THE ARK OF GOD’S PRESENCE: RETURNING THE GLORY
INTRODUCTION: I want to talk to you this morning about “THE ARK, RETURNING THE GLORY”. When the MANIFEST PRESENCE and GLORY of God is in His Church there will be joy; there will be power; there will be miracles of healing, health, financial blessings, victory over the Kingdom of darkness and the nations will come to the light of the Church’s rising.
1. In the Old Testament the ARK OF THE COVENANT was God’s DWELLING PLACE, the place of HIS MANIFEST PRESENCE. While the Lord was PRESENT among His people in the exodus, He LOCALIZED His presence in the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting for the GOOD of His people. The Tabernacle was constructed by Moses so the Lord could dwell among His people: “…let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst” (Ex. 25:8).
a. In an even more localized and specific way, the ARK of the Covenant served as the DWELLING PLACE of the MANIFEST PRESENCE of God. As we read in Exodus 25:22, “There I will meet with you . . . on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you.”
b. The ARK was the special dwelling place of the Lord where He MANIFEST His PRESENCE and GLORY to His people, bringing them His blessings, His miracle power and victory over their enemies.
c. In rank and order Joshua and the nation of Israel HAD FOLLOWED the Ark of God’s Presence, LEFT the wilderness and CROSSED OVER into Canaan and CONQUERED the 31 Kings and POSSESSED the cities and nations that dealt in the land. The Ark was God’s dwelling place, the place of His presence and glory.
2. According to 1 SAMUEL, Chapter 2, when the PROPHET SAMUEL was born ELI was the Priest of Israel. The Tabernacle of Moses or Tent of Meeting, that housed the ARK OF THE PRESENCE of God, was located at SHILOH. Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phineas who served as priests with their father. 1 Samuel 2:12 declares, “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the Lord.”
a. 1 SAMUEL 4 tells us Israel went out to BATTLE and WAS DEFEATED by the Philistines. 4000 Israelites were killed. So Israel WENT to Shiloh and GOT the Ark of the Presence and CARRIED it into battle. But they were DEFEATED again and 30,000 Israelites were SLAUGHTERED. The priests, Hophni and Phineas, were killed and the Philistines TOOK the ARK.
c. A MESSENGER from the tribe of Benjamin was sent to Shiloh to report what had happened and there was a great outcry. When ELI the priest heard the OUTCRY and learned the Ark was taken he FELL OFF his seat backwards, broke his neck and died.
d. Eli’s daughter-in-law, PHINEHAS’S WIFE, was about to give BIRTH. When she HEARD the news that the ARK OF GOD was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she KNEELED DOWN and GAVE BIRTH.
1 Samuel 4:21 says: “And she called the boy ICHABOD, saying, “The GLORY has departed from Israel,” because the ARK of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.”
I. What I want you to see is that BECAUSE of ISRAEL’S DISOBEDIENCE---BECAUSE THEY WERE OUT-OF-ORDER---the PHILISTINES were able to DEFEAT them in battle---and they LOST the ark.
A. The PHILISTINES took the ark into their territory.
1. They THOUGHT the ark was just another IDOL, just ANOTHER GOD that they had conquered.
a. 1 SAMUEL 5 tells us that the FIRST place they TOOK the ARK was to the TEMPLE of their “FISH GOD” in the Philistine City of ASHDOD. They SET the ARK of GOD’S PRESENCE before their fish-god, a LARGE FISH with a head and hands. They WORSHIPED DAGON and then they walked out.
b. The next day they came in they found that the ARK of GOD’S PRESENCE had PUSHED the fish idol over. God was MANIFESTING HIS PRESENCE & GLORY to them and REVEALING that DAGON was not God. It was merely an IDOL made of wood.
c. They SET Dagon back up and WORSHIPED him again. They came back the next morning and the ARK had not only PUSHED Dagon over, but had CUT OFF its head and its hands.
d. I SAMUEL 5:6 declares: “Now the hand of the Lord was heavy on the Ashdodites, and He ravaged them and smote them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territories.”
2. Saints the PRESENCE of God, i.e. the ARK in the WRONG hands or in the hands of the DISOBEDIENT, brings God’s JUDGMENT upon them.
a. You see the SCRIPTURES tell us that Eli’s sons HOPHNI and PHINEHAS were worthless men. Even though they were priests, they did not know God. They had become PROMISCUOUS. They were GETTING DRUNK and COMMITTING FORNICATION in the TABERNACLE, THE TENT of MEETING. Because of this, the GLORY---God’s PRESENCE and PROTECTION---had left them.
b. We read in the O.T. that God’s GLORY would be ISRAEL’S DEFENSE. But because of their DISOBEDIENCE, because they were OUT-OF-ORDER, because the ark was not in it’s PROPER PLACE---God HAD LIFTED His GLORY off of them. Therefore the enemy was able to defeat them in battle, slaughter them and take the ark.
B. GOD IS HOLY! When you are NOT RIGHT with God and HIS GOVERNMENTAL ORDER you are NOT QUALIFIED to handle the glory. That is WHY God works so PURPOSEFULLY, DILIGENTLY and with such PERSEVERANCE in your life to get you to the PLACE where you can HANDLE and BE HANDLED by the glory.
