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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : What Happens When GOD Comes Down? -morgan

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 What Happens When GOD Comes Down? -morgan


[b]What Happens When GOD Comes Down?[/b]
[i]by Aeron Morgan[/i]

Isaiah 64:1.


“Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains may flow down at Thy Presence”.


It must surely be a concern to all that with society around us disintegrating through its increasing moral evils, and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ drawing so very near, that the church should be largely giving itself to religious amusements and worldly alliances. Current emphases in many pulpits is nowhere near that of the New Testament, where impassioned apostles were more concerned for holiness than happiness, character than charisma, the spiritual more than the material, and the eternal more than the temporal. They exposed and denounced sin, not covered or excused it; they called for repentance for sin, not the mere regression of it; and they uncompromisingly called attention to the Cross for the cure, not to the counsel of psychologists.


Indeed, as we view the present Church scene and listen to its message from many a preacher, we wonder whatever happened to the Biblical doctrine of original sin, not the distorted view of it in the perverted theology of our times. One of our Pentecostal leaders said recently, “Man is not inherently bad; he just does bad things because of his circumstances!” Can you believe that? Such men must read a different Bible from mine! How influenced is our generation of preachers by so much modern psychology, which is overtly hostile to what the Bible teaches about sin as it clears people from all responsibility for their evil desires and drives and tendencies. The moral and spiritual ‘downgrade’ that we witness today is NOT just in our world, but in the Church where instead of intensifying holiness there is increasing hype and the growing influence of entertainers, religious entrepreneurs and charlatans who delude people into following their vain philosophies and false ‘gospels’, such as will prepare men and women for hell rather than heaven!


Having just made mention of the Cross, it is needful to state that the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ exposes the nature of both sin and the world (John 12:30-31. 1 Corinthians 15:3. Galatians 1:4). It is unmistakable proof, not only of the immeasurable and amazing love of God but the profound wickedness of sin and the corruption of human nature. Sin is such a horrible malignancy, for which there is NO cure apart from the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53. John 1:29. 1 John 3:5. We have been called unto holiness, for without it we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). I was reading the story of William Thompson, a Methodist evangelist in England in the 1800’s – when Methodism still espoused the teachings of John Wesley. On his birthday his mother wrote to him:


“I love you very much my dear boy. You must get real heart-felt religion, and you must never stop short of holiness. There is no real, lasting, and abiding happiness without holiness of heart and life” (‘The Earnest Evangelist and Successful Class Leader’, by Mark Guy Pearce Snr, published in London, 1881, by the Weslyan Conference Centre; p.27)


Leonard Ravenhill was a champion of holiness, revival, and prayer. In his book, “Revival Praying” (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1962) he has a challenging chapter entitled, “The Shame of our Nakedness”, which really puts the contemporary church under the spotlight. In view of the world’s criticism and offer of advices to the Church he says,


“The fact is that the Church HAS BEEN CAUGHT NAKED…she trails in poverty when the riches of Christ are hers. She seems to be in flight instead of in fight. We have a stricken Church in a stricken world…the embarrassing thing right here is that we have no one to blame for our spiritual impotence…We have run out of scapegoats. As a wise man said, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is within ourselves’. To meet the crisis of the hour in the Church, and in the world today, we either have or do not have what it takes. (And he concludes the chapter with this searching question)…Have we strayed too far to get back again to New Testament procedure? Have we? Such a question permits no easy answer” (p.37-42).


I am tempted to answer the question in the words of Ezekiel, when the Lord posed the question as he viewed the valley of dry bones – “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel responded, “O Lord, THOU knowest” (Ezekiel 37:3). In Isaiah’s prophecy the word of the Lord is a strong call for a reprobate people, who call themselves by His name, to turn to wake up from their spiritual stupor and to be once again adorned with holiness. See Isaiah 52:1-3. Adornment with “beautiful garments” was a call to arise to fulfil their priestly obligations, before God and the world. You see, in this day of such great emphasis on ‘WORSHIP’ it is time to also stress that holiness is indispensable to true priestly function. God acknowledges and approves NO substitute. Thus does the prophet thunder out God’s command: “Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord” (verse 11). Babylon has to be left well behind. Its flesh-worshiping culture has no place with Christ’s Bride (1 Peter 2:4-5). Any call to praise to the neglect or denial of purity is a false call. Service without sanctity makes all efforts, however sincere and fervent, a farce and not the force God intends us to be.


