Within the Christian there is a secret place, a sanctuary we must prepare for the Lord. The holy place is not unlike the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple. Not until this place is cleansed will the Lord dwell with us in the fullness of His Spirit, not until this room is pure will we truly become the house of the Lord.
BRING OUT THE UNCLEAN THING! “And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ ( 2Thess. 2:14 ) The Lord is cleansing us for the distinct purpose of bringing His people into His glory. Yes, out of His desire to present a pure bride to His Son, the Father is purging the church of it’s sin. He is refusing to allow our inter-church relationship to continue without love. According to the scriptures, before Jesus returns, the body of Christ will be holy and blameless, ( see Eph. 5:17, 1 Thess. 5:23, Col. 1:22, Phil. 2:15, etc. ) Through new and successive levels of purification, the house of the Lord will again receive and display the glory of God.
To facilitate the process of cleansing, by way of example, we are going to study one of the greatest periods of restoration and renewal in the Bible: The Rule Of King Hezekiah: Prior to Hezekiah’s reign, his father, King Ahaz, brought the very worst form of idolatry into Israel. Ahaz shut the temple doors, and persecuted the priests. Those he did not kill he corrupted. Without the influence of the Godly priesthood, Israel soon followed Ahaz, into idolatry and unrestrained sin.
Although Hezekiah was a relatively young man when he succeeded Ahaz, he courageously sought revival and healing to the nation. In the very first month of his reign he “opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them” (2 Chron.29:3) He then consecrated the priesthood and began to restore the Temple, Hezekiah’s first priority was to restore true worship. We read, "and he brought in the Priests and Levites and gathered them into the square on the east. Then he said to them, Listen to me, O Levites Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord. (2 Chron. 29:4-5)
God initiated His plan to redeem the nations by consecrating the priests and cleansing the house of the Lord. For this task Hezekiah had been prepared. As a young man he watched Israel’s “fathers fallen by the sword.” The men who were not slain on the battle field could be heard weeping in the grain fields, “our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity” (2 Chron. 29:9) Hezekiah new only one option, one plan was offered to Israel, return to the God. In obedience, he began his reign by consecrating the house of the Lord.
Hezekiah next ordered the priests to “carry the uncleanness out from the Holy Place.” Before the Eternal One moves visibly in power, He moves invisibly in holiness, He cleanses His house. Then the outward signs of restoration and revival, the true miracles and true conversions follow. If God will touch cities with His fire, He must put that fire within us. Everything the Almighty does for us as individuals will work to deliver others. He will deliver those who are not innocent, and they will be delivered through the cleanness of our hands.(see Job 22:30)
Hezekiah never stopped thinking of Israel, but knew he must begin the restoration of the nation with the consecration of the priesthood. It is significant that he made no appeal or effort to win the nation itself, he had no program of reform other than restoring true worship. The King’s focus was not on turning the heart of the people, but drawing the heart of God. If the Lord is lifted up He will of His own will and power, draw all men unto Himself.
Even as Hezekiah reopened the doors, of the temple, so also in us there is a door which we must open daily unto the Lord. David wrote: “I was always beholding the Lord in my presence” (Acts 2:25). Within the Psalmist heart was a dwelling place for the Lord, David was always beholding the Lord. Similarly, there is something in our presence, in our spirit, which can be opened or closed by God. We must not assume that simply because we are Christians, this gate toward God is automatically open. Jesus stood “at the door” of the Laodicean Church and knocked, desiring to enter their life. We must choose to unlock this door and swing it wide toward Christ.
Yet opening this chamber of our heart can, indeed be a frightening thing. For it requires we not only talk to God, but hear from Him as well. It is one thing to speak honestly with the Lord, but quite another when He speaks without restraint to us. Therefore the most essential commodity for stimulating revival is a tender, open heart before God.
Is the door of your heart open toward God? Can the Spirit of Jesus Christ come in and speak with you ? Are you defenseless to His voice? Can you sense what pleases Him and what draws His pleasure? For us to become sensitive to divine realities, we must live with the door of our heart open. It is impossible to do the will of God otherwise.
