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"If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen instead" 
CS Lewis

 Section Two 

PART TWO

Called To Rebuild His Temple (The Church)

God has called us to return and rebuild His temple (the Church).  He has called us to establish the sure foundation of real relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  His people must return to His ways: love, faith, nobility, and honor.  He has called us to raise up people in which He may manifest His life to all mankind. We are commissioned to present Him a Church saturated with His presence, full of power and the Spirit.  We are called to erect a temple that has the capacity to house Him.  We are called to present to Him a people that love Him and are true to Him above all others. Let us return the Church to the place where it has a true covering - the character of the “Most High” -“Holiness”.

Reset The Altar Of God

We have been sent to re-establish the altar of God in His Church. Until now much of the Church refuses to do anything that requires true sacrifice.  We had rather pay others.  We refuse to become personally accountable for our spiritual inactivity.  The sacrifice God calls for is the giving of ourselves in daily worship (in spirit and truth).  It is prayer.  It is brokenness.  It is selfless giving, being spent serving humanity.  It must be our fervent mission to reset the altar of God and lead His people once again into making the daily sacrifice of self.  This must not be the sacrifice of ritual legalism.  We are talking about the willing spiritual sacrifice of people in love with their God.

remove the rubble

We are called to remove the rubble, the debris caused by the enemy of God.  The pain and insecurity of past breeches, treachery, and disappointments that neutralize His Church.  When the enemy discourages us, he weakens our hands in the work.. We are called to revive the stones from the rubbish heap so they can be reused in the wall.  We must become personally involved in the restoration of God’s wounded.  We are called to build a wall that will protect, and shelter His people.

RESET THE GATES AND REBUILD THE WALLS

Like Nehemiah, we are called to reset the gates and rebuild the walls of “Spiritual Jerusalem”.  Unfortunately, most of the Church is accustomed to being coddled and patronized.  They have a free, unrestrained hand to do whatever they want.  However, we are called to restore the order of God to the traffic in His City.  We are called set gates so the people will know the way to come in and to go out.  The Gates of New Jerusalem each have specific purpose are set in the body to bring order.  There is a way to come in and to go out.  There is a way for God's people to conduct themselves that's right and pure and true.  Leadership must arrest the constant flow of wickedness through His church.  This alone will stop the enemy's hand from being able to reach into our nest and take out our eggs.

The Cry of The RemnanT

God is raising up reformers, people to change things. Nehemiah had a cushy job as cupbearer to the king in the Persian palace. One day he encountered some people from back home and happened to ask, "How is Jerusalem?" I’m sure the report went something like this: "The walls are torn down. The stones are scattered. The city is constantly ravaged at the hand of every enemy. The remnant are abused." That message took hold of Nehemiah’s heart and drove him to action.
          I pray that God will help us to rebuild the walls and stop the flow of sin through His church. We must become a holy people. The Church has been a city without walls. We have become mingled with the ways of this world. Truth is tainted and polluted with the wisdom of this age. “Theosophy” has replaced principles of scripture. Theosophy is a merger of Godly truths and the worldly wisdom. In many cases, we have substituted and have supplemented the way of the Lamb with the doctrine of this age. We have brought forth a mingled seed that cannot produce holiness or purity.
 
Hungry To See The Church In Her Glory
God is calling people who are hungry to see the Church in her glory. To map our future, we must look at the past. Let us look back at the beginning. Let us go back to the place where God dwelled with His people. We must go to the place where His people are “His Holy Habitation." May his people once again represent a higher way.   Let there be clear truths that we can hang our lives on. May a tender intimate love of God and His people be the star by which we chart our course.
 
Nervous In Babylon

Woe to them that are at ease in Babylon. Until now, it's been easy for us to stay in Babylon because God's allowed us to build houses, plant vineyards, eat the fruit, and even rear our families there. God's allowed us to plant the olive tree there, and to eat the oil. However, the judgment of that system is in sight. God is deliberately putting thorns in our religious nests, making us uncomfortable. What was acceptable yesterday, the mingled way, is no longer permissible today. God is requiring us come out from among them. We must become a people of distinction in a land that wants no distinction. “Men of God”, stand firm and have backbone. Stop this incessant yielding to sin. We must confront the conventional practices that tether the lives of believers to the empty observance of vain traditions. We must push forward to bring the Church back to its first place of power. We must bring the Church back to its first dominion.
 
A Presentable People

Leaders of God, He is calling us to bring a presentable people to him. We must bring a people of holiness. We must build for others to follow. God is calling us to be reformers, tilters, those who pour the church off the religious dregs that corrupts, binds, and control it. God is calling His church to its later place of glory; without spot or blemish, a bride who has prepared and made herself ready. God has called us for this hour. It is time to answer and be counted as faithful to Him before this generation. 
          Let us be up and about our Father's business. Let us be quick to embrace what God is doing right now. Let us not shrink back because of the criticisms or judgments of men who are bound in the fruitless traditions of yesterday. Let us press ahead with the Scripture as our plum bob and the Spirit of God as the energizing, empowering teacher. Let us keep our ear pressed to the track of Gods’ voice. Let us move ahead to the work. Let us thrust ahead to see God's house, The Church, the Holy Jerusalem become the glorious city, set apart unto God. Let us press ahead to prepare the way for the return of the Lord Jesus.
BACK TO THE    “VISION OF GOD”

Haggai 1:4  Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?  Consider your ways(5).  Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes(6).  Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house(9).

