A House Of Praise
By J. W. Arnold
Genesis 28:16, “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not, and he was afraid, and said, how dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
The only reason he called it the house of God was because there was spiritual activity going on that he had become aware of, either in a vision, or a dream. Angels going up and down a ladder, God almighty speaking from the top of the ladder; it was the presence of God that persuaded him – this is the house of God.
I am also reading from the gospel of the epistle 1 Timothy 3:15, and my final text will be from Ephesians, Chapter 2: 1 Timothy 3:15, Thessalonians, Timothy and Titus. Paul is writing to his son in the gospel. 1 Timothy 3:15; “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” He’s saying that I want you to know how to behave yourself in the house of God; I want you to know how to act. Now I am going to tell you who and what is the house of God.
Jacob had a dream and said this is the house of God, the gate to Heaven. While he had limited understanding and revelation, he did have the spiritual experience, but not a lot of theology. He thought that the house of God was any place that God showed up. Now, you get into a place after Calvary, and after Pentecost, that Paul the apostle, born out of due season, says; …I’m going to explain to you what the house of God really is. The house of God is the church of God.
God is everything now He has always been and will always be. There will be nothing new about God, being that he is not created and he doesn’t grow in wisdom, or knowledge, or power. He is everything now that He has ever been and ever will be. The only difference in His relationship with us is; as He sheds revelatory light on our path, we are able to embrace it and walk in it. Then God seems to be something more, or different, than he used to be. But He’s not; it’s only in the fact of illumination and truth that we encounter.
God dealt with Jacob in 28 of Genesis in a very minimal way. He gave him spiritual experience and a dream. And he was overwhelmed by it and ht said; …Man, God was in this place and I didn’t know it…. And so he figures …Well, if God is in a place, that place must be the house of God, the gate o: Heaven, it must be the thoroughfare, the passage way, the entrance and exit from one world to another world. Just as the space shuttle uses a window h the atmosphere to be able to get through, and they only have a certain amount of time to hit that window, or they literally bounce off this atmosphere, and they don’t ever get through that window. That’s why very, very important that they make their time schedule exact, because there can’t just… there is an invisible force and envelope around this planet-the atmosphere. These things have to line up so that there can be a passage way made from that realm to this realm.
The same thing is true in the spirit realm, although God fills all time and space, His activity with us is required to have a passage, or a doorway Promise you, I can prove it to you. The doorway is praise. Yeah, it is.
Spiritual sacrifices and active attendees always attract God’s presence because He delights to dwell in the midst of praisers. What I didn’t get to in my last lesson was 2 Chronicles 20 and 2 Chronicles 32. I will just abbreviate what those stories are. One is the story of Hezekiah the other is the story c Jehoshaphat. They were facing enemies far greater than them and they d not know what to do. So Hezekiah goes and gets the preacher, the prophet Isaiah. They spread this letter of insult from Sennacherib and they read it t the Lord and the Lord reads the mail real good, and He says… I’m going t take care of this myself…. And they go to the house of the Lord to praise God and worship God and seek God. And God sends an angel in response t the request; kills a hundred and eighty five thousand Syrians in one night.
Then the story of Jehoshaphat is a great army coming out of Moab and they don’t know what to do with them, and he says, “But our eyes are upon you”, and the spirit of the gifting of the glory world began to operate. A young man begins to give a word of prophecy and says, “This is not your battle, the Lord will go before you and fight, you do not have to fight in this; go up by the cliff of Ziz.” And they go up there and the spirit comes upon the leadership of their congregation and he begins to tell the people to trust in God, believe God and his word will be established, and if you will believe in his word and practice his principles you shall prosper. And then the scripture says that he appoints certain singers to go out before the choir, and he sends the choir out with the musicians into the battle, first, because it’s an old biblical principle: When they took the new land and they said; who shall go up first unto Canaan; they said Judah, because praise always goes first.
And Judah went up and he sent the choir out and the Bible said when they began to sign and break into praise, the Lord sent ambushments against their enemies. But what he’s really saying is when people get into desperate straights and they begin to magnify God and praise God in the face of their trouble, God releases angelic warriors and powers that are released into our enemy and our situation. They can do battle for us. It’s the truth. You’ll find the story there that God sent angels among them and they got all kinds of spoil. And it’s all because of the power of praise.
Now two things need to be understood: you can either praise your way out of everything, or you can praise your way through everything. ‘Cause praise cannot be viewed as an escape hatch, God needs to be praised and magnified in worship whether he gets us out, or not. When John praised and magnified God in the spirit on the Lord’s Day on the Isle of Patmos, he did not get into the spirit of the Lord so that he could get off Patmos. See, praise has got to be predicated on an honest, real motive. If I only praise God to fix my stuff, I’m nothing but a cheap drug user – I’m just using God. I need to praise God whether he fixes my stuff or not. In fact, I need to frustrate my enemy by magnifying God in the face of my troubles. And it doesn’t matter to me whether God fixes it or not, I’m going to bless God at all times.
