GOD’S ALTAR OF GOVERNMENT, ORDER & GIFTS
WHEN THE PATTERN IS RIGHT, THE FIRE WILL FALL
(By: Jim Barbarossa)
Jesus gave some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip his army to operate in all the Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12 gifts, to reach the lost and disciple them.
I’m going to start with a scripture in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 25, starting in verse 1. What I want to do is use the Word of God to point to God’s pattern for His church in this hour; God’s pattern, not man’s...
Exodus 25:1-9, “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this the offering which shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
What I want you to see here is detail – God is a God of detail, and God expects his people to follow his pattern, to follow his details. Not just when we like the details, but all the time we are to be obedient to the pattern to the details.
So now let’s flip over to Exodus 26:1-4:
“MOREOVER thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.”
See the detail in that. There’s nothing left here for guesswork. God is saying this is what I want; this is what I expect.
Verse 2-4: “The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain…”
You see detail over and over and over…it’s detail. So God is giving us the details for this place that he is going to inhabit; this physical spot. Let’s go over to the Book of Exodus, Chapter 40 now, and Verses 34-35. This is what happens when we follow God’s pattern and we follow his details.
“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
So the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, but for that to happen, they had to follow God’s instruction; his details. We serve a God that does not change. He was a detail God in the Old Testament, and he is still a detailed God in the New Testament. Yes, we have grace, but we still have obedience, and we must follow God’s details for his church in this hour.
So that brings me to the title of my message today: When the pattern is right, the fire will fall. When the pattern is right…the fire will fall.
If we want revival in the church, we’ve got to get the pattern right. And where do you find the pattern? It’s found in the Word of God, and now we’re going to look further into that. So let’s go now to II Chronicles, and I’m just going to give you a little bit of an overview for part of this. In the third chapter, Solomon builds the temple with, again, very detailed patterns. So when the tabernacle was constructed, there was a detailed pattern. When the temple was constructed, there were detailed patterns. These are both the dwelling places where God is going to inhabit, but where is the dwelling place for God to inhabit today? It is us; we are his church. We are his tabernacle. We are his temple. But just as he had a pattern to follow then, he has a pattern to follow today.
In chapter 4, the furnishing of the temple, again, there’s a very detailed pattern. In chapter 5, Solomon brings in the Ark of the Covenant; that was very detailed again. In chapter 5, verses 13-14, we’re going to read what happens when the pattern is followed:
“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”
When the pattern is right, the fire will fall. When the pattern was met with the tabernacle, fire fell. When the pattern was met with the temple, the fire would fall. Now let’s look at II Chronicles chapter 7:1-3. You know what? It seems like I heard this already today…
“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
When the pattern is right, the fire will fall. If God was concerned about the pattern for a physical dwelling place, for the tabernacle and the temple, I wonder how much more He is concerned with the pattern for His spiritual dwelling place. I wonder how much more… I wonder how much more particular He is about how He wants things to be in His order for His house ,the body of Christ today. His house today is you and I, His people; His people all over the world. God has a pattern and order for the New Testament house, the church. And God wants to set His house in order. God wants His church and He wants it to function His way; not man’s way. Let’s look now at II Chronicles 7:12-16:
“And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
That’s a promise. Solomon prayed. The people of God had been following God’s pattern. We cry out the same prayer today, and I ask you, could it be a possibility that it is not as effective as it could be because we don’t have the pattern right? Are we crying out from a place where God can’t totally move for his people, His church, because we are not following His pattern for the church today? When they cried out, they were following the pattern. They were doing their best to obey what God was telling them to do, so could it be that for that prayer in our prayer groups and meetings to be effective, we must look at where we’re at and ask God what is the pattern for His Church today in this hour? How many of you want to see the fire fall? Are you willing to get the pattern right for it to happen? Let’s look at one other Old Testament pattern in Genesis, chapter 1:27-28 and I call this pattern the First Commission.
“So God created man in his own image, and in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
God’s pattern was for male and female to be fruitful and multiply. Remember at this time Adam and Eve were in right standing with God. God was saying, give me more children, and give me more people who are right with me. Fill the earth with people that are right towards me. They were in a position to do that through replenishing the earth through the birthing process, because they were in a position or a pattern that was right with God. But we know that sin came into the camp, and there was a ripping and tearing apart, but today God is still telling us to be fruitful and multiply. Today he is telling us to share the good news, to go out and get people saved, to get them in right position with him. The commission hasn’t changed, but we’re going to have to go about it in a little different way because sin entered the camp. And for this to happen, for us to effectively reach our communities, we need the fire to fall. We need revival. We need the power of God moving in our midst and moving in our neighborhoods and communities. For this happen, we need God’s pattern for his church in this hour. Let’s look toward God’s Word again for his pattern for his church in this hour.
