In the last few weeks what challenges we have seen all heralding World Wide change. Changes focused especially for the UK with the forthcoming election and world-wide travel.
Two historic events right before us, filling the UK 24 hour news channels, with many words and pictures filling out the same news time and time again, repeated every 15 minutes, really very little new news made much. We are seeing the art of making little information go a long way, and in it all Changes are certainly being heralded.
On the one hand we hear of a change that has been spoken about for quite some and is much-needed, so industry and the medial tell us, the adjustment in the aviation industry. A volcanic Cloud halts over 1 million people from travelling by air, keeping them locked up in airport terminals, with little facilities, preventing them from reaching their destinations and others in a holding pattern at holiday destinations. This same cloud hits the slow economy and will affect the already struggling airline companies, with up to £200 million losses per day. We will see the long required rationalisation of the industry, with the small being swallowed up by the big. What ever your view we will see a global change in air travel, brought about by this natural event, an eruption of the volcano in the land of Fire and Ice, Iceland. With all our technical and modern ability a natural creational event brings us to a halt how ironic, when the world thought it was in control a high level wind and little weather change showed us different.
On the other hand we are witnessing a political historic event, the first public televised debate on British Television with the main Political Party Leaders making their positions known.
Change: This will change the preparation of future candidates, their training, the expectations placed upon them, and their ability to stand in front of millions of viewers at any given time. Transforming our politics to celebrity status and making politicians, celebrities.
Change: People are now making decisions based on TV performances rather than on substance or policy. People are being won over by charisma, the way the politician looks into the camera lens and connects with the audience, the use of body language, what about the policies?
Change: Who is there to govern?
Change: Adjusting my financial position often just in the immediate, and yet what about the long-term?
Change: the relationship of the British public with a flat HD ready screen, a relationship with him or her of the celluloid type,
Change: Will we be trapped and find ourselves in a 16:9 box? Or will we be free to herald a greater change, that of the closing of an age. Will we see the church lost to celebrity status in an “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here” church organisation style, seeking either escape from reality or platform status?
I will not get caught up in this moment, the prediction addiction sickness that some people of God seem to suffer with. Getting caught in predicting what the wind, volcano, particles in the air, and planes, all mean, trying to say it’s prophetic. Being prophetic is much more about interpreting Gods view rather than prediction. As with all prophetic there is only one view and one goal, just as the Father has, this view is called the Son of God the Christ King. So lets see what does it all say about Jesus.
Change: In all this the great change we see this “The King is coming”.
The kingdom, like solar rays of the new age, is being heralded, coming down from the horizon. A Horizon filled with one view, a man, not just any man, but a distinct man. Acts 17:31 tells us of a day coming that God has ordained, when a “man” (NASB) who He “has appointed” to bring a change, not only to bring it but he is the change factor. He is the archetype of the change “appointed” in the Greek the word is ’horizo’ where we gain our word horizon from, he is our horizon in everything. To be the standard, the herald of the change, this man marks out the boundaries and limits of all creation. He created it, he beings the plumb line of life and character, he explains all even the Father (John 1:18). This is real change, we see it coming and it has a World Wide, creational impact. For we see him, “the Man “as the Christ of God. The King heralding in his Kingdom
“The King is coming”
During our age it is about the powerful and permanent breaking in of the government of God, God in our age, “the coming Kingdom”, “the Kingdom already here”. God in our age showing up, better still revealing himself in places and people with the one aim of preparing a people for this coming age; a Kingdom Age. In our living, loving, relating, finance, business, relationships, and family lives
The King is coming.
God in our age is bringing change, changes to they way we think, the way we love, the way we interact, the way we relate to establish a Kingdom.
The King is coming
It’s a time when the old age is dying, it is breaking down and a new age is being born. From the picture in Daniel 2 to now, when the “…Stone… …cut out by an invisible hand”, hit the statue (Daniel 2:34 Message) we have been watching a Kingdom taking its place. The stone shattered a then established Empire, for an Empire has always been in the heart of man and mankind’s aim is always to create an Empire to rule.
The question for you and I is will you be a part of a Kingdom or an Empire, submitted or Caesar, Christ’s cause or your own cause, will you become 1st of a new order.
Luke 2:1 introduces us to the decree of an Empire and then again Luke 3:1. Our Empire model, a string of those called “tetrarch”. The word tetrarch just means the number four, representing mankind in all the four corners of the earth, human government, empirical order. Since man gave away his rule Empire has always wanted to establish itself, a hierarchical rule with mankind supreme in all and being governed by a head.
It’s no coincidence that even in Old Testament pictures mankind is depicted with four faces, four aspects, could this be directing its self to the same thought that men and women of old had to deal with in the midst of all cultures, yet God was to be their King not a Caesar, a loving, giving, Father who would be their all.
The passage in Luke 3 opens with the presentation of the “tetrarch”, the rule of mankind, its priesthood established and a “…word of God came to John…” then Verse 23 we have a small word “began”, “…when he (Christ) began…” such a small word yet packed full of intention of purpose, of Kingdom power. This “began” heralds the stone of the Prophet Daniel hitting an Empire, Kingdom and Empire will always be at the forefront of our fight. Who rules, who governs, a Caesar, mankind or the Christ, a political, business, sports, celebrity or even a church leader. Is it to be His mission or our goals and visions, our plans or His kingdom, our models, or His family, our prediction addiction to end times, or his Kingdom breaking in to a world winding up. The building of religious church with its organisation or the messy dynamic multiplying Kingdom of God extending itself through lives of transformed people and into creation
He “began” a simple word which in its original form, not like a University Challenge question master saying because I began the question I will finish, or even how we start something but translates into “to ruler over, reign over, to be chief, to lead, to rule, to take its first place”. Jesus did not start a project an event or a mission at that hour but took first place in all creation, in rule order, the stone uncut by human hand!
