Restoration of the Kingdom perspective – 2

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Restoration of the Kingdom perspective – 2

SESSION 2

Luke 9:11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.

Luke 11:20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Matthew 10: 7,8 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. ’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.

We are all eager to see more healing, deliverances and resurrections, but we can not separate these things from the Kingdom of God. There is a link between them.

Healing, casting out demons, resurrection, are the manifestations and witnesses to the Kingdom of God. In the Kingdom of God there is no disease or infirmity, there are no demons, there is no death. It’s clear that when the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven is released it is manifested here on earth. So we experience healing, deliverance and resurrection.

We must return to the command of Jesus, starting with the proclamation of the Kingdom, if we want to see the manifestations, the fruits of the Kingdom released and increased.

Especially in the times we live in, that are preparing the return of the King, we should be active in this proclamation. We are not only called to preach salvation, but to proclaim that there is a King, the only legitimate King, and that consequently there is a Kingdom now active and that this King is going to come and establish His Kingdom on earth. This Kingdom is eternal and the only way to be part of it and be saved is the new birth, which implies faith in Jesus as our Savior. There is no other way. Jesus is the only way.

But, to proclaim the Kingdom we must be aware of ourselves. We have to have the vision of the Kingdom and to move as those that are already in the Kingdom.

Unfortunately we have become accustomed to a religion rather than the Kingdom.

And ‘interesting list that Myles Monroe ago to compare religion with the Kingdom.

RELIGION vs KINGDOM

Religion worries man until he finds the Kingdom.

Religion is what man does until he finds the Kingdom.

Religion prepares man to leave the earth; the Kingdom 

authorizes man to rule the earth.

Religion focuses on Heaven; the Kingdom focuses on earth.

Religion wants to reach God; the Kingdom is God

coming down to the man.

Religion wants to escape the earth; the Kingdom impacts,

influences and changes the earth.

Religion seeks to bring the earth to Heaven; the Kingdom 

intends to bring Heaven on earth.

So these meditations are meant to renew our mind set in line with the vision of the world of the Kingdom.

It’s not just a matter of getting aware of it, but to get the revelation that leads to transformation.

Romans 12: 2.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

This allows us to understand what is the perfect will of God for our lives and for the life of the Church.

We have to go through some stages of a process that will take us out of a vision limited to a vision of the Kingdom.

We must progress from safety perspective to United.

We can see this in the transition from the Old Testament (or Old Testament) to the coming of Jesus:

1. Not yet the Kingdom of God – before Jesus

2. Matthew 6: 9-10 – The prayer that the Kingdom come

3. Matthew 10: 1,5,7-8 – The proclamation and demonstration of the Kingdom

So we need to go through some stages in our experience too:

1. No prospect of the Kingdom

2. Pray for the Kingdom to come

3. Proclaim and manifest the Kingdom

We have to go through all the stages.

We can experience the first stage through two phases

1. Focusing on ourself (the individual)

2. Focusing on the Church

We can summarize all this in the following image:

Image perspective transition Kingdom

Progress is normal if we move regularly from one stage to another. But this is not what usually happens.

Normally we are stuck at stage 1. God encourages us to still go on to stages 2 and 3.

The majority of people in the Church stops at the stage in a.: egocentric perspective. Stay here for a while is normal, because it is necessary for personal growth, but then we have to move to step b., where in fact there are fewer people involved. At level b. the main focus is the Church.

In both cases we normally get locked in a circle and we never move out of it. More we  remain there and more it becomes difficult to get out.

This is not the mandate that Jesus gave us. Jesus gave us the perspective of the Kingdom.

So we should all go from stage 1 to stage 2 and then to stage 3 and start to change our mindset and to be reformed to align more and more  with the mentality of the Kingdom. This should allow us to move in the actions of the Kingdom.

We believe that while we seek together, as the Body, to raise up the perspective of the Kingdom, God will bring transformation in our being and because the Kingdom is not a doctrine, but a reality, we can expect God to manifest His Kingdom in our midst and heal us. This will be only the result of the fact that while we welcome with favor the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom is manifested accordingly.

