#481 The Corruption Of The Outer Court Ministries
The various protests against the status quo ministries in the visible church has not been very effective. Why? Simply because most people think this quality is all there is. They respond that we MUST keep the gospel simple and not complicate it with confusing statements about maturity and responsibility. After all we should leave the ministry to the professionals who are trained to know about these things. It is the amateurs that confuse the issues. The church has done it this way for hundreds of years. Why would you think it should be changed now?
Of course we have heard all the arguments against any change in the system we call “church.” From time to time some groups protest the status quo and try to go back to the early church and pattern their assemblies after that pattern of the church in Antioch or Jerusalem. None of these systems continue for very long and they generally find the early church systems too difficult to survive.
Over the years we have pointed to the ministries as the greatest problem in the visible church because they prefer to keep the systems in the same orderly manner that the people consider normal. Since the ministry has become a profession rather than a calling it has established pay grades, security, pensions, housing, perks and even insurance premiums paid etc. The system promotes itself and secures its own longevity. It establishes its own hierarchy. Even if someone establishes a system of assembly built upon the pattern of Antioch the ministry, which is perceived as separate from the system, remains according to the 21 st century pattern. The “ministry” that was revealed in Antioch cannot be duplicated today in current society and by modern day methods of training or discipleship nor is that necessary.
Act 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
They were ministering to the Lord is the key to functioning in the Holy Place dimension. Even though we don’t know what that means we can see other examples that have been given to us as prototypes of ministry.
The problems created by today’s ministries can be solved very quickly and very simply and that is what we want to address in this short document.
Eze 44:6 “You shall say to the rebellious ones, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Enough of all your abominations, O house of Israel, 7 when you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My covenant void--this in addition to all your abominations. 8 “And you have not kept charge of My holy things yourselves, but you have set foreigners to keep charge of My sanctuary.”
Eze 44:9 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary. 10 “But the Levites who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.
Eze 44:11 “Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them. 12 “Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn against them,” declares the Lord GOD, “that they shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. 13 “And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they will bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. 14 “Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service and of all that shall be done in it.
The house of Israel had strayed far from the design of God for true worship and had even permitted non covenant persons ( uncircuncised foreigners) to enter into the sanctuary of God. God said that alone had made His covenant with Israel void. The whole “ministry” in the Outer Court realm had been perverted, compromised and irreparably corrupted. There was no way to fix it and God and His Presence had abandoned it. God did not abandon the sanctuary but totally rejected the Outer Court ministers. Nevertheless, He permitted the Levites to continue their ministry toward the people regardless of their abominations toward God and a total disregard for the design of God for their ministry. Even though the Levites had voided the Covenant of God that He had established with them and the fact that they had been rejected by God, God still permitted them to continue “in the ministry.” Now, “in the ministry” meant ministering to the people in the Outer Court Dimension but the Levites were forbidden from ministering to God. It appears that in the mentality of today, “ministering to God” is not a big priority. This IS the issue into which this document speaks.
Today there is no difference between ministering to the people and ministering to God because it is accepted that ministering to the people really is synonymous with “ministering to God.” We even find scriptures that seem to confirm this fact!
Mat 25:40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Mat 25:45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
This scripture is given as proof that ministering to people ( even the least of them) is the same as ministering to the Lord. From the isolated Outer Court viewpoint this would seem to be true. Our goal in this study will be to prove that viewpoint to be too far short of God’s viewpoint and the root cause of the pitiful condition of the church!
Eze 44:15 “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood,” declares the Lord GOD. 16 “They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.
Eze 44:17 “And it shall be that when they enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and wool shall not be on them while they are ministering in the gates of the inner court and in the house. 18 “Linen turbans shall be on their heads, and linen undergarments shall be on their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything which makes them sweat. 19 “And when they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers; then they shall put on other garments that they may not transmit holiness to the people with their garments.
One of the big problems today is that the ministries are so busy ministering to people that they have no time or understanding of how to minister to God. However, if we can reconcile this neglect of God with the verse that we quoted from Matthew 25, we feel justified in just ministering to the people. After all, this is what I am being paid to do and if I separate myself to minister to the Lord the people will say I am lazy and neglecting my professional duty. It is for that very reason that ministries are rejected by God, that the anointing is lacking, that revelation is something of the past and the reason that the current visible ministry lacks reality. I have sat in conferences in various parts of the world and listened to messages that were true but they lacked reality. Why? There was that unique quality that only comes by ministering to the Lord that provides the reality to the message. Even though I don’t know what it means to “minister to the Lord,” I can recognize the lack of reality in the message.
