Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Understanding the Body Of Christ

I was inspired to write on the Body of Christ a few weeks back, finally I have written one.  This post is totally based on my personal experience and observation how the Spirit of God works in conjunction with the scriptures.  Experienced Apostles, Prophets who read this post "may" find this to be "different."  Kindly feel free to share your comments and experience in order for us to analyze in the light of the scriptures. Here is the post for us all.

What is church and what is the Body of Christ?
A physical church mostly denotes to a building, very few speak of the people who form the church.  Man has jurisdiction over the physical church. Even the State or the government has jurisdiction over the church or the organization.  

What Christ intended to build is not a physical church.  Christ referred to it as “Ekklesia”
In Matthew 16:18, "…And I (Jesus Christ) say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church (Greek - ekklesia)…"

One study says “The Greek word "ekklesia," is used 115 times in the New Testament, and in most Bibles, it is always translated as "church" (except in Acts 19:32,39,41, where it is properly translated as "assembly").
The first complete English Bible, Tyndale Bible (in about 1524 AD ) did not use the word "church" anywhere in its pages, it used the word "congregation." Sometime after this Bible, they started replacing the word "congregation" with the word "church."

What does Ekklesia mean?
Greek word Ekklesia means “to be called out.” Ek means “out of” klesis means “a calling” So, Christ was telling Peter - upon this revelation that I am the Christ, Son of the Living God, I will build “those who are called out.”

Are you getting it? Those who are saved are the ones who acknowledge that Christ is the Son of the Living God, the savior of mankind and that Christ is their Lord over their lives.  As they come into this revelation, they are taken out of the world and translated into the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son, The Christ, and He is beginning to build them.  This Ekklesia has no boundaries.  This is universal.  Man or the government of this world has no jurisdiction over this, but CHRIST is the Ruler and He is the Head of this “Ekklesia” the Body of Christ.

How does Christ build this Ekklesia?
God saves people by exercising His Divine Will and brings them into this entity called “ekklesia” even if they do not attend any local church, they are brought into this “invisible entity” called the body of Christ.  They are brought into the Kingdom of God. They become God’s own.  However, those who are isolated are deprived of the privilege which I will mention below.

Now, those who have access to be part of the group or an assembly of the “called out ones” or those who are brought into this entity “ekklesia” have several privileges.  This “ekklesia or the assembly” is built up upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone by the Holy Spirit.  The master builder is the Holy Spirit.  People need not worry about building this “ekkelsia,” they need to be simply cooperating with the Holy Spirit.  He is the one who is in-charge.

Please see the verses here

Ephesians 2: 22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit

Ephesians 2
9 Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.

20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the Chief Cornerstone.

21 In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].

22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.

Body of Christ built on the Foundation of Apostles and Prophets:
Ephesians 2
20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the Chief Cornerstone.

God is much, much concerned about building His “Ekklesia.”  He is the master manager and the most able administrator.  He chooses people even before they are formed in their mother’s wombs and designates them, trains, and forms them for His work.  Apostles normally go through a lot of affliction.  They are the special messengers of God and they can handle all the functions and so the training is very, very rigorous. They hear directly from God.

Prophets also form the foundation of the Body of Christ.  Like the Apostles, they can hear directly from God regarding the Body of Christ.  They are the mouthpiece of God.

Because there are real ones, there will be counterfeits also.  We need to identify the counterfeits by discerning, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Even if we are able to identify the real authentic ones of the Lord, we need to be discerning every time that the Lord is speaking to us.  This is possible when we are also led completely by the Lord.  One Holy Spirit is working throughout the Body of Christ.  He is the connecting media and is communicating to all in the Spirit frequency and signals.  When we are tuned in properly our receptors will grasp the right signals and receive Divine Directions and Instructions from the Lord.  One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is discerning of the Spirits.  This is not only discerning whether the person is the right one or not, but also whether the right person is speaking under the unction of the Holy Spirit or not.  Best Example is from the life of our Lord Jesus Christ in His interaction with Peter.  Matthew 16:  15 through 23 speaks of this.  One moment, Jesus commends Peter that he spoke with Divine Revelation and sometime later Jesus had to rebuke Peter as Satan, who was influencing Peter.  Each time Jesus looked underneath the outcome, into the source, and discerned things rightly.  Similarly, we need to be discerning every time.  If it is from the Holy Spirit you will know it and if it is not from the Holy Spirit you will know it then as well.  But know that people are also in the transition.  Also, consider it as a privilege and honor from the Lord if you are connected with the right Prophets and Apostles and you are under their Spiritual Covering.  Pray for them that they will always be led by the Spirit of God, pray for their prosperity, their blessing, their family, their protection.  Know the protocol of the Body of Christ that they form the foundation of the Body of Christ.  Apostles and Prophets need to be in unity knowing that each of them have a secure place in the Body of Christ, under the governing of One God, One Spirit, One Cornerstone, and One Head, The Christ.