            How easy it is for us to get comfortable and forget the vision of God.  The children of Israel were delivered from Babylonian captivity, allowed to go back to their homeland, and funded by the King to rebuild their capitol and Temple.  When they arrived they built their own houses, settled down, and became very smugly satisfied with life in Jerusalem.  However, the temple of the Lord lay waste. 

Why haven’t we considered what we have done.  Harvest fails.  We plant, and give, and do, and there is nothing to show for it.  We eat and our souls are empty.  We have the finest clothing but our hearts have grown cold.  We have magnificent visions and yet realize little.  It seems that our highest hopes are swept away easily.  The Lord said it was because every man ran to his own house and “His House” lay waste.

            At the end of 1998 the Lord awakened my heart to this message again for His Church.  This time I saw it as a message to leaders.  As Leaders of the Church many have become very contented with the four walls of their buildings, their corporate perks, and their comfortable lifestyles.  However, God is not pleased and we need to realize what we are doing.  

Take Heed How you Build

We must understand that in most cases we have built our own houses(local fellowships called Churches) and the house of God (The Ekklesia, The Called out ones of the Lord Jesus Christ) lie waste.  Ephesians 2:21-23 says that as the Ekklesia are “fitly framed together” (G4883-render close jointed together) they will grow into “an holy temple in the Lord”. The Father is trying to continually build us together into a dwelling place for his presence. The “Glory”, His own, is going to only rest on the place of his presence.  Sadly, the Glory of today’s “Church” is it’s buildings.  More energy and expense is put into the physical buildings than into the Spiritual house.  While we are busy putting together wood and brick and mortar the Eklesia are desolate and empty, divided by traditions and trivia.

 ·        For Ourselves

Some leaders have given their lives working for validation and recognition because of insecurity.  They have spent themselves and have only built memorials to themselves. They are the center, the oil, energy, and life of the work.  When removed, either the identity of the fellowship must change or another gifted leader must be employed otherwise the work dies.  We must return to the centrality of Christ, equipping, empowering, and releasing the Saints to do the work of the ministry.  When we do our jobs correctly, we decrease and He increases.

·        To Ourselves

Some, have lived independently, having no important spiritual relationships or oversight.  Some of these fellowships are run like corporations, with a CEO at the helm.  Brethren, when we are “Baptized into the Body of Christ”, we lose our independence.  However, we don’t lose our uniqueness.   We find form, structure, and government in the body.  These are not cold, superficial, impersonal associations but should be intimate, personal, life filled relationships. 

·        In Our Vanity

Then there are those that are exclusive.  If you don’t hear it from them, if it did not originate with them or their group, then it couldn’t be God.  Our revelation or understanding of doctrine becomes more important than loving one another.  Brethren we are not omniscient.  A man who loves the truth will not drive the “stake of certainty” to quickly.  We must remain humble and teachable to continue to receive and understand the unfolding revelation of God.  Our pride will only produce a pattern of “Church” which is destined for judgment.

·        Perpetuating Another’s Vision

Some of us have found our identities in denominations.  We have tried to relate to one another through these institutions.  However, we have rarely experienced an organic, life filled relationship with a brother.  Some, would be hard pressed to name a friend.  Friend = Someone who knows everything about you and still loves you. BRETHREN THESE THINGS OUGHT NOT BE. 

·       The Rule

Still, for the most part, Godly leaders are sincere, humble, men who pour themselves out in the sincere pursuit of pleasing God.  They build with all the skill and understanding passed down to them from there predecessors.  Unfortunately, we were mostly misinformed.       

A CHANGE OF HEART

God is trying to change our hearts.  We are beginning to realize that much of our effort is just “dead works”.  We sense a God-Sent desolation.  Why?  He is trying to open our spirits to the body, to one another.  We must see the VISION OF GOD.   John 17:21  “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

We must see the Church as One Body.  We cannot “be it” until we “see it”.  When we see the Vision of God we can press toward it.  The vision will be the revelation by which we begin to govern our lives. We will refuse to let the walls of tradition, or of our own making, keep us from one another.

 I must love all those called by the name of the Lord. You are mine.  I am yours.  We are HIS.  I may not be directly connected to you.  However, I must be willing to explore the possibility.  How? I must be willing to meet new people.  I must be willing to fellowship outside my comfort zone.  I have to open my heart to new relationships. As we spend time together, a joint “may” be formed.  Joints are the conduit of Life.  When we recognize God has given us a joint, we need to follow it with a “Covenant of Commitment”.  The “Mystery of Marriage”(Two becoming One) is the “Mystery of the Church”(Many becoming One).  What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.  Receiving and Relating to one another by the Spirit will release the blessing and provision of God in our lives.

When we see the vision, even at a distance, and become persuaded in our hearts that it is Gods plan then it will come to pass.   When we become one, then and only then will the world know that Jesus is truly the Christ the Son of the Living God.  Then we will have exponential increase in His Church.


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CLEVE SHARP MINISTRIES
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email:  csharpministries@gmail.com

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