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Redemption and The Work of our Hands (Vol 07) - The Kingdom of God and our work

Sunday English Service - 17 DEC 17


Please turn with me Mark's gospel chapter 1. We have been teaching on work; I showed you how God designed work for man. You can even say itthis way - that God designed man for work; man was designed and made to work. That is the way he is made - God works six days and rested on the 7th day, the bible says. So, God made man in His own image and likeness, as a worker, as someone who worked.

So, we talked about the original design and purpose of God for work. And then we talked about how sin entered man's life and ruined everything. And particularly had a big impact upon work - so that's why work became difficult. And then thirdly we began to talk about how Jesus came to bring redemption, and the redemption deals with the work of our hands. Redemption deals with the work of our hands, and how it changes our work, how it enables us today as redeemed people, what our work should be; that is what we are talking about right now.

We are beginning to get into some truths that have been uncovered through the Reformation - through Martin Luther and Calvin and all of these people. They emphasized greatly this concept of - biblical concept of work; and I am trying to get into that teaching so that the kind of revolutionary changes that happened in European societies back then in the 16th Century as a result of this teaching, can be felt even today in our lives. Societies were changed, whole countries were changed; especially the northern European countries became very wealthy countries, prosperous countries. The way they worked, their work ethic came to be known as Protestant work-ethic. And America as a country was built upon Protestantism and they embraced Protestant ideals and as a result they became a very wealthy country because this teaching kinds of leads into it; makes people work like never before, gives meaning and purpose in work, so that work becomes something that we do for God and therefore it begins to yield different kinds of result. So, I hope that will happen to the people that are hearing it, even in our country here.

But in order to understand this Protestant teaching concerning work, you need to understand five things I said last week. Let me remind you of those five things: One, you need to understand that the gospel is in four parts: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration - bringing back everything to the original condition. Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration; four parts are there in the gospel. Secondly, you need to understand the creation mandate. When God made man, He literally made an announcement what man shall be. He said, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate." This is God making an announcement concerning how man will be; what kind of a person he is, what his cultural will be, what is life will be like. He will be a fruitful person -multiply filling, subduing and dominating. And then the third thing is you need to understand something about the Kingdom of God - what the Kingdom of God is all about; and whether the Kingdom of God has come, in what way has it come, and how it impacts us today, and how as Kingdom people we operate and live and work in this world. You need to understand the Kingdom of God and what the bible teaches, concerning the Kingdom of God. And fourthly, you need to understand "Common grace". Now there are two types of grace: One is the "Saving grace", which we all experience. This is a special grace where by God saves us - we were sinners; God graciously comes and saves us. We are given grace to be saved. But there are those that will never come to salvation, that they would always be there without God - even those people enjoy what is called, "Common grace" in Christian teaching. It is common to everybody - the saved and the unsaved. The sun shines and the rain falls on everybody - that is common grace. When you understand common grace and how it works, you will find it easy to work with the people of this world. The unconverted people, sometimes we think that we can never do anything with them, we can never join hands with them and accomplish anything with them. I will show you next week how it is very possible and it must be. We must do it, that we must join hands with them in many ways to achieve some common good. We can work with the people of this world successfully, to achieve some common good. You cannot simply resign yourself from society, saying, "Those people are not good. I am not going to join with them." No, we can achieve some common good working as Christian people with the non-Christians - achieving something good for the society as a whole. So, common grace must be understood. It all has something to do with work.

And finally, the meaning of success - what the bible teaches about success. When you understand success wrongly, you will be frustrated, really. What is success? What is the biblical idea of success? I am going to teach on these five things because this will form the basis of the Protestant teaching concerning work. Last week - let me just remind you - it will take a couple of minutes and remind you what we said last week and then we will go on to the Kingdom of God. I am going to talk about the Kingdom of God today. Last week we talked about the four-part gospel. Why? Because a lot of people have reduced it to two-part now. That's a problem. That is why this four-part gospel needs to be emphasized. And since the Reformation, the Reformers like Luther and Calvin and others, have emphasized that the gospel is in four-parts, not in two parts. The last 200 years there has been a shift and people have begun to see only that the gospel has only two-parts. That is, the two-parts are that man is a sinner, he has fallen - the fall, and Jesus is the Savior -brought Redemption. So, the problem is sin, the solution is Jesus the Savior. This is what the gospel is, they think and it sounds right, but it is not right. It will mess up everything else if you believe like that. The gospel is not just proclaiming that man is a sinner and Jesus is the Saviour. It is part of it, but you are leaving out two important other parts - which is creation and the restoration of all other things.

