New Wine for New Wineskins December 2007

By , November 30, 2007 1:16 pm

It Is Time To Build (Part Three)


Haggai 1: 12 – 14

12 Then … all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the LORD. 13 Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.” 14 So the LORD stirred up the spirit of … all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God.

Ephesians 2: 19 – 22

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

IT IS TIME FOR THE LORD’S HOUSE TO BE BUILT!

Acts 15: 14 – 17

14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 ‘ After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the LORD who does all these things.’

Why the Tabernacle of David?  Because it represented a heart after God!  It was a prophetic picture of the church!  God spoke through Haggai concerning his house that was in ruins because the people were more concerned with their own houses.  Their priorities were wrong and so nothing was working according to God’s plan and purpose.

Remember – God has plans to bless us and to prosper us – but it can only happen when we seek his kingdom first!

Jesus said “I will build my church!”  He said he would build it upon the rock of the revelation of his Lordship!  His house – as we saw last time – must be the foundation for our house if our house is going to remain standing when the storms come!  And they will come – it’s a promise!  We will have much tribulation in this world!  But we can be of good cheer – we can stand!  The joy of the Lord – the joy of knowing and submitting to his Lordship – is our strength!  We can declare JESUS IS LORD over every adverse circumstance and over everything that comes against us! 

Too often the building of the church has been taken out of the Lord’s hands and so his design and plan to rebuild the Tabernacle of David has ended up in ruins. 

Complex religious systems have been created in place of the simplicity of the Tabernacle of David.  These systems hinder people from having a personal relationship with God that is based upon nothing but accepting what Jesus accomplished at the Cross in all of its fullness and appropriating it by faith. 

When someone is born again they are translated from one kingdom to another – from death to life, from darkness to light, and from the world to the church. They are a brand new order of creation and so they no longer fit into the fallen world system.  They are added to the church.

Sadly, those who are genuinely born again and simply added to a religious system never  make it into the fullness of who they are in Christ and so they never fulfil their destiny as new covenant believers.  That is why so many in the church are pursuing revival instead of living in it! 

But there can never be a “revival” – or restoration of the original – that lasts, until the church has been restored to God’s original plan! The foundations must be laid apostolically-prophetically, and for this to happen much of what has been built must first of all be dismantled (good word)! The false mantle must be removed and the true mantle received.  The false yoke and burden of man-made, demonically-inspired religious systems must be removed and destroyed and the true yoke and burden of covenant relationship with Jesus restored.

Remember:

Jeremiah 1: 9 – 10

9 Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me:
“ Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

It is inevitable that some people are going to get offended during this process!  That is why Jesus said that you must be unoffendable (or at least be willing to deal with it) if you are going to be blessed in him!  Personally, I have seen literally hundreds of people miss out on the fullness of God’s blessing simply because they took offence at the prophetic word of God!

Jesus was continually rooting out, pulling down, destroying, and throwing down the old, the faulty, and the false as he preached and taught the message of the kingdom.  Those who were not offended received the miracles of the kingdom!

Jesus is rebuilding the Tabernacle of David – a church whose heart is after God!  A church that truly represents the heart of God in a fallen, broken world.

Your SECURITY is in understanding your IDENTITY!  Your identity is who you are in Christ – not your function in the church, and definitely not your title!

David knew who he was – the LORD’s anointed!  He knew that he was blessed to be a blessing! 

Remember – God never wanted a king over his people – it was the people who demanded a king!  Why? Because they wanted to be like the world!

And so, when the king they chose was small in his own eyes (truly humble) he was okay – but when he got proud and puffed up and thought he could ignore God’s prophetic word and do things his way he got into trouble and was rejected!  Do you think God accepts what is in obvious contradiction to his prophetic word today? Some would say that he does  and would make the same feeble and pathetic excuses that Saul used to try and justify his actions.  People pressure is only an issue if you think it is people who put you on the throne and if your own kingdom (or the tradition of men and allegiance to a religious system) is more important than God’s kingdom.

Even David – the king chosen by God – the man after God’s heart – got into trouble when he thought he could sit on his throne and put his feet up when IT WAS TIME to go to war!

