An invitation to a Kingdom Humanity gathering, Thursday 1/02/18

You are invited to our first Kingdom Humanity gathering in 2018.

Kingdom Humanity is a movement towards our shared humanity in Christ. It captures the prophetic reality that Church has entered a season of significant and distinct revelation of the Humanity of Christ (the Last Adam), and is being adorned by the Holy Spirit as a City of God in the midst of the nations, a Global Kingdom Civilization (GKC). The revelation of Kingdom Humanity will have a threefold impact upon the Church: (1) it will set the Church free from the prison of ceremonial Christianity to become a place of definition of human life in the midst of society, (2) it will facilitate an exodus in the church out of human definitions of the world to human definitions of Christ, and (3) it will empower the Church in its interaction with the world, to be the light and a projection of godly and sustainable structures of human life.

A series of teachings on Kingdom Humanity are taking place every first Thursday of the month. The first 2018 meeting takes place this week…

Day: Thursday, 1 February 2018

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Venue: The Auditorium, Innovation Centre, UKZN Howard College (Gate no. 9, off Rick Turner Rd).

Note: venue is located in the Innovation Centre, opposite the Old Mutual Sports centre. 

This Kingdom Humanity session will focus on defining the structures and platforms that the church must establish in this Season, in order to reposition itself as a place of definition of human life.

Looking forward to our gathering together as we recieve Kingdom Definitions from the Lord.

Robert Ntuli
LivingStones Agency

Sharpening the sword of our Kingdom Narrative on Justice

The Scriptures describe Jesus as “the chosen servant who brings justice to nations” (Isa. 42:1&2). The same scripture is referenced in Matt. 12:18-20. This brings the issue of justice to the core of Christlikeness, our spirituality and the faith. If this is the case, then Church needs to continue to look into this subject, in the midst of the many voices and perspectives that are circulating in this 21st century. The Scriptures are clear that we must “no longer conform to this world but we must be transformed by the renewing of the mind” (Rom. 12:2). We cannot advance the Kingdom by following narratives of this world. We do not fight with worldly weapons or worldly narratives, if we do, we will never win this battle (2 Cor. 10:4). We must not be deceived by the hollow and empty philosophy (knowledge systems) of this world (Col. 2:8). The knowledge of the world has an appearance of wisdom but it lacks any value in restraining sensual indulgence (Col. 2:23) or put differently, it cannot effect sustainable human transformation.  We must not be tossed back and forth by the cunning and craftiness (skewed narratives) of this world (Eph. 4:14). This brings a demand upon us, to engage a pathway of revelation to develop our own kingdom focused narratives, thought and literature that form the basis for our Kingdom Worldview. We have to engage the pathway of revelation to unearth that which cannot be comprehended by “flesh and blood” (Matt. 16:17), the wisdom reserved for our glory (1 Cor. 2:6-16). We have to be students (disciples) of the narrative of Christ, the narrative of the Kingdom of God.

The fundamental problem of humanity is not in the skewed power relations between people groups – this is the fruit of the problem. The issue is the collective rebellion against the wisdom of God, by both the oppressor and the oppressed, the powerful and the weak, the rich and the poor, Black and White, male and female etc. The conspiracy against Christ spoken of in prophetic Scriptures is a project of all nations and people groups – of both hegemonic powers (people groups) and the weak nations (people groups) – “why do nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against His anointed…” (see Ps. 2.). The totality of the human condition reveals a humanity that collectively stands opposed to the systems of God, and yet within this context, there are efforts and activities to facilitate justice – this is futility! Humanity as a collective, is in a state of “protest” against the arrangement of human existence centered on the wisdom of God (which is Christ). We have all gone astray and have fallen short of the glory of God (1 Pet. 2:25, Rom. 3:23) – this is the condition of humanity as a collective. We are like two sons who have agreed to rebel against their father but who have then gone on to victimize each other. To be an arbiter in such a situation, you’d have to firstly point out the collective rebellion and therefore the collective fault of both sons, before seeking to help the victimized son. The Church is faulty if it only tries to help the victimized son without equally seeking to redefine the very framework and foundation of human existence.