To understand it holistically and in the way that you should understand - you need to understand it as a four-part gospel. You should not start from Genesis chapter 3. That is when the fall is told to us - the information about the fall is there. You need to start with Genesis chapter 1, which is creation; how man was created. What was the creation mandate? That man was to be fruitful, multiply, subdue, fill and dominate. This is the lot that was given to man. This is what man is supposed to do, this is what man is supposed to be. And then when you deal with fall as the second step, you know where men fell from. From what did he fall? What was his original position and where did fall from? You will understand.

And then you to go Redemption. And then Redemption leads us to restoration because Redemption cannot be true redemption without God coming and restoring, not only man to his original state and condition, but also the world which has lost some of its glory due to sin. God has to restore all things, not just man, and bring it back to the original condition. Without that restoration happening, salvation cannot be complete. So, it has to be the four-part gospel. What man was like when he was created by God in His image and likeness. What God meant for him to be like. That is very important, because then only you will know that is what God intends man to go back to;...to that kind of a level.

So, it is important to understand that the gospel is in four-parts. When you understand the gospel is in four parts, you will not have any problem with understanding the rest of these scriptures. If you understand it as two parts, then lots of scriptures will not make any sense. For example, those people that do not understand that God created man in that way and placed him in the garden and gave him everything, and man was not supposed to lack anything, and man was not supposed to live in lack and insufficiency, they will have problem when the Old Testament talks a lot about how God blessed Abraham and his children materially - they will have a lot of problem. They cannot digest that at all -why so much is talked about material blessing. But if you understand that the gospel is four-part gospel, you will never have any problem because that is the original plan of God. That how God made man, that is the condition in which God placed man. Alright that is the first thing.

The second thing is the creation mandate, which is also called "Cultural mandate". The creation mandate tells man what he is supposed to do - what his work is. What is his work? What is he supposed to do? He is supposed to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. These five words are probably the most important things that you should know. This is our life, this is what we must be.

Our life must be a fruitful life, we must multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. You need to understand the meaning. The first part of it, the first three things: fruitful, multiply, fill - those three things, that is talking about a social development - social world, and the development of a social world - How we must develop the social world. It means that God has made us in His image and likeness, and we must fill this world with images and likeness of God.

See, when God the Creator made the world, He is the Kings of kings; and the kings of ancient times usually placed their statues all over their domain. So the people will know who their ruler is. People can be familiar with their ruler. When God created the world - He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords; He did not place some images all over the place, He placed human-beings- made in the image and likeness of God. And told Adam and Eve, the first human-beings - told them to multiply and fill; that is, place these images everywhere, fill the whole world with His image and likeness. Instead of statues, make people. Fill the world with people who are made in the image and likeness of God. So, it is talking about a development that has to do with social development. And that is why today we do these things like building schools, we buildcities, we build governments, we build laws, we build societies. That is, being fruitful, multiplying and filling.

The second thing is Subduing and Dominating. The last two - subduing and dominating. It has to do with how we need to exercise dominion over the earth; meaning that we must exercise dominion over the creation, managing its vast resources on God's behalf, on the natural world, plant crops, build bridges, make computers, compose music,etc. All these things have to do with subduing and dominating. Solve problems in so many ways, find what the problem is, what the need is and what will make life better; and use the natural resources that God has already put there, to make new things - come up with new innovations and inventions.

Last week I talked about self-driven cars. I am looking forward to it. It will solve a lot of problems. And somebody sending me on WhatsApp self-driven bicycles coming up in April, they say. You won't believe it - self driven bicycles. I don't know if it practical for us in our city or not; because the road is full of people - self-driven bicycles; very interesting thing. I wish I had remembered to put to it on the screen for you, interesting thing. They literally showed it running. The police will have no jobs, a lot of the traffic department can go home. Their problem will be solved. So that is the kind of thing that it is talking about. Subduing and dominating is not some kind of a brute, oppressive subduing and dominating over things - over God's creation. It is a kind, compassionate, loving, developmental subduing and dominating that the bible talks about, to bring solutions for mankind and make life better.

Now, let's talk about the Kingdom of God, because the creation mandate tells us what man's work is. What is our work? Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. Now, the Kingdom of God tells us where and when that work must be done. We know what our work is by the creation mandate. The creation of God, the truth about the Kingdom of God tells us where and when we must carryout this work, this mission that God has given to us.

