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Priority of the Kingdom

Mike Connell

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Priority of the Kingdom

Priority of the Kingdom (1 of 4)

Democracy or Kingdom (2 of 4)

Kingdom Mandate (3 of 4)

Kingdom Authority (4 of 4)

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Priority of the Kingdom (1 of 4)  

Sun 24 Jun 2007 AM « Back to Top

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Priority of the Kingdom (1 of 4)

Priority of the Kingdom (1 of 4) Mike Connell 24.06.2007 am

In two or three week's time we're going to be starting the course Undercover, so I want to begin to start to just sow some seeds out towards that before we go there. I want to talk about the Kingdom of God and I want to just show you some things from the word of God. I'm going to do it over a couple of Sundays. Next Sunday I want to look at the difference between democracy and the kingdom. What you're going to find is as we start to teach on the kingdom of God, I want you to really be open for God to work something in your heart. You know you can know lots of things, but not actually have a changed life and what really counts is a changed life. I remember when I first heard someone speak about the kingdom of God - I've looked back at the message and I thought I don't know how that made any difference to me; but God switched the lights on in me. My prayer for us as a church is that right across the church God will switch the lights on for you, to see something you've never seen before.

So I want to over the first couple of weeks before we get into the course Undercover, I want to just share some things that give you a perspective or why it is we need to position ourselves undercover. The course itself will be evidence, what we need to do and how to face and deal with certain issues. But I want to give something like the bigger picture, so today I want to do the first in a series of two or three, just before we lead in to the whole Undercover series. I do encourage you to get the book and make it your devotional study, and ask the Holy Ghost to speak to you. Ask God to talk to you. Okay, I want you to have a look with me in Matthew 6:33. This is one of my favourite verses in the Bible, one that I have just loved and valued for years, and here it is. I don't have to turn to it, I know it of course, Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.

So I want to talk to you today about the priority of the kingdom of God. We're going to look further into these verses, going to share a few verses with you, but I want to look around these verses in Matthew 6. So it says seek first the kingdom of God, so when you think about kingdom what do you think of? Now of course if you're a church person, you've been around church for a long time, well it's just another word. You use it in church, don't use it anywhere else. You don't go in your business and use the word kingdom. You don't go anywhere in society and use the word kingdom. In fact you don't use it anywhere, and because we don't use it anywhere we've got no kind of framework within which to understand when the Bible is talking about the kingdom what it's really talking about. And so what tends to happen is we approach the things of God from the viewpoint shaped by our culture, and our culture in the west is not kingdom-oriented. Our kingdom in the west is very much democratic in its government, democratic.

Next week I'll talk a little bit about the difference between the democratic form of government and some of its inherent weaknesses, and the kingdom of God government, the divine government that God has intended. It'll really help you to understand why so many believers struggle is because we come and we get born again into the kingdom of God, but we don't change in our thinking and approach to how we run our life. So what happens is we are part of the kingdom of God with a whole new access to new privilege, but we don't access it because we're still thinking and living out of a democratic mindset. It's very hard for us in the west to understand this, and I'll show you why shortly. If you go to Thailand for example and you talk about kingdom, oh, kingdom! Immediately everyone knows what you're talking - they know the king. The king there is the longest serving king in any nation in the earth. They love their king in Thailand.

You make any comments about the king, you'll be in jail. They love their king. Their king is benevolent, their king cares about the people, the king intervenes in the nation at times to ensure that the welfare of the people is looked after. He personally has initiated projects for the welfare of the people. The people in Thailand love their king. They had a celebration of his anniversary a while ago and the whole nation celebrated. Then you look around some other parts of the world, say a bit nearer to us. Those who are from the Islands would understand this. Tonga is a kingdom. They have a king, and he operates in a certain kind of way. So if you'd been born in Tonga you would understand about kingdom and you'd have a certain idea about what the king was like and various things related to that. But you see we're in the west now and we don't understand that.

Now I see there are a few older ones around here, apart from the young ones. There's an old one or two. Well for the young ones who wouldn't know anything about this, you don't know anything about this but I'll tell you something that we used to do. This is what we used to do - of course if you're older you'll know what we used to do. Every time there was a movie at the beginning of the movie they would show a picture of the Queen, our Queen, and everyone would stand. Everyone in the theatre would stand. It was unthinkable not to stand in the presence of royalty. If you sat down everyone - they would stare at you. We would sing a song, God Save the Queen and send her victorious, happy and glorious, born to rule over us. It's unthinkable for us to sing such a song now. Why? Because we've changed how we think.

So for us the thought that someone was born to rule over us is just inconceivable, because our culture has totally shifted and you see the whole of the western culture's shifted. Of course Britain, they used to sing Britannia, Britannia rule the waves, you know, because it says we shall never be slaves. So it's a song, the songs and words were all about kingdom and it came out of revival and it came out of reformation in the whole of Britain. So years later, now I can remember when the change came and disrespect came, and gradually the Queen's role when from being a sovereign to actually being a figurehead government, until finally now the royal family, there's a mixture of either people either like them and respect them, or they just think they're a joke. See, so that's happened in our lifetime that that shift has taken place.

So for the culture coming up today it's unthinkable to stand at the beginning of a movie singing God save our Queen, God save our gracious Queen, you know - send her victorious, happy and glorious, born to rule over us! A ruling class - it's unthinkable, see? And yet it has in it actually a reflection of the very kingdom we're born into, except we're born to be the ruling class - so we'll talk to you a little bit about the kingdom of God. Next week I'll share about the difference there between democracy and kingdom, so you can understand the way of thinking and the way of operating is totally different. So when we talk about kingdom we're talking about the realm over which a king is absolutely sovereign. It's a place or a territory over which his word, his will is done, his desire is done, his values are imparted. The kingdom of heaven, when we talk about the kingdom of heaven or any kind of kingdom, we're thinking about principles, laws and protocols, ways of doing things.

See a lot of Christians don't understand protocol. Protocol, if you're a Maori person you'd understand when you go on a marae there are certain protocols, and heaven forbid if you break protocol. You will know about it, because there are consequences for breaking protocol. It's just the way you go about doing things. Now the kingdom of heaven has protocols, so for example one of the protocols when you want to approach the King, you approach Him with an offering. You approach Him with praise, so for all those people who don't clap, don't sing, don't bring anything to the King, you are breakers of protocol. Think about that. Think about that, because the Bible's very clear. The Bible lays out the protocols of the kingdom, and it tells us very clearly in the Bible how to approach Him. It tells us to approach Him boldly and confidently. It tells us come before His presence with singing, enter His gates with thanksgiving, into His courts with praise. It tells what to do.

It tells us how to enter the courts of the King see, so when we come singing is not sort of something you just do at the beginning of a service, and if you like it you do it; if you don't like it you just wait to get the message. It's actually the protocols of how to approach a king. It's the ways of going about doing stuff. Now there are a whole lot of things which are protocols of heaven, and if you want to see the benefits of heaven in the earth you've got to understand the ways of doing things. So Undercover will touch into one aspect only of kingdom life and the dimensions of the kingdom, but what I want to do is to lay out some things prior to that so you can sort of get the perspective within which it happens. Okay, we got the idea? Alright, I want us to have a look in Genesis 1. The focus of the Bible - the Bible is not about religion. Most people think it's all about religion you see; are you religious? No, I'm not religious. I hate religion. Religion's the blight of the world! It's true, it's the blight of the world.

Religion's been the cause of wars, conflict, oppression, persecution. All kinds of things have been done in the name of religion, and we'll clarify the difference between religion and kingdom. Jesus never came to bring us religion. Religion is what men think up to do, and so if you're religious it's because you don't understand what God really intended us to have. He intended us to be totally free of all religiosity, totally free of all religion and to have a wonderful relationship and understand how to bring heaven to earth - most [amazing. 00.09.56] Let's have a look at God's original plan in design again, Genesis 1:26; then God said let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. So God made man a spirit being with a unique capacity to be able to not only - he's a physical being, he lives in a physical body, but is a spirit being.

We're a spirit being just like God is a spirit being, and so we have spirit capacities and as a spirit being we are able to access into the world of the spirit, the realm where God lives. As a physical being we live in the earth; let Us make man after Our image and likeness, and now He tells us - here's the mandate. Let man have dominion over all the earth. So man is created a spirit being in the image of God, put into a physical body, and given part of God's creation in which to extend God's dominion. Now if you think religion all you'll be thinking religion's about is trying to get you to heaven, but if you think kingdom you understand that God wants your life to have purpose and impact and make a difference now, see? And so God's purpose for man is that we would have dominion. That means sovereign authority. That means that the life, the power, the privileges, the benefits of heaven would come into the earth through man. That's how you're designed.

You're designed that way. You function only when you recognise and embrace that, and so that's God's original design for man. We're created for a kingdom, so when God made man He gave him a relationship, He gave him a realm of dominion and an opportunity to be a good steward and be promoted, see? So he was created for that, and the key to being fulfilled is to understand I can never have a fulfilled life unless I have a relationship with God, and fulfil His purpose in whatever area of life He has called me to fulfil. And so the cry, see so when Adam fell this is in essence what he did; in essence because you say well he ate the fruit of the tree. No, no, this is in essence what he did. He said basically in his heart I don't want God to rule over me, I want to make it on my own and do it my way. When we think of sin we tend to think of all the big ugly and bad things, which is true, it is. But the core of sin is saying God, I'm not having You to tell me what to do. I'm not having You to give me directions. I want to break out and do my own thing. That is the core of sin.

Now when he did this he lost his relationship and he lost his capacity to bring divine power into the earth. He lost his kingdom, so as a consequence of that a universal quest in every person, wherever you find people there are two things people are looking for; number one, they're looking for purpose, what is the meaning of my life here? People get to the end of their life, they say is this all it was, you know? Is this all there was to it? Because they never found their purpose, so we've already shared quite a lot this year on purpose. But the second thing people are looking for is power. People want power. We want the power to be able to control our life, control our circumstances, control what's happening around us. We have a sense where we want to be in charge of life, see? That is actually born into us because it's part of the dominion mandate. God designed us for this, except the problem is when we let go of God we do it all the wrong way. We rule over people instead of working to build people and serve people, and using God's blessings to touch the lives of others.

We tend to want to subdue and control the people around us. You notice it says there let them have dominion. It didn't say have dominion over people; have dominion over the works of God's hands, not people. So we see there, now I want to just have a quick look through some scriptures. I'm not going to look all these up. What I want to do is I want to show you very clearly that throughout the Bible the emphasis is on the kingdom of God. Now if I just tell you that it's hard for you to kind of grasp - yeah, yeah, yeah. So what I want to do is quickly just give a few scriptures, and I want to show you that without exception the Bible is always about the kingdom. It's always about the kingdom of God. Now you see most times people think of - they just think 'church'. But church and kingdom are quite different, and the message Jesus came was primarily about kingdom. The church is the people who are part of the royal family, have given their lives to Christ, been born again, and positioned to now fulfil the original mandate; subdue the earth and have dominion.

So the purpose you have and we have corporately and individually is that we would advance God's purpose, whether it be in art or finance, or business or education, or the media, whatever it is. Of course what's happened is when people got religious they then withdrew from the world, so the church now on the whole has withdrawn from the world and that's the influence of religion, see? God came to - His idea is a kingdom where we go out and we actually influence the world and change the world around us, whether it be the environment, whether it be in the health area, whether education, whatever it is. That's why young people, I'm all behind you pursuing being trained and developing your skills to the best you possibly can. Serving God is done in the marketplace best by developing our skills what God has entrusted with us. It's an entrustment.

Now let me just give you a few scriptures, just so you can see - I want to put them under three headings; number one, just under Jesus' ministry and I'm just going to quote the scriptures. We'll put them up on the screen if you've got them there, just start to pop them up and I want to just show you just how everywhere - and once you've seen this everywhere you'll look you'll see nothing but this. If you were to read through the gospels again what you'll see over and over and over is Jesus' emphasis on the kingdom. So the beginning of Jesus' ministry, Matthew 4:17 and Jesus began to preach saying repent for the kingdom is at hand. See, in Matthew 4:23 and Jesus, this is His preaching and He preached the kingdom of God and healed all who were sick. He preached. What did He preach about? He preached the kingdom of God, and what did He do? He healed the sick. Why did He heal the sick and cast out demons? Because that's all part of the kingdom of God coming into the earth.

You see sickness was never God's plan, so the kingdom is about God's protocol, God's life, God's values. God values healing and wholeness, so when the kingdom is preached it's so the power of God might come into the earth, might have healings, see? Then you see His teaching in Matthew 5:3, the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gathered them all together and guess what He began to teach about? He began to teach about - oh ho ho, goodness me - about the kingdom of God. You know what the Sermon on the Mount is about? It's about all the protocols, values and the way the kingdom operates, and so He says well you've heard people say this, but this is actually how the kingdom operates, so He goes through and His main teaching there is all about the kingdom of God. It's all about the kingdom of God. He's teaching about the kingdom, His priority.

In Matthew 6:33 He said seek first the kingdom of God - so what did Jesus say is a priority? The kingdom of God. When the disciples said teach us to pray guess what Jesus taught them to pray? Matthew 6:10, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come. In case you didn't understand what that meant, They will or value in life and protocols and ways be in the earth like they are in heaven - in case we didn't understand it, see? And Jesus' prayer, so then His parables, how many all know the parables Jesus spoke? Jesus told lots of stories at parables. You will find almost without exception He said the kingdom of heaven is like; Matthew 13:24, it says the kingdom of heaven is like a sower went out to sow, and He has all these parables. Matthew 13:31, more parables. He had about a half a dozen parables there of the kingdom. The kingdom of heaven's like a household. The kingdom of heaven's like a man cast out a net. The kingdom of heaven's like a man who found a pearl in the field, or treasure in a field, the pearl of great price.

It's all actually how the kingdom is, what the kingdom of God is like. He taught about the kingdom all the time. In Matthew 24 and 25 they said when there's a sign of you coming, and you know what He began to teach? He began to teach parables about the kingdom again; the kingdom of heaven's like five wise virgins, five foolish virgins. Then He talked about the kingdom of heaven is like the king who went to a far country and he called to himself his servants, and he gave to everyone talents and said occupy until I come, or be busy and trade and be productive until I come. That's the kingdom. So He talked - all His teaching was about the kingdom, the kingdom. And guess what, after He rose from the dead in Acts 1:3, would you believe what He spoke about for 40 days? Yeah God, do you know what He spoke about for 40 days? He spoke to them things concerning the kingdom, and you know what the disciples asked? When's the kingdom going to come?

He said don't worry about when the kingdom's coming. He said you'll get power you see, because kingdom and power are associated with one another. The Holy Ghost will come on you and you'll be witnesses unto Me. Now the problem the disciples had was they kept thinking of the kingdom as being an earthly kingdom with an earthly king, and they expected Jesus to arise and overthrow the Roman government. They expected a natural thing; that's why they missed the cross altogether. They were so convinced - because when He talked kingdom they're thinking David and a king and the glorious days of Israel. They're thinking all of this; He's thinking of a spiritual kingdom. He said My kingdom is not of this world, it's from another world. It's from heaven, see? Now this is Jesus, so Jesus all His [unclear 00.20.00] now I've only given you a little of all the verses there are on the kingdom. Everywhere Jesus taught about the kingdom. Have another look at those parables and start to re-read them, and you'll see they're all about what the kingdom is about.

Then the apostle's ministry, in Matthew 9:35, guess what the apostles did when they went out? Matthew 9:35, you got it up there? And Jesus went about teaching, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, healing every sickness and disease among the people. [I'm guessing 00.20.28] the disciples did the same thing. In Acts 8:12, Philip went out preaching and doing miracles. Guess what he was preaching about? The kingdom of God, and Paul when he was preaching, Acts 19:8, guess what he preached about? The kingdom of God. Now we don't seem to realise just how much the total emphasis of the Bible from one end to another is about kingdom. Now when you're talking about kingdom you're talking about a realm of government. See, every society needs governing some way and next week I'll look at some of the different styles of government that they have.

Of course the one we're in right now is democracy, and we kind of think democracy's the only way. Of course the Americans think democracy is the only way. Actually the only way ultimately is the kingdom of God. However democracy's got tremendous advantages in it, except when you try and impose it on a tribal culture. Then you find you run into a - a tribal culture is essentially another kingdom, so if you look into tribes they've always got a king at the top of the tribe. The king rules over everyone in the tribe, so when you come and have a look at a country like Iraq you've got different tribal groups, or different ethnic groups and religious groups. Of course they are led in a tribal type fashion, and then when you try to bring them together the only way it's ever worked is if there was a strong man ruled over them and he actually ruled by force. See, so you have a look at Yugoslavia for example; immediately the strong man was taken away, the tribal rivalries arose again and they all fought one another. The ethnic killing was horrendous. It's all an issue of government, how will we be governed.

So all the fighting that goes on in the world is all about either religion or government, or a mix of the two. It's all about that and it's because at the core of man's problem is what we lost was the good government of God in the earth. That's why there's all the wrestling, so the conflict of the universe is who will be in charge? Who will be in control? Who will rule? It's always that. In every conflict between a husband and wife do you know what it'll always be about? In the end who will rule - unless they learn how to work as a partnership, how they work as a team, how to learn to work under God's rule to achieve an agreeable solution. All the conflicts that kids have with their parents are all about who will rule - especially if you're a teenager. Teenagers want to rule, parents want to rule, so the conflict's about who will rule. It's always that, and so when we get to the whole series on Undercover it's actually about recognising and positioning yourself so that you're in a position where you can bring the influence of God into the earth.

If you don't position yourself right you can't do it. That's why so many Christians are so ineffective, because they come to church but they don't understand that God wants us to understand how the kingdom operates and operate on those principles. Getting the idea? Okay, now I'll just give you a couple more scriptures, then we've got to look at the key one that we've started. Now in case you were concerned about all the end times [let's look 00.23.40] at a couple of good end time ones. In Daniel 2:44, Daniel got a prophetic vision. Now his prophetic vision - I won't go into all the details of it. You can read it for your own - but basically he was in Babylon. What had happened was that Babylon had arisen as a kingdom and it was a world kingdom. It was a world government. All the known world in Asia was ruled by Babylon see, and so what happened then was the king of Babylon got a dream and in the dream he saw certain things. So he asked - and Daniel was the only one who could interpret it.

What he saw was a big image and he saw this huge image; it had a head of gold and then it had a chest of silver and a belly of bronze, and the legs and so on, went right down to the feet. And he saw a stone come and smash this thing and the whole thing crumpled. Daniel said this is what it all means. The head of gold is the kingdom of Babylon. After that will be another one, and of course anyone who's studied history understands that Babylon fell and the Medes and the Persians took over. That was the next one, and then after that they fell and then the Greeks took over. After that they fell and the Romans took over, which are the legs of bronze. Then finally you get the last kingdom which is the current day we live in, and it says in that day, in the days of those kings it said God will raise up a kingdom and it shall smash in pieces the religious kingdom, the educational kingdom. He said every kingdom that's been devised by man, whether it be financial, religious, education, political or military, all will be subdued by the power of God - all.

