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Building a Spiritual Profile

The sons of Sceva could not drive out the demons, instead the demons drove them out. What! These people were doing supernatural stuff, but they had no spiritual authority. Their spiritual profile was thus non-existing.  What is your Spiritual Profile?

STUDY: Acts 19:11-20

When one study this chapter from beginning to the end, you will find certain conditions for the church to have a real impact on a region. 

  • Right Foundations – Acts 19:1-5 Baptised in water, as believers. Baptised with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of the ability to speak in tongues and prophecy. 
  • Studying the word from 10:00 – 15:00 (5 hours per day) for two years, saturating the whole region. Acts 19:9-10
  • Removed themselves from those who hold on to religion and traditions – Acts 19:8
  • “Miracles Glorify Christ” interweaved with everyday life! – Unusual miracles? Why? Two Greek words gives us the answer.
    – Soudarion – Handkerchief used for whipping of sweat
    – Simikinthion – A narrow apron or linen covering worn by workmen and servants
  • DUALISM and separation between work and ministry removed.
  • The Gospel was preached with demonstration of power, and might manifestations, creating an expectation, that even the outsiders tried to copy the methods.
  • The power of Magic, idolatry and false religion was broken, people burn their magic books, no longer buy shrines bringing a whole industry to a halt.
  • So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed Acts 19:20 (Acts 6:7; 12:24; 13:49.)

The sorcery in the region cannot be overcome unless it is overcome within the hearts of God’s people. 

This story is an indictment against those who worship religion, playing church.

You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. Mat 22:29

  1. verbs for “know” used here by the evil spirit (i.e., the demon). He said, Jesus I know (ginōsko, “to know by interaction and experience”), and he added, Paul I know about (epistamai, “to know about, to understand”). But the demon did not know Sceva’s sons. We are suppose to have authority over demons Luk 10:19. The kingdom power within is manifested when demons flee. Mat 12:28 God expect us to confront and overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:13 Like Jesus we have to say; “away with you, it is written”
  2. You do not build a spiritual profile, it cannot be build, it is established for you by obedience. 
  3. Social media is a false profile, you cannot fake a spiritual profile. You can feel the presence of the Lord, around someone who have been with God, and who has an active prayer life.
  4. Social media can be setup quickly, a spiritual profile takes time. Social media is about image, self, ego-centred your spiritual profile is built through humility and obedience, taking up your cross moments of self-denial
  5. A reputation. Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment. Proverbs 3:4 Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.  Cornelius goods works reached heaven Acts 10
  6. Social media seeks an audience, likes, followers… one seeking to build a spiritual standing, lives for the audience of one! God! How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God. John 5:44
  7. Mat 7:21-23 I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  Luke 6:46 But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? These people were doing supernatural stuff, yet God does not know them. Lawnessness: 458. ἀνομία anomía; gen. anomías, from ánomos (G0459), lawless. Lawlessness. In most cases in the NT it means not the absence of the Law, but the violation of Law, (thus meaning, you know the law, yet choose to transgress it).  
  8. In 1 John 3:4, we have a statement which relates hamartía (G0266), the general word for sin, and anomía. A literal translation of this verse is: “Whosoever commits the sin [on a continual basis] also commits [continuously] lawlessness [anomían], and the sin is the lawlessness” (a.t.). Sin (hamartía) is missing the mark ordained by God and not by us. God has placed in our hearts an innate knowledge of what is good and evil. There may not be any specific law which we violate when we sin, but that does not make sin any less sinful.
  9. By implication, anomía is sin, iniquity, unrighteousness that continue in secret make the church powerless.  Like the pharisees, and religious people,  “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” Matt. 23:28; Rom. 4:7; (by implication our sinful deeds, where we miss the mark, knowing the mark, And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Mat 14:12)
  10. For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, Heb 10:26-39 Just: right, just. Righteous, just. Used in the neut. tó díkaion, that which is right, conformable to right, pertaining to right, that which is just. This is expected by the one who sets the rules and regulations whereby man must live, whether that be society or God. Therefore, it means that which is expected as duty and which is claimed as a right because of one’s conformity to the rules of God or society. Conscientious, blameless, even-handed, honest, fair-minded, authentic, meticulous, punctual, honourable “The just shall live by faith” Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11;

Grace is not a license to sin, but the power and divine ability not to sin.

