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Four Types of Evil (Part 3)

Four Types of Evil (Part 3)

The Lecture Hall or the Schools

The next verse says, “But some of them became stubborn. They didn’t want to believe, and they talked badly about the Way in public.” Paul then left them. He took the disciples with him and talked with them every day in Tyrannus’s lecture hall. This went on for two years so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia could hear the word of the Lord. (Acts 19:9–10, added emphasis).

Paul tried for three months to get people in the synagogue to change their minds, but he ended up with a bad reputation. The people in the religious community said terrible things in public about what Paul was teaching. When Paul moved his ministry to the lecture hall of Tyrannus, which was in the education sector, everyone on the subcontinent heard about Jesus.

Tyrannus’s lecture hall was a regular school. It was a private school where the next generation learned how to be leaders in their culture. Paul did not become a teacher at the school; instead, he rented a private room there. But he was able to help students who had a lot of money. How do we know that these students came from money? If you were poor at that time, you didn’t go to school.

Access to the Political and Business Leaders in the Schools

Lecturers taught the next group of political and business leaders in the lecture hall. Affluent families sent their children to school to prepare them for essential lives. Paul was there to teach in a space that he rented. People were paying attention to Paul, and they could hear what he said. After doing this for two years, everyone in Asia listened to what the Lord Jesus had to say because people were coming through the school. They were going back to their own cultures and countries to spread the message that Paul had given them.

When he went to the synagogue for three months, he got only arguments and persuasion. When he went to school, word started to get around. Let’s look at this analysis today in light of our ministry. Does God want you to argue or get caught up in trouble? Or does God want you to make a difference in the world? Does He want you to shape the next generation of leaders?

When you hit a pillar of power and touch it, you start to affect that area. You will meet principalities and powers as this occurs. The term”meet” means you talk to someone face-to-face. I’m not talking about seeing demons or getting rid of them. I’m talking about a fight between the spirit and the flesh.

Wrestling is a fight that is done face-to-face. It is in person. It’s personal and close, and it takes place in an arena. You can’t be on this side of the hall while the enemy is on the other side, and you both shoot at each other. It isn’t wrestling. We have to get in touch with each other and get into the arena.

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four types of Evil

Esther’s

Esther’s Place in the Palace

Esther’s Story

Esther’s rise to power is reminiscent of the fairy tale Cinderella. She was a Jewish orphan and a child of the people who were exiled, but she ended up being elevated to the highest position that any woman could have had in the entire world at that time. She was the Empress of Japan. This was the account of her life. But we can’t just leave it at that. There was no chance involved in her story. This was the story that God told.

There is a providential power at work, and it is directing its own plans by means of the king’s affections. Esther conceals the fact that she is Jewish throughout the entire ordeal, which is a significant factor. In light of the widespread anti-Semitism that pervaded the Persian Empire at the time, Mordecai advised her to carry out the aforementioned action. When Esther finally admitted that she was a Jew, she did so at the utmost crucial and essential moment (Esther 4:6).

Despite the difficulties that Esther has faced throughout her life, she was given a position in the palace. In a later discussion, we will go into further detail regarding Esther’s account. However, Esther was able to save her people because of the position she held in the palace and the fact that she was elevated to the position of queen.

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Esther’s

Excellence-Creates-Your-Influence

Excellence Creates Your Influence

Excellence Creates Your Influence

If you bring value to that field through excellent service in love, you have a right to talk about anything you want to talk about, and they are all going to listen and say, “Yes, please tell me more.” If you storm into your office and say, “Hello, everyone. I’m a Born Again Christian, and it’s about time that somebody heard the word of the Lord up in here,” then you have just made yourself a strong argument against Christianity.   

Are you walking the talk?

Have you ever seen these horrible drivers with a Jesus bumper sticker on their vehicles? There was one time wherein I wanted to stop one guy one time and tell him, “Listen, you can put Satan on the back of your car. Be an adverb for him because you’re not telling me anything about Jesus at all.”  

It’s about understanding a presence you are meant to bring into an industry. That’s the first key to ministry in the marketplace. It’s not a message that you get. Although, we have an important message to plant. You can bring the presence of Christ before you bring the message of Christ. 

Someone said, “I’m going to bring the message.” You say that because you don’t understand covert kingdom operations. You don’t understand that God does not have to be named to be present. He doesn’t have to be announced to arrive. That’s the real message of Esther. Did you know that?  