And in this sixty-fourth chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy, all that the prophet can do, in the face of Israel’s hypocrisy, is to cry to GOD to intervene. If God’s people are to rise from the dust of spiritual decadence, and be seen again arrayed in the beautiful garments of holiness, she needs God to come down. And we need Him to “rend the heavens and come down”, else all of our religious activity, however zealous and impressive, is futile and a mockery. Who will bend the knee in the secret place and call on the Lord to “come down”? Where are the churches that will suspend their fruitless programs, and corporately call on God to “come down” and save us from ourselves, intervening to show forth His sovereign power? The Lord will only “come down” when His people earnestly and sincerely CRY UNTO HIM. Malachi 3:1 – “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his Temple”. It has to be lamented, surely, that our tarrying and prayer rooms today are but a shadow of that which we knew in earlier days of Pentecostal revival, when there was the constant plea of faithful, impassioned pastors to us to be after God.


But are we prepared for what might take place when “God comes down”? Isaiah 64:1-3 gives us some idea of the impact of the Divine Presence.


1) Mountains Flow Down. Like at Sinai, they begin to quake. Micah the prophet

‘saw’ the Lord coming forth out of His place and said, “the mountains shall be molten under Him, and the valleys shall be cleft” (Micah 1:4-5). That is what happens when God comes in His glory. The context of our passage in Isaiah, of course, is that of judgment, God coming to deal with enemies who seemed to be indefatigable, so that He might vindicate on the behalf of his people. The desire is that God would come in His marvelous providence, manifesting Himself both to His people and for them. The principle is taken, in these present musings of ours, to see God come down to His Church and for His Church, so that she might be recovered from the desolate place she has been in. ‘Mountains’ represent what is solid and strong on the face of the earth, which seem unflinching, and so imposing it appears nothing can change their situation. I must admit that I have wept and wondered if there is a way back for the Church, a Church that seems to have gone astray from the “old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16). But this Scripture encourages me to believe for such a ‘mountain’ to flow down at His Presence.


There are also the ‘mountains’ of apathy, unfaithfulness and general barrenness within the Churches needing to be urgently addressed. And God alone knows how deeply entrenched are the inroads of sin and corruption in our societies at this time. Ah, GOD can step right into our situation today – into our lives, our homes, our Churches, our communities, and even the nation. Nothing abides His all-consuming Presence! O God, please come down!


2) God’s Name Becomes Known. …to make known Thy name to Thine

adversaries”. His ‘name’ represents all of His glorious perfections. It is time for the Church to see God arise in His majesty and strength, and the tables turned around so that the enemy also feels the impact. Yes, God IS with us – let us not deny nor despise ‘the day of small things’! But, O for that revelation of GOD to us, and through us, to impact our communities! Programs will not do that. Gimmicks will not do that. With the revelation of GOD in His holy Temple, “let all the earth (all that is earthy, carnal, worldly) keep silence before Him” (Habakkuk 2:20). God’s manifested PRESENCE alone is sufficient to meet our need as His Church, and through us to make Himself known to a world in crisis! And let us be filled be a renewed confidence, to know that NO adversary can stand before HIM when he comes in His glory. O that they may know something of that glory and be caused to tremble at his presence. In a day when there is such blatant disregard for God, O that He might be revealed in His awesome Presence among us and through us, so that they may say with the men of Bethshemesh, “Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? Who knows the power of His anger?” (1 Samuel 6:20.) O God, please come down!


3) A Shaking Takes Place Within The Nation. “…in order that the nations may

tremble at Thy Presence”. The world challenges us today, “Where is your God?” Cf. Psalm 42:10. Such provocation was “like a sword in my bones”, said David. But WHO CARES today that godless man seems to be at the helm, dictating even to the Church with utter contempt for God and His righteous Law. It’s the fulfillment of Psalm 2:1-3 –


“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”


And no doubt things will get even worse! I am of the conviction that it could be we shall experience certain persecution from within the ranks of Christendom with the increasing apostatizing evident around us? The ecumenical “hotchpotch” disturbs no devil, embarrasses no politician, and will never cause our decaying generation to sit up and take note of GOD. After all is said and done, our task is not to patronize our politicians but to confront them with GOD, and with His Holy, infallible, and unbending law. End times are upon us! We desperately need God to “come down”, for with His dreadful Presence alone will we see a nation tremble before Him! O God, please come down!


