The Kingdom Alive! #7 – Acts 10

1) Peter’s Commission

John 21:15-17
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

> Jesus tasks Peter to not only fish for people, but to shepherd the people as well.

2) Peter the Shepherd

> 3 Sheep

a) Aeneas

Acts 9:32-35
32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

> Aeneas was healed by Jesus, and for the name of Jesus!

b) Dorcas

Acts 9:36-39
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas);

36…she was always doing good and helping the poor. 

> Dorcas was known for feeding and taking care of the sheep.

37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

Mark 5:37-42
37 [Jesus] did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Acts 9:40-43
40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

c) Cornelius

Acts 10:1-16
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 

> Cornelius was a man of faith who put his belief into action.

One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa. About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

> Clean vs Unclean

> They did the right thing physically, without doing the right thing spiritually.

Mark 7:14-21
14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” 17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) 20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come…”

> Everyone is unclean without Jesus!

Acts 10:17-20
17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

Acts 10:27-29
27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

Acts 10:34-35
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 

Acts 10:44-46
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues (other languages) and praising God.

> This is HIS church!  He can interrupt us whenever He wants!

Acts 10:46-48
46Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Galatians 3:26-28
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

> We are all one in Christ.  There is no room for prejudice.

The Kingdom Alive! #6 – Acts 9

> Who was Saul/Paul?

a) He was Jewish

Acts 22:3
[Paul said,] “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strictness of our ancestral law. I was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.”

b) He trained under Gamaliel

Acts 5:38-39
38 [Gamaliel said,] “So in the present case, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of human origin, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God.” 

c) He was a Roman citizen by birth

d) Saul or Paul?

Acts 13:9
Saul, also called Paul…

1 Corinthians 9:20-22
20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews… 21 To those who are without the law, like one without the law…to win those without the law. 22 …I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.

>> How are you relating to the world that doesn’t know Jesus?

Acts 26:9-11
[Paul said,] “I myself was convinced that it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 I actually did this in Jerusalem, and I locked up many of the saints in prison, since I had received authority for that from the chief priests. When they were put to death, I was in agreement against them. 11 In all the synagogues I often punished them and tried to make them blaspheme. Since I was terribly enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.”

> Saul’s Conversion

Acts 9:1-4
1 Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

Acts 26:14
14 [Paul said,] “We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice speaking to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’”

Acts 26:15
15 [Paul said,] “I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’”

15 “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.’” 

Acts 22:10
10 “I said, ‘What should I do, Lord?’”

>> Once you recognize Jesus as Lord, there is only one appropriate response:

“What shall I do?”

> Saul’s Commissioning

Acts 26 :16-18
16[Jesus said] ‘Get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’”

Acts 9:7
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. 

Acts 22:9
[Paul said,] “Now those who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me.”

Matthew 13:14-15
14 [Jesus said,] “Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: ‘You will listen and listen, but never understand; you will look and look, but never perceive. 15 For this people’s heart has grown callous; their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,  and understand with their hearts, and turn back—and I would heal them.’”

> Saul’s Next Steps

Acts 9:8
Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing.

(Acts 22:11 “the brilliance of the light had blinded me.”)

8 …So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 

Acts 9:17-22
17 Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time. 20 Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.” 21 All who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was causing havoc for those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul grew stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

Matthew 11:28
28 [Jesus said,] “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The Kingdom Alive! #5 – Acts 2-4

> Unity

Acts 2:42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their numberthose who were being saved.

> How did they “cultivate the soil”?

1) Devotion to Scripture

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…

Proskartereo – to be earnest towards, to be constantly diligent

2) Devotion to fellowship

42 They devoted themselves to…fellowship, to the breaking of bread… 

Koinonia – partnership, communion

3) Devotion to prayer

42 They devoted themselves to…prayer. 

4) Kept a sense of awe

43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 

Acts 3:1-10
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple for the time of prayer at three in the afternoon. A man who was lame from birth was being carried there. He was placed each day at the temple gate called Beautiful, so that he could beg from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he asked for money. Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” So he turned to them, expecting to get something from them. But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. So he jumped up and started to walk, and he entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized that he was the one who used to sit and beg at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him.

5) Practiced generosity

45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 

Acts 4:32-35
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

6) Proactive in building and keeping unity

Acts 2:44, 46-47
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common…46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. 

7) Operated in boldness

Acts 4:1-2, 7-13
1 While they were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple police, and the Sadducees confronted them, because they were annoyed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 

After they had Peter and John stand before them, they began to question them: “By what power or in what name have you done this?” Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders:  If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man, by what means he was healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing here before you healthy.  11 This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone.  12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” 13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus. 

