God in the house, what do we mean? What house are you talking about? In a vision this morning God showed me a vision of a motherís house. In one bedroom was a church, in the wall was a church and then I was led to a door that led to a basement, opened the door and there was another church set up down there. I said ďGod, she have churches all over her house, inside and outĒ. In seeking what God was saying I learned that God is in the house, my house, my family, my inner man, all over me and he wants to reign! He wants to be God of everything in our lives.
We that are just coming to Christ must realize that it is just that; a first step. We were once people that laid around comfortably in our houses as well as our bodies and took for granted that God was with us. Now God wants to be in us, all in the walls of the inside of our bodies. He wants to be with us in and out, pitched within and without. He wants to be with us when we leave out the earthly home He has provided and wander out into the streets. He wants us to be the same today and tomorrow; do away with the wishy-washy minds. He wants us to go to the Church building and learn of Him, accept Him before man but also come to know Him and Him alone. Itís a time to lie around, a time to leap, but there is to time that we come to run for Christ. This is that time!
We must be Baptized, immerged in water and show that inward conviction. We have been alive, dead and buried with Christ so now we have to run like Christ ran. The house we are talking about is this house that has not been made with hands but with the blood of Jesus; a Spiritual House.
II Corinthians 5:1-6 for we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also, hath given, unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.
Put on the Lord Christ. Paul realized that as great a warrior he was, he was no match for Jesus Christ. God had to stop in to do something about this man called Saul. He knocked the wind out Saul in Acts 9:1-3. Saul had a false worship, followed the instructions of the King relentlessly to destroy the Saints and had a stance of total submission. He had been knocked down, blinded, but heard the voice of Jesus say in Acts 9:4-6 when He called him out of the world to be His servant. Jesus changed his name and sent him on his journey to become one of the greatest Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ because he knew how to follow instructions. For best results follow the instructions of Jesus Christ. The men that was with Saul heard a voice but could see no man; only Paul saw Jesus. Afterward Saul didnít see anymore.
God showed Saul a vision and Ananias also that would go to Saul, lay hands on him that he would receive his sight again. It wasnít until he saw Jesus and was born again that the evil of his ways was put to death. Ananias had heard of Saulís reputation of being evil to the Saints in Jerusalem. He had authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on the name of the Lord. God then said to Ananias to go for he is a chosen vessel unto God to bear His name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. Saul didnít have a weak bone in his body and he wasnít afraid of anything other than God himself. It would be God himself that would show Saul the great things he must suffer for Godís sake. In Acts 9:17 Ananias went his way and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest hath sent me that thou mightiest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
When Saul received his sight and the power of the Holy Ghost he went on to be baptized by Ananias and preached boldly after he ate some meat and was strengthened in his body and spent time with Jesus Disciples which was at Damascus. He preached Christ in the synagogues that he was the Son of God amazing all that heard him for he had once been on the opposite side of Christ. When we are born again and God is in the house we are no longer the same. No matter what the people said Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus proving that this is the very Christ work. He had a problem with the church folks too! They werenít doing what they were supposed to be doing and needed correction also. They now took this once servant to kill the Jews and wanted to kill him themselves for calling them into check. Saul now was Spirit led and God made known to him how to escape death time and time again. God knows how to take us around the enemy traps set for us.
For one thing Paul knew, that he had an encounter with Jesus and no one could tell him differently no matter how much they didnít believe he could be changed. Even in doubt the Disciples believed God and let Saul down in a basket into Jerusalem by night. They were scared of him and surely they too would be killed with him if caught. Itís always one that God will get too and this man was Barnabas that stood and took him to the Apostles and declared to them how Saul had seen the Lord in the way. There will always be a witness of who you are in Christ. Barnabas told them how God had spoken to Saul in the way and how he had preached at Damascus so boldly in the name of Jesus. He also had been with them coming in and out of Jerusalem even disputing with the Grecians that went about to slay him. God went to work on the Church enemy changed his name to Paul and the Church now went on about in peace.