Notice He said in the days of those kings - read what it says. Let's have a look what it says [unclear 00.25.27] can put it back up again, leave it up there. In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Now if you were a betting man, if a guy has got already Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome, you've got four predictions right, I'd be backing on that last one happening. I've been there and I've seen the ruins of all of those places, and they're all there, great kingdoms, unbelievable kingdoms. When you see what must have been the glory and splendour of Greece, the buildings that they've built there, the - we can't even do that today. And yet they had these huge marble structures - when you stand - I mean I can't even put my arms around some of the pillars, they were that big. And huge pillars that went up sometimes three, four storeys, huge massive constructions that have lasted 2,000 years.

You can hardly believe the glory of it, and yet it was overthrown exactly as was prophesied. Jeremiah as a young man was called by God and raised up to prophesy the overthrow of those kingdoms, and then it took place. So the Medes and the Persians took over, then the Greeks took over. When we went to Greece you can see in Greece the remnants there of all of these massive buildings and amphitheatres, huge amphitheatres and places where people gathered. We went there to the place where, in Ephesus in Turkey where Paul preached. You can actually see the road that they would have come up from on the ships. They'd have come up the end of the road and berthed, then they'd come down this path, marble path with columns all the way, to an amphitheatre which would seat thousands, 60,000 people.

You can hear [without a microphone, 00.27.19] you can hear someone talking quietly like this right up the back - so can you imagine we stood there in that place there, which was constructed by [unclear 00.27.29]. We'd have trouble building a thing like that today, and buildings everywhere like that. They were kings that were once mighty in the earth and they'd been overthrown. The west is a civilisation, the same thing eventually will happen. It's just inevitable, inevitable - so it's just exciting to see these things isn't it. Read this, here's a better one here. Here we are, Revelations 11:15. John saw it too see, so this is only a selection. Then the seventh angel sounded, and there were loud voices in heaven saying now look, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever.

Now who is - do we know who the Lord is first of all? Who's the Lord there? The Lord is the Lord Jesus Christ, right. The kingdoms of this world have now become the kingdoms of the Lord and of His Christ, so who's His Christ? His anointed body, the body of Christ, so from beginning of the Bible to the end the Bible makes it very clear the destiny of the people of God is to advance His kingdom right through the world, every part of society; not by force and might and using a sword, but by the power of the Spirit of God. You're all thinking about that. This is only just the introduction - you say we have to see that. So now there's heaps of scriptures like this and we could talk a lot about this area, so I just want to just get it touched on today. We need a revelation of the kingdom because that's what Jesus came to talk about and came to restore. I want you to go and have a look with me in Matthew 6:33. Let's go back there again.

I want to just look at a few things in Matthew 6. We'll pick it up there. Now you notice Jesus said seek first the kingdom of God, seek first the kingdom of God. Now let's have a look at the context He's talking about. He's talking - chapter 5 and verse 1 - He's talking to His disciples, in verse 3 He says blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. He's talking about the kingdom and this is all the way through Matthew 5, 6 and now we get here and we'll pick it up at verse 24-33. Now no one can serve two masters; he will either hate one and love the other, he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot, you cannot serve God and money. It doesn't say there you can't have money and you can't have heaps of it; it says you just can't serve it, so it's impossible to serve it.

So you notice here He points out that money demands us serve it, in contrast to serving God. I'll explain what I mean in just a moment. Now therefore I tell you - so He's saying now listen, don't worry about your life. Don't be in a place of anxiety about what you'll eat, what you'll drink, nor your body, what you'll put on. Life is more than food and drink and clothing. The purpose of life is much more than just that. Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you more value than birds? So He says which of you by worrying can even get one inch taller? Why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field. They grow, they don't toil and they don't have to work to do it, and even Solomon in all his glory wasn't arrayed like these. If God clothes the grass of the field which is today and tomorrow is gone in the oven, how much more shall He clothe you, o you of little faith? Therefore - He repeats it again - don't worry.

Three times He says don't worry - or like they say don't worry, be happy. Don't worry - here it is, verse 25, don't worry. Verse 31, don't worry. Verse 34, don't worry. If He says it once it's important; if He says it twice He must really want us to get it. If He's saying it three times in the space of a few verses - don't worry! Stop worrying! Listen - DON'T WORRY! Everyone worries. I looked at these people on the ship, I looked at them - so many sad people. We're just having a ball you know? All around us they hear the noise and the laughter you know, and other people just look serious and they're worried about this and worried about that, anxious about all kinds of stuff. You know we just used to go ashore and all these Americans would have their own kind of - they'd arrange these tours. It would cost them heaps of money, and we'd just go ashore and wander ashore and see if we could find a train or a bus or something. They said aren't you worried you'll get lost? I said we'll get lost, we'll find our way around it again, don't worry if we get lost. We're not going to worry about that.

Well aren't you worried about this - and in the end it boiled down, they were bound by fear and couldn't do things that would have really enlarged their life - because of fear. They were just worried - what if? My mother used to worry something terrible, aye, aye, aye, worry, worry, worry. It says verse 32, for all these things the Gentiles seek after and your Father knows you need those things, so seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these things will be added to you. Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, [tomorrow the evil is sufficient for tomorrow but today - it says 00.32.38] tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Okay, let me just give you a few scriptures here. Clearly Jesus is talking about priorities. Now priorities are really important. Anyone who's done any motivational stuff understands priority is setting first things first. Prioritising is when you look at all the things you need to do, you've got to decide what really counts - so a priority means most important thing.

Now you would all realise that the world is full of trivia all pulling on you to waste your time and your energy, so if you have a look at your life, then you look at how you spend your life, so how you spend your energy, how you spend your time and how you spend your money; if we were just to have a look at what you did with that we would know what you value with your life, because your choices will always reflect what is important to you. It's inevitable. The decisions you've been making over the last few years come out of what was important to you, and of course as you get older or you've been around a while or come to the Lord, you realise man, I made some bad choices back there. We were talking to one young guy on the ship there and he'd just been blowing all his dough. He had this huge chance to earn a lot of money, just blew all the dough, until he got married - now he's careful with his money.

See now why is he careful with his money now and he wasn't before? Now there's a higher priority. Before it was having a good time; now I've got to provide for a wife and family, my priorities have changed, therefore choices have changed. So your choices currently and in the past have been determined by what is important to you. Now you may think God's important to you, but have a look at whether any of the choices or decisions you've made have had any reference to God at all. Often we find that there are many other things in our heart determine what our choices are. The Bible says and Rob was sharing this morning, Proverbs 23:7, as you think in your heart, that's how you are. So your thinking in your heart and what you believe in your heart at the end will determine what's important for you, and so all of us, the Bible tells us very clearly in these verses Jesus says look, there's a lot of things will call for your attention, but there's something you need to make a priority.

You have to choose this every day. He said make it a priority, make the kingdom of heaven your priority - and I'll explain just a little bit about this in a moment. Okay then, now let's go have a look through it here, so it says seek first - that word 'first' means literally the first importance, the first in rank - of all the things you need to do, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, whatever all that means, Jesus said it's the most important. So underline the verse and He says seek it first, circle first. First means do this before everything else, first, so in case you have trouble working out what's important in your life Jesus laid it out in this verse. This is what's important: first thing, this is the first thing, the first thing, do this before everything else, this is number one. First! First! Not last, not if you can fit it in - first. I'll probably explain a bit more about it tonight, but let me just - I want to get this home first of all.

Now let's just go quickly through what He said in terms of this priority. He said - notice this - he said that you can't serve two masters. You can't serve God and money. That doesn't mean to say you can't have a heap of money; it just says you can't serve money. So basically at the end your time and your money actually reveal what your priorities are, so He says don't serve. You can't serve God and mammon, so God is a spirit; mammon must have a spiritual power behind that yells serve me! Serve me! Serve me! Now if you're a person who's got a lot of debt you are serving money. You're just serving. You're in slavery and bondage. The Bible says the one who owes the money, he's in bondage to the one who'll lend it to him. Now of course there are certain situations where you do need to get loans for appreciating assets like a house and so on, but if you're just running up credit card debt and you're living your life in debt, you are serving money. You are its servant.

And some people in church just keep borrowing and because they can get credit free or debt free - they get debt, free, but actually it costs you because in the end you pay all this interest on it. What happens is you mortgage your future so you've got no choices see, so one of the greatest things is to be able to get debt free, so then you increase your choices about your future. So He says are you going to serve money or serve God? So how do you know whether you're serving money or God? It's very, very simple. If money is ruling over your fears and concerns and dominates your thinking and there's never enough, then money is ruling your life. How can you tell if you've got a victory through in it? Well it will start to come into order and you'll begin to manage the money; but here's one of the key determinants. If you can give money, then you rule money. If you can give it you rule it. If you can't give it, then you know you haven't got rule over it, it's got rule over you.

So one of the things is your money will always have a message. It'll be generous or stingy. If you've got stingy money it means money rules you, and you're a stingy person inside and money is fleeing from you and you've never got enough. But if you're generous in your heart your money will be generous. I'm not saying be extravagant or anything like that, but there'll be a generosity to people that'll come in every part of your life and that reflects that you're serving God, or that you've got free of serving money. There's a lot of stuff on that. I don't want to go too far into that. Anyway let's go back a bit further. So Jesus said don't be anxious or don't be wound up. Don't worry or be anxious about daily needs. Now everyone worries about the same things. They worry about food, they worry about their clothes, they worry about where they're going to live, the worry about next week. They worry about basically daily living, and Jesus said the world does that. Don't do that as a believer.

You say well I need all those things. Yeah, but He says don't worry about them. Don't make that the focus of your life and attention. The word worry means to be divided to distracted, so you're anxious and you can't focus and enjoy your life, so He says don't be uptight and worried. What is the key to not being uptight and worried? The key is set your priority on something else; then when you set your priority on something else not only are you not worried but actually the other things start to come into your life. See what He's saying? So He says seek first the kingdom of God. So that word seek, pursue after or make a diligent effort [to get to - for 00.39.03] the kingdom of God. So what is that kingdom and what is this righteousness? I'll explain it more at another time, but let me just give you this. The kingdom of God is all about a king and what He rules over, so to seek the kingdom of God is to seek to know God's values, God's ways, God's protocols, and to connect with Him in such a way that you purpose in your heart you're going to make this the way you'll run your life.

So God's got something in His word about how marriages work, how families work, how your finances work, how relationships work. The Bible is full of instructions of how the kingdom operates, see? And so to seek first the kingdom of God means you make it a priority to deepen your walk with God, and apply His will to your life so you can be an influence on others. See the problem with religion is people talk but they don't actually live it, but with the kingdom you make it a priority to allow God's rule, allow the ways of God to become your ways of living. And then you've got power in your life to help others. See, quite simple isn't it? So like the principles of God are really simple, like for example in the kingdom it says love. It says forgive, it says walk humbly, it says - there's a whole heap of things it tells us to do. So it says first of all place your first priority on pursuing knowing God and applying His ways to every area of your life.

Now the dilemma comes if we have a division between our Sunday life and then all the rest of our week. Then you become religious. Any person who divides up their life Sunday is God day, God/church stuff, and the rest of the week I just do other stuff; they are actually religious. Why are they religious? Because they haven't really understood it's never about coming into a meeting. It's all about the kingdom coming into the earth, and that's a daily pursuit; daily prayer, daily in the word of God, daily looking to apply God's word to my life. Okay, here's the second one. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, so what does it mean to seek His righteousness? I'll just put a very simple definition, because when you look at it you think oh, I've got to be a do-gooder and got to be so good, and it's so hard to be good. No, it's not really - it's more than that. It says His righteousness. Now religion will always be working hard to try and get God to accept me. That's why the majority of religious people never feel they're good enough for God, see?

It says seek His righteousness, so let me just give a definition of righteousness. Righteousness is having a right standing or positioning with God, a right standing or positioning with God. In other words righteousness is knowing where you stand with God and being in good relationship and fellowship with Him. See everything is about positioning. The reason God wants me to seek this positioning and right relationship with Him is because He wants to pour blessings into my life. If I want the benefits of His kingdom I've got to place it first and position myself so I can receive. Now in Uganda last year we had to put a hold on some of the giving; it's not we didn't have the money, couldn't give it. It's just we had to put a hold on it because they did not position themselves to be able to receive what we wanted to give them, and so we wouldn't give it to them because I didn't want it wasted.

If you do the right things and position yourself and then funds and money will start to come to you. It's the same for you; you want God to bless you, you have to position yourself for that blessing to be there. If you want God to bless your relationship, well conduct your relationship and position yourself with God so it can be blessed. Just because you pray God bless it doesn't mean to say that'll happen. The Bible says seek first to discover God's ways, values, protocols, His principles for succeeding in life, and apply them to your life; two, seek to maintain being positioned intimately with Him so He can bless you. This is not so hard. I'll share a bit more about that tonight perhaps. Seek first the kingdom of God - now here's the promise: and all the things that everyone else worries about will just be added to you, just be added to you. They'll just fall on a plate to you. They'll just literally fall on a plate to you, and I just can't get over - we look over the years and how we've - because I've made that a principle to put this first in my life.

Put God's interests first, and no matter what happens believe He will add to me. So when God adds to you you don't have to work like everyone else does. Do you know what people say? Oh you're lucky. Yeah, yeah, yeah - so much luck! All this time lucky. No, it's not luck. It's actually positioning yourself so God can bless you, and it comes about because of a lifestyle of right priorities. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things that everyone else is running after, you'll have what you need. He said your Father already knows. You know a lot of the time I don't even talk to God about - you know how I prayed about this cruise thing? I just thought one day I wouldn't mind doing a cruise up the Greek Isles. That's all I did, I thought it. I just thought it. I said to Joy it'd be nice if we did that one day wouldn't it? Costs a bit of money though, we'll just leave it be for the moment. That's all, thought it and then a guy walks up and says we'd like to give you a cruise up the Greek Isles.

I remembered I'd thought that and you know I thought all the other times I'd prayed so hard, and this one was just a little thought prayer; it'd be nice Lord. [I've actually got 00.44.57] a whole lot of other examples, little nice things like that - and some of the best blessings I've had I just thought it, that might be nice Lord, and it happened. Dear God, out of all the other times you've prayed so hard and not much happened, then just these odd little things you just throw it out to God, He just delights to add it to you. So anyway, positioning yourself first.

Father, we just thank You right now that You're teaching us, instructing us to seek first Your kingdom, to make it our number one priority, that of all things we will pursue knowing You, knowing Your principles, Your ways, Your protocols, Your ways of running life, and to position ourselves continually so we can be blessed and receive them. Father, I just pray that in these coming weeks the church will continue to grow in positioning itself for blessing after blessing after blessing. I pray for marriages to become blessed. I pray for families to become blessed. I pray for businesses to become blessed. I pray for young people to become blessed. I pray Your blessing on every area of Bay City. Father, I ask that You would help us open our eyes to understand this. It's not hard Lord is it? We ask You to open our eyes and understand it; we'd see it everywhere we look in the Bible and Lord, we begin to position ourselves for this growth. You say amen to that.

[File ends 00.46.15]

Summary Notes

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Priority of the Kingdom
24 June 2007

1. Introduction:
• Matthew 6:33 - “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you”
• “Kingdom” – what comes to mind, what picture? What concept?
• We tend to interpret Bible terms through our culture/experience.
• The Western world has lost the concept of a “Kingdom” – think Democracy.
• E.g.: Thailand = Kingdom E.g.: Tonga = kingdom E.g.: Britain = Kingdom
• E.g.: When we were young we used to sing “God save our Queen….born to rule over us”.
• We need to understand the Kingdom of God or think from culture – Democracy, Tribal.

2. The Focus of the Bible is on the Kingdom of God:
• God’s original purpose for man – a kingdom – dominion.
• Genesis 1:26 - “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, let them have dominion”.
• Man was created by God for a Kingdom – for dominion, sovereign rule.
• God’s design for man, key to his fulfillment, to extend the Kingdom of God in the earth.
• When man sinned – he rejected God’s government and lost direction and purpose.
• There’s a search in the heart of man for
1) Purpose – meaning for his existence.
2) Power – the ability to control life and circumstances.
• Man is seeking for the Kingdom that he lost.
• The Bible is about God’s Kingdom and governing earth.
e.g.: Jesus’ Ministry - The Beginning - Matthew 4:17
- His Preaching - Matthew 4:23
- His Teaching - Matthew 5:3
- His Priority - Matthew 6:33
- His Prayer - Matthew 6:10
- His parables - Matthew 13:24
- Matthew 13:31
- Matthew 25:14
- After Resurrection - Acts 1:3
e.g.: Apostles - Preaching - Matthew 9:35
- Philip - Acts 8:12
- Paul - Acts 19:8
e.g.: End Time - Daniel - Daniel 2:44
- John - Revelations 11:15
• We need a revelation of the Kingdom of God and how to operate in its life, power and privileges.


3. Priorities – Key to Success in Life:
• Priority = Putting 1st things 1st – majoring on the major.
• Life is a result of choices, we have decisions daily.
• How you spend your life is reflected in how you spend your time and money.
• Decisions are determined by your priorities – what you believe is important.
• Proverbs 23:7 - “As he thinks in his heart so is he”.
• Priority = The principal thing, the 1st in a rank of importance.
= The primary focus, placing in order of importance.
• When your priorities are right you preserve time, energy, life.
• Matthew 6:35 - “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
• First = Proton = 1st rank, time, order of importance.
• God makes it clear what should be the 1st priority of life and the benefits that come from this.

4. God’s Priority – The Kingdom First:
Matthew 6:24-34 - Jesus’ Teaching about Priorities.

1) You cannot serve two masters – verse 24
• Money – is it you master or your servant?
• People are in conflict over issue of money.
• Money = power – ability to accomplish.
• Pursuit of money competes with the relationship of God.
• God or Money – which one will be first in your life.

2) Don’t worry – be anxious over daily needs – verse 25
• Worry = to be anxious, distracted, divided.
• Everyone worries about the same things – basic needs met.
• Your life is more – much more than this to maintain a relationship with God.
• Your self worth is much more than those basic needs.

3) Number One Priority – Seek First – verse 33
• ‘Seek’ = Pursue after, to seek by thinking, meditating, prioritizing.
a) Kingdom = Highest value must be placed on the kingdom of God.
• Kingdom = NT 963 = Basileia = Dominion, sovereign rule, reign.
• Kingdom = God’s Government, wherever the Will of God is done and heavens influence and value advance.
• Kingdom = Governing influence of a King aver a territory that brings forth his will, purpose, values and desires.

b) Righteousness = Right positioning, standing in relationship with the King.
• Rights = to maintain right relationship and standing with authority so as to qualify for its privileges.
• Promise = All these things = financial, physical, emotional, relationship – added.