1. In the OLD Covenant when the HIGH PRIEST would go into the HOLY OF HOLIES once a year to SPRINKLE the BLOOD of the sacrifice on the MERCY SEAT of the ARK of GOD’S PRESENCE and MAKE ATONEMENT for the people, he was KEPT UP all night long. They had that priest QUOTE scripture all night long.
a. This was so that NO UNGODLY THOUGHT could enter his mind when he got behind the veil. This was so he could be as CLEAN as he could possibly be.
b. If the High Priest was not CLEAN, the BELLS on the bottom of his garments would stop ringing. They tied a ROPE around one leg, so that if they did not hear any bells they would say, “Oh no, another one bit the dust”. They would DRAG him out of the Holy of Holies by the rope.
2. We SING sometimes, “Come Lord Jesus, come in the fullness of your glory”. But you REALLY do not want that! You only want WHAT you can HANDLE.
a. Moses said, “show me your glory”. God said, “I can not show you my face. I can only show you a portion, I will show you my hinder-part”.
I will set you in the CLEFT of a rock and put my hand over you and I will allow my goodness to pass. One thing you can see is God’s GOODNESS. God has KIND INTENSIONS toward you. God has kind intensions towards all mankind.
b. Outside of Christ, in our NATURAL or EVIL and UNRIGHTEOUS STATE mankind can’t bear God’s MANIFEST PRESENCE or His GLORY. It’s not that God is being mean. It’s just God SHOWING UP and BEING Himself. Today, THINGS are so out of order that the NATURAL MAN cannot bear His glory. When the earth QUAKES and THINGS happen it is just GOD SHOWING UP. Things are so OUT OF ORDER that we CANNOT BEAR the fullness of His MANIFEST PRESENCE or glory.
c. The Israelites were OUT OF ORDER; they were DISOBEDIENT. So God WITHDREW His glory and the PHILISTINES broke through their hedge of protection, SLAUGHTERED them, TOOK the ark and CARRIED it into the land of the Philistines,
C. But after the Ark had CUT OFF the head and hands of DAGON, 1 SAMUEL 5 tells us that the Philistines took the ark out of their temple and took it to one of their other cities. Because of the PRESENCE and GLORY of God---STUFF started happening there also.
1. The NASV says that immediately everyone got TUMORS. (The KJV says they got HEMORRHOIDS.) I think God has a sense of HUMOR. It got SO BAD they said, “We can’t keep the ark here”. So they SENT the ARK to another place and AGAIN everyone got tumors or hemorrhoids. It FINALLY got SO BAD the Philistines said, “We don’t want to have anything else to do with this”.
a. If we look at the WORLD today, especially PEOPLE at the top, people who DON’T KNOW God, but who have THINGS and have POWER. If you get into the REAL STORY behind their life, most of the time their lives are TRAGIC. The worry, the lack of peace, the unhappiness, the fear, the greed, the disease and sickness, the family problems they experience simply because they are at the top, but they are there WITHOUT GOD’S PRESENCE or GLORY. They are not able to CONTAIN His PRESENCE. They are not able to CARRY His GLORY.
b. You see PEOPLE like this, especially in the MUSIC and ENTERTAINMENT industry. When they get close to the top, you see just HOW WACKED OUT they are. The DEVIL demands this of them because they have NO GLORY to protect them. We frequently hear of COUPLES having 5 or 6 marriages and experiencing one tragic thing after another.
They cannot CONTAIN God’s glory.
2. So the PHILISTINES said, “We are going to send this thing back to Israel”.
a. We are going to TEST this and see if it is just COINCIDENCE. We will HOOK this cart up with COWS that have nursing calves. MOTHERING COWS with calves will not move from where their calves are pinned up in a certain place.
b. So, the PHILISTINES said, “If it is of God these cows will go back to Israel. But, if it is just coincidence they will not budge.” AS SOON AS they HOOKED those cows up those cows started HOOFING their way back to the border of Israel!
3. Saints, we have to LEARN how to HANDLE GOD’S GLORY and HOW TO BE HANDLED BY HIS GLORY.
a. You see WHEN we have been EXPERIENCING the PRESENCE and GLORY of God it is EASY to get into spiritual pride. YOU are the SAME person. But GOD has moved you on into another season and you are experiencing the PRESENCE and the GLORY. Don’t act like you are the GENERAL MANAGER of the Universe. Tell someone, “God is still in control.”
b. There is no room for PRIDE. Pride is a DELAY, a DISTRACTION. We have to STAY TRUE to our course, our calling and purpose in God. BLESSINGS are just a SPIN OFF. We don’t get CAUGHT UP in the blessing. We APPRECIATE and thank God for the blessings, but that is NOT our DESTINATION. That is only a PART of it. We ENJOY all of that, but we keep our eyes FIXED on the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. There are GREATER THINGS, MUCH GREATER THINGS that God has in store for you. YOU have not seen the FULLNESS of His glory yet. WE ARE ALREADY BLESSED, but we HAVEN’T SEEN anything yet.
c. Do you know that in the LAST 24 HOURS of Jesus life here on earth more prophesy was FULFILLED than in all the other 33 plus years he had lived on earth. The last 24 hours. God always SAVES the most, the best, the fulfillment for last.
d. At the WEDDING of Cana, they SERVED what they thought was good wine UNTIL Jesus got involved and served the BEST wine last. The GOVERNOR of the wedding said, “Usually they serve the best wine first and then, when everyone is drunk and can’t tell, the difference they serve the Wild Irish Rose.” Some of you may know what I am talking about. Some folks used to call it the “Brick” because it hit you like a brick and you would be out. The GOVERNOR of the wedding feast said, ”you saved the best for last”.
e. I am telling you that the BEST will suddenly come on the scene BECAUSE God has been SHAPING, MOLDING and FASHIONING you to PREPARE you for what He is going to do swiftly. The PROCESS is coming to an end. Things will happen quickly.
