Holy Spirit, Sanctification, Separation

What House will you Build

Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool. What house will ye build me? saith the Lord.”

Acts 7:49

What house will you build for the Lord? Did not the Lord make all things with his hand? Maybe we forgot that God has laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of His hands [see Psalms 102:25]. Yet in verse 26 of Psalms 102, it states it shall perish, but thou will endure. How is it that we will endure, but the earth will perish. What is the meaning of the Lord asking what house you will build me? Here in Acts chapter seven, we have Stephen who was full of faith and power and did miracles among the people [see Acts 6:8]. Stephen is addressing the Sanhedrin on Israel’s past and what God has done. In 1st Kings chapter five we read that because of wars on all sides that the house of the Lord could not be built. There had to be a time of rest for the Lord’s house to be built. A time where peace will reign without adversary or evil occurring. Can you imagine what that would be like? Yet, God promised there will be a new heaven and earth and those who belong with Him will have peace for a 1000 years, which is known as the Millennium.

Isaiah, apostle Peter and John have all stated that a new heaven and earth will be created, and the former earth will not be remembered [see Isaiah 65:17]. Some call this a supernatural act of God, yet this is what the apostle Peter said that he was looking for. The promise of the coming new heavens and earth where righteousness dwells [see 2 Peter 3:13]. Peter said this after explaining how the Lord will come like a thief in the night and the heavens will melt with fervent heat along with the earth. Then Peter asked, “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” What manner indeed! Where is the house of the Lord? It is not in the many buildings we call churches. Churches are a place for Christian religious activities. Church buildings are not the house of the Lord. Churches are to be a place of worship, but they are not the house of the Lord. This may be shocking to hear, but the house of the Lord is where the Holy Spirit resides in individual hearts.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

2 Corinthians 5:1

The earthly house is our physical body which will dissolve, and we will have a new body that is not made with physical hands but with the hand of God. Our physical body is temporal whereas our heavenly body is eternal. Remember the Spirit of the living God is to reside in the stony heart of flesh and not in stone tablets or buildings. It is the Spirit that gives us life [see 2 Corinthians 3:6]. The ministration of the Spirit is to be more glorious in those who have believe. God has given us the earnest of the Spirit which now resides in our heart. This is eternal and it is the new building of God. It is the spiritual house that is being built up in Christ. This is a holy priesthood, a birthright for those who believe in the son of God. They can now have access to God through Jesus Christ. That is why the apostle Paul implores us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. This is total surrender to the will of God and allowing His Spirit to dwell within our physical body.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:5

A spiritual house that is acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Every believer is born of the Spirit and indwelt by the Spirit of God to where the believers body becomes a temple of God. That is why the apostle Paul exhorted to the Corinthians, “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Because you were bought with a price through Christ death. Christ died for our sins and through Christ resurrection we receive eternal life. We must not defile the temple of God. We must be separate from those who are unclean. God is calling us to be separate, a people of God who through the Spirit has mortify the deeds of the flesh [see Romans 8:13]. We must not deceive ourselves, for the temple of God is holy, which you are [ 1 Corinthians 3:17-18]. We must allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and have His way within our hearts. Let us not become stiff-necked like the Israelites under Mosses. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” [Romans 8:14].

I found it interesting to note that in 2 Chronicles chapter 6 in verse eight God told David that even though He desired to build a house for the Lord, that David did well in that it was in his heart. It was in his heart the house of the Lord. This is the key of where you will build your house for the Lord. Yes, our God knows the secrets of the heart of men.

Trust not in oppression and become not vain in robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

Psalms 62:10

Whatever happens in the world today, we can have the peace of God within our hearts. It is Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of God and our Father [see Galatians 1:4]. Now is the time to cleanse our house from all fleshly desires and separate ourselves unto God. That we may be a building of God. We must become living stones desiring the word of God and growing by the word that we may be rooted in good solid ground. We must present our life, our bodies as a spiritual sacrifice that is acceptable unto God. Asking God to purify our minds and to guide us with His Spirit is the will of God. Allowing his Spirit to help us to hear the word of God will change us from glory to glory, this is sanctification.

But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 3:18

May we witness the ministration of the Spirit under the law of Christ which has hath made us free from the law of sin and death. Let us build our house on the foundation that is on a rock, which is Christ Jesus. May we grow into the living stones chosen of God and precious in His sight.