In Luke 3:1 we have the gathering of the Empires Rule, the Celebrity Rule, Popular Rule, Self Rule; it was a gathering of all who ruled with human authority at its highest. It seems as if the chapter deliberately begins with V 1 & 2 outlining earthly authority, the whole weight of political and religious Empire, then we have this eternal pivotal point of “…He began…” he became first in order and we close the chapter with a list of Christ’s genealogy leading back to the “…Son of God…”, this Kings lineage goes right back to the Father of all. Empire pronounced and a simple beginning of a Kingdom of the Son and the “sons of God” established.
Ever since this stone hit the Empire we have been watching the crumbling of every system around us, communism, capitalism, every system, secular and religious all crumbling as a new Kingdom breaks through. Cracks appearing in all systems until the Kingdom emerges in fullness, at the very point of the cross the stone struck with its force, and every financial, political, social system was finished, until now we have been bringing forth a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of his Christ!
“The King is coming”
The people of God the “…called out ones…” the church, has been quietly hitting against every system since the stone struck the statue all those years ago, heralding a day when the King will fully take his place of Rule.
It is not enough however to see it out there, we have to work with it inside us and bring adjustment to our attitudes our appetites our tongue our mind and our actions, these adjustments are as much the kingdom breaking through as are the adjustments to world systems and old orders giving way to a coming King.
We see a generation in labour pains, in transition, as a people we straddle the boundary of time and eternity, tomorrow people today, kaleidoscope together today’s generation, making it ‘s changes to show another design. This generation is busying itself in mission, in transforming society not as a historic repeat, as many historians would say; after every move of God some 30 years on social responsibility hits, but this action comes as an outcome of a Kingdom message. As an implication of what we have seen over the last 30 years that we must bring redemption to our world, to see creation brought out of its inability to complete (Romans 8:18-25). Creation subjected to futility against its will, the Father not allowing creation to finish its course until the “…sons of God take their place…” and creation itself receives of the freedom that these citizen of an age to come live by “freedom”. The Kingdom brings with it a people who have inside themselves a God ordained ability to complete what God has begun as his ambassadors in creation.
We stand as two moral systems, two value systems, two different philosophies of life, but we are not the only ones in history to straddle two times. 2000 years ago at the point of Christ’s birth, He experienced similar, but in microcosm. The same conflict and pressure was evident as something new was about to break forth in the earth just as there is in this the third testament.
Between the Old Testament & the New Testament there were 400 years of silence, a time for dreamers and the faithful of the faith.
Isaiah had spoken 700 years before that a Messiah – a deliverer would be born, Malachi spoke some 300 years earlier and said that Elijah would return coming as a forerunner to the Christ, sent as a messenger to herald the arrival of Christ.
400 years down from the silence began two families, ordinary enough families, normal, one of religious order and the other of humble craftsmen they fuelled the dreams and provided the flesh along with a fresh hope to an oppressed people.
When Jesus and John were born a ripple of reaction spread throughout Israel. John first disturbed a family priesthood, and silence was produced in the temple. When Jesus was born, murder was breathed as the Empire reacted to a simple challenge by an infant; the empire was threatened, and so reacted as Empires do. Ripples of reaction spread throughout Israel, but then 30 more years of silence, life slipped back into oppression, Simeon had declared he had seen the light of the Gentiles but the excitement now had faded and things once again returned to normality. Children played, work went on, the temple strengthened its oppressive hold, and Caesar controlled totally becoming stronger and stronger. As time went on, perhaps the disturbance 30 years earlier was dim to some but to those who had lost loved ones may be not
Then, “there was a man sent by God” out of the desert, out of obscurity he emerges.
It is important it says a man, to prepare Gods way…. You are important to prepare Gods way in this generation. For out of the silence a man, the corporate man of God is still to make its appearance, a corporate man sent of God to herald a King.
Word became flesh and dwelt among us, God locks himself into man, the limitless one becoming self-limited, assuming human limitations. His covenant with man demanded his union with man.
Jesus will inaugurate the Kingdom John the last of the old order, Jesus first of new and Empires, systems fall.
A change today for a corporate man, the man the sons of God, the bride church, to herald the way:-
To deal with its separatism, its characterless, to come away from celebrity to the Christ to become the word fleshed out moving out of a community.
To complete creation, and be Christ in our communities, to have the character and measure to contain the gifts and callings of Christ. To be the hands, eyes, ears, feet of Christ to explain the Father to our world
The King is coming
To Rule to change inner hearts, to be those who seek the Kingdom of God, who love the Christ, and see themselves as Gods instruments, the apple of His eye, and give all they have to extend the Kingdom, not just the church, to bring in the new order and see it established through their lives.
The King is coming
To stay away from a church system that becomes a business, that can so easily feel so right and yet is still an Empire, but to be the herald of the Kingdom.
The King is coming