“GET BACK TO THE BIBLE”
In two recant posts on facebook from two different Christian organizations, I noticed something I have seen before. At one venue the house lights were turned off with very bright stage lights and smoke machines working overtime in what looked like a pagan ritual. At the other venue there was no smoke machine and the house lights were on. The differences were noticeable. The one with the lights on and clear air the people were worshiping with their hands raised up in adoration towards the Lord.
The other with the house light off and smoke machine operating with flashing lights with some people standing with their hands in their pockets and other with arms crossed looking around the room. Another reason they stood around was that the song were too complicated and hard to sing. It was a concert where the goats were being entertained and it was a pastor’s conference. I was left asking the question what hope has the church got if it tries to be like the world? I was more encouraged by the first gathering were the light were on and the people could worship the Lord and present themselves as children of the light and they could even sing the words of the songs.
I worked in Night clubs and Pubs as a bouncer and on the doors, where the walls were black, lights flashing and smoke. It is in this type of atmosphere that the truth of the person’s identity is clouded. The resistance to sin is reduced and deeds of darkness took place in corners of darkness.
This not a church its a Nightclub
Now to see this in churches, the walls painted black, the house lights off, lights flashing and smoke machines is a terrible thing. It is true the church that does this to get people to come and feel comfortable is in error. The sin of profane worship is upon us. Churches like this have not much to offer.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJV)
The world is lost and looking for a light. Jesus is the light, but we are meant to be little lights, the Bible that people read. If we are not offering Holiness how can we attract people into the Kingdom of God?
Should we be looking at the atmosphere or gimmicks to get people into the Church or the presence of God?
Light has no shadow! The Bible says, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5
One time I had considered a job of being a pastor at a church in Australia and in the process of finding out about the job the person from that church said they were looking for a younger man to attract you people, but he felt I should still apply. I said, “Thank you” and proceeded to not go any further. You may ask the question, “Why?”. The simple fact it’s not about my age, IT ABOUT JESUS in my life and His presence in the church. The average age in our church in China is less than 25 see it’s not about me.
Eli was priest and judge in Israel, divinely chosen to hold these positions. He was a father of two sons Hophni and Phinehas, whom he did not control, and he was at crossed purposes with his role as Judge in Israel. His sons had no respect for God and the sanctuary and its service. They had lost all sense of holiness and significance of service to God.
As Eli before him had done, Samuel appointed his sons Joel, and Abijah; as judges in Beersheba. Neither of his sons walked in his ways and chased after dishonest gain. They took bribes, and perverted justice. There is no ‘dynasty of godliness’; each generation must make its own commitment to God. The elders of Israel came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
Questions could be asked, “Did Samuel do something wrong?” “What was the problem with these sons?” “Did the elders of Israel do something wrong too?”
Yes. Firstly, Samuel had broken the accepted tradition by appointing his sons to be judges because judges were selected by God and not by man. They were not to have a succession or dynastic mantle to follow.
Secondly, the elders of Israel were wise and right to say they did not want Joel and Abijah because of the evil those young men did.
Thirdly, Samuel was wrong to overlook his son’s indiscretions.
Finally, it was the elders’ request that were wrong too, even though it had been prophesied many years before that Israel would have a king. It was their motivation that was wrong; “to be like all the nations”. They wanted to be like the world.
David instructed his son, Solomon to follow the architectural and operational plan for the building of the temple (I Chronicles 28:11). In each case, when they followed the pattern, the glory of God was manifested and God’s purposes were fulfilled.
Much of Western Church growth is church migration and methodologies following their own patterns, but often lacking the blueprint of God. The Scriptures present patterns for worship and patterns for prayer. Most germane to our study, patterns can be found, beginning in the Old Testament, for building God’s Kingdom in the earth. The nation of Israel was always moving away from this and the question could be asked today, “Are we also moving away by trying to be like the world?”
