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In other words, Jesus was saying that unity with each other and with God is the sample that will prove to the world the reality of his message.

BB1 22Anyone can preach theory on Sunday morning, but where are the people who can live together in harmony seven days a week, sharing everything that they have with each other?

This is what Christ and his band of followers offered the world.  When it comes to the final showdown, only the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit can win hearts.

But first people must see his power at work in our lives. Jesus lived what he preached. He said he had not only "spoken unto them," but he had also "done the works that no other person had ever done." (John 15:22, 24)

We need to do these two things (tell 'em and show 'em) as well.  Don't think you can get by without the sermons. People who see love in your lives, have to know where that power came from, so they can go out and do the same thing.  The Word is the cause, and communities of Christians living together and dying daily for one another are the effect. Living in community is not an end in itself. But it is a strong sample that proves our message of love.

Our main goal is to preach this message to all the world; and living in community is the proof that it works. So "let your light shine before the world, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

Our Message of Love and Discipleship

Our message of love is taken from the Bible, and is simply that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son (Jesus), so that whoever be-lieves in him will not perish, but will have everlasting life." (John 3:16) (John 3:29) If we know God loves us, it's much easier to receive the rest of what Jesus says.

To really appreciate this love, we should recognise that we are not worthy of it.  We all deserve to be punished for our sins. (Romans 3:10, 23)  If we got what we deserved, we would not even be alive.  Yet Jesus, through his sacrificial death, took the punishment for all of our sins, so we, his followers, could have eternal life. (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 6:23) But no matter how much we might do for God in response to his love, we could never earn it. (Titus 3:5)

We receive this gift through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:31), and by confessing our un-worthiness to receive it.  It's easier to be honest about our sins when we know God wants to forgive us.  But if we can't be honest about them, we'll cheat ourselves out of God's forgiveness as well. (1 John 1:9)  You can't be too bad for God to forgive you, but you can think you're too good and thus miss out.

As we accept everything that Jesus said, and as we put it into practice in our own lives, we are changed into new people... children of God, who are filled with God's Spirit and power. (John 1:12)  He gives us this power so we can go into all the world telling about what we have experienced. (Acts 1:8

Jesus has told us to sell everything that we own and give to the poor if we want to follow him. (Matthew 19:21)  He says that anyone who does not forsake everything that they own cannot be one of his followers. (Luke 14:33) By letting go of everything, we become like little children, in total dependence on Daddy to meet all of our material needs as well as our spiritual needs.  And we are also set free to travel into all the world preaching this good news to others as Jesus has commanded us to do. (Mark 16:15, Luke 14:23)

Jesus promises that if we will seek his kingdom of faith and love first, then he will take care of all our material needs. (Matthew 6:33) And he wants us to teach others to do the same thing. (Matthew 28:19-20) It is our job to warn people about what they will miss out on if they reject the good news; but it's not our job to convert them.  If they do not respond, it's between them and God.  At least we've done our job. (Ezekiel 3:18)

The first Christians lived together and shared all that they owned. (Acts 2:44-45)  In this way they were able to study and pray and eat together every day. (Acts 2:42)  Because they did not work for money, they were able to witness daily as well. (Acts 5:42)  Living together gave strength to their witness and overcame the problem of some going without while others had too much. (Acts 4:32-35)  There's nothing new about this part of our message. It's the same message Jesus preached, and the same message that his disciples preached.

Our Message of Judgment against the System

In every age God has had prophets to warn people before they were judged. Today the world is being given a warning through us.  We are like a red flashing light, a sombre warning of serious danger ahead.  Like Noah, we have dropped out of the rat race and are preparing for a new world; and our lifestyle shows it.  Jesus said that, as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days just before he returns to earth.

The problem was not atheism so much as it was that respectable, law-abiding, synagogue-attending people like you and me were too busy buying and selling, planting and building, feeding themselves and raising their families, to have time for God. (Luke 17:26-28)  Both our way of life and our sermons (the teachings of Jesus) are contrary to all the values of the anti-God, antichrist systems of the world.

