Overcoming fellowship is based on
Mt 28:18-20 ….“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
“Make disciples” is the first command, but what is the meaning of discipleship. We tend to talk about discipleship and discipleship programs, but do these produce disciples according to the command Jesus gave us?
Let us consider the meaning of disciple and the work of discipleship.
Discipleship is the process of being transformed, transformed as Peter explained in 2 Peter 1:1-10 “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue; by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust. Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control perseverance; and in perseverance godliness; and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. For thus you will be richly supplied with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:1-11 WEB
If we consider the meaning in Hebrew the reference to the name, refer to his character and authority. When Jesus there said that we must go and make disciples and baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A disciple should be immersed in the character and the authority of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
A disciple is one being trained to do the will of God by walking in submission to the authority of God so that you can become a instrument of His authority. Jesus illustrated this when He was baptized by John, He gave us a very important teaching when He said to John saying to John in Matthew, “But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.” Matthew 3:15 WEB.
We cannot desire to be a disciple unless we are prepared to do what is in right standing with God our Father. (All righteousness is to do according to God’s will).
The purpose of discipleship is to train the disciples to submit to God and His Word in order to understand their authority.We as disciples in Christ Jesus received in order to put it into practice a lifestyle of trusting in God (Jesus as the Word that became flesh). Jesus discipled the twelve He choose (God gave Him to disciple). During the process of discipleship, Jesus taught them to trust Him and to take responsibility for His name (character and authority) sake, Jesus said to the disciples in Mark 6:37-44 “you feed them”? With the purpose of teaching them to trust in Him. In John the disciples wanted to know what work is required of them, “Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.””
John 6:29 WEB
Today, there is a tendency that people focus on who the Bible say we are or even who (i am).This is not what the Word of God had in mind. God’s Word is relational not focusing on us but rather focusing on God and what we gain when we come into a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. The disciples was so happy about the power they received but Jesus said they should be happy that their names is written in the book of life, and this privilege is not on account of who we are but what we received in our relationship to God through His Son. Ephesians 2:18-22 “For through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.”
Ephesians 2:18-22 WEB
We have been made children in God’s house, and are called to build a habitation for God in the Spirit, but this requires submission to another with dedication causing us to be exalted to a position of authority. Jesus said that He speaks everything the Father tells Him to and that He does everything His Father shows Him, He also promises that the Holy Spirit would come and that He would say nothing out of His own authority.
We, if we submit to the authority over us, will reign with Jesus over this world, we are seated with Christ in heavenly places and become kings and priests to God. Anyone in position of authority has a name (character and authority) that is highly respected, the name is however only as good as the authority behind it, the effect of words shows the greatness of the authority behind it. In Ezekiel 37 God said to the prophet to speak His Word (God’s Word) over the dead bones, and they life. The words was not of the prophets but of God.
The manifestation of God’s authority on earth is only witnessed in obedience to God as we trust in His authority to bring His Word in fulfillment (Isaiah 53). All things see were made by the Word of God, and then all things in our physical world are subject to God’s Word, for it is what sustained the world as we know it. The authority of God’s Word is based on GOD’S ABILITY to perform it through the Spirit of God. (Creation) The Word of God “let there be light” is issued from GOD’s ability to call into existents things not seen – consider the miracle of the loaves-what happened? The authority of God’s Word reaches as high as God Himself, He placed Himself in subjection to His Word. Man can choose to carry out God’s Word or not. Angels are subject to God’s Word. The devil and demons are subject to God’s Word. The human body is subject to God’s Word. Animals are subject to God’s Word. Inanimate objects are subject to God’s Word. Man was to be subdued by nobody but God and His Word. If we do not come under authority, we have no authority (submission). If God were to disobey His own Word He would lose His authority.
Every soldier gets tested, called a test of submission, so man also were and is tested, for after the test comes the authority. The enemy tried to regain authority by bringing men under his authority, it is done through – doubting God’s Word, contradicting God’s Word and deception. (the nature of this temptation is to capture man to disregard the Word of God in order to obey another, by this you transfer your submission from God to another authority becoming his subject.) If man delivered his power over to satan, he also delivered his right of protection, (satan presented himself before God in Job 1:6 – our position that Jesus restored).
God’s plan is ultimately for man to rule with Him, to come into a new covenant by submission to God and His Word (Jesus the Word that became flesh). God was never without a plan, His plan was to make man what He intended from the beginning, but to be a man with authority you need to overcome, Revelation – “he that has an ear let him hear”, and he that overcome…” I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His throne”. (for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory) – It is through Jesus Christ and His resurrection that we received power ( force; specifically miraculous power (usually by
implication a miracle itself): – ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work) from on high to be witnesses to Jesus, and His victory.
