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Sunday Evening Service - 10 July 2016 - Material Prosperity : Good or Evil?

Transcript

Lets go to the Word of God. Genesis 1:26-31.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day’.
As you know we have started a new series last week. And titling the series as material prosperity- good or evil. Now the reason why I have titled it like this is because there is a general opinion among Christians, very prevalent among Christians, that prosperity is an evil, that prosperity is not good, it’s not good for us, it is not good for spiritual life. They have a wealth negative perspective. You will find very few Christians that think about it in a very positive way. So that is why I have asked this big question. Because one of these days, this big question must be answered in a big way. And I am going to do it in a big way this time. I have done it often times in so many ways but really I am going to do it in the big way in the sense that I am going to go through the Bible, I am starting with Genesis 1. Going through the Bible phrasing the entire biblical presentation of this truth and showing you how the prosperity is indeed good and God meant it to be a good thing for us. Prosperity is the condition that God envisioned for human beings when he created the world. There is no doubt about it. That’s why Genesis 1 is very important. We must never start somewhere in the middle. Because in the middle when you start you will have a lot of negative comments about prosperity. Why? Just use your mind just a little bit. Why are there so many negative things said about prosperity in the middle of the Bible? Because people have fallen into sin and like everything else they have started to misuse prosperity and prosperity has been used for evil by people who have fallen into sin. Therefore such things were condemned. Prosperity was not condemned but such actions by evil people using this to do evil things, those things are condemned and when we get to that portion I will come to it. It is very important that we start in Genesis 1. I like starting in Genesis 1 with everything that I teach. Because Genesis 1 is absolutely important. It’s the beginning and the principles of the beginnings are so important. Because in the beginning there is no condemnation of wealth, there is no condemnation of riches. Why? Here the pure will of God is being done. God is expressing his will. There is nothing to condemn there. That is why you can look over 31 verses of the first chapter and look at all the verses of the second chapter, you will never find anything other than commendation of this thing and praise of this thing and never a condemnation of this thing called prosperity. Why? Because this is the original purpose and the will of God. After that when the fall comes, things begin to change. And so there are some warnings and some condemnations because of the wrong use of this blessing of God. So, we will come to that and we will deal with that and we will show you that still does not change the fact that prosperity is God’s will and that prosperity is good for us. So, I am trying to show through this teaching that there is a way to be affluent that is good. Everybody knows that there is a way to be affluent that is bad. The bad kind of affluence everybody knows about. We are not talking about that now. I am showing you that in God’s plan and purpose, in God’s design of things, the way he has designed human life, the way he has designed the world, we are looking at the original design, it shows us that there is a way to be affluent that is good. We are talking about the good way to be affluent, so that God may look at our affluence, our abundance and plenty in the area of material things and truly say that this is good. There is a way to be rich and wealthy and have more than enough that is good in the sight of God.
Some Christians are very careful. Oh! Can’t say like that. No. I am boldly stating before God there is a way, there is a definite way that you can be rich and wealthy and have everything and have more than enough of everything, abundance of everything that is good before God. God can see it and say that’s good. That is the kind of thing that I am talking about here. Now, the kind of affluence that I am talking about which is found in Genesis 1 we read here reflects the good, created order of God. So that today when we see a person truly blessed, truly affluent and has much more than what he needs what must come out of you is not condemnation. What must come out of you is the recognition that person is beginning to now live in the way that God originally designed life for him to live. Are you thinking with me? It should never be a condemnation. You should not look at blessed people who are experiencing God’s blessing and immediately condemn that as if that is something evil happening or there is some danger involved or something like that. Immediately the first response that we must have is the appreciation of the fact that this person is walking in the blessings of God, in the original design and the plan and purpose that God intended for mankind, at least this one person has discovered it or a few people have discovered it. Praise God for it! Let more people discover it. That’s the way we need to think about it.
