Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Definitions

BIBLICAL DEFINITIONS
Apostolic Interpretations

Preaching is not from the pulpit to the already converted but where Christ has not been named among people who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Evangelism is not one way presentational preaching (lecture) on the street corner but engagement with the people. Jesus did that all the time. Most Christians have very poor relationship with the people of other faiths and lack training and therefore confidence on how to start even a simple conversation with them. 97% of youth grown up in good Christian homes, who went through regular Sunday school, cannot share their faith even with their best friends, when they enter college and quickly turn lukewarm or even anti-church. Matt. 4:16

Fully preaching is, not using church language with enticing words full of man’s wisdom but with demonstration of power. In the NT preaching nearly always resulted in healing, deliverance followed by immediate repentance and baptisms and discipling. When Philip the evangelist went from Jerusalem church and preached in Gentile Samaria, demons came out screaming and thousands were baptized. Paul said that “I have fully preached the gospel from Jerusalem to Illyricum through mighty signs and miracles.” “Power encounter” should immediately be followed up by “Truth Encounter” (Jesus the truth) which is “cleansing by washing with water by the Word.” This includes training in sound doctrine and cutting edge discipling skills for fully preaching the gospel. If power and truth encounters are not spilling over on to the streets of the city then you are sitting in a fake church. 1Cor. 2:4; Acts 2:37-41; 8:5-12; Romans 15:19,20; Eph. 5:26

Teaching: Bible is not just a book of knowledge but of transformation. It is not passing on information by monologue. It is training for ministry among Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, scoffers and the lost of this world. Interactive dialogue imparts ability to convince, convict and convert (transform) the recalcitrant. Jesus, Peter and Paul interacted with the people; reasoned and even disputed on the street, synagogue and in homes of the people, persuading them concerning the kingdom. Paul taught in the school of Tyrannous for just two years and the entire province of Asia heard the gospel. Obviously his teaching technique and content were quite different from what we are practicing now. Acts 18:4; 19:8; Titus 1:9; Acts 19:8-10

Apostolic Teaching is to make Christ known to others who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death i.e. fulfilling the Great Commission. The function of the pulpit is not to give sermons but identify the gifts and talents of the members and equip them to become saints for the works of the ministry to be effectively engaged in the community they live in. Apostle Peter’s teaching methodology and content resulted in myriads (tens of thousands) of zealous Jews turning into Messianic Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and those scattered throughout in diaspora in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.  Matt. 4:16; 28:18-20; Eph. 4:11,12; Acts 21:20; 1Peter 1:1

Maturity in Christ is not only knowing Christ but also making him known. Knowing about God makes you only a theologian, but knowing God and using His power makes you fishers of men. It is also the ability to defend your faith against those (non-believers) who ask a reason for your hope (apologetics). It is graduating from Sunday milk drinking Christian to a Monday ministering Christian. It is the ability to open the eyes of those who are spiritually blind, taking them out of the clutches of Satan, making them partakers and inheritors of their share of the kingdom. A user friendly church is one where members are excited about inviting non-believers to its gatherings for interaction and dialogue. The plumb-line of a mature church is the level of effective and productive engagement of her members in the secular and hostile world. 1Peter 3:15; Acts 26:18; Hebrews 5:12; 1Cor. 14:24-26

A Believer:And these signs shall follow a believer; he will expel demons, speak in tongues, drink poison and not die, handle snakes and scorpions (evil spirits) and lay hands on the sick and they will be healed.” A believer is one who believes in the authority given to him and practices it to seek and save the lost. He knows that he cannot go to heaven stamping on the bodies of the lost. Mark 16:17-18; Matt. 4:16

A Disciple:And this is how God is glorified that you bring forth abundant fruit (disciples) and then you shall be my disciples.” A disciple is one who is learning to make disciples. Once he becomes competent he becomes a saint. “Disciple/s” comes 273 times in the Gospels and in the Book of Acts but none in the Epistles because by then they have all matured into saints who are offering Gentiles as sacrifice. All the Epistles are written by Peter, Paul and John to the saints and not to any bishop, pastor or a disciple. John 15:8; Rom. 15:16

A Prophet: Not necessarily one who foretells the future but who speaks edification (building up faith), exhortation (sound teaching) and comfort (solace to the hurting). Along with apostles, prophets are foundation layers of the church. Church is a fellowship of prophets who speak out in the church. Eph. 2:20; 1Cor. 14:3; 29-32

Bishop (overseer), Elder (spiritual father), Deacon (learner): These are all different stages of maturity that a believer went though. They were all volunteers and did not wear any special clothing. They all required the same qualifications: 1.Character; 2. Good manager of his family that walked in faith; 3. Faithful steward of God’s resources; 4. Hospitable; 5. Ability to teach; 6. Sound in doctrine to defend his faith against those of other faiths who contradict. Titus 1:5-9; 1Tim. 3:1-13

Ordination: Anointing supersedes academics for fruit bearing. You have not but I have chosen you and “ordained” (anointed, appointed, consecrated) you that you may bring forth lasting fruit…” Every believer is ordained by the Holy Spirit on the day of his acceptance of the Lordship of Jesus to bring forth lasting fruit i.e. to make disciples, baptize and serve the Lord’s Supper etc. Elders may lay their hands on him only to send him on apostolic journey as the brethren did to Paul and Barnabas. John 15:16; Acts 13:1-3