4. My QUESTION to you today is, “Can you stand to be blessed?” SOMETIMES we say, “Bring it on, bring it on”, but can you STAND to be blessed.
Can you stand the RESPONSIBILITY it is going to bring? Can you STAND it when 25 MILLION DOLLARS is coming to your ministry every month? When GOVERNMENTS and NATIONS are drawing upon you and making demands on you, can you STAND to be blessed? God has to MAKE and FASHION you. When the GLORY comes, will you be in a PLACE to handle it?
II. But WHEN the ARK of the PRESENCE showed up, Israel made a MISTAKE.
A. They were so BACKSLIDDEN and so SUBNORMAL that they did not UNDERSTAND how to handle the glory.
1. As soon as the ark appeared they OPENED it up and LOOKED inside of it. “Oh, look at this!” They were touching it and handling it.
a. When the GLORY was among the PHILISTINES, it DEALT with God’s enemies, giving them HEMORRHOIDS.
b. But when it was in the PROCESS of RETURNING and APPROACHED the border of Israel, SOME THINGS started changing. When Israel OPENED it up over 50,000 of them died. This HAPPENED because they were OUT-OF-ORDER. They were breaking God’s spiritual laws.
2. As a RESULT the Israelites FEARED the ARK, 1 SAMUEL 7:1-2 says they TOOK it and PARKED it at KIRIATH-JEARIM. They JUST PARKED it in the YARD of a man named ABINADAB and LEFT it.
a. For 20 YEARS, all the TIME that SAUL was King, ISRAEL NEVER INQUIRED of the ARK. Saul is REPRESENTATIVE of the FLESHLY or SOULISH man. “I got this, I don’t need God.”
b. But 2 SAMUEL 6 tells us that ONE DAY, remember this is 31 CHAPTERS LATER. This is AFTER SAUL has been killed and DAVID has become king, DAVID INQUIRED about the ARK of God’s PRESENCE and DECIDED to bring the ARK back to its PROPER PLACE. I am telling you right now GOD’S GLORY is coming back to its proper place. That‘s WHY you and I have got to be READY. God has been PREPARING us here at the King’s Church, teaching us His ways, preparing us to handle and be handled by the Glory.
3. You read about GOD’S GLORY In the BOOK of ACTS, and it’s going to be restored in our day. We are going BACK to the GLORY of the New Testament Church and even greater Glory. The Glory you read about in the N.T. is the Glory of the INFANT Church. Wait until we experience the Glory of the MATURE Church.
a. In ACTS 5 ANANIAS and SAPHIRA told what we would call a “WHITE LIE”. After all it was THEIR PROPERTY wasn’t it? Yes it was, but the HOLY GHOST through PETER said, “Why have you chosen to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back a portion?”
b. WELL, that’s THEIR BUSINESS isn’t it? No, when the GLORY is present, it BECOMES God’s business. WHAT you need to UNDERSTAND is that WHAT you are carrying is not YOURS. What God has called us to is not OURS. We are just VESSELS, just INSTRUMENTS. God has a KINGDOM PURPOSE. God has a PLAN. He has His Own AGENDA for the 21st Century.
c. ACTS 5 is New Testament. ANANIAS and SAPHIRA lied to the Holy Spirit and the SAME GOD, who showed up in the O.T., showed up in the N.T. God was SERIOUS about the FACT they HAD LIED to the Holy Spirit. Because of the DAY OF PENTECOST the Holy Spirit’s power and His glory were PRESENT in the INFANT Church. They had STEPPED into God’s glory, but they WERE NOT RIGHT and WHOOSH.
4. So in 2 SAMUEL 6 DAVID says, “We are going to bring the ark back to its proper place, it’s proper place of honor to Jerusalem.” They WENT to get the ark.
a. UZZAH and AHIO, sons of ABINADAB, HAD GROWN UP with the ARK for 20 years, ever since they were little. They probably went outside in their yard and PLAYED hide and seek behind the ark.
b. When the ARK is NOT in the PROPER PLACE it is not going to move or MANIFEST. When the ENEMY had it, it manifested in tragedy and destruction. Now ISRAEL had it at ABINADAB’S HOUSE at KIRIATH-JEARIM, but it was NOT in the PROPER PLACE. The GLORY will not manifest there.
c. So DAVID said, “we are going to bring the ark back to its rightful place.” UZZAH and AHIO, FAMILIAR with the ARK, KEPT the ARK on the SAME OX CART that the PHILISTINES had put it on. The ARK had SAT at ABINADAB’S HOUSE for a long time, out of sight, unobserved, people walking up and down the street not seeing it.
Illustration: Have you ever LIVED on a street or DRIVEN DOWN a STREET that was ALL RUN DOWN, tall GRASS everywhere, maybe a FEW CAR MOTORS or PARTS HIDDEN in the tall grass where someone has been working on an old car in the front yard. That is the WAY it probably was with the ARK, but DAVID came to the ABINADAB’S PLACE and said, “We will bring the GLORY, the ark of God’s PRESENCE back to its PROPER PLACE.”
