Posts Tagged ‘Lk 24:49’

Advancing in the Nations

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”  (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was an Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate authority for Kingdom Advancement. The oupouring of the Holy Spirit was the release of power that would accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual power working together there would be no spiritual progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it; the Church is a triumphant people fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King - Jesus. Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for fulfilling our call and reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah says it like this: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel said: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter adds to Joel’s words: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note - prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  • Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  • Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  • Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those  who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  • Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  • Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Desiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of truimph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • “…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… lay hold of their Desiny!

Filled Anew!

Here are a few guidelines to answer the question, “How can I be filled anew with the Holy Spirit?”

Ask & Receive: (Lk. 12:23-32)

Confession & Reflection:

As David… “Lord, search me… try my heart and see if there is wickedness in me!” (Ps. 139:23-24)

As the Early Church… “Lord look upon their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word.” (Acts 4:29)

Let God, the Redeemer and Master of your Soul; go deep into your heart to search you and show you anything… hindering motives, attitudes, sins or failures in your life. Then confess them to God! He is loving and kind and will forgive and renew a right spirit within you. (1 John 1:9-10; Jms. 4:8) Confession will bring cleansing and will restore you to fellowship in His Glory.

Follow up with these next four steps so you will see the patterns that enable you to stay filled… Never be “empty” again!

1) Renounce the deeds of darkness:

Renounce anything of darkness; any sins or bad habits or false loves, selfish ambitions, and evil desires:
Romans 6:11-13; Col 3:5, 8

2) Make restitution for transgressions against others:

If you have done wrong, make it right if at all possible… as soon as possible!

  • Mend broken relationships
  • Repay what you owe
  • Apologize if you have offended (Mt. 5:23-24)
  • Forgive quickly – those who have done wrong to you (Mt. 6:12)

3) Walk humble, surrendered and yielded to the Holy Spirit:

Surrender everything you have and are to the Savior – Jesus is the Lord of your life!

  • Give every part of your body and every area of your life to Him – Become a living sacrifice! (Rom. 12:1-2)
  • Recognize and meditate upon whose you are – Establishing your identity in Christ! (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
  • Find you purpose in fellowship with the Holy Spirit! (Jn. 16:7-15)

4) Walk in faith, by faith & with faith:

Move ahead, trusting the Father to enable you to live for His purpose and in His Glory. (2 Cor. 4:6 & 5:7) (Gal. 2:20 & 5:6) (Eph. 1:17-23 & 5:8-10)

Wait upon the Lord as the first order of your life: (Acts 13:2)

When we are refilled, the work of the Holy Spirit will go deeper in our lives, taking us forward in the light and life of God (Col. 1:9-(1 Jn. 1:5-7). It must be emphasized that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is not given just for the sake of our experience… but to advance God’s Kingdom in the Earth! The Spirit fills us so that our lives might be effective and compelling evidence for His Glorious Name! When we are filled, we may or may not have strong feelings inside, but we will become His witnesses in our environment (Acts 1:8). Sometimes there may be little feeling at all – only a sense of trusting the Master as Lord… but there may be a great sense of relief, renewal and joy (1 Pe. 1:6-8). Some believers have an indescribable experience in the Spirit, overpowering and flooding them from head to toe. Others find the peace of God increasing as they move forward believing and trusting in the anointing God has promised in His Word. But, what we must recognize… it is always a faith activity that releases fruitfulness and power beyond our natural ability; and strengthens the inner man!

  • The filling of the Spirit usually produces a deep sense of embrace, followed by a spirit of praise! (Heb. 13:15)
  • It rekindles our love for God as “Father” and gives us a deep compulsion to tell people of our Savior’s love! (Acts 4:20)
  • As we walk in the Spirit, the evidence of the Spirit’s work will be seen in our lives! (2 Cor. 3:1-3)

Remind yourself… being filled with the Holy Spirit is the Command of God! (Lk. 24:49) (Eph. 5:15-18)

Covenant Resources

(Ps. 103:1-5) Bless the Lord, oh my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

  1. Who forgives all your iniquities,
  2. Who heals all your diseases,
  3. Who redeems your life from destruction,
  4. Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,
  5. Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

My Heavenly Father renews my spirit (Eph 3:16). He offers resources, benefits and inheritance that strengthen my confidence and encourage my walk of faith. Each one of His benefits are promises to meet the need and teach me of His power and His Glory. Along the pages of my Bible; you’ll find written and dated Covenant principles that remind me of His provision for me. They are truths that will not fail!

  • He Forgives: (Isaiah 1:18)

Jesus tells us of the Father’s agreement through the blood of His own Son. A Covenant of Forgiveness and Grace. “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Mt. 26:28).

  • He Heals: (Isaiah 53:5)

I love the way Jesus fulfills His Father’s will and establishes the truth for our provision at the same time. “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Mt. 8:16-17)

  • He Redeems: (Psalm 34:22)

Jesus declares us - righteous by faith (Rom. 3:21-24)! A reality that cannot be accomplished by our own efforts is made available through a free gift. Because we take refuge in the promises of God, there is a fellowship in the Holy Spirit that enables me to be free from the grip of sin. I am free to live in the destiny God has for me. Redemption allows me to watch as God restores the brokenness and fears of the past.