Praise Brings His Presence
Remember, wherever God is praised, there He will be present. Now let me add something irrespective of doctrine, or theology. See, we have for a long time thought that if the theology and the doctrine was not right, God won’t show up. Nothing could be further from the truth. God will manifest Himself when He is praised. Now that does not mean that His manifested presence in that particular place vindicates their lifestyle, or vindicates their theory, or their theology. That is not the truth-that has nothing to do with them being saved. If the sinner man asks God for mercy and help, God will give it to him. If the sinner man blesses God… that is what you do when you tithe and you give… you bless God; God will turn around and bless the person. Doesn’t mean the person is saved, nor is the person approved by God. God will, in just a facet, bless the person.
If you honor God with your lips; God honors you. Wait a minute…in a limited measure, because your life must honor Him. See, He said of Israel “These people draw nigh with their lips but their heart is far from me.” God still blessed them and honored them, but only in a measure. See, determine the fullness of the flow depending on where our hearts are.
The writer says in Psalm 65, “The praise waiteth for thee in Zion.” Now Zion is the church; that’s easy to prove scripturally. Then it says, in Psalm…I think about 22, “O thou that inhabits the praises of thy people Israel.” Okay! God inhabits praise and God has chosen. God is loved in, and has chosen Zion more than all the other places: “He loveth Zion because praise waits for Him there.”
1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood…,” now he’s talking to his New Testament believers – the church you are lively stones and you are built up a spiritual house.” I told you the Old Testament house of God was a physical structure, the New Testament house of God is a spiritual structure. Look at yourself and say, “It’s me, God’s house to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”
1 Corinthians 3:9, “Ye are God’s building.”
Hebrews 3: “Whose house ye are.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” ‘the spirit of God dwells in you. The purpose of the Old `testament sanctuary was so that God would have a place so that he could manifest himself and dwell in. We have got something greater than they had. We have the literal living presence of God in our bodies.
“Ye also as lively stones have built up a spiritual house an holy priest hood to offer up spiritual sacrifices.” Now wait a minute; you’re not just a house for God to come into. He is drawn and attracted to praise. You should have spiritual sacrifices. You are to offer up something, because that was the purpose of the priesthood-to offer up something to God. So we have to offer up praise, we have to offer up thanksgiving, we have to offer up prayer, we have to offer up magnifying God; that is our job. We are both priest and the house. In other words; silence don’t do it. Sorry! You can’t think a praise – you gotta praise a praise. You can’t think a dance; you gotta dance a dance. You can’t think a shout you gotta shout a shout.
You can’t sit their with your lips locked and your legs crossed and your hands folded and make believe you’re going to think about clapping your hands. You don’t think your hands clap you clap your hands. The Bibles says, “Lift up your hands all you people in the sanctuary.” Guess what you are? The sanctuary!! So, you don’t think your hands up you lift your hands up. There is physical activity attached to the sanctuary of God. David did not sit on the side of the road and say, “I think I’ll dance”, and then he just watched….
“What are you doing?”
“I’m thinking my self dancing.”
“Well, you’re not very tired, are you?”
“Oh no, you never get tired this way…”
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation a royal priesthood, a holy nation peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness.” How you going to show forth the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, if your lips are locked? Wait a minute; now let’s go further than lips. How are you going to show forth the praises of Him if your lips ain’t locked, but your life is? For it is both declaration and demonstration. How we show forth… I know lots of people say, “Praise the Lord” and curse me out in a minute. I know folks who go to church and do bad things to you. We are supposed to have lips and life matching. The old adage; “I can’t hear what you’re saying, because I’m seeing what your doing.”
Watch this: in Hebrews 13:15. “By him therefore let us offer a sacrifice o: praise to God continually, that is…” and he explains what he is talking about, “the fruit of our lips…” That’s New York words (words). You’re supposed to use words. The fruit of your lips… mmmmmm… there ain’t no fruitmouth won’t open. Anything that’s fruit breaks forth. “The fruit o: your lips….” Watch; “…that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to hi: name.” Now watch; he says; …now here’s some more of praise, “but do good and to communicate forget not for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
Usually, people who teach on praise always use Verse 15 and abort Verse 16 but they are continued: (16) “But to do good and to communicate forget not for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (15) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Keep praising and blessing God, but continue “to d< good and communicate forget not.” Do some stuff and talk some stuff, “for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” What sacrifices? Not just the lifting of hands and the fruit of our lips, but to communicate and do good. Ii other words; sometimes to do deeds of godliness and goodness they are sacrifices. Sometimes it’s a real sacrifice to do good when it would be easy to do evil. Sometimes it’s a sacrifice to do good when you don’t want to do anything.
