New Wine for New Wineskins March 2008

By , March 10, 2008 4:36 am

It Is Time To Build (Part Six)

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.


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 (church = ekklesia = called out ones). 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!

We have been looking in this series at the need for the church to be built apostolically and prophetically.

Before we go any further let’s clarify what the apostolic-prophetic message and ministry is.    Let’s be very clear!  The LORD wants to bless you and he wants you to have access to all that HE IS and all that he has.  There are some wonderful ministries and churches around today that are dedicated to faithfully bringing that message.  Their message is inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging and is absolute truth.  And yet many who hear this message fail to appropriate and walk in the fullness of what this message promises.  Why is this?

The answer is simple – most people have never had a proper foundation laid apostolically-prophetically in their lives that would allow the fullness of God’s provision to be built upon that foundation and fulfil it’s purpose in and through them. 

Has all the positive teaching that we have received made the church stronger as it has sought to take it higher?  Sadly, the answer is, generally speaking, “No”!  The reason being that the higher a building goes on a bad foundation the weaker and more vulnerable it becomes! 

Have you ever wondered what the key is to the radical and dramatic difference between the weak western church and the church in so many other nations of the world?  Well, this is it!  One of the tragedies that I believe has been prevalent in the west is that some folks when they were first born again were willing to make a much bigger commitment than it turned out was expected of them and actually had to backslide in order to fit into church and conform to the prevailing religious system!

For many, even the blessing of God can become a curse!  Prosperity can become a snare for those who don’t have a right foundation.  It can become too much for their weak foundation and so they collapse under it!  We are blessed to be a blessing!  Plain and simple!  We cannot be a blessing as long as we retain control of our own lives and resist the call to come and submit completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

The apostolic message and ministry come to lay the foundation that is Jesus.  They bring the message of THE Apostle – the message of the New Covenant in his blood!  Jesus shared his last supper and first covenant meal with those who had come to him – to help him!  Those who had left everything to follow him and be with him and learn from him were the only ones who were in a position to hear and to understand and to receive the message of the New Covenant.  He was saying, “You have given everything up for me – now this is my body broken for you – this cup is the New Covenant in my blood – this is going to open up heaven to you!”  This was now the time to deal with Judas who had not come to help Jesus but to help himself and so he could have no part in the New Covenant!

The apostolic-prophetic message and ministry come to set things in order – to set things the right way up.  You see, before all that HE IS and has becomes yours all that you are and have must become his!  That is what it means to submit to his Lordship!  If things haven’t been working out for you and you have been tempted to think that all this talk of healing, etc must be a lot of baloney then this should help set you the right way up!

Paul said he had received the following from the LORD!

1 Corinthians 11: 23 – 32

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

We are not supposed to try and stuff as much of heaven’s provision in our pockets as we can and then bring the crumbs of our time, talent and treasure to the LORD as a token sacrifice!  That is not covenant and that is not how covenant works!  Covenant can only be truly kept by those who are willing to put their covenant partner’s interests before their own!  That is the ONLY way that covenant will work and go on working!  Take the covenant of marriage for example.  As long as a husband or wife puts their spouse’s needs, interests and welfare before their own then the covenant will remain functional, but as soon as they act selfishly their spouse suffers the consequences.

The word of God says, “Husbands love your wives” and so if you are a husband that is your covenant responsibility, that is your side of the covenant regardless of what happens.  The word of God also says, “Wives submit to (respect and reverence) your husbands” and so if you are a wife that is your covenant responsibility, that is your side of the covenant regardless of what happens!  It takes faith to believe that keeping your side of the covenant will result in you receiving the blessings and benefits of the covenant.  But we are designed to live by faith – which is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen!

When God makes a covenant it is an everlasting covenant.  As you look at the history of God’s people under the Old Covenant you see that their failure to keep their side of the covenant always resulted in their defeat and led them into bondage.  But as soon as they returned to keeping their side of the covenant the blessing that was always there and always available was restored!  Why? Because God never forgets his covenant!

It is the same as you look back over church history and the New Covenant.  As soon as the church or an individual returns to the terms of the New Covenant and submits fully to Jesus’ Lordship – hearing and doing what he says – all of the covenant blessings are restored to them in all of their glorious fullness!  The church calls this “revival” but the reality is that these blessings have been there and available all the time.  They have never been withdrawn but sadly they have not always been accessible because of a failure to understand how covenant works!

Jesus was willing to have his flesh crucified for us and so we must be willing to crucify our flesh for him if we are going to experience the benefits of what he has provided in a way that mutually satisfies and that brings about the fullness of God’s purpose and destiny for our lives – which is to be a part of the church that he is building according to his plan and his design!  We are here to be a light to the world – to stick out like a healed thumb and be a beacon of hope to the lost and the hopeless!

Remember – Jesus is THE Apostle – he is THE Prophet!  And so everywhere he went he just couldn’t stop rooting out the faulty religious system in order to build and plant!

More next time…

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