Adam were tested in the Garden of Eden, where he had everything, Jesus was tested in the wilderness where He had nothing. The authority that Jesus had was subject to His submission to the Father. He perfectly submitted to the will of His Father in every way, He totally believed all that the Father said and that is all He spoke of. (Consider Jesus foretold His resurrection). Mary submitted to God’s Word, Abraham submitted to God’s Word, Gideon submitted to God’s
Word, Jonathan submitted to what God can do. Man’s authority has been completely recovered by Jesus through the new covenant!!! Jesus Christ the man is seated on the right hand of God, to reign with God as God intended from the beginning, we are the body of Jesus to enforce His victory and God’s will on earth. We are called brother’s and heirs to Christ. In His authority we are called to be His ambassadors representing His Kingdom, we carry the same authority as the One we represent, if we submit to Him and His perfect Word.
What is the meaning of submission, well if faith is confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. Then submission is full confidence in God’s Word, without doubting His promises or His warnings, taking His Word as a FACT and to react accordingly. (Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.”) Consider Rev 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the
churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the Tree of Life, …. We are to “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). That means that we are to live our life in such a way that the promises and warnings of God are fully accepted and applied to our own life and our particular circumstances.
Trust is a firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing while believing Is the mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another or mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.
The evidences of faith may operate differently than those of science, but they are there. Submission is the basis of faith, based only on “thus saith the Lord.” Submission is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God. Consider Peter when he step out on the water – what happened? Mat 14:28-29 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. (Peter submitted to the call of Jesus, come. He knew that Jesus was as able to support his body on the water; and yet in much modesty, submission, and dependence he was not willing to take a step without the order from Jesus) In his asking, “if it’s you…tell me…” He sought the Lord’s will first, before getting out of the boat. After Peter sought His will in asking the Lord for permission he didn’t immediately jump out of the boat. Peter didn’t presume upon the Lord’s answer, but waited for it. When Christ said ‘Come’, Peter put his trust in God and climbed out of the boat. He didn’t let fear or the natural circumstances stop him. He obeyed Christ’s call, and into the water he went. Faith is always expressed by obedient submission to Christ, and unbelief by disobedient rebellion. When Christ gave the word to come, he didn’t stop to reconsider or ask Christ to supply some more details. He didn’t need to be pushed overboard by the other disciples. He didn’t need any further reassurance, he obeyed.
Just a thought, Peter still had to use a boat for his next journey on the sea, Peter didn’t retain within himself the power to walk on water. Nor did he go on tour with a miracle show. God only enabled him to do it as he followed in obedient submission to Christ’s command. The miracle was the result of obedient submission, we are the instrument in God’s hand.
Trusting, in reference to the testimony of Peter starts with knowing the person (character and authority) in whom you trust. The mentioned is however not attained by hearsay but through a personal relationship and or revelation. As Peter confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, and he walk with Jesus and saw the miracles performed by Jesus. So Peter had all the reason to trust in Jesus, but in his example, he also had to believe that he heard Jesus calling him to come, firsthand not by way of a third party. But then Peter also had to make a personal commitment to follow in accordance to his trusting.
“Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6 WEB
Based on Heb 11:6 we must believe that God exists and that through His Son Jesus Christ we came into fellowship with God. The recreated man become a dwelling place for God results in bringing God’s glory, as in John 17. Participating fellowship was within the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ and also manifested through His disciples. If I look at the Word of God, it seemed to me that participating fellowship is not optional, it is compulsory. It is stated clearly within John 17 that it is through this participating fellowship that the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ manifest on earth. For our oneness in mind and heart is the evidence that testifies to the fact, that Jesus the anointed Son of God were send by a loving Father to a lost world.
If we look closer, Jesus said that He had made known the name of the Father “I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”” John 17:26 WEB
Jesus made known the character and authority of the Father so that God’s love can live within us, as Jesus, the manifested love of God can be revealed through us.
To partake is to possess some of the attributes of a person thing or quality. John 17 is about “Participating fellowship” as we through Christ living within us partake in His attributes, and as He can work through us.
John 17:20-21 I’m praying not only for them but also for those who will believe in me because of
them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind just as
you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. (MSG Translation). To partake is to be in unity, if you partake in attributes you must be in unity for it to manifest. In Act 2:1 And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one accord in one place. The disciples was Unanimously = without any opposition and therefore they received what God promised. But the basis of participating fellowship or to be unanimous, is that the fellowship is with one greater than all as John explained in 1John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard(Of him and from him). Declare we to you (For this end). That ye also may have fellowship with us (May enjoy the same fellowship which we enjoy). And truly our fellowship (Whereby he is in us and we in him) is with the Father and with the son.
