Could it be, that the reason we are not seeing the glory of God manifested powerfully in our meetings today is, because we are offering profane or strange fire up to Him?
“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying:
‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.’ ”Lev. 10:1-3
We read again in Leviticus,“So they brought what Moses commanded before the tabernacle of meeting. And all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD commanded you to do, and the glory of the LORD will appear to you.” And Moses said to Aaron, “Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the LORD commanded.”Leviticus 9:5-7.
“And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”Leviticus 9:23-24
Now I am not suggesting that we go back to the sacrificial system. Jesus is our atonement once and for all. But the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.”Hebrews 13:8-9. We know that God has laid things out for us in His word, which is the perfect director to His heart and His ways. We are not going to be effective if we do what we want and then ask God to bless our ways. We are to find out what God requires and how He requires it, in His word.
My pastor said to me recently, concerning this subject, “I strongly agree that we are a powerless church today because we worship and church man’s way without consideration to what God wants. I believe that part of it is that we no longer “wait on the Lord”. We don’t have time for that. Services are timed, canned and packaged to adapt to man’s needs not God’s sovereignty.” And he further added, “…even subtle departure from God’s design weakens the power by grieving the Holy Spirit.”
Jody and I were with some friends in Nanaimo B.C. on Vancouver Island, last week, worshiping the Lord and these things came out prophetically during worship. God started to passionately reveal these situations in His word when people did things their own way and then were indignant when God did not respond as they expected. Another incident we can look at, is when Saul was ordered to destroy everything as he went to battle against the Amalekites.“‘Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’Sam. 15:3
Now it is clear from this passage that Saul was to spare nothing and no one.“And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.1 Sam. 15:7-9
Now what is interesting about this passage is that Saul did most of what he was commanded to do. He destroyed all of the despised and worthless things but spared all of the good things along with Agag the king. When he was confronted by Samuel about the situation, Samuel said to him, “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?” 1 Sam. 15:19-20. When we see Saul’s response, I think that we can relate to it.“But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. “But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”1 Sam. 15:20-21
I think that there are very interesting things in Saul’s response that we can gain a great deal of insight from. Saul told Samuel that he did obey. In his mind, for whatever reason, he was justified in his actions. He had obeyed to a point, and maybe that was a good thing for Saul. He even justified the keeping of the best of the sheep and the plunder to sacrifice to the Lord. In his own distorted way, maybe he felt that if he sacrificed to the Lord this stuff, that God would be appeased and forgive him for not obeying the whole commandment. I wonder if we are guilty in our modern Christianity of similar things.
Now we all know that Saul was quite a disappointment as a man and as a king. Well…..What about David? We know that David was a man after God’s own heart, right? Yet, David’s ignorance of God’s ways got Uzzah killed! David assembled all of the people and had a meeting about bringing the ark back from Kiriath-jearim. Everyone agreed that this was right to do. So we see that the intention of their hearts was right. They were going after the ark, which symbolized the glory of the Lord, to bring it home to Jerusalem, where it belonged. This should have been good enough for God to bless, right? So as we follow the trail here, we see that there were so many things done so wrong that God’s wrath was poured out upon Uzzah and he died, right there in front of everyone. They did not do it God’s way! God gave specific commands as to how the ark was to be moved and who was to move it. There was no deviating on this matter. But….this was the beloved son, David, a man after God’s own heart that we are talking about. Surely God could have turned a blind eye on this situation because of the passionate hearts that only wanted to see the ark return to where it belonged. Surely God could contradict his own commands and let this go, just this once. David did not do this to upset God or en-anger Him. He did it out of ignorance! What about the priests? They should have stood up and said, “David, there are specific instructions about how to move the ark and we must adhere to them.” Why were they silent? Where they just negligent or complacent? They should have known the Law in these matters! Their disregard caused death! We frequently talk about Ananias and Sapphira’s deaths, before the apostles in Acts, what about the significance of the death of Uzzah?