Democracy or Kingdom (2 of 4)  

Sun 1st Jul 2007 AM « Back to Top

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Democracy or Kingdom (2 of 4)

Democracy Mind and the Kingdom of God (2 of 4) Mike Connell 01.07.2007 am

Okay, I want you to open your Bible, Matthew 6:33. I want to carry on about the kingdom today and I'm just enjoying so much being able to just share some things about this, so I want to just pick up where we were last week. I want to share some fresh things just to get you thinking a bit. I know it'll get you thinking a bit. I just took quite a bit of time to think about it myself and really, really good. But of all the messages I've ever heard that changed my life significantly, apart from coming to know Jesus, understanding about the kingdom of God was like the lights went on and my life changed. It changed in so many areas at once I was absolutely staggered, so I look back at the message and I can't figure out what was in the message that made the difference. All I can think it was the day when God turned my lights on and I just trust that over these next few weeks God will turn your lights on, because it will change how you live.

So we need to see the way we view something or see something affects how we relate to it. The way you look at something, or your attitude to it, then determines how you will connect with it. So when we hear about the kingdom of God and when we hear about Jesus and His authority, how we see kingdom and how we - our attitude inside will affect how we relate. And of course the dilemma for us is we're raised and we live in a western part of the world which is a wonderful thing, and of course the governing principle through the western world is democracy. So when we come to approach the things of God we approach it and the way we approach it is we think out of democratic mindsets. In other words what we're used to experiencing is our norm; we don't often stop to check whether is our norm is actually what God has in mind. So over today I want to show you some things just about the difference between democracy and kingdom, and I want you to think not just in terms of getting a bit of useful information. I want you think in terms of is this how I think? Is this how I run my life? Is this the way I operate? Do I operate with a democratic mindset, trying to advance the kingdom of God?

So when we for example are teaching on the authority of Jesus and the whole series on authority, every kind of issue we've ever had with authority will come up in our mind. All kinds of issues will come up and questions, but they will be solved most of them through the course. The issue of course is that if I want to fulfil my mandate, what God called me to do, I must have His authority and power to do it. So what we're doing is teaching on the kingdom and this whole series of undercover. It's not to put a burden or try and make life hard for people. It's to give us understanding so internally we can be positioned to see God's blessing in a greater way; for example, if you have a child and there is a demonic spirit troubling the child, a doctor can't fix it. A teacher can't fix it, a psychiatrist can't fix it. What is needed is a superior kingdom to come and displace it - and you are authorised to do it. In fact a little later I'll do a session at some stage just on what we are authorised by the Lord to do on His behalf, and you'll be quite surprised what you're authorised to do.

Of course whether you do it's another thing. Whether you do it is another thing, so like you know, if the prevailing atmosphere in your home is mainly demonic, then whether you do something about that is up to you. You just decide whether you're going to live in the kingdom blessings, or whether you decide where you're going to live under what you're used to. But we don't have to accept what we see; we can bring God's heaven, we can bring the kingdom of heaven into earth and change it see, so we need to see that. We are agents of change. Now a little later at some other time I'll just talk to you a little bit about the difference between religion and the kingdom. They're massively different again in the thinking, and what you'll find when we look at that, you'll find that for some the prevailing mindset is a religious mindset. In other words it doesn't originate in God, it doesn't originate even in the Bible. It just sounds good, looks good, we've got used to it and we think that's normal.

We've not stopped to check it, whether it actually is biblical or not. So what I want to do is just talk about the kingdom. So we saw last week what we got into and looked at was we saw Jesus preaching, Matthew 4:17, the beginning of His message and the whole of His message was about the kingdom of God. So right from the beginning He spoke repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And all His ministry, if you've started to read through the Book of the Gospels, you'll see it's all about the kingdom. How many have started to read it and look for that? Okay, there's a couple. That's probably why I've got to do a series of about four, see? Because I actually asked you to read it again and look for what the Bible plainly says, because if you don't look for it you won't find it. Okay then, and the second thing we saw, Luke 9:2, we saw there that the disciples were sent out and Jesus gave them the message they should preach. They should preach the kingdom of God.

So from the beginning of the Bible to the end, all through Jesus' teaching, He was preoccupied about teaching about the kingdom of God, so we should have an understanding of it. We saw in the Book of Acts 28:31, Paul preached the kingdom of God and the things concerning Jesus Christ. So when you look at the whole thrust of the New Testament it all is about the kingdom of God; Jesus announced it. He demonstrated it. He taught about it. He taught the principles of it, taught how to live it, empowered people to preach it, and the whole of the New Testament is about the kingdom of God advancing - and so that's why it's so important. Now Matthew 6:33, He says now seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. So Jesus made it very clear that the priority, the first two priorities we should have in our life once we're a believer; number one is to seek first the kingdom of God. Number two is to seek His righteousness. We'll just explain them.

The kingdom of God literally refers to a realm or an area where a king rules. It's the governmental rule of a king, so it says first above everything else, seek that God's way of doing things becomes established in your life. That's probably the simplest way to describe it. The second thing is seek His righteousness. In other words that means seek to learn from the word of God how to position yourself so the blessings of God can come into your life. Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean God's blessings become realised in your life. You have to position yourself for them - so it says seek number one, to understand the ways God operates and how He has directed for life to be run. In other words seek first His rule, His ways being established on the earth. And then secondly, seek to position yourself in your personal life so that you can connect with Him and can draw upon what He's made available for you - so for example, all can prophesy but many don't. But all can. All can pray for the sick, but lots don't. All can cast out demons, but most don't.

All can see God's blessing released, but most don't. All can have prosperity in their life in various levels, but a lot of people don't position themself for that to happen. So positioning has to do with our understanding how to come near to God, how to approach Him, how to live in relationship with Him and how to overcome the constant barrage of accusations the devil puts to put us down. If I'm put down and I don't know where I stand, I can't release heaven into the earth. So next week I'll share with you about the kingdom mandate, in other words what God has given to us. Now we want to look today, I want to just look at this issue of government. We'll go and pick up and I have to lay just a couple of things out first before I can talk the difference between democracy and the kingdom. Let's just go into Genesis 1:26, so if you could just give me just a few minutes to just lay out just some simple things, and they are evident but if you don't have the background you don't get the big picture.

Once you get the big picture it'll help you understand a lot of stuff perhaps you've wondered about - so first of all we'll read Genesis 1:26. God said let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, all the earth, every creeping thing. Let's make man in Our image and likeness. Let Us make man a spirit being with God-type qualities and let Us put him and give him dominion over the earth - now not dominion over one another. That's why we don't want anyone to tell us what to do. We're not sort of made and wired that way. We're made to have dominion over the earth and we're made to be in relationship with God, so we find it hard to have anyone tell us what to do. But man was made for dominion, made for authority, to rule over creation. So God's intention was very simple. He had created all of heaven and in heaven His presence fills it; His character fills it. His nature fills it. His authority fills it. It's a wonderful place to be.

Then He made earth, and earth - He made earth that kingdom of heaven might be extended into the earth, and so He created man to be His agent to represent Him and to bring heaven to earth. You can tell that He's done that because number one, He gave us the mandate you've got to bring heaven into earth, bring dominion there; and secondly, He created us in His own image and likeness, a spirit being, so we're quite unique. We can access heaven, the realm of the spirit because we've got a spirit part of us, and we can live in the earth and do things in the earth because we've got a human part of us, so that makes us a wonderful creation. Psalm 8 says what is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You created him to have dominion over all the works of your hands? So you are made for dominion. You are made to win in life. You are made to advance the kingdom of God. You are made to have an influence in the earth. You are made for your life to count for something eternal. That's why if you live for the moment you'll always feel empty and needing your next fix.

We are made for eternity. We are made to bring heaven into the earth, so if you work in a business you're designed to bring the resources of heaven into the earth and to touch the lives of every person you do business with and interact with - including your employees. If you're in a school you're designed to bring something of God's presence into the school. If you're in the school that is God's purpose for you. If you don't fulfil His purpose you'll follow the crowd. So wherever we are we're called to bring something of heaven into earth. The big thing is how to do it. Now let's have a look at a few things. First I want to get this real clear about [this 00.10.50], so we see here that the first one who came up with the idea of dominion was God, so God realised that the earth would need bringing into order and that in order for things to work there would have to be some form of government. We hear the word 'government' - some of you will have very negative thoughts, see?

You'll have negative thoughts because of your experience and your opinions, see? But government isn't bad; government's necessary. Just consider for a moment if there was no government, if there is no one setting rules on the road and everyone drives the way they like. The place will be very unsafe. If there is no one setting rules about what behaviour's acceptable, not acceptable and there's no authority and power to enforce that, your life will be extremely unsafe because people can break into your home and take what they want, when they want. If there is no government to provide some kind of organisation then society breaks down and becomes chaotic. So no matter where you are in the world people need government. We must have government. We understand government is God's idea. There must be government. It came from God who's a king over a kingdom, so when God created the earth He said for man, man will have dominion. They'll be My representatives, have dominion.

Now the problem is of course is what happened when Adam fell. Now the core of Adam falling, the core of His sin was this, because when I use the word 'sin' you think of drunkenness and all kinds of wickedness. But you see actually the core of sin is just saying this: I won't have God to rule over me. That's the bottom line. You can come to church and still live a sin-filled life because you're saying in your heart I don't mind coming to church, but I just don't want God to rule over me. I want to be in charge of my own life, see? That's the core and the heart of sin. Everything springs out of saying no God, we're saying no to You and no to Your government. We've got a better idea and it's we'll govern ourselves. Or the world puts it like this: I'll do my own thing. I'll do my own thing, see? And it says in the last part of the Book of Judges, it says because there was no king everyone did what was right in his own eye. So the core of sin is I'll do what I think is right for me. Getting the idea?

See when I start to bring these things out in the open like this you'll realise that these paradigms and thoughts dominate our way of thinking. If we're going to live and walk in the fullness of what God has for us we need to change how we think. So it's no longer I do it my way and you'll see why in a moment. You'll see that comes fully out of not only of the sin but also comes out in other areas of the democratic way of thinking. Let's have a look in Luke 4. I want you to see something that happened in Luke 4. I want you read in verses 5 and 6. So let's just look at the fall of man and we're going to look at Jesus being tempted. Now remember that Jesus came into the earth, He announced the kingdom of heaven is here. Then immediately after He was filled with the Holy Spirit and anointed for this mission of advancing the kingdom; immediately He had a season of prayer and fasting, and then He was tempted by the devil.

Now notice what the devil said to Him. Notice these words that the devil said to Him. He said to Him - verse 5 - the devil took Him up onto a high mountain and showed Him what? Showed Him all the kingdoms of the world at one moment. So He was actually transported in the spirit or physically up to a mountain and the devil, using the power he had, was able to show Him all the kingdoms and their glory. In other words He was able to look into the realm of the spirit and see the kingdoms of the earth and their glory. Whether he showed he showed Him the kingdoms that have been and are coming I don't know, but certainly he showed Him kingdoms. We've been there and seen some of the kingdoms, and the Roman kingdom at the time of Jesus was unbelievably magnificent - unbelievable buildings and organisation; it was a massive kingdom that influenced the whole of the earth.

It had conquered, subdued and colonised the known world. It was an amazing kingdom, and Jesus was shown all the kingdoms of the earth, and this is what the devil said: All of this power glory will I give to You for it's been given to me, and I can give it to who I like. Notice what he said, it's been given to me. Where did he get it, see? He didn't get it from God. He got it by overthrowing the man God put in and gave that authority, so when the devil said all this authority, all this dominion, all this glory, all this power to be able to build such kingdoms has been handed over to me by God's representative who declared independence. So where did the devil get that power? It was given to him by Adam when he seduced him and overcame him, and Adam yielded up and said I won't do what God wants. We have hardly any concept of the level of power and glory and dominion that Adam walked in, see? We tend to think of him just like us, but he hadn't sinned, no way. He was covered with the glory of God.

He had unusual and unbelievable power to be able to change things and make things happen, and to move about the earth and it came because he had access into the realm of the Spirit, the second heaven. He could govern the earth with the power God had given him. When he fell he lost his glory, he lost his power and the devil picked it up and so now in the realm of the Spirit there are wicked spirits temporarily occupying that place. So when you ask why have we got all the problems in the world, it's simple. The man God gave the entrustment to let Him down, declared independence; now the devil's got a hold of it - for the time being. God's intention is it does come back to His people. His intention is it comes back to His people. His intention from the beginning was we have it, so at the moment the devil is a usurper and he occupies the realm of the Spirit. The devil doesn't occupy hell; he occupies the realm of the Spirit, interfering and controlling and manipulating the affairs of nations on the earth. And God calls us to rise into that place and to do what Adam failed to do. Come on, just think about it, see?

And Jesus said no, he said it is written that you worship the Lord and serve Him alone. So Jesus was tempted. He was tempted. This is what the temptation was. Listen, forget the cross, forget all the [hard route, 00.17.27] just bow down to me and I'll give You the lot. I know that's why you've come here. He tried to short-circuit Jesus' ministry and say take the easy road. Take the easy road; look, if You just bow down to me I'll hand it all over to You - which of course He would never have done. He would have actually then sabotaged God's plan to bring the kingdom back and wrestle it out of the hands of the devil. Okay, we getting the idea? Starting to get some concepts here now see, so what happened when Adam and Eve refused the government of God. They refused and they wanted to establish their own, so the result of that was three things - I mean lots of things, but [let me three 00.18.00] things. Number one, demonic powers began to rule over and create chaos in the earth, that's the first thing.

And the Bible says, Ephesians 2:2, the devil now works - the world follows the same course under the power of the prince of the power the air, that spirit that works in children of disobedience; or it's essentially saying this: The chaos in the world is caused by a spiritual power and people responding to it. Okay, second thing that Adam [lost 00.18.27], so the first thing that consequence was chaos. The second thing is he lost his government. He lost his government. The second thing was actually he lost his relationship, and so what he did was then he substituted religion for relationship. I'll look at that a little later - so religion is men trying to find a way back to God, and that's all the places in the world you go you find religion. The third thing that he lost was government so he had to invent his own. See, so [what did he lose? 00.18.52]

So first of all he lost his authority, and the devil got it and created chaos; he lost his relationship, so therefore now he has to substitute something for it which is religion; and he lost his governance, so he's also got to substitute something for it, got to create some form of government. And so all the governments that you ever see in the world are a substitute for the true government of God, the kingdom of heaven, and the ultimate thing, all governments will fail and the kingdom of heaven will be established in the earth. It's the full message of the Bible. Okay then, so what kinds of governments do we see? You could probably think of a few governments, and we can think of some. In the Middle Ages of course, you go right through the - and you find generally they form under these kinds of things. They form under a dictatorship. Dictatorship is where one person considers himself superior to everyone else, and they rule - they literally rule over everyone. Everyone bows down to them and usually whatever they want happens.

So you can think of all the dictators that rose up under different regimes, but all of them had one thing in common. All they wanted to do was just increase their power, their rule and use people to get where they wanted to get. So you find that. So then of course you have a thing like monarchies. You find - we've got a monarchy but it's actually a powerless monarchy. It's only a figurehead monarchy, and so long ago in the Middle Ages the power of the monarchy was removed because the monarchy failed, and instead of blessing the people it oppressed the people, so they stripped the monarchy of its power. See, Cromwell and all of those people, see? And then you have a look in this Century, there's been the rise of communism. Communism also seeks to take the power away from a ruling elite, so it took the power away from the Tsars and put it in the hands of the people so that the people could govern themselves.

Of course what happened was in the end if you look at communism, you just change one tyrant for another. You just get a whole ruling class of other people who say we're equal but they're not. Then you find there are things like socialism. Socialism also attempts to put power back into the hands of the people, and so you have various forms of elected government, but the government then takes care of the people. Now to take care of the people you've got to give up your rights, and our government is moving from being democratic to being socialist, and so there you get that term 'nanny state' where the government is taking over the running of everyone and so we've got to keep you safe. We've got to make sure you don't hurt yourselves. We've got to do this for you, got to do the thinking for you, we'll look after your children for you. And actually the philosophy is a socialist philosophy and the government is [unclear 00.21.26].

Now of course for a government to be a socialist government they've got to persuade people to give up their responsibilities and authority, and progressively they've done that. Okay, getting the idea? So then we get down to democracy. Now we can have a look at democracy and what it is, then see how it differs. Because we're used to democracy we can't see the emergence of socialism. Let's have a look in Philippians 3:20. So when you get born again, look at this, look what it tells us. Philippians 3:20, when you are born again. When you are born again, okay. It says our citizenship is in - where? Our citizenship is where? [In heaven.] Our citizenship is in heaven. Now that word citizenship means a native or naturalised member of a state who gives allegiance to its government and is entitled to its privileges and protection. I'll read that again. A citizen is a person who is native or has been naturalised as a part of a state or country; he gives allegiance to its government and he's entitled to its protection. See, that's a citizen.

So what are we citizens of? Citizens of? [Heaven.] Heaven, heaven. Where does your citizenship - and you know that's why Jesus wrote your name there. He wrote your name on the - not the electoral role, the kingdom role. See, put it on the electoral role, you get to vote; put it in the kingdom role, you're part of a family. Get the idea, the difference? So when you got born again Jesus wrote your name and your name is recorded that you are now a citizen of heaven. If you're a citizen of heaven your first loyalty is to the king, because it's a kingdom, not a democracy. It doesn't have a president over us, it has a king over us, see? There's a king over us. Okay, so we are part of - so the kingdom that we're part of has a king. It has protocol, it has laws, it has a culture, it has principles. It has values, it has authority, has power, has all kinds of things, and you and I are part of that.

You were born to be part of that. Now we're all New Zealanders, so as New Zealanders we belong to New Zealand; we're either born in New Zealand or naturalised in New Zealand, and now we're also part of a democracy. So here's the interesting thing: our primary allegiance is to a kingdom which is not from this world, it's from heaven, but we live in a democracy which we're called to represent the kingdom interests in. Getting the idea? It's sort of straight forward isn't it really? Of course the problem is you get confused and think democratically about the kingdom of heaven, then you've got a real problem. So we live in a democracy, but we are truly representative of a kingdom. Now of course what happens is over the course of history, if you have a look at the history of the church, the church was called - and we'll look at this in its [unclear 00.24.17] - the church is called to advance the kingdom of God. This brought it into conflict with the state regularly through history.

So why did the first Christians get martyred? Because they said there's another king, His name is Jesus. The government said there is only one king, his name is Caesar; bow and worship Caesar or you die. They said we will serve only one king, His name is Jesus Christ. We will not bow - so they died. Now the same thing happens around the world, exactly the same thing, whether it's communist or socialist it happens all around the world, same thing. It ultimately boils down that the conflict everywhere is about who will rule. Okay, now having got that let's have a look at democracy and the kingdom and what I want you to do is I want you just to begin to think, we're going to just describe under a number of areas - I've picked about six or seven - how the thinking and mentality is different. Now currently you're either thinking democratically, or you're thinking and you've modified your thinking to your new nation which is heaven, see?

