“Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?” Matthew 23:19. “Father, we ask you right now to show to us what are Your gifts? Who are Your gifts? What gifts are You looking for? Who is the altar? What sacrifice is pleasing unto you?”
If we are the temple of God then we must have the altar in us, and we become the priest and He is the One who receives the sacrifice, but now we know the kingdom of God is within. It is time to go deep. We are the temple then He is within us. When Jesus was on Earth, He was here to help us to identify a new priesthood, to be like and look like the One they were following: Jesus. But none of this can really be done without the power of God. The washing of the water of the Word is doing this right now as you read this Word. We are to be rivers of living waters. The religious system makes you think that so many things we do can please God. No. What can please God is the purity of the heart. It is when we fight with all our hearts not to give over to the works of the flesh. How will the world know that we are Christian? By our love. Satan wants us to break the 2 commandments (love God and love people), so that we fail as Christian. We need to focus on being that altar. But on which altar do you focus? On your altar or His?
When Jesus Christ told us to pick up our cross, He was saying, “ Just as I am so shall my Body be!” He did pick up His cross, so shall we as His Body. When Paul said, “I die daily,” he was and is speaking about not only giving His life for the Gospel and facing deadly circumstances every day but about dying to his life, his wants, and his ways for the sake of the good news! He was willing to forsake all for the Gospel. He gave up all of his status in his community. He gave up his authority in the pharisee’s world for the sake of the authority that does not come from man.
Paul was saying in this passage, “I am not living for me anymore. I am living for Christ,” (1 Corinthians 15:30-32). God wants us to be the gift given to the Body. God has given to the Body gifts (Ephesians 4:8). The ministry offices are not for the sake of the ministry itself but to help the Body to reach the measure of Christ. When Jesus laid His life on the cross, He was not fighting his purpose. That was His altar. We are clean already if we stay in His righteousness. But He wants us to live and think this way. Work His righteousness out. In His righteousness, we will be and we will walk like Christ and be His co-heir. He is building His church and that is us. When we learn to die to our desires and dreams, only then will we enjoy the communion with God and with His bride. Only then we will not have leaven at our communion table. There will be no hidden earthly desire among us.
Jesus testifies of the Father, and now He found a bride to testify of the Christ – this is the greatest mystery. A son that multiplied himself in a Body of believers – the Church. A spiritual being, an entity, a looking like the image of God. But if we begin to sin, we start looking like somebody else. He is called satan, lucifer. We don’t fight against flesh and blood but principalities and powers in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Now we are baptized in Christ. There is nothing we can do in the flesh, but we can do a lot when we submit to the cross and the power of God. What I could not do in the flesh, now we can do in the Spirit. I need to let it die: the need of me being great, of me proving myself, of me fulfilling my dreams. In dying to your own self, we enter into a war right now. The Holy Spirit possessed Jesus and now He wants to possess us. The old man of the spirit of this age is always trying to tempt us to bow to it, to understand like it, and to be like it. This is the reason there is so much mixture. They were once sanctified but they did not stay at the altar and remain sanctified. No man when he is tempted is tempted of God (James 1:13). So, we call the enemy our tempter. When we want what we are tempted with, the enemy finds a breach or a stronghold.
Paul was ready to lose His life. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26, “If you try to save your life, you will lose it…” You can’t be two people at the same time. You have to be your new identity or your old. The old is waiting for the new man to be revealed. Jesus came into the world, but the world did not come into Him. He came to the world to change the world, and the world did not change him! 1 John 1, 2, and 3 has a clear message: We are not of the world! So, let us remain away from it. So many have been preaching the world, not the kingdom. It is not about what we do that keeps us holy, it is all about what He did. Now, if you are in Him, He does not see us any longer. He sees us hidden in Christ Jesus. But this does not annul the process of the “old things are passing away and all things became new.” But many will say that there is no process, but this is true in the spirit realm but not in the flesh (natural realm). We are as He is, but is our flesh walking in it?
Jesus said in the passage of Matthew 5:20-25, “Before you bring your gift to the altar…” Wait, now we are the temple of God, but how can I bring something to a place when that place is inside of me? The altar is within me! Understand what He was saying. When we come together as a Body, we must have love as a foundation. He was very serious about loving the brethren, about being ready for whatever comes His way for the sake of the gospel. Jesus said something powerful concerning bringing your gift to the altar! He was speaking from a place where man did not see Him yet as the temple of God. He spoke that even before we had a revelation of it. So, He was speaking to the carnal mind. He also told them, “You will destroy this temple and I will raise it up in 3 days” (John 2:19). He was speaking of the new temple of God and that we will be His temple on the Earth – His church.