So, in the beginning I showed you in Genesis 1 the word good. God referring to his creation as good appears 7 times. Every time he created it says – God said something and it was so. Or said, let there be light and it was so. And then it says – God saw that it was good. This ‘God saw that it was good’ appears 6 times in that form and the 7th time God reveals everything that he has made after he made man, the creation is complete. Now he looks at everything that he has made and how wonderfully they all fit with one another, harmoniously joined to one another and says it very good. I talked about how these things are very good. Material things are very good. Now, if material things are good in Eden and if they are good in heaven, heaven is materially very prosperous, Eden was materially very prosperous, if it was good there in Eden and if it’s going to be good in Heaven and God dwells there and we are going to be dwelling there, if it’s good in the beginning and if it’s good in the heaven then why do you say it’s bad now? Why is it bad now? I say to you – if it’s good in the beginning, when God originally designed everything and if it’s going to be good in the end, when God wants us to have it for eternity to come, then I say to you that its good always. It is good yesterday, today and forever. It is only good. So that is why we start at the beginning. Because the beginning clearly shows that this is the original design of God.
Now, last week we talked about the first chapter and I referred to certain things. One is, how we view creation. How the first chapter presents creation. Now Christians do not worship the created things. We do not worship them. But just because we do not worship them it does not mean that we do not esteem created things. That we disrespect created things. See, these things we must understand. We do not worship because there is only one God. God is the creator, these are created things. Therefore we do not worship Sun, Moon and stars and all these things. But we esteem them, we respect them, we love them. Because these are God’s good creation. So we respect and love and esteem them as something wonderful because they are perfect, they are pure, they are holy. In other words, we don’t consider creation as God, but we consider creation as sacred, holy. That is a statement we must catch. In sermons sometimes you have to catch some things, this is one of the things you want to catch. Creation is not God, it’s not divine. But it is holy, therefore I say to you that creation is not God, it is sacred. Christians have this view about creation that creation is sacred. And the second thing I talked about is about man. And his relationship to the creation. God said – let’s make man in our image and likeness – verse 26 of 1st chapter – and let them have dominion over everything.
Now, today I want to talk about this ‘let them have dominion’ business. The dominion of man over nature, over all of creation. That’s what we want to talk about. But last week, we mentioned that the king of kings and Lord of Lords, the king of heaven and earth appoints man, when he made him, as his king under him on this earth to rule and reign on this earth and have dominion over this earth. I told you how kings went around building statues of themselves in various towns and regions that they governed, that they ruled, that came under their ruler-ship. Because they wanted everybody to know who the king is, who the man at the top is. So everywhere there is the king’s statue. Our God, the king of kings didn’t put his statue here on earth, instead he put us, made us in his image and likeness and put living beings, mankind here in his image and likeness and that is what is spoken of here when it says God made man in his image and likeness. That’s exactly what its talking of here. On earth, God is establishing his rule, how? Through man he is establishing his rule, man is a representative of God, he is the king under God, he has ruler-ship under God.
Now, I am going to talk about two things, today I will be able to cover only one. Next week, I am going to cover the other. Two things about this dominion that is given to man. Man’s dominion over everything, the one is, what does his dominion mean when it comes to God’s created things? How does he exercise dominion? What kind of dominion? What is the nature of that dominion? We want to talk about it today. And next I am going to talk about how that dominion involves the enjoyment of God’s creation. On the one hand the dominion I would say involves guarding, protecting and serving the creation in such a way that you protect and guard and keep it. That is one part of dominion, man is responsible, for the safe keeping of this earth. Man is responsible to make sure that everything goes alright here, man is responsible to administer the earthly resources properly and correctly, man is responsible for this earth to protect it and to keep it. That is one aspect, I want to talk about it today, and the second aspect is, man rules and has dominion over the earth in the sense that he also enjoys this creation of God that God has made for him. It is for his delight and enjoyment that God has made everything. This is an amazing concept also. Two things must be understood because they are related to how everything is good, that prosperity is good.
