In the Minor Prophets more than anywhere else we can see that behind and within the outward human history there’s a divine history that is taking place.
We are taught history in school and we think that THIS is what’s really going on; but we need to see the universal history according to God’s economy, according to God. We need to see where are we in the human history and where we should be in the divine history.
The whole Bible can be considered to be the autobiography of the Triune God, and His autobiography is our biography.
No matter where we are right now, how do we feel, and what kind of situation we are in, if we are regenerated with God’s life we have a marvellous ending: we become the same as God in life, nature, expression, and function, but not in the Godhead!
how can we be in the divine history?
Just as the shell of a nut is NOT the part you eat and enjoy from a nut, so the shell of human history is outward, hard, not nice, and is NOT what you should really know and enjoy. Rather, we need to see the kernel within the shell, the divine history within the human history.
We need to see that God’s only goal is to dispense Himself in all He is into our being so that we may become His manifestation in full. For us to be in the divine history within the human history we need to allow God to dispense Himself into our being day by day and even moment by moment!
How can we do this? We need to have Christ manifest Himself to us. If we are going to be Christ’s manifestation, Christ’s expression, Christ’s up-to-date revelation and enlargement, and Christ’s surplus and glorification on the earth, we need Him to manifest Himself to us.
How? It is through our LOVING HIM! In John 14:21 we see that if we love the Lord, He will love us, and He will manifest Himself to us, and His Father loves us and comes with the Son to make an abode with us.
Just give yourself to love the Lord – He will come to you and manifest Himself to you, and you will be in the divine history within the human history!
being a lover of Jesus
It is possible for us to be a believer of Christ Jesus and yet not be a lover of Him. After we believe in the Lord we need to love Him!
Think about it: there are so many believers of Christ, but how many are lovers of Jesus? Do we enjoy the manifestation of the Lord Jesus daily, hourly, and even moment by moment?
We may have a very sweet time with the Lord in the morning, but later we may talk to someone or hear some news and we become upset… – we lose the manifestation of Jesus.
Even though we may have these times of failure, we do NOT lose our salvation! Our salvation is not an “elevator salvation” – when you’re down, you lose your salvation, and when you’re up, you’re saved…
Our salvation is like a staircase: we’re going higher and higher in our Christian life, and we cannot be removed from the staircase!
We need to be daily those who love the Lord! As we love Him, we are being “brought to the top floor” of God’s salvation and we see everything in the heavens. When we love the Lord, He will come and will manifest Himself to us.
How much we need to be brought more and more into the manifestation of God’s Son to us! As we have His shining, manifestation, and unveiling, we also become His manifestation and His expression for His glorification!
All this is triggered and helped by our loving the Lord. Oh, just love Him! Don’t just read the Bible, don’t just go to meetings, and don’t just affirm that you’re a believer of Christ – be a lover of Jesus! Even, be a crazy lover of Jesus!
human history – only locusts!
According to the first 4 verses in Joel 1, human history and human government is likened to four kinds of locuts, which eat up everything that is living on the earth. I love this quote concerning this from bro. Ed’s speaking,
Human history is vanity of vanities, vapor of vapors, and futility of futilities, but the divine history is the Song of Songs, a love affair, a romance with the Lord Jesus! The Lord’s recovery is a recovery of loving the Lord Jesus!
We need to see that in this vanity of vanities in which we live in outwardly, learn about in school, hear about on the news, and many times talk about – the human history – there is something precious called the divine history, the preciousness of Jesus to us operating within the human history, even as the four kinds of locusts are operating outwardly.
Yes, Joel 1:4 speaks of the locusts (the outward human history) but Joel 3:11 also speaks of the mighty ones, the overcomers, who descend together with the Lrod to fight at the battle of Armageddon and defeat Antichrist and set up the kingdom of God!
We want to be those who see Joel 1:4 and live in the reality of Joel 3:11!
The news today are only concerning the locusts and their operating in the outward human history (they should be called NOT CNN but LNN, Locusts News Network).
Even in our life, we may realize that the locusts have eaten up years of our life, or we may have wasted a lot of time. Brother Watchman Nee encourages us to pray to the Lord concerning this,
Lord, restore to me the years that the locusts have eaten! According to Joel 2:25 we pray, Lord, restore these years that the locusts have eaten!
human history – four kinds of locusts
In Joel we see these four kinds of locusts, or one locust in four stages of growth, which devour the earth – cutting locust, swarming locust, licking locust, and consuming locust (Joel 1:4).
I could not come up with this understanding by myself – I praise the Lord for the ministry of the age, and specifically for brother Witness Lee and brother Watchman Nee, who stand upon the shoulders of many spiritual giants throughout history to interpret the Word of God according to God’s economy!
These four kind of locusts are the nations used by God to devastate Israel, the four great consecutive empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (see Rev. 17:8-11).
Where are we today? We are right at the last wave of locusts, at the feet of the great image in Daniel 2 – in the Roman Empire age. Everything about our politics, architecture, way of living, speaking, numbering, etc – is affected by the Roman Empire, which also includes the previous empires.
Today we need to be in the divine history within the human history by loving the Lord, so that we would REALLY make history and not just be carried away and eaten up by the locusts. Oh, may we SEE this and may we LOVE the Lord with our best love!
Lord, make us Your crazy lovers! We don’t want to be only the believers of Christ but also the lovers of Christ. Grant us to see a proper view of the human history according to God, and may we live continually in the divine history. Lord, appear to us! We love You! Manifest Yourself to us that we may become Your manifestation and expression!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from brother Ed Marks’ sharing in this message, and portions in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of the Minor Prophets, week 3 (entitled, The Central Thought of the Book of Joel with Its Controlling Prophecy of Four Kinds of Locusts).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Hymns on this topic:
# In a time beyond time, / In an age beyond the ages, / God and man will be one for eternity.
# Give yourself to love the Lord. / No other way is so prevailing.
# How I love Thee, precious Jesus, / That Thy love laid hold of me.
- Picture source: John 14:21 wallpaper.