Daily Lifestyle Topics

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Organic Reality within the True Church

A Challenging short discussion

There is no inherent spiritual significance to moving a meeting out of a sanctuary into a living room. The question to be asked is not related to how we meet (form), but how we live life together in Christ (substance) and the values we embrace. Whenever love wanes, efficiently administered corporation ethics subtly and subversively displace family (kingdom) values.

The only way a family grows is by giving itself away. A family remains a family by giving away life. A family is bonded in covenantal love, but love lets children grow, and through tears of love, releases them to “increase” the family by “scattering.” In a sense, the individual family decreases, the greater family increases. A family cannot experience increase by clinging to what it has.

Children grow up, leave, most often marry, and new life  is often the result. The gene pool is diversified for the overall health and well-being of the greater family.   A family that never releases its members–a family that never allows the introduction of diverse DNA into the family–will soon cease to be a family, or become a pocket of isolated genetic defectives. A family that is obsessed about the purity of its own image, is headed for trouble.

Introduction of diversity, is key to genetic health. You have to be willing to allow one’s own image to seem to be lost,  to see it again in modified reflections (family resemblance) of one’s self in new life, that you have no direct control over. Seed most be sown to reproduce. We are the seed, not our money. We are sown in death, raised in newness of life, to bear a family image and likeness. A new creation.

On the other hand, a corporation sustains itself by insulating its assets from risk. It has no life to give away. Because a corporation does not have life and does not operate on love, it requires structure, order, and rules to maintain its identity. When love is absent or diminished, systems become a necessity to maintain group order and to perpetuate the group. A corporation grows/survives by protecting itself, assuring that it experiences no decrease. A corporation grows through accumulation of resources, not the scattering of them. A corporation can only experience increase by clinging to what it has, and trying to acquire more.

The kingdom of God is a family, not a corporation. If we gather in a living room with a corporate mindset, Jesus’ kingdom will have  experienced no increase. We will delude ourselves into thinking we are involved in something spiritually significant simply because of our spatial geography at the moment.

Jesus’ family grows by scattering–the giving away of resources because we are animated by the power of love, and love’s compulsion is to scatter. Love compels us to release resources: time, money, people, gifts. We gather to love, nurture, and disciple for the sole purpose of seeing the greater family increase through the scattering/release of resources, not the maintenance of our singular group, through the accumulation of resources and the aggrandizement of individual egos and reputations.

It makes no difference if we gather in a living room or a sanctuary if the values of “asset protection,” the perpetuation of pet doctrines, gift addictions, the ego need of teachers/preachers for a weekly audience, and a misdirected sense of purity are present, we will become nothing other than an isolated pocket of spiritual defectives.

A greater change has to take place than the location of our posteriors during a meeting. A deep purging and realignment of our values must take place, lest we fool ourselves by just running a “mom and pop” religious shop.

The time is at hand to ask questions. You might add “What Questions ?”

A suggested start would be:

  1. What is my world view regarding, a) Church, b) Christ, c)  My purpose and maybe even, 4) What do I  understand is meant by Kingdom Family.

Now is my view purely from a religious perspective, meaning has it been formed by what I have heard and been taught by others according to the doctrine of a local church denomination or is it from a biblical perspective that you have acquired from a true relational walk through scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit. By a walk that has connected you to men and woman who demonstrate love  by revealing the reality of Christ and Him crucified. The power of the cross and the power of that New Creation that you have become if you have recieved Christ the Son.

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Daily Lifestyle Topics

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IT IS AND WILL BE A CORPORATE WORK

 A follow on from my previous posting “The church on Trial” highlighting the consequence of an individualistic mind-set not set on the way of the King and His Kingdom. Christ revealed in us will cause and bring forth the corporate pattern set by God. Replacing the “I” and revealing the “we” in all areas of the Christ life bringing forth the reality of what the new creation looks like. As we are His body I believe what will and is emerging is not coming forth in a few dedicated sons but will find expression “through and in”, the corporate son.

To get perspective look back only fifteen years and see the change and understanding that has come pertaining to the Kingdom of God and be encouraged, many who rejected the message of the kingdom now preach that very gospel. Father is building His church and His new creation man is finding expression.

Be encouraged as this teaching will revisit many areas as to what is already a complete and finished work by Jesus Christ and now these truths once again need revisiting and find stature in the body of Christ.

Read on:….

CORPORATE KINGDOM 

One of the results of personal, individual, kingdom righteousness is that corporate patterns of life will begin to be ordered by the ways and will of God. Men begin to rule everything over which they have authority according to the ways of God instead of the ways of fallen man.

Some people are beginning to realize the degree of dominion and potency delegated to mankind for ruling the world systems and the planet. Mankind is not at the mercy of “mother nature” or any other aspect of the world. On the contrary, the world systems and planet Earth are at the mercy of mankind. The collective effect of multitudes of people living their lives according to the ways of the Babylonian kingdom of darkness is great disorder and stress on all the systems of man and earth. Left unchanged this could eventually lead to total destruction. In contrast, the collective effect of multitudes of people living their lives according to the ways of the New Jerusalem kingdom of God is great peace, order, and prosperity for mankind and the planet.

All systems of life on earth will be positively affected by the kingdom of God lifestyle in men.  Social, economic, political, and ecological systems will prosper and eventually come into peaceful order. The negative trends of destruction and disorder brought about by selfishness will reverse and the earth can become renewed. Even the weather will improve as delicate ecological balances damaged by man’s selfishness and greed is repaired. Storms will decrease in number and intensity as global warming is reversed and stabilized causing tropical temperatures to moderate slightly.

Romans 8:19, 21-22: For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God…because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now.

With natural understanding, we cannot see nor understand the link between man’s beliefs and actions and the natural systems of the planet. Even with all the knowledge we have acquired, natural man cannot see very far into the spiritual realm. Therefore, we have little understanding regarding the impact of what we believe, say, and do upon the natural occurrences of the planet. We can, however, with the application of some wisdom, begin to realize the cost of the negative ways of man upon the ecological, social, economic, and political systems of our world.

