He basically said he had a skepticism to those who say "Jesus came to me and said." Then he proceeded to add some subtle aspersion upon such people by proclaiming that scripture says Jesus is seated in the Heavenlies on the right hand side of the Father. He isn't down here and that he was glad Jesus was seated up there or something to that effect. I turned off my radio and continued to eat. I just knew that I was going to blog on this when I got home from work. Don't get me wrong...I will still listen to this awesome pastor on the radio. It is just that I was disturbed by what he had just said.
Allow me to vent now and open my thoughts to you:
My mind quickly sorted through my scripture knowledge and as you might image the first scripture to pop forward to the forefront of my attention was:Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Ok...so here we see Jesus among Christians. Nothing is said about Him being there by proxy or any other way. He is there in their midst. If I correctly understand, Jesus is manifested in their midst, He is actually there with those believers, unless scripture is not telling us the truth.
I felt the pastor was the problem. His statement, I felt would cause others to back off from believing Jesus could come to them and or even expecting Him to. In essence the pastor quenched me by his statement.
Those of us from the Jesus people days can recall power and presence and manifested glory that is not to be found today in most of our church experiences.
Zerubbabel, the grandson of Jehoiachin, the last king of Judah, was the governor, and Jeshua was the high priest. Through the conspiracy of the enemy, the foreign king gave order that the temple was not to be built. There was to be no restoration or rebuilding of the Temple of God or the walls of Jerusalem.
This is an exact parallel of the present~day spiritual restoration that is taking place now. The wall was not rebuilt for 15 years after the order that the Temple was not to be rebuilt. It has been a very long time since the days of the Jesus People. And there are quenching lines of thought running rampant that keep us from restoring what once was.
The prophets Haggai and Zechariah prophesied the Word of the Lord that released the rebuilding of the Temple. These two prophets encouraged the people to go on and complete the work. When we are engaged in a project for the Lord, we need to do the same thing: prophesy strength to one another, prophesy the anointing of the Lord upon the work. The Haggai and Zechariah ministries are needed today also to break every impasse. An impasse that can be broken by the prophets proclamation.
There is a great deal of spiritual warfare. We need to learn how to rebuild our spiritual defenses and rebuild.
Haggai and Zechariah were the prophets who prophesied during this period when the Temple was being rebuilt under Zerubbabel. It is significant that it was during this time that Haggai prophesied, "The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former; says the Lord of hosts, and in this place I shall give peace, declairs the Lord of hosts."
Solomon's Temple was the "former Temple." It far exceeded the glory of Zerubbabel's Temple, which was eventually desecrated and replaced by Herod's Temple in Christ's time. That too was destroyed in 70 A.D. None of these Temples saw greater glory.
No doubt the prophet was talking about the Temple that God is building today, out of living stones for a habitation of Jesus Christ by the Spirit. Are we entering into that period now?
According to the Scriptures, we can anticipate that the glory of God could be greater in our midst than it was in Solomon's Temple. The prophet spoke that in the Latter house of God's presence there would be greater glory than had existed at any other time.
There was little preludes of this glory in Solomon's Temple. When it was dedicated, 120 priests ministered and offered countless sacrifices. Thousands of animals were slaughtered in sacrifice to the Lord. ( II Chronicles 5:6). As the priests ministered, the glory of God came like a cloud and filled the building, and the priests could not stand to minister. That was the former glory.
The Temple that was rebuilt in the days of Ezra was never known to have the glory on it. Ezekiel prophesied about the glory. In vision he saw the Shekinah Glory hovering over the sanctuary. It moved several times and finally hovered over Mount Zion for about a year, before disappearing completely ( Ezekiel 10,11). At a later time Ezekiel prophesied about the glory that will return ( Ezekiel 43 ). However, the temple that he saw was symbolic; it was never built by the actual physical dimensions given.
There is for us the promise of a greater glory. Are you thinking, " I am not at all satisfied with the measure of the glory of God that rests on me. This troubles me more than anything else."
We have a promise that the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former and in that house the Lord will give peace.
2 Corinthians 6:16
... For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
The prophets provided an under girding strength. This is a picture of the phase we are now in.
This name, which Matthew refers to in his Gospel (Matthew 1:23), was first given to Jesus by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before His birth (Isaiah 7:14). And this very special Christmas name, as Matthew tells us, means "God with us." Jesus Christ is Immanuel, "God with us."
`Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?' declares the LORD." (Jer. 23:23-24). The God of the Bible, the true Creator is omnipresent, everywhere at the same time. He fills all of creation with His presence; every mountain and every molecule; and yet He is not a part of that creation. He remains Creator distinct from His creation. And so a God who is everywhere is certainly a God who is with us.
St. Augustine's familiar words hit the mark, "For You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until we find rest in You." The human race needs God, the Creator, because it is built into the very core of our nature to know Him intimately. Without Him, we are incomplete, empty, unfulfilled, restless, all because we are living life contrary to the purpose for which we were made.
When the creature no longer has fellowship with the Creator, he seeks to find a replacement to make the gnawing emptiness go away. Some call this "man's drive to succeed", others "finding myself", and still others refer to it as "self-actualization." But these restless strivings are the creature trying to fill the void left by the Absence of the Creator. Some try to make the emptiness go away with romance and relationships, family and friends; Others throw themselves completely into a career hoping that will give their life meaning. Others find themselves almost obsessively buying one thing after the other, desperately hoping to find fulfillment under the sheer weight of the new. Sadly, many turn to the dark side of drugs, alcohol, crime, and other deviant behaviors to drown out the emptiness and lack of meaning in their lives. We need "God with us" because without Him we are incomplete.
"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them." (2 Co. 5:19). Through Jesus Christ, Immanuel, our sins are forgiven and we have fellowship with our Creator again.
Immanuel. In this one name, everything humankind needs and the entire plan of God's salvation is subsumed. How blessed we are that Jesus Christ became Immanuel, God with us.