By J.W. Arnold
Hebrews 3:1, “Wherefore, Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and the High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (2) Who was faithful to Him who appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. (3) For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house. (4) For every house is builded by some man; but he that hath built all things is God. (5) And Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things, which were to be spoken after. (6) But Christ as a son over his own house…” this is what I want you to get, “…whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
I am overwhelmed by the fact that we somehow have yet to grasp what it really means to be the house of God, the building of God, the temple of God. Remember in John 1:4, “In my Fathers house are many mansions…” That does not apply just to Heaven, because he called the temple that he walked into and said, ” You have made my Father’s house a den of thieves” His Fathers house…so his perception was that the temple where God supposedly dwells is God’s house. While there is a heavenly house per se in another sphere; I’ve tried to show you that when the believer is filled with the Holy Ghost, that person becomes the living tabernacle, temple, dwelling place, sanctuary, house of God. This church building is only mortar and tile and air conditioning and carpet. This is just where the house of God gathers together in a big house. But the building is not the house, because Acts says that God dwelleth not in temples made by hands.
Showing Forth The Glory Of God
I’ve showed this to you; that the purpose for the house of God was for His glory. I want to go over that a little bit with you —His glory. I’ve told you that His glory is the exhibition of the excellence of a subject. Remember that? The glory is the fame, or the renowned. The condition of high is achievement, but I’ve got more on it. Glory also refers to that which exceeds, or excels. The glory of a craftsman is his ability to take an ordinary object and carve it, create it, paint it, shape it, and form it into something extraordinary. The glory of an athlete is their ability to seize the moment and turn the situation into something magnificent; a great catch, a home run, a touchdown, a score of a goal in hockey, or volleyball, or whatever. Creation, according to the Psalm 19:1 is a revelation and a reflection of God’s glory. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth showeth forth His handiwork.” In Psalm 93:1 it says that the Lord himself is clothed in majesty and glory. When the heavens declare the glory of God, or they show His exceedingness, His excellence, His majesty; that is shown, whether it is in a snowflake, or a galaxy. In the massive or the minute’, God’s excellence is on display.
Now you got to get what I’m trying to tell you. His glory is His excellence. It’s His majesty, His ability to excel beyond anything or anybody. Now the Bible says that the glory of God was manifested in the face of Jesus. He was the tabernacle of the glory. In Exodus 25 and 40 and 1 Kings. In 1 Chronicles; when God had Moses, David, and Solomon build a temple or tabernacle, the Bible says the glory of God descended into that place. What was it? It was His exceeding excellence, and His exceeding majesty. The exhibition of His worthiness descended into that place and sanctified it, because it said it was set apart; sanctified by thy glory and by thy name. That’s why we Pentecostal people are emphatic about people being water baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, because His tabernacle is always sanctified by His name and by His presence, His Spirit, His glory. That’s why we emphasize that people need to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, because the Holy Ghost is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
But wait, lets go a little further. We usually write that off in our perception aspect of our mind, saying, “the hope of glory.” Some glad morning we shall see Jesus in the air, but until such time you’re going to have to walk along here and have some glory. Let me try it again. Glory refers to that which exceeds, or excels. Creation is a reflection and a revelation of God’s glory and
majesty. When Jesus dwelled on the Earth, He was the manifested glory of God in a body. Why? Because He excelled. And he said, “It’s not me, but my father who dwelleth in me.” He does all this stuff. Well, when you and I receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we’ve got the same indwelling glory.
Now the problem is; we read into that scripture in Colossians 1: 27, “Christ in you the hope of glory” all future, but it’s not. Christ in you the hope of glory means there’s glory for the future as well as for right now. Because Jesus said in John 17, when he got ready to do what’s really the Lords prayer, he said, “Father I have glorified thee on the earth.” What did he say? …The excellence of your majesty that dwelled in my physical frame, I’ve let it flow through my mouth, my mind and my hands, and I have exalted you here…. So when we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, Christ in you the hope of glory, it’s not just some little something that God put in us to get us off the planet at the rapture. Now that’s going to happen, but it really means that there’s an excellence that excels in every one of us, working in us right now. His actual splendor and glory is in us, so that when we walk into a place we ought to light it up. We ought to impact the darkness and not the darkness impact us. We ought to help the drug addict and the immoral person and the dishonest person; not condemning, or ridiculing, but somehow just stepping into that thing and saying, “Ye are salt and ye are light”, and the glory and the excellence of God should emanate out of us.
