"The Zeal of Thine House"
September 1, 2011

C. R. Oliver

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September 1, 2011

"The Zeal of Thine House"

John 2:16-17
And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!" Then His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up."
          What was said to the dove merchants was meant for the entire structure of the compromised Temple. It could have been said to money changers, sheep traders and purveyors of incense. It was shouted to one, but included everyone.
          Jesus' words resound in history and should be heard in ringing accusation by the modern church. There is no difference between dove merchants and "T-shirt and tattoo" bargainers at the latest Christian rock concert. Just because it could be said to the rockers, let it be directed to the whole "mess" who masquerade as "THE CHURCH."
          Were He to enter the domain of most of the worship centers of the world, His dictum would be directed to the dismal purveyance of pulpit pulchritude that characterizes preachment across the globe.
          When Jesus entered the Temple, He saw "a mêlée of madness" that in no way resembled what the Father had in mind. The same is true today! There was no flame of holy fire there, no flaming oracles from the mouth of God there, no ignition in the hearts of the multitudes there, no fire of His glory in the spirits of men there, hence, no true Temple there---similarly, no glorious church here!
          Alas, the flame burning inside His frame was matched by no one in sight. Anna and Simeon had expired, John the Baptist was martyred and what remained of a worship place was a hull.
David's words in Psalms 69: 8-10 burned in Him.
I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother's children;
Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting
Seeing the condition of the Temple, a Holy Flame rose up in Him, just like in the heart of His Father. A reproach to the Father became a reproach to Him. His flame expressed itself in actions against those who profited from the merchandizing of the message of God.
          Far surpassing those days are THESE days, when the merchandizing of the gospel is in its zenith. When Jesus entered the Temple to overthrow the money changers, He forever became the assailant of such in the houses of the Lord. He would do it again today! This was not a once only occasion; it was the initiation of the wrath of God against all such folly. Perhaps it was the prime reason Jesus never did address the Templers as those He wished to Reform, Revive or Restore. Never did He proffer the three R's which are so loudly heralded in Christian circles today.
          As the modern church rivals the same conditions as the Temple of Jesus' day, should one not ask the question, "Is revival, restoration or reform an option for today's church?"
          In all honesty, Jesus came to destroy what He saw as irredeemable. It had become a religious system and an incorrigible organization of corruption. Woe to those who replicate the Temple and call it the "work of the Lord." Woe to those who raise up edifices that are not modeled from the image in the heart of the Almighty!
          Consuming fire covered Jesus as He brought the straps down on overturned tables. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, the burden of the Lord was upon Him. Would to God someone, somewhere, would once again take on the "burden."
          When the Harlot of Babylon sold indulgences and burned the faithful in inquisition, there arose a fire in Europe that scalded the Pope. To this day, Savonarola's name strikes fear in the papacy. The likes of John Knox, Luther and Zwingli still garner anathema in the ranks of the sordid rulers of papal darkness. (I have stood at the markers where each of these Reformers summoned their faithful to leave the ranks of the damned and join them in holiness and opposition to the perpetrators of shame. I stood on the plaza dedicated to John Huss [Prague, Czech Republic], who was burned at the stake, and I wept because no one was like him. No one is willing to associate with Jesus, the temple cleanser. No one will let the "Zeal of Thine House" devour him.)
          Now, the harlots of Protestantism issue similar indulgences. They license what God does not (by offering pulpits and positions to homosexuals and looking away at abortion). With
          A question arises: how can one, with the fire of God on the inside, remain silent in a world of liturgical corruption?

Jesus and Moses:
          Both of these were mediators of covenant; both stood their ground in the face of inexorable ravages against the will of God. Moses, when he came down the mountain and observed the Aaronic Calf and the people delighting themselves in sin, broke the tablets of stone, ground the golden object and made the participants drink their potion of forty years death.
          Jesus flailed the marketers who were supported by the multitudes and called for the destruction of that final temple. So, a simple question must now be entertained, "What is in the offing for the modern church?" If God changes not, Jesus would have to apologize to the Temple folks for allowing what is going on now. Same stuff, same result!

