TIME TO REBUILD THE ALTAR OF PEACE – JEHOVAH SHALOM (Part 1)
God came to speak to the Israelites through a prophet first. Listen carefully, this is my message globally for over 30 years. The prophet is God’s ultimate weapon of warfare. When kings, government, military and army fail, when everybody fails, God brings out his secret weapon and it’s called a prophet. In the book of Revelation, in the last days, Elijah and Moses will rise up and they will begin to speak against the false prophet. It is a battle of prophecies, heavenly prophecies versus hellish prophecies. That’s the final war. It’s from the mouth, the weapon is in thy mouth, life and death is in thy mouth. The sword is in the mouth, the mouth that speaks God’s word.
Following this, the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon. Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:11-12)
Where was Gideon and what was he doing? He was on the threshing floor. He was hiding in a cave, beating the wheat at the threshing floor in the cave because the enemy would come and rob him of everything. This was what the enemy did to the people of God, they would came to their homes and take everything, including women and children. And so the people were hiding in caves, dens and strongholds in the mountains.
We see that every time God begins a revival or restoration, whether it’s with Gideon, David, Ruth, John the Baptist or even with Jesus, He always seems to begin on a threshing floor. You better get used to that word. Because John the Baptist said it and Jesus also said it. God takes us through the threshing floor because He says, “I need to start threshing again so that life and food and everything will come forth, so that you have a harvest.”
The angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor.” The Lord called Gideon a man of valor, a great warrior. Gideon said, “What? Me? I am hiding here, I am afraid.” But God always speaks positively. You may be in hiding. You may be in fear. But I declare that you are a man of valor! Today, I declare over you that no matter what has happened, if you are within the hearing voice of the Holy Spirit, God’s favor is upon you, God has blessed you. He says you are strong when you are weak. He says you are rich when you are poor. He says you are victorious when you look defeated. Let the weak say, “I am strong.” Let the poor say, “I am rich.” Know the Word. Power comes from the spoken word of God, not human opinions or democracy. Democracy does not exist in the Kingdom of God. It’s always “Thus says the Lord, thus says my Father.”
And the Lord appeared to Gideon and gave him specific things to do. First, to break down the pillars, the poles and the altars of Baal. The reason the nation had gone into bondage was that there were many altars dedicated to Baal. And that’s why Baal was in control. What shall I do, Lord? He says to destroy the altars of Baal. Step one, in warfare, whether it is an air force or sea war – listen closely and cut off the enemy’s line of communication. If you can cut off the enemy’s communication, you have already won. It is the same in the spirit world, they were communicating with Satan during Gideon’s time. They had built their altars to Baal. They were making sacrifices. And Satan was communicating with them. And that’s why there were many disasters in Israel. Israel means Prince with God. How come the Prince with God lives in defeat? What happened to the Promised Land? It was no more the Promised Land! It had become a desert! So God said to Gideon, “Destroy the altars of Baal!” And he goes to destroy in the night because he was fearful when it was day time.
Then the Lord told Gideon, “Build my altar.” Build my altar – if you want me to communicate with you, if you and I want to negotiate, if heaven and earth want to negotiate, there must be an altar. And on that altar, there must be a sacrifice. Jesus already sacrificed Himself for us. Yes, He was the sacrifice, He has already done His part. But what about you? What did you sacrifice? What about your part? When there is a communication between heaven and earth, there is an exchange of sacrifice. As it was with Abraham – He put his son, the son whom he loved upon the altar. He put him on the altar and was about to kill him when God said, “Enough! Now you have given me your best. Now heaven said to earth you have given me your best. You have given me what you love, not the left over, not the unwanted, not the sick cow, not the rotten stuff, you gave me your best. Therefore, Abraham, now I give you my one and only and my best. You gave me your son. I will give you mine.” Listen beloved, this is the full Gospel. And we meet at the altar and God gave us Jesus.
So Gideon was told to build an altar. And he took 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Read about the rocks in the Bible. He tells Gideon, the rock that I choose. You don’t simply choose any rock that you like. I will tell you what kind of rock I accept as an offering. On my rock, you make this sacrifice. You will make a sacrifice because I am going to make mine. We meet on the altar, both making sacrifices. Then it’s a covenant. Then, it’s an agreement. Then it’s a marriage. And he placed all these offerings on the rock. The angel stretched out his hand and consumed it.
And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God, for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (Judges 6:22-24)
And then Gideon fell down and said, “Oh God, have I found grace in you?” This is the narration I want to highlight to you, beloved because you all hear and read more of other things than your Bible. Here is Gideon and he says, “God, have I found grace with you?” Because we are told the popular Christian Gospel today that Jesus brought grace. No, grace existed from Genesis 1. Noah found grace. Moses found grace. Speak to the mountain Zerubbabel, grace, grace and the mountain shall move. (Zech 4:7) And here Gideon is saying, “I have found grace.” We hear today in the name of Christianity that Jesus brought grace. Jesus lives in eternity. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He cannot suddenly bring grace. He is grace. He exists. He is mercy. He is peace. So, Gideon made the sacrifice. The angel consumed it with fire. Then Gideon fell down and said, “I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” (Judges 6:22-23) Gideon found grace. Yes. It didn’t come after the cross, it existed in eternity. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. All may change, but Jesus will never change. He is the “I AM grace.” Hallelujah!
By Pastor Henry