Anointing: OT depended on pedigree (Levites), the traditional church depends on degrees (academics) but the NT church functions on anointing. Anointing is not for shouting halleluiahs on Sunday morning service but for your transformation, your family’s transformation and for others who God wants to bring into his kingdom. Being active in the church is not the same as being productive. The Christ in you must find the lost and make them perfect by equipping them for engagement in the secular world. Acts 1:8; 2:38,39; Luke 19:10; Col. 1:26-28

Renewal and Revival: “Revival is not just numbers, crowded churches and more collection in the kitty. It is dismantling our mindset in order to look at the dysfunctional and degraded community with fresh insights, in order to rebuild. Revival must result in release of the Gospel force of love, joy and peace.  Our quality of witness in sharing Christ in cultures and religions which are violently opposed to his Gospel, must significantly improve. After revival and renewal we must evangelize not in the traditional ways but in new and innovative ways because the world has changed where spirituality has taken the back seat while religiosity in subtle ways practices different forms of fraud, dishonesty, deception, treachery, callousness, cruelty, gender and caste inequality and unconcern for the misery of others. It is here that the real revival and renewal must be practiced and have a manifest impact in the quality of life at personal and collective levels.
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Will of God: What God wills instantly becomes the Word of God and the Word of God becomes a Command. So when God’s will is “that none should perish” then it is a command that must be obeyed. If God’s will is that “all should be saved and come to the knowledge of truth” then it is command that must be obeyed. Even a single lost person is one person too many. 1Pter 3:9; 1Tim. 2:4

Kingdom of God: The coming Kingdom (rule) of the King of kings is the central theme of the scriptures. “Jesus came preaching the kingdom.” The entrance into the kingdom is through repentance and obedience. The Messianic signs of the kingdom are, “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” It is the church’s mandate to announce and advance the kingdom by demolishing the gates of hell until, “The kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah.” The church must restore and demonstrate to the lost world, love, joy, peace, justice and kingdom values that the Devil has stolen. Matt. 4:17; 11:4,5; 12:28,29; Rev. 11;15; Gal. 5:2,23

Righteousness: It means right relationship with God. Abraham believed it was counted unto him as righteousness and because he obeyed, God blessed him with blessings and multiplied him with multiplying and promised that his descendents shall possesses their cities (Genesis 15:6; 22:17,18). The Hebrew words for righteous (tzadik) is closely related to charity (tzedakah) and justice (tzedek). Those who oppress, mistreat, or take advantage of others—especially orphans, widows and strangers—are the enemies of God and man. “The fruit of righteousness (tzedakah) will be peace; the effect of righteousness (tzedakah) will be quietness and confidence forever.”  (Isaiah 32:17). We can see why it’s so important that everyone in a position of authority needs to be righteous and just, including our government leaders and officials, bosses, teachers and even fathers and mothers. David was a prototype. When Jesus comes he will reign with righteousness, justice and mercy. Exodus 22:22–24; Deut. 14:29, 24:19–21, 26:12–13, 27:19; Isaiah 1:17; James 1:22, 27; 1 John3:16–18

Rulers/Leader/Shepherd:  Yeshua was a model of Servant-Leadership. The ideal Jewish king or leader is unique among the nations. He’s a servant-leader that is scholarly, pious, righteous and God-fearing.  He’s someone who encourages the Jewish People to fulfil their mission to be a light to the nations. Yeshua (Jesus) perfectly modelled servant-leadership.  He also trained His disciples in this style of leadership: "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."  Matt. 20:25–28. Yeshua is the eternal King of Israel who rules and reigns on the throne of David in righteous judgment and justice. David, the shepherd boy who became a king aptly portrayed the servant/leader role.
Divinity of Jesus: God told Moses that His name is “I AM” (Exo. 3:13-15). Taking that Holy Name would amount to apostasy and death by stoning (Leviticus 24:16). Jesus used that Name at least ten times: 1. When asked to reveal his Messiahship to the Jews, Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:56,58).” They picked up stones to kill him for the apostasy of making himself God (John 10:33). 2. I AM the light of the world (John 8:12); 3. I AM the bread of life (John 6:35 ,48,51); 4. I AM the door, (John 10:7,9); 5. I AM the good shepherd, (John 10:11,14); 6. I AM the resurrection and life, (John 11:25) 7. I AM the way the truth and life (John 14:6); 8. I AM the true wine (John 15:1,5); 9. I AM come that they might have abundant life. (John 10:10). 10. I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Rev. 21:6). Jesus never got up on a stage and said that he was God, but he said and did plenty of supernatural things that affirm his divinity.
Government: God does not approve of secular (Godless) government run by pagans (Daniel 2:44). In the theocratic Kingdom, only the constitution of the King of kings will apply. Isaiah prophesied about Messiah, “A child would be born, a Son given, and the government would be upon His shoulders… of the increase of His government and peace [shalom] there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment (mishpat) and justice (tzedakah)” (Isaiah 9:6–7). In all our leadership roles, we are to follow His example of ruling or governing. God intends those in positions of authority to be examples for others to emulate. Memshalah, the Hebrew for government is related to the word mashal (to rule or to govern) which carries the connotation of an example or modeling. When Yeshua washed His disciples’ feet, He showed us a beautiful example of how we should both serve and lead others, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”  John13:14–15. A leader must possess a combination of strength and humility.  He must be able to get the job done without bullying and to exercise compassion without belittling.
Persecution: One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:9, 10.) Starting a church where there is outright hostility to the gospel can be a daunting experience. Notwithstanding God’s assurance, Paul was hated, slandered, beaten and left for dead. Often Church planting results only after serious “front lines” of spiritual warfare. This is because the devil hates Christ, His gospel and His church. However we are assured of Gods protection, “I will protect you from your people as well as from others.” The saddest part is when it comes from the household of God and especially painful when it comes from one’s own family. People of other faiths have to face this all the time and often have to pay a heavy price for their new found faith. Self-inflicted persecution is when noisy worship precipitates backlash in sensitive areas. Worst kind of persecution is “no persecution” as you are not doing anything about the many lost people in the city and the Devil does not think you are worth the bother. Silence and not speaking to them can have eternal consequences, both for you and them. Acts 26:17,18; Matt. 10:36

