THE OLD TESTAMENT HOUSE OF THE LORD: FIFTEEN
Copyright © 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
“The Old Testament House of the Lord: Fifteen” is taken from The Tabernacle of the Congregation, copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries
Christ (The Anointed One) Is the Lampstand
Table of Contents
Differences in the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit
The Interest of Heavenly Creatures in the Church
The Importance of Holiness
Christ (the Anointed One) Is the Lampstand
The Lampstand portrays Christ. Christ, Head and Body, is the Lampstand. Christ is the Anointed Deliverer, the Servant of the Lord of whom the Old Testament Prophets spoke. The Anointed Deliverer is the revelation of God’s Glory. He is filled with all the fullness of the Godhead. He is anointed with all the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the spiritual counterpart of the oil used in the Lampstand of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The Holy Spirit is the fuel, so to speak, that feeds the Light who lights the world—Christ, the Anointed One. The Holy Spirit of God in Christ communicates the Life of Christ in several facets: wisdom, knowledge, healing, miracles, supernatural utterance, comfort, renewal of strength, and every other virtue and ability. Yet He is the one resurrection Life from the Father.
We Christians, as Paul teaches, are the very Body of Christ, the Body of the Anointed Deliverer. We are the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:23). It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the present age to give ministries and gifts to the members of the Body of Christ so the Body can build up itself until the “Lampstand” has been constructed perfectly and fully.
The Lampstand, it may be recalled, was beaten into shape from pure gold (Ephesians 25:31). The work of the Holy Spirit is to call out from the world an elect, a Church, a group of saints, who then will be “hammered into shape” to form the Body of the Lampstand of God (Christ—Head and Body). The Church is the Divine testimony.
The several gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit are to this end: that the Body of Christ may be formed and united with the Head in order to bring the judgment and deliverance of God to the nations of the earth (Isaiah, Chapter 42; John 17:20-24; Ephesians 4:7-16; I Peter 2:9; Revelation 22:5;).
It is not the humanity of the disciples that is beaten into shape, it is the gold of Divinity and the silver of redemption that are beaten into shape in us. The shape is the knowledge of the Holy One, which is the obedience to God and complete trust in God that we learn through suffering.
We Christian disciples are those who are anointed with the Holy Spirit, the Body of Him who is anointed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We are the Lampstand in the local community and the world (Philippians 2:15). We are the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
We can light the world by telling people what we know to be true of God, Christ, and Heaven according to the statements of the Scriptures. Our lives and speech should be holy, and should encourage others toward holiness (Daniel 12:3).
We light the world by becoming a vessel through which the Holy Spirit can communicate the resurrection Life of Christ. One righteous believer is a powerful force for good. When men and women see our good works they will glorify our Father who is in Heaven.
Depending on the gifts and ministries He has given us, the Holy Spirit through us can bring the Gospel to others, can teach, can reveal Divine wisdom, can bring healing and knowledge, can produce signs and wonders, can give wisdom for government, and can provide useful works of various kinds—all with the purpose of building the Body of Christ.
As we work in the world, whether we are a custodian, carpenter, plumber, salesman, teacher, cannery worker, or electrical engineer, we can do a superior job if we are living in Christ and seeking His help while we are working.
Each member of the Body of Christ is being hammered into shape, piece by piece, in preparation for the assembling of the Lampstand with which Almighty God will light the world. The heavenly light is now shining here and there in the spiritual darkness that is covering the world, as groups of Christians of different denominations worship Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to direct their activities.
God’s plan, which will be carried out in the fullness of His time, is to bring all true Christians into one Body of Christ which, after having been made one with the Head, will shine to the ends of the earth forever.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:22,23)
Here is the fulfillment of the Lampstand of the Holy Place.
Differences in the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit
Zechariah 4:1-6 portrays the Lampstand that stands before the Throne of God in Heaven. The Lampstand is one piece (Exodus 25:36), signifying that there is only one Christ, Head and Body. All Christian people who are sharing the Life of Christ are members of the one Body no matter what may be their denominational affiliation or doctrinal belief.
The Lampstand of God has seven branches, speaking of the perfection of the manifestation (illumination) of the Holy Spirit and also of the various ways in which the Spirit reveals the Life of Christ.
The ministry of the members of the Body of Christ is that of bringing to humans the many aspects of the resurrection Life of God, such as wisdom, healing, and faith. There are numerous ministries and gifts included in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit—enough variety to meet every need of people.