He also got into trouble when he failed to resist satanic pressure and numbered the people (1 Chronicles 21).  It doesn’t matter how many people you have – there is as much of God’s presence, glory, and anointing present with two or three as there is with two or three thousand! 

When David received the title of ‘King’ it didn’t change him one bit!  Someone who is looking for a title is out of order!  There are no titles in the church – only functions and offices.  Apostle is not a title – it is a function! 

Remember – when those who were in distress, in debt, and the discontented began to gather around David – and when those who would become his mighty men started to come to him, he asked them (1 Chronicles 12: 17 – 18), “Have you come to help me?”

David was putting together an ‘apostolic team’.  His goal was not to build his own little kingdom – his vision was to restore God’s manifest presence to the midst of his people, and so he needed to know that he was surrounding himself with people who understood covenant!

The first thing Jesus (THE Apostle) did was put together his team.  He called men and they left everything to follow him.  He didn’t coerce, threaten, or bribe anyone.  Why do you need a team?  Because Together Everyone Achieves More!  Jesus called a group of men into whom he could pour the message and know that they would faithfully maintain the integrity of the message as they poured it into the lives of others!

Remember – apostolic ministry is ground-breaking, foundation-laying ministry.

You must have disciples.  Disciples are those who willingly submit to the teaching of the discipler.  David said, “Have you come to help me?”  Jesus said, “Are you going to quit as well?”  Paul – in that excellent model of apostolic ministry in Acts 19 – withdrew the disciples from the synagogue and moved them to another place in order to train them up in an atmosphere that was free from dissent and criticism.

Jesus did not tell us to merely make converts – he very clearly and unequivocally stated that we were to make disciples!  Converts will slip off into their factions according to their particular taste or personal opinions, and many will say that we should celebrate such diversity – but the apostolic message and anointing attacks that weak, soulish mixture and roots out, casts down, destroys,and throws down everything that is a hindrance to the building of the church according to the original design!

Make no mistake – God is so secure in who he is that he always gives us a choice regarding whether we want to be in covenant with him or not.  He never demands anything from us!  He allows us the right to choose whether we want to be his disciples or not.  But if we say we want to be his disciples then we must be prepared to be taught his way. It is all or nothing!

If people are not teachable – if they don’t recognise the words of eternal life – they can never be a functioning part of the apostolically-built church – the church that Jesus is building.

Acts 2: 42  church is PLAN ‘A” – and there is no PLAN ‘B’!

Apostle’s doctrine – the message that is Jesus in all of his glorious fullness in salvation, healing, and deliverance.

Fellowship – in the light, in the revelation of Jesus Christ, in the LIFE that is the light – no room for debate and argument.

Breaking of bread
– established in the fullness of covenant provision – strong, healthy, and living life to the full – not weak, sick, and dying prematurely!

Prayer – powerful because there is agreement.  Fervent, fired-up, red-hot, believing, loud, bold prayers of faith.  Praise manifests in new songs of proclamation and declaration!

Acts 19 – the foundations laid at the the church in Ephesus is a perfect model of how the church is built apostolically.  The Tabernacle of David was different because there were no hindrances to fellowship and worship.  At the same time everyone was aware of what had happened when they had tried to bring back the Ark of the Covenant the wrong way – when they had employed a new method borrowed from the world instead of God’s prescribed way.  The people were celebrating God’s presence in their midst but they were also aware that there was a standard that had been raised!

In Ephesus all hindrances to teaching, fellowship, and worship were removed when Paul relocated the disciples – he couldn’t allow the church to become a debating society or borrow a new method of democracy from the world.  But everyone was aware that the standard had been raised when some folks thought they could simply parrot Paul’s words and expect to see the same results (the sons of Sceva).  That mess will always be prevailed against.  Those who believed in Ephesus responded to the apostolic message by surrendering everything and submitting completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and so the word of God grew mightily and prevailed!  And so Jesus built his church in that city and the surrounding region – locally, regionally, cross-culturally, and internationally – just like he said he would!  The same holds true today! 

More next time…

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