Death that Defiles Us

October 7, 2014

The Death that Defiles Us

Haggai 2: 10-19

10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says: 12 If a person carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ”

The priests answered, “No.”

13 Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?” “Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”

14 Then Haggai said, ” ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the LORD. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.

15 ” ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD’s temple. 16 When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. 17 I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,’ declares the LORD. 18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.

” ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”

The Book of Haggai is written during a time when a remnant of Israel has returned from their Babylonian captivity. They have returned to a devastated Jerusalem and a former glorious temple of Solomon that now lies in ruin. The Spirit of the Lord is stirring up the people through the prophet Haggai to come together and rebuild the temple. Up till this time every one has pretty much been to themselves and only concerned with their own welfare and building back their own houses.

Our scripture today may not make a lot of sense to a lot of us, but I felt compelled to share a few spiritual truths from it. This analogy that the Lord is giving is about those things which sanctify and those things which defile. First He is saying that just because a priest has sanctified meat or meat that had been offered on the altar and it touches some other food or drink does that mean this other substance becomes sanctified. For instance, spiritually speaking, you carry around in you the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. For He has said, “ except you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you have not life in you.” Therefore by faith we are partakers of God’s holy sacrifice, Jesus, and as such carry Him in our spiritual garments. Does that mean that every life that we touch becomes sanctified and redeemed because we have touched them? No, they have to come into a personal relationship with Christ by faith and partake of the Christ for themselves. It doesn’t just rub off of us onto someone else.

The same is not true concerning the contact with a dead body. Anyone touching a dead body became defiled by it. Then Haggai reminds the people that before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple when anyone came to a heap of twenty measures there were only ten and whenever they went to the wine vat to draw fifty measures there was only twenty. How many times have we came to lay hold of the life and substance of Christ and His Spirit and we have come up short? We haven’t found the fullness and the substance that we needed. How many times have we experienced want, or need or adversity instead of blessing? “You did not turn to Me, declares the Lord.” The law of sin and death around us has defiled us. So many of us are still trying to live out of that life or else we are allowing it to touch and contaminate us. We are in Christ, but Christ has not been fully formed in us. This is why we must come together in the unity of the body of Christ to rebuild the true temple and tabernacle of God whom we are. Too long we have been contented to abide in our “ceiled houses” our own denominations, doctrines and religious houses, ideologies and thinking. God is calling us to come out of the defilement of flesh and spirit and come together to build His house. What we see in the world today has little to do with His true house. What we see is a fragmented bunch of religious people, many of whom are into it for their own profit and gain. The world is seeing people that call themselves by the name of Christ and yet they are dishonest, unreliable, backbiting, slanderous and many other things that shouldn’t even be named among us. We have become a mockery of His holiness. We are a defiled people. We are defiled by the world and defiled by a dead religion still operating under the principles of sin and death, rather than life and peace in Christ Jesus. Where is Christ really seen and glorified in all of this? His true temple lies in ruin, but He is calling forth a people to build it again. He tells us that when we put His house first there will be blessing. Where you haven’t seen fruit before you will begin to see fruit as the Lord is lifted up and His house is built. How is the house of God built? Christ has to be formed in us. He has to be not only our habitation, but also our expression in this life. It is not just about believing in Jesus; the faith has to become substance and Christ wants to be the substance of your life and of His entire house. The Spirit of God will build the house as we come together in the unity of the Spirit and the love of Christ to join hands and hearts and be ONE in Him. Christ is not divided; He is ONE Man, ONE Lord, ONE Spirit and ONE Baptism. If we will separate ourselves from the defilement of this world, from religion and dead works, if we will consecrate ourselves to His work, we will see blessings in areas that we have never seen them before. He has called us to build HIS HOUSE!

“7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” 9(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:7-13)

Blessings,

kent

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