Jesus, according to the Bible, is the ultimate of God’s excellence. He is the ultimate. He is God’s very best. He is indeed the best of God. The path of excellence, or the path to excellence, is always found by casting aside every evil pretension and all containments. The reason why Jesus could literally display the Excellency of the glory of God was because he said, “the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me.” My problem, and I think maybe one or two of you, is that he has much in me. Not that I don’t love God. Not that I don’t have the Holy Ghost, but there are so many compartments and departments in my life that somehow step in front of me. When I would do good, evil’s present. When I want to shine, I shadow. When I want to flavor, I mess up. When I would pray, I got busy. When I would fast, I got hungry.
When I would witness, I’m afraid. Have I got the Holy Ghost? Yes! But the excellence is not being allowed to excel. That’s why Paul keeps calling on the church and saying, “I have to die daily. I have to crucify my flesh. I have to bring it into subjection.” Why? Because my flesh is fighting this glory. My flesh is fighting this excellence. My flesh does not want to do the things of God. My flesh is enmity with God.
Folks, we will never ever get our flesh to love the things of God. Our flesh will fight us until we go to the grave, or the Lord Jesus comes Himself. There will never be a time when your flesh, or my flesh will say, “I want to pray today.” “I want to fast today.” If there’s anything that’s going to happen in us it’s because the excellence inside of us says, “Come on, let me out” “Let me show my stuff.” “Do something.” “Get out of the way.” And I don’t know about you, but I want the glory of God to be manifested in me. I do. I mean; it’s one thing for you and I to be the container of the goodness of God, but if it stays contained we’re not doing much. Somehow it’s got to flow out of us. Somehow it’s got to get in our concepts. Somehow I’ve got to believe that, no, I can’t witness to everybody and, no, I can’t really convert anybody and I can’t really convince anybody with just a bunch of words. That’s why you’ve got ten thousand different so-called Christian churches with a bunch of hot air and words. What we need is a demonstration of the Holy Ghost
What we need is, somehow, for us to be able to step back and say, “I don’t have something inferior inside of me and I’m getting a little bit tired of being held hostage by people that say that they don’t believe in that stuff.” Then, “I got the glory inside of me when I got the Holy Ghost” “I got the nature of God.” “I got a whole other world inside of me.” “I shouldn’t have to play Pentecostal tuck-head and say, ‘Who am I’?” Well, I’ll tell you right now who I am, I’m not anybody in myself, but greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Because it’s, ” not by might and it’s not by power, but by my Spirit sayeth the Lord.” And if we’re going to get anything done we’ve got to understand that we’re going to have to fuss and fight with our flesh until the glory is allowed to come through. And there’s the battle. And you can fuss and cuss all you want to and say, “We Pentecostals are a bunch of legalists and bondage people who are whackos”, but I think we were right in, somehow, at least in principle if not in practice, that we need to be aware of worldliness and carnality. Why? Because they fight the glory. They do. They fight the glory.
One of the greatest things that I heard Billy Cole say at a meeting that we we’re getting together to go to a crusade in Africa, and he was talking and said, “Brethren, contrary to what you’ve been taught, when you get in the African field, you don’t have to worry about devils, they’re small. We’ve beat them bad. They’re afraid of us. You don’t have to worry about them devils. What you have to worry about is culture. Culture is stronger than any devil that you’ll ever meet. You got to learn to deal with culture.” And I thought about it and said, ” Boy, are you right Brother Cole.” If Brother Willoughby hadn’t sat me down and already talked to me, it would have frustrated me half to a heart attack to try and make these oriental people American. And he said, “That’s one of the biggest things that we have done in dealing with our multi-national church.” I mean, they’ve got about sixteen different nationalities and he said the worst thing we can do is that we have people come all the time, hot-shot guys come over that just want to preach and visit and they all want to make them American. You ain’t going to make an oriental, American. Let them be an oriental. That’s their culture. Just let them learn to love God in their culture. Don’t try to make a Malaysian a New Yorker. You ain’t going to make a Malaysian a New Yorker. Maybe we need to learn that right here.