It may be impossible for us to imagine all the ramifications of mankind living in obedience to God. There is more than plenty of everything on this planet that mankind could ever need. Consider what good could be done with the vast amounts of money, resources, and manpower that mankind would not spend on war, if nations no longer went to war. What about the many billions of rand’s and dollars and man-hours spent on sin-related diseases like AIDS or property loss due to violence and negligence? Consider the tremendous cost of crime. Unbelievable efforts and resources currently go toward providing law enforcement agencies, costly prisons, and an expensive judicial system. And what about the therapy and counselling needed to try to put back together the confused psyche of masses of people damaged by stress and fear? Who can even imagine the total cost of productive lives lost due to drugs and alcohol? The list of costs for disobedience goes on and on. If all this cost could be saved and applied to doing good and loving one another, there would be plenty of everything for everyone.

“Oh!” you say, “This is an impossible dream and can never really happen.” Tell that to Jesus! This is why He came to earth and taught the kingdom of God way of life. This is why He died on the cross, was resurrected, ascended into heaven, and returned to earth in the Holy Spirit to live in man and produce His kingdom lifestyle! You tell Him it can’t be done! Personally, I know by the authority of His Word, it is being done one heart, one life at a time; he is establishing His rule, His kingdom. God is looking for and finding people who will give up their ways, their greed, their needs and wants, to obey Him and walk in intimacy with Him.

Yes, the wicked are becoming more vile. Yes, the numbers of greedy men who despise the way of God are increasing. Yes, the enemy is having a blast stealing, killing, and destroying men, women and innocent children while much of the church seems powerless to do anything about it and, often, even becomes a part of the problem. Yes, we see governments faltering and unable to even slow down the degradation of society. Yes, we see mankind on the verge of destruction by his sinful ways. No doubt the fires of judgment are kindled on earth and the wrath of God is stored up against this evil. Yes, it may get worse before it gets better; but as Christ Jesus lives in godly people it will get better.

What part of this worldly wickedness is greater than God?  Even during this rampant evil, there are many extremely godly men and women that God is raising up in the world. These are men and women with levels of commitment toward God and a sense of destiny that compels them to live godly in Christ Jesus. These are not just churchy, religious, baby Christians. They are a mighty army of mighty men and women of God, people of valour that God is raising up in business, in the military, in government, in the family, etc., as educators, scientists, apostolic ministers, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and kingdom teachers. Their primary purpose in life is to intimately know the Lord and totally serve Him.

People of God, it is not time to draw back nor to be downcast. We are entering the most victorious season of earth—the season in which the wrath of God’s love will cleanse the earth and the season when the mercy and grace of God’s love will cause the righteous, mature sons to shine forth as the sun (Matthew 13:40-43).

The focus of Christians has been so greatly diverted by theological teachings toward events in the future, that many have missed and are yet missing the awesome potential of God’s provision for today. We are now living in the “end of the age.” This is the time looked forward to by the writers of the New Testament. God is ready and everything is in place to restore His ways to our world. Many individuals are bringing forth the kingdom of God on earth in their own lives and families. Some are doing it without realizing what they are actually doing. Enlightenment and understanding of the kingdom will move our focus from “future end-time theology” to overcoming the kingdom of darkness and bringing forth the kingdom of God now on our planet.

THE END TIMES   

End-time theology is an area I have not received great revelation on or that I greatly enjoy looking into. By no means do I think I have all the answers. Bible school and years of being taught different teachers’ views gave me traditional knowledge through other men. Please do not think the things we present are because of ignorance of the traditional views as taught on the “pre’s and post’s” of eschatology. Though I know the views and at different times have held different ones, I cannot rest in any of the many camps of theological traditions. The revelation of the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached and taught replaces our many end-time theological views.

We must begin with the firm realization that the kingdom of God is now, always was, and forever shall be.

We must also fully recognize that Jesus has completely and forever defeated the devil and given authority to believers in His name over all the power of the enemy.

There is no more for Jesus to do apart from mankind to establish His kingdom over the kingdom of darkness on earth. He does not need to return bodily to defeat the enemy and set His people free from the devil’s bondage. Neither has He surrendered this planet or His people to the devil. He does not need to plan another rescue attempt for His children. Jesus has already gained the victory and now Christ lives in His people as the Victor. He waits only for us to stop listening to the deception of the devil and begin to hear and believe the good news of the sovereign “ruler/dominion” (kingdom) of God in us.

Before getting deeply involved in what happens next, we need to fully grasp what is happening now. The urgent matter is not when or exactly how the next theological event will occur. The most important thing by far is that we get a real revelation of who we are in Christ now according to the Word and the Spirit of God.

We would think it very strange if some people were seated at a table of wonderful, tasty food, which included all their favourite dishes prepared just the way they like them. Yet, all they could think or talk about was what they were going to have for supper later. We would think it a real shame and loss for them to miss the wonderful meal prepared for them. The one who prepared the delicious meal would probably be very disappointed as the bountiful gift was ignored in favour of what might come later.

If I was an enemy and desired to steal a bountiful meal from you, one of the things I might do is try to divert your attention elsewhere. Diversion is a trick used by pickpockets and sleight-of-hand artists.  God, help me not to be tricked out of Your wonderful provisions. Open my eyes to see who I really am and what I really have in Christ Jesus NOW.

 THE NOW TIME

  • I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS!

2 Corinthians 5:21:For He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 

  • I’M BLESSED WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN HEAVENLY PLACES!

Ephesians 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. 

  • AS JESUS CHRIST IS IN THE WORLD SO AM I!

I John 4:17b: as He is so are we in the world. 

  • I’M BORN AGAIN BY THE WORD OF GOD!

