The Kingdom Manifested

Posted Jun 22, 2016 by Adrian Ebens in Statutes and Judgements Hits: 504

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Two weeks before Pentecost I was walking along the beach and praising our Father for His wonderful creation. I also was thinking about what things needed to be included in our Pentecost event. Suddenly in my mind I imagined the elders rising to honour the grandfathers amongst us and taking the opportunity to thank them for their hard work over the years to provide for their families.  I thought about how much harder things were sixty years ago and how much self-sacrifice was required to raise a family. I wanted to honour these men in our community and thank the Lord for them. How much we need Grandfathers. Their years of life experience should be considered a treasure to the community of faith and drawn out whenever possible.

Next the elders arose and honoured the Grandmothers amongst us. Does our society truly see them as grand? The years of life experience in raising families to adulthood with all its joys and sorrows. Do we treasure them? As I walked the beach that day I determined to respond in the affirmative. We would pray a special prayer for Grandmothers that they might know that we treasure them for their loving kindness in their respective families.

Next my mind shifted and I saw flowers being passed to all the wives by their respective husbands who took the opportunity to express their appreciation of their help meet. As I took in the scene, I was quite moved at the thought of it as my soul cried out from the depths – “this is the community of faith I desire to belong to!” Then there were gifts showered upon the children and grandchildren reminding them of how loved they are by our Father in heaven. Into this safe place was an invitation to the fatherless and the widows amongst us that they could call home and belong. I smiled as I thought about these things and then I saw the elders kneel together arm in arm as a strong tower committing themselves to the Lord to pray for each other and their families that we might provide a spiritual hedge of protection to those we love.

Lastly, I saw the group gather stones and make a memorial to remember what we had done together that we might often reflect on the special treasure we have in our families.

When I finished my walk, I excitedly rang some of the elders and we immediately began to plan the event for Pentecost. As our church family have come to see that the appointments of our Father are special times for the Spirit to fall upon us and remind us of His great love, we wanted to take this opportunity to manifest the kingdom of our Father in words of love and blessing.

As we began our meeting on Friday night there was a high sense of anticipation. As we entered the Sabbath hours many were aware that the footsteps of our Saviour were especially close and that this would be a very special time. This gathering was not called together by men but it was called by our Father in the Word of God.

A few people had experienced difficulty leading up to the meeting. Only a few hours before the first meeting our first speaker Eddie Perez suddenly came down with a cold followed by a flat tyre on his car. Just before the meeting he was coughing and dealing with all the usual symptoms of a cold. As he arose to speak, he was enabled to speak with freedom and showed very little evidence of the cold. This was a blessing indeed from heaven. Eddie spoke of the relationship between the law and the gospel and how they are one in Christ Jesus. We were all blessed by the presentation.

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The next morning Craig Jacobson presented on the meaning of the feasts and how we come to the various dates in the calendar. Many informative points were brought forward and our group was very engaged in the Bible study session. For the Sabbath service I spoke on the final articles of Ellen White in the Review and Herald before she died. The article printed the day before she died spoke of the apostasy of Manasseh and the later hope in the coming of Josiah. The article printed the week after she died was on the book of the law and how it was found in the temple. Was there a message for God’s people in these final articles? Is it a coincidence that one of her final articles spoke to the subject of the book of the law? I think not. We then spoke about the veil that existed over the eyes of the Jews when they read Moses and how this same veil exists today which veil is done away in Christ. With the veil removed in Christ, Moses shows a powerful preaching of the gospel and the law is something that is wonderful for us.

There were about 40 people assembled for Lunch and we had wonderful fellowship together and encouraging one another in the grace of God.

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Then in the afternoon, that which I had dreamed about and inspired me came to pass in the process of blessing each section of our church family. The atmosphere was not euphoric and exuberant but rather deeply peaceful and warm in tone. In honouring each segment of our church family we were building an Ark of safety while at the same time securing the fountain of blessing knowing that our heavenly Father loves us. Here is the kingdom of God manifested in the family context and it was underscored by the high tide that was promised to us on the day of Pentecost.

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Thanks to some wonderful supporters we were able to have several t-shirts printed with words “I am a daughter of the King” or “I am a son of the King.” There were also pens gift wrapped with verses on them from Scripture.

Then I called on the elders amongst us and asked those gathered to pray for and uphold the elders amongst us. A strong community needs strong harmonious leadership committed fully to God. These things do not happen by chance and we must pray for them. As elders we knelt and committed ourselves to God that He would help and guide us in the days ahead.

After dinner we had some family story time and told the beginnings of our journey into the Father and Son, the Statutes and Judgements and some of the members of the family that have come together. Telling our story is central to identity. The Bible begins with a story. It is the relational process of identification and who you belong to. A set of doctrinal positions alone will not bring cohesion and a sense of family identity. We are a group of people identified as Seventh-day Adventists called back to the God of our fathers – the worship of the true God. We also are called to remember the Law of Moses with the statutes and the judgements and complete some of the first words of James White concerning Adventists that we keep ALL the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. In walking this path we are fulfilling the appeal of the prophet of God:

The words of Moses to Israel, concerning the statutes and judgments of the Lord, are also the word of God to us; he says: "Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. ST March 21, 1895.

The closing words of Malachi are a prophecy regarding the work that should be done preparatory to the first and the second advent of Christ. This prophecy is introduced with the admonition, "Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.  {SW, March 21, 1905 par. 1}

The sacred statutes which Satan has hated and sought to destroy, will be honored throughout a sinless universe” PP 342

This is what we intend to see manifested in our lives. We trust and believe that our Father in heaven will write upon our hearts the love of God in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

It is not enough to expose the false positions of error that are taught everywhere like the howling winds; these will not build a community of faith and will not manifest the kingdom in strength. It requires a dedication to build up upon the foundations of the Advent movement of 1840-1844 into all of the faith of Jesus that loves and honours our Father’s commandments. To have the Father’s name sealed in the mind we must have the Father’s law written in our hearts.

On Sunday morning about the third hour we gathered together to remember the day of Pentecost and to pray together. Gavin Devlin led out and our time together was a blessing. In the final session Colin Nicolson spoke to us of the cultivation of faith and then we opened for testimonies from various people. Hearts poured forth in gratitude and many expressed that they felt they had found a home. We then all went outside and laid a memorial stone that we might remember how our Father had called us together to bless us.

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Many people did not want to leave and a peaceful spirit rested upon us as we reflected upon the weekend. There was and is now great anticipation for the feast of Tabernacles and all the appointments arranged by our Father to bless us. We invite you to join us in these seasons of refreshing believing all that is written in the law and prophets concerning our Lord Jesus.