In my humble opinion, or in my observation, most of the time, Divine alliances are made between Prophet and Apostle, Evangelist with an Evangelist in marriages.  This is a strategic alliance that would support the call and duty assigned to each individual.  Even otherwise, God brings His Ekklesia the “called out ones” under the Spiritual Covering of an Apostle and Prophet by Divine Means.  This is mandatory for growth, for building up, and for protection.  The Holy Spirit works within the structure for sanctification, edification, and growth including the members within towards presenting the Body Of Christ as a Blameless Spotless Bride for the Soon Coming Heavenly Bridegroom.

Designated Functions in the Body of Christ:
There are designated documented functions in the Body of Christ.  It is called the Office of the Five-Fold Ministry.  Below verses explain it clearly.
Ephesians 4
11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),

Office of the Five-Fold Ministry:
1.  Apostles (special messengers) – form the foundation.
2.  Prophets (inspired preachers and expounders) - form the foundation.
3.  Evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries)
4.  Pastors (shepherds of His flock)
5.  Teachers (expound and explain the Word of God in details and revelatory manner)

The one who is appointed in the office of the Apostle is authenticated to function in all five offices, what I mean is they get direct messages from the Lord, they get the plan and the blueprint from the Lord, they can also prophesy, they can also do evangelism accompanied with miracles and signs, they can also Shepherd the people in the congregation.  They can also teach the Word of God.  They possess all 5 functional giftings.  In order to qualify for that office, they would also have to undergo so much of affliction in their life.

The one who is appointed in the office of the Prophet are the inspired preachers and expounders.  They get the download from the Lord and they act as the mouthpiece of God.  It is good to listen to God all the time and get the signals and directions from the Lord.  Since the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us, in this New Testament times the Prophets act as a confirmation voice of the Lord.  Authentic prophetic insights, impacts, and impartation must be welcomed by those who have jurisdiction over their local ministry and church in order for them to move in line with the Holy Spirit and also to see things as God sees and to have a Godly global perspective.

Evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries)
As described, God appoints people in the office of the Evangelism with the designated duty to preach the Gospel.  They are also workers of miracles, healings, deliverances, and wonders for the furtherance of the Kingdom.  They are in the front line and in the business of plundering hell and populating heaven.  They are like the marketing wing.

Person who is appointed in this office is given the responsibility of taking care of the souls who are brought in to the Body of Christ by Evangelism.  That is why they are called shepherds.  A shepherd provides and protects his flock.  Lord Jesus himself has set an example for the Shepherd.  A pastor is to lay his life down for his flock and not vice-versa.  John 10 explains clearly how a shepherd should be from the life of the Good and Great Shepherd.  Ezekiel 34 gives a picture of bad and good shepherds. 

Teachers (expound and explain the Word of God in details and revelatory manner)
The one who is appointed to this office has a gifting to expound and explain the Word of God in a very detailed and more comprehensive manner.  They tend to get revelations from the Word of God.  Holy Spirit enables them to see scriptures in a new perspective each time and makes them dig out the treasures from the scriptures for the edification and the growth of the Body of Christ.

