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Amazing Grace Ministries

Newsletter Archive


June 98

Rebuilding Temples
Pastor John Doonan

Ephesians 5:18 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

This is where we all want to be but unfor-tunately, we do not all remain in satisfying relationship with God or each other. There are all kinds of circumstances that rob us of the joy of the Lord, the peace of God, and the promise of His anointing.

Building the temple is bringing people into the kingdom of God through the new birth, but rebuilding the temple is the restoration of a believer that has been robbed and is out of fellowship.

The temple was already standing in its outward beauty and the blocks had been honed and tested, but through a set of unfor-tunate circumstances in the life of a believer it is time to put the fallen pieces back together. How do we restore ourselves back into fellowship with the Lord and understand His love again? Can we get back to that first love, the burning desire for and peace of God we felt when we came to know the love of Jesus and received Him as our savior?

Everyone stood in awe of how beautiful and immense the first temple of Solomon was. How it glistened! It was everything the people desired to build for the Lord, and oh how they loved to be in the temple and to worship Him. However something happened and that first temple was devastated. Through searching and rebuilding they worked their way back to the Lord but the second temple was not the same, even though the prophet promised the glory of the second temple would be greater than the first. There was no more outward show of beauty; no more glitter. Everything was battle scarred and the gold was stolen. All who looked upon the outer shell were disappointed.

The same applies to us as believers. Rebuilding our second temple will not be the same experience as the first. We will be stronger and the glory more powerful, for the second temple houses the revealed presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus walked right up the steps of Ezra’s rebuilt temple. This was the promise fulfilled, and the glory of God’s presence through His Christ exceeded the glory of Solomon’s temple. As we strive toward rebuilding our temple, keep in mind that it is Christ in us that will bring us to the place we need to be. We can have confidence that the Spirit of God in us will restore us to His perfect peace and love which are what we all thirst for.

The destruction of Solomon’s temple happened after the Jewish people became stiff-necked, stubborn and had hardened their hearts towards God and His Word. They would not enter into the rest and thus were removed from worship into captivity. Scripture says they did not let the land rest. In other words, they were sinning in glory. They had the good feelings and zealousness to spread the news to everyone, unfortunately they did it in the power and tradition of man. They refused to enter into the rest and let God do it. When the enemies came in they did not have the power to stop them. So like us when we first became born again, we had the ambition, good feelings and the zeal to spread God’s word and conquer the world. Another event took place when we accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour; we made an exchange of our dead spirit, or old nature, for the Living Spirit of Jesus Christ. We are new creatures in Christ. We experienced the baggage of our old nature just dropping off, and the weight we had been carrying on our shoulders fell away so simply. Suddenly there was real joy, and a peace that surpassed all understanding. By no means were these miracles done in our own power, yet somehow we manage to get intellectual and high minded and think we had something to do with it. We get caught up in ourselves, thinking that there is something we can do in our own power to please God. This is the first sign of impending destruction. Next, the enemy starts the siege. The load is back heavier then ever, and we start struggling in our thoughts of how to get rid of the baggage to be like Jesus made us at first. If we had just rested in the Lord He would have continued to purge the baggage.

The Spirit of Jesus Christ comes alive in us. That same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, which does not want or need excess baggage, quickens us and brings our body under subjection. There is no room for the baggage and the Spirit in the same place. When we get ahead of God by figuring out the way we are going to do things it opens all kinds of doorways full of strange doctrines.

As we see in Ezra 4:1-5 and 11-16 the people created a false unity. Nehemiah describes these adversaries as the people of the land. This was the fulfillment of prophecy by Isaiah that the northern tribes would become no people. They started mixing with the world around them and before they knew it there was very little difference between the world and them. But because of their Judaic tradition they still sought after the God of Israel. As a result of all of the intermixing with the world and all the other gods, their Judaism was no longer pure. They had lost their heritage and now were a people that were in God’s eyes no people. They themselves were not certain what tribe they belonged to. These were Jews of a sort who came to the true Jewish people, wanting to join them for they sought after the same God. They wanted to come together and have an alliance with the true Jews to build the temple, yet they worshiped all sorts of gods.

The same thing happens when the world tries to convince believers, wanting an alliance to join us and to help rebuild our broken temple.

God’s people were smarter than that. They knew these people were no people and had lost the purpose of God in their lives. The purpose of God’s calling on their heart was lost and confused. They did not understand the miracle-working power of our God. They sold out to the world for small pleasures. They had no faith that moves mountains, or changes lives. They looked as the world looks. They thought as the world thinks. These are among us but not of us. God does not recognize them as His.

