Monday, August 3, 2009

The Kingdom is at Hand

Hey bloggers...as you can see, MkITN XIII isn't done...but I'm going to write some today, so I should be able to finish it up...

...Yesterday was a good day at CITN...I gave kind of an unusual word, connecting the Matthew 10 account of Jesus giving His disiples the power to heal diseases and expel rebel spirits with the John 20 account of His giving them the power to forgive sins...

...We covered a lot of territory in that one teaching (forgiveness, recovery, scars, power of Holy Spirit, etc.)...

Such an important truth: The Kingdom is "at hand"...it's handy...it's accessible...it is found in the thing to which you put your hand...ex: Moses, what do you have in your hand?"...

I used the New King James version yesterday...here's the same passage from Matthew In The Now...

1. And in direct answer to the prayer for harvest hands, Jesus summoned to Himself His twelve disciples, and gave them power and authority over rebel spirits, to evict and expel them, and to cure all manner of disease, weakness and infirmity.

2. Now these are the names of the original twelve apostles: first, Simon, who is called Peter or “Rock”, and Andrew, his brother; James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother;

3. Philip and Bartholomew (A.K.A. Nathaniel); Thomas and Matthew, known as “The Tax Man”; James, son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (A.K.A. Judas…not Judas Iscariot);

4. Simon, the Canaanite, who was a Zealot, and perhaps Jesus’ most controversial pick because of his radical political connections and agenda, and Judas (Iscariot), who eventually betrayed Him, even though he had been given the same anointing and authority that the other eleven had received.

5. Jesus sent out this very diverse and eclectic group, charging them with these words: “This Gospel is ultimately for the entire world…that’s the big picture…but it has to begin somewhere. So, for the time being, go nowhere among the Gentiles, and do not go into any town of the Samaritans;

6. Go, instead, to the lost, confused people right here in the house of Israel...the people who speak your language and have your world-view.

7. And tell them, plainly, that the kingdom of/from the heavens is here! Say to them, “The kingdom is ‘at hand’, or as close to you as is the hand at the end of your arm!”




I'll try not to get distracted with Facebook while I'm writing today, but it has been great to connect with a lot of people with whom I had completely lost contact...

Peace, especially, to all who are starting back to school today...

41 comments:

Erik said...

Yes, there is a comfort and sense of belonging in speaking with those who share your world view, especially when you have something new to add to it. Likewise, a group of non scripturions (made that word up, but you get the point) can speak the message given outside of scrips that adds to it for those other non scrips.

Today, Communion, I know it is often said, as we said today -- " on the night Jesus was betrayed..he took the bread..."

However, I see it as 'On the night Jesus entered into Himself, to prepare Himself and others, he took the bread and ..."

It was not betrayal as much as it was fulfillment. If Judas had not done it, he would have really betrayed the enormous trust Jesus placed in him.

Just sayin' ..... from a non scrip.

Erik said...

We all have parts to manifest, clearly Judas was the only one of that group who could take it on, probably knowing how the others would see it, but he did what had to be done. Someone had to at some point for the srips to be fulfilled.

Hard road for him, but I assume his reward has been worth it. I can see the pre life conversation with God, a lot of people passed and Judas said, 'Yes, I will do it'.

I often think about our pre life conversations with God, as well as the ongoing.

"What was the plan again?" Sometimes it is cloudy, but then the rain comes and it is clear again.

I can only guess when the clarity came for Judas, he had a few convos with Jesus to be sure. Then sucked it up and did it.

We benefit from his part in the process. Scars and all.

Son of Zadok said...

Warning - this post went long.

These new verses are steeped in goodness.

it has to begin somewhere, go to the people who speak your language and have your world-view

Avatar, I really loved your 4:11 post yesterday, thank you.

Theirs a sweet Spirit in the air tonight. I just returned from a party with some friends who are visiting from Florida this weekend. We had a few drinks, played corn hole, laughed, hugged, played songs, ate food; we generally just enjoyed each other's presence with a lot of love. It's amazing were you can find thriving Spirit community even among those who don't even go to church. Yes, their are dark places and hidden scars. Sometimes their are souls that even show up with critical wounds bleeding right their on the table. Everyone's working out their own crucifixion and resurrection, and and in this life we are each others hands. We to bare the marks in our body. In spite of what some would call worldly appearance at times, Love does It's work in the mysterious corners of the earth. Spirit moves. Jesus thirsts. Our words and deeds, our handshakes and hugs quench those dry places. I wish everyone could have that kind of party with each other sometime. Thank God for a service, but now and then you just need to be in a vibrant moving gyroscope of two or more being gathered together; without any pomp and circumstance, just friendship and real relationship. That’s what the lonely widow needs as well.