Heaven: There are three heavens (Hebrew: Shamayim) in the Bible. The first heaven is where the clouds reside and the birds of heaven fly. The second heaven is where the sun, moon and the heavenly host of stars reside. And the third heaven is where God and his angels reside. No one has gone to the third heaven except the one who came down from heaven that is Jesus even as Apostle John did have a glimpse of it in a vision. All the 144,000 martyrs “under the altar” are asking to avenge their blood (Rev. 6:9-11). Actually they are not asking but their blood is, like Abel’s blood was crying out from the earth (Genesis 4:9-16). This is symbolic as this altar is not in heaven. The blood of the sacrificial animal was poured into the base (earth) of the brazen Altar that stood in the outer court of the temple (Leviticus 4:18). The number is only symbolic as 50 million Christians have already been martyred and millions more will be martyred during the tribulation.
Martyr does not mean only those who have been physically killed, as Apostle John who wrote the Revelation was not martyred but obviously he will be one of the multitudes of saints from all nations, tongues and tribes who have gone through the tribulation experience and offered their bodies as reasonable service (worship). Presumably they are all in Paradise where Jesus took the thief from the cross and the poor man Lazarus is in Abraham’s bosom. The bodies of saints are still in their graves but their soul and spirit are in Paradise waiting for Jesus to return and reunite with their new bodies (the dead shall rise first), thus winning victory over death. No one is going to heaven, as heaven is coming down to earth and God shall tabernacle with men. That is why we daily pray, “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” And what will be the point of, “And the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” if all the saints have gone up to heaven and the rest are stewing in hell down under. You are here to be his witnesses (martyrs) to transform your place (neighbourhood, worksite, city and nation) into the kingdom of God as your eternal inheritance. Matt. 13:32; Rev. 6:9; 7:9,14; 12:11;21:3; Luke 16:23; John 3:13; Rom. 12:1; 1Thess. 4:16,17; Hab. 2:14

Hell: Sheol, Gehenna (Hebrew), Hades, Tartarus (Greek), Inferno (Latin); Sepulchre (Spanish), Purgatory (Catholic), Pit, Grave, Outer darkness (English). Jesus spoke 27 times about Hell altogether of which 11 times about Gehenna, literally valley of the Son of Hinnom and 123 times about Heaven. Gehenna does not mean eternal fire but refining fire. There is an uncrossable chasm between them. It is a place of torment and punishment. It is so horrible that Jesus suggested that it is better to pluck off your eyes and chop off your hands if they make you sin. Eventually all the wicked angels, evil sinners, even Sheol and death will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. You will not burn there for an eternity as the physical body would turn into ash within the hour. You will have a different body. It is a place of remorse and anguish because of separation from God. The church has the power to demolish the Gates of Hell and every believer has power over all the power of the enemy to save those who are knowingly or unknowingly heading to become fuel fodder in Hell. Isaiah 66:24; Daniel 12:2; Matt. 5:29,30; 10:8; 16:18; 25:41, 46; Luke 10:19; 16:16-31; 2Peter 2:4; Rev. 14:11; 20:10; 21:8

Vision Statement: A brief statement that defines core values of the organization and with clarity answers the question, Where do we aim to be at the completion of the project? It must resonate with the will of the Father, “That none should perish” (2Peter 3:9). God asked Habakkuk to write down the vision and this is what he wrote and ran with it, “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” "Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare."Hab. 2:1-3;14

Mission Statement: A Mission statement spells out How you will get to where you want to be. It answers the question, “What do we do? It spells out the broad goals for which the organization exists. The goals must be realistic, achievable and in alignment with the biblical mandate. Jesus gave us a mission statement, “Go make disciples of all nations, baptise, equip and send them on to do the same” Matt. 28:19

God and Jesus: Jesus’ original name is Yahushua or Y’eshua in short which means Salvation of Yahweh. Yes they are high and mighty and all powerful but both the Father and the Son are Lords of the harvest and therefore senders. God asked, “Who will go for us? And Isaiah said, “Here I am, send me.” Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me so I send you.” Isaiah 6:8; John 20:21