We will change the spiritual atmosphere as we move from the old perspective of salvation onto to the new perspective of the Kingdom of God and its manifestation here and now.

Welcome be the Kingdom of God!

Questions for personal reflection before God

What is my position between religion and Kingdom?

At what stage of progress I am now?

What steps I intend to do before God in order to progress to the next stage?

Prayer

Father I come to you recognizing my need for change, for progress in Your knowledge and revelation of Your plans for my life and the life of the Church, the Body of Christ. I submit myself once again to Your Holy Spirit and Your Word so that You my guide me to align my thoughts with Yours.

Again I tell you, may your Kingdom come in my heart and Your will be done in my life as it is done in Heaven.

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Exemple

Restoration the Kingdom perspective – 1

SESSION 1

Matthew 4:17 / John 3: 3,5

As believers in this particular time we need to revise our view of things according to the Gospel (= good news) of the Kingdom.

Over the centuries we have moved away from this vision and we have lost the awareness of what it means to live, announce and demonstrate the Kingdom of God on this earth.

We need, therefore, to return to the Kingdom’s perspective to understand and experience the reality of the Kingdom and be able to pass it on to others. We cannot get what we do not know, of which we have not revelation, and so we cannot pass it on to others.

The reality of the Kingdom of God is the supernatural, is the Kingdom of Heaven, which manifests itself and becomes real in our natural world on this earth through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. It’s the “intrusion” of the Kingdom of God in the reality of the natural.

Things cannot remain the same if we manifest the Kingdom, as it was for Jesus, when He walked on this earth. He carried with Him the reality of the Kingdom of God wherever He went and the reality of the Kingdom invaded the atmosphere around Him. Who approached Him with faith was healed, set free, saved.

The church has, over time, built up a temple around this reality, making it an institution and the supernatural reality of the Kingdom has been greatly reduced, to become a religious form. See, as an example, the letters of Revelation, Ephesus (I will come and remove your lampstand because you lost your first love) and then Laodicea. And it becomes for many a monument of a past reality.

We now have a responsibility to re-open the way to the Kingdom to be manifested again as it was in the times of Jesus and the apostles. (Isaiah 40: 3-5)

We need a new individual and collective consciousness for this to happen. It is not the task of any single ministry here and there. We need to establish new individual wineskins, but also of new collective wineskins so that God can pour out the new wine of His Kingdom upon us on earth at this time, before the return of the King himself. Matthew 9: 16-17.

Sometimes we are a bit in the same situation in which he found himself Nicodemus observing the miracles that Jesus did. We see or hear about other churches in the world that are experiencing the reality of the Kingdom and we do not understand why we do not experience the same things, at least at the same level that they live.

The answer Jesus gave to Nicodemus that he needed a special experience to see the Kingdom and to be able to enter and live in it is the same for us: the new birth, the birth of the Spirit of God. In fact, the new birth should introduce us into the perspective of the Kingdom and live in the Kingdom itself.

The Apostle Paul clearly states that in Jesus we are already in the Kingdom of God: Colossians 1:13.

We need to rediscover again this reality and start living in it.

God wants to bless His Church in this time and equip her for a strong and effective testimony in the world, in the midst of the darkness in which she lives.

For this to happen God needs to have vessels ready to receive what He wants to pour out. In fact, as Jesus says, the new wine must be put into new wineskins otherwise both wine and the wineskins will be destroyed.

In Hebrews 5: 11-14 / 6: 1 we read:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

It’s time to grow and become mature in Christ to face the days that are coming and not just to survive or to protect ourselves from the things that happen around us. Paul says in Romans that we are winners in all things through Christ. Romans 8: 37-39.

In general, the Church has become accustomed to the only perspective of salvation, when the one God has for us is that of the Kingdom. Salvation is the gateway to the Kingdom, not the final goal. Proclaiming the Kingdom is to proclaim that there is a just and holy King who proposes a government according to His character of righteousness and holiness and which is ready to intervene in every situation of our life … if we agree to enter His Government.

When John the Baptist and Jesus began to preach, their message was: “Repent, for the kingdom of God he is here.” Repentance (metanoia) means not only to confess the sin, but to change our way of thinking, our mindset. Which means that in order to be ready to see something different we need to have a new perspective, that only God can give us.