The Past Points To The New Testament House Of God-Us
Watch: God has been building a house for his Spirit to dwell in since time began. As he was the designer of the first house according to the book, He gave Moses the plan and the pattern and said, “Make sure you make it according to the pattern I showed you in the mount.” So what is God saying? Remember, the law of first mention is very powerful. God is saying; …I didn’t let the first guy build my house the way he wanted, I told him what size it was, I told him what materials to use I told him where each thing went, I told him what colors to use, what metals to use, what wood to use, I told him even the order of the service, I told him how to approach me: Do you think that as I progressively revealed my purpose to mankind for Me to have a house, do you think that I would let the greatest house I have–a Spiritual house be up to the whims and wants of some TV or radio bimbo? Not hardly!
God has not abandoned his license as master designer and architect of his building just because it became Spiritual. God, who designed the first building, must also design the final building. “…Except the LORD build the house…except the LORD keep the city”, remember that scripture? Ever read over there, at about Psalm 127:1, “…Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain.” In other words; if God don’t build it, whatever you have built it ain’t going to last. God’s got to build His house. Watch: There are 3 previous places in the scripture, although they were actual places, they were by scriptures mere pictures, shadows, fore plans, type of what the reality, of the final would be. Now I hope I didn’t lose you in that wordology.
God gave them 3 plans: Moses’ tabernacle, David’s tent, Solomon’s temple. God have that to them. But they were pictures…they were but types…they were but shadows…they were but incomplete things that God wanted to give to his people as they were able to receive it. See, the biggest problem that we church people have is that we don’t really believe there is any thing else coming down the pike. We got one God, Jesus name baptism, Acts 2:38, and we think that all knowledge dies with us. But God is the God of revelation, and He’s always wanting to reveal aspects of truth that we think we know that are deeper and higher than we could imagine. Because all the Spiritual truths of God are that Spiritual. And we are, just since our new birth, learning the spiritual world. “Well, I got the Holy Ghost, I know everything there is about the Bible.” Oh come on. “I’ve studied the Oneness of God, I understand it.” Oh, really? How come Paul, who’s got a bigger brain than yours said, “Great is the mystery.” How did you reduce the mystery, oh Pentecostal Einstein? Well, he said, “It was great” and you say, “Oh no, it’s minimum.”
I’ll just quote this. In John, Chapter 3: Verse 12, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I have told to you of earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” …If I have told you earthly things and you believe not how shall you believe of heavenly things…? Notice again, the principle of first mention. God always deals with the natural first, because that’s the level we live on, and He wants to take us from the natural to the supernatural form; the non-spiritual to the spiritual; from the elementary to the graduate, but He says; …I’ve got to start with where you are… And He says, …but if I’ve taught you some things about where you are and you don’t believe what I’m saying how can I ever get you there. He says this to Nicodemus and I can’t find where Nicodemus ever gave an answer, and he was the great teacher of Israel!
Natural First – Then Spiritual
Watch what he says; 1 Corinthians 15:46. Howbeit that was not the first which is spiritual….” Now come on, listen to this, it is the key to everything I’m trying to share with you tonight, and maybe next Wednesday, and I’ll be done; “…but that which is natural…” Now watch; he says, “that which is first is not spiritual but natural, and afterward – that which is spiritual. Watch; he is giving you a process of how God works with us. Natural first, then afterward – spiritual.
You don’t have the Holy Ghost out of your mother’s womb. Natural birth first, then spiritual. Natural understanding, then revelatory understanding. He said… I am going to tell you again; that which is spiritual ain’t first, but that which is natural; and then after the natural spiritual. Are you understanding what I am saying? The natural precedes the spiritual. The shadow is prior to the substance, the type is before the anti-type, the elementary is before the realization, the inferior shows up ahead of the superior, the grade school is required before graduate school. It’s the way God does things. Why? Because He’s all Truth, all Life, all Wise, all Light. And we are just coming out of darkness into His marvelous light and He knows that we have to be spoon-fed.
That’s why Peter writes home and says; …desire the sincere milk of the word…. He writes to one place and says; …now meat is only for those who by reason of use have their senses exercised thereby, I can’t give meat, I want to give meat to you people, but you are so whacked out, you are so crazy, you’re all talking in tongues and you all have gifts and you are casting devils out of statues and stuff…you’re all nuts, I couldn’t be spiritual with you, you’re all carnal…you’re fussin’ and cussin’ among yourselves… ‘well I’m of Paul and I’m of Cephas, and I’m apostle this… He said… my God, I can’t deal with you as spiritual people who are carnal…
Now Paul was telling the church of Corinth; …you got a lot of spiritual activity, you got a lot of tongue-talking like a Chinese laundry, I’m real happy for you, but you don’t know beans about what you’re doing, because even though you could be spiritual, if you are in disorder you are out of order. He says; God doesn’t want the church so spiritual it is in total confused chaos. Read the Corinth epistle. He says; everyone of you come together, you all got a message in tongues, you all talking in tongues, nobody knows beans about what’s going on, you’re without an interpretation. My God that’s why he wrote Corinthians 12, 13 and 14; to give instruction about spiritual use and spiritual gifts, because there was confusion. Not that they did not have an activity of the Spirit, but there was so much confusion. He even turns around and says… look, you guys that are prophets, you walk in the office of a prophet, let me help you with this: Let one prophecy, and the other two judge. What is he saying? If you say you have a word from the Lord and there are other spiritual men in that building and it does not jive with their spirit, you’ve missed it.