1 Peter 1:23: …having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. 

  • I’M REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD!

Ephesians 1:7: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. 

  • I AM COMPLETE IN JESUS!

Colossians 2:9-10: For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the head of all principality and power.

  • MY SINS ARE NAILED TO THE CROSS!

Colossians 2:14b: And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 

  • I’M SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE!

Ephesians 1:13b:  in Whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. 

  • I RULE AND REIGN IN THE NAME OF JESUS!

Romans 5:17b:  those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One Jesus Christ. 

  • I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!

Romans 8:37:  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors  through Him Who loves us.

  • I TAKE DOMINION!

Genesis 1:28:  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion”

  • I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME!

Philippians 4:13:  I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. 

  • I AM STRENGTHENED IN ALL MIGHT BY HIS GLORIOUS POWER!

Colossians 1:9b-10a:   being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to His glorious power…

  • ALL THINGS ARE UNDER THE FEET OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! HE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO BE THE HEAD OF ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH!

Ephesians 1:22-23: And He put all things under His feet, and  gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all.                                      

  • MY WEAPONS ARE MIGHTY IN GOD, TO THE TEARING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS, CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, SPECULATIONS, EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD! I BRING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST!

2 Corinthians 10:4-5: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 

  • THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS ALREADY APPEARED FOR THIS REASON, TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE ENEMY!

 1John 3:8b: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 

  • HE DISARMED HIM, MADE A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF HIM!

Colossians 2:15: Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them in it. 

  • HE HAS GIVEN ME AUTHORITY, WITH THE WORD AND IN HIS NAME TO HAVE POWER OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY!

Ephesians 1:19, 3:20b, 6:10:  and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, — according to the power that works in us, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord  and in the  power of His might.

Philippians 2:10: … that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…

Colossians 2:9-10:   For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the head of all principality and power.”

Hebrews 4:12a: For the word of God is living and powerful…

Luke 10:19a: Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy… 

  • I ALWAYS TRIUMPH IN JESUS’ NAME!

2 Corinthians 2:14a:  Now thanks be to God  Who always leads us in triumph  in Christ… 

  • HIS WORD NEVER RETURNS VOID!

Isaiah 55:11:  So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 

  • I COME BOLDLY BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE! I RECEIVE MERCY AND GRACE!

Hebrews 4:16:  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

  • IN THE NAME OF JESUS I COMMAND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS!

Mark 16:17a:  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…

What I bind on earth is bound from heaven, and what I loose on earth is loosed from heaven (Matthew 16:19, 18:18). If any two agree on earth, they will have what they ask (Matthew 18:19). If I believe in my heart when I pray and doubt not, I shall have what I say (Mark 11:24). All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23). If I abide in Him, I ask what I will, and it shall be done (John 15:7). I receive the finished work of the cross, proclaim liberty and freedom, and speak peace.  God, help me to realize my potential and to be who I am in Christ NOW.

These attributes are promised in the Word of God. If you are not experiencing them in your life pray in faith and ask God to make them real in your life. Believe you receive them when you pray and you will have them (Mark 11:24). If you have difficulty believing them in your heart, begin speaking them out loud repeatedly. You will find that your heart will begin to believe the truth that you are speaking and eventually you will have what you say (Mark 11:23).

With the heart we believe unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10). It will greatly benefit our life to plant these truths of the Word in our heart. A good way to do that is to stand and speak them out loud with strength until they become planted in our spirit.

NOW:

I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS! 

I’M BLESSED WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES!

AS JESUS CHRIST IS IN THE WORLD SO AM I!

I’M BORN AGAIN BY THE WORD OF GOD!  

I’M REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD! 

I AM COMPLETE IN JESUS! 

MY SINS ARE NAILED TO THE CROSS! 

I’M SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE! 

I RULE AND REIGN IN THE NAME OF JESUS! 

I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!  I TAKE DOMINION!  

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME! 

I AM STRENGTHENED IN ALL MIGHT BY HIS GLORIOUS POWER!

ALL THINGS ARE UNDER THE FEET OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! HE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO BE THE HEAD OF ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH!

MY WEAPONS ARE MIGHTY IN GOD, TO THE TEARING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS, CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, SPECULATIONS, EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD! I BRING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST! 

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS ALREADY APPEARED FOR THIS REASON, TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE ENEMY!

HE DISARMED HIM, MADE A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF HIM! 

HE HAS GIVEN ME AUTHORITY, WITH THE WORD AND IN HIS NAME TO HAVE POWER OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY!

I ALWAYS TRIUMPH IN JESUS’ NAME! HIS WORD NEVER RETURNS VOID! I COME BOLDLY BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE! I RECEIVE MERCY AND GRACE! 

IN THE NAME OF JESUS I COMMAND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS!                                  

We must recognize our potential and become the purified, powerful Bride. Now is the time to lay aside our powerless religious traditions and be prepared as the Bride of Christ, the Body in which Christ dwells. There is a need for healing in the church. The concepts of Babylon have become unhealthy traditions within the church. The faith and practices of individuals have been perverted by relentless attacks from the enemy. God has provided and is providing all that is needed to heal and prepare His Bride.
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I trust this was encouraging to you

“Teachers of the scriptures maybe we need revisit these truths in order to establish and encourage the community of believers in order to live and give expression, now, today”

Trev

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The Church on Trial

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The Church on Trial
Through this past year and where I find myself at present I have come into contact with much diverse opinion as to what the church of the Lord Jesus should look like. How it should behave and what revelation is “the” revelation of the day. Doctrinal issues in sincere believers have had an on-going impact within the church through generations bringing division and conflict, and so it is today. In many ways the church has put itself on trial.
I trust this document will stimulate a fresh understanding and outlook toward one another and the church of the Lord Jesus.
Trevor