And so what I want you to do as we go through these things, I want you to think how your thinking operates currently and what really prevails, whether you are still immersed so much in the culture of New Zealand and the democratic style and our ways, or whether you have actually immersed yourself in the new place you're a part of where you'll spend forever in. Because one day you'll leave New Zealand forever, but you'll enter your citizenship in heaven forever see? So you really want to know about where it is you're going to spend forever in and learn how to operate there, because the one we're in now is only temporary. Getting the idea? Alright then, what I did was to make it easy to follow, I put it under just some simple headings which address different areas of life, and then we can just have a think about them, think about each one. There'll be heaps of scriptures, I've just chosen one to give a representation of it.

Now number one is ownership, ownership, ownership. So the key issue is ownership. Now we're going to look - we've got to contrast democracy with the kingdom, and then again I want you to think mentally just very quickly which way you think, alright? Ownership. Now in a democracy one thing that is really important in democracy is the protection of the rights of the individual to own property. See the communists take it away because power rests in the land, so ownership is important in a democracy, individual rights. In other words what I own I rule over, so in a democracy I own my land, I own my house, I own my car, I own lots of things. Got the idea? I own it, and because I own it I rule over it. If you're the owner you can rule over it. That's the prevailing mentality. Now of course in a kingdom, a kingdom's a lot different than that. See in a kingdom the king owns everything. That's what makes him the king. See in the old days a king owned all the land and so he let you live on the land and you just gave allegiance to him. If he wanted you to fight a battle you fought his battles, but you didn't own anything. The king owned it.

Now think about this. If you've made something you're the owner. If you have purchased something you're the owner. If you've created something you're the owner. Now the Bible says in Psalm 24:1, now the earth is the Lord's and everything inside it. So what does the Bible declare about who owns everything? See, you go through it all over. In Haggai 2 He says the silver's Mine, the gold is Mine. God made it all. He owns it. You're breathing His air. You're walking on His ground. You're using His resources. You're using up His stuff. Come on, who owns it? God does. You don't own it at all. You temporarily get to use it, then you die and they divide it up and someone else has got it. Then they die and someone else has got it; it's definitely not permanent. But what is permanent is it belongs to the Lord. He made it, He owns it. Now we don't see it under His - we don't see His [management 00.28.18] but He's definitely the owner. Now if I'm the owner then I can do what I like with it, but if I'm not the owner I'm a steward of it.

Okay then, so are you the owner of your life? Yes, you are - but you're part of a kingdom, so you've got to decide whether you're an owner or a steward of your life. Do you own your car, own your house, own this, own that? Well do you own it or are you part of a kingdom? If you're part of a kingdom He owns it, and you're a steward. So you've got to think how do I run my life; do I run it like an owner and I own it and do what I like? Or do I run it as a steward and I look after it because it's there for someone else's use, and I've just got temporary ownership of it? Your bank account, is it yours or is it Gods? Your house, is it yours or Gods? Your finances, every part of your life, is it yours or Gods? Your children, are they yours or Gods? You see you've got to decide the issue of ownership. Your business, is it yours or is it Gods? If it's yours good on you, worry all you can about it. [Laughter] If it's Gods let Him worry about it, you just follow what He says to do, see?

If it's yours worry about it. If its Gods don't worry, trust Him. He's responsible. You've just got to be a good steward. Required of stewards, a man be found faithful; in other words that we be productive with what we have. So are you the owner or the steward? Oh, oh - think about it. Okay, now the second thing is, another area we're going to look at is the area of - now I could develop each one but I'm just going to give you a few thoughts to get you thinking. Already what you'll find is that most of us are so ingrained with democratic values and thinking, that we actually continually are sabotaging our life with God because we don't think right, see? So if I don't own [anything - see people, see I 00.30.07] lost my wallet and all the [credit cards, 00.30.09] everything like that, and I didn't worry at all. Some people it would ruin their whole holiday - not worried at all, just carried on, carried on enjoying my holiday. I didn't worry about one little thing. I rang up and cancelled them, carried on with my holiday.

For some people they lose it, their whole life is in a mess and a turmoil because why? Because they're the owner, and therefore they have to worry. Jesus said don't be anxious, seek first the kingdom! Seek first the right mentality about everything you've got. God owns it! If He owns it let Him worry about it! I'll enjoy working with it, using it, being a blessing with it. I'll be a good steward of it. See, good isn't it aye? Okay, here's the second one, authority. This is a word we all hate. It's a very difficult one, but actually authority is the legal right to rule and make decisions. It's a lawful right to make decisions, so authority is really important. So what you're responsible for you have authority over and so we need to see - now here's the difference between a democratic way of viewing and then a kingdom way of thinking. Now in a democracy the source of authority is the people. In a democracy the source of the authority is the people - power to the people. People get to vote in who they want, and so authority that the government has comes from the people and the authority is given by the people to someone who'll represent them.

So you vote someone in and they can't just do their own thing - or they're not supposed to. They're supposed to actually represent you, and if they don't do what the people want then they are breaking down democracy, because democracy is the power is in the hands of the people and the democratic government is a government whereby the people who rule over are the representatives of the ones ruled. That's the whole thing about democracy. In a kingdom of course a king rules over the whole lot. That's what makes it so different to a democracy. In a democracy the authority rests with the people; in a kingdom it rests with the king. The king has got total charge, can't argue with him. He's in charge - disagree, throw you in jail. God never works like that unless you disagree with Him over the area of unforgiveness, and you'll find interestingly enough He says He'll deliver you over to the tormenters. How about that? Think about it. Just think about it. You'll start to see scripture in a totally different light when you start to understand the kingdom. He's a king. He is a king.

Okay then, so [source of authority is the 00.32.34] people and the authority's limited by the law. In other words there are certain laws that the government can't do anything outside the law. Hence we've had in the last few years all these scandals where government representatives who are elected broke the law; therefore they had to be called to account you see, because they just can't do what they want. If they did what they want [it would 00.32.52] become a dictatorship, see? And so they're delegated authority to represent the law. Now here's the thing. In a democracy the source of authority's the people, but in a kingdom the source of authority's the king. The king's in charge. He does what he wants. In a democracy the authority's limited by the law, but in a kingdom it's unlimited. He does what he wants. He's got the power to do it. He owns it all and he can enforce it - so Gods power is unlimited.

That's why Jesus all authority in heaven and earth is given to Me. I've got it all! I've got all authority! Who's got all the authority? Jesus has got all the authority. Does it look like it? No, it doesn't look like it. Don't be deceived, He's still got all the authority. He's still got all the authority. You see in a democracy a delegated authority represents the law, so when you see a policeman he's there to represent the law. So if they come and break into your house they break in in the name of the law. See, but in a kingdom the delegated representative represents the king, see? So are you a delegated - see you've got to realise now that you are delegated on the earth to represent the king. How do you represent the king? Well in the name of Jesus! It's not a little prayer you add on you know. It's actually about a position; you're representing someone coming on His behalf to enforce the kingdom lifestyle in the earth. So when you come and cast out a demon only one way to get him out. [Unclear 00.34.12] the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Ghost!

So Jesus said in Matthew 12, He said if I cast out demons by the finger or the spirit of God, know the kingdom has come among you. So deliverance is a man representing the kingdom, carrying not only the authority and right to represent Him and act on His behalf, but also the anointing of the Holy Ghost, the favour of God behind him. Now you've got to see yourself, you're called to be like that in the earth. We're called to carry the nature of Christ, to carry His anointing and authority, and to bring change in the community. Religion teaches all about going to heaven; kingdom's all about staying on earth and making it change. Come on, think it through. Think about it. Think about it, see? So authority, so authority in a democracy, it rests with the people so you vote in who you like. If you don't like them vote them out - but you can't vote God out. Churches can and do. They vote God out. They do.

They just vote out the Holy Spirit. How do they do that? They just resist the Holy Spirit, vote God out. I'd just be scared to be in that church that says we're a church, we represent Jesus Christ and we voted Him out. God was overruled by 12 to two. [Laughter] The Board met. Okay then, so here's [laughs] so let's have a look at government and ruling, how ruling is done, how government is done. Notice in a democracy you're governed by consensus, so if you want to govern in a democracy do you know what you've got to do? You've got to have committees meet and find out what everyone wants, and so consensus is how you govern. Consensus means we get people to agree, so we find out the opinions of the majority. So in a democracy it's the rule of the majority, see? See, so you govern by consensus. In the kingdom He governs by decree, see, not by consensus. See for example if Jesus operated by consensus the Greenies would have caned Him for cursing the tree! [Laughter] The animal rights people would have caned Him for putting demons in the pigs and they all died. [Laughter]

But He didn't ask their opinion, He just did it - because He had authority, because He was the one who created it all. So He didn't wait around for consensus; He governed without consensus. He was here to announce something different; not the consensus of God or the democracy of God, actually the kingdom. So He says to the tree ha die! And it dies. He says to the bread increase! And it increases. That's what happens in the kingdom. It operates differently, see, whereas in a democracy you've got to have a meeting and find out what everyone thinks. We don't agree, majority don't agree, we can't do it so we vote God out see? So in a democracy personal opinions abound, so anything happens everyone's got an opinion. But in the kingdom you don't have opinions. See in the kingdom whatever the king's opinion is is what's you're opinion. Oh that's getting to you. I can see that see, because we're so full of opinions. We are riddled with opinions. Decision's made, we've got our opinion.

Here's a simple thing. If you're not responsible for it don't have an opinion. It's real simple. So someone asks what do you think of that? I don't think anything. Why not? It's not my responsibility. See, having opinions leads to gossip, criticism, every kind of negative thing, because it doesn't come out of the kingdom. See what my opinion is and what does God say about it, well that's my opinion. Oops, see - I can see it radically pushing on the way you think, because our thinking is dominated by [the world, 00.38.06] it's dominated by the democratic mindset so we have opinions. We've got opinions about how to raise kids, got opinions about - everyone's got opinions. What does the word of God say? What does Gods word say? Well that's my opinion. Wherever we can get agreement on that - and one of the guidelines I've found is if I'm not responsible for it don't have an opinion. [If someone says 00.38.24] what do you think about such and such a ministry? I don't think anything. I just found it real easy to say I don't have an opinion on it, because they're not my servant. They're a servant of God. He's the one to have the opinions, ask Him. In due course He'll show what it is.

See, so what happens is of course church gets full of opinion and so what happens is well I don't agree, I don't agree! So then [unclear 00.38.45] and then what happens is we bring that, the democratic mindset into what an operation of the church or operation of the kingdom of God. There's room for discussion. I believe we should have unity and I believe there should be teamwork, but you've got to understand the prevailing thing is at some time someone just says this is how it will be. That's how it is with Jesus. [Now that 00.39.04] I've found that I don't have opinions about a lot of things, just ask Him what He says and He gives direction, you know? You know if you ask God for guidance He doesn't sort of come back and say what's your opinion? [Laughter] Did you get on the phone and check out half the church; what do they think? Well they think its okay. Well it must be okay then. [Laughter]

See, He doesn't think that way at all. He says this is what I'm telling you to do. But, but, but, but, but! Do I hear that democracy coming up again? This is not a democracy, didn't I tell you? You know? See, understand with God He gives direction, gives decree, said that's how it's going to be. That's how it is - so when for example - of course if He's got ownership then of course you don't have to worry about it. You don't have to make lots of decisions because many of them He's actually able to direct you in. He's responsible to direct you in. When it comes to direction - see I didn't want to leave teaching and go out and run a Christian school. Lord said I want you to do this, so when it all boils down is it my opinion or His? Well I just say Lord, [what you want? 00.40.03] That's why Jesus said Your will be done. Of course we can have opinions about all kinds of things, but I encourage you to not be so opinionated. Be sure you've got Gods mind on things.

Okay then, and of course when there's the issue of government that way of course what happens is the majority opinion rules and of course the majority can be influenced by minority, so the minority groups with self-interest, so what you find in a democracy is self-interest becomes prevalent. Gradually over a course of a period of time self-interest for small groups starts to have a vocal and a vocal and a vocal and a vocal. Then before you know it the majority are forced to come under what has been decided by the consensus, and so it breeds self-interest; whereas the kingdom, it's all about the king is a benevolent king who has a heart for His people and their welfare. Interestingly enough there are a lot of people have criticism about Singapore and its government. I suppose there is plenty of reason, but I notice that their mindset is not fully democratic like ours is. Their mindset is we're the trustees of the nation, so your rights actually have to come into alignment with what will be best for the nation.

It's interesting. People who are full of democracy always object to that. They say oh, you take away my rights. No, no, no, we're just making you more responsible. Okay, so here's another thing then is the issue of - oh, that brings us to the next one - personal rights. Personal rights, and of course in democracy the rights of the individual are important. And in the west the rights of the individual become so important it's been at the expense of the community. In the kingdom of God the rights of the king and His family are important, so it's all about the king and what he wants. So self-interest prevails in our situation of course, where we just have personal rights whereas in the kingdom of God there's a king who cares about His family. See, God cares about people. [He 00.41.54] says in the kingdom of heaven it's not about selfishness; it's about serving, so Matthew 20:25-28 Jesus said in the world they all just lord it over one another and its one-upmanship. He said in the kingdom of heaven it's not like that. In the kingdom of heaven it's about serving. Jesus in John 13 said look, you call Me Lord. Notice what I did, I served you. You do the same.

The kingdom of heaven is not like a [kingdom. 00.42.19] See, we tend to think kingdom and you're starting to get - I know you'll get wound up over this and start to think ooh, it's all about authority and control. No, it isn't see because the kingdom of heaven, the king serves. Ever found a king that would wash people's feet? I don't think so - but we have one. He's our king. Ever had a king who'd lay his life down so you could be freed? I don't think so, but we have one. See? That's our king. That's why it's not hard to serve Him. That's why these things aren't hard to follow - He's not hard to follow because He loves us, and He's shown it by demonstrating Himself sacrificially. Getting the idea? Okay, well here's another thing; government, the values and the culture. The values and the culture, of course in a democracy they constantly change and what the majority want is what happens.

I can remember years ago - we've talked about it before - that people used to stand up for God Save the Queen. Now they don't do it at all. They don't want any shorts, they just want to go straight to the movie. We got too busy, get me out of here you know? And think about the situation of divorce. When I grew up if a person committed adultery it was actually in the paper. It was such a scandalous thing that would erode the nation and family values - and so it was in the paper. I'm not saying whether that was good or bad, but now of course it happens all the time and no one even thinks about it. So you understand values are changing, so in a democracy the values change the majority determine what the values will be. Hence we have a lot of laws that maybe the majority don't necessarily agree with, but it's been pushed through anyway.

But in a kingdom well of course the king determines the values and the values are absolute, so here, well I think this is okay to live together, well I don't think it's okay. See but in the kingdom of God He just says straight something like this. Adultery is a sin. Fornication is a sin. Homosexuality is a sin. Pride is a sin. It's just quite black and white and it's never changed in 4000, 6000 years, never changed. It's unchanging, so the kingdom of heaven is unchanging in its culture, its values, its laws. It just doesn't change. What changes is our laws change, our values change, our culture changes. Before if you were on a bus, a woman got on a bus, all the men would stand up and let her have a seat. An elderly person got on a bus, all the men would stand up and let her have a seat. Kids would stand up and let them have a seat. Not now, culture's changed - and not for the better. Not for the better see, so in a democracy one of the dilemmas with a democracy is as the people forsake accountability to God and the character declines to do what people want, then the whole culture declines and of course the majority rule.

So in New Zealand only 10 per cent age Christian, so you have the majority who are not; they actually begin to determine what the culture is. Interesting isn't it? So in the kingdom of heaven it's not a vote on the culture. It's not a vote on the laws. There's no vote whatsoever. There's just how it is, this is how it operates. So when Jesus was speaking in Matthew 6, or 5, 6 and 7 and gave His Sermon on the Mount, He said this is how the kingdom operates. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they'll receive the kingdom of heaven. You've heard people say you shan't commit [adultery. I tell you look 00.45.30] with lust in your heart, you've already committed it. He began to outline how the kingdom operates. I encourage you to read Matthew 5, have a look at it all.

Okay, here's the last couple then and we'll just finish up. The last couple here are these. Representation, representation. Now representation - so representation, the government is voted in and the government is voted out. Don't we like that? That's one good thing about democracy; if we don't like them vote them out. You like them, vote them back in again, see? But in the kingdom you can't vote the king out. You can't vote God out. He's the king because He's the king, so He's king by birth or by appointment - but He's a king. He's king because that's who He is, so you can't vote Him in, can't vote Him out. You never vote the king out. He's always there and He's always going to be there, see? The other thing is that of course when there's representation the leaders are supposed to represent the people, [yes, 00.46.18] the leaders. So our elected leaders are supposed to represent us, but in the kingdom of God - get this - people are supposed to represent the king. Think about that.

So our leaders are supposed to represent us, but in the kingdom of God we're called to represent the king, so your mandate is to go into the earth and represent the king, not represent yourself and your own thing. Represent the king; to stand and promote His values, His culture, His lifestyle and His ways, His principles of success in life, firstly by living them and modelling them, and secondly by interacting powerfully with people and starting to engage them in a way that their lives are changed and you're truly salt and light. But religion will seek you to isolate and withdraw in case they infect us - but the Bible's quite different. [It says 00.47.10] greater is He in you than he that's in the world. Go out and infect them with it, it's good! See the thinking is so different - and finally accountability. Accountability goes like this: in democracy they have systems of checks and balances, so you've kind of got laws and check ups and whatever. Leaders give account to the people and you have elections.

So a leader's got to give an account to the people - but you know what? In the kingdom of heaven it's not like that at all. It's absolutely completely different. See the king's rule is absolute and the people give account to the king. [Aye aye? 00.47.43] Now listen. Every three years the government gives account to the people and you vote them in or vote them out, but in the kingdom it's exactly the opposite. We give account to the king. It works exactly the opposite, so the Bible says in Romans 14 all of us should give account of our stewardship how we've been as citizens of His kingdom to the king, that we might qualify for eternal reward. [A challenge, 00.48.08] what a difference. What a difference see, now if you don't like the government vote them out - but you can't vote God out and one day you have to stand before Him and give account what of? Of your stewardship, see? And so in the earth we have elections, ballot box, but in heaven there's a throne room and a place to go where God says it all about how things really are.

You know something? It's not hard to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, because we have a king that loved us and served us, and demonstrated He's such a good king who wouldn't want to serve Him? Who wouldn't want to put Him first? Remember, all other governments will fail, but the kingdom of God lasts for eternity.

[File ends 00.48.50]

Summary Notes

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Democracy or Kingdom
1 July 2007

1. Introduction:
· The way we view or see something determines how we relate to it.
· We are raised in a democracy but born again into the Kingdom.
· Kingdom - The Massage of the Bible
· Matthew 4:17 - Jesus began to preach saying: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”.
· Luke 9:2 - Jesus sent them to preach the Kingdom of God ant to heal the sick.
· Acts 28:31 - “Paul… preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching those things which concern the Lord”.
· Kingdom - Jesus priority for us.
· Matthew 6:33 - “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things….”
· Kingdom = Government or Rule of a King.
· Righteousness = Right positioning and relationship with the King to qualify for privileges
· The Core of the kingdom is the King who fills it with His presence, character and authority.

