(Sharing – 11 August 2011)
There is a movie called “The Last Station” that I saw a few weeks ago. It’s a Leo Tolstoy movie. He wrote many books and took Jesus’ words on the Sermon on the Mount literally. Then, there were 3 types of people who were closest to him. His wife, his coworker, and his disciple. Who has grasped the essence of Tolstoy in the end?
His wife: She says she knew his husband, surely everything he talks about is relationship and the love from God and to the one closest, enjoying life as God has made, and of course, family is the most important. She holds on to her husband’s works as the sole copyright for her family’s good – surely her husband did not mean to give everything up.
His coworker: loved his works so much, that he, together with Tolstoy, planned for spreading Tolstoy’s works at all cost, so he thought of giving the works to the Russian government, after Tolstoy’s death, so that it could belong to the country and then be best managed and spread. He even made Tolstoy into a figure that seemed unblemished, for the sake of spreading the novels and works of Tolstoy.
His disciple: he was a guy who admired Tolstoy and read about his books. He applied to become his secretary, noting everything in his life. He came to see all the conflicts from Tolstoy’s wife and coworker, but he received direct “shepherding” and concern from Tolstoy himself, as he gives timely paradoxical answers to questions timely in his youth, not to be bounded by the words in his novels, but to seek for the essence in the surrounding life conditions itself. After Tolstoy’s death, he also went and became a great novelist, probably becoming like Tolstoy himself, but maybe not as famous as Tolstoy himself.
At the end, the Tolstoy died, and not anything was said whether he lived a worthy life and entered death satisfyingly. It leaves to the audience: did Tolstoy pass the essence of his “novels” down? The movie gave me thoughts: Is my life centered upon relationships, ministries, OR discipleship? Or is my life centered upon relationships, ministries, AND discipleship? What Spirit in the Word of God do you want AND are actually giving to your children, your disciples, or the later generations? We all know that relationship with God / men comes first, then ministry, and then blessings (spiritual and all – disciples are the greatest blessings), and all of these are actually needed as a package. Can all of it happen satisfactory in one person? Our senior pastor in America raised many disciples, but they are a bit different in receiving it. My pastor in Singapore has three children and he recently said that while he gives the same teaching to his children from the same DNA of their parents, they all receive the essence differently. I hear the pains of the father, the teacher and one giving testimonies.
There is no shortcut. We can be biased in our days on earth. We are easily pushed and pulled about in our flesh and our thinking of what the Spirit is, is always influenced. The measure of how much I have the Word of God and the Spirit of God embodying fully into myself, the measure of how much people can receive the “TRUE Spirit of God” from me. We are actually already giving the people around us “something”, and that “something” is your life.
We have to build the temple in our hearts
This leads us: there can be no All things practical/daily/always + 24 hours Emmanuel (God’s word, Holy Spirit with me) understanding unless I get into the process of being able to continue to totally repent, deny myself, take myself apart, destroy all my humanly non-Emmanuel life in me, then regeneratively newly establish the root and foundation of God’s core, and build up with His only purpose, and all answers through learning, praying and evangelism. In other words, to live and do and be led naturally like what Jesus did, I have to continue to totally destroy and newly rebuild the temple in my life.
Will building the temple really bring hope? Why have I build and rebuild and I still live like a slave? Where is this all going to?
There is a very good read here on what happens during the era of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi:
It is a very important turning point during the 400 years of quietness between then and the first arrival of Jesus Christ. The Israelites were all into renewing themselves, inside and outside, with the background of 70 years of being enslaved by Babylon, Medes and Persia. Everything that they did, they kept having hope of healing through rebuilding, but Persian powers went into the Greek powers, even going into being shamed by the Old Testament Antichrist “Antiochus IV Epiphanes“, and going into the great empire of Rome. Did what they build, rebuild, and re-rebuild actually add to their healing? Is it really for hope? Many times, we felt like we equip again and again, and God gives us problems and challenges one after another. Will we really be healed even if we have the best message?
YES, we definitely have the complete answers through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit!
<Romans 7:21-8:4> says
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
At the end of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, was a prayer to keep on restoring the very truth. The prayers were answered, and the start of the New Testament began! The New Testament is embodied by three: (1) the coming of Messiah Jesus Christ (Hallelujah!), (2) the Pentecost where the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ descends, and (3) the Ekklesia Church who is made up of the Spirit-filled called out spirits (a congregation embodying Christ’s heart/Spirit). If we keep on totally destroying and newly rebuild, and keep on praying on that, we will (1) meet Jesus (Messiah’s coming), (2) receive Jesus (His Spirit descents <Acts 1:8>) and (3) be like Jesus (Church). We will definitely be there, and we already pleased God if our hearts acknowledge we need to continue to keep building the temple spiritually in the Christ Life Church.
Lord, in this end times, help us be encouraged to keep on building the temple, till Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit come into us. There may be intermarriages, rises up of Pharisees and Sadducees, and they are seemingly uncontrollable in the process of us restoring, and they are done in order to protect what we think is the essence of the bible (we may go “a little” wrong in the way). Yet God tells us that this cannot happen. Because God is a living God Who lives up to His promise, and this is in our hearts.
