The Forest for the Trees

Jesus did not come JUST…

To save you so that you don’t go to hell when you die

To have a personal relationship with you

To meet your needs and heal your hurts

To bless us because He loves us

To birth and empower the Church

He did all of those things

He does all of those things but for a larger and more encompassing purpose

He did all of these things and much more because He came to establish His Kingdom

He does all the things and much more because He came to see Hs Kingdom constantly expanding and growing

God’s plan from the beginning was to have a Kingdom

To establish His Kingdom

To extend His Kingdom

To expand His Kingdom

The prophet Isaac, 750 years before the birth of Jesus in Betlehem stated:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.” (Isaiah 9:6-7a)

This is why Jesus, when He was born, was already King

The Wise Men (The Magi) stated:

“Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?”         (Matthew 2:2)

Yes, He loves each and everyone of us

Yes, He came to save us from the presence, penalty, and power of sin

Yes, He came and died so we could be forgiven and have a personal relationship with Him now

Yes, He does bless those who follow Him and are His disciples doing His will

Yes, He came to heal us spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically…

Yes, He came to establish the Church

BUT, don’t miss the forest for the trees

We see “me” – the tree

We see “us” – the trees

We see the local church – a grove of trees

We need to see the Kingdom – the forest

I MEAN – This tree and the forest picture could be applied further in our lives…

We so often focus on ourselves (tree) and on our needs and neglect others (forest)

We so often focus on the local church (tree) and not on The Church Jesus established

We so often focus on yesterday, today, tomorrow (tree) and not next year (forest)

We so often focus on our problems and what Jesus needs to do to help us (tree)

Instead of remembering “salvation” and that He solved the biggest issue and met the biggest need we had (forest)

But, in the big picture … We are in need of seeing the forest – the Kingdom of God

Jesus is the King and He came and established a Kingdom for now and forever

The Church

The people of God

You – me

We are here to work with Him to take what He has already established – the Kingdom – and help it to be established in every nation and in the midst of every people group (Bible word – nation)

We are His holy nation that He rules and that He has called and chosen to tell others about the Kingdom

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

We are here to expand and extend His work – His Kingdom – His government – His Rulership

We are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20a)

An ambassador represent the government of a nation

We represent the King of the Kingdom

Jesus came to establish His Kingdom as an alternative to the domain of darkness ruled by the devil himself

2 Corinthians 4:4 “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Light in the darkness

Life where they was only death

Liberty instead of bondage

Hope instead of hopelessness

So, we can concentrate and look at so many other things and lose the focus Jesus wants us to have

We can miss the forest for the trees…

This is why Jesus strongly states:

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

The things we focus on all the time and that should be secondary

The trees that prevent us from seeing the forest

The Kingdom is His priority and He wants it to be our priority

He wants us to see the forest … the big picture

God had always planned a Kingdom

Exodus 19:5b-6a “you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’

We saw this a minute ago in 1 Peter 2:9.    “a holy nation…”

John the Baptist had one message:

Matthew 3:2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…”

Jesus had one message

Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Paul preached about the Kingdom

Acts 20:25b “I have gone among for so long proclaiming the news of God’s inaugurated kingdom.”

This plan will be fulfilled in the last Days

Revelation 1:6a “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom…”

From the beginning to the end – God’s focus has been a Kingdom filled with people who know Him, love Him, and serve Him

And so, when Jesus taught His disciples to pray … giving them an outline of things to pray for

“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10)

His Kingdom … Not your empire

It is not about you -It is ALL about Him – He is the only King

HIS KINGDOM … 

Is not an earthly Kingdom but is a Kingdom established on Earth

John 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

In the world but not of the world

In the world and an alternative choice to the world’s ways

A Kingdom you enter by being born again

John 3:3-7 (part) “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (again Jesus said) “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

A Kingdom that is ‘everlasting’ and without end

Psalm 145:13 “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and your dominion endures throughout all generations.”

A Kingdom that is more than talk and politics – it is extreme power

1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.”

