Monthly Manna Revelation: June 2023
Apostle Dr. James Brewton
God has an agenda—a list or outline of things to be considered or done on earth by Christ’s body, the Church. Yes, God’s agenda involves the global body of born-again believers whose mandate is to advance His kingdom on earth.
Churches, especially those in the western hemisphere, are having limited impact on society, not because the Church hasn’t been given the necessary spiritual tools to impact society in alignment with God’s kingdom agenda based on His righteousness, but because the Church has adopted an alternative agenda which gravitates to its flesh rather than God’s kingdom of righteousness.
God’s agenda for the Church, when carried out from a kingdom perspective, provides an agenda based on God’s Word rather than a secular agenda based on man’s word and his desires. Man’s agenda is a watered-down version of God’s original model and purpose. The Church has allowed the devil to lull it into a deep sleep because it is at ease. The prosperity message, although a component of God’s kingdom, stole the hearts of many well to do men and women of God. These became more conscious of their state or position as wealth influencers, whose consistent appetite for luxury living eventually became a wanton lifestyle—a subtle bend toward serving mammon rather than serving God.
A closer look at the parables taught by Jesus point to a kingdom agenda for the Church that represented a significantly different pattern and way of thinking from both the evil systems of the world and the religious standards from which Christianity was birthed. The work of Jesus was one of both restoration and of imparting new wine—the ability to live a supernatural, kingdom-compliant lifestyle. From the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus announced the framework of this higher standard and model with the words: “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” What this suggests to me is that the purpose of the Kingdom of God model and agenda for the Church is not one of assimilation, but one of change.
As one prominent U.S. pastor said: “We do everything we can to give the impression that our lives are on target when in reality all we have done is learn to paint well! We have sought to camouflage our emptiness and failure with materialism, the scramble for success and significance, and other [worldly, self-gratifying] pursuits.” In many instances materialism has become more important than saving lives; and ministering the gifts of the Holy Spirit is no longer for the profit of all, but for one’s own profit.
And so the Western Church has contributed to the spiritual decline of each country’s culture by failing to produce kingdom-compliant servants and leaders whose mandate is to accomplish God’s Kingdom-agenda for the Church laid out for us by the life of Jesus and by the Word of God. By failing to clearly manifest and illustrate the solutions of the kingdom for the critical issues of our day, we have allowed the evil systems of the world and its agenda to invade the Church and help shape our thinking and our actions.
So, what is God’s kingdom agenda for the Church on earth? Jesus Himself tells us what it is. It’s what we refer to as “The Great Commission.” Let’s read it from Matthew chapter 28, verses 18-20 (NKJV).
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
After his resurrection, Jesus made the disciples’ faith to triumph over doubts. With authority, He commissioned the apostles to go forth making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is an outward sign of that inward washing or sanctification of the Spirit, which seals and evidences the believer's justification. The salvation they were to preach is a common salvation for all believers today—to observe all things Jesus taught—which is the gospel of the Kingdom. That is God’s kingdom agenda for the Church.
The Church needs to rid itself of the escapism mentality—hoping and wishing for Jesus’ return and the rapture of the Church. Many saints, sadly, would rather go to be with the Lord in lieu of being bondservants to God here on earth and fulfilling the great commission assigned to us by the Lord, Jesus, to expand His kingdom on earth.
However, that is not in alignment with Jesus’ truth. In Matthew chapter 24, verse 14 (NKJV), Jesus said: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
I’m convinced that one of the reasons so many believers struggle is that they want God to bless their agenda rather than their fulfilling His agenda. They want God to sign-off on their plans rather than their fulfilling His plans. They want God to bring them glory rather than their bringing Him glory.
We must remember that the origin of God’s kingdom is spiritual. It is from heaven, not from earth; which means that you do what you do in a way that God approves of. His kingdom is worked out and applied on earth but from a divine frame of reference. Born-again believers cannot adopt man’s methods to accomplish God’s goals, because everything visible and physical is controlled by that which is invisible and spiritual.
The Church’s agenda is to adhere to biblical principles. The apostle Paul said that we are a living epistle known and read by all men (see 2 Corinthians 3:2 NKJV). So if the Church’s agenda is to fix the visible and physical problems we face on earth, it has got to address the spiritual and invisible issues first. The spiritual is always the divine reference point from which to solve the visible and physical issues of our day.
Don’t forget. Heaven rules earth! Matthew chapter 6, verse 10 (NKJV) says, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What happens in heaven determines what happens on earth. The Church must look at life from a Kingdom perspective, understanding that God’s kingdom agenda for the Church reflects His sovereignty. When we say yes to God, we say yes to His kingdom. And when we say yes to God’s kingdom, we say yes to the rules and principles of His kingdom.