And if we are so spiritual that we don’t say something and teach something that cannot somehow be put up with the leadership of the church, you need to keep your mouth shut, ’cause you can’t get into the far-out mystical stuff where no body knows where you is. Let me make it simple for you. Anybody in the house got the Holy Ghost? Anybody in the house think you got the Holy Ghost? Fine, I’ll go with the thinkers and the folks who don’t know. Watch! See if I can get a witness in the house…Spirit of God moves you, sense it, hair goes up, ears tingle, stomach jumps up, whatever your key is, BOOM, somebody gives a message in tongues and your spirit, without an interpreter says, …that’s God…. Guess what? Your sitting in judgment. Now we may not get the interpretation, sometimes. Why? Well, we are afraid to utter it, yet maybe we’ll give, anyway. No. The same Spirit that gives the utterances gives the interpretation. You’re supposed to pray for it
Let me help you, there’s times when we will have a message in tongues…bobobb0000… and my spirit will just go, “Yes”, and we get an interpretation and my spirit says, “Not the coldest day in Hell.” Was the person sincere? Yes. Did they miss it? Yes! Should we throw them out of church? No! You’re never going to know until you reach and stretch, for all the gifts of the Spirit operate by faith. Oh boy, I just opened up a can of wiggly worms right here. I’m telling you. Have you never heard someone give a prophecy, or an interpretation to a tongue and your spirit went, “Yes.” You just knew that you knew, because the Holy Ghost said, “I bear witness to it” Why? Because God doesn’t want 5 little prima-donnas in the church, running the show.
Builder Or Destroyer – Which?
It is no light matter tonight to be a church builder. Don’t take any brilliant brain to build a building, because the danger comes in when you are… oh, by the way, I’m not talking about myself; we’re all church builders, ’cause if you’re not building, you’re destroying, ’cause nothing maintains itself. You leave the building alone, it falls apart. You leave a vehicle alone and it won’t start. You leave your own heart alone and it will grow weeds. It just does not maintain itself. There is no such thing in the kingdom as self-perpetuation. Either you are a builder, or a destroyer.
“Well, I’m just an occupant.”
“Well, get out – you ain’t paid your rent.”
Watch; it is not a light thing to be a church builder, because when you and I are church builders, here’s what our responsibility is: We are to offer to God what He demands and not what we devise. For if we offer God what we decided ought to be good, we do not please Him, we do not satisfy Him and He doesn’t show up. It is God alone, who decides how and where His people are to meet with Him. And it is God alone, who also decides the method of approach and the manner of activity.
Let me show you something. Come on go with me…turn in your Bibles, I’m going to go real slow, ’cause it doesn’t matter if I get done. But, it does matter that I say something worthwhile. Genesis, Chapter 4: Proverbs 15:8-9 and Proverbs 28:9. Genesis 4: you got it? Verse 3, “And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. (4) And Abel, he also brought the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (5) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. (6) And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? (7) If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” Now you get the picture?
Contrary to what has been taught over the years, Cain was not a godless man. Cain was worse than that; he was a religious man. He believed in God. You never think of telling your Mother, “Listen, I’m tired of hearing you talk.”
Now you’re smiling, because I think I struck a home run in there somewhere. It would be unheard of; it would so crazy. Can you imagine when you were 12 or 14 calling your father by his first name? “Hey, Bill!” I can never imagine calling my mother by her first name…”Mildred, come over here, would you?” “Jeffrey, I want you to take the garbage out.” “Take the garbage out yourself if you want” Whack!!! Now your smiling, but wait a minute, we can see the humor of it in the stupid stuff we do called our stuff.
Now here…God, God who owns it all, God who could go -whush- and you could not catch your breath if you needed it. God who gives life and breath to every thing, who sustains the universe with His majesty. God condescends to give you a few little pitiful rules to live by and you and I turn around and say, “Get off my back, will you?” I don’t think that’s smart.
And yet, if God were to turn around and go, -smack-, what a cruel being He is! But you would not think anything of beating your kids half to death and breaking both their legs off and beating them over the head with ’em. Now you see, ’cause you relate to your kids that way. Why… some of you husbands sitting here look straight ahead now…you don’t even talk to your spouse that way, “Honey would you get a cup?” “Get it yourself!” You have the makings of an earthquake; volcano ash would be all over you on the couch. Right? Come on husbands, you’re allowed to say, “Yeah.” We are supposed to treat our woman, our wives, as the weaker vessel, not as the inferior vessel.