We’ve Got To Meet Jesus
There’s another very important aspect and that’s that one of the purposes of God’s building or God’s temple or God’s house, according to Exodus 25:22, was a meeting place. A place where God could meet with man. It was a meeting place. That’s what they said, “Let them make me a sanctuary.” And He said; …let them make a little ark there and put the cherubims there and there will I meet with thee…. Now you got to get this, because this is so mind boggling; that in Singapore they take that to heart. When they come into that service, they don’t come to hear anyone preach. They don’t come to hear nobody sing. They don’t come for any kind of drama, or a program, or a choir presentation. They walk in that building, “…We’re fixin’ to meet Jesus.” And they’re not being rude, or unkind, but they don’t give a flip about who you are, or where you are from. They’ve come to meet this supernatural one that these missionaries talk about. Boy, what could happen in our assembly if we decided to start coming to church, and instead of coming to hear me preach, or him preach, or him sing, or the choir sing, if we could say, “Oh it’s Wednesday night, it’s time to go meet Jesus.” I wonder what would happen here Sunday morning if we decided to come in here a few hundred strong and say, “You know what? We’re fixin’ to come meet Jesus.” If you let Jesus out of that box, you’d be surprised what might happen. The blind might just see and the deaf might just hear and the crippled might just walk and the hurting might just be helped and the lost might just be found. “…Come on, let’s go meet Jesus.”
No wonder that woman said…read it in the Song of Solomon, “Has thou met Him, has thou seen Him whom my soul loveth.” Read it. She says, …man, I’m looking for my lover…You seen him?” Some people just say, “Well, I got tired, I got discouraged, went to church and church just didn’t….” Christianity, friend, is about meeting Jesus. If you go to some kind of church and you don’t meet Jesus, you’re in the wrong place, or they had a bad service. Now, I’ll give every church two or three bad services once in a while. Chemistry just works bad and you have a bad day and aren’t always on the top of the mountain, but you can’t keep going to a church and after a while, you haven’t met Jesus. You might as well just put your finger up and tip-toe out and say, ” Friend, I’m fixin’ to go find somebody that knows where Jesus is.”
I’ll tell you, I can’t take care of your sin, I can’t take care of your addiction, I can’t fix you up, or council you into being holy, but if you ever have an encounter with J-E-S-U-S, if you ever meet this invisible resurrected Saviour, not only will He give you grace to change what you can’t change, He’ll create in you a desire. If you don’t have a desire to be holy, you ain’t met Him! Sorry, I’m not trying to be rude. Sorry, I don’t know what the ol’ timers
had….I don’t know…I’m saying that in all due respect. I’m not saying OLD, I’m saying ol’, with reverential respect. I don’t know what the ol’ timers had, but they had something, buddy. Don’t take affront. You get in there and tell them all the crud and junk you’re going through and they’ll say, “Oh, come on, it’s time to pray.” Friend, they’d drag your face to the altar for an hour or two and if you couldn’t get it fixed between you and God they weren’t going to waste their time with you. Friend, HE is the counselor. Friend, come on, we can get a lot of stuff fixed — we just don’t want to pay the price. We just want to put the burden on somebody else.
I’ve had people put a load on me and make me stay up all night and they went home and watched TV and went to bed. The ol’ timers used to ask you:
“Well, did you pray about it?”
“Yeah, ‘…now I lay me down to sleep…’.” “No, I mean did you pray about it?”