I know I go back to this from time to time, and I'm not advocating anything less than following Spirit's direction in our own hearts, and our own unique paths and circumstances, and I really couldn't say it any better than the way I heard it a song tonight that said,

God is great, beer is good, people are crazy.

Youtube it if you want.

I’m not advocating these things to find God or that a life without them is missing one thing! And God knows you can only be 100% responsible when you do enjoy a fruit of the earth. I am saying that on some paths, God is saying, "It Is Good". Those who are going to change the world are going to lose their religion. I'm glad that regardless of who you are CITN isn't stuck up and full of...

Don't act a fool; or be in excess in anything. But don't miss so much of life because we're afraid to live. Some people missed Jesus first miracle because they were to good to show up for it. A dark place can't remain in darkness in the presence of light. And when Spirit comes, you will see light everywhere. In people and groups who see things different from you and me in a thousand ways. Maybe the bad example to others is really in being too pious, not super "holy"? Holy is where God is. When you embrace others and forgive others sins, you bring the light forth from inside of them and that brings change from the heart and friendships and community that last forever.

Today's service was beautiful. What a friend we have in Jesus. Every time you tell the story about Jared's gang it just gets better and better. The whole world is desperately ready for the love you’re courting and expressing with that attitude and emotion. Press into love's call, it's getting closer to us all now.

When that Spirit of truth is received in the "highways and bi-ways" change will ignite a million flashing diamonds in the night. A new song will be heard in all the earth.

Oh, yes. Christ is still saving the best wine for last.

the best wine for last

Theirs more to that than we know.

Son of Zadok said...

Very interesting Erik. Jesus never canceled Judas place in the kingdom. He told him that he would sit on one of the twelve thrones and that never changed; He never took it back. I think the scars between them make their love that much more powerful.

Anonymous said...

I do love to visit the thought of Judus, Erik. Thanks for the reminder. No doubt we have all played the Judus role at some point if not several points along our way. It is reassuring to see the place of Judus as being and ruling with the Lord.

There could not be any real power in living according to an agape approach toward either man or God without the assurance of being accepted in the Beloved's Kingdom regardless of our actions and especially when those actions are in keeping with the role we are given to play at the time. It would have been great if Judas could have seen himself loved and chose a different disposition in his journey but there is something to learn from that choice as well.

The Kingdom really is at each of our hands and what we choose to do with that part of the Kingdom, well that will be the testement that we leave for others to ponder.

Anonymous said...

Al Wiggins said...

I liked it when you speculated what Jesus may have written in the dirt.

Anonymous said...

John W. Brumlow said...

Attended church with Matt and Cora yesterday and later heard from Teresa about CITN service. She is getting a copy of it on DVD to bring up this coming weekend. Waiting with anticipation, it sounded beautiful and that is true of every service. It is wonderful to participate with a dynamic church that has a fresh portion of manna each service. Matt ... Read Moreand Cora's pastor has a great gift for that as well. The service was very in tune with healing and the central message was getting fresh Bread everyday. There was great warmth there and we took communion. Bish, you would have enjoyed it too. Their pastor is called Pastor Joy. She used a Simon and Garfunkle clip for an illustration. I miss being with you all and feel your faith continually. Matt has a Doctor's consultation this AM. Looking for more good news.

Anonymous said...

Torri Hornsby Griffin said...

I liked the part about our scars. Jesus came back and showed his scars as a way to say, "It's alright, now." It took me years to begin showing people some of my deepest scars... but it's alright, now. I am who I am because I've been where I've been doing what I've done.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Good point, Erik...maybe the message is that sometimes "betrayal" has to be re-thought...maybe it's only a means to an end, and that end is fulfillment of destiny...as I've taught many times before, you could say that Joseph's brothers betrayed him, or you could say that Joseph's brothers helped and enabled him to become Pharaoh of Egypt...they really are paraller realities...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

And they're paralleL realities, too!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Dr. Lovelace has a friend who wrote a good book about Judas...he sent me a signed copy...I'll find it and let you look at it if you're interested...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

You have a good "get-it" factor, SOZ...good stuff, as usual...I can always tell it's you writing, whether you sign your name or not becuase it sounds like you, and because you always use "their" for "there"...