So, if we allow the Holy Spirit to take over the local church, He comes in and takes over.  He has limitless jurisdiction.  He will function in such a way from taking care of the needs of each individual to meeting the global (Godly) perspective criteria - that is micromanaging and macro-managing at the same time.  When Man has control over his jurisdiction, his local church, he thinks small and he fails to do justice to the call of God, to his position as the leader.  But when a leader gives full control to the managing force, the Holy Spirit with a global perspective of Universal Invisible Body of Christ, people in his church will be taken care of by the Lord himself.  He just needs to cooperate with the “Divine Working Force” and the rest is taken care by God - in my humble opinion.  A pastor of a church needs to be connected with Apostles and Prophets.  God will send Apostles and Prophets, because it is God’s building project and not man’s, and man need to identify it and cooperate with the Holy Spirit.  Even if a pastor is not able to identify it, if he is divinely led, God will connect him to His Foundation, the Apostles and Prophets.  God does follow protocols.

Likewise, each office should be interconnected.  God will bring Divine Connections and Divine covenant connections.  God will not leave anyone isolated because we are part of His Body.  There will be people who will be Spirit-led, obedient, having the image of Jesus Christ, bearing the fruits of the Spirit, whom God will send and connect with those who are isolated, for equipping them up for the calling that is upon their lives. This is confirmed in the below verses.
Ephesians 2
21 In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].
22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.

Ephesians 4
12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),
13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the []full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

When Christ comes the universal Body of Christ, the Ekklesia, will be received and will be removed from this world along with the governing force "the Holy Spirit." Then what is left will be the physical church - buildings and those left behind, etc.  It is unimaginable how the world would be without the Holy Spirit.  Life will be terrible when the Comforter is taken away.  Truly, the world will be in great distress.  
Again, I would like to point out that this post is from my personal observation.  Please feel free to share your experience and comments for the benefit of the Body of Christ.  Thank you.

Maranatha!! Lord Jesus Christ Is Coming Soon!! 

Written by Shanta S. Daniel
[Copyright@ Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end]

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Be Thankful!!

It is so joyful to have special days, festive days or days of celebration. It lifts up our spirits and brings in fellowship and communion with each other.  However, it is imperative that the reason behind the festivity and feasting & celebration is about honoring God and giving thanks to Him.  Bible says in Romans 14: 6 He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God;  It is good to give thanks to the Lord everyday and it is also good to specialize a day to remember all the goodness and blessings of the Lord and be thankful to Him. 

To be thankful is nothing but doing Gods Perfect Will.  He has revealed His Will in His word in I Thessalonians 5:18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

Being thankful is feeling or being appreciative of kindness or benefits received; It is most of the time expressive either by words or actions.  It is a very sweet attitude.

Colossians 3:15b says And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

Psalmist says about expressing the thankfulness in the sanctuary of the Lord.  Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

Ephesians 5:4 says Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].

The Lord’s will is always good for us.  Thankfulness to God and people around is also associated with our well-being.  People who have the attitude of gratitude are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and higher sense of self-worth.  According to Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Philosopher, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others." Multiple psychological studies have shown the correlation between gratitude and increased wellbeing not only for the individual but for all people involved. 

There is a curse if we are not grateful to God.  It is recorded in Deuteronomy chapter 28 in verse 47 and 48

Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you],

Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you.  
Therefore it is implicated here that we need to cheerfully serve the Lord with gratitude in heart.  It will definitely bring in more blessings into our lives.
Know The Schemes Of The Enemy:
Discontentment is one of the biggest weapons the enemy uses.  It makes you feel dissatisfied with your life in spite of all the good things you have and you enjoy.  It causes jealousy, bitterness, envying, complaining, etc.  It causes you to oppress others as well.  It makes you stingy and not generous and benevolent.  You would not be able to thank God for what God has done in your life, but you'll always be looking at the other person.  Finally, you are not living your life to the fullest as God ordained.  It is well said “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.”  Perhaps that is why the Lord has made it one of His Ten Commandments, not to be covetous of what is others. When we covet what is others', it would cause discontentment with our own life causing us to ungrateful to God.  You may wish to have blessings like car or house, but let that wish be not because somebody else has them, but let that be because you need it for your life.  God is good and benevolent to supply all your needs according to His riches and glory.