NAVIGATING MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

Mitigate: to make mild, soft, or tender; to make or become milder, less severe, less rigorous, or less painful; moderate. “Webster”
It seems that much of what we have known as church is now on trial in the minds and discussions of many sincere believers. Some are issuing warnings regarding false apostles, prophets and teachers—some of whom are genuine brothers who are simply in different places in their understanding.
Can true brothers believe and propagate falsehoods?
Can false brothers believe and propagate truths?
Are we to know people by their doctrine?
CHURCH VENUES ON TRIAL
Many are critically examining issues of traditional patterns, religious practices, and institutional constructs.
Others are defending what they’ve always known and understood to be within the will of God. They point to all of the good that is being accomplished in the name of the Lord.
Tragically, lifelong relationships are being trashed because of new insights and revelation on the part of some. Believers are at war with other believers over intellectual conclusions. This should not be so. God blesses the humble, the meek, and looks into our hearts. Realize that:
A good principle . . .
• held in an unhealed heart
• implemented with unclean hands
• propagated with crooked feet
• expressed beyond legitimate boundaries
. . . becomes a bad principle.
Paul held his higher learning at bay, realizing its limitations, submitting to the mind of Christ. His testimony will serve us well as we prepare our hearts for the forthcoming dialogues that are necessary for further ecclesial progress to be realized.
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. I Cor 2:1-5
Paul then acknowledges speaking wisdom among those who are mature. But, he qualifies doing so by pointing out: not the wisdom of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory. Verses 6-7a
Today many say they are compelled and have a responsibility to share their newest revelation with whomever, be it the weak or unlearned at the expense of relationship and ignoring consequence.
We release the love and wisdom of God through our own brokenness, weakness, fear and trembling. Doing so may qualify us to be useful in the work of reconciliation and reformation that will lead to revolution. We will fail if we begin with revolution. We must begin with reconciliation. God is not willing that any should perish! He is far more inclusive than many of today’s believers. The wisdom from above—provided for the asking in faith—blends our understanding of God with our understanding of people, and delivers us from our carnal pharisaic tendencies.

MINISTRY WORKERS ON TRIAL

“House Church.” “Simple church.” “Emerging Church.” Some brethren within these contemporary spheres are critical of brethren who are remaining, and labouring within more traditional and institutional settings. Put upon the defensive, both “groups” eagerly bring to light the weaknesses of the “others.” Bottom line: the religious spirit of denominationalism is alive and well on planet earth. And, principalities and powers of darkness continue to go unchallenged. Unfortunately, those who rush to judgment erroneously mark others as “false apostles, false prophets, and false teachers.” There are false ministries. But, we need to discern between the false ministries and those true brothers who still believe false doctrines.
If it were not for God’s gracious gift of repentance, I would be (and have been) considered a false minister.
As Paul wrote, Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me. Philippians 3:12
James warns that teachers will receive a stricter judgment. James 3:1 An elder is to be publicly rebuked when two or three witnesses support an accusation. Timothy 5:19-20
These were not declarations of “open season” for all of us to shoot at one another! Context shows that the privilege and responsibility of bringing redemptive correction is inherent within New Covenant relationships and New Covenant church construct.

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

??We have too few New Covenant relationships and not enough New Covenant church construct.
These lacks seem to open the door for a significant variety of snipers.
??Who among us can in good conscience be critical of those who have gone before us? They all knew in part and prophesied in part. Yet, we respect the patriarchs—fathers in the faith—for who they were and the contributions they made (even present fathers who have ploughed the ground before us in this present season)—regardless of how incomplete their teaching was, or the mixture of fruit they produced.
??Today’s revelation should never be a rebuke or judgment upon yesterday’s genuine ministerial accomplishments. We should be able to make appropriate adjustments without second-guessing what we did or failed to do in the past. This is still the day of salvation, grace is still operational, and God is not finished with us yet!
??Two thousand years of cumulative error and building upon false foundations cannot be corrected in a moment, or by human judgments. If it were so, Luther’s contribution would have completely transformed the church to the original and ultimate intention of God.
??Those whom Paul named, and those whom he rebuked face-to-face, were people he personally knew. Scripture reveals Paul’s intentional effort to relate to Peter and the others long before the occasion when he corrected Peter. (He never functioned outside of relationships at this level)
??Accountability was built into first century church construct. There was only one church, served by one elder body, in any locality.
??Maverick Lone Rangers were easily identified and marked. Not so today.
??Christians who are organized under a variety of banners are responsible for many humanitarian efforts that bring honour to the name of Christ. God still loves the world!
??Many who identify with newer venues have yet to grasp and realistically respond to the challenges of our incarnational and mission mandates. Neither mandate will be fulfilled by only parts of the body!
??Building according to our own understanding and preferences misses the mark of our “one another” challenges.
??Inclusive dialogue in every locality is our high-priority agenda.

THE PASSION OF CHRIST IS FOR THE ONENESS AND FULNESS OF HIS BODY
Can you imagine Jesus when He was here in His original “earth suit,” and one member of His earthly body warring against another with railing accusations – for example, left arm and right leg slugging it out? If you are tracking with me, you might be thinking what I am thinking: “Impossible!”
Can we, by faith, translate that into our contemporary situation? We are His body on the earth, His present-day, twenty-first century “earth suit!” That’s right! Jesus is here in His “earth suit” today, just as eager to reveal the Father as He was prior to His physical death and burial. His 24/7 presence in His “earth suit” puts Him in many places all the time. His eternal objective is to reveal God’s glory throughout the earth.
To them (His saints) God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labour, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. Colossians 1:27-29
Jesus was at peace in His own skin, and desires to be at peace in His own skin on the earth today—His new wineskin, the body of Christ.
Jesus’ passionate prayer recorded in John 17 primarily focuses upon the unity of His body with the Godhead, and the corresponding revelation of the glory of God.
And the glory, which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one, just as We are one. John 17:22
Paul prayed,
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23
Grace is the way to glory! Faithfully exercising our God-given grace to see one another in the Spirit, will allow us to marvel at the glory of God in one another. This will allow us access into the mystery of grace and glory, and to begin manifesting what creation cries to see.

