New Wine for New Wineskins March 2018

By , March 1, 2018 8:30 am

happynewyear008Crossing Over (Part 3)

5778 / 2018 – The Year Of Rebuilding.

Matthew 28: 18 – 20

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The decade of 5770 to 5780 (2010 to 2020), the 5770’s, are the “Ayin” years which signify that these are years of seeing and of renewed prophetic perspective.  It is interesting that this decade ends in 2020 which is associated with perfect vision.

As I have been reviewing the years of this decade thus far in light of the prophetic message that has been coming to New Wine Church it is my understanding that a major part of the change of perspective has been a shift from a narcissistic, self-centred and self-serving view of the gospel that for most church folk never gets beyond individual salvation and personal blessing, to the gospel of the kingdom that begins by equipping a corporate body of people with individual salvation and personal blessing and then raises them to maturity where they recognise the responsibility they have to take the message of salvation and blessing out into a world that is without God and without hope.

I have been thinking about how we raise our children, and how we always want to provide the best for them. We want them to be healthy and blessed in every way, but we also want to equip them with manners and morals and values that will prepare them to be positive and productive members of society who will carry the standards we have instilled within them as they leave the nest and advance into their new life outside of our home. Jesus clearly stated that if we want good things for our children then how much more will our Father in heaven give good things by the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

5778 / 2018.  The number 8 is represented by the Hebrew letter “Chet” which has the pictograph of a tent wall, or a door.  Some prophetic folks are calling 5778 the Year of the Door because Chet – the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet – can also signify a door.

You can’t have a door without walls, and you can’t legitimately access what is behind the walls unless you come through the door.

Acts 15: 16 – 17

16 ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tent of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; 17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’

And then he goes on to explain the purpose, a purpose which necessitates our acceptance of our cultural commission and dominion mandate.

17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’

The tabernacle of David represents a heart after God – a heart of worship and a heart for whom the primary thing is to host the manifest presence of God – a heart that recognises that marinating in his presence is the only adequate preparation and equipping to reign as kings and priests in his kingdom and to fulfil our cultural commission and dominion mandate.  We come out from his presence as carriers of his glory.

Remember what Jesus said in John 10: 7 – 10.

7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

In and out. The church is the place of worship in spirit and truth, the place of preparation and equipping for the work of the ministry, the place of growing to maturity where we enjoy provision and protection. The church is the place of calling and commission.

A door is a way in and a way out.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16: 9 regarding his remaining in Ephesus.

9 There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.

As mature sons of God we are being commissioned to rebuild the church, the church with walls that has an open door that is both an entrance and an exit. We are to be the church that carries the Kingdom of God into every sphere of society, bringing the influence of the kingdom to every social system – politics, education, business, law, family, music, science, entertainment, etc, as agents of supernatural transformation. We are being recommissioned with our cultural commission and dominion mandate, as the church that engages with the world around it and realigns its places of influence under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Regardless of how dark we might perceive things to be in the world around us we must understand and remain faithful to our commission to bless and to do good and to bring healing to all who are oppressed by the devil without compromising our allegiance to the liberating truth of God’s word.

Habakkuk 2: 2 – 3 (The Message)

And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see.Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

There is only one hope for a world that is crying out for something that is real, something that is relevant, and something that is radical.

Romans 8: 19

19 For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].

The world desperately awaits the revealing of mature sons of God who are just like Jesus, who are just like their Father.

Proverbs 29: 18

8 Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish
(the people cast off restraint – NKJV)

God is in the redeeming business and so his heart is always to restore and to rebuild. That is the gospel of the kingdom.

2 Peter 3: 9

9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish [miss their purpose], but wants everyone to repent.

You can’t get much clearer than that. God wants everyone to repent so that they don’t miss their purpose.  This scripture can also be applied to us as believers.  If we only emphasise individual blessing without personal responsibility then we will miss our purpose.

Only those with a commitment to maturity and to growing up into the full stature of a mature child of God can continue for long under the full gospel message that calls us up in response to the high calling of God to fully know him and be equipped to fulfil the commission to go and make him fully known.

Most of us are probably familiar with Proverbs 14: 34.

34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

The majority of people read “nation” and see or feel little or no personal responsibility attached to it, but every nation is the sum of its individual citizens.

Perhaps Proverbs 11: 11 can help us to see this more clearly.

11 By the blessing of the influence of the upright and God’s favour [because of them] the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. [rasha` – morally wrong]

With the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Jesus said that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. We are commissioned to teach nations. Our lives tend to follow our words. One of most powerful methods of teaching is by example. Jesus not only taught principles to his disciples – he lived out these principles before them.

Hebrews 5: 12 – 14; 6: 1 – 3

12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognise the difference between right and wrong.

