Categories
Sermons

7 Ways to Stay Spiritually Fit

1. Feed your spirit through the Word, prayer and meditation. 

It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that goeth forth through the mouth of God.” The word referred to here is ῥῆμα rhḗma; the voice of someone speaking. This implies God’s audible voice. “He caused you to suffer, and caused you to hunger, and then gave you the manna to eat—something which ye had not known before, nor did your ancestors. He wanted you to realize that one lives not only on bread, but of every word the Lord says.” (Deut 8:3).

When we read the Bible, we do it prayerfully, set to hear His voice. Meditation is precisely the contemplation of God’s Word, so that the passage He has enlightened in your heart by His Spirit can gain our understanding of what we need to do, to apply in practice.

  • These audible statements from God’s Word anchor us, and make us steady in times of evil and crisis.
  • These words speak to our spirits, and help gain insight.
  • These words from God touch the roadmap of our faith journey with the Lord.

The more time you make with the word, read it, memorize, pray, preach and live the more Word fit one becomes. You hear His voice more and more clearly, because you have a faith-word vocabulary. 

2. Activate your Faith.

What does it help, my brothers, if someone claims to believe, but his actions don’t confirm it? Faith is an action, a verb, it is obedience. It is the doting and act of the Word, which makes us mentally fit. Faith fit!

Serving Jesus is impossible for the flesh, it costs faith to forgive, serve, the person who doesn’t deserve love, gives you last money, prays for the sick, leads someone to the Lord. The more you start applying the word in faith, the fitter you get. You build as too true faith muscles, and a capacity of faith when, for example, you physically praise the Lord in difficult circumstances.

You can immediately count out someone who spends a lot of time in the gym on their physical fit appearance — the great of their muscles. So you can immediately measure believers by the greatness of their acts of faith. 

3. Practice your spiritual gifts:

The Father has made provision for us by the Holy Spirit to live supernaturally like Jesus: The 9 fruits of the spirit (Galatians 4:20-21) and 9 gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) are God’s supernatural validation to live Godly fruitfully.

These are supernatural gifts to demonstrate God’s love in the world. These gifts make our ministry directed, focusing on giving. When we can do something meaningful to someone, it makes us feel good, and we feel inspired. a valuable spiritual exercise in times of need and loss.

When you have physically nothing to give to someone, but you can, by a prophecy, enlighten someone’s mind and give new hope, you feel rich. We are rich in Christ in that He has given us access to His kingdom. a spiritual inheritance of divine gifts and abilities. (Eph 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3-4) 

4. Rest. 

Jesus made time to lay down and sleep even in the midst of a day-trip. (Mark 4:35-41) Studies have found that sleep is non-negotiable when it comes to concentration and imagination abilities, and emotional stability. A concert violinist sleeps up to 9 hours to be totally mentally rested, to give them best.

In a study group, a difficult code-word discovery exercise was given to 2 groups. One group slept sufficiently and rested, the other stayed awake. The group that rested resolved the problem twice as fast than the other group.

Sleeping well presupposes soul rest. You don’t fall asleep if you’re upset, or worried about a certain crisis. “Be careful of nothing, but let everything through prayer and cries with thanksgiving become familiar with God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7).

This is an essentially important daily exercise that faith people must master. We must teach each how to reveal your needs to the Lord in prayer, through petition, and then thanksgiving, and then in His presence, receive the gift of soul rest. Our entire spiritual battle in this life is from the position of rest. We’re fighting harder, resting harder! This resting position is our position of authority and authority to silence the storm like Jesus. 

5. Interact with the fellowship of believers. 

Social discourse is indispensable, and core to our spiritual existence. The talk together, witness, share, and stories tell us build up in our faith. Dr Henry Cloud tells of his heavily being busy completing his NAVY SEALS training when, on the last day of “Hell’s Week, he was physically no longer able to complete the killing swimming effort. His friend saw him struggling, and began to cheer him away from the side, suddenly almost supernaturally he gained strength to finish. Spending, eating and socialising with the right people sets up your mind. It is especially in these togetherness times where we practice our spiritual gifts to build, sooth, encourage, and encourage one another. Some people still struggle to pray before people who are still speaking before people in tongues, obtaining the layout, and prophesying?! How then does the matter stand? When you come together, then each of you has a psalm or a teaching or a language or a revelation or a layout — let everything be founded. (1 Cor 14:26)

So to get mentally fit is not only chit-chat, it is to go over to deeper conversations and spiritual ministry. To lay hands on each other, and pray we are spiritually strengthened and fit. 

6. Open yourself up to mentoring. 

We all need feedback from a specialist, to help us grow and develop in a certain area. As with athletes who want to perform better, we each need a spiritual mentor and coach. In our heart, every person thinks he or she is doing right. That’s when our life stands under the light and standard of Christ Jesus, we realize our sin and miserable self-justification. Spiritual Fathers want to see their children grow up in adulthood in Christ Jesus’ life, thought, habits and values. (Galatians 4:19; Col 1:28-29) This means there is a specific encouragement, correction, admonition, rebuke and chastening process. (Hebrews 12:5-11) People who do not receive spiritual direct coaching aimed at Christ’s example tend to misrepresent Jesus. 

7. Think right. 

Much of our spirituality is locked up in our thinking. How we think, the specific way and process of thinking determines our life. Spiritual people had their minds formed by the Word. They think word, and according to the directives and wisdoms of the word. Consider the wisdoms of preacher and proverbs. For they that are carnal devise fleshly things, but they that are spiritual, spiritual things. For what the flesh devises is death, but what the Spirit devises is life and peace; because what the flesh devises is enmity against God; for it does not submit to the law of God, for neither can it. And they that are in flesh cannot please God; however, ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if even the Spirit of God abdes in you. (Romans 8:5-11) Thinking follows beliefs, or worldviews that ultimately form an ideology. It’s not so much about what you think here, but how you think. Do you think linearly or systemically. Do you think from God’s perspective or that of a person like Peter. (Mat 16:23) Do you think re-utilize to one aspect or pluralistically entirely? Spiritual men have the sentences of Christ. (2 Cor 2:16) The wind blows where he wants, and you hear his sound, but you don’t know where he’s coming and where he’s going. So is everyone born of the Spirit. (John 3:8) Spiritual people are therefore unpredictable, fresh and new, but defining a certain direction — the throne room of the Lord. Examples of negative thinking are practical: do you always think the worst of someone? Are you like Thomas always disbelieving because you want to see first? Are you derogatory on yourself? Constantly measure yourself by others? Do you do self-examination all the time? Do you always seek the error with someone else first? Are you full of excuses? Do you feel entitled to something you haven’t worked for? These thoughts are all examples of thinking that haven’t caught fit mentally yet. How long does it take you to move from a ‘default’ old way of thinking, to think right again? This process needs to take place faster, for the person who is spiritual fit.

In times like these, it is important that we get spiritually fit, with great value to our overall immune system health. Spiritual-well being is beneficial to all the other aspects of our being (social, emotional, mental, physical, vocational, mental) anchoring and correcting your humanity, emotions, desires and habits. Spiritually mature and healthy people deal with stress, and crises better. They can handle change better. They are not so much attuned to the daily news events and circumstances. They are usually more helpful and seek practical solutions. They are people-oriented to recognize people’s need more quickly, and to actively help. They’re more grateful people. They are more peaceful and happy people! 
 

Categories
Preke

7 Maniere om geestelik Fiks te Bly

  1. Voed jou gees deur die Woord, gebed en meditasie. 

 

Daar is geskrywe: Die mens sal nie van brood alleen lewe nie, maar van elke woord wat deur die mond van God uitgaan.” 

Die woord waarna hier verwys word is ῥῆμα rhḗma; die stem van iemand wat praat.  Dit impliseer God se hoorbare stem.  Hy het julle laat swaarkry en julle laat hongerly en toe vir julle die manna gegee om te eet—iets wat julle nie vantevore geken het nie en julle voorouers ook nie. Hy wou julle laat besef dat ’n mens nie net van brood leef nie, maar van elke woord wat die Here sê. (Deut 8:3) 

Wanneer ons Bybel lees, doen ons dit biddend, ingestel om Sy stem te hoor.  Meditasie is juis die bepeinsing van God se Woord, sodat die gedeelte wat Hy deur Sy Gees in jou hart verlig het kan insink, ons begrip kry om te verstaan wat ons moet doen, om in die praktyk toe te pas. Hierdie hoorbare insprake vanuit God se Woord, anker ons, en maak ons bestendig in tye van onheil en krisis. Hierdie woorde spreek tot ons gees, en help om om insig te verkry.  Hierdie woorde van God raak die padkaart van ons geloofsreis met die Here.  Hoe meer tyd jy met die woord maak, dit lees, memoriseer, bid, preek en leef hoe meer Woordfiks raak ‘n mens. Jy hoor Sy stem al hoe duideliker, want jy het ‘n geloofs-woord-woordeskat.

 

2. Aktiveer jou Geloof. 

Wat help dit, my broers, as iemand beweer dat hy glo, maar sy dade bevestig dit nie? 

Geloof is ‘n aksie, ‘n werkwoord, dit is gehoorsaamheid. Dis is die doen en handeling van die Woord, wat ons geestelik fiks maak. Geloofsfiks!

Om Jesus te dien is onmoontlik vir die vlees, dit kos geloof om te vergewe, te dien, die persoon wat nie liefde verdien nie lief te hê, jou laaste geld te gee, vir siekes te bid, iemand na die Here toe te lei. Hoe meer jy die woord in geloof begin toepas, hoe fikser word jy.  Jy bou as te ware geloofspiere, en ‘n geloofs-kapasiteit wanneer jy byvoorbeeld die Here fisies loof in moeilike omstandighede.

Jy kan iemand wat baie tyd in die gimnasium spandeer dadelik uitken aan hulle fisiese fikse voorkoms – die grote van hulle spiere. So kan jy gelowiges dadelik uitken aan die grootheid van hulle geloofsdade.  

 

3. Beoefen jou geestelike gawes: 

Die Vader het deur die Heilige Gees vir ons voorsiening gemaak om bonatuurlik soos Jesus te leef: Die 9 vrugte van die gees (Gal 4:20-21) en 9 gawes van die Gees (1 Cor 12:4-11) is God se bonatuurlike bekragtiging om Godsvrugtig te lewe.

Hierdie is bonatuurlike genadegawes om God se liefde in die wêreld te demonstreer.  Hierdie gawes maak ons bediening gerig, en fokus ons om te gee. 

Wanneer ons iets betekenisvol vir iemand kan doen, laat dit ons goed voel, en ons voel geïnspireerd. ‘n Waardevolle geestelike oefening in tye van nood en verlies.  Wanneer jy fisies niks het om vir iemand te gee nie, maar jy kan deur ‘n profesie iemand se gemoed verlig en nuwe hoop gee, voel jy ryk.  Ons is ryk in Christus, deurdat Hy ons toegang gegee het tot Sy koninkryk, ‘n geestelike erfenis van goddelike gawes en vermoëns. (Eph 1:3; 2 Pet 1:3-4) 

 

4. Rus. 

Jesus het tyd gemaak om selfs te midde van ‘n dagreis, neer te lê en te slaap. (Mark 4:35-41) Studies het bevind dat slaap is ononderhandelbaar wanneer dit kom by konsentrasie en denk vermoëns, en emosionele stabiliteit. [1] 

‘n Konsert violis slaap tot 9 ure om totaal verstandelik uitgerus te wees, om hulle beste te gee. In ‘n studie groep is ‘n moeilike kode-woord ontdekking oefening aan 2 groepe gegee. Die een groep het genoegsaam geslaap en gerus, die ander het wakker gebly. Die groep wat gerus het, het 2 keer vinniger die probleem opgelos as die ander groep.  

Om goed te slaap veronderstel sielsrus. Mens raak nie aan die slaap as jy ontsteld is, of bekommerd is oor ‘n sekere krisis nie.  Wees oor niks besorg nie, maar laat julle begeertes in alles deur gebed en smeking met danksegging bekend word by God.

En die vrede van God, wat alle verstand te bowe gaan, sal julle harte en julle sinne bewaar in Christus Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7) Hierdie is ‘n wesenlike belangrike daaglikse oefening wat geloofsmense moet baasraak.  Ons moet elkeen leer hoe om in gebed, deur petisie, en dan danksegging jou behoeftes aan die Here bekend te maak, en dan in Sy teenwoordigheid die geskenk van sielsrus te ontvang.  Ons hele geestelike geveg in hierdie lewe is vanuit die posisie van rus. Ons baklei harder, deur harder te rus! Hierdie rusposisie is ons posisie van gesag en outoriteit om soos Jesus die storm stil te maak.  

 

5. Interaksie met die gemeenskap van gelowiges.  

Saamkuier is onmisbaar, en kern tot ons geestelike bestaan. Die saampraat, getuig, deel, en stories vertel bou ons op in ons geloof.  

Dr Henry Cloud vertel van sy swaer wat besig was om sy Navy Seals opleiding te voltooi toe hy op die laaste dag van “Hell’s week” fisies nie meer in staat was om die moordende swem poging te voltooi nie.  Sy vriend het hom gesien sukkel, en hom van die kant af begin moed inpraat, skielik amper bonatuurlik het hy krag gekry om klaar te maak.  Om saam met die regte mense tyd te spandeer, te eet en te kuier, stig jou gemoed. Dis veral in hierdie saamwees tye waar ons juis ons geestelike gawes beoefen om mekaar op te bou, te stig, te bemoedig, en aan te spoor. Sommige mense sukkel nog om voor mense te bid, wat nog voor mense in tale te spreek, die uitleg te verkry, en te profeteer?!  HOE staan die saak dan, broeders? Wanneer julle saamkom, dan het elkeen van julle ’n psalm of ’n lering of ’n taal of ’n openbaring of ’n uitlegging — laat alles tot stigting geskied.(1 Cor 14:26) Om geestelik fiks te word is dus nie net die kuier aspek nie, dit is om oor te gaan na dieper gesprekke en geestelike bediening. Om vir mekaar die hande op te lê, en te bid word ons geestelik versterk en fiks.  

