[This message was delivered in a letter to the rector of St. John the Divine, the Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, with which my wife and I worship and fellowship. I refer to YHWH as "the Lord". The building program mentioned went forward, but after it was completed, the church began experiencing financial trouble. The rector agreed to let me hold an old-fashioned prayer service (not clergy led), and during the service, we confessed our sins, and I received word from YHWH that he would meet the financial needs, which he did. That meeting served as a springboard for many such prayer meetings after that, and it demonstrated the Bible's lessons that YHWH is very patient with his people and quite willing to forgive when we confess and seek his forgiveness.
The word of the Lord concerning the proposed $7,500,000 building program at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church:
Do not do this thing. It is not of me, and my heart is not in it. I have not called my people to put up buildings but to be a building. Abandon this project, humble yourselves before the congregation, confess this sin and declare my life and glory. There is nothing you cannot do in this place that you should do. Anything more that you would do, you must do outside this place and outside this organization.
The word of the Lord to the congregation:
I desire service, not construction. I have called all my people to serve me in their lives, in every place they go. My glory is not in wealth or in possessions. How much more is that so for my church, the body of those who are faithful to me. Are there not enough poor to feed and homeless to house? Are there not enough people who have lost their jobs and need work, who could be employed with all these riches? Are there not enough prisoners to visit with the time spent on this project? Have you no houses in which to meet and fellowship? Are all the lost and dying saved and healed now, so that you can pursue pleasure? Have you lost your Bibles and your way, so that you can not discern my works from those of the world?
This thing you propose does not glorify me. It does not serve me. It is an abomination, and I am not in it. Beware, lest you be lost and not found or restored. Humble yourselves, and seek my face that you may know and do my will. If you continue in this matter, you will be lost, and this prize you value so much will be taken from you. Then what will you do? You will ask me to restore, and I will not. You will ask me to forgive, and I will, but I will not restore this place to you.
Did I make you stewards so that you could pursue your own desires without seeking me? Is this how you serve me and hold the possessions I have put in your care? Have you no sense of shame left in you?
If you will serve me, I will lift you up. I will put this building to such a glorious use, that you will marvel in it. If you will pursue my will, serve me as I have taught you, lift me up and serve me so that only I and those who receive will see it, you will begin to see such miracles and works of my hand as to dumbfound those who serve other gods. And more than this, you will truly be a light to those in the neighborhood around this place. If you will humble yourselves, turn to me and pray, I will bring forth healing in abundance, and need will not be known here. Listen, people of St. John the Divine. I am Lord. You shall have no other gods before me; you shall make for yourselves no graven image. Therefore, cast aside your idols and self-images. Humble yourselves, be filled with my spirit and serve me. Declare my word and do my works. You have only to study the scripture to know what they are. Do this, and you shall walk from this place into my glory. And you will know my peace.
*YHWH or YHVH is the English representation of the four Hebrew letters that spell the name of the God of the Bible, the one true, living God worshipped by Jews and Christians. YHWH was the name by which he identified himself to Moses in Ex. 3:14. According to references that I've read, the exact pronunciation of YHWH's name was lost in antiquity. After much study, I prefer to pronounce the name "Yahu-wah" (the "h" being aspirated as in "hay", emphasis on the last syllable), but the generally accepted pronounciation in common English is "Yah-weh" or "Yah-way". Some translations of the Bible, such as the KJV and NASB, substitute "the LORD" for his name, following a practice begun before Jesus' birth.
YHWH revealed himself in various ways to the children of Israel in the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament. He also revealed himself in and through his son Jesus Christ and acts, among other ways, in and through Christians by the Holy Spirit. Because the word "God" is being used today to designate all kinds of human inventions, although accepted for centuries in English as a name for YHWH, I prefer to use the name that YHWH chose for himself rather than "God" or "the LORD" as I did in early versions of my writings. Please read The Name of the One True, Living God for a fuller discussion.
|Remember who He is and whose you are|