The King and His Kingdom – Part Two


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 2

Welcome to session 2 of the King and His Kingdom where we are going to explore some more things about the Kingdom of God.

In the last session we said the following:

  1. We can enter the Kingdom of God here and now.
  2. The Kingdom Prophesied – The promise of the Old Testament was that “…the government will rest on His shoulders….” This promise was fulfilled by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus would permit as many as were willing, to receive sight of this invisible system.
  3. Where is the Kingdom of God? – Jesus said His Kingdom is within us and therefore among us. It is not bound by physical boundaries but is that area where God does things according to His ways (in other words His principles or His Government).
  4. How do we get into His Kingdom? – Jesus said that firstly, we need to be ‘born again’, for this is the way that we catch sight (or become aware of) His kingdom. Next, we need to be ‘…born of water and born of the Spirit…’ in order to enter His kingdom. 
  5. How do we walk in the Kingdom? – Paul tells us in 2 Cor that FAITH must replace human sight as we live daily in God’s Kingdom, because here on earth, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world run in parallel.
  6. Obedience in the Kingdom – Romans 13 says that all authority on earth has been put in place by God. We are all accountable to someone in our lives. ALL have been elected by God to have authority over us. Therefore, if we choose to disobey the worldly authority above us (which are God’s appointed), we are indirectly disobeying God.
  7. A kingdom’s most important asset, are its people. We can judge how Godly a king is by the condition of the people in that kingdom. A quick comparison with worldly kingdoms will show us how wonderfully God blesses His children.

What are the benefits of living in His Kingdom?

Deut.28:1-14 is a very good description of a person who lives according to the principles of God’s Kingdom. Please find time to read this scripture in the next few days as time does not allow us to go through it in this video session.

In the Kingdom of God, we live according to His ‘rule’ or ‘government’ and the results are that, as we obey, we are a people that are blessed.

We see in 2 Cor that God’s promises to us, are ‘in Him’ and ‘in Him is the Amen! (2 Cor.1:20). Therefore, the more we walk in His principles, the more God’s authority will flow through us. We see a good example of this in Acts 19 where the sons of Sceva failed to cast out demons by their own authority.

We become ‘agents’ of the Kingdom here on earth – permitting/forbidding that which has been permitted or forbidden in the Kingdom of Heaven. For example, when we share the Gospel with others, we are ‘permitting’ here on earth that has already been permitted in Heaven. When we do not pay a bribe to others, we are forbidding here on earth that which has been forbidden in Heaven. Agents act, look and feel exactly like their ‘head offices’.

What happens when we do not live according to His principles?

Duet 28: 15-68 describes what happens when we don’t live according to Godly principles.  Once again I would like to encourage us to read this scripture during this coming week as we don’t have time to go through it all on this video. In short, the more we are in His perfect will (His Government), the more we will experience blessings in this life and reward in the next life.

Let’s have a look at these diagrams:

(Fig.1a)

If we were to adhere to God’s principles 100%, we would be 100% blessed and walk 100% in His authority here on earth.

(Fig 1b)

As we partly adhere to God’s principles, we are partly blessed and walk partly in His authority here on earth.

(Fig 1c)

When we do not adhere to Godly principles we cannot be blessed and do not walk in His authority here on earth.

Examples of Godly Principles

There are many of God’s principles to be found in His word. Why not spend a bit of time looking for them and be enriched as the Lord opens these principles to you? Let’s look at some examples:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap..

“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.…

“The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.…”

– “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.…”                       

– “You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY‘; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.…”

It is interesting that if we read these principles and turn them around, we can start to see why perhaps, we are not receiving a blessing from the Lord – in other words, let’s look at the same scriptures and ask ourselves some questions:

In Gal.6:7 – If we feel we are being ‘dealt a bad hand’ in life – we should ask: how are we treating life?

Matt.7:2 – Do we feel we are being unfairly judged by others? – how then, are we judging others daily?

1 Jn.2:9 – Are we going through daily life with unforgiveness in our hearts? – yet we tell others we are Christians?

Col.4:6 – Do we find it difficult to answer and respond to others? – how are we speaking to those around us daily?

