KINGDOM MESSAGE FROM PASTOR JEFF

A short 7 minute message – fear the living God not men.

God’s Kingdom will come and Jesus will rule with a rod of iron during His coming Millennial reign. To fulfil the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jesus will rule the nations from Jerusalem for 1000 years exactly as the Bible outlines. Sadly, we also know that most nations are goat nations, they don’t fear the living God. They will persecute God’s people during the time leading up to The Day of the Lord when Jesus takes His saints to heaven and pours out His wrath upon the unrepentant still on earth. When the seals have been removed and The Scroll is opened, The Wrath of God is released on the earth with the trumpet and bowl judgements. Fear the living God not men, wise advice.

GOD IS BUILDING HIS KINGDOM

Great article by Joseph Mattera (josephmattera.org)

15 Contrasts Between the Kingdom Age and Religious Systems

I believe now is the time in which God is shaking the global church and establishing Kingdom principles. God is ripping away and exposing extraneous second-tier traditions and denominational positions that are opposed to His kingdom. Believers need to understand the difference between the characteristics of the kingdom and man-made religion. The body of Christ and its surrounding environment will be transformed only through proper alignment with His kingdom.

The following are 15 contrasts between the kingdom age and religious systems:

  1. The kingdom focuses on manifesting God in the earth, while religion focuses on applying its traditions inside church buildings.

The word “kingdom” implies that there is a king who rules within a region. Psalm 24:1 teaches us that the earth belongs to the Lord, and Psalm 22:28 tells us His kingdom rules over all nations, not just over the church. Consequently, we in His kingdom are called to show that the cross of Christ impacted the whole cosmos, not just the church realm (Col. 1:12-13, 1:20).

  1. The kingdom transforms individuals from within, while religion focuses on observing outward rituals.

Jesus taught us that God requires truth in the inner man (Matt. 5-7, 23; Ps. 51:6). Hence, the kingdom focuses on inner transformation, while religion concentrates primarily on observing church rituals (Luke 17:21). Christ-centered spiritual disciplines help create proper habits of the heart that are conducive to growth in the knowledge and love of God.

  1. The kingdom releases all believers to the work of the ministry, while religion merely releases professional clergy to minister.

In the kingdom, all believers are both kings and priests (Rom. 5:17, 1 Pet. 2:8-9). In religion, only those trained in seminary and who are employed in church ministry are considered priests.

  1. The kingdom sees the Spirit poured out upon all flesh. Religion sees the Spirit move only during Sunday services.

The apostle Peter made it clear that the Resurrection inaugurated the kingdom age, which was seen when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon every culture, tribe, kindred, tongue and nation (Acts 2:17). Two of the results of the outpouring was that God was no longer restricted to the religious Jews, and His Spirit was not limited to the most holy place in their temple. Despite this, many in the body of Christ continue to restrict the Holy Spirit to moving only within the four walls of a building during mass or church services.

  1. In the kingdom, the Scriptures have primary ecclesiastical authority. In religion, second-tier religious tradition has primary ecclesial authority.

This second-tier religious tradition is an issue not only for the Roman Catholics, who put custom and canon law on equal terms with Scripture, but also for the Orthodox Church. Many people place the writings of the apostolic fathers on the same level as the Holy Scriptures. Many evangelical Protestant denominations, Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal churches also have second-tier traditions that they regard as primary authority as they relate to Christian practices.

  1. In the kingdom, the presence of God is wherever the believer goes. In religion, the presence of God is at the altar of their church building.

In the kingdom, the power and presence of God that heals, delivers and saves the oppressed were commonly manifested in the streets. God wants to unleash an army of believers who will turn the world upside down, but religion wants to keep believers closeted inside church buildings.

  1. In the kingdom, the fivefold minister equips the saints to do the work of the ministry. In religion, the fivefold minister does the job of the ministry.

Traditional religious systems keep people dependent upon professional clergy to pray for the sick, counsel, preach and represent God to the world. In the kingdom, fivefold ministry gifts are focused not on doing the work of the ministry but on equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11-12).