In Luke 4:43 / 8 1 / 16:16 We find that Jesus announced the “good news of the Kingdom.” So it is also true fo Philip in Acts 8:12: he preached “the good news of the Kingdom of God”

We do not bring the full message of God if we do not include the Kingdom.

We are no longer accustomed to the Kingdom as a kind of government. We are accustomed to democracy. But when we talk about the good news of the Kingdom, we speak of the good news of God’s government: a theocracy. The central message of the New Testament is that God wants to have the government over the whole human race. If we preach the Gospel and do not include the submission to the government (Kingdom) of God, then we have lost the essence of the theme of the Gospel itself.

Receive the Gospel, to be saved, without submitting to the government (Kingdom) of God is fooling ourselves. It means losing the thought and the central purpose of the Gospel. We cannot dissociate the salvation from the government of God.

This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus that he must be born again, to see in fact things from a spiritual perspective, of God, and not according to the traditions and doctrines of men, as it was for the Pharisees.

At that time, when Jesus came, the Jews had lost the perspective of the Kingdom, although they expected the Messiah to be set free from the bondage of Rome. They lived for too long in a state of slavery, and had lost the vision of God (as it was for them when Moses is sent to them by God to set them free from slavery in Egypt). In fact they did not understand the coming of Jesus. This is why John the Baptist preached repentance, not only for the sins, but for a new perspective that would allow them to receive the Kingdom, the way the King was going to manifest it, that is an inner Kingdom which it is expressed through us in the world we live on this earth.

The goal of the meditations that follow is therefore to help us return to the perspective of the Kingdom, to change our way of thinking according to God as it is presented in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Questions for personal reflection before God

How long have I been born again?

How long am I living in the Kingdom of God?

What is my understanding of God’s Kingdom?

How much of my life reflects the character and power of the Kingdom of God?

How much of my thoughts need to be realigned with those of God in His Word, especially in the Gospels?

Prayer

Father I come to you recognizing my need of repentance, that is to have my mind set free from any thought that contradicts the message of the Kingdom that Jesus has given us in the Gospels. I submit myself to the Holy Spirit and to Your Word so that You may guide me to align my thoughts with Yours. Thy Kingdom come into my heart and Your will be done in my life as it is done in heaven.

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Exemple

Get ready for the revival

 Get ready for the revival.

Acts 1:3-5

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

And having met with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the promise of the Father which you heard from Me. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

1:8

But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

1:10,11

And while they were looking intently into the heaven, He having gone, even behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them, who also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into the heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from you into Heaven, will come in the way you have seen Him going into Heaven

1. Are we becoming aware of the times that are before us?

Acts 1 and 2 give us some key on what should be our attitude as we are coming into this new season of our life in this world.

It is not the time to become passive and just wait Jesu’s return, because we could be quite disappointed about that.

We are here to give this world the last chance to come to know and meet the true God, Adonai, the Father of the Lord Jesus.

2. Here we see the disciples at an important transition, as we are.

They are coming out of very intense time of training with Jesus Himself. They have experienced the trauma of His death on the Cross and the excitement of His resurrection. Now Jesus is leaving them to go to Heaven and they don’t really know what to do next.

In those 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus showed Himself several times to them.

What does He do there?

He is giving them instruction for the new season of their life that is coming to them.

First of all, the most important thing is that Jesus wanted them to be together and get the same instructions so to move as a team, as the new living cell of what was the new Keila, Ekklesia, He has started with His coming and His work of Redemption.

We clearly realize this intention of having them all together to listen His instructions when we look at Him going to rescue two disciples on the way to Emmaus, who were going to lose the divine appointment and so their destiny. As they recognize Jesus, they go back immediately to Jerusalem to be with the others and meet Jesus there and experience those key 40 days with Him.

Things are not going to be the same for the 12 and for all the 120, from now on. 

Up to now they depended on Jesus with them.

Now He is leaving and they have to carry on His mission, the mission of the Father, with a new Counselor, the Holy Spirit. The relationship with Him would be different, but they won’t be able to do anything without Him.

