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Difficult Verses: John 14.28 and John 10.30

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Today, I am going to look at a couple of verses which at face value seem to contradict each other.  As we unravel the contradiction we are going to find out one of the most powerful truths about the nature of God, and about how we relate to each other in community and society.

You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (John 14.28)  

 

I and the Father are one. (John 10.30)

 

You can see that at first glance that these verses are contradictory – is Jesus the Word who was God and is God become flesh, fully equal to God, the second person of the Trinity or is He inferior to the Father?  The Jehovah’s Witnesses rely on John 14.28 to defend their belief that Jesus is merely a god, and not God – because, according to them, if the Father is greater than Him He cannot be as great as the Father.

The reason these verses seem initially confusing is because we fail to see that there are two ways of determining the worth of a person.  The first is called ontological and the second is called teleological.  You have ontological worth and teleological worth.  So does everyone and everything.  Ontological worth is the intrinsic worth of a person or item: a gold ring has ontological value because it is made of gold, money has very little ontological worth because it is made of paper.  Ontological worth is based on the skill of the manufacturer and the value of the materials used.  As a human being you are designed by God and He made you by breathing His Spirit inside you.  That means ontologically you have amazing, awesome value.  

Teleological worth is the worth an item or person has based on what they could do.  Money has very little ontological value, but has a high teleological value because it can be used to buy a whole host of things.  Depending on the situation, teleological value can change.  On a desert island, money has very little teleological value, but water would have a much higher teleological value.

Now when it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity.  we need to realize that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the three persons of the Godhead are ontologically equal in value.  The Father is worth the same as the Son is worth the same as the Spirit.  That makes sense of the Scriptures that say that Jesus is God, that the Father and Son are one.  That is why we worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  They are all equal in value – the value of the perfect, holy God.  

However, when it comes to teleological value, the Son made a free choice to become human and dwell among us.  By becoming human, He made the decision to submit His will to the will of the Father.  That’s why Jesus said “I can only do what I see the Father doing”.  Jesus took the teleological role of the submitted human to ensure the mission of the Trinity could be completed and humanity redeemed.

So on an ontological, intrinsic level Jesus is worth the same as the Father – they are equal in holiness, glory, weight and awesomeness.  They are one.  But on a teleological, functional level they are different: the Father is greater than the Son.

Not only is that helping you understand the differing Scriptures, it helps you form healthy relationships.  For example, I set my son’s bedtime, he doesn’t set mine.  But on an ontological level, he is as precious as I am.  Functionally however, I pay the bills, I am the dad, and I am the boss.  On that level, I am greater than him.  But as I function as the father, I must never forget that that does not make me intrinsically more valuable.

Whenever you are in a position of authority over someone – employer, dad, husband, pastor, policeman – realize that your authority is only teleological.  You are not better than that person, you are in a position of authority to love and to serve and to lead someone who is of equal worth to you.  

Whenever someone is in a position of authority over you, realize that they are not better than you, they are of the same ontological worth as you.  When you realize that and are secure in that it’s easy to say “My Father is greater than I”.  It’s easy to submit to your husband, it’s easy to honour and obey your parents, it’s easy to obey and submit to your pastors.  People who find saying someone is greater than them teleologically generally don’t know what they are worth – they can claim to know they are righteous but their inability to humble themselves proves they don’t.  When, like Jesus, you know you are the son of God and have intrinsic worth, you don’t need to prove it by jumping off a temple, insisting your whole church goes the way you want, and that your mum and dad start valuing you around here by letting you do x, y and z.

 

 

Excerpt from Rivers and Wells (Pastor Benjamin’s book on the anointing)

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This passage is an excerpt from Pastor Benjamin’s book RIvers and Wells.  The book can be purchased here.

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On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given,because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7.37-39, NKJV)

Incidentally, I much prefer the King James rendering of the phrase as “rivers of living waters.” Some modern translations use the phrase “streams of living waters”. I prefer the imagery of rivers of water flowing out of me, rather than streams. It just seems more powerful. The Greek gives the idea of water with a current – water that is flowing to a destination. Incidentally the King James translates a few phrases a bit better than the more modern versions. In Ephesians 6 the King James Version tells us to take up the shield of faith because of the fiery darts of the enemy. The New International Version tells us the enemy has flaming missiles. I do not know about you, but I would rather be facing fiery darts than flaming missiles!