 

6. Maak jouself oop vir mentorskap. 

Ons het almal terugvoering nodig van ‘n spesialis, om ons te help groei en ontwikkel in ‘n sekere area.  Soos met atlete wat wil beter presteer, het ons elkeen ‘n geestelike mentor en afrigter nodig. In ons hart dink elke mens hy of sy doen reg. Dit is wanneer ons lewe onder die lig en standaard van Christus Jesus staan, besef ons ons sonde en misrekende self-regverdiging.  

Geestelike Vaders wil toesien dat hulle kinders opgroei in volwassenheid in Christus Jesus se lewe, denke, gewoontes en waardes. (Gal 4:19; Col 1:28-29) Dit beteken daar is ‘n spesifieke aanmoediging, korreksie, vermaning, bestraffing en tugtiging proses. (Heb 12:5-11) Mense wat nie geestelike direkte afrigting ontvang wat op Christus se voorbeeld gerig is nie, is geneig om Jesus te misverteenwoordig.

 

7. Dink reg.  

‘n Groot deel van ons spiritualiteit is opgesluit in ons denke. Hoe ons dink, die spesifieke manier en proses van dink bepaal ons lewe. Geestelike mense het hulle denke laat formeer deur die Woord. Hulle dink woord, en volgens die voorskrifte en wyshede van die woord. Dink aan die wyshede van prediker en spreuke.  Want die wat vleeslik is, bedink vleeslike dinge, maar die wat geestelik is, geestelike dinge.

Want wat die vlees bedink, is die dood, maar wat die Gees bedink, is lewe en vrede,

omdat wat die vlees bedink, vyandskap teen God is; want dit onderwerp hom nie aan die wet van God nie, want dit kan ook nie. En die wat in die vlees is, kan God nie behaag nie; julle is egter nie in die vlees nie, maar in die Gees, as naamlik die Gees van God in julle woon. (Rom 8:5-11) Denkwyses volg geloofsoortuigings, of wêreldbeskouings wat uiteindelik ‘n ideologie vorm.  Dit gaan nie hier soseer oor wat jy dink nie, maar hoe jy dink. Dink jy liniêr of sistemies. Dink jy vanuit God se perspektief of die van ‘n mens soos Petrus. (Mat 16:23) Dink jy redusering na een aspek of pluralisties geheeldenkend? Geestelike mense het die sinne van Christus. (2 Cor 2:16) Die wind waai waar hy wil, en jy hoor sy geluid, maar jy weet nie vanwaar hy kom en waarheen hy gaan nie. So is elkeen wat uit die Gees gebore is. (Joh 3:8) Geestelike   mense is dus onvoorspelbaar, vars en nuutdenkend, maar bepalend van ‘n sekere rigting – die troonkamer van die Here. Voorbeelde van negatiewe denke is prakties: dink jy altyd die slegste van iemand? Is jy soos Thomas altyd ongelowig omdat jy eers wil sien? Is jy neerhalend op jouself? Meet jouself gedurig aan ander? Doen jy die heeltyd selfondersoek? Soek jy altyd eers die fout by iemand anders? Is jy vol verskonings? Voel jy geregtig tot iets waarvoor jy nie gewerk het nie? Hierdie gedagtes is alles voorbeelde van denke wat nog nie geestelik fiks geraak het nie. Hoe lank vat dit jou om vanuit ‘n ‘default’ ou manier van dink, te beweeg na weer reg dink? Hierdie proses moet vinniger plaasvind, vir die persoon wat geestelik fiks is.  

In tye soos hierdie is dit wesenlik belangrik dat ons geestelik fiks raak, met groot waarde tot jou algehele immuniteit . Geestelike fiksheid help om al die ander aspek. te van jou menswees, emosies, drifte, gewoontes te anker en reg te rig.  Geestelik gesonde mense hanteer spanning, en krisisse beter. Hulle kan verandering beter hanteer. Hulle is nie so baie ingestel op die daaglikse nuusgebeure en omstandighede nie. Hulle is gewoonlik meer hulpvaardig en soek praktiese oplossings. Hulle is mens-georiënteer om mense se nood vinniger te herken, en daadwerklik te help. Hulle is meer dankbare mense.  


[1] June J. Pilcher, Allen I. Huffcutt; Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Performance: A Meta-Analysis, Sleep, Volume 19, Issue 4, 1 June 1996, Pages 318–326, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/19.4.318

Categories
Sermons

More than Conquerors

If you ever wanted proof and physical evidence of the truth, examine the outcome of people living the truth in most trying times throughout history.  “Those of the way”, the first followers of Christ lived a certain kind of life, valued certain things, abstained from the things of the world, and organized themselves in a way that sustained them through the darkest of times of human history. 

Like the Jews, Christians is the most persecuted religion in the world, at various times close to extinction, [1] yet the true church remnant survived. The Hebrew writer speaks about a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Now this phrase “once and for all” clearly indicates the final removal of things that are shaking, that is, the old order, so only what is unshakeable will remain. Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakeable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe. For our God is a holy, devouring fire! (Heb 12:27-29). COVID 19, and the threat of even more severe viruses to come has magnified the unsustainable weak spots of materialistic humanistic naturalistic modernity, providing an excellent opportunity for the church to REBUILD the WASTE places. (Isa 58:12) Constructing a benevolent EDEN-Like society, with living stones of the Kingly nobility of the righteous! 

Consider for a moment that the first believers of the NT church were mainly a persecuted church, first by the Jewish religious establishment and then also the secular humanistic Roman government. Martyrdom was part of daily life during the first decades of the early Christ-following community. Persecution is part of being a follower of Christ. (Mat 10:24; Luk 21:12-16; John 16:1-4; 15:20) Paul was witness himself of Stephen’s martyrdom, and later we read of Herod beheading James, John’s brother.  (Acts 12:2) Later the converted apostle Paul vividly describes his own suffering.  poorly clothed, beaten, and homeless… imprisonments often… five times I received forty stripes minus one…Three times I was beaten with rods… once I was stoned… three times I was shipwrecked.  (Rom 8:35; 1 Cor 4:10-13a; 2 Cor 4:8-9; 6:4b-5, 8-10; 11:23b-29; 12:10; Phil 4:12). Most of the jewish believers, were disowned from their inheritance, family and means of income as they liberalised themselves from the yoke of Jewish laws and prescriptions.

To maintain one’s course, and purpose of preaching and living the message of the Kingdom under such violent threat with no personal gain, substantiate the meaningfulness of the content of the message.  

The core ideals of the message of the Kingdom are to practice the ‘gospel of love and charity’ which included almsgiving and care for widows, orphans, slaves, travellers, the sick, the imprisoned and the poor under the threat of persecution, and even towards their persecutors!  “If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also (Luke 6:29); do not resist an evil person (Matt. 5:39); blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Matt. 5:10); if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also (John 15:20).” Paul and the other New Testament authors sustained and developed the theme that followers of Christ were to suffer, not fight, for their Lord. A believer’s weapons are spiritual, not composed of iron or bronze. (Eph. 6:13).

It should however be noted than in a relatively short period of 50-60 years covered in the NT, the church did not only survive, but thrived during these difficult times.  Pro-Christian historians emphasized the random persecution of some of the Roman emperors, but the fact is: decades often passed between assaults on Christian groups and, while it’s true that several emperors did, in fact, go after Christians per se, most weren’t persecuting them for their religion but their wealth. 

Paul himself was certainly not a poor beggar-type preacher: Travel by ship, with companions, moving offerings by cart over long distances to the various churches, and personal scribes cost a lot of money in those days. Paul must have come from a wealthy family being offered the privilege to be trained under the prestigious teacher Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Paul a recipient of legal roman citizenship, and appointed Pharisaical privileges made him used to power and status.  Paul also owned a tent-making enterprise, a lucrative specialized industry in biblical times. Because inns were filthy or nonexistent, tents were luxury items for wealthy travelers and, more importantly, they were standard equipment for Roman legions, especially during the winter. Paul was held in special custody by Felix and Festus in Caesarea for a lengthy period of time (Acts 24:27). It seems unlikely that these governors would have accommodated Paul as a “house- guest” for such a long time, even if under house arrest, if he had not been a man of great influence and social stature.[2]  Felix “had hopes of a bribe from Paul; and for this reason sent for him often and talked with him” (Acts 24:26). 

The immanent new JESUS counter-culture movement held high moral values, and ethics, particularly when it came to money. The Didache, or “The Teaching of the Twelve,” dates back to the second century revealing a practical hard-hitting ethical code of protocol regarding money.  

Do not be one who holds his hand out to take, but shuts it when it comes to giving. If your labor has brought you earnings, pay a ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give and do not give with a bad grace, for you will discover who He is that pays you back a reward with a good grace. Do not turn your back on the needy, but share everything with your brother and call nothing your own. For if you have what is eternal in common, how much more should you have what is transient!… Now about the apostles and prophets: Act in line with the gospel precept. Welcome every apostle on arriving, as if he were the Lord. But he must not stay beyond one day. In case of necessity, however, the next day too. If he stays three days, he is a false prophet. On departing, an apostle must not accept anything save sufficient food to carry him till his next lodging. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet.…[3]

Give this Jesus-culture room and time to mature over 40 years and you will see immanent economic wealth of family-centered enterprises, self-sustainable communities, their intrinsic philanthropic benevolent actions towards the most marginalized making them the most-loved and revered businesses in society.  

Like the creation story the genesis of the church started with divine provision to sustain it.  

  • The first Church in Jerusalem “No one Lacked” (Acts 4:34) 
  • Bearing the fruits of righteousness and the fruit of the spirit, are the most basic attributes for any business enterprise and improved employment.  Wesley noted that in the old days of Methodism, the people were poor. But, he observed, in the 20, 30, or 40 years since they joined the society, many Methodists had become 20, 30, or even 100 times richer than they were at first. With this increase in wealth had come a decrease in godliness. It seemed to him the more money the Methodists had, the less they loved the Lord.[4]
  • Speaking to the rich (1 Tim 6:17; James 5:1-6) means there were wealthy people too, who came to the faith.
    • Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:110)
    • Cornelius the Centurion (Acts 10:1-48)
    • Roman centurion who believed. (Matt. 8:5-13; Luke 7:5)
    • Erastus, a major benefactor of public works in Corinth (Romans 16:23) 
    • The Ethiopian Treasurer (Acts 8:26-40) 
    • Lydia (Acts 16:13-15, 40)
    • Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)
    • Joseph, called Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37)

It is henceforth evident that living the message of the Kingdom and following the Kingdom-eternal pursuits and lifestyle does eventually benefit the user “all these things shall be added to you” as promised by Jesus when we seek first His righteousness and Kingdom.  It is thus the purpose of this study to rediscover the unshakable Kingdom practices for the best way to do live.  

Preach this kingdom message to the Poor

Jesus pertinent answer to John’s disciples to validate His ministry has special significance because of this one line: “the poor hear the gospel of the Kingdom preached to them.” (Mat 11:4) It is also at the core of His messianic mandate: “anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor” (Luk 4:18) Jesus did feed the multitude, but he did not start a feeding program, a housing project, or a school or ECD centre. His gift to the poor was a message! Everyone who adheres to this message and follow Him and His instructions get to all take care of the poor, the poor too!  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need  (Eph 4:28) 

What makes this message so special, that it would really help the poor? Poverty alleviation is a very complicated pursuit, with no easy solutions. 

First, let us discover what is poverty from a biblical perspective? 

Former Zimbabwean Farmer Boet Pretorius, explained that one-sides human-aid from the rich amplifies god complexes and strengthens inferiority complexes if not done from a Biblical world-view perspective. “Who are the poor?” 

  • Poor relationship with God –Poverty of Intimacy
  • Poor relationship with myself- Poverty of Being
  • Poor relationship with family – Poverty of Trust
  • Poor relationship with community- Poverty of Security
  • Poor relationship with Creation- Poverty of Stewardship 

From the biblical perspective all mankind is considered poor, and in need of healthy relationships. Therefor the gospel is for all of mankind. The economically rich may default on all 5 these relationships measured against a biblical definition of poverty. 

One of Jordan Peterson’s “Rules for Life as an antidote to Chaos” see society as a fundamentally hierarchical structure. 

The top 1% have as much loot as the bottom 50% — and where the richest eighty-five people have as much as the bottom three and a half billion. That same brutal principle of unequal distribution applies outside the financial domain—indeed, anywhere that creative production is required. The majority of scientific papers are published by a very small group of scientists. A tiny proportion of musicians produces almost all the recorded commercial music. Just a handful of authors sell all the books. A million and a half separately titled books. 

This phenomenon is well summarized by Jesus in the parable of the talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. (Mat 25:29) Life is thus a lifelong struggle to assemble enough skills, knowledge, resources, victories, accomplishments, appearance, wealth, status to secure a safe and peaceful future for you and your offspring. Many unfortunately desperately fail! 

Lobsters, one of the oldest species to survive, have a similar battle to secure themselves the best safe location, food, and mating partners. The lobster who achieve a victory gets a good dose of serotonin that makes them change their posture, they become confident, and begin to make bigger bolder movements, a bit cocky, which off course helps them to win the next victory.  The ones who have lost, withdraw, becomes timid, scrunched up, inhibited, drooping, skulking sort of lobster. We see the same reaction in human beings.  Poor people typically talk in terms of shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation, and voicelessness.  But it is not only the economically poor who are inhibited: Divorce, unemployment, business venture failure, terminal sickness, and many other life’s struggles makes one feel hopelessly discouraged and depressed.  Life in reality is complicated, hard and increasingly difficult.  

So, what is the message of the Kingdom, and how is it going to help all of us who suffer from the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, financial, vocational, intellectual poverty??? 

