“Temple”

white and brown house

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“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye able.

For as ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you enving, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? WHO then is Paul, and WHO is Apollos, but ministers BY whom ye believed even as the Lord gave to every man?  1 Corinthians 3:1-4

GOOD MORNING! and if it is not Morning for you, then may I wish you a wonderful evening and blessed night. We are actually going to finish up with that passage in just a bit, but I wanted to stop and relay a few points, First Paul was expounding to them that it was time for him to speak with those who listened with a little more depth, things that they should be getting on a spiritual level, but they were still not quite ready.

We also deal with those that we are to minister to, sometimes a little too softly, not wanting to “choke” them with truths that can be very hard to swallow. But Paul had to enlighten them to the truths that all the envy and jealousy and one upmanship was just not going to get as behaviours for those in the Kingdom of God.

And I love the fact that he is pointing out so clearly, asking who is Apollos, even asking who, he himself was, as much as we honor them and rightfully so, they were still ministers that God had sent to led his people home.

As the old timers say ” No little “I”s and big “U”‘s and that is one thing I do very much believe is going to come out of this pandemic. Restrictions placed about and that many can no longer attend church because the church is not there to attend (Some serious symbolism in that)

So there will be none of the envy, strife, and divisions spoke of and there will be no favorite pastor, minister, preacher, or singer that helped spark those divisional fires that have helped consume the church from her original state, you can’t have one mind and one accord if there are minds present that are full of discord.

But now, the churches, like most everything else are closed and some are having “Parking Lot” and “Drive by” church which is an awesome ideal, reminiscent of the old tent revivals that we need to get back to.

People are going to be there because they want to be there not out of some weird sense of duty or family commitment but because they want the Word of God.  And Paul is saying that God has many “ministers” that God sends his Word and His offer of salvation through many different workers.

And I want you to think about something, if you are saved, you ARE sent and if you are not saved the moment you repent, you WILL BE sent, your life, your light, and above all your decision to accept Christ and proclaim, especially in this world of unbelief, your faith in God and your belief that not only is His Word true but also the truths of the life after this can, does, and will absolutely change the course of the lives of  those around you.

Back to our verses, shall we? 1 Corinthians 3: 5-16

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but GOD gave the increase.

SO then neither is he that planteth any thing , neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward for his labour.

For we are labourers (workers) together with God: Ye are God’s Husbandry (field) ye are God’s builders.

According to the grace of God which is given me as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

For another foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man’s works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by (through) fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”

Now Paul went on to set forth some warnings after that verse, but I want to use it to encourage you today.

You ARE the TEMPLE of God, your body is a CHURCH of God, when you have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of you you become the church on this earth!

How exciting is that? I know we are faced with a dreadful, dreadful time but during that time if you remember that God has a plan and purpose for you in these days. God does not make mistakes and he does nothing out of “season”  He could have chosen you to have been born hundreds of years, or even thousands of years ago, or He could have chosen to never send your soul to this earth, but He chose this time, this season for you because ye have work to do and only God knows that work that He predestined for you to accomplish for his Kingdom, BEFORE He laid the foundations of this earth.

And I want to give you those scripture also quickly, because this is meant to be heard by someone today. 

In THESE times, in THIS hour and THIS season that God has chosen for you, as bad as it all appears at the moment.

Romans: 8:28-30: ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are THE CALLED according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” 

So maybe you can’t get to a church but remember that you are the church.

And remember that God uses it all, all the bad, all that we do not understand, He will use it for the Kingdom. Let your light shine, do whatever God puts on your heart, reach out by card, letter, or phone to whoever he is bidding you to reach out to. Use this season to know Him more and deepen your relationship with him and if he leads you to, share that “meat” of his Word with others around you, we often do not want to hear the rougher stuff but we are coming down to the wire and we have much work to do.

Among all the pain and uncertainty we still have a great promise, the outpouring of God’s Spirit “upon all flesh” this began at Pentecost, but we have the promise of a great outpouring in the last days, so plant that seed, the word of God shown in love and mercy, kindness, water if that is your job, water those seeds that someone has already planted because you are one in  those action and ask God blessing on your “hands” as you work in his field, He will, he never sends us unprepared and He never send us alone.

You are His Temple, and you are His church, be it and just watch what grace, blessings, and miracles unfold!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“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 was ancient 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, which is to 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 trust them with your flock and vice versa, KNOW who you are listening to, KNOW what they believe and know how they live before 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 yourself 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!