Alright, let’s talk about the first thing today. Human dominion over God’s creation. Now, today environmentalism is a very big issue here. Lot of people that are concerned about the global ecology problems that we face today blame the Protestant doctrine of man’s dominion over creation. That’s basically a Protestant doctrine. It gained great place in the Protestant teachings when the Protestantism began to take over and many countries of the world turned to be a Protestant country. In those countries the Protestant teaching spread and they are the ones that made a big deal about verse 26 where it says God made man in his image and likeness and said - let them have dominion. Now, environmentalists, people that talk about the problems in ecology, they say – that this doctrine of man’s dominion over nature is bad because this has led people to think that they can do anything with this earth. they can kick around the earth, abuse the earth, do whatever they want with the earth and that is why earthly resources are abused and we are going to run into great problem and great difficulties in the future because man is abusing the earth and man is spoiling the earth and the reason for this is the Protestant doctrine of human dominion over the creation. Now, is that true? Is it true that the Protestant doctrine of man’s dominion over creation is the problem? Is that why earthly resources are wasted, ruined, and spoiled? Is this why we are going to run into a problem? If that is so, then we are obligated to reject the doctrine itself. Because if that doctrine is the thing that caused the problem then it’s a terrible problem. But I will show to you that it is not so, because I want to take you back to Genesis 1 and show you how that it is not the problem with this doctrine. It is a problem generally with the understanding of things. Genesis 1 gives us a wonderful picture of the creation and in that picture many people read the picture in their own way. When they look at Genesis 1, lot of people say – well, this is the picture of God’s power. You see God’s power, immense power, amazing power. There’s no power like God’s power. He just speaks and things come into being. He said – let there be light there was light. Let there be firmament, there was firmament. Let there be fruit yielding trees and herbs and it was so. Let there be Sun, Moon and the stars, they were so. Let there be fish of the sea and birds of the air, and they were so. Let there be beasts of the field, they were so. So whatever he spoke, it was so. So powerful, God’s power is an amazing power. And chapter 1 is about God’s power they say. The essence of chapter 1 is about God’s power they say. They always refer to the fact that he said - look at it- let there be light and there wa light. But they leave out the next statement. He said, let there be light and there was light and then the third thing that occurs is and it was good. He saw that it was good. I say to you, that the point Genesis 1 makes is not just about the power of God, the great power of God. The point that Genesis 1 makes is also about the nature of God, the quality of God, this person God and what kind of a person he is. That is revealed there. That he is good. Many people miss this whole point, they say that he is great, that he is powerful, but they miss the point that he is good. Now many of our songs, in Tamil and in English, they always talk about how God is great and then how God is good. God is great, very powerful and good. And whenever we sing that, I remind people that God is both great and good. Both powerful and good. It’s very important to be powerful and good. Because we have a lot of powerful people in the world, but they are of no use to us, because they are not good. They will not do any good to anybody. They have power, they are very powerful, but they are not good. They don’t have a good heart, they won’t do good things with that power but God not only has power, he has goodness. He is good, there are many people in the world that are good, but have no power. Have you heard people tell you, well you need money, if I had it I will give it to you? The problem is I don’t have it. I have a heart but I don’t have the dough. I just don’t have the money to give it to you. I have the heart. Nice people but they don’t have the money actually to give it to you. So they have goodness but they have no power. But God is good and powerful. Good and great. That’s the most wonderful thing about God. He is good and he can do anything and everything for you. There is nothing impossible for God. There is nothing impossible with God because he is so powerful but don’t worry he will not do you any harm, because he is good. He will only do you good things, this is the most wonderful thing about God and these two points are made in Genesis 1 itself. Genesis 1 not only makes the point about God’s greatness, the greatness of his power, it also makes the point of the greatness of his goodness. He is good, that’s the essence of God. That is his character, that’s his quality. That’s his personal quality and personal character. Where do we see that? We see it in the way he uses his power. The two are linked. The power and goodness are linked. The goodness of God is seen in the way he uses his power.