4) Awesome Things Occur. “Thou didst terrible things that we looked not for”.

It seems that in genuine Revivals, God’s coming to His Church always carries with it ‘the unexpected’, the amazing; and what is truly awesome. I do not mean the bizarre! His holiness precludes that. But everything appears to be so predictable today. The spontaneity of Spirit-controlled gatherings is rare, for everything is directed and orchestrated to follow out some plan. The ‘dummy run’ during the week before the Sunday services and the ‘polishing’ of the music program, is all to secure a certain effectiveness. Amateurs are trying to be professional – as if GOD was interested in our slick, sophisticated presentations! Did we never read what Jesus taught the woman at the well who, as immoral as Jesus exposed her to be, was well versed in religious performance? Look up John 4:21-24.


There has never been so much talk of “the anointing” and yet never so little of its true experience and dynamic expression. The vain profession to such renewal and fullness of the Holy Spirit is such an insult to the true character, power and objectives of Pentecost. What that perceptive, even prophetic servant of God Dr. A.W.Tozer, had to say about conditions in the Church half a century ago is just as relevant today. He said,


“How empty and meaningless is the average Church service today…the form of godliness is there, and often the form is perfected till it is an aesthetic triumph. Music and poetry, art and oratory, symbolic vesture and solemn tones combine to charm the minds of the worshipper; but too often the supernatural afflatus is not there…In the average service the most real thing is the shadowy unreality of everything”. (“The Best of A.W. Tozer”, ed. Warren W. Wiersbe; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.)



Please don’t brush that off as though it applied only to (what we might call) the ‘mainline’ denominational churches. It well describes much of the neo-Pentecostal scene. O, God help us!


As I have read of those times of true spiritual renewal, I have observed that when holy men, by any Scriptural measure, were confronted by the Holy One they were overpowered within their own beings, smitten as with a sword, and often prostrated in awe before Him; for no flesh can abide, let alone glory, in His Presence. God is never familiar! In view of that our gatherings must never become an entertainment. Maybe this is why we have few who will “stir themselves to lay hold of God” to plead for Him to truly “rend the heavens and come down”. IT’S TOO TERRIBLE! But there is no other answer to our need.

O God, please come down!


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/7/27 23:45Profile
Onesimus4God
Member



Joined: 2006/1/16
Posts: 213
Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