“JUST AS I AM, WITHOUT ONE PLEA!”

The rules do not change once we are in the game! The One who initiated our redemption and relationship with Father will bring it to completion. This is true for me, and it is also true for you! Therefore, any dialogue we enjoy is a gift and privilege from heaven, and carries with it some serious responsibilities.
??We are to love and honour one another.
??We are to respect the integrity of one another.
??We are to understand that we are on level ground.
??We are to remember that revelation comes by the Spirit.
??We are to realize that unity does not preclude diversity.
??We are to turn off the spigot when the flow stops.
We are not suggesting that our minds be put in neutral. It is amazing, though, how Scripture balances itself when approached prayerfully. Consider the context of these three verses:
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved of God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings; for they will increase to more ungodliness. II Timothy 2:14-16
The proper ministration of the word of truth is not to digress (to go off on a tangent) into profane and idle babblings, or encompass strife. Our attitude or our manner of speech should never be cause of embarrassment to us, or others.

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Kingdom Dynamics 20

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THY KINGDOM COME . . .

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

We have prayed that so many times, as most of us learned it when we were young. I wonder if we really understand the impact of these words, which I believe are some of the most potent in all of Scripture.

Join me as I ponder and allow me to muse a bit here. In that prayer, we are dealing with two seemingly diametrically opposed dimensions: heaven and earth.

Paul even uses the analogy of heaven and earth to describe two opposite natures- the first man (Adam) and the second Man (Christ). “The first man [was] from out of earth, made of dust (earthly-minded); the second Man [is] the Lord from out of heaven. Now those who are made of the dust are like him who was first made of the dust (earthly-minded); and as is [the Man] from heaven, so also [are those] who are of heaven (heavenly-minded).” (1 Corinthians 15:47-48 Amplified Bible)

Earth speaks of that which is finite, heaven speaks of that which is infinite. The earth speaks of chaos; “And the earth was without form, and void…” (Genesis 1:2) Heaven speaks of order, as it is referred to as a Kingdom; “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto…” (Matthew 13:24) And yet God created these two seemingly diametrically opposed dimensions- heaven and earth; “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Interestingly enough, God looked at this seeming contradiction and considered it was good! “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…” (Genesis 1:31)

It would seem that heaven provides “spirit”, and earth provides “form”… allow me to explain. We know that “God is a Spirit…” (John 4:24) (the “a” is not really in the text) and that He is “Our Father which art in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9). So God, who is spirit and is in heaven, spoke to Himself and said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26) If God, who IS spirit and is IN heaven made a man in His image, then this man would be a heavenly spiritual man, would he not?

Also consider Genesis 1:27, as it says “So God CREATED man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” God CREATED this man in Genesis chapter 1. However when we come to Genesis 2:7 it states that, “…the LORD God FORMED man of the dust of the ground…” The meaning of this word “formed”, yatsar in Hebrew, is “through the squeezing into shape”, to mould into a form especially as a potter.
So the man that was CREATED in Genesis chapter 1 was created from SPIRIT, and the man that was FORMED in Genesis chapter 2 was formed from the EARTH. Father creates in spirit before things manifest in the earth.
I believe that Adam had the potential to be the perfect union of the Spirit Man and the earth man, however we find that he, through sin, became the earthly carnal man.

Before Adam ever had an opportunity to transgress, in His sovereignty and perfect timing, Father already had a “convergence” planned to remedy this unfortunate situation. Let us read about it; “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…” (Galatians 4:4), “…God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Romans 8:3) This is perhaps the epitome of things seemingly diametrically opposed- Father’s own Son, yet in the likeness of sinful flesh. Jesus the Christ was the perfect convergence of the Spirit Man and the earth man. His was the Life in which heaven and earth converged, and this “convergence” happened precisely when the fullness of the time was come.

May I submit to you that in His sovereignty and perfect timing Father has another “convergence” planned? We can read about it in Ephesians 1:10, ” [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in HEAVEN and things on the EARTH.” (Amplified Bible) Just as heaven and earth converged in the Life of His begotten Son, so it shall converge again in the Life of a Corporate Son, as He is “…bringing many sons unto glory…” (Hebrews 2:10) This “convergence” in the Life of a Corporate Son will in turn bring forth a “convergence” of global proportion that will manifest in the natural realm, thus affecting all of creation.

And how, you ask, will all this come to pass?.. It will be the direct fulfilment of the cry, “Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10) Words act as containers, and contained within the words of this potent prophetic decree is the spiritual substance that shall bring it to pass in its’ fullness!

So, what does this mean?… “Thy kingdom come.” Obviously it speaks of HIS Kingdom, and the Kingdom is simply an extension of the identity of the King. The word translated as “kingdom” is basileia in Greek. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon includes this definition: 1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule; 1a) not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom. It is important to understand the latter part of that definition. Many in Christendom today are looking for a literal Kingdom, the New Jerusalem, to somehow fall from the sky. Perhaps we have seen a few too many science fiction movies? (smile)

The Kingdom of God is the power, the dominion, the right and authority to rule over a kingdom; and the Kingdom is IN the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is IN us! “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy IN the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17) “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you.” (Luke 17:21)

So when we pray, “Thy kingdom come!”, we must not be looking for some abstract external event. We must understand the way the Kingdom has entrance into this natural earthly realm is THROUGH US!

The word translated as “come” in the phrase “Thy Kingdom come” is erchomai in Greek. Its’ meanings include- to accompany, appear, bring, come, enter. As I looked through the frequent usage of this word in the New Testament, it seemed to be used mostly in the context of “persons” coming, appearing, entering; it is used much less frequently in the context of “things” coming. This confirms the idea of the Kingdom “coming” or “appearing” because the Kingdom is essentially an extension of the identity of the King. The Kingdom is not so much a “thing” as it is a Person… the Person of Christ the King! Perhaps one fulfilment of the prayer, “Thy kingdom come!” might be found in 1 John 4:17, “…as HE (Christ, the Kingdom) IS, so are WE (appearing) in this world.”

