Sunday, June 12, 2016, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


For God to bring blessing, the hearts of the people must be reconditioned.  At the Lord’s appointed time to intervene in His program of redemption, the Prophet Haggai was the Lord’s messenger calling for the people to rend their heart and come before the Lord with honesty and integrity.     


The remnant had heard the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message, but they had not turned to God with their whole heart.  Haggai 2:10-14 sets forth the Lord’s corrective call to separation and pure worship.  The faint aroma of sanctity coming from their altar was too feeble to pervade the secular and immoral atmosphere of their daily lives.


The prophet’s message in these five verses affects what we are seeing today as the radical Islamic culture is not assimilating with the culture of Christianity in the Christian nations.  The Lord through his messenger is putting the responsibility of repentance on the remnant.


Holiness is not contagious, but sin is.  Working on the temple did not sanctify the people.  Their sins of skepticism and apathy had desecrated His holy place.  God was weary with their hypocrisy.  They honored Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him.


Robyn Thom Rodgers mentioned this past Tuesday that the church universal has been through a dearth.  Yesterday we attended Lori Allison’s gathering of Christian Leaders.  She mentioned that for the past few years it seems we have been plowing through concrete.


Pastor Pat McElwee from San Diego, California shared a word for Texas that affirms that the flood waters precede a move of God.  Prophet Johnny Enlow said California will be the platform as it was with Azusa Street; but Texas will be the pulpit for revival.  He also affirmed the flood precedes the Holy Spirit as did Robyn.


Mighty Elijah took 850 false prophets to task on a lonely mountain in the eyes of all Israel (1 Kings 18).  Before the fire fell and the glory came, the man of God repaired the altar and bathed it with water---a symbol of the “renewing” of the Holy Ghost.


Titus 3:5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”


In Haggai 2:11, the Lord of hosts instructs Haggai to “ask the priests for instruction concerning the law.” A priest in the Old Testament represents the people before God.  The priests, as teachers of righteousness, were to put a difference between the holy and profane.  In the New Testament, we are called to be a kingdom of priests.


Mal. 2:7: - NIV “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction---because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.”


THE QUESTION - Verse 12 – AMP:


If one carries in the skirt of his garment flesh that is holy (because it has been offered in sacrifice to God), and with his skirt or flap of his garment, he touches bread, pottage, wine, oil or any kind of food, does what he touches become holy?  The priests answered, No! (Holiness is not infectious.)


TLB read “Holiness does not pass to other things that way.”


Moral cleanness cannot be transmitted, but moral pollution can. 

The sanctified offerings could not communicate their holiness.



  The Lamb of God was the fulfillment of every Old Testament oblation.  The incarnate Word embodied “holy flesh;” Jesus is the true temple, the house of the Father.  Jesus desires more than an occasional brush against His life.  He wants more than just a touch from His Bride.  She is to be flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone, a companion of like nature.  He yearns for the undivided love of her whole heart.


The Bride of Christ is to carry the gospel, the announcement of good news, in “holy flesh.”  In the Old Testament this sanctified flesh was carried in the “skirt” of the priest. Garments represent an office or ministry (Zech. 3: 1-5).


Many of God’s people only want a “touch” from the Lord or from His ministers.  From the front porch of their ceiled houses, they are content to reach out and touch the Lord while He passes by.  Their God is external and distant, impersonal to them.  The indwelling Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit is still a mystery to many.


Do you remember when the Holy Spirit was a mystery to you?  I do!  When I began to search the Word to know Him, I studied and read every thing I could on the Holy Spirit.  I tried to talk to every pastor, minister or person who knew or were supposed to know the Holy Spirit.  I could not be satisfied until I knew and experienced the presence of the Holy Ghost.  When I discovered He was a person, my quest was insatiable.  I knew Father God.  I knew my Savior Jesus.  I had to know the Holy Spirit.


A detached encounter with an apostle or prophet won’t change your life.  Mingle your life with godly leaders in the unbroken covenant of mutual submission, open communication, and prophetic impartation.  That is why I bring in so many ministries with whom we can network, release, and receive from the Body of Christ.


When Don was sick, I couldn’t freely visit other ministries in the city.  My days were filled with the church, his care, business affairs, and time with family.  Now I schedule time to visit and interact with ministries in the city and beyond.


There are Christians who do not have this hunger.  They are satisfied with just a “touch” from God’s hand.  They insist upon eating their own bread and wearing their own apparel.  They call themselves Christians while interpreting the Word to establish their own righteousness and life styles.


Like worldly Esau, carnal Christians want blessings without responsibility; be careful there is death in that pot.  Spiritual minors mix new wine with old bottles.