Priests: The NT church appointed apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, teachers, elders, bishops and deacons but never appointed a priest. This is because every believer was already a royal priest, made so by the blood of the lamb. The church is a fellowship of royal priests who offer repentant souls sanctified by the Holy Spirit as an offering well pleasing to God and then equipping and sending them for advancing the kingdom. All other functions of the priest are secondary and optional. A mature church provides level playing ground for all; therefore, there are no reverends or laymen in the church of Jesus Christ. Rev. 5:9,10; 1Peter 2:5,9; Rom. 15:16; Eph. 4:12

Saints: Are those who have made a covenant (beryth=cut) with God with a sacrifice (broken and contrite heart). In NT situation saints are those who have made a covenant with Jesus to fulfil his Great Commission “to make disciples of all nations.” All the disciples in the Gospels graduated into saints in the Epistles. Only the prayers of the saints reach the Throne. It is the saints who will reign on earth. Political leaders govern by the laws of the land, while saints will reign on earth for an eternity by godly laws which shall go forth from Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will turn their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war." Psalm 50:5; 51:17; Matt. 28:19; Rev. 5:8; 8:3; Daniel 7:18,27; Isaiah 2:1-5; Micah 4:2

A Minister: In the OT, the primary function of a minster was to offer sacrifice and gather the sacrifice saturated fire from the altar and offer it with incense (Prayer) in the Holy Place. In the NT the job of the minister is not only to minister on Sundays but more importantly to equip saints for the works of the ministry. In the NT, Paul says as a minister of Jesus Christ I offer sanctified Gentiles as sacrifice so that they may become fellow heirs of the Body and partakers of the kingdom. Ephesians 3:5-7; 4:11,12; Romans 15:16

A Christian: There are no Christians in the Gospels. In Antioch the disciples (not all believers) were called Christian for the first time. Disciples are those who make disciples and bring forth lasting fruit (reproducing disciples). They are Christ bearers 24X7. So a true Christian is not just a Sunday sitter but a daily sharer of the gospel and a disciple maker. Acts 11:26; John 15:8,16; 2Timothy 2:2

Born Again: Holy Spirit is not just for speaking in tongues on Sunday morning service but the Christ in you is the hope of glory of the Gentiles that through warning and teaching you may present everyman perfect in Jesus. The anointing empowers you to be His witnesses to preach through mighty deeds and miracles where Christ has not been named. Col. 1:27, 28; Acts 1:8; Romans 15:19, 20.

Missionary: Our God is a missionary God and the Bible is a missionary book; so if you are not missional in seeking and saving the lost in your context, either local or global, then you are out of sync with the will of the Father. Every believer is called to be an ambassador to declare his glory among the heathen and his wondrous works among the lost peoples, wherever God has placed you.  Luke 19:10; 2Cor. 5:17-20; Psalm 96:3

Dialogue: Jesus dialogued with all sorts of people all day and every day out on the street. Peter argued with the Sanhedrin, the rulers of the Temple. Paul reasoned, persuaded and even disputed with the Jews in the Synagogues and with the Gentiles in the market place. People want to talk, not just listen. Quietly sitting in the pews and listening to erudite sermons is definitely not the answer for church growth and multiplication. Not surprisingly a church without conversation is a church without converts. The church must open up all options for dialogue whether it is one on one or small group dynamics or online Socratic discussion, any avenue for free and frank conversation. This helps people find their unique calling and ministry for engagement in the hostile world. Acts 4:13; 17:2; 18:4; 19:8

Traditions: Jesus fought a running battle against the Traditions of the Elders but did not change even a jot or a tittle from the Law (Torah) and the Prophets but came to fulfil them. Traditions and rituals constitute man-made religion but Christianity is all about relationships. "The traditions and doctrines of man make the word of God of none effect." Love should be our motivator, not tradition. Matt. 5:18; 15:2,3,6  

The Church of the Flesh: Vast majority of the modern day churches are churches of the flesh with main focus on sexual orientation rather than on spirituality. They are having been dreamed and designed by man. If you celebrate Sunday as Sabbath with all the paraphernalia, then the chances are that you belong to this category. Tall, handsome very impressive, King Saul represents the religious church of the flesh. His daughter Michal which means “who is like God” was barren to the end, like most of our big churches are of the flesh, zealous for pompous and ostentatious celebration. The represent the end time Babylonian church, like Nimrod, trying to build structures that reach up to heaven like the sky piercing towers with a cross on top. Cross was never the sign of the early church but the Menorah (Rev. 1:20). Emperor Constantine changed that and laid the foundation of the manmade Catholic Church. They boast like Emperor Nebuchadnezzar of "Is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty? While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "Nebuchadnezzar, the kingdom has departed from you." They compare numbers, seating capacity and collections but its foundations are laid in cement concrete and the growth is by transfer and not by conversion. 1Samuel 9:1,2; 16:6,7;Daniel 4:28-31

Spirit filled Church: It foundation layers are Apostles and prophets with Christ himself the corner stone. David an insignificant shepherd boy, despised even by his own family but man after God’s own heart, consists of small things like the mustard seed, widow’s mite or a couple fish and a few loaves of bread but represents exuberantly growing and multiplying spirit filled church. The church of the Spirit is never a building, program oriented or a set of rituals. It is the Body and the Bride of Christ that operates on Any-3: anytime, anywhere, anyone; wherever two or three gather together in his name. As the Bride of Christ her primary function is to multiply by birthing new baby churches daily. “And the churches grew in faith and in numbers daily” both in quality and quantity. They compare number of disciples made, baptized, equipped and sent out. Their focus is not on growth but multiplication where people sit in darkness and in the shadows of death. Eph. 2:20; Acts 2:46, 47; 16:5; Math. 4:16; 18:18-20
Your primary nuclear church is your worksite, be it home or the office or the market place. Irrespective of the situations and circumstances, you are to produce lasting fruit in your context, just like the palm trees bring forth abundant sweet fruit in desert situation. John 15:16; Hebrews 10: 25; Rev. 7:9, 10.