Ezra 1:1-2 1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

God raised up and anointed certain men to rebuild the temple. When we receive a word from God we are not to confer with flesh and blood anymore. There is no reason to wait to find out if anyone is going to agree with us or not. When we know God, our ears hearken unto His voice and are ready to receive His word. There is no doubt when we hear from God, for it is the Spirit bearing witness of a truth that quickens all our senses. The task we have been given by God may not always be easy to accomplish but when we stand firm in God’s power we are strengthened to finish the course. Just like the true believers at the time of Ezra, we believers are in need of true unity without dissension. There is a power of being in one accord that is needed when rebuilding our temple. It is drawing ourselves back into the unity of a true body, back into the fellowship of light without the darkness and confusion of the world hindering our prayer. No one is expected to finish it on their own. When we walk away from the body of Christ, we quickly become weak, feeling like the world is closing in on us. The promise of unity is where we find the love and support which easily flows back and forth between believers. God starts speaking to us again. He never really stops but because we are out of fellowship we can not hear Him. We are so focused on all the baggage we took back we are led away from hearing the voice of our Lord.

Rebuilding our temple is getting back in fellowship with the body of Christ, true unity with His Spirit and the love of God and working-putting our hands to doing God’s work.

The "no people" took on such an attitude that they weakened their hands and deliberately started doing everything they could to bring disruption and frustration, trying to stop the true believers from doing what God called them to do. Little has changed, for we believers today experience such things.

Rebuilding a temple is not a sit-down job, it requires action, like getting back into the Word of God, getting in right standing with God, waiting and listening for God, then having received a word from God, holding fast to that, and moving forward.

The minute we are in full motion, back in the Spirit, we begin feeling confident and good again. Suddenly, everyone from all directions is saying," You are doing it wrong, you’ll never make it you’ll never be able to change, and if you do change it won’t last long." This ridicule is nothing but words that make people back away, thinking "They may all be right," and it keeps them from doing what God called them to do. We are to imprint Jesus on our mind. God has put His word in our heart, so we must follow that word with confidence. Its God’s word and none other compares. Let us get our focus back on Jesus in everything we think and do and back on how awesome and great our Lord is. God can do anything whether it’s a new building or rebuilding. He is the only power on earth that can do it. The word of God in our heart is sufficient power. It is no different than when Mary received the word through the angel; that word created a baby in her womb. It is the same Word God spoke, "Let there be light", and the universe then illuminated with light.

There can be a lot of work rebuilding ourselves, plus doing the work God has called us to do for Him. Naturally, when people on the outside start to ridicule those that are rebuilding, we become weary and start second guessing ourselves, or feeling like we are moving backwards. This is the most important time to remember the vision of who Jesus Christ is in our heart. We know we have to keep moving forward.

So God instructs us to arm ourselves with His weapons in

Nehemiah 4:16-20. 16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. 18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. 19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. 20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

The Sword—the Word of God, used to fight the enemy. It may be the one word God gave at the beginning, or all we have become in Christ Jesus our whole life We are refreshed as that truth wells back up in us. We then enter into hand to hand combat with the enemy who does not want us to rebuild the temple. The enemy wants us dead or back in the world where we’re no trouble at all. Speak the word of God continually in the face of discouragement and fear.

The Spear—our prayer with understanding. We know the enemy is out there so we cast out the spears by praying with understanding. They go farther and faster than we can move on our own.

The Bow—fighting the battle by praying in the Spirit. When we do not know where the enemy is or how many there are, we pray in the Spirit, knowing it is the Word of God. We shoot our arrows of faith into the midst of the enemy camp, disrupting and confusing their attack. When we have no clue what to pray for, we just start praying in the Spirit, who makes intercession for us, which sends God to fight for us. Though we may be tired, we pray and speak the Word of God over the current circumstance that has come against us, not letting it distract us. We just keep working, being ever ready for the enemy’s attack; building implements in one hand and weapons of warfare in the other.

We shall not back away from the enemy and run for we’ve put on the armored coat of mail. These interwoven metal links place a defensive guard over our heart. Nothing can attack our heart, for it is sure of who we are in Christ and the Word we have received unto restoration.

No matter how much we might like to say we’ve had it with church people, preachers, with everybody else, we can not do it alone. We have to listen to the trumpet. Sometimes it might not even be our warfare, but we will jump in on it because at some time we all need help against the common enemy. If we defeat the enemy that is trying to destroy another brother or sister in Christ, we have taken out a large mass of the enemy coming at us. If we unite ourselves together in the true unity of the Spirit of Power, we spread the enemy out very thin. The thinner he is the less effective he is in stopping us from rebuilding our lives in Christ. We have the weapons to work with but we all have to listen for the trumpet and as an army who wants to win, we react together in the love of Jesus.