  1. In the kingdom, the ministry focus is Monday to Saturday. In religion, the ministry focus is Sunday.

People participating in kingdom-focused churches cannot wait until Monday comes. Whereas those who are trapped in religious systems will only see purpose and meaning during church services.

  1. In the kingdom, the church is sent to serve its community. In religion, the church strives to get the community into the church.

Kingdom-focused churches equip believers to be the problem-solvers of society. They provide them with a biblical worldview to frame their service in every vocation that affects communities. In the kingdom, it is not about how many people attend church services; rather, it is about how many people in the church are sent out to transform their world!

  1. In the kingdom, the focus of concern is for the whole body of Christ. In religion, the primary focus is only on the denomination/local church.

Any person with a kingdom agenda will be concerned about the health of the entire body of Christ. Those with a religious mindset are sectarian and only care about the health of their denomination or church.

  1. In the kingdom, every sphere of life is integrated under King Jesus. In religion, the church stays out of the public square.

The kingdom of God prophetically speaks to societal structures such as law, politics, economics, families, art and business. In religion, the view is that such things are unimportant, unspiritual and therefore should be left to the concern of the world.

  1. In the kingdom, Jesus is the King of kings. In religion, He is merely the symbolic leader of the church.

In the kingdom, Jesus is not only the head of the church, but He is also the King of kings (Rev. 19:16). This is the most politically charged statement anyone can make about Jesus! Jesus is the political head of every president, politician, governor and mayor. It obligates every believer to be politically active by voting and doing their part to speak truth to power, as well as elect candidates who best represent kingdom values.

  1. In the kingdom, the church is the salt of the earth. In religion, the believer is the salt of the church.

Jesus called His followers to reflect His character and values. He called them to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, not the salt of the church and light of religion.

  1. The kingdom participates with Christ in the renewal of all things. Religion is focused on perpetuating its traditions in the church.

Every person in a kingdom-focused church should understand that the Great Commission involves influencing people groups and subcultures, not just individuals (Matt. 28:19). People stuck in religious systems work only to perpetuate the second-tier traditions of their church members.

  1. The kingdom engages culture, while religion escapes the earth.

The nature of religion is that it wants to create an enclave of safety from the unpredictable realities of the unredeemed world; religion is mystical, not practical or spiritual. However, disciples of the kingdom view every global challenge as an opportunity to be a problem solver and seek to reflect Christ to the surrounding culture.

CHURCH AS GOD INTENDED

Watch this 15 minute presentation by Peter Sutton on church. What can happen when pastors realise that they are just part of God’s church and the denominational barriers come down.

People don’t go to church, they are God’s church, wherever He has placed them in the marketplace. Only then, does the church start to impact communities and cities.

GOD INVARIABLY USES THE MEEK & HUMBLE TO ACHIEVE HIS PURPOSES

On what was more than likely an ordinary day 500 years ago, Luther nailed his 95 theses, written in Latin, to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. He intended them to be read only by church theologians.

Without Luther’s permission, someone took the 95 theses and¬†translated them into German and printed them. Luther’s ideas went viral, spreading like wildfire throughout the whole of Germany, causing a tremendous stir within the church and with the common people.

WHO WAS THE UNKNOWN PERSON WHO TRANSLATED AND DISTRIBUTED THE 95 THESES?

“Ordinary people didn’t know their Bible because they didn’t have Bibles,” says Dr. Kendall, an admirer of Luther’s and a student of Luther’s life and ministry. “The Roman Catholic Church did not want you to have Bibles. They just told you what the Bible said. Your faith [was] whatever the church believed. For Luther, it was deeper than that.”

In 1520, Luther stood trial before the German emperor, Frederick the Wise, and Cardinal Catejan, and was asked to recant his words. He didn’t, and while awaiting a possible execution, Luther was “kidnapped” by a group of friends, who took him to Wartburg, where he spent 10 months translating the Bible into the common German language.

“Martin Luther began to teach the Bible, and it really began to turn things upside down,” Dr. Kendall says. “People had never heard the Bible explained to them the way he did. They came in droves to hear him preach. And now, 500 years later, people have Bibles, but they don’t read them.

Extract from article by Steve Strang in Charisma Magazine