of great prosperity accompanied with great moral
declension. The Lord had blessed Israel with prosperity, but instead of seeking the Lord, they turned from Him. To
get their attention, the Lord sent judgments upon them. He caused a lack of bread, withheld rain on some places
and poured it out on others, smote them with scorching wind and mildew, sent plagues, and generally overthrew
them, and yet they did not return to the Lord. Instead, justice had been turned into wormwood and righteousness
had been cast down.
It was with this condition in view that Amos was called upon to admonish Israel to seek Me that you may live, even
to seek good and not evil, that you may live; hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate (Amos 5:14-15).
We need to understand that the people were somewhat oblivious to what they were doing or not doing. They
continued to offer sacrifices, tithes, and freewill and peace offerings. They also sang songs to the Lord and held
festivals (Amos 4:4-5; 5:21-23), but the Lord hated it all and rejected it. Some were even longing for the coming of
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the Lord, but the Lord had a word for them as well: Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, for what
purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light (Amos 5:18).
Dear people of God, do you not see a word in this for us today? I have written elsewhere that I believe the United
States is an Israelite nation. Many of our forefathers were of the lost house of Israel, and America is part of the
modern-day version of Israel that lost its national identity as Israel did. Nationally and prophetically, we are part of
the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Six kings after Jeroboam II, the nation of Israel under Hoshea still had not returned to the Lord. Time had run out
for them, and the Lord placed them under an iron yoke , which meant they were taken captive and removed from
their land. This occurred from 745-721 BC when they lost their national identity as Israel and they were scattered
among the nations. To this day, Israel remains scattered and its name lost. The sons of Joseph were blessed with
the name Israel , which meant that wherever they resided, so did the name. Ephraim means "fruitful," and Manasseh
means "making to forget." We can see how these meanings apply to modern-day Israelite nations. For example,
take the United States; we have been one of the most, if not the most, fruitful nation in the history of nations, and
yet, we have been made to forget that we are an Israelite nation. We might acknowledge that, as a nation, we are
Christian to a degree (although this is being undermined every day), but we have never known ourselves as an
Israelite nation. Instead, to our detriment, we have been led to believe by many evangelicals that the true Israel of
our day is found in the Middle East. This is not true; this Israel is Judah and Edom.
What has become of the Israelite nations of our day, most of which are called the western nations ? I will answer for
my own country. We are rich and in need of nothing; we continue to have great prosperity in spite of the recent
financial crisis; we are in moral decline with leaders calling good evil and evil good. There is little righteousness in
our government and justice is coming out perverted. Several months back, one very high official in our government
stood on the floor of the Senate saying how much he loved the Pledge of Allegiance, but when he recited it, he left
out the phrase one nation under God . Whether intentional or not, to me it was a prophetic word from the Lord that
our nation has turned from God.
What about the church in America? It continues to offer up its tithes and songs and has its meetings and many
conferences (festivals). Its measure of success is often how much money it takes in and how big it can get in size
and in real estate. Some are also looking for the coming of the Lord as evidenced by the group that was looking for
the rapture on May 21 in expectation of avoiding the darkness that is coming. The church has wed herself to the
world and to her own institutional mindset. She is blind to her condition in fulfillment of the Lord's exhortation to
Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-18). We are in days of darkness that will continue to grow darker as the day of the Lord
draws near.
Rapture is not our way out! The Lord is our way through!
And, as all of this is going on, the Lord is smiting us with crisis after crisis. Shaking and upheaval abound!
What are we to do?
For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, "Seek Me that you may live."
See America—Wake Up! http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art67.pdf