And finally – Matt.5:27-28 – we need to check our daily thoughts – not only our actions!

What is the purpose of His Kingdom?

Under the New Covenant, God has permitted all who are willing, to gain sight of the kingdom, and by the power of His Spirit to enable them to live, not according to the world’s system, but according to kingdom principles.

God uses His principles on this earth to refine us. Each difficulty we face, God has permitted into our lives so that we will turn to Him and be strengthened as we overcome it (Rom.8:28).

From the viewpoint of Marriage, God requires ‘Godly offspring’. God’s Principles will help us fulfill our roles as Godly Husbands and Wives to produce Godly offspring. This to ensure that the authority of God is passed on from generation to generation.

It is impossible for us to live according to God’s Principles in our own strength. We need the power of His Spirit indwelling us to strengthen, teach and guide us.

All of this being done to prepare us for the greatest fulfillment of prophecy, the ruling of the saints with Jesus over the “House of Jacob” in the millennial reign.

OK… let’s just recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. What are the benefits of living in His Kingdom? – In the Kingdom of God, we live according to His ‘rule’ or ‘government’ and the results are that we are a people that are blessed. His promises to us are ‘in Him’ and ‘in Him’, is the Amen! The more we walk in His principles, the more God’s authority will flow through us.

We become ‘agents’ (or vessels) of the Kingdom here on earth – permitting/forbidding that which has been permitted or forbidden in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt.16:19).

  • What happens when we do not live according to His principles? – Duet 28: 15-68 describes what happens when we don’t live according to Godly principles.  In short, the more we are in His perfect will (His Government), the more we will experience blessings in this life and reward in the next life. This is also a measure of how God’s authority will flow through us daily (Psa.1:4-6).
  • Examples of Godly Principles – There are many of God’s principles to be found in His word. Why not spend a bit of time looking for them and be enriched as the Lord opens these principles to you? Try turning the principle around to discover why we are not living blessed lives.
  • What is the purpose of His Kingdom? – God uses His principles on this earth to refine us (Ph.2:12). Each difficulty we face, God has permitted into our lives so that we will turn to Him and be strengthened as we overcome them. (Rom.8:28). It is impossible for us to live according to God’s Principles in our own strength. We need the power of His Spirit to strengthen, teach and guide us.

All of this being done to prepare us for the greatest fulfillment of prophecy – the ruling of the saints with Jesus over the “House of Jacob” in the millennial reign as seen in the book of Luke (Luke1: 33).

Please join me next week, for PART 2a, where we will look at some examples of Godly principles and get an indication of how we measure up to them. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The Holy Spirit – Part Four


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares the power of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Video

Session 4

Welcome to number 4 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last week, we had a closer look at some of the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with Him as He resides in us.

Let’s quickly recap what we discussed:

1. A Gift from God – The Holy Spirit is a gift (singular) from God and He brings along with Him gifts of the Spirit (plural)

2. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live in Us – When the Holy Spirit resides in us, we display the Fruit of the Spirit and receive gifts.

3. God’s Nature – The Holy Spirit is the nature of God abiding in us.

4. God’s Tool Box – The Fruit of the Spirit is only part of the equipment we need; the gifts of the Spirit make up the balance.

5. God the Source – The spirit of God (NOT MAN), is the source of the gifts – the gifts glorify God (NOT MAN).

6. Nine Personal Gifts – The language gifts, Knowing or Revelation Gifts and Doing or Power Gifts, make up the group of personal Gifts.

7. Heavenly Language – Tongues is a heavenly language by the power of Holy Spirit, spoken to God – not Man.

8. Interpretation – Paul commands us to pray for interpretation of the heavenly language, so that all may be edified.

9. Prophecy – Words brought by the power of the Holy Spirit from God to man is called prophecy.

10. Given Freely by God – The gifts are given freely by God to all those who desire them.

In session 3, we said that there were nine gifts, which could be split into three groups of three; the first three we discussed were the ‘Language gifts’.  These consisted of:

1) Diverse tongues,     

2) Interpretation and      

3) Prophecy.