Acts 4:14-21
14 Since they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 After they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign has been done through them, clear to everyone living in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that this does not spread any further among the people, let’s threaten them against speaking to anyone in this name again.” 18 So they called for them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; 20 for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After threatening them further, they released them. They found no way to punish them because the people were all giving glory to God over what had been done. 

The Kingdom Alive! #4 – Acts 1 & 2

> The Promise

Acts 1:1
1 I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus…

Acts 1:1-5
1 I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up, after he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After he had suffered, he also presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While he was with them, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “Which,” he said, “you have heard me speak about; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.”

Romans 8:9
9 If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. 

Ephesians 1:13
13 In [Jesus] you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. 

Acts 1:6-8
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Just tell what you know.

> The Ascension

Acts 1:9
After [Jesus] had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 

Without the death of Christ, we have no forgiveness from God,

And without the resurrection of Christ, we have no hope of eternal life.

But without the ascension of Christ, we have no intercessor!

Mark 16:19
19 So the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 

Hebrews 7:25
 25 Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.

Acts 1:10-11
10 While [Jesus] was going, they were gazing into heaven…

10 …they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen him going into heaven.”

> The Gift

Acts 2:1
1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived,

Acts 2:1-4
1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.

>> 3 signs of the coming of the Holy Spirit:

1) A sound like a violent wind

2) Tongues of fire descending on them

Matthew 3:11
11 “[Jesus] himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” 

3) Speaking in other languages

Acts 2:5-8, 12-13
Now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that each of us can hear them in our own native language?”  12 They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But some sneered and said, “They’re drunk on new wine.”

Acts 2:36-41
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”  38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” 41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.

> Takeaways:

1) We ALL have been commissioned.

2) We are to be witnesses in our world.

3) We carry the Spirit of God with us.

4) We must obey and take our next step!

The Kingdom Alive! #3 – Matthew 28:16-20

> Our Mission:

1)  Love God and love people.

2)  Grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

3)  Go and make disciples.

Matthew 28:16-20
16 The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

> Jesus’ Command:

1) His authority is established

Matthew 28:18
18All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.

2) “Go”

Poreuō to pursue the journey on which one has entered

3) Make disciples

Matthew 28:19
19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples…” 

Mathēteuōa student or learner

4) Make disciples of all nations

Matthew 28:19
19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” 

5) Baptize

Matthew 28:19
19 “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” 

Acts 2:37-38, 42
37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” 

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

6) Teach

Matthew 28:20
20 “…teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.”

a) We must teach everything Jesus commanded.

b) We must be taught first.

c) Then we must become teachers.

7) Jesus is with you.

20 “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Kingdom Alive! #2 – Luke 24:13-43

Luke 24:13-32
13 Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. 15 And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. 16 But they were prevented from recognizing him. 17 Then he asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged. 18 The one named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked them. So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish and slow of heart you are to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. 28 They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”

Luke 22:19-20
19And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” 20In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.”

Luke 24:33-49
33 That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those with them gathered together, 34 who said, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they began to describe what had happened on the road and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. 36 As they were saying these things, [Jesus] himself stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 “Why are you troubled?” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 But while they still were amazed and in disbelief because of their joy, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 So they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 44 He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.”  49 “And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”

>3 Questions to consider:

1) What state of “burning” is your heart in?

2) Do you feel like you have spiritual “blinders” on?

Luke 11:9
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.

Revelation 3:20
20 [Jesus says,] “See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

3) Are you being a faithful “eye-witness”?

The Kingdom Alive! #1 – Matthew 28:1-10

Matthew 27:58-61
58 [Joseph of Arimathea] approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. 59 So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, 60 and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb.

Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.  [The Angel’s] appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they became like dead men. The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” 7 “Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you.” So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell his disciples the news. 

> Jesus was not resuscitated.

He was resurrected.

Just then Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” They came up, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

> How should we respond to the risen Jesus?

1) Worship him

2) Go and tell

3) Don’t be afraid

Romans 8:31-32 (TPT)
31 So, what does all this mean? If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us? 32 For God has proved his love by giving us his greatest treasure, the gift of his Son. And since God freely offered him up as the sacrifice for us all, he certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give.