There is no way possible that the Body of Christ can build up itself apart from the many different revelations of the Holy Spirit. All that is needed for the full presentation of the Gospel of Christ comes through the communication of the Spirit of God. The unconverted are saved and the saints are edified when the Holy Spirit brings Christ through the members of the Body of Christ.
We cannot live and develop spiritually without the continuous impartation of Christ by the Holy Spirit of God. If we are to put on the spiritual weight necessary for the overcoming strength required in the end-time we must have far more of the Presence of the Spirit than is true in the present hour.
The spiritual personality, the new person in the Christian, can be fed only with Divine Substance. “The flesh profits nothing.” If we would have the new Life (Christ) in us, we must cry to God concerning our desperate need for a restoration of the gifts and ministries described in Romans, Chapter 12; I Corinthians, Chapter 12; and Ephesians, Chapter Four.
It is possible that God (perhaps in the near future) will bring so much judgment into the earth that the Christian churches, through fear of what they see happening before their eyes, will begin to give themselves to fervent prayer, intercession, and praise.
It appears that a division is coming between the world and the worldly churches, and the Body of Christ.
We must have a more nourishing spiritual diet than is available now if we are to attain the strength necessary to stand in the evil days that are ahead, and to arrive at the first resurrection from the dead. God never shall clothe a nonovercoming Christian with the glory promised to those who attain the first resurrection (Philippians 3:11; Revelation 20:6)
Spiritual songs, prophecies, miracles, gifts of healing, words of knowledge (supernaturally derived), words of wisdom, should proceed from the members of the Body of Christ. All of this “Lampstand activity” must be supervised by church elders—older Christians who can recognize the inroads of Satan on the younger believers.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (I Corinthians 12:7)
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (I Corinthians 12:11,12)
How is it then, brothers? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (I Corinthians 14:26)
This is the fulfillment of the Lampstand—the manifold communication of the Holy Spirit of God supplying all that is needed for building the Body of Christ. When the Body has been brought to maturity, then the needs of mankind will be met through the Body.
The golden Lampstand is symbolic of the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit of God. The communication of life from the Holy Spirit is an important part of individual and collective Christian living. The authority and direction of the Holy Spirit always must be the first consideration of the Church, especially of the elders who are responsible for the conduct of the assembly.
The Interest of Heavenly Creatures in the Church
The angels and other personages of the heavens have a great interest in the development of the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, the Christian Church.
The angels always are present during the assemblies of Christians. Their presence is portrayed by the curtains of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. (Exodus 26:1)
And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. (Exodus 25:20)
The angels have an important place in all of God’s work (Luke 12:8,9; I Timothy 5:21; II Thessalonians 1:7). Angels are present and involved whenever the Christians assemble (Revelation 1:20).
It may be difficult for us to realize the intense interest the creatures of Heaven have in the maturing of the victorious saints (I Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 1:14). God shall overthrow the entire kingdom of Satan and He will do it through the saints. The destruction of the satanic empire will affect all of God’s creatures (Revelation 12:12). It appears that God has never before done anything like this.
All of God’s creatures have their eyes on the earth where the plan for the creation of God’s Tabernacle is unfolding. Some are watching with hostility. The elect angels are praising God for the Divine wisdom that slowly (from our standpoint) is bringing down to total destruction every creature that would resist the lordship of Christ. Jesus, the beloved Son, will receive from the Father the nations for His inheritance and the farthest reaches of the earth for His possession.
If we recognize that the Church is the focus of attention of the entire creation, and that the saints on earth are part of the “hill” (Psalms 68:16) that God has chosen, we should respond by diligently applying faith and obedience to the Word of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
We always must be pressing onward, overcoming the obstacles of the moment, emerging victorious in the name of Jesus. We overcome the accuser by the blood of Jesus, by the word of our testimony, and by loving not our lives to the point of death (Revelation 12:11).
There has not been much interest in angelic behavior and destiny, as far as most Christian churches have been concerned. Perhaps part of the reason is that the Body of Christ has not been mature enough to have a consciousness of conditions and activities in the heavenlies. Heaven has remained a far-off mythological land where people go when they are so unfortunate as to die.
As we think back on the four types of redemption we shall see that the Church will arrive at a consciousness of heavenly beings at the fifth area of the plan of redemption.
The expanse of heaven was created on the second day of creation. The clear blue of the firmament that divides the waters remained empty until the fourth day. On the fourth day, light appeared in the firmament—the sun, moon, and stars were created.