There are 8 visions in the first part of the book of Zechariah, and I have formatted them as such – these can also be said to be in the Old Testament. This are what happened from Abraham till Malachi. This can also be said to be the life experiences of a blessed believer.
1) 蒙拣选 Chosen as children of God for gospelization
2) 蒙恩 Shown Grace in a life of sin
3) 蒙召 Called by God to be an ambassador to witness and preach
4) 蒙洁净 Sanctified/Washed by eating and drinking the flesh and blood (laws) of Christ
5) 蒙得圣灵 Holy Spirit-ualized
6) 蒙得凡事上有神的话/美意/声音 Seeing the Word of God, Perfect Will and Voice of His Spirit in all things
7) 蒙得警醒得光照 Alerted in the end times through being enlightened / anointed
8) 蒙得医治（凡事回复爱）Receiving Healing by restoring everything in love and righteousness
400 years of Prayers — middle part of Zechariah:
There are 6 accomplishments in the latter part of the book of Zechariah, and I have formatted them as such – these can also be said to be in the New Testament. These can also be said to be the believer starting to evangelize, pastor, disciple, sending people.
1) 耶稣基督的初临 First embodying of Jesus Christ (Living a Gospel instead of Religion)
2) 耶稣基督的救恩 Shepherding and saving people out of their illnesses and darkness
3) 耶稣基督的受苦 Sacrificing, serving and ministry (suffer unto the peoples)
4) 耶稣基督的得荣耀 Anointing and glorified
5) 耶稣基督的福音的广传、带着患难而来 As the gospel doors are opened, tribulations come with them
6) 耶稣基督再来、永远的圣城 Second coming of Christ, which brings the eternal holy temple and city to come
As we enter into expanding the kingdom of heaven, we need discipleship training:
Is it possible to train a person into a disciple in 3 years? If one year has 45 weeks available (including missed meetings out of a total of 52 weeks in a year), there are a total of 138 weeks in 3 years. If we have 36 lessons (36 weeks) and Bible Overview weekly, it means we need to cover the whole bible overview in 99 weeks.
But who can keep to the timeline and variance of the people being discipled and disciplined in the process?
The message gives the Spirit, and the message of the movement will give the Spirit. But all these can only be given through a Holy Spirit filled teacher. Finally, the process has to be led by a father who gives timely answers to life-giving problems, not only a teacher. The message, the teacher and the father will tell the followers not be able to go wrong with that message. The temple is not only knowledge (knowledge kills), the Spirit is not only feelings (feelings confuse), and the exemplification of Jesus Christ is not only relevance (performing well prides), then what?
The message delivery is done through the hand of the Trinity God! The message, teacher and father can have some errors in the beginning, but the hand of God will see to it that it is Him Who is more zealous than anything or method. (The pastor is not God, God allows him to make mistakes so that people will seek after God alone.) What I mean is: Who gives the message? Who guides the teachers? Who loves the fathers? Is it not God Himself? If so, we all have to cowork to bring “God-driven” to restoration as much as possible.
1) Careful in Keeping Emmanuel (Confirm the Holy Spirit)
The reason our prayers did not get answered is because we have changed our blessed perspectives. (When we are born again, the love of God compels us purely to love God and love all men).
Emmanuel – a Child of God is the person whom God is with him, nothing else
Emmanuel – God Himself is the promise to rely on to do everything
Emmanuel – moving (walking) with God in all things 24 hours
Therefore, we need Holy Temple / Holy Spirit to see Emmanuel in all the above.
Why the Emmanuel message? Because we do not want to be affected, rely on or do any other human thing, any conditions, anything other than God, any worldly things, any evil things. We make altar to Emmanuel, not wanting to leave Him. There is no coincidence in anything, but even in our weaknesses, God’s promise is in it, all for building the temple up.
2) Flee from non-Emmanuel (spirits without the Holy Spirit) (Keep the rein on the flesh)
How do we know we are entering into dangerous realms? Joshua gives warning at the end of the book of Joshua saying that if they only compromise a little bit, they will go astray all the way.
(1) Are we putting out the Spirit’s fire? 消灭圣灵的感动? If there are danger signs, do we ignore the Spirit’s plea?
(2) Are we grieving/worrying the Holy Spirit? 叫圣灵担忧? Do we go on in ignoring the Spirit, making Him worried?
(3) Are we not relying on the Holy Spirit? 不依靠圣灵的? Do we not want to rely on the Holy Spirit’s voice in drifting further away?
(4) Are we not submitting to the Holy Spirit to do all things? 不顺着圣灵而行? Are we outrightly doing things opposing the Holy Spirit?