A Kingdom that cannot be shaken (defeated)

Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

A Kingdom that exists everywhere there is a believer

Wherever there is a disciple who has made Jesus Lord – there is the Kingdom

As that disciple goes and shares the love of God and the good news of salvation and makes another disciple – the Kingdom expands and grows

A Kingdom, therefore, that is within each true believer – an inner reality

A Kingdom, as well, that influences and impacts an existing culture one person at a time through the believers

A Kingdom that has very distinct inner personal qualities and values

Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

A Kingdom that has a unique and distinct foundational message

Matthew 16:19 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

A Kingdom that has “keys” that we have been given

Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Keys:

All believers have authority to “go into all their world and share”

All believers are called to declare this Gospel of the Kingdom

All believers determine and declare a person free and forgiven (loosed)

Based on the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Bible – God’s Word

A Kingdom that in “now” but is “yet to come”

The Kingdom has been manifested… “The Kingdom is at hand”

This happened when the King was born in Bethlehem (first coming)

The Kingdom has yet to come in its fullness… ‘Thy Kingdom come”

This will happen when the King of kings returns in glory (second coming)

“Every knee will bow and every tongue declare that Jesus is Lord”

(Philippians 2:10-11)

A Kingdom that expands through believers taking the message where it has never been heard before

Romans 15:20-21 “… and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,’Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’”

A Kingdom that Jesus spoke about a lot

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed…” (Matthew 13:31)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven” (Matthew 13:33)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field” (Matthew 13:44)

“The Kingdom is like a merchant is search of fine pearls” (Matthew 13:45)

“The Kingdom is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish (Matthew 13:47)

A Kingdom that exists within each culture and generation that offers a different way to view life and live life … a counter-culture that goes against the prevailing values and morals of the world

So, we have this Kingdom here. now … for the Kingdom of God is at hand

We enter this Kingdom by being born again…

Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son”

This Kingdom will come in it’s fullness when Jesus returns

He will return after the restoration of all things

Acts 3:21 “…whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

In the history of the Church we have seen many things lost over time

The vast daily harvest of souls being saved

The Apostolic-Prophetic Church – Led by apostles and prophets

Apostolic-Prophetic teams establishing new works / planting the Gospel

The role of the five-fold apostles

The role of the five-fold prophets

The prophetic

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The role of five-fold teacher

The authority of the Word of God

Healing ministry

The role of the five-fold evangelist

Speaking in tongues

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Time gap – – – many other things: Baptism of believers, baptism by immersion…

Being born again

The devil and traditions of men have stolen a lot from the Church – things that were taken for granted by the early Church as recorded in the book of Acts and the epistles (letters)

God has been restoring “all things” in the opposite order to them disappearing from the life of the Church – AND when fully restored then the Second Coming of Jesus and the fullness of the Kingdom

Being born again – Martin Luther 1560’s

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – 1901, 1906

Speaking in tongues – 1906

The role of the five-fold evangelist – 1940’s

Healing Ministry – 1950’s Oral Robers

Gifts of the Holy Spirit – 1960’s Charismatic Renewal

The authority of God’s Word – 1965

The role of the five-fold teacher – 1970

The prophetic – early 1980’s

The role of the five-fold prophet – 1985

The role of the five-fold apostle – 1995 onwards

Apostolic-Prophetic teams

The Apostolic-Prophetic Church establishing new works / every people group

The vast daily harvest of souls being saved – End time harvest

The return of Jesus

This Kingdom will come in it’s fullness when Jesus returns

He will return after the restoration of all things

Acts 3:21 “…whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

We are close … so close

And, God is asking His people to…

Take their eyes off of the tree and see the forest

Take their eyes off of their own needs and wants and see the lost

Take their eyes off the local church, as important as that is, and see the Kingdom

And, then to become involved in the expansion of the Kingdom in your neighbourhood and around the world in every nation

There are 257 countries in the world – many without a viable witness for the Gospel of the Kingdom

Today – God is speaking to His people to rise up, pick up the challenge, and “go into al the world” so that “His Kingdom can come and His will can be done”

And, in every nation many are responding to this challenge….

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