5. I believe in ALL we have been going through here at the KING’S CHURCH and in the APOSTOLIC REFORMATION God is saying to us, ”Bring the ARK back to its proper place, back into proper perspective, back to where it is supposed to be in your personal lives and in My Church.”
a. God has RESTORED some STUFF here at the King’s Church and in our movement. God has RESTORED some STUFF in your spirit, some THINGS you may have even forgotten about, some THINGS maybe you have let go or even have felt defeated in. God is REKINDLING the fire again. He is saying, “Don’t give up on that. That is part of your destiny. Don’t let that go. That is what I gave you. Don’t you dare let that go.” Tell someone, “I will not be defeated and I will not quit”.
b. DR. SUESS, who wrote GREEN EGGS & HAM among numerous other books, had 27 different publishers TURN HIM DOWN on his first book. He had 27 PUBLISHERS tell him, “Your book is not worth publishing”. The 28th PUBLISHER finally published him, and he went on to sell over 300 MILLION children’s books.
c. A more contemporary author with a similar story is J.K. ROWLING who wrote the series HARRY POTTER. Her first book was REJECTED 12 times over a period of several years. This was a TIME when she was alone with a child to support and was living in poverty. Today, she has sold 400 MILLION DOLLARS in book sales and has taken in even more with movie ticket sales. She is the first female author to ever become a billionaire.
d. Don’t let anyone TRASH your dreams, your hope. Tell someone, “Don’t give up”.
6. 20 years PRIOR to David seeking to RETURN the ARK to its proper place, it had been delivered to them on an OXCART.
a. Saints, you and I CAN’T OPERATE THINGS like the WORLD OPERATES. That is why God has been in the process of RESTORING us to an understanding of APOSTOLIC DOCTRINE: the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, KINGDOM INITIATION, the NATURE and STRUCTURE of the Lord’s Church, GOD’S GOVERNMENTAL ORDER for His house, and KINGDOM CULTURE and lifestyle. We have to be PEOPLE OF PRINCIPLE, a people of righteous or Godly standards. TELL SOMEBODY, “I am operating on principles. Principles that are fool proof. God’s principles will stand the test of time. It might take a little longer the way I am going but I will get there.”
b. We are BUILDING our lives and the life of this body on the ROCK OF AGES. You may not SEE the INITIAL RESULTS quickly. IT WILL SEEM like you are trying to go EAST, but God has you going WEST. You may say to God, “God I am supposed to be going east,” but God says, “Don’t worry about that just follow me.”
TELL SOMEONE, “Don’t worry; just follow God”. Before you KNOW it HE will have you EAST. He will have you WHERE you need to be. YOU WILL ARRIVE. You will get there. Just stop trying to be GENERAL MANAGER of the UNIVERSE. Let God be God.
c. Remember the STORY of the man who FELL OFF the side of the cliff and WAS HOLDING onto a BRANCH 2000 ft. from the valley floor. The man CALLED out, “Is there anybody up there who can help me?” He then HEARD a voice say, “LET GO”. Then the man LOOKED BACK DOWN and THOUGHT about it for a few seconds and THEN called out, “Is there anyone else up there, WHO can help me?”
God has told SOME of us to, “Let go” but we keep looking for SOMEONE else to help us. You are looking for help elsewhere. “I can’t let go of this”. But if GOD is telling you to let go, that MEANS He is going to CATCH you.
7. 2 SAMUEL 6:6 tells us that UZZAH and AHIO were BRINGING BACK the ark and everyone was CELEBRATING.
a. Then God put WHAT the people in HAITI call the “SLEEPING POLICE” in their path, a speed bump. He said you are going in the RIGHT DIRECTION,
but you are doing it the WRONG WAY. I have to SLOW you down.
b. Now it HAPPENED to be NACON’S THRESHING FLOOR. The threshing floor was the PLACE that the wheat and the tares were SEPARATED. God may LET you HIT that SPEED BUMP going 90 MPH, heading NORTH, when KA-BAM. If you GO OVER the speed bump TOO FAST your car will just TAKE OFF.
c. God PUT a speed bump right by NACON’S THRESHING FLOOR. It was in this place that God caused the ARK to shake. And UZZAH (his name means STRENGTH) reached out HIS HAND to steady the ark. GOD killed him right there. You see they were DOING this thing IN THEIR OWN STRENGTH. When he REACHED OUT to steady it, he was doing it in his own strength. God said, “Before we get too close to Jerusalem I have to cut off some stuff, because when we get there, if you are not right the glory will destroy you.”
d. How many people have we seen RISE to the top, so to speak, and THEN SUDDEN DESTRUCTION. They PAID NO ATTENTION to GOD’S SPEED BUMP. They TRIED TO HANDLE God’s glory with their FLESH. We have SEEN SOME of this and we will start to SEE more of it. God is SERIOUS because THE ARK of HIS PRESENCE, HIS GLORY is coming back to its PROPER PLACE in the earth.
8. DAVID got AFRAID and he said, “This just is not right”! DAVID said, “How can I bring this thing to my house with God killing folks over it. I am not going to bring it to my house.”
a. “Where is OBED-EDOM? DEACON OBED take this ARK to your house.” “Where is ALFONSO?”
b. OBED-EDOM took the ARK and PARKED it in his back yard for THREE MONTHS and during that period God SHOWERED every blessing upon his household.
c. You SEE folks, the ARK of GOD’S PRESENCE was getting CLOSER to JERUSALEM and the GLORY was starting to MANIFEST now---the KABOD of God---God’s glory, deliverance, healing, soundness, prosperity, provision, wealth. ALL that GOD is - BEGAN to shower onto OBED-EDOM’s house.
d. AFTER 3 MONTHS David got the word that OBED-EDOM’S HOUSE was being richly blessed.