  • He Crowns: (Psalm 8:5)

The word crown can also be translated “clothed” and we see that Jesus tells His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed in power from on high (Lk. 24:49). Its the Father’s will that His Children be clothed with Glory and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. The benefit of the Father’s Promise (Acts 2:4 & 8) gives us influence over the world’s system and releases supernatural impact right where we live.

  • He Satisfies: (Psalm 23:1)

Jesus makes the evidence of salvation a renewal every morning. He meets with me and satisfies my soul as a Good Shepherd leads sheep to pasture. His invitation becomes an abiding rest and empowerment. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood on a high place and shouted, “If anyone thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (Jn 7:37-38).

Disciple Shift

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” – Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” – Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (Jn. 1:47-49)

Although I have been a Christian for over 30 years, I am still coming to terms with what it means to have a Kingdom perspective. It is not a religious worldview. It is the worldview of being a royal son of God. I want to see myself the way Christ saw Nathanael, as a man without guile or deceit, as a true spiritual disciple waiting for the King. I have come to understand that mental barriers are bigger than natural barriers when it comes to stepping out of the shadows of orphan-hood. Jesus has seen us, knows us and is calling us out of the shadows and into the Kingdom of His love and power. It is time to make the “disciple shift” – and truly learn from Him!

A Disciple Called Nathanael:

I love the story of Nathanael (John 1:43-51). In order for Nathanael to follow Jesus, he had to undergo a change of perspective. He had to shift his thinking from a traditional Jewish worldview to the Kingdom perspective that Jesus demonstrated and taught. Yet, not only was Nathanael successful, but he would experience the greatest move of God of all time. He became a passionate disciple of Christ and Apostle in the Early Church. He listened to the teachings and experienced the ministry of Jesus, watched the healing and participated in the miracles. This was the Kingdom of God with power and it was rushing in to sweep him up into a lifelong commitment of fresh perspectives. I believe that Nathanael’s story can be seen as a prophetic picture of where the Church needs to go today… from religious tradition to Kingdom discipleship.

Four Key Shifts:

  1. From Servants to Sons: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (Jn. 1:12)
  2. From Future to Present Kingdom: “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (Jn. 1:45)
  3. From Human Reasoning to Spiritual Reality: ”Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (Jn. 1:46)
  4. From Broken Dreams to Open Heavens: “Nathanael answered and said to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (Jn. 1:49-51)

A Triumphant Reality:

Shaking ourselves free of the former perceptions of tradition and religiosity causes us to rise from the shadow of Nathanael’s fig tree and become Kingdom Disciples. Jesus tells His Church to once again “Come and See!” We are not of those who shrink back to lame formulas without power, because we are Kingdom People (Heb. 10:39). We have shifted the way we think, because we have experienced the love of God and been washed in the Blood of Christ Jesus. He has made us kings and priests to God the Father (Rev. 1:5-6) and our experience with the Holy Spirit has clothed us in the Glory poured out at Pentecost (Lk. 24:49). We do not need to live with only the dreams of the past or hopes of a future move of God. We can live in a present move of God!

These things are available to Kingdom Disciples. We do not need to wait for revival, but we do need to change the way we think. Revival is here – we live beneath an open heaven! This is our triumphant inheritance through Christ!

Clothed in Glory

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. This means they walked together in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a covering) and God’s Honor (atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing and they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear.

Spiritual Death:

We are able to see a powerful expression of God’s Fathering love in the moments following the broken relationship. God, seemingly unaware of man’s location, calls out to man and asks him of his connection to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3:11)

Spiritual Life:

Then God makes the first sacrifice, in order to clothe them properly.  ”The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God would spill the blood of a lamb; one of His created beings, to provide a garment suitable to cover human shame. This would serve as humanity’s first revelation that spiritual life is in the Blood.

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

Our spiritual death has its connection to sin by the loss of our covering (God’s Glory) and our relationship (God’s Honor) based on His Presence (Holy Spirit atmosphere). Yet the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us of the reality of God’s grace… God’s favorable actions toward us who trust in Christ Jesus. He  tells us that God has restored access to His Glory and Honor in the free gift of salvation. Access to all that was lost could be restored through the Blood of Jesus. 

“We have been freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

The Gospel of Restored Glory:

This good news cannot be overstated, because it is not accomplished by anything man can do (Rom 3:20)(2 Cor 5:21). God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for us, in our place and for the spiritual relationship to be restored that once was established in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when anyone turns to God in faith, a veil is lifted from their hearts and they are enabled to behold the Glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:16-4:6). As believers who continue to look into that Glory a transformation takes place, whereby we are being changed into the same image (God’s original intent) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18).

Jesus Said – Be Clothed In Glory: Power from On High!

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

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