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Series: Towards The Kingdom Culture; Grace
Sun am 10 February 2013 – Kobus Swart
Ps. 119:16, 42, 49-50, 57, 67, 72, 74, 89-91, 130; Dan. 2:31-45; (Mark. 1:15); (Rom. 8:22); Rev. 11:15; John 18:36; Rom. 14:7; Matt. 5:3-14, 43-45; Matt. 13:1-2, 10-13, 18-19, 31-33; Luke 17:20-21; (Eph. 3:10)
We sense by the Holy Spirit, a hunger, a thirst and a thrust to becoming a kingdom force in the earth. Church should be more than Sunday programs and conferences. It is about the kingdom of God invading the earth. It is going to be kingdom churches that are going to make the difference.
How will we demonstrate being sons of light? The kingdom church will be light of the world and salt of the earth. Everything that comes to us from God comes through His Word. The unfolding or entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:31). How do I become a son of light? The entrance of His word gives light. It is the word of the Kingdom that will make us sons of light.
Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy (Dan. 2:31-45). The stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands was referring to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. When He was born He said, “the time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God has come” (Mark 1:15). He was the stone cut out of the mountain which came from the eternal Father.
The eternal kingdom came with Jesus. It was there before, but He brought it into this realm called earth. Everything He did can be ascribed to Him as the pattern Son and He came to bring many sons to glory who will complete what He did. The Father’s words, “this is My Son” when Jesus emerged from the waters of baptism, will be repeated from an open heaven declaring “this is My Son” – this time about the Son manifested in the corporate son – the Son in the sons. The earth is in travail waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:22).
The grace carriers of this season, men and women of God who are called to lead, will begin to declare the kingdom and move away from ineffective church programs. Planting churches and evangelizing the world has not in itself changed the world. What we need now are world changers, kingdom citizens who know who they are, know their mandate, sons and daughters of light, grace carriers who will impact their surrounding cultures. “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). The reason why it is said in the past tense is because John was caught into the realm of spirit from which he saw the end from the beginning. He saw the picture as God saw it, outside of time.
The question is how will the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ? Not by nuclear wars or legal battles. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). The kingdom of God is not in eating and drinking, but it is righteousness, peace and joy; speaking of a certain quality of spirit (Rom. 14:17).
The kingdom of God is not a political kingdom. The beatitudes are not a new set of rules; they are not about changing your exterior or your habits. To walk according to Matthew 5, 6 and 7 will take a sovereign empowerment of grace. There is a display of the character of grace in the verses. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matt. 5:13). A city set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matt. 5:14). This is our mandate. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ (Matt. 5:43).But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt. 5:44-45). There is a twisted image about God that we have inherited in our religious journey, i.e. that He rewards the good and punishes the evil. We believed that if we do good God will reward us; if we do evil He will punish us. There is an inconsistency in that statement. We cannot earn His grace, it is unmerited; it is not earned by our works. So our evil deeds do not merit His punishment. Evil punishes itself (Prov. 11:5).
We are talking about moving away from a “churchy” culture. He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened” (Matt. 13:31-33). The kingdom does not come with mighty signs and wonders; it comes as a small, almost invisible little seed. We need to change our mindset because we want everything to start with a splash. You do not see leaven, but you see its influence. Do you want to be a kingdom leaven in the earth? Do you want to become invisible? It is not a reputation of greatness, but quiet influence into the community. Test yourself this week, you have contact with many people; ask the Lord to show you whether you are part of this leavening process. Are you happy to be poor in spirit and to love your enemy? As simple as this may sound, we will not get beyond this. The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed (Luke 17:20-21). It is in you, and it will impact the surrounding people and cultures. God is putting together a new kingdom wineskin, something that is being built across human divides, across church and institutional divides. He is bringing together what belongs together for end time purposes, bone-to-bone, connections that will bring this wineskin together. Then He is going to pour the best wine into this kingdom wineskin.
Something happened in the toes (Nebuchadnezzar’s dream) that were partly of iron and partly of clay, that normally do not adhere to each other. They tried to combine with one another in the seed of men. It sounds like a repetition of Genesis 6 where demonic interference came into humanity, and women gave birth to nephilim giants, and it brought God to a point where He had enough. There is demonic interaction coming into the human realm that wants to produce something supernatural, trans-human, and I believe the sons and daughters of the kingdom will have to address that. That is the kingdom Church. We have a function here on earth but we also have a function to do war and demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in heavenly places.