Building Kingdom of God


 


Let us now read the prophetic book of Haggai. Haggai, a prophet of God, attributes the withholding of the dew from the Heaven, and the withholding of the fruit from the earth, vide verse 10 of Ch. 1, to certain acts of commissions and omissions as mentioned in verses 4 to 9 of the same Chapter.

Haggai brought a special message from the Lord of Hosts to Israel for building the House of God which was lying waste, at a time when nobody bothered to build it and even some had gone to the extent of saying an alibi that the time had not come for building it. Under the New Testament, building the House of God means extending the Kingdom of God over all the places by means of revival and evangelism and by preparing the Church, the bride of Christ, for the second advent of Christ, the Bridegroom. Even today, some feel that the time has not yet come to preach the Gospel to the lost souls in those places not reached by the Gospel.


Building our own houses


“Is it time for you O ye, that dwell in your ceiled houses and this house lie waste?” asks God (Hag. 1:4). These days, we dwell in our own ceiled houses or build our own kingdoms but do not extend the Kingdom of God over the places, which are still swayed by the devil. We feel secure in our own ceiled houses – our ministries or churches – without concern for the Kingdom of God. In other words, we are interested in building our own kingdoms but not the Kingdom of God.

We have to build only the Kingdom of God by means of our ministries and the spiritual gifts endowed by the Holy Spirit. No doubt, our ministries or the gifts of the Holy Ghost are absolutely essential for the Kingdom of God. But, such things should not become our idols. Please bear in mind that your ministry is only a means to build the Kingdom of God and not an end in itself.

We organize intercessory prayer meetings coupled with fasting and covet the prayers and tears of God’s people for extension of our own ministries. We extract assurances from prayer warriors for praying daily during fixed timings, seeking God’s blessings on our own ministries. We covet the tithes and offerings of God’s people for our own ministries. We are thus interested in building our own ministries. But we have no concern for other ministers of God, who are of the Body of Christ. We lack a clear vision about the universal body of Christ. Why can’t we ask our prayer warriors to pray for other ministers and for a worldwide revival? Why can’t we part with our financial offerings received from God’s people for helping the other ministers engaged in propagating the gospel in the places not reached by the gospel?

We spend our precious money and energy in erecting new buildings for our ministries and in extending our church-buildings, at a time when our poor Christian brethren on various mission fields in the other parts of the world worship God in thatched houses or hutments. Why can’t we divert these funds to those evangelical organizations that are engaged in reaching the lost souls and that find it difficult to provide roofs over the new believers for worshipping God?

God is very much concerned about His House lying waste in the thousands of obscure villages in the world where people have not yet heard the glorious gospel. But we engage ourselves fully in preaching the gospel to the same people who have heard it umpteen times, and in praying for the same people who have already known Christ. Let us have a universal vision at this juncture and not a narrow vision confined to our own churches, our own ministries or our own nation.

Are we doing the will of our Father in heaven? Please read Matt. 7:21-23. We may have prophesied in His Name, cast our demons in His Name and done “many wonders” in His Name in the places where people have already heard the glorious gospel, and where there are innumerable churches. True, many people have been blessed by God or have seen “many wonders” through our ministries in these places. Let us not presume that since the Holy Ghost is doing “many wonders” through our ministries, we are doing the will of our Father in heaven.

I would like to testify to a dear servant of God in Nilgris, India who is not popular in the Christian world. My early days of Christian life were influenced by the life of this dear servant of God. Every year he visits the Himalayan countries at the risk of his life for preaching the glorious gospel, carrying and smuggling heavy bundles of Gospel literature into these countries where propagation of the gospel is prohibited. Many years ago, this dear servant of God after finishing his evangelical work in the Himalayan countries was on his way to the South India via Delhi. His train stopped at Delhi. At that time, the Holy Spirit led me to call on him in the Railway Station. Immediately, I went to the Railway Station and ministered to him by giving him some money. (He is not in the habit of demanding money or appealing for funds). When I offered him money, he told me that since he had no money left with him, he had decided to travel in the train without taking any food, and to tell God “If it is Thy will that I should go hungry, I will do so”. For a number of years, he has been publishing a Tamil Monthly, which contains messages giving an account of his experiences in the evangelical field, similar to the Acts of Apostles. He has never bothered to build or establish his own magazine ministry, because he treats his magazine ministry only as a means to the Kingdom of God.

In this regard, I would also wish to bear testimony to another servant of God who had established many mission fields in the North India. He has renounced the worldly comforts of his life in his home town in Tamil Nadu, South India and has settled down in a North Indian state along with his wife, a doctor, for the sake of His Kingdom.