Let’s turn to Ephesians 2:19-20. Before I read this, I want to just ask you to focus your eyes on the banner at Ephesians 2:20. Jesus, the chief cornerstone…
So the first part of the pattern was right there…Jesus is the foundation of everything.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”
So we know according to the Word of God, the first part of the New Testament pattern or the New Testament foundation is found right here, Jesus Christ. And then built upon that are the apostles and the prophets right here; the prophets wrote the Old Testament; the apostles wrote the New Testament. We need them both; it’s part of our foundation. Now let’s look at another verse in Ephesians 4:11-12,
“And he (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
If we want to equip the body of Christ, the army of God, we can’t do it running on one or two cylinders, but we need the fullness of the 5-fold ministry that Jesus Christ gave the church. So God’s pattern is that we build on Jesus Christ, that we build on the apostles and the prophets, and that we build on the evangelists and the pastors and the teacher. Those five gifts are to equip all of the body of Christ; anyone who has called upon the name of Jesus needs to be equipped. Anyone who has called upon the name of Jesus has gifts. Anyone who has called upon the name of Jesus is to be listed in his army, and arise doing the part that God has equipped them to do.
But here’s the problem we’ve had in the body of Christ: the pattern has been wrong and the saints have not been equipped.
We cannot equip the saints if there is only one or two gifts of the five gifts functioning within the body of Christ; we need them all! If Jesus gave us five, we need five; not four, not three, two or one; we need five. If all five are not functioning together as one, we will never have the fullness of the anointing that was on Jesus. Jesus is the only one that had it all! When Jesus ascended into heaven, it’s like he took all that he was and said…I’m pouring myself back out…and I’m pouring myself into five containers. Those containers are the apostle, the prophet, the pastor, the evangelist and the teacher; but here’s where we’re at today. We need the full power of Jesus; we need the full anointing of Jesus, but Jesus said…you don’t have it all by yourself, Tom…Jim, you don’t’ have it all by yourself. You don’t have it all by yourself; you’re going to have to hold hands with somebody else, and as you come together in unity, you will have the full power of Jesus Christ! And I suggest to you that the power and fire of God has not fallen because the pattern is wrong. If we will do our best to correct the pattern, God will honor that pattern and the fire will fall in our cities, but first the fire has to fall in the house of God. And it’s not going to fall until we get the pattern right.
The 5-fold ministry has a job to do in equipping; we have the Romans gift in chapter 12. We’ve tried to teach the saints how to function in these seven gifts: exhortation, giving, ruling, mercy, prophecy, ministry, and teaching. But we tried to teach them with one or two gifts; I suggest to you that none of the five gifts have the fullness of anointing to equip the saints to operate in the Romans gifts; they can’t do it by themselves. The pattern is broken and God wants to restore his pattern to the church.
And then we go up to the Corinthians gifts: Wisdom, faith, word of wisdom, faith, word of knowledge, healing, diverse tongues, miracles, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, discerning of spirits. We need those gifts functioning in the whole army of God. They’re not to function in just the 5-fold ministry. They’re not just to function in some key people, but those gifts are for everybody. The Holy Spirit pours them out where they’re needed, where the demand is on. If you’re in a situation and you need a word of knowledge, if you believe God, he’ll flow through you the word of knowledge. But the bottom line is that the saints on a whole in churches all over this city, all over this state, all over this nation, all over this world…they’re not going to get it without the fullness of the 5-fold ministry joining hands and walking in the full anointing of Jesus to equip his army. That’s only part of the pattern, but we’ve got to get that part of the pattern right.
Let me ask you a question: How many of you are willing to do your part to get the pattern right? I knew your hands would go up because your here ; because you’re hungry. You want God. You want the fullness of his anointing; that’s what it’s all about!
You want to see your city saved; you want to see lost people saved and dicipled; that’s why you’re here. But even if we get that part right, it’s not enough. Let’s look a little further...let’s look at Ephesians 4:1.
Let me digress a little bit…this is important. I’ve had the honor since January, 2012 where we started meeting in our home, and then in September, 2012, we started meeting in what we call God’s Warehouse; a very unconventional setting. But one of the things that we did is that we flowed and functioned in the 5-fold ministry from day one. And one of the things that I’ve learned personally is that those five gifts: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher are not just for the equipping of the saints, but those five gifts are for the sharpening of the other four that they aren’t. I’ll tell you why I say that – if my friend the teacher was here, his name is Terry; he would be chuckling right now. That’s because I heard teach it at least four times already; I am not a teacher. I am an evangelist at heart with an apostolic vision, but I heard it at least 4 or 5 times today “teach it…teach it…teach it…teach it…” Something happened to my gift during that year and a half that I was surrounded by the fullness of the 5-fold ministry, that teaching gift rubbed off on me.