They used to call it praying through. We’ve lost that term, but we need to resurrect some stuff, friend. There were some things that you had to just pray through. You just got there…and excuse me for being rude, but you just snotted and slobbered and cried and boo-hood until God just got a hold of you and shook you loose, man; until somehow that pride got out of you. Like the Lord said with Job, He said, “He’s held me up and shook me by the nape of my neck and held me up to the wind.” You got to get an old Jacob wrestling match and say, “Hey, I can’t talk my way out of meeting Esau. I can’t bury my past with a counseling session. I need to wrestle with God until God breaks something inside of me, until something changes inside of me, until I walk out of here with a limp, but I also walk out of here with a blessing.” I’m talking about a meeting place. That’s what this needs to be.
Man, I bawled and squalled and cried so bad this last week in a motel room in the Philippines, I just carried on like a crazy man. I was so overwhelmed.
I thought about all this beautiful complex we have here in Gainesville. I said, “God, would you give us an understanding and let it become a meeting place?” You see, we need this place — He doesn’t need this. I just went to a missionary work there and Bro. Willoughby took me the next day after their conference to the Filipino church. They rent a thing for a Sunday, and it’s a little room, and the roof is 6 foot, 3 inches, and Brother Willoughby is six foot one and he can’t jump, because he always jumps—and he can’t jump there. He’s got to go sideways. He can’t jump, because he’d hit the tile. But it’s a little room, maybe as wide as a few pews sitting side by side, but then it has a wall that goes all the way down to about six foot in front of the pulpit and then they have another side, and the wall’s right in the middle. And Brother Willoughby stands on that platform and he preaches to the cheap seats and they’re eating it up and going “Yeahhhhh!” And then he leaves there and goes on the other side of this three or four foot wall to the other side of the church. And then this one stops and he comes back, and it’s where he pays attention to them and brings Jesus to them…you just preach Jesus to them and they go crazy. But I looked at this thing and it stunk, it was in the back-end of a restaurant and the bathrooms were nasty, the walls and paper were hanging off and it kind of gave me the shivers. And Brother Willoughby has tears running down his face and he said, “Oh Brother Arnold, God needs us. Every time we come He meets with us. We pack three hundred over on this side and about two hundred and eighty on that side and they’re packed to the walls and they don’t want to go home. Why? Jesus meets with us.”
How come we want to go home?
Do you understand that the garden was the first meeting place that the Lord had with man? He met with Adam and when sin happened, sin took man’s privilege away of meeting with God. Don’t you get what this thing’s all about, folks? It ain’t about Pentecost and Baptist or Presbyterian and Church of Christ and Catholic and Episcopalian and Heinz fifty-seven and twenty-eight flavors at Howard Johnson’s…. That isn’t what it’s all about. The only reason we got so many of these denominations…you know, denomination is a terrible word. You know what it means? Denomination… is; to divide. It is; denominations. It’s; divide the nations. It is — to break something down, to be more or less than one unit—denomination. This church can’t be denomination. We can’t divide this into clicks and stuff. We can’t have our favorites and the folks that we don’t talk to and people that we don’t like. It can’t be like that Ushers; here’s your new homework assignment from Singapore: when they come in, shake their hand and smile and say, “God bless you. Are you here to meet Jesus?” Now don’t say it to our visitors—they’ll flip out, but say it to all the folks that pay the bills. Why don’t you look at someone right now and say, “Are you here to meet Jesus?” Just look at them and say, “Is the reason you’re not smiling because it’s been a long time since your last meeting?”
You see, I’ve got the advantage over you, I’ve met Him for the last five days and I’ve had a great time. But I noticed that it started to diminish and fade, almost like the glory that faded off of Moses. I got in the LA airport at 4:30 and I couldn’t get a plane. They lost my luggage. I stayed at Immigration I don’t know how long, and I finally sat at the LA airport for eight and a half hours last night and got on a plane at one o’clock this morning. Man, my meeting was fading, and humanity was encroaching on me. There is only so much hot tea and coffee you can drink and your taste buds are voting you out of office. All I wanted to do was get on a plane and come back here and meet Jesus with you. The only reason I took that midnight special and flew from one o’clock until eight thirty this morning to get into this city, is because the other plane was going to get in at seven tonight and I was afraid I wasn’t going to meet Jesus with you so I said, “I’m going to come home early.” Pardon me I’m on a high right now, and you got to understand this; this thing about a temple, about a building, this church stuff, it’s about us meeting Jesus. If anything else less happens, we’re frauds. I don’t care if you’re Baptist, Presbyterian, Charismatic cowboy, Apostolic Pentecostal, I don’t care what you are. If we don’t meet Jesus, we have done a great injury to people who come among us. Secondly; if we meet Jesus and we don’t act up, we’re frauds.