The conspiracy against Christ referred to above (Psalm 2) was facilitated and implemented by the oppressed and colonized (the Pharisees, with the support of the poor masses) together with the oppressive, colonial authorities (the Romans). The weak in this equation, were as passionate and complicit in the crucifixion of Christ as the powerful were. The early Church recognised this reality and referred to Psalm 2 when they experienced persecution orchestrated by the collaboration of Herod (colonizing authority) and the Pharisees (a colonized people group), see Acts chapters 4 and 5. For this reason, a theology that projects Christ as the “bosom and darling” of the weak and poor is fundamentally flawed. After all, Christ was born in a manger but was declared king right from birth. For this reason, His birth threatened the authorities of the day. This means that the Identity of Christ actually brings together two different and often conflicting class dynamics and components – of royalty and peasantry, of strength and weakness, of privilege and marginalization – Christ is the “king-peasant”. The rich and powerful should go to Christ to learn how to handle power, in the same way that the poor and weak should go to Christ to learn how to deal with their vulnerability. This is what the Church must stand for in the midst of global humanity.

As a prophetic people, we must not take sides in this conundrum and complexity of power relations between people groups. If we do, then we are essentially condoning the fundamental problem of rebellion against the creation wisdom of God by humanity. Jesus never took sides, for example, He confronted those who wanted to stone a woman found committing adultery (the Pharisees, who in this story represent Power). Jesus challenged the moral basis of the Pharisee’s authority, but equally instructed the adulterous woman to ‘sin no more’ (John 8:1-11). So that both sides walked away with a demand from God. Prophets would rebuke powerful nations like Babylon and Assyria as well as weaker nations like Israel. This means that as a prophetic people, we have to speak against the weak and the powerless when they err with the same passion with which we address hegemonic powers and privileged people groups in their faults. The prophet Jeremiah spoke against weaker Israel in the day of Babylonian invasion, in what looked like favour towards an ungodly Babylonian empire, but later rebuked Babylonians over issues of sin and idolatry. The prophet who declared against Israel, “disaster is coming from the north” equally declared, “Babylon will be captured”. Israel was not handed to the Babylonians because of Babylonians’ righteousness, but because of Israel’s sin against God. Equally, when Babylon was found to be full of pride, injustice, idolatry and wickedness, they too were judged by the Lord. In this context, we have to look into historical interaction of nations even during the Colonial Era and seek to understand how the Kingdom sees this reality. Colonialism came with gross evils and racism, and yet it facilitated the opening of the world and brought interaction of cultures. So, was God judging Africa for idolatry through colonialism? Was the “success” of colonialism God’s way of condoning Europe’s moral “Christian” foundations? This is far from the truth! In the day of colonialism, Europe (just like Babylon) was as guilty of idolatry and immorality as Africa was (and just as Israel had been). The meaning of Colonialism is neither in the “morality” of Europe nor in the “wickedness” of Africa. All humans, Europeans and Africans, have gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God. To solve the problem of colonialism, we have to focus on what God was doing in the midst of evil, just as we continue to solve the generational effects colonialism brought to the world. This is the Joseph principle – his brothers acted wickedly by selling him as a slave but God used the same situation to save many lives. Joseph himself recognized this (firstly the evil of his brothers and secondly, the righteous and sovereign  intent of God in the midst of the evil situation) and his acknowledgment of this divine truth resolved the matter in his heart – Gen. 50:20. This captures the essence of what it means to be prophetic – it’s the ability to track God in the midst of the chaos of the world. Prophets don’t simply analyze evil, they decode the light of God. Habakkuk had to learn this functionality of the prophet from God, of not simply outlining evil but of defining vision. Justice cannot be declared from a heart of bitterness and vengeance. This (principle of Joseph) is also the principle of Christ – “evil men put Him to death by nailing Him to the Cross BUT Christ was actually handed over to these evil men by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23) – with a bigger plan than the painful Cross, the salvation of mankind. Colonialism refers to the very evil of the human heart to expand territory by conquest and yet we cannot deny the fact that God (as He always does) was able to use that evil project of man to spread the gospel and mix cultures to produce a cosmopolitan world upon which we can establish the Civilization of the Kingdom of God today. In the same way that the gospel reached the corridors of Europe and parts of Africa through Greco-Roman colonization. This is the context that allowed the apostle Paul space and freedom to move around and to write letters that could be understood in different regions. And yet that does not mean that Rome was a righteous empire, on the contrary, it persecuted the Church. Our kingdom narrative on colonialism cannot end in colonialism itself, in the same way that the story of Jesus does not end in death but in resurrection – the Scripture in Acts ch. 2 continues to say “but God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 2:24). This is the philosophical framework that informs the basis of our prophetic analysis and Kingdom narrative of the socio-political conditions around us (ie. the divine sequence of death and resurrection). In this post Colonial Era,  do we see God raising a global cosmopolitan society that can lay a foundation for the establishment of One New Man (Eph. 2: 11-22)? The answer is yes!