In Job 22:21-28 it is explained as “Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty you will be built up; if you remove injustice far from your tents, if you lay gold in the dust,
and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent bed, then the Almighty will be your gold
and your precious silver. For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your
face to God. You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you, and you will pay your
vows. You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on
As with baptism, the physical it is an act of obedience but in Spirt we declare we want to be immersed in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt as we partake in His death and resurrection. Likewise if we participate in communion we act in obedience to Jesus who said do it in remembrance of Him, but in Spirt we declare that we partake in His body (Jesus living within us) and in the new covenant in His blood (part of the promise/covenant people.
Before we can participate in fellowship, we first need to be confronted with the truth of who Jesus
is, without that truth being revealed within the confrontation we cannot partake in fellowship with
the unseen. The disciples physically saw the resurrected Christ ascending into heaven and as such withdrew with joy and worship God in the temple and later in the upper room in expectation of the promise. Luke 24:52-53 and worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Saul was on his way to persecute the believers in Christ until he was confronted with the truth as
Jesus revealed Himself and Saul became Paul. Act 9:5-6 And he said, who are you, lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute. It is hard for you to kick against the goads. And trembling and astonished, he said, Lord, what will You have me to do? And the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the city, and you shall be told what you must do. It was through the confrontation that Paul started to take part in the same fellowship that he withstood, because of his unbelief.
We cannot build a building unless we have seen the plan and agree. Then after an agreement has been made we need to consider the plan in order to lay the foundation. (The support upon which the building is established). In considering the plan the master builder determines the length, breadth and depth of the foundation needed to support the house. We as the body of Christ must first come in agreement with God’s plan (Jesus Christ who redeemed and recreated us), Upon that we can start building, acknowledging Jesus and His ability and not our own inability, as the rock upon which we can lay the foundation to build.
Jesus said My Father’s House is called a House of prayer, when He emptied the Temple court,
referring to what God said through Isaiah “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make
them joyful in my house of prayer”… This is the plan that God proposed, and He send His only Son so that through Him a new temple could be established, built not by hands but through the Spirit of
God. When Jesus said My Father’s House is called a house of prayer. The enthuses was not on the house but the proposed use of the house. Jesus anger was directed at the misuse of the house, not that the house was built in the wrong manner. If prayer is consistent with participating fellowship, then participating fellowship, or the lack thereof stirred the passion in the heart of Jesus for our Fathers house. When God called His house to be a house of prayer He had in mind that we would come unto Him in His house of prayer and in His house of prayer is where He wants to fill us with joy.
Mortar and brick can to a certain extend bring glory as a monument in recognition of a person, but as in most chases a dead building as a memorial is a memorial of a dead person. Did not Jesus said (Mark 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.) We are called to build a living temple were the bricks are living bodies that presented themselves as a living sacrifice unto a living God. When we come together as a living sacrifices in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to glorify our Father in Heaven we are building a living sanctuary for God.
Eph 2:21-22 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
“Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer”… God’s
plan for His House of Prayer is to make the people joyful as they participate in the fellowship with
Him and His Son Jesus Christ. If then God intend to make us and them, the strangers joyful, the
building cannot be exclusive but should be open for all that want to come into the fellowship with
our Father in Heaven and His anointed Son.
The foundation is the support upon which we build a house, it is not the foundation as such that
keep the house standing through the storm, it is rather the substance upon which the foundation is
laid. Jesus said in Luke 6:48 “He is like a man who built a house and dug deep and laid the
foundation on a rock; and a flood occurring, the stream burst against that house and could not shake it; for it was founded on a rock”. The revelation of who Jesus is 1John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard(Of Him and from Him). Declare we to you (For this end). That ye also may have fellowship with us (May enjoy the same fellowship which we enjoy). And truly our fellowship (Whereby He is in us and we in Him) is with the Father and with the Son.
This building are being constructed through Intimacy. When our faith is combined with intimacy with God, creation is taking place. Looking at the exodus we saw a nation looking upon the wonders of God as He provided in a supernatural way for His people, but yet they started doubting and fall back upon their own feeble plans, building a golden calf to guide then to freedom, a god formed by the very hands that worship it. Likewise, we are quick to fall back upon our own plans, when we have prayed for a while without seeing anything; we start doubting and start planning for ourselves. But if we only knew what is taking place in the unseen, if the Israelites only knew that Moses was waiting upon God who is writing with His own hand, they would not have rebelled against God. The moment we stop trusting in God and His ability, is the moment that we rebel against God and His authority Exodus 32:1 “And the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, and the people gathered themselves to Aaron. And they said to him, Up! Make us gods who shall go before us. For this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” God called on Moses to come and received the creating work that He is busy preparing, but while Moses was waiting upon God to bring forth His creation, the people started doubting, and the created work of God were abroad, when Moses destroyed the law that was written by God’s own hand.
