A Call To The Remnant

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Just an empty room?

Posted by appolus on September 6, 2019

The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70ad by Rome. They Roman army that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple were led by a general named Titus. He gave instructions that no one was to enter the famed room in the temple, the holy of holies. He would have that honor. He entered behind the veil and when he re-appeared he reportedly said “what was all that fuss about an empty room.”

You see, there was no Ark of the Covenant there. It was quite simply an empty room. It was reckoned that the room had been empty for almost 500 years when the temple had previously been destroyed. Some think Jeremiah may have removed it and hidden it, but no matter what actually happened to it, the fact is that for several hundred years the Ark of the Covenant , the presence of God, was not there. So the question becomes “why were the high priests going through the rituals every year knowing fine well that at its very core, it was lie.”

Now, let us think about our own religious organizations. Are the pastors of today any better than the high priests of Israel? Do they not have the same motivations that the high priest had? The system itself was all important. Without the illusion of the presence of God at the very heart of it, it could not have survived. For it all to work the people had to think that the Ark of the Covenant existed, dwelt in the temple. Yet, when the veil was pulled back, just an empty room.

Thirty seven years prior to the destruction of the temple, where not one stone was left un-turned, Jesus hung on a cross outside of the walls. God Himself rent the curtain from top to bottom at that time? What was He revealing? He was revealing that the true presence of God, Jesus Christ, was not behind a veil in a room in the temple, He had been rejected and taken outside. The presence of God was to be found at Calvary, not at the heart of a system that had long since lost the presence of God.

How many churches could you walk into next Sunday and there be struck by the manifest presence of God? I ask you reader, do you know a single church where the manifest presence of God is found in the midst of the gathering? Is the cloud of His glory there? Do people stand with their heads hung low in the glory? Do hands rise and tears fall as the glory of God overtakes His people? If that is not so for the vast majority of churches, then why are the pastors of these churches any different from the high priests who for several hundred years went in and out of an empty room and let the people think that the presence of God dwelt there in the heart of their religious activity?

The charade only ended when Jesus Himself walked into the midst of it and was rejected and killed by it. God has a “house,” a temple and has a zeal for it. He created a royal priesthood of believers and built Himself a temple out of each and everyone of them, living stones one and all. This is the temple that He inhabits and this is where the Spirit and Truth reside, in the beating hearts of his saints. Men may rebuild temples and make claims about them, but without the presence of the living God we now have a million empty rooms. God dismantled and destroyed one religious system devoid of His presence, stone by stone, will He not do that again? There are royal priests and their are high priests, we now call them pastors, which one serves God and His presence and which one serves the system? You cannot serve two masters for you will love the one and despise the other. Who do we serve?

3 Responses to “Just an empty room?”

  1. Robert Price said

    Hi Brother Frank, you are correct in stating that many church gatherings do not experience the manifest presence of God. However, don’t you think God is always “present” in His people ? I’m not sure an empty room is the right metaphor. I’ve always wondered whether the manifest presence of God is something all believers should have in their lives before they gather together. Thus, as the believers gather, the manifestation in the gathering is just a continuation of what has been true all week before. The trouble would then be that the gathering would by its form or operation be a grief or hindrance to the continued manifestation the saints had all enjoyed prior to the meeting. Often people look for the meeting to be the timing of God’s manifestation when really the meeting should be the corporate expression of the individual’s life experience. Then we can aptly say that the pastors or the format or expectations of many have interfered with something that has already been true in the individual life of the saint.

    I believe the saints should be experiencing prophetic and glory filled times long before they gather corporately because the gifts and presence of God are intended to be present realities in life generally as the saints build up each other daily. There is a sweetness of gathering together for occasional worship and experiencing God corporately, but a coffee between two brothers can, in my own life, be a great moment in the Lord manifesting in joy, prophetic words, praise and building up .

    Hopefully, the manifest presence of God can become in our lives a manner of life and more than an occasional gathering of all the local saints joining to specially seek the manifest presence of God. The saints should realize that the corporate gathering is not the only place that they should be pursuing love and earnestly desiring the spiritual gifts, especially that they prophesy, and enjoying the fellowship of the saints and the Spirit.

