By J. W. Arnold
Ezekiel 43:1, “Afterward he brought me unto the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east (2) And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east and his voice was like the voice of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. (3) And it was according to the appearance of the vision that I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.”
Now you have to understand something; Ezekiel is seeing things that are prophetic. They are not actual realities of where he is; he is in captivity. God is taking him into future-tense things. God has taken him to the past to show why they went into captivity. If you read the book of Ezekiel; they had chambers of imaginary. Their priests had turned their backs on God and their women were wailing and they had their backs to the temple and they were worshipping the sun god. They had found a little hole, it’s a very, very tremendously symbolic book, the book of Ezekiel. But this particular chapter is prophetic of a futuristic something that was going to take place. I need to say that, so that you will understand where we are going.
(4) “And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east (5) So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. And I heard him…”, Now I want you to get this, `cause here’s the verse, `. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house;” That’s all I want you to get.
Now I’m interrupting this, the next verse or two…well, I had better read it “And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, 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, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.” And he goes on a little further, (8) “In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.” And then he tells them; … now go put away your whoredoms, etc. It is a prophetic picture, both forward and backwards.
Now I want to read one more scripture; Exodus 29:43. The Lord is talking to Moses about the tabernacle that He instructed Moses to build, a sanctuary that He could dwell among them, ’cause the sanctuary…remember I taught you, “Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them”, now in verse43 He says, “And there will I meet with the children of Israel…” and this is the key, “… and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.”
I have been sharing thoughts with you about God’s desire, or quest, for a house. I taught you a lesson about man’s desire to always build his god, his deity, his worshipful, something; a shrine, a temple, an image…. We also talked about the three trips of the dove. Remember that? Still got a headache over that one!
Three trips of the dove: the first time she went out, there was no settling place; it was symbolic of the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God moving through the Old Testament, the tabernacles of Moses and David and Solomon, never finding a permanent lodging place. Then he came the next time; he let her out in the morning and she came back in the evening, which meant that the second trip of the dove was indicative of a very short stay: it was a picture of the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was the dwelling place of the Spirit of God, which we have at His baptism. And on the third trip of the dove, the dove did not come back: that became these houses of clay. Because Jesus said, in John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”
So the third trip of the dove is a picture of the day of Pentecost when God would pour out the Holy Ghost, and the only reason that the dove did not come back…remember it is important that you believe this. The second trip she comes back with an olive branch in her beak, which is indicative of a reconciliation act between God and man and that the Earth has been buried in the judgment of a watery grave. But now God has let the wrath and the judgment go and the Earth is reproducing. In other words; there is an act, or indicator, of a resurrection, which is a picture of Jesus, so that His death, His burial, and His resurrection has now satisfied divine judgment and now man is reconciled back to God. Man needs to be reconciled to God, but he can’t do it; it has to be an act on God’s part, because God kicked him out.
In other words, you have to understand; this salvation that is so wonderful, because deity has been offended, deity has to be reconciled, and deity has to do the reconciling. Deity has to do the satisfying of divine justice and deity has to offer some measure whereby the offender can come back. That is why all salvation if of God. It ought to keep us safe from ever getting haughty, or arrogant, as if somehow we had more right in this than some other particular denomination, or group of people. Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
We’ve proven that the different temples and sanctuaries were God’s house. God’s desire is to have a house, a place to dwell among His people. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost. We are His husbandry, we are His building, we are His house, we are His body. Did I get them all? The church is called His house, we are called lively stones, we are called His temple, His building, His body. 1 Corinthians 3:9, we’re God’s building. Hebrews 3:6, we’re God’s house. 1 Peter 4:17, the Bible says that judgment begins at the house of God, whose house we are. Judgment begins at the house of God, and you’re the house of God.
1 Corinthians 3:16 calls us God’s temple. Ephesians 2:22 says we have become the habitation of God through the Spirit. Now Moses built the tabernacle for what reason, or for what purpose? Here’s the reason: to be a receptor and a revealer of God’s glory. I don’t have time to do both of these lessons tonight. God help I will do one tonight. There are two reasons, two purposes, for God wanting a house: (1) to be a revealer of His glory (2) a place to put His name.