Let's look at the truth about the Kingdom of God. First, let me share with you about what the Kingdom of God is and how it has come and what form it exists today. And then I will talk about how it relates to our work and how it impacts our work. First, about the Kingdom of God. Lot of people understand that Jesus came to the earth, to be the sacrifice for our sins; but very few people understand that he also came to establish the Kingdom of God. If you read the bible there is so much about the Kingdom. A hundred and sixty two times the New Testament talks about the Kingdom of God. You cannot separate the New Testament and the Kingdom of God. You cannot understand the gospel, apart from the Kingdom of God. If you try to understand the gospel apart from the Kingdom of God, leaving out the Kingdom of God, you will get the wrong kind of the gospel; you will miss out the whole thing about the gospel. The gospel is about the Kingdom of God. I will show it to you. Turn with me Mark chapter 1 and verse 14 and 15 - Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdomof God - Notice that it doesn't say the gospel, it says, "The gospel of the Kingdom of God" - a particular kind of gospel. Now somebody asked me, "What kind of gospel do you preach?" I said, "What kind of gospel do you believe?" He believes in just the gospel; I believe in the gospel of the Kingdom, because the gospel of the Kingdom is what the bible talks about - what Jesus talked about. He came not just preaching the gospel - which many people think is, that man is a sinner and Jesus is the Savior - No, he is talking about the gospel of the Kingdom of God, which means a bigger thing than just sin and salvation. It means that - bringing back everything to the original condition that God created them to be. It is the four-part gospel - that is the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is restoring all things to the original shape and form, and condition that God created and bringing back God's intentions for the creation to pass once again. So he preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, it says.

So, John was put in prison and Jesus comes and begins his ministry, and it is described as this: That he came preaching the Kingdom of God, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. And then it says what he preached; and saying, verse 15 - That time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. - Now look at what he preached, look at the words. What did Jesus preach when he preached the gospel of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of God? He preached saying that time is fulfilled. That means that time has come now. The Kingdom of God is at hand; has arrived literally. "Repent and believe in the gospel".

Now, four words that are often used in the New Testament appears here in this one verse. Those words are: Kingdom of God, Gospel, Repent and Believe. Everybody understands orheard these words: Kingdom of God, Gospel, Repent and Believe. We understand them individually; but most of the time Christians are unable to relate the gospel, repentance and believing to the Kingdom of God. They don't know how these three things: the gospel, repentance and believing relates to the Kingdom of God. They can understand the Kingdom of God, somewhat, they can understand it separately; but they don't know how these three things relate to the Kingdom of God - what these three things have to do with the Kingdom of God. What does repentance have to do with the Kingdom of God? What is believing the gospel having to do with the Kingdom of God? That they are not able to really understand. But if you listen to what I am going to say today, you will begin to see the relationship. Jesus says, "The time is fulfilled. The Kingdom of God has come. So repent and believe in the gospel," he says. Now, when he said it, the people had no problem with it. When he said, "The time is fulfilled." They didn't say, "Which time?" because he was preaching to the Jews. When he said that time is fulfilled, he is referring to the fact that there have been prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Kingdom of God - that the Kingdom is going to come, that God is going to send a king, a Messiah. He will come and establish his rule, his Kingdom shall be forever. This kind of thing is taught again and again in the Old Testament; it is everywhere. It is in Psalms, it is in Isaiah, it's everywhere. No time to read all of those verses.

The prophesies concerning the coming King, the Messiah and his rulership and his reign and how good it will be - it's all over the place. Old Testament is full of it. So when he says that "Time is fulfilled. The Kingdom of God is at hand", nobody had any questions about it because they have read it in the New Testament. To them Jesus was saying, "It is here. Well, you have read all that, it is here; the time has arrived", he says. So, the Old Testament is full of such prophesies. Now turn with me to Psalms 2. I will just read one such prophesy.so that you get a taste of it, alright. Psalms 2 - I am sure you have read it. But the problem is with Psalms, some people say, "Well the Psalms belong to this particular genre of songs. The Psalmist was a song-writer - so you must treat the Psalms as only songs. Don't take it beyond that. You cannot take some songs and make doctrines out of it. "You cannot derive doctrines from Psalms", they say. Incorrect, because the Psalmist is not just a song-writer. The bible says that the Psalmistwas also a prophet who spoke prophetically many times. When Jesus rose from the dead on the day of Pentecost, Peter got up and preached; he was referring to the Psalm. He was referring to one of the Psalms of David - in Chapter 16 - Psalms 16. There David said, "Thou will not leave my soul in hell." He was not talking about himself, he says. He was talking about the Messiah, because David's grave is still with us, and his grave is still there. He is still in the grave, but Jesus is not in the grave. He is risen, he says. So he is talking prophetically about Jesus. So there Peter is referring to this as the Psalm of David, as a prophetic utterance.