There’s a big difference between inferior and weaker. She has her God gift to run the house and do certain maternal things that we can’t do. That does not make her inferior. In fact, in her area of expertise, she is superior to us. She’s good at that baby diaper stuff. She’s good at that bearing. I tell you what; I was with Patty Arnold, I held her hand… we have any more babies, she’s going to have ’em, ’cause I know she can take it. I remember when she had that first one and that last one alpha and omega. She said, “If we have another baby, you will have the next one.” Well, I was with her when she had the first one. I said, “Well, Deanna, you’re going to be lonely.
A Divine Order And Purpose To Everything
In 1 Samuel 13:9, Samuel delayed his coming and Saul got upset about it and he offered a sacrifice unto Jehovah that he had no business to, and God rejected it, and not only rejected it, but now rejected Saul saying… you got no business doing this…. And when King Uzziah got upset and decided go into the temple to offer up sacrifices, and the priest said it pertaineth not unto the king to offer up sacrifice, you are a king, don’t jump out of your place He lifted up a sensor and wanted to go in there, and God smote him right in the face with leprosy so it just raised up in his face and they ran him out and he died living in a leper’s house. The rest of his life he was a leper. Oh boy, it seemed like God gets seriously ticked off. No, no. God wants you to understand that He has a reason for His order of things.
Now I’m not trying to be severe, but I’m trying to get us to understand that this worship and praise thing, it can’t be some sloppy bunch of junk. We can’t just come in here and say, “We’re going to sing two songs, and the choir is going to sing.” We need to understand; what we’re offering to God nothing but sweat and human activity, and God won’t accept it.
Proverbs 15:8-9, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord…” did you hear that? God said I don’t care how sincere the wick are, as far as I am concerned their sacrifice is an abomination to me and won’t accept it, “…but the prayer of the upright…” no, you didn’t get it, didn’t get any “Amens” on that one. I am going to tell you something; the wicked not a person who is sinful the wicked are the people who have their heart set again God, so when they do make a sacrifice, God said; I don’t accept this, it is an abomination…, because it is not the gift He wants, it’s the giver. The gift is an extension of the giver.” … the way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord…” see now, you fuss and cuss with me and yell and carry on like I’m some kind of bigot and biggest fool, but I’m going to tell you something; He said, “the way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord”, so it is my job and your job to get people out of the ways of wickedness, because it is an abomination to God; that means we gotta fight with people, we gotta deal with people, we gotta confront people to change their lifestyle. Why? Because it is not a UPC thing, it’s a God thing. God says; …I hate the way of the wicked, it’s an abomination to me…. So the only way we can help the wicked is to try and educate them and confront them; to get them to believe and understand, so that they can turn around. “For the love of him that followeth after righteousness.”
Proverbs 28:9. “He that turneth away from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.” Now watch what he just said; anybody in this house that turns their ear away from hearing the law of God, because the Bible says that the law of God is perfect…he’s not talking about the mosaic law, he is talking about the principles that precede out of the lips of God. “Anyone who turneth his ear away from the law” of God, “his prayer” is what? It is an “abomination” to the Lord. Now watch what God just said: Turn your ear around away from hearing instruction and the reproof of life…God said the next time you pray it comes up in my nostrils like and abomination.
Now God is serious about how stuff gets offered. “Well, if I make a mistake and I do something wrong and I chose the wrong way, I’m cut off forever.” Oh no ! It said his prayer is an abomination; didn’t say anything about his repentance. If the wicked will repent then his prayer is not an abomination. See what happens is, the wicked get in a lot of trouble and then you say, “Oh God, help me”, and God says, “No, you got the wrong guy, it’s an abomination to me.”
“Tis the multitude of your sacrifices unto me saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt offering of rams and the fat of dead beast, I delight not in the blood of bullocks of lambs or of the he goats.”
“Wait a minute. God, you’re the one who orchestrated all this sacrifice system, now you say you don’t like it?”
“No I’m sick of it.” “Why?”
“Because the sacrificial system that I instituted, you didn’t get the principle behind it, so it’s become a ritual to you. You just function with it, but you are divorced from it.”
You see, when you offer a sacrifice to God and I do praise, adoration, thanksgiving, worship “we’ve got to be in the sacrifice. If we are not in the sacrifice, then we are divorced from it and we’re just kind of like a symbol, like a tinkling bell before God. “Here God, here is the stuff that you wanted.” Watch what he says, Isaiah 1:11, “I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or Iambs, or he goats, when ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts?” He’s saying: You’re coming into my house like it was a drudgery, like it’s a pain in the neck, like you wish to God you didn’t have no church; bring no more vain obligations, incense is an abomination….”
“Wait a minute. You’re the one who told us to offer incense. Now you say it is an abomination?”
“Yes, because it is not the incense that I wanted, I want the heart of the offerer, and your giving me incense, but you’re not giving me you.” Come on, let it apply. Look at some one and say, “He’s talking about our praise and worship.” “He’s not talking about four thousand years ago.” “He’s talking about right here, right now.” “He’s talking about us.” Watch; when we go: “Hey, come on, hey come on, hey come on, glory to God, Jesus, Hallelujah, how you doing?”