Esther is the one book in the Bible in the name God doesn’t appear. But God is all over the book because Esther is a covert agent who gives God access to the king’s bedroom. It’s covert and about bringing a presence into a field that establishes your credibility to speak.  

Then, there is Joseph the Dreamer. He brought so much value to the kingdom of Egypt. An archeologist said that they had identified a time, and that seems to match up with the Joseph saga chronologically when Egypt was monotheistic. These are just a few examples that we will go into deeper as we discuss insiders’ accounts in the Bible. 

How can you contribute?

You can add massive value to the people’s lives in your workplace. Once you do this, you can influence a person’s faith. They will be thinking, “You do not add any value to my life. Why do I have to care about you or your faith?” No one cares about why you value your faith until they know how much you care.  

When you approach them without adding value to their lives or showing them that you genuinely care for them, you are just creating a debate about religion. Get out of the business of debating religion.  

If I can feed you and clothe you, I can talk to you. That’s what Jesus did. You see Jesus bringing massive value into people’s lives, and that’s what made His words credible. Without the miracles, who would have listened to Jesus? Think about it. The purpose of the gifts is to give credence to your message. Think about how you are being an Insider to your workplace.  

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Excellence Creates Your Influence

The Purpose of the Insider

The Purpose of the Insider

The Purpose of the Insider

You’re Working for God

God wants an agent. He wants access to that system. He has placed you in this position to intercept, inspire or influence that workplace. There is nothing secular about anything you do. Everything is all sacred in the eyes of God; then, it must be sacred for you too.  

You shift your eyes from your boss or your employer to God. You work for God, not your employer. I am not saying you should bypass or disregard your boss’ authority.  God is the One who has placed these authorities in their positions. You work for God through those authorities. You are always working for God.  

Why are you there?

The Bible reveals to us why there is a need for an “Insider” in the workplace we are in. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus said: “All power is given to me in heaven and in the earth. Go therefore teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, aching them to observe all things whatsoever I’ve told you and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world.” 

This is the Great Commission. These were Jesus’ last words. When someone is dying, the last words they speak are considered important. Jesus commissioned not only those who were present during that time but only the pastors of the local churches. Jesus commissioned every single believer. Yes, that includes you and me. 

Let us zero in on the last part. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world. I am with you always.” Now, why would He say that? Why would He say, “I am with you always? Go into the world, I am with you.” This reveals to us a secret 

 The Insider: 

You are Bringing Jesus Where You Are

Here it is. This is what Jesus is saying. “Wherever you go, I go, and where you are, there I am.” In today’s context, it is like Jesus is saying, “Bus driver, wherever you go, I go, and wherever you are, there I am.”  

Because you are the bus driver, you actually brought Christ into the bus, and also you are a teacher, you actually brought Christ into the classroom. As you work as a doctor, you actually brought Christ into the operating room and the surgery. Because you are a hairdresser, you actually brought Christ into the salon. You bring Christ wherever you go. Jesus was clear about this when he said, “Wherever you go, I go, and wherever you are, there I am.”  

We have always exerted effort to find out where God is. We ask God where we can meet Him. But the answer is plain and simple. He is where we are. God is interested in where you are. Some people are specifically called to go into the nations. The Great Commission is not reserved for them. The Great Commission is for everyone who calls Jesus Lord and Savior. 

 

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The Purpose of the Insider

Spiritual

Bridging the Spiritual and Everyday Life

Bridging the Spiritual and Everyday Life

This blog series creates a bridge between the two worlds—the world of your career and the world of your faith. You will see how you can close the gap between these seemingly distant worlds. Your career becomes full of meaning by closing the gap between your profession and your true purpose in life.  

Spiritual Energy:

Imagine this 

What happens when the alarm clock you dread hearing so much on a weekday becomes an opportunity clock that wakes you up every morning with spiritual energy? What would happen if you woke up to a Monday as if you were waking up on a Sunday? When you are excited to get filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to experience the encouragement of the Lord, how exciting is that? What would happen if you went to work, even if it seemed unrelated to advancing the Kingdom of God loaded with spiritual energy? 

Do you know what would happen? You would stand out in the work atmosphere. There will be this energy surrounding you that will bless the people around you and your workplace. You would bring a presence with you into this unfamiliar space.   

Instead of being late because you are simply dragging yourself to work and having a negative attitude towards everybody, you will come on time. You will have the cheerful disposition you usually only exhibit in church. People would notice this change within you, and they would say there’s something different about you. You would look at the tasks you can accomplish and complete them with a renewed sense of energy and passion.  

Game-changer

Your employers will notice. You will stand out from the rest of the workforce who come to work with the same tired energy you used to have. Employers are looking for people with a sense of spiritual energy. It’s going to set you apart from all the other candidates. These other employees may have stellar qualifications but no sense of spirituality. When a person can bring spirituality into their profession, it’s an asset to an organization; it’s an asset to a team. It’s an asset to the industry to have that energy flowing through it. 

When your profession becomes full of purpose, you will stand out in whatever field. Whether you are a business owner, working in business, government, or public service—whatever you are doing, it will change your stride when you are full of purpose.  

Yes, I want this… but how do I do this?

While this sounds nice and exciting, the real question here is, how do we do this? How do we sustain this? In what way do you keep the spiritual energy from running out when the traffic jam going to work will make you lose the fruit of the spirit that you have asked the Lord to give you last Sunday? Could you sustain this energy when your client makes crazy demands on an even crazier deadline?  

How do you do it when your boss is being the biggest jerk? How about when your colleagues take all the credit for all the overtime work you have been doing? How do you do it when the pressure is mounting on? 

In this blog series, we will study the lives of different individuals from the bible who, like you, did not have full-time jobs in church ministry. Nevertheless, their careers were seemingly unrelated to advancing the Kingdom of God, but the Lord used them mightily for that purpose. 

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Free Prophecy for Everyone

Spiritual

Learning To Grow Small Things Grow in 2022

Learning To Grow Small Things Grow in 2022:

Discipleship Themes

how to Grow Small Things

There are several key discipleship themes from the work of Jesus and through his disciples that we can learn from. The first is that Jesus intentionally identified his key persons. He had 12 close disciples and had an intimate relationship with them. Jesus did not remove any one of them nor look for better ones. Jesus knew each one of these men, who in turn devoted their lives to him.

These were his people, for better or worse, Judas Iscariot included. Jesus is rarely found without his friends. Jesus and the 12 are always together on ministry trips. He was also invited to family gatherings, religious events, and holiday parties of his friends.  

When the Messiah ate and drank with the people, probably his favorite way of fellowship. He ate with everyone, like the Pharisees, tax collectors, prostitutes, children, and even with many people, but he always included his closest 12 followers with his meals. Jesus lived on a mission with the people. His mission was to be with the disciples and form a missional relationship through them.  

As Jesus roamed around to teach and to heal, he was in communion with others and enabling them to do likewise. Reaching out to the community should not only be an option in the work of discipleship. Linneman concluded that small groups are influential if it is patterned with the life and ministry of Christ that is positioned towards life-giving experience and the life-changing power of God.

 

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Free Prophecy for Everyone

Learning To Grow Small Things Grow in 2022

The DNA of the Small Groups

The DNA of the Small Groups:

Instead of asking for new small group strategies that are working well, a discipleship pastor or leader should first determine the DNA of the small groups in their church.

Rather than going for effective discipleship curriculums, a pastor or any leader must be first grounded. Pastors must align themselves to God’s calling for their church’s small groups.  

Small group leaders take shortcuts to successful small groups, and they copy and apply another church’s model for discipleship. The problem with this is that they do not take into account their own church’s unique fundamentals.

Every church is different, and this is okay. We should celebrate this difference since other churches can do different things to reach different people.

The discipleship system of simplicity is firmly grounded with the basics and the fundamentals of discipleship.

Sometimes, even the most basic question, “What is a Disciple?” becomes a complicated question to answer. It’s about creating a simple, duplicable discipleship pathway for the church community. 

In whatever language we have, discipleship remains the core designated task for the church, as we call it the Great Commission.  

And Jesus came and said to them,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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The DNA of the Small Groups

An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

Jesus showed us how to do church and small groups

Jesus modeled discipleship in a very personal and relational way without any sign of complexity. The Messiah called each disciple through a personal invitation. He only used simple words that opened the doors to a transformed life to everyone whom he invited.  

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him

 “Follow Me” are two simple words that are very clear and personal. Jesus did not say, “come to me and follow me only if you do this thing or if you know that doctrine.” He did not invite people to come and join his causes or the principles he believed in. Rather, Jesus said, “Follow ‘Me.’” Jesus called out his first disciples to a relationship with him. This simple invitation of Jesus should remain the same for all generations.  

21st Century Church

Discipleship in the 21st Century should follow the way Jesus modeled it. It must first and foremost begin with a clear and compelling invitation. Moreover, there is something more to discipleship than just the invitation. Phil Stevenson describes the invitation of Jesus as clear, consistent, and challenging.  

When Jesus invited Peter and Andrew, they left their nets at once and immediately followed Jesus. They had to let go of what they already had to discover what could be there in Jesus. In contrast, Jesus extended the same invitation to a wealthy man who had so many possessions to let go of, so he responded to the invitation by holding on to what he owns and knows at the expense of living the unknown with Jesus.

As it was in the 1st Century, so it is in the 21st Century; Jesus is inviting us to respond to the opportunity extended by Jesus to follow him. Those who respond set out on the path of discipleship, following the way Jesus modeled it to them.    

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An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

why the megachurch is criticized

Why The Megachurch is Criticized

The Risk of Disengagement

Despite these efforts, the megachurch has been constantly criticized for the sheer number of attendees per service would mean that there will be people who won’t get engaged or given enough attention.

Additionally, the setup of the worship service with a high stage and a large number of congregants can give off the impression of a concert.

Consequently, the attendees are mere spectators and faces in a crowd. Thousands more choose to attend for the thousands of people who choose to commit to the megachurch and get involved. They do so simply because they get to live in some anonymity. They cannot do that if they join a smaller church.

A large number of attendees attend each service. Therefore, some locations can host more than 5,000 people at a time. The multiple services run each weekend.

The majority of the people are scrambling out of the venue even before the service has ended. There isn’t really time to talk with friends afterward, nor can people loiter inside the hall because everyone has to be cleared out, and the room must be re-done completely within 15 minutes.

 Some consider megachurches’ worship time as mere experiential performances. Similar to rock concerts, the music team leads worship with fog machines and synchronized lights.

We are guilty of pointing a lot of fingers in the way of megachurches for their strict programs. The traditional churches would claim that these megachurches leave no room for the Holy Spirit.

Moreover,  they would accuse the megachurch of the “specularization” of something that is supposed to be sacred.

Is it too personality-driven?

A harsher criticism is that megachurches follow a largely questionable ideology. 

For instance,  megachurches are largely leader-driven, with one specific point person that most churches look up to.

This can be the senior pastor or the president of an organization of ministries. But while this leader is almost certainly of ministerial position, this leader is a minister who cannot attend to everything. Most attendees have probably never met the leader in person.

The purpose then of the leader is to embody a vision and get the members to act on this. The criticism for Christian celebrities is present. It adds to the seemingly impersonal setup of megachurch services. 

Opening Doors for More People

At the end of the day, megachurches have done their part in making ministries and discipleship available for all who attend. To balance out the distance between the senior minister and the general attendee, they have employed small groups, also known as Bible studies, care groups, or fellowship groups.

As a solution to the increasing number of attendees, the megachurch has chosen to empower its leaders and allow them the authority to shepherd and disciple their communities within these groups. In this context, they really get to build relationships with each other and discuss their personal problems, along with Biblical truths. Those who attend small groups are active members. Most megachurches make it a foundational requirement for volunteers and leaders. In this scenario, the small group leader then takes on the role of being a minister to his or her members.  

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A Commandment for Generations

“The destiny of future generations depends on our action today.”

Sunday Adelaja

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,

Exodus 20:5 NRSV

Number 15 opens up shortly after Israel’s defeat at Kadesh-Barnea. This failure shows that the people have not learned how to trust and obey (Num. 14). The Lord rejected the older generation and started a clean slate with the younger ones. On the other hand, God had a different message — a word of encouragement — for the younger generation: “You are going to enter the land I am giving you as a home” (Num. 15:1).

This younger generation faced 38 years of wandering, but the Lord guaranteed that they would enter the Promised Land and claim their inheritance. The children suffered because of the sins of their fathers. Their fathers did not believe and obey the Lord, and as a consequence, the blessing was delayed, even for the younger generation. It shows us that when we disobey God, even in withholding our tithes and offering, we are not only causing trouble upon ourselves but for the next generations.

It shows us that when we disobey God, even in withholding our tithes and offering, we are not only causing trouble upon ourselves but for the next generations.

The older generation of Israelites repeatedly refused to submit to God’s authority, and to the authority of God’s appointed leaders. In the present day, these are our spiritual fathers — the pastors and the church elders. Believers commit the same mistake. We see divided churches, dysfunctional families, and rebellious people judging and wandering away from the church, and never accomplishing much in the work of the Lord.

The thing is this, and we need to get it so as not to suffer the faith of the older generation of Israelites —  Unless we submit to God’s Word and His appointed leaders (Heb. 13:7-9,17), we cannot successfully claim our inheritance in Christ (Eph. 2:10), and do the work God set for us to do.

When it comes to the offering, when you fail to bring in your târumah because you don’t want it to go to your pastor, instead of keeping your wealth, you would lose it. It’s because you lose the blessing and the chance to step into your promised land because you willfully dishonored God and His appointed leaders.

The younger generation can only enjoy the blessings of entering the Promised Land if they obeyed God. It’s the same standard for them, as it was with their parents. Moses gave them four special instructions that the believers today would benefit from if they obeyed them.

First, please the Lord (Num. 15:1-21). When they do enter the Promised Land, they were to offer to the Lord. The offerings were designed to please the Lord. The sacrifices discussed in these verses were spontaneous expressions of love and gratitude to the Lord. Along with these sacrifices, the worshipper was instructed to offer two quarts of fine flour with about a quart of oil, a portion of which was given on the altar, while the rest are given to the priest.

The younger generation must heed this command to make an offering and give it to the priest in order to please the Lord.

When larger animals were sacrificed, the amounts of the meal, oil, and wine were increased proportionately. The offering to the priest was dependent on the tithe that was initially given to the altar.

Take note of this interesting point. The Jews would not become agricultural people unless they settled in the promised land, and cultivated vineyards, olive trees, and fields of grain. The Lord was already assuring them of the provision for the offering they would make. The Israelites have not even stepped into the Promised Land yet, the Lord already gave instructions for the offering. It means He is also assuring that they would be provided for in the land. God would not ask you to offer anything He has not given you.

The Israelites have not even stepped into the Promised Land yet, the Lord already gave instructions for the offering. It means He is also assuring that they would be provided for in the land.

 

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RESTITUTION

THE LEGAL RIGHT TO RECEIVE RESTITUTION

THE LEGAL RIGHT TO RECEIVE RESTITUTION:

Priests had a legal right to receive restitution. When it comes to this restitution payment in the Numbers 5 passage, it is an additional payment on top of their ram of atonement offering.

The ram offering is given to the injured party or his relatives. However, if the injured party died and has no near relative, the restitution is given to the priest. The restitution is in addition to the sacrificial ram that the priest performs a purification ritual for.

It’s not to add to what Jesus did on the cross. However, additional restitution is to make amends for something one has done to contribute to the liveliness of the priests.

In the modern-day, the blood of Jesus Christ is enough restitution for our sins.

However, as in Number 5, the penalty to be paid is in addition to the sacrificial lamb of Christ. It’s not to add to what Jesus did on the cross. However, additional restitution is to make amends for something one has done to contribute to the liveliness of the priests.

Numbers 5:9-10 underscore that the priests play a vital role in reestablishing the ceremonial purity of the people. In this way, the livelihood of the priests is also upheld. In the verse, special offerings to the Lord belong to the priest. Târumah or offering is translated as a gift or donation that goes to the priest. Holy things are holy in the sense that they are offered to the Lord. When they are offered to the Lord, they go to the priest for their provision and portion.

When they are offered to the Lord, they go to the priest for their provision and portion.

The Hebrew practice is this: “When someone makes an offering to the Lord, he hands it over to the priest. Whatever someone gives to a priest belongs to the priest.”

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RESTITUTION

spirit of prophecy

DISTINGUISHING THE “SPIRIT OF PROPHECY” LEVEL

The SPIRIT OF PROPHECY is poured out upon believers in the church to testify about Jesus Christ, which is true even today. For this reason, the Bible says that we may all prophesy (1Cor.14:31).

The power of the prophetic still exists today; It did not die when the last apostle died as some would claim.

One cannot go to the deepest end, without stepping into this level first.

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