One Lord, a prophetic teaching and word to the church in Africa
Text: Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
There is one Body. Luke 22:19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” When Jesus did this He broke one piece of bread, not many pieces of bread.
Romans 12:5: we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
1 Cor. 10:17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
There is only ONE Body, one church. It doesn’t matter where in the world we meet, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a house, or a big cathedral or a small building like this one, there is only one church, not many churches, because the church is not the building, the church is the people of God.
There is only one Spirit that gives us access to God. Hear what the Bible says about Him: we have access by one Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:18).
1 Cor. 12:13: For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Cor. 2:11 no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
There are many spirits, but there is only One Spirit that is of God, and that is the Holy Spirit. No other spirit, only the Holy Spirit.
We have one hope, it is the hope of eternal life through Christ Jesus. The Bible calls this hope a ‘living hope’
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
It is not a hope that will ever die. Every other hope that men and women take hold of in this life will die with them. But the hope of resurrection of eternal life will not die because Christ is risen forever.
Romans 8:24 says ‘we were saved in this hope”, it is the sure and living hope of what has been promised to us by God. The resurrection of our bodies to live forever with Him. This is our living hope.
(Rom: 8:23,24 ….we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope.)….
We have one common faith, one gospel that we believe, we teach and we preach to the nations. The Bible says this gospel is a mystery and that it has the power of God. The Bible encourages us : Col. 1:23 ” continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and do not be moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven,
Rom. 1:16:For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
This faith that we share is the same gospel Jesus preached, the same gospel Peter and Paul and James and the early church preached.
Acts 16:4,5: And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
So we see that the very strength of the church lies in this one faith, this one gospel. If we preach this gospel, the church will grow.
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, ……that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel Phil. 1:27
As we the church stand together in this one faith that was handed down to us from generation to generation, we are strengthened, we grow and we see the power of God.
There is one baptism we share as believers in Christ and it is a baptism into His death.
Rom. 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
It means when we decided to follow Jesus and were baptised in His Name then we gave up our right to our own lives. We became disciples, laying down all our previous life at the Cross and becoming crucified with Christ.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
We have been crucified with Christ and the lives we now live we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and died for us. This is our testimony.
Gal. 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
1 Cor. 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
We are now baptised into the spiritual Body of Christ and we drink of the One Spirit who is the Holy Spirit of God. We have no business with other spirits.
When we join ourselves to Christ we become His family, His clan, his tribe. And we all have One Father.
Mat. 12:50 Jesus said: “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” We have one Father, the same Father Jesus has.
We have been adopted into the house of just one Father by the Holy Spirit for it says in Romans 8:15 : you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
And if we know Jesus, then we know the Father. Jesus said “if you know Me, you know the Father, but if you hate me you hate My Father”. (John 8:19, John 15:23). He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.
When we become disciples of Jesus Christ, then we have a fellowship with both the Son and the Father (1 John 1:3). There is only One Father and He is God.
1 Cor. 8:6: For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth as there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him;
Today people want to tell us there is just one God but He has many Names. He can be called Allah, or Krishna or Buddha or something else. No, the Bible teaches us there is one Father, the Lord and God of Jesus Christ, and His Name is Yahweh and no other. We have the privilege of calling Him Father.
So we have one body, the spiritual Body of Christ, one Spirit, one hope, one faith, one baptism, one Father, but today I want to talk to you about the one Lord we follow. His Name is Jesus Christ.
You see, I need to make sure of something for myself. The Word of God tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, and even more so as we see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:25). I have come a long way to assemble together with you today and I want to make sure that the ones I assemble with are of the same mind and the same spirit.
I’ve been now to Kenya many times. And I’ve spoken with many people and in some diverse places. But I come to be honest with you today, I come to be sincere and I have to say there is something heavy on my heart about the church in Kenya and other parts of Africa.
Because I have seen and I have heard things being preached, things being taught, things being practiced in the church in Kenya that cause me to ask some searching questions.
My question is a hard one to ask. But I must ask it. The Bible says we have one Lord but in your country and in mine there are people preaching and teaching a Jesus that I don’t know. I look for Him in this book, the Bible, and I can’t find Him.
There is a Jesus being preached that has come to make us rich and prosperous. You may have heard of him. He carries a big money bag and has lots of promises. They say that this Jesus promises to make us wealthy if we sow some money somewhere. They say if we sow the money, it will multiply and come back to us, because this Jesus only wants us to prosper, to be wealthy and happy.