And now that your name is revealed on FB I wanted to tell you that the son of my mom's best friend has your same name, and she was telling me yesterday that he's moving to FLA, blah, blah, blah...the point is your name's been floating around a lot the last couple of days...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

And your response to the hell article was good, but I told P. Dennis over there that, for me, the argument is pointless...I don't want to say anything about casting pearls before swine because that may be over the top, but religous people are so addicted to the idea that they can't even consider looking at orginal laguages and purposes of Scripture...


Judah was talking about it yesterday at lunch and said "Whether you're preaching that there is a hell, or preaching that there isn't a hell, you're still preaching about hell"...

I think some of my contemporaries in the message of reconciliation would like for me to address it more than I do, but I'm becoming more and more focused on a different aspect of the Gospel at this point...

That article is typical...hundreds just like it online...

But you expressed yourself well as you always do...oh, did you see the YouTube animation that P. Dennis posted there? Hysterical!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

You can bollow the book when Erik's through with it, Anon@9:47...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Things that make you go hmmm, P. Al...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Stay strong, JB...had a good talk with Matt...you'll like the service from yesterday...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Amen, Dr. Torri...

Anonymous said...

Calvin Shepherd said...

A Glorified Body, makes you think, doesn't it. Maybe more Spirit than flesh?? Can you imagine being Thomas, who actually touched Jesus in a post resurection body? Now that will change your prespective! God is SOOOO Good. OH, and what Jesus wrote in the dirt,,,,I agree with Pastor Al and I really think you may be on to something there... YOU HAVE THE POWER, GO USE IT!

Son of Zadok said...

Ok, let's go over this one more time shall we...

"There" indicates a place as in, "I live here not there." It is the opposite of "here." "Their" is the possessive of "they", as in "They live there but is isn't their house." Here you want to indicate that the house belongs to them. "They're" is a contraction of "they are", so that to say, "They're over there in their new house" means "They are over at that place in the new house that belongs to them."

I've read that before, but I always seem to go back to my "their will be a day" usage. I'm sure I'll be more concious of it now.

Northern Light said...

Bish,
I say this with luv, cause that's me, but I find it impossible not to point out a "typo" where you told Anon that the book could be bollowed, when we all know you meant borrowed.

The funny thing to me is that the ll's and rr's are on two different sides of the keyboard !! Your fingers weren't listening to your brain.

Ah.....everyone...don't hate, I just used to get paid to catch typos, it never leaves ya !

Peace,
Northern Light

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

All kidding aside, it's an interesting indication of how neuropaths work...there are certain simple words that I mis-spell every single time I use them, as in "becuase" instead of "because"...of course I know how to spell it, but that path is very strong in my brain...really makes you think about other mental paths that lead to incorrect information...


I can bring it to your attention because (see, I just spelled it wrong and had to correct it!) you're obviously intelligent...

Of course it's not as amusing as "bowels" for "bowls"...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

OMG, NL...you posted just as I did..."bollow"...that's so funny! Sounds like I'm doing a politically incorrect asian dialect...I didn't even notice it, but again, it makes my point about neuropaths and strongholds...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

And the fact that the letters are on opposite sides of the keyboard is due to the fact that I'm extremely right-brained...

Northern Light said...

Heard it was a GOOD GOOD word yesterday. Of course, for me, another hotel (seriously, I DO NOT travel this much ever)that did not have a computer where I could stream, they had taken it out to begin renovations! I said take the COFEE MAKER out! Leave the Computer in the lobby! She laughed, she must have thought I was kidding. I was NOT .

So I look forward to reading posts and waiting for my DVD.

Peace,
NL

Northern Light said...

Bish,
Yes, I would say that "bowels" for "bowls" could cause quite an uproar...and I would probably (have to admit) be quite amused to see it used in a sentence.

Okay, now I'm gonna go on this one.

Another often mis-spelled word by many is "angle" & "angel". That one gets me every time, I don't know how to get over it.

You corrected SOZ's "their, there, they're" factor...thank you for that one.
Hey SOZ...just gotta finish on this....conscious.

Whew......I have to leave this now....go do something that doesn't include grammar or spellign.

Peace,
Northern Light

gotcha'....yah yah.. it was "spelling" all the while~

Northern Light said...