House Church: House church movement is not a new kid in the block; it is first century original and genuine article. Paul sends greetings to House churches run by Priscilla, Apphia and Nympha: please note they were all females. Today the house church movement is the fastest growing movement throughout the globe, not only in Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Communist countries but also in the post-Christian West. It is simply the New Testament church that is born again. Known by many names: Organic Churches, Simple Churches, and House Churches, it is a whole new way of being church. It is free from religious traditions, expensive buildings, hierarchy of authority, and professional clerics and programs, things that have serious negative impact on church growth and multiplication, the very thing that the church stands for.
It is the best place for practicing New Testament values such as the priesthood of all believers, Jesus Christ as the head of the Body and sharing resources and life with fellow believers as well as with the lost of this world. You are liberated as you are no longer just hearers of the Word by doers, living with kingdom principals.  It is new wine-skin that contains new wine. The old one is imploding from within. It is the most convenient place for authentic Christians and not-yet-Christians to eat, meet and multiply. Not surprisingly this movement is experiencing phenomenal growth at historic levels. 1Cor. 16:19; Phil. 1:1,2; Col. 4:15; Luke 5:37,38

Salvation: “He who confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart that He arose from the dead is already saved.” The next step is that “he who believes and is baptized will be saved.” When Peter was asked “what shall we do?” He answered, “Repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The next step is to be born again, “Unless you are born again you cannot see or enter the kingdom.” We are created for good works but salvation cannot be earned by boasting about our good works for we are saved by grace through faith which is a free gift of God. Salvation is God’s deliverance of his people from sin and spiritual death through repentance and faith in Jesus.  Rom. 10:9; Mark 16:16; John 3:3,5; Acts 2:37-39; Eph. 2:8,9

Faith and Works: Faith is not being religious but “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” We cannot see electricity but believe in it and do not mess around with it but make use to it for our benefit on daily basis. Faith is not about being practical, logical, intellectual or rational but having childlike faith, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”We are saved by grace of God though our faith which is a free gift of God.” Believing in God and Jesus as His Son does not amount to faith as the demons also believe and tremble. “We are to commit all our works to the Lord” because all our works will be tested by fire that will reveal whether it is gold quality or wood and stubble. Faith without works is dead as we are created unto good works. Faith is not religion. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” “For without faith it is impossible to please God.” Like Abel we now offer sacrifice (broken and contrite hearts) by faith which is accepted by God as our righteous act. Heb. 11:1,4,6; Luke 18:17; 1Cor. 3:12-15; 2Cor. 5:7; James 2:19; Ephesians 2:8-10; Rom. 10:17; Prov. 3:5,6; 16:3

Harvest: The next step is that Jesus will call you 2x2 and send you with power and authority to reap the harvest. You have to find persons of peace, eat with him/her, do signs and miracles, make disciples and plant a church. He said, “You say four months to the harvest but I say the harvest is ready now.” In fact he is so harvest oriented that he is coming back with a sharp sickle in his hand. He is not just your Lord but he is also the Lord of the harvest and he is looking for labourers. Luke 10:1-9; John 4:35; Rev. 14:14

Leaders: The Christian world is on overdrive with Leadership training programs even though the word Leader is not mentioned in the Scriptures except in derogatory terms, “Do not be called masters for one is your Master”. There is significant difference between managers and leaders even as we need both of them. Often managers are mistakenly called leaders but they are only “serving the tables” i.e. they are micro-managing organizations and events. Peter refused to serve the tables. Leaders are visionaries who have the ability to turn that vision into reality through strategic planning. Leaders do not just teach or tell others what to do, like Paul they set an example, “Imitate me just as I imitate Christ.” “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Matt. 23:10; Acts 6:1-7; 1Cor. 11:1; Phil. 4:9

Fivefold Ministry Gifted Elders of the Church: The Lord himself gifted his church with Apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. Their primary function is to equip the saints for works of the ministry (engagement in the world), quantifiable by exuberant growth and multiplication of the Body. Eph. 4:11-12

The Great Commission: This is the core of the core that every believer, if he wants to be fruitful, has to obediently follow, “Go make disciples, baptize, equip and send them to do the same.” It is not just going and making disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey. Once they learn to obey all that Jesus has commanded that is encapsulated in the Great Commission, they need to make goers, disciplers, baptizers, equippers and senders; “As the father has sent me so I send you.” A church’s success does not depend on its seating capacity but its sending capacity. How else can you be the light and the salt of the earth if you are not fruitfully engaged in the world? Matt. 5:13; 16; 28:19; John 20:21

CPM and DMM: Church is the Body and Bride of Christ and her role is to be prolific in birthing new baby churches, “And the churches were strengthened in faith and grew in number daily.” Church Planting Movement and Disciple Multiplying Movements are the best forms of evangelism. They do not just plant a church or make a disciple but plant a movement that moves among new peoples and new places. It transforms a stagnant church into a dynamic kingdom planting church by turning ordinary believers into fishers of men and to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. The church then shifts from being clergy driven to people driven, that makes her an authentic church. Church planting is the best way to save the most people around the world for Christ. Mark 1:17, 18; Acts 1:8; 16:5