How do we cultivate this lifestyle of Thankfulness:

Ask the Lord for a Sensitive Heart:
Hard and insensitive heart cannot appreciate the goodness or benefit or blessing.  It would take everything for granted.  We need to appreciate everything around us.  Albert Einstein said “There are only two ways to live a life; one is as though nothing is a miracle; The other is as if everything is.” If we look at everything as a miracle, how excited we would be and it creates a positive attitude and gratefulness towards God.  That gratitude towards God will reflect into other avenues and areas of life. 

Though there are circumstances that you would not be able to show your thankful because of certain constraints, when you express your gratitude in the presence of the Lord for that person or a thing and pray for that person, though they may not know that you are being thankful for them but the Lord knows and He sees you.  As you continue in this lifestyle of gratitude and being thankful, at the right time, the Lord will enable you to bless those who blessed you and express your gratitude for them in action. The Key is Gratitude in heart. For the lips speak from the fullness of the heart.  Luke 6:45.  Not just words you would translate your gratitude into actions as well.

Journal It:
It is good to record events and things on a daily basis because you may forget as you carry it over or procrastinate.  I maintain a notebook called “Record of The Goodness of the Lord In Year __________” I have been having notebooks like that since 2011.  I should have started it before itself.  It is better late than never.  This has been a very effective way to defeat the schemes of the enemy and to appreciate the Lord’s goodness everyday.  Everything I attribute it finally to the Lord.  The sentence would start like this invariably “Thank you Jesus for __________.” 

Here is a simple or silly example:
October 23, 2014:  Thank you Jesus today there’s a milestone in my ministry, today my youtube video – Closer crossed 1000 views (1314 views actually). 

This is just for example, you and I can be thankful for so many other good and great things the Lord has done in our lives each and every day.  Nothing is simple or silly.  Everything counts.  If we do not record them, we may forget them and we may lose this lifestyle of being grateful and thankful to God.

Count Your Blessings by The Martins have these wonderful lyric lines;

He had family friends and money, loved the lord with all his heart
So the devil went to God and said ole Job would fall apart
If you would take away his fortune, let me put him to the test
Soon poor Job had lost his health, and wealth, and all the rest
And as his troubles added up, he fell down on his knees
He said lord I still got one thing, and that’s your love for me

You got to count your blessing, you’ll find one if you try
Count on the lord and watch that blessing multiply
All those might have, could have, should have beens, are nothing but distressing
When you’re down and out, its time to count your blessing

You might go through hard times, when you fall into despair
Remember you’re surrounded by his blessings everywhere
It’s in a neighbors helping hand, or in the sunshine of a smile
One blessing leads to one more, you’ll be counting for a while
It’s best to look at what you have, forget what you have not
And just learn a lesson from old Job and give thanks for what you got

Find Ways To Express Your Gratitude:
Praising God is a way of expressing our gratitude.  Every morning when we get up to seek God, our heart should be filled with gratitude for the new day, for His new mercies, for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, for the salvation wrought through Him, for the Holy Spirit who is with Us, for the Father God’s love over us, so on and so forth.  As we begin our day with gratitude for God, then we become appreciative of other things in our lives.  Though you may feel life has been so unfair or unkind to me what is there for me to be thankful for.  If you are washed by the Blood of Jesus Christ, that is enough for you to be grateful and thankful for the Lord.  Just focus on Jesus Christ, His sacrifice and His grace and what He accomplished for you on the cross and this one thing is ENOUGH for you and me to be thankful for.  He has expressed His love for you and me by dying on the cross.  This Love of God is more than enough to be thankful for.  Other things are just additions. 

Express your gratitude to God not just by words also by actions.  A teaching leader in our Bible Study Fellowship has put it beautifully,
“Jesus Paid It All – Gratitude demands that I grow my relationship with Him.”

“Jesus Paid It All – Gratitude demands that we live holy obedient lives.”
Beautiful isn’t it?

Similarly, we should express our thankfulness and gratitude to people in our lives.  We normally express our thankfulness to so many people outside our family but we take our own people for granted.  Appreciate your husband, your wife, your mother, your father, your sister or brother, even the little ones.  Express your thankfulness for them.  As we journal everything in our record, we also record the people who were instrumental for every goodness and blessing, be grateful for them and express your gratitude for them in ways you can find possible and at right times.  Make them know that you are appreciative of them.