Oh paleezeeeeeeeeeeeee (that's please with expression! ha)

word vers: perbuty
"puberty" or "pure booty" ? cause that's just wrong ~ but much of what I saw this past week in ATL on the streets...my oh my

dinglyzi
Stop the name callin'.. not a
"ding lyzi"

ah....someone in the North needs a nap ~

Peace,
NL

Northern Light said...

Re: what I said about the mis-spelling of "Angel & Angle" - "getting me every time", didn't mean I do it, (better NOT with a daughter named Angel) I mean that one for some reason, just gets to me when I see it done. Maybe it's my affection for angels. Who knows?

Whew....I am leaving this computer now!
Peace,
NL

Anonymous said...

G8TRGRL said...

We have a funny, politically incorrect Asian reference around our house... Hubbies first name begins AND ends with an "L" so was very humorous the time he spent in Japan during Nagano winter Olympics...the real funny is switching l's & r's in this- "crowds of people clapping"...

I digress...

"elle" said...

SOZ at 1:58... BEAUTIFULLY stated!

JB, my friend, I knew nothing of your son until I streamed yesterday, but I'm standing behind you in prayer. I've been wondering about Teresa's mom, as well. You two are special and have such wonderful testimonies... trusting God for deliverance!

Son of Zadok said...

Hey Elle,

It's funny you came to mind when I wrote that last night for some reason. I don't know why, just thought you'd drop by today.

NL, my bowels have been full of compassion like a bowl full of cheerios here many times before you arrived. So you can blame that one on me to. And don't even get me started on we're, where, were, and wear. English is so much fun, ain't it?!

"elle" said...

God is pretty wild sometimes, huh SOZ? Kinda reminds me of the time that I mentioned Bruce Cockburn, and you happened to be reading The Shack! I never got around to reading that. Maybe I'll take it with me on vacation in Sept and try to read it on the plane...
have Lorazapam, will travel ;)
(have never taken one of those pills... perhaps I should see what they do to me first)

I was also touched when Bish mentioned the love among Jared's friends. Reminded me of when my dad was in the hospital back in '06 (replacement of a hip replacement). He was in the hospital for 11 days. He had a few visitors while he was there, but not alot. After a few days, someone sent him flowers, and none of us knew who they were from. Turns out my younger sis had mentioned his plight to an aquaintance at the local 'watering hole' that she sometimes frequented, and I guess she mentioned that he didn't have any flowers in his room... that maybe she should get some. The next day, Dad had flowers. That guy sent them anonymously. Even she didn't know who they were from until later. That's compassion...

BTW, for those who have at one time or another prayed about the situation regarding my sis and my nephew, things really seem to be looking up! He's living with she and her boyfriend of a couple years. He's great with Jeremy, and really enjoys having him around. So we're all just trusting that everything will work out for the best!

Son of Zadok said...

That story you told Elle, reminds me of someone I used to work for through a security service in downtown Dayton. I was stationed at a recycling center in a "low rent" side of town. There you would find many people who were really on skid row, into hard drugs, poverty, really anything you can imagine. The operator of the center is a gay man, I'll call Bill. He was not open and in your face about it, but it just was what it was. Bill was raised Jewish and didn't have the highest esteem for fundamentalist Christianity, but I could tell he had a curiosity about Jesus. I would have considered myself "backslidden, but believing" at the time.
The point of my story is that rarely in your life will you ever see someone with as much compassion and acts of love towards whoever was brought across his path as Bill. I watched time and time again as he would give money, provide odd jobs, counseling, buy lunches and dinners, enter people into rehab programs, provide food for complete strangers who were picking up cans for their survival on a daily basis. There was always food there for someone. Bill isn't a rich man. In fact he lives a very meager life in a small home in a sub-par neighborhood with his beloved English mastiff. He spends most of his riches on other people.
I do know this; If Jesus were to show up in the flesh today, I know he would embrace Bill and his life on a much deeper level than many of us who claim to be spiritual, but do very little in terms of reaching out to the least of those among us. I'm not trying to put a guilt trip on anyone, just making a point. I know few people in the world like Bill.

Son of Zadok said...

Elle, I can't believe after the Bruce Cockburn confirmation you didn't pick that up.

Go read that book!

I'm laughing, read it when you feel like it.

ver:bcockburn

O.K. I made that one up, just kidding.