Then there’s another Jesus I’ve heard about and He comes with a big plan to make our churches grow. This Jesus promises us if we follow special rules that men have laid out for us, then we will have many people in our church and our ministry will be very successful. But we have to buy special books and make sure we follow the special plan in the books.
And there’s another Jesus I hear about in Kenya and he comes with half a Bible because he doesn’t need the other half any more. He threw it away. This Jesus doesn’t talk about sin because He might upset people. He only wants to show us His grace. This Jesus comes with a big smile on his face to show us how friendly he is. He’s so friendly we can be Christians on Sundays and during the week we can play around with sins like witchcraft, and adultery and lying and stealing and he won’t mind. He’ll just keep smiling at us and promise us it’s all OK because God loves us.
Do you know any of these ones called Jesus? I’m sure you must have heard about them. They are very easy to find. There are many other kinds of Jesus being preached in the world also.
Men and women in your country and in my country too are preaching so many kinds of Jesus that we can choose the one we like best, like going to the shop and buying different flavoured ice creams. And they’re all called Lord Jesus.
But Jesus said that many will call Him Lord but in the end He will say to them “Depart from me, I never knew you.” You did this thing and that thing in My Name, but I don’t know who you are. You took My Name and used it to build your own kingdom, to grow rich and wealthy at the expense of My people. You took My Name and made a big reputation, a big ministry, you gained a great following using My Name, but I don’t know anything about you.”
So, that’s why my heart is sorrowful today as I look at the African church. I want to know which Jesus you are following and is it the same Jesus you set out to follow in the beginning. Let me now tell you about My Jesus. And then maybe you will be able to answer whether you and I are following the same Jesus.
My Jesus comes carrying a Cross, not a bag of money. And He too has many promises for me. Here are some of the things He has promised me.
He promised me persecution, not prosperity.
My Jesus told me to be Spirit led, not purpose driven. He told me to be Spirit sensitive, not seeker sensitive.
My Jesus didn’t promise me a good reputation. He didn’t say people will look up to me and honour me. He said all nations would hate me for His Name sake.
My Jesus didn’t live in a grand house and drive the latest car, but He ate with sinners and washed the feet of His followers.
My Jesus gave me a very special ministry call. The call was to “take up your Cross, deny yourself and follow Me.”
He never gave me a ten point plan for success. Instead He promised me the fellowship of His sufferings.
My Jesus never promised me great political power or personal influence. Instead He promised me I would be brought before kings and rulers as a testimony of Him. He said I would be delivered up to authorities and beaten even in the places of worship.
My Jesus never became wealthy selling books on how to live like a Christian, He said ‘the words I speak will be Spirit and life to you.”
My Jesus never told me to spend my life making my church bigger. He said be faithful in the small things and you will be trusted with greater things.
My Jesus didn’t tell me to follow man made plans and ideas about church growth. He told me He will build His church and He added to the church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47). And the church grew when the gospel of repentance from sin was preached.
My Jesus never told me to sow money into anything, He told me to sow His Word. My Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple.
My Jesus said He had nowhere to lay His head.
My Jesus never told me to follow that leader or this leader. He said take up your Cross and follow Me.
He never told me to give myself a great title like apostle or prophet . He said ‘if you want to be a leader then learn to be a servant to all.”
He never said ‘go get some great man or woman to ‘cover’ you with their name and their ministry. He said go preach repentance and remission of sins in MY NAME to all nations. He said hold fast to My Name, the Name above all names, and no other.
My Jesus wore a Crown of Thorns, not a crown of gold.
He was acquainted with grief, not with the bank manager.
My Jesus never told me to follow signs and wonders. He said When you follow Me, the signs will follow you.
My Jesus didn’t promise me a life free of problems. He promised me tribulation in this world and said He will give me the power to overcome it as He overcame.
My Jesus never said everyone would go to Heaven, He said many are called, few are chosen. He said whoever is not for Me is against Me.
My Jesus didn’t say to gather treasure on this earth, but to store up Heavenly treasure.
My Jesus said friendship with the world is enmity with God.
He said I would be a stranger and foreigner in this world. He said my citizenship is in Heaven, not on this earth.
My Jesus didn’t compromise with sin. He said whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. He said ‘go and sin no more’ and then He shed His Blood so I would have the power to do just what He said.