The Good news of the Message of the Kingdom is: 

God gives no-bodies, average people, the least, the fools, the poor, the fisherman Royal Status to become God’s own children! “For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luk 7:28) Sinners, lepers, tax-collectors, feeble and sick people get invited and translated from an earthly temporary existence to an eternal, immortal, holy habitation! 

The whole NT is full of the language of royalty discribing God’s people: the Elect, chosen, 

Chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people (1 Pet 2:9) 

Reign in life (Rom 5:17) 

Saints (Rom 1:7) 

Seated with Christ (Eph 2:6) 

His workmanship (Eph 2:10) 

All Authority (Eph 1:22-23) 

By the GREAT ATONEMENT of Christ He has provided for us an eternal, perfect, position, and status – THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST! (Mat 6:33; Rom 14:17; Rom 5:17; 2 Cor 5:21) It is to this really that Paul prays “may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened” to the calling, inheritance and power we collectively have in Christ!! So very few people in Christ, really see this spiritual reality.  

This royal inheritance and status is not to be achieved, or earned. It is given by birth, being born-again by the Spirit. (John 3:5; 1Pet 1:23) Like born royals we have to learn to act accordingly, the law being our tutor. (Gal 3:24)

To have this wonderful new identity, status, position, inheritance, power, and glory one must off-course DIE, surrender, abandon, all SELF. (Mat 16:14; Rom 6:11; Gal 2:20) So that the CONFIDENCE He gives be not in any of OUR own fleshly performances and accomplishments! This new life in Christ is a GIFT, a GRACE, a divine enablement of which we became partakers! (John 1:12; 2Pet 1:3-4)

Now this is all great to write on paper; but remember the saints of the New Testament had no wealth, power, knowledge, prestige to boast about. “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (1 Cor 1:26) that no flesh should glory in His presence.(v29). But most importantly, the followers of the way received a new sound mind (1 Cor 2.16; 2 Tim 1:7) A completely new way of seeing oneself. 

It is with this new IMAGE in mind that Paul writes: 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

According to Henry Cloud, Daniel Siegel professor at UCLA a leading Neurobiologist summarise the triangle of well-being as Physical makeupMental health and Relational well-being. [5] Most people will certainly agree that feeling fit and healthy, having a sound productive mind, and some wholesome friends whom are authentic, stimulating us to be the best version of ourselves is a good summery of ‘that-is-life’. Off-course one needs to develop and find a meaningful vocation that earns not only a pay-check but enables us to make a meaningful contribution to mankind. We are emotional beings that needs to express our emotions in a healthy way to energize us to be the best we can be. Knowing oneself, (identity) and making peace with ‘being’ grounds you, but also positions you to take responsibility for your own life, and face life’s obstacles. Finally we all live somewhere in a location, where using all the available natural resources responsibly as good stewards to improve the spacial environment makes one feel good, and others too! 

HOWEVER!!! What to do when like Job, you lose all your possessions, wealth, health, status and family in one moment?   

This is the CORE of the Kingdom Message: Without a spiritual connection of oneness with God our Creator made possible in a personal intimate relationship with Jesus His only begotten Son who gives us inner peace and joy one’s life is empty, and one remains poor!! 

The gift of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ, is the pearl of great price, (Mat 13:46) the hidden treasure in a field (Mat 13:44) as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. (2 Cor 6:9-10) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:11-13) When one spends time with economically poor mature believers, these verses come alive in faces and stories of people living a supernatural, simple existence of being rich in their knowledge of God, selfless ego, interdependent family and community life without any of the modernities the western world hold dear.   Even in the midst of severe persecution, these believers act with noble royal resolve and inward dignity. 

From this new MIND, awakened to the inner reality of Christ within, God gives us a list of Kingdom activities and actions to do, that incarnate Christ in the flesh through His body of believers! These activities makes the invisible unshakable kingdom and reign of God visible, in specific locations all over the earth. Here is a short list, of kingdom practice and realities.   

Strengthened in the Inner man (Eph 3:16) 

Rooted and grounded in His love (Eph 3:17) 

Receive the power to change and be transformed from our sinful, evil nature. (Rom 1:16)

Continuously being filled with the Spirit Eph 5:18; Col 3:16 and resulting spontaneous expressions of worship.

The gifts of the Spirit. (1 Cor 12-14) 

The Fruit of the Spirit and righteousness in Christ (Gal 5:21-22)

According to the natural hierarchal pecking order of man sharing and giving is reserved for the rich and powerful, now the POOR become the givers, sharing their all, and loving the unloved and underserving! (Acts 4:34-35) 

Servanthood is no longer a curse, but the Dignity of a king, who helps and support his fellow-human-being on their way.  

The power to overcome the battles of people’s destructive hierarchal pecking order gymnastics with the opposite spirit! (1 Pet 2:15)  

The most amazing revelation is to understand how all these activities, releases a natural doses of serotonin to the practitioner. Makes you feel good! These activities becomes like wins under the belt, like the lobster who has been victorious. Triumphs in life makes one feel good, and help you gain confidence, but it is not lasting. Even the best winners, may feel very insecure and threatened by the upcoming competitors.  Our confidence is never based on our achievements, it is the humble knowing that it was Christ who strengthened me to give, to love, to believe, to heal, to go, to speak.  We are dead, and have been crucified with Christ, the life we now live is received by faith on a daily basis, so that no flesh can boast. It is this holy divine presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit that keeps us, and sustains us.  

Followers of the new and living WAY of Christ, thus have an eternal unchangeable reason to pull our shoulders back, stand up straight and confidently do what He commands us to do, in the midst of trials, tribulations, troubles, tribulation, and temptations! Now, is this not good news to the poor? 


[1] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/christianity-most-persecuted-religion_b_2402644

[2] Chapter 21: How Rich Was Paul? John W. Welch

[3] “The Gallery—Church Fathers and Their Thoughts on Wealth,” Christian History Magazine-Issue 14: Money in Christian History: Part I (1987)

[4] Charles Edward White, “Four Lessons on Money,” Christian History Magazine-Issue 19: Money in Christian History: Part II (1988)

[5] Pocket guide to interpersonal Neurobiology, an integrative handbook of the mind as quoted by Dr Henry Cloud, The power of other. 

Peterson, J., Ingendaay, M. and Müller, M., n.d. 12 Rules For Life.

Cloud, D., 2016. Power Of The Other. Harpercollins.

Categories
Sermons

The Governmental Church in the Locality

The Ephesus Model

Background: 

Paul planted the Church in Ephesus during a stop-over leaving Corinth to travel to Jerusalem in 53 AD.  He visited the synagogue in the city, and left Priscilla and Aquila, dedicated elders and custodians to the truth.  (Acts 18:18-22) 

On his return from Jerusalem, Paul travels to Ephesus and establishes there his longest ministry in any one location. Paul’s first works was to relay apostolic foundation re-baptise twelve disciples in the name of Jesus, and pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 19:8–10) Then he established the first NT Bible Training Centre first in Jewish Synagogue“arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God” then for 2 years daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus” with both Jews and Gentiles. (Acts 19:8–10) From the scriptures in Acts, Ephesians and finally in revelation captures almost 44 years of local church history in Ephesus. 52 AD – 96AD sadly by 200AD the church died out. The point is that although there is no longer a city of Ephesus, the church in Ephesus used to be the strongest church in Asia Minor, and now there are hardly even any Christians to be found in all of Asia Minor, let alone a church of any strength or size. Turkey is 99.8% Muslim, leaving only .2% as Christian. And even this .2% is in rapid decline. Turkey, although it used to be a fortification of Christianity, is now the largest unreached nation in the world and one of the strongest propagator’s of Islam. Most of the nation’s 55 million Muslim’s have never even heard the gospel. [1]

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” 

A deeper study of these two key words in the Great Commission is: 

“Teach/Disciple” Mathēteúō means not only to learn, but to become attached to one’s teacher and to become his follower in doctrine and conduct of life. 

Nations: éthnos; A multitude, people, race, belonging and living together. We have a mandate to disciple the local Ethos! Because of globalisation, the separate boundaries of nations, and ethnic groups has become vague, schools, the work place, shopping centres and public spaces do not belong to a specific nationality anymore. Ethos : Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs thebeliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period:

We are not only leaders of the church, but also of the city. 

The Book is written to: “To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” [2] not to an individual, and possibly the most well taught church that ever existed.  The letter/thesis was thus written to all the people of the way, believers in Jesus Christ in the Locality/city of Ephesus.  I believe God is calling us to be shepherds to whole communities of people in a location. 

Restoring the reign of God like Eden in every Location. 

In the Genesis Story we find a description of Eden as a lush garden with four rivers (Gen 2:10–14). Eden was also a mountain (Ezek 28:13–14), the administrative “seat of the gods” (Ezek 28:2), situated in “the heart of the seas” (Ezek 28:2), a description that reiterated the well-watered imagery of the divine council headquarters. [3]  What makes God’s earthly home/kingdom different from ancient comparative narratives, the biblical version of the divine council at the divine abode includes a human presence.[4]

God wants humanity to share His rule and governance over the earth.  

Not all the world was Eden.[5] And Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Gen 2:8) The garden was perfect in balance harmony and order, yet the rest of the earth was waiting to be subdued. 

The distinction helps us see that the original task of humanity was to make the entire Earth like Eden.[6] Eden is where the idea of the kingdom of God begins. And it’s no coincidence that the Bible ends with the vision of a new Edenic Earth (Rev 21–22).[7] The Bible begins in a garden, ends in a garden city, and the in-between is full of stories of God’s encounter with humans in vineyards, orchards, gardens, mountains, fields, and forests. Take out the gardens (Eden, Gethsemane) and the mounts (Sinai, Hermon, Ararat, Nebo, Carmel, Olives, Zion), and you’ve cut the heart out of the Scriptures.[8]  

And for the purpose of the study: Ephesus was an example of precisely just that: To him who overcomes I will give ito eat from jthe tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’[9]

How do we exercise authority? 

The first work man ever did was naming the animals. (Gen 2:19-20) God made Adam to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. (Gen 1:28) How did he subdue it? By shouting at the animals? How did he rule over it? By giving them names. You control that what you can give a name. If you give time a name you will rule over it. If you give money a name, you will rule over it.  

Good governance begins with good administration.  You rule over that what you control or administrate. The measure of your administration equals the measure of your authority.  God is order. When we get saved, He brings order in our lives. When God’s spirit hovered over the earth, the earth was without form (order) and void. When God created all living things, He created order. His order. There are always two orders: The order of man and the Order of the Spirit. 

When the order of the Spirit was followed anointing flowed.  Temple in order – Shekinah. Lev 1:7,8,12 Bringing order in your life, creates flow and currency to your anointing. It flows easier, less obstructions and distractions.  It focusses the anointing on one thing.  They had to pack the wood in a certain order to receive the fire. Order in Levites, Priests, Offerings Num 10:28 Do (divine) measurements really matter?

  1. Noah Obtained God’s Grace when he Applied God’s Measurements, Gen. 6:8.
  2. Israel Obtained God’s Presence by Building Tabernacle as Directed, Exo. 25:8; 29:44-46; 40:34-35.
  3. Israel’s Sacrifices Were Acceptable to God from Solomon’s Temple,  2 Chron 7:12, 16.
  4. The Holiness of God’s People is Accomplished/Protected/Maintained When His Measurements are Applied, Ezek. 42:20; 43:10-12.

A New Order

Christ is our perfect pattern, measure, topos, logos, blueprint, design. 

“the knowledge of the Son of God” (Eph 4:13) 

1922. ἐπίγνωσις epígnōsis; gen. epignṓseōs, fem. noun from epiginṓskō (G1921), to recognize. It is more intens. than gnṓsis (G1108), knowledge, because it expresses a more thorough participation in the acquiring of knowledge on the part of the learner. 

IN other words: The ultimate goal of discipleship is to get people to internalize the truth of Jesus Christ, so that they naturally have an inner ear or modulator to remain focussed on Him. (Heb 12:1) We can fulfil the social gospel, building needed schools and creches, but if we do not teach people to become followers of Christ we have failed our mission.  We are in this mess, because of people’s ignorance of Jesus, and the church in a big way misrepresenting Jesus.  

Ekklesia by its original definition a governmental assembly to implement the pattern, logos, measurement, doctrine, values, structures, and practises of the reigning kingdom into the old nation. The OT temple was located in one place Jerusalem, enclosed garden, temple city. This model get’s replicated to everywhere where believers dwell.  

God’s purpose for Creation 

Ephesians 1:9-10: “making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth; in him” (ASV)

God’s purpose for Church

 “so that now to the rulers and powers in the heavenlies might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God”(3:10, NKJV) Governmental position to declare the reigning Kingdom’s values to the captive state.  A new form of community. Whether one talks about economics, public safety, healthcare, or personal achievement one study after the other proofs the best way to do life is through healthy community.  Community policing, community micro-finance banking, home-base-care, and the community that supported and help someone to achieve their olympian dream. There is also the dark side; cults, gangs, dead religion, structural sin where a culture embrace for instance a sinful belief system that devaluate, dehumanise people like racism, feminism, slavery, entitlement. 

The Ruling Kingdom has already taken its position

Chapter 1:1-23 – 2:10 deals with the Victory that has been won in Christ: 

He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph 1:22-23)

even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:5-6) 

we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph 2:10) 

Jesus told the disciples: And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give (Mat 10:7) 

The sad truth is how few believers and followers of the way of Christ, walk in this victory, as ambassadors, statesman, a holy priesthood, mediators, reconcilers, peace-makers, miracle workers, disciple-makers, of the most high God!! We are officials of the reigning Kingdom!