2. Government is God’s Idea:
· Definition: - To govern is to steer, pilot, act as a rudder (Greek)
- Authority and power to rule over and give direction to a territory and its people.
· Kingdom = 1st form of Government.
- Genesis 1:26 - “let us make man in our own image according to our likeness, let them have dominion”.
- Psalm 8:5-6 - “You have made him to have dominion over all the works of your hands”.
- Man was created to extent the Government of God from the realm of heaven into the earth.
- Heaven is filled with presence, character and authority of the God.
- Man was called to extend the Kingdom of Heaven to earth by representing His character, nature of God.
· The result of Independence = Chaos
- Luke 4:5-6 - “All this authority …. For this has delivered to me”.
- When Adam and Eve declared independence from God:
i) They Refused the Government of God. ii) Established Self-Government
- The result was that control of earth passed temporarily to demonic usurper.
- Ephesians 2:1-2 - The course of this world – the spirit that works.
· Consequences of the Fall:
i) Demonic chaos
ii) Loss of relationship entrance of religion
iii) Loss of the Kingdom – entrance of other forms of government
Example: Human is by vote or by violence.
· Feudalism – landlords – one who owns the land owns and governs all.
· Dictatorship – one person –n superior by birth or force rules all.
· Communism – Government controls land and people and governs for the people.
· Socialism – King is replaced by State governing for the people.
· Democracy – Government of the people by the peoples elected representative.

3. Differences between a Democracy and The Kingdom of God:
· We live in a Democracy that represents a Kingdom.
· Philippians 3:20 - “For our citizenship is in heaven”
· Citizenship = “Native or Naturalized member of a State who owns his allegiance to its Government and is entitled to its protection and privileges”.
· Contrast:



Kingdom Mandate (3 of 4)  

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Kingdom Mandate (3 of 4)

Kingdom Mandate (3 of 4) Mike Connell 08.07.2007 am

Ephesians 1, we're on a series on the Kingdom of God. Last week we talked about the difference between a democracy, what a democracy's like and what a kingdom's like and what it is of course, we are part of and our citizenship is in the kingdom of God but we have to live in a democracy. An interesting thing is that there's nowhere in the Bible where anyone's instructed to overthrow the government, so throughout the Bible no matter what the government was, never did the people of God arise to overthrow it. What they did was showed the superiority of the kingdom of God within it, and eventually of course kingdoms came and kingdoms fell, and we're in a democracy here. There are other countries in communism and various kinds of things, but one thing is universal; the kingdom of God is superior to every other form of government. Eventually, as we saw in the Bible, all forms of government will yield to the kingdom of God.

It's a wonderful thing to be part of it isn't it aye? But we've got to learn about it. Now I'll just pick up this verse and just start here today. We're going to just start to look towards and get some thoughts on the Kingdom Mandate, the Kingdom Mandate. A mandate is a command, something we're instructed to do. It has to do with our purpose and just let's read a couple of verses here. Paul is saying - he's talking in verse 16; I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you - now he's praying for Christians, that God would give them something - the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened or opened up; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. Isn't that fantastic?

Paul is praying that we would receive from God wisdom. Wisdom is knowing how to do life, knowing what to do with your life, how to live your life, see? He's also praying that we would get revelation; that's to be able to understand how life works, how to see life. So you need revelation to see life as God sees it. If we don't have revelation we have an opinion. We're going to get onto that just shortly. If you don't have revelation you have an opinion, and your opinion is just your opinion. We're going to touch on this a little bit later - but when Gods word becomes clear to us and the Holy Spirit shows it to us, then we actually have revelation. We understand something we didn't understand before, so we need revelation how to see life, see? You will in building your marriage, you will build your marriage pretty well according to the pattern you were raised with with only minor variations, unless you get revelation of something better. You'll just reproduce it. See, you'll raise children the way you were raised unless you get revelation of a better way.

You'll run your finance the way you saw finances were run, unless you have revelation of a better way. So when we become born again and come into the kingdom of God we have to have revelation continually about every area of life. If we don't get revelation about every area of life, how to see life, and then wisdom, how to do life or live life, we just continue - we're now a Christian. We're in the kingdom of God, but we're operating our life the way we did before we got saved. We have the same problems everyone else has, and so Paul is praying; we need revelation, we need wisdom and we need understanding. That's insight to how it works, how life really works see. Why we need these things, you notice he tells us three reasons we need them: the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened. Now he's praying for this. In other words it's not something that comes naturally just by study. It's something the Holy Spirit has got to actually open our eyes to see. I need revelation, see?

When I was a Catholic I thought I was right, had strong opinions. Then there came a point where I got revelation of my need to be saved. Before that I thought I was. I had an opinion and I was completely wrong - sincere but wrong. Then when I got revelation I realised actually I'm in a desperate condition and I really need Christ. I need to give my life to Christ. See, so revelation, when our eyes are open, positions us then to act wisely and make decisions that change our life and how it works. God's got a purpose for it here. He says that you may know what is the hope of His calling, so there's a lot on that but let me just say this. I'll put it - God wants you to have your eyes opened to His purpose for your life. Why are you here in this world? What are you called to do?

The second thing it tells us, that your eyes might be open to see the riches of His glory in the saints, His inheritance in the saints. So in other words God wants you to understand what He gets out of this relationship with you, wants you to understand that actually - you know the Bible says that children are a heritage of the Lord. God is wanting you to see that what He gets out of this deal, He actually is looking for a family. He's looking to express His fatherhood because He's a Father. So what He's looking for is a family. He's looking for people in His image and likeness who will represent Him see, so He wants you to understand that and to see what it means, what He's going to get out of this. God actually wants to enjoy you. He's created you for His pleasure, so He can enjoy you. So when you have a creative gift and begin to discover the creative gift, He delights in it because you're expressing His creativity. You know, there's nothing I - when [Brighton 00.05.31] came back the other day and he was telling me about what he was doing I just felt so proud. He brought great pleasure, because I saw what we'd put into him now being reproduced. That's what God - God wants you to see He gets something out of this deal, see?

He's not a power freak or anything like that. What He gets out of it is a family. He's about family and see, He wants a family who are like Him. Then it says and finally the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe; so He wants you to have a revelation that there are no limits on your life. There are no limits on the life of a believer. Nothing is impossible to Him who believes. In other words He wants you to live out of a revelation that whatever He's called you to do, He's going to delight in you doing it and He'll help you do it. Isn't that fantastic? That would be a message all in itself aye - isn't that fantastic? See, that God wants you to understand what He's called you to do with your life that'll give it eternal value, He wants you to understand how He gains great pleasure out of you succeeding in that, and He wants you to understand how He is alongside you to empower you to be a winner in all of that. Isn't that fantastic?

You see religion will conform people, but this isn't what this is about. This is actually about us discovering our uniqueness; not copying the crowd but being absolutely unique. Ha ha! Don't you love it! It's fantastic. Okay, so we're going to look - I want to just look again at design because everything springs off this issue of design. What something is designed to do is key to how it will operate, so we've got to look at that. Then we'll look at the mandate, so let's go back into Genesis 1 again. I want you to have a look, first of all God's design in creation. Now you've got to remember whenever you make something or create something, something of you is in it. It represents what you're like and so it tells us in Genesis 1, now in the beginning God created the heavens. Notice that's plural, heavens - more than one heaven. He created the heavens and the earth. So if you've created something you're the owner of it, you're [a soul 00.07.36] in charge of it, you do what you like with it.

So we have to understand God is the owner; you're breathing His air, walking His ground, using His resources. He's the owner, He owns the whole lot. Now whether in your opinion that is true or not is irrelevant, because it's actually true. One day you'll have to let everything go. One day you'll return to Him and He'll ask you what you did with what He lent you, so that's a core issue the issue of ownership. And in Daniel 4:25 this king of Babylon which was the greatest king in the whole world had to get a lesson that God's in charge and He can give it to whoever He wants. So the guy got so proud God took it all off him, and then later on He gave it back to him, so he can understand that the heaven rules over the earth and God gives it to whoever He wants, see? So that's quite helpful for you to understand that, that God can give more to you than you have now - but you have to position yourself in your lifestyle for that to receive it. Okay? Alright then, so God can give, God can take it away, God can do whatever He wants. No one can restrain His hand was the lesson that the king learnt.

You read in Daniel 4:34-35 and God can do what He wants and who can tell Him you can't do that? When He flooded the earth who could say you can't flood the earth? But He did say He wouldn't flood it again, so we don't have to worry overly about global warming sinking the earth. God's actually promised He won't let the earth be flooded again. He set the boundaries on it all - so we get a biblical perspective on it. Okay, so if God has designed the earth certainly the Bible tells us His imprint will be everywhere, and so in Romans 1 it tells us in verse 20 that the unseen things of God are clearly understood by looking and observing creation. In other words everywhere in creation is the hand and mark of God's design. So you find you know the number seven appears consistently in nature; seven days for this, or multiples of seven in terms of animal reproductive cycles and so on.

So various numbers of God appear right through, so God's hand is all through creation. Principles of sowing and reaping are in creation, so everywhere you go you see God's principles in creation. But God's design is also in you, so now let's have a look at man, the design in man. Genesis 1:26; so God's now got something He's made, a physical world, and now what He needs is someone who'll be an ambassador for Him. So He looks around, got all the animals but none of the animals are suitable. Why are none of the animals suitable? Because they're not a spirit being. He needs someone if he's going to represent Him, it's got to be someone like Him - so in Genesis 1:26 let us make man in Our image and likeness. So God created man in His image and likeness. He made him a spirit being living in a body, capable of interacting with heaven in the spirit world, capable of actually functioning on the earth so you're absolutely and completely unique in that design. You're creative but you're a spiritual person. You can't become more spiritual, you're already a spirit person - just got to learn how to work with your spirit.

Once you get born again the spirit of God within you, then you start to function the way God intended you to. Creativity flows from our spirit, ideas flow from our spirit, giftings flow from within. God's thoughts come to us from within our spirit, so we're designed to operate in the spirit. So don't say living the supernatural life is hard; actually it's normal. What is abnormal is not living that way. See, what's abnormal is when you don't connect with God and you don't function like you're intended to function - that's what's abnormal. So God has created man like Him and He's put a DNA in us. He's put His own print in us. That's why no matter where you go there'll always be people trying to reach out to find God. There's something about God and how He's designed nature that's printed in every one of us. In Luke 17:21 it says the kingdom of God is within you. Now he was saying that to unsaved people. He was telling them that the way the kingdom operates is so inbuilt into you that actually you can't violate it without consequences, so we look at that say for example a simple thing, just if you look at relationships.

If you are loving, God is love, love is a principle of the kingdom. If you are loving and giving and generous you know what? Relationships really go well. But if you take the opposite of that which is selfish and got hate in your life and you try to run your relationship it just does not work. The kingdom of heaven is a serving kingdom, so if you learn how to serve and learn how to meet the needs of people and how to help people, you find your influence increases and you become quite great. Your business becomes great because of service. Why? Because it works. If you have no customer service or you're not a servant, you just don't help people, then you become isolated and you find that your business declines. In the kingdom of heaven honour is a principle; what you honour you attract. So when you honour people you find things start to draw towards you; you dishonour them, they move away from you.

So life actually is designed to operate according to the kingdom of God. However, when man fell his mind got so shifted that we think different to the ways of the kingdom of God. See, so what we think works actually doesn't work, see? What we think is how life works actually is totally against what the kingdom is. So in the kingdom God says if you want to be great, fantastic, we want you to be great. Greatness is in you. This is how it happens: you develop the lifestyle of being a servant and you learn to serve through your giftings, and greatness is in you. You'll emerge, you can't help it. But we just think no, that's crazy. What we need to do is tread on people and work our way to the top and put ourself forward, that'll get us ahead. So intuitively the way we operate as an unsaved person or even as a Christian initially, is we think that just to copy the way of the world. Now you have to understand that because I'll share with you a little bit later that one of the things that affects us deeply is the culture we're in.

If we're going to actually be successful and fulfil our calling we've got to recognise cultural pressure and take a different stand towards it - not a religious stand but a different stand, a kingdom stand. Got the idea? So we're designed to work right, now we're designed to be an ambassador. Let me define an ambassador. I looked up in the dictionary, here's an ambassador. An ambassador is a diplomatic official. How about that? They're a diplomatic official of the highest rank - so you are a diplomatic official of the highest rank. The world doesn't know that yet, but one day they may discover that. You've got to discover it, and you're sent by one sovereign state to another to act as its resident representative. In other words an ambassador is a person who is sent from one country to another by the government of that country, to live there, be a resident there and to represent its lifestyle and values and its cultural, and to advance it's interests.

So the ambassador from the United States lives in a special house down in Wellington and he is there. He acts and he's empowered by his government to make decisions and to speak and to act on behalf of the United States. His sole mission is to represent his country and to advance his country's interests. Now he lives in our nation, therefore he's to a measure subject to the laws of our nation - but he actually comes from another nation. Now that's exactly how we are. We are an ambassador. We are born again from above. Our citizenship, where we belong, our whole life is found in the realm of heaven. Therefore we're called to speak and act on behalf of heaven in the earth. How can you do that if you don't even know how heaven works? How can you do that if you don't understand the value system and the lifestyle and how things work in there, see?

See when the young man came to Jesus for example, the rich young man, and we look at it and it seems incredibly hard but the rich young man come to Jesus and he said what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said have you kept the commandments? He said I've done this, this and this. He said you've got one thing you lack. He said what's that? He said we need to sell up what you have and give it all away. And he went away very sad. Now what you've got to understand, most people look at it and say oh God, to be a Christian you've got to give up your money, oh, that's bad. But it's not that at all. Jesus saw that his life was gripped by the power of money, and what He wanted him to do was to learn that in the kingdom of the world you have to collect and gather and you're under the power of money. But in the kingdom of God you learn to sow and release money and actually learn to receive returns.

He didn't want him to be a poor person, and He doesn't necessarily say to give away everything anyway. What He said to this man is you've got an issue in your life and you think you're right, and you haven't recognised the power this thing has to affect all your life, all your relationships. If you'll just let the money go which is managing everyday you think about your [unclear 00.16.36], you're worried about all these things that control so much of your life and relationships, if you just let it go completely what you would receive would actually fulfil what you need in your life. And we understand that when you sow you reap, so He's not wanting him to become a poor person so he can serve God. He's wanting him to be a free person to serve God. Can you get the idea on that, a free person? If you're in bondage to money and debt and caught up with the whole thing, you're not a free person. All you do is think about it all the time.

We had people on the ship that couldn't even - when we were doing our cruise they couldn't even rest and have a holiday. The reason they couldn't rest and have a holiday, they've got to look up the internet and find how their shares are doing all the time. They actually just worried all the time. I spoke to a multi-millionaire; he's worried all the time, doesn't sleep at night. I think have you got the money or has the money got you? [Laughter] Can you understand what Jesus is saying, get the heart of it? He's saying in the kingdom of heaven you become a generous person and a giver and you have a free life. You're not in bondage to things. It doesn't say give away everything. He wanted this man to face the issue in his life and position himself to be free and to prosper, see? So the kingdom of heaven, it's a great thing - so you're an ambassador. Of course man is God's ambassador. Now here's the thing. God only chooses family members to represent Him.

See, God only chooses family members to represent Him, so you can't be an ambassador for God - you can call yourself that. You can call yourself anything you like, but you can't be unless you're born again and you've actually become a member of the family of God. So when every one of us makes the decision to receive Christ, get born again, the Spirit of God enters us and we're positioned as part of the family of God, name written in heaven, now to grow to the point we can represent Him well in the earth and advance His interests. Hence you need to be trained and discipled to grow, so you understand the word of God, the ways of God, how to move with God. Why? So you can fulfil your calling. He wants you as a son to represent Him. He wants you as a son to take over the earthly business. You'll find as we look in the scripture the mandate at the beginning was global, and at the end it's global, and at the very end it actually succeeds.

But God's intent always is that we be global people and everyone is an ambassador. Now I've used the word ambassador because if I said evangelist you'd all shrink and point to Danny or someone else see. If I used the word missionary you'd all point to [Graham and Jess 00.19.00] or someone else or [Bryden 00.19.02] and say that's not my thing. But actually it's everyone's thing because that's why you're here. We're an ambassador, part of God's royal family, here to advance His interests in the earth - so we've got to learn how to do it. It's the learning how to do it is the important thing; how can I live the life and be victorious over my issues, and actually influence and affect and impact the people around me? I won't touch it today but I'll do it perhaps the week after next, how religion always has exactly the opposite impact. It causes people to withdraw, isolate and just shut down, rather than actually having a kingdom mindset of advancement. See, it's totally different.

So Jesus never came to give us religion; He came to restore to us a kingdom we'd lost and to get things back on track again, so let's have a look at the original mandate found in verse 27. So God created man in His image and likeness. He created them and then He blessed them and said to them be fruitful, multiply; fill the earth, subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves on the earth - not to dominate people, not to rule over people, but to actually rule over creation, make it productive. Now notice what it says here, it says He blessed them. He blessed them. That word bless means literally to speak or proclaim success over someone, so when Adam was launched the first thing God did was create him, then He actually gave him a mandate, a purpose. The first part of that was to bless him, to speak over his life something he was called to be successful at, and that was being fruitful, multiplying, filling the whole earth, subduing - that means there's something to bring under, there's something going to resist - and to have dominion. That means there's an order to be established.

Now get the picture, this is a global thing: fill the earth. Fill the earth. Fill the earth. Fill the earth. God is not into little things. If you've got little things in your mind and have little mentality, you're not connected to God's perspective on things. God is big! He thinks in terms of the world. He thinks in terms of nations, that's why as we'll look in a moment the mandate to the church nations, disciple whole nations, whole nations, whole thousands upon thousands of people. He wants them impacted, because this is the original mandate. It's the earth. Why is it the earth? Because He owns it. Psalm 24, the earth is the Lords and everything inside it. So He owns it all. He wants it filled. What does He want it filled with? He wants it filled with His kingdom. He wants it filled with the nature of His kingdom; the values, the culture of His kingdom. Love and serving, humility, faith, a whole range of things - He's wanting the world filled with those things. When you complain about what's going on in our community you're complaining really about the absence of the kingdom of God.

Now that's a strange thing that we should be complaining about the absence of the kingdom of God when we're the ones called to advance it. So we shouldn't be complainers; we should be motivated by the lacks and needs around us to actually do something, because we're the ones called to do it. And I'll share with you later, I'll share with you a session on the authority that's given to us. You'll find there are about 10 areas God has actually given us authority to speak and act, to actually make things happen and when we know what to do and how to do it, then actually power comes and things happen. That's right, you don't have to be old to cast out demons; you've just got to know what to do and position yourself so you can do it. And then heaven comes into the earth. Oh, that's not my thing. Okay, good for you. [Laughs] It's God's thing though, see? It's God's thing. Healing the sick, that's God's thing see and prospering, that's God's thing. Getting people out of trouble, that's God's thing see? So if you're [in about 00.22.49] God's business then whatever He's on about we're into it. See, the good news! The good news of the kingdom, I love it.

