There is a Gathering Taking Place
Show Them the House
After showing Ezekiel this beautiful temple of His glory, the Lord gave him an interesting command: “Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern” (Ezekiel 43:10). Israel had fallen into idolatry. They no longer revered the Lord. His temple lay in ruins. The Lord no longer dwelt in their midst. They had profaned the name of God with their abominations resulting in their present captivity. So the Lord was saying in effect, “show Israel the true temple of God in all its glory, what it is supposed to look like. Show them the Lord ruling from His temple, dwelling in the midst of His people.” The Lord wanted the Israelites to see their present condition in light of His true design for them in hopes that they would be ashamed of their iniquity and repent of their sin. If they would repent, they could rebuild the temple according to the pattern God was showing them.
In the same way, we need a revelation of the true temple of God in all its glory and perfection so that we too will recognize our true condition. We must be willing to see ourselves as the Lord sees us. “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing;’ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Revelation 3:17,18). The present day church has fallen into ruin. We have not revered the Lord. We too have gone into captivity, captivity to sin. Our temples are broken down with idolatry and iniquity. We have been desolated by broken relationships, sickness, and oppression. The Lord’s abiding presence is no longer in our midst. Our members pine away in captivity, perishing in the wilderness of despair. We too need to repent of our idolatry. We need to see the divine pattern that the Lord has given us in His word for His glorious church that his throne would be restored in the midst of His temple. We need to rebuild His temple according to the divine pattern so that the Lord’s presence and glory would abide in the midst of His people once again.
Gathered to Him
Everything of the kingdom of God is found in Christ. He is both the head of the church and the fullness of the body. He calls us to Himself. The Lord proclaims through the Psalmist, “Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice” (Psalm 50:5). The Holy Spirit is gathering the ekklesia or ‘called out ones’ together for the fulfillment of God’s purposes. The true church of Jesus Christ is not a building, nor a social group, nor an activist group, nor is it much like what we see around America on Sunday mornings. It is a people gathered to the Lord for the Lord’s purposes. God said, “Gather My saints together to Me.” In Exodus 19:4 the Lord proclaimed to Israel, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt for the purpose of bringing them to Himself. The true church of Jesus Christ is the ‘called out ones’ of God, His saints, gathered together to Him in covenant relationship based on a sacrifice of surrender. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart; these, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Our covenant relationship with God can only be entered through complete surrender of ourselves to God in a spirit of humility and repentance.
Jesus exhorted His disciples, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34,35). He called the people to Himself. They were gathered for the purpose of being with Him. Then He laid down the requirements for His ekklesia: denial of self through the cross of Christ. It is only as we are willing to give up our own lives for the sake of Jesus Christ and His kingdom that we will find true eternal life. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:15: “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” The church of Jesus Christ is not her own, she has been bought with a price. It’s not about us, it’s about Him. It’s not about buildings and programs. It’s not about what we do. It’s all about being: being the people of God; called by His name; to worship Him alone; to be conformed to His image; to do His will.
There is a gathering taking place orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. He is gathering the saints of God to Himself, a covenant people willing to sell all for the Pearl of great price, willing to deny self and take up the cross to follow Him. The Holy Spirit is building the true church of Jesus Christ, Mount Zion, the habitation of a holy God. He is building a true sanctuary for the holy articles of God and the ark of His presence where God can tabernacle and abide in the midst of His people. It is the place of Christ alone: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is the gathering of the Feast of Tabernacles for the fulfillment of God’s redeeming plan. It is the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God in the image of Jesus Christ, led by the Holy Spirit of God to reveal the glory of God. It is the preparation of the bride of Christ, the surrendered ones, the crucified ones, the glorified ones, united to the Lord to become one spirit with Him. It is the company of the redeemed, flaming fires, consumed with Christ. It is the anointed ones, inheriting the kingdom, to bring the life of Christ to the world. It is the generation that seeks the Lord, a holy people, who dwell in His holy place. It is Mount Zion, the glorious church of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is drawing a people together, the ekklesia, the ‘called out ones’ of God, to reveal Jesus Christ in all His glory and goodness. It is the body of Christ under the headship of the Lord. It is a people who come together to, “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works . . . exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24,25). It is a people who surrender their lives to Christ in order that He might live His life through them for the building up of His church in love. It is a gathering for no other purpose or agenda but the will of the Lord, waiting upon Him, seeking Him. It is a people laying down their lives for one another and for Christ who died for them. It is a gathering to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, exalting God alone, having no other gods before Him. It is a people with a single eye, focused on Christ alone, dependent on Christ alone, trusting in Christ alone, believing in Christ alone. It is a gathering of the Holy Spirit: Spirit led, Spirit driven, Spirit filled. It is a faithful people with changed hearts, free from idolatry, tested by fire. It is a people of grace, life, rest, liberty, and Spirit. It is the kingdom of God on earth with no end to the increase of its government. It is a people of agape love, dead to self, alive unto God, loving Him with all of their hearts, souls and strength and loving their neighbors as themselves.
The ekklesia of God is a people who know they are the church, the body of Christ. They can do with or without buildings or programs, but they can do nothing apart from Christ. Out of union with Him flows all ministry for the building of the church in love. They don’t measure themselves by themselves. They measure all things by the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and Him alone. Their measure is one of agape love, the fruits of righteousness, Christ in us, formed in us. It is a people gathered around the ark of His presence, gathered to Christ with one hope, to see His glory. It is the fellowship of the saints, one with Christ and one with each other, “willing to lay down one’s life for his friends.” It is a people with a passion for Christ, a zeal for His kingdom and fervency for His ministry. It is a gathering to seek the Lord: to know Him, to love Him, to trust Him, to obey Him, to serve Him, and to be like Him.