Demonstration of our Proclamation

Spiritual play-off 

Evident Supernatural, healing, signs and wonders (Acts 19:11-12) Jesus’ ministry can be summarized with two words: Preaching & Demonstrating. Mat 4:23-25; Mar 1:35-39; Luk 4:40-44  Scriptures on the preaching, teaching focus: (Matt 4:17, 23; 9:35; 11:5; Mark 6:34; Luk 4:43; 8:1; 9:11) Healing, driving out Demons, sign &wonders. (Matt 4:23) Miracles are part of the gospel proclamation, demonstrating that the kingdom of God has come. (Mt 9:35; Lk 9:6; 11:20) In fact, Jesus used His authority over demons as a sign that He had brought the kingdom of God near (see Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20). Furthermore, He gave to His followers authority over evil spirits. See Luke 10:19; 2 Cor. 10:3; Eph. 6:12. His discipled was send to go do the same. Mat 10:7-8. The NT church is commanded to follow the same example: 1Co 2:4-5; Ro 15:18-19; 1Th 1:5; Heb 2:3-4.

“Miracles Glorify Christ” interweaved with everyday life – Two Greek words gives us the answer.

– Soudarion – Handkerchief used for wiping of sweat

– Simikinthion – A narrow apron or linen covering worn by workmen and servants

Real Spiritual power tested: Sons of Sceva (Counterfeit) (Acts 19:13-20) This story reverts to the vital importance of individual anointing. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.  (1 John 2:13) 

Sizable national display of tipping point towards new order.  (Acts 19:21-41) Like Jesus prophesied that the temple will be removed, and in 70 ad it did happen. To this day there can be no temple. The religious cult of Diana Worship ended and is no more. [10]

So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed Acts 19:20 (Acts 6:7; 12:24; 13:49.)

New Multicultural Jesus Culture. 
New equity in Christ. No more Jew or gentile, male or female, 

of a set of new values. (Eph 2:11-18)   so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks (Acts 19:10) The Jesus Culture is the only way how we can redeem each diverse culture back to its own unique redemptive purpose.  There is an oppressor and enslaver/pharaoh in every culture. We all need to be redeemed from our Egypt/enslaved cultures.  No nation has suffered so much persecution than the Jews. Several times at the brink of extinction, they rise again. One of the pillars of this theocentric society is the bedrock of the family. and the important role and function of the father. God is a family. The absolute primary way how Christianity rules and governs society like yeast, salt and light is through the restoration of Godly families.

New economy of Mutuality: 

The Roman economic gateway to Asia, became the gateway for the message of the Kingdom of God. Resulting in a Deculturalization of the economy and religious order. (Acts 23-40) On the great day of Pentecost, when the new covenant was sanctioned, a Spiritual Jubilee took place. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. (Acts 2:44) It is our testimony that when people truly turn to God and become full of the Holy Spirit, they relinquish ownership of their own bodies and possessions.   The Tri-Sabbatical Jubilee of restoration for Mankind and the Earth fulfilled in Christ’s resurrection. The tri-sabbatical rest: The seventh day, the seventh year, and after seven cycles, the 49th year Jubilee is a divine rhythm instituted by God for the benefit of man and nature. God knows humankind, how work and profit can consume us, how we do not know when to stop and rest. The end result is work gets a bad name and what is intended to be a blessing becomes a curse. The truth is; however, work is good for us. All mankind should work and earn a living through their skill and contribution to each other. [11]

New Leadership/governmental Spheres 

The Fivefold Ministry lays the foundational worldview, practises, patterns and structure of the Kingdom of God.  (Apostle – Government, Prophet – Law & Order, Evangelist – Economy, Pastoral – Health, Teacher – Education) Social structures are complex, but by reforming the mind of people working in government, business, lawmakers and enforcers, health practitioners, and educators back to their redemptive calling in Christ we will see a whole community follow the Way. 

Unity is not pursued, it is received as a fruit of right living. 

Unity is a gift: Eph 4:1-5 

Final Warning 

Warning to return to first love, and doing the first things. (Rev 2:1-7) 


[1] https://redeeminggod.com/sermons/ephesians/ephesians_6_21-24/

[2] The New King James Version, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Eph 1:1.

[3] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 160.

[4] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 47.

[5] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 49.

[6] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 51.

[7] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 51.

[8]  “So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church” by Leonard Sweet.

i [Rev. 22:2, 14]

j [Gen. 2:9; 3:22]

[9] The New King James Version, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Re 2:7.

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Artemis

[11] https://www.janenchantal.com/the-tri-sabbatical-jubilee-of-restoration-for-mankind-and-the-earth-fulfilled-in-christs-resurrection/

Live Sermon on “The Governmental Church In The Locality”

Categories
Preke

Wanneer dit voel asof God nie reageer nie?

Wanneer dit voel asof God nie reageer nie? In tye van nood en swaarkry, waarin ons nie ‘n keuse of aandeel gehad het nie, voel mens soms AFGESTOMP, kwaad, verontreg en VER van God af. Wat ons VOEL is nie die WAARHEID nie!

Ons is as mens geweldig perseptueel beperk 

Soms voel mens waar is God, hoekom lyk dit asof Hy niks doen nie. Die probleem met hierdie vraagstuk is hoe arrogant die veronderstelling is. Dié wêreld, natuur, klimaat, ekonomie, samelewing is ‘n reeks onbepaalde komplekse sisteme waarvan ons beperkend min weet. Kan jy sien hoe ‘n boom groei? Kan jy die miljoene mikroörganismes onder die grond sien, en verstaan hoe hulle werk? Ons verstaan nie eers hoe ons motor werk nie? Ons eie liggame is ook ʼn reuse raaisel, en die werklike goed-voel oomblikke ver en soms jare uitmekaar gestrek. Dit is dus ‘n baie beperkte persepsie om te dink God doen niks nie. 

Mens kan ook nie jou emosies vertrou nie

Die Skrif sê: die wêreld het deur Hom tot stand gekom (Joh 1:10) Voor alles was Hy al daar, en deur Hom bly alles in stand. (Col 1:17) Mens kan dan teëstribbel dat dit maar net Skrifte is, my fisiese werklikheid lyk soos chaos! Gevoelens en emosies doen juis dit: dit dramatiseer ‘n sekere gebeure om ons of te waarsku van gevolglike pyn, of opgewonde maak oor moontlike plesier.  Ons kan dus nie ons emosies vertrou nie.  Studies het bevind dat alhoewel die mensdom in die algemeen statisties beter vaar in terme van lewensverwagting, hongersnood, kinderslawerny, en lewenskwaliteit, voel mense in die algemeen meer mismoedig.  

Die lewe is nie maklik nie, almal kry swaar

Ander bou dadelik ‘n historiese narratief, en beskryf die een probleem en uitdaging na die ander. Die doodluiterse vraag is dan weer: Is die Here dan teen my of iets? Weereens is dit ‘n kwessie van perspektief. Jy kan letterlik enigiemand op straat voorkeer en vra vir ‘n koffie afspraak. Na ‘n tyd sal jy in elke afspraak ‘n storie van siekte, verdriet, verlies, verraad, pyn en ellende hoor. Natuurlik verskil die intensiteit van die lyding van persoon tot persoon, maar nogtans beleef selfs die mees bevoorregte mense inperking van een of ander aard. Hoekom pleeg ook ryk en gesiene mense selfmoord.  Die lewe is vol daaglikse uitdagings op elke vlak: elke dag genoeg water drink, oefen, dieet, verhoudinge gesond en positief in stand hou, kinders groot maak, inkomstes verdien, jouself verbeter, geestelik groei, en goed doen aan ander is ‘n voltydse werk van baie balle in die lug hou. 

God is ewig en alwys – soewerein

Ateïste vol ons as gelowiges aan met, hoekom laat ‘n almagtige goeie God soveel pyn en lyding toe? God is egter nie net almagtig en goed nie, Hy is ook ewig en alwys.  Die feit dat God ewig is en nie in tyd vasgevang kan word nie, hy is gister, vandag en toekoms alles terselfde tyd, verander alles! Hy is ook alwys! Hy weet regtig wat vir ons die beste is.  ‘n kind wat gaan om hulle inspuitings te kry, verstaan ook nie hoekom hulle nou so seergemaak moet word nie. Die ouer kan dit ook nie op daardie tydstip aan die kind verduidelik, sodat die kind dit kan verstaan nie.  

Jesus ly saam met ons 

Verder is dit God se karakter om tussen en deel van ons lyding te wees. Dit is immer hoekom Jesus die gedaante van ‘n dienskneg aangeneem het. Jesus het lyding, verwerping, tekort, harde werk, en armoede geken.  Sy lydingsuur voor die kruisiging was intens! Toe het Hy bedroef en beangs geword en vir hulle gesê: “Ek voel doodsbenoud. Mat 26:37 Nou is my siel ontsteld, en wat sal Ek sê? Vader, red My uit hierdie uur? Maar hierom het Ek in hierdie uur gekom. Joh 12:27 “Die ontsteltenis het nou vir My te veel geword. (Mk 14:34) Hy het in doodsangs geraak en het nog ernstiger gebid. Sy sweet het soos bloeddruppels geword wat op die grond val. (Luk 22:44) 

Stilte is ‘n toetstyd 

Diagram

Description automatically generatedDie Boek rigters vertel die verhaal van die Jode na Josua, tot net voor die aanstelling van die eerste koning.  Daar was altesaam 12 Rigters, 6 groot vername rigters, en 6 kleiner minder bekende rigters.  Die volk se geskiedenis neem die selfde verloop: Israel verval in afgodery, God straf die volk deurdat ander volke primêr die Medianiete, Amalekiete, en Filistyne oor hulle heers, hulle roep uit vir verlossing en bevryding, die Here stuur ‘n rigter wat hulle in ‘n bonatuurlike oorwinning uitlei, en dan ‘n tydperk stilte, voordat die siklus weer herhaal word soos die volk weer in sonde verval. Die les wat ons uit hierdie boek leer, is om ten spyte van God se stiltes, koers te hou en die Here te dien ten spyte wat ons daaruit kry.  Josef moes 13 jaar wag, Abraham 25jr, Moses 40jr, Jesus 30jr voor hulle die beloftes van die Here in vervulling gesien het.  

Ons het al almal by tye gevoel dat omstandighede nou net té erg raak.  

Moses was bekend met teleurstelling: 

Hy lewe in die geheim as Joodse seun in die Egiptiese koninklike hof vir 40jr, met die verwagting dat God hom mag gebruik om sy volk te verlos. Die oomblik toe hy optree, lei dit dat hy sy posisie en werk verloor, en deur sy eie mense verwerp word.  Hy word ‘n vlugteling in die woestyn en ‘n skaapwagter. Acts 7:23-25. 

In sy swerwelinge in die woestyn as skaapwagter, verskyn God aan hom in ‘n braambos. Exo 3:7-12 In tye van isolasie, openbaar God Homself direk aan ons. Soos met Elia, wat ook worstel met sy teleurstelling en in ‘n grot die Here se aangesig soek. Hy het vuur uit die hemel geroep, maar verwag dat dit sal lei tot Koning Agab en Zezebel se inkeer. 

Duidelik kan ons sien dat Moses is ‘n verslane, onsekere man. Exo 3-4 Hy het geen selfvertroue of geloof oor nie.  “Here stuur asb iemand anders” Exo 4:10-13. 

Die keer toe Moses na die mense toe gaan, word hy deur die mense aanvaar en verwelkom. Maar nadat hy na die Farao gaan, versleg die mense se lot. Dis moses se skuld. Exo 5:20-21

Die mense draai teen Moses.  

Moses bekla eerlik sy lot voor die Here. As die mense nie na my luister nie, hoe sal die Farao luister.  Exo 6:1,12 

Die Here doen kosmiese wonderwerke en tekens, die 10 plae, die rooisee, Mara se bitter water word soet.  ‘n vuurkolom in die nag, wolk kolom is die dag. Manna! Bonatuurlike voorsiening. Niemand kan tog nou meer twyfel in God se bestaan en liefde nie? Die mense kla nou oor vleis, hulle kan nie net van manna leef nie! Weereens bekla Moses sy lot by die Here. Num 11:10-15 

Die mense se onvolwassenheid maak Moses moeg, die Here gee vir hom ‘n praktiese oplossing om manne te kies om te help die gewig dra.  Num 11:16-17 

Uiteindelik is Moses se grootste teleurstelling toe in sy oomblik van frustrasie met die mense, hy die Here ongehoorsaam en die klip slaan.  Die Here weier hom om die beloofte land in te gaan. Die Here weier ook dat hy weer die saak aanroer. Deut 3:26 

Kan jy jou hierdie teleurstelling voorstel? Hy wat sy lewe toegewy het aan die droom van ‘n beloofte land, kan self nie daar ingaan nie. Hy word opgeneem na ‘n hemelse beloofte land.

WAT NOU GEMAAK? 

Die vyand het een uitsluitlike doel, en dit is om ons te kry om niks te doen nie!! Wanneer ons nie ons skeppingsdoel vervul nie, wen boosheid. “Another one bites the dust!” Saul word gesalf as koning terwyl hy sy pa se donkies soek. (1 Sam 9) Gideon was besig om koring te dors op die dorsvloer, toe die engel hom besoek. (Judg 6:11) Stefanus bedien die tafels kos vir die wees en weduwee. (Acts 6:5, 8) Paulus skryf die NT in gevangenisskap. Jesus daag as gas by ‘n bruilof op. (Joh 2) Dit is in die allerdaagse, wees getrou in die geringe, waar God ons ontmoet.  Ons kan nie bekostig om niks te doen nie!! 

Categories
Jesus die beste lewe

Hoekom Jesus?

Al ooit gewonder hoekom kinders van feitlik elke volk en taal op ’n stadium deur die hoekom-fase gaan? Sommige ouers probeer om elke vraag noukeurig te beantwoord, ander gee later op en gooi ’n dowe oor. Die kinders gee later ook op om vrae te vra, of vind die antwoorde op ander plekke en by ander bronne. 

In die begin is kinders se vrae irrasioneel en onwillekeurig, want hulle het nog geen filter nie. Hoekom eet spinnekoppe hulle babas? Maak Ninjas ook honde dood? Dan raak die vrae moeiliker: Waar kom babas vandaan? Hoekom gaan mense dood? Wat gebeur met mense as hulle doodgaan? Wie is God? Hoe lyk Hy? Waar kom God vandaan? Wie het God geskape? 