Well, I could go on but I hope by now you are getting the picture. Do you know this Jesus?
ONE LORD. ONE Lord only! He’s called the Faithful and True. He’s called the Lamb of God. He came as a suffering servant once but He’s coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He has fire in His eyes and a double edged sword in His mouth and He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. He will separate the sheep from the goats and destroy every enemy under His feet. He is the One to Whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess His Name. He is sovereign and He is holy and He alone is Lord!
So, here’s my challenge to you today. Which Lord do you want? The One in here (Bible), or another false Jesus that says we don’t have to take up the Cross. There are people writing books, making TV programs and teaching in our churches who want us to follow another Christ.
Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia: “I marvel, (I am amazed !) that you are turning away so soon ….. to a different gospel, He said: “there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.” Gal 6:1-8
There is One Lord only. There is One Spirit who shows us what He is like. There is One Father who is revealed to us by the Son. And there is one gospel. There can be no compromise. If we have been seduced by a different gospel made according to men, a different spirit which is not the Holy Spirit, another Jesus who is not the Jesus of this Gospel, let us repent today and return to our first love.
Have we stood by and not taken a stand for truth as these false gospels have invaded our nations? Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah.
“Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.” Isaiah 59:4
“Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14
My friends, people are dying in their sins because they are not receiving the true gospel, the true Christ.
Now I want to relate to you a dream that was given to a friend of mine two days before I came here to Africa. My friend is a prophet. She came to me and said “I have had this dream from the Lord, and I don’t know what it means. I know that it concerns your trip to Africa but will you pray for the interpretation and see what the Lord shows you because I myself do not have the understanding of it.” So I asked the Lord and this is I believe the Holy Spirit gave me the interpretation of my friend’s dream and it is a Word for the Church in Africa.
First, here is the dream:
She saw a man dressed all in brand new clothes. He had a new suit, new shirt, new tie. The man was speaking, boasting, about all the things he could do, all the things he was accomplishing for God. She looked down at his feet and saw that his shoes were too small. They were not new and they were not the right size. They were dirty and dusty, and because they were too tight they were making his feet deformed. She asked him why his shoes did not fit and he said that new shoes would cost him $12.00 and this was too expensive for him. He was unwilling to pay that much for new shoes. This is where the dream ended.
Now I will tell you the interpretation of this dream that the Holy Spirit gave me:
In Ephesians 2:15 it says that we, the church, are created in Christ as ‘one new man”…
“. ….. having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace….
This is the man in the dream and he represents the church in Africa. He is all new but there is something wrong….his shoes are not new and do not match the rest of him. They are also too small and are making his feet deformed so he cannot walk properly.
According to Ephesians 6:15, we are to have are feet covered with the gospel of peace.
“….and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace….”
Also, the Bible says how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news (the gospel).
“How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”” Isaiah 52:7
We see therefore that prophetically speaking, shoes and feet represent the gospel.
The number twelve, depicted as the $12.00 in the dream, prophetically represents apostolic authority.
So here is what the Holy Spirit says today to the church in Africa:
“Where are those who are willing to pay the price for true apostolic authority in Africa? In your midst you have false apostles, false prophets, false shepherds and false teachers preaching false gospels, growing fat and rich at the expense of God’s flock. Why? Because the people love it so! “
God is seeking those He can raise up in authentic apostolic authority in Africa, but who will pay the cost? The cost is to take up our Cross daily and follow the true Christ, proclaiming His true gospel. Again, the Spirit says to the church in Africa,” who will pay the cost, who will pay the cost, who will pay the cost?”
“Repent therefore from the tickling of the ears and the chasing after false gospels and take up your Cross and follow the Christ who was delivered to you, the Christ of the true gospel, whose gate is narrow and whose way is difficult. On these who do not seek their own glory and their own kingdoms, I am willing to pour out true apostolic authority, but where are they? ” says the Lord.
This Word was delivered at Kitale, Kenya, 15 October, 2011 to representatives of the African church from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Please feel free to share and deliver to others as lead by the Holy Spirit. Please do not change this word in any way and leave copyright attached so others can follow up with author. Under no circumstances must any financial cost be attached to sharing this word. Freely we have received, freely give (Matt. 10:8).
©2011 Copyright Cheryl McGrath, Great South Land Ministries www.greatsouthland.org
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