So, Psalmist was a great prophet. Many times he prophesized wonderfully. Read Psalms 22, 23 and 24. Psalms 22 is about the cross. Psalms 24 is about the coming king - the one who is going to come back; the second coming, the King of kings returning. So, Psalms 22 is about the cross, 24 is the return of the king. 23 is about what we do between the cross and the time that he comes back. For all of us, he is the good shepherd that we shall not want, and so on. Beautifully, he puts the gospel and everything there, prophetically. He was not just writing songs, he was making prophetic declaration. So you must be careful with the Psalms.

Certainly, there are some places where it is just a song, but many places there are prophecies involved. And look at this: this is a prophetic utterance concerning the coming King and coming Kingdom. Let me read to you Psalms 2: Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bonds in piecesand cast away their cords from us. - It is all talking about Jesus the King and how the world works against him and so on.

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh (verse 4) The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,and distress them in His deep displeasure:Yet I have set My Kingon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree. The Lord has said to me, You are My Son, today I have begotten You.- If you have any doubt about who it is talking about, read Acts 33 - I think around verse 30 to 33 of Acts 13. Acts 13:30-33, I think, where the Apostle Paul talks about the resurrection of Jesus and says that when God raised Jesus from the dead, He said to him - God said to Jesus when He raised Him from the dead, "You are My Son, this day I have begotten you". That is how he raised him from the dead. This is a reference to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, being risen from the dead - what the Father says to the Son. And then the Father says, "Ask of me and I will give you the nations for your inheritance/for your possession." What is he talking about? He is talking about, Jesus as the King and how everybody stands against him, and they kill him and he dies on the cross. But God is having the last laugh. That is exactly what it is saying. God is having the last laugh when He raised His Son from the dead, saying to him, "You are my Son. Today I have begotten you." And then He says to him, "You ask of me and I will give you the whole world for your possession." So God's plan is the redemption of the whole world; to bring the whole world back to Himself, to redeem all things back to Himself. He made it, He is the Creator, He has every right to go about restoring everything back to Himself. Now such prophesies the Jewish people were used to and they were expected a king to come, a Messiah to come, God has promised him the nations. That is why when Jesus rose from the dead, just like Paul says. When God said, "You are my Son, this day I have begotten you." - That is how God raised him from the dead. When he got up He calls the disciples and says, "Go into all the world, preach the gospel, make disciples, and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And teach them everything that I have taught you." We looked at it last week and I showed you the relationship between the cultural mandate or the creation mandate, which is Genesis 1:28 and Matthew's gospel chapter 28:19, which is the one that I quoted just now about going into all the world, preaching the gospel. Genesis 1:28 and Matthew 28:19 are basically the same - the words are different, but both are mandates. One is the creation mandate the other one is new creation mandate. One, God declared what man shall be when He created him. Now Jesus is declaring as the King of kings and the Lord of lords, that the gospel must be preached everywhere to every creature, all over the world - to the nooks and corners of the world, people must be made disciples, and brought in, must be taught - a new society must be begun. That is the way he puts it. It is exactly like saying, "be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate." No difference, same agenda, same purpose,same thing put in different words.

So, here we see that the people of Jesus' day really understood what Jesus was talking about, as far as that goes. When he said the time has come, is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand - they understood that. Then he said, "Repent and believe in the gospel." But the thing is - What is the Kingdom of God? This is where they had the problem. They understood so much; that is, they understood that a king is supposed to come, and that he is going to have a kingdom - they are looking for a king, that is good news for them. But they did not envision how the king would come. The Kingdom of God, in God's plan, comes in two different ways. First it comes spiritually and then it comes literally. When it comes literally, it will be self-evident; everybody can see. Nobody has to say, "The king has come. Here he is." No, he will literally come. With a trumpet sound, he will arrive here and he will rule, and everyone will know that this is Jesus Christ. And Paul says in Philippians chapter 2 verse 11, that, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is God, to the glory of God the Father.

One day, every tongue will confess, every knee will bow, Paul says. Not today, not every knee is bowing today, not every tongue is confessing today. But one day in the future, when this King of kings returns and shows himself, makes it self-evident that he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, every tongue will confess and every knee will bow and say that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father, but that day has not come. Sohas the kingdom come, something that is going to come or has it come? See, when it comes like that, literally and manifestly everybody will know. It will self-evident. But there is another way in which it has come now, which is more difficult to understand because it has come spiritually today. This is what people of Jesus' time failed to understand. They had difficulty. The Jewish people had a problem with him because of this - because he was declaring such things and they could not understand at all. Remember he told them Kingdom parables. The sower went forth to sow. Some seeds fell by the wayside, some fell on rocky grounds, some fell on thorny grounds, some fell on good ground and brought forth 30, 60 and 100, and so on. They said, "Give us the meaning. We don't understand this Kingdom parable." He gives seven parables there in Matthew chapter 13. They could not understand these parables. What are you talking about? The Kingdom coming inform of words, the Kingdom coming with words as seeds, going into the heart. It is something very spiritual. They were looking for a king who would come in a white horse, live in a palace, be born in a palace and show himself forth to the people, as the king and defeat the RomanEmpire, deliver the people from the regime and give them freedom and liberty and bring blessings upon their land and so on. They were looking for a literal fulfillment, and here first to begin with the Kingdom comes spiritually. The fact that it has come spiritually made it very difficult from them to understand. It is not manifest, it is not self-evident. So they were not able to understand. They had such problems with it.