Hierdie hoekom- of waarom-vraag word later sentraal tot die mens se bestaan. Hoekom is ek hier? Wat moet ek doen? Wie is ek? Wat is die beste manier om die lewe te leef? Geloofsvrae raak egter radikaal moeiliker wanneer die lewe verkeerd loop: Hoekom het Pappa en Mamma geskei? Hoekom het my boetie/oom my verkrag? Hoekom behandel mense my so sleg? Hoekom bly alles verkeerd loop in my lewe? Hoekom wil niks uitwerk nie? Hoekom gebeur slegte goed met goeie mense? 

Die primêre leermeesters wat hierdie wesenlike vrae probeer beantwoord is die aanhangers van ’n bepaalde godsdiens of filosofie. Dit is hoe godsdienste deur die eeue bestaansreg verkry het: die sjamaan of toordokter weet die beste wat die gode verlang. In die kerk word die priester, predikant, pastoor, dominee, apostel en profeet die spesialis wat namens God praat. Hulle weet kwansuis almal die beste wat die god of gode verlang sodat ons geluk en vrede op aarde kan hê. Met die omvang van die internet wys wetenskaplike studies egter dat hierdie magiese spesialiste al hoe meer uitgedien raak, want mense kan nou vir hulleself uitwerk hoekom slegte dinge gebeur. Vandag is daar ’n uitgebreide lys van deskundiges, filosowe, sprekers en akademici oor elke denkbare studierigting wat verduidelik hoekom daar nog armoede, honger, misdaad, siekte en rampe wêreldwyd gebeur. Die oplossings is talryk, soms teenstrydig, maar selfs in ’n perfekte mens-geordende wêreld is ons soeke na meer. 

Hoekom toon die mees ontwikkelde lande in die wêreld, met die laagste misdaadsyfers, die hoogste syfers van die gebruik van antidepressante? Ysland, Kanada, Australië, Engeland, Portugal, Swede, België, Spanje en Denemarke.15 Dis verder interessant dat van hierdie lande ook onder die lande val met die hoogste aantal ateïste: Swede, België, Australië, Denemarke.16 

Die algemene soeke van die mensdom is na ’n beter lewe: vrede, innerlike geluk, betekenis, harmonie, vryheid, bonatuurlike krag, wysheid, dieper insig, euforiese blywende geluk, ewige 

lewe, ’n ego-lose bestaan sonder bekommernis.17 Elke godsdiens, dieet en farmaseutiese produk bemark hulle eie resep van hoe om hierdie “hemelse nirvana” te bereik. 

Die kern van die probleem is: Ons probeer hierdie vrede en geluk op ons eie manier verkry terwyl God vir ons ’n plan het om volhoubare, ware geluk en vrede te beleef. 

John Eldredge verduidelik hierdie proses pragtig in sy boek, “Desire, the journey we must take to find the life that God offers.” God is nie teen die feit dat ons begeertes het nie: “Mag Hy u gee wat u hart begeer en al u voornemens laat geluk.” (Ps. 20:4); “…wat my die goeie in oorvloed laat geniet.” (Ps. 103:5); “U maak u hand oop en skenk u guns in oorvloed aan al wat leef.” (Ps 145:16). Die moeilikheid kom omdat ons begeertes – wat nie eerste in Hom bevredig word nie – onsself en ander kan skade berokken. Ons begeertes is soms selfsugtig en om onsself te verheerlik. Dit het byvoorbeeld daartoe gelei dat Hitler en die Nazi-party hulle begeerte tot selfbeskikking ten koste van ander uitgevoer het. Dieselfde gebeur wanneer iemand sy of haar buite-egtelike romantiese liefdesbegeerte bou op die puinhoop van hulle familie en vriende se gebroke harte. 

Die lewe is ’n dramatiese, gevaarlike hindernisbaan. ’n Mens wat God nie ken nie, is genoodsaak om maniere te vind om die pyn uit te doof. Hierdie duisende vorms van selfmedikasie en die soeke na beter pynstillers is die ankerpunt van die mens se verslawings. “We’re all addicted to something that takes away the pain.” Die “medikasie” wat ons uiteindelik kies word ons afgod. 

Die Griekse Woord Vir Afgodsdienaars Is: 

5331. φαρμακεία pharmakeía; gen. pharmakeías, fem. noun from phármakon (n.f.), a drug, which in the Gr. writers is used both for a curative or medicinal drug, and as a poisonous one. Pharmakeía means the occult, sorcery, witchcraft, illicit pharmaceuticals, trance, magical incantation with drugs (Gal. 5:20; Rev. 9:21; 18:23; Ex. 7:22; Is. 47:9, 12). Syn.: mageía (G3095), magic. 

Ons kan dus aflei dat godsdiens, verslawings en afgodery almal van dieselfde familie is. Godsdiens is die bedryf van magiese rituele of towenary om die wêreld te probeer beheer tot my eie voordeel. Godsdiens is inderwaarheid die opium van die massas (Karl Marx). Mens kan dit egter ook anders stel: Elke keer wat ons probeer om aan die realiteit van hierdie wêreld te ontsnap deur een of ander “opium/pynstiller”, skep ons ’n afgod. 

Sommige sal wil redeneer dat daar goeie en slegte rituele/pynstillers is. Sekerlik is dit so: Jy kan nie ’n ongesonde leefstyl chemies regmaak nie. Daar is ook gesonde en ongesonde gewoontes: Sommige probeer die pyn stil maak deur hulle self te sny, ander mediteer of gaan oefen. Die probleem is dat selfs die goeie rituele, gewoontes en gebruike van korte duur is, en dus oor en oor en teen toenemend hoër dosisse gedoen moet word om dieselfde effek te verkry. Oefening is natuurlik heilsaam. Maar wat maak jy as jy vir ’n maand lank nie kan oefen nie? 

Maar hier kom ’n radikale stelling: Godsdiens en afgodery is dieselfde ding. Afgodery is die godsdiens wat ’n mens vir homself skep, met ’n afbeelding van ’n god waarvan hy hou, om vir hom te doen wat hy wil hê. In die volgende verse word afgodery baie wyd as die versameling van die mense se selfsugtige begeertes beskryf. 

“Dit moet julle goed besef: iemand wat ontug pleeg, onsedelik lewe of ’n gierigaard is – want gierigheid is afgodery – het nie deel aan die koninkryk van Christus en van God nie.” (Ef. 5:5). 

“Daarom moet julle die aardse dinge doodmaak wat nog deel van julle lewe is: onsedelikheid, onreinheid, wellus, slegte begeertes en gierigheid, wat afgodery is.” (Kol. 3:5). 

Godsdiens-definisie: Die geloof in die aanbidding van ’n bonatuurlike, beherende mag, ’n persoonlike god of gode. Die Engelse woord “religion” kom van die Franse en Latynse woord 

“religion: obligation, bond, reverence, to bind”. Die Grieke het nie ’n woord vir godsdiens nie: Hulle het bloot direk van jou aanbidding gepraat. Wie aanbid jy? Of volgens die OT: Wie “dien” jy? 

Die Voorstanders van Godsdiens wil wins maak uit die Mensdom se Soek na God. 

Verskillende ghoeroes, priesters, spiritiste en predikers predik hulle eie weergawe van hoe jy God gelukkig kan maak. Elkeen praat namens God om vir jou te verduidelik wat God wil hê. Elkeen probeer meer geestelik en outoritêr as die volgende een wees om sodoende die meeste volgelinge te vergader en daardeur inkomste vir hulleself te genereer. Dit is hoekom Jesus die geldwisselaars wat probeer munt slaan het uit die mense se moeite en las om offers te bring, met geweld uit die tempel gedryf het (Mark. 11:15-19; Luk. 19:45-48; Joh. 2:13-22). Daar is al hoe meer ware evangeliste wat geen offergawes opneem tydens openbare byeenkomste wat daarop fokus om mense dissipels van Jesus te maak nie. 

Godsdiens se einddoel is om ’n “hefboom” op God te kry sodat Hy my lewe beter kan maak. Soos die vrou wat bid dat die Here haar man verander sodat sy ’n beter lewe kan hê. Hoeveel van ons gebede is eintlik selfsugtig? (Jak. 4:2-3). 

Eintlik is mense op soek na lewe. Godsdiens is die manier waarop die mens probeer om die kompleksiteit van die lewe in ’n raamwerk te pas wat sin maak en wat die mens kan beheer. Godsdiens laat mens veilig voel. Jy kan die chaos en kompleksiteit van ons bestaan in ’n bepaalde raamwerk inpas. Soos Job se vriende hom probeer oortuig het van hulle god-raamwerk. Hulle raamwerk was: Dit gaan goed met die regverdiges en rampe volg die sondaars. Job weier om te erken hy het gesondig, maar hou vol dat hy blaamloos voor God staan (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). 

Godsdiens is mensgemaak. Godsdiens probeer die mensdom beheer deur skuldgevoelens, stigmas en magiese rituele om rampe, ongeluk, siekte en pyn te voorkom of daaraan te ontsnap. Daarom is godsdiens mensgerig: Alles is daarop gerig om meer aanhangers te kry. Daarom moet ek mense te alle tye probeer tevrede stel. Ek moet probeer doen waarvan mense hou om nog meer mense te probeer trek. 

Is al die verskillende godsdienste bloot verskeie weë na dieselfde God? Sommige probeer die diversiteit en kompetisie tussen godsdienste beredeneer as bloot verskillende weë na God; almal is reg; daar is nie een eksklusiewe weg en metode nie. God is dus ’n veraf, nie-geïnteresseerde wese wie se aandag ons moet probeer kry. 

“Any god who forces you to earn his love is not worthy of your worship. Jesus did not tell us what we need to do to get to God, he was proclaiming what God is doing to get to us.” Ervin McManus 

Wie is God? Al die godsdienste het uiteindelik hulle eie weergawe van hoe God lyk, wie hy of sy is, waarvan hy hou en hoe om hom gelukkig te hou. Jahwe, Elohim, Allah, Hu, Baha, Mare d’Rabuta, Krishna.18 Die werklike kwessie is: Hoe sien jy God? Sien jy Hom van aangesig tot aangesig? Of sien jy ‘n afbeelding, refleksie, oorvertelling, tweede-handse weergawe van wie mense sê God is? Jesus het ook hierdie vraag vir Sy dissipels gevra: “Wie dink die mense is Ek, die Seun van die Mens?” en later “En wat van julle, wie sê julle is Ek?” 

Sommige sien God as die veelvoudige persoonlikheid steurnis God: Allah, Budah, Chrisna, is almal god. Sommige glo in die verkeerskonstabel god, wat daarop uit is om jou te vang oortree, en dan vir jou ‘n boete gaan gee. Ander sien God as die kosmiese verkoopshandelmasjien, waar jy net die regte gebede bid, en hy dan gee wat jy nodig het. Die wysbegeerte sien God as die onbetrokke horlosie-maker god, wat die aarde soos ‘n horlosie in delekate ratte aan die gang gesit het, maar nie betrokke is in ons persoonlike lewens nie. Die meeste mense hou van die drinker-vriend-by-die-kroeg god, hy luister altyd, stem altyd saam, en laat jou altyd beter voel God. Dan is daar mense wat God soos ‘n teddie-beer sien, hy is altyd daar vir jou, om jou te troos en te laat beter 

voel. Hy praat nooit terug nie, en hy is bekende staatmaker wat ek kies om te gebruik wanneer ek hom nodig het. Die mense wat god as spaarwiel sien is glad nie op God ingestel of gefokus totdat hulle hom nodig het as daar ‘n pap wiel is nie. Daar is natuurlik ook mense wat God sien as die bekende ou familielid, ons respekteer hom as hy kom kuier, bloot omdat hy familie is en omdat ons ouers hom ken. Sommige teoloë sien god as die poppespelmeester god, wat glo dat hy alles beheer. Ons verstaan nie hoekom hy die wreedheid van moord, rampe en pyn en leed toelaat nie, maar alles is uiteindelik sy wil. Dit is moeilik om die God lief te kry. Baie mense sien God as die pretbederwer god. Hy wil nie hê ons moet die lewe geniet nie, wanneer dit goed gaan is ons eintlik bang vir wanneer hy dit gaan kom bederf. 

Die probleem met al hierdie sienings, is die feit dat dit gebasseer is op ‘n mens se weergawe en siening van god. Toe Petrus sien wie God regtig is, word dit duidelik gemaak dat die openbaring nie uit ‘n mens kom nie! God het HOMSELF geopenbaar. 

WE CANNOT KNOW GOD UNLESS HE REVEALS HIMSELF TO US. MARTYN LLOYD-JONES. 

“Gelukkig is jy, Simon seun van Jona, want my hemelse Vader het dit aan jou bekendgemaak. Hierdie wete het jy nie van enige mens ontvang nie. Ek verklaar nou vir jou: ‘Jy is Petrus. Op hierdie rots sal Ek my kerk oprig, en al die magte van die hel sal dit nie oorwin nie.” (Matt 16:17-18) 

Die menslike dilemma: Daar is ’n swaartekrag in die mens wat mens aftrek na die dierlike instinkte van bestaan. Tog is die mens in wese verskillend van diere: Ons is spelerig en hou van vertoon wat lei tot die kunste, ons hou van die wetenskap en verstaan van dinge, ons hou van orde en wetgewing en reëls, ons verorber nie net ons kos nie – ons dek tafels en skep atmosfeer wanneer ons eet, ons verkeer nie seksueel in die openbaar nie, ons hou daarvan om ’n skinderstorie oor te vertel. 