Prior to the fourth day of creation there was nothing in the sky, just as the newly converted person has little consciousness of the bustling activities of the heavens. His Christian experience is still earthbound. After receiving the Holy Spirit he becomes conscious of the Divine Presence in him. However, the heavens to a great extent remain a vast blue expanse—a far-distant place where saved people go when they die.
Now comes the fifth day of creation. Birds appear in the heavens, symbolizing the fact that the Christian becomes conscious of the tremendous amount of intelligent spiritual activity taking place around him. The personages of the heavenlies indeed are interested in what the Lord God is doing in the earth because there never before has occurred anything to be compared with the creating of children of God in His image. Also, angels will be judged by the members of the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 6:3).
When a person comes to the gate of the fence of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle he sees the blue, the purple, the scarlet, and the fine twisted linen. Again, when he comes to the door of the Tabernacle building, the entrance to the Holy Place, there appears before him the blue, the purple, and the fine twisted linen.
Upon passing through the Holy Place he is confronted with the Veil that guards the Most Holy Place. The Veil is blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen. But now in addition there are cherubim wrought in the material. He has come to the fifth item of furniture, the Altar of Incense, corresponding to the fifth day of creation. We see in Revelation, Chapter Eight that an angel ministers before God at the heavenly Altar of Incense.
Perhaps most of us who have studied the Scriptures are well aware of the considerable amount of angelic activity in the Old Testament. Both righteous and unrighteous angels were active throughout the history of the Israelites.
We know also angels announced the births of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus, and ministered to Jesus after His temptation in the wilderness. Have you ever thought about this? Have you ever meditated on how active the angels were in the ministry of Christ, in that Christ is Jacob’s ladder reaching from the earth into Heaven?
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:51)
The climax came when our Lord was ministered to by an angel in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Angels were active in the history of the early Church, as recorded in the Book of Acts, helping Peter and Paul on occasion.
In addition, the writings of the Apostles teach us that angels are involved in the Gospel of Christ and in the coming to full growth of the Body of Christ.
Also I say unto you, Whoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. (Luke 12:8,9)
It appears, from the above verses, that it is important to people that they are known by angels and accepted by angels. The context of Jesus’ statement has to do with the well-being of the believer. The personages of the heavenlies are knowledgeable of what is taking place on earth, and having the good will of the heavenly host is important to us.
We are not to attempt to win the favor of angels. Jesus informed us that the knowledge and acceptance of the angels of God are important and that we obtain this recognition by confessing Christ among men. The angels mentioned here are the holy angels of God.
The fallen angels are the spiritual authorities against whom we wrestle. In the last days the dark lords of the heavenlies will come to earth, seeking to exert their leadership through men. The Lake of Fire has been prepared for them.
The Church will be the judge of angels.
Know ye not that we will judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (I Corinthians 6:3)
It is through the Church that the angelic authorities and rulers will come to understand the wisdom of God.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church [through the church] the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ our Lord: (Ephesians 3:10,11)
Angels of vast authority and power will accompany the Lord Jesus at His coming.
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (II Thessalonians 1:7)
God in Christ was seen by the angels.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (I Timothy 3:16)
It appears that Paul was aware of the personages of the heavens, that some angels have been elected of God and have an interest in the righteous conduct of the saints.
I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. (I Timothy 5:21)
Why should the elect angels care whether Timothy took proper charge of the household of faith or whether he showed partiality?
It is because God will vindicate His righteousness and execute His judgment against the rebels in the heavens. He will accomplish this vindication and execution through the Church. The elect, holy angels, always doing the will of God, fought against the rebellion in the heavenlies. They are looking forward to the day when God restores harmony to the creation. They are directly affected by what takes place in the Christian Church (Revelation 12:12).
The elect angels realize the hoped-for victory can come only as the saints walk in holiness. They know that nothing can be done about the heavenly rebellion through an unholy church. The conduct and teaching of Timothy had a direct effect on the heavens just as your conduct and teaching and my conduct and teaching have a direct effect on what is taking place in the heavens.
Why is it that angels care whether a woman has her head covered in the assembly of saints? What difference does it make to them whether a woman is in submission? Why do the angels desire to “look into” the things of Christ?
For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. (I Corinthians 11:10)
Since angels are accustomed to authority, inasmuch as God always works in terms of lines of authority—He never leaves His business unsupervised, the angels look about until they understand who is responsible for the conduct of the assembly and on what authority each person acts and speaks.
The practices of the assemblies of Christians have repercussions throughout the world of spirits.