Therefore, any cause for justice in favour of the “marginalized”, within the general human conditions of the 21st century  eg. Blacks, women, nations of the South etc. must be met with the same passion in addressing structural and moral issues that these same marginalized people groups are guilty of. Like Jesus, we must be able to both confront Power and also tell the marginalized ‘to go and sin no more’. We are not speaking on behalf of God when we become partial in our narratives and advocacy. A prophetic people have to continue to call all humanity (the powerful and the weak) back to God’s framework, arrangement and wisdom of human existence whilst they continue to confront the secondary systemic problems that have been produced by humanity’s collective act of rebellion against God.

In the Bible, the question of Justice is never discussed outside of the context of Righteousness. These (righteousness and justice) are inseparable spiritual twins that we cannot conduct a surgical operation on in order to separate. These are two sides of the same coin – they are the two sides of the same nature of God – and they both form the foundation for God’s throne (Ps. 89:14). When studied together, they bring the two elements of Equity and Morality in one equation. Equity in terms of dealing justly with fellow humans. Morality in terms of conforming to the Nature of God. We are acting in error when we demonstrate passion for Justice without equally passionately calling humanity to God’s demand for Righteousness. In this context, the Israelites were freed from Egyptian oppression by God’s power but were later rebuked and judged for their immorality, even though they were regarded as forming the “weak class” in the league of nations (Jude 1:5).

Since Jesus was a “king-peasant” and since He interacted with all people groups, the powerful and the weak, Church must be a place of purification of narratives and establishment of truth – we are the Pillar and the Foundation of Truth. She must be a place where different people groups are brought together and integrated in Christ. A place where we pursue Kingdom Humanity together – our shared humanity in Christ. And as the world becomes more unjust, Church has to stand with a scepter of justice undefiled by the prevailing narratives. This requires that we put away our own wisdom and allow Christ to disciple us.

Robert Ntuli

Christ is our Alpha!

A prophetic people should refuse the temptation to squeeze God’s purposes within time spaces of 12 months. We are encouraged to “pay attention” to what He’s said to us (even in former times) just as we seek His new speaking. God does not speak randomly & erratically just to give us “prophetic moments”, He speaks out of intent to take us on a track to bring us to a definite end, which is Himself. Noah had one word for 120 years! We must distinguish between the illusion of January & God’s voice. Christ and not the month of January, is our Alpha!

Unpacking Joseph!

