A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
THE LATTER-DAY GLORY OF THE RESTORED CHURCH
God has promised to restore His church to a greater glory. “I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” It is only when the church is restored to His presence, word and will that it can possess the promised latter-day glory. Restoration of the latter-day glory is neither the idea of a prophet nor the opinion of a man – it is the word of God. And God has power to fulfil every promise He has made. He also has power to remove everything that hinders the progress of the church as well as from the believer’s life, family and ministry. Then the much desired glory and revival such as has been witnessed in the lives and ministry of contemporary saints will happen. To desire the good old days is good. But God has a better future plan: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts.” In spite of the success, beauty or glory that has been witnessed, God has something greater and higher for His church. The believer needs not give up because of the intensity of challenges he is facing. God will turn everything around and do something wonderful in his life and family this New Year. Life’s challenges should not make you leave the faith and church where you have been taught the word as God has promised that “...in this place will I give peace”. God will give peace where there has been turbulence and He will restore glory to His church.
PERCEIVED REASONS FOR LOST GLORY
1 Samuel 4:21,22; Hosea 4:4-7; 2 Chronicles 25:14-16; Isaiah 1:21-23; Galatians 4:9-11,15; 1 Corinthians 5:6; Malachi 2:4-9
The presence and power of God that wrought miracles, signs and wonders and brought great conversions in the early church revealed an open heaven and the glory they enjoyed. Many sinners saw the manifestation of the power, glory and anointing of the Spirit. Many of them got converted and integrated into the body of Christ. This glorious experience is absent in the present-day church.
Why has the glory departed? Why did Israel lose the ark which represented the presence, power and promise of God in their midst? The ark itself remained as powerful as it had always been though it was taken away by the Philistines. But the loss of the ark made Israel ordinary before their enemies because they despised God. Likewise, the glory left the church because the church toyed with the presence, power and promise of God. Another reason is striving “with the priest.” In the era of the early church, there was no strife among them because the church was one. But now, the church has become fragmented into denominations. Though these churches still has Christ as their Foundation and Saviour, the Bible as guide, the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, but the churches have not been intelligent enough to recognise the headship of Christ and that has led to strife in the Body. And a house divided against itself cannot stand.
The restoration of the glory requires determined efforts of everyone in the body of Christ. If the church will come together and recognise Christ as the head of the whole church, and possess the same love, understanding, anointing of the Holy Ghost, the glory will be restored. When we fight one another, we fight the wrong battle. We are to fight Satan, not the servants of God; we are to fight the enemy, not our neighbours; we are to fight the people that are opposed to Christ, not those who gather with Him. Another reason for the departure of glory is “lack of knowledge”. Many churches have replaced the word of God with entertainment. When the church trembled before and respected the laws of God, His glory was present. When we respected and honoured the name of the Lord, the glory was there. When holiness and righteous living was in the church, His glory was present. It is the departure from the way is responsible for the departure of God’s glory. The church’s return to the evil ways it had forsaken like King Amaziah did is responsible for the departure of the glory. It may look insignificant, but knowing that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”, the church must stand against even little sins. With the understanding that the church is bigger than one denomination, the glory will be brought back. It will be difficult for the glory to return if those who have some understanding of the word of God are fenced up and refuse to interact with other churches.
PROMISED RESTORATION OF LATTER GLORY
Haggai 2:4-9; Psalm 84:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Isaiah 60:1-7,15,18-22
The presence, power and promise of God will return. The Holy Ghost with His anointing and power will come upon the people of God again. The Spirit that brings conviction and conversion, the Spirit that enables for complete yieldedness to God, the Spirit that immerses in the anointing, power and freshness will come back. Whenever God wills, nothing holds back His hand. Therefore, the people of God are commanded to be strong. Since sacred work is more important and more valuable than the secular, and because silver and gold belong to God, He will sponsor His work in spite of the prevalent financial situation. The promise of God is that the whole church will go up and not down, go forward and not backward. And the Lord will fulfil all His promises in your life, family and ministry. You will move from strength to strength, faith to faith, glory to glory. Every promise is yours this year. Your shining year has come, your tears are wiped away; all lack and limitations are taken away. The glory will be visible upon you. There will be no loss of spouse or children in your family. The rate of conversion of sinners through you will be amazing. This year, get ready to learn how to laugh because all the past sorrow and mourning will be gone. Holiness will become a practical lifestyle among God’s people. It is not going to come late but will surely come to pass upon your life in Jesus name.
PROPHETIC REVELATION OF LASTING GLORY
If taking away of the ark was the cause of the departure of the glory, bringing back the ark is necessary for the lasting glory to be restored to its place. The glory will come back if we (1) bring back the ark (2 Samuel 6:17). Recall the power and promises of God. When you wake up, drink some of the water of the promises; take in some of the bread of the promises, and go in the strength of the promises. (2) Bring back the book of the law to the pulpit for the people (Nehemiah 8:1). (3) Bring back the altar (1 Kings 18:30). (4) Bring back the fire (1 Kings 18:36-39). There was fire but it went out, and it must be brought back. (5) Bring back the signs (Psalm 74:9; Isaiah 8:18). The children of Israel had a special sign which went with them. The signs are coming back. (6) Bring back the ministers (Daniel 10:15-19). (7) Bring back the people (2 Chronicles 19:4). The glory is very near. And all the Lord wants from us is to bring the people back to Him and God can and will forgive them if they repent of their sins.
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