Genesis 12:7: Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (ESV)
What you build is what you invest in. Jesus said that he will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. He invested himself in the building of the church (Matthew 16:18).
That is why Paul said that Jesus is the cornerstone of the church (Ephesians 2:20), of which we are all part of. The greatness of God is meant to be manifested in the church, it is supposed to be the place of the glory of God, the place of the presence of God, the power of God, the wisdom of God, the knowledge of God. It is supposed to be populated by those who are pursuing the knowledge of God, who are separated to God in all sense of the word.
What God is building is like no other building, it is a spiritual building. Paul wrote that we are being built as a house of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).
The building has continued to be built throughout the church age, starting with the church in the book of Acts down to this day.
In a way, the form of the church is like what God told Jeremiah about the clay object that a potter was forming in his workshop (Jeremiah 18:1-6).
God told the prophet to pay a visit to the potter where he will receive his message. And there the potter was forming something on the wheel, and when the shape did not come out right, or it whole thing was marred in the hand of the potter, the clay was broken on and another thing was formed from it.
The history of the church takes a similar shape. The first-century church was fine, but a few century after the church became marred. There was some excess in the church, that necessity the potter, God, to break it down, and now in the latter days the church is being reshaped. Starting with the ministry of Martin Luther, a new church is emerging after the ashes of the old, and in the Pentecostal movement, another thing is emerging from the orthodox churches which trace their origin from the time of Martin Luther.
Another way in which we can understand the evolution of the church down the years is by the illustration of the valley of dry bones, from a vision that God showed Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In that vision, there were many dry bones scattered all over with no hope for coming out.
That is the shape of the church called the medieval church, which is the church in the dark ages. There would be no bone if there were no real human beings in the valley before then.
They were living breathing people which over time, became dead, but that was not the end of the story.
To rectify the situation, God said that Ezekiel should prophesy, which is to speak the word of God. That was what we see Martin Luther do, bringing back the word of God to the centre stage, to rebuild a “fallen army.”
When there was restoration of interest in the word of God. When people began to say “sola scriptural,” the scriptures alone, not tradition, not ancient practises not the infusion of the culture that surrounds is, but scriptures alone, and the word of truth was being rightly divided, then the bones of the scattered messed up confused dead church began to join together, gaining the right spiritual form.
The church began to take the right shape the way God wanted it to be, congregation of churches bearing different names were being formed with the right connection with Jesus, and not a human overlord called pope, or human structure called the Catholic Church.
Out of the ashes of the dead church of the medieval age came the vibrant missionary church that took the gospel to many unreached places with many sacrificing their lives.
After the bones have joined to bone, the sinews covered the bone and the flesh and the skin have covered everything. This shows that it took a process of time before a full shape was formed. As the word began to go forth, the word of God took central stage.
Before all these God had asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” His answer: you alone know. So while death and destruction happened to the previous army whose bones laid in the valley, God was not wringing his hand confused and wondering what he was going to do.
He only had to send his word. The bible says that God sent his word to heal us and deliver us from our destruction (Psalm 107:20).
The Holy Spirit is committed to working with the word of God because they were written by him in the first place.
The word and the Spirit are intertwined so when the word of God goes forth, we should expect creative power to go forth.
And the bible says that where the word of a king is there is power, there is change, change without limit. Paul said that we should be filled with the word of God (Colossians 3:16), and we have to be strong in the lord (Ephesians 6:10-12).
There was something else to be done after the sinews, flesh and skin had come. There was the need for the Spirit to come into the fleshy human bodies lying all over the valley which was previously full of dry bones.
The Spirit needed to come upon it. That speaks of what happened in the early 1900s when the church began to experience the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. That was when the people in the valley became was referred to as an exceedingly great army.
The church is now ready to deal with the devil like never before, with the spiritual dimension activated in us, the expression of the supernatural gifts in different dimensions began to manifest in the people in the church.
We became more dangerous than ever, we become animated with the very presence of God. But we must not forget that the foundation for the expression of the Holy Spirit is the word of God, if the bones did not come to bone, which stands for rightly diving the word of truth (2Timothy 2:15), we would not have an exceedingly great army animated to the Holy Spirit to speak of.
- Third Sunday after Pentecost (emmanuelchatham.typepad.com)
- Pentecost & Bike Safety (amberdover.wordpress.com)
- Witness and Persecution. Exaudi 2015. (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
- 5 Ways to Tell a Counterfeit Christian (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
- How to fast in a way that pleases God (nyasatimes.com)
- Thankful for the Holy Spirit (2cherish2commend.wordpress.com)
- “The Holy Spirit renews the Earth”: On Pentecost, the Church is “born” and “sent”….. (whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com)
- What is Holy Laughter? (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com)