Temple tax of half a Shekel was given by everyone, rich or poor for maintenance of the temple. Jesus paid this tax through a gold coin in a fish’s mouth. This is what you now pay to the traditional church to have your daughter married in the church and you be buried in your church’s graveyard. Matt. 17:24-27; Exodus 30:13

Tithe in the OT was always food (animal, grain, wine, oil, fruits) and never cash. It was given by land owners to be eaten by the devotee and his family, Levites, Widows, Orphans and the strangers (Gentiles working in the farm). This has now changed into breaking bread from house to house, where the sharing of the whole wisdom of God can lead to daily addition of new souls to the church. Acts 2:46,47; 20:7,20,27; Malachi 3:10; Deut. 14:22:29

Freewill Offering (Gold, silver, cash) was given in the collection boxes kept outside in the outer court in the temple. This where the poor widow put her two mites while rich put in with much vulgar display. Jews gave dutifully but we give joyfully. It is not for church maintenance but for harvest. The less you sow the less you reap, the more you sow that greater the harvest. This is now to be put at the apostle’s feet. Deut. 16:10; Acts 4:34,35; 1 Cor. 9:6,7;

Honour your mother and father: This does not mean being respectful but the Hebrew word Kabad and the Greek word Time’ for “honour” mean “money paid”. Not any amount but enough for them to live in abundance.

Worship: Singing endless happy clappy songs is not worship. David not only sang and danced but offered oxen and fatlings every six steps, not in the temple, but out on the street. In the OT worship required three things: 1. Fire (Altar), 2. A sacrificial animal, 3. A sword for slaughtering. In the NT worship requires three things; 1. Fire (The Holy Spirit); 2. A broken and contrite heart as a sacrifice, 3. Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. 2Samuel 6:13,14; Genesis 22:5-8; Acts 2:1-4; Psalm 51:17; Eph. 6:17; Hebrews 4:12