No angel can ever become an heir of salvation. Angels are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation.
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:13,14)
The angels of God have been convened in order that they may see and understand the wisdom of God as His plan unfolds in the Church, the Body of Christ.
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just [righteous] men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22,23)
“To an innumerable company of angels.”
The angels desire to examine the Holy Spirit-inspired preaching of the Gospel.
Unto whom [the Hebrew Prophets] it was revealed, that not unto themselves [the physical Israelites], but unto us [the Christians—Jews and Gentiles] they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. (I Peter 1:12)
“Which thing the angels desire to look into”!
We know that Jesus has all authority and power in Heaven and on the earth, and that all personages are subject to His will.
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (I Peter 3:22)
There are many instances recorded in the Book of Revelation in which angels are active in the workings of God. Revelation, more than any other book of the Scriptures, describes the involvement of angels in the plan of redemption. The Church must come to the Altar of Incense before the angelic aspect of salvation can unfold.
The need for redemption and the plan of redemption began in Heaven. But the solution occurred on earth on the cross of Calvary.
The overthrow of all disobedience will take place in the earth as the saints of God push through to complete victory in Christ.
Finally the Throne of God and of the Lamb will be removed from Heaven and established forever on the earth. Then the present conditions will be reversed. The saints on earth will see the face of Christ and serve Him in the fullness of His Presence. The personages of the heavens will have to come to the earth to present themselves before the Lord.
The importance of angelic ministry throughout the Book of Revelation is indicated by the first verse of the book:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: (Revelation 1:1)
The term angel means messenger. This important book of the Scripture was carried to John by the messenger of Christ.
The exhortation to each of the seven churches of Asia was written to the angel of the church. Each Christian church has an angel just as each person has an angel. Apparently the angel (governing spiritual personage) of each church on the earth contains in itself the spiritual strengths and weaknesses characteristic of the church. The angel is praised or rebuked depending on the conduct of the Christians who compose the particular assembly.
The Lord Jesus repeats the same promise that He had made previously as He walked on the earth.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)
“I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
Some idea of the degree of involvement of the angels, and other personages of the heavens, can be gained from the following passages:
And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? (Revelation 5:2)
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (Revelation 5:11)
And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (Revelation 7:1)
The eighth chapter of Revelation describes the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Altar of Incense, the fifth furnishing of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The Altar of Incense is associated with the Blowing of Trumpets, the fifth of the feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23:24).
And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (Revelation 8:2,3)
It was an angel that offered the incense with the prayers of the saints. The offering of incense was one of the chief responsibilities of the high priest of Israel, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. The offering of the incense by the angel occurs at the opening of the seventh seal, signifying that we have come to the closing act in the history of mankind under the conditions of the present age.
The seven angels blow their trumpets in the Divine order, bringing woe to the “inhabiters of the earth.” When we come to the trumpet of the seventh angel the “mystery of God” will be finished (I Corinthians 15:51).
The saints of the Lord will be given a powerful anointing in the end-time to preach the Gospel with unprecedented authority and power to the whole earth. Their testimony finally will be overcome by the forces of evil. Then the last part of the seventh trumpet will take place. The Lord Jesus will descend from Heaven with mighty power to bring the judgment of God upon those who are in rebellion in the earth. The dead in Christ will rise. The saints will appear in transfiguration glory with Christ.
Angels will be prominent in all of this activity.
Of particular interest to the inhabitants of the heavenlies is the overcoming of the accuser. The accuser will be overcome when the Church brings forth Christ in the Christians, thus making them ready to lay hold on all the available grace of God in order to press through the resistance of the forces of wickedness. As soon as Christ in the saints has prevailed against the accuser, Michael and his angels will be empowered to cast the ancient dragon out of the heavenlies.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brothers is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:7-11)
The casting of the dragon out of the heaven is good news for those who dwell in the heavenlies but bad news for the earth.
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Revelation 12:12)
We learn that an angel may have custody of the Gospel of Christ. The angel (messenger) in this instance may be referring to a human being, or former human being.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, (Revelation 14:6)
The angels are busy throughout the latter chapters of the Book of Revelation.
Perhaps the new heaven, of Revelation 21:1, is referring to a new sky, a new firmament, and not a new spiritual heaven. It is our understanding that the spiritual heaven will remain as the home of the myriads of heavenly creatures.