How does he use his power when you look at Genesis 1? You see the God of Genesis does not act from selfish interests, he did not create anything out of selfish interests. He does not create anything egotistically to show that he can do these things or prove something to somebody. No. he doesn’t do anything like that. No not out self interest. Just like we have Genesis 1, the other ancient cultures that lived during the time Genesis was written, there were other creation stories. For example – there is a Babylonian creation story. In that creation story, they all basically address the same question. Who is man? Who is God? How did the world come about and so on? What is the meaning and purpose of life and so on? So they have their own answers. The other religions, or other faith. So Babylonian creation story, for example - which is very famous and it tells this about why God created man. They address this question, why man? Why God created man? They say – God created man because he found the work to be too much. God found that they have got too much work to do. So, they needed somebody to carry the load from their shoulders and work for them. So they figured if they made mankind they will work like slaves for gods and just go around doing whatever gods commanded. So they made human beings, so that they can be like slaves in the courts of God and just serve them in whatever capacity they need to serve. So mankind is looked upon as a slave or servant of the gods, carrying the loads that they put on them and doing all the work. To do the work, man was made. What a difference the Genesis 1 story is all about! There you see self interest. God needed someone to carry his bags and do the things for him, that too much stuff going on, so he needed some more people and so he created human beings. But Genesis 1 says that God, this God of Genesis 1 is a God of love. He creates out of love. He is love, God is love. We studied in our love series. God is love. Because the essence of his character is love, love cannot exist by itself. You need some person, something or some things to pour your love upon. You want to shower your love upon something, some person. You need people to pour the love upon. So, God made the whole creation and literally lovingly embraces the creation. Look at God in action in chapter 1. The world was without form, void and full of darkness. What does God do? He doesn’t tear up the world, he doesn’t destroy the world. No. he comes in, lovingly takes it in his hands and makes it beautiful and wonderful and corrects everything that has gone wrong and makes everything right and fills the emptiness with good things, makes everything beautiful and wonderful. That’s God. Love working there. He has got have something to pour his love upon. Love acts always. Love has to do these things, so he made the creation. Everything in this world, out of love he created this. Out of love, he envisioned man, and a life for man. When marriage happens – why do we marry? I have even heard people say – well, he is getting older and older so we need to get him married. Why? Sometimes I ask the question, why do you want to get married? You see brother he is living alone in another city. Food is not good, he is eating in the restaurants. So he needs a good wife to make food for him, and keep his apartment neat. He is earning good money but he needs a wife badly because you need somebody to cook and clean up, wash his clothes and iron his clothes and be a help to him in that way. Well, he needs a good ayah. Not a good wife. You are looking for an ayah then. And there are many available and not as expensive as the wife also. You can get them very cheap in our country. That is not what a wife is for. Some people say – well, this guy is very bad. I don’t trust to leave him alone, so let’s put a girl with him. Get him married, then maybe he will turn out to be a better person. They have all kinds of reasons and so on for marriage but the reason for marriage according to the Bible is this. That we are made in the image and likeness of God, we are also love creatures. We long for love, we must receive love, we must give love, we must live in love like fish lives in water, we have to live in the realm of love. We have to be loved and we have to love. So how can you do it alone? That’s why God said it’s not good for a man to be alone. Why? Alone what are you going to do? It’s not good for a man to be alone. You can’t be alone, because your nature is like that. You are a person who lives based on love. Love has to be expressed and love has to be received, you have to live in the realm of love. Therefore, the concept of family comes into being. Life cannot be without a family. That’s Bible. Some people would say to you – well, for God, he is not marrying. God says – you better marry. It’s not good for you to be alone. I understand some people some time, very rarely in very rare cases, maybe even God has told them not to marry or they don’t like to marry. That’s fine. But the rule of the game is this, the rule of life is this, that God made man in his image and likeness. That means that man is a creature of love, he needs love and he needs to show love, therefore he needs to live in an atmosphere of family. Have you ever noticed when a marriage happens they read all this? They never teach it in the church I think. They read all this when the marriage happens. But that’s the time when nobody is listening. I know marriages. I conduct 50 marriages here every year. I know, useless. Nobody will listen. Specially the boy and the girl. They are not listening. They are in a dream world themselves. They are just hoping to get out and hoping