“Go Up to the Mountain”

Sunday, May 1, 2016, the Year of Our Lord

Haggai 1: 6-8

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Every doctrinal stream has its own golden calf.  Leaders everywhere have intermingled two visions, two agendas, two seeds: what the Lord wants and what the people want (Deut. 22:9).  Each has crafted a god to their own liking and denominational image---one that condones current whims.  Each man attends his own church and worships the Jesus of his choice.


This week on awakening, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “They are worshiping another Jesus.”  I do not know who the “they” are; but I suppose the “they” are “many”.


This Sunday we continue with the Prophet Haggai.  Like our civil and religious leaders today, Zerubbabel and Joshua were great men (chosen by the Lord), who had allowed their courage to smolder like flax, smothered by political correctness.  They had fallen short, stumbling up the rocky path to Zion.


Disillusionment and weariness had replaced the exhilarating sense of adventure that once marked their spiritual beginnings.


The prophet challenged the leaders and the people, “Consider your ways.”  “Set your heart upon your ways, and then center your heart back upon My ways!”


Haggai’s community had immigrated from Babylon then allowed worldly mixture to consume their spiritual zeal.  Apprehended ones embrace the Lord with the same intensity with which he has embraced them.  Those who attempt the work of the Lord with their own wisdom and strength eventually faint.


The prophet’s rebuke instigated the divine remedy.  The remnant was to ascend the mountain, bring fresh timber and build His House.   


Hag. 1:6: “Ye eat, but you do not have enough…”   The word for “enough” speaks of that which satisfies and suffices.  Seminars, conventions, books, cassette tapes, videos…ad nauseum:  we have swallowed anything and everything, but it’s not enough.  Our upgraded data banks are loaded with all sorts of information, programs, and strategies, but we have not returned to the Lord. 


The young prodigal in Luke 15 feasted on the empty “husks” of a previous move of God; his dinner companions were content to eat the leftovers of yesterday’s feast.


The Babylonian remnant had played the harlot, lusting after their own comfort rather than heeding God’s plan (Hos. 4:10).


Idolatry had taken them captive for 70 long years.  Christians are starving for the meat of the Word.  In days of famine, men are forced to eat a donkey’s head (2 Ki. 6:20); human wisdom without God---the anointing replaced by academics and demographics.


It comes with a side dish of dove’s dung---what is left of the dove after he has flown away!  Ichabod…the glory has departed.  The Holy Spirit will not light upon dead flesh (Gen. 8:9) ---men or movements who refuse to hear His prophets.


Hag. 1:6c:  Ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink.”  Filled with drink means to become tipsy.  The banqueting house of Song of Solomon 2:4 is the “house of wine.”


Passover feast marked our Godly beginnings (Ex. 12:2).


Pentecost is the subsequent feast of joy and laughter.  Though delivered by Blood, Water, and the Spirit, we thirst for more, having inherited a well that has a never ending supply.   The essence of true worship is total sacrifice.  Heaven’s Lamb died on the cross as God thirsting for man and man thirsting for God.  Jesus, whose sole determination was to be the Father’s house, is the Water of Life.  He alone can shake our thirst.


Hag. 1:6d: “Ye clothe yourself, but there is none warm.”


To accommodate the wardrobe of the flesh, ceiled houses necessitate large closets.  Men who love titles get wrapped up in themselves, paying little attention to the real Jesus (1 Jn. 2:20, 27).     The covering of mere men has often taken precedence over the headship of Christ and His Word.  Even with our fancy skins, unless we are clothed in Christ’s garments, we walk naked, and they see our shame. (Rev. 16:15).


Haggai’s shaking will turn Adam around! 


The word for “warm” in verse six comes from a primitive root which means to be hot; figuratively- to conceive.”


The returning remnant had become willfully independent. 


The Holy Spirit will stir lifeless people, preachers and praise with the fire of God.


