Over 2000 Years ago, the world as they knew it changed. Especially for the Children of Israel at that time. Jesus the son of a carpenter named Joseph and his wife Mary was born in a little town in Bethlehem in Judea. He was a baby, but wasn’t just any baby. He was born in obscurity, but would change Israel to its uttermost core, as well as the rest of the world eventually because of His life as well as His Word.
Jesus ministry began, after his time in the wilderness for 40 days, and because the Holy Spirit was on Him, He knew His purpose. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus said fulfilling prophecy,
Luke4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
The stage had been set, and He was ready to “do the will of the Father.” Jesus following that will would throw down past man made religious paradigms that had been established probably for hundreds of years in Israel that would eventually bring a religious split and reboot to the nation as well as the world on how they thought about God.
The followers of the Old Covenant of Moses, primarily the hierarchy of Israel would fight against Jesus because of His display of the Kingdom of God. For them, I believe it was a control issue, and He them look bad. He exposed their pride.
Man had established their works, and to go another way would mean their way was wrong.
Plus, their power would be diminished I imagine in their minds. They didn’t know God, they just followed His law to the letter, plus what they added in, in an attempt to show some type of physical perfection through action for the people to see, even though their hearts were far away from God.
Matthew 23, “1Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses.(Because they were.) 3 So obey everything they teach you, but don’t do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else.”
Hypocrites. Prideful hypocrites. The truth must of hurt. Jesus goes onto say:
“13 You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won’t go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in.”
Jesus also told they were blind, and even whitewashed tombs. Looked good on the outside, but were dead inside, all because of they resisted the true things of God, so they were spiritually blind.
And we know from scripture that the Old Covenant people would eventually kill Jesus because they did not want their paradigm to be broken or shifted. They were comfortable in their ways, and empowered in their ways. They did not want their power broken that they had over the people.
To them, the words of men was more relevant the Words of God.
Well Jesus broke that. By His expression of the Kingdom of God, He showed a better way. And that better way, was eventually spread throughout the world. Jesus’ followers would take what He said and what He showed them to the utter ends of the earth.
Today as we know, He still speaks through His Word and His Spirit to us to move as He did during His time of ministry, so the Kingdom will continue to be restored where we are.
What Jesus did was cause such a societal shift, and it changed the known world. The Culture was changed.
You wonder what the world would like today if there was no Jesus? Have you ever thought of that?
Think of it. God would still be the God of Israel, but due to their culture, He would only be God in Name. Now you can say that there may have been some type of revival there to follow Him, but when you look back on the history of Israel, they seemed to be away from God more than near to Him.
So God’s presence would not be known in the world at large because of their poor testimony, and the rest of the world would be pagan. I wonder what it would look like? I could only imagine that there would be war after war, and just utter destruction on the earth with no moral compass at all to follow.
In the last century, and I will pick on the Socialists/Communists, pretty much the same who were atheists, or humanists, no God, no Jesus in their vocabulary, they killed ~ 150m of their own people. Their morality was, if you do not agree with us, you die. Their thought of keeping their beliefs cleansed from non-believers.
Wars were started by ungodly men where ~ 142m people would die, and in that 142 were civilians as well as soldiers, and the aftermath of the wars, starvation and sickness that followed.
Just think of the numbers with no Christ since creation?
God sending Jesus to earth to save us from our sins and death, caused the largest and longest lasting revolution of its type. It saved many people, and yes many have still died because of sinful men, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ has endured, with many being saved.
People of all generations and cultures have been affected by the Gospel. Unfortunately, with the continued war here on earth in the Spiritual Realm, Satan has blinded many men and women back into the dark ages. They have left their first estate, and have given up their domain. And I’m not talking about bad people, I’m talking about good people. The church giving up dominion.
As I have been praying and seeking God about Kenosha, He has been saying to me, it is time to take dominion, to change the culture of Kenosha just like Jesus said 2000 years ago, because the “The Kingdom of God is here.”
The issue is, we must change, to change the culture.
As I have spoken about the past month or more, about the church taking dominion, that God wants us to set our minds on things above, and that we as believers having the power of the Word of God through His Spirit available to us, so we can prepare ourselves to change the culture.
Jesus wants to give us His wisdom and revelation through the Holy Spirit for transformation, but through that transformation, be bold in the Spirit in the anointing that comes from Him to transform our world.
Through our preparation and metamorphosis, we are changing ourselves into people who have so much influence that people will want what we have. Acts chapter 2 in real life now.
And we have read survey after survey put out by the church, that many people don’t want to be like us. That’s bad, and it’s terrible, and we aren’t all bad and terrible, but it brings to me to question myself.
What can I do God, to make people change their minds about me, about the church, and the direct reflection it has on you?