“I hate it! And you want me to respond? I’ll tell you how I will respond; I will withdraw my blessing.”
Now, you can have your church. We see it all the time; “Hey God, hallelujah, praise God.”
God is going, “You must be kidding! You have got to be kidding, right? You must be kidding. Comedy part of the service will be over in a few minutes. You must be kidding.”
I’ll just… “oh I love you Jesus, Praise God.” “Give me a break.”
Look at someone and say, “The man’s in the Bible even though I don’t like it”
Isaiah 1:13 “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and the Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth:”
“You’re the one that set it up.”
“I know I did, but you divorced yourself from its meaning.”
(14) “I am weary to bear them. (15) And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers,…” here is the promise, “I will not hear:”
You think you can just show up, put on your Pentecostal long dress, put on your bun on the top of your head…
…You think I’m impressed with that craziness. I want you! When you spread forth your hands I will hide my eyes from you, And when you make many prayers I will not hear you.”
Why? Here is the answer: Because (15) “your hands are full of blood. (16) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil and your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; (17) Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (19) If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; (20) But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword:”
What is he saying? Don’t you get it? “…I only set up the structure to help you be comfortable in approaching me, but now you have substituted the structure for me. You think by two songs and a gift offering and this…”Well, I have put my time in.” Am I in the Bible? Isaiah 66 and Verse 3. Very, very important that you understand how important this is to God. (3) “He that killeth an ox as if he killeth a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense is as if he blessed an idoL Yea,…” watch what he is saying, all this stuff that you religious folks are doing, here’s what you are saying, (3) “Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.”
You know what he’s saying? …You created your own church service, you never checked with Me to see what I wanted. This was God’s people He is talking to. I want to go a little further. Jeremiah, Chapter 6, you mind if I go there just a minute? Okay. You’re not shouting, I don’t think there is any chance of that. I’m not saying that rudely, this is not a shouting message. Watch this, 6 and 19 of Jeremiah, “Hear o Earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not harkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it (20) To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from the far country?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.” Jeremiah 14:11, Then said the Lord unto me,…” hope before I die, or leave, whatever it may be, I hope God never ever says this to me wherever I pastor a church, He said it to their pastor, “…Pray not for this people for their good.”
Son, you are in sad shape when God tells your preacher, “…don’t pray for him anymore…. I have had people say, “Don’t pray for me.” I said, “You better pray to God I pray for you. I may be the only one touching God for you.”
It was a terrible state of affairs. These were religious people. They were going thru religious rituals at church every week and God got so sick of the rituals that He turned around and told His preacher, Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people any more, for their good. Watch this; “…when they fasted I will not hear their cry and when they offer burnt offering and obligation I’ll not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword and by the famine and by pestilence….” Wow! That’s a sad state of affairs.
Hosea, Chapter 8: Verse 11, “Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.” In other words; you play games with sin? Okay, so have a lot of fun with it. (12) “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” In other words; it did not fit his life style. (13) “They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.” In other words; because you don’t sacrifice what God wants you to, go back into bondage. (14) “For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities:” You know what he said; …they have gone into architecture and commerce and they have forgotten God, but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.
Amos 5:21, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. (22) Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. (23) Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. (24) But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (25) Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, 0 house of Israel? (26) But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chi’un your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. (27) Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.”
You see what he is saying? “…I am not accepting your praise and worship, because it is divided. You have got gods and allegiances in your life besides me, so when you come to me I see your praise to them and I don’t want it…. That is scary. Now smile and say, “That has nothing to do with me.”
Malachi 1:6 “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, 0 priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (7) Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.” What is God saying? It’s all about attitude! Watch; tonight, try to come up to clap, to praise…. Why can’t we do it back here. I’m just as sincere back here as I am up there.”
Watch; (8) “And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. (9) And now I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this path been by your means: will he regard your person? saith the LORD of hosts? (10) Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering of your hand.”
Get what he is saying? The issue is not this “clapping hands” not the music. He says that; I want you. God is saying that; I don’t even care what form you use, whether it is a fast song or a slow song, I probably won’t even listen to the words, I am looking at your heart, I am wanting to see if your into this, or are you just hoping it’s over soon? Wow!
David and Solomon were successful builders for God. Why? Because, according to 1 Chronicles, Chapter 2, Verses 11 and 12; God showed David, by the spirit, the pattern of the house. And he gave that pattern to Solomon, so they were both successful, because they complied with the revealed will of God. The house was to be filled with singing, praise, rejoicing, joy, holiness, thanksgiving, worship, faith, obedience, forgiveness, sacrifice and mercy.
To build a spiritual house we are required of two things: 1) watchful servants that be me; 2) willing saints, that be you. I can be sincere, but if you won’t; we can’t. You could be dedicated, committed, and sincere, but if I’m haphazard and sloppy and not biblical, it won’t work, either. We are a team, I am not the enemy, you are not the enemy, we are the body; together. My purpose as your pastor is to create a spirit of unity among us, so that together we can feel the desire and the desperate need to create a habitation for God through the Spirit. That’s the only reason why we have music: It’s to create an atmosphere that is conducive, so that we can magnify and bless God. Makes it easier for us. Got me? To disregard, to ignore, to refuse the instruction of the watchful servant, or any one else in leadership, is to hinder the growth of the body and to rob God of His dwelling.
