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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Position of Power - Ephesians 1

How would you like to be over all principalities, powers and rulers of this world? Men of power have been striving to take their kingdoms and empires world-wide and to conquer all other kings. Men like the Ceasars, Nepoleon, Hitler and the ancient empires of the Romans, Greeks and Medo Persians. Empires rise and fall.  But there is one kingdom that shall last forever. "Of the increase of His (Jesus Christ) kingdom and His government there shall be no end." ( Isaiah 9:6) We often don't view the Kingdom of God as a government.  We think it is some kind of invisible kingdom of the heart and will never manifest outward in the natural world.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  God's kingdom and government has always been expressed with natural order on earth.  In the Old Testament God was king of Israel and the prophets, like Samuel, were His earthly spokesmen.  Then Israel wanted an earthly king and Saul became that king.  David completed the restoration of Israel's earthly kingdom after Saul in disobedience lost both territory and earthly authority.  Jesus then came as a descendant of David which gave Him earthly rights of inheritance.  But Jesus went beyond any earthly king and established His right to rule not only the natural realm but the spiritual.  He defeated Satan and took possession of even the keys to hell.  We know that because in the book of Revelation, Satan has to go to Jesus to get the keys to hell itself to release the scorpion demons that will torture men. Jesus, after His resurrection then announced that "All power has now been given unto Me in heaven and earth."  ( Matthew 28:18)  Satan today is simple operating by permission.  Satan had admitted at the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness that this power had "been given unto him".  Now comes the big story!  Through our identification with Christ, we have been seated in heavenly places!  All that Christ has is now ours because He chose to give us His kingdom.  No place in Scripture is clearer than Ephesians chapter 1.  All things were given to Jesus because He fulfilled all righteousness and then He "gave all things over to the church, His body" Ephesians 1   How is Jesus authority expressed in this church age?  Clearly through the 5 - fold ministries.  These, by Jesus own words are the "Headship Ministries" of Christ today.  Apostles (first), prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  Satan has tried to discredit especially the office of apostles and prophets with much of the evangelical church. This is greatly unfortunate, because it diminishes the authority and power on earth of Christ's present ruler  ship.  We will find later in our study of Ephesians chapter 4, that these 5-fold ministries bring the body of Christ to full maturity and preparation for the return and earthly reign of Christ which we call His "Second Coming".  Much of the church is in deception, as Paul said it would be, about the purpose of Christ's return. Many see it as an escape off this earth and all it's troubles.  God's word teaches it is not an escape, but an establishment of Christ's rule over planet earth.  If you want more information, please go to my studies on the book of Revelation.  Please take a few minutes and listen through the first chapter of Ephesians to see who Christ is and who you are "in Him".  

                                             "Seated in Heavenly Places...the blessing"

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Love Obama - God's word demands it! Romans 13

I know the popular trend is to bash our president.  I realize that he is just a man and will make many good and bad decisions. But I really have a difficult time with the general attitude toward our national leaders by conservatives and many in the Christian community. What does the the bible say? Romans 13 is about as clear a passage on our attitude toward government as you can get.  Those that oppose and resist God's appointed leaders, for that is what He calls them, will come under the judgment of God. Romans 13:1 - 2 "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."  Romans actually says those who resist will experience God's wrath! WOW!  Have we been getting this all wrong. I know there will be many of you that disagree at this point because you feel it is your responsibility to criticize, put down and degrade our president.  Do I agree with president Obama on all his decisions?  Absolutely not! But I respect his God given appointment.  David chose not to criticize King Saul, even though he had many legitimate arguments against this king.  He said, "I will not touch the Lord's anointed."  Is the church largely experiencing lack of power today in other areas of blessing and authority because we simply don't follow a command as clear as the nose our face? I am not saying that all Christians bash our president, but many do. Let's repent!  Remember Paul was writing this book of Romans under much worse government than we have in the USA.  How about Nero running our government?  Also Paul said we should willingly pay taxes because it is the responsibility to do so for any nation.  I know this post will be as popular as an alligator in your back yard, but truth is truth.  How can you argue Romans 13?  Now if the government says we must deny our faith, we are subject to a higher power... God's kingdom!  But remember that when you go to the higher power of God's purpose you will suffer the wrath of that human government.  You may be be flogged, imprisoned or even executed.  Let's thank God for a government like America that provides us such freedom to worship Him openly! Protect it we must and respect we must! Let's pray for those in authority. Let's love them with Christ's love!  Paul gives 4 arguments in Romans 13 why we should be subject to governmental powers.  
  1. For wrath's sake - (that is the wrath of God against those who resist)
  2. For conscience sake
  3. For love's sake
  4. For the savior's sake
You can hear these taught in the video below.  Please check it out...your future blessing may depend on it!
                                               CHRISTIANS AND GOVERNMENT