The Centennial Baptist Church Story-Part 3
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (Hebrews 12:6-8)
I HAVE TOLD THE CENTENNIAL BAPTIST CHURCH STORY for a constructive purpose. It is a true story, told as clearly as I can remember. It was of God and not of us. God deals with us as sons and that includes chastening if it is needed.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1Corinthians 6:19-20)
IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT GETTING SAVED, being born again, is more than an experience that benefits us and that we love to think about. In this dispensation of time, born-again Christians are the Temple of the Holy Spirit just like the Tabernacle and the Temples of the Old Testament were the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple became a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
THE SMALLER TEMPLE THAT WAS BUILT AFTER THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY and Herod’s Temple (that existed during Jesus’ ministry) were never described as being the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit departed from Solomon’s Temple before it was destroyed. The Holy Spirit is described as indwelling Ezekiel’s Temple (that is yet to be built and will be in existence during the Millennial reign of Christ.)
When Paul preached to the leaders of Athens, Greece, he included this message:
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; (Act 17:24) The Holy Spirit had previously dwelt in a tabernacle and in a temple made with hands. But, it was no longer the case. From the day of Pentecost, the Spirit came to dwell in the bodies of every believer in Christ. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:9)
WITH THESE THINGS AS A BACKGROUND, it is fitting to comment about the Centennial Church story. First, I do not that believe God lifted Paul Ferguson over the pulpit, healed his leg and energized his leg to kick the pulpit loose from a century-old Oak floor to settle a conversation I had with a deacon about moving the pulpit.
THERE WAS, OBVIOUSLY, AN ATTITUDE TOWARD THE PULPIT BY THE PEOPLE of the church that was more honoring to men of the past than to the Lord. When I went there as pastor, there were about nine people attending church and the church had become a memorial to by-gone days. The Lord was about to begin a harvest of souls there, and the prevailing attitude had to be broken up before the Holy Spirit would have the freedom to work His will in the community. That’s the only explanation I have for it.
THIS WAS THE BEAKING UP OF FALLOW GROUND. For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. (Jeremiah 4:3) Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. (Hosea 10:12)
MANY PEOPLE ARE PRAYING FOR A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING IN AMERICA. That is the greatest hope America has. But God’s plan is to break up fallow ground before He does His work of renewal. Also, the seed of new life is to be planted in ground that is free of thorns. I have spent many days plowing fields. Thorns do not take root in ground that was plowed last year. But if ground is not plowed for a few years, thorns will indeed grow and may take over the field. So, if we want revival in America, a lot of plowing of fallow ground must take place first.
THE BIZARRE INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE IN CENTENNIAL BAPTIST CHURCH is an example of what may happen wherever the Spirit of God is at work toward a larger harvest. The uprooting and kicking over of the pulpit is unusual. But, be careful about putting God in a box and thinking that you know what God is going to do if He pours out His Spirit upon a church. The number one thing that must take place is the humbling of hearts and letting go of customary control of everything and trusting God to do what must be done in the process of revival.
IN 1845, (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 1754) John Gillies published a large book: Historical Collections of Accounts of Revival. The copy I have is republished by The Banner of Truth Trust from the original plates. It is characteristic of genuine revivals that the people in revivals understand that they are no longer in control. Along with true revivals, come the satanic mimics of real revival that is infused with wild fire.
THAT'S THE NATURE OF THINGS WHEN REAL POWER IS DISPLAYED. THE DEVIL will always be there so that discernment must be exercised to know what God is doing in contrast to what the devil is doing. I would that every preacher in America had a copy of that book and had read and marked it. It would help us with greater perspective of our need today. Things got to be very wicked back in those days. But, we have our own days to think about, don’t we? May God pour out His Spirit upon us! Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Proverbs 17-18 P.M. 2Corinthians 3
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chronicles 7:14)
(Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
Song for Today:
Revive Us Again (2:05) (Gaither Group)
Give it a little time – You may need to adjust the sound.