The next group of gifts we are going to look at are the gifts of ‘knowing or revelation’.

WORD OF WISDOM (HOW TO)

Word of wisdom is a gift which involves the imparting of divine inspiration to see, understand and respond to life situations from Gods viewpoint.  In other words, receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables one to deal with a specific situation or circumstance.

A good example of this gift is found in Matt. 22, where the scripture says,“…But Jesus, perceiving their malice, said, “Why are you testing me?…”  By divine revelation, Jesus knew that they sought to trap him, but this divine revelation showed him how to answer them in a way that would not allow them to trap him.  It was also a sign of the spirit abiding in him.

WORD OF KNOWLEDGE (ABOUT)

The Word of knowledge is a supernatural revelation of some detail of the knowledge of God.  It is God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know.  It is receiving a portion of the mind of God, about a given life situation, at any one given moment.

A good example of this gift is Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, where He says “ You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband, this you have said truly” (Vs.18).  Her response was, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet”.  In other words, “God, not man, has revealed this thing to you”.

The gift would be used to reveal a vital piece of information that could help deal with certain life situations.  It could also be used as a testimony of the indwelling Sprit in the life of the one having it, to cause others to turn to the truth (as in the case of Jesus at the Well).

DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.

An example of this gift, which operates in the lives of all spirit filled believers at various times, in Acts, where the Spirit revealed to Peter that Simon was trying to buy the gifts of God with Money. Significantly, Peter also had a word of knowledge here as well, when he said to Simon, “…. for I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and bondage of iniquity…”

Finally, we look at the last group of gifts of ‘Doing or Power’.

HEALINGS

The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.  By virtue of the expression ‘gifts of healing’ (plural) in 1 Cor. 12:9, the implication could cover all areas of healing, namely: spiritual, emotional, mental and psychological.

It must be born in mind that this gift is firstly to glorify the name of God as we can see in the scriptures of John, and then for the benefit of the one that has been healed.

WORKING OF MIRACLES

A miracle is a phenomenon that is supernatural – an act contrary to the physical laws of nature.  Miracles defy reason and transcend natural laws. This gift requires God working through individuals to perform the impossible.  An example of miracle working is seen in Acts 13, where Paul is used by God to bring blindness to Elymas in order that Sergius Paulus would come to know the Lord.

FAITH

The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith.  It is the faith to accomplish specific tasks, face potentially overwhelming circumstances, or to persevere in the face of dangerous situations.  We should read Acts 27 sometime this coming week, to see Paul working in the gift of faith.

To try and give us better understanding of what we have been sharing over the last two weeks, let’s have a look at this diagram:

– The fruit of the Spirit can be seen all together (as one unit) in the green section – showing that all parts of the fruit of the Spirit are within us at the same time.

– The Holy Spirit brings ‘gifts’ (plural) with Him.

– The 9 personal gifts as we have been discussing this week and last week, can be seen in three groups.

– Language gifts – made up of Diverse tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy.

– Knowing or Revelation gifts – made up of word of wisdom, word of knowledge and discerning of spirits

– Doing or Power gifts – made up of Healings, Miracles and Faith.

Let’s recap then on what gifts we’ve heard about this week:

  1. Word of Wisdom (How to act or speak) – receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables us to deal with a specific situation or circumstance, is a word of Wisdom.
  2. Word of Knowledge (Know about a situation) – God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know in any circumstance we may face, is a word of Knowledge.
  3. Discerning of Spirits – Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a spoken word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.
  4. Healings – The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.
  5. Working of Miracles – God working through individuals to perform the impossible or an act contrary to the physical laws of nature, is the working of miracles.
  6. Faith – The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith

LET’S PRACTICE….

To close the session, once again, take a few minutes to go around your group, practicing the gifts that we’ve learned about over the last two weeks, as was done before in the previous sessions.