See, so notice here the mandate is global: fill the whole earth. So we're called to occupy the land and I love the word [unclear 00.23.01] used the word colonise. I love that word. Actually I hadn't thought of it that way but I got inspired when I read about that, the word colonise - now colony, I looked in the dictionary, is a group of people who leave their native country to live in a new land and form a settlement there, and they come out and not only form a settlement but they build their culture and their kingdom and their values. So when we think of colonisation we always have these bad ideas. We think of the British coming to make New Zealand a colony, and we think of various [unclear 00.23.30] but actually when you have a look at it colonisation was God's plan. He wanted us to come into the earth and then form a - see a colony is a group of people who came from one country, go to another country and then they begin to develop it and subdue it and bring it under their government. That's a colony.

That's colonisation. So if you were launched or a group of you were launched see, to go into a nation and to form a settlement and to gather up people and bring it under the laws and values of New Zealand, you would be colonising that place. See, you're called to do that here. You're called to do that in the school, colonise the school. What with? People who are born again, spirit-filled lovers of God who live a Godly life and they've got faith in them, and they're [encouraged and live 00.24.13] a clean life. They don't drink, they don't get into this other stuff. You're called to do it. If it's not happening, ha! Don't blame the school. You're the one. You're the colonists. Think about it - you're the ones with the mandate. You're the ones called to do it, so see the problem is as a church, the church tends to complain about how bad things are and forget its mandate; we're the ones called to change it, and if we don't don't complain. It's there because of neglect. You know, if you've got a piece of land and the land's all covered in weeds don't complain. You let it get like that.

See, so I'm trying to get the thinking right. See once we get the thinking right - so a [colony, group of people - 00.24.53] so we're charged with colonising the earth. Colonise the earth. Go and actually one by one colonise the earth, so the problem was Adams disobedience. Now [interesting this. 00.25.03] To colonise the earth one of the things is everything has to come under the principles and ways of God's kingdom. That means we've got to actually learn how to live subjected to Him. That's not a hard thing to do that. See people look at it, it's hard. No, it isn't hard. It's actually an easy thing with wonderful benefits to honour God and to live a life that pleases Him. What's hard is when you don't. It feels good, then it's hard in the long-term. You think about this. You build a marriage, a covenantal marriage.

You both live clean lives, form your marriage, begin to build the marriage on the principles of God's kingdom. You begin to operate as a man, take leadership, responsibility, begin to love your wife, begin to serve in the family, provide an example and leadership and protection as God says this is how you do it. Then the wife, she begins to take her positioning alongside you as a partner in life and you begin to flow together, just like God's word says to do it. What happens is over a period of time - you've got struggles initially but over a period of time you start to see the fruit of it. Then years later people look at your life and they say look at the fruit of this marriage, isn't it wonderful? They still love one another at this age. Then the others who live a different kind of life, they're promiscuous and they did whatever they wanted. They didn't run their life God's way. What happens is they find they've got a lot of troubles and they can't see how they got there, because it all seemed right what they were doing. They had opinions. We didn't have opinions; we said God, how do You want it to happen?

So the same with children. You begin to work with your children. You get a family and they work with their children according to the principles of God. It doesn't mean they won't have troubles, because we live in a culture opposite to that. There will be troubles, but on the other hand they should have a family that actually loves and respects them. And over the course of their life, in spite of the troubles, things work out see, because God's principles work - but you've got to actually see the long haul to see it work. It's not in the short thing. See we tend to want a miracle now, rather than a lifestyle that produces fruit, and it's the lifestyle over years that produces the fruit, see? So we can see then very clearly God's intent in this area. Okay, now I want to just look at the - see the problem with Adam's sin. Have a look in Romans 5, problems with Adam's sin. So the mandate is to go into the earth, become productive with our life in every area, so if you're an artist become a productive artist. If you're good in business become productive in business, make a lot of money. Be fruitful. Extend the kingdom of God and extend His influence.

Let's have a look in Romans. Now the Bible tells us here Romans 5:12, it says by one man sin entered the world. So when Adam disobeyed something was actually - a spiritual power came into the earth. Now that spiritual power that comes into the earth comes in every time we disobey or we break the law of God, we actually empower the demonic. We empower destructive things to happen - and it says, I want you to see in verse 17, if by the one man's offence death reigned - so death actually reigns in the world - much more those who receive the abundance and grace, the gift of righteousness shall reign in life. Now notice here again it's saying that when man sinned another spirit entered the world, and that's why there's this chaos and destruction. But when we come to Christ and become right with Him, righteousness and we have His grace, that's His empowerment; what happens then, we should be able to win in life. Reign in life means having dominion, means actually success in life. It doesn't mean you succeed short-term; long-term you actually see benefits and results.

Your life is a joyful life. You start to see finances, health, a whole range of things start to begin to flow the way God intended them to, see? So it said - so God still wants you to reign in life. He wants every believer to get on top of things. Does that mean you're not going to have many problems? No way. Anyone who's been around a while you've got heaps of problems come, sometimes just because you're a Christian. But what He's calling us to say is that we can have actually the ability to reign in life and the key is righteousness, standing with God and secondly, being able to draw on His ability and power to run our life. You need that as a husband. You need it as a father, you need it as a mother, need it as a wife. You need it in business, you need it at school. We need the grace, the empowerment of God supernaturally to live the life that He wants us to live. We can't live it without Him. That's why you pray. It's not you pray because you have to; you pray because you can't live the life without it.

Why do we read the word of God? Not because we have to, not because someone made you do it. I read the word of God because I need to know how to run my life. I need to actually draw from God inspiration and direction for life from Him, because that's how I've chosen to live my life. So a person who sets that every day of their life they will rise, spend time with God, spend time reading God's perspective for the day, in the course of their life if they will apply that they'll start to see fruit, good fruit. Okay then, so let's just continue on now about Jesus' ministry. Let's have a look in Matthew 4:17, Jesus' ministry was repent, the kingdom of God is at hand. So He came to restore the relationship with God. He came to restore us to God and restore the mandate, and so God wants us to have some changes. Notice what Jesus said: repent. That means you need to change how you look at life and you need to change how you live your life, because all that God has intended for you to have is available now through that doorway. Getting the idea? Okay then.

Now the problem we have is so many believers want to be blessed. I want to be blessed, I want that prophet to pray for me! I want him to do this for me, I want to have God touch me! We want - oh that's great to want to that. I want all that - but we want to do is we want to have the blessing without the change. Now you see so we get this idea well, you know Jesus loves me like I am! You know what that is? That's a statement I'm unwilling to change. I've never heard a person say that that actually wasn't resisting changing. See the truth is yes, Jesus loves you, but He actually requires you to change. If you want the benefits of the kingdom repentance is actually the change in attitude and values and thinking to have it. If you don't make the changes you can't have the benefits, and it doesn't seem always that logical because when you follow things that are logical it seems if I give money away then I'm going to not have enough.

It seems if I get it all for myself and hoard it I'll really do well. It seems that way - but in the kingdom you have to take a step of faith. You have a change in the way you see and you learn to become a giver as a way of life, trusting God to supply and goodness me, what happens? All these things begin to happen in your life! But it didn't seem right. The reason it doesn't seem right is because our minds have been so affected and we have these opinions. We have a lot of things that we don't think are right. Now when Jesus came, interesting He announced - first of all He said repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Is that correct? Alright then. Now the next thing He said in Luke 4:18, He said now the spirit of God is on Me. He's anointed Me for a certain thing.

Here's what He's anointed Me to do: preach the gospel to the poor. That's get people in relationship with God, but some other things as well. Get their broken hearts healed; that's why you need healing. Why? So you can form relationships instead of [reducing 00.32.26] dysfunction. He sent Me to set the captives free. You need deliverance to get free from generational curses and bondages, so you can be free in the spirit. He sent me to open the eyes of the blind. We need vision for our life. He sent Me to let the oppressed or to lift the oppressions off everyone. Why? Because you need burdens lifted off you so you can fulfil your course - and get this last one: to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Now what's all that about? The acceptable year of the Lord was the year of jubilee. In Leviticus 25 the year of jubilee went like this. God said this: the land belongs to Me, and you can steward the land, but every 50 years if you've lost your bit of land or had to sell it up and got into hardship, got into debt, in the year of jubilee all debts are cancelled and everyone goes back to what I originally intended them to have.

So Jesus said My mission here is to get you out of the bondages of life and get you back to what God had for you. That's what He said the Spirit of God's on Me. It's not just to get you physically healed. You can still live a miserable life. It's not just to get the demons off you, you can still live a miserable life. I want to position you so you can live the kind of life I called you to live and designed you to live, a supernatural life. You need to come back to your position. See, what God intended for us. You know the year of jubilee was fantastic because every 50 years they'd blow a trumpet; you had your debts all cancelled. Imagine what we'd do if I blew a trumpet and then all your credit card debt and all the other debts have all gone. Man, you'd be happy! They had a happy time, see. It's good news! The gospel is good news! See, the gospel is GOOD NEWS! It's good news because debt is cancelled. Sin is cancelled. It's cancelled. It's not a problem anymore. Lots of things change in the year of jubilee, and that's why Jesus said it's good news I've come to tell you.

They all understood what He was taking about; I've come to restore - they kept thinking it was a physical kingdom you see, but they actually had something else in mind, He had a spiritual kingdom. They wanted Him to overthrow the Roman government but He said no, no, I'm not going to do that. Okay, now have a look at the commission that He gave the church, in Matthew 28:19-20. All authority in heaven and earth is given to Me. All authority. All authority. Who's got all authority? All authority; that's the legal right to speak and act - is given to Me in heaven and earth. Go there and what? Make disciples of all nations, teaching them what? Teaching them? Teaching them? Oh just come to church and receive Jesus, your Saviour, you'll be just fine. Aye? Is that what He said? No. Make disciples, teaching them to obey. To obey! Why? Because it's only as I yield and flow with the one who loves me that I'm going to actually enjoy the benefits of what He's called me to have. I can't advance His kingdom if I'm not under it.

If I'm a rebel I can't actually advance His kingdom. I'm just like everyone else. The problem is people look at Christians; they come to church and they got a bit of religion around them. They look all uptight and wound up and their lives are a mess. They look at them and say man, whatever you've got I don't like it, I don't want any of that. I say the same thing, I don't like it at all. Jesus never came to give us that. He came to bring our lives back into alignment to how to succeed in life. It's just we got opinions, see? Now notice it said it's global, all nations, the whole world. The whole world, the whole world, that's why every believer's got a mission to the whole world - so at least you've got a mission to your little bit of the world. Everyone can get up and go somewhere, to someone with something God has given you. That's His intent, that you and I would actually teach people to obey. But you can't teach someone to obey something you haven't done yourself.

Now let's just talk a little bit about culture, culture. What culture is, culture is actually - and the world has a culture of its own. The kingdom of heaven has a culture of its own, then you have cultures - there's the Maori culture, there's a youth culture, there's the drug culture. Culture is the set of attitudes and beliefs and values that actually influence and shape a group so they're like they are see? So they believe and value certain things, and they do certain things. That's culture. So one of the things is the world has a culture of its own, and the culture shapes how you live your life, so if you come around you'll see Kiwis have got a Kiwi culture. So if you come from South Africa - got any South Africans here? We have some. How did you find it when you came into New Zealand; was it just like South Africa? No. Did you get a culture shock? You got a bit of a culture shock. How many have been to India? Man oh man, did you get a culture shock when you went there? Whoa! I was stunned for about three days. [Laughter]

Then when I came back I was stunned when I come back here. [Laughter] I realised that there's a culture, and the culture is the way people live their life, and it's the values and the beliefs and the things people consider a norm. Well the kingdom of heaven has a culture see, so the culture - we kind of think the culture is normal, so we as Kiwis act in a way which is very Kiwi-like. Some of the things are good, some of the things are not so good. And so the Bible tells us though about the culture of the world. In Ephesians 2:2 it says now, He says you were once dead in your trespasses and sins, who walked - now get this - according to the culture of the world, operated on by a spirit which works in the children who disobey God. Let's just summarise it.

There is a culture in the world and there's a spirit empowers it, and it's a spirit of darkness and it empowers it because people disobey God. So we were called out of that to have a culture where we obey God and there's another spirit operating. If you want the Holy Ghost operating in your life and through you you've got to embrace the culture of heaven, the culture of the Bible, the culture of God. Some things we can live in and accept, they're just fine the way they are, but other things you've got to build a culture. There's a family culture, see? Family culture can be incredibly dysfunctional and everyone is impacted by it, and they tend to become dysfunctional when they produce their children. You can have a culture in a church. It can be really healthy; it can be very unhealthy. You have a culture in a school. It can be really vibrant and a great place to learn; it can be actually a dangerous place and it's unsafe to be there. You have a culture in a community. Even Havelock's got its own culture.

Then Flaxmere's got its culture, and Hastings is still a little bit different. Have you noticed that? There's kind of like the group of people and their lifestyle and their values and everything, and if you live there you'll become like them. I'm certain if you went out in Havelock you'll join the jogging crowd and you'll have your little bottle and [laughter] your little Walkman and you'll be out there doing your little run. [Laughter] I've seen them all out there, heaps of them, lattes down there in the village - wouldn't even think of buying anything in Hastings. It's just - like there's a culture and it's not all bad, but there's sorts of things that characterise it. So the world we're in has got a culture of its own. The Maoris have a culture and of course so people view it in different ways. If they're ignorant of it they view it with suspicion, or if they're PC they embrace it all, see? But actually the culture is neither good nor bad. The culture's just a culture but it's got within it things which may be demonically empowered, just like our culture has.

And so God calls us then to take on the culture of heaven. Now the way culture expresses itself is many ways, but this is what empowers it: people's opinions. You change the opinions, you change the culture, see? You change the opinions, the way people think; you change the culture. Now our culture - how many know our culture's in change? Anyone who's been around a while knows it's in change. Why is it in change? Because people in certain places have altered the opinions that people have. Once the opinions are altered, parents today - here, now get this - parents today feel disempowered in working with their kids because of the opinions of certain people in education who impose them on the rest of the culture. See? Now kingdom people, we've got to discover God's opinions and begin to learn how to live them. Now does that mean you go and impose them on everyone? Not at all, it makes you a religious nutter.

People need to see that what you have works, so they watch you and if you're a believer somewhere in the community you know what? There's going to be a heap of people watching you. You know what they're watching? They're watching everything. They're primarily watching to see if you're authentic. Are you an ambassador of another kingdom with a better life that I need to come alongside and find how you made it work and how you make it succeed? Or are you just spouting verses at me and putting me down, and showing a holier than thou attitude? Unfortunately that's what religion does. Religion isolates. The kingdom goes out and what the computer language they call interfaces; it connects with a culture and actually shows that the way of the kingdom of God is superior in every way. People need to get near enough to you to see that your life is authentic, and what you've got works and it works better than it works for them, and to feel totally challenged by your lifestyle. That's what's called being salt and light. Salt, having an impact to restrain evil, and light, showing it up.

See, now I know people in this church and they have tremendous impact in the community where they are because their life is just so positively different, and that's what we're called to do. We're not called to go around and conquer people, bring them under dominion, bring them and force them into your way of thinking, confront them in an ungodly way. We're called to show to them that what we have from the kingdom of God actually works and it works better. Now let me give you an example of it, then I'll finish up. About three or four years ago we had a dentist here who was a Muslim and initially when my dentist changed, he was a Muslim, I had to confront my personal attitude. I actually wanted to change dentists. [Laughter] I'll be honest about it, I did. I thought about it seriously. Then I decided no, I won't. This is an ideal opportunity; I will go and actually stay in this place and I'll stay with the new man, and I'm going to reach out to him and his wife.

So Joy and I determined we're going to reach out to him and his wife. They're from South Africa. He was dark. He was from Iranian descent and a Muslim; she was from a Christian family and she had actually given up the faith to marry him. So we had a chance to influence him. Now I won't get into how we did it all but let me just say this. At the end of the year, after all the interactions, after all the talk, after everything else, after we'd done what we could do, we were able to get both of them to the church and they came to a Christmas service here on a Christmas eve. Then they came to our home. We took them into our home and at the end of that evening we asked how are you doing? He said I am stunned. I have never had anything in my life that I could reference this to. I'm overwhelmed. I said what has overwhelmed you? He said well first of all he was just totally impressed with what he saw in the church. It was not at all what he ever thought a church would be like.

But he said the thing that really has left me stunned, I don't know what to say, and he said I'm so stunned I don't even know how to respond - is your family. He said I have never been in an environment where people love one another, had fun with one another and everyone was accepted and welcomed; there was no alcohol and there was no fighting. I have never ever experienced this in my whole life. He said I just don't know what to say. Now you see that's exactly what the Queen of Sheba did when she came to Solomon. She was stunned. The kingdom of heaven - stunning! [He's right.] It's stunning! [Applause] It's just we don't have enough of it - but the more you get, the more stunning it is. When the Queen of Sheba went in she was oh! She said I thought I was going to see something, she was oh! They said all breath was taken out. She's oh! The wow factor, oh! I love the wow factor, oh! Church should have the wow factor back. I love it when people come in to [unclear 00.44.55] and they come in here and they oh! A church, wow! A radio announcer, I couldn't understand why they're having a church, I've been worried about that all week. [Come on here, oh! 00.45.04] Wow! The kingdom of heaven is stunning.

Our king is stunning! His ways are stunning! They're different, but they're stunning! [Applause] If we could just get enough of them in our life and be bold about who we are and live it out, I tell you what, you will impact people! You may not use a verse; your whole life is a message. Your life confronts the lifestyle of the ungodly. Let me finish with one other example. I love this. I just love it when ungodly people or unsaved people are stunned and can't speak. You know I talk to young people especially about this. We really believe and value kingdom values that you keep yourself for marriage. Don't have sex with people before you're married, you mess yourself up. You keep yourself, so we've had three weddings where children have come up and other weddings where people in this church have kept themselves for marriage, and their friends have berated them and laughed at them and said how come you're going to live together, blah blah blah, all this sort of stuff, and made fun of them and mocked at them, and secretly then grudgingly began to respect them.

Then they came here into one of the meetings here - stunned! I can remember a certain TV personality who was well known in New Zealand. She's now in England, and she was very, very anti things of Christ. She came here to do a national TV thing on Robert and Debbie when they got married. She came in and she was aggro to me right from the very start - until she went through the service and she was stunned! [Applause] Afterwards she came up and she was touching me and hugging me. [Laughter] There were tears in her eyes - the rock had melted! Stunned! I have seen with some of our kids when they've got married the presence of God come and I've seen kids who have come in and you see - I can see it in the eyes of the girls who've slept around. They are dismayed and stunned; stunned because they never thought it could be ever like that. It seems like it's a fairy book, how could it be like that?

