Pastor Lo sounds an alarm blowing the shofar
Sounding the Alarm
*Excerpt from the upcoming book, Sounding the Alarm
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city and the people not be alarmed and afraid? Shall misfortune or evil occur [as punishment] and the Lord has not caused it? Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets. Amos 3:6, 7 Amp.
Have you heard the news? Jesus is soon to return! That being the case, let’s be ready to go back with Him when He comes. His Word has already told us He’s coming back. Therefore, if you believe it, you should be preparing to meet Him. However, you have to be ready. When He returns, there won’t be any time to get ready. He’s not going to wait any longer. Matthew 24:44 says, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” It’s time now to get right with God and stay there.
Our world today is at ease. People are doing any and everything they please, and some do it in the name of Jesus. Corrupt governments are in power and getting away with manipulating and abusing their people. Whole nations are being lied to, deceived, and led astray. Religion is turning things upside down instead of right side up. So much stuff is circulating until people have a hard time believing in anything. People want the truth but just when they think they have a grip on it, scandal rips it from them. We have been conditioned to put our hope, our trust, and our confidence in the wrong things, the wrong people. In short, we have been bamboozled and the enemy has done his job well.
OK, so it’s time to get on track, it’s time to come back; it’s time to sound the alarm. People have to awaken to the Truth. We have to stop sleepwalking, stop daydreaming, stop fantasizing, and stop fictionalizing. It’s time to wake up! We have to be roused from our deep pit of ignorant bliss and truly hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying. If we listen carefully, we can hear Him preparing the trumpets to blow. But isn’t God good? Before He does anything, He will always send a warning. This is love and mercy in action. He’s giving us time to repent, time to recover, time to abandon our wicked ways, and time return to Him. Glory! But soon enough, time will run out. We know He’s coming back for a people without spot, wrinkle, or blemish; we know He’s coming back for His Church. Therefore, the Church ought to be ones on guard, sounding the alarm. We, who say we know His voice, who say we have an intimate relationship with Him, we are the ones who should be as John the Baptist was, preparing the way.
In every era, God has had His people sounding an alarm. You know of them and have read about them, how they stood and proclaimed what “Thus saith the Lord” to a people who did not want to hear what they had to say and would soon as persecute or kill them than to listen to them. You know of Noah, who endured ridicule and scorn when he built an ark at God’s instruction; the ark itself being a symbol of the judgment of God being passed down upon the wickedness of the people (c.f. Genesis 6:11—8:22). And you have read about how Lot, when God pronounced judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, he tried to warn his sons-in-law of the pending doom upon them (Genesis 19:1—25). Perhaps you read where Isaiah was told to, “Cry aloud, spare not. Lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins!” (Isaiah 58:1). Surely you have read about Ezekiel’s assignment and appointment of watchman (c.f. Ezekiel 2—3). Many others in the Old Testament have sounded the alarm to warn people of God’s pending judgment. The New Testament disciples, John the Baptist, Paul, and many more, also stood sounding an alarm, even Jesus Himself. And so, the task is passed onto whosoever will accept the call.
Someone has to be that watchman, like Ezekiel, when at the word of the Lord will give warning. God has raised up some to do just that. However He does it, via whatever medium He uses, be it radio, television, paper, or word of mouth, receive it whole-heartedly and run with it. People’s lives are at stake. A good watchman is needed on the watch for a good watchman will alert the people to incoming danger, pending judgment and doom, and will show the way to salvation. I have accepted the call and am doing my part to sound the alarm. There are, however, many more slots available for the position. We are told that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. The news needs to spread throughout the four corners of the world, “JESUS IS SOON TO RETURN…BE READY!”
As a watchman for this time, we should already be sounding the alarm. God has revealed to us what He’s about to do. If one was to follow what is happening in our world today, it can be compared to what God has said in His Word. God changes not; He hates sin and it will be punished. Judgment is on the way, the sword is coming but this is the grace period. God is extending mercy so that people can repent. We have set up corrupt watchmen and they have not done their job. In His mercy, God appointed some who will obey Him and not man. This is the charge of the watchman:
“Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’ “ Ezekiel 33:2—6
So now, to those who have been appointed watchmen of the Kingdom, here is what God says,
“…so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 33: 7—9
For those who have taken up the call, sound the alarm we must. There is too much iniquity abounding. In the days of Noah, the wickedness of man was so great in the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually until that it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth. So what happened, God sent the flood and wiped them out. That’s one way of cleaning house. The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah was so great and their sin so grievous that God said, “I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” Apparently it was because in the “bargain” that God made with Abraham, if He could find ten righteous people in the land, He would spare them. But what happened? Sodom and Gomorrah was wiped out. This was another way of cleaning house.
