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Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Antioch Phenomenon: Why Your Church Needs It

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They didn't expect the sudden twist. What most Christian Jews at the time had been doing was sharing the Gospel only to fellow Jews. They thought all along that God's chosen people were confined to the Israelites.

Very few realized how Genesis 22.18 was then coming to pass: "...and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Very few in the Acts church knew that this prophecy, which was at the time the present move of God, was then happening. The believers from Cyprus and Cyrene saw this and, led by the Spirit, ventured to Antioch and shared the Gospel to the gentiles there.

Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." [Galatians 3.8]
It was a first! Not only that, they were attuned and updated to the present move of God in real time!

How did they know the present move of God? "The Lord's hand was with them..." says the proceeding passage.

God's hand is with you when you share the Gospel, but there comes a time when he shifts direction and leaves past moves to themselves. Christians who shared the Gospel only with Jews still got what I call "leftover" power (afterglow) from the Lord. But his hand, (his present power) is always with his present move (or what he is presently doing).

However, past moves can sometimes trap you in glory that fades away (see 2 Corinthians 3.7-11] and which later results to a ministry that brings death [2 Corinthians 3.7].

The bronze snake Moses made was a move of God in his time but it became idolatry in King Hezekiah's time. A lot of people get caught in past moves and end up with idolatry. Church denominations are so prone to this because of their fondness to stick with their traditions and inability to step out in faith to the unknown when the Lord leads so.

(Hezekiah) broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) [2 Kings 18.4]
Imagine if the Acts church continued to make the Gospel exclusive to the Jews and never ventured to share it with the gentiles. Can anyone in church today dare break into pieces the bronze snake their church fathers had made if the Spirit leads them so? 

A popular bronze snake that church people look up to today and ought to be broken to pieces is church denominationalism.

Churches should be Antioch churches---always updated about the present move of God in real time. The key to this is being updated with the spoken Word of God---the Word that proceeds from the very mouth of the Father (or the Now Word or the Proceeding Word).

The spoken Word cannot happen through human theology or denominational doctrines (which are all outdated)---even if you earned degrees from seminary. It can only happen if you believe in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit---because the man without the spirit of God cannot accept the things of the Spirit; they are foolishness to him. 

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. [1 Corinthians 2.14]
The danger is that, a lot of growing church ministries today, like many mega churches, are built not like the Antioch church (through the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit) but like the tower of Babel---built to make a name for themselves. They are built by worldly (Babylon) systems which include the use of marketing, advertising, psychology, sociology, politics and other man-made tools.

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