III. DAVID was SMART---in the MEAN TIME he HAD GONE BACK into the ARCHIVES and DISCOVERED from GOD’S WORD that they HAD BEEN CARRYING the ARK OF GOD’S PRESENCE---HIS GLORY---in the WRONG WAY. David said, “You know what folks, we have been carrying GOD’S ARK the wrong way. We have been doing this like the Philistines.”
A. That is what is WRONG with church today. MUCH of the Church today has been carrying the ARK in the wrong way. We have been doing CHURCH like the world.
1. In the MODERN CHURCH too often it is about NUMBERS, “How many did you have in church this Sunday? How many do you run in Sunday School? How much was your offering? Oh, and by the way, just how many passengers will your jet carry anyway? Have you ever been asked to be on TBN?”
2. For many ministers or pastors, Church has often become a business.
a. Of course there is a business aspect to leading a church body. It is important to function in excellence and to tend to the necessary business aspects of a church body or allotment of believers.
b. However, we can’t just RUN church like a BUSINESS. HANDLE your BUSINESS like a business, but we must HANDLE the Lord’s Church the WAY God wants us to HANDLE His Church---with His presence and His glory.
B. 1 CHRONICLES 15:13, a PARRALEL ACCOUNT to 2 SAMUEL 6, tells us that WHEN David WENT into the ARCHIVES he FOUND OUT that they had not been CARRYING the ARK according to GOD’S ORDINANCE or DUE ORDER, and SO HE MADE the NECESSARY ADJUSTMENT. (The KJV says, “God made a breech upon us, for that we sought Him not after the due order”. The NASV says, “our God made an outburst on us for that we did not seek Him according to the ordinance”.)
1. Saints, we if we WANT to see the GLORY, we must UNDERSTAND that GOD is a God of RIGHT ORDER.
a. SAY to SOMEBODY this morning, “Come on, get your life in order. Clean the closets out. Come on put your life in order.”
b. Saints, SUCCESS in life is NOT about POLITICKING or HOBNOBBING with folks. Those things can be okay, but SUCCESS is not about people we know. If we WILL PUT our house in ORDER and LINE UP with the will of God, both individually and corporately, God will do the rest. His GLORY will come. His PRESENCE, His BLESSINGS, HIS MIRACLES, and HIS PROSPERITY will manifest, if WE will just get OUR HOUSE in order.
2. This past week I read a STATISTIC that to me was not only ALARMING, but I believe ILLUSTRATES the fact that God’s house is out of order. I read that 1500 pastors BURN OUT and LEAVE THE MINISTRY every month.
a. THIS is what happens WHEN ministers have NO ONE they are RESPONSIBLE to or have no one RESPONSIBLE for them---i.e. No valid APOSTOLIC or GOVERNMENTAL ORDER in their lives or their ministries. This ULTIMATELY LEADS to pastors or ministers DOING what is right in their own eyes, instead of what is right in God’s eyes or according to His due order.
b. Not only that, if we CONDUCT church the world’s way, we will PRODUCE worldly Christians. But if we do church GOD’S WAY, then we will PRODUCE Kingdom people. We really DON’T WANT Christians that are worldly---5000 WORLDLY CHRISTIANS---with 4950 of them LIVING in sin or disobedience. INSTEAD, give me the 50 FOLKS in whose lives you can FORM Christ and in whom you can PRODUCE the life and culture of the Kingdom. Those 50 folks can do MORE as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned than the 5000. It is NOT about NUMBERS it is about CHRIST and FORMING CHRIST in us. This is the Hope of Glory!
3. For THOSE of you who are NOT PASTORS or do NOT have PASTORAL RESPONSIBILITY I would say, you do NOT need to be so CONCERNED about your brother or our sister’s life, but about WHETHER or NOT your OWN LIFE is in order?
a. If you spend 24–7 KEEPING YOURSELF in order, you will NOT have TIME to try to keep everyone else in order. THIS is where you have to “let go and let God”.
b. But understand your DESTINY will NOT be FULFILLED in your OWN STRENGTH or by your own efforts to STEADY the ark or even by your OWN TALENTS and abilities, but by your RELATIONSHIP with God and with those whom the LORD has placed over you and beside you.
4. In fact GOD WILL DISRUPT your SUCCESS, if it does NOT include Him.
a. SOMEBODY in the world can be SUCCESSFUL. They can just keep MOVING in their own strength. But you don’t really KNOW the PRICE they pay for that success.
b. But if you BELONG to him and you GET SUCCESSFUL without God, He will DISRUPT your success. He is a JEALOUS God. He wants you to ACKNOWLEDGE Him as the SOURCE of your success. God WILL MESS UP STUFF in your life or career because you are LEAVING Him out or you are DOING what you are doing THE WORLD’S WAY.
c. David said, “Hey, we did not do this according to the due order and that is why God did not honor it. That is why God made an outburst against us.”
As MUCH as God LOVES you, if you do not DO THINGS according to God’s due order, He cannot BLESS or HONOR you with the MANIFESTATION of His glory! God LOVES you. He WANTS to bless, honor, prosper, and protect you. But IF your life is OUT-OF-ORDER, He CANNOT BLESS or HONOR you with His glory. He is a God of PRINCIPLE, a God of DUE ORDER.