1 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds [abandoning the old life] and placing our faith in God [embracing our new life as the saved, healed, and delivered]. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

The message of the church often becomes so focused on the elements of individual salvation (repentance and forgiveness of sins, faith in Christ, healing, deliverance and victory over the devil, etc – all of which are vitally important as our foundation), that there can be an imbalance that leads to a kind of immature, christianised narcissism where its all about me. The message we have been commissioned to reach the world with is the message of the kingdom that builds on that foundation and reaches out beyond the lives of individuals and the walls of the church and impacts and influences and positively affects communities, cities, and nations.

We have looked previously at the importance of understanding the difference between call and commission and character and charisma. In Acts 2: 42 we are given the four basic and foundational elements of a new covenant church – what I like to call church by intelligent design.

42 And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread and in prayers.

Prayer is not tagged on there at the end because it is the least important. Prayer is what connects us to our heavenly Source. It is through prayer that the power and authority of heaven flows into the earth to fulfil God’s will and manifest his kingdom.

The first apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Later, Jesus commissioned these first apostles to teach others what he had taught them. And so these first church members recognised how essential it is to continue steadfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship [unity, union, and partnership around that teaching] as a foundation for establishing them in the expectation of receiving the covenant promises and blessings provided through Jesus’ sacrificial and reconciling death and the certainty of his absolute Lordship that gave power and authority and direction to their prayers – prayers that followed the simple pattern that he had taught his first disciples.

Remember the three basic elements of character -identity, integrity, and morality.

Jesus, who showed us what a mature son looks like and whose image and character we are being conformed to, taught us to pray:

“Our Father in heaven.” That establishes us in our identity as the sons of God – as family, which is the basic building block of real community.

“Hallowed be Your name.” I believe that this is one of the most neglected, misunderstood, and passed over statements in the lives of many believers, and yet it is upon this declaration that our integrity depends. Let’s take a look at a scriptural example that will help us grasp this truth.

Numbers 20: 1 – 13

1 Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there and was buried there. 2 Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron.  3 And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!  4 Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here?  5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.”  6 So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  8 “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.”  9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”  11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” 13 This was the water of Meribah, because the children of Israel contended with the Lord, and He was hallowed among them.

To hallow means “to sanctify, to consecrate, to keep separate and holy.” Verse 13 almost seems to be a direct contradiction of verse 12, but in fact it simply highlights that the LORD will be always be hallowed whereas we can miss our opportunity – our purpose – to recognise and to live by this truth. If we don’t hallow him he will hallow himself, but our purpose is to hallow him. Moses and Aaron displayed a lack of integrity [oneness with the LORD] by not saying what God said and doing what God said.  God demonstrated his faithfulness in providing water for the people but Moses missed his opportunity to be the prophetic voice that would reveal an even greater demonstration of the glory of God.  Moses’ failure eventually curtailed his destiny as the one who not only led God’s people out of bondage in Egypt but also led them into their inheritance in the promised land.

Numbers 27: 12 – 14

12 Now the Lord said to Moses: “Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel.  13 And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered.  14 For in the Wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah, at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.)

The reality is that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father – but will that be as a result of our taking our cultural commission and dominion mandate seriously and aligning ourselves with the throne-room of heaven and inviting our Father to hallow his name by believing and acting on what we hear him say and see him do. Or will that day not occur until he himself brings this age of grace to a conclusion and hallows himself?

We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world but the salt can lose its flavour and the light can be obscured and become like darkness. Jesus said that he only said and did
what he heard and saw his Father do – that’s integrity.

“Hallowed be your name.” That’s integrity and I believe we need have that established more accurately as worshippers in spirit and truth [aletheia – accuracy] if we are going to introduce kingdom culture that is always relevant as our Father’s name is hallowed, and as we display integrity when what we say and do is what he says and does. That will always result in relevant culture – an environment where salvation, healing, and deliverance are freely available to the lost, the broken, and the bound.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  That’s morality. The Holy Spirit is hovering over the sea of humanity awaiting the word of God upon which he can act. The word of God that we proclaim is the word that the Holy Spirit will confirm. That’s radical creativity.

Mark 16: 15, 19 – 20

15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]….19 So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and He sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]. Amen (so be it).

5778 / 2018 – A Year Of Rebuilding.

A year of rebuilding a church where the presence and the name of our Father is truly hallowed by believing what he says and doing it, and where there is an equipping of the mature to carry the message of the kingdom out into this lost and broken world – to realign its systems with the throne of heaven under the Lordship of Jesus Christ so that his kingdom can come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Then we will ask for and receive our daily bread, we will walk in the reality of a life set free from guilt and shame, and relationships will be reconciled and restored. We will be led by the Holy Spirit out of temptation and into real victory over every manifestation of evil, and we will see his kingdom and his government, his power and his glory manifested in the earth as the knowledge of the glory of the LORD covers the earth as the waters cover the sea, and real community, relevant culture, and radical creativity are released from heaven and established on the earth.

Bring it on LORD.

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