13 Aug 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
On 19th of July, Pr Peter Tsukahira talked about restoring what is lost, at the SOM Conference 2014, “Israel and the mystery of GOD’s favor” held at Grace Convention Centre, Petaling Jaya.
Restore the Lost
He began by sharing the story of Apostle Peter, who healed a crippled man at the temple’s gate called Beautiful. Seeing the crowd who was drawn to the miraculous healing, Peter shared about Jesus; he said to the crowd, “Heaven must receive Him (Jesus Christ) until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” (Acts 3:21)
Based on the final chapter of the Old Testament below (Mal 4:5-6), Pr Peter shared that before Jesus returns, He will restore the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents (we know that John the Baptist was the one in the spirit of Elijah).
“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” (Mal 4:5-6 NASB)
“We are in a period of restoration now that would lead us to the return of the Lord. That’s because the Lord has restored Israel back to her people. In 1948, a nation (Israel) that is annihilated, dysfunctional, scattered, and death, came back to life!
“You’re looking at an event at a great historic precedence. Never a nation reaching its glory and then attacked by enemies, scattered, and began to wander in nations of the world for nearly 2000 years, ever come back,” said Pr Peter.
Return to our Abrahamic Roots
Pr Peter praised the blooming Messianic congregation in Israel, with Jewish believers-in-Christ worshiping God in Jerusalem. He shared that was the first time we see this event happening after the book of Acts! Indeed, God’s Word never passed away, though the grass withers and the flower fades. (Isa 40:8; 1 Pet 1:24).
“God promised Abraham a Promised Land and He would not break this promised. As the family of Abraham as well, we want our children to know this too because we have a covenant with God,” said Pr Peter.
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:29 NIV)
“The Bible is very clear on who are the fathers of our faith—it’s not Billy Graham or Martin Luther—but they are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Matt 22:32) Paul was also referring to these three people. We are the children of Abraham through faith.
”So, the church is beginning to restore its Hebrew roots. It’s more than just a detail of our seminary course but it’s a paradigm shift. It’s when the rules that define what success is changes. It’s a game changer,” he added.
We Need a Paradigm Shift!
Pr Peter shared an example of the importance of a paradigm shift.
Kodak, a multibillionaire pioneer in producing high-resolution photography from year 1888, went bankrupt in year 2012. What has caused their bankruptcy, especially when Kodak had many businesses (such as household cameras, medical industry, film-processing, and high-resolution graphics printing).
The answer is digital photography. Kodak was not fast enough to make the turn, though they have 100 years of experiences.
But the interesting thing is that Kodak already invented the first digital camera in 1975 by using the microchip. By the early 1980’s, they already had their first digital camera in the market, 15 years ahead of their competitors.
“Obviously, there are managers who know that they have the invention of cameras in the future. But they think, ‘We are into film and chemicals.’ They had been in that for 100 years. It’s about high-resolution films using chemicals. It’s not about electronics. And they argue just long enough for other companies to come and do it.
“So, now Kodak is history. The truth is that the new paradigms appear while the old paradigm is still working. The one most vigorous in opposing the new are the most successful in working in the old,” said Pr Peter.
Restore the Laws of God’s Kingdom
Hence, we need to restore the laws of God’s Kingdom in our life. Pr Peter shared when God first became the king of the Israelites in the desert, the first thing He told Moses to tell them is:
This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites. (Exo 19:3-6 NIV)
In Exodus 20, God called out Moses and gave the Israelites the law. This law sets Israel apart from other kingdoms because it shows God’s kingdom is lawful; whereas, for other kingdoms, the king is the law. In Egypt for example, whatever the Pharaoh says is law. To put it simply, the Pharaoh can choose one day to create and another day to banish the law according to his whims and fancies. But God’s ways are different.
“God says, ‘In my Kingdom, that’s not how I work. This is my law and for my law, nothing will change. Don’t try to manipulate me or buy me. Just do what I say. Not only you become a nation, you become a great nation. You will become an example nation for all times,” said Pr Peter.
Serve Freely in God’s Kingdom
The paradox of serving God’s Kingdom is that we are serving FREELY under God’s law.
When Jesus came, Jesus did not abolish the law but He fulfilled the law to its perfection. (Matt 5:17) Hence, by fulfilling the law, Jesus is no longer bound to the letter of the law that kills (Matt 5:20) but by the Spirit of the law that sets us free, without losing the lawfulness of God. And because He died to the law, He is released from the law. Likewise, we as believers in Christ died to the law as well and are released from the law! (Rom 7:4-6) That is what you call as true freedom.
