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Have you noticed that God has been dealing with you about sin in your life? Have you had to quit sweeping some things under the rug and take authority over them once and for all?

If you have, you're not alone. In fact, I believe that the Holy Spirit these days is demanding that the whole Church clean up its act. He's issuing an ultimatum that God's temple be cleansed - and we are the temple. The Lord is not going to manifest Himself in a temple filled with filth.

We keep saying, "God, send the glory! O God, let us see more glory!" But if God were to turn up the volume on His glory while the Church is in its present state, it would kill half His people. You cannot stand with sin in the midst of the glory of God. That's why in the days of the Old Testament, if the priest entered the Holy of Holies without first purifying himself, the glory of the Lord took his life.

Dealing With Sin In God's Camp
Dealing with sin is a side of the faith message we haven't talked much about, but I believe God would have us emphasize it from now on. Though it's true that we're the righteousness of God and we've learned to get rid of a sin consciousness, we nevertheless have no license to sin. Being God's righteousness doesn't permit us to keep playing around with sinfulness.

Yet you know as well as I do that there's sin in God's camp. In fact, there's sin in the "faith camp." There are ministers of God who are meddling with things that are ungodly, and I believe that we're living in an age when such actions will be exposed. It's already happening.

I've decided that I've worked too hard, given too much, traveled too many miles, stayed up too many nights, prayed too many hours and studied too much to blow it here at the end. I certainly don't intend to be left out of the greatest move of God this planet has ever seen just because of some stupid sin! And I don't think you want that either.

For that reason I've been sharing an important message with pastors and churches all over the country, a message God put on my heart. It's simply this: God is raising up an army of people who will refuse to compromise not only their faith, but their holiness as well.

To understand what that means for us, we first have to be clear about what holiness really is. Holiness is not a bunch of "thou shalt nots." Holy people are not a crowd of long-faced, dried-up, half-dead, worn-out souls to be pitied.

Actually, holiness is nothing more than "the habit of being in one mind with God, loving what He loves and hating what He hates." And holy people are those who have the glory of the Lord upon them because they're in one mind with God. The Lord wants to lead the Church He is building in this generation into a walk of holiness that will stagger the world - because they see the glory of the Lord upon us.

The Church Being Perfected
We're told that God has given gifts to men - apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers - for the perfecting of the saints. So it's clear that God's goal is for the saints to be perfected. We've certainly come a long way in that direction, but we're not there yet. Even so, I believe that God is accelerating the perfecting process, and we're rapidly reaching a state nearer to perfection than the Church has ever known.

For that to happen, we need all five of these offices, because no single one can fulfill the whole dimension of Jesus' ministry. But in these last days, I'm convinced that God will bring the apostles and prophets on the scene in full force.

The Bible says that He originally built the Church on the foundation of these two offices, so I'm expecting God to raise them up. But we shouldn't be concerned about who they are, or try to point them out - they'll be evident by their fruits. Even more importantly, we shouldn't become self-appointed apostles and prophets.

The Lord is ready for the Church to grow up. Paul tells us that in verse 14 of Ephesians 4, "That we hence-forth 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; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."

Why is God so interested in the saints becoming perfected? In Ephesians 5:27 we see what He has in mind. Paul says that Christ's relationship with the Church is like the relationship of husband and wife, and the Church must be perfected That He (Jesus) might present it to Himself a glorious church….

Some people seem to think that the perfecting of the saints won't take place until we get to heaven. But the Bible tells us here that Jesus is coming for a glorious Church, not an immature one.

What is a glorious Church? That doesn't sound to me like a Church that's weak, or suppressed by the world. It doesn't sound like a Church that's just barely making it. So we should stop listening to doom and gloom preachers who talk only about how bad the Church is becoming.

A glorious Church is a Church full of glory. The glory of God is the expression, the manifestation, the personification of the invisible God. When a Church is full of glory, then that Church has the ability to express and manifest and personify God. The Bible tells us that such a Church will be exalted and that people will flow into it.

Sadly enough, there will always be some people who won't flow with God. Not everyone will listen to His prophets. Not everyone will be willing to be cleansed. There have always been some who refuse to submit themselves to Him, and this generation is no different.

Become Fruitful
Considering these circumstances, this is not the time to run from God, it is the time to run to Him. This is not the time to become selfish, self-centered, and negligent about what God is saying to you. This is the time to tune your ear to Him and do whatever He says. You should make a decision now that if you're not fruitful, you intend to become fruitful.

But even for those who are fruitful, Jesus has some sobering words. John 15:2 says that "…every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it." Of course, we don't like to talk about being purged and pruned; but the truth is that the Lord is going to prune us.

How does the Lord prune us? In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist speaks of God's pruning and he says that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire."

So John speaks of two baptisms here. When we experience the first one - we also experience a measure of the baptism with fire, mostly in the form of zeal. Our spirits were set on fire, and that fire compelled us to tell others about the Lord, to lay hands on the sick, and to minister to others.

But that was only a measure of the baptism of fire. I believe that the greatest measure of it has been reserved for the last days. Even though we're experiencing it now, it's going to become greater.

Purged By Fire
I believe we're experiencing this baptism of fire right now. That's why things are getting hotter and hotter. That's why God won't let us get lazy, but instead keeps stirring us up every time we try to settle back in apathy. The judgment is already starting with the preachers, and it will soon filter right on out to everyone.

When God's people have been cleansed, the result will be a Church full of glory. As Isaiah has prophesied, "Arise, shine; for thy light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee" (Isa. 60:1). His glory will come and reside within everyone in the Church.

That glory, Isaiah tells us, shall be seen upon us, shining out in the surrounding darkness of the world (v.2). If you think our society is corrupt now with pornography, witchcraft, drugs and crime, just wait, it will get worse. "For behold, says the prophet, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people…."

Yet the Church will shine all the more brightly, so that people in the world will have a light to look to. If we submit ourselves to the purging fire, we will become, as Jesus said, "the light of the world" - and it's that light of God's glory which will bring people to the Lord.

The Bible tells us that God is love. God loves you. In fact, He loved you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to the cross to pay the price for every one of your sins.

The love of God did not stop there. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be with and dwell in those who receive Jesus as their Lord. The Spirit of God is present in the earth today to reveal the Father to His child.

God has given His very best for you. My prayer is that you will determine in your heart to receive His love today.

Source: Purged By FIRE by Jerry Savelle
Excerpt permission granted by Jerry Savelle Ministries International

Author Biography

Jerry Savelle
Web site: Jerry Savelle Ministries International
Dr. Jerry Savelle was an average, blue-collar man who was struggling and needed God's help. While he considered himself a "nobody," when he became a believer God told him not to worry about it because He was a master at making champions out of nobodies. God has since taken Dr. Savelle from being a constant quitter to a man who knows how to stand on the Word of God until victory is experienced. Because of the life-changing combination of God's faithfulness and Dr. Savelle's "no quit" attitude, his life is totally different than it was thirty-eight years ago.

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