this preacher gets through soon. They don’t want a long winded preacher. I finish all my marriages in one hour. But nobody wants to listen. Everybody is looking at their watch – we have to go for the biriyani now. Why is he preaching so long? That’s not a good day to preach and that’s why they have written down everything and they are reading the whole thing. All that I am saying to you, they have read but you never heard it. It is not in an atmosphere where you can hear. So that is why I believe in preaching in church every Sunday. No use preaching to them on the wedding day. Better to preach every Sunday when you got them sitting in an air conditioned auditorium and you got them. So why we marry? We marry because we are creatures of love. God has made us that way just like a car runs on petrol, you run on love. You can’t deny love. You can’t say – my car runs on prayer. I have seen. I am a Pentecostal guy, I have seen cars running by miracle, by prayer. I am not kidding. Without petrol, when the petrol was over, I have seen car run on prayer, I believe it. I believe in miracles. But it didn’t run every day by prayer. I can guarantee you that. Did not run everyday like that. Once or twice in my whole lifetime, I have seen that. I remember one time particularly, it has happened. But not every day. Every day the first thing that we get up and do is go to the petrol bunk to fill some petrol in it, because it won’t run without petrol. So that’s the way marriage is. Man is not meant to live alone. Very rarely maybe yeah. One person maybe he can. But not for everybody. Because man is created in such a way that he needs marriage. This is what marriage is based on. Now God, is a God of love. What does he want? He wants to pour out his love, he has got so much of it. He needs a creation which he can love, which he can develop, which he can administer his love to, which he can cultivate, which he can make beautiful and wonderful, and then give that creation to the human beings that he loves and pour his love on them and bless them in every way. This is how the whole idea of creation comes in. The whole idea of marriage is based on that. It is all based on love. So God is not doing things out of self interest. God is doing things out of his own love. He acts in love. So, that means when he creates something, certainly he receives some joy out of it, but the thing is, the that is created also, it is going to receive some great respect and some great love and it is going to receive a purpose and it’s going to receive a pure, holy and perfect status because God creates it. Now, God shows all this in his creation. That’s where you see the glory of God. How he creates. He does not create out of self interest. No self interest. It’s all out of his love, he does everything. In John 1:14 where it talks about the Word becoming flesh, you know what it says? The Word became flesh, dwelt among us, we beheld his glory, glory as of the Son of God, he was full of grace and truth’. What is the glory of Christ? What is his glory? It was not some splendor of heaven that he came with. It was not some glorious throne that he was seated in a palace or something else. It was not anything else that you can see in a person. What is the glory of Jesus? It says we beheld his glory. What is the glory? He was full of grace and truth. Here was this person so unlike all other persons of the whole world. He was so full of grace, he was a most gracious person. That’s the glory. The glory is the way he administered his power when he on the earth. What did he do with his power? He did not go around condemning, he did not go around destroying, he did not go around doing bad things, he went around doing good things. The Bible says in Acts 10:38 that Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good, healing all that were sick and were oppressed of the devil. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit, healing and delivering people, going around everywhere doing that. Doing only good things, never bad things, healing people, delivering people, even raising people from the dead, only doing good things. How did he use his power? Here you see Jesus using his power in a very constructive way, in order to not just show his power, you never find him showing forth his power. You never see him like- let me show you how I can walk on water today. No. Or let me show you how I can make this 5 loaves and 2 fish food for 5000 people. Just see this magic. That was never his attitude. He always did, even when he did a miracle, it was born out of a passion to help people. Compassion that was dwelling up in his heart, to do something good in a situation that has turned out very bad, to make things right, to rectify things that have gone wrong, to fix the lack and want that showed up all of a sudden, to make things right, that is the way he exercised his power. And in creation, God does the same thing. See the creator is the one that comes down, in the form of Jesus, and that’s why he acts like that. Full of grace and truth. God is a gracious God, you see it in the first chapter itself. You not only see his power, you see his grace. In creation you see his grace, what does he do in creation? The world was without form, void, and it was filled with darkness. What God does? He empowers the earth, he changes the earth, he gives everything in the earth meaning and purpose. He puts everything in order. He brings in light, he brings in order, he brings in good things in the place of emptiness, in his royal greatness as a king of kings, and Lord of Lords he uses, his power to liberate other beings, other things, from nothingness to an existence that’s good.