Baptism: There are seven kinds of baptisms in the Scriptures: 1. Baptism of Moses. God baptized two million people in the Red sea. 2. Jewish Baptism (Mikve=pool) called Bath of Purification. The pool represented a womb and the convert coming out was now new born or a new creation (2Cor. 5:17; John 3:3,5). Men and women being naked went to separate pools. No baptizer was required, “He shall wash his own flesh in water” (Leviticus 15:16). 3. John’s Baptism of repentance. It was not just cleansing of the body with water but also cleansing of the soul through repentance. 4. Believer’s Baptism:He who believes and baptized will be saved and he who does not believe is condemned.” Water baptism is identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. 5. Baptism of Holy Spirit of incorporation in the Body of Christ. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body” and for empowerment to be his witnesses. 6. Baptism of Fire (Judgment): On the Day of the Pentecost, Jesus baptized his disciples with the Holy Spirit which came down like the tongues of fire and they went and changed the world. All our works including ministry will be judged by fire to see if it was made of gold, silver or wood and stubble. 7. Baptism of the Cross: Jesus told his disciples, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with." All of his disciples were martyred. We are commanded to take our cross and daily die for Christ to qualify as his disciples. No point in arguing about sprinkling or immersion because God does not look at the amount of water but at the change of heart. 1Cor. 10:1,2; Matt. 3:11; Mark 10:38; Luke 9:23; Acts 1:8; 2:1-3; Rom.6:4; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; 12:13; 1Peter 4:12
Fellowship: God has designed every human being for fellowship because the very essence of our triune God is a fellowship. The Greek word for “fellowship” is koinonia, often used to describe non-activity or non-purpose, e.g., “just fellowshipping.” In reality, koinonia means business partnership, that is, purpose-driven friendship. If you have a common goal, e.g. complete the task of the Great Commission, then your fellowship will become meaningful and fruitful but fellowshipping without a common goal will invariably lead to a collision course, just like a pack of dogs will fight with each other, that is, until they are shown a rabbit.
The Tabernacle/Temple: All the elements of the Temple represented Jesus. The Gate: “I am the door”; Menorah: “I am the light of the world”; The Bread: “I am the bread of life”; The Wine: the blood of Jesus; The sacrificial Altar: Jesus was the sacrifice; The Laver: Jesus is the Living Water; The Altar of Incense (prayer): Jesus is the intercessor; The Veil: The Body of Christ that was torn; The Mercy seat: where souls received redemption. God told Moses, after you have made the sacrifice, “I will meet with you and talk to you at the door.” Now we are the temple of the Living God and therefore represent all those elements and after we have offered “broken and contrite hearts as sacrifice acceptable to God,” he will meet with us and talk to us. No one was allowed to come empty handed to the temple during the Feasts. As Christians we are called to be the leaven wherever God in His economy has put us in the world. Exodus 29:42,45; Psalm 51:17; Deut. 16:16; Matt. 13:33
The Fallen Tabernacle of David: Jesus did not come to restore the Mosaic tabernacle nor the ornate temple of Solomon but to raise up the fallen tabernacle of David. In the year 1050 B.C., David brought the Ark to Jerusalem and placed it in a tent, the Tabernacle of David (2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 13-16). The Ark stayed in David's Tabernacle for 40 years until it was moved into the Temple built and dedicated by David's son Solomon in 1010 B.C. (2 Chronicles 5-7). While only the Jews offered animals for worship in the other two, the tabernacle of David had no altar but only the Ark of the Covenant where Jews and Gentiles came together and worshipped by offering themselves as sacrifice. “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name…After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called..." While the other two represented only the priestly function of offering animal sacrifice, David’s tabernacle represented the priestly, prophetic and kingly functions. The Apostles knew that the Church was the restored Tabernacle of David, the place where Christ is worshiped by speaking prophetically and exercising His authority. This round the clock worship in truth and in spirit catapults every believer into a royal priest, designed to bring in a great harvest of souls. Acts 15:13-18; 2:17,18; Amos 9:11; Romans 12:1,2; 1Cor. 14:3, 29-32; Revelation 1:8; 5:9,10; 19: John 4:23; 1Peter 2:9
Lord’s Supper: The bread represents the Body of Christ that was broken. The Cup that Jesus drank was full of sins of the world, past, present and future. Jesus had told his disciples that they will also drink of that cup. Now the church is the Body of Christ that must be broken and planted where there is none; and the cup that we drink must carry the sins of those broken and contrite hearts, that we have been instrumental in redeeming. Not doing so would result in taking the elements unworthily, resulting in judgement. When we take it as a community we make a blood covenant to identify with Christ and his agenda, “to seek and save the lost”. Taking the Holy Communion is baptism of the cross which we must carry daily. 1Cor. 11:24-29; Mark 10:38; Luke 19:10
Love: The Scripture enjoins on us to love God, love our neighbors, love each other and love our enemies. When Jesus was asked which is the most important commandment in the Bible, he recited the Shema, the most famous prayer in Judaism, which Observant Jews recite daily: "Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad (Deut. 6:3-9)," which means "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One." The Hebrew word Shema does not only imply hearing, but also listening and acting upon what is heard. “Love the Lord with all your heart and soul and strength.” Shema is declaration and affirmation of Judeo-Christian faith among the ocean of pagans worshipping a variety of false gods. But the word Shema implies much more, “listen, hear and do” What is it to love God?  Apostle John succinctly answers: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my commandments.” All the commands of Jesus are succinctly encapsulated in the Great Commission. John 13:34,35; 14:15; 1 John 5:3; Matt. 28:18-20; …."   (Mark12:28–31).
Prayer: In the OT, we do not find our patriarchs praying very much. Every time they had an encounter with God, they made an altar and offered a sacrifice. Later in the tabernacle/temple, after they had seen their offering go up in holy smoke, they stretched forth their hands in submission to God and prayed at least three prayers: 1. Thank you Lord for accepting my offering and redeeming me; 2. Bless me now so that I may be a blessing to others; 3. Messiah come and establish your kingdom (Disciples asked Yeshua when will you restore the kingdom on earth? Acts 1:6). God strictly told Moses not to change the pattern. God met with his people at the gate of the Tabernacle/Temple and spoke to them after they had offered sacrifices. In the NT it is the prayer of the saints that reaches the Throne, who have made a covenant to offer broken and contrite hearts (fulfil the Great Commission). Prayer is not one way, yell and tell God what to do. It is a two way communication where He does most of the talking, after we have offered lost people as living sacrifice. “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Those who wept as they went out carrying the seed will come back singing for joy, as they bring in the harvest.” Your intercession should result in harvest. Genesis 12:3,7,8; Exo. 29:42,43; Rom. 12:1,2; 15:16; Heb. 8:5; Rev. 5:8; 8:3; Ps. 50:5; 51:17; 126:5,6