Look at how the bible declares it. Turn with me to Matthew's gospel chapter 12 verse 28. The context is -Jesus was casting out devils, and those that were against him, the Jewish people that were against him were saying that he cast out demons through another demon, a bigger demon called "Beelzebub", the ruler of demons. He is casting out demons, he himself has another demon. That is how he is casting out demons. He is demon possessed, he is casting out demons by a bigger demon called "Beelzebub". And Jesus answers them in this way: - If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. I like the English version better. I have been preaching in the morning in Tamil, the English is better. Sometimes the English is better than the Tamil, sometimes the Tamil is better than the English. I get both of them, which is good. I wish I knew more languages. He said, If I cast out demons by the spirit of God, surely...he says, if it is true that I am able to cast out devils by the spirit of God, surely then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. He is not saying, "It is going to come", he says, "It has arrived." The Kingdom is here. You see its power and operation through me. The demons are trembling, the demons are leaving at my word because it is the Kingdom power. It is a power of this new king that has come, it is the power of this new Kingdom. He has penetrated this world of darkness, arrived on the scene. In the midst of this dark world, he is commanding demons to leave, sicknesses to leave, he is commanding the sea, and the winds and the wave to be calm. He is exercising authority, even over the earthly elements. Taking 5 loaves and 2 fish, multiplies it for 5,000. "The Kingdom has come, the Kingdom is upon you", he says - very powerful way of saying. Kingdom is not just saying, "It's come""It's upon you. It is right here. It has arrived."

In what way has the Kingdom arrived? See, the Kingdom comes in 2 ways: One, it comes spiritually and then comes literally. What Jesus is talking about is the arrivalof the spiritual kingdom, initially. And that they are not able to understand - they are not able to see the kingdom, especially when he died on the cross, they could not conceive of a king whodied naked, hanging there, beaten, thrashed, laughed at, ridiculed, put down, seemingly powerless hanging on the cross. They cannot conceive of a king like that. How can he be a king, dying like this? How can he claim to bring the kingdom? How can he claim to be the king? They could not understand the spiritual nature of the kingdom. It was the mystery to them - they could not understand him. But the fact is the Kingdom has arrived. Now, I want you to understand, and I want us to understand today that the Kingdom has come; and more than the Kingdom has come - it has come when Jesus came, through him it came. We can see it in his works, we can see it in his words, we can see it in his deeds. We can see it everywhere he went, the Kingdom power, Kingdom has come and it has been here all these years. And more importantly, we have come into the Kingdom. Remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus: "Unless you are born-again you will never see the Kingdom of God", he said. Unless you are born again you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. If it is true that you cannot - without being born again, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God, you cannot see the Kingdom of God. Then, if you are born-again, you have entered the Kingdom of God, and you are experiencing the Kingdom of God. If he says, "If you are not born-again you cannot enter it, you cannot see it" - that means, when you are born-again, you are into it; you are seeing it, experiencing it and you have entered the Kingdom.

How many of you are born-again here? What about the rest of you? How many of you are born-again here? I tell you we have come into the Kingdom of God, we have entered into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is in us, just like Jesus said. The rulership of God. The world cannot see Jesus as the king. They see him as the one who died on the cross, helplessly. The other day I was hearing someguy who hates Jesus, talking about Jesus very badly; I felt very sad. Talking about the cross and how he died shamefully and all that; he can't even help himself. See, the world cannot see. They cannot understand this king, but we understand. The mystery of this Kingdom that has come spiritually can be understood only by revelation. That is why Jesus spoke in parables, explained it because it has come spiritually and we understand it. We understand that the King has come, that Jesus is the King. When I confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior, he became my King. He became your King when you confessed him as your Lord and Savior. The Kingdom has come inside of us. The Kingdom power is in our lives. We have the Kingdom authority. He spoke about it when he said, "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. Whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The Kingdom power has come, because the Kingdom has come, the King is in our hearts; spiritually we are in the Kingdom. Now, how does it impact work? If this is true, then what kind of difference does it make in the way we think of work and we do our work. Now, this is the thing that became the basis of Protestant teaching on work. They realized these things. They said that the Kingdom of God has come in ways unknown to the world, spiritually, penetrating through the darkness and the powers of darkness, defeating the powers and principalities that Jesus brought the power of the devil down on the cross of Calvary to move the world to another foundation and to equip people; make them informed, devolved people, determined people. Why? So that they can be Kingdom people living in the dark world, in the midst of darkness.