It is also important to note that erchomai in Greek is used only in the present and imperfect tenses. Bear with me for a quick but relevant grammar lesson. The present tense is INTERNAL, that is, it portrays the action from the inside of the event without regard for beginning or end. It is sometimes called progressive. It basically represents an activity as in PROCESS or in progress. Like the present tense, the imperfect tense displays an internal aspect. This contrasts with the aorist tense, which portrays the action in summary. For the most part, the aorist takes a snapshot of the action while the imperfect (like the present) takes a motion picture, portraying the action as it UNFOLDS.

This speaks volumes as it confirms the INTERNAL and progressive PROCESS of the UNFOLDING revelation of Christ (the Kingdom) within US! Let our urgent cry be, Thy Kingdom COME!

We also have a poignant prophetic picture in Acts 1:11; “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so COME (erchomai) in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” In a literal picture, here we find Jesus the Christ RISING UP from the EARTHLY natural realm, ascending into the HEAVENLY realm. Now shift with me into the spiritual significance of this prophetic picture. The promise was that He shall so COME (erchomai) in like manner. I believe that Father is preparing a people in which the character and nature of Christ is RISING UP causing us to ascend from life lived from the EARTHLY natural realm, into a Life that originates from the HEAVENLY realm. “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.” (Revelation 12:5) The net effect of Jesus ascending to heaven was that His Spirit was released into the realm of the earth. The net effect of our ascending into a Life that originates from the heavenly realm, is that HEAVEN will be released into the realm of the EARTH. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come (erchomai). And let him that heareth say, Come! (erchomai)…” (Revelation 22:17)

So we have seen that the Kingdom “coming” is not so much an abstract external event, as it is an internal and progressive process of the unfolding revelation of Christ (the Kingdom) within a people. Now let us move to the next part of the verse; “…Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

The word translated as “will” in the phrase “Thy will be done” is thelema in Greek. Its’ meanings include- a determination, specifically purpose, decree; abstractly volition. Father already has a WILL, a purpose, a DECREE over everything! “Declaring the END from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I WILL DO all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10) Even the things that Father has not yet brought to pass in this natural realm were DECLARED from the beginning, and from ancient times! Ephesians 1:11 explains further, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated ACCORDING TO the PURPOSE of Him who worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of His OWN WILL:” Father is indeed working all things, yes ALL things according to His purpose and will!

And what is His purpose, what is His will?… Back up one verse and we will see it, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things IN Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even IN Him:” (Ephesians 1:10) Let us consider this verse closer.

When most of us read the word “dispensation” we tend to think it is a particular measure of time, i.e. the “dispensation of grace”, etc. This is an unfortunate assumption, because that is not really what the word means. The word translated as “dispensation” is oikonomia in Greek. We get our English word economy from oikonomia. Its’ meanings include- administration (of a household or estate); specifically a religious economy: – dispensation, stewardship. Thayer’s gives it this definition- the management of a household or of household affairs. Rather than a particular measure of time, it is more the idea of management, economy, stewarding of a household. As you read the word “economy” don’t think just of money either. Here are a couple more definitions of the word “economy” from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary- the arrangement or mode of operation of something, a SYSTEM especially of INTERACTION and exchange. An economy encompasses all areas of life. Once again, this sounds like Father working ALL things according to His purpose and will! Keep this definition of economy in mind as we move to define “the fullness of times.”

The word translated as “fullness” is pleroma in Greek, its’ meanings include- that which is or has been filled, repletion or COMPLETION. It is from the Greek word pleroo, which means to make replete, that is, literally to CRAM as a net. The word translated as “of times” is kairos in Greek, its’ meanings include- set or proper time, the appointed time, a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive EPOCH waited for.

So, let’s put all this together and answer the question, What is His purpose, what is His will?… It is the operation and working of all interaction in every area of life to bring to completion the decisive epoch waited for! So much for living a hum-drum mediocre life! Christianity is not meant to be boring. Father does NOT call us to mediocrity! Don’t get me wrong, this does not always mean glitz, glamour, signs, wonders and miracles either. Raising your kids or working at the factory or office may not be very glamorous, but it can be filled and crammed with kairos- appointed times. We must shift from a “chronos” natural time mentality and understand that we are living in “kairos” appointed time, epoch time, and it is pregnant with Father’s purpose and will.

This working of all interaction in every area of life to bring to completion the decisive epoch waited for is in order that “He might gather together in one all things IN Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even IN Him:” It is ALL working towards a “convergence” of heaven and earth! Do I live as if ALL things are IN Christ?… or is it only my so-called “spiritual life” that is IN Christ?

With an understanding of what His will is, we can move on in the verse; “…be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” The word translated as “be done” is ginomai in Greek, its’ meanings include- to cause to be, it is the “gen” in the English word generate, to become or come into being, be brought (to pass), be fulfilled. As we pray, Thy will be done, it is a creative declaration that reaches into the spiritual realm and serves as a catalyst for His will to be “gen” -erated, a spiritual genesis established in earth, thus causing it to be manifested in the natural realm. It is much more than just wishful thinking! It is a creative genesis!

Now we move on to a fascinating paradigm shift in our thinking; “…in earth, as it is in heaven.”
With an understanding of what His will is, we can move on in the verse; “…be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” The word translated as “be done” is ginomai in Greek, its’ meanings include- to cause to be, it is the “gen” in the English word generate, to become or come into being, be brought (to pass), be fulfilled. As we pray, Thy will be done, it is a creative declaration that reaches into the spiritual realm and serves as a catalyst for His will to be “gen” -erated, a spiritual genesis established in earth, thus causing it to be manifested in the natural realm. It is much more than just wishful thinking! It is a creative genesis!

