“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17).
If you have decided to take the bold step of following Jesus and accepting Him as your Saviour and the Lord of your life, you have made a very wise decision indeed. You have, figuratively speaking, traded a piece of coal for a barrel of gold!!! In an instant, you have crossed from the path of certain death to life…everlasting life (John 5:24). Your spirit has been reborn, and in time, as you abide in Christ, you will mature in righteousness, to accomplish the purposes that God ordained for you to do and bear much fruit (Eph 2:10, John 15:4).
I want to welcome you to a whole new realm of power, made possible by the blood of Jesus Christ. Let me share with you seven secrets of the Kingdom, which are not really secrets, since they are written clearly for all to see in the Bible. However, these truths are not really taught universally by the Church today, if at all.
1. YOU ARE GREATER THAN THE PROPHETS
“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matt 11:11).
Are you surprised at what Jesus said here? In plain English, Jesus is saying that you and I, who are part of the Kingdom of God are greater than John the Baptist and all the prophets that came before him. Yes, including Moses, and Elijah and Samuel. Yes, even David! Jesus said it, it wasn’t me. You may need to spend some time meditating on this truth, this reality of who you are in Christ. You have been given a very costly heritage, paid for by the blood of Jesus – that you may be called a child of God (1 John 3:1). And with great power, comes great responsibility.
Jesus also taught us that we will do greater things than He (John 14:12)! Wow! All that is holding us back is faith. He said that faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain from its position (Matt 17:20). Unfortunately, I haven’t see that happen yet… I do know a Prophet who stopped the Sun from moving (Josh 10:13), and another who stopped rain from falling (1 King 17-18)… However, I don’t believe Jesus gave us this endowment to play around with the natural elements, but to defeat spiritual powers. By the word He has hidden in our hearts, we can minister to others, and deliver them from condemnation and the powers of the enemy (Eph 6:12), just as we have been delivered and born again by the word of God (1 Pet 1:23-25)!
2. YOU ARE A KING/QUEEN AND A PRIEST
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…” (1 Pet 2:9).
Our Brother, Peter, is sharing with us another profound truth. He reveals through his epistle our authority in Christ, over the physical, as royalty, and over the spiritual, as Priests of the Most High. There are two things you should know about Kings and Priests. They have official duties and assignments and they are also the receivers of taxes, tithes, offerings and gifts. The latter they receive as their due benefits for their exercise of the former (1 Cor 9:11). Though the King has the right to use and share his wealth as he sees fit, and the Priest has power to call on God on behalf of others, the King is not required to pay taxes, neither is the Priest obligated to pay tithes!
As Christians, all we have is from God…as we have freely received, we are also commanded to freely give (Matt 10:8). We are much like the Levites in that we are a holy nation of Priests, set apart for God! They had no inheritance among the nation of Israel, but were dedicated to God (who was their inheritance as He is ours). They did not pay tithes, but the tithes that were given was what they were expected to live on! Likewise, as children of the King of kings and ministers of the gospel, we do not owe God taxes nor tithes (Matt 17:24-27). And we are not to demand taxes, tithes, offerings nor gifts, but receive with gladness what God puts on the hearts of others to share with us…and of that same portion, we must help the poor and share with others too – always trusting in God’s bountiful provision (Luke 6:38, Prov 11:24, Phil 4:19)!
3. YOU AND ALL YOU HAVE BELONG TO GOD
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).
Common wealth is another key characteristic of true Christianity. The early believers took literally the words of Jesus in Luke 12:33, to sell their belongings and give to the poor. It is said concerning them that “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:34-35). Many would argue that it would be impractical for Christians to follow in this example and take Jesus literally today. However, I am sure many of them who heard the gospel in the beginning, thought it was impractical too. Consider Ananias and Sapphira!
Our Brother, James, also enlightens us that divisions arise between us because of our greed and lust for power (Jam 4:1-3). Forsaking all is not something we do once and we’re done, but it is an attitude of humility that must be maintained as we grow in the faith. This is what it means to be “poor in spirit” (Matt 5:3). We should always have the mind that everything we have is God’s and was given to us to be used for the growth of His Kingdom. The Cross that symbolises our faith reminds us continually of the One who had everything, but gave it all up, so we could share in His inheritance. We ought also to daily deny ourselves and carry our own cross with such submissive love (Matt 16:24).
4. YOU HAVE A CROSS TO BEAR
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
This principle runs through Christianity. It is the principle of the Cross, and Jesus was illustrating the need for His sacrifice. Unless He laid down His life, giving Himself as a ransom for many, He would abide alone…but upon His resurrection, He gained all whom He had redeemed with His blood. Jesus taught us that we too must lose our lives in order to save it, but that if we try to preserve it, we will surely lose it (Luke 17:33)! It is indeed the principle that compels one to give their life to Christ (as you have done), so that they may gain it unto eternity. It is also the principle of sowing and reaping in the natural and spiritual realms. If you eat what you ought to invest, you will be poor. But if you invest your wealth, and deny yourself for the moment…you will be duly rewarded. Jesus taught us the best way; by lending to be poor (Matt 6:19-21, Luke 12:33, Luke 16:9, Matt 25:34-40).
