Hello, dear friends and co-laborers in the kingdom of God. I call you co-laborers because that is who you are. No one can touch your world as you can. You have a sphere of influence, a place and position God has called you to, and people on the other side of your obedience. You are God’s powerhouse to your generation. In this episode of the W2NM, I will be talking about ‘reigning in life’. I am building on the message I started at the beginning of this year, so I encourage you to listen to the past episodes and share them with your community of faith. If you have been listening to our podcasts, you will see that the heart of these conversations has been our place and role, as the last day's church. The word ‘last’ (eschatos in Greek) means the very end of a thing with no more beyond.  

Why the last days? The Apostle Peter announced in Acts 2, that this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel, that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit.  This means that ‘the last days’ began over 2,000 years ago in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost and the Church was officially born.  The Bible also tells us in 2 Timothy 3:3-5, what the signs of the last days are. Some of the signs of the last days are that men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, slanderers, loose morals, etc. We definitely are seeing all these signs. The other thing the Bible warns us about regarding the last days is that they will be perilous; meaning that they will be difficult, dangerous, or filled with risk for the Church. When we lose sight of who we are and all God has called us to be, we cannot live victoriously in the last days. Your identity is how you show up to your world. God has already defined who you are. He has given you an identity, you only have to discover it and then live up to it. If you, don’t discover your identity and live up to it, you will end up in a compromise. God gave you and me, an identity that reflects Him and when He comes back He wants to see Himself reflected in us. 

In the previous episodes we discovered that we are the Church of the Living God or in Greek, the Ekklesia. The Church is not a building; the Church is made up of the called and chosen ones. We have been called from this world’s system and invited to participate in God’s kingdom body – the Church of the Living God. We as Christians, have a calling to the marketplace, to be in the seat of authority; to formulate public policies, decide judicial matters, direct the affairs of nations. We should be decision-makers or influence decisions. We are also Christians.  Or the Christ-like ones. Do people see us and call us Christian without us telling them that we are? When the world sees us, they should see Jesus. We are also meant to be a sign and wonder according to Isaiah 8:18. Other translations say we are not just for signs and wonders, we are the signs, and we are the wonders – a living demonstration of Who God is. 

What testimony is your life portraying to the world around you? We ended the last podcast by looking at the testimony of a life that was a sign and a wonder. We looked at the life and death of an early believer who Jesus commended in the book of Revelations, Antipas. He honored God, would not compromise, and would not substitute God’s ways with man’s ways. Antipas was a very committed believer and witnessed Christ to all, to the extent that a complaint was brought against him.  As punishment, the governor ordered Antipas to offer a sacrifice of wine and incense to a statue of the Roman emperor and declare that the emperor was "lord and god." Antipas refused and was martyred in Pergamum. He was said to have been roasted alive inside a brazen bull as an offering to an idol. Church legend has it that Antipas was told, “Antipas, the whole world is against you”, to which he replied to them, “then I am against the whole world”.  

2 Timothy 3:12 tells us that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will face persecution. When we face persecution, will we show up to the world like Antipas? Matthew 5:10 (MSG) states - You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. Persecution should drive you even deeper into God’s kingdom. What is persecution? Persecution is the pressure of adverse circumstances; the purpose of which is to get us to compromise or deny Jesus or change our position. In today’s world, we are verbally and actively persecuted. We are marginalized because we hold ourselves apart from sexual immorality and depravity; from widely accepted occultic practices and from hostile government policies, that are restricting believers’ freedom and punish them for their faith. There is fierce opposition to the Church of the living God. What are we faced with? It is face persecution or compromise. 

There is a law of compromise – if you bow you burn; if you don’t bow, you don’t burn. This is from the book of Daniel and the account of the three Hebrew boys who refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Because they refused to bow, they experienced the miraculous. They all knew God; they did not just know of him.  They were thrown into the fire; all three of them then a fourth man showed up. Who was this fourth man in the fire? Jesus. When you face persecution and refuse to compromise, Jesus will be in the fire with you and He will bring you through. Like the three Hebrew boys, not even the smell of smoke will be on you. You will live victoriously. The person with you in the time of adversity is important. The three Hebrew boys had one another for support. Be sure your friends believe like you otherwise when you are faced with adversity, they will not stand strong and it will be difficult for you to stand strong. Psalm 34:19 says many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. If you refuse to compromise God will deliver you. On the other hand, Satan is a compromiser. The Bible says if you resist him, he will flee from you; he will compromise. 

Corruption in the world and persecution are not new phenomena. The Bible says there is nothing new under the sun. But the difference is how much more widespread they are and this is the result of amplification by technology and social media. The real issue is how the Church is responding. How can we live victoriously without compromise in these times? Our current world situation is similar to the state of the seven churches described in the Book of Revelations. Jesus in Revelation 2:2 said that Jesus walked in the midst of the churches and He said that He knows their works. The word ‘works’ is taken from the Greek word erza, which means our deeds, our actions, or activities. Jesus knew the deeds, the actions, and the activities of these churches. He commended these churches, rebuked them, corrected them, and made them promises. The message to the seven churches applied to the churches it addressed but also has an application to all churches of all times and to us as individual members of the body of Christ.

You will recall that in a past episode we looked at one of those seven churches – the church at Pergamum. Jesus had two things against this church – that they had embraced the doctrine of Balaam, and that of the Nicolaitanes, and he hated both doctrines. Both doctrines advocated worldly compromise, moral relativism, and inclusiveness. Do you know that both doctrines still exist in the church today in the name of progressive thinking? Jesus’s warning in Revelation 2: 16 is that these believers should repent, or He would come quickly and will make war against them with the sword of His mouth. To the Laodicean church, Jesus also said, that they were neither hot nor cold and He will vomit them out of His mouth. You would think lukewarm is better than cold right? Wrong. The people who are cold know they need to change. Lukewarm people feel they are good enough and don’t need to change. Lukewarm Christians are the ones that doing what the Word says is a matter of convenience for them, not a lifestyle. They are the ones that say ‘I have heard this before; they have no enduring hunger for the Word. They want a comfortable Christianity with no opposition from the devil. If the devil is not opposing you, you cannot be much of a threat. I am not saying believe God for attacks from Satan. What I am saying though is that in this world we will have tribulation, but Jesus said to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). When you stay in the Word, you will have some of the greatest victories imaginable.

The scriptures were not written to cause us to live in fear but to preserve us. According to Jeremiah 29:11, God wants to give us hope in our final outcome. Failure is not part of God’s plan for any of His children. Rather He wants to bless us, and He wants us to win. God’s will is that we always win. You are a born winner; it does not matter how many mistakes you may have made, how many times you have failed, or what your background is. God designed you to win. Micah 7:8 says, Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. We all fall or make mistakes. The worst thing you can do when you fall is, refuse to get up. You should always get back up. Why? Because God is bigger than your failure or your mistake. 

To get back to the point of compromise. The solution to compromise is simple –the knowledge of the truth; absolute truth and putting God first in your life. James 4:8 says, Come close to God and He will come close to you. How do we come close to God? By getting into the Word; the Bible. Stop the religious games and clean your life up. It is a choice. Make a demand that sin has to go, strife has to go, laziness has to go. It is a quality decision. Part of our identity is also that we are Kings and Priests. Revelation 5:10 says, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” Kings and priests are called to reign (to have control, influence, administer and be sovereign) not to be inferior, powerless, weak, incapable, subordinate, impotent. How do we reign in life? We have to embrace the thinking that allows us to reign in life.  
Until next time, the Lord watch between us.