Now we move on to a fascinating paradigm shift in our thinking; “…in earth, as it is in heaven.” You would think that in translation where you have two different words in the same sentence you would translate them as different words. Here you have two uses of the English word “in” in the same sentence; however they are two different words in Greek. The word translated as “in” in the phrase “in earth” is epi in Greek. This is not the usual word for “in” that we find in Greek. The word translated as “in” in the phrase “in heaven” is en in Greek. The Greek word epi is a primary preposition properly meaning SUPERIMPOSITION of time, place, order, etc.

So when we decree, Thy will be done IN earth, what we are really declaring is this- Thy will be gen-erated, creating a new genesis in this natural realm and SUPERIMPOSED upon the earth. When I look at it in this light it makes me think of overshadowing; “While He yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him…. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw NO MAN, save Jesus ONLY.” (Matthew 17:5, 8) The result of this overshadowing was this- they saw NO MAN, they saw Jesus ONLY! Father, our prayer is that we might see a complete OVERSHADOWING of heaven in earth, that in ALL things Christ, and Christ alone would be seen!

I have always seen the EARTH in the phrase, “in earth as it is in heaven”, to mean the “earth” of these earthen vessels that we are; “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the Excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) in other words, His will being done in US as earthen vessels. I still believe it can certainly be applied to us as earthen vessels, however it behooves us to look at the the real meaning of the word.

The word translated as “earth” is ge (pronounced ghay) in Greek. It means soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application): – country, ground, land, world. When I pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”, I am decreeing that His will be superimposed upon the literal earth, that His will be superimposed upon the natural realm! Yes, His will is a spiritual thing but it must ultimately be manifested in this natural realm. The Church has mostly been preoccupied with trying to get people of the earth ready to go to heaven, when Father’s will is rather to bring heaven to the people of the earth!

Now on to the next phrase, “…as it is in heaven.” First, we must recognize that the words “it is” have been added and are not in the original text. It should read, “…as in heaven.” The word translated as “as” is hos in Greek. It means- which how, that is, in that manner, according as, even as, like (as, unto). The word translated as “in” is en in Greek. It is a primary preposition denoting FIXED POSITION (in place, time or state), a relation of REST. Let’s put that all together and we come up with this declaration- His will be superimposed upon the natural realm, in the SAME MANNER as His will IS a FIXED POSITION in heaven, a relation of REST because it was FINISHED from the foundation of the world! “For we which have believed do enter into REST… although the works were FINISHED from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:3)

What an all inclusive, all encompassing decree that Jesus Himself has given us, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) As I said from the outset of this writing, I believe those are some of the most potent words in all of Scripture. May they not be just words, however. May “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” characterize the very essence of our lives! May we BECOME the fulfilment of this prayer, as we continue to press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ!

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Kingdom Dynamics 19

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When Heaven invaded the earth -The Inauguration of the Kingdom

In this study we will focus on the inauguration of the Kingdom through the Holy Spirit as described in the Book of Acts.

“To whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God:” Acts 1:3

“And when they had appointed him a day, they came to him into his lodging in great number; to whom he expounded the matter, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning till evening. preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, none forbidding him.” Acts 28:23,24. (Acts 1:6 , 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25)

When Jesus came to earth, the Kingdom of God invaded the Kingdoms of men. Mark the way it came about through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 1, God’s plan focuses on His kingdom. What is the kingdom of God? (Vv.3, 6.) Did you notice that God’s plan prepared the disciples for His mission through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit? (Acts 1; 5,8)
In Acts 2 the Spirit initiated a working model of the Kingdom. A new society was born in the midst of the old one. The “New” Jerusalem was born in “Old” Jerusalem. Amidst the religious pomp and ceremony of the old covenant the New Testament people came into being.

A new race of humanity was born, the Christian race, a royal priesthood. Jesus Himself was the firstborn of this new race. (Ro. 8:29) He was the firstborn of many brethren. Jesus founded a new humanity: twice-born men and women. Born by the will of God.

They are the redeemed community. They are new creations. Old things are passed away. All things are made new. They are the colony of heaven; they are now strangers to this world.

A. DEMONSTRATING THE KINGDOM

With Pentecost a new era begins, the age of the Holy Spirit. He is not merely a power, capacity, or attribute of God or a conscious ego of a will, but a Divine Super Personality:

? He speaks and calls Acts 13:2
? He commands, permits Acts 16:6,7
? He leads Rom. 8:14
? He instructs John 16:13
? He comforts John 14:26
? He intercedes, Rom. 8:26
? He bears witness Rom. 8:16
? He can be grieved Eph. 4:3

All these expressions can be used only of a living, personal Being.
B. CONFIRMING THE PRESENCE OF THE KINGDOM

Under the old Covenant the Spirit worked only to educate and to make capable for service: in the New Testament He works in manifold ways, mainly for the awakening of faith and obedience to Christ.

1. Seek to lead to salvation as the Spirit of Truth

“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to Me” (Jn. 15:26) – for effecting the new birth.

2. Seek to lead the lost from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

“He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, (Col 1:13)

3. Dispensing life as the Spirit of Sonship.

“For the Spirit which you have now received is not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage of fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption – the Spirit producing sonship in which we cry, ‘Abba Father’ (Ro. 8:15)

4. Educating as the Spirit of Holiness

“Do you not know that your body is the temple – the very sanctuary – of the Holy Spirit who lives within you, whom you have received as a gift from God. You are not your own.” (1 Co. 6:19)

5. Equipping as the Spirit of Power

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear – but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm, and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” (2 Ti. 1:7)

6. Transfiguring as the Spirit of Glory

“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” (1 Pe. 1:14)

C. EQUIPPING THE KINGDOM DISCIPLES

Scripture emphasizes in 1 Corinthians 4 verse 20, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power”. All power belongs to God. (Rev 19:1) All members of the Trinity. “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” represent this divine power. (2 Co 13:4, 1 Co 5:4, Gal 4:29) All supernatural power is imparted to man through the Holy Spirit (Eph 3:16, Ro 15:9).

