When people in First Century culture heard the words "Preach the Gospel" (kēryssō euaggelion..."Evangelize"), they immediately associated that with HERALDING A REGIME CHANGE.
"Evangelical" is pretty much a 21st Century misnomer when there is no mention of King Jesus, the progressive coming of His Kingdom...and His will being done...on earth as it is in heaven.
Is the Kingdom past, present, or future?
The answer is "Yes" to all three.
Life after death, and Life after Life after death (resurrected, glorified bodies on a fully renewed Earth) are understood as God's free gift to mankind once we discover Life/Jesus before death and understand that victory over death is included in His "progressively coming" Kingdom!
The official New Age was ushered in at Calvary!
21st Century Evangelicals are focused on getting to heaven, while God is focused on bringing heaven to earth...through His New Creation!
2 Timothy 3:12 "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."
Without a proper understanding of history and the original audience (which Paul was addressing), many teach that those who live in countries where persecution doesn't abound aren't "living godly". There are others who call things like dirty looks "persecution"...in order to make themselves feel more "godly". It amazes me how the same crowd that believes these lies are also the first to demand "religious liberty". Why would anyone push so hard for something that they believe promotes "ungodliness"? Don't believe the lies, but DO PRAY (and act...as He leads you) for those who are truly being persecuted for Righteousness' sake.
Was Jesus "less Godly" among His friends and while He taught the multitudes than He was while hanging on the cross? Of course not!
Your "Godliness" depends solely on the Finished Work of Christ and your walk therein, not your persecution resume!
Any prophet declaring that a "glory portal" will open over SELECT cities lacks an understanding of Jesus' finished work at the cross, the believer's position in Christ, and an understanding that Jesus is the consummate fulfillment of Beth-El (The House of God), The Gate of Heaven, and Jacob's Ladder. The angels of God ascend and descend on the Body of Christ. We are IN HIM and HE is IN US! JESUS is MORE THAN ENOUGH PORTAL FOR US ALL! We have the ability to function freely... FROM heaven ON this earth! A simple study of John 1:51 and Genesis 28 bears this out. The Extra-Biblical hype may stir the faith of some to walk in what has always been theirs. Nevertheless, it isn't a "fresh glory portal". Christ in you is the Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27). We are ALL Glory Portals! God is no respecter of persons, nor is He a respecter of geography! You don't have to wait for Jesus to "come to a city near you"! Wherever we "make our bed", He is there! There is NO PLACE where Emmanuel ("God with us") isn't with us!
This is by no means an attack on any group or individual. I love prophets (and am considered to be one in some circles) and the prophetic. The ignorance and abuse just truly grieve me. Too many folks are attempting to walk as New Covenant gifts with Old Covenant mindsets.
"For God so esteemed the earth as a condemned, devil-ruled, temporal hell hole that he kept His only begotten Son from inhabiting an icky, human body." THAT IS NOT THE GOSPEL!
Any message that causes you to despise the planet and loathe your own body (with its God-given desires and drives) is NOT the Gospel. Be very careful not to mistake the term "world" (Cosmos: man-made political and religious systems, etc.) for planet Earth or to confuse "the flesh" (A mindset which i...s contrary to the Mind and Nature of Christ) with the human body (Temple of God).
Religion has people hating the planet and despising their own bodies.
So many people loathe the visible while longing for nothing but the invisible. The Incarnation, Jesus' passion for His Kingdom to Come and His Will to be done on EARTH as it is in heaven, the Bible's bold prophetic declaration that the meek shall inherit the EARTH, and the blessed Hope of New Earth's potential and possibilities are most definitely enough evidence to refute such diabolical deceptions. It is also most helpful for us to understand that the "Last Days" (of the Old Covenant Order...with its many types, and shadows) are behind us, while recognizing Dispensationalism's mistake of relegating the Apocalyptic events which occurred in and around 70 AD to the future.
In the Beginning, God said that the Earth and everything on it was "GOOD" and that "MAN" (male & female) was "VERY GOOD". Stop believing that Adam's ability to mess things up was greater than Jesus' ability to RESTORE them!
The more that the BODY of Christ realizes that we are the body of CHRIST, the more we will understand the sanctity of our entire being...and celebrate the Incarnate Christ...in us and as us...Who is the Hope of Glory!
My Word to you for 2017: You are just as much in Christ as you have ever been or ever will be! He can't possibly Love you any more or less today than He did yesterday or than He will tomorrow! God IS Love! The same benefits that were yours in 2016 (and in all prior years) are still yours! Christ in you is still the Hope of Glory! Amongst many other wonderful things, He calls you His Wife, His Brother or Sister, His Body, His Friend, His Living Epistle, and the Apple of ...His Eye! You are loved, valued, accepted and blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ! Through Him you have access to all things that pertain to life and godliness! You no longer have to rely on your own performance by trying to produce the Fruit or Gifts of the Spirit; and there is no shortage or rationing of the New Wine! You are free to rest in HIS PERFORMANCE...as you function through HIS Faith, which works by HIS Love! Freely you have received, NOW...Freely give!
No rhymes, No limericks, No numerology, Nothing spooky, No fortune cookie messages, No Christianese horoscopes, No 'carrot & stick' words promising to give you what you already have or make you who you already are, and No words coming from a compulsion to perform prophetically, because a New Year is just around the corner. Just Truth!
Regarding New Year's "Words": Trust the Peace of Christ to be the referee in your heart. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
The Christ Life is not a life-long, religious pilgrimage which will one day get us to God. Jesus' Incarnation was the ultimate pilgrimage FOR us and AS us! His vicarious Life, Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension exemplified the consummate pilgrimage...once for all! Our pilgrimage is a life of discovery IN Him! The Path and Gate (both refer to Jesus Himself...Who is the exclusive WAY to the Father) are narrow, but the glories of His House (again referring to the In Christ realm) are infinite in width, length, height, and depth!
It is past time to remove the religious, virtual reality goggles which have so many "insiders" struggling with "outsider" paradigms!
Religion denies our fixed position in Christ, tells us that we're still spiritually naked orphans and harlots in Jesus' future bride rehab program, offers us fig leaves to cover our perceived nakedness, attempts to impregnate our minds with thoughts of perpetual self-loathing and keeps us at a "crossroads"...waiting for the next season, formula, Christian celebrity, or prophetic word. This in no way resembles the ministry of Jesus, the first apostles or the First Century church.
Jesus already placed us in the rich, sweet center of heaven's jelly donut! We're not flies trying to navigate our way in! We're sons and daughters who can function from the In Christ realm...all day, every day. Through Christ, we have been seated in heavenly places and eternally inter-twined with the Trinity and each other!
If you can only hear Him and live and function by His Spirit during certain special seasons and visitations...or after YOU have "righted" all of your wrongs...then you have a great excuse to walk "after the flesh" (carnal mindset). Such doctrines and mindsets demand it!
The simplicity of Christ is absolutely beautiful!
Religion charges regular installments (with loan shark interest rates and Mafia-like collections agents) for what is already ours and was paid-in-full, through the finished work of Christ. Religion bankrupts through insecurity and endless payments. Jesus isn't like that. He lovingly and joyously encourages us to withdraw from His eternal, infinite deposit of Himself within us! Only He gives true Joy, Rest, Satisfaction and the ability to function through an easy yoke, a light burden, an ongoing Revelation of our truest Identity, and a Living Way that accomplishes more through us than religion's endless payments and high interest rates ever could!