Series: Kingdom of God
Sun am 16 October 2011 – Kobus Swart
Ps. 82:6; Heb. 11:3 (Wymouth); Rom. 10:13; John 3:3, 8, 11-13; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; John 4:24; 1 John 4:17; 1 John 1:5; Eph. 4:10
The Word of God is never stagnant. There is no full stop behind anything that God is and does. Every experience or revelation you and I have in God should continue to expand. Before entering every new level in the Kingdom there seems to be a new birthing experience; you have to crack the shell of the former. You have to peck from the inside, like a little chicken ready to come out of the egg, and suddenly there’s a whole new realm.
The gospel that has been preached from so many pulpits, has been watered down to an alarming extent. As the Word unfolds, we require a greater understanding of who and what God is. And that will help us to understand who we are. This has been in the Bible, seemingly hidden in plain sight! For example Psalms 82:6 starts like this, “You are gods(Elohim, the plural name of God. The same Elohim that said in the beginning: Let Us make man in Our image and in Our likeness)…, but then immediately follows with, “… and all of you are sons of the Most High (Elyon)”. You can’t say the one without the other. Both must be said in the same breath. As sons, we reflect God and make Him visible.
John 1:1 (The Genesis of the New Testament) we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. Then verse 14 brings Him into another expression. “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” In Genesis 1 God became visible in Adam. In the New Testament He became visible again, but this time in Jesus, the “last Adam”. The door was now open for us to become conformed to the image of God’s Son. And Jesus, the First born, became the personal guarantee of the new Covenant (Heb 2:10; 7:22). God wants to become visible in this corporate Son! Like a sculptor, God – by His proceeding Word ministered by authentic sent ones – is chiseling away everything that doesn’t reflect Him. This chiseling to get to the original image requires that all that has been added before our return to Him, and by religion, has to be removed. We cannot ignore that there is a process underway at the moment. How long will this process take? This depends on our response to that Word.
Behind this visible universe is an invisible Presence or Power. When you enjoy a nice juicy fruit off the tree, it not only nourishes you; it provides energy and is good for your body. Seldom, if ever, however, do we think about the invisible power behind this fruit. What exactly causes this manifestation? There is a presence, a power behind everything visible. Through faith we understand that the world, or ages, came into being and still exist at the command of God, Yahweh, so that what is seen does not owe its existence to that which is visible(Heb. 11:3 Wymouth). What we see, owes its existence to something invisible, a power, a presence – God! So in essence then, what comes first? That which is invisible, then it comes into the visible. God is focusing us back to the Source. Religion wants us to polish the visible. Paul gives that “invisible power” a name: …Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24).
John 3:3,5 tells us that in order to see and enter the Kingdom of God, we need to be born from above, from water and from the Spirit. Jesus was from heaven on earth, yet He was in heaven on earth. Nowhere in the Bible do you find heaven and earth being separate. They are always mentioned together. The one without the other is incomplete. Religion has put a wedge between the two. God is busy with in this apostolic season, removing all the religious separations between heaven and earth. Verse 8 continues: He that is born of the Spirit is like the wind. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
For every physical there is a spiritual counterpart. Dualists believe, “Spiritual and physical things are like two railway lines; they will never meet.” That is a lie. In Christ dualism was given a death blow. In the incarnation, that which was spirit became flesh. In John’s epistles he identified the spirit of the antichrist as that which denies Christ as coming in the flesh.
The Bible uses three words that give us more insight about God. (1) God is Spirit (John 4:24). (2) God is love (1 John 4:17). (3) God is light(1 John 1:5). To some degree or another these three characteristics are behind everything that has been created. Spirit power always wants to form something and love’s desire is always to manifest. You can’t have love bottled up without expression. Love is kind, is never envious, never fails, love seeks not its own; there’s no self-seeking or self-interest in love. Here is the acid test between that which sounds scientifically correct and that which is true and authentically from God. A vessel that is not filled with this agapé true love which God is, has no real power.
The gospel was never meant to scare people and to motivate them to stay out of hell. If you love God it does not make a difference whether there is a hell or not. You serve Him because you love Him. The Church has used the ministry of condemnation to bring people to Christ. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation – telling people the price is fully paid. Too many people have become disillusioned with God because of the wrong perception they have of Him. Let’s proclaim the message of reconciliation. Let our lives reflect the values we preach. Integrate your lifestyle with your message.