“Keeping it Holy”

“And the glory of the Lord came into the house (the temple) by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward (which faces) the east. So the Spirit took (lifted) me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” Ezekiel 43:4,5

I want to stop there for a second, most of this post will be from the Book of Ezekiel and it will be kinda dealing with the glory of the Lord but it will be mainly dealing with what stands BETWEEN us the “church” as a whole, NOT one particular church or group or denomination, but the entire innumerable group of believers who will make up the Bride of Christ.

So please don’t take it as attacking anyone or ANY church. I think sometimes people take my writing the wrong way and mistakenly believe it is referring to their church or them but that is NOT the case. It is in reference to the “Bride of Christ” and what must be done as she is prepared to meet her King. Now that that is out of the way, Onward shall we?

The reason I wanted to stop there is to point out a couple of things before we get into the  what God told Ezekiel. If you notice the gate, and this is truly a gate but also keep in mind the spiritual “gate” for Isaiah 60:18a: “…thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”

And when we notice that the translators of the Bible capitalized Praise, that tells us that this is a special usage, it is the name that what is to be used to get you through that gate. That is the moment when the Spirit took him, lifted him, up and revealed the manifested Glory of God to him, and we are no different.

We are never just going to walk into that glory, we are never going to just find ourselves in the midst of the Holy presence of the living God without acknowledging who He is and what he requires, Which now gets us to the flip side of the post and as you read it, remember we compare Israel to us, the church is but an ingrafted branch and Israel is our spiritual “motherland”, so what applied to her does indeed apply to us.

Picking it back up, Ezekiel 43:6-10:”And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house (temple); and the man stood by me.

And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, the place where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom (spiritual idolatry), nor by the carcases of their kings in  their high places.

In the setting of their threshold by thresholds and their post by posts, and (with only) the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.

Now let them put away (STOP IT) their whoredom (idolatry), and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of the for ever

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.”

Basically what he is saying is that humans have intermingled their own “temples” setting up “houses” built of the wicked carnal imaginations of their own hearts and minds and self-will and the spiritual idolatry of their kings and they have purposely “set” these abominations next to the holy “buildings” of the Lord as he said, which only a wall separating the truth from the lie and the true holiest from detestable sacrilege.

This is was Israel’s problem, among the many warnings that God sent down to them, And this is now “our” problem and as we continue to ignore warnings and more warnings and continue to let the devil set up his counterfeit teachings beside the true teachings of God and even falsely under the name of God, just as God said that they not of him. This is what he told Ezekiel to show them.

Ezekiel 43:11: ” And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew (make known to them) the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in therefore, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”  What God is saying here is that once Ezekiel puts all these things out to them that IF they will repent and consider all the issues that he points out and stop it, then his ways will be revealed to them. But not as long as they are allowing paganism and false doctrine to “set up” housekeeping next to his house.

Remember as believers we are temples of the Lord, so this can apply allowing thoughts, attitudes, and sins, inside of us and still expect God to dwell with us.

And for the bigger picture- the church, and what is going on now and has been and unfortunately will be until the reign of Christ on earth is THIS as God described it for Ezekiel, and he is referring to allowing sin and unholiness into his house and even more so allowing those who have never even committed to Jesus or even repented (referred to an uncircumcised in heart) to hold office and do service in the house of God.

God expects holiness, he expects sanctification, and everyone is and should be welcome at his house BUT to work in his house, perform in house, and especially stand behind his pulpit requires consecration to the Lord because those areas ARE holy ground and by allowing  what should not be, those “posts’ that God referenced earlier get set up in the house, side by side with his true teaching and the purpose of it is to confuse those whom God wishes to save.

It is hard to convince a person that they need to repent when others are teaching that there is no such thing, that “we just go to heaven when we die” and that is just no so. You have to have the Son.

Ezekiel 44:5-8 :”And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well (take note) and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears( pay attention to) all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof and mark well the entering in of the house (who may enter the temple), with every going forth of the sanctuary (and all who go out).

And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all (let us have NO MORE of) your abominations.

In that ye have BROUGHT into my sanctuary strangers (foreign to God), uncircumcised in heart (unrepentant), and uncircumcised in flesh (spiritually this would be still living carnally), to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, where ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they broken my covenant BECAUSE of YOUR abominations.

And ye have NOT kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have SET keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for YOURSELVES.”  

And this is clearly what he is referring to, those things and people that are set up as his ministers and servants in his house that are not even dedicated much less consecrated to him. His word tells us that he sets up the church as he desires and gives charge, the job, as he wills and he is telling us here that his wishes are being completely ignored so man can set up his own agenda with his own workers.

And God will NOT give his glory unto another and he will not bless what is not his and he will not allow his house to be profaned and this is why his glory will depart from those houses.