So, by comparing these passages we can see that in John 4 Jesus is talking about the new birth and says that at the new birth a well of gushing water is placed inside you. In John 7, Jesus is not referring to the new birth but rather the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and he says the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not like a well inside you, but like rivers that flow out of you. These rivers flowing out of you are your ministry to others: laying hands on the sick, casting out demons, speaking the Word to people. This ministry is not just for the full-time ministers but should be part and parcel of the life of every Christian. Jesus said that whoever believed in Him would do the works He did (John 14.12). I know a lot of people talk about the end of that verse (“greater works”) and many theological people have argued about what greater works means. I simply do not care what greater works means. I do not. I am staying on the first part of the verse: I will do the works Jesus did. When I am doing them fully, then I will find out what the greater works are.

It makes me laugh when I hear theologians discuss and argue about what the greater works are when they have never even done the works Jesus did in the first place. You, Christian, should be doing the works of Jesus. That is the power of God that has been placed inside you: rivers of living water. Not just one river, but many rivers. So you can flow in the power of God and minister life and healing to those around you. Mark 16 tells us that those who believe will lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover. It does not mention apostles and prophets and pastors! It says those who believe. The highest calling and anointing for any Christian is the anointing and calling to be a believer. There are many people who would call themselves (and it is them calling themselves, because God certainly has not done it) apostles and prophets, and yet they have never even once functioned in the anointing of the believer. They have never laid their hands on the sick and seen them recover! It is time the body of Christ stopped arguing over titles and pre-eminence, got over our jealousy of one another and started doing the works that Jesus did.

Every Christian should be casting out demons, healing the sick, ministering life and love to the world and doing good. This is the most important issue when it comes to the anointing, not the prophetic and apostolic anointings. These are real, and Christians need to know how to relate to these anointings, but there is far too much emphasis on them within the charismatic move today. Let us focus on the main issues: every Christian should be ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit and have rivers of life flowing out of them changing their worlds. The church is so far removed from this. There are so many Christians who do not know that the power of God is inside them, that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives inside them, that they can do the works of Jesus, that they can place their hands on a sick person and the person will be healed. And yet, the church is arguing about who is a prophet and who is this, and who is that. Who cares?

The fact is most of the world needs a church that is filled with faith and glory. God’s desire is for the whole church to be doing the works of Jesus and extending the kingdom and rescuing people from hell. We have made church a spectator sport, like a theatre show. You pay your money and you put your backside on a chair so the pastor can boast how many backsides are on chairs, but you are not expected to do the works of Jesus.

You know you are destined for more than a bottom on a seat. You were designed by God for dominion, for destiny, to rule and reign over fear and over sickness. To change lives and demonstrate the kingdom of God. You know that rivers of living water will flow out of you.

Say this out loud: No more am I merely a bottom on a seat. I am a child of God. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in me. The greater One lives in me. I have an anointing from the Holy One. In me is a well of water, out of me flow rivers of living water.

You need to keep saying this out loud until you start getting excited about this. You need to be so confident of this that when you walk out your house and see someone sick you offer to lay your hands on them. You offer to minister life to them. When you see someone sad, you are going to cast the devil out of them. You are going to do the works that Jesus did. You are going to believe the Word of God.

Hagin – The Devil’s Under My Feet

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The devil IS under your FEET. Enjoy!

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Our Position of Authority as Believers (Kenneth Copeland)

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When you made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, Colossians 1:13 says you were delivered from the power of darkness. The word power is literally translated “authority.” You have been delivered from the power, or authority, of darkness and placed into God’s kingdom. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore…” (Matthew 28:18-19). That power was given to you as part of your inheritance in Christ Jesus. You have entered into this position of authority because you are in Him. 

The Word says that righteousness has come upon all men (Romans 5:18). You may ask, “Then why don’t all become righteous?” Because in order to receive it, you have to act on righteousness from the point of authority.
           
Nov. 2, 1962, I used my authority as a human being and made a choice. I made the decision to receive Jesus as Lord of my life. At that moment, the righteousness that had been upon me came inside me. I was made the righteousness of God in Christ. II Corinthians 5:21 says, “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
 
Jesus Secured Our Power and Authority
           
Jesus succeeded in securing all power by going to the cross, dying a horrible death, suffering the penalty for sin and defeating Satan in the pit of hell. He came to earth as a man for one reason: to recapture the authority Satan had stolen through Adam’s disobedience in the Garden. Jesus was called the last Adam (I Corinthians 15:45). After securing that power and authority, He freely gave it over into the hands of those who would believe on Him—you and me.
           