The Last House Of God – Built On Top Of All
Isaiah, Chapter 2: Verse 2 and 3. And the same scripture is really quoted in Micah, Chapter 4; really the same quote. I got Micah, Chapter 4: Verses 1 and 2, have you got yours? Read Isaiah: “And it shall come to pass in the last days,…” hold it, everybody say last days; say, I wish I know when that was, but if the preacher tells me tonight I’ll believe him; I can prove it by two scriptures: Joel, Chapter 2 and Acts 2; they say; …in the last days I will pour out of.my spirit upon all flesh…. Peter quoted that as a fulfillment of Joel, Chapter 2… on the day of Pentecost…so the day of Pentecost is the last days. We’ve been in the last days for two thousand years.
Now watch this, because I’m going to throw you a serious theological curve here. Read Isaiah, Chapter 2: Verse 2 and 3, “And it shall come to pass in the last days…” stop and I’ll read mine.
Micah 4:1, “but in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Isaiah 2:3 “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his pattern for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Have you got me? That’s a prophecy!
Two prophets, almost identical verbiage. They are saying; …something going to happen in the last days…. Now the last days…I have shown you Joel 2:8, Acts 2:17…is now. “…It will come to pass in the last days God will pour out his spirit upon all flesh,” that’s now! The other part of the prophecy said, “… and the house of the Lord…” I’ve shown to you Timothy 3:15, Matthew 16 & 18; that the house of the Lord, the church of the Lord, is His body. Amen. Now, here is the mystery: there is a mystery, there is a terminology, found in both prophecies called ‘Top of the Mountain Read it again; “And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain the Lord’s house, shall be established in the top of the mountain,…” now watch this; the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountain. When God got ready to reveal his desire for a house, he gave them three houses: one in Gibbon, which was in the mountain, one on Mount Zion, which was David’s temple on the mountain, and one the Temple of Solomon, which was built on Mt Moriah. The prophecy says that in the last days the house of the Lord shall be built upon the top of the mountain. What is it saying? Geography? No.
Remember, in the last days the house of the Lord will not be structural, it will be spiritual. So what do they mean, it will be built in the top of the mountains? All three temples; one with a tabernacle, another, a tent, they all three had the Ark of the Covenant, which was the sign, seal, and symbol of in the God’s presence. And each one was called in the scriptures… Judges 19:18, Psalm 121:1, 2 Chronicles 3:1…all were called the house of the Lord. So the house of the Lord has God’s presence, and it is in a mountain.
What does it mean? It means that in the last days, God’s New Testament church, His body, His temple, His sanctuary, His house, His building, will be in or built on top of the previous mountains, or built upon the typical teachings of the former three mountain houses showed. Because the last the house is the ultimate house. It is the one God has been progressively trying to take His people to as He went through the elementary stages of the tabernacle: of the tent: of the meeting. With David’s tent, and finally Solomon’s temple, they were all built in the top of the mountains, but the last day church of God, the body of Christ, His building will be built on the top of the mountains. Oh, we’re going to have all the truth flow into this body and we will be the finality and the combination of all previous types and shadows. What they had in shadow, we are supposed to have in substance. What they had in type, we have in anti-type. What they had in hope, we got in actuality.
What did those houses have, that they would be built at the top of the mountain? All the things that were previously taught of previous places. Don’t you get it? When someone stands on the shoulders of another person he sees farther, because he has the benefit of previous things. Don’t you get it? We are standing on the top of Moses’ tabernacle, and David’s tent, and Solomon’s temple. We are absorbing into us all the previous truths that were given to them. What was given to them? The Oneness of God, the need for a blood sacrifice, the laver for baptism. That laver is not only just for baptism: Ephesians 5 said that we are cleansed and washed by the washing of water by the Word. The priest had to wash; they had to look into the mirror of that laver: It was…you look into the Word and the Word looks into you. What it typical teaching. Remember, the tabernacle plan of Moses was laid out in a perfect cross. You had the altar, the laver, the shewbread, candle stick, altar of incense, holy of holies, Ark of the Covenant, Shekinah, it’s a perfect cross.
The only way you can see the perfection of the cross is from the heavens. God was the designer. When Israel moved across the wilderness, they did not just decide to pack up their socks and dirty clothes and say, “Well, let’s go!” No. God told them exactly where they were to camp around the tabernacle, and they were told exactly how they were supposed to march. If you will study the marching orders of Israel… when God told Judah to go here, Benjamin to go there, Reuben go here, Simeon go there…each one of those tribes had different numbers numerically populated. Some were large; some were smaller, If you watch Israel move across the desert from the heavens, they moved like a cross. And the heavens were watching. “… That’s what I designed” Because the whole thing was a type and a picture of Jesus, who was to come. They all spoke of Him, He was the bread from Heaven, He was the Light of the world, He was the lamb slain, it was His blood that was shed, His word is true, it is the revealer of the secrets of men’s hearts. It’s a picture of Jesus.