Still, if an Israelite, in Ezekiel 44, brought his sacrifice to the Temple to offer it to God these rejected Levites would be faithful to assist him in offering his burnt offering or peace offering. They would still do their duty to the people and slay the sacrifice and offer it to God. The Israelite might never know that the Levite was totally rejected by God because God still permitted him to minister to the people. This seems too incredible to be true but this is exactly the way it is today.
The question we encounter today is this; How can we neglect the Outer Court ministry of winning souls, helping them with their problems, get them functioning in the church and teaching them the ways of God. Surely you don’t think God would be pleased if we neglected this real work of the Lord. The fact is that today we bring uncircumcised foreigners into the assembly and try to get them assimilated into the visible structure, assign them work that they can do and think this is serving God. There are so many half-saved people in the visible church that take up most of the time of the ministers and the ministers think it is their calling to help these people in every way they can. How do I know that? Because that is what my wife and I did for 30 years.
Half-saved people (the uncircumcised foreigners) do not belong in the church and will pollute the Sanctuary and cause the ministries to be rejected by God. Then we hear the response. Where is the love of God in that? God loves the whole world and Jesus died for all the sinners so how can you arbitrarily reject certain people because they are not instantly converted or meet your standards? From the natural light of the Outer Court this is certainly a valid argument because that seems that to save sinners IS the whole purpose of God.
The point I am making is that it is not wrong to save sinners or to minister to Outer Court People but to keep them in the basic first principles the rest of their Christian Life is NOT the reason God saved them. Now they must fulfill God’s Eternal Purpose and what God purposed FOR HIMSELF in the new creation. This CANNOT be done in the Outer Court Dimension. Therefore, the Outer Court Dimension is just for their preparation for entering into the Holy Place Dimension so that God’s need is fully met.
It is my opinion that the Outer Court ministries have failed miserable in moving the people rapidly through each of the Outer Court Preparations and prepare them to transition into the Holy Place Life and Ministry. This Outer Court dimension of Christian Life is so common today it is considered as normal. Many of the assemblies today are a group of sight seers and attenders who do not wish to get involved in the church or even do the will of God and we count the number of these heads to define the size of our “church!” We may say our church has 1000 souls but God’s evaluation of our assembly may only be 10 Christians who are committed to do the whole will of God. God may reject the 990 sight seers and attenders as uncircumcised foreigners! But these people believe in Jesus so how can you reject them? It is not that I reject them but if they do not come up to God’s standards He will reject them and that is my point. Trying to give comfort to the half-saved and reassure them they will go to heaven is totally ignoring the reason God created them. We do NOT despise the Outer Court Christians.
Well, we have a verse that clearly says that Jesus came to save sinners. Of course, that is true. But why did He save them and that is the question we are addressing.
1Tim 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
2Tim 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
2Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
The fact that He saved us and at the same time called us to fulfill His own purpose with the same grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity is ignored by those who only focus upon ministering to those who never escape the Outer Court in their experience. “Let us go on to perfection” is referring to escaping the natural limitations of the Outer Court and taking our place in the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek.
Then we must ask the question; If Christ died for us can we be saved and still just live for ourselves? The resounding answer today to that question is, YES! How? Because the matra says because of God’s grace. Still, the same Paul that wrote about grace also wrote about being “saved” and then continuing to live for ourselves.
It is amazing how many scriptures can be totally ignored by those who only focus their ministry upon the casual Christian experience of their people. It doesn’t seem to matter that the people that have no desire to escape the Outer Court Dimension or even do the will of God. My opinion is that if the ministries do not preach the Holy Place and its requirements the people will always be satisfied with the “in part measure” assigned to the Outer Court. I am assuming that the ministries that are only concerned about “saving souls” and leaving them in the Outer Court dimension have corrupted their ministry even though they say “taking people on is NOT their calling.” The reason is because these pastors say their calling is as evangelists! But, this cannot be true because Ephesians 4 says that the work of the evangelist is the perfecting of the saints so a calling to just “save souls” is either a misunderstanding or a lie.
The question we are presenting is this; Is serving the church the same thing as serving God? This is the popular assumption and will be confirmed by many pastors. However, is that really true? There are thousands of pastors and ministers out there in the visible church who are intently serving the Outer Court “church” but are not serving God. Many were not even appointed by God but chose “ministering” as their profession. God considers serving the Sanctuary ( the Holy and the Most Holy Place) as serving Him and ministering to Him. God considers serving the Outer Court as serving the people. It was still “ministry” but NOT ministry to He, Himself.