To Reveal His Glory
I won’t even touch the name part tonight; it is a lesson all by itself, but this one, to reveal his glory… Exodus 29:43, I’ll read it to you; “…and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.” And that the tabernacle will be sanctified, set apart, that is what sanctified means… by my glory.
Now, all we got to find out is: What is God’s glory? Glory… God’s glory, the exhibition of the excellence of the subject of which it is ascribed. What is the glory of God? It’s the display of His attributes, His perfections locked up in His presence. What is the glory of man? It’s his commendable qualities such as wisdom, righteousness, justice, self-control, ability, accomplishment…. What is the glory of youth? I’m in the Bible. I didn’t make this up. You don’t get this from Reader’s Digest; this is in the Bible. The glory of youth, the writer of Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes says; are their fathers. What is the glory of the silver-headed ones among us? …That they walk in the ways of the Lord. There is no glory if your hair just gets gray, but if it gets gray walking in the ways of God, the ways of God will add glory to your countenance.
Watch: Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:41, “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars:” What is the writer saying? Watch, remember what I said; glory, the exhibition of the excellence of a subject. So when Paul is writing and he is saying; there is a glory of the sun and a glory of the moon a glory of the stars…what is he saying? Each one of these subjects has a certain splendor that it displays.
Anybody ever heard of the Shekinah? It’s a non-biblical term. Don’t go looking for it, it’s not in the Bible. You will find it in the Talmud, but it is a word that was coined and used by both Jews and Gentiles to describe the physical, material, manifestation of the presence of God; who by the way, the scripture says, is light: and light is invisible and cannot be seen. He is Spirit; He has no form, or shape. He is invisible, incomprehensible. Job said, “Who, by studying or searching can find God?” So you can’t locate Him, He has no zip code.
Now I don’t want to offend you on this one, but God is totally un-learnable. He must reveal Himself, so that we can learn. Without Him revealing Himself, it is conjecture, that is why you have millions of religions. God’s never revealed Himself as a donkey, or a horse, or a bird, or half-fish, or half-human… that’s crazy, that’s the conjecture of demented minds. Paul said it this way in Ephesians 4:17-18; …don’t be like them other silly Gentiles who, being alienated from God because of the ignorance that is in them, having their minds darkened…. And when your mind is darkened, you conjure up like imaginations: “Well, I think God is like a tree.” “Well, I think He is like a fox.” “Well, I think He’s a fish, myself.” “Well, I think He’s a whale.” “Well, I think I don’t know, I think He’s a half-naked lady with six arms sticking out of a statue.” “I think He is a big, fat guy named Buda who needs to go on a diet.” You would be surprised at all the concepts of the mind. That does not mean all these people are not sincere, dedicated, committed, searching, and hungry. You only come up with religion and deity, because you are hungry…because you are dissatisfied with where you are. That is why we have drug addicts. That’s why we have drunks, that is why we have a major crime problem. It not because people are wicked and evil of themselves; they are dissatisfied with where they are. They burn with rage. They are searching for something.
Oh, I wish the church would just jump up and say, “Here we are!” instead of hiding and saying, “Find us.” Paul tells Timothy in his epistle, 1 Timothy 6:16; God dwells in a light which no man can approach…. So here; you need God, and Paul turns around and says: Oh, by the way, you can’t approach him. Now, people look at that and say, “I don’t believe that.” Well, when was the last time you approached the president? When was the last time you approached the Prime Minister of Israel? When was the last time you approached any national or international leader? When was the last time you approached the Governor? When was the last time you approached any political figure? You aren’t even allowed to get next to the guys that you pay a salary to. When was the last time you walked into the University of Florida and told them, “Hey, I need to talk to the president”? “Tell him I am here.” Come on, smile and say, “They are unapproachable.”
Did you know that you can have a ten o’clock appointment with a doctor that you are going to give $75.00, and you can’t just go and approach him, either? He’ll find you…40 minutes later. I’ll tell you what we got, an unapproachable society. You will need to pray for me, because I make mortgage payments, and vehicle payments, and when there is a problem in a coupon book or something, I am not allowed to talk to the people who receive my money. I dial a number and it has an automated number; “…If you want coupon information, dial 1; if you want to talk to Mr. McSnotgrass, dial 2; if you would like to talk to the window washer from Takalossa Villa, dial 3.” Well, I wait; because I’m smart, I am going to wait till the end. But they’ve got one at my company that when I get to the end they say, “Ha! We will now repeat the menu.” …I am waiting for the one that says touch 0 if you want to talk to a human!!
