Pastor John begins his message on building God’s house by reading from the Book of Haggai. Haggai prophesied after Israel had already been defeated by their sin and backsliding, and had been conquered by the Babylonian Empire. The Babylonians were so fierce and strong in their ways of dominating that as they took the nation over they would destroy cities that were rebellious.
The prophets had prophesied that at the end of 70 years, even though Israel had sinned and was left desolate, God would again rebuild the city and the temple. God called and turned their hearts back towards Israel. As the call and message went out, thousands of Israelis began to feel the same thing by the sovereign move of God, that they began to turn their hearts back towards promises of God and covenants of their Father.
Here were the people dislodged from their homes in Babylon, coming back with a vision to rebuild and to enter again into the covenant relationship with their God. But the King’s order was for them to stop and they didn’t know what to do. The only thing they could do was go and try to make a life there and the vision left. Haggai, a man who was a prophet of God who had joined the return, something in his heart began to churn after a little while and as he prayed and interceded before God for the vision, even though there were insurmountable obstacles the Lord gave him this word.
This word is so timely for the church of Jesus of our day. It’s an absolute astounding simile in the conditions that we have.”
We believe this because we can read in the Book of Acts about a Church that was built in the power of God that literally shook empires and turned the whole world’s direction around. We look at simple people that came to the Lord Jesus in a total surrender. They brought their goods and their resources. They began to close their ranks with tight fellowship and began to devote themselves to the worship of God, his word, and to fellowship and communion. In that setting, God fulfilled his promises of building a mighty spiritual house in the world.
We are much like those pilgrims that came out of Babylon, in that God has ignited within our hearts a vision that we can build a Church that again captures the glory of the first Church. That we can become, in our day, what God said we can become. That Jesus is again building a Church that the gates of hell shall not prevail against. That He is building a Church of people, men, and women whose lives will change because of their walk with God and will literally be a light to the world. That in spite of the darkness that surrounds us, God will do something in our day that will literally impact not only our own lives, but our community, and hopefully our nation, and our world.”
Pastor John begins his message on building the Church by reading from 1 Corinthians 3. Paul is speaking to the Corinthian Church about divisions in the body, the impropriety of those divisions, and how difficult and destructive they are to the body. These divisions are a result of carnality. Paul talks about the true method of building the Church and Pastor John’s message is about building that Church; God’s Church.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Pastor John says that there seems to be a misconception of what the Church really is in our day. Most of us feel that the leadership and the physical buildings comprise the Church. Even in our language we use erroneous statements that continue that misconception. It’s important for us to understand fully what the real Church is. In this message Pastor John will be talking about what a successful church should be once we know what the Church is. He will also measure what a successful Church should be so we know what to build.
As a postscript to the series on the Book of John and from the dream in my own heart I invite you to continue to make the decision to build a powerful and vital church by building after the right pattern, for the right purpose, and with the right material.”
Pastor John hopes this message gives Grace Chapel a vision of what the Church should be. Jesus calls his Church his body and that lets us know that He wants to manifest his personhood through us. He wants to carry out his work through us and in order to do this we need to undergo some changing according to Pastor John. When Jesus came to minister and came time to move into that part of his life where He would begin to declare the Word and move into the power of God, He was baptized by John in the Jordan and as he did, He was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Pastor John says that it is absolutely preposterous to think that if Jesus being the Son of God, born in a holy birth, sinless in his youth, and walking with God in fullness, needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit to accomplish his purpose, how preposterous to not think that people like Pastor John and ourselves, who have been damaged by sin that causes us to lose our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit find it is hard to hear God’s voice clearly and to see the glory of God. It’s hard for us to sense and be sure of the Holy Spirit. This shows us how much more important would it be for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit even than Jesus. Yet the Church seems to think that it can operate in that dimension.
If there ever was a time when we need to be Spirit filled it is today, this day, right now. If there ever was an era, if there ever was a season in this nation where God’s Church needed to understand its need to be filled with the Spirit, it’s right now and that’s all this is about that God is doing. He is pouring out his Spirit in a sovereign way among us because He wants to immerse us. He wants to move us from the area of flesh and from the area of going our own way and doing our own thing into the depths of the Spirit of God, so that we can then be led of the Spirit and by being led of the Spirit we can be empowered of the Spirit.”
As Pastor John spoke in the morning service he said there was a need in the body from time to time to touch certain subjects and that subject is dealing with the demonic. This is something that had been on Pastor John heart during this time in his life. Pastor John says that sometimes we don’t recognize the value the truth that God lays in our hearts and how important that it is.
This message is something that is very precious to Pastor John because it is one of those things that the Lord has done in his life and it is insight in regards to the realm of the demonic and how to bring people to deliverance. In this sermon Pastor John will talk to us about the whole issue with dealing with the enemy in a way that is becoming to the Lord Jesus and becoming to his Church. He will also lay some of the ground rules that should reveal where we should be and where we are not, including where we get into the human realm and outside of the power of the Holy Spirit.
I believe God wants us to become very, very good at dealing in the things of the Spirit.”
Pastor John believes that we must understand that when we deal in the Spirit we deal in spiritual principles first, a spiritual foundation that will keep us from going astray. In other words, if you lay your foundation here, you don’t build your building over there, you build it on top of the foundation that controls and gives life to everything you do.
When it comes to moving people into God the first thing I decided when we started this church is I would not lead you into human stuff and I wouldn’t let that happen. I am not afraid of being human, but I don’t want us to worship or be caught up in the human thing. I want us to use our humanity to worship God and to surrender to him.”