In another instance, God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against it because its wickedness had come up before Him. Jonah refused to sound the alarm in Nineveh and instead ran from his call. You know the story, Jonah ran, God gave chase, caught up with him by way of a “great fish” that swallowed him, and for three days Jonah had time to think about his predicament. He wisely chose to do what God said to do and because of it, the people of Nineveh heard the charges against them, repented, and were saved. This is the outcome God desires from us now. He wants us to cry aloud and spare not. Someone listening will hear and their heart will be pricked and they will turn from their wicked ways and be saved. I mean, after all, that is why Jesus came. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
But perhaps the people aren’t repenting because they do not understand the sound of the alarm. So let’s go back and find out what it means to sound the alarm and what happens when you do. There were many reasons to sound the trumpets. God instructed the Israelites to sound the trumpets during various festivals. The trumpets were used for the calling of the assembly and for the journeying of the camps. However, Numbers 10:9 gives us the purpose we are looking for, “And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.” There it is! We sound an alarm because we are going to war against an enemy that is oppressing us. Surely you know we are at war even now. Put aside the war on drugs, never mind the war on terrorism, we are in a war for souls, for the harvest, for the Kingdom. Now the Bible says when we go to war and sound an alarm, then we shall be remembered by God and He will save us from our enemies. Glory to God! Who wouldn’t serve a God like that?
But now, are we sounding a distinct call? Do people understand what we’re talking about? Are we giving clear signals? See because, someone sounding the alarm can’t be in the club one day and trying to preach the next. God’s messengers cannot afford to give off mixed signals; there is too much at stake. We can only play one side, there’s no dipping and dabbing, peeping and tipping. That is not going to work in God’s Kingdom. Scripture tells us, “Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air,” 1 Corinthians 14:7—9, NIV. To ensure the correct call is sent out, speak only what God gives you to speak unto the people. Do not try to add anything of yourself or take away anything to soften the blow; give the Word as God gives it to you. Yes, sometimes that is a hard thing to do but obedience is better than sacrifice. Stand your ground and sound the alarm.
Now let’s examine what happens when we sound the alarm and shout unto the Lord. Yes, we know God remembers us and fights for us but check this out…something supernatural also takes place. OK, remember when Gideon came up against the Midianites and Amelekites? At first he started out with 32,000 men only to have the number of them reduced to a mere 300. But what happened? In short, God had given Gideon a divine plan. Here’s what took place:
Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’” Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. Judges 7:16-22
What a victory…read it for yourself. Now consider this, what actually happened at the battle of Jericho? Joshua too was given a divine strategy for defeating the enemy. In short, check out what happened.
And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. Joshua 6:4,5, 16
Notice now when the trumpets were blown and the people shouted, God gave them the victory. Miraculous things took place and God was glorified. So, on the one hand, we sound an alarm to alert people to the pending judgment coming. We want to get their attention and call them to arms. People have to be armed against the enemy coming against them because he’s out for keeps. This is an eternal battle and the stakes are high; souls are on the line. Therefore, when you hear the alarm, you know it’s time for action because judgment isn’t far behind. On the other hand, from our standpoint, when you sound the alarm and shout unto the LORD, you know that God has given you the victory. We are called into the battle but God will fight for us. From the standpoint of the other side, when the alarm is sounded and the shouts are heard, chaos and confusion ensues. The enemy doesn’t know what to make of it and will flee from you. At this point, you have opportunity to give chase, destroy, and conquer.
Either way, sound the alarm we must! This is not a time to run and hide. This is the time to stand and fight. God has ensured success and victory for all those who follow after and obey Him. The sounding of the trumpet has much more significance and is a powerful weapon in our arsenal. Let’s use it to save others and ourselves. This is just the tip of the iceberg!