(1) Money – no self-restraint
(2) Women – flesh
(3) Fame – compromising with the world
3) Do the right things = build and live the temple (Renew)
Beware of studying in depth of each era and history, as they have no essence in themselves at all, but they are all for the sake of exalting Jesus Christ. (As I write just a little more academically, it is all meant to prove and lead people to seeing and loving God and loving men.) If, say, there are sheep who needs your help more than your work in loneliness, can you be filled with the Spirit and give the timely answers through the Word of God? Of course, if there are no much sheep needing your help, it is God’s perfect will to equip more in quietness and in step. I really wish to touch more lives, but it seems the communicating part has problems.
Since God even bear to let Israel be destroyed for 70 years just to build the temple, and 400 more years to get the true temple right (Jesus Christ temple <Jn 2:19>), the things to do right can only be one, and this is renewing the temple to get the Holy Spirit.
What symbolizes the Holy Temple ? 圣殿的预表? (So that we can do right)
Sure, we have to know God, but we have to know Him inside of my conditions, our conditions and our expanding conditions.
1) Me 我 – God Who lives in me – God is Himself the Promise given to me
(1) 同在 His Presence is in me – He has not left me but He has always been with me in all my conditions past background and future hope, I can rely on Him being by my side, praises abound for His Presence around me. He is with me first by waiting and protecting me for my timetable..
(2) 保护 His Protection is in me – closes one eye even when I do not know all, wakes me up to safety when I go dangerous ways of being numb so as to avoid disasters and harm, keep my heart convicted lively and practical towards God as a heart of flesh and not of a stone. I am not perfect, but He always leads and guides me back to His fold again and again..
(3) 引导 His Guidance is in me – two laws in me waging showing His guidance, I find that I love more and more the righteous and the loving kindness ways and deeds instead of the evil lazy and wasteful ways, surely he guides me towards quiet waters and the righteous ways of God’s kingdom – all these are prayers answered – yes, no and wait. If there is the promise of prayers being answered, the most wonderful is that I see His guidance in me rather than getting material blessings. A discovery that His guidance are made possible by Him providing at every step..
(4) 供应 His Providence is in me – He provides me amidst more problems with the understanding that they are the root problem of man separating sinning and sataning with God telling me to deny myself and seek His perfect will in the problems, the hunger and in awe for His great mystery of love and learning His righteousness in me and my lifestyle continually increases by His grace so that I desire to submit and obey Him in every step, more gospel doors are opened and so are lessons learnt and gospelized through tribulations that accompany the doors. His providence are the most authoritative and most powerful thing in the world. Who can receive the most providence from God except the one who submits most to God, as He vouches everything if we just follow Him? He is the one who understands what “God’s accomplishments” are..
(5) 成就 His Accomplishment is in me – when all evidences point to the fact that I continue to need Him and I can truly believe in Him, that I am able to continue to repent and love His proverbs and build them into my understanding of Who God the temple and the Holy Spirit really is and be a changed wise Holy Spirit filled man, I become a person who always fall into blessed meetings with nothing coincidental: well-liked and loved by conditions meetings people and especially blessed lives.
2) We 我们 – love and righteousness between us
I find that I am quite weak in this. That is why God has to move us into the perfect will because souls are intertwined. Tolstoy went to the other extreme of focusing just on the Sermon on the Mount, criticizing the Eastern Orthodox Church for only talking about faith and the contents of it without building up answers from the very life of Christ Himself especially using submission and love to win over enemies, using that emphasis as an excuse over morality. I should say that both are equally important, but in real essence, if the belief system is built up perfect, the lifestyle system will equally happen.
配偶 Spouse (become one, complement)
儿女 Children (teach, don’t embitter)
父母 Parents (filial, receive favor)
弟兄姐妹 Brothers and sisters (peace, help)
肢体 Brethren (peace = same heart, minister, intercede, cowork)
同事亲友 Colleagues, relative and friends (loyalty, testimony)
I intend to write more on 我们, but for now, it seems I am still building the temple in the above. Frankly speaking, without this temple, there will be no church that can be laid up and built, because people’s problems are interpersonally real.
3) Expansion 扩张
耶稣基督来的时候The coming of Christ
圣灵五旬节降临 Pentecost Holy Spirit’s descent
120 – 3000 Church raised
整个耶路撒冷 lay the Headquarters / 36 lessons / ordination of the reverends elders deacons / setting up the theological center
犹太全地 knowing and coworking with other christ life churches
撒玛利亚 spreading to other churches of this era
安提阿 sending missionaries to regions
小亚细亚, 马其顿 knowing and grasping the culture and timetable of the foreign regions
罗马 go right into solving the core of the era – the capital city of the great power empire
整个欧洲 spreading into all areas of the great province of God
美国, 然后来到亚洲 and in each era that supercedes the previous era, we not only have to expand the message, but to revamp the message.
China is a place where we see the need for good workers, more workers and workers that can continue persevering in good health on the ground for years. But beware of building a temple that compromises the church with politics – 312AD Constantine took church and politics together to unite a big Roman empire, and though the church’s council made several important decisions, the puritans were getting fewer. Yet, if the Lord tells us to go, we have to take His lead, and learn along the way.
May God show us the need to save, and the need to pray and the need to go.