Hag. 1:6e: “He that earns wages puts it into a bag with holes.”---constant financial struggle comes to those who are self-indulgent and selfish.  There is a better way; a purse that won’t wear out, treasures in Heaven (Mt. 6:33; Lk12:33).


Hag. 1:7: “Thus says the Lord of hosts; consider your ways.”


Haggai restates his rebuke from verse 5.


When God wants to emphasize something, He repeats Himself.  Haggai’s community was totally preoccupied with selfish pursuits.  Driven to have more, they actually had less.  Today many work an extra job, yet never see ends meet.  Their shortage correlats to their neglect of God’s purpose and calling.


Are you content?  Are you fulfilled? 


Many preachers are snared by the love of money, their appetite for success never satisfied.  Inwardly they are unfulfilled, unclothed, naked and ashamed.  Things outside of Christ leave people empty.  We will never be happy until we hear from God and do what He says.


Yesterday I was praying.  I said, Lord let’s have a talk.  You talk and I will listen.


If your spouse comes to you and says, “Honey we need to talk.”  That usually means he/she wants to do the talking (smile).  When I go to the Lord, I want him to talk.


God’s calling is often to ruined places.  The Holy Spirit is drawn to unlikely, chaotic conditions, wrecked situations within and without.  God summons men to undesirable places and teams them with unwanted people.


Count it all joy!


In the story of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:29-36) religion could not help broken humanity. 


The law of love is giving.  Turn your wasted howling wilderness into the Garden of Eden, and you won’t want to leave it.


The unattractive places of least potential may be the next Azusa Street or North Battleford (Latter Rain Revival). 


Every person’s heart must honestly ask, “Where does God want me?  What is His will for my life at this time?”


America turn your heart back to Jesus Christ.  Consider your ways.


Hag. 1:8: “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, says the Lord.”


Haggai 1:1-4 records Jehovah’s rebuke.  Verses 5-11 unfold His remedy, and verse eight is His key to it.


“Go up” to move from a lower to a higher place; to rise up or ascend; to take a journey.


The “mountain of the Lord prefigures the “heavenly places of Ephesians 1:3 and 2:6; there, all is God’s.  To “go up” is to move beyond Passover and Pentecost to the Feast of Tabernacles, to extend one’s borders, to enlarge one’s heart for greater vision.  It is to ascend the hill of the Lord, to go up to Jerusalem, to Zion.  To “go up” is to participate in a higher dimension of spiritual warfare.


To “go up” to the mountain is to participate in Jesus’ most excellent ministry, the royal priesthood; a family of prophets, priests, and kings (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6).


It is to worship the Most High God with the most high saints in the Most Holy Place.  To go up is to press the upward calling, to sit down as an overcomer in His throne of grace, and mercy seat.  To go up to the mountain is to become a living sacrifice, a whole burnt offering. 


Get God’s vision for your life, and then present your body to him.


The “mountain” is a symbol for the Kingdom of God, especially with regard to Mount Zion.  We are to ascend into the heavenlies, the realm of the Spirit.


Five mountains loom up before the Church.  They are the essence of Haggai’s remedy, each representing an aspect of Jesus’ life and ministry.  The Pattern Son walked in an open heaven, constantly led by the Spirit.  Called to be like our Lord, we will also experience:


  1. Mount Moriah---Kingdom sacrifice.
  2. Mount Sinai---Kingdom obedience.
  3. Mount Olivet---Kingdom prayer
  4. Mount Calvary---Kingdom compliance.
  5. Mount Zion- Kingdom authority.


Moriah is the place where God commences to build Himself into us.  From the start of our climb, we must know that His Kingdom, like the “full price” of Ornan’s threshing floor, will cost us everything.  There is no room for cheap religion on this first mountain.  We need not fear; Jehovah-Jireh will “see” and then “provide” Himself for the required offering.  Jesus was our Ram of sacrifice.