But it was a shadow and a type, it was a pattern, it was a puzzle. And they just did it in increments of truth, and then God turns around and, for a moment, opens up a dispensation of revelation shows it to David, and what did they do? They took away the veil. David jumped over a dispensation while he was living in the wrong one. Said “… there’s coming a day when everybody will be able to see the glory….” And he did something that Moses did not do. Watch, it is progressive; “…I want you to add music, I want people clapping, I want noise, I want people singing, I want them to do it day and night, I want sacrifices, I want things done here…” And God turns around and gives him a vision – gives him a revelation of what the next temple should be.
Okay, He gives it to His boy Solomon, and he builds the thing and now we have a new revelation, because now we got a picture of God in permanence with His people. Because they were never allowed to take the stays out from the rings of the Ark, because they were to always be mobile, because He moved in tents with His people. But when the temple got built, He turned around and told the priest, “Take out the rods.” Why? “… Because there ain’t no more movin’, baby.” Don’t you know what the temple is a picture of? It’s New Jerusalem; when the tabernacle of God will be with His people and there will be no more pilgrimage and there will be no more moving.
The three pictures. The tabernacle of Moses – that is a picture of God in Christ, that is what that is a picture of. “…Let them build me a tabernacle that I may dwell in their mist.” God in Christ. You got David’s temple, you got God and His people – the church You got Solomon’s temple – you got God and his new creation: Permanent, “…And they shall be My people and I will be their God and they shall see My face and I will wipe away all their tears, there will be no more pilgrimage…” Don’t you get it? Everything with God is progressive. It is built on previous revelations. You don’t throw away the revelation, you build on it.
1 Corinthians 10 & 11, the material houses of the Old Testament were merely shadows of the one that was to come after Calvary. In order to reach the real, the substantial, the final, you must follow the shadows. Hebrews 9:1-7, Hebrew 9:23-24, they were all shadows, they were types of pictures of what God wanted in his last church. What was supposed to be in this final building of God? Sacrifices? Yes, but not blood sacrifices; there has been one blood. What sacrifices do we give? Hebrews 13:15, “The fruit of my lips giving praise unto God.” 1 Peter 2:5 and 2:9, “Praising and magnifying God that is the sacrifice that we give.” There’s supposed to be songs, music, hand clapping, continual praise, audible activities. Notice that each of those tents, tabernacles, or temples; all had the Ark in it. All had the blood in it. Ready? And all had God’s name there: well, what do you think the last thing ought to be.
That’s why every church that does not believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost is loony tunes. They don’t know what they are talking about. The Holy Ghost was operating in every one of those tents, temples, and tabernacles. But not in the fullness where it would indwell a person ’til the perfect sacrifice came, which was Jesus Christ and when that blood was shed. Then that inferior substituted sacrificial system was done away with and fulfilled, now we can become the living temples of the living God. And He calls us lively stones to offer up spiritual sacrifice.
So for us to come and go, unconcerned, is to say we don’t read the Bible. Don’t you get it? The joy level from Moses’ tabernacle to Solomon’s temple has phonologically increased. The only reason Solomon put the music, and the instruments, and the singing, and the celebration, and the joy into his temple, was because His Dad, David, got a vision from God as to what should be done, and told him what to put there. He said that God showed him by the spirit how to build it and what the order of service should be. And so His kid obeyed his Father. If he had not listened to his Father, he would have been back to the dull monotony of Moses’ tabernacle, where it was all ritual and no joy. Don’t you get it? God wants ritual, praise, worship, joy, celebration to flow. So, now, we are God’s temple and tabernacle and He should not be hard-pressed to find singing and rejoicing.
1 Cor. 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Did you get it? “All these things were written unto them and happened unto them for examples.” They did not just happen, they happened because God was progressively teaching through this wonderful medium of divine tutorship. What he wanted…look; when God first gave the tabernacle plan to Moses, He knew about the church, because the church was in God’s mind before it ever started. God knew we were going to have a building here in Gainesville, but He had to give it progressive life. Look; when you’re in total darkness, you can’t walk out into brightness; you gotta walk out with a squint. You have to get adjusted to the light. That is all God is doing; He is getting us progressively in more light.
I think the only thing that is astounding Heaven is why we are not happy. “Well, don’t worry, you’ll be dead soon.”
“Well, I got a lot of problems.”
“Welcome to the human race. We all have problems.”
“Well, I don’t know how to fix mine.”
“Good, that makes room for God.”
As long as you and I can fix our problems – we are God.
This article “A House Of Praise” written by J. W. Arnold is excerpted from God Is Building Himself A House written by J. W. Arnold.