New Wine for New Wineskins June 2021

By , June 1, 2021 6:48 am

Give Him Five (Part 3)

In the previous two parts of this series I have referred to the prophetic word I received last year in regard to the response of government to the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictions that were placed upon the gathering of the church as a result.

This ain’t no lockdown. This is a siege. It began with a backdown and it will end in a shakedown if there is no showdown.

A siege a military operation in which enemy forces surround a city, town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside.

Hebrews 10: 23 – 25 (AMP)

23 Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; 24 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ¿s return] approaching.

I titled this new series “Give Him Five” because it is our responsibility to host the Lord’s presence in his church in accordance with his directions as we come together to give him thanks and release our praise to him and to receive instruction and direction from him through the five-fold ministry.

Something unique and entirely supernatural takes place when we gather together for worship and instruction, something that I believe cannot be fully replicated in any other format.

Matthew 18: 19 – 20

19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

It is interesting that as a result of an action brought by a group of church leaders from various backgrounds, the Court of Session has just ruled that the decision by the Scottish government to close churches in Scotland as a result of the coronavirus outbreak was unlawful, unconstitutional, and disproportionate.

Why is it vital that we gather together as believers for worship and instruction? The answer is simply because the word of God says that is how we are to do it.

Acts 2: 42, 46

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers….46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.

Hebrews 11: 25

25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction]

Give him five. Give him a high five and say I don’t go low, I go high.

Remember Deborah.

Judges 5: 12

12 Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak, and lead your captives away, O son of Abinoam!

Awake and arise. I don’t go low, I go high.

Ephesians 5: 13 – 17

13 But all things that are exposed [reproved] are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. 15 See then that you walk circumspectly [carefully], not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Paul said,  Awake you who sleep. Arise from the dead and Christ will give you light.

Where is our righteous roar? It’s time for the church to wake up. We don’t do lockdown. We don’t go low, we go high.

Psalm 103: 1 – 5 (NLT)

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

2 Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.

4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

When we don’t bless the LORD with all that is within us we can begin to forget the benefits. Something supernatural happens when we praise the LORD, and even more so when we gather together to praise him.

Give him five. Give him a high five, and say I don’t go low, I go high.

Remember when David the worshipper – the man about whom the LORD himself testified that he was a man after God’s own heart – wanted to bring the Ark of God’s presence back to the midst of God’s people where it belonged.

You can read the account in 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 13 – 16.

Under the previous regime of the backslidden King Saul the restoration of God’s presence wasn’t a priority. But David was different – he knew that the presence and glory of God were like oxygen to his people.

And so David went with thirty thousand of his best men to bring back the ark. They set it on a new cart with two men called Uzzah and Ahio as the drivers, and David and the rest played music before the Lord on all kinds of stringed instruments, tambourines, and cymbals. However, when they came to a certain place on the journey the oxen stumbled and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the ark.

2 Samuel 6: 7

7 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.

All of a sudden the party was over and David became angry because of what the LORD had done to Uzzah.

2 Samuel 6: 9 – 11

9 David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, How can the ark of the Lord come to me? 10 So David would not move the ark of the Lord with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months. And the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household.

There was nothing wrong with a cart in and of itself. After all, the invention of the wheel had revolutionised life for early man and still continues to do so. The truth is that carts pulled by oxen were actually permitted to carry some of the parts of the tabernacle but the holy things had to be carried only on the shoulders of the priests.

When God designed the ark of the covenant – the ark of testimony – he didn’t design it to be carried on a cart, he designed it to be carried on the shoulders of men. There were two poles so that the ark could be carried without being touched, because anyone who touched it would die. A cart could be used for the other items that made up the tabernacle but not the ark where God manifested his presence.

I have heard much over the past year concerning a church reset and moving to more of an online community and employing new technology to move the church into the 21st century and beyond. Computer technology is undoubtedly a wonderful tool and it has certainly revolutionised communication in our generation. It can be employed to carry and to transport the furniture and the extras. You can transport the equipment – the teaching etc, but I believe the LORD has kept something back, that he has kept something special and holy and sacred.