By this same principle, we know that we must forsake everything we hold dear in this world – yes, even our family; husband, wife, children, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle etc – surrendering them at the alter of God, that He may give us a greater family. Remember Jesus’ word about His real family when His mother came looking for Him: “And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it” (Luke 8:21). Your family may resist your decision to obey Jesus and put Him first. You may be persecuted by your friends and community for being too radical, but until you put to death every contrary influence to the Spirit of God, you will not be able to bear His fruit.
5. YOU ARE A RIGHTEOUS AMBASSADOR FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim 6:6-7)
Our Brother, Paul, goes on to tell Timothy that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). Many are quick to argue that this translation is incorrect, that the love of money is only A root of all kinds of evil. What that translates to in practice is that money still maintains a place in their hearts. However, if we consider Jesus’ teaching that no man can serve two masters (Matt 6:24)…and consider that He named ‘mammon’, which is money and the things that it buys, as the other competing master to God, you may not be so quick to defend the love of money! It is this love that prevents many of us from forsaking everything at the feet of Jesus (Mark 10:21-22).
We listen to preachers who tell us that we can and should strive to be rich here on Earth, and cite many people who were blessed by God with riches…and by so doing, they teach that worldly riches is a blessing God gives to the righteous. But they fail to realise that our Kingdom is not of this world (Heb 11:13-16, John 18:36)! We are but strangers and pilgrims here (1 Pet 2:11). We are not to build empires…labouring for the food that will surely perish (John 6:27), but instead we are to labour for the souls of men (Mark 1:17). Jesus has commanded that we store up treasure in Heaven, not on Earth (Matt 6:19-21). We are told that this Earth will surely pass away, and that there shall be a new Heaven and a new Earth (Rev 21:1)! That is our inheritance. Let us be content to be godly ambassadors of the Kingdom (2 Cor 5:20), knowing that godliness is its own gain!
6. YOU ARE SEALED IN GOD THROUGH HIS INDWELLING SPIRIT
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:4-6).
Our Brother, Paul, is teaching us something we shouldn’t miss. We, who are born of the Spirit of God, are one. It is the same Spirit that moves through us all to bring us together in unity, to accomplish the will of God on Earth. The one baptism he speaks of here is of the Holy Spirit, which brings unity not division. That is the baptism that everyone who confesses Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will receive as their seal of sonship (Rom 8:9, Rom 8:14-15). This baptism is for a purpose, to empower us to do the work of God (Acts 1:8). Now, the water baptism that John the Baptist initiated was also for a purpose. John tells us the purpose here: “I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel” (John 1:31).
You might recall the story of Peter and the household of Cornelius, when after He had preached to them, the Holy Spirit came on all of them, even before they had been baptised with water. At that time, Peter remembered the words of Christ: “Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Act 11:16). They still continued in this practice because they did not fully understand, until it began to cause divisions among them. That is when Paul said: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (1 Cor 1:17). We also see, that Jesus did not baptise anyone with water (John 4:1-2).
7. YOU ARE FREE INDEED!
“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
I am telling you all these things for your liberty. There is liberty in Christ, not further bondage (2 Cor 3:17). Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt 11:28-30), yet religious minded people seek to ensnare true Believers in more bondage to acts that cannot save them. They are behaving just as the Scribes and Pharisees before them, who though having the truth at hand, refuse to obey Jesus…and hinder others from obeying Him too (Matt 23:13)! They are of the kind that Jesus said: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matt 15:8).
You have been called to be free! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36)! Your freedom is not an occasion to selfishness, but to love (Gal 5:13)… He gave us this commandment: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). The teachings of Jesus and His life of ministry shows us how we are to love others. We ought to follow in His example. When we do so, then we are truly His disciples, and we will come to the knowledge of the truth!
When we follow Jesus, when we know Jesus, when we know who we are in Christ, when we know what He has done for us, when we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we cannot be taken by any contrary power!!! Do not let any man or woman tell you that you still need to be delivered, when you have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ! Jesus said “it is finished” (John 19:30)! On the Cross where He was crucified, He took upon Himself, in addition to our sins, every curse against us and broke their power over us (Gal 3:13). He also took away your condemnation and guilt and stopped the accusations of the enemy against you (Rom 8:1). The enemy cannot even touch you! I wrote more about this in my post: Why are some Christians afraid of curses?
However, there is a war to be waged; we wage spiritual war for the lost, who are still under the grip of the enemy… Jesus said the harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few (Luke 10:2)! It is as true now as it was then, never mind the great multitude of self-professing Christians. You are commissioned to enter the field, RIGHT NOW (John 4:35, Matt 28:19-20)! We must also pray for and strengthen the Brethren, who fight alongside us. The truth, the word of God (Eph 6:13-17), is our greatest defense and weapon against the enemy to liberate all his captives!
Finally, Jesus says:
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16).
Let us respond to the call like those who know what is at stake (John 8:24)! Let us live like those who have been bought at a great price (1 Cor 6:20)! Let us act like those who know what great a jewel we possess (Matt 13:45-46)! Jesus is the great treasure that is hid in us (2 Cor 4:7). His Spirit will empower us to shine forth our light and share this pearl of great price with the world – which is truly the greatest thing we can ever do.
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