The Ark of the Covenant within David’s tabernacle typifies the sacred mystery of “Christ in you” (Col. 1:27).  God’s glory is housed in the New Testament tents of “holy flesh.”


The priests responded to God’s question with a resounding “No!” 


Hag. 2:13: “Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled? “Yes”, the priest replied, “it shall be unclean.”  (Un-holiness is infectious.)


Holiness is not contagious, but sin is.  The word for “Body” (nephesh) in Hag.  2:13 is “soul”: 


 Soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion.”


The Holy Spirit has been moving in the healing, sanctifying, and redemption of the soul in this church all year.  Our Church will be hosting a Ladies’ retreat, June 24 & 25 at the home of Tom and Diana Terlep.  Bet Amante will be teaching on the healing of the soul. 


Man’s soul is his intellect, emotions, and will---what he thinks, feels, and wants.  To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace(Ro. 8:1-6).   There are many Christians who are among the walking dead because their carnal soul rules their life instead of the Holy Spirit of God.


Dead bodies that profane His temple come in many shapes and sizes.  A dead “body” can be an individual or a religious-system. 


Lora Allison made another point in her message yesterday that when the Lord moves in revival, it is a watershed time.  People will go one way or the other.  People will either run toward a real relationship with Jesus, or they will run away from Him when he gets real.


In verse 14, Haggai’s application is clear.   Here is a whole people, a whole race,  who are living with selfish attitudes and evil hearts.  As long as the Lord’s house remained incomplete and their worship half-hearted, Judah was tainted and unclean.


The Jewish remnant is ascribed again as a heathen nation. “I will shake all nations.”   The word for “nation” (Hag. 2:7) is the term usually applied to Gentiles (aliens and strangers) because of their lack of faith and love toward God.  I pray as the United States is going through this present shaking, we will not be identified by Heaven as a heathen nation.


The prophet becomes even bolder.  No sacrifice offered in disobedience could be acceptable.  All service and ministry needed to be sanctified again.  In their lust to be seen, men have erected religious monuments and personal altars to themselves and their doctrine, demanding worship.  These vanities will be knocked over in the Day of the Lord (Rev. 18: 1-13).  We, too, must keep our personal altars in repair. 


Unholy men are fugitives and vagabonds, accountable to no one.  These are spots at the feast who greedily feed themselves without fear.  They are clouds without water, trees without fruit.  They are wandering stars caught in the snare of their fleshly orbits (Jude 10-13).


King Saul, out to murder David, happened upon the spiritual influence of the company of prophets.  This demon-possessed man stripped off his clothes and prophesied all night under their anointing.  He then hurried on the next morning to kill David!


1 Sam. 19:24: “…Wherefore they say, is Saul also among the prophets?”


That proverb has become the funeral dirge of more than one great leader (2 Sam. 1:27).  You may feel God, see God, and hear God in the corporate gathering, but how about your heart?  Is it right with Him?


The temple of the Lord is built stone upon stone.  When finished, this house will be blameless, a place of purity and peace.  Line upon line, God will redeem us completely: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23).  Our salvation experience is progressively unfolding as well as being once and for all.  We are growing in grace from strength to strength, faith to faith, glory to glory.  Stone upon stone, generation upon generation---God is building the house of the ages; with every man in his own turn, rank, or season.  We serve God in our generation by entering into the labors of our predecessors (Jn. 4:38).


The work is ongoing, stone upon stone.  These stones are “laid” one upon another in Haggai 2:15.  Furthermore, Ezra 6:4 declares there were three rows of great stones in the temple’s foundation.  God’s Word is formatted in an excellent or threefold manner (Prov. 22:20).  The basic premise of this maxim is the tabernacle of Moses with its outer court, holy place, and Most Holy Place.  Those three realms parallel the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. 


The new Testament Church is the naos or “inner sanctuary” of God.  Corporately, the “temple” in Haggai’s prophecy is Zion, a throne-room people; individually, it speaks of the Most Holy Place, the realm of spirit.


The Brazen Altar finds it complete fulfillment in the cross of Jesus Christ, the only place where sin is washed away.  The only right way to come near the Lord is by blood sacrifice.  Jesus Christ is man’s exclusive access to God, the only entry into the realm of the Spirit.  We have an altar---His cross.  Draw near and be healed.


Rebuild the personal altar in your life and family.  Do your first works over again.  Make a fresh commitment to God in wholehearted worship.  From the day the Church in America humbles themselves and begins to truly repent, God will again pour our His Holy Spirit on our land.    


As stated in Haggai 2:15, the remnant had once again “considered” the Lord.  It has not always been that way (Job. 34:27) – Heb. 3:1).


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church


I entered into the labors of Unshakeable Peace by Kelly Varner (1949-2009) (Jn. 4:38).  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Rev. Varner.

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