When I say act up…some of you that do gymnastics for Jesus…you’d think that that would mean “Yaaahhh!!” I just spent four days with a thousand little Chinese people that meet Jesus like this (gesture — quiet). Now, I will confess, I have a hard time with that— sort of —I’ve been talking to the Lord all the way back from Malaysia about that, and the Lord just seemed to laugh at me on the plane and say, “How do you like that, Jeffy?” I mean, when you see an oriental person come to the altar… that’s why Brother Willoughby loves the Filipino people, because the Filipinos are crazy. I don’t mean that irreverent and disrespectful, they’re just very emotional and demonstrative. The Malaysian people are all a Muslim people. They come in and they’ve got enough bed sheets…all you see is their eyes. For them to shout—it would take them twenty minutes to get undressed. So they can’t do it.
The Indian people got them little dots on their heads and they just…and this little oriental person just comes up and they don’t even lift their hands, you just talk to them through the interpreter. We had interpreters, because the Malaysians were over here and the Filipinos were over there and the Indian people here, the Pakistanis were there and the one English-Brooklyn guy was right here — me. Now they can understand English, a lot of them, they were just… goobedly-gobedly, goobedly gobedly gobedly gobedly, and they kind of go… oh, aah-soo…and they just kind of smile at you. “…Now you want the Holy Ghost and you want to meet Jesus? Come.” And they come and they’re just petite, little bitty people and they just walk up and you smile and tell the interpreter, “Tell them we’re going to lay hands on them.” Goobedlygobbedly-goobedly-gobedly. “Tell them they’re going to get the Holy Ghost and — I know they’re already talking in tongues — but they’re going to talk in tongues different” They tell them and, POOF, they talk in tongues for twenty and thirty minutes! They just smile and rattle on and I go, “Come on baby, run, jump, get after it, do a cartwheel, go man, go!!” But they just sit there and rattle away prim and proper-like. It’s like Jesus said, “How did you like that, Jeffy?”
So maybe we got a revival over there and I’m getting changed to come back here. I’m going to tell you right now; I don’t care. I want everybody to shout that wants to shout, but I don’t want you to feel like I’m beating you up, or pushing you down if you don’t shout. I just want you to meet Jesus!! If you meet Him with crying, wiggling your hand…I just want this place to be a place where people can meet Jesus. God gave me such a lesson; here are all these Filipinos and they do it for hours. They’re like the Thursday Islanders in Sydney, Australia. They go crazy for three or four times, and I gotta go and sit down. I got a hernia, man. They’re doing it for hours.
The Malaysian ladies are so beautiful. Dark skinned beautiful ladies Muslim. Talk to a Muslim and see if they want to meet Jesus. “Going to feel something it’s going to be wonderful.” Do I put my hand…no, I don’t want to get my hand cut off. Poof. Same Holy Ghost that I feel here, went POOF, and that little Malaysian lady just starts talking in tongues. Now they’re all talking in tongues to me, but the missionaries can tell the difference in the dialect and can tell exactly what’s going on. You ready for this? And some of the people that got the Holy Ghost that don’t talk English, talked English when they got the Holy Ghost. Folks, I’m here to tell you that we’re not in a bunch of bologna. We’ve got a hold of something that’s awesome! It’s not the United Pentecostal Church — It’s the Kingdom of God. We’ve got to get our perception changed, that this has got to be a meeting place. Where everybody is WELCOME! Glory. Glory!