There is something fundamentally important that God wants us to understand in the journey of Joseph in Kingdom Purposes.
(We have established one significant issue before about Joseph, that even after the abundance of his dreams or of prophetic revelation that he had about himself, there was still a significant chunk of information that was hidden away from him, i.e. the pit, slavery in Potiphar’s household, the prison etc. This must leave us with humility that even though we may be armed with prophecies and revelation, there are things outside of our sight that we’ll however have to confront and contend with in due course as we make our way to the summit of prophetic fulfillment. Beyond prophetic information, we must therefore also be kept by faith, endurance and the integrity of our hearts. We must believe even when we don’t have full details of developments around us).

Now Joseph’s journey begins with a dream that seems to be centered around himself. Out of the dream from the Lord, all that becomes an issue in his family conversations is “who is going to bow to who” (Gen. 37:1-11). But later on, when the brothers come to Joseph out of fear, to apologise for what they did to him, they find that Joseph (who has by now been processed by the Lord for many years through life) has shifted his focus in the dreams from the centrality of his life to a new emphasis, “the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50:15-21, especially vs. 20). His words, “you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”, serve to assure his brothers that he has forgiven them. His perspective about the dreams had now been calibrated (or re-aligned) by the Lord over time. It was the same details of the dreams he had had as a 17 year old boy but now a different prophetic outlook and emphasis, it was now about the people that God was saving. Joseph went beyond the details of the dreams and began to focus on the real issue, the intention of the Lord in the dreams. How interesting is it that something as big as the salvation of global mankind initially caused such tension and conflict in this tiny little family. We can also equally imagine Joseph’s brothers standing before him in shame in Gen. 50, realizing that they had picked on such a tiny insignificant issue out of the dreams and even acted harshly towards Joseph, when the real issue was a global mission to save many lives. The issue was never about who was going to bow to who. The issue was always about the saving of many lives, and yet the initial conversation in the household of Jacob, threw the matter completely out of context, eventually resulting in a lot of pain and brokenness – thank God that Divine Sovereignty won the day in the midst of the chaos. The hand of God was in fact in the chaos – God was sending Joseph through these painful circumstances (Ps. 105:17).

The beautiful account of Joseph in Ps. 105:16-22 points out that the word of God proved Joseph true (vs. 19). The functionality of Joseph was indeed established in the midst of his brothers (they did bow before Joseph eventually) but under a very different set of circumstances. It was impossible to imagine in Gen. 37, when Joseph was 17, the context within which such dreams would be fulfilled. The context was that of a global famine. In fact it was even beyond the global famine itself – this was about God establishing the nation of Israel within the empire of Egypt. Through Joseph, God moved a small clan into the empire and established them as a nation over time. So Joseph had this statesman’s, diplomatic and apostolic calling of transitioning Isreal from a clan to nationhood in the earth. Part of the error of Jacob’s family was to try to interpret the dream that was meant for a different context of massive global movements, in the context of its reception, when the family was a little entity living in obscurity. The error was in framing the conversations of interpretation of the dream within the context of a small family, when the dream was intended for a different and bigger global context in the future of the state of nations. There were circumstances that God would orchestrate to make Joseph’s dreams a possibility. Until then, the “curtain of time” blocked everybody’s view and compromised analysis and interpretation of what God was really saying. There was therfore a sin of presumption and pride where the family thought that the dreams would never be fulfilled – it became an issue of, “we will never bow down to you”. But they forgot that they were not the captains of the future, God was. And that there were global developments coming upon the earth, that were going to affect even the wellbeing of the household of Jacob itself. God was busy working out circumstances in the globe to facilitate the fulfillment of what Joseph had dreamt, or put differently, of what God had spoken to Joseph and by extension, to the household of Jacob. The reality is that the ultimate picture of fulfillment of the dreams took everybody by surprise, including Joseph himself. Both the one who believed and those who despised the Speaking of God were shocked by how God had orchestrated things. The humility on both parties led to a beautiful reconciliation in the end – Joseph laid to rest his pain and bitterness, and fully yielded himself under the revelation and government of God. Joseph’s brothers equally put aside