These dear servants of God, who are concerned about the House of God lying waste, are really engaged in building the House of God. There are many missionaries in the various mission fields in India whose names are not known to us. Some of them died on the mission fields for the sake of His Kingdom. These beloved people of God are the lively pillars of the House of God.

Sowing

Let us now meditate on the fifth verse. “Ye have sown much, and bring in little…” You have sown much seeds in the places, which were full of thorns and rocks but have not sown even a little in the places, which were fit for cultivation. You have not gone to those places where a large number of thirsty souls were desirous of hearing the glorious Gospel. But, on the contrary, you are sowing much seeds in the same places time and again though there is no place left for further sowing. You are putting in strenuous efforts in order to harvest in a place which has already been harvested or which is being harvested now. That is why you bring in a little harvest. You are not casting your nets deep into the sea, particularly in those places where our Lord wants you to go.

Prophet Isaiah has wonderfully described the beatitude of the feet of an evangelist upon the mountains “that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; the bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation….” (Is.52: 7). Accordingly, the feet of an evangelist are beautiful only upon the mountains, and not on the plain country. Spiritually speaking in your nation or the world, there are big mountains in the evangelical field, which need to be climbed and conquered by the evangelists. Their feet should run to these mountains, be it in any nook and corner of the world. You have been sowing much in your own land alone, and have not bothered to sow a little in those parts of the world where the open door set by the Holy Ghost has not been taken advantage.

Eating

“Ye eat, but ye have not enough….”. You eat the Living Bread given by God but you have not enough. It is because you are not doing the perfect will of Jesus, the Living Bread of God. Jesus said to His disciples in John 4:34: “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me and to finish His work”. Similarly, you meat is to do the will of Jesus and to finish the work entrusted by Him to you. So long as you are not doing His will, you will never have enough of His blessings – spiritual and physical.

You have become so selfish that you do not want to share this Living Bread with others, with no concern for the hungry souls who are perishing without this Bread. This Bread is meant not only for you but also for others. Jesus, the Living Bread in you, wants to reach out for the other hungry souls in the world through you alone. This Bread “giveth life unto the world” (Jn.6: 33).

Drinking

“Ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink….” You drink the Living Water given by Jesus, i.e., the Holy Spirit but are not truly filled with the Holy Spirit because no fruit of the Spirit which is an evidence of your being filled with the Spirit, is seen in your life. Though you were once baptized in the Holy Spirit, you are presently not filled with the fullness of God, as there is dearth of love, holiness, on your part. Though power was given to you initially when the Holy Spirit came upon you, there is no fresh flow of the Spirit power in your life because the power given to you earlier was not used by you in evangelism or soul winning. You were supposed to associate with the evangelical work of the Holy Spirit.

Clothing

“Ye clothe you but there is none warm….” Though you clothe yourself with the cloth of salvation, there is none warm. Though you were saved by His grace, you still do not feel warm spiritually, in the absence of fire of God in your life. You say that you are rich, with an abundance of blessings and have need of nothing but you should know that you are wretched, and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Rev-3: 17). Now that your cloth of salvation has since developed holes in it, you do not feel warm. Why? It is because of lack of holiness, prayers, concern for lost souls, love for the Christian brotherhood or the body of Christ.

Bag with holes


“He that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes”. We have bags with holes. Whatever few souls were won by our evangelists, they were put into the churches with holes. Since these precious souls were not given due pastoral care by love and prayer, they have slipped out through the holes and returned to their old life. (Acts 20:28, I Peter 5:2-3).

Going to mountain

In verse eight, God commanded them to “go up to the mountain and bring wood and build the house”. In order to build the House of God, you have to take pains to go to those remote places, which are not yet reached, by the gospel or where only a few churches or no churches are in existence. In this manner, you have to bring wood to build the House of God. It is really a stupendous work, not an easy-going work. But, God offers you the strength that is of an eagle (Ps. 103:5). Don’t go inside another church to rob ready-made timber (saved souls). Instead, with much strenuous efforts and sacrifices, go to the places not reached, to win souls. Don’t catch fish from other men’s baskets, but from the sea.

Because of the above reasons, according to the Bible prophecy, the heaven over us is stayed from dew and the earth is stayed from her fruit (1:10). There has been no heaven-sent revival and it tarries. Instead of a revival, God has now called for a spiritual drought upon our churches, and our nations. (1:11).



-T.Job Anbalagan