King Hezekiah commanded the priests to carry the uncleanness out from the Holy Place. The call to clean the Holy Place was not an option, it was a command,” So the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the court of the house of the Lord.” (2 Chron. 29:16 ) When the priests entered the Holy Place they entered alone, the rest of Israel was in the outer court and beyond. Here privately before God, they were to remove those things which were defiling this sacred place. No one else had seen those desecration’s. They could have remained in secret and none except the priests would have known, but they did not. They brought them out, the unclean things. What was unholy was exposed publicly and removed. From where did these abominations arise?
Predominantly they were the sins of the fore fathers; traditions and offences which were handed down from the prior generations, the careless approach to holiness, and unbelief toward the promises of God, the idolatry and worship of man made things were the product of a generation turned from God. It was the legacy of sin and compromise and its effects that the priests removed.
In the new covenant temple, the church it is our private, inner life which needs this deep cleansing. We have inherited traditions which justify and re-enforce darkness of soul within us. Most Christians have little hope that purity of heart is even attainable. The revival which will turn a Nation begins in the trembling unveiling of our hearts, in the removal of what is defiled and hidden within us. I will tell you a mystery, it is in this very place, this chamber of our deepest secrets, that the door to eternity is found. For if the Father is near enough to “see in secret”, He is close enough to be seen in secret as well. If He has entered us, we can, in truth, enter Him. The key to entering is intimacy, and intimacy is secrets shared. To ascend the hill of the Lord, to stand in the Holy Place, we must have clean hands and a pure heart, we can not lift up our soul towards falsehood (see Ps. 24: 3-4) At the door of eternity, we must renounce those things hidden because of shame, and in humility of soul, receive Christ’s cleansing word.
The Pure in Heart see God, our goal is not merely to be “good” but to see God and in seeing Him, to do what He does. However, John tells us that he who seeks to” see Him just as He is, purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (John 3: 2-3) We can be assured that each step deeper into the Lords presence will reveal areas in our hearts which need to be cleansed. Do not be afraid. When the Spirit shows you areas of sin, it is not to condemn you, but to cleanse you. Let me give you an example. A wife of a certain man set herself apart to seek the Lord. Her cry during this time was ,”Lord I want to see you.” As she sought the Lord, however, He began to show her areas in her heart where she had fallen short. she prayed “ Lord this is not what I asked for, I asked to see You, not me.” Then the Holy Spirit comforted her explaining, “Only the pure in heart can see God.”
In the same way, the Lord desires His Church to see Him as well. Thus He is exposing the areas in us which are unclean. If we will walk as Jesus walked, we must remember, Christ only did those things He saw the Father do. (Jn. 5:19) Out of the purity of His heart, He beheld God and then revealed His Glory. The purpose of cleansing the house of the Lord is that we might sincerely be prepared for more of Christ. This cleansing must become a way of life, but it does not have to take a life time. For Hezekiah and the people with him, it occurred in eight days. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was established again. “ Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.” (2 Chron.29 :35-36) The key here is this: the cleansing of the temple was the highest priority of the king’s life. When we are fully engaged in the process of repentance, break through can come about suddenly. Indeed the prophet Malachi tells us that the Lord ”whom you seek, will suddenly come to His Temple” (Mal. 3:1) As we restore the house of the Lord to purity, and cleanse the holy place of our hearts of Christ, He will indeed come “suddenly”into our midst. After the Lord, in His fullness, returns to His house, He promises, “Then I will draw near to you for judgement, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widows and the orphans, and those who turn aside the aliens and do not fear Me.” (Mal. 3:5) With the Lord again abiding in His living house, He will release judgement against that which oppresses our Cities. Yet the cleansing of our Cities, begins with the cleansing of the church. It is time to remove sin from the hidden places of our hearts.
Blessed Jesus, I desire deeply for you to dwell in me. I yearn to be Your holy dwelling place. I ask that the sanctuary of my heart would be purged of every defilement of the flesh and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1) Here they are, Lord Jesus, my hidden sins. I bring them out of the secret chambers of my heart. (Audibly identify your sins by name.) I take them out of the darkness and Expose them to Your light Lord. You have promised You will execute Your Word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly.
Oh God, thoroughly cleanse my heart, purify me quickly my Master! In Jesus Name, Amen
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The preceding message was adopted from the book “The House of the Lord“ by Francis Frangipane
Reprinted by Triune Last Days Ministries.