Now you are smiling, but your own mortgage companies, your own banks, are unapproachable. So why would it be so far-fetched for God to turn around and say, “Oh, I was the first unapproachable one there ever was.” Because God has a prescribed way for you approach Him. You don’t just barge in and say, “Hey, boy!” It ain’t going to happen like that. See, our…we have got this problem; we still think God is American. He is not American, you don’t vote Him in, you don’t vote Him out. You can’t have a protest march. The last protest march they had, Korah led that one and the earth swallowed him up.
Come to think of it, you don’t want to protest against your leadership, you want to pray for your leadership. You don’t want to protest against him. You don’t want to criticize him. You don’t want to damn him and condemn him and run him down, because when your leader is the biggest dummy there ever was, God will deal with your leader. But He will also deal with anybody, who, in their folly, attacks leadership. Yes, He will. And when leaders are wrong, God has a way of bringing people up to Him.
I was reading a scripture where Paul, who is that apostle born out of due season…you read that scripture, he says; now, when I went to Jerusalem, I withstood Peter face-to-face, for he was to blame…. So now, here is Peter with the keys, and here is Paul with the sunlight on Damascus Road, and Paul walks up and dresses him down in front of everybody. Says, “Hey, what is this deal? One day you are a Jew and one day you are a Gentile � make up your mind!” You notice none of the saints did that. Well, we’ll let that one slide.
The Shekinah of God was that actual, visual presence, that light, that luminary, that showed up on the mercy seat; because God said, “You build me a mercy seat. Put two cherubims of beaten gold, let them bow their heads down, put their wings over so that they are looking down.” And He says, “When you sprinkle the blood, they will be looking down at the blood, which covers the broken law, and I will show up right in the middle of that, and there I will commune with thee from the mercy seat.”
It was that Shekinah, when the high priest went into the holy of holies and sprinkled that blood that just all of a sudden manifested itself, that was the glory of God. Was God in the holy place? Yes. Was God in the outer court? Yes. Was God in the local bar-and-grill? Yes. God fills all time and space. See, some of you would say, “Oh, God would not be in a terrible place.” He fills all time and space; doesn’t mean he approves of it�He just fills it! But when you talk about the Glory of God, you are talking about the difference between the Omni-presence of God and the manifest-presence of God. It’s like when the glory of the Lord set the bush on fire and said:
“Hey, Moses, take your shoes off, the ground where you are standing is holy.”
“Well, weren’t you several foot either side of the bush?”
“Ain’t you holy all of the time?”
“How come that ground ain’t holy?”
“I did not manifest myself there.”
You gotta get this, because this is a wonderful thing. This is what holiness is all about. Because when God gives you and I the gift of the Holy Ghost, He has now gone from omnipresence to manifest-presence. Now we become holy, because of what has come into us. We don’t stop doing certain things, so we can be holy. We don’t stop looking certain ways, or practicing certain things, so we can be holy. We have been made holy. See; there are two statements you have to learn in scripture, one is called imputed, and one is imparted. God imputes to us, according to the book of Romans, righteousness. That is a legal, judicial term�He imputes to you righteousness. You don’t get any bigger and you don’t get any smaller. The thing that frustrates you is the way…you know how you do, and sometimes how you act…you know you act unrighteous, but you feel unrighteous. You feel dirty at times; you feel hypocritical at times; but the statement still says, righteous.