Give thanks to the Lord for the Lord is good and His Love endures forever!!

Hope this post is a blessing to you.  What are you grateful for today and what are the ways you follow to cultivate this lifestyle of gratitude? Please feel free to share. 

This time of the year has always been a blessed time.  Happy Thanksgiving!! God Bless!!

Written by Shanta S. Daniel

[Copyright@ Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end]

Friday, November 07, 2014

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done

How many of us know the prayer taught by Lord Jesus Christ.  I know that every Christian who has gone to Children’s Bible School or catechism in school or any Christian who has read the New Testament would have come across this prayer.  It is a very common prayer that is  most often said like chanting a mantra.  The prayer goes like this in Matthew 6:9 & 10
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

In this post, we are focusing on what Jesus meant by praying “Thy Kingdom Come and Thy Will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.”

What is the Kingdom of the Father like and What is His Will like in GENERAL.  I am not probing into the specific Will of the Father God, who is in Heaven, but His GENERAL WILL and HIS KINGDOM which He has in Heaven.  We will glean through some of the verses to understand what His Kingdom is like and How He rules and reigns.

Psalmist David himself is a king and in most of his psalms he would address God as the King.  He had the right perspective about God and always kept Him as the King of kings.  Through his psalms David describes the character of the GREAT King of Heaven and Earth and His Kingdom attributes. 
 God has set His throne in heaven; He rules over us all. He’s the King! Ps 103:19

His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.  Psalm 145:13

For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. Psalm 47:7

God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne. Psalm 47:8

Our King loves righteousness, uprightness, and right standing with God and hates wickedness; Psalm 45:7

David calls God as the Lord.  Lord means the one who lords over or who has the dominion or authority over something or someone.  It also implies the kingship.  Wherever David calls the Lord he acknowledges that He is the ruling One.

The below verses point out the characteristics of our King and Lord.

Psalm 145: 14 - 19
The Lord upholds all those [of His own] who are falling and raises up all those who are bowed down.
The eyes of all wait for You [looking, watching, and expecting] and You give them their food in due season.
You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor.
The Lord is [rigidly] righteous in all His ways and gracious and merciful in all His works.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth.
He will fulfill the desires of those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He also will hear their cry and will save them.

Psalm 103: 3-9 (MSG)
The Lord forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in His presence.
The Lord makes everything come out right; He puts victims back on their feet.

The Reign of Our King Jesus Christ will be filled with justice, righteousness, without oppression, tyranny or evil.  No one will harm another.
 Psalm 103 (AMP)
The Lord executes righteousness and justice [not for me only, but] for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.
He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge.
10 He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].
14 For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children—
18 To such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts].
19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.

Isaiah 11
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord—
3 And shall make Him of quick understanding, and His delight shall be in the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, neither decide by the hearing of His ears;
4 But with righteousness and justice shall He judge the poor and decide with fairness for the meek, the poor, and the downtrodden of the earth; and He shall smite the earth and the oppressor with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of His waist and faithfulness the girdle of His loins.
6 And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatted domestic animal together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed side by side, their young shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
10 And it shall be in that day that the Root of Jesse shall stand as a signal for the peoples; of Him shall the nations inquire and seek knowledge, and His dwelling shall be glory [His rest glorious]!

Thus our King is full of love and compassion, faithfulness and righteousness who has the power to render a perfect governance.  There is peace and joy in His Kingdom.  There is  prosperity and protection in His Kingdom.  That is the reason Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray Heavenly Father, who is in heaven, Thy Kingdom Come and Thy Will Be Done on earth as it is in heaven because Your Kingdom is Perfect and Your Will is the Perfect Solution to us all.  

To all the problems in the society, the solution is not in any man-made systems which is flawed but it is in the Kingdom of God.  When we declare and decree the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and pave way for its rule and reign, it brings in solutions of peace and prosperity.  Submitting to His Kingdom and His Will is the wise decision one can make, as taught by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  So it is quite meaningful to say “Father in Heaven Thy Kingdom Come and Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” Isn't it?