Jesus Christ was pointing out the need to keep our hearts clean. Then goes on and on all about issues of the heart. He spoke about the cup on the inside (Matthew 23:26). The kingdom of God is an inside-out kingdom. Before it was a territorial kingdom in the natural, but now God wants to take over the territory of your mind, your body, and your heart. But we are the ones fighting Him. That is why there are breaches and openings because we keep fighting Him over and over and over. He was crucified even before the foundation of the Earth (Revelation 13:8), but we daily decide to choose our own lives instead of just being one with the altar, instead of just being one with the One that sanctified the altar. We still want a position, a title, or an exaltation in public. That is why the world detests the religion system because it says it is different, but they look just like the world. The world wants to see someone looking like Christ. We must be one with the One who is not just called love but is love! You say you are a Christian, but you are offended every day. You say you are a Christian, but when you hear Truth, you fight the Truth. It would be absurd to admit we fight God, but when we don’t die to ourselves, we are an enemy of the cross! When we resist the Truth, we are resisting God. When we exalt our truth above the Truth, we become our own god.
What do you think Christ was trying to say? What is God saying? It is this: Don’t try to bring your spiritual gift, your offering, without dealing with your own heart. The problem is people still want something that has to look like what they want. We are one with God. How much greater and better can we be? We are the gift to the world, the gift to the Body. The peace and joy come from that revelation and understanding. The devil is still trying to make you look holy through works, to build that ladder of success. In the religious system, we keep building the ladder, but in God, we just get on the elevator. “This is my son in whom I am well pleased…” (Matthew 3:17).
The devil knows that if he keeps you in first place, you will never be able to be the sanctified at the altar that God wants you to be. So, before giving anything to God, knowing that, God said, “Get right with your brother.” Jesus was revealing in this passage, preaching, and teaching to a people that had a mindset about tithes and offerings and not about themselves to be put on the altar. But Jesus was asking them: “Why are you doing all of it when you hate your neighbor? You are trying to do all of this, but I want you to be my altar, purified and holy.” What was okay before John the Baptist, now is no longer tolerated. Your heart must be clean in the same way you have been made clean when you are born again. Don’t even come and minister to the Body if you have something against God’s people. Because you will be ministering out of your own flesh, out of hidden agendas, and impurity. Don’t be like the religious system. Don’t put your usher’s garment on when you are impure inside. Go to the throne of grace. Clean yourself. The Word encourages us to reconcile quickly with our brother and sister before we present ourselves before God. God wants heaven to come out of us, just as it came out of Jesus. The only way to do that is to give everything to Him. He wants us to become His holy altar. Wherever we go, we are the altar of God, people getting saved and transformed just because the temple is us. That is how the church is built. The church of God during the primitive church time was not made by membership. God does not want us to be the outer court, but the holy of holies. He wants to possess the entire temple. The gold in the temple is the glory and He is the oil.
Why will you break the bread if you have something against somebody in the Body? If you do, suddenly you start ministering out of your own wound. Even we are warned about holiness when we break the bread. We need to check our hearts and make sure we are clean. It says in 1 Corinthians 11:28, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” We must examine our hearts and be worthy to be partakers of His body. If we are breaking the bread, and if we have a bad heart, we can become spiritually sick, weak. He tells us to judge ourselves so we will not be judged. The issue is us, and we are to guard our heart because out of it comes the issues of life, but they turn into issues of death that come out of us. Make amends immediately. That is why we need to establish in our hearts that we forgive even when people do hurtful things to us. Don’t pray for God to kill your enemies. Just separate them from flesh and the spirits that are using them to see them as victims. To deny yourself is your cross! That crime committed against you by your brother may touch your flesh, but you cannot let that touch your heart. Turn the other cheek. You will not pay evil for evil. But we continue saying, “I cannot believe they did that.” Jesus is asking you: “How long, how long, how long…?” Before Jesus was frustrated with them but they did not have the Holy Spirit.
God is saying: “I am not satisfied with religion. You need to love Me. Because if you love Me, you will love everybody. When you love Me, you will surrender completely to Me. You said you are mine. But you are denying me when you deny your brother."Worship is never about music. It is all about sacrifice. Remain dead. Satan will always try to bring something between you and your God or you and your brother. Remove it and you will be back to joy and peace. Read what Jesus said to the pharisees and the hypocrites in Matthew 23:13. “You do this, you do that.” They are making you like them. They are making you a child of the law, of religion. They were swearing by the things they brought. They were worried about the sacrifice, but what is greater: the gift or the temple that sanctifies the gift? What is greater? What we do, what we give, what gift we have, or a clean heart? You must remember that you are a gift to the church, a gift to the temple, but because of your bad heart and because you are ministering without cleaning it, you are actually bringing condemnation upon yourself. He is not telling you to make yourself clean but to remain in Him so He can make you a vessel of gold prepared for the master’s use.