As I was preparing this message, I sent this brother an email. I said…you’re going to love this, because the teacher is coming out! The teacher is coming out…amen! Had I not associated myself with these other gifts, you would not be hearing this message today. You would be hearing strictly through an evangelist, but today you’re hearing from the 5-fold ministry as it’s rubbed off on this gift. So if you want to sharpen your skills, you need to surround yourself with the fullness of the 5-fold ministry. Thank you Jesus.
Ephesians 4:1-6, “I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech ye that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
We can follow the pattern to the degree of having the 5-fold ministries in our own company, but if we don’t have the unity of the faith and cross companies, and join hands, we will not have the pattern. And if the pattern isn’t right, the fire will not fall!
Let’s look at our banner again. Let’s look at it a little differently; let’s pretend those gifts and things are not up there, but let’s call this stone the Pentecostal stone, and let’s call this one the Baptist stone, and let’s call this one the Foursquare stone, and let’s call this one the Word of Faith stone, and so on, and so on, and so on, and so on…. For the fire to fall, those stones have got to all be touching each other, so we need to build an altar of sacrifice unto the Lord without denominational walls and differences. When we start walking in the fullness of the 5-fold ministry and equipping the saints in the gifts to go out beyond the walls, join hands with each other crossing companies…when we do that, the fire will fall!
Let’s turn to Psalm 133…we’ve been here before too. I hope this is helpful to you.
Verse 1: “BEHOLD, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
I will tell you that I was blessed last night; the Father was blessed last night to see his people in unity. That is so awesome! I am blessed today to see his people here in unity.
Verse 2: “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, (that’s talking about the anointing) even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garment;”
You see we’ve got to get that anointing flowing from Jesus over those 5-fold ministers and down to the body of Christ throughout all of those gifts, but when we do it, we’ve got to be holding hands so that anointing is all over all of us. When that happens, we’re going to raise the awareness and anointing level on our city, and people are going to start seeing Jesus!
Verse 3: “As the dew of Herman, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there (for where the pattern was right) the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
If we want the blessing, the fire is the blessing; revival is the blessing. If we want it, there’s a pattern and we’ve got to follow the pattern to get it. Lord, help us to get the pattern right.
Let’s go back to Ephesians again in Chapter 4, Verse 11. Do you know what? That’s one of the first verses that I ever read as a new believer in Christ, and when I read that, it exploded inside of me 20 years ago. Twenty years ago it erupted inside of me, and do you know what? The church has been trying to kill it ever since…yes, the church. Not the devil! The church has been trying to kill it ever since it erupted inside of me, because I’ve always believed that there’s a 5-fold ministry, and every local church needs to have it. The whole body of Christ needs to have it. I’ve always known it in my heart since I was saved.
Verse 11-13: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelist; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”
We’re not seeing the stature of the fullness of Christ yet, but we’re going to see it, and we’re going to get closer to it when the five start working as one and the whole body starts to flow as one.
Verse 14: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”
Do you sometimes think the church is tossed to and fro too much? Do you think maybe it’s because the pattern is not right…because the pattern is broke, and they don’t have the fullness of the five equipping gifts in their life, and they’re not sharpening each other either? I’ll tell you what…pastors associating only with pastors are not going to bring the fullness of the anointing to the church. And I’ll tell you another one – apostles associating only with apostles are not going to bring the fullness of the anointing to the church! We need them all!
Verses 15-16: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth (that’s you; that’s every Christian; that’s everybody that is born again), according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
If we want edification and growth in the body; if we want to see numbers come into the body; if we want to see growth in the people of the body, we’ve got to follow the pattern. Where’s the pattern? That’s the pattern – Jesus is what it’s all about. He’s our foundation and he gave us five gifts to build upon that foundation; those five gifts are to equip all of us to operate in all the rest of the gifts; that’s the pattern. Lord help us to get the pattern right. For the pattern to be right, we’re going to have to make some changes.
Let’s look at the top of the banner (at the beginning of this message) – we’re going to have to change our goals to his goals. We’re going to have to quit building our own kingdoms, and build his kingdom!
We’re going to have to get rid of our prejudices; we’re going to have to get some sin out of the camp. We’re going to have to give up our ministries and take on his. We’re going to have to break down the denominational walls; no more of our own agendas, but his agendas. No more programs but Holy Ghost ones. We’re going to have to throw away the watch. We’re going to have to quit saying…I’ve got a pot roast in the oven. We’re going to have to give time for God to be God, and do what God wants to do. And that ugly thing on the top that brought the devil down, we’ve got to get pride out of the camp…that big word right there…PRIDE.
I remember a man that I love and respect saying not too long ago…there was a time in his ministry when he held meetings, and they were his meetings. They were his meetings; today it’s God’s meetings! Let’s look at Philippians 2:1.