The Zeal of the Lord:
          There is a difference between zeal for God and zeal from God. Zeal for God produces all sorts of wonderful works and programs and charitable works. Zeal for God produced Saul of Tarsus.
          Zeal from God produced Paul!
          There hung in the gallery of Paul's heart a picture painted by Holy Ghost Fire, a picture of the Glorious church. Every mission field he visited, every church he planted, every individual he conferred with caught the same image. The Glorious Church vision permeated every epistle. Now the question arises, "Who carries this same vision today?" Is this the vision imparted from pulpits and pews? Have we lost the pattern?
           In Ezekiel's day, the Lord responded to a profligate temple leadership by asking, "How dare they put their door by My Door?" It is once again a fair question to the church!
          Lit by the fire of God, the glorious church is to present itself in holy splendor, to a world that has not seen such. It must incorporate a body of believers who know their way to the throne and who are well known in the halls of heaven. The glorious church is to be characterized as a fire-people interacting with the fire of their God.
          Paul's portrait of the church demanded a people of Pentecost burning with the same fire as the upper room set. They were to minister through the flame of the Holy Ghost baptism. They were to heal the sick, raise the dead, and do miracles of power. That which they loosed stayed loosed and what they bound stayed bound. Fire sealed the deal with them! Ministry was ministry in the flame!
          Ministry through the Fire changes the definition of ministry-as well as the outcome. Most ministries today have substituted SHAKAD for SHEKINAH (Shakad: a bribe or donation).
          Paul's picture of the glorious, flame-filled, body of Christ must once again burn in our own hearts. Such ministry must begin by cleansing the temple of our hearts, and then cleanse the worship centers of the world. Willingness to tolerate the foolishness of standard church fare is to be put to an end.
          Tolerating slackness, compromise and arrogance must be a thing of the past. Supporting such with tithes and offerings, using one's talents to promote agendas and using one's time to expand organizations must cease. Participating in the judgment of such raucousness was not an option with Jesus, and it will not be for the saint either.
          Jesus destroyed the dysfunctional and replaced it with Holy Ghost fire-folk. He called forth a new entity, the church. He laid to rest the Temple. Will He once again have to go outside the structure to establish His bride?

Nehemiah and Malachi:
          Revival and promises don't last long. When Zerubbabel returned with the stragglers from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem, there was zeal to build the house of God. Time slipped by and the zeal was turned into a desire to build one's own dwelling. Ezra then came and the people revived they promised God all kinds of allegiance and eventually rebuilt the temple. Nehemiah entered the scene many years later to rebuild the walls.
          Enter Malachi! While Nehemiah returned to Persia for a 14 year reprieve, the prophet rose to proclaim repentance. Malachi's message came 94 years after Zerubbabel's aliyah.
          He spoke of repentance and the establishment of honesty before God. When Nehemiah returned and heard the message of the prophet, he told the elders basically, "we are going to do what he says." They rebelled.
          Nehemiah got "the zeal of the Thine House" and began pulling their beards and instructing them about political protocol. He was governor, not a priest or a prophet, and Malachi's message would be honored. That was an order.
          Where are the Twenty-First century Nehemiah's and Malachi's?
          These are the last days, and we have no time left to restore, revive or reform. We have no time left to find our talents, seek our grace gifts or hone our Bible skills. There is no more time for Bible School or certification training. These concerns have been the delaying tactics of a generation past. We must pour into the streets those who are willing to tell what they have seen and have heard from HIM. Like the early disciples when they declared, "We can do nothing more than tell what we have seen and heard," it is time to see something and hear something and tell it.
          These are the days of JEHOVAH SHAMMAH, The IAM of glory. The Lord is PRESENT, indwelling, fulfilling the prayer of John 14. He is building the glorious church and it will be comprised of glory people.