So, what are your thoughts on the Kingdom of God and His dominion and Power? Please feel free to share.

Written by Shanta S. Daniel

[Copyright@ Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's the Relationship!!

Have you ever heard someone saying, I don’t want to hear “all-blessing” gospel.  I’m just fed up of people saying come to Jesus He will heal you, you’ll receive a miracle, you’ll get financial miracle.  Well, just this week I had heard this from a sister during my conversation with her.  This person is a believer in Christ.  She has a deep longing and yearning to know what exactly Jesus did by dying on the cross. 

This made me think deeply and intently.  Well, I am not a person who has diluted the Gospel and by God’s immense and sustaining Grace and Power will never do it.  God gave me this vision and burden -“to empower lives for a closer walk with God,” primarily focusing on the relationship with God than just the blessing of God.

When we minister to people, there are different kinds of audiences.  Some look for solutions to life’s problems such as healing, finance, blessing in life, etc.  Some look for solutions to their emotional and spiritual needs.  No matter what the need be, the only solution is God.  In Him and through Him all things are satisfied and made complete.

When Jesus was preaching the Kingdom of God on this planet, there were different kinds of people around Him.  Some came for healing, some came for deliverance, some came for other kinds of miracles, some came to hear His sensational speech and His teachings, which were eye-opening and so liberating.  Some were His close followers who had renounced their worldly work and occupations to be with Jesus. Some were fault-finders, always looking for ways to trap Jesus and put an end to Him.

Jesus after His 40 days of fasting began His preaching saying“Change your mind (repent), turn to God for the Kingdom of God has arrived” Matthew 4:17 (paraphrased).  Those that changed their minds and followed Jesus closely became His disciples.  Many times, we see in the four Gospels, Jesus did not share everything with everyone.  He shared the parables with all, but expounded the deeper meanings with His disciples and answering all their questions in a way to bring clarity in their mind.  Many of His teachings were not openly expounded to all.  He shared them exclusively with His disciples.  For example,
Luke 17
20 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,
21 Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].
22 And He said to the disciples, The time is coming when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see [it].

He shares very little with the others, but He takes pain to explain the whole matter and reveal the hidden with His disciples starting from Verse 22 through to 37.

Jesus gave the commission or the authority granted for a particular action or function to His disciples who were His close followers and who were with Him during His 3-1/2 years of ministry on earth.  He says “All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and earth has been given to me.  So my well-trained close followers go and make others also close followers of me like yourself by teaching them God’s Kingdom and God’s Kingdom Principles.
Matthew 28: 16- 20 (Amp)
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed and made appointment with them.
17 And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Therefore, as the Ambassadors of His Kingdom, we need to have a living, active, and growing relationship with our King, growing in the knowledge of Him and His Kingdom. The Lord God reveals Himself in our daily walk with Him through His Word and through our situations and circumstances.  So, shall we walk in the progressive revelation that comes through the ever-growing and progressive relationship with the Lord and King Jesus Christ?

Hope this post has been a blessing to you.  What motivates you to come to Jesus daily? Please feel free to share.

Written by Shanta S. Daniel

[Copyright@ Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Give Back To God What Is God's

Give back to God What is God's
These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, spoken in an incident in which some of his haters were trying to catch Jesus in an offence against the then political system.  Most of the teachings of Jesus was not a threat to the Roman Empire which was ruling the Provinces of Israel and Palestine though Christ came preaching about a different Kingdom in the Roman King’s Rule, but it was unbearable for religious leaders.  The elders of the religion, chief priests, and pharisees were closely watching and spying to see in what manner they could catch Jesus Christ in His teaching and preaching that He had committed an offense against the Ruling Government and hand him over to the Governor’s rule and authority.  This Governor was sent by the Roman Kingdom to be in-charge of the provinces.

So, they find one moment to trap Jesus by asking a question whether to pay taxes or not.  Because Jesus was preaching about another Kingdom, they were expecting that Jesus would say “when you belong to the Kingdom of God, you don’t need to pay taxes.”  However, Jesus gave them an amazing answer and they were not able to catch Him by His word.  It is described as below. 