Jesus had a plan to change the culture, but to do it, He had to break tradition. Tradition is hard to break. Tradition is comfortable. This is what we know, and how we operate and many of us don’t like change even if it’s for the better sometimes for a variety of reasons.
But let’s look at Matthew 15:1-20and see what Jesus did about tradition.
“Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”3
(This comment wasn’t about the disciples having dirty hands because they were petting donkeys or something, it was about the ceremony of the washing. A man made ceremony.) I actually looked through the Old Testament for ceremonial hand cleaning, and the only one referenced.
Deuteronomy 21:6-9, "All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;
I don’t think this has anything to do with this.
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father and mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
The church is that today. I can be that. Altering the Word of God for our own good purposes, and some even creating traditions in the church that are now expected to be followed. Jesus said continuing in verse 7:
7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:8‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.9They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men’.”10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean’.” 12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you not know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
Jesus hit the nail on the head. “Their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
We are vain people who want comfort. We like the easy way out. I believe that is our nature. But when you expose yourself to a living God, and His Word, He will move you into discomfort.
That discomfort is to draw us to Him, not away. In discomfort, we can only rest in Him, and believe He will do what He says. It takes us out of the equation. We act in obedience; He then does His thing.
Thursday night, Alyssa and I and group of pastors and others met with Mike Pilavachi who pastor’s Soul Survivor church in London and travels the world speaking. Very well known in the Evangelistic charismatic circles, and he even said, he is not comfortable in what God has Him do at times, but he is obedient. Because in that obedience, God moves. And that is all God wants from us is our obedience. Obedience before sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22.
And looking back at Matthew chapter 15: 12, The Lord has been speaking to me about that very portion of scripture. There are those of us in the ministry, who are confronted by this all the time. Do you not know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this? Some of us believe exactly what the Word says and that can grind against those who do not believe all that the Word says. But the Lord is saying, “do you honor man or Me?” “Who’s word is the truth?” “Who’s Word can bring healing?” I’m like “You Lord!” He is saying to me, be bold in My Spirit, and stand up for My truth, and show it. And believe what Jesus said as he confronted these men.
13He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.
And Jesus definitely wasn’t bluffing. Jesus told the people to:
14Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
We have blind guides out there, just as we have false teachers, and false prophets. We say the truth to them, and leave them. They are part of the culture that needs to be changed.
The only traditions we should follow are those established in the Word of God, but they are really not traditions, they are covenants and promises. All of them leading to a new life for a Believer. A new life that should be expressed daily out in the marketplace to change lives. But to the people’s minds, it would be a new tradition, and would definitely be a paradigm shift for the church today just as in Jesus day, because the church has moved from its roots being supernatural to being dormant, back into being supernatural again. And moving back into a supernatural church will cause culture change just like what happened in Jesus day.
We were placed here in Kenosha, to influence it, and I believe not only influence people that do not know Jesus, but those who do. We need to begin by speaking a language they both understand.
First it is love. Love your neighbor as yourself. Right? We are to bring life, not condemnation. Just like Jesus with the women at the well. She had a bunch of husbands, but Jesus did not condemn her, He should her a way to righteousness. Love and compassion does that, and we need to show more compassion.
Like I said earlier, to change a culture we need to change. If we are not changing anything, then we need to look at ourselves and go to Jesus and ask, what do I need to do to cause change? He will give revelation through the Spirit on what we are to do.
The other movement in our lives is that we need to allow the Holy Spirit to move us out of our comfort zones.
I as well as you, I know have seen someone who the Lord has poked us to minister to in some way and our fear of rejection and fear of failure has kept us from the miraculous.
To change a culture, we must believe that what we have seen, and heard, and professed, and received from the Holy Spirit what is true, and live it. When we look at Jesus, we can’t think, “well He was the Son of God, He could do all the things He did.” He was the son of God, yes, but He only modeled what we were going to do, and gave us access to all the tools to do it.
He listened to the Father and did it. He solved problems that way. When we display faith and obedience to the Word of God that is given to us Through His Holy Spirit, we will see things happen that are far beyond us. We may fail. We may think what we did was goofy. It doesn’t matter. We were obedient and God was given glory, and He will respond to that obedience. We have to take the first steps. We will see that the Lord is good.
The more we are like Jesus, the more influence we will have. It will happen naturally. And through that influence, the culture will change. The Acts 2 church did it. We can do it. We have to do it.
We need a Jesus Culture in the Church, and that will cause a Jesus Culture to take a city and a county and beyond. But we start with ourselves in the closet, then we go out and start by serving one person. Then another, and another. It is following the servant Jesus to serve the people and bring them hope, and transformation, and they will reciprocate to do the same, and it will indeed cause a revolution, an awakening and a change. And that is what we are praying for. But it starts with us. Change us oh Lord, so we can be used to change others in your Name.