5. But IF we WILL WALK in GOD’S ORDER and KEEP His ORDINANCES and FOLLOW GOD’S PLAN for our lives and for our church body and our
movement, THEN WE CANNOT be DEFEATED.
a. According to 1 CHRONICLES 15:13, David WENT to GOD’S ARCHIVES and DISCOVERED that the LEVITES were SUPPOSED to CARRY THE ARK. It WILL COST you something to carry the ARK. It WILL COST this church to carry the ARK. We ALL LOVE the jumping, shouting, and the emotional high of the PRESENCE of God. But, are we WILLING to CARRY the presence and the glory of the Lord?
b. The LEVITES had to put the ARK on their shoulders and CARRY it. Not PUT it on an OX CART and WHIP the poor oxen and say, “GO”. It was not exceedingly heavy, but they did have to carry it.
c. WHEN you LEAVE HERE TODAY you will be carrying the ark, the PRESENCE and the GLORY of the Lord. I PROPHESY to you that TODAY is a NEW DAY, a NEW BEGINNING. YOU will not FALL PREY to the SAME OLD THINGS. I DECREE that SOMETHING has HAPPENED on the INSIDE of you today. YOU are not the SAME. You have a NEW GRACE, APOSTOLIC GRACE. The LORD is WITH YOU; HE will STRENGTHEN and HELP you. You are GOING to carry the ARK of GOD’S PRESENCE, HIS GLORY.
d. The LEVITES carried the Ark as they ENTERED Jerusalem. They STOPPED every six paces and OFFERED a sacrifice. David DANCED before the Lord, as they CARRIED the ark, as it APPROACHED Jerusalem. I BELIEVE the glory, the joy of the Lord, the delight of God’s people in the Lord, the anointing of the Lord, and the presence of God INCREASED MORE and MORE as it APPROACHED its PROPER PLACE.
e. When God STARTS to get the proper place in your life, when He APPROACHES the throne of your heart, and is ABLE TO SIT DOWN on the
throne of your heart, THEN there is no stopping you. SOMEBODY say, “There is no stopping me now. God has His rightful place in my life; you better leave me alone, watch out, get out of my way mister devil. Here I come. There is no stopping me now. God is in His right place in my life.”
f. WHEN God is on the THRONE of your heart, then NO WEAPON formed against you can prosper. Every TONGUE that rises up against you, you will show to be in the wrong. WHY? God is SITTING on the THRONE of your heart!
The DEVIL is not AFRAID of YOU, but he is AFRAID of WHO is on the INSIDE of you. WHEN you HUMBLE yourself, that’s WHEN Jesus RISES UP inside of you. When JESUS rises up and the DEVIL sees HIM, and the DEVIL FLEES because JESUS is sitting on the THRONE of your heart, the proper place.
C. They GOT the ARK to JERUSALEM, the proper place for it. The CELEBRATION and the BLESSINGS began BECAUSE they did it according to the DUE ORDER.
1. Saints, that is what TRUE APOSTOLIC LEADERSHIP is about, MANAGING the due order.
a. CERTAIN THINGS are okay in their PROPER PLACE. But LEADERS have to DETERMINE when we are CROSSING GOD’S BOUNDARIES, when we are GETTING THINGS OUT-OF-ORDER and bring them back into order. It is not a matter of BONDAGE or BINDING you up. No, it is a matter order. God OPERATES according to His due order.
b. A SWAMP is a body of water with NO boundaries. A swamp is just YUCK! There are no boundaries SO STUFF is just there. All KINDS of STUFF FESTERS, BECAUSE SWAMPS are NOT VERY DEEP. THEY do NOT FLOW; there are NO BOUNDARIES. When YOUR LIFE or when a CHURCH’S LIFE is not MOVING WITH GOD’S ORDER you become like a SWAMP---mosquitoes, frogs, tadpoles, snakes, bugs, you name it. ALL KINDS of nasty, painful, deadly, scary, dirty things come into your life. Murmuring, complaining, backbiting, gossip, impurities, all these things START to fester because you have become a swamp.
2. But when you COME into GOD’S DUE ORDER, your life and the life of the Church becomes like a RIVER. The BANKS of the river are like the GOVERNMENT of God. When the BANKS of the river are BUILT UP, guess what? Rivers FLOW; they MOVE, and the WATER is fresh and clean because it is moving.
a. The MISSISSIPPI coming from the Northern U.S. FLOWS through several states all the way to the GULF of MEXICO in New Orleans. If you GET ON that RIVER and STAY ON it, it WILL TAKE you SOMEWHERE. It has a DESTINATION.
b. God is TAKING us somewhere. We have a DESTINATION. God has an APOSTOLIC-DESTINATION for His Church and for His people who make it up. We are on our way to HOLY NATION, One Holy Apostolic Church MADE UP of many churches CONNECTED together through valid apostles and elders to FUNCTION as one Church that will ultimately LIGHT the nations and FILL the whole earth with God’s glory.
c. THIS is the MOVE that we are CURRENTLY in. We are in the MIDST of the RESTORATION of God’s order, the RESTORATION of His PRESENCE and GLORY to His Church and to our lives. We can IDENTIFY the people who are a PART of this move because they ARE MOVING on the river. Some ARE FURTHER DOWN the river than others, but ALL of us are HEADED to the SAME DESTINATION.
d. AS LONG AS you STAY ON that river and STAY WITHIN THE RIVERBANKS, i.e. divine placement, covenant relationships, connectedness, protocol, the statutes and ordinances of God, the beliefs, the values, and the culture that God is SETTING in place. GUESS WHAT? Say out loud: “I will arrive! Don’t get off the river.”