VERY IMOPORTANTLY though – The purpose of this exercise is to help us overcome the ‘fear of man’ (or shyness) – by practicing together. PLEASE – IT IS NOT AN EXERCISE TO FORCE GOD TO ACT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH. Rather simply, the more we practice in front of others, the more confident we will become.

As you pray now – remember:

With the language gifts, we must Firstly, Believe and

Secondly, open our mouths and move our tongues – otherwise absolutely nothing is going to happen!

Thirdly, we must get rid of any unforgiveness or anger in us by praying quietly for the Lord’s help. (remember we said forgiveness is a decision not a feeling!). 

Also, please be sensitive to those who are not comfortable praying out aloud. Don’t force them to pray, but rather allow them to be still and let the Spirit of the Lord, wash over them during this time.

The Lord be with you as you discover new things – In Him!

Thanks so much for spending this time with me – next week in session 5, we’ll look at some more gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us which we’ve grouped as ‘the gifts of Function’.  Until then, Bless you all.

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

Wanted; Dead or Alive


Weekly encouraging messages from our Pastor Ray…..enjoy and be uplifted.

Wanted Dead or Alive?

We’ve heard it said that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, but I wonder if we have really applied deep thought into what actually took place on the Cross at Calvary. Normally when thinking about Jesus’s death, we are inclined to focus on His physical death, the pain suffered, how His body was disfigured and how much it was damaged. Now I certainly don’t wish to take anything away from the seriousness of His physical death, it must have been horrendous to say the least, but is His physical death what the Lord wants us to focus on?

Continue reading “Wanted; Dead or Alive”

Who’s Boss Around Here?


Some may be blessed enough to have a very kind and compassionate boss. Some on the other hand, may not be so blessed. Which category do you fall into?

Most people today are supposed to submit to one kind of authority or another, whether that be in a country (Government), at work (Manager) or perhaps at school/college (Student leaders/Deans). At the very least, we are all accountable to somebody near to us. Owners of companies are accountable to their employees. Husbands and Wives are accountable to each other. Presidents are accountable to their political party and the citizens of the country. All the way along in our social society, there is authority and accountability.

Scripture tells us that God appointed all who are in positions of authority… “those which exist are established by God”. This is a very interesting scripture. The scripture is followed with a warning….” Therefore, whoever resistsObedience 3 authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:1-7).

Paul goes on to say that the purpose of God appointing authority over us, is to teach obedience. To teach us to follow in His ways. To teach us to become more like God. In another scripture, In Phil.2:12-13, Paul tells us to …. “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”, showing us that our path to the Lord is a daily process of change. God uses authority around us for the purpose of ‘growing’ us towards Him.

So, let’s look at this in a more practical way.

The boss, who’s my boss, has been appointed into a position of authority over me by God for a season of time, however long or short that may be. When my boss issues an instruction to me, how do I react? Do I:

  • Complete the task to the best of my ability with peace in my heart?
  • Hear what the boss said and then shortcut the task, taking the easiest route for ME and perhaps losing quality of work in the process?
  • Disobey completely because the boss doesn’t know what he/she is talking about?

If the Lord will help us to understand His word, then we will see that there is only one way to complete the task…as unto the Lord. When we rebel against our boss, we are not only rebelling against him/her, we are rebelling against God’s appointed authority over us.

The same goes for the country that we live in. “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25). Jesus tells us that we should obey the Government which is in authority over us. Worldly wisdom tells us that the crime is in getting caught disobeying. If nobody catches us disobeying, then we have got away with the infringement. However, God sees.

Jesus did not say that we should obey the government only if we agree with them…no – He said obey them. If any authority appointed by God does not obey God e.g. Does not govern the country correctly, or manage a company fairly, then God will judge them, and they will be answerable to HIM. Obviously if the government or other authority issue laws contrary to God’s word, then we cannot obey.

If we are not paying our taxes, obeying traffic laws or unfairly treating people, then we are rebelling against the authority God has placed above us. It may be easy for us to deceive the taxman in our assessments – but God sees. We are not disobeying the Government, but God alone.

