| Replaced with shields of brass.|
The glory of Solomon’s kingdom was known throughout the earth. He was courted by kings and queens from all over the world. They came to see his glory and to hear of his famed wisdom. Oh the beauty and the splendor of a man who displays the treasures of heaven. Are men not drawn to those who have treasures even greater than the treasures of Solomon? For some perspective from God we can see in Matt 6 that we have to consider the lilies of the field, how they neither toil nor spin and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed in such splendor. Can I suggest that God’s children are more glorious that the lilies of the field? It's not in our toiling nor in our spinning that makes us glorious, its in the treasures that lie within us. It's in the fact that we are a light in the great darkness of the world because it is no longer us that live but it is Christ who lives in us.
2Ch 9:16 And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
The treasure that lies within us is Christ Himself. He alone is our “exceeding great reward.” To walk in the presence of God is to walk in such a way that the glory of God goes before us much like the glory of Solomon’s shields went before him. This is our calling. We know that Moses face was veiled after his encounter with the almighty God on the mountain, and we know that we walk in a glory that goes beyond this by the Spirit of the living God. Can we honestly say that we walk in such a glory with the treasures of the Lord on display? Are men dazzled by our treasure? Are men drawn to us because of the wisdom of God that is within us?
What are the riches of our dwelling place with the Lord? Out of the beauty of dwelling with Him do we have the finest gold of unconditional love? Are the walls of our dwelling place encrusted with the jewels of forgiveness and mercy? Are the windows of our dwelling places draped with meekness and humility? Do trophies of grace hang on every wall? Are they framed with the finest materials of patience and kindness? Do we pursue the riches and the glories of heaven with the same vigor and single-mindedness that men here on earth pursue gold and silver? And the treasures that we have attained in Christ, do we protect them with all the resources that we have? Do we value the treasures of our heart in the same way men value their wealth? There is a direct correlation between how much we value something to the lengths we will go to protect it. Guard your hearts brothers and sisters in Christ, for we have an enemy who seeks to steal and destroy what we have. Satan knows the value of what we have oftentimes more than we do.
So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass.(2Ch 12:9-10)
What a tragedy when instead of glorious gold that shines brilliantly in the mid day sun, there is only left brass, a pale imitation that pretends to be what it is not. When the world comes and enters into the church, it steals away its treasure. A church that has been overwhelmed by the world is a church that has no treasure, a church that is robbed of its power and worth. That very same church has to reproduce it shields of Gold by making shields of brass. I was visiting a church recently and like a lot of churches, during the worship time the lights were dimmed and out comes the dry ice machine producing smoke that I guess is to help create " an atmosphere." Hard to believe isn't it? Dimmed lights and ice machines-shields of brass. For the Holy Spirit, the treasure of the Church, has fled. The gold has been taken and we are left with poor imitations, it is a sad sight indeed. And so without the treasures of God there is only left the treasures of men. The buildings become more elaborate and the worship teams become more professional. The presence of God that used to fall when an old lady playing an organ tapped on the keys, now is gone even although there be an elaborate orchestra.
The treasure of man and the treasure of the Church is the presence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. We cannot have the world and God, it is one or the other. For the most part modern Christendom has sold its gold shields and replaced them with brass ones and it hopes no one will notice. Brass shields have only scrap value, there has to be a lot of it to make it worth anything and even then it is not worth much especially in comparison to gold. The presence of God in our lives and in our gatherings is everything, without that we are merely sounding brass.........bro Frank
| 2018/3/22 17:15|
| Re: Replaced with shields of brass.|
Brother Frank: What a choice word for today, how to take an obscure scripture and bring forth the honey from it. Praise the Lord. Great word.
| 2018/3/22 20:57||Profile|
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Thank you bro Marvin...........bro Frank
| 2018/3/23 9:35|
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I agree—- very well stated.
Perhaps the Spirit might fall amidst the fog machine and dimmed lights as well as the tinkling piano or organ. My most vivid experience of God’s manifest presence (experienced by the whole group I was with) was during a time of prayer with no music at all.