That’s why we aught to make a big deal out of the blood. Righteous! In fact, that ought to inspire people not to live loose, it ought to inspire people to live Godly. We ought to live up to what one writer said, “That we might walk circumspectly.” Let me give you a little ballpark term for circumspectly: it is like a kitty cat that runs across the top of a wall that has broken glass on it. Ever watch a cat walk? He don’t run like a dumb dog… cloppy-cloppity-clop. No, no. A cat goes gingerly, so they don’t cut their feet. That is the same term Paul is describing; “Hey, you are walking across something like a precipice, walk circumspectly, walk carefully.” Why? Because how you walk measures how much you honor the God that is in you, walking with you, because the people around you don’t see the Holy Ghost, they see you; and you and I are the vessels. And we can dishonor God with stuff we do and with stuff we don’t do… and I am not going any further until I get at least a smile, or a head nod, because I am telling you the God’s truth.
Grace Was Before The Law
These nincompoops floating around religion, talking about; “Well, we are under grace and we are not under law”, they fuss and cuss about whether we need to wear a shirt and tie at the camp meeting. They are so great… don’t listen to none of them, because if that were true, which it ain’t; ’cause the whole human race has always been under grace. Grace preceded the law.
Grace was in the Garden of Eden Grace was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The law did not come for 400 years after God promised stuff by faith to Abraham. Paul writes to the Galatian Church and said in 3:17, “…the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after cannot disannul…”, or nullify the promise that God made to Abraham by faith. So you got grace, and out of grace came law to check people’s lawlessness. Not to replace grace, but to reveal how ungodly and lawless people were. So grace and truth came by Jesus Christ; you better be glad it came that way. You better be glad it did not say, “Now Truth and Grace came” ’cause the truth would have killed all of us. We need to be thankful that grace came first, bringing truth behind it. What I am trying to show you is that living under “grace” is a much higher and demanding law, than the law. The law of love is much more demanding than the law of law, because the law of law says, if you go out there and have an immortal relationship, or you say something horrible, or you do something… some evil deed; man, you are dead meat.
Watch how high the law of grace, the law of love, is: If you look on a woman to lust, you are guilty. If you imagine things and just do things in your mind and play with them, you’re guilty. You ain’t gotta do the deed, because the law of grace is much higher. That’s the danger of TV and video.
That is the danger of certain literature and magazines. That’s the danger of listening to a bunch of brain dead folks who called themselves self-appointed prophets and prophetess. Be aware who speaks into your life.
I used to, when I was a younger convert, go to prayer many times and would say, “God, I wish you would have just spelled this out, if you would have just…” now, none of you have ever done that, because you are way beyond me, but I was just small and I said, “…God if you don’t want me to do this, and if you don’t want me to do that, if you would just spell it out I would do it.” And, you know, I am thankful now 20 years later that God never did answer me on any of that stuff. I would have been such a legal-schmegal mess. I would have been art unhappy trooper, because then I never would have developed faith and trust and love and tenacity and drive and hunger and thirst. I would have just said, “Well, here is the law.” And then you know what I would have done? I would have lived as close to the edge of the law as I could have. Then I would have found some nincompoop in Pentecost who would have explained that my concept of law was wrong. The bottom issue is: Does it exalt Jesus Christ? Am I magnifying God with what I do, or allow, or disallow in my life? Is God getting honor from me? Is anybody sensing any kind of glory in my life, or am I just a churchy kind of person?
The Shekinah, or the glory of God is the physical, material manifestation of the invisible God. According to John 1:1, remember, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Here it is, (4) In Him was life…” Shekinah glory. What is glory? It’s the exhibition of the excellence of the subject. “In Him was life.” The exhibition of excellence. He is self-contained. He has life in himself. He gives life and breath to everything, that is His glory. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” It is a very bad translation of the King James English. Comprehended: it literally means, apprehended, or overwhelmed. In other words; the darkness could not contain, nor put out the light. Why? Because the light is His glory, and there ain’t nothing greater than His glory.
Let me try it again: Glory�the exhibition of the excellence of the subject. What is God’s glory? It’s His excellence on parade, His brilliance, His majesty, His wisdom, His knowledge, His power. He does not have character. I know people say, “God’s character….” God does not have character. Character is something that is developed by time and circumstance and chance. God had divine nature, and because of his nature, He acts characteristically. Because God’s nature is truth, He will not lie. Because God’s nature is light, He cannot die. Because God’s nature is all-power, He can’t get whipped. Because God’s nature is absolutely total wisdom, He can’t be hoodwinked or fooled. Because God’s nature fills all time and space, nothing escapes his eye. And He is inside your little carcass, right inside that little, nifty sweater you’re wearing. You’re carrying His cargo around.
