New Wine for New Wineskins January 2008

By , January 2, 2008 5:23 pm

It Is Time To Build (Part Four)

 

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!

1 Timothy 3: 14 – 15

14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to
conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living
God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Jesus said, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH!” The church is the house of God – it is God’s address. People looking for God should be able to find him
in church! Jesus said that when the church comes together in his name – under his Lordship – he would be there!

When the church is built according to his design – apostolically-prophetically – it will fulfil its purpose. Sadly, 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 that provision by faith. As we saw previously one of the reasons that the church has failed to come up to its full stature is that churches are traditionally built pastorally rather than apostolically-prophetically. In Ephesians 4 it is clearly stated that Jesus gave gifts to the church of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers in order to bring the church to its full stature and to the unity of faith. Churches that are built apostolically-prophetically will have apostolically trained evangelists, pastors and teachers who are grounded in the fullness of truth.

Remember when Philip the evangelist was in Samaria. Many people were saved there but he didn’t just appoint a Pastor to lead the church  –
he called in the apostles so that they could establish God’s order.

God is rebuilding the Tabernacle of David because it represents the simplicity of a heart after God.

Remember – the apostolic-prophetic anointing comes to root out, cast down, destroy, and throw down before the building and planting takes
place.

Before the Tabernacle of David could be built Saul’s reign had to end. Saul had never sought to brink back God’s presence to the midst of God’s
people but this was David’s vision and passion – to see God’s manifest presence restored!

Saul’s reign represents the religious system. It is all about maintaining the status quo through control – domination, intimidation, and manipulation. It always takes more than it gives. God said about Saul’s reign.

1 Samuel 8: 9 – 18

9 “Now … you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior
of the king who will reign over them…10 …“This will be the behavior
of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons… 13 He
will take your daughters…14 And he will take the best of your fields,
your vineyards, and your olive groves…15 He will take a tenth of your
grain and your vintage…16 And he will take your male servants, your
female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys…17 He will
take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you
will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for
yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”

David’s reign however represents God’s heart and a heart relationship with God – and the result of God’s manifest presence being in the midst
of God’s people. This is all about freedom and liberty, and it always gives more than it takes.

1 Chronicles 29: 1 –  9

1 Furthermore King David said to all the assembly… 2 …for the house
of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made
of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron
for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones,
stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of
precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. 3 Moreover, because I
have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house
of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,
my own special treasure of gold and silver: 4 three thousand talents of
gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined
silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; 5 the gold for things of
gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to
be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate
himself this day to the LORD?” 6 Then the leaders of the fathers’
houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and
of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly.
7 They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and
ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen
thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. 8
And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house
of the LORD…9 Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered
willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the
LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly.

God is looking for a people who will say, “IT IS TIME for the Lord’s house to be built” and who will give willingly!

The religious system demands – but God’s heart always invites! God always gives us the right to choose!

The religious system must come down and all of its negative effects must be rooted out before hearts are truly free to pursue God and to experience his manifest presence.

Because Saul had no desire to have God’s manifest presence there came a time when he thought he could also ignore God’s prophetic word.

The religious system allows for sheep that shouldn’t be there in the camp (1 Samuel 15). Sheep that are supposed to be dead meat but are still alive – still living according to the flesh. When that which is supposed to be dead has been allowed to live it is because the system has rejected the word of the Lord and has chosen to try and keep the best of what is supposed to destroyed alive!

For example, the introduction of infant baptism as a means of adding to the church multitudes of individuals who were not born again and
consequently not dead to sin has greatly weakened the church by giving a place to sinners in the church and blurring the lines between the church
and the world. The same arguments could be given to try and justify this practice as were given by Saul to Samuel, but Samuel’s answer to Saul
still applies!

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…”

When God says, “Repent and be baptised” he means what he says. He is not saying that they should be be baptised and possibly repent later on somewhere down the road – but if you don’t that’s okay because at least my church will look good numbers-wise because of all the people that think they belong there and think that they should have a say in its affairs even though they don’t and shouldn’t.
.
What did Samuel say next?

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft

Hang on to your seats a moment – you will either be offended or enlightened by this next statement! When you take a baby and sprinkle it – speaking words over it that imply that this child has now been added to the church you are actually performing a witchcraft initiation ceremony that is declaring over this child that it now belongs to and is the property of the system.

If you find that hard to swallow observe how difficult it can be for many people who are born again and Spirit-filled to leave the system into which they were initiated – particularly if there are still strong family connections to that system!

Agag – a demon king was still alive in the camp and so his sheep were bleating! Our house is surrounded by sheep but you rarely hear them bleat unless something is disturbing them and they don’t like it! Remember – the apostolic-prophetic anointing comes to disturb the comfortable and to comfort the disturbed! You will find out whose sheep are present when the prophetic word is coming forth! The sheep of a demon king will start bleating (speaking or complaining in a weak, whining, or foolish way). Only the sheep who have come through the door (Jesus – repentance is the way out and faith is the way in) into the sheepfold (the church) have a right to be there.

Jesus’ sheep hear his voice and they follow him! They hear him say, “Take up your cross and follow me – die to self and to sin, crucify the flesh with all of its destructive passions and desires” and they say  “Y – E – E – E – S” – plain and simple – no prolonged bleating, complaining, and whining! Have you ever been to a slaughterhouse and heard the noise of the animals as they sense what is about to happen to them? They don’t want to die! The flesh never wants to die!

1 Samuel 15: 9

9 …Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the
oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling
to utterly destroy them.

Just like Saul whatever the religious system refuses to destroy will eventually destroy the system. Churches become weak and ineffective when they become top-heavy with uncrucified flesh!

There were good people in the system represented by Saul. For example, Saul’s son Jonathan. He entered into covenant with David and assisted him on several occasions – but ultimately his allegiance to his father resulted in him also being killed .

The fact that there were good people in the system didn’t make the system good. We are deceived sometimes into thinking that the system is
good just because there are good people in it. No! The system must come down so that the good people can at last be free to live life as God
intends it to be lived – in all of its glorious fullness and in his manifest presence where he alone is King!

More next time…

 

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy