The Kingdom of God Within You

“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33

The Lord spoke to me and said, “When you have the Kingdom of God going on inside of you; you will become a money magnet.” Why is that?  When you seek ye, you have to seek ye first, and guess what you are first?  You are the Kingdom. You are the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom of God is within. As within, so without, as above, so below, this is the very nature of the Kingdom of God.

 

If I get the Kingdom of God in my mind, I have the Kingdom of God in my feet. If I have the Kingdom of God within me, then I have the kingdom of God all outside of me. The Kingdom of God which is Christ’s rule and reign in the earth, totally overtakes my entire being, infusing me with His power and His ability.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on, is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

God has a care plan in place for the birds of the air. They intuitively recognize His plan, which is why they don’t worry about how they are going to survive. They just continue to soar not worrying about a thing. If your heavenly Father takes care of the mere fowl of the air, how much more will he take care of you? You are far more valuable than birds. God has you covered in every way especially since you have a covenant with God. So if

God has a covenant with His people to provide all of their needs then why are so many of God’s children lacking and crying out for a morsel of bread? Somewhere there has to be an unsolved problem.

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? The problem is worry.  Far too many people worry about things that they can’t do anything about. The cure for worry is meditation. Worry is mediation in the wrong direction. For the most part, we worry about things that we create in our own minds. We think up the things that we choose to worry about. Thoughts are the beginnings of all things. So that means that we thought up the concept of beauty, of skin, hair, and so on, and gave them aesthetical value.

 

 

The Book of the Month Club is a powerful group that equips you to grow in the Lord, and to catch the spirit of prophecy. Membership to this club also gives you access to Prophecology 2018: Birthing House – The Latter Rain, this February 23-25, 2018. Do not miss out on this anointed time.

Go and join the club now!

What areas of your life are plagued with worries right now?

FACING THE TRUTH

Lately I have been discovering some universal laws and spiritual truths.

I sincerely believe that I am more spiritually acute now than I have ever

been. Believe me when I tell you that, I have no plans on going backward.

My spiritual acuteness is directly correlated to my growth and development

in every area of my life. That is my primary goal, for the church and universe at large to become so spiritually sharp that the fruit of their spirituality can be seen in every way.

The church of our Lord is growing. It is not a church that is going to be

fat, but rather lean. It will include those who are serious enough to become

disciples and unapologetically reap the benefits from living such a disciplined lifestyle. We are growing up into Him, His Nature. We are becoming Him. We are coming into a whole new level of consciousness.

Far too long vain excuses have been a commonplace for lack of spiritual

achievement. The real truth is that it is up to you to be what you want to be

or what you don’t want to be.  Also, it is up to you to have what you want

to have. Honestly, you can really do what you want to do. One of things

that I know is that truth sets people free.  Unfortunately, most people don’t

really want truth. They would rather be pacified with entertaining false-

hoods and soliciting sympathy.  If you do not do what you want to do, be

what you want to be, and have what you want to have, it is only your fault,

not God’s. We give you the principles; it is up to you to live your life. We

give you the truth; it is up to you to become that truth. We teach you the

word of God, so that you can become something far greater than you are

right now. We teach you how to reach deep inside to the child within.

The essence of your creation and creativity, which inevitably is your power

to passionately kiss wealth, is your imagination.

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

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How are you going forward with your spiritual awareness?

Isaiah as a Social Prophet

In chapter 6 of Isaiah, Isaiah himself receives a vision of God in the Temple, and His image was glorious to behold (Isaiah 6:1-4). In response to the vision, Isaiah cries out, “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” After this response, a seraph brings a burning hot coal from the altar and presses it against Isaiah’s lips. God explains the reason for this action, saying, “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out” (v.7). Later on, Isaiah “heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And [Isaiah] said, ‘Here I am; send me!’” (v.8).

Just like Isaiah, who desired to evangelize, we are also called to offer ourselves before God in this same manner. When God asks, in the church or in our hearts, “Whom shall I send?”, it is our right and lawful duty as his devout followers to reply resoundingly, “Here I am; send me!” Indeed, every Christian is called to be an evangelist.

God’s words spoken in the narrative, “Whom shall I send?” must have been rhetorical in nature. It implies that Isaiah was the one whom God should send since his lips were purified with fire. Interestingly, despite the seraphim in the temple with God and Isaiah, no angel stepped up to the plate, no angel offers to be sent. Why is that so? That is because we, as men and women of the earth, are called to love our neighbors. The angels are not commanded to care for the poor; we are. The Christian Church possesses a unique responsibility in the cosmos, since the Christian faithful has the joyful obligation to seek the well-being of others and to alleviate the suffering of the poor and needy.

 

The Book of the Month Club is a powerful group that equips you to grow in the Lord, and to catch the spirit of prophecy. Membership to this club also gives you access to Prophecology 2018: Birthing House – The Latter Rain, this February 23-25, 2018. Do not miss out on this anointed time.

Go and join the club now!

When have you ever said, “Here I am, Lord, send me?”

APOSTOLIC EVANGELISM

If we wish to emulate the apostolic church claim that the apostles were God’s inspired men of God who gave to us God’s words, and believe that the apostles were the first churchmen of the Christian faith, then we must conform to the thinking and practices of the apostles. Acts may be the single most evangelistic book in existence; it has a great multitude of sermons from the apostles and sinners repenting their sins in hopes of being saved by God. In Acts, the Lord’s angel commanded Philip to “go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza” (Acts 8:26 NRSV). Being faithful to the Lord and to the evangelistic work set out for him from the Great Commission, Philip obeyed the command, rose, and went. The road he took was a vast expanse of desert and sand; however, he never complained or refused to set out on this mission. The Bible reveals that “he rose and went” (v.27a).

On his way to Gaza, Philip met an Ethiopian court official, who was a eunuch and a treasurer of the queen’s stores. By way of inference, he was likely Jewish: “he had come to Jerusalem to worship” (v. 27b). As this man was returning to Ethiopia from worshipping, he was reading the Book of Isaiah. When Philip saw this, he approached the eunuch at the urging of the Spirit (v.29). Philip asked, “Do you know what you are reading?” The eunuch replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” The man invited Philip to sit with him on the chariot to explain the passage he was reading (vv.30-31).

The passage the eunuch was reading was, “Like a sheep he was led to slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe this generation? For his life is taken away from the earth,” (Acts 8:33; cf. Isa. 53:7). When the eunuch asked Philip what this Old Testament prophecy meant, Philip “opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture, he told him the good news [gospel] about Jesus,” (v.34).

Immediately after hearing the gospel, the chariot passed a body of water. The eunuch commanded for the chariot to stop, asking Philip, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” He went down into the water, and Philip baptized him (vv.36-40). After this evangelistic work, “the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing,” (v.39).

Philip was no holier than you or me. He was an ordinary man, whom God called to carry the gospel to his neighbor. Just like Philip, who was commanded to go down the road and explain the gospel and the prophecies concerning Jesus to a Jew, we are also admonished to do God’s work in going to our neighbor in love to explain the hope we have because of Christ’s life and work.

Philip did not know exactly where he was going, or to whom he was going to speak, but his willingness and humility in this story is the ideal attitude of a Christian who commits to evangelizing the world. Therefore, when God asks us to go somewhere, we should not complain about difficulties we might face. Instead, we must comply joyfully, for our God works enormous wonders for us and our salvation. Because we have Christ’s light, we are called to share this salvation with everyone around us.

The Bible explicitly mandates Christians to care for the poor. Tending to their spiritual nourishment is equally important as assuring their physical well-being. According to Robert Wafanawaka, “A disregard of this mandate [of the gospel] will result in the continued existence of poverty. The fact that poverty has existed from ancient to modern times is a testament to the violation of a basic biblical mandate. Without doing something drastic about the situation of the poor, it is evident in both biblical and contemporary times that the poor will always be there.”

Can we actually convert the entire world to Christianity? Can the Church transform the today’s social apathy into compassion to help the poor? Perhaps not; however, the possibility is there. Whether it is plausible for the entire world to be evangelized or not, Christ’s command still stands immortally. We are called to care for the poor both spiritually and physically. We must not separate these two, lest our actions be void of true compassion.

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

 

1) Call 515-604-9266

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What possibilities for faith are you believing God for?

 

 

THE DELIGHT IN EVANGELIZING

In chapter 6 of Isaiah, Isaiah himself receives a vision of God in the Temple, and His image was glorious to behold (Isaiah 6:1-4). In response to the vision, Isaiah cries out, “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” After this response, a seraph brings a burning hot coal from the altar and presses it against Isaiah’s lips. God explains the reason for this action, saying, “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out” (v.7). Later on, Isaiah “heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And [Isaiah] said, ‘Here I am; send me!’” (v.8).

Just like Isaiah, who desired to evangelize, we are also called to offer ourselves before God in this same manner. When God asks, in the church or in our hearts, “Whom shall I send?”, it is our right and lawful duty as his devout followers to reply resoundingly, “Here I am; send me!” Indeed, every Christian is called to be an evangelist.

God’s words spoken in the narrative, “Whom shall I send?” must have been rhetorical in nature. It implies that Isaiah was the one whom God should send since his lips were purified with fire. Interestingly, despite the seraphim in the temple with God and Isaiah, no angel stepped up to the plate, no angel offers to be sent. Why is that so? That is because we, as men and women of the earth, are called to love our neighbors. The angels are not commanded to care for the poor; we are. The Christian Church possesses a unique responsibility in the cosmos, since the Christian faithful has the joyful obligation to seek the well-being of others and to alleviate the suffering of the poor and needy.

 The Book of the Month Club is a powerful group that equips you to grow in the Lord, and to catch the spirit of prophecy. Membership to this club also gives you access to Prophecology 2018: Birthing House – The Latter Rain, this February 23-25, 2018. Do not miss out on this anointed time.

Go and join the club now!

When have you ever said, “Here I am, Lord, send me?”

WHAT IS SOCIAL GOSPEL?

The social gospel refers to the application of Christian principles to social problems.  According to historian Carl Degler, “The acceptance of the social gospel spelled the transformation of American Protestantism.” More than a traditional religious movement, the social gospel was distinguished, as stepping out of the churches to traverse with political, social, and economic forces in the nation.

In the United States, social gospel was born in the post-Civil War America and matured towards the period of Progressivism. However, looking back to the early Christian church and how Christianity influenced human civilization as we know it, we can identify how the church always has had a hand in shaping the social landscape.

By the end of the progressive era, adherents of social gospel presented it as “the application of the teaching of Jesus and the total message of the Christian salvation to society, the economic life, and social institutions . . . as well as to individuals.” Throughout history, Christianity has exhibited its social facets, but in this period in the United States, social gospel became a movement as a significant background of American Protestantism. In the face of changing realities and problems in the more and more urbanized nation, social gospel was viewed as a crusade for justice and righteousness in all areas of everyday life.

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

 

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What is the social gospel for you?

DOES GOD HAVE ROOM IN YOUR LIFE?

Deitrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his 1928 essay, Jesus Christ and the Essence of Christianity,

God comes to people who have nothing but room for God—and this hollow space, this emptiness in people is called Christian speech, faith. This means that in Jesus of Nazareth, the revealer, God inclines to the sinner; Jesus seeks the companionship of the sinner, goes after him or her in boundless love. He wants to be where a human person is no longer anything. The meaning of the life of Jesus is the demonstration of this divine will for sinners, for those who are unworthy.

We are seldom at a point where we allow ourselves to be an empty space, where faith can create breakthroughs. Emptying ourselves out is often uncomfortable and, in most instances, painful. We have to let go of certain luxuries and comforts in order to become an empty space. We have to consider others’ interests to be higher than ours. Indeed, for human beings to be selfless is not natural.

The Prophet Elijah is another model for what it is like to be a prophet in the marketplace. He trusted God and he allowed Him to provide for everything he needed. He could do away with the comforts of his everyday life because he had God. Elijah also witnessed the power of God when he was fed by the ravens and drank from the brook (1 Kings 17:6). Ravens are selfish creatures, and being so, it is not in their nature to share with other animals, much less bring humans food. God commanded the ravens to do so, and they obeyed.

Why did God allow the brook to dry up (1 Kings 17:7) and stop the ravens from bringing him food? God wants us to depend on him. God’s provision in the city was also displayed through the help of a widow when the brook dried up. The Lord instructed Elijah to go and stay in Zarephath, where a widow would feed him (1 Kings 17). God wants us to depend on him alone. Maybe Elijah became complacent with his bird food delivery service. He changed up the mode of provision, so that Elijah knew that he must depend on God alone. When we have nothing, we realize completely that only God can provide for us. It is in this empty space that we can access the abundance of God.

Elijah stood up for pure worship. During his time, idolatry was rampant. Elijah’s challenge to the false prophet of Baal was intended to prove that God is the One True God. He challenged them to choose one bull for themselves, and call upon the name of their gods, but put no fire under it. They called and called upon their god, but “there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded” (1 Kings 18:29 KJV).

When it was Elijah’s turn, when everything was ready for the sacrifice, he said a prayer which expressed Elijah’s priorities. First, he wanted it known that God, not Baal, was the true God of Israel. Second, he wanted everyone to know that his role was that of God’s servant. All glory and credit should go to God. Finally, he showed that he still cared for the people. He was eager for them to turn “their heart back” (1 Kings 18:37) to the Lord.  Despite all the misery that they had caused on themselves because of their faithlessness, Elijah still had compassion on them. Fire immediately fell and consumed the entire altar, even the water in the trench (1 Kings 18:38).  In a similar way, we can manifest the same humility and love for others, in the name of the Lord.

Based on the story of Elijah, we are shown a picture of what it means to be a prophet in the marketplace. Elijah was not afraid of the prophets of Baal, no matter how many they were in number. He did not hold a grudge in his heart against the people of Israel. Instead, he gave back all the glory to God and he exhibited God’s love in his prayer. At the end of the day, the purpose of the prophet in the marketplace is to glorify God.

If God comes to people who have nothing but room for God, then it is this empty space that serves as the space where the social gospel is distinguished and created. People are unworthy of Jesus’ love. Paul said that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nevertheless, God made us recipients of His unconditional love. Accordingly, the social gospel is our response to God’s boundless love.

The Book of the Month Club is a powerful group that equips you to grow in the Lord, and to catch the spirit of prophecy. Membership to this club also gives you access to Prophecology 2018: Birthing House – The Latter Rain, this February 23-25, 2018. Do not miss out on this anointed time.

Go and join the club now!

What are of your life right is INDEPENDENT of God?

Accountability for your social environment

You have the power to influence the situation, relationships, and things you want to experience in your life, because God placed you there. You can decide what you want in your life and out of your life. All these start from taking a stand to be accountable for your generation and for your people.

You have been accountable for the very situation you are in right now. Being accountable is not a conclusion from past observations; it’s a stand, a declaration you make for yourself so you can take responsibility and accountability for your thoughts, words, actions, and circumstances.

Rebekah held herself accountable for her son. She unknowingly worked for the Lord. She stood in the gap for Jacob. Even if Jacob’s early life may have been enveloped by deceit, Rebekah’s example shows that as you stand accountable for your life and for the people around you, the future will be entirely different. God had different plans for Jacob. He even changed Jacob’s name to Israel in a personal encounter with him.

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game, and prepare for me savory food to eat, that I may bless you before the Lord before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. Go to the flock, and get me two choice kids, so that I may prepare from them savory food for your father, such as he likes; 10 and you shall take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11 But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my word, and go, get them for me.”

(Genesis 27:5-13, NRSV)

Rebekah interceded for her son’s future. She took a stand to be accountable for something that was bigger than her. Similarly, if we take a step back and see the bigger picture, we will see how God’s hand orchestrated Israel’s destiny and Rebekah was indeed someone He used for His purpose.