Romans 9:3, “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren,…” Paul is talking about his kinsmen, “…my kinsmen according to the flesh:…” talking about the Israelites, the Jews. He said I could almost wish myself a curse, that somehow they could be saved. (4) “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth…” now he’s going to say, watch what their glory was, remember “the exhibition of the excellence of a subject. Watch what their excellence was, “…to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory,….” What was the excellence of Israel? The glory of God was among them, and that gave them glory. God’s act of adoption and redemption was among them, “…and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; (5) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”
Luke 2:9, “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” And the angels came and announced that little baby, and it says, (14) “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” And the Bible says, (9) “and the glory of the Lord shown round them.” What does that mean? The manifesting of His special presence. Was it always there? Yes. He fills all time and space, but He chooses to pull back the curtain and roll up the window and say, “Hi!” Have you ever been in a prayer meeting, or driving the car, or cleaning the house, not being in any kind of spiritual dimension, or just doing something, and just all of a sudden the Holy Ghost says, “Hi, how are you doing?” Have you ever felt the Lord just kind of go, whew! Your hair stands up, your face gets all funny and your heart feels real warm. You know what just happened? God just kind of stretched…just kind of to let you know, “Hey, I’m still here.”
I’m glad once in a while God says, “Hey, I’m still here.” I really need Him to do that every once in a while, like when I put both my feet in my mouth. I feel like I’m going to shoot myself and kill myself and God says, “Hey, bubba, I’m still here!” Apparently that does not happen to you.
Watch this: in John 17:22, Jesus is praying and now he is saying… Now Father, I have given them the glory which thou has given unto me… That had not yet been performed, that was prophetic. They did not get any glory until Pentecost. Remember, in John 7:37, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water’. (39) But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…” not would receive, should receive, “…for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”
First Promise – Then Performance
So Jesus is saying; …you want to be satisfied? Come unto me and drink… Yet he has not got any thing to give to them, because when God does something, He does it in stages: first promise, then performance. And if you don’t see the stages of prophetic word, you can get locked into misunderstanding and get really sidetracked in false doctrine. Just like when Jesus, after the resurrection, the Bible says, “He breathed on them, and saith unto them, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost’.” Did they get the Holy Ghost? Lots of religions say they did; they didn’t get no Holy Ghost. He gave them an indicator that they were going to receive Spirit, or Life, or Breath of God Himself, and He told them how it would feel, and what it would sound like. And then at Pentecost they experienced what He had just promised.
I have debated people in this city who have gone to that scripture and said: “See, they got the Holy Ghost before Pentecost.”
I said, “Where did they get the Holy Ghost?”
“Jesus said, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost’, and He breathed on them.”
I said, “Right, he did not say they got the Holy Ghost. If you go two chapters farther, Jesus turns around and says, ‘Now go tarry in Jerusalem until you be filled with the Holy Ghost’. Why would you go tarry for something you just got blown on?”
Come on, you got to rightly divide the Word. If you don’t rightly divide the Word, you’re open to every kind of wind of doctrine, and that will get you seduced. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury; this is not Jeffy’s playhouse. This is about us going to Heaven, or Hell. This is about us and a real devil that wants to take us out and wreck our homes and kill our children. You gotta understand something; there is a roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devoir, and he never gets tired.
Philippians 3:21, I want you to understand this thing about glory, because we have thrown that word around as long as I have been in Pentecost. “Glory to God”, or “the glory came down.” Most of us don’t know what we are talking about. What we are really saying is that we felt something. Am I right? Ever sit there sometimes and the Spirit of God just goes, woosh, and you turn around and say to your husband, “Oh! Did you feel that?” You know what you’re saying? You just had an encounter with the glory world.