The second mountain is “Sinai” and means “cliff, deep ravine, precipitous, sharp, and jagged.”  There the finger of God imparted the law.  Once committed to be a living sacrifice, the Church must scale the dangerous heights of Sinai.  There the law of God is written on the fleshly tables of our hearts.  The deep ravines of legalism and license are all about, but the royal law of Christ’s life is a perfect compass.  Jesus fulfilled all righteousness.  He is the unbroken tables of the Law.


“Olivet” is the third mountain and means “an olive, the tree, the branch, or the berry.”  Olivet is the mountain of Kingdom prayer.  Our upward calling to become a living sacrifice requires walking in obedience.  The secret to scaling the path of life is the prominent practice of intercessory prayer; else we may faint in our ascent.  Prayer brings illumination and spiritual understanding.  Olivet is the ascent of tears.  We will weep as we go up.  Men ascend Olivet barefooted.


2 Sam. 15:30: “David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot; and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went.”


The fourth mountain is “Calvary”.  This is the mountain of complete Kingdom compliance---full surrender to do the Father’s will.  There Jesus Christ, the Horn of our salvation was crucified.  Sacrifice, obedience and prayer bring us to the foot of the cross, the point of denial and death of self.  Going forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach, we discover the grace to forgive all men, to commit our spirits into the hand of the Father.


Finally, we crest the summit.  The fifth mountain, “Zion”.  This is the mountain of Kingdom authority.  In the New Testament, Zion is the Church.  It designates the overcomers within the Church, those apprehended for the high calling, destined to rule and reign with Him from the mercy seat within the veil.


Moriah, Sinai, Olivet, Calvary…all these predicate mount Zion, catching us up to the throne of God.  The triumphant Church who identifies with the fellowship of His sufferings will know Him in the power of His resurrection and exaltation. 


Go up, ascend, awake, arise!  The required materials to build the house of the Lord cannot be found in this present dimension.  Everything we need is over our heads, above our feverish entanglement with lesser things.


Wood symbolizes humanity.  When a man ascends the hill of the Lord, he carries his own humanity, working out his own salvation with fear and trembling.  The Lord lays the ax to the root of our being on the top of the mountain (Mt. 3:10).  This is the great exchange; our wood for His.  Mere human wisdom and strength can never receive His pleasure or contain His glory.  Our intellect, emotions, and will must be lugged to the top of Moriah, and then burned with fire. 


We go up the mountain with our old life and return with new timber; His new life---a new heart, a new mind, a new tongue.


2 Tim. 1:9: “Who has saved us and called us to a holy life---not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace…”


Moses and the elders ascended the mountain and saw the glorious Church, “the body of heaven in His clearness.”  Ex. 24:10: “They saw the God of Israel and there under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness.”


Go up to the mountain and bring down His life.  The Tree of life is Jesus Christ.

Go up to the mountain and bring wood, then build a house for God’s pleasure and glory. 


Their sin was self-indulgence.  Haggai is calling them to rebuild the house of the Lord, (his dwelling place).  Today the Lord is calling us to give him place in our house for God’s pleasure and joy. 


Men shadow box demons when it is the Lord with whom they must contend. 


The Lord allows chastisement in our lives to adjust us back to His primary purposes.  We can be very busy erecting irrelevant things, distractions, and secondary goals.  Even the remnant Church can go off course and strive for that which does not gratify. 


Failure can be a good thing if it turns a man back to the right direction.  Disillusion and frustration will save us for God’s highest purpose; the raising up of Himself in our house.   Those with the greatest potential for the high calling are men who have suffered the greatest defeats.  A true sign that one has been apprehended for the top of the mountain is that the wind of God has caused his prospects and intentions to miscarry.


Burnt stones are men whose personal agenda have burned themselves out and everybody else around them. 


Times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord to complete His temple and fill it with glory.  From that house, Jehovah-Tsebaoth will jolt all nations!  He will reach the whole world through global shaking and comes out of the place of unshakeable peace and unbreakable relationships!


Go up to the mountain and bring wood.  Present your body and go back to work.  Give God something He can bless.


I believe Him to resurrect the heavenly vision of the Glorious Church. 


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

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