Restoring the House of God


The church in America is caught between two extremes. On the one side
is the “lukewarm left” filled with religious form devoid of the power of
the Holy Spirit. On the other side is the “renegade right” that claims
to be led by the Holy Spirit but has, at best, only a thin foundation on
the historical foundations of the Christian faith.

A little over a year ago the Lord called me to leave a comfortable job,
sell my self-sustaining micro farm and return to pastoral ministry in a
move that placed me in an independent charismatic church in the center
of the heartland of the U.S. – a church that was terribly filled with
division and bound for extinction. The division was representative of
the groups mentioned in the above paragraph with only a small middle
ground of innocent believers caught in the middle.

Blazing a negotiable middle ground resulted in both larger factions
leaving in hostile anger. Neither side could be well pleased but to the
glory of God I am still at the place and in the position that God placed
me in and the small middle is well, healthy and fruitfully doing the
work of the ministry.

I want to share something that the Lord has been cultivating in me over
the past few years about the changes that are coming to the Body in the
Last Days – changes that are not new waves but are restorative of things
that have belonged to the Body all along.

Twenty years ago I heard Dr. Jack Hyles make a statement that’s stuck
with me for two decades. He was ministering in one of his pastor’s
conferences and said, “The greatest profundity is always found in
simplicity.” And I really believe that if we are going to “walk in the
spectacular of the supernatural” then we are going to have to discover
or rediscover what it means to “walk in the simplicity of lives that are
truly surrendered to God”.

The simplicity of Christianity rests on three pillars. They are:

1. The Pillar Of The Word Of God.
2. The Pillar Of Christian Fellowship.
3. The Pillar of Prayer.

Pillar number one: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a
workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us.

And to rightly divide the word of truth we have to be committed to
reading and studying the word of truth.

Far too many loose cannon balls are rolling around on the floor of the
Church in these Last Days who profess to be authorities on the “things
of the Spirit” but have never spent credible time searching the
Scriptures and weighing their “inclinations and revelations” against
sound and proven theologies resulting in many contrary winds and waves
which are often fanned and stirred by desires for personal gain.
Confrontation often results in accusations of having a “religious
spirit” and avail little in correcting the errors being propagated.
It is essential that we who answer calls to leadership as shepherds of
the sheep know what the Great Shepherd has carefully laid down in the
historical Word and be careful how we make contemporary applications of
it.

Pillar number two: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up
love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the
more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us.
Close fellowship with believers is not an option. It’s a biblical
necessity. Accountability is an absolute. I am all for church autonomy.
Autonomy as a corporate body is biblical. Autonomy as an individual
Christian, and especially for those of us in specific positions in
ministry is anti-biblical. Even for the prophetic office. (1 Cor. 14:32)
Autonomy as individual believers is nothing short of spiritual anarchy
and the modern (??Christian??) media in this country has certainly been
a source of fuel for this problem as well as for the
glamorization of ministry. We are called to servanthood and not to
elegant lifestyles.

Pillar number three: “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells
us.
Prayer is more than an exercise that we perform. Prayer is the
lifestyle of those who follow Jesus. When we discover the real purpose
of prayer in our lives we also discover that prayer is our purpose. All
else that follows is an outgrowth of lives changed and empowered through
prayer.

Prayer is the common thread that reaches all the way from the upper
room in Acts 1 to the present that has characterized all the men and
women of God that He has used in all the true revivals and reformations
throughout the history of the Church.

Rather than looking for new programs and seminars to busy ourselves and
our people our aim must be to become men and women of prayer – real
prayer – where we are constantly seeking the face of God, continually
searching ourselves for anything offensive in ourselves, and confidently
interceding for those whom the Lord has given us care of – and once
again see the house of the Lord as a “house of prayer” rather than a
platform to promote men and the monuments built by men.

These three pillars are the spiritual vitamins that are essential in
the life of every believer. With them taken in daily measures we grow
strong and healthy in the faith. Without them we are weak, ineffective
and subject to all the devises of the world and of Satan including all
the contrary waves and winds of false doctrine that sound good and look
good but in the end are nothing more than buckets with holes in them.

These are dangerously deceptive days and upon the clear teaching of
Scripture we can only expect the deceptions to increase until the Day of
the Lord. Given to the restoration and process, the restored house of
God in the Last Days will walk in the fullness of the power of God and
resemble the newly initiated house of God in the First Days. The only
alternative to restoration is continued degeneration. Personally, I’ve
had all of the degeneration that I can stand.

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