First the Bible describes in verse 2 in chapter 1, the earth was without form, void, and filled with darkness and then you see after he gets through with dealing with the earth, you see that he has liberated earth from that condition he has freed the earth from that condition, that chaos, that darkness, that emptiness, he has freed the earth, he has liberated the earth from these things, he has given meaning and purpose to there is, brought in good things, royal love is administered to the earth. He uses his loving hands to do wonderful, amazing work of making everything right. I would say – this is a servant form of ruling and reigning and having dominion. Servant form. When you go learn leadership now, they talk about this model of leadership called servant leadership. That’s become very popular now. People are growing now, they are discovering that there is something about servant leadership. The greatest model is God. God serves the creation. He is the great and mighty and God, he is got so much power he doesn’t have to serve anybody. But the wonderful thing about him is he is so mighty and powerful but he is a servant, he is there to serve, he is there to see what has gone wrong and fix it and make it right and clean it up and turn things around, and do things to make things, right and bring it to a proper condition. That’s what he does in creation, that’s how the Bible presents the Creation story, you read the narrative, chapter 1 that’s the way he does it. It says – in the beginning, he created heaven and earth then it starts with chaos, emptiness and darkness. And then the whole story, the rest of the 29 verses it will come out how he fixes everything and makes everything right and puts everything in order and fills it with everything good, and brings light and so on, this is the story of how it goes, that’s wonderful.
And finally, that’s why 31, we concentrated upon last week, finally he looks at everything he has made and he sees complete harmony of everything. That everything fits with everything well. Everything is in its proper place, for a proper purpose functioning properly, that’s why he says it’s very good. Why? Nothing missing, nothing broken, that’s what is called Shalom, which translated peace. Shalom means peace and peace means nothing broken, nothing missing. Everything is perfect, pure, holy, wonderful, purposeful, meaningful, he looks at the earth its purposeful, meaningful, pure, holy, good. He can love and admire the earth like an artist would paint a picture and stand and look at it and enjoy that picture. Why does he enjoy? Because he envisioned something in his heart, something wonderful and beautiful and good, that picture existed in his heart, now he is been able to produce it, with his artistic powers, he was able to put it on a canvas and it has turned out right and well and perfect. Like that God who had a vision for human beings, vision for this earth, vision for life on earth envisioned it in heart, he is a good God with a good heart, a generous heart, a powerful person, he envisions it and therefore he can bring it to pass. Nothing is impossible with him, when he brings it to pass, and he stands like an artist away from that picture, away from that earth and looks at everything and views everything and says it is indeed very good. How dare we call it bad? It’s good, you can’t call it bad. Nothing is bad. Well, one fellow said to me when I was preaching something like this – you know the people of Israel when they were traveling in the wilderness, you say gold is good, they made a golden calf. And worshipped it. Then they were told to take it and bury it. I said – I will get to it later on. We are talking about Genesis 1. That is after men turned sinful and rebellious and bad, the gold itself was not bad, it’s what they did, their rebellious hearts, their foolishness that was bad. Don’t condemn the gold for it, you take away their gold, they will be doing something with something else. Whatever is available. So, there is a way to look at things and we need to look at things properly. So the world was in complete harmony, everything was in proper place and everything fitted with everything else, and everything is harmoniously functioning together. Just think about that.
For the Sun, Moon and the stars God made the Heavens and the light. Heavens and light were made for the Sun, Moon and the stars. Now, some of you are thinking – wait a minute, the Sun, Moon and the stars are the ones that give the light, how can you say that God made the light for the Sun, Moon and the stars? You read in the Bible – every time you teach Genesis 1 in the Bible college setting, this question is asked. And the first day God created the light. He said – let there be light. Only on the fourth day he created the Sun, Moon and the stars. How come he created light first and then Sun, Moon and the stars? Because in their mind they are thinking light comes from Sun, Moon and the stars. It is the Sun, Moon and the stars that give light. So they say – how come there was light before Sun, Moon and the stars. My answer is the Sun, Moon and the stars don’t produce light. They are only reflectors of that light that God has already made. Light is a wonderful phenomena that God has already made, Sun, Moon and the stars are the things like the bulb and the fittings that we have here, that shed that light that God is created. Light was in existence before Sun, Moon and the stars came into being. God made light before he made anything else. And the Sun, Moon and the stars only reflect that light, only shed that light. If you wired this place and had everything in place, the switch, the wires, everything connection in place, if you don’t have the fittings you can’t have light. You have the potential to have light but you won’t have the light. Look at the lights that God put in the big ceiling up there. Can anyone hang it up there? I challenge anyone to get up there and hang some lights. But God said – watch this, look what I do. I put it up there and it will show up exactly in the morning, and disappear in the evening, some other light will come for the night, like a zero watts. What an amazing creation. God says it’s very good. Why? Because for the Sun, Moon and the stars God made the heaven and earth. Now they are together, first he created light, then he made Sun, Moon and the stars, now they are functioning together. The Sun, Moon, stars are taking the light God has created and shedding it on the earth, God says that’s wonderful.