Why do we love God? Why do we do what we do? Why do we love our neighbor? What are your motives and intentions? What really matters is the love we have towards God. Any time that I hurt somebody willingly, that is despicable! Christ said if you want to be the greatest among many, serve one another. I did not come to be ministered to but to be an altar, an offering, a gift of reconciliation to all men, to be a minister, a door, a connection to power. We don’t go anywhere. We are going to something. Because whatever we are, we are IT. He is building His church. All we need to do is to let Him! Why do we think it is so hard to feel God? It is because there is always something blocking the altar. “Oh God, you know what they did to me…” You still love yourself more than God. Stumbling blocks can be wrong doctrines, wrong thinking, stubbornness, a judgmental heart, rebellion, the law, and the works of the flesh. Stop resurrecting your old man above Him. He said “I will have no other god besides me”(Exodus 20:3). But you are that god. You come eating food served by jezebel, or by baal, and want to serve the church. Why do we need to live our lives surrendering finally later on? We must surrender daily and immediately. We keep exchanging our relationship and covenant back to the law. We start negotiating with God. There is no negotiation, no deal when we have a covenant. It is all or nothing. We are the temple. He must be first – the One who sanctifies the temple. It is not about a part of me for a part of you. It is all or nothing! This passage is clearly saying that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). Saul was rebuked by Samuel. God knows we won’t do everything right but He is telling us – “Just do what I am telling you.” We must become an obedient living sacrifice. To be a doer of the Word will cancel all deception.
Are you a partaker of the altar? 1 Corinthians 9:11-14 is talking about people bringing offerings, gifts, to the altar. Paul was saying, “I am one with the altar, and if you are one with the altar, I am one with you.” Be one with the altar. We are now His Temple. He is the only one who can and will and has sanctified. God gave spiritual offices-gifts to the Body as already mentioned in Ephesians 4:7-16. But that carrier of these gifts must be clean. These offices are here to help you to become that altar, acceptable. But many have become their own altar – very alive and well! If we have a dirty well, we can pray, preach, or prophesy from a place of sacrifice that is not acceptable. So, you become your own altar. This is how strange doctrines and seducing spirits can and begin to operate: out of flesh and soul. Then witchcraft can be produced, saying God said this, He showed me that, I see this, I see that… These people think they are the messengers of God. By they are unclean fountains. That is a very dangerous place: to erected altars and not the altar of the temple of God. You might be part of the fivefold ministries, but do you have a sanctified altar? How do we do this? He was giving us the keys to success which are: Submit to what is right and not what you feel is right. Love. Walk in the Spirit. Take no offense. Submit to the Word of God. Submit to the Spirit of God. Make sure that you see what the enemy is up to through people. Whatever you see in them, whenever you see the enemy using them to bring you to walk in the flesh, make sure to separate them from the spirits they are being used by, and then make the right decision. Don’t pay evil for evil. The only way to do this is through submission to the Word of God and to the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot be ministering out of the gift with an unclean altar. Our job is to have a clean heart. Why? Who will ascend the hill of the Lord? Those with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:3-6). Wake up and understand that we are living sacrifices and we are here to please only one which is our Father in heaven! We cannot please God and ourselves. This is where things get messed up. Obey the Word first, always first! Be always thankful. Don’t complain about anything. Keep that altar clean! It’s all about the power of Christ!
What is the flesh that we need to eat according to John 6:47-58? His Word. Eat it! God wants you to think spiritually. His Word is spiritual. If you don’t eat His Word, you will have no life in you! Could you actually be one with the temple? Could you actually be one with the one that sanctified the temple? What is greater: the gift or the one that sanctifies it? I am not talking about a building but Christ and the Church. This is the promise. He will tear down the temple but in three days He will build it up. It is not blasphemy to believe on what the Word says. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is at hand…” “The kingdom of God is with you…” (Luke 17:20-21). The kingdom is not coming out of a dirty well but out of a womb from heaven! God is saying: “Upon this revelation, I am building My church and they will look like Me and they will be saints. Not only saved by grace but sanctified by My Word. They will walk and see just as I walked and saw! They will be led by the Shepherd! They will be walking through the wilderness without complaining. They will be grateful. They will die to themselves. Because they know if they die, they will live.”
“Father, thank you! The temple is looking like glory. God, I will not live for my rights anymore. I will live for the one that can sanctify the temple. If my brothers and sister are born again, I will always be looking at them as saints. When I bring my gift, my prayer, my offering unto them, that will be accepted by you. The altar will become a place, a place of reverence again. Before I go and do anything to you or in Your name, I will make sure my altar is clean. I will have a clean hand and a pure heart. Jesus, I want to be your temple. I know that I am, but I want to be a holy of holiest. I want to be a dwelling place. Reign over this temple. From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, wherever I go is because you are going; whatever I think is because you are thinking; whatever I say, I want it to be what you are saying; whatever I feel in my heart, I want it to be what you feel. This is Your temple. This is Your altar. I decide to live on the altar. In Jesus’ name! Amen.”
Shane W Roessiger
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