In the bible it says, "The whole world lies in the tightgrip of wicked one - 1 John 1:5-19 - the whole world, is in the tightgrip of the wicked one. It is enslaved by the wicked one. But we have been brought out of that. Colossians 1:13 says, that He has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. So we have come from the darkness kingdom into this Kingdom. There has been a tremendous shift, spiritually. We are not under the powers of darkness any more. We are not slaves to the devil anymore, we are not slaves to sin anymore; a deliverance has happened that the world does not understand. It has truly happened. Just because they cannot see it, it doesn't mean that it does not exist. It has happened - chains have been broken, fetters have been thrashed and broken. We have been set free, liberated, emancipated - freed from the power of Satan. That is what has happened to us spiritually. See, Christianity is not where you just go and join a church and give your name and get your rituals done there. No, somehow they have shifted and moved to this kind of mould. That is not right. The true Christianity is about this: being born-again, being set-free from the power of Satan, from the power of sin, delivered, chains broken - delivered by the power of the Spirit of God. That is what has happened to us. It is something that is real that has happened. And as a result now God has made us as a new people, we are born-again, we are a new creation, we are a new people. We know what is going on. When we go to work today we realize that there is a spiritual battle for us; because we live in a dark world - in a world in which people are enslaved by sin and Satan, but we are not. So there is an opposing force in this world - we understand this, we are informed about it, we know what it is all about. And we know the dark world, influenced by the devil - the devil has become the Lord of this world, the god of this world - the bible says.

Remember, when Jesus was tempted, the devil says to Jesus in the third temptation - he takes him to the top of mountain and says, "Fall down and worship me and I will give you the kingdoms of this world." He showed him the kingdoms of this world, and said, "Fall down and worship me and I will give you the kingdoms of this world and give you the gloryof all these kingdoms." Literally meaning, I will give you the riches of all these kingdom. Jesus never said, "No, no! It doesn't belong to you." - No, because there is truth in it.

Where did he get that from? How can he say that he has the kingdom? I mean, he has the kingdoms of the world in his hands. He literally says there, in one gospel, it is rendered this way: "If you fall down and worship me I will give you the kingdoms of this world, and the glory thereof. For it belongs to me and I can give it to whoever I will" - That is what he says. "I have the right to give it to whoever I will." Just like if you have something, you have a right to give it to whoever you will. He says, "It belongs to me. I can give it to whoever I will." How can he say that? It happens. Even Satan came to Adam and Eve and they obeyed his voice rather than God's words. They put themselves under the power and control of Satan, they abrogated, gave up the whole authority that God had given to them - the dominion, the power to subdue, that God had given to them, over this wholeworld. God has given to them that power and they gave it over to Satan. Now Satan says, "The kingdoms of the world belongs to me." Now, into the world, Satan is the god of this world. He is not our God, he is the god of this world. There is a difference. We may live in this world, but he is not our God, he is not my God.

And Jesus has penetrated into this world, where the devil is the god of this world. And just like an army will quietly come in and invade, and bring in territories under its control, the kingdom has arrived. Satan did not realize it, nobody realized it. A lot of people don't see it, through the cross of Calvary, and what happened there. Through the shed blood, Jesus has entered the scene in the midst of darkness, broken the chains of thousands and thousands, and millions of people, and set them free. There is a deliverance that is going on everywhere; invading territories, bringing people under the Kingdom of this light. So, we belong to that Kingdom. We still live in this world, in this world that is fallen and sinful but we belong to another Kingdom. So when you go to work tomorrow, you remember that - you are from that Kingdom. You are a representative of that Kingdom and when you go there...yeah, things are dark there, things are not right there many times. They do everything wrong there, but you are there to make them right. You are there to right whatever has gone wrong, transform whatever has been corrupted and bring peace in the midst of chaos, and confusion and hatred, and continue to do so. Every single one, every Christian believer is in that position, doing that, in whichever area they are working in; transforming their surroundings, transforming their situations - being a light and a salt of this world; doing it until and as long as they live in this world. This is why God has placed us there.