There is little doubt that there is an attempt to create an atmosphere of worship. But that is true in the charismatic churches I have attended, the mega churches I have attended, and the rather conservative Baptist Church I currently attend (primarily due to the excesses of the other types of churches I have attended). It’s just a matter of how they are doing it but they all do it. I have experienced the Sprit in all three because I try to have my heart ready for worship. I think the Lord shows up where He is wanted.
| 2018/3/23 10:31||Profile|
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Hi Todd, the post is about corporate worship. I am glad that you experience the presence of God everywhere you go. I am sure that some people are actually healed at a Benny Hinn conference but that has nothing to do with Benny Hinn. Lets try an experiment, go to a Mormon church next weekend and let us know what happens? ...........bro Frank
| 2018/3/23 12:33|
| Re: Replaced with shields of brass.|
Fog machines...Don't know if I should laugh or cry.
I saw machines that produce sparks for a show effect, may be this is the next to top this.
| 2018/3/23 14:25||Profile|
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I guess my question is whether God shows up in spite of special effects.
| 2018/3/23 14:29||Profile|
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You would have to define " show up," Todd. There is Gods manifest presence to his individual children and there is also His corporate presence. And today you would also have to define "the presence," of God. Men like A.B.Simpson would describe it as barely being able to breath, the Holy heaviness would fall in such a manner that a hush would also fall as men and woman would fall to their knees in a holy reverent silence as God moved among them, that silence only being broken as men and woman cried out to Him. The kind of presence that for ever changes men. This is what you are claiming to have experienced in any church that you have been too? You are a very privileged man. I would put it to you Todd that the majority of this generation have not experienced the manifest corporate presence of God. Not only that, they would never even have heard tale of such a presence hence the need for fog machines and dimmed lights. There were certain false prophets on the side of a mountain that jumped up and down all day long in an effort to bring down the presence of their god, they even cut thereself but all to no avail. The thing about living in shades of grey is that you live in it long enough and then raise one generation after another in it, they come to perceive it as light for that is all they have ever known and will argue blind with you that it is light when in fact it is merely diffused darkness...............bro Frank
| 2018/3/25 15:25|
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Like I said the only time I experienced the manifest presence Simpson describes was not in a corporate church setting but I was with a large group of other believers and we all experienced it. It just wasn’t a “church service.” I feel fortunate to have experienced it one time and I dearly wish to experience it again.
You are correct that very likely the great great majority of Christians have never experienced this. This is very sad, because when I try to explain what we experienced I am met with polite nods or blank stares.
It makes me wonder, however, how often even men like Simpson or Tozer or Ravenhill truly experienced it. I do not believe it is a regular occurrence. Wish I could say it was.
| 2018/3/26 8:57||Profile|
| How to judge a Church|
When we judge someone, we need to judge righteously, which means we should not use our personal favoritism, like and dislike. The problem is a man without spiritual anointing will only judge based on external signs. The people who judged Jesus and rejected him, judged based on external things like washing of hands and eating grains on Sabbath. So the presence of God cannot be judged by external things. Sad that even today there are so called Christians following the foot steps of those who rejected Jesus. But Peter judged Jesus by the words of eternal life that was in him. In my own Church we do not allow loud music, but we still allow Guitar and Keyboard. A person who has law books that keyboard and Guitars should not be played in Church will straight away claim that our Church has no presence of God at all!
I use the following scripture to find the presence of God,
1 Cor 14:24:-But if an unbeliever or uninstructed person comes in while everyone is prophesying, he will be convicted and called to account by all, 25and the secrets of his heart will be revealed. So he will fall facedown and worship God, proclaiming, “God is truly among you!”
The word that is preached in the Church should be prophetic. That is it should reveal the unchristlikeness in the listeners. If we go to Church acknowledging our need then God will speak to us to reveal the secrets of our hearts. This is the clear proof of God. Honestly I am willing to sit in a CHurch with all lights and fireworks, if the word preached there leads me to Christ. If it reveals my unchristlikeness to me then that is good enough.
For most of us it is favoring their theology or their musical style is what the presence of God is. No wonder such people are deceived and never part of a Church, they will always be wanderers like how Cain was without a fellowship of believers.
| 2018/3/26 10:49||Profile|