3. We too are at the crossing into a new seasons, where a big shaking is coming on this world, but also a big spiritual shaking is coming to the Ekklesia to move her into a great testimony of God in these difficult times for the world.

This new season cannot be lived as we have done up to now. Something different is coming.

We have come to the end of our human resources on which we have been confident for a long time. We need to be empowered from above in a new way, as it was for the disciples at that time.

Jesus said to the disciple « don’t move until the Holy Spirit will come upon you because at that time you will receive power. Then you will be my witness in all the world »

They had to be infilled with the supernatural power of God and we know how it happened. It wasn’t just something happening quietly and in a private hidden place.

It was a move so strong that all the town was stirred up by what happened to the 120 in the upper room.

Anyway, what Jesus said to the disciples can be applied to us

To enter the new season we must expect to be infilled with God’s supernatural power through a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit and power, otherwise we will never be able to accomplish the task God is giving us in these special times.

What we have done up to now is weak and quite human (I mean in the natural strength) that we would not stand a second in front of what we are going to face from now on and unable to answer the needs of the people around us.

We need to be empowered from above with supernatural wisdom and power.

4. But there is an important detail in these two chapters of Acts. It concerns the 10 days preceding Pentecost when Jesus was not there anymore. What happens there?

The disciples and all the others around them, 120 people, were regularly meeting and praying everyday, waiting together for what Jesus has told them it will happen to them. 

They were in unity with one common purpose: wait for the Holy Spirit to come on them and empower them.

When the day of Pentecost came they were all together again and each of them received his portion, because they were ready.

What was uniting them was focusing all together on the vision, the goal Jesus gave them. They were not just moving as in a routine or passively waiting, but active with a clear goal before them.

They were doing everything around that goal: praying, setting things in order, probably reviewing what happened and what Jesus said, just to be ready for that event, that was coming even if they didn’t know when and how. 

They didn’t lose their time in many other occupations, because they didn’t want to be distracted from their focus. Any other issue was put aside in that specific time to focus on the waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. They set right priorities for that specific time and purpose.

They couldn’t even imagine what was going to happen and how was going to be from then on. There was no testimony of any other event like the one they were going to experience. And when the Holy Spirit came, what they experienced was not in the terms they could imagine according to the prophecies of the Old Testament.

They recognized anyway that what happened that day was the accomplishment of the prophetic word of Joel and the words of Jesus. The problem is that the manifestations they experienced that day were not mentioned in Joel, but they recognized anyway that it was exactly that word coming to be accomplished.

We cannot even imagine what is going to be for us.

And note that in Acts 2, it happened suddenly! There was not a sign from heaven telling them when and how it would have happened. It just happened as they were together to celebrate Pentecost as the other times, more or less.

Sure we have more keys today, also because we have the records of previous revivals , including the one in Acts 2 and Acts 4, and we can get some idea from there. 

But God acts according the times we live and so who knows how this move of the Spirit is going to be and what is going to produce in us, among us and around us. What is important is to be ready to receive it and flow with it. 

Someone has described this as the big wave that all the surfers are always expecting to come. As they wait for the big wave they don’t stay passive, but they train themselves with the small waves. But they continuously watch for the signs of the big wave and when they perceive it is coming they position themselves so to catch it and surf on it, being taken by its flow.

The same should be for us today. We have a focus and it is not yet the rapture, but what God wants to do with us, His Ekklesia, in these coming days.

We cannot either move forward casually, but we need a clear direction on how to get ready for that special appointment with the Holy Spirit.

5. How do we get ready? What should we do to be ready to welcome, receive and carry on that move of God? Everything in our life from now on should be organized for that purpose, so that nobody can be taken by surprise and miss the kyros time. 

If not ready we could even become the enemies of that move as it is already happened in the past.

The most dangerous thing in the move of the Spirit is the religious spirit. The one that wants us to do everything without God, and that we just follow religious activities that don’t have life in them. Religious spirit blinds us before the real life we are in need of.

6. In Acts 2 we see that there is a unique fire falling down and then this fire is shared in flames over each person in that room.

This is revival, when the fire of God falls on everybody in His House and each new born Christian receive his own portion. 