We read in Numbers 4, “When the camp prepares to journey, Aaron and his sons shall come, and they shall take down the covering veil and cover the ark of the Testimony with it.” Num. 4:5. So we see our first problem. They did not cover the ark as commanded. The ark represents the glory of the Lord. Let’s read on.“Then they shall put on it a covering of badger skins, and spread over that a cloth entirely of blue; and they shall insert its poles.”Num. 4:6. Problem #2, They were to cover it with more layers and insert poles into the rings on the sides.“You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. “The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.” Exodus 25:14. David put the ark on a new cart that seemed to be a good idea. Instead of putting it on some old cart that would have been seen as an insult to God, they did what was right in their own eyes just like they did in Judges. But……this was not the way God had commanded it to be so. The priests should have known God’s commands! The ark was to be carried only by the Levites (Kohathites) and only on their shoulders with the poles. What presumption to carry the glory of God in a way that God did not command or desire. Problem #3 was that they did not carry it the way they should. So we have the ark traveling throughout the land uncovered on wagon pulled by horses, and open to everyone’s gaze.“…..but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.” Num. 4:15. Problem #4, no one was to touch the ark. We have all probably been taught that Uzzah became too familiar with the ark, and took it for granted, and there is a lot of truth in this, but I believe what is more important is that there was an utter disregard for God’s clear commands, stipulated by Moses. What else would we expect God to do?
God has a blueprint, which is His Word, that is sanctified and will always please Him. A builder would be a fool to ignore the blueprint and just do it his own way! The house would fall down! The pipes would leak! It would fail! So it is with our lives!
Now let’s bring this situation up to our day and age. Since God is the same today as He was then, do we think that he has gotten loose with His ways? We are not going to get all legalistic here and say that we are going to have to follow every ordinance in Leviticus and start the sacrificial system again and wear Jewish attire. But…..God has His ways which Isaiah tells us,“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
So….Our purpose is to find out His ways and then follow them! We have operated presumptuously! In our church services, we speak when we want, how we want, and conduct our meetings the way that seems right to us. The timing of our services is predictable, and consistent. How else could we have 2 or more services on Sunday morning scheduled exactly 2 hours apart, and use the same message and the same songs for each. What about the spontaneous moving of the Holy Spirit constantly monitoring the moment, and ministering accordingly? Is God so predicable? Repetition is not part of His character! He created each of us uniquely, in DNA, with individual eye retina patterns, fingertips, voice characteristics, and many other attributes that we are yet to discover. Is this the kind of God who is boring and predicable? I think not! He is passionate, holy, sharp as a two-edged sword, a Warrior, ready for to come to the rescue of one of His little ones who is crying out. Yet, we have turned Him into a presence that we think that we can control. Just as the Holy Spirit is ministering to Uncle Mike or my brother John, the next segment of the service stops the worship at the designated time and we move on to the announcements and the ministry is aborted just as they were about to have a breakthrough. We need to be sensitive to how God is moving in our midst from moment to moment. No schooling will prepare us for this. Time spent in the secret place as we get to know His voice is the only preparation that equips us for this. When we ignore the Holy Spirit and continue with our pre-planned services regardless of the moving of His Spirit, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
I believe that we often prophesy presumptuously! I believe in prophecy! Sometimes these timely words have confirmed things that God has already been speaking to us about. No word of prophesy takes precedent over God’s Word. These words of prophetic utterance must never contradict God’s holy word. We have received instruction from leaders that we can prophesy whenever we want. What about the unction of the Holy Spirit? Or…How about this phrase? “Put a demand on the anointing!” Demand from God? We are not going to control God folks! God is not a genie in the sky for our pleasures! We have become presumptuous with His power, His anointing, and His giftings! And after all of this…..we expect God to bless it all!
The priests were commanded to teach the difference between the holy and profane.“And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24“In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments.”Ezekiel 44:23-24
It is a great responsibility to teach the difference between the holy and the profane. We are talking about holy fire and profane fire! We are God’s priests and we need to teach it to all those who will listen! For the sake of size and space, I believe that there is enough information in this article for one reading. Let God show you what has been holy and what has been unholy in your life, your church services and other Christian events that you have been part of. Send us your feedback. We are not experts in these areas, but we are just a voice in the wilderness along with many others. We are crying out because God has been crying out, and He needs others to catch this fire of justice, and spread the light on deception. God told Ezekiel,“Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”Ezekiel 3:19.
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Rob and Jody