So be very careful and do as the Bible says KNOW them that labour among you, KNOW them, know their life and more importantly their relationship with God and the foundation of that relationship with him before you turn them loose with your flock and vice versa, KNOW who you are listening to, KNOW what they believe and know how they live before you turn the loose by trusting them with your soul.

Believe it or not when you are guided by another and you listen to them and their preaching and take their advice you are trusting them with your soul, which is why you have to have your own relationship with God and know his word for yourselves because if it sounds too good to be true it is and right now society can’t leave well enough alone.

They don’t want to just say that they do not belong to God, instead they want to lay claim to the promise but yet not repent or follow his rules because yes, there are rules to live for God and as he said without holiness no man shall see him. And that is that, that is his requirement and he loves us and he does make it easy and he does welcome everyone but NO ONE will insult or make light of or profane his Holiness without facing the consequence.

So keep it in mind, and keep it real, and above do everything in your power to keep making sure that those that influence you and your life and those who you may even have to answer for (such as those in ministry) are the real deal and they are keepin’ it holy, you may become less popular and be hated and called intolerant but when it all comes down in the end we all still only answer for us and we still will ultimately only answer to him.

Love & peace till next time!

Phlogizo/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2019

I love this song and yesterday I happened up on this performance and if you have never saw this please take a moment to watch it. Incredibly anointed!

 

 

“Unbinding the Feet”

“How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7

So much is said in scripture about the “feet” and we know that this means not only the feet of the Body of Christ, as we are taught through these verses:

1st Corinthians 12:14-27: “For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; Is is not therefore of the body?

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; Is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing (how could it hear)? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling (how would it smell)?

But now, God hath set the members, every of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body (where would the body be)?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head unto the feet, I have no need of you. 

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble (weak) are necessary.

And those members of the body, which we think are to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour: and our uncomely (unpresentable) parts have more abundant comeliness (modesty).

For our comely (presentable) parts have no need: but God hath tempered(composed) the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

That there should be no schism (division) in the body: but that the members should have the same care one for another. 

And whether (if) one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually). ”

There are many other mentions of the “feet” and so many beautiful scriptures concerning those, like Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her tears.

Jesus washing the disciples feet, much to the horror of Peter, he was viewing it carnally, his feet covered with dust and I am sure showing the years of wear of much walking and hard work, and he was embarrassed and downright horrified for Jesus to touch his feet.

Because again we try to “beautify” those things we consider “ugly” and try to twist those features into what is more “attractive” and more appealing. And this also happens spiritually. 

Broken, crippled feet are not going to be capable carrying the Gospel anywhere.

I am reminded of the stories of the now pretty much non-existent practice of foot binding.

So truly gruesome and disturbing, and yet somehow so perfect an explanation, such a mirror to exactly what many face spiritually.

First, this begins at a very early age, you could compare that to being a new convert, or you could compare it to be new in ministry, learning your calling.

But the feet are oiled and made as comfortable as possible, (some symbolism to be found there also) and once this has been accomplished, the toes one by one are literally broken and pushed sideways toward the middle of the foot, then the foot is also broken leaving only the big toe and the heel unbroken.

The feet are then bandaged tightly, ensuring all the broken bones are in their “correct” place to be reshaped.

Imagine the level of excruciating pain, even one toe, just being “stumped” or the pain of stepping on something sharp, imagine nine toes broken and both feet broken in the middle.

Also reminiscent of the verse that they “hurt his feet in fetters” referring to the enslavement of Joseph and the nails that were drove through the feet of Jesus. Spiritual feet are quite the same.

And this process, like the binding of spiritual feet is a long process, the feet being unwrapped, the bones re-broken, and wrapped again, even tighter and some trying to alleviate the pain would sneak and loosen the binding at the toes and when caught doing this, those performing the binding would quickly sew up the binding so that they had no way to loosen any part of these bindings.

And the entire “process” was for the purpose of making the “feet” more beautiful, more “acceptable” and to “conform” to the ideas of the time.

The shape of the foot was desired to resemble a lotus blossom, not ironically dedicated to pagan Buddhism.

What I can derive is that it started with concubines to the King and his twisted desire for a certain dance and suddenly, without these misshapen feet women were considered “less desirable” for marriage and so basically, if you wanted to fit in, be treated well, you allowed yourself to be subjected to this.

Sounds like ashes and thorns to me.  Each time the feet were unbound, re-broken, re-bandaged, while fluid and blood leaked out.

This was done in the name of “beauty”, sound beautiful to you? Ever feel like that in your Christian walk? 

You will be oiled, you will be comforted, you will be given beyond and above all you need providing that you keep those big ol’ feet  bound and conforming to the image of those that are acceptable.

