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Series: The Mandate of the True Church
Sun am 9th March 2014 – Kobus Swart
Luke 10:17-21; (1 John 2:12-14); (John 16:11); Prov. 16:32; (Isa. 9:7); (Matt. 8:24);
Matt. 7:22-23; Luke 11:20; Luke 13:26-27; John 10:26-27; Matt. 25:31-46; (Rev. 22:11);
(Matt. 13:46); Rev. 13:8; 2 Cor. 5:18; (Acts 9: 4); (James 5:16); 1 John 1:1-4
Kingdom dominion is not political or earthly power; it is something in the spirit, unlike the kingdoms of this world. The kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Where does it begin in my life and your life? The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven” (Luke 10:17-20). Do not rejoice when God is using you in demonstrations of authority, but rather rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.
Jesus taught us how to pray. Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:9-10). First it should start in you – first overcome that earthly part in you, and let the kingdom of God rule you. A good test is the following: He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city (Prov. 16:32). Anger pollutes your inner man and it takes a while for it to be cleansed. Government comes with peace (Isa. 9:7). How can you be a kingdom citizen if you cannot govern your own emotions? If you can sleep in the storm you will be able to rule over that storm (Matt. 8:24). Peace in the midst of trouble is a sign of ruling. The challenges around the redeemed are increasing. We need to re-order our lives and our responses to life’s pressures and storms.
We need to make sure that we know the Lord. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’ (Matt. 7:22-23). You may walk in what appears to be authority. “All you did was use Me to make yourselves important.” You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me’ (Luke 16:26,27-Msg). God is looking for a harvest of people who know Him and who are known by Him. In the Old Testament we read, “a man knew his wife and she conceived”. This clearly refers to intimacy. Knowing God is more than “knowledge” or “knowing about”.
Ezekiel warns that days were coming when God will judge between one sheep and another (Ezek 34:17,22) Jesus says, But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:26-27). Then on the day of judgement Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats. To the goats He will say, “…for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matt. 25:42-46).
John on the island of Patmos talks about those who will end up worshipping the beast. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain (Rev. 13:8). Come closer to Him having the assurance that the hunger and thirst that brought you to sit under the word in the first place, is a good sign that your name is written in the book. These things have been hidden from the wise and prudent. We need to discover these Truths! The man who discovered the pearl of great price sold everything he had to buy the piece of ground (Matt. 13:46). How far have you gone to discover who you really are? Or is your mind absorbed with all the theories and speculations that are in the airwaves?
God through Christ reconciled the world, mankind to Himself (2 Cor. 5:18). Even if you are a sinner out in the world, you have, in principle, been reconciled already. You now have to discover it. You need a face to face encounter with the truth. There are various kinds of encounters. The most spectacular one is what happened to Saul before he was called Paul (Acts 9:4). Paul was on a mission to kill Christians, but his name was already in the book and he did not know it. He had a divine encounter, a light, a voice, a manifestation. It transformed him into the man of God that he was called to be. This word must confront each one of us personally. The temptations are going to become stronger and more intense. If you have not had the kind of encounter that you can distinctly remember, you can become a target of doubt. Make sure that you have discovered by revelation who you are, and that your name is there. Do we sometimes still sin? Yes, but make sure you don’t continue deliberately while knowing the Truth. All your sins of the past and future have been forgiven However, James remind us to confess our sins one to another so that we may be healed (James 5:16).
There are various kinds of encounters. What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete (1 John 1:1-4). These are three different dimensions of encountering the Lord. It may differ for each one of you, but you need an encounter so that the enemy can never make you doubt. What we have heard, seen and handled we proclaim. Once you have had an encounter you become bold. Pray for the Holy Spirit to come and seal the truth that your name has been written in the book of life.