In today’s system, ministering to the Lord in some dimension outside of the song service, which is very iffy, is considered by pastors to be a non-ministry! They consider it a waste of precious time that could better be used in serving the people. After all they are the ones with all the problems and need the most help. They are the ones that must be prayed for, taught the ways of God and assimilated into the church.
In the real Holy Place, its Priesthood Ministry is primarily standing before the Lord, ministering to the Lord and burning Incense. The Lord is actively building His Church completely in the Holy Place dimension. It should be clear that real worship is from that dimension of Spirit and Life! Therefore, if we are stupid enough to leave the people in the Outer Court and tell them they are part of His Church we have corrupted our ministry and lied to the people. If we purposely keep the people in the Outer Court so we can always “minister to them” and make them dependent upon us, then we should be rejected by God for perverting our ministry.
Now we can analyze our ministry by analyzing what we are occupied with and how we distribute our time. Ministering to people is not wrong but ONLY after we have ministered to God. The garments used to minister to the Lord are different from the garments used to minister to the people. Have we understood the difference? However, in the New Covenant the purpose of ministry is to build up a whole Kingdom of Priests who are after the Order of Melchizedek. That means that ALL the believers should be Ministering to the Lord but ONLY in the Holy Place dimension. Ministering to the people, with no thought about preparing them for the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek, is a big waste of time. Can we afford to waste our life ministering to people who have no intention to change or grow or fulfill the purpose of God but just want to be “saved” and go to heaven someday? Every “ministry” that have locked themselves in the Outer Court dimension will soon corrupt that ministry and depart from the purpose of God! How do we know that? We see it continually from place to place and the scriptures reveal this problem! Let us look at this fact from the Mount Sinai experience.
Exo 32:23 “For they said to me, ‘Make a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24 “And I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” 25 Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control--for Aaron had let them get out of control to be a derision among their enemies-- Exo 32:26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 Then Moses said, “Dedicate yourselves today to the LORD --for every man has been against his son and against his brother--in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today.”
The way God selected a priesthood in the Old Covenant was to choose a people who would stand with God and AGAINST the people, even their own family. ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’
This seems too radical to be accepted today but these things are given as examples for us. Instead of a Kingdom of Priests God chose the Tribe of Levi to stand before him because they stood with Him and against the people. The sons of Zadok also chose to stand with God and to focus upon the Holy Place Life and Ministry as their first priority. Of course most ministries recognize that if we don’t have a strong Outer Court ministry there will be no one to do the Priesthood Ministry. Nevertheless, BOTH are essential for the church He is building.
The real struggle today is in forsaking the outward, external ministry in the temporal, visible realm and focusing upon the next dimension as our first priority. Does that mean we want to eliminate the Outer Court Ministries? No! Why is that? Because we see that among the son’s of Zadok they did not ignore the Outer Court.
Eze 44:17 “And it shall be that when they enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and wool shall not be on them while they are ministering in the gates of the inner court and in the house. 18 “Linen turbans shall be on their heads, and linen undergarments shall be on their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything which makes them sweat. 19 “And when they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers; then they shall put off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers; then they shall put on other garments that they may not transmit holiness to the people with their garments.
From God’s point of view, the primary ministry is NOT toward the people but toward God. Why? The ministry must focus upon doing the whole will of God as their first priority. But isn’t it the will of God to serve the people. Maybe and maybe not. Was it God’s will for Aaron to stand with the people and to serve the people? No! Aaron had already been in the Presence of God on the mountain along his two sons, with the 70 elders and with Joshua and Moses.
Exo 24:1 Then He said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance. 2 “Moses alone, however, shall come near to the LORD, but they shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him.”
Exo 24:9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11 Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they beheld God, and they ate and drank.
There were 75 persons that went up the mountain into the presence of God but 73 of them got tired of waiting for Joshua and Moses to return and went down the mountain and built the golden calf.
Exo 32:11 Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why doth Thine anger burn against Thy people whom Thou hast brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 “Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Thy burning anger and change Thy mind about doing harm to Thy people.
When God saw what these rebellious people did His anger burned against them. Now we think is was a good thing, a ministry thing, that Moses did when he stood with the people and entreated God to for mercy. At least God listened to Moses and changed His mind about He would do to these people.