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We are all searching for Eternity.  

We are all searching for eternity, for the good life, fine dining, financial success, prominence, significance, for a better life, immortality. 

Gerhard was an exceptional and experienced explorer, an adventurer searching for truth.  

At the time of his regeneration process from drugs, he told me. One can achieve a 10 times higher rush of euphoria and pleasure, focus, memory and super-man feelings while being high on drugs than any other natural means. Drug addicts believe they are free, and society is in prison, bound by their responsibilities, marriage life and routine obligations.

Gerhard’s search for truth miserably failed, being in his thirties having nothing to his name, only broken relationships.  

Finding Eternity in Jesus

Eventually, Gerhard made the divine connection; he found the pearl of great price, the secret hidden treasure of life – Jesus Christ!  

He discovered that all that he was searching for was locked up in the person of Jesus Christ. So, over a period of time, through consistent truth, obedience and humility, he stepped back into his family’s and friend’s hearts.  

He found a beautiful wive in Amelia, who shared a deep love for Jesus, and they travelled, served and lead people into the presence of the Eternal. 

Gerhard’s eye for the finer things in life and capturing moments of eternal bliss became his trademark.  

He learned that eternity is not somewhere far away in the future; Jesus is the Great Eternal Now!! In Christ, thankfulness, peace and joy became Gerhard’s foundation, rock, and solid ground.  From this foundation, he worked himself up from being a film crew-hand to a manager, professional videographer and director of some of the most amazing shots and glimpses of eternity now.  

Gerhard’s death is untimely, abrupt, unexpected, and it feels wrong!  But again, Gerhard’s life is a sermon, a type of roadmap, a roadsign pointer that this life and all its fine things are temporary!! Word of warning: “Do not put your trust in these earthly glimpses of eternity.” 

These eternal now moments are only pointers, short reels, a documentary of what is truly REAL, namely – JESUS.  He died and rose again to reconnect us to that eternal reality.  

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corn4:16-18) 

We are all going to die!! 

We are really all going to die, some sooner than others! 

The only way to escape death is to know and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and receive His resurrection life force in your soul!  

It is His resurrection power that is working in us who believe right now, giving us the supernatural means to cope with our loss! By His grace and resurrection power, Gerhard won his battle over drug addiction!  It is the power of Christ within that helps us to remain calm, peaceful, and thankful under pressure.  

All cultures have their own idea and theory about life after death. Egyptians dedicated pyramids to their dead. Chinese built huge tombs for their emperors with ceramic armies to “protect” them in the afterlife. Vikings dressed fallen warriors and released them to the wind in burning ships. Crusaders in the Middle Ages believed they gained a more favourable afterlife if they died in battle, as did the Japanese kamikaze pilots in the 2nd World War. American Indians buried weapons and tools with their dead for use in the Happy Hunting Ground.  

Heaven is real because Heaven is here in Christ

For Christians and believers, heaven is not an afterlife fantasy or imagination, for we are already experiencing moments of Heaven here and now in Christ!

In Christ, we have received real weapons and real protection against sin and evil!! We cannot take any of this worlds riches, axes and guns with us!! 

Wealth, prominence, guns and swords cannot protect you in the afterlife. If you do not know and have Jesus, you are lost!  

The Good News Gospel is exactly this! Jesus declared in His first sermon: “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and then started to heal people, set them free from demonic oppression, raised the dead, fed the thousands, cleansed the lepers, and demonstrated HEAVEN here and now!! He teaches us to pray “Let your kingdom come, your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:10). He then later sent His disciples to demonstrate heaven too in doing the same miracles He did. (Luk 10:9).  

Jesus is the LIFE, the TRUTH and the WAY! 

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O Death, where is your sting?

O Hades, where is your victory?”