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Confession, Separation

Come out and be ye Separate

Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

2 Corinthians 6:17

God is calling his people to come out and be ye separate. What does it mean to come out and be ye separate, and from what should we be separate from? To be separate has to do with being clean, but it is much more than that. Separation is whatever is contrary to the will of God and to God himself. We are to be separate in our desire, motive, and act from what we were as sinners in this world. That is why the apostle Paul stated, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” [see 2 Corinthians 5:17]. When we came to Christ and confess our sins, we were reconciled back to God. Now we are to be separate and not go back to what held us in bondage. We were slaves to evil desires and made to be something other than what God had intended. The apostle Paul is pleading and preaching to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [see 2 Corinthians 6:14].

Paul exhorts to examples of light and darkness, righteousness to unrighteousness, and even Christ as compared to Belial, which is the devil. Lest we forget that the works of evil have the acts of violence [see Isaiah 59:6]. Let us remember that adultery, fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, murders, envying’s, drunkenness, strife, and heresies are acts of evil and bring bondage. We are in the world but not of the world as Jesus spoke in John 17:14. The world system has people who are children of the devil, for they do not adhere to the righteousness of God. That is why we are to separate ourselves from anyone who does acts of evil. We cannot have fellowship with those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God. There is no compromise with God as there is in the world, for God provided the perfect sacrifice. Nothing can compare to the Son of God who came in the flesh, died, and arose from the dead. Through Jesus we have the ministry of being reconciled to God. We should not compromise in any form how we were reconciled.

No teaching or preaching that does not include God’s son as part of our reconciliation is to be allowed, for it is only through Christ that we might be made the righteousness of God. We did not work for this for God himself provided it. Any form of complicity or conformity is to be questioned if it is done behind closed doors. The body of Christ is to be transparent since they are reflecting the image of Christ for the world to see. Being separate is the state of not being involved in any illegal activity of wrongdoing. If we desire to have God receive us, we must separate ourselves from all things that would keep us from growing as a true child of God. God’s desire is to dwell within us and to walk with us. However, if there is anything we are holding unto in this world, He cannot be our God. The apostle Paul tells us to let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, [2nd Corinthians 7:1]. We must know the difference between what is clean and what is not. Anything that exalted itself against the knowledge of God is to be cast down. We are to bring every thought we have to the obedience of Christ [see 2nd Corinthians 10:5].

Having purged our minds from evil intentions is the key to being separate unto the Lord. Our conscience is to be clear in every action we take. I remember a pastor who conveyed the importance of separation from all evil things that are associated with witchcraft. He talked about a large number of youths who were involved with the practices of witchcraft in his congregation. He had a burning barrel set up so they can bring items out of their homes to burn in the barrel. They brought books, games, and anything else that was associated to witchcraft for burning. This was separation from what was evil. To some this may be an easy thing to do, but do not underestimate the evil power that controls human beings. There must be a surrender of oneself from doing these evil things. I recently read chapter 9 and 10 of Ezra when God’s people fail to separate themselves from the surrounding nations and involving themselves in the customs of pagans. Ezra was a priest, and pastor who read and spoke the word of God. Many had not heed to Gods commandments in regard to taking possession of goods and people of the unclean land.

In the case of Ezra who prayed to the Lord God and confessed the fault. Reconciliation was made not only through confession but separation as well. The people who were at fault had to put away the wives of foreign lands and anything else that was associated with the people of the foreign lands. There is a list of those repentant heads of families. This is a separation from what is unclean in the eyes of God. God is in the business of reconciliation and separation. Is it any wonder that God sent His son to reconcile the world unto himself? That is why the apostle Paul was pleading to the Corinthians. We are now ambassadors for Christ stated Paul that we should be reconciled to God. Put away the unclean act, idol, or anything else that is unclean and evil and be reconciled to God. Some of us may need to do some Spring cleaning on items in our homes as well as who we are associating with.

The promise of confession and separation is having a relationship with God. He will be our God and we will be His sons and daughters. We will be a temple of the living God in order that He may dwell with us and walk with us [see 2nd Corinthians 6:16]. We will have the peace of God in our hearts, and we will have the promise of our inheritance when the Lord returns. As some celebrate St. Patrick’s Day know that He received the calling of God to be an Apostle to Ireland. In this calling St. Patrick had to separate himself from his own land and heed the voice of God to go back to Ireland. St. Patrick knew what it meant to be a slave of evil since he was kidnapped by pirates, but God gave unto Patrick the ministry of reconciliation. Confession of sin and separation unto God was St. Patrick’s life. You can read about his confession at Confession | St. Patrick’s Confessio. Be assured that God calls every true Christian to confession and separation unto God himself. We are kept in God’s mighty hand and delivered from the evil one as Paul stated in Galatians 1:4:

Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.

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