But what are Christians saying? Christians are saying, "Brother this work place is a terrible place. All sinners only there. I am thinking of leaving it and coming to ministry, because I think only holy people are there." I know one fellow who left and came and joined some organization and then he came and complained to me, "Brother, this is even worse." I said, "I would have told you, man. You are not in heaven, you are on earth. Wherever people are there, you are going to find that some people truly believe in God and have some sincerity and live sincerely. There are people that call themselves Christians, but they are not truly Christians. The Kingdom is not in them; Jesus is not their King and they are going to be just as bad as others, and even worse sometimes. He is very disappointed, "I thought, brother it will be a holy place. That I will be insulated from all these troubles and all these evil people that is out there. I wanted to get away from that." What are you going to do? Are you going to get into a building with all believers and say, "Halleluiah", stay there all the time? God says, "Go into the world, preach the gospel, make disciples."

Go out there, shine your light. Be thesalt of this earth, be the influence over there. Even I used to think, when God first put me here, I used to think, God, there are so many nice places in the world. I thought you wanted only good things for me. How about Hawaii, by the beach, give me a church. I will have a nice house by the beach, enjoy myself, be in the sunlight where all the tourists come. And I will be a nice pastor there. You will be giving me heaven on earth. I thought God will lead me. You know, when I was in bible school, I remember one guy used to say, "Don't ever pray saying, ‘Lord, wherever you lead me, there I will go', He may send you to some place that you don't want to go." And God really sent me to a place I didn't want to go. And I found myself here and I said to God, "Everything is bad here God." I remember I went to the bank one day. And back in those days you should see the banks, you know. I gave a cheque and the guy gave me a token and said, "Sit over there." I went and sat there, it took me half a day. He said, "No, this is a cheque, we cannot cash. It has to go for collection." I said, "I need the money immediately." He said, "Go give a letter to the main branch in Mount Road." And then they would approve half of the money. You know I went and got all that done. But that time it was like 1 o'clock, and came back and got the money and I said I will never go to the bank again. And I said, "God didn't you have any better place for me?" And this heat you know, oh my. And then I put a hut here and started here. No fans there - nothing in this place. In a little hut I started, and I complained to God and I said, "Lord, why did you bring here?" I cried sometimes. Finally I realized that God was telling me - Why don't you change it? I brought you so that you can change it. If it is hot make it air-conditioned man. See, I never thought of it. See, air-conditioning was unknown in those days - 30 years ago, in church especially. If you had it in your house, in my circles you had it in the backroom, so that nobody will see it - T.v and all those things are in the back room; and the antenna also in the back of this terrace - don't let anybody see it, you know. Preacher is not supposed to have all those things. But God showed me, "You make this place a better place. You show them what it must be like. You show them what man was supposed to...be fruitful, multiply, subdue, fill, dominate - dominate over these situations. You show everybody what life is supposed to be. They got it one way, you show them exactly what it is supposed to be. So I started being fruitful, started multiplying. See how I am multiplying now. Change it the way you like it - dominate it, subdue it. And the way you do it, may God glorified - let people see the image of God, the likeness of God. Do it in that way.

You won't believe - 32 years ago when I started out here, if you sat on chair they believed you cannot worship. They told me how can you make us sit on chairs, how will we pray? One fellow was fighting me. How will we pray if we sat on chairs? So, even chair is not allowed. Aircondition, you are literally going to hell for doing that. That is the way people thought of it. That is why I never told anyone. You know I never said, "I am going to aircondition this place." and make it...No, no, I just did it. Because by the time you ask these people you can never do anything. They would say, "No, brother. I don't think God wants us to do it. God showed me we will all go to hell if we air-conditioned this place." No, you are supposed to be the salt, you are supposed to be the light. The problem with Christians is they think that it doesn't matter how we live on this earth because in heaven we are going to live in mansions, we are going to have such wonderful places. We are going to walk on streets of gold and everything is going to be so nice - doesn't matter how you live here.

Like one fellow said, "This is like a bus-stand, brother. Don't worry too much about how the bus-stand is. The bus-stand will not be nice. Just adjust with it. Where you are going - that place is a wonderful place. You must pay attention to that place. Where you are going must be good; but the bus-stand, you don't care about how your bus-stand is like, just put up with it - it is temporary. So this world - this earthly life and everything we do is temporary, like a bus-stand. You know just put up with it and don't change anything - don't try to do even anything. Just wait until you get to heaven. Just somehow die and go to heaven, everything will be fine." This is what the bible teaches, they think. That they will one day be delivered from here and go to heaven. But the gospel of the Kingdom is totally different. It is about the Kingdom of God coming down here, it is not about us going there. It is about the Kingdom of God coming here, and God coming into this world. It is about Jesus coming into our lives and we becoming the salt and the light, and changing everything and doing everything. So, this fellow saying that this is bus-stand and that is the permanent place. So, every Christian thinks that we are going to heaven and be floating around there and saying, "Hi", you know, all the nice people are going to be there. And we are going to be and not do anything.

