This is another excerpt from my new book, Cleansing The Temple, Restoring The Glory. It is a prophetic and present hour word for the Church today. Pre-orders will be offered soon.
The reason there’s no glory in the modern Church has nothing to do with bigger and more attractive buildings, the appeal of outward appearance, the color effects, the decorative staging, the fancy lights, the cool bands, or the skinny jeans, big screens, and fog machines. Nor does it have to do with the kind of music or worship style we have. Nor does it have to do with whether you meet in a home, a building, or another venue, or whatever part of the city or town. Neither has it anything to do with compensation and lack of financial resources or whether you have paid staff or volunteer help.
The glory has departed because we have sinned. Our ministry leaders have sinned.
It was because of the sins in the priesthood that the glory departed from Israel in the days of Eli and his two wicked sons (1 Sam. 4:22). In fact, Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, didn’t even know the Lord, and they were priests (1 Sam. 2:12). I find that there are many in the ministry today that do not know the Lord. I don’t necessarily mean that they are not born again. I don’t mean that they are not engaged in the work of God, but they are carnal and motivated by pride and popularity. What I mean is that they don’t really know the heart and the ways of the Lord.
Hophni and Phinehas had no passion for the presence and glory of God, were not bold and valiant for the truth, had no love or consideration for people, and no honor and respect for the holy things of God. They were in the ministry for themselves, immoral men who sought only to satisfy their carnal appetites. They also mishandled and demanded offerings from the people (1 Sam. 2:16-17), which is so common today.
God blamed Eli for the wickedness and corruption of the priesthood. Not only that, but the iniquity of his house was so great that God said it could not be atoned by sacrifice or offering forever (1 Sam. 3:13-14). Think about that. God rebuked Eli for honoring his sons more than he honored the Lord — by allowing his sons to be fattened with the offerings of God’s people (1 Sam. 2:29). Eli knew the evil dealings of his sons but refused to judge the situation and the fact that they made God’s people to transgress (1 Sam. 2:22-25). We are having similar issues today, when no judgment is ever made on sinning ministers and sinning “saints.” There are hardly any constraints, restrictions, accountability, and no enforced disciplines for those who practice sin. A minister falls into adultery, and the next week or month, he’s back in the pulpit preaching. How sad.
Where is the glory of God today? Why has it departed? One big reason is that we refuse to judge the true condition of the Church and the body of Christ. We actually do the opposite and hold up our thou-shalt-not-judge card when we address sin and judge wrongdoing.
CLOAKS OF CHRISTIANITY
The truth is that such a great percentage of Christian ministry today is characterized by jealousy, envy, play-acting, self-promoting, self-justifying, and self-focused behavior — all of which are hidden under 101 highly choreographed religious cloaks.
Churches are filled with ministries who are wonderfully trained to perform “the liturgical functions” but who are sadly lacking in true spiritual maturity. And our assemblies are consequently full of professing believers who have no eye to discern and differentiate between true spiritual maturity and maintaining a disciplined outward appearance.
In this “Quid pro Quo,” “I’ll scratch your back — you scratch mine,” “I’ll promote your preeminence — you promote mine,” “good-ole-boys club” system, churches and ministries work together very diligently to keep God’s people from seeing the little men behind the curtains. We need to draw open the veil revealing that which many ministers and pastors know about one another and work so earnestly to keep the public from seeing. We have a soulish, carnal ministry cleverly cloaked over by a multitude of religious fig-leaves.
The real maturing of the saints (Ephesians 4:11-12) has been abandoned long ago by many and replaced by the drive to expand our ministerial piece of the pie with a guild of salaried professionals.
As the following author so succinctly says it: we must stop protecting our own projects.
“As we turn to the evangelical leadership of this country in the last decades, unhappily, we must come to the conclusion that often it has not been much help. It has shown the mark of a platonic, overly spiritualized Christianity all too often. Spirituality to the evangelical leadership often has not included the Lordship of Christ over the whole spectrum of life. Spirituality has often been shut up to a very narrow area. And also very often, among many evangelicals, including many evangelical leaders, it seems that the final end is to protect their own projects. I am again asking the question, ‘Why have we let ourselves go so far down the road?’” — Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto
How can the church be delivered from further generations of soul dominance and energized flesh? Only by walking straight into the bright spotlight of the Holy Spirit, instead of maintaining a strategic business-as-usual distance from it.
This new book will serve as a plumb line to help restore the glory of God to the Church today. Purity, prayer, and power is the pathway to restoring the glory. Cleansing and consecration is the doorway into it.