The book of Exodus has tremendous spiritual significance as God outlines, through Moses, His system of Law, His Priestly structure and institutional worship for the nation. He established the Israelites as a nation of free people under Him (Exodus 19:3-6). It depicts the return of man to the Garden of Eden, where God will dwell as the Ark and Tabernacle in their midst (Exodus 25-31, 35-40).
In Psalm 99:5 it tells us to exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool, thus alluding to coming to a place where God sits.
Is God sitting in darkness or does He shine with Glory?
Should we bring darkness into His presence? If we do does He not shine on it to remove it from us?
Are we to manifest the darkness or the light?
The Holy Place was a place of worship and duty for the priests. Here they would fill with oil the Candlestick replace the Showbread and burn incense on the altar which represents a further period of formation and submission for and to the journey ahead. The Holy Place is a place of separation and a place of prayer on behalf of the nation (Genesis 1: 9- 13). Candlestick or oil lamp light. LIGHT
The Holy of Holies was God’s dwelling place was in the Old Testament and was filled by His brilliant glory which is BRIGHT LIGHT.
We have a different dispensation with the Holy Spirit living in us. We can enter by a new and living way found in and through Jesus (Hebrews 10:20). We may enter boldly to the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16) but it must be remembered that we can only do that in a certain humble way as mentioned above.
Read about King Hezekiah found in 2 Chronicles 29:1-36; 30:1-27; 31:1-21. He sets out the order.
We need to follow certain practical Biblical steps of faith, as King Hezekiah did. Putting it simply, it means a renewal of obedience to God, according to the Word of God. If we read the Word of God we will find many instructions, and if we follow them they may bring blessings, but then if we are reading them and God speaks to our heart there will a greater blessing.
2Chronicles 29:1-5 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled twenty-nine years from Jerusalem. His mother was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. : 2 Hezekiah obeyed the LORD by doing right, just as his ancestor David had done. : 3 In the first month of the first year of Hezekiah’s rule, he unlocked the doors to the LORD’s temple and had them repaired. :4 Then he called the priests and Levites to the east courtyard of the temple :5 and said: It’s time to purify the temple of the LORD God of our ancestors. You Levites must first go through the ceremony to make yourselves clean, then go into the temple and bring out everything that is unclean and unacceptable to the LORD. (CEV)
Ø Verse 1/ Hezekiah had a position of responsibility to God and the people.
Ø Verse 2/ Hezekiah in obedience to God followed the precepts of his ancestor King David.
Ø Verse 3/ Hezekiah opened and repaired the door of the temple.
Ø Verse 4/ Hezekiah set things in motion by calling the priests to assemble.
Ø Verse 5/ Hezekiah gave two directives.
o Sanctify yourselves
o Remove that which is unclean and unacceptable
We as Christian know that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), in Him all that is visible and the invisible, were created (Colossians 1:16-17). If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1John 1:7). We also know that Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12) and that we the sons of light and the sons of the day too. We are not of the night, or of darkness (1Thessalonians 5:4-5) and that we have been sent to the world as a light to share about salvation (Acts 13:47) found in Jesus.
Do we have a God that will lead people who have breathing problems into a smoke filled room which could cause them to have an asthmatic reaction? NO
Do we have a God that will people into a room with flashing lights that could set off an epileptic seizure? NO
Do we have a God who would want you to put poison into your body which could kill you? NO
NO is the answer to the above questions even if it is for only one person who could be affected. We will see some churches sued for causing some negative reactions because of this trend.
People who want to be like the world with tattoos and body piercing to get people to church are falling into the sin of unbelief. Do you notice how many song leaders are getting tattoos on their forearms so when they hold the mic so people can see them; drawing attention away from Jesus to the flesh. I am not talking about people who had them before they got saved.
God is looking for people who have a life of worship and churches that reflect that too and not what we are seeing now.
Many pastors are going to hell because of what they are doing by calling it God’s moving.
You may have a concert but don’t call it worship as it does not have a Biblical precedent.
We are children of the light, not the dark!
Repentance is needed in the House of the Lord.
When the whole teaching of the Bible is considered, it has to be consistent not excluding some!
Let us get back to the Bible and walk in the light then we will go forward in power.