Hierdie aspekte van menswees dui daarop dat ons geestelike wesens is: Ons wil by die wêreld om ons ingeskakel wees. Ons hele menswees word bepaal deur die mense om ons. Ons dink almal ons is vrygewig totdat ons vir ’n saak moet gee. Ons dink almal ons is liefdevol totdat iemand ons liefde soek. Ons dink almal kan enigiets doen totdat ons ’n bepaalde taak moet verrig. Ons dink almal daar is niks fout met ons nie totdat iemand diep gekrenk is deur iets wat ons gesê of gedoen het. Dit is dus eers in verhouding met iemand dat ek myself raaksien vir wie ek regtig is. Ons besef eintlik eers hoe stukkend ons is wanneer ons raaksien hoe stukkend ons verhoudings om ons is. 

Is waarheid relatief? Ons almal soek na die waarheid en wanneer ons dit in iemand se prediking vind, en daardie persoon ons teleurstel omdat hulle nie werklik die waarheid leef nie, verlaat ons die waarheid wat hulle verkondig. Dit beteken dat elke prediker probeer om ’n beter greep op die waarheid te kry as die volgende een, want ons is elkeen al iewers deur een of ander leiersfiguur teleurgestel. Dit lei tot die argument dat daar geen absolute waarheid is nie. Elkeen se waarheid is relatief waar tot elkeen se siening en begrip. Waarheid is egter nie relatief nie. Waarheid is ‘n persoon – Jesus Christus! 

In ’n tyd soos hierdie is godsdiens uitgedien en gee dit valse hoop. Sommige mense probeer een na die ander vorm van godsdiens en dit sit soos ’n skoen wat te klein is. Jy kry later eelte en skaafmerke en kan nie meer ordentlik loop of beweeg nie. Godsdiens kamp jou in en beroof jou van jou vryheid. Godsdiens hou jou vas en doof alle kreatiewe inspirasie uit. Godsdiens is ’n vorm van “lockdown”! Dis soos ’n kameel wat in Kanada in ’n dieretuin in die koue aangehou word – heeltemal buite sy natuurlike habitat. 

Jesus het nie ’n godsdiens verkondig nie! Jesus is deur die godsdienste van sy tyd tot die dood veroordeel! Jesus en godsdiens is nie sinoniem nie. As jy moeg is vir godsdiens, probeer Jesus. 

Hoekom Jesus 

Jesus is radikaal anders! 

Jesus het al hierdie godsdienspleging omvergewerp deur nie namens God te praat nie. Hy is God wat vlees word, en self as God Homself aan ons openbaar! “Hy, wat die afskynsel is van sy heerlikheid en die afdruksel van sy wese.” (Heb. 1:3); “Nadat God baie keer en op baie maniere in die ou tyd gespreek het tot die vaders deur die profete, het Hy in hierdie laaste dae tot ons gespreek deur die Seun.” (Heb. 1:1). 

Jesus volg heeltemal ’n ander benadering! 

· Jesus verkondig nie ’n weg na God toe nie – Hy verkondig God se weg na ons toe! (Joh. 3:16). 

· Hy verkondig nie net wat ons moet doen om by God uit te kom nie, maar wat God gedoen het om by ons uit te kom (Matt. 5:24, 36). 

· Jesus verkondig nie ’n stel reëls en metodes nie: Hy verkondig ’n Persoon! (Joh. 6:28-29). Daarom het Jesus die godsdiens-voorskrif oor die Sabbat verontagsaam, want mense hou die Sabbat en het nie werklik vrede of rus nie. Hy is Sabbat! Wanneer jy die rus in Hom ontdek het, word elke dag ’n Sabbat. 

· Jesus laat ons fokus op God waar godsdiens ons laat fokus op self (Joh. 3:13). 

· Hy verkondig ’n waarheid wat Hy self tot die letter fisies demonstreer en self aan voldoen (Joh. 14:6). 

· Jesus verkondig ’n praktiese waarheid wat jou leer hoe om deur krisisse en pyn te leef en dit nie te probeer ontsnap nie. Salig is die mense wat swaarkry, treur, arm is en vervolg word! (Matt. 5:3-12). 

· Hy gee onmiddellike toegang tot die realiteit van die hemel en heerlikheid (blywende vrede en vreugde) waarna die mens soek. Vrede, versoening, genesing en bevryding is onmiddellik beskikbaar (Matt. 4:17). Godsdiens wil altyd die eindbestemming ver in die toekoms voorhou, maar Jesus gee die volheid van sy Heerlikheid reg in die begin. Die geringste is groter as Johannes die Doper! (Matt. 11:11). 

· Jesus bewerk die vermoë om goddelik te lewe in ons (2 Pet. 1:3-4). Dit is merkwaardig hoe gou Jesus Sy dissipels bemagtig het om ook wonderwerke te doen en duiwels uit te dryf. So wil Hy elke volgeling wat Hom volg bemagtig! 

· Godsdiens soek uiteindelik mense se geld om die godsdiens in stand te hou. Jesus verkondig dat God nie ons offers nodig het nie. “WEES dan navolgers van God soos geliefde kinders; en wandel in liefde, soos Christus ons ook liefgehad het en Hom vir ons oorgegee het as ’n gawe en offer aan God tot ’n lieflike geur.” (Ef. 5:1-2). Jesus vermenigvuldig brood en vissies, help sy dissipels om ’n groot hoeveelheid vis te vang, ontdek muntstukke in ’n vis se bek. God gee! Uiteindelik gee ons en offer ons, ons lewe maar in reaksie op wat Hy eerste gegee het! 

Die bewys en uiteinde van Jesus se boodskap is nie ’n klomp volgelinge wat soos robotte sy metodes blindelings navolg nie, maar ’n bekragtiging van arm, gewone, eenvoudige, stukkende, sondige mense om goddelik te begin lewe. Jesus kon as Seun van God sy heerskappy met magsvertoon en majesteit kom demonstreer het, en Hy het inderdaad. Maar gans anders as wat ons mag en kragdadigheid verstaan. HY gebruik sy mag om mense te genees, te bevry van boosheid en sy volgelinge te bemagtig om dieselfde te doen. 

Alleenlik Jesus kan die hoekom-vraag beantwoord en vervul. So baie mense soek vervulling in geld, rykdom, spiere, liefde, mag en aansien om uiteindelik, wanneer hulle alles het wat hulle hart begeer, nog steeds leeg en onvervuld te voel. (Lees Prediker 2:1-26 vir Salomo se getuienis hieroor.) Die oomblik wanneer ek egter soos Jesus optree, voel ek ’n innerlike: Ja, dit is reg! Ek voel lewendig en vervuld! Hierdie Jesus-oomblikke is bevrydend en die hoogste hemel-ervaring! 

Jesus pas jou siel perfek. 

Al wat jy moet doen om Jesus te ontvang is: GLO! (Rom. 10:9-10; Joh. 6:28-29). 

Ken Jy Jesus!! 

Daar is verskeie belangrike “causes” waarvoor mense leef. Sommige wy hulle lewe daaraan om te veg vir die regte van minderheidsgroepe, of geweld teen vroue en kinders, of die bewaring van ons natuurlike hulpbronne, of die beskerming van een of ander dier wat besig is om uit te sterf. MAAR, die mees primêre “cause” waarvoor ons moet veg is: The cause of Christ. 

Om Christus te ken is die LEWE! 

“Ja waarlik, ek ag ook alles skade om die uitnemendheid van die kennis van Christus Jesus, my Here, ter wille van wie ek alles prysgegee het en as drek beskou, om Christus as wins te verkry en in Hom gevind te word, nie met my geregtigheid wat uit die wet is nie, maar met dié wat deur die geloof in Christus is, die geregtigheid wat uit God is deur die geloof; sodat ek Hom kan ken en die krag van sy opstanding en die gemeenskap aan sy lyde terwyl ek aan sy dood gelykvormig word, of ek miskien die opstanding uit die dode kan bereik. Nie dat ek dit al verkry het of al volmaak is nie, maar ek jaag daarna of ek dit ook kan gryp, omdat ek ook deur Christus Jesus gegryp is.” (Fil. 3:8). 

“… dat die God van onse Here Jesus Christus, die Vader van die heerlikheid, aan julle die Gees van wysheid en openbaring in kennis van Hom mag gee…” (Ef. 1:17). 

Die woord “ken” in Efesiërs 1:17 is 1922. ἐπίγνωσις epígnōsis; gen. epignṓseōs, fem. noun from epiginṓskō (G1921), to recognize. It is more intens than gnṓsis (G1108), knowledge, because it expresses a more thorough participation in the acquiring of knowledge on the part of the learner. In the NT, it often refers to knowledge which very powerfully influences the form of religious life, a knowledge laying claim to personal involvement. (See Col. 1:9, 10; 2:2; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25; 3:7; Titus 1:1; Heb. 10:26; 2 Pet. 1:2, 3). 

“… totdat ons almal kom tot die eenheid van die geloof en van die kennis van die Seun van God, tot ’n volwasse man, tot die mate van die volle grootte van Christus…” (Ef. 4:13). 

Die pragtige lied van Kari Jobe som hierdie sentiment mooi op: 

The only thing I want in life is to be known for loving Christ to build His church 

To love His bride 

And make His name known far and wide 

For this cause I live 

For this cause I’d die 

I surrender all 

For the cause of Christ 

All I once held dear 

I will leave behind 

For my joy is this 

Oh the cause of Christ 

He is all my soul will prize 

Regardless of the joy or trial 

When agonizing questions rise 

In Jesus all my hope abides 19 

In ’n Wêreld van Onvoorspelbare Chaos Bly Jesus ’n Onwankelbare, Ewige, Vaste Realiteit 

Ons kan enige onderwerp onder die son bestudeer soos dit kom en gaan. Alles in hierdie lewe is tydelik. (2 Kor. 4:18) “Want alle vlees is soos gras, en al die heerlikheid van die mens soos ’n blom van die gras. Die gras verdor en sy blom val af, maar die woord van die Here bly tot in ewigheid. En dit is die woord wat aan julle verkondig is.” (1 Pet. 1:24–25). 

“wat in die Skrif staan, hou sy gesag tot in ewigheid.” (Joh. 10:35). 

“Elkeen dan wat na hierdie woorde van My luister en dit doen, hom sal Ek vergelyk met ’n verstandige man wat sy huis op die rots gebou het.” (Matt. 7:24). 

“Daarom, omdat ons ’n onwankelbare koninkryk ontvang, laat ons dankbaar wees, en so God welbehaaglik dien met eerbied en vrees. Want onse God is ’n verterende vuur.” (Heb. 12:28-29). 

Daarom: Jesus is my godsdiens. Ek het my lewe toegewy om in gehoorsaamheid aan Hom te lewe. Hy is die fokus van my aanbidding! In Hom alleen word ek versadig en kom ek tot rus. Hy is my bron van sterkte en krag. Hy is my fokus, want dit is die kennis van Christus wat Hy gekies het om in ons te openbaar wat soos die ware noord op ’n kompas ons help om rigting te behou in die doolhof van die lewe. Christus se geregtigheid is my toegang en reg tot die Vader. Hoe meer ek Jesus verstaan en begryp, hoe beter begin ek myself verstaan. 20 

Die probleem met die Christendom, en hoekom selfs die Christendom die gevaar loop om maar net bloot nog ’n dooie godsdiens te word, is omdat nie alles waarmee ons besig is op Jesus gefokus is nie! Ons val maklik terug na die plek waar ons soos Moses ons vertroue in metodes stel, selfs metodes wat God eertyds beveel het. Wanneer Jesus ons fokus is, sal Hy ons lei en bekragtig om te weet watter metode nou relevant is. Geloof is om ’n nou-woord van die Here te ontvang. Jesus is die Bron van ons geloof. Ons tyd met Hom, in sy Woord, anker ons bestaan! Ons kyk letterlik na Hom deur die Woord, en die Heilige Gees help ons om Hom te sien. Soos Johannes op Patmos Jesus gesien en die boek Openbaring geskryf het. Ons het nodig om in elke krisis wat ons in die gesig mag staar, Jesus te sien! Jesus te aanbid! Jesus te hoor! Jesus te leef! Jesus is nie die ontsnappingswaarborg om al die gevare van die lewe te mis nie, maar die Wysheid om te groei en sterker te word om die hindernisbaan klaar te maak!

Categories
Stateman's Address

The number of MAN 666 and COVID 19 Vaccine?

The protestant church has consistently been infected by anti-institutional viruses for more than 500 years! Institutions are depicted as inherently evil, forcing and manipulating the weak. Any group that regularly meets, become a system, and eventually an institution. There are surely good systems and bad ones.  God’s system the CHURCH (ekklesia) is called to be a HEALING, redemptive, reconciliation, empowering COMMUNITY-FAMILY system. 

The ultimate test of any religion, ideology or worldview is the benefits it ultimately brings to the poor, the marginalized and oppressed.  If we say we are Christians, we have to take poverty seriously.

https://landsummit.co.za/about/ 

The simple truth regarding the plight of the poor and COVID 19 vaccines are: They could not care, most of them will possibly never see a vaccine in their lifetime. If they are lucky to receive a COVID 19 vaccine they will most possible soon die of other infections and curable diseases. What COVID 19 has amplified, is how unequal our western/modern/capitalist/privileged economy is. Consumer self-interest and convenience has driven us into an unnatural unhealthy rat race disproportionate to our humanity. It is this radical unequal economy and society who has caused this virus in the first place. 

I propose this economic-anti-Christ humanist-secular system is the real enemy of the church. Most people are taking on 2-3 jobs to survive economically leaving little or no time for prayer, mediation or volunteer ministry work.  It is increasingly difficult to LIVE the LIFE and values of Christ in this current economic system. 

Over the centuries the number 666 has been associated with the papacy, freemasons, Israel, Islam, Iron Maiden, and possibly every movie ever made with apocalyptic themes. In recent decades, conspiracy-minded individuals who combine idiosyncratic interpretations of the Bible with fears that evil governmental or religious forces are overtaking society have variously interpreted 666 as a reference to the United Nations, some presidents of the United States, the Washington Monument, and the European Union. It is easier to point to a foreign enemy out there than to expose the materialistic, consumer-convenience, apathy within our ranks! 

