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Series: The Kingdom of God, Kingdom Evangelism, Sonship
Sunday am 17th April 2016 – Kobus Swart
John 3:6-7; Col. 1:13; 1 Cor. 4:14-20; Matt. 4:23; (Matt. 13:52);
Matt. 16:16-19; Ps.115:16; (John 19:30); (Matt. 5:13); (1 Kings 17:1);
(Gen. 1:26); Ps. 115:16; Ps. 8:6; (Matt. 6:9-10); (1 Cor. 12:10);
(2 Cor. 5:18); (John 1:11-12); John 14:12-13; (John 5:19);
Gal. 4:19; 1 Pet. 3:18-20; John 20:23
Where the gospel of the kingdom is accurately proclaimed, God has promised to back it up with demonstration. I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power (1 Cor. 4:14-20). The word ‘tutor’ means boy/immature leader. Here is a father ministry speaking to his household, calling them beloved children. You will agree with me that we, the Church, need more than good teaching. Teaching must be followed by actions that make room for God to move.
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people (Matt. 4:23). This is one of many similar verses, where Jesus’ teachings were confirmed by a demonstration of power. Because of abuses in the previous seasons we are a bit scared to make room for the Holy Spirit to move. We must make room for the Holy Spirit to confirm the Word in whatever way He wants to, without making a ritual out of it. Here is what I embrace with every fibre of my being: Any revelation from God’s word that does not lead us to an encounter with God only serves to make us more religious. If we believe that we are teaching the Word of God, I would like it to become an encounter, so that you encounter God in that word, without repeating empty old patterns.
Let’s look at the relationship between the Church and the kingdom because the Church is not the kingdom yet many people confuse the two. Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:16-19). Jesus said to Peter, “You are “petros”, (a chip of the rock), but on the rock (Petra, signifying the corporate) I will build my Church”. Jesus did not say He was building on Peter as many people think. “…and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” Who was attacking who in those verses? He is talking about this Church attacking the gates of hell, not the other way around. Gates are there to stop the entrance. Here comes the relationship between the Church and the kingdom of heaven. “I will give you (this rock, the corporate Church) the keys of the kingdom of heaven”.”…whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. (Matt. 16:19). This refers to the finished works! The problem is we see too many individuals trying to act this Scripture out but it is meant to be the Church, the Body, the rock, the Corporate; even if it is just a remnant but it has to be a corporate expression, not a ‘super-man-of-the-hour-with-power’. This is what went wrong in previous seasons. We are called to be the Body; the rock upon whom He will build the Church; into whose hands He will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. That Church will move in authority for it is built on the rock Petra. God wants to put the keys into the hands of the corporate Body.
Ecclesia refers to heaven’s cabinet or parliament – “an administration suitable to the fullness of the times…” (Eph. 1:10). It talks about an administration suitable, heaven’s parliament on earth. One of the “babies” we have thrown out with the bath water in the apostolic season, is the truth about evangelism. The true authentic kingdom Church will engage in a whole new approach to kingdom evangelism because it will not be based on attacking sin but declaring the finished works of Christ in the earth. We have to fully understand what Jesus meant on the cross when He said, “it is finished” (John 19:30).
In the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:13), Jesus said we have to become ‘the salt of the earth’. William Hinn said: “Salt speaks of a covenantal and faceless people that can only be identified together. One grain of salt is neither potent nor recognisable. Salt is only as powerful as its body, its batch or its handful.” You need only a small batch of people that are one and faceless and built together on the rock and you will impact the world. There is a whole new level beckoning us as a household. A little bit of salt can influence anything it touches. A remnant can do the job. Elijah went to Ahab the King of a corrupt nation and said “There will be no rain until I say so” (1 Kings 17:1). Elijah represents a remnant that will have a corporate voice in today’s world but the voice of the Church has become silent because we are too busy. Our place of dominion is on earth (Gen. 1:26). We have a responsibility here on earth (Ps. 115:16; Ps. 8:6). Jesus said this is how you must pray: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10)
Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven
What does it mean when He said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven?” The kingdom of heaven is not a secret society but you do need keys to access it. Miracles fall into this category. Many of you are waiting for a miracle in your life! How will that happen? Many people see a miracle only as a gift of the Spirit. While there is such a gift (I Cor. 12:10), if that is all you want to see, you miss the point. It has to open the realms of the kingdom of God; a demonstration of His government on earth. That is what we need the keys for. My desire, my expectancy is that God is going to raise people amongst you to walk in the streets without fanfare and God will use you to perform extraordinary miracles in the streets, in the coffee shops, wherever you go, and you will be the salt of the earth. Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:19).
Look how thorough was the finished work of Jesus:
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water (1 Pet. 3:18-20). If it were not for Noah, where would mankind be? What happened to all the people that were not in the ark? They were destroyed in the flood and were doomed to prison. When Jesus said “it is finished”, He completed His work by going down and talking to those who were disobedient and in prison. God in Christ reconciled all of humanity to Himself (2 Cor. 5:18). [There is a difference between being reconciled to God and salvation (Rom 5:8,9). More about this later]
The principle of sonship
What does it mean? Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do (A true spiritual father will never be threatened when his sons outrun him and do greater works); because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:12-13). A key represents authority; you are entrusted with that key. Remember – a Father TRUSTS his SON! God always chooses someone to represent Him, even to His own people! (J.Alley)
What is the full power and meaning of the word “apostolic”?
The word “apostle” is frequently used without understanding the key. How does God make Himself visible? Through another! Apostle means ‘sent one’. He represents the one who sent him. God is light, He is love, He is spirit; these are some of the ways the Bible describes God. What does it mean to be an apostolic church? It is more than just being a mission minded church. An apostle represents the one who sent him, and for that to be accurate Christ must be fully formed in us. Jesus came to represent the Father. After the ascension, the Holy Spirit was sent to represent the Father and the Son to us.
Christ must be fully formed in us. My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is completely formed in you (Gal. 4:19). That is a true prayer of an apostolic father travailing for his sons! We must represent both the Father and the Son in earth. A true apostolic church will be entrusted with the keys of the kingdom so that whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven. The finished works will be manifested fully by an apostolic people. There is still a great work to be done on this planet. With all its thousands and thousands of churches, the world is in great chaos. What is still missing? An apostolic church in the earth trusted with the keys of the kingdom! A church that has become mature enough that the Father can trust you with the keys! Lord, bring us to full sonship! Maturity!