Many believers cry out that they are in lack. They believe they are the ones who need help. They complain that they cannot make both ends meet. They call out to God and ask Him why He does not provide like He said He would.  But if you think about it, God has already provided. God has given them the ability to produce wealth (Deut. 8:18), yet they live in lack.

The underlying reason behind this is that they do not associate this God-given power to themselves. They refuse to contribute. They reject their part in society and focus only on their own needs. They insist on not being able to produce wealth with a poverty mentality.

 

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

 

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Who is someone God is calling you to intercede for?

HALL OF FAITH

Your commitment to something bigger is rooted to your faith. At the end of the day, prophets need to have faith. Considering the ancient prophets in Israel, if they did not have a personal relationship with God, they would not have been able to place everything on the line and preach His message.

In Hebrews, we see people who belong to what we can call the “Hall of Faith.” These believers believed God for something that was beyond their limited capacities. They stepped out in faith. They committed themselves to something that was bigger than them. The passage below may be lengthy, but it details account after account about how people who took a stand for faith were able to receive their breakthroughs.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.

(Hebrews 11:4-11 NRSV)

Each one of these prophetic leaders operated by faith in the marketplace. They all understood the limitations of their flesh. Nevertheless, they were able to “see” a future that was different from their present and past experiences for their nation. They believed for social breakthroughs that were bigger than their own capabilities. They were sure of things that they hoped for, even if people in their community doubted. They had the conviction for things that were unseen.

The Book of the Month Club is a powerful group that equips you to grow in the Lord, and to catch the spirit of prophecy. Membership to this club also gives you access to Prophecology 2018: Birthing House – The Latter Rain, this February 23-25, 2018. Do not miss out on this anointed time.

Go and join the club now!

 

What is the FUTURE God is letting you SEE that is DIFFERENT from what you are seeing in the PRESENT?

THE DEATH OF BEAUTY IN INDUSTRIALIZATION

According to Walter Rauschenbusch, “Human labor beautifies nature.” How could one disagree? Nature in itself possessed a particular divine beauty; however, when man tills the ground God gave him, the land itself becomes uniquely fertile and produces life. God gives man grain; man harvests this grain and, with his labor, he produces bread. God gives man grapes; man harvests these grapes and, with his labor, he produces wine. The institution of the Lord’s Supper by our Lord utilized both bread and wine, representing the role of humanity in laboring to beautify the nature which God so ordered (see Matt. 26:26-29).

The Bible extensively promotes the belief that mankind should labor to further beautify the Lord’s creation. In fact, Paul says, “Anyone unwilling to work should not eat” (II Thess. 3:10 NRSV). This command understands handicap and incapability, but as a rule of general equity, keeping it in mind is important. The gospel, though it offers peace and freedom transcending all understanding, is one of divine labor. In ancient times, the serfs, laity, and peasants had lifestyles which were predominately agricultural in nature. Likewise, many of the ancient Hebrews were farmers. However, food was not as plentiful then as it is now, as there were no vast grocery stores and food one took was locally grown and sourced. Besides that, the weather was the artificer of good crops, water was derived from a common well, and famine meant certain death. The ancient Hebrews had a culture which thrived due to its reliance on the earth. This is seen further in the imagery of Israel being fed by rain from the heavens and the phenomenon of grapes growing so large that two men are required in order to bring them back home (Deut. 11:11; Num. 13:23).

The industrialization of the world has brought an end to the beautifying aspect of agrarian work. It has also ushered into the world a fast-paced, never-ending stream of constant labor without producing any meaningful offering back to God. In the world of industrialization, God gives man grain, but man consumes it only to demand more.

Industrialization is not a real friend of divine beauty. “If profit beckons,” writes Rauschenbusch, “the beauties of nature are blotted out without remorse. If profit beckons, art is used, but only to be soiled somewhat. For the real development of beauty, we need communities that have wealth of their own, a great public with leisure and culture enough to enjoy art, and a working class with leisure and vitality enough to develop the artistic talent in gifted individuals.”