Given the commercial associations with 666 in Revelation, such interpreters also commonly identify the flexible symbol with the modern barcode system, the “www” of the Internet’s prefix for the World Wide Web, RFID seals used for tracking and identification, and smart cards used for cashless swiping. Such conspiratorial speculation unhelpfully feeds the phobias of some, whose fear of the number 666 has yielded a new term: “hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.” [3]

To understand the expression ‘mark of the beast’ we must remember that not only cattle but slaves also were branded or marked. The mark meant that the slave belonged to his master. Very soon the expression ‘to receive the mark of someone’ began to mean to belong to someone, to serve or worship someone.  In Revelation 14:9 we read: ‘If any man worships the beast … and receive the mark on his forehead’. Here ‘receiving the mark of the beast’ seems to mean ‘worshipping the beast’. Similarly, in Revelation 14:11: ‘They that worship the beast … and receive the mark of his name’ (cf. also Rev. 20:4). So ‘receiving the mark of the beast’ seems to mean ‘belonging to the beast and worshipping the beast’. The ‘mark of the beast’ is the God-opposing, Christ-rejecting, Church-persecuting spirit of antichrist, wherever and whenever it shows itself. This mark is impressed on the forehead or right hand (cf. Dt. 6:8). The forehead symbolizes the mind, the thought-life, the philosophy of a person. The right hand indicates his deed, action, trade, industry, etc. Therefore receiving the mark of the beast on the forehead or right hand indicates that the person so characterized belongs to the company of those who persecute the Church; and that—either preeminently in what he thinks, says, writes or more emphatically in what he does—this antichristian spirit becomes evident.[4] 

Dr Riekert Botha explains the number as in contrast to the number 777, which means threefold perfection. The number 666 is “the number of a man” as opposed to God. It is man in opposition to God. The number says man-man-man or imperfect-imperfect-imperfect. One commenter also translated it as failure-failure-failure. Another way to put it: Me, Me, Me or self, self, self. Church History proofs that the human-self-centred spirit of man as the greatest enemy of the way of Christ bringing division, controlling and manipulation and infigting.

I agree with William Hendriksen’s explanation and interpretation of “the mark of the beast”. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He focused on the heart. It is from the well-spring of the heart from which all evil proceeds! (Mat 12:34) God looks not to the mark of the flesh, but the mark of a circumcised heart. (Col 6:15; Rom 2:28; Deut 10:16) People whose hearts have been touched perspective of life changes, they do business differently. The redemption of the heart leads to the redemption of one’s evil and unjust ways of acquiring wealth. The enactment of the spiritual Jubilee recorded in Acts was the first sign of the huge change of heart, when no one lacked, because of the sharing of the first believers. (Acts 4:34) 

Of greater importance to me, than the threat of receiving the mark of the beast, is whether one has received the mark of righteousness! (Ezek. 9:4, 6; Rev. 14:2; 7:3; 22:4) Without this mark, you will not enter the Kingdom/heaven’s eternity with God. Those who are born again and who have received the Holy Spirit have been sealed (marked). (2 Cor 1:22) It is like Jesus says: You cannot hide this light. (Mat 5:14) Followers of Christ always carry the sign of death (2 Cor 4:10) as we continue to live a surrendered, abandoned life unto Christ. (Mat 16:24) Our quest should be to question people boldly about their faith in Christ Jesus alone! Have they bowed their knees to Him in surrender, to now live His WAY of LIFE?

In Hellenistic literature “making a mark” referred to a mark on the body—like a tattoo—usually put on a runaway slave. Paul said that he bore in his body the “marks” (stigmata) of Jesus. He was not ashamed of the stigma. (Rom 1:6) At one stage Peter ran from a stigma—when he denied knowing the Lord. But the day came when he embraced it. Sometime later Peter and John could hardly believe how blessed they were that they were privileged to bear the stigma of Jesus. Having been warned and flogged by the Sanhedrin, they left the Sanhedrin “rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering dis-grace [“shame,” KJV; “dishonour,” ESV] for the Name”

Persecution has many forms. Hidden persecution is happening right NOW within an evil/unjust system where everyone is doing and covering-up wrong-doing. It is clear from learning from the Zondo commission; that corruption is a social-cadre-deployment-comrade-loving enterprise. “You will give me the job although I am not qualified, because of your affinity with the struggle against white monopolies.” Almost every sector in the economy is plagued by unjust systems of control or poor remuneration. How can we as believers make a stand? This is where our testimony and faith count most. Should you keep your business open on Sunday’s? How does your need for production infringe on your worker’s responsibility to also be good parents? Are you paying your workers a worthy compensation as you would your own family members? Are you good stewards of the natural resources available? 

The true CHURCH will become a safehaven/eden for those who obey Him.

The Babylonian economy is where the real battle is fought, with sometimes severe casualties like losing jobs, forfeiting profit, closing down of the business. The biggest plight of the poor and marginalised in South Africa is INCLUSION. Doing business and getting your product sold to the 5 main retail monopolies in SA, is almost impossible. Is this not already what the Book Revelation is speaking about? “and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev 13:17) Already this Babylonian-economy is dictating to society through media, and television its demonic anti-family, self-saving, everything-goes-no-consequences, humanistic-super-hero doctrines! Surely this is a much greater threat to the church than a COVID 19 vaccine?  But take note: this Babylonian tyranny is said to fall, and come to an end. (Rev 14:8; 18:1-8) More importantly, there is a direct command to the church to: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Rev 18:4) 

The essence of the number 666, and it’s biblical meaning is clear: for it is the number of a man (Rev 13:18; 21:17). This spirit of man has been an enemy of the church from the beginning of time. It is this spirit of man in Peter that Jesus rebuked: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” The arm of the flesh opposes the things of the spirit. “It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profit nothing” (John 6: 63). “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:5-8) 

The rest of the chapter Rom 8 explains how life in the Spirit works: We are led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14) the earth groans in labour pains for the revealing of the sons of God. (Rom 8:19) I am not afraid about the number of the beast, I am yearning with fire in my spirit for this revealing of the sons of God: The triumphant awakened church who knows their true identity of the resurrected Christ within!

Our Lord Jesus Christ’s returning is at hand, let’s do (finish) what we are called to do while there is still time. It is the beginning of the best and worst times of our history. Do not live in fear, it is the time for the church to RISE! (Isa 60)

[3] Frances Flannery, “666 in Popular Culture and History”, n.p. [cited 16 Dec 2020]. Online: https://www.bibleodyssey.org:443/passages/related-articles/666-in-popular-culture-and-history

[4] William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1967), 150.

Categories
Preke

Behou geestelike fokus in tye van onrus.

I continue to pray for your love to grow and increase beyond measure, bringing you into the rich revelation of spiritual insight in all things. Phil 1:9 Passion Translation

Ons leef tans in ‘n wêreld van miljoene opinies en agterdog oor geheime sameswerings, emosioneel gelaaide waarskuwings, grootskaalse verwarring, teenstrydige navorsing, kommer oor inperking maatreëls, diskriminerende persoonlike aanvalle en opswaai van aanranding en geweld!!! Mens hoor elke dag van meer egskeidings, gesinsgeweld, en gesonde mense se sterftes. Hoe hou mens FOKUS? Hoe kry mens goddelike INSIG? Nou meer as ooit is dit nodig dat ons, ons geestelike sintuie sal verskerp in die daaglikse stryd, om fokus op Jesus te behou. 

Ons word daagliks gebombardeer met ‘n magdom inligting, tog weet bitter min mense hoe om reg en gesond te leef.  Inligting is nutteloos sonder INSIG om te weet wat om op die regte tyd met die regte mense te doen.  Insig verbind die kop met die hart. Insig wys jou nie net wat om te doen nie, maar ook die hoe, asook wanneer om dit te doen. Insig bring al die punte bymekaar. Insig word beskryf as die vroeg-môreson wat opkom in mens se hart, en jou nuwe stukrag gee vir ‘n gegewe saak. 

Dictionary.com defines insight as:

  • An instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding;
  • Penetrating mental vision or discernment;
  • Faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth; an understanding of relationships that sheds light on or helps solve a problem;
  • An understanding of the motivational forces behind one’s actions, thoughts, or behavior; self-knowledge.

Iemand wat dieper dink oor ‘n saak verkry insig. Die meeste mense dink nie deur hul probleme nie. Hulle is geneig om teen hul berge vas te kyk in plaas daarvan om deur die berg te dink om ‘n sleutel te bekom om dit te oorwin. Geloof wat berge versit, begin met die verskuiwing van klein molshope. Soos in ‘n vorige boodskap verduidelik, maak die meeste mense van ‘n molshoop ‘n berg. Kinders van God wat in oorgawe Sy geregtigheid ontvang het, is geloofsmense! Ons dink, praat en leef geloof! Ons maak berge molshope… bergplatmakers! 

Visie kom deur insig. Lig en visie gaan saam. Wanneer God Sy waarheid aan ons belig, kry ons insig, insig lei tot visie. Visie stel kreatiwiteit vry. Sodra ons visie ontvang, kan ons ons deur die geloof dinge tot stand te bring wat nie bestaan ​​nie. God het roep dinge wat nie bestaan nie asof dit bestaan! 

Uiteindelik word mens verlam deur al die negatiwiteit om jou! ‘n Vis bestaan in die water, omdat die water nooit binne die vis kom nie. So bestaan ons in ‘n bose stormagtige wêreld, omdat ons nie toelaat dat die storm ooit in ons woed nie!!  

Meer as ooit het ons goddelike INSIG nodig om ons deur die doolhof van misleiding, leuens, verraad, korrupsie, en bose intensies uit te lei. 

Understanding establishes you. Once you understand something you know how to operate. 

Die Here het vir Besaleël toegerus met my Gees sodat hy met vaardigheid, insig en verstand enige werk kan doen (Exo 31:3) Die Here het hom toegerus met sy Gees sodat hy met vaardigheid, insig en verstand enige werk kan doen: (Exo 35:31) 

Verder het die Here vir Moses instruksies gegee om die volke te verdeel onder leiers met insig. Bring uit julle stamme verstandige manne, manne met insig, manne van aansien, sodat ek hulle as hoofde oor julle kan aanstel. (Deut 1:13) 

Salomo het ook hierdie INSIG by die Here gesoek: Die Here het dit goedgevind dat Salomo dít gevra het. Hy het vir hom gesê: “Omdat dít jou versoek is en jy nie vir jou ‘n lang lewe, of rykdom, of die dood van jou vyande gevra het nie, maar insig in wat reg is, sal Ek aan jou versoek voldoen. (1 King 3:10-12) 

H8394. תְּבוּנָה teḇûnāh: A feminine noun meaning understanding, insight. It occurs primarily in the Wisdom Literature and is associated with both wisdom and knowledge (Ex. 35:31; Prov. 8:1; 21:30); and is contrasted with foolishness (Prov. 15:21; 18:2). A person of understanding is slow to wrath and walks uprightly (Prov. 14:29; 15:21). God has understanding and gives it (Job 12:13; Ps. 147:5; Prov. 2:6; Isa. 40:28). On the other hand, idolaters, who fashion idols by their own understanding, have no understanding at all (Isa. 44:19; Hos. 13:2). 

My seun, neem aan wat ek jou sê,

maak wat ek jou voorskryf jou eie,

hou jou ore oop vir die wysheid,

span jou in om te verstaan.

Roep insig by,

vra na gesonde begrip.

Soek dit soos jy silwer sou soek,

spoor dit op soos ‘n verborge skat.

Dan sal jy weet hoe om die Here te dien,

sal jy ontdek wat dit is om God te ken.

Dit is die Here wat die wysheid gee,

uit sy mond kom die kennis en die insig.

Hy laat eerlike mense sukses behaal

en Hy beskerm dié wat onberispelik lewe.

Hy sien toe dat reg geskied,

Hy hou wag oor die pad van sy troue dienaars.

As jy aanneem wat ek jou sê, sal jy insig kry

in wat regverdig en reg en billik is

en sal jy op die goeie pad bly.

Die wysheid sal sy plek in jou lewe inneem,

kennis sal vir jou iets aangenaams word,

oordeelkundigheid sal oor jou wag hou

en verstandigheid sal jou bewaak. (Prov 2:1-11) 

‘n Dienaar van die Here moenie rusie maak nie. Inteendeel, hy moet vriendelik wees teenoor almal, bekwaam om ander te leer en iemand wat onreg kan dra. Met vriendelikheid moet hy teenstanders teregwys. Dit kan wees dat God hulle bekeer en hulle tot kennis van die waarheid bring. Dan sal hulle weer tot nugtere insig kom en vry raak uit die vangstrik van die duiwel, waarmee hy hulle gevange gehou het om sy wil te gehoorsaam. (2 Tim 2:24-26) 

Hoe verkry mens goddelike geestelike INSIG? 

Om INSIG te bekom kos gedetermineerde fokus, om te staak met dit waarmee jy besig is, en deur die oorverdowende lawaai en geraas van die Wêreld bewus te raak van die influistering van Sy stem in jou gemoed! 

Bolangse waarneming en bietjie kennis is nie genoeg nie om ware insig te verkry nie.  Ware insig verg werk; dit is ‘n vaardigheid wat kreatiwiteit, deursettingsvermoë en diep denke verg. Die kragtigste insigte kom uit noukeurige en ernstige ontledings om groot hoeveelhede data in bondige en spesifieke bevindings op te som. Soos ‘n arend ‘n wye perspektief het in die lug en dan afpyl op sy prooi, is insig ‘n spesifieke oplossing. 