We are engage in Christian service, only through supernatural power which qualifies us to contribute significantly to the extension the Kingdom of God. We need divine unction for both holiness and ministry effectiveness.
It was the Pentecost experience, which transformed Simon Peter, setting him ablaze for God. After he was filled with the Holy Spirit, we observe in his ministry a new release of:

? Power in faith Acts 3:6, 9:34
? Power in prayer Acts 4:23-31
? Power in witnessing Acts 10:34-44
? Power in preaching Acts 2:14-41
? Power in teaching Acts 4:1-4
? Power in leadership Acts 5:1-ll
? Power to empower others Acts 8:14-17
? Power to perform miracles Acts 5:15.16, 9:36-41

How does your life compared with these 8 evidences of power in Peter’s life?
This evident anointing upon him made Simon Peter a leader who manifested God’s powerful presence in extraordinary ways. He became the channel for all generations to experience conviction of sin, salvation, spiritual progress, miraculous signs and wonders, even God’s judgment. Without this powerful equipping, neither Simon nor his friends would have been able to fulfill the commission the Master had given them. With this power, however, they became instrumental in first establishing the Early Church and then launching a worldwide movement of Christian witness, which, eventually, touched our lives (Acts1:8).

The Great Commission to reach this world for God is still valid today, so is the promise of the Holy Spirit’s power. Without doubt, Christians may attract, entertain, instruct, motivate, challenge and mobilize other people, but they cannot transform their hearts. This is divine work and this is what, in essence, Biblical evangelism and leadership development are all about. What is vital to understand, we can do no more in the church than that which Father by the holy Spirit is doing.

God’s work can be done in God’s way only by God’s power.

In answer to the question of how this endowment can be received today, various requirements have been put forth in the other “Kingdom Dynamics” teaching notes. Quite obviously, stopping short of fulfilling God’s conditions entails stopping short of receiving the fullness of God’s power.

Every Christian possesses a measure of the Spirit of Christ yet He earnestly desires to lead us to true consecration, and inspire us with the faith that is essential to our prevalence in prayer. Let us, then, not grieve or resist Him; but accept the commission, fully consecrate ourselves, with all we have, to the saving and discipling of souls as our great and our only life work. Let us get on to the altar with all we have and are, and lay there and persist in prayer till we receive this full endowment.

D. THE EXTEND OF THE KINGDOM THROUGH MULTIPLICATION

In the Parable of the Mustard Seed (see Mk 4:30-32) the Lord Jesus gave us a glimpse of His vision for the development of the Kingdom of God by highlighting the fact that the smallest seed grows up into the largest garden plant.
Through mentoring the nucleus of His followers the Master made a small initial investment, which in the future would expand into a large network of fruitful ministry connections. By securing their careful preparation as well as divine empowerment He laid the foundation for an unstoppable movement which would derive its dynamic not from any outward means but from the inner momentum of His permanent presence (cf. Mt 28:20) mediated through the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus longed to see a movement spreading like fire (cf. Luke 12:49), affecting all people groups (cf. Mt 28:19), carried forward by individuals strategically sown into the world (cf. Mt 13:37.38), some of them by their lives and ministries producing a hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty. His extended prayer before His arrest further revealed His vision of multiplication. (John 17)
With respect to His global concern and vision Christ did not succeed alone. His unequalled success was sown in the effective leadership ever undertaken.

Drawing on their training experience with Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s power, His handful of disciples were enough to change the course of history; not because of their number but their quality was the key to their fruitfulness in establishing the Kingdom of God.

Over the centuries time and again remarkable multipliers have emerged among God’s people. God is able and desirous to use us today also as multipliers for His Kingdom rule. You and I can make unique contributions to Christ’s cause. The Master’s method has lost none of its inherent power.

? To see the Kingdom of God advance mightily in our day we do not need a new strategy, only more Christlike people to implement Christ’s strategy in divine power.

? Those who have died to themselves and follow Jesus all the way still bear much fruit (cf. John 12:24-26)

? While serving God, are we working with eternity in view? Do we feel dissatisfied with mere temporary results, rather seeking to occupy the time God entrusts to us in such a way that we produce eternal fruit?

? More specifically, as disciples of Jesus, we should pay careful attention to the challenge: Are you leaving your mark for eternity on those around you?

? Christ’s words exhort His followers to lay up treasures in heaven (cf. Mt 6:20) and to be rich before God (cf. Luke 12:21). Yet God alone can grant us lasting treasures and wealth, only what is undertaken in divine strength will pass the test of time and have eternal relevance.

Are we looking forward to the day when – with the Great Commission completed – people from the east and west, north and south will come and participate in the Kingdom feast. (Luke 13:29) When representatives of every nation, tribe, people and tongue will be gathered before the throne of God! (Rev 7:9)? Moreover, are we – by fulfilling our personal commission through holy living and Christ-like leadership practice – speeding the coming of the day when, at last, the Lord Jesus Christ will be fully rewarded for His sufferings? (Is. 53:10.11)

In summary, we conclude that Pentecost was the birthday of the Church and the inaugural day of the Kingdom of God in the full New Testament sense.

Heart searching questions:

? These early disciples focused on Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit testifies to their testimony in many ways. How does the Spirit testify in and through your life?
? They knew they were filled with the Holy Spirit. How do you know you are filled with the Spirit of Christ?
? The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to preach the kingdom of God and the Lordship of Christ. Do you expect from the Holy Spirit to lead you to another approach?
? Are you making Kingdom or Denominational disciples?

For a more in depth understanding of this chapter, go to “Kingdom Dynamics 2” under “Disciples of the Kingdom”
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