Rauschenbusch therefore proposes a solution that is fairly simple: we must relocate the value which we, as humans, attribute to the industrial world; that is, the business and fast-paced style of commercialism must be countered by an authentic community-building by the Christian people. Our wealth as a people cannot be defined by corporations and manmade institutions, or else we will ultimately fail to be spiritually satisfied. Quite the opposite! As Christians, we must unite and create communities which, although they exist in the modern world, possess God’s authentic and divine beauty.

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

1) Call 515-604-9266

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What is your role in creating a world of authentic and divine beauty in the modern world?

GOD’S SUPREMACY OVER THE WORLD IN THE PLAGUES

In Exodus, God calls both Moses and Aaron for divine work. He ordains Moses into the prophetic office and commands him to go before the Pharaoh of Egypt with Aaron, who would eventually become the first High Priest over Israel. God then commands the two to beseech Pharaoh to release the Israelites from captivity. Of course, Pharaoh does not comply until the tenth and most extreme sign from God sends him into (temporary) submission. The iconic Ten Plagues of Egypt exemplify that God, who has supremacy over and ownership of the world, can supernaturally rearrange the elements of the universe to perform His will.

The first of these ten plagues is the conversion of the water of the Nile River into blood. God commands Moses to “take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over its rivers, its canals, and its ponds, and its pools of water—so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt” (Ex. 7:19 NRSV). If God did not have any true or meaningful ownership of the world, He would have certainly been incapable of causing this miracle through Moses.

The second, third, and fourth plagues contained a swarm of frogs, gnats, and flies, respectively (Ex. 8:1-32). Yet, each time, the Pharaoh would agree to let the Hebrew people leave Egypt, but he would change his mind or go back on his word, hence causing the next plague to spread over the land. The fifth plague was a massacre of the Egyptian livestock, but interestingly, the Hebrew livestock were not touched (9:1-7). After this, God ushered in the sixth plague: boils. He commanded Moses and Aaron to “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw it in the air in the sight of Pharaoh. It shall become fine dust all over the land of Egypt, and shall cause festering boils on humans and animals throughout the whole land of Egypt” (9:8-9). When Pharaoh continued to refuse to follow the Hebrew god, the seventh plague—thunder and hail–reigned upon the people, and the divine words Moses conveyed were scathing: “For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But this is why I have let you live: to show my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth” (9:15).

In this message from God, the reader sees the Lord’s power over His creations. This furthers the argument that the earth is God’s. Furthermore, God’s power over us reveals His ownership of our persons and His righteous dealing with us thereof. Had God wished, he could have struck Pharaoh with death within a mere moment; yet, this was not His will. His will desired to express His omnipotent ownership over the earth and the futility of men in their pursuit to rule over it.

The eighth plague against the Egyptians was a swarm of locusts, which “shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They shall devour the last remnant left you after the hail, and they shall devour every tree of yours that grows in the field” (Ex. 10:5 NRSV). God’s power in this plague again reveals his providence over the creeping things of the earth.

The ninth plague is a plague of supernatural darkness. God owns not only this world, but even the planets in our solar system, our sun, our moon. He is also able to cease the rotation of the earth supernaturally. The entire universe belongs to God and God alone.

The tenth plague first comes with a warning. Moses beseeched Pharaoh to relent telling him of the future massacre of the firstborn Egyptians. Nevertheless, because of his hardened heart, Pharaoh refused to submit to God’s authority, making the plague stay. Because of this, “At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon… and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.” (Ex. 12:29-30).

In the story of Moses and Aaron, God exemplifies through those whom He calls His divine ownership of the earth and His providence over the natural workings of the universe. If we want to imitate Moses and Aaron in their godliness, we must also warn those who refuse to acknowledge God’s supreme ownership over the world when judgment comes near. Also, we need to remember that God requires rulers to subject themselves to His rule. Therefore, let us avoid becoming like Pharaoh, who thought that he had possessed more authority than God over the earth. Pharaoh also hardened his heart because of his foolish thinking.