  1. Mens moet die Here vir INSIG vra

Hy is en bly die bron van ware INSIG. Vertrou volkome op die Here en moenie op jou eie insigte staatmaak nie. (Prov 3:5) Die Heilige Gees gee ware insig. (1 Cor 2:9-16) Om die sinne van Christus te hê, is ware INSIG. Die gawes vd Gees, is ook ‘n reuse bron van Goddelike Bonatuurlike Insig: Profesie, Woord van Kennis, Wysheid. (1 Cor 12 & 14)

  • Leer ken God se weë

Met groot ontsag getuig almal dan van die dade van God omdat hulle insig gekry het in wat Hy doen. (Ps 64:10) Hoe meer jy ontwikkel in die Kennis van die Here en Sy wee, hoe makliker sien jy deur al die misleidings, die regte pad van Sy wil.  (2 Cor 10:5-6; Eph 1:17; 4:13; Col 1:10; 1 Pet 1:2) Apostles en Profete is God se geskenke aan Sy liggaam om geheimenisse te openbaar. (Eph 3:4)

  • Onttrek en kom tot stilte. 

Jesus het dikwels ontrek na ‘n berg (hoogte) om te bid. (Mat 14:23; Mark 6:46; Luk 6:12; 9:28) Om soms weg te breek, weg te gaan, vir ‘n tyd te vas en bid verkry mens nuwe insig tot jou omstandighede. Breek die roetine. Insig impliseer objektiwiteit en nugterheid d.w.s die vermoë om jou maat, jou situasie, jou probleem vanuit ‘n goddelike verhewe perspektief te benader.  Om hierdie insig te verkry, moet mens die vlees stil maak. 

  • Omring jou met mense wat INSIG het.

Where there is no counsel, purposes are disappointed; But in the multitude of counsellors they are established. (Prov 15:22) Deur gereeld tyd te maak om buite jou bekende wêreld met groeperinge bymekaar te kom wat nuwe denke kan stimuleer kan jy groei. Deur robuuste dialoog en aanhou vrae vra, kom mens tot dieper insig. Jy sien jou probleem in ‘n ander lig.  Vir bykans 2 jaar kom ‘n groep van koninkryksburgers bymekaar om insig te verkry oor die ekonomie en versplinterde samelewing. Dis ‘n wonderlike voorreg om die genialiteit van Jesus se liggaam te kan ontgin. 

Insig en geloof werk saam, INSIG maak dit duidelik wat jy moet doen, geloof gee jou die krag om dit te doen! Verdagmakery, verontreg te voel, aanstoot te neem, agterdog, negatiwiteit, kritiek, oordeel en beskuldigings steel die suurstof waarin geloof moet asemhaal.  Bely en erken hierdie sondes voor die Here, en kom in Sy teenwoordigheid met lofsang en dankbaarheid!! In hierdie atmosfeer van triomf en geestelike verligting verkry mens INSIG en GELOOF om berge te versit!! 

Wees die verandering.  

Categories
Preke

Verander jou berg in ‘n molshoop.

“𝗩𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝗹𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽𝗲” 

Om van elke molshoop ‘n berg te maak kan ‘n toksiese gewoonte raak, wat die mense om jou en jou geestelike lewe negatief beïnvloed. Ons doen dit meestal sonder dat ons daarvan bewus is, maar baie mense sien in die geringste kwessie ‘n reuse probleem of krisis. Almal beleef swaar en probleme, maar sekere mense sal met dramatiese byvoeglike naamwoorde dit altyd laat klink asof hulle slagoffers is van ‘n geheime sameswering.  Ander sal altyd die fout wat begaan is van ‘n byeenkoms, transaksie of idee uitlig. “Beproef alle dinge; behou die goeie” (1 Thes 5:21) Wat ek glo die Here lig op wil werp vandag is nie ‘n spesifieke persoonlikheidtipe nie. Sommige mense sien die glas half vol, en ander half leeg. Ons benodig beide positiewe en kritiese denke om van enige saak ‘n sukses te maak.  Om van elke molshoop ‘n berg te maak is egter teken van ‘n sekere denkwyse wat skade berokken.  Mag die Here vandag deur Sy Woord ons gedagtes vernuwe, om ander te dink.  

Mense wat gediagnoseer is met kompulsiewe gedrag versteuring, of post-traumatiese stress of wat baie kompeterend en beheervrate is geneig om van elke molshoop ‘n berg te maak.[1] Op die oomblik word ons ook toegegooi met sosiale media en nuusagentskappe wat die kyker getalle najaag deur die mees sensasionele nuusberigte te promoveer. Die meeste berigte is ook ‘n dramatisering van wat werklik gebeur het. Natuurlik gebeur daar bitter slegte goed met mense! Mense word vermoor, ander veg teen kanker wat jou liggaam van binne af opvreet! Sommige mense oorleef ongelukke en moet daagliks worstel deur die rehabilitasie proses! Mense kry regtig baie swaar! Sommige mense het regtig nie kos om te eet nie. Miljoene immigrante leef in haglike omstandighede genoodsaak om hulle geboorte land en wonings te verlaat.  

Wat sê God se Woord? Wat is die Bybelse manier van dink? Ons gaan vyf teksverse bestudeer. Mag hy vandag ons uitkyk oor die lewe geheel en al verander! 

7“Wie is jy, grote berg? Voor Serubbabel word jy sommer ’n gelyk pad! Hy sal die laaste klip van die tempel lê en die mense sal uitroep: ‘Genade, genade oor hom!’” (Zechariah 4:7)

3Luister! Ek hoor die stem van iemand wat roep: “Maak ’n pad vir die Here deur die  wildernis. Maak ’n reguit pad deur die woestyn vir ons God. 4Vul die valleie op!

Maak elke berg en heuwel gelyk, elke ruwe plek ’n gelykte, elke koppie ’n vlakte.

5Dan sal die heerlikheid van die Here bekend word en alle mense sal dit sien. Die Here self het so gesê.” (Isaiah 40:3–5)

20“Julle geloof was nie sterk genoeg nie,” was Jesus se antwoord. “Dít verseker Ek julle, as julle geloof selfs so klein soos ’n mosterdsaadjie was, sou julle vir hierdie berg sê: ‘Skuif soontoe,’ en hy sal dit doen. Ja, niks sal vir julle onmoontlik wees nie.” (Matthew 17:20)

5Berge smelt soos was voor die Here,  voor die Here van die hele wêreld. 6Die hemele verkondig sy geregtigheid; elke volk sien sy heerlikheid. (Psalm 97:5–6)

25Dit kan jy maar weet, vernietigende berg, verwoester van die wêreld, Ek is jou vyand,”

sê die Here. “Ek sal teen jou optree, Ek sal jou teen berghange afrol. Ek maak jou ’n verskroeide berg. 26Jy sal vir altyd verwoes lê. Niemand sal eers uit jou rommel ’n klip vir ’n hoeksteen of ’n fondasie gebruik nie,” sê die Here. (Jeremiah 51:25–26)


[1] https://www.learning-mind.com/making-a-mountain-out-of-a-molehill-toxic-habit/

Categories
Sermons

Are there still spiritual Judges today?

https://youtu.be/qym9iuBbaWg

When we hear the word judge, we mostly think of judicial, legal verdicts and immanent penalty.  Although this is certainly the case, the Bible has a more general, broader estimation of judges. 

In life, we are all judges: we make regular judgments concerning the friends we choose; the right partners we marry or go in business with; the judicial process of appointing new staff; forming political opinions; the purchases or investments and the beliefs we base our life on. Life is a series of judgments, decisions and conclusions based either on facts or gut-feeling, group-pressure, impulse, emotion or research.  We all seek the truth! We all seek the right judgment of our life (Gen. 16:5; 18:25). Most of all, in relational conflict we deeply desire someone who could judge or arbitrate a feud or disagreement towards reconciliation.  

THE EVIDENCE PROVES – WE JUDGE POORLY 

Wrong Gut-feeling:

Story: Malcolm Gladwell – “how thin-slicing, gut-feel is trained.”[1]

Wrong Decisions

I also remember a most interesting TED talk we reviewed in Bible School class on “Being Wrong” by Kathryn Schulz. https://youtu.be/QleRgTBMX88 [2]

The Best Of Us Is Wrong Too 

Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 514, a Boeing 727 inbound from Columbus, Ohio, that was scheduled to land at Washington National Airport. The crew had flown a normally functioning Boeing 727 aircraft into a hill at an altitude of 1669 feet, just short of the hill’s peak of 1764 feet. The 85 passengers and seven crew members died in a horrific fiery crash 29 miles northwest of Dulles International Airport. Human error and Pilot’s misunderstanding each other was the cause of this accident.[3]

Wrong Self-Awareness 

“Unskilled and unaware of it: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments” Justin Kruger and David Dunning Cornell University

Elon Musk https://youtu.be/NU7W7qe2R0A “Constantly seek criticism” [4]

Everyone Does What Was Right In His Own Eyes

We live in an age when the following statement has never been more accurate and relevant; “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes”  Judges 21:25. We have more information available than ever yet people appear to be entirely ignorant of their lifestyle decisions, and it’s consequences. Our alienation from God and Truth could set us on a course of deep darkness. 

THE GRAVE DANGER IS: WHAT IF I WAS WRONG ABOUT ETERNAL LIFE??? 

Choose life!

All wrong decisions and judgments will cost you something, but not being ready for eternal life will cost you your eternal life! 

We use all kinds of measuring tools to help us sustain life: we have a unified musical note/frequency standard; we have standard time; standard measurements; standard temperature and atmospheric pressure standards; yet we fear a standard for how we should live life! We trust doctors to use all kinds of measurements to make a prognosis, but we rebel and are offended when the Word judges our sin and error. We use all kinds of smart measuring devices like smart-watches to measure heart rate, pace and speed to improve fitness, yet we feel so quickly condemned when corrected, admonished, rebuked or disciplined in character.  

Solomon sought wisdom, and discernment to make the right judgements, and His Kingdom flourished.  As we are drawing closer to the end, and the final judgement it has never been more important to become judges after God’s heart. “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9)

The criteria for the appointment of the role of chief justice in the nation is determined by his or her influence and respected voice among the people and peers, their impartiality, administrative integrity and efficiency, their intellectual brilliance, long-levity of policies which stimulate inclusive equitable fair economic growth.  

WHAT IS GOD’S CRITERIA AND EXPECTATION OF HIS FAMILY OF JUDGES IN THE EARTH? 

God has a prescribed design, blueprint, form and frame for our lives! (We want accurate measurements (Bureau of Weights & Measures). God commanded Israel concerning measurements (Deut. 25:15).

God-given measurements can be seen in:

  1. Noah’s ark: Gen. 6:15.
  2. Tabernacle: Exo. 25:9, 40.
  3. Solomon’s Temple: 1 Chron 28:10-12, 19.
  4. Ezekiel’s Temple (vision of God’s kingdom): Ezek. 40:2-4; 43:6-12.
  5. The church: Isa. 2:2-3 (Eph. 2:19-22).

God has a standard measurement for your LIFE! 

Jesus is God’s Standard and measurement for attaining Eternal LIFE! 

DOES YOUR LIFE MEASURE UP TO JESUS??? 

Our Death in Christ and His resurrection in us is eternal life. 

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

Rom 6:8; 2 Tim 2:11, 12; Rom 5:17, 21; Rom 5:17; Eph 2:5

  • Phil 3:16 – RULE (kanon) – Used of a measuring rod, a carpenter’s line or measuring tape; “any rule or standard” (Thayer, 324).
  • Rom. 6:17 – FORM (topos) – “an example…the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made: Acts 7:44” (Thayer, 632).
  • 2 Tim. 1:13 – PATTERN (hupotuposis) – “the pattern placed before one to be held fast and copied, model” (Thayer, 645).

MAIN SCRIPTURE READING: 

Let this mind… (φρονέω phronéō: mind. To think, have a mindset, be minded. The activity represented by this word involves the will, affections, and conscience.) 

be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form (μορφή morphḗ: Form, shape, inward essence.) 

of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal (ἴσος ísos. Equal, alike in quantity, quality, dignity) 

…with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance (σχῆμα schḗma; Fashion, external form, appearance) 

…as a man, He humbled (ταπεινόω tapeinóō: humble. bring low) 

Himself and became obedient (ὑπήκοος hupḗkoos: to submit to, obey) 

to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:5-21) 

I believe the incarnation of Jesus holds the secret to right living and righteous judgement! 

For justice to be true, the judge has to model His standard! Without this example the judgement has no power.  “and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Cor 10:6) 

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Doing inward self-analysis is fruitless and futile. 

Paul says that he does not even judge himself. (1 Corinthians 4:3) 

Judgment has to be external and objective to be found balanced and true

You do not know what is in people’s hearts (Bill Johnson) Beware of presumptions

Our own hearts are very deceptive. (Jeremiah 17:9)

I believe the Spirit is working and accomplishing a JESUS CHRIST standard within us. (Col 1:27) As we continue to surrender and abandon all of self, He is awakening us to His righteousness, His right living! 

By removing the moral-ethical failure of the schemes of sin in us as we morph continually into His image! (2 Cor 4:18), as we are beholding HIM!!! As we are filled with Him! As we get our mind renewed according to the word, we receive His mind.  (Rom 12:1; 2 Cor 1:16) 

Jesus physically modeled this MIND – He MORPHED the secret to us in the open! 

A judge has two primary instruments to achieve sound justice: the written law and the spirit if the law.  

Jesus learned His judgments from the Father. Do not trust your own judgment, seek His judgment. 

  • I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (John 5:30)
  • Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. (John 7:24)
  • You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. (John 8:15-16)
  • The more we Study the Word, the better we can judge. The Word is a discerner. (Hebrews 4:12) 
  • He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. (Prov 18:13) 
  • Do not judge a matter by the first testimony, cross-examine and then make a conclusion. The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.  (Proverbs 18:17)

The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise.

He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom,

And before honor is humility. (Prov 15:31-32) 


[1] Gladwell, M., 2019. Blink. New York: Back Bay Books.

[2] Schulz, K., 2011. Being Wrong. London: Portobello.

[3] Helmreich Robert L. On error management: lessons from aviation  BMJ  2000. 

[4] Kruger, J. and Dunning, D., 1999. Unskilled And Unaware Of It. Estados Unidos: American Psychological Association.