Apostle Paul who was the Pharisee of the Pharisees becomes the greatest example of freedom when he said:
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Rom 7:4-6 NIV)
“So, this Kingdom describes for us the structure that you live in. You want to live in a Kingdom that has justice. You should know that bad law restricts your freedom. And good laws protect your freedom,” said Pr Peter.
See the Beauty in God’s Laws
In describing the beauty of the law, Pr Peter shared about ‘The Rules of Associations Football,’ which is one of the 12 most influential books that changed the world. The book was written in 1863 by a group of people in England who decided to get together and write a standard set of rules to be used in the football match.
“If you change one of the laws in football, you change the game because the law makes the game. If you don’t have rules for football, there will be no game, which causes the intense enjoyment for millions of people. I grew up in a hippy generation; laws are a restriction to our freedom to me,” said Pr Peter.
But when he read Psalms, the psalmist exclaimed, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” (Ps 119:97) When Pr Peter first started reading the first five books in the Bible, he realized that there were many laws about religion, marketplace, real estate transaction, healthcare, hygiene, and education.
We are ALL Priests in God’s Kingdom
“I was looking at the core of the entire culture in the Bible! I realized that the examples of God’s Kingdom are for all of us. God says, ‘In my Kingdom, I rule in every area of the society.’ What would be like in your city when Jesus returns on Wednesday afternoon right in the middle of the city?
“A handful of people recognize Him on the sidewalk and ask, ‘What are you doing here?’ Jesus says, ‘I am back. Where’s my kingdom?’ And we say, ‘Lord, didn’t you know that everyone’s working? Come back on Sunday when all of us are there,’” said Pr Peter.
This idea is hilarious because it’s preposterous. When Jesus comes back, every knee will bow. At that time, God will establish for Himself a complete Kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
“There’s no division between sacred and secular. Everything you do in God’s Kingdom is supposed to be holy. If you’re a lawyer or a judge, you need to do it in the fear of God. There’s nothing more exciting in this world than serving God. There’s no option because all of us are priests.
“We need to move away from spiritual experiences, the perimeter of success for a religion. The paradigm shifting is this: if everyone can be anointed and is accountable for what he or she does, then that means everybody else needs to get out of the church. It’s not how many people get in but how many people sent out from the church,” said Pr Peter.
And when we realize that we are holy priest in all areas of our life, the church will change cities! The church should be a factory producing qualified people and sending them out to impact the world.
“We don’t need big numbers. Jesus is always turning away from the crowds because if we are going to do this with our churches, we can change this church in this generation. The good thing about God’s purposes is that it will happen with or without us. But some of us say, ‘I want to be in the centre of God’s purposes!’” said Pr Peter.
Be a Priest who Serve your King!
Pr Peter shared that when the Israelites finally settled in the Promised Land, harvesting and prospering, they became tired of having an invisible king. So, they told Prophet Samuel that they wanted a human king like other Kingdoms.
A human king is not a good idea because he will draft their children to serve him as carpenters, steelworkers, soldiers, farmers, cooks, and bakers. He will receive the best of all plantations and cattle and tax their grain. To put it simply, the people will become the human king’s slaves. Despite knowing these laws, the Israelites still wanted a human king. (1 Sam 8:11-20)
In short, the Israelites rejected God as their King. And as time goes by, their kingdom eventually disappeared and the Israelites were dispersed all over the world for nearly 2000 years.
“The Israelites saw darkness until they see a man in light (Jesus Christ). This man can walk on water, He turned water into wine, and He can heal. This man is expected to save the Israelites. They knew. They had expectations. They want God to bring them back in the whole society,” said Pr Peter. Yet, the Jewish people until today rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah, though many eyes are beginning to open.
Pr Peter shared when Jesus is resurrected and reappeared to his disciples, they asked him right before he went up the sky, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?”
Hence, a question we should be asking ourselves is, “Are we restoring our country for the Lord Jesus?”
“Whatever your eschatology is, Jesus is returning and He expects us to do what we are supposed to do,” said Pr Peter.
In a nutshell, are we restoring to the Kingdom of God what is lost? If we serve under God’s Kingdom, we are serving Him in freedom, justice, love, mercy, and everything that is good. And to restore what is lost, let us begin restoring the Kingdom starting in ourselves.
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