The people of God then went about with what they knew to bring Christ to the world. They were accused of things by the Jews as the Gentiles were saved. They were astonished that these Gentiles also received the Holy Ghost, spoke in tongues and magnified God. Many things will be said of us also but we must know this; that God is in the house. This is our defense; we must never call unclean that which God has made clean and we will see that all people need Christ. We must spread the Gospel, take the Word to those that are in a famine for Christ and donít worry if we die in the way. To die in Christ is gain, we will be in Godís presence although absent from the body.
For this we know we will like Jesus according to Peter (I Peter 4:1) suffer persecution in this way. Herod (in Acts 12:1-6) killed James the brother of John with the sword and because it pleased the Jews; he sought after and imprisoned Peter rather than kill him because it was the days of unleavened bread. How great it is that we are more dedicated to keeping the days appointed for the acknowledgment of God rather than obey His Word every day. Herod appointed four quaternions of soldiers to keep Peter until he would bring him before the Jews and put him to death after Easter. Although Peter was kept in prison, prayer of intercession was going forth without ceasing of the Church to God in his behalf. That same night in which Herod would bring him forth God delivered Peter. God will not leave us alone no matter how securely man thinks they have us bound. Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound by two chains and the keepers of the door kept the prison which Herod knew he would not escape. But God!
God will make us a way of escape from danger and trouble. Peter knew because the angel of the Lord came upon him and a light shined in the prison in Acts 12:7-11. The angel hit Peter on the side and raised him up and told him to arise up quickly and his chains fell off from his hands. Then he told him to dress and put on your shoes and Peter did so and follows the angel. Peter thought he had seen a vision but the angel had done as the Lord had told him to do; deliver him out safely. In verse eleven Peter came to himself and said, ďnow I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the JewsĒ. Peter considered this and went on to the house of the Saints where he found them still praying. The joy they had that God had heard their prayers and answered them kept Peter outside waiting while Rhoda praised the Lord and the others thought she was mad.
For this I know, God is in the house and most times we his people know it not. Herod didnít know or believe that this thing God had done but the keepers of the prison and wanted to put them to death. God is still working though; and the same people Herod was trying to please he died in front of them himself. He arrayed himself in royal apparel, sat upon his throne and made an oration unto them. They desired peace and came in one accord to Herod because their country was being nourished by the king. He wasnít willing to stop the killing. The people cried out to him that what had happened was the voice of God. God is speaking! Herod wasnít ready or willing to hear Him. He wanted the people to hear him; when are we going to stop hearing man and listen to God?
When we put ourselves in the place of glory that only God should have we make ourselves an enemy of God and we will die. Herod in Acts 12:23 died immediately when the angel of the Lord smote him because he gave not God the glory and he was eaten of worms and gave up the ghost. The Word of God grew and grew after the Devil was out of the way. We see that if we take Godís glory we will die too! God will grow in the hearts and minds of His people rather it is done peacefully and willingly or someone has to die. God will do what he has to do and we will either be happy about it or sad. If we want God to be in the house we must do something about inviting Him in.
After these things were done Paul and Barnabas returned from their tour after the leading of the Holy Ghost. They came upon Barjesus a Jew, false prophet, and sorcerer who was at the time with Sergius Paulus the deputy of the country; a prudent man who had called for Barnabas and Paul because he wanted to hear the Word of God. He was trying to turn Sergius Paulus away from the faith. We have many that will persecute us because of Satan that donít want men to turn their hearts to God. He has faithful servants just as God does. Satan seeks to duplicate God in the earth as he tried to take Godís place in the angelís hearts in heaven. He hasnít changed his way, just his approach that he may deceive us. Paul now full of the Holy Ghost set his eyes on this devil and said to him; O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? Paul withstood this man to his face and told him about his defiant way in which he worked to corrupt, divert, and ruin the work of Christ. We have to look the devil in his eyes and tell him about his self; letting him know that we know who he is and his purpose which is exposed by the Holy Ghost. The devil means God no good and us that believe on God either; donít be deceived. People we have to watch those dogs. Because of his sorcerous ways God would punish him with blindness for a season. Paul told this to Barjesus also known as Elymas the sorcerer and immediately there fell on him a mist and darkness; and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
For this I know, God is in the house. The deputy that had summoned Paul and Barnabas saw what happened and believed being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. God does not play and donít want us playing with the enemy either. Why did God choose to use Paul rather than put him to death? We can take a lesson from Paul. Paul knew how to be bold, keep himself alive, and fight the good fight of faith. He was of the tribe of Benjamin the youngest of Jacobís twelve sons; a full brother of Joseph; born of Rachel as she was dying. Benjamin was the son of her sorrow and his father Jacob was totally and deeply devoted to him. Fearing for his sonís life he allowed Benjamin to go into Egypt after thinking he had lost his son Joseph. Through his brothers Benjamin became the founder of families and of the tribe of Benjamin.