Talking to Brother Willoughby, trying to find out what makes these people…what gets them going? He says, “Oh, its our church people, the faith of our church people. We’ve taught our church people that you expect Jesus to do something. You expect Jesus to show up. You bring your faith and you exercise your faith on their behalf and you create an atmosphere for them and they’ll get the Holy Ghost like that”
See, I had got off my plane and Brother Willoughby had just got off his plane. I had just spent thirty-eight hours going, and Brother Willoughby had been laid over. He had just come back from Ethiopia with Billy Cole, and he had just been thirty-three hours on a plane and he got there two hours before I did, so we were two looneytunes in the airport And he was so high, because they had just had three hundred thousand people get the Holy Ghost. Three hundred thousand! He said they brought a man in on a pole, a four-inch bamboo pole, tied upside down; he was demon possessed and crazy, screaming like a mad man frothing at the mouth. He said they brought him in just screaming and they just carried him in. You see, Billy Cole operates in the Word of faith and he just said to bring him in and lay him down and hold him down. He was just wiggling all over the ground and Billy wouldn’t even bother with him, he said, “Come on, lets pray for the Holy Ghost to fall.” And when he prayed for the Holy Ghost to fall, the devils came out of this guy. He went totally quiet. They untied the ropes and wiped his mouth off put their hands on him and he got the Holy Ghost and started talking in tongues. Because in these places, church is a meeting place where you meet God.
That’s what the purpose of church is. It’s not so you believe a certain thing. It’s so you meet God. And from that encounter and that meeting, desires are created in us so we want to please the One that we met. That’s what holiness is all about. I want you to sincerely pray about your own selves and about your concepts and perspective, and that you could, somehow, muster up the courage and the faith to come in the building to say, “I’m fixin’ to go meet with Jesus.” “I’m going to create an atmosphere where I sit and this is going to be an arena of danger for anyone that’s not serious.” “I’m going to bless God and I’m going to exalt God and I’m not going to make the choir entertain me and I’m not going to wait for the preacher to hit the ball out of the park.” “I’m going to meet Jesus.”
On that little note; that e-mail that sweet man sent when he said that when Brother Arnold shouts loud it puts power in us, but when he speaks soft…. In the three services in which I spoke, it was the most unbelievable thing, I would be ranting and raving as I always do and then all of a sudden in that last five or ten minutes it would be this wheeewww, and it would literally saturate the building. I mean, I’m emotional and sweat’s throwing off of me and my hands are hitting the pulpit…sweating…but God went wh000sh and literally took my breath away and stopped me. And a hush came over the entire complex…just…a hush. And Brother Willoughby is just a shakin’ and talking in tongues and I said, “Wow!” And it was like the Spirit said, “Now, invite them to pray now.” So I would stop the message and say, “You’re feeling Jesus right now. Those of you that have come to watch these saved-face Orientals by the hundreds just step out and come and walk down here and line up across here.”
Every service ended exactly the same way; ranting and raving and carrying on, and all of a sudden God would go whoosh, as if somehow He knew how their culture could relate better than I could. And when He stilled the thing, these precious oriental Malaysian people, Indonesian and Indian and Pakistani people, all these multiple cultures recognized Him and they would come. And anyone that wanted the Holy Ghost got the Holy Ghost. Anybody needed healing got healing. And they were so overwhelmed walking out they would come by and grab my hand and say, “Thank you Brother Jeff Arnold, Great man God. Great man God.” And I would sit down, because I was exhausted and my leg was hurting and they would come by and say, “You, you, you pray me? You pray me?” You don’t want to do that at an oriental service, because everybody in China wants you to pray for them, and they lined up for an hour and a half. “You lay hands, you pray, you pray children?” And they’d just line up, and just come to you, and you just prayed for them. But my Spirit would break. The Spirit of God, whoosh. So maybe it wasn’t that loud, boisterous something, but just that gentle whoosh; something that every culture recognizes.
You got yourself a nice building here. You’re almost out of debt. It’s got to become a meeting place. That’s all. Your prayer life and mine has got to become a meeting place. It does. It’s an atmosphere where we go meet Jesus.
The above article, “The Glory of God and Meeting Jesus,” is written by J.W. Arnold. The article was excerpted from the seventh chapter of Arnold’s book God is Building Himself a House.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.