The fact that from one fire comes out several flames, speaks of the unity the Holy Spirit is looking for and that He comes to seal and fortify. Then the same Spirit is manifested through the expression of every single flame.

But they were all in agreement and unity to receive this fire and spread it around.

CONCLUSION.

We need to ask God to put clear expectations in our heart that are common to each of us who are thirsty and hungry of more of Him and to give us the right keys to get ourselves ready to receive His blessing and share it around us.

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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Exemple

To be salt and light in the world

Salt and light are the results of the work of the Holy Spirit in our life. More transformation is brought and more Christ grows in us and more salt and light will be the expression of our life.

Isaiah 60:1-3

ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and dense darkness [all] peoples, but the Lord shall arise upon you [O Jerusalem], and His glory shall be seen on you.

And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

This word is a prophetic word for Jerusalem, but I believe that it fits also the actual situation of the Church. We live a difficult transitional time that is taking us to the final period of history before the coming of Jesus. We need to receive this encouragement from the Father. He has not finished with us!

How many of us need some encouragement? I need it!

Darkness are becoming more dark on the earth, but there is a hope and a responsibility for the people of God: the Lord is going to shine on us and through us to release light into the world for those who are looking for a way out, for an answer for a solution.

This time in which we are entering is going to be a time of great opportunity. We have the opportunity to do what we have not done in the past: manifest the reality of the Kingdom of God in several areas of life. But it is a time of great challenge!

It is the time to take up again the mandate that Jesus has given us and that we find in

Matthew 5:13-16

 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

We have great responsibility to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, especially in times like these.

1. To be the salt. 

What is the salt for in this text? To give taste, flavor. Which taste and flavor? The taste and flavor of God, of His character, of His Kingdom. SLIDE 8

As Jesus was on this earth, people around Him could taste the flavor of the Father in heaven and in a sense the flavor of heaven, the flavor of the Kingdom of God. We can also use the term atmosphere. The Presence of God was in Him and created an atmosphere that was not of this world.

This is possible for us because Jesus dwells in us and if we keep a fresh relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit will spread the flavor of heaven around us.

2 Corinthians 2:14,15 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

It is the taste of the culture of the Kingdom. What is culture. (It comes from cultivate. see God’s mandate to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2) SLIDE 9

Culture is a unique system that includes knowledge, beliefs, values, laws, weapons, tools, art, language, symbols and other forms of communication, customs, distinctive group patterns and relationships, and any capabilities or habits acquired by one as a member of a certain group.

The sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.

It is shared by all or almost all members, and is passed on from one generation to the next. It shapes our behavior and structures our perception of the world.

So to be salt of the earth means to manifest and transform the world around us according to the belief, values, laws, principles, perspective, etc., of the Kingdom of God. Jesus said insegnando loro a osservare tutte quante le cose che vi ho comandate.

Salt can be seen also as the taste of real life. When Jesus was on earth hungry people could feel that life, real life was coming out of Him.

This is the life of the Spirit of God.

People are longing to touch real life, to taste it. We are the ones we should give them this taste/flavor and an atmosphere of life. People around us are not looking for good words, but to taste life. When it happens they will be interested about the source of that life.

Jesus was giving out this salt with His anointed words:

John 6:63 The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life

Another thought about salt has to make things, natural things healthy, or we could say the things of this world, that are part of the life of this world.

2 Kings 2:19-22 Elisha in Jericho. Waters were bad and the ground sterile. Then Elisha put salt at the source of the water and this is what happens:

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren landSo the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

Then Elisha went to the spring of the waters and cast the salt in it and said, Thus says the Lord:I [not the salt] have healed these waters; there shall not be any more death, miscarriage or barrenness [and bereavement] because of it.

So the waters were healed to this day, as Elisha had said (AMP)

2. To be the light.

Light of the world. Light is meant to expose darkness and that is true, but Jesus meant something different. If the light as the city on the mountain is seen, it means that outside there is darkness. If we are not in that city it means that we need a shelter. The light shows a direction to the people. The Church today tends to hide from the world, but…

We are not here on earth to build up a protected environment to live in and judge what is happening around us, but to become a reference point and to bring our light into that world to transform it!