    Pastors can get in the way on Sundays but not during the rest of the week.

    • appolus said

      Hi Robert, I was drawing parallels between the religious system of the temple, and the religious system of Christendom. When Christ has been removed from His preeminent position in the gathering, then all that is left is religious activity. The Lord plays second fiddle to no man or service or system. He is either high and lifted up or He is not. There is no middle position. What would the point of having a temple without the Ark? If the ark is gone, all that is left is one more building with religious activity. I see no difference in the average church service to the rituals that the high priest went through. One set of traditions replaced by another set of traditions. Should genuine saints have encounters with God by themselves? Yes indeed. Is not the Lord in the midst of the two or the three? Yes indeed. I do think the phrase ” in my name,” needs a bit more thought, it is deeper than it sounds. Now, if your gathering or any gathering has the presence of God among them, then praise the living God. I am not so sure that our present generation even knows what that is brother. Soulish activity is not the same as the presence of God manifested by the Spirit in the spirit…………bro Frank

  2. Rebecca said

    I thought about what Jesus said in Matthew 7: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.” Jesus is to be the head of all things in His church … He has been given authority. (Ephesians 1)
    We are to be separate from the world and from false gods … HE alone is to be exalted. The Israelite’s thought they would be protected because of their temple … the culture of our present day is the same. If we read Deuteronomy’s blessings and curses … don’t we see how they still apply?!

    I have this writing framed and on my wall … I do not know who the author is … I only have the authors initials ‘G.W.S.’ This speaks to the wilderness place … Jesus said ‘Follow me.’ … ‘Pick up your cross.’ I know this is long but please allow me to share G.W.S.’s writing because there is a reality in this writing that every Christ follower should apprehend:

    ‘ARE YE ABLE’

    Are ye able to walk in the narrow , strait way, with no friend by your side, and no arm for your stay? Can ye bravely go through the darkening night? Can ye patiently wait till the LORD sends the Light?
    Are ye able to crush your soul’s longing for Love, Will ye seek for no friendship save that from above? Can ye pass through this world , lone, unnoticed, unknown, While your faith faintly whispers, :He knoweth His own?”
    Where the feet of the Blessed One stood, can ye stand? Can ye follow His steps to a wilderness land? Are ye able to cat aside pleasure and fame? Can ye live but to glorify His precious name?
    Can ye smile as His dear voice says tenderly, “No” when “the field is so white,” and your heart yearns to go? Can ye rest then in silence, contented and still, Till your Lord, The Chief Reaper, revealeth His will?
    Are ye able to lay in the Altar’s pure flame That most treasured possession, your precious good name? Can ye ask your Father a blessing for those who see naught in your life but to scorn and oppose?
    When the conflict ‘twixt’ error and Truth fiercer grows, can ye wield the strong “Sword” against unnumbered foes? Can ye lift p the “standard” e’en higher and higher , while His praises ye sing in the midst of the fire?
    When ye see the LORD’S cause going down in defeat, will your courage endure in the seven-fold heat? Will your faith keep you steadfast, though heart and flesh fail, AS the New Creature passes beneath the last Veil?
    Ah, if thus ye can drink of the Cup He shall pour, And if never the Banner of Truth ye would lower, His beloved ye are, and His crown ye shall wear, In His Throne ye shall sit , and His glory shall share.” (by G.W,S,)

    GOD does not change … His altar must be pure … He is Holy … Righteous … Merciful yet will not pardon transgressions, iniquity and rebellion that is not repented of … I have not found a church yet in this new place that does not step outside the four walls to ‘GO’ … I have found many love Bible Study and hearing the Word but have lost the love of Jesus Himself. My prayer is for a revival but that will have to start with individuals … that is my prayer for myself and others … REVIVE ME LORD … this country is a mission field … but few see it.

    All through the wilderness place Christ has never failed or left me alone. His promises are true. In Him alone I trust … I pray for His leading in all things … and it is hard to wait on the LORD but the renewal is so worth it. There will come a day … soon … where the spirit of Elijah will fall on His true followers … in that I pray for a repentant ‘church.’

    Rebecca

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