Likewise when we pray, having intimate fellowship with God, creation is at work, but if we, because
we cannot see what God is doing fall back on our own plans we abort the created work that God is
preparing, because we started doubting, we rebelled against God and His authority.
Rom 9:33 as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a Stumbling-stone and a Rock-of-offense, and
everyone believing on Him shall not be put to shame.” Then again Jesus said John 11:40 “Jesus
answered her, Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” It is in believing in the continues sense that we will see the Glory of God as He brings in fulfillment that
what we believe Him to do.
In Acts 1:8 it is said that we who believe will receive power from above so that we can be witnesses of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God.
Evangelism is taking advantage of every opportunities to witness what you know about Jesus. The purpose of witnessing Jesus is to prepare a way for the people to agree and to enter into a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus the Messiah. 1Jo 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
The act of praising and glorifying God for what He has done, inspires us to tell others about what He has done, which is what evangelism is all about.. (So that you can witness what you have seen and heard, Apostle Paul mentioned that 1Cor 11:23 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you). Prayer Evangelism is based on the fact that God change the heart of man, and that all who got saved got saved not through men but God working with men. Some prayed for you to be saved and God in partnership with believers turned your heart back to Him.
Consider Elijah when he prayed for rain and challenged the prophets of baal, Elijah did not merely pray, he became the instrument that responded to the Spirit of God moving within him. (He
created an opportunity for God to work – prepare the way?) Just as with John the baptizer who prepared a way for God to be reveal in the flesh, Jesus the Messiah.
In preparing a way we are called to witness concerning Jesus as we use the opportunity God created in advance. God called on John to be a voice in the wilderness in agreement with His Word prophesied through His servant Isaiah, Isaiah 40.
This success of preparing and witnessing is not based on the quality of the act (prayer) the talent, learning, rank, wealth, or office of the man who acts (prays), but of the righteousness of the man praying , who is justified by the righteousness of Christ, and has the truth within him, and lives soberly and righteously, trusting in God and His ability. When Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave ( John 11:42-45 “I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.” Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.” That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him”.
The single active ingredient in prayer is faith. Its not the words necessarily but the release of faith that will bring the desired answer. We have nothing to give accept that what we received, and what we received is to know God and His Son Jesus Christ and we are the instrument standing in that authority.
Prayer is the key to effective evangelism. Prayer is the passageway to a living and working relationship with God. It is through prayer that we grow in our knowledge of God and of our love for Him. It is through prayer that we learn the ways of God and receive revelation of His plans. It is through prayer that we are instructed and empowered by God to co-labour with Him to accomplish His kingdom purposes in our world. Prayer is Communication (Calling Out to God, Dialogue With God) Prayer is Communion (Prayer that Worships God, Prayer that Submits to God, Prayer that Relates to God, Prayer as Cooperation) Prayers of Petition (Prayers of Intercession, Prayer as Combat).
The most important human factor in effective evangelism is PRAYER, Every great awakening in the history of the Church from the time of the Apostles until today has been the result of prayer. There have been great awakenings without much preaching, and there have been great awakenings with absolutely no organization, but there has never been a true awakening without much prayer.
The first great gathering in human history was in a ten days’ prayer meeting. We read of the small company of early disciples: “These all with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer” . The result of that ten days’ prayer meeting is recorded in the 2nd chapter of the Acts of the Apostles: “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”, and “there were added unto them in that day about 3,000 souls” . That awakening
proved real and permanent; those who were gathered in on that greatest day in all Christian history, “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers). “And the Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved”.
Faith begins where the will of God is known through seeking God and finding His will – Knowing and believing that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Then asking God in faith according to His will – Knowing that what you asked will come to pass, because it is God who ordained it, then authoritative declaration of God’s WORD and Will in faith – Knowing that God’s Word will not return void.
We went to Israel for we believed God send us there. During our stay we visited a place called “Shevet Achem” it is like a children hospital, were children and their mother are stay prior to heart surgery as well for recuperating after surgery. These children and their mother are muslems from Iran and Iraq. One of the mothers developed a tooth ache that was so severe that she could not help herself in crying. When Beulah saw her she immediately saw the opportunity for God to do something, and we all when to pray for her (she did not receive any medication). God used the opportunity, that He created, but needed for us to see it and pray so that God in His majesty could work, she miraculously got healed, the pain stop immediately and she could feel the presence of God. The next day she asked to give her life to Jesus, and got baptized before her return to Iraq.