I had one person, it was the third one they came to and they said I thought the first one was just lucky. The second one I was starting to worry. The third one he said I've given up. There's something in this! When young people keep themselves and they come down that altar Jesus is honoured and their lifestyle is honoured. They love their parents and they honour their parents - it is stunning. It is what the world needs! It lost God and it lost the kingdom. It needs that back again! It needs someone [applause] to stand up and live it out! And live it in front of them! And show them it's possible to have a stunning life! That's you! Come on, that's the person next to you, called to have a stunning life! A stunning marriage, stunning family!

[File ends 00.47.57]

Summary Notes

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The Kingdom Mandate
8 July 2007

1. Introduction:
· Each believer needs revelation:
Ephesians 1:17-19 - Paul’s prayer for wisdom, revelation and understanding.
- How to see life – How to live life – How life really works.
- God’s purpose for us – God’s inheritance in us – God’s power through us.

· God’s design in creation:
Genesis 1:1 - “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.
- God is the owner of all that can be seen by right of creation.
- Because God is the owner – His authority is absolute over all creation.
- God has a divine right to do as He will – to give it to who He will.
- Daniel 4:25, 34-35 - “No one can restrain His hand”.
- Romans 1:20 - “The hand of God is evident in all he has created”.

· God’s design for man:
Genesis 1:26 - “Let us make man in our image and likeness”.
- Man is created a spirit being who lives in a human body.
- The DNA of God is imparted into how man is designed to operate.
- Luke 17:21 - “The Kingdom of God is within you i.e. DNA.
- We are designed to operate according to the life, principles and values of Kingdom.
- Ambassador = a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by one sovereign state to another as its resident representative.
= Person sent to represent his country and fulfill a mission.
= A governmental minister appointed to live in another country, to speak and act on behalf of its government.
- Man = God’s ambassador – Family member sent to advance Family Business.

2. The Original Mandate/Mission:
· Genesis 1:26-28 - “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, let them have dominion”.
· Blessed = To speak or proclaim, to confer success or prosperity upon.
· The mandate is global – fill the earth.
· Man is called to occupy the Land God owns and colonize it.
· God’s design is to bring the life, values, ways, and presence of heaven to earth.
· Jesus’ Prayer – Matthew 6:10 – “Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth...”
· Colony = A group of people who leave their native country to form in a new land, a settlement subject to the Governments of their own nation.
= a group of people having similar interests and values coming from their country to establish the values, culture and government of their government in another territory.
· Man is changed with colonizing earth with heaven and extending the government and culture of heaven throughout the earth.
· Man is called to extent the culture and government of God into every area of life – finance, culture, sports, government, education, health.
· Adam’s disobedience – violating the law of God cost him his authority to rule and his connection with heaven.
· Romans 5:12,17-19 - One mans sin – Death reigned = to rule, have dominion.

3. Jesus Ministry - Restore the Man and Renew the Mandate:
· Matthew 4:7 - “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at Hand”.
· Jesus came to restore the relationship with God.
· Repent = have a change of mind, attitude, values, lifestyle – obedience.
· God wants us to change how we see life and how we live life.
· People want to be blessed by God – God’s desire is change.
· Luke 4:18 - “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… acceptable year of the Lord”.
· Acceptable year of the Lord is same as OT year of Jubilee.
· OT – The land belonged to God men were stewards of God’s land.
· Year of Jubilee – All debts released – people restored to their land – Leviticus 25:23-24.
· Jesus came to restore relationship, inheritance, and mandate.
· Matthew 28:18-20 - “All authority – Go – disciple all nations – teach and obey”.
· The Great Commission is the restoration of our mandate – Global.
· All believers are called to advance the Kingdom of God.
· Culture = attitude, beliefs, values, customs that distinguish people.
· Agriculture = soil that has been tilled => set of traits ploughed into people.
· Culture – shapes, who we are, how we think, relate and live – it imposes.
· Ephesians 2:2 - The culture of the world – varies from group to group.
- Character by disobedience.
· The spirit of the world operates through culture and imposes it on everyone.
· Our mandate: “Teaching then to obey”.
· Jesus loved his disciples – but required them to change.
· Spirit of the world is Anti-Christ – against the rule of Christ: “If I like, agree, then will do”
· The Spirit of the World works through “Opinions”

4. The Kingdom of God and the Church:
· Matthew 16:13-19 - “Who do men say I am? Who do you say I am?”
· Opinion = personal idea, belief, attitude, prevailing way of seeing things.
· Opinions reflect belief and how I want to live.
· Many opinions about Jesus – He is the Christ – The Son of the Living God.
· Peter got revelation but still opinionated how to live life.
· Matthew 16:22-23 - “Pity yourself – offensive to the Kingdom of God”.
· Jesus is the Anointed – He is King, He rules, He leads – I will follow.
· Jesus not receptive to Peter’s opinion – wanted him to yield to Kingdom.
· Peter wanted position and power – Jesus required obedience to the will of God.
· Peter had “opinions” about what it meant to be King – ideas from his culture.
· Our King is a Servant King – Matthew 20:25-28
· The Church = ecclesia = called out ones – Greeks = Senate.
- The Church is the governing people of God – chosen by Him to advance His Kingdom throughout the world.
· Matthew 5:13-16



Kingdom Authority (4 of 4)  

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Kingdom Authority (4 of 4)

Kingdom Authority (4 of 4) Mike Connell 22.07.2007 am

Okay, I want you to open your Bible with me. We're going to carry on in the word. I want to build a bridge today just between where we were looking at the mandate, the kingdom mandate we have, so we'll pick that up now in Matthew 28. I want to just bridge over to where the church is moving on the John Bevere series Under Cover. So let's just have a look here. We want to carry on, we look at Kingdom Authority, Kingdom Authority - so Matthew 28. I love this, the great suggestion Jesus gave the church. Here we go, it says in verse 18 through to 20: And when they saw Him they worshipped Him, but some even then doubted. Imagine that, a man's risen from the dead and you're looking and talking to him and you're still full of doubt. And it says here Jesus came and He spoke to them, saying all authority - how much authority? [All.] All authority. That's the power to govern and rule - all authority and power to govern and rule. All authority is given to Me. How did He get it? He got it by obedience to the will of the Father. He now is positioned where all authority - so everything is subject to Him.

We don't see that yet. We see and live in a world where not everything is subject to Jesus, but one day will be and so in the meantime He has all authority. He's the absolute Lord over all of the creation. He's the one who holds absolute rule; no one can restrain Him. No one can challenge Him and say why do You think You're doing this? No one can even hold back the day of the death, no one. He has absolute and total authority. He is a king and He has a kingdom and we are part of that kingdom. We're born into His kingdom, we are sons of the living God. Fantastic! So He's the absolute Lord and He came of course to reveal what the Father is like and then to restore to us our relationship and our understanding that as a son and a child of God, He calls us to make a difference in the world. You're called to make a difference. You're called to bring something of heaven into the earth. The character, what God is like, and also the life and power see?

And so it's a fantastic thing. Now notice here what He says. He gives a great mandate. Now He spoke to them and He said all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth; now go. Go therefore and make disciples of a handful of people in each region in New Zealand. He didn't say that did He? He didn't say go and have a small thing. He said go and have a real big thing, real big. God is really big. Go and disciple all nations. That's a big vision - all nations, all peoples, all countries. Next year I go up to Mongolia, so we'll be going out to another nation. Mongolia's situated between China and Russia, and at one time Mongolia ruled all of Asia. Now it doesn't rule, it's a kingdom that is diminished and now will be receiving something of the kingdom of God. It's going to be wonderful. This is the vision God has, all nations. All nations. All nations. See the problem is we get a mindset and we think in terms of church, of a handful of people; God is thinking of nations, multitudes, big, big, BIG!

You've got to keep thinking big! If you think this is big you're not thinking big enough, definitely not. There's 120,000-odd people in Hawkes Bay and if there are 500 or 600 here, it's not definitely not big. See, big is when you've got most of the people in the region saved. That's big. It says in Paul's day all of Asia heard the gospel. That's big, see? We've got a real challenge - so all nations, so baptised - He said go and speak and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe or obey all things I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always. Now notice this, that Jesus is given a mandate. The mandate is to go. The church is called to go, go, go! You've got to watch out that we don't have a message come, come, come. The church's message is go, go, go! Go into the schools, go into the government, go into the areas of art and culture, go into the media, go into every area.

The funny thing about the church is when people start to go there the church gets in an uproar and says you shouldn't be there. This is nonsense. Creativity came from God, the church should be there. Government came from God, the church should be there. Education came from God, the church should be there. See, this is where the church needs to realise we've got a mandate to go into the world, a mandate. A mandate isn't a suggestion. A mandate is a directive from a king to his ambassadors. A mandate is a directive given by a king to his ambassadors. Every believer has a mandate to go, to go into the earth. Now for some that may mean we go out to nations and I love to get people from our church into nations, but for all of us we're called to go as an ambassador, as a representative of God and advance His business.

And whatever trade you're in, that's His business. Become great at it and become excellent at what you do, and influence people through it. Whatever your trade is, whatever gifts you've got, develop them and then become great. Become outstanding. Become excellent at it, and then people look and they don't see poverty, they don't see meanness. They see generosity, excellence and a serving spirit. They're really near to the kingdom of God, see? Those are the things that really count, and then when they see you pray for people and things happen, then they understand there is a God who is really different. See, so we're called to go, go to all the nations, teaching them not only to make - it says to make disciples of them, or to not just get people to come to the front and make a decision, but to radically alter their lifestyle so they also become ambassadors.

So our mandate is not just to have people come to meetings, or just have people make decisions. Our mandate is that people's lifestyle changes, they become a follower of Christ and begin to represent Him and establish His way. His way's better than any other way. In every area His ways are better than anything you'll find on the earth. It's just we need persuading of it sometimes. You have a look at when marriages are operated God's way, it's excellent. When families are raised God's way, it's excellent. When young people keep themselves for God, holiness is excellent. It's not a goofy thing, it's a good thing. See, when people do business well and God's hand is upon their life and upon what they do, this is excellent. It speaks - no corruption, something different about the way you operate. See, we're called to go out into all nations - I love it. Our mandate's global. It's not a suggestion; it's given by a king to His ambassadors, or a mandate is a command given by a superior Court to a lower Court. How about that?

So whatever way you look at it we have a mandate, not a suggestion. It's not a suggestion. See, it's a mandate. It's something for us to do. I love it - and so to believe the gospel means you actually align your life to do it and that's what Jesus is interested in. Now let's go and have a look at Matthew 16 where Jesus talked about the kingdom and the church. So the mandate of going forth, it's a purpose, not a preference. It's a command, not a suggestion. Let's have a look in Matthew 16. We'll go back to where we were last Sunday when the visiting speakers came, the Sunday before when I was speaking. Let's just go back again because there's a lot in there and we'll just pick up some aspects of it. I want to just talk a little bit about the kingdom and the church. Sometimes people get them confused and let's have a look what Jesus said. Jesus said in verse 13, He came to His disciples.

He asked His disciples, saying who do men say I am? Or what's people's opinion about Me? And they said some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. So He said who do you say I am? What's your belief or your opinion? Simon Peter answered and said You're the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades or hell shall not prevail against it. In other words the devil won't be able to hold out against the believing church. And He said and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Then He commanded His disciples they should tell no on He was Jesus the Christ - because it wasn't the right timing. There's a timing [He'd have 00.08.55] everything.

So the first thing you find, there's a revelation of several things. First of all there is revelation in here of the king. Notice He asks for what do men say? What is the opinion of people? Now lots of people have got opinions about who Jesus is. He's another good man, He's another prophet. He's just someone who does great things, or He was the founder of Christianity - but Jesus is not interested in opinions see. Our opinion doesn't change what is fact and reality, and so we need to understand there are a lot of opinions but Peter got a revelation of who He is. Now a revelation means it was put into his heart by the Spirit of God. When you don't know Jesus Christ He's just another person, but what he had was God spoke into his heart and made known who Jesus is. The knowledge - now listen to this - the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who He is and what He's like, requires revelation by the Spirit of God. That's not just for your initial salvation, but if you really want to know what He's like.

The Holy Spirit is sent into the world to make Him known and you need - every one of us, we're called not just to come into a first encounter with Him, but to get to know what He's like. If you don't know Him as a healer you can never present Him as a healer. If you don't know Him as a deliverer you can never present Him as a deliverer. If you don't know Him as a saviour you can never present Him as a saviour. If you don't know Him as a provider you can never represent Him as a provider - and so in every area of life we need revelation of what Jesus is like. We need to see Him, what the Bible tells us He's like, but it's got to become reality. If you're a rejected person and you've lived all your life with rejection and you believe I'm not acceptable, you need revelation to your heart to change that belief see? Otherwise you'll come to Jesus and yet you'll still struggle as to whether you're accepted, and then you'll live in defeat as a believer because you actually haven't had it revealed to your heart yet that He is the one who makes us totally acceptable.

See, it came out in the communion just concerning the prodigal son and how, when he came back to the father and how the father totally embraced him, sins, faults, failures and all, made him welcome and gave him positioning. Now that's a revelation. You may have heard the story this morning, but it needs to be a revelation to our heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do it. I've got to ask God to show me these things, see? Now if you want to know Jesus as the one who works miracles, not one in the Bible historically who worked miracles, but if you want to know Him as the miracle worker today you need the Holy Spirit to reveal it, it's got to become faith in our heart. You see I believe most believers here would believe God does miracles. That's not the issue. Here's the issue: the issue is will He do miracles through me? Now that's revelation is needed for that. You need to know who He is. He's the same yesterday, today and forever - so Peter got a revelation of who Jesus was.

He got a revelation of Jesus, a revelation what He's like and of course we need to continually have that. He got a revelation that He's a king. He's the king and the Lord. He said You're the anointed one, the Son of the living God. He was revealed in this is who Jesus is. He's not just someone, take it or leave it Jesus. This is a Jesus, the Lord. This is a Jesus who is God's anointed representative in the earth. This is Jesus that all nations will bow their knee before. This is who He is and we need to have that revealed to us and become a live, living truth. The second thing Jesus revealed to him was about the church, and you notice what He said - He said upon this rock or upon the rock of revelation who I am, I will build My church. I'm glad Jesus said He'll build it, so when He says He's building His church what exactly is He building? Well of course you see there that word church. Well if you come from a certain kind of background you'll think oh, Jesus is going to build His church. We think a nice building with a steeple and stained glass windows. For you that's church.

Or maybe you've come from a different kind of background and you think He'll build His church, you think dear God, give me nothing to do with it. You see a handful of old ladies in the back of some old building and there's nothing happening. There's no life and there's no next generation. You think right, I don't want anything to do with that. See, so all of us when we hear the word church have a mentality about what God is building, and it's based primarily on what the culture has represented the church to be like and what our own experience - see, if you were raised like I was in a situation with religious orders and so on, then you had certain mindsets about what the church was like, mainly about don't do this, don't do that, don't do something else. You understand, so we come with concepts or opinions and we need to see what Jesus said the church really is.

See when we ran these meetings the other night we had a whole heap of people come in and some of them, oh! [They just went like that, 00.13.58] oh! this is a church! Oh, what kind of church? Tell me about this? I'd like to come - you see, because it just blew away their concepts of church. See, they looked at the building. Now the building is not the church; the people are the church. But the building reflects what's in the heart of the people, so when I go and I see a church building that's run down and everything's run down and there's no excellence, no serving, this represents a people who are defeated. They don't represent the church of the living God; they represent everything people hate which is religious defeat. You see Jesus said - the word He uses is the word ecclesia. He said I will build My ecclesia.

Now of course we look at that and think what the heck is that? Oh, okay, translate it for me, alright. Let's have a go. We'll say church. Oh, okay, a handful of old people running a little wee bizarre out there raising a few bucks. Come on, you get ideas but Jesus said I'll build My - now, to the people who were listening, when they used the word ecclesia they knew exactly what He was talking about, because they were in Roman culture which followed the Greek culture, and the Greek culture which was a democratic culture, the ecclesia were a group of people who were called out. The word ecclesia means called out ones. They were called out like we would elect a government; they were called into a place where they actually governed and represented whoever was in charge. So for the Romans the ecclesia then represented the governing body under the emperor. Think about that. There's a governing body; it was to actually act in close consultation with the emperor in order to outwork in the nation the designs and desires of the emperor. The nearest we'd call it would be caucus.

Now don't start to suddenly oppose certain mentalities and attitudes. Just think of its role. Just think there you have a Prime Minister and you have a caucus, a governing group who consults together and has insights no one else has, and outwork it in governing a nation. That is what Jesus had in mind. He had in mind a people who would have intimate access to Him because they are family, and out of that intimate access to Him they would be able to bring forth His life into the world; healings, deliverance, provisions, creativity, community advancement, health advances, educational advances. He had that in mind. Why did He have that in mind? Because that's what God always had in mind, right from the beginning! Always a people to represent Him as His ambassadors in the earth. So when He's thinking of the church these are people who are called and invited to come into that. Now of course whether you come into that is another thing, but when you gave your life to Jesus Christ, called Him your saviour, you were then positioned to be raised up to intimacy of counsel with Him, and to be able to represent Him in your field of life. Think about that.

That's your call. That's what the church is about, and you notice the church is just the vehicle which has a purpose. I will build My church, I will give to you the keys of the kingdom. In other words He said it's all about My kingdom advancing into the nations, and so you need to have a kingdom mentality. Now Jesus said He'll build His church, so we don't have to worry about building the church. What we need to do is about advancing the kingdom, which means mentalities and attitudes and values. This is why having a value of excellence, having a value of serving, having a spirit of worship, having the anointing and presence, this is all the kingdom. People come in and it speaks for itself. Poverty always has a - it shouts out keep away, but excellence always, generosity always attracts and so we're called to advance the kingdom.

So you notice every believer is called a son of God or a child of God and an ambassador. You are an ambassador. You didn't choose to be, you were called to be. You are one anyway. You're either a good one or a poor one, just think about that one for a moment see. So every believer's called to intimacy with the Lord and then to discover purpose, and then corporately we begin to express the purpose in the community. So we need to belong to a local church so corporate our voice can come together to make a bigger difference corporately than we ever could individually, see? So God has something to do through you every day of the week, 24/7, and then corporately through us, see? And so through us you know this year, probably 40,000, 50,000 people will hear the gospel, be ministered to, be touched by who? By us. You say well I didn't do that. Oh yes you did, you were a part of it. It was what we did.

It's not what I do, it's not what someone else has done; it's what we have done. WE have done these things. WE touched hundreds of families this week. WE touched hundreds of lives last week, and next WE will touch thousands of lives. Miracles will flow and bring deliverance and heal all kinds of things - and WE will have done it. This is our business. Sons of the king, sons and daughters, called to represent God. Man, that's why prophets are always on about getting near to God, because God wants you to understand what He's like like we can represent Him better. Holiness is about cleaning up our lives so we become more like God wants us to be, so we can represent Him better. That's why we have things to clean up our lives. Okay, notice another thing He gave is revelation of kingdom authority. He says I will give you keys of the kingdom. A key is authority to access and to operate. A key gives you authority to access something and operate, so I don't have many keys and I don't really feel like I need them. I actually have no keys to anything except the front door. I like that.