Beware, for the enemy doesn’t give up just because we show a little strength; he will try to divide us. Nehemiah 5:1 (KJV) And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. In the amplified Bible it says, "And the poor rose up against the rich." There was division in the camp. The enemy knows just as we do that to cause division is to weaken an army, so he comes in with discontent. When the poor rise up against the rich two things are wrong
1. There is lack in the camp.
2. There is not true unity.

If there were true unity there would be no lack in the camp. There could not be, for if we were truly listening for the trumpet and working together to defeat the enemy, the lack would not be there. When lack is present it causes division. It causes one group to say, "How come we’re doing it all? How come he teaches all the time and I never get to? How come we’re poor and they’re rich? How come how come…?"…and the list goes on.

What Nehemiah did was to have all make restitution, everyone forgiving all debt. Everyone that was poor was freed from his debts. We disarm disunity by putting away unforgiveness. The debt is the burden of sin, and the guilt of not being able to overcome our weakness. As the proverb says, "When we seek after riches they fly away from us as one who reaches for a bird on the windowsill." When we seek to help another, we give what we could not provide for ourselves—forgiveness. If it’s not our problem anymore and we let God fight the battle for us, the lack disappears. God’s provision is always more than enough. It is not just earthly riches but love, peace, ministry, anything we do. If our faith turns inward it is selfishness. That is not God. It ceases to be God because He is not concerned about Himself. He is always pushing outward to see what He can do to help the body. That is why true unity is so important. It is not just us being with a body so we can be protected but us all being there as a member of a fighting team that keeps the whole body protected. The protection comes to those who truly are one, in one Spirit, in one house. There is no lack and no reason for division anymore. Love always extends outward. Be a giver so that division no longer has a place.

For everything the enemy tries to throw at us; we just keep standing firm knowing "what manner of man we are." We keep speaking God’s word, keep praying in the spirit and continue doing what God has called us to do. The manner of man we are is not us at all, but "Christ in us the hope of glory". We just keep taking the next step, never stopping, moving from faith to faith. Our security is not in the possessions we receive along the way.

God never changes. We have come this far and there is no turning back, so it is not just walking from faith to faith now, but walking from glory to glory. We are the manner of people that will keep doing the work God has called us to do. We are here to complete the building. Unity in the body plays a big part in each one of our lives, for the Word of God in each one of us is what edifies, builds one another up in love, and comes into agreement with the truth. The body of Christ can stand with confidence in the midst of a war no matter what comes at us, for it is fought in Spirit, releasing God’s Word, causing Him to fight for us. Let us be filled with the Spirit not with wine, that we may move in the things of God, unified. Jesus was the perfect stone and is the cornerstone, but the remainder of the structure of the temple has been shaped and cut and brought to a place where it will fit perfectly in the hole that it was prepared for. We have been called to be what we are and each is a stone shaped for that exact spot God places us in the building of His temple.

The final glory of the restored believer is the inner strength and patience of a tested and victorious warrior in Christ; an inside out believer who shows the Glory of the Lord and not simply the goodliness of man.

Father’s Day

We thank God for all his mercies and bountiful gifts he pours down on us. There is nothing we can be more thankful for than the gift of God’s son, Jesus Christ. The depth of His love for us was shown when He gave up his life so that ours could be changed forever. We have confidence in Him and trust that His love will touch others and they will know his saving power.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, we look to God and give thanks for our dads on this earth. We are truly blessed by all the sacrifices they make to provide for us. God, in his perfect love, has promised that even if we don’t feel much love on this earth, He will show us His true love and care for all our needs. Psalm 103:13-14 promises that, "As a Father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." When we talk about God’s love we must remember it is a love we cannot understand or fathom in our minds. God’s love is so pure and simple that we, with corrupt minds, cannot see all He has for us. Psalm 103:8 says, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy." This is true love: love that "thinketh no evil", that "rejoiceth in the truth", and love that "never faileth".

This Father’s Day we may gaze upon the Holy of Holies because He first loved us. We give thanks for His Son, Jesus Christ, because He died for our sins and set us free. Always remember that His love endures forever and refreshes us everyday. We extend these Father’s Day blessings to all dads who are the heads of households and whom God created. May God Bless you and lead you in the Spirit of Truth and Understanding. Psalms 128:1-4 says, "Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in His ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord." Happy Father’s Day!

Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV)  No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews. For information write Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Inc.--198 Burnett St.--Yorkville, IL 60560--708/223-0070

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