We used to sing that song, “Come by here Lord.” Come by here Lord? I hate to tell you this; God has never been coming and going. No! He is just standing and showing. God is not going to come. He can’t come. He is already filling where you are. Paul said in Acts 17, “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Remember that message I preached, when I preached, “Though he be not far from every one of us?” I preached that there is no geography in God. There is no such thing as distance. Have you ever said to yourself, “Boy, I feel so far away from God”? Have you ever said, “Boy, I feel like God is a long way away from me”? But God ain’t moved. See, God can’t move. If you get a quart jar and you fill it with a quart of liquid; that stuff can’t go anywhere. It is done filled. If you fill it up to the top, even when you shake it, it don’t move. The whole unit moves together, because it is full. This whole world is filled with God. The only reason we may have “lousy” services, by our concept, or idea, or dead-as-a-hammer services, or non-jubilant services, is because God’s omnipresence has not now been transformed into manifest-presence. See, that is what we are really wanting: We’re wanting God to manifest Himself.
See; the difference between a man telling his wife, “I love you”, and that is as far as it goes…it’s declared…but never demonstrated. There is never a kiss, a hug, some flowers, a dress, a trip, a hamburger. There’s nothing; no manifesting. The man really means it, but he never takes time to demonstrate it. Well, God fills all time and space. The Bible says, Psalm 90:2, “…from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” And the Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, so that means that this building cannot contain God. Gainesville cannot contain God. He is without measurement. He is without structure. He is Spirit having no form. But when you and I feel like, “Well, I am far away from God”; the only reason you sense nearness, or distance, is because, in that area of your life, or my life, we are unlike deity.
When we get unlike God in certain areas of our life we sense distance. You can be in the same house with someone you are married to and experience distance. Husbands look straight ahead now, don’t blow your cover. You and the misses can have an argument, or disagreement, you are not seeing eye-to-eye about the kids, or the insurance policy, or vacation, or something you bought without doing anything you can stay right in the same house and not be with each other. That does not make us devils, or demons, or unsaved; it makes us people. Now here you are in love with this particular person, raising children together, trying to have a good marriage; you can be within three feet of each other, yet, you might as well be in the Grand Canyon.
Distance in not geography; it is dislike, it is unlike, it is different. How about a church? You can sit right next to somebody…you need a poll vault to get over to them. That is why it is always preached and taught about the power of oneness and unity. If we can flow together, distance is destroyed. When distance is destroyed, deity is enthroned.
Secret Of The Universe – Oneness
Why, he even gave a compliment to the old heathen pagan sinners in Genesis 11 when they built the Tower of Babel. God said the people are now one and they all have one mind and one heart and this they imagine to do and nothing shall be impossible unto them…. They had discovered the secret of the universe: Oneness! So what did God do? He came down. He just caused a difference between their languages, which caused a distance between their function. And now the bricklayer did not know what the mason was doing, and the mason did not know what the carpenter was doing, and they could not communicate and they left the building. That is what the devil wants to do to us: to come into our homes, and our heads, and our hearts, and our services, and just create a little schism — a little distance, a little difference – between us, so that the Spirit cannot flow.
Watch this; the full combination of glory. Remember what glory is? It’s the exhibition of excellence. There is coming a day when the saints will experience the fullness of glory by being changed into His image and into His likeness. 1 John 3:1-3, it says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and is cloth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” In other words; the glory that we got a little bit of now, is fixing to go, whoosh, and when we see him, we will have a glorious body like unto his glorious body.
Grace is no more or less than glory in its beginning stage. When God gives you and I an experience of grace, He goes, PFEW, “Here’s a quart of glory, work on it.” Remember the two terms I told you before? Imputed? Righteousness is imputed, but not holiness. Holiness is imparted. Righteousness cannot expand; holiness can. So when God makes a deposit of His own essence into us, He expects us to humble ourselves, and line ourselves up with His criteria, and His motives, and His purpose; and let that sweet holiness that was deposited in us, in a very small measure, expand.
Holiness is really just the nature of God put inside of us that goes from cubbyhole to cubbyhole. I don’t care how much we say we love Jesus…we got twenty or thirty locked doors. Oh yeah, we let the Lord in our heart; we ain’t lettin’ him in the cellar. “He ain’t going in the cellar room.” “He sure ain’t goin’ in my reading room!” “He ain’t going in my video room.” But as that holiness keeps knocking on that door, “Hey, let me in, let me look in there, let me see what we got there.” Holiness is nothing but pure light unfiltered. That’s why Jesus turned around and said, …the prince of this world cometh and has nothing in me…. He is giving you what holiness is, in its full maturity: A life with no part dark.