For the fish and birds he created the sea and the sky, for the plant life and animal life and human life, he created the dry earth. So God looks at all this, the dry earth, the sea and the sky and God says wonderful. It is very good. The whole creation was very good. Now, why I said all this? Because I want you to see that in a sense God is a servant of his creatures. He serves his creation. God is a servant of his creatures. In what way is he servant? He rules but his rule is a serving rule. He does everything with the creation, not just displaying his power and doing things but with passion and compassion he does things. Always to make things better, more beautiful and more wonderful, more useful. And more meaningful. His rule always empowers, and magnifies this creation, everything that he touches. His rule does not oppress or diminish any of the creation. Everything that he touches becomes better. Anything is gone, it becomes better. That’s why I love this God. That’s why I tell people – you give life into this God. Why? I have preached the Gospel from Genesis 1 and verse 1,2,3. I tell them – many lives are filled with chaos, emptiness and darkness. And here is an expert on fixing it. When he comes into your life, he takes that emptiness, darkness and chaos, and when he puts his hand on it, when he puts his hand on your failure, when he puts his hand on your worries, when he puts his hand on your problems, when he puts his hand on your blunders, he makes everything beautiful. When he gets through with us, everything is beautiful. Whatever he touches turns into gold. Whatever he touches is great blessing. Just like he took 5 loaves and 2 fish and made food for 5000 people, he can take your simple life, in nothingness he can pick you up and make you something beautiful and wonderful before long. That is our God my friend. We can preach the Gospel from the very first chapter, and one or two verses in the beginning. That is why the Bible presents the whole story in this way. That’s why the Bible deliberately, the narrative goes like this, deliberately because that’s the thing that he is trying to convey. This is our God, he is not only powerful, but he is good. And because he is good and powerful, he is the answer for our lives, we must trust him, we must belong to him, we must abandon ourselves in his hands, so that our confusion can be fixed, our darkness can be turned into light and our emptiness can be filled with God’s good blessings. So his rule empowers and magnifies the creation. His rule does not oppress or diminish anything, always enhances and beautifies, glorifies. That is why when Jesus was here on this earth, remember on that day, just before he went to the Cross, in that supper, he took a towel and began to wash the disciples’ feet. Now some people think that he just discovered something new that he is acting in a new way now. He is taking his disciples and sitting them down and he gets down to their feet and he holds their feet and washes them. And they are saying – oh no no Lord. He said, - no, sit down, I will do it. I say to you that’s the way he is. Even though he is so powerful, he is our creator, he is above all, he is God, who made us, he will even hold our feet, if he can make things right by taking us by our feet and washing us he will do it, why? Because he is good. He will hold our feet, he will wash our feet, he will humble himself to the point of becoming a man taking on humanity coming down to the earth and dying even on a cross that shameful death so that he can redeem us and make us better and more beautiful and wonderful. This is one story. The whole Bible is one story. Not 1000 different stories. One fellow said – Samson and Delilah and Noah and the ark and all that, no no. It’s one story. It’s all about God and his goodness and grace shown in the way he saves us and administers his blessings upon us. That starts in Genesis 1. That is the original story. Don’t change the story. Don’t give me some religious story. Genesis 1 is the pure, wonderful story available to us there. So he washes the feet of the disciples. These men he has taken, they are going to be preachers, they are going to be heads of the church, they are going to go all over the world preach the Gospel, make disciples, establish churches, he doesn’t want them to go around as these preachers that think they are Lords, that everybody should just listen to them and obey them that they are big Lords. He says no – he that thinks that he is the greatest must be the least in the kingdom of God. You get down he says. This is the way you be a leader, this is the way you serve, you may be an apostle, the highest position in the Christian church, the apostleship, you may be apostle, but he says I am better than an apostle. I make apostles. And if I can wash your feet, when you haven’t become apostles yet, when you become apostles you remember that I washed your feet and that you do the very same thing. That doesn’t mean you wash feet. Some people are ready to do the ceremony of washing the feet, but miss the whole point. It means that you be just like me, you be a servant though you are filled with an anointing and power to do great things, though you will go and heal the sick and raise the dead and deliver people and all those things, though God will use you mightily, never forget, that you are there to serve and when you serve make sure that no one and nothing is oppressed or diminished by the exercise of your power, make sure that everyone that comes in contact with you and everything that comes in contact with you becomes better, more glorified and enhanced and more beautiful. That’s what ministry is. Isn’t that an amazing thing? So, this foot washing thing comes from Genesis 1. He is a servant. He took the darkness and brought light, he took the chaos and made it orderly. He took the emptiness and filled it. He worked on the earth until it became perfectly beautiful, harmoniously working with everything else, functioning. That same God is now working on the disciples, making them great men so that they will go out and preach the Gospel, and be great. Now this model of dominion is what God intended in Genesis 1:26 when he said – let’s make man in our image and likeness, let them have dominion. This is the model of dominion.