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor 15:50-58) 

“as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” II Corinthians‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭NKJ

Godly people dies : (Rest in peace eternally) 😇👑

Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

“Meanwhile, right-living people die and no one gives them a thought. God-fearing people are carted off and no one even notices. The right-living people are out of their misery, they’re finally at rest. They lived well and with dignity and now they’re finally at peace.” (Isaiah‬ ‭57:1-2‬ ‭MSG)

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Relevant Christianity: Being the collective messiah versus waiting for one?

https://youtu.be/ywyq5pV9OWg
https://soundcloud.com/janoosthuizen/die-hedendaagse-mesiaanse-werk

In times of crisis, we all hope for a messiah! A solitary super-mensch who will single-handedly save us from our predicament.  This one-man saviour is a popular theme for most Hollywood movies we watch. The plot usually centres on an epic battle against totalitarian regimes, where eventually, the messiah intervenes and saves the day. Some call it the messiah complex. Unfortunately, this has also become the major theme in Party Politics, voting for the best candidate versus voting for the best system.

From a theological or Biblical Worldview, is this perspective reconcilable with the gospel that Jesus preached and demonstrated?

“Christ is not the answer to your city, I am not the answer to your city. The answer to your city is Christ in you and Christ through you.”

Chris Gore, Walking in Supernatural Healing Power

A Jewish Perspective 

In the fascinating article found on “Moment”, ask the Rabbis: Are Jews Still Expecting a Messiah?[1] Several Rabbi’s acknowledge the common human desire for lasting messianic peace and prosperity: “Then all our grief will be transformed into dance (Psalms 30:12); our weeping into song (Psalms 126:5), and every sigh you ever breathed will be breathed back into you as renewed life and joy.” BUT, surprisingly they do not expect this reign of peace and order to happen by one single person: 

  • “Our focus should be on bringing redemption in our own lifetime and with our own two hands.” Rabbi Gershon Winkler
  • “I prefer a different mythic construct that promotes the worth of every person: the legend of the 36 righteous people” Rabbi Peter H. Schweitzer
  • “It depends upon us. We must also acknowledge that there will always be something that needs fixing” Rabbi David J. Cooper
  • “The best Jewish teachings discourage searching for wonder-workers.  But to deny all messianic possibility is defeatist. Moderate messianism leads us to enlightened activism.” Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb
  • “Who is Elijah? We all are Elijah. As Jews, we are each God’s partner in the creation and the ongoing perfection of the world.” Rabbi Laura Novak Winer 
  • “I believe that each of us is created in the divine image. We increase holiness when we accept personal responsibility for bringing about a “messianic age.” Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz

What did the ancient Jews in Jesus’ time expect the Messiah to accomplish? 

  • The Righteous One/the Messenger (Malachi)– the prophet promised by Moses would prepare the people for the end times as the first sign.
  • The Prince of Light – the Davidic king who would lead the sons of light in the final battle and establish the Kingdom of God.
  • The Priestly Messiah–the Interpreter of the Law – a co-leader who would purify the altar of God.
  • The Prince of Heaven–Enoch/Melchizedek, the Son of Man, would be the final judge.
  • A family of righteous warriors (like the Maccabees) would drive the Romans and restore the nation to greatness.
  • A foreign king, similar to Cyrus the Great of Persia (Isaiah 45: 1), would help the Jews regain their independence.
  • Lord of the Sabbath:” A righteous leader would restore the Jewish tradition of a Jubilee Year. Every 50th-year debts were forgiven (usufruct), slaves were released, and farmland was returned to its original owners. 35-36 A.D. was the Jubilee Year.

Jesus fulfilled all these expectations by being our physical “son of man”-example but also leading us to become the embodiment of the Messiah as a family collective, not by our own abilities, but by the Power of His Grace and Resurrection (Eph. 1:12-22).