There will be some angels who are stationed permanently on the earth at specific places in the new Jerusalem, such as the twelve angels at the gates of the city. All the glory we associate with Heaven will then be on the earth. Perhaps if we think of the spirit realm as another dimension rather than a far-distant place, the relation of Heaven to earth will be clearer to us.
The massive wall around the holy city must be of importance to God and to us because most of what John reveals to us about the new Jerusalem concerns the wall. A wall is constructed around a city to protect the city against an enemy, against unwanted intruders, against people who attempt to enter a place where they are not allowed. What need is there for a wall around the holy city? Why is so much attention paid to the wall?
The reason why God and the Lamb will make the earth the place of Their throne, and why They will surround Themselves with such a massive wall, is to provide a defense against future rebellions of angels or people. If a rebellion of angels happened once, what is to prevent it from happening again? Therefore God will change the place of His residence from Heaven to the earth and surround Himself with a protecting wall, a wall designed to prevent wicked spirits from entering His Presence.
No doubt there will be an actual wall. But in addition to its reality, the wall protecting the holy city symbolizes the spiritual defenses of the Christian saint who has learned, while living in the earth and under difficult circumstances, to love righteousness and hate wickedness. These righteous spirits (Hebrews 12:23) are God’s answer to future rebellions. They will stand guard over the creation of God forever, ruling from their holy city which by then will be a mighty fortress. This is why the angels are so interested in the Church.
Apparently some angels are spirit-angels and some are people-angels. Think about the following:
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. (Revelation 22:8,9)
It appears that at least one of the seven angels that had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and who showed John the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife, was a human being—or had been a human being. He was a fellowservant of John, a brother, a prophet.
The angel could have been Isaiah, Samuel, Habakkuk, or someone else. He may have been a Christian who had gone to be with the Lord. In any case, he was an example of the people-angels. How many of the angels mentioned in Revelation were people-angels we cannot tell. But if there was one there may have been many.
In the last chapter of the Book of Revelation, Jesus repeats His statement recorded in the first verse of the first chapter. The Book of Revelation was given to John by the personal angel of the Lord.
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Revelation 22:16)
The Importance of Holiness
Let us conclude our study of the perfecting of the Church by emphasizing the importance of holiness. We cannot stress holiness too much. The Tabernacle of the Congregation portrays the cry, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.” The Holy Spirit is building the holy city. Without holiness we can neither see the Lord nor be received by Him. He is holy and we must partake of His holiness.
One of the first orders of business in the assembly of the saints must be fervent prayer and worship going up to God from holy believers. The prayer and worship must ascend from pure hearts and clean and dedicated lives.
It has become fashionable in our day to despise efforts toward personal holiness as being pharisaic or legalistic. However, believers who are serious about holiness do not indulge in alcohol, cigarettes, profanity, drugs, or other unclean practices. They dress modestly and avoid gossip, foolish talking, and partying.
Less dedicated believers despise these attempts to draw close to God, to live as a holy priest of God. But God does not despise His little children who love Him and He brings them to Himself. God honors every sincere attempt to cast off the works of the flesh, of Satan, and of the world.
God is holy, and His Israel is commanded to be holy as He is holy.
Holiness is a quality that is in God and is God. Righteousness is holiness in action.
For example: there is no lie in God. God is Truth. A lying spirit has no part in God. A holy person, a person filled with God and dwelling in God’s Presence, tells the truth. Telling the truth is an act of righteousness.
There is a normal attraction toward members of the opposite sex. Satan, in his efforts to destroy the image of God, and to satiate his desire for the pleasure forever denied to him, has warped the normal sexual attraction in every conceivable manner. Satan’s lusts have generated a horde of hideous spirits that crave human bodies. None of these spirit has any place in God and has no place in God’s elect.
The Ten Commandments are an expression of God’s holiness and a judgment against unholy spirits.
The necessity for having the members of a church in complete consecration to Christ cannot be overemphasized. Perhaps this is why God described the Ark and the Mercy Seat first when He gave the plan for the Tabernacle—that we may understand how important holiness is in the Kingdom of God.
If there is not a group of disciples in the local church who are given over wholly to God and His ways, who are battling through in prayer each day, who have said final “yes” to God and “no” to sin, who are “overcoming” in their personal warfare with their flesh, the spirit of the age, and Satan, then the most important element is lacking in that church.
All of the Christian furnishings and customs may be present in the church services. The doctrine may be scriptural. But the awe that accompanies the Presence of God in Christ will not be experienced by those who attend.
(“The Old Testament House of the Lord: Fifteen”, 3875-1)