 Re: What Happens When GOD Comes Down? -morgan

Thank you Greg, for the timely reminder. While I do not have the eloquence of words of our dear brother, I did wake up with this on my mind once again this morning. These things spoken of in this message have been hanging heavy on my heart for quite some time.
The cure for our delima is not a simple thing, yet it is quite simple indeed. The humanistic attitude of our modern day church attempts to render God down to our own understanding. Our God has no such limits. They attempt to use God's Word to obligate God into performing for us as our servant, instead of the other way around. We want God to obey our confession of faith and provide supernatural entertainment in place of personal sacrifice.
I remember when God came down to me. I simply cannot describe the spiritual ecstacy that overflowed from deep within me. I had no preconcieved experience or idea what would take place. I only asked God to make Himself real to me...and He did. I had no idea what to expect, but when He came, it was unmistakable. It was God. So I agree with our dear brother, yes, we all need that kind of a "coming down". He is also correct in that in "God's presence", manifested before our senses, worship always takes place. Not the orchestrated kind, but the spontaneous reaction to God's presence. And of course there is always repentance, sorrow from the heart and affirmation to change direction. But then what?
God visited man over and over again in the Old Testament. But religion relegated all that God had proclaimed and commanded into a polished expose' of man's vain attempts at personal holiness. Then what? God did come down. His name is Jesus. Oh what a glorious triumph in His expression of love on the cross. But the religions crowd missed Him completely. Fact is, they did everything they could to destroy Him.
In our day today, if anyone who speaks with true "anointing", one, it scares the "establishment church" to shaking, and two, they will do everything they can think of to try and discredit and destroy that person and his/her word from God. So the Gospel challange today is not much different than in Jesus' day.
When fire came down from Heaven and consumed Ezekiel's sacrafice, we generally miss a very important facet of what took place before the fire came.
The altar was reconstructed. Not into something new, but back to it's original shape and form. Ezekiel rebuilt an altar that had once been in place there, using the same stones that have been thrown down. The church has thrown down the living stones, and will not listen to any talk of reformation. The church, however, must go back to it's biblical roots.
The early church met house to house. It is quite obvious that they met to pray, and to recieve communion. For Jesus said that as often as we come together, we should "do this in remembrence" of Him. Some churches today do not do that at all. Others do it during the Sunday evening service on the 5th Sunday of the month. Only the mainline religions still do it every service, the Catholics, Lutherans, ect. Another thing about early churches was that if you were not a baptized believer, you did not get into the house where the communion serivce was being held. If the church services were closed, how on earth did others hear the Gospel preached? How is it that the church grew in leaps and bounds? It grew because the Gospel was preached in the highways and biways, in the field and the market place, out where the lost people are, not in a house or temple. How different is that to what we see today? (The TV religious market is not the preaching of the Gospel to the lost, but comforting of the itching ear that never comes to the knowlege of truth.) It was preached to the poor, not the aristocrat or the nobility. James said that God chose the poor of this world to be rich in faith. He has not changed His mind. Why is it that the popular preacher is so bent on becoming rich; and if you become rich, how much faith can you expect to have?
So yes, the church needs to go back to the old way, the bible way, the ordained way of having church. Jesus did not leave His church incomplete when He left. There was nothing that needed to be addedd to it. He did not leave it without leadership. He Himself remained it's Head. Oh how the riches and cares of this world have choked off the Word, and kept it from bearing fruit.
Another thing about Ezekiel's efforts was that when all was set back in order, a sacrifice was placed on the altar. GOD DOES NOT SEND THE FIRE WHERE THERE IS NO SACRIFICE. The church today has no sacrifice on the alar. How can God send the fire, when there is not sacrifice?
The only sacrifice acceptable to God is that of His Son. In order for us to benefit from the sacrifice of the Son is for we ourselves to offer up and surrender our own lives. In order to get His life, we must give up our own. Living His life is always a life of holiness, as so many have said before this hour. Holiness is not a life of religious denial, it is His life living and giving through us. It is the joy of a heart that is settled on the fact that the person who tabernacles that heart has been declared legally righteous before God because of the sacrifice of His Son. Alleluia! It brings the believer in to a personal communion with God that unsaved man cannot understand and cannot mimmick. Glory be to God. Holiness flows like a river, without labor or pump. It flows toward God, it's final destination.
So yes, it's time for a change. It's time for God to come down. But I do believe, that like Ezekiel, the church has to make some preperation for His coming. When He comes, He will not only consume the sacrifice, but the altar as well. For God's presence cannot be held with definition. It can only be exprenienced with unfolding splendor, moment by moment. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

In His Mercy and Grace,

"O"


_________________
Lahry Sibley

 2007/7/29 10:47Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: What Happens When GOD Comes Down? -morgan

Quote:
There are also the ‘mountains’ of apathy, unfaithfulness and general barrenness within the Churches needing to be urgently addressed. And God alone knows how deeply entrenched are the inroads of sin and corruption in our societies at this time. Ah, GOD can step right into our situation today – into our lives, our homes, our Churches, our communities, and even the nation. Nothing abides His all-consuming Presence! O God, please come down!


Quote:
It seems that in genuine Revivals, God’s coming to His Church always carries with it ‘the unexpected’, the amazing; and what is truly awesome. I do not mean the bizarre! His holiness precludes that. But everything appears to be so predictable today. The spontaneity of Spirit-controlled gatherings is rare, for everything is directed and orchestrated to follow out some plan. The ‘dummy run’ during the week before the Sunday services and the ‘polishing’ of the music program, is all to secure a certain effectiveness. Amateurs are trying to be professional – as if GOD was interested in our slick, sophisticated presentations! Did we never read what Jesus taught the woman at the well who, as immoral as Jesus exposed her to be, was well versed in religious performance? Look up John 4:21-24.

Quote:
As I have read of those times of true spiritual renewal, I have observed that when holy men, by any Scriptural measure, were confronted by the Holy One they were overpowered within their own beings, smitten as with a sword, and often prostrated in awe before Him; for no flesh can abide, let alone glory, in His Presence. God is never familiar! In view of that our gatherings must never become an entertainment. Maybe this is why we have few who will “stir themselves to lay hold of God” to plead for Him to truly “rend the heavens and come down”. IT’S TOO TERRIBLE! But there is no other answer to our need.



Exceedingly difficult to snatch extracts from this ... far too many!


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/7/29 12:50Profile





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