D. Finally, WHEN they got the ARK of THE PRESENCE or the GLORY back in its PROPER PLACE, something happened in Israel that we do not read about ever happening again.
1. We READ THAT A GREAT MEASURE of blessing and prosperity broke out.
a. 2 SAMUEL 6:18-19 says, “And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts.
19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.”
b. David BLESSED the people in the NAME of the Lord of host. We’re talking about a WHOLE LOT of people here. David GAVE A CAKE OF BREAD, a GOOD PIECE OF MEAT and a FLAGON OF WINE to everyone. Because the ARK of GOD’S PRESENCE and GLORY was put in the PROPER PLACE God blessed everyone.
2. ONE of the INDICATIONS that GOD is in the PROPER PLACE in our lives and in His Church is that EVERYONE is blessed. Somebody say, “Everybody is blessed!”
a. BROTHERS and SISTERS, One of the MANIFESTATIONS or EVIDENCES of GOD’S PRESENCE and HIS GLORY occupying its PROPER PLACE in our lives--- individually and corporately---will be that we will START to see is GREAT BLESSING and PROSPERITY. I don’t want to SOUND carnal-minded this morning; I am not talking about the GREED KIND of prosperity or GREEDINESS. I am talking about TRUE PROSPERITY, God’s favor RESTING upon us, the Lord LIFTING us up, PROMOTING us, MULTIPLYING and INCREASING us, GIVING US VICTORY over the Kingdom of darkness and the WEALTH of the nations being released upon us.
b. DAVID DID SOMETHING---that HAD NEVER BEEN DONE before. EVERYONE GOT THE BLESSING, a CAKE of BREAD, a PIECE of MEAT, and a FLAGON of WINE. Where did they GET all of that? It CAME from GOD’S GLORY being in the PROPER PLACE.
3. CHURCH---THE PRESENCE and the GLORY IS BEING RETURNED TO THE HOUSE OF GOD---WE are ENTERING the REALM of the SUPERNATURAL. STOP BEING BOUND by WHAT YOU SEE---or by the NATURAL PROGRESSION of things. GET READY for THE PRESENCE AND THE GLORY TO BE RELEASED in your life and in this church.
a. You will NOT be able to EXPLAIN how it happened, WONDERFUL STUFF. Some of you may be TRANSLATED and some WILL RAISE THE DEAD.
b. Tell me ANYTHING God can’t do! We need to GET OUTSIDE of the side of our brain that BELIEVES nothing is possible and IGNITE the side of our brain that believes everything is possible for our God. As CHILDREN of God, we are THOSE that will believe OUR HEAVENLY FATHER for the impossible. That is WHAT will get the ATTENTION of the world.
c. We will be WORKERS OF MIRACLES---the DOERS of that which can’t be done. People will ask, “How are you doing that?” We will ANSWER, “OUR GOD is doing it. The ARK has returned to its proper place, the throne of our hearts. God’s glory is upon us, miracles, signs and wonders, things that eyes haven’t seen, ears have not heard and neither has it entered into the heart of man.”
CONCLUSION: Saints God is SAYING to us this morning, “GIVE MORE ATTENTION to GETTING the ARK BACK to its proper place in our personal lives and in the Church.
1. How do you build PASSION? By FOCUSING your ATTENTION on something, by GIVING MORE THOUGHT to it, giving more STUDY to it, SPEAKING about it and TALKING about it more.
a. DON’T LAY your DREAMS aside saying to yourself, “Well when God wills it to happen, it will happen.” NO! START talking it and decreeing it; start thanking God for the FULFILLMENT of your dream BEFORE you see it fulfilled. You have to SEE the fulfillment of your dream by faith.
b. START SEEING YOURSELF BLESSED, HEALED, WALKING IN HEALTH, PROSPEROUS, AND SUCCESSFUL.
c. BY FAITH we have to START SEEING ONE HOLY APOSTOLIC CHURCH in JACKSONVILLE. We have to START SEEING RESTORATION AND THE REFORMATION. WE HAVE TO START SEEING OUR CITY COMING TO THE LIGHT of THE CHURCH’S RISING AND BEING CHANGED---TRANSFORMED. WE HAVE TO PICTURE IT; ENVISION it; IMAGINE it in the SPIRIT and LAY HOLD of it by FAITH.
2. God said to Joshua, “Joshua SEE that I HAVE GIVEN you JERICHO.
SEE it Joshua with your mind’s eye, SEE it Joshua!”
a. God SPLIT the Jordon and they CROSSED over indicating that God was with them and had given them the land. If God HAS SAID it saints, it is a DONE DEAL. God DOESN’T STRUGGLE with anything. What God had to do was to CONVINCE Joshua.
b. “SEE it Joshua! JOSHUA CAN YOU SEE IT? I HAVE GIVEN you JERICHO and the MIGHTY KINGS thereof.”
c. Jericho was FORTIFIED. There was a MOAT around it. They had a WALL around it on which you COULD RACE 6 CHARIOTS ABREAST of one another. BUT God said, “I have given it to you.”
d. BROTHERS & SISTERS, It DOES NOT MATTER how IMPOSSIBLE something LOOKS; we DON’T even DWELL in that REALM. LISTEN to the Holy Spirit; LISTEN to WHAT is coming out of your HEART---not WHAT is coming AGAINST your HEAD.