God is building His church. He is gathering together His saints to Himself. He is bringing forth the outcasts and healing their hearts. And when He builds up Zion He shall appear in all of His glory. “The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:2). “For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory” (Psalm 102:16). He is gathering His people from every tribe, language, tongue and people. He will have a people unto Himself free from idolatry and self seeking, a people that, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:13,14). Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
The Holy Spirit is God’s Administrator and Executor. He is moving in the earth to ensure that the bride of Christ is ready and waiting on the appointed day. The Bridegroom will not be stood up or be disappointed on that day. He is bringing forth an army of righteous laborers for the end time harvest, sanctified and useful to the Master. He is brooding over the people of God to stir up a divine hunger and thirst for the deeper things of God. It is as the Proverb says, “The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on” (Proverbs 16:26 KJV). Men and women of God across the nations are discovering a new hunger for more of Him. They are thirsting for His true righteousness. They are driven to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Their hunger is driving them to the cross of Christ to share in His sufferings and become like Him in His death, to deny themselves for the life of Christ. They are being driven by the Spirit within to forsake all for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ, to win Him and be found in Him. It is the people of the cross, the crucified ones of God. They are a new breed of Christians blazing the way for the return of the Lord. They have identified with His death and resurrection to follow Him with all of their hearts, souls, and strength.
The Lord is calling forth a people for Himself, a people called by His name, a people sold out to Him alone. They are constrained by the love of Christ to no longer live for themselves, but for the One Who died for them. They reject the traditions of men and the liberal doctrines of self. They despise the status quo of the apathetic, lukewarm church. There is a fire burning in their bones and they can no longer hold back. They advance with purpose and determination under the voice of the Lord. They are the army of God that has come to execute His will against the enemies of His kingdom.
This new breed of crucified ones, the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God, walk in the spirit and power of Elijah with the cross of Christ. They maintain ranks at all costs in perfect obedience to the Lord of Hosts. They are of the truth, hearing the voice of the Lord. They are the hidden ones, clothed with Christ, fitted for battle. No longer content with business as usual, the zeal of the Lord propels them into a deeper walk, a higher place in Him. They are a scepter of righteousness in the hand of the King to extend His government to the nations and the hearts of men. They are the righteous ones who live by faith, willing to go outside the camp to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith. They have been filled with His perfect love and now lay down their lives for Him and His Gospel. They are the glorious church, the bride of Christ.
Time for a Revolution
It is time for a revolution within the body of Christ in order to bring about God’s plan for a glorious church. A revolution is the violent overthrow to bring about what ought to be. We need a revolution against everything that has set itself up against the knowledge of God, everything that has usurped the power and authority of God in our individual lives as well as in the corporate church body. The purpose of this revolution is to remove everything that has illegally taken claim to the throne of Jesus Christ in our hearts and churches and to return that throne to its rightful ruler. We need a violent overthrow of all the traditions of men and the ways of flesh in order to bring forth a holy habitation for a holy God, thus establishing an atmosphere for spiritual truth to penetrate the hearts of God’s people and bring about a transforming work in their lives. This means that we must violently overthrow every ungodly thought, every tradition, every false way, every doctrine of demons, every work of flesh, every stronghold of the mind, and bring all things back into captivity to Christ. We must pull down the strongholds of doubt and unbelief that have kept us out of our inheritance and have kept us in bondage to sin. As Paul stated above, we must have faith in the power of God to do what He has promised.
Paul said that to be united with Christ is to be one spirit with Him. This means we must come into the same relationship Christ had with the Father, seeing as the Father sees and doing as the Father does. Individually and corporately, we must place ourselves under the headship of Christ as head of the body and create a holy habitation for the abiding presence of God. Jesus Christ must be given His rightful place among His people in all of His fullness. “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22,23). The church will only become a place of living truth that sets people free when it becomes the fullness of Christ. Spiritual truth does not come through intellectual reasoning, but rather by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must create a dwelling place for the manifest presence of God through which His Spirit can release the spiritual truth that will transform God’s people. This will happen when we embrace by faith the power of God to raise us up with Christ into the newness of His life in true righteousness and holiness.
Jesus is returning for a church which He gave Himself for. “That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). We are all waiting for the second coming of Christ. There is no doubt that He is going to return, but return for what? Jesus is returning for a bride, a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, a people who are holy and without blemish. He is talking about a practical reality, a holiness which can be seen by the world. He is going to be glorified in us and through us before He removes us.
It is time to set our hearts and minds to seek the Lord for His promise. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12). It is time to persevere until His word is fulfilled. “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns” (Isaiah 62:1). Faith will not keep quiet until the word becomes flesh. “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6,7).
Can you believe it? Will you believe it? Or will you continue to have a form of godliness denying the power of God? Are you ready to cry out day and night to remind God of His promise, to give Him no rest until you obtain His resurrection life? He will have a glorious church. He will have a generation that seeks His face. He will have a people who are willing in the day of His power. Will you be one of them? Will you cry out to God until He does His work in you? Are you tired of form and ready for some substance? It is finished!
God is looking for a people, a bride for His Son, a holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, to finish His plan for creation. Will we be those people, a holy people, walking in the resurrection power of Christ, defeating His enemies, taking back the lands for the kingdom of God? "Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (Psalm 50:5).