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, (we’re here to be likeminded, and I believe that’s why you’re here…to be likeminded) having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves.”
That is powerful! That is part of God’s pattern for his church. Part of God’s pattern for his church is for me to esteem my brother’s gift. The part of God’s pattern is for my brother to esteem your gift; to appreciate you and the gift that God has given us, and to sometimes lay my gift down in support of your gift!
I want to tell you something; I don’t want slaves relating to me; I want sons and daughters. Too often as leaders, we capture people, and we have them doing what we want without looking at the call on their life and the gift that God has given them to the body of Christ. So part of God’s pattern is to love one another; to esteem each other’s gifts, to elevate each other’s gifts at times; that’s part of God’s pattern. Even right now as I think about everything that was just said, I say…Wow! It’s amazing we’ve got any fire at all! I mean it is… amazing…but it’s only God’s mercy. I think we’re coming into a season where mercy isn’t going to be enough; God is saying…Get the pattern right…Get the pattern right!
Let’s turn back to II Chronicles 7:14. Now let’s look at this a little bit differently than when we read it the last time. Let’s think what could happen if we came together as an assembly, and we prayed the same prayer from this position; think about it. We’re now the church that’s built on the foundation of Jesus Christ; we’re now the church that has the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors and teachers set in place. We’re now the church that is equipping all the saints to function in those gifts…imagine.
Verse 14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
I suggest to you today that if we the church, the people of God, would get the pattern right, and we would put the things that need to be put on top of the altar, we would see fire like we have never seen fire before. We would see souls getting saved like we have never seen getting saved before, because the pattern would be right, and God would honor the pattern.
Turn with me now to Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore (that literally means…as you go), and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Just like the first commission, God expects us to fulfill the great commission. They’re both patterns, and the only way we’re going to fill the great commission is to get the pattern right. We have failed in the great commission because we have not done it the way Jesus laid it out. Jesus laid it out that he would be the foundation, and upon that foundation the apostles and prophets would build.
There would be evangelists, pastors and teachers, and the five of them operating the fullness of the anointing of Jesus would equip all of us so that we go out in the workplace, and we could have a word of wisdom, and a word of knowledge that would literally drive people to their knees. But today we go out powerless because we have not been equipped, because the pattern is wrong.
Then we not only need the pattern to be right in our separate companies, but we need the pattern to be right across lines, and we need to join hands. We need to become one company, and what I feel God has been saying to me and it’s the reason we’re here right now, and the reason next month we’re going to West Virginia, is that God is saying it’s time for citywide revival and it starts with CITYWIDE CHURCH! The Citywide Church of Flint…Citywide Church of Grand Rapids…Citywide Church of wherever you’re at…put your city name there. It’s time for Citywide Church. We’re still going to have our separate companies, but we’re going to join hands and we’re going to be one voice! A bigger company…the CITYWIDE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST! And in some places it’s going to kick in and become the regional wide Church of Jesus Christ. For that to happen, we’re going to have to put some things on the altar.
This is what I’m going to ask you: Take to heart what you heard and read here, and ask God…is there anything I need to put up there on that altar?
I’ve had my own agendas. I’ve had my own goals. There was a time where I didn’t elevate or esteem another’s gift, but God is teaching me. He wants to teach us all. So what I ask you to do is to just spend a moment now and ask the Holy Spirit…is there something I need to put on that altar so the fire will fall?
Those of you that are senior ministers, I want to ask you, are you willing to make room for these five gifts? Jesus already has. He gave them. You’re a senior minister. It doesn’t matter what your title is; you can be called ‘Bishop’ or you could be an apostle, prophet or pastor; you could be any of them. If you’re the senior minister, you’re the one that’s responsible for that tribe or that local church. Are you willing to make room so that Jesus can manifest the fullness of his anointing so that all the saints can be equipped to do the work of the ministry? If you’re not willing, the fire is not going to fall within that tribe. Oh you may get a little glimpse here and there, but you’re not going to get it all, because we need each other to have it all.
So Holy Spirit, I ask that you would speak to each of us now. I ask Holy Spirit that you show us if there’s a place on that altar that we need to put something. And God, let us see clearly so that we can get it all out of the way; help us to get it all out of the way.
I’m going to ask you to do something symbolic in nature: As he shows you something that he wants you to put up on the altar, I want you simply to get up out of your seat and touch this banner and this altar, and say, God I’m putting it up there today...I’m putting it up there today.
My hope is today that there are some that will hear this on DVD or CD, radio, television or whatever, and some here; you are senior ministers, and you’re going to say...God, I’m making room…we’re going to have the fullness of the 5-fold ministry in this house. I’m making room…we’re going to do this your way, God. Not my way, but your way, Yahweh.
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