3. BECAUSE WE ARE RETURNING THE ARK TO ITS PROPER PLACE, I PROPHESY TO YOU THAT WE WILL EXPERIENCE THE GLORY OF GOD IN EVERY AREA of OUR LIVES, OUR CHURCH AND OUR MOVEMENT.
a. I DECLARE THAT we are a GENERATION that WILL EXPERIENCE signs and wonders and miracles in our EVERYDAY ROUTINES.
b. We will EXPERIENCE HIS GLORY EVEN in SMALL things. We don’t need to WAIT for God to THUNDER, every day we can HEAR the small gentle voice of God. That is a MIRACLE to me, WHEN God tells me WHERE to find SOMETHING that I lost yesterday. That is a MIRACLE, heaven talking to you, God intervening in your life, showing that he CARES about you.
c. By FAITH I KNOW that MULTITUDES are going to come, 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of churches, even whole cities and nations. But RIGHT NOW, I PRAISE God for what happened LAST JANUARY in India and what happened LAST WEEK in Dallas as God added several apostolic networks and churches to our number.
d. I ALSO KNOW by FAITH that MANY MILLIONS of DOLLARS are going to come into the King’s Church and into our apostolic movement to ENABLE us to ACCOMPLISH the VISION God has put in our hearts, but RIGHT NOW I PRAISE God every time I find a PENNY out on the street. Of course it takes LOTS AND LOTS OF PENNIES to make a MILLION DOLLARS, but you need to START with one. SAINTS, we need to be CONVICTED when we SEE a PENNY and we need to PICK it up and THANK the Lord for BRINGING it to our ATTENTION and bringing us one step closer to that million.
ONE PENNY won’t change a lot in the natural, but I GUARANTEE it will START to DO SOMETHING in your spirit. It will BUILD SOMETHING in your spirit.
e. SAINTS, DON’T DESPISE the DAY of SMALL BEGINNINGS! AND DON’T DESPISE when God TALKS to you about SMALL STUFF, stuff that may seem insignificant. He MAY JUST WANT to get your ATTENTION, so you will learn to KNOW His voice because SOMEDAY He is going to TELL you STUFF that you are NOT even going to believe. God is going to speak THINGS to you. He says, “If I have spoken to you carnal things, natural things (‘pick up that penny’) and you do not hear Me, how can I speak to you about the heavenly things that have no earthly parallel. These are things that cannot be explained in your language. How can I tell you those things if I talk to you and you do not pay attention.”
God wants to REVEAL to us HEAVENLY THINGS. But, if we are OUT-OF-ORDER in the NATURAL, how can He REVEAL to us that which is SPIRITUAL?
4. Here at the King’s Church we have been in the PROCESS of REDISCOVERING God’s ORDER and RETURNING the ARK of the COVENANT to God’s House. God has RESTORED to us the foundations of Christ, His Kingdom and His Church, His Governmental Order, and His Lifestyle and His Culture.
a. God has DONE WONDERFUL THINGS for us. He HAS REVEALED some things to us---HIS DUE ORDER.
b. We have been to NACON’S THRESHING FLOOR; the WHEAT has been SEPARATED from the CHAFF.
c. GOD is VISITING us. He is not just VISITING US, HE is MAKING HIS RESIDENCE with us. He is saying, “I WANT TO STAY WITH YOU. I WANT TO ABIDE WITH YOU.” God’s GLORY IS BEING RETURNED to us.
We are entering the “KAIROS TIME” when God is GOING TO DO what He HAS PROMISED us He would do. EVERYONE SAY: “It is my time now. It is my turn now.”
You are no longer at the END of the line. You have come up to the front of the line. God is saying, “Now is your time. Now is your turn, your glory, your break-through. Forget the former things you are not going to go back home to what you left.”
d. God has BIG plans for you and for this church. God is SPEAKING to all of us this morning. It is NOT JUST about being BLESSED. It is TIME for DOMINION in every realm. WHEN THE GLORY IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE THERE IS NO STOPPING YOU! Your ANOINTING is NOT JUST for YOU; it is for your FAMILY, your NEIGHBORHOOD, FOLKS on your JOB, your REGION, your STATE, for the GOVERNMENTAL PEOPLE who will influence decisions on that level.
You need to be a BLESSING to someone. YOU NEED to be a BLESSING to this CHURCH. YOU NEED TO HELP THIS COMMUNITY. YOU need to INFLUENCE and IMPACT this STATE. YOU need to PROSPER. That’s God’s plan for YOUR LIFE.
God’s purpose is DOMINION in every domain. It WILL HAPPEN when the GLORY is in the PROPER PLACE because we are a SPIRITUAL PRIESTHOOD, a KINGDOM of PRIESTS who have been TRAINED how to HANDLE AND BE HANDLED BY THE GLORY.
5. BROTHERS & SISTERS, God has EXALTED you. WHEN you GO OUT TODAY, KEEP your HEART, GUARD your HEART with all diligence for out of it FLOW the ISSUES of life.
a. We are not going back to OLD ROUTINES, OLD THOUGHT PATTERNS.
b. Something HAS BROKEN OUT in our midst. It is the GLORY of God. We WILL NOT GO BACK to the OLD. The MANNA has CEASED. Manna was an INDICATION of the WILDERNESS, STOP LOOKING for the MANNA, for JUST ENOUGH. INSTEAD EXPECT GOD FOR MORE THAN ENOUGH. The ARK, THE GLORY of GOD HAS RETURNED.