Someone else can have the keys. They have the authority to go there, I don't need to go there, it's not my business to have keys to everything. I don't need that, but there are some things I need keys for - my car. It's a horrible thing if you've got a car and no key, or you've lost the key. Healing needs keys to make it operate. Deliverance needs keys to make it operate. Prosperity needs keys to make it operate. Good marriages take keys to get it to operate. Good families take keys to get it to come right. See, wherever you are in life there are keys you need to make it work, to bring what God does into the earth because it's good. It's always good. You don't find any unhappy families in heaven, you find them on the earth. We're to bring the keys of why they're all happy in heaven into the earth. Come on, think about this. So He said I will give you the keys of the kingdom, so He said I'll give you keys and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven.

So keys are the knowledge and the legal right to actually make things happen. I want to touch with you some keys. Now we need to understand our authority as a believer and you'll see how I'm going to connect this in a moment. You need to realise that as a believer God has already entrusted you some authority. Now what I like are credit cards. How many like credit cards? Credit cards can be terrible or they can be really good, see? I've got a couple. If you lose one - you know what I was fearful of when I lost one, when my wallet was stolen? I was concerned someone would use it illegally because there was an authority with the credit card to make certain things financial happen. So I had to immediately ensure no one could operate with my credit card unlawfully. Of course Jesus wants to entrust you a credit card too; it's called His name. In My name you shall do mighty works. He wants us to learn how to access heaven and do things in His name, see?

Now the devil does them unlawfully. The devil stole Adam's authority and does a lot of things unlawfully. You and I are the lawful ones to operate in the kingdom. We're the ones called to do things and to do them right, and so using keys of faith, faith gives us access to God, the name of Jesus; gives us ability to draw heaven's resources into the earth, but we have to be positioned for that to happen. Let me give you some things God gives you authority to do. Now the funny thing is you've all got authority to do this stuff, but whether you do it or not depends on whether you have the key of knowing how. See, so you have authority to bring the Holy Spirit into any place you go. You have authority to invite God's presence any place you are. You say well it's really oppressive there - well you've got the authority to invite the presence of God to come, change all of that.

Don't complain the place you work and live has got a bad atmosphere. Change it. You're called to change it. See, we are given authority to bless. Well of course we're used to that religious blessing. No, no, to bless means to speak creative, faith-filled, empowered words that bring changes in people's lives; release creative words over people, speak into their lives destiny to release peace that's tangible and changes. Let me give you an example. I had to do a funeral for a family member in the church and the mother was unsaved and committed suicide. That's about as bad you get and she'd cut her wrists in the bath. That's really bad - and so the funeral was held down at the crematorium. I went down there and I had two people from the church here, it might have been Bruce and Eileen. Anyway they came down to put a bit of music to try and - we needed to create some atmosphere, because I've got to do this funeral service for a suicide of an unsaved person in a crematorium. That's not a very nice place to be.

Of course you go in there and it's just oppressive with spirits of grief and all kinds of things. So anyway we go in there and we begin to walk and they're setting up their instruments, a guitar and a keyboard and whatever. I just began to walk, began to pray and then suddenly the Holy Ghost came on me and I felt the presence of these demons in there, of grief and despair and death. Immediately I just suddenly react and went in Jesus' name I command those spirits to go and boof! The atmosphere shifted just like that. You could feel the change. People that came with me were quite surprised - oh, what happened? Now at the funeral the presence of God came so strong you could hardly believe that this was like it - like normally for a situation like that everyone would be in really bad shape. But the presence of God and the love of God came so wonderfully you almost forgot what we were really on there about. Just God came, you see - but if I didn't know how to shift that, those demons would have stayed there and dominated the atmosphere and made it a miserable time.

Now, so we have authority to speak words that change atmospheres, affect people's lives, release giftings in them. Fathers can bless their sons and daughters, fathers and mothers can bless their family, you can bless the people around you instead of cursing them and speaking negatively of them, criticising them and running them down and swearing at them. What's this going to do? You're releasing demons. We're not called to release demons, we're called to release the Holy Ghost and angels! Got to learn how to do it. You have authority to do it! You were called to do it, and if you're the only believer there you must do it - or you're giving up and letting it all go to the devil; probably justifying it by saying oh well, they're all sinners, they deserve what they get. This is not the heart of God. See, you're authorised to pray for the sick and see them healed. We're authorised to break bondages where people have been cursed, and to set them free. We're authorised to do that. You were authorised to do that. Who authorised you? Jesus did when He gave you the mandate to go out and make disciples. You can't do that unless you can deal with the demonic and break the curses, and set people free and pray for their healing and bless them.

You're authorised to pray for people to be filled with the Holy Ghost. You're authorised to do all kinds of things in Jesus' name, but if you don't know what you're authorised to do it's almost absolutely certain you'll never do it. And if you don't have the key of knowledge you'll never do it either, and that's the tragedy in the 21st Century of the church in the west is it doesn't know what it's called to do. So for goodness sake don't complain about how bad it is if you're the ones called to change it. You just add more cursing and increase the problems. We're the salt and the light, therefore it's our responsibility to actually make a difference. It's interesting when I was in City Harvest some years ago. Pastor Kong shared with me how they were crossing over, they were making a decided effort to turn the church out into the community and his wife who was Pastor Sun at that time - she resigned from the pastoral role and they began to, because she's an outstanding worship leader and beautiful person, lovely singing voice. They began to invest into her to prepare her to go out into the media.

The goal was to get up and get good enough to get on MTV, to hit it in America and then through that reach into Asia. Now guess where the biggest problems came? See, the church in the nation. Oh what? This is all wrong. You understand, the church has got a problem; when a believer rises up, hits the charts and is making it in Hollywood because it can't conceive that that's our destiny. Hollywood, don't complain about Hollywood. Hollywood's a creative gift to the world. It just needs to be redeemed, so don't complain it's gone off. It needs salt and light to change it. See the problem with the church, it just stands back and complains and grizzles and moans and groans, and forgets our identity. We're the ambassadors of the kingdom and our message is repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. There are changes and we can help you make them. You're an ambassador to advance God's kingdom. Every believer here can pray for the sick and pray and set people free, lead people to the Lord, set people free of bondages; if there's a house full of demons go in and clean up. If you don't know what to do for goodness sake line up when we train you and do it!

The real issue is not the lack of knowledge. I think the real issue is the lack of will and that brings us to positioning ourself under the authority of the Lord. Come on, this is what this is about. I think it's exciting. I think it's absolutely exciting. It's the great thing I've ever heard. You know, fantastic, we've got a great thing that we can do, see? Have a look at this, Matthew 8. I better move or I'll run out of time. Matthew 8:5, look at this. Here's a centurion and when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came and pleaded with Him; Lord, my servant is at home paralysed, dreadfully tormented. Jesus said I will come and heal him. He said no Lord, I'm not worthy You should come under my roof. Only speak a word and my servant will be healed. He said now, so he says because I'm a man under authority and I say to this one go and he goes, and this one come and he comes, he said say only the word and my servant shall be healed. Isn't that amazing?

Here's a man who recognised authority. Why did he recognise authority? Because he himself was a man under authority. He had a commander over him and he had soldiers under him. He understood chain of command. He said do this, it'll happen. He looked at Jesus and because he was a man who understood the principles of authority, he saw Jesus as under authority. He's got power. If He just gives a word it'll happen. And Jesus said whoa, what great faith. It takes great faith to trust that the invisible God works through people who represent Him. We all know that God does stuff, but actually God works through people and see, so it takes great faith. It takes something in our heart to understand that authority is always - God's authority is always reflected through people, and that how we respond to people actually recognising Jesus released the miracle power to go, recognising His authority enabled Him to operate.

When Jesus was not recognised His authority didn't operate, so He was a man under authority. So we see here that - notice this - that religious people will acknowledge God can do something, but they've always got authority issues and they can never see anything happen, because if I'm to see something come from heaven I have to position myself under the authority of God so I can operate in authority. Now you're going to learn a lot of things in this course, but let me just tell you one thing you need to see. There is a purpose for learning about being under authority. Here's the purpose: It's not just about you being protected. It's much, much more than that. It's about you being able to function like God called you to function. It's about being able to represent God and see God's blessing flow in your life like He intended. How can you do it? You can't operate - see I've had people say lay hands on me so I can have double the anointing you have. I said that's a lot of nonsense, forget it. I'm not going to do it.

They say why? I say well if I wanted double anointing why would I give you double anointing? I want it myself. Double - I've never heard of such a thing. I said here's why I won't, I said because you've got no heart to serve people and the anointing is always to serve people and advance the kingdom of God. It's not about you having an ego trip. Okay, here's the last thing I'll just share here, just carry on in Matthew 16 now. I want to just show you something else. Now remember Peter's got this revelation on the king, he's got the revelation on the kingdom and the church. Now look at this. He really missed out big time here, because he misses on the nature of the kingdom. Now notice this. Jesus said to His disciples - verse 21 - He's going to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. So Jesus began to talk about the future. He said listen boys, I'm off to Jerusalem and I'm going to suffer. They're going to badly treat Me. They'll kill Me but I'll be alright, I'll rise up on the third day.

He made it pretty clear this is what is about to happen. Now Jesus is responding to His Father's will. This is what the will of God is: I go to Jerusalem, I be put to death and rise on the third day. Now immediately Peter began to take Him aside and tell Him off. Now here's Peter, he just said - now this is the Lord. Oh! Ooh! You're the Christ, the Son of the living God! Then next minute he says excuse me. Now I don't want to disturb all the other apostles but I don't like what You're preaching. Forget this cross stuff. Forget this having to lay Your life down stuff. We're having a revival here. And it says this is what he said to Him. Now I'll get this and we'll finish. He said to Him pity yourself. Let this be a long way from You. Don't do this in other words. What You should be doing is looking out for Yourself. Now Jesus immediately reacted with an immense confrontation. Get behind Me Satan! You're an offense and a stumbling block to Me.

What - now anyone looked at that and thought boy, that's pretty tough? He's one of the apostles and now He's giving him a slap like - that's a big slap isn't it? That's a big slap. In anyone's terms that's got to be a big slap. You know, blessed are you Simon Bah-Jonah. You've had Holy Ghost revelation. Next thing, slap, slap, slap! You devil! That's a pretty big shift. What brought the change? Why did nice gentle Jesus turn into slapping Jesus? [Laughter] Come on, ask yourself what it was. There was something in what Peter said that fundamentally opposed the kingdom of God and it was this. Peter was wanting to use Jesus and His position to advance himself. Simply he's saying if you go this cross route - he didn't even hear about the resurrection. If You go down there to Jerusalem and they kill You and You get put to death, what will happen to the dreams of a kingdom? What will happen to my position? What will happen to my ministry? What will happen to me? It's all about me.

See people don't mind acknowledging Jesus is Lord, but you see what they want is a nice, a watered down Jesus, you know, a Jesus that's easy to take. But actually Jesus is the Lord, and He calls us to align with His purpose for our lives; not to just take what we like and use Him to get what we want. See that is offensive to any person. You imagine having a relationship with someone and all they want is to use you to get themselves ahead. You can't believe how offensive that is. It's incredibly offensive. It's offensive because you are devalued by their selfish motivation. Everyone picks it quite quickly. Now somehow as Christians we think I can use Jesus; Jesus, bless this. Jesus, bless that. Jesus, bless this. Jesus, bless - well listen. What are you doing to align yourself with God's plan in that area?

He doesn't just bless your plans because you planned them. He blesses what He initiated through you that's right with His purpose. So He gave him a huge slapping, notice here. Now Jesus Himself, so his mentality is preserve yourself, look after yourself, get yourself ahead. Jesus said listen, if you're going to serve in My kingdom you've got to understand you have to be a person under authority. You actually don't do what you want, you actually act as an ambassador for another person. And sometimes when you act as an ambassador for God you will lay your life down to the things you like and love and want, in order that He can be honoured and He in turn will bless and ensure that what you need is met - an amazing thing, see? Jesus wanted to confront him over this issue. You can't serve God and just do your own thing. He said I'm a man under authority, I don't even do what I want to do. I do what I see the Father showing Me to do. I'm a man under authority.

Now if we just finish with this, Jesus Himself several times demonstrated He's under authority. I'll just give them out to you just quickly like this. Number one, He was under the authority of His parents. His parents said Son, what are You doing? He said don't You understand, I've got to be here? They said no, we don't understand. You come with us - and it said He submitted Himself and He grew in wisdom and stature and favour with God [and man. 00.36.32] He put Himself under His parents authority when they misunderstood Him. The second place He put Himself under authority was with John the Baptist. Now John the Baptist message is there's a messiah coming. You know what Jesus did? He came and He got baptised by John, and John said listen, You should be doing this to me. He said no, I'm going to submit to you because this is the way I walk in righteousness. I'm coming under the anointed ministry of the time and submitting to the authority God gave you.

Almost everywhere you find it in the Bible; when Jesus was asked a question. Listen, do the sons have to pay taxes? No, they own everything, they don't have to pay taxes. He said that's right, we don't have to pay the tax - but so we don't create unnecessary offense we'll pay the tax. And He used His power then to bring miraculous provision to come under the authority of the government of His day, the Roman government. You'll find without exception Jesus had a huge understanding of authority and the need to be under authority in order to be able to function in the supernatural and bring God's kingdom into the earth. The devil's attempts were always go on, do your own thing. Just turn this into food, do this, do this, do this. Take a short cut. He said no, I know why I'm here. It's to bring honour to the Father - and He placed Himself continually under Father's authority.

Now we find it easy to do that with God perhaps, but when it comes to people we find it more difficult. The whole course on Under Cover is about understanding not only does God have authority, but He works that authority through people and every time you meet someone who carries authority, whether it be position or in their person life, you're starting to encounter the authority of God. It's not the man that's the issue; it's that you see beyond it to what God is doing. Listen, do you know someone in the New Testament who had a direct encounter with God? Paul. He had a direct encounter with God's authority. God just [unclear 00.38.24], off the horse. You know what God said to him straight after? He said I want you to go to this city and I want you to put yourself under the authority of Ananias, because when he prays for you you'll get healed. God immediately put him under delegated authority.

Now you can't go anywhere where you don't meet authority and every time you meet it your heart attitude towards God and His authority flushes immediately. Over this course I believe and I'm praying that in every part of the church where our attitudes and things aren't right, that it will surface for productive change. See? And you'll - sure, I know you'll be just like Peter. You'll be right in your own mind and own thinking, absolutely persuaded you're right. But I encourage everyone here to be open to let the Holy Ghost change our thinking, so we can position ourself to operate in power. You see if I teach you and we run seminars how to move in healing, how to move in deliverance, how to break curses, how to bring blessing, how to release this, how to release that; if we do all of that thing for you, if you do not position yourself right under God two things happen. One, the power flow doesn't operate right and two, you set yourself up for demonic attack and I don't want that. We want to grow to new levels.

[File ends 00.39.39]

Summary Notes

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Kingdom Authority
22 July 2007

1. Introduction:
· Matthew 28:18-20 - “All authority has been given to me…..go therefore…”
· Authority = the power of government, of rule, of judicial decision.
· Jesus Christ is absolute Lord and King over all creation.
· Jesus came to reveal the Father and restore out mandate.
· Mandate = a command or authorization to act in a particular way given
by a King to His ambassadors.
= to authorize, decree.
= a command for a superior court to a lower one.
· Our mandate is:
i) Global – Nations ii) Life transforming – teaching Kingdom life.
· To Believe = To obey, align with the King’s will.
· Mandate = Purpose not Preference; a Command not a Suggestion.

2. The Kingdom and the Church:
· Matthew 16:13-20 - “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom”

a) Revelation of the King - verse 13:
· Opinions = personal idea, attitude, prevailing way of seeing things.
· Opinions reflect beliefs – how I would live my life.
· Many opinions about Jesus – personal ideas.
· Peter’s revelation = Jesus = the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
= Jesus is the Messiah - The Coming King.
· Jesus was born King – came to reveal God and restore His Kingdom.

b) Revelation of the Church – verse 18:
· Church = Ecclesia = to call out, called out ones.
· Ecclesia:
– Used by Greek/Romans to refer to the governing group in the nation.
– People hand picked to govern the nation on behalf of Emperor.
– NZ – Caucus.
· Meaning of the word ‘Church’ has been distorted.
· God’s intention has always been family, sons and daughters to enter His secret council and extend His Kingdom.
· Every Believer is to be a Son and Ambassador of the King.
· Revelation 12:24 - Nations shall walk in the light of the City of God.
· Every believer called to intimacy and to fulfill purpose.
· Every believer must understand authority; Be under and to exercise.

c) Revelation of the Kingdom Authority – verse 19:
· Keys of the Kingdom = authority to access and operate.
· Key = Knowledge and authority to enter and to speak.
· God gives us keys to open heaven and bring blessings to earth.
· We need to understand our authority as a believer.
· We are authorized to:
- Invite the Holy Spirit - Heal the sick
- Bless and release creative words - Bind and loose
- Inner healing - Raise the dead
- Break bondages/curses - Deliverance
- Release prosperity
· We are called to act as ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven.
· We must learn the principles of authority – how to govern.
· Mathew 8:8-10 - The Creation
i) He recognized authority and submitted to it.
ii) He was a man under authority.
iii) He exercised authority.
· Note: Jesus commendation – “Great Faith”
Recognizing and responding to earth positions us to exercise authority.
· Note: The religious people had knowledge but did not enter or experience Kingdom life and power – form without power.

d) Revelation of the Nature of the Kingdom:
Matthew 16:21-23 - “The Kingdom reflects the nature of the King”.
Peter’s opinion - Response when forced with submission to the Will of God.
· “Pity yourself” - “Be it far from you!” - rebuked Jesus.
· Peter’s mentality = preserve yourself, personal rights are important.
· He wanted to preserve his position and privileges.
· He wanted a Jesus that could give him what he wanted.
· People desire a Jesus to bless, benefit – but He is a King.
Jesus response
· Kingdom = call to submit to the will/authority of God.
· Submission = a paradox = gives freedom!
· Whatever / whoever submit to come under the authority.
· Become like the character of the one you submit to.

John 5:9 - Jesus was a submitted person.
E.g. Submitted to parents - Luke 2:51-52
Submitted to John the Baptist - Matthew 3:15
Submitted to Government authority - Matthew 22:21
· Jesus confronted the spirit the was behind Peters statement.
· Conflict between Kingdom God (submission/humility) and King Satan (pride/lawlessness)
· Romans 13:1-2 - “All must be under authority”.
· Source of Authority = GOD
· God delegated authority;
= positional – church, home, government, world.
= personal – men anointed thus relationships.
· Our choice to position ourselves under authority.

E.G. Acts 9:44-15 - Paul encountered direct authority – placed under delegates.



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