God’s kingdom agenda for the Church operates for His glory. God created the universe for His pleasure and His glory. That also includes people. Everything God created, he did so to bring glory to Himself. Revelation chapter 4, verse 11 (NKJV) says, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”
We ascribe glory to others based on who they are, the level of their status and influence, and how rich they are; but God’s glory in intrinsic. So even if we refuse to glorify God, He doesn’t lose anything, because His glory is intrinsic—it is inherent. Everything in His kingdom is designed to bring Him glory. This inherent glory is also Christ’s preeminence.
Let’s read from Colossian chapter 1, verses 15- 18 (NKJV):
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Christ, in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God. Believers must behold the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus. He was begotten before all creation, before any creature was made; Jesus’ preeminence represents eternity, and by His preeminence the eternity of God is represented to us. All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, they were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all, but it is by the word of his power that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the Church; all grace and strength are from him; and the Church is his body. All fullness dwells in him; this is a fullness of merit and righteousness, of strength and grace for us, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Listen, God’s kingdom agenda for the Church operates according to His will. Born-again believers were brought into God’s kingdom to serve Him, to do His will, and to take back from the devil that which belongs to God. Mimicking Jesus’ statement of identity and loyalty to God, the Church must say what Jesus said in Hebrews 10:7: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God.’”
The Church is the ekklesia (ek-klay-see-ah) of God, of Christ, which means assembly, a calling out, a popular meeting, a religious congregation or community of members on earth; the church universal to which all believers belong. (Strong’s N.T. #1577)
The local Church is a geographically located and visibly evident manifestation of the universal church, the body of Christ. The universal Church comprises all believers from the Day of Pentecost until the time God takes the church out of the world, and at which time His program for the church will be complete. The universal church will not meet until we meet in heaven.
As such, the Church is God’s family, God’s field, His habitation, and His kingdom. The Church is the household of God. And the ultimate purpose of the Church is to bring honor and glory to its head—Jesus Christ. It does this as it fulfills its agenda related to God’s kingdom on earth.
Participation in a local church is imperative for the believer. It is commanded by God. Even in the 1st Century Church there were those who yielded to the temptation of absenting themselves from the worship services of the local church. The writer of Hebrews points out that, members of a local church have an obligation to one another.
Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV) says, “Nor forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The members of a local church are to provoke one another to good works and exhort one another to live consistent lives worthy of God.
The person who places his faith in Christ as Savior is “born again” into a new, spiritual, family relationship with God. He gains God as Father and other believers as brothers and sisters. Not only is he or she a child of God by spiritual birth, he is adopted as well from slave to son—a free son possessing all the rights and privileges of sonship. This marvelous relationship carries responsibilities with it, as well as privileges. And, since he bears the family relationship to God, he must also exhibit the family character.
1 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 9 (NKJV) says, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are Gods building.”
Ephesians chapter 2, verses 19-22 (NKJV, emphasis added) says:
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
The Church is both the household of God and the habitation of God. And there are major benefits for participation in the local church. Let’s read Acts chapter 2, verses 42-47 (NKJV, emphasis added):
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
From this passage seven benefits of participation in the local church are immediately apparent: 1) instruction—“continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine”; 2) fellowship—“and fellowship”; 3) observance of the ordinances—“breaking of bread”; 4) corporate prayer—“prayers”; 5) effective outreach—“fear came upon every soul”; 6) common cause—“had all things in common”; and, 7) mutual assistance—“divided them among all, as anyone had need.” If we look closer we also see four other benefits, which include worship, discipline, pastoral oversight, and obedience to God’s command.
In that passage of Scripture alone, we can clearly see God’s kingdom agenda for the Church. God’s kingdom agenda for the Church is necessary because another rival kingdom has been set up on earth, a rebellion perpetrated against the rule of God; and Satan is its prince.
For a short time, God has permitted Satan to become the ruler of this rival kingdom, which is the world of unsaved humanity and all the demons of hell.
Our desire as the Church—the body of Christ—should be to give God the glory and live for His will, because we are on His agenda. We live on earth to live life for the King and His kingdom. He is the Source. He is in charge. He is sovereign. When we do His will, we become His agents—representatives, ambassadors—in a world that needs a better way to live. And that way is through Jesus Christ.
If you are a born-again believer, God has appointed you as a manager or steward of His kingdom on earth. You have been appointed a place and service in God’s kingdom to demonstrate His glory, His authority and power, and His ultimate triumph to all of creation. In the meantime, let’s you and I stay focused on God’s Kingdom Agenda for the Church—our mandate to preach the gospel of the kingdom in all the world as a witness to all the nations; so that, as Revelation 11:15 (NKJV) says, “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’”
This is God’s Kingdom Agenda for the Church!
Community Empowerment Ministries, Inc. &
Community Empowerment Family Worship Ministries, Inc.
219 Oak St.
Claxton, GA 30417
Phone: (803) 591-8744
Sunday Morning Worship 11:00am
The Identitly Institute School of Ministry
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