The tribe to which Benjamin gave origin; to it came the third allotment of land, the first going to Judah, the second to Ephraim; the land between these two going to the tribe of Benjamin, which included Jerusalem on its S. border. This tribe furnished Israel with a deliverer from foreign oppression. For protecting disloyal inhabitants of Gibeah, the tribe was almost exterminated. Now Paul a son of the tribe of Benjamin, a Roman citizen born so was after the conversion of Sergius Paulus was called Paul by Luke instead of Saul. He was a thorough Jew, a Hellenistic Jew, not a Hellenizer Paul was reared in Tarsus as a Pharisee and became a loyal follower of that sect as opposed to the Sadducees. He attended the school of Gamaliel in Jerusalem and was a didigent student and able exponent of Pharisaism. Because of who he was Paul had a violent prejudice against Jesus as the Messiah with the rest of the Jews although it was not likely he was in Jerusalem during Jesus ministry.
Paul at first was an unwilling agent in the spread of the Gospel for the disciples preached Jesus as they fled so what a good team member Paul would now be since Jesus Himself converted him on the road to Damascus. The now victorious champion on the opposite side of Christ is with the people of Christ now; what a relief. God knows how to help us to rest in Him. God is in the house and knows how to bring about all that we need to proceed in His work. When God is in the house He knows how to turn things around. He knows how to help us in that He knows how to deal with the persecution that we as the people of God must face for His sake. God in the house knows how to put in place all things to bring about glory to His name. We should never underestimate God or how important another is to God. Who would think that God can take a man that fought against all that He is and make him his greatest weapon in Christianity. Paul getting saved stopped the persecution at once. The Gospel took on new power at every turn and Paul was soon the foremost spokesman for Christ in the Roman Empire.
Paul a servant called and separated strove to tell us and sinners then that God wants to come into our house; He desires to visit us as He did Paul. He made us know that God is angry at sin and sin in manís life keeps them from glorifying God. We are without excuse; all uncleanness must die in our hearts and we are to stop dishonoring our bodies. Paul warns us that Godís judgment is impartial and is according to truth. The law is for Jew and Gentiles alike; for flesh is not justified by law and a man is justified by faith. God is all things to all people and is in reach if we come to Him. We are justified by faith. Sin was birth through Adam but died through Christ. Jesus gave us the free gift but the question is do we want it? We have life through Christ that we may not live in sin that we let it reign in us. We can and shall be instruments of righteousness. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. For this Paul knew that God is in the house. We must learn to love to make things right, grab hold of life and love God, His Word, and His Spirit.
It took Paulís life to bring the Word of God and Christ to the lost. He created many enemies even in his own house. We must know who the enemy is; when you come against Godís people you canít win. Paul was persecuted by his own people and suffered the persecution of death at the hands of Nero. Nero beheaded Paul but he still could not take away what was or had been the mind of Christ in him. Paul had set up the Church of Jesus Christ, wrote the Word to the Churches even though he was incarcerated and put in place men that would carry on the work. He was beheaded but he left his mind after Christ in the earth then and even today. For this I know Paul said, God is in the house.