And sure you eventually get past some of the pain and learn to walk, very slowly, not making any real strides, only the desired limited movement, but hey, you are still accepted.

“Feet” that were created to “run swiftly” bearing messages. “Feet” that were meant to “leap” as hinds feet converging on impossible mountains, “carrying” to those in the deep trenches the Gospel of freedom and deliverance.

And “feet” that were meant to “dance” for joy along side those that rejoice and as so many of the ladies whose natural feet were bound, those whose spiritual feet have been bound, find later that not only are they unable to leap, dance, much less run, they have now became absolutely crippled.

Good news/bad news, “Feet” can be unbound, but as with bringing back blood flow to anything that has been starved, it is going to hurt and it is going to hurt bad.

First you have to accept that they are your “feet” (take spiritually) and use this as a comfort verse, knowing that your calling, and your gift is what God wants you to have, whether that looks unattractive or unacceptable to anyone else, should be of no matter because we answer to God.

1st Corinthians 12;11,13 : “But ALL these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) AS HE WILL

For by ONE SPIRIT we are ALL baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have ALL been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

Understanding that gives us the courage and boldness to undertake that painful unbinding, and if someone only accepts part of you, or makes you feel that you belong… if you forfeit the very part of you that identifies you in Christ, then it is time to rethink those relationships and the price of those bound feet, they make look pretty fitting in to their delicate little shoes but underneath those wrappings is rot and decay and decay and infection that could one day end up in the blood.

Sometimes the feet will heal, they will always be scarred and much more will be involved as the undergo the “restoration” process but once you realized that you are being crippled, you can either continue to allow that process or you can take off those bandages, deal with patching up the wounds and maybe in time learn to walk again. In the physical binding reversal can takes years and as far as spiritually, we know Jesus heals all of our spiritual wounds, as in our armor. 

Ephesians 6:15: And your feet shod with the preparation of Gospel of peace.

We are Jesus’ children, daughters, and we make up the Bride of the Lamb.

And Jesus has some shoes of His choosing that He’d like His children to wear.

Song of Solomon 7:1a: “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O Princes daughter!…”

Psalm 45:13-15: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold (symbolic of the Word of God).

She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework (robes of many colors): the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

With gladness and rejoicing  SHALL THEY BE BROUGHT: they shall be brought into the king’s palace.

Jesus Christ, our King, our King who does not hurt us and only binds our wounds, not our “feet”.

Our “feet”that He has freed from snares, traps, and pits from the enemy. And we are taught that where His Spirit is there is freedom, so don’t let anyone or anything bind you and the calling He has placed on your life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Broken Body

I was actually going through some old posts in search of one I wanted to repost. And I found this which gets into the new one I plan to do concerning the gifts and callings. This one is a couple of years old but I hope it starts a “stirring” in our thoughts.

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are ONE body: SO ALSO IS CHRIST. For by ONE spirit are we ALL baptized into ONE BODY, Whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have ALL been made to drink into ONE spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were  (where would be)the hearing?

If the whole body were hearing, where were (where would be) the smelling (sense of smell)?

But NOW GOD hath set the members every one in the body, AS IT HATH PLEASED HIM.

And if they were all one member, where were (where would be)the body?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: Nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble (weak), are necessary.

And those members of the body, WE THINK to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour, and our uncomely ( unpresentable) have more abundant comeliness (modesty).

For our comely (presentable) parts have no need: but God hath tempered (composed) the body together, having given more abundant honour that part which lacked: that there SHOULD BE NO schism (DIVISION) in the body: BUT THAT THE MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CARE ONE FOR ANOTHER. 

And WHEN ONE MEMBER SUFFER, ALL THE MEMBERS SUFFER WITH IT: OR ONE MEMBER BE HONOURED, ALL THE MEMBERS REJOICE WITH IT. Now YE ARE the BODY OF CHRIST, and members in particular (individually).” 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27

Not too terribly hard to figure out that he is referring to the body of believers, the followers of Christ. You know the ones he told us to not forsake the assembling together with. But this body is having health issues, and bad.

I heard a sermon the other night, that I loved, I enjoy hearing this particular person and have complete trust in them and usually go away feeling refreshed, revived, and ready to take on the rest of the week.

But this night I was troubled. I was troubled because I knew everything he said was perfectly right. I know you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. And I really don’t know what is wrong with us, any of us.

We are the body but there is so much broken in the body because, one as Paul pointed out we tend to believe that we just don’t need each other. And when one “part” of the body is wounded ALL the body suffers whether they know it or not.

No matter what great vision that the eyes see or what a wonderful word the ears hear if the feet are maimed and crippled it is hard to run with those messages.

Once we are adopted into Christ whether we know or even like it, we are still one and we need to care about each other and help the eyes when they become irritated, check the ears when they become muffled and care for, and strengthened the hands and feet and all the other parts that are unseen.