Avatar said...

Thanks, SOZ, and you're welcome. The wordver surprisingly steered the direction...and the final thought on the appropriate wedding clothes was a surprise, too.

Been enjoying everyone's posts tonight.

Bishop, "neuropaths that lead to wrong information"...yeah buddy...surprising sometimes what a mess they can make...

"elle" said...

OK, SOZ... don't be pullin' that word ver stuff on me! You nearly freaked me out :)

And yeah, if we're receptive enough we really do get better with age, don't we? Life teaches some pretty piognant lessons...

Anonymous said...

Jim Hall said...

I know what jesus wrote in the dirt...my name. Then he forgave me.

God is good all the time.

Anonymous said...

John W. Brumlow said...

I like Jiim Hall's comment about the name in the dirt and feel that could apply to us all. Enjoyed blog comments yesterday on this. Just want to say that I am happy to be sent and happy to be forgiven, most of all it is a delight to be received. That doesn't happen for everyone all the time but it has happened more for me in recent times and I ... Read Moreattribute that to your teachings on the truth. You have worked out your salvation well and given much wisdom to your congregation of friends from your experience. To me that is what Jesus did here. When sending the 'diverse and eclectic group' out He didn't tell them to give the gospel the same way He gave it but just said tell the lost and confused that the kingdom is at there hand. This says that both those sent and those received already have the kingdom with them but they just need someone or something to help them realize it into their present state of conscious processes. Your teachings are a blessing to any who receive them.

Thanks

karl cobos said...

A friend of mine (Dan Storie) wrote this about "What's In Your Hand?";

Ex 4:2-4 (NLT) The Lord asked Moses, "What is that in your hand?" "A shepherd's staff," Moses replied. "Throw it down on the ground," the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. Then the Lord told him, "Reach out and grab its tail." So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd's staff in his hand.”

Moses’ staff was nothing but a common shepherd’s rod. Staffs as well as other personal belongings were used by people back then as items that identified them. In a similar way, today we can be identified by our car, or our house or clothes that other people recognize as ours. It is a funny thing how we become attached to our little things. A cook may have a favorite cutting knife, a physician may have a special stethoscope, a carpenter has a favorite hammer, a mechanic has a special tool box, and maybe you have a special possession like a laptop or a Bible.

This story illustrates that whatever possession that we hold dearly in our hand, we have the opportunity to throw it down and give it to God. After Moses threw his rod on the ground – the rod of Moses became the rod of God. With the rod of God back in Moses’ hand Moses preformed supernatural signs and miracles. With the rod of God Moses called down plagues in Egypt, he divided the Red Sea, he struck the rock and water flowed out.

As Christians we are told to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” If we are doing this, then one of our most prized possessions should be the Kingdom of God, a possession we should be most notably identified with. Jesus told his disciples to “go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matt 10:6-8 (KJV)

When you are seeking the Kingdom does your relationship with God flow both ways, in as well as out? Too many times we only allow the Kingdom to flow into us and not necessarily out to others. If this is your experience then, throw it down. Give it back to God, who gave it to you, and throw it down! When you give it back to God, the dry dead wood of our spiritual life will become like a living hissing snake, a living hissing relationship with God is a dangerous thing to the world around us. But we can do as Moses did and grab it by the tail and share it with those around us to show them that our relationship with God is real.

karl said...

This also made me think of how Moses "cast/threw" it down, it wasn't gently placed, but thrown.

We may have something for a dream in our hands but may see it as not being very much. We toss it to God who infuses it with such life and power that it startles us and we think it might turn around and bite us!...but God says 'stretch out your hand, and take it by the tail'... (take dominion and authority) so that all may believe that the Lord God is with you, and that which is in your hand.

karl cobos said...

Wow Bishop!...guess what just happened?!

Right after I wrote here I went to the jobs page of the 2010 Census and right there on the top of the page, in blue, are the words...get this...

...2010 Census:
IT'S IN OUR HANDS

Someone from the Atlanta office called me today and told me to go to the site and get a couple forms and send them in. So, as I cast this upon the Lord, maybe this could be one of those "Moses rod" instances that turns out to bring some freedom and deliverance with signs and wonders...I put it out there, as well as casting to him the other dreams/things in my hand.

Izumi/JOY said...

The first verse is my fav. Particularly, the words, "the prayer for harvest hands", and, "Jesus summoned to Himself"...