Luke 20
20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.
21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them,
24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

The above Bible verses say that Jesus read their thoughts and intentions and understood that they did not ask Him out of a genuine thirst or a drive to know the truth but out of their craftiness to catch Him by His own word and bring upon Him some kind of danger or harm.  He told them to show a coin.  He puts forth a question back to those who asked Him the question, Whose image and inscription does it have? They had to reply Caesar’s because that was the image that was inscribed on it.  Then He says give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. 

Let’s take the latter part of the verse which says “Give back to God what is God’s.”  Let’s try and analyze, where we can see the image and inscription of God?  The earth and its fulness belong to God.  God is the creator.  Also, Mankind is created in the image and likeness of God.  In another words God has inscribed His Image upon us and He has stamped upon us that He is the Creator and that we belong to the Kingdom of God.  Not all are in the Kingdom of God.  Those who are not under the Lordship and Ruler-ship of God are strangers and aliens to the Kingdom of God.  Kingdom of God is not visible to the eyes (Luke 20:21) It is within us in our hearts.  When we accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ through believing that we are made righteous by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus, we become the citizens of the Kingdom of God.  This process is called “to be born again,” because we are re-created in the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  So, as the citizens of the Kingdom of God, God stamps upon us His Image and the inscription that says that we are His Royal Children, we belong to His family, and we are His possession. 

Since we belong to God, we are God’s.  Now, we don’t belong to ourselves, but Christ the King.  Our eyes are not ours, our ears are not ours, our feet are not ours, the members of our bodies are not ours, our passion, our liking, our wills, emotions, our properties, our possessions, everything should be centered on the Will of God.

It is not suffice that we are saved and born-again, but we need to have the understanding that we are not our own and we belong to the Kingdom.  We need to give ourselves back to the Kingdom.  It does not mean that all of us have to leave our current occupations and professions and become full time serving the Lord.  But it means in our capacity, in our circles which God has placed us in, we need to be doing the Will of the King. 

I once again would like to remind ourselves that Kingdom of God is not outside in any church or organization, it is within us in our hearts.  The Lord is ruling as King from our heart and the principles and precepts of the King are already given to us in the book called Bible.  Dr. Myles Munroe who has been my inspiration ever since I stumbled upon his book “Kingdom Principles,” calls Bible as the Constitution of the Kingdom of God.

It is so sweet to give ourselves back to the Kingdom than paying taxes to the government.  Because our Ruler, our King is generous and benevolent.  He does not rule us with Iron Hand.  Look how He rules us when we surrender to His Lordship....

Isaiah 11:
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

The shoot that comes up from the stump of Jesse indicates the Lord Jesus Christ and the rest of the verses speaks of His rule, how He will rule.  The result of which there will be no harm or destruction in His Kingdom.  Though this speaks of His 1000-year rule, just like that God is able to provide us goodness and His care in our lives and keep us out of the evils of this world.

Is it not a wise and best decision to come into the Lordship of Jesus and come under His Kingdom care and protection?  If your answer is yes, shall we then pray the following prayer?

Dear Father in Heaven, holy be your name.  I understand and conceive that Jesus has paid the price for my sin through His death on the cross.  I repent for my sins and I ask for forgiveness of my sins and washing of my sins through the Lord Jesus Christ.  I believe in Him and receive Him as my savior and Lord.  I come under the Lordship of Jesus.  I want to be reborn into your kingdom.  Thank you for taking me from this world of darkness and translating me into the Kingdom of Your Dear Son Jesus Christ.  Holy Be Your Name.  Your Kingdom come upon my life as it is in heaven.  Your Will be done in my life as it is heaven.  Thank you for making me a citizen of the Kingdom of God and stamping upon me Your Image and Inscription declaring that I belong to You.  Having thoroughly understood that I belong to you, as the Lord Jesus said, I give myself back to You.  Lord have Your way in the every day of my life and teach me Your precepts and statutes from the Constitution of the Kingdom of God.  Help me to walk in loving obedience to Your Will and Ways.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen. 

So...readers...hope that this post must have been a blessing to you.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on this post.  Thanks!!

Written by Shanta S. Daniel

[Copyright@ Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end]

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