We become crippled, deaf, and maimed and no one sees, no one notices, because no one wants responsibility for body.

I had a friend from another church years ago, and hadn’t talked with them in a very long time, but a few years back I started just keeping them on my heart and I prayed and I prayed, their number had been changed and I would ask other people when I got a chance, how they were and no one knew, no one had talked to them. So a few weeks ago, I though AHA, social media, I’ll check Facebook and I found a page, and it was disturbing because the last post was from 2014 and the content of the page gave no hint at Christianity, actually quite the opposite.

So I checked obituaries for their area, and sure enough, the obituary was there. I do not know what happened, they died at a medical center, it mentioned nothing about church or their faith only the duel ministers that was to perform the service.

I pray to God that in whatever happened that there was enough time to get their heart and soul back to God, but I know God is merciful and I do believe in death-bed repentance.

I would not bet my soul on living life ignoring God’s voice with the thought of repenting in the nick of time because that is dangerous and has prior thought, but I do believe if we have messed up or just never got saved that it can be done.

But still I wonder what happened? How did it happen? Not the death but the backsliding, There had to be people who saw, who knew and knew what was happening to this person. Maybe they tried, maybe they couldn’t get through. But the biggest question I have is did anyone try?

Remember the observations in these posts are multi-church examples noticed over a period of years and comments people have made to me personally about the subject of “Why?” concerning all the problems listed.

So it does not mean I am talking about a specific place, but there have been so many hurting people and hospitalized people, and people with dying loved ones that have questioned why they were NEVER visited by anyone from their church family or in some cases their pastors. And not even phone calls, and no one is too busy to pick up a phone and check on another person that you know is sick or struggling.

It means something to people when others take time to visit them, check on them, or just listen and when it is not there, they lose faith, they lose faith in church, and their church families and we never want them to lose faith in God, but it is in these times of sickness and weakness that the enemy attacks and it does affect the entire body of Christ, even though we may not feel the pain at first, it will be like an infection left untreated it will spread to the rest of the body.

It is up to us, ALL of us to share the job of taking care of the body of Christ. you don’t even have to attend the same church with a person to help them in these needs because churches have nothing to do with it, still ONE body.

Such an indifference has taken over and along with it, the other “watch for” problem is three-ring circuses, attitudes, and things being allowed to come in and go on that should never be allowed in the House of God.

The refusal to acknowledge and deal with these problems for fear of losing members is another big, big hindrance to the worship of God and the work of God, and the furthering of His Kingdom.

The Holy spirit is precious, we need Him but He will not be part of strife, anger, and gossip. There is an ample supply of that some places to at the point and knowing that God wants to move but it is like when He “could not” do miracles with His own people, and when He put out all the naysayers when he resurrected Jarius’ daughter.

He CAN DO whatever He wants, He just WILL NOT work in gossip, back-biting, and nay saying, and he detests division in the family. This is why we are to not grieve the Holy Spirit, but to be in one mind, and one accord, one purpose and one thought which is on Him.

Satan loves the game of divide and conquer, he tried in out in heaven and he successfully tore apart the family in heaven taking a third of his angelic brethren with him and  he has nearly perfected it on earth and he still plays the same old game with the church family.

There has to be order and problems need addressed correctly openly and honestly with all parties involved present and not with this one said, that one said and this one thought,  there is no healing in that.

We need each other and we need to be there for each other:

ECCLESIASTES 4:9,10, & 12:” Two ARE BETTER than one: because they have a good reward for their labour. For IF THEY FALL, THE ONE WILL LIFT UP HIS FELLOW (COMPANION):

BUT WOE TO HIM THAT IS ALONE WHEN HE FALLETH; FOR HE HATH NOT ANOTHER TO HELP HIM UP. AND IF ONE PREVAIL AGAINST HIM, TWO SHALL WITHSTAND HIM; AND A THREEFOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN.”

One can’t fight off much alone, but two have double the shot, and better yet three, makes a much more secure line that the enemy will have to try to get through.

As Jesus said we are to love our neighbors AS ourselves and that means doing for others as we would want done for us.

We are commanded to do good to ALL men but especially those of the household of the Lord and to prefer others over ourselves, knowing that  it is God who will lift us up in our time of need.

So please don’t be so sure the person sitting there crying through a service will be just fine, don’t ever make the mistake of convincing yourself that God will send someone to help them ( your already there) never be so convinced of what you see is really what you think it is, no one knows the life, heart and mind of another except God and they could be struggling with things that you can not even fathom. Don’t think the body will heal itself from the inside out, it needs the Great Physician, it needs the Balm of Gilead, and most of all it needs someone, all of us, to admit that it needs help.

Φλογίζω-Σαλπιζω  NB 2016