That’s what’s meant by those words – they shall have dominion. And dominion was given to man, it was not for the purpose of oppressing others, it was with a purpose of enabling everything else, making everything better. Like our God in Genesis 1, we too are servants in royal form. We are kings, we are servants. Kingly servants or servant type of kings. Kings in servant form. We serve.
Now this is the most wonderful thing about Genesis 1, it never gets over. I have been preaching Genesis 1 for so long now but always there is more, because Genesis 1 is so full of truth and the one truth it does bring forth is that everything that God creates is good, that God loves it, considers it pure and holy, embraces it, makes everything right and gives charge to man over all the creation, he gives dominion means that and man is supposed to make sure that everything is alright on this earth. He is not supposed to be going around calling everything bad. No. Sometimes the good things may turn out bad, because some people abuse it. Some people misuse it. Some people do wrong things with it, but you and I are supposed to make things right. You are here as representatives of God. We are here as representatives of God. We are not to call things bad, we are not to reject the blessings of God, we are not to call these things that God has made bad. We are to call these things good and recognize the pure, holy sacredness of the creation of God, appreciate it. Before you appreciate it, you cannot enjoy it. How are you going to enjoy it if you are not even going to appreciate it? First you need to appreciate it, respect it, love it, then only you can enjoy it. And I am going to talk about enjoying it, and you are going to enjoy that. Enjoyment is one way of ruling. One way of ruling is to administer it in such a way that you safeguard it, protect it, deal with it, make things that have gone bad good and so on. That’s one way of ruling and having dominion. Another way of having dominion is that you enjoy it. Enjoy the fruits of it, enjoy the potential that the earth holds. You are responsible to work it and to bring out the fullest potential of the earth. Now listen to me, this is where prosperity starts. God never limited prosperity to the Garden of Eden and said – this is how many trees you have got, you better make sure that none of the trees fall or cut it down, you are finished. He said this is the model. You can make the whole earth like this. There is no limit to how many fruits you are going to have, how many trees you can have, there is no limit. I am giving you unlimited possibilities with the law of sowing and reaping. You can have as much as you want, this is here, you take it, you are responsible to find out what the earth can do for you. and you are supposed to bring out everything, all the possibilities, explore it. That is why I say – that the countries which got into the Protestant teachings, became so advanced in Science, technology and financial prosperity. They advanced, far ahead of others, went forward, there is a connection between the kind of teaching and the kind of lifestyle. The teaching is you have dominion, that’s why they started researching. Because researching is dominion, they have started searching. What can the earth do? What does God put in there? What are these minerals for? What is this gold for? Silver for, oil for? How can I use it? How can I tap it? How can I bring it out? In what way can it be useful, in a constructive way? They are researching, they are even going into the sky, into the Moon and other places, wanting to go everywhere, look into what’s happening there and what is there for us. They are interested, why? Because science, technology and financial development happens wherever dominion concept is believed, wherever people believe that God gave man dominion over the earth that he is supposed to work with it, find out what he can do with it and bring the best out of it, and that is the philosophy or teaching or theology, whatever you want to call it, out of which comes blessedness and prosperity and increase and abundance like you have never imagined.

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