If we are taking part in a social club of some sort, sport or recreation, the clubs have rules. It is very easy for us to ‘alter or bend’ the rules to suit us. It is simple to hide from the club management and get away with our wrong – but God sees.

In the book of Philippians, we see that Jesus, when He came to this earth, had to empty himself of His Godly deity obedienceand become a man in every respect (except He was sinless). Hebrews chapter 5:8 tells us that Jesus had to learn obedience – that is astounding!

When Jesus came to the earth, he came as a man in order that we would have an example to follow (1Peter 2:21-22). Therefore, if Jesus had to learn obedience, then so should we. In many previous articles, we have agreed that in our own strength, we cannot obey. We have to allow God, through His Holy Spirit in us, to teach and guide us daily.

Remember: Today when you receive an instruction, it is God who has allowed that instruction to come to you, through a vessel you may or may not see eye to eye with. Obey because God asks you, not because mankind tells you.

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Died for My Sin or Resurrected for my life?


We have heard about the “The Gospel” – the foundation of the Christian faith. Today there seems to be many different versions of how the gospel is interpreted, what the Gospel is or what it means.

The gospel is normally explained by saying, “Jesus died on the cross so that my sins may be forgiven”. This explanation is correct, but is it the fullest answer?

In the Christian faith, a tremendous amount of focus is placed on the death of Jesus, and quite rightly so, for it was the ultimate sacrifice paid for mankind’s sin. A debit that God paid in order that we might have opportunity to have our wrong doings wiped away…as far as the East is from the West. This is an amazing thought and one worthy of our focus.

So…. the gospel shows us how we are forgiven our sin – but then what? Is that the end of the story?

We have seen from past articles that Adam lost his likeness to God through disobedience. He gained a sinful nature Adams sinand passed this nature down the line of mankind. Therefore, every human being is born with a sinful nature – an engine if you like – that drives us to sin. This drive to sin comes about automatically and is so natural that we are powerless to resist.

All of mankind, irrespective of culture, is bound by this self-centred nature. This all adds up to a pretty miserable and difficult existence. No tolerance or respect for one another.

However, the gospel of the Kingdom shows us the next step in the death and burial of Jesus. A continuation of the story. The scriptures show us that on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. It also shows us that around 500 people witnessed this event. This is an historical fact.

The Apostle Paul asks a very pertinent question in the book of Romans. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound – God forbid”. Paul goes onto explain that our old sinful NATURE was buried with Victory over sinJesus – the engine which drives us to sin. Hallelujah – we are therefore no longer slaves to the sinful nature – we don’t have to sin any more.

He continues by saying that if our old sinful nature died and was buried with Jesus, then also we were raised up in the newness of life with him.

So… the gospel of the Kingdom shows us that we have power to overcome the temptation to sin by the fact that Jesus took away our sinful natures. This is worth focussing on!

This makes the gospel real in our personal lives. Yes, Jesus died for our sins, but He also died that we might walk in victory daily!!

Here is a point to ponder – how many services have we attended in honour of the resurrection of Jesus and heard that He took away our sinful natures?

The resurrected Jesus gives us a toolbox to use in our daily lives. This toolbox helps us through our walk on earth. It helps us stand firm as we are sanctified (made more like Jesus) – daily, a bit at a time. The final reward will be when we hear His voice saying to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

The toolbox is the resurrected Jesus – the Holy Spirit! We don’t have to look outside ourselves to find God – He lives within us!

We are the temple of His Holy Spirit.

By all means focus on the fact that Jesus died for your sins, but never forget the fact that the resurrected Jesus lives Victory over sin 2.pngwithin you – the very character of God, giving you power to overcome the sinful nature and granting you wisdom and knowledge about life circumstances.

When we are confronted by life’s tests and trials, will it be necessary for us to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?”

With His character firmly within in us, the question is, “Will we allow Jesus to do what He needs to?” …..

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published weekly.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Seventeen


01.11.95

Two more little groups have opened up for us to minister. Sue is now sharing with the Presbyterian Youth Group and the Lord has given Andy a home group not too far from us. It’s quite something for him to go on the bike in this heat.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Seventeen”