Sacrifice: Theologically as well as biologically, "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11, Genesis 9:4). The basic rationale of sacrifice -- the death of an innocent substitute to provide life for the guilty -- has been central from the beginning, when God provided coats of skin for the nakedness of Adam and Eve, on the spilled blood of sacrificial animals to atone for (to cover) the sins of the one bringing the offering, until finally "the Lamb of God" could be offered by God as "one sacrifice for sins for ever” past, present and future (Hebrews 10:12). When the blood gushed from His pierced side, His spotless life was poured out at the foot of the cross, and the price of our redemption was fully paid. Sacrifice continues to be central to Christian faith when we offer our bodies as living sacrifice as reasonable service (latreia=worship) and then offer lost sheep as our priestly duty. Romans 12:1,2; 15:16
Spiritual Warfare:Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil.”Unless you first bind the strongman, how else can you plunder his possessions?” The steps of spiritual warfare are, “to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me. (Acts 26:18). You have defensive armour and your offensive weapons of warfare are 1. “In His name which is above all names”; 2. By “His Word which is two edged sword of the Spirit”; 3. With the help of the Holy Spirit; 4. By “His blood” and; 5. Through your own testimony.” Through these weapons you demolish ideologies, thoughts and other mental and spiritual strongholds to open their eyes, to bring them out from the kingdom of Satan and make them inheritors of the kingdom of God. “Power encounter” resulting in healing and deliverance must immediately be followed with “Truth Encounter” introducing Jesus as the Saviour, otherwise the harvest will be lost. Over 80% of new believers enter the kingdom in 10/40 Window countries though power encounter combined with truth encounters. Whether you know it or not or whether you like or not, every believer is in the midst of spiritual warfare and has the power and the authority to destroy the works of the Devil. Matt. 12:28,29; Mark 16:17; Phil. 2:9-11; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 12:11; Acts 26:18; 1John 3:8; Luke 10:19
Possessing Your Inheritance: Saints will inherit and reign on earth. “Ask me and I will give you nations for an inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.” Peoples and cities are your inheritance that you need to possess now. God gave Abraham, ten tribes and land extending from the Euphrates to the Nile.  "The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.  You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you."  (Deuteronomy 7:22). God has given each one of us territory that He wants us to possess for His Kingdom.  However, we must first dispossess the enemy, “How can you plunder his possessions unless you first bind the strongman?” Even so our victory may not take place suddenly.
Our victory has nothing to do with our righteousness or because of Israel's righteousness, for they were a stubborn, stiff-necked and rebellious people, but because of God’s promise to Abraham, and because the nations that lived there were wicked. This process will go on until the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and then the saints will take over and reign on earth for an eternity. Deuteronomy 9:5,6; Rev. 5:10; Psalm 2:8; Genesis 15:18-21; Daniel 7:18,27; Matt. 12:29; Acts 26:18; Rev. 5:10; 11:15; Daniel 7:18,27
Your Eternal Destination: God took Israel out from slavery in Egypt, baptized them in the Red Sea, and provided them with food, water, cloud by day and light by night and daily fellowship in the tabernacle in the wilderness but that was not the destination. Canaan was, but they refused because they saw giants and considered themselves to be grasshoppers. For their lack of faith, God in His wrath scattered their carcasses in the wilderness. God took us out from the slavery to sin and gave temporary shelter in the church, but that is not the destination. He now challenges to us to “Come out of her my people and find and possess your Canaan, lest you share the same fate as Israel. 1 Cor. 10:1,2; Num. 13: 33; Heb. 3:11; Rev. 18:4
Paradise: The Garden of Eden (Delight-Paradise) was only a model. God gave Adam the mandate to replicate the model and turn the whole earth into Paradise (Garden of blessedness). Adam failed but the mandate is still there awaiting completion. Paradise (Garden) is now in the nether (under) parts (heart) of the earth (Matt. 12:40) where the souls of the righteous depart when they die while their bodies stay in the graves awaiting resurrection on the return of Jesus (Ezekiel 31:14,16). Poor Lazarus went there into the bosom of Abraham (rest and comfort) (Luke 16:22-25). Jesus took the thief from the cross to Paradise, stayed three days and three nights, preached the gospel and released the captive saints who were imprisoned (Ephesians 4:8-10; 1Peter 3:19). There is a great gulf on the other side where the wicked including the rich man went. They are not in “soul sleep” but could see, hear and talk as the rich man did with Abraham. They must have heard Jesus preach. Apparently you can occasionally even go out and come back again just as the saints who came out of their graves at the resurrection of Jesus and so did Prophet Samuel when summoned by the witch of Endor at the behest of King Saul. Now the martyred saints are resting under the altar (heart of the earth) for a season until the last martyr is in. Luke 23:43; 2Cor. 12:4; Rev. 6:9-11; 1Samul 28:7-20; Matt. 27:52
No one is going to heaven because the heaven is coming down to earth and God will tabernacle with men and we will be His people and He will be our God, “To Jehovah the heavens belong, but the earth he has given to the sons of men” (Psalm 115:16). He will walk with us in the cool of the day just as he did with Adam. You have been praying every day “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done on earth.” We know that “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” This would be silly if everyone has already gone up to heaven. We know that when Jesus returns to earth, the resurrected bodies of the saints will go and meet him in the air, but they will crash land and reign on earth and turn it into Paradise, the original plan of God. Rev. 21:3,4; Hab. 2:14; Isa. 2:3; 1Thess 4:17  
Yoga: Means ‘union’ and pronounced the same way and means the same thing as ‘yoke’. In the cultic Transcendental Meditation, you are to empty your mind and get yoked with the spirit world to find rest for your soul from tensions of life. Since they cannot connect you with the Holy Spirit so you should know that they are connecting you with spirit of death, the Shavasan (one of the postures of Yoga tryi8ng to act like a corpse). Yoga actually has nothing to do with physical exercise because all the contortions of the body are due to serpent in the Kundalini coiled up in your spine.
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29,30). He further said, “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:21,23). Jesus said, “If you abide in me, you shall bear fruit” (John 15:1-8). It is like two oxen purposefully yoked together to break the fallow soil to produce plentiful harvest. So the metrics of being yoked or yoga or Union with Christ is not just rest for your soul but also abundant fruitfulness (saved souls). Paul gives a good illustration of this union, that we being worthless wild olive branches are grafted on to Christ, the good olive tree and draw on His sap and fat and become abundant fruit bearers. Romans 11:17; Hosea 10:12
Objectives may be secular professional but always temporal; to become a doctor, engineer lawyer, builder, carpenter, a pastor or whatever. Matt. 6:19-21

Purpose of life is always God ordained, spiritual and eternal. Phil. 3:13,14; 1Cor. 9:25

The ultimate purpose of life is to know Christ and to make him known. Col. 1:26-28

The purpose of the present life is to prepare ourselves for an eternity with Christ. Matt. 6:33

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