It is not enough for us to simply accept Jesus’ work at Calvary. We are held responsible for much more. Jesus’ words in Mark 16 were not intended for the early Church alone. His words are just as vital and real today as when they were first spoken.
           
Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead. His words to them form the basic foundation for the work of the New Testament Church. It was at that time He delegated the authority to carry out that work. Beginning in verse 15, Jesus said: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:15-18).
 
We Have Authority to Preach the Gospel
           
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Every born-again believer has the authority and responsibility to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in this earth. If you can’t go, you can send someone in your place.
           
“And these signs shall follow them that believe….” Notice who is to do all these things: them that believe. The signs will follow the believers who act in faith and boldly speak in Jesus’ Name. They shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall lay hands on the sick. Believers are the ones with the power and authority to do these things.
           
Verse 20 says, “They went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” God will confirm His Word, but first it has to be spoken forth. That is where you and I come in. God does not preach; He has given us the authority to do the preaching. God will not lay hands on the sick. He will bring the healing, but you and I as believers must lay hands on the sick by faith, believing God will perform His Word.
 
We Have Authority to Stand Against Satan
           
One of the most vital areas of the believer’s authority is his power to successfully stand against Satan. Ephesians 4:27 says, “Neither give place to the devil.” In Ephesians 6, the Apostle Paul describes the armor that we as believers are to wear in combat against Satan. He explains each piece of that armor. It is the armor of God. But not once does he say that God will put the armor on you or that God will fight the devil for you. You is the understood subject of these verses. He says, “[You] be strong in the Lord…. [You] put on the whole armour of God, that [you] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [You] take the whole armour of God, that [you] may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, [you] stand.” God has given you the power and the authority to stand against Satan and his destructive works. He has provided the armor, but it is your responsibility as a believer to put on that armor and stand against the devil. James 4:7 says, “[You] resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The armor and the weapons are at your disposal. God is there with you to back His Word; but all that is worthless unless you take your position of authority and assume the responsibility to use what He has provided. You have the power and the authority to take the Word of God, the Name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit and run Satan out of your affairs. Don’t pray and ask God to fight Satan for you. You are the one in authority. Take your responsibility and speak directly to Satan yourself and stand your ground firmly. He will flee!
 
We Are Seated With Him in High Authority
           
In Ephesians 1, Paul prayed a prayer for the body of believers in Ephesus. One part of that prayer was that they know “the exceeding greatness of his power to [those] who believe” (Ephesians 1:19). That exceeding great power is the same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies. Ephesians 1:21 tells us that Jesus is seated “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named.”
           
The work God did in Jesus was supreme. He raised Jesus from the dead and set Him far above all other authority—not only in this world, but also in the heavenly world. Then verses 22-23 say that God has put all things under His feet and made Him head over the Church which is His body. Where are the feet? They are in the body. As believers, we are part of His body and we are seated with Him in that highly exalted place of authority. Praise God! Look at Ephesians 2: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (verses 1, 5-6).
           
We are seated together with Him. Where? Far above all principality and power and might and dominion. As a believer, you have accepted the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary. Therefore, you are part of His body and are seated with Him in that heavenly place, equipped with the same power, the same authority that He has.
           
The great power that God worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead is the same creative power of God that worked in you to make you alive when you were dead in your trespasses and sins. The moment you made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, that same power was exercised on your dead, unregenerate spirit, causing it to be reborn in the likeness of God Himself. Any man who is in Christ Jesus is a new creation: old things have passed away, all things are new, and all things are of God (II Corinthians 5:17-18).
 
We Have the Power of God’s Word to Exercise Our Authority
 
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (Mark 4:35-40).
 
Jesus spoke the words, “Let us pass over unto the other side,” and there was enough power and authority in those words to accomplish the job. One thing I want you to notice is that Jesus did not take command of the ship to see that His words were carried out. He walked to the back of the boat and went to sleep. Jesus delegated the authority to His disciples and they accepted it. But when the storm came, they were filled with fear that the boat would sink. Jesus had to carry out the responsibility of authority, which He had delegated to them, by rebuking the wind and the sea.
           