By 'system' we do not mean legal laws.  We're talking about the satanic principles of which the system is built... principles of selfishness and do your own thing and keep on living just as you did, refusing any change.  Because the churches have gotten away from the teachings of Christ and prostituted themselves to the system, it has become our job to explain to the world what is happening and to lead and encourage God's true children back to the truth to the very end.We are not here to patch up the old systems.  We are looking for a new heaven and a new earth, a new kingdom, called the kingdom of heaven.  As far as possible, we will try to live peaceably with the governments of this world (Romans 12:18), but our message will never be received by more than a few individuals at a time, because the "prince" of this world is the devil himself (John 14:30) ... even though he professes high ideals and looks respectable much of the time. (2 Corinthians 11:14)  There is no such thing as the peaceful co-existence of good and evil. One or the other has to be destroyed that the other might live.

Jesus said, "You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and money." (Luke 16:13)  Our message is that we are for God and against money.  The system is for money; and so it has to be against God.  Jesus said that if we are not gathering with him, then we are against him. (Luke 11:23)  You cannot belong to both the forces of reaction and the forces of change.  As Jesus said, "You will either hate the one and love the other, or you'll hold to one and despise the other." (Matthew 6:24)

Listen to systemites talking and you will hear them defending money, defending the system, defending war, defending everything else while we defend the teachings of Christ.  We are not talking about physically violent revolution.  That doesn't do anything but a lot of damage, and it doesn't change hearts one tiny bit.  It just creates another system where things are just as bad as before, if not worse.  We are talking about a spiritually violent revolution, that absolutely tears your heart out and gives you a new Spirit. (Ezekiel 36:26)

The Greek word for "repent" comes from the word metanoia, which means a total turning around and going in the opposite direction.  So when Jesus said "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, he was saying, "Turn around, revolute, revolt!"  Repentance is a revolution, a change of everything, including your way of living.  Not just a so-called change in your heart, but a change in your lifestyle.  That's a real revolution, and it's what Jesus preached.

Delivering the Message

The truth feeds some and chokes others.  To some we're like a lion and to others like a lamb.  To the wolves we're as lions; to the sheep we're as lambs.  There are times to roar and times to bleat.  Just pray that you will know the difference.  The message never changes, but the way it is expressed varies from day to day to suit the needs of the situation.

As Paul said, we must become all things to all people, in order that we might win some. (1 Corinthians 9:22)  We must relate to the Romans as Romans, to the Jews as Jews, to the Greeks as Greeks, and to the Japanese as Japanese.  It's a matter of finding the right form of communication in order to make our message understandable in terms that they can understand, just as God became human to relate to us.  But no matter how lovingly you present it, some people will resent the message and still blame you for what God said.

Reaction to our Message

Enemies: When people realise what a threat our message is to their system and to the control it has over their children, they will become bitter enemies.  We are a kind of communist that their kids have not been conditioned against  Christian communists. They will tell their kids that we are evil, that we are a dangerous cult, but the kids will know better.

Eventually system leaders will pull a Matthew 12:14: "Then the Pharisees went out and held a council against him, how they might destroy him."  If and when this happens, just remember that the best (or worst) they can do is to destroy our bodies.  But we have eternal life, so that we do not need to fear them.  Instead, we should fear the One who alone can destroy our soul, and who alone can give us eternal life. (Matthew 10:28)

The Vast Majority: The thousands to whom Christ preached were seldom to be counted on for loyalty or genuine discipleship. The vast majority are only interested in whatever attracts their attention from one moment to the next, like the miracles that Jesus did.  They can easily be swayed by a wicked minority of enemies, as the religious leaders did when they persuaded the crowds that Jesus (who had fed and healed them) should be crucified.  We have seen crowds of churchy youths turn on us at the instigation of their leaders on occasions, but this is nothing compared to what it will eventually lead to; and we need to be prepared for it spiritually.  What we are saying simply cannot be tolerated by them, and the more determined we are to preach it, the more determined they will become to stop it.

The sheep: During Jesus' three and a half years of public ministry the number of true followers he had was few, between 12 and 70 to be exact. These true followers were willing to forsake all, and truly obey his teachings.  But such true disciples will always be an infinitesimal minority.  "Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to Life, and there are very few that find it." (Matthew 7:14) Very few people are idealistic enough to give up their sins in order to please God.  But these are the ones that we are looking for.  We must resist the temptation to settle for anything less than this just because true Christians are becoming increasingly more difficult to find.God help us to find those few!
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