Fulfill the works of God – Believe in ME

“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:28-29; 4:21; 11:26) 

The world has seen many types of messiahs who thought that they were doing good but brought about great misery, death and pain.  A narcissistic, grandiose self-image often fuels the tyrant’s messiah complex:

  • “They love me all,” Muammar Gaddafi insisted before he was overthrown. “They will die to protect me . . . my people.”
  • When presented with an ultimatum to leave Iraq or be invaded by the United States, Saddam Hussein approved a demonstration. Demonstrators waved portraits of their tyrant and carried banners that proclaimed: “Saddam is Iraq and Iraq is Saddam.” Saddam approved the message. Otherwise, it would never have been delivered.
  • Mao Zedong was “the savior of the people,” according to Chinese Communist propaganda, over which he had control.
  • Josef Stalin’s “messianic egotism was boundless,” his biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore concluded.
  • And Adolf Hitler told readers of Mein Kampf that he believed he was “acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator… .”

What makes the gospel of faith in Christ Jesus different from all other self-driven pursuits of holiness, nirvana, esoterical mysticism is the principle of “empty of self”. Invariably, also called self-abandonment, self-denial, self-forgetfulness. Reckoning yourself dead to self is the premise and launchpad for all Christ-centered activity.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mat 6:33; see also Mat 16:24: Rom 6:11; 12:1; Eph 2:20) 

Believing in Him means coming to the end of all self-effort, self-reliance, and dead works! (Heb 6:1) This is not a once-off experience but a continual reliance on His ability, strength, faith, holiness, and righteousness. (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 5:17) 

Receiving the Messiah Within! 

Paul reflects on this messianic mystery by saying: To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. (Col 1:27-29)

Feed the People

Read Mark 6:30-56 

Subsequently, this portion of scripture begins with the disciples doing Messianic Work: Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. (Mark 6:30-32) 

“You give them something to eat.” v37 

Walk on the water 

“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. (Mat 14:22-33) 

Greater things 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14)

A Messianic People 

Christian Religion has a bad name, but not because of the person of Jesus Christ. It is our misrepresentation of Christ that has led Christianity into disrepute. Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth, Galilee, mostly referred to by Himself as the ‘Son of man’, whether one believes in Him or not, is still the most magnanimous form of humanity[i]

The Christian church has been highly successful in making converts but is failing miserably to disciple the people in the principles and values of Jesus Christ. Evidence that although Christ-like behavior is the litmus test of true Christianity, it has to be understood from the outset that He produces the ‘Christlikeness’ in believing, obedient people. Oswald Chambers taught that, ‘All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be holy.’

A Christ-centered Value Based Society 

  • Intrinsic worth & dignity of every person
  • Non-partisan, Non-racist, Non-violent, Non-adversarial
  • Relationship Centered
  • Freedom of choice
  • Sanctity of all life
  • Personal Responsibility, and Stewardship towards Generational multiplication
  • Common Good for all
  • Work to bless and to give
  • Justice & equity for the oppressed

When followers of Christ begin to follow His path, and way of life, they will face persecution. For the world who is in the sway of the wicked one, prefers the darkness over the light. Thus the realization that we do not expect a permanent perfect utopian state, but rather a mirror-reflection of light and redemption in the midst of darkness.


[1] https://momentmag.com/ask-the-rabbis-are-jews-still-expecting-a-messiah/?utm_source=pocket_mylist


[i] Oosthuizen, J. (2018). A narratological approach to an aspect of practical theology: Scrutinizing the relationship, role and individual responsibility of the South African Farmer and Farmworker against a Christological Standard. Masters of Arts. THE WESTERN ORTHODOX UNIVERSITY.

[ii] https://www.netwerk24.com/landbou/Nuus/agrisa-kenner-grondhervorming-moet-uit-hart-kom-20190305

[iii] https://chalmers.org,  Corbett, S. and Fikkert, B. (2014). When Helping Hurts. Chicago: Moody Publishers. 

[iv] Wallis, J. (2014). The (un)common good. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos Press.

[v] Enosh Anguandia Adia Edre, Christian Nominalism within church membership a case study of the church in the town of Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South African Theological Seminary, 2015. 

[vi] Gorski. John F, Christology, Inculturation, and Their Missiological Implications: A Latin American Perspective, M.M. International Bulletin of Mission Research Vol 28, Issue 2, pp. 60 – 63 First Published April 1, 2004.