Do you see the parallel here? You are the captain of your ship. You have control over your own life—your spirit, your soul and your body. Jesus has delegated power, or authority, over Satan to you as a believer. You are to give him no place in your life. You are born of the Spirit of God. You are filled with the Spirit of God. You have been given the Word of God. Those three elements are enough for you to carry out your spiritual authority here in the earth. You don’t need any more power. You have all the power necessary. You simply have to exercise your authority. Jesus has already done everything necessary to secure the authority and power over sin, sickness, demons and fear. You have to employ the faith action to receive that authority and join forces with Him in this earth. You are the one to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
 
We Have Authority to Act as New Creations
           
Hebrews 2:14 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.” Jesus partook of flesh and blood, so that you could partake of spirit and life. For you to partake of that spirit and life, you must take the responsibility of standing in the place of authority as the new creation in Christ Jesus that you are. You are born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God (I Peter 1:23). It was the Word of Almighty God that was injected into your spirit man to bring about the new birth in your life. When the Church was first beginning, Acts 12:24 described it as the Word growing and multiplying. The Word is in you, but you are the one who must be willing to allow it to work in you.
           
Ephesians 4:21-24 says, “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
           
You are the one in authority. It is your responsibility to put off the old man—the unregenerate man that you were before you accepted Jesus. The Holy Spirit does the actual work in you, but you must make the decision to allow Him to do it. God has never forced His will on any person. You put off the old man. You use the Word of God to renew your mind. You put on the new man, which is created in righteousness and true holiness.
 
We Can Minister and Walk From a Point of Authority
           
God’s power is in His Word. He is “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). You need to learn to minister and walk from a point of authority. In His earthly ministry, Jesus said such things as “Be thou made whole.” “Take up your bed and walk.” Then Peter said to a lame man, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). He too ministered and spoke from a point of authority.
           
It’s time for you as a believer to begin to act that way. You have obtained an inheritance, and in that inheritance you have been given all authority. The God of the universe lives inside you! He lives and walks in you. Become God-inside-minded and you will begin to walk in this point of authority.
           
Keep right on building yourself up in your inheritance. You live in a world that is full of evil influences. Satan would like you to forget the reality of being born again and never realize your place of authority in Christ Jesus, because if you do, that power you walk in makes you absolutely dangerous to him. He has no defense against you when you walk in the power of God’s Word.           

When you see in the Word that you are in Christ Jesus, that you are in Him, then confess it with all your heart. Then you will be strong, standing in a point of authority and operating in your inheritance in Him. As you do this, the power of God will always be available to work in your behalf. Praise God!

Run Through Romans (ch 5.17)

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17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5.17 is one of the most powerful truths in the Bible.  Adam sinned.  The consequences of this action was that he died spiritually and eventually died physically.  However, Jesus Christ gave us two things: abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

Abundance of grace means completely undesevered access to God.  Abundance means more than enough.  God’s grace is His goodness that we don’t deserve.  Grace is the power of God to enjoy Him and His goodness.  Everyone of us through Jesus’ death on the cross has received utter and total access to God.  An angel cannot keep you away from God’s presence.

It is totally undeserved which means it doesn’t matter how you have lived today, it doesn’t matter what you have done wrong, all that matters is that Jesus paid the price.  You have free unlimited access to God.  Whatever you ask for in prayer will be done for you.  Whatever you say, He will hear.  Whatever you call for, He will answer.  You can walk in His presence and life every single day.

And if that wasn’t enough, we also are given the gift of righteousness.   The gift of righteousness according to Romans 5.17 means we can reign in life.  According to the dictionary, reign means “Exercise of sovereign power, as by a monarch”.  You can reign in life.  Do you get that?  In every area of your life you can exercise sovereign power – you can act like a king and a queen.

Is sickness bothering you?  Act like a king and command it to leave you alone.  Is poverty making living month to month difficult?  Act like a king – command it to leave, command money to come in.  Walk into your place of work like a king, work hard and expect payrises and promotions.  Is there a habit in your life you are trying to kick?  Command your body to not enjoy it anymore.  Boldly declare your freedom.  You can reign in life.  Say outloud: “In every situation in my life, I AM A KING, AND I REIGN”  Start to enjoy life – you don’t think kings enjoy being in charge?  You should enjoy life because you are in charge because Jesus has made you righteous.   You can calm storms, you can heal the sick, you  can ask what you will and  it will be done.

Reigning with Our Authority (rest of sermon by Kenneth Hagin)

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddhTrtz6R54&feature=PlayList&p=91879CFAE2EACAB5&index=8

If you want to watch the end of the Kenneth Hagin sermon on reigning in our authority, or a few other sermons by him, here is the link for you…

Reigning with Our Authority 1 of 7

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Wonderful sermon on how to walk in the authority Christ has already given us.

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