That is why I know when God gave me the Holy Ghost, He made me holy, but I am not totally, completely, holy. I am on a journey of sanctification. The holiness of God that He deposited in me; is wanting to work in me, so that my thoughts are purified, my notions are clean, my desires are divine. That is why you have to look at yourself, every little bit, and just really look at yourself in the mirror of the world and say, “Am I any holier this month than I was last month? If not, I am not making any progress.” You need to let that portion of holiness that was put into you and I, by the reception of the Holy Ghost, grab a hold of you and say, “Come on, man, let’s expand.” And even if nothing starts to expand, and you sense frustration, and failure; do not quit. That is God saying, “I am working, I’m working.”
The scariest part is when you and I sit there and say, “I don’t need to do nothing, I’m saved.” “I got the Holy Ghost, got baptized in Jesus’ name, talked in tongues, ran into the wall once or twice, put in my one little dollar as my tithes.” “I’m saved.” Saved from what?! See, there’s two things you need to be saved from: Essentially, you need to be saved from sin, but the biggest problem is to be saved from self. I got a lot more trouble with self than I have ever had with sin. I tell you what; I can plead the blood of Jesus…I commit a sin, say something stupid, do something wrong, act dumb, have a bad thought, have a bad day…if I can confess my sin, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all unrighteousness and all sin and I am back in good-standing with God even though my emotions say, “I’m a rascal.” My emotions are lying! ‘Cause the Book says that I am back in standing with God, but the problem is; when I have to mess with myself, I got no place to take self. You can’t turn around and confess self. Who are you going to confess self to? “Well, then, Bro Arnold, how do you take care of self? So glad you asked. Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” …themselves.
They crucified their flesh with the affections and lusts…and that brings me up to my next point: …impossible, I’ve told you that a hundred times; ain’t no way you can crucify yourself. You would only get one hand done. You need the body to take care of the rest. I don’t care how many of your relatives are into it, how many of your friends, how many of your aunts and uncles…let me tell you something; these loose cannons, these hotshots that don’t need the church, they are on dangerous turf. I don’t care if they don’t want this church, they better find some church, because they are going to need the body to help crucify their flesh. Oh yeah! The Bible says iron sharpeneth iron. And people who have nobody to answer to, and nobody to interact with; they are missing one fraction of the iron.
I need people to stand up in my face and say, “That was not very nice, I think you could have handled that a little better, you know, your attitude needs an adjustment.” But see, when you don’t have a church… dear God… here you are; you take your Bible, and you take your own examination…and you have nothing to bounce stuff off of; unless you find somebody on your own scum level. “Ain’t I good? Yes! Are you good? Yes.” “Yeah, we both good, we don’t need the church.” Ain’t that funny? God put the church together and made it His place where He would reveal His glory; and we got nincompoops who step out of the church and say, “Well, there are things wrong with that church. I can’t go.”
I was talking to the Lord while I was getting dressed tonight. I said, “You know Lord, some of these whackos… these self-appointed theologians…who don’t want nothing to do with your body, because there are problems in it; I am firmly convinced that had they been with you when you chose the twelve and they got Peter lying and they got Judas being a traitor; they would have tried to split that church, too.”
In fact God has always had problems with people who don’t do anything right. It started in Heaven. He had to throw the Choir Director out, because he was no good. Then He got himself a Garden of Eden with two naked people with no problems and the air conditioner was just right and the environment was perfect; and he turned around and lost both of them. That has been an encouragement to me! I hate to see anybody backslide and quite the church, I don’t want anybody lost, but I am telling you what; you got problems when you got your self-will. I been tempted so may times to just resign. Yes I have. Not by anything you said, just myself. “…You need somebody better…not doing good… I am limited in my ability to do things…” And God just helps me…”Oh, by the way Jeffrey, I pastored two people in paradise and they both backslid on me; stay with the job.”
This article “God’s Purpose For His House” written by J. W. Arnold is excerpted from God Is Building Himself A House written by J. W. Arnold.