It is interesting that Jesus start speaking of a town on a hill. SLIDE 12

A city is more than individual. SLIDE 13

It is a group of people, a society. A city include a culture, several domain of social life. It includes families, churches, business, government, education, arts, communication (media).

It means that a city living in the light is giving a model of life for all these domains according to the principles and values of God, the principles and values of the Kingdom.

It is not concerning spiritual life, but how spiritual life may affect the all city life. It is a complete message. All this can only be accomplished by the supernatural provision of God through the Holy Spirit. It is not just something human. True wisdom, authority and power, come from God, and God alone.

To be the light of this world means to be a reference point, a place were people can run to find an answer in the midst of the confusion and despair there is out there, in the world.

To be a city on a mountain means that people can see it and run to it to find not just refuge, but answers and solutions for their life. SLIDE 14

To be a light means being like a lighthouse in the storm (SLIDE 15) to allow ships to get safely to the harbor. People shaken by the stormy waters of this world, becoming more and more stormy are looking for the way to come into the peaceful environment of a protected harbor.

We are the one pointing them to the solution, to the real harbor that is the House of the Father, where every kind of provision is available.

This is true for any aspect of our life.

3. Power and wisdom

Some examples from the Bible, beside Jesus, are Joseph and Daniel. They were the light of God among pagan nations and brought the flavor of the Kingdom of God. Their taste didn’t get confused by the evil environment that surrounded them.

Daniel and his three friends are captive aliens in Babylon, taken from their families as adolescents into the palace and service of the King. They attend Babylon University where they study witchcraft, divination, and other sordid subjects, and they are at the top of their class.

They are surrounded by a pagan, idolatrous culture, yet none of them absorbs any of it.

How do we explain this in a world where Christians and non-Christians alike are declaring television, movies, music, advertising, and schools to be the formative influences on young people’s minds? How did Daniel and the others stand in this Babylonian environment?

The answer is simple and profoundly emphasized in scripture: they took their values with them. They continued to weigh the values around them in captivity with what they had been taught and, more importantly, modeled in their homes. Scripture indicates that if children are the victims of the world around them, there can only be one explanation. They are not being given the tools at home to evaluate the messages coming at them from the world, and they have not been given the confidence that they, with God’s help, can know and discern truth.

The fullness of the Spirit in the Church today means to bring wisdom and power into the world.

Immediate results: destroy the work of the enemy. Long term results: reformation.

Two main expressions of the Kingdom culture:

> power

> wisdom

Look at Stephen in

Acts 6:8-10

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) –Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.

When Daniel or Joseph impressed the kings they were serving with wisdom, they clearly underlined that that wisdom was not their own, but it was coming from God. So those kings recognized that their God was the true God.

Daniel 2:27,2830,47.

Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. 

As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.

The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

When Peter showed the power of God, as in healing, they gave to God all the glory. Acts 3.

Wisdom and power are pointing people towards God, the source of true power and wisdom.

We spoke about signs, last time, pointing to God. The hands of God pointing to the face of God.

You see, all the glory belongs to God, because we have nothing that we have not received from Him. There is nothing to be proud of!

So we can conclude summarizing by saying:

To be salt of the earth and light of the world, means to be in a position of alignment with God in our own personal and social life and to bring salt and light into the world outside in all the domain of social life so that the world outside may be transformed.

In another way we can say that the reformation we have experienced in our own life now becomes the reformation of the world outside. This is the Kingdom of God and the response to the model of Jesus to pray according to Matthew 6:9,10.

I want to remind Isaiah 60:3 

And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Last time we prayed for the Reformers for the Body of Christ. Now we are enlarging the vision: God is calling us to bring reformation, according to the values of God into the society around us. We must get involved somehow. We must know how we can be the salt and the light, how we can show the wisdom and power of God.

We are responsible to make disciples of all nations. As we said the other time, to make disciples is much more than just get people saved. It is to teach them how to live in the Kingdom of God, under His government and become themselves committed to the mandate of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.

This mandate is for each of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord. We have accepted Jesus, but have we accepted the mandate? 

We get only what we receive. Are you ready to get also the mandate, not only the benefit?

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 

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