I said to one fellow, "What is going to happen to the earth?""We are going to vacate it brother, completely. Abandon this earth, earth is useless." See, you don't understand the bible - Read the bible. You read Romans Chapter 8 verse 19 to 23 - it talks about how because of man's sin, the earth has also experienced the effects of the fall, so that the trees are not bringing forth fruits as they should, the crops are not coming out as they should, the earth is not the way that it should be. It is not realizing its full potential - something is missing, something is wrong with the earth itself - the fall has brought a curse upon the earth so that when Jesus became a curse for us on the cross of Calvary to redeem us - not only are we redeemed, our earth is also redeemed. Without that redemption will not be complete. And Romans 8:19-23 says the whole world, the earth is longing and waiting for its redemption to arrive, just like our body is waiting for a day when we will be given a body that cannot die and that cannot be sick. That's redemption. That is why Jesus said when you see all of these things happen, lift up your eyes and see for your redemption draweth nigh. I thought the redemption is already here. Yea, it is here in one way, but the bodily redemption is drawing near. When Jesus shall come our mortal bodies will become immortal bodies. There's going to be a tremendous change in our body itself and then we are going to see a change in this earth. It will move from its cursed state into a blessed state everywhere. It will be a different kind of earth, it will be. So the bible narrative is different. Christians think that this is bus-stand and that is permanent. The bible says that is bus-stand. When you die and you go and wait there like in a bus stand. For what? For your body to be renewed, for your body to be made incorruptible body, for the end to come, for Jesus to come and the Kingdom shall be given into his hands, where kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and God. We are waiting for that to happen.

So, when all that happens when the end comes, the bible says there will be new heaven and new earth, where heaven itself will come down and become merged with the earth and we will live with him forever more. That's our destiny. Some people, "I thought brother I will leave this place and go. You are saying I will stay right here in Madras?" I am telling you, heaven and earth is going to merge and this place will become like heaven. Unless God turns it into a place like that, like the original paradise that the Garden of Eden was, it will never be complete - the Redemption will never complete. And that is the state and condition that God desires. That is our destiny. Don't worry; everything is going to be alright. The redemption is such a complete redemption - total redemption. And we must realize that we have a big part to play. What are we doing now? We are in the Kingdom of God - the world is a dark-world, sinful world, fallen world - all of that is there, but we do not belong to that world. We belong to the Kingdom of God. So we work from a totally different perspective. We work for the glory of God. We don't work for this world, we work for God. Now, if you look at me and say, "Oh, you are a pastor brother. You are working...." No, no, I am talking about you. You who are working in so many different fields and professions; you are working for God.

As you go to work from Monday to Saturday, starting tomorrow, you go to work, you realize that you are working for God. You are a Kingdom man, you are representing God's Kingdom. When you go into the dark world, you are the light of the world, you are the salt of this earth. God has placed you there. You are saying why God placed me in such a difficult place; because it is difficult only, He placed you there, so that you can make it better. Go to work to make that place a beautiful place. Make that a place of love and compassion and good deeds. Make that a place where kindness is there. Make that a different place, make that a little heaven. Amen.

You make your home a little heaven, you make that church a little heaven. Like the singer said, when he comes here he feels like heaven. Yea, it is a little foretaste of heaven. You become like a little heaven and just move on to the next stage - just become heaven itself, that's all. We are in the Kingdom of God already. We are Kingdom people. We are here as a representative of the Kingdom, we are working for that Kingdom. That Kingdom is working through us and we are interested in spreading the Kingdom of God so that the Kingdom of God will have its influence everywhere. That's why Jesus said, pray saying, "Thy Kingdom come"- that means "Lord, with all these injustice, all these nonsense that is going around this world, let it begin to stop - at least where are I am, at least in the things where I can put my hands into, at least in things where I have any kind of influence, anything to do with, Thy Kingdom come, Lord. May your love be shown, may your light shine, may your justice be done, may your good things be done, in the realms wherever I operate. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Make this place a little heaven, Lord." That is what our work is all about. Go and do it, starting from tomorrow.

Amen. Shall we all stand together. One fellow said the other day, "I was so frustrated with work but after I came to church I was alright." It is so true. I was frustrated also when I began, but I am alright now. I realized that I can change things. I can make a difference, that wherever I am, there I can make a difference. Whatever is in my hand to do, I can do it differently. That's all. And if everybody does it, I will tell you, the Kingdom of God will come in those places.

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