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How are you being like the Pharaoh, possessing more power than the Lord over the earth?

PETER AND JOHN AS THE SALT AND THE LIGHT

Acts 3, Peter and John were on their way to the temple one afternoon when they healed a man who had been unable to walk since birth. When this man saw Peter and John, he asked them for money or some form of aid. “Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ [The lame man] fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:4-8 NRSV).

The story typifies Peter and John as carrying out the ministry of being the salt and light in the earth. Peter’s boldness is assuredly a sign of the boldness Christ’s light possessed. After healing this lame man, Peter addressed the people around the portico of the temple. He said, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected… but you rejected the holy and righteous one and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.” (3:12-16 NRSV).

Note how Peter immediately directs people’s attention to Christ. He provided an immediate disclaimer that the wondrous workings which functioned through Him were not his but were rooted in the person of Jesus Christ. With this bold statement, Peter proceeded to preach to the people around the temple about the divinity of Jesus Christ. He also laid down the foundation for the gospel. One can only imagine the amount of courage required of the apostles to express such boldness. But this boldness was not of their own merit; it was a natural side effect of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that is, by obtaining the light of Christ.

Peter and John are perfect examples of what the Church must revert to. Being the salt and light of the more is as crucial today as it was during their ministry, if not even more crucial due to the rise of a post-Christian environment. Christianity must reclaim the light of Christ as exemplified in Peter and John, or else we face dire times ahead. Nominalism is a cancerous welt on the Church, and the only way to cure it is repentance and sympathy for the poor and down-trodden.

See how the entire narrative above revolves around the care which Peter and John expressed for the needy man. The man begged Peter and John for alms. In response, the two did not forsake or ignore the man; instead, they “looked intently at him.” The apostles were intentionally poor, hence possessed almost nothing. Yet, their inadequacy did not hinder them from giving what they had to the poor and needy. They gave him a twofold gift which must have transcended his expectation: feet and faith.

Truly, miracles occur when we are in accordance with God’s will and when we fulfill our role as prophets in the marketplace. When we fulfill Christ’s heed that we be the salt and light in the world, we succeed in fulfilling our role as his followers. Moreover, we are able to love God truly along with those around us. Retaining our saltiness still matters, and raising our candle which contains the light of Christ is eternally valuable. There is never a reason to not love our neighbor.

In the following chapter, Peter and John are arrested by the Jewish authorities while proclaiming the gospel in the portico. However, it is written that “many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand” (Acts 4:1-4). A long and dramatic council is conducted due to the preaching of the gospel by Peter and John, who were ordered to cease their evangelization. The apostles refused; eventually, they were released as they could not be punished because of their success among the people (4:18-22).

After this event, Peter and John “went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them,” (v.23). When the believers heard the news of these things, they praised God “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” (v.31). An important detail in this narrative is the fact that the boldness contained within Christ’s light is contagious.

Imagine that you are in a room filled with men holding unlit candles. Initially, the room is dark because there is no flame to illuminate the room. However, picture another man with a match entering the room and lighting a single candle. There is now slightly more illumination, but the room is not yet completely alit. But the man whose candle is lit is now able to see and contains the light the man with the match originally possessed. He is able to offer this light to the other men with unlit candles around him. By lighting the candles of others, he mimics the work of the man with the match, until eventually, the entire room is alit and everyone can see the beautiful room clearly. Paul supports this understanding, saying  “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (I Cor. 13:12 KJV). In this manner, Christ’s light and the ministry of the salt and light thereof are collectively contagious.

The points raised in this chapter suggest that the Christian laity must awaken and hasten to do the work of God, including fulfilling their duty to be the salt and light in the world. Such a ministry is crucial to the life of the Church because of its nature of preservation and illumination. If we wish to see God’s face clearly and preserve the teaching and practice of apostolic Christianity, then we must retain this ministry of being the salt and light in the world, emulating our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the divine artificer of the salt and light of the world.

 

 

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