Last Days Vision:
          Recently, a friend had either an open vision or a dream. He could not tell the difference. In the drama, he was facing a dark and roiling cloud, and in that that cloud was every despicable thing he had ever encountered. Demons, devils, and all they could dispel, were present. The cloud was covering the earth and he began rebuking the devil and calling forth all the resources he had practiced as a believer. A voice came forth and instructed him, "Do not rebuke or pray against this cloud. It is judgment coming on the earth for the depths of the people's sins." He could hardly believe what he heard. Whether awake or asleep, he considered the words and turned to escape. Upon turning, he encountered an enveloping mist of fire, light and glory. It seemed to beckon him as a place of refuge. He entered its mist and discovered it was more than mist; its substance actually entered his body with light and made him glow. When he walked further into its domain, he was covered by what seemed to be a wall of comfort. It was all around him. He could not see through it to the outer darkness. A voice came, "This is what I have prepared for My people. To enable them to escape what is coming on the earth. They must enter into my glory provision."

( Note: Those who relied on the Temple in Jesus' Day wept among the ruins as the destroyers of 70AD blasted it into oblivion. Selah.)

Great Awakening:
          Billye Brim and her partners have been praying for a modern day Great Awakening, which is an honorable pursuit. Unfortunately, what they desire does not include the likes of Jonathan Edwards or the obedience of a Cane Ridge. (Both of which did not originate from man.)

          Thirteen years before the first Great Awakening, Edwards wrote of his experience with God. The year was 1721:
The first instance that I remember of that sort of inward, sweet delight in God and divine things that I have lived much in since, was on reading those words of I Timothy 1:17: 'Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen.' As I read the words, there came into my soul, and as it were diffused through it, a sense of the glory of the Divine Being: a new sense, quite different from anything I ever experienced before. Never any words of Scripture seemed to me as these words did ... After this my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and more lively ... God's Excellency, His Wisdom, His Purity and Love seemed to appear in everything; I had vehement longings of soul after God and Christ, and after more holiness, wherewith my heart seemed to be full and ready to break.
For thirteen years, this experience saturated Edward's soul until he burst on the American scene with a white hot flame preachment that produced, "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" and "The Punishment of the wicked, unavoidable and inescapable." Those messages hung folk over the pit of hell and offered an invitation to repent. Edward's believed if they repented long enough and stayed repented long enough, maybe God would hear their cry.

          Revival came in 1734.

           Over in Kentucky, at Cane Ridge, a solitary farmer heard the voice of God and cleared acreage under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Not knowing the reason, he soon found out his farm was to be the gathering place of hundreds of settler's wagons as they came under the leadership of the Spirit to his land. There, within a few weeks, came a move of God so powerful it influenced the nation.

           Chas Finney then came along in the 1800's and revival came with him. The only problem he encountered was the clergy. They opposed him and criticized him, but could not stop the people clamoring to him. The same is still true for the messenger of God today. It is the clergy and their network which oppose the work of God.

           If there is to be a Great Awakening, we must first move the clergy aside and make way for the chosen men of God to come to the forefront.
Romans 9:22-25 Rom 9:22-26
What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

25 As He says also in Hosea:

"I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved."
26 "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
' You are not My people,'
There they shall be called sons of the living God."
Having studied the early settlers of this nation, how dare anyone say this is not a Christian Nation?
          Edwards paved the way for the Declaration of Independence with a revival from God. Holiness permeated this country because someone dared preach the true word of the Lord. The zeal of God's house ate him up!

          Edwards, Finney and others linked generations together in spiritual fervor, the same kind of fervor that characterized the opening days of the Twentieth Century. Howells in Wales, Azusa Street in the U.S. and the likes of Martha Wing Robinson in Zion, Illinois, were voices from God..
          Take heed to her testimony as she described how her ministry began:
'Away back in the beginning of this work when we prayed through to our death, we passed over into a change, which was not like anything we had ever heard of. It included everything from head to foot. In a moment we were gone and a great One was there. Entire spirit, soul, and body were in a new and divine control. We walked out of the natural into the spiritual in the body as well as in the soul. This was the experience by which God opened this work.'
This will be the way God opens His work in the hearts of His people: The question is, "will it be in the churches or outside of them?"

(Her voice was one among many at the beginning of the Twentieth Century; where are those voices in the beginning of the Twenty-First Century?)

*This newsletter is a transcript of my notes delivered at World Outreach Worship Center, Newport News, Va., Sunday, August, 7, 2011, second service.

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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