When it comes to supposedly new expressions of church some things are sacrosanct and regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with, they are sacred, hallowed, respected, inviolable, inviolate, unimpeachable, invulnerable, and untouchable.

New technology and the internet, etc have revolutionised communication and have made so much possible in regards to transferring information and facilitating the online meeting together of church folks from all over the world, but it is online and that is not the way that the LORD designed and instructed the church to gather together.

When David followed through on his heart’s desire to restore the ark – the manifest presence of God – to the midst of God¿s people, he thought it was okay to put it on a new cart and transport it, but a man died in the process.

Those who see technology as the way forward are blind to the fact that while you can transport information, etc via the new technology available to us the new cart doesn’t carry the manifest presence of God and many of God’s people could die as a result.

The manifest presence and glory of God that accompanies his presence is the focus of the physical gathering together of the Body of Christ – his presence is the focus of our worship and the source of our instruction, and it is the supernatural confirmer of our ministry.

Paul wrote letters to the church as his means of communication while absent physically. However, he said that he longed to visit with them so that he could impart some spiritual gift to them. He recognised that wasn’t possible through the means of communication that he was employing from a distance.

When it comes to “new things” there are some parts of the supposedly old that are sacrosanct and not up for replacement.

The ark was designed only to be carried on the shoulders of the priests and if David had taken time to seek the LORD he would have discovered that. It wasn’t a mystery or a hidden truth.

1 Samuel 15: 1 – 3, 11 – 16, 25 – 29

1 David built houses for himself in the City of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. 2 Then David said, ¿No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever.¿ 3 And David gathered all Israel together at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it….11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites: for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 12 He said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers¿ houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. 13 For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.”

14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. 15 And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.

16 Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy….25 So David, the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-Edom with joy. 26 And so it was, when God helped the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that they offered seven bulls and seven rams. 27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who bore the ark, the singers, and Chenaniah the music master with the singers. David also wore a linen ephod. 28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn, with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps.

29 And it happened, as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the City of David, that Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David whirling and playing music; and she despised him in her heart.

Why did the ark have to be carried on poles on the shoulders of the priests? Again the answer is simply because that is the way that God said it was to be done. When God says to do something a certain way it will always be because he knows that is the best way.

Give him five. Give him a high five and say I don’t go low, I go high.

When it comes to the gathering of the church around God’s presence and glory there is no allowance for any new way of doing things as the blueprint is already clearly laid out.

Over the past year there are many who have no doubt found greater success numerically and financially – and all their success has been minus a lot of the hassle associated with regular church gatherings – by employing the new method, and so they may be reluctant to part with it. They may be upset or even angry that their new method doesn’t actually meet with heaven’s approval because it isn’t God’s way.

When David got over his being upset with the LORD over the death of one of his men and finally sought the LORD on the right way of doing things the dancing was restored, and the rave was restarted, and the manifest presence of God was made accessible to all of God’s people once again.

The raving may not have met with the approval of everyone – including David’s wife – but when the manifest presence of God shows up in the midst of God¿s people everything else pales into insignificance.

This is the year of the local church and so it is time to restore the manifest presence and glory of God to the heart of every community so that everything that he is and everything that he has is freely accessible to all.

We can’t be the ekklesia online and you can’t corporately praise the Lord on zoom. It just doesn’t work and is all over the place because of latency issues caused by everyone having different broadband speeds, etc.

Ephesians 5: 18 – 20

18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3: 16

1 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Give him five. Give him a high five and say I don’t go low, I go high.

Very interestingly, the judge at the Scottish Court of Session also ruled that online platforms provided an alternative to, but did not constitute, worship.

Hebrews 11: 25

25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction]

Why? Because that is how the word of God says to do it.

Give him five. Give him a high five and say I don’t go low, I go high.

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