Exo 32:27 And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’”
Now, suddenly things changed and Moses stood with God and against every person who had worshiped the gold calf. This is the point that I was coming to in this study. The struggle today is in forsaking the outward, the visible, the temporal, the external and to focus as first priority upon the Holy Place Life and Ministry. Does that mean we are to eliminate the Outer Court ministry. Certainly not! Why? God said to Zadok “When you go out to minister to those in the Outer Court.” Both are essential but they are NOT equal in importance. Ministering to the Lord is the first priority. The divine order is this; First toward God and then toward the people! When we stand with the people we soon discover that the majority are nearly always wrong when it comes to God’s Eternal Purpose.
For example; When we “minister to the Lord” (I don’t know what that means) we should stand with God and against ourselves. That means to not give excuses for our failures but ask God for discipline and correction. Beseeching God for forgiveness for our rebellion is Outer Court but is not the character of the Holy Place Life.
2Co 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
When we are God centered, our whole ministry will be identified with God and His Purpose. These three chapters in 2 Corinthians (chapter 3-4 and 5) demonstrates this fact. Paul is now standing with God and seeing from His eternal viewpoint. This is not pleading with God to bless man but pleading with man to be reconciled to God and to live for His purpose. From these three chapters we can discern if a ministry is standing with the people and begging God to bless man or we can discern where a ministry is standing by listening to them pray. When a ministry is standing with God it may be very easy to discern which way a ministry is drawn. When you hear a minister preach you can tell where he stands. For example you can recognize the difference when you hear the very big TV ministries preach. Most are standing with the people because that is where they get their support.
The Outer Court people and ministries wish that God would reward them with things. But listen to those who are ministering from the Holy Place and you will recognize that they already have all they need simply because God is their inheritance. This is revealed in His Presence!
Eze 44:15 “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood,” declares the Lord GOD.
In Verse 7 God said the “fat and the blood” was His food. Now we must not try to bring this into the visible realm or understand by some logical attempt to figure it out. We understand in the context what is refereed to as the fat. Only Zadok was permitted to offer Him the fat! What does it mean? The fat is for God’s satisfaction and is forbidden to man. This whole ministry thing is NOT about man’s satisfaction but wholly for God’s satisfaction. It is for God’s pleasure and NOT man’s pleasure. We may now finally understand that ministry is simply bringing people to the place that God can receive EVERYTHING that He purposed FOR HIMSELF in Creation.
In the Outer Court the blessings are the things most desired so things become the focus. In the Holy Place the blessings are not dispised but are simply the by-products of God’s satisfaction and pleasure. I would like to really emphasise this point by calling this the “Untimate Ministry” which is limited to the Holy Place realm. Will it always be that way? For now the question is irrelevant because the greatest majority of the ministries have not yet made the transition from the Outer Court to the Holy Place Priesthood Ministry. This is the transition that is essential today for every ministry or the majority of believers will never make the transition into the realm of a Kingdom of Priests. This is really unfortunate because that is the goal that God has revealed since Mount Sinai. Why? Because that is what God has purposed for himself in the creation.
I am guessing that God’s satisfaction will be shown to those who minister toward the goal of bringing a corporate group to the fulfillment of what God designed for Himself before the world was. It appears that God’s happiness has been neglected as a “message” because man’s happiness has been the priority. Why has that been the general experience of the visible church? Because in the natural light of the Outer Court it appears that everything is designed to bless man and to accrue to his benefit. It is only within the Spiritual illumination of the Seven Spirits of God, in the Holy Place, that finally we can “see” that this whole creation was designed to complete what God purposed for HIMSELF before the world was.
The ministries that are forming under this revolutionary light of the Seven Spirits of God are developing a confrontational message that is not understood by the visible church or its ministries at this time. They think this confrontational message has ignored the grace of God or what Christ has accomplished for man and is trying to deceive man into some kind of works that will offend God. I understand WHY they believe that. This has been “the gospel” for over 100 years and has been accepted by most denominations and is repeated in most commentaries.
But why is this confrontational message suddenly appearing now? I think it is because at last a few ministers are standing with God and against the carnal, casual way the visible church is demonstrating Christianity and the pitiful results that are obvious.
Will this confrontational message be welcomed by the visible church? That is not likely. Rather I expect the visible church will always be the enemy of the Church He is building. At least that is what visible church history shows us. For over nearly 500 years the visible church has stood against every restoration that God has initiated . To participate in the restoration the people had to leave the visible church and begin to move with God to take another step into His purpose! Then that group became the enemy of the next restoration and the pattern repeated itself again and again. This is what we expect in this restoration to Holy Place Life and ministry.