Romans 8:35 (TPT)
35 Who could ever separate us from the endless love of God’s Anointed One? Absolutely no one! For nothing in the universe has the power to diminish his love toward us. Troubles, pressures, and problems are unable to come between us and heaven’s love. What about persecutions, deprivations, dangers, and death threats? No, for they are all impotent to hinder omnipotent love, 

Romans 8:37-39 (TPT)
37 Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors, and his demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything! 38 So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. 39 There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!

The Kingdoms Clash #14 – Matthew 27:51-66

2 Corinthians 5:21 (TPT)
21 For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us, so that we who did not know righteousness might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.

Matthew 27:45, 50-53
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land…

50 Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And they came out of the tombs after his resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.

> Four events surrounding the death of Jesus:
1) The Darkness

Amos 5:18
18 
“Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! What will the day of the Lord be for you? It will be darkness and not light.”

Amos 8:7-9
“I will never forget all their deeds. Because of this, won’t the land quake and all who dwell in it mourn? And in that day— this is the declaration of the Lord God— I will make the sun go down at noon; I will darken the land in the daytime.”

Darkness is a common theme of judgment.

1 Peter 2:24
24 [Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 

2) The Curtain 
The curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. (Matt. 27:51) 

Ephesians 2:14
14 For [Jesus] is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.

– The curtain that separated the holy of holies from the other parts of the temple.

Hebrews 10:19-20 (TPT)
19 And now we are brothers and sisters in God’s family because of the blood of Jesus, and he welcomes us to come right into the most holy sanctuary in the heavenly realm—boldly and with no hesitation. 20 For he has dedicated a new, life-giving way for us to approach God. For just as the veil was torn in two, Jesus’ body was torn open to give us free and fresh access to him!

3) The Earthquake 
The earth quaked, and the rocks were split. (Matt. 27:51)

– Earthquakes in the Bible often happened when God was working.

4) The Dead Raised 

The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. (Matt. 27:52)

They entered the holy city, and appeared to many. (Matt 27:53)

– These resurrections show us Jesus’ victory over death.

1 Thessalonians 4:16
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Matthew 27:54
54 When the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

John 19:31-34
31 Since it was the preparation day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special day). They requested that Pilate have the men’s legs broken and that their bodies be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other one who had been crucified with him. 33 When they came to Jesus, they did not break his legs since they saw that he was already dead. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 

1) Legs not broken

Psalm 34:20
20 He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken.

2) Blood and water

Matthew 27:55-66
55 Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him were there, watching from a distance. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.  57 When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. 59 So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, 60 and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb. 62 The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come, steal him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “You have a guard of soldiers,” Pilate told them. “Go and make it as secure as you know how.” 66 They went and secured the tomb by setting a seal on the stone and placing the guard.

The stage is set for Easter Sunday!

The Kingdoms Clash #13 – Matthew 27:15-50

> Thursday evening

> Early Friday morning (midnight)

> Friday morning (dawn and forward)

> The “Seven Words of Jesus”

1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  Luke 23:34

2. ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43

3. “Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.”

Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”  John 19:26-27

4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34

Psalm 22:1-2, 6-8, 12-18
 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 8 “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” 12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

5. “I thirst.” John 19:28

John 19:29
They put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.

6. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished;” and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit.  John 19:30

7. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46

Psalm 31:5
Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Kingdoms Clash #12 – Matthew 26:36-46, 57-68

Matthew 26:36-39
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Psalm 75:8
For there is a cup in the Lord’s hand, full of wine blended with spices, and he pours from it. All the wicked of the earth will drink, draining it to the dregs.

Jeremiah 25:15-16
15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from my hand and make all the nations to whom I am sending you drink from it. 16 They will drink, stagger, and go out of their minds because of the sword I am sending among them.”

> The cup represents judgment.

> We all have two choices in life:

 1. Drink your own cup of God’s wrath

2. Let Jesus drink your cup

John 3:36
36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

Matthew 26:40-42
40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, a second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 

> The battle over temptation is won on the front end.

Luke 22:43
43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. 

Luke 22:44
44 Being in anguish, he prayed more fervently, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Hematidrosis – a condition of great emotional stress that causes the tiny capillaries in the sweat glands to rupture.

Matthew 26:43-46
43 And [Jesus] came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open. 44 After leaving them, he went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? See, the time is near. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up; let’s go. See, my betrayer is near.”

Matthew 26:57
57 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened. 

Matthew 26:59-68
 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death, 60 but they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two who came forward 61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 The high priest stood up and said to him, “Don’t you have an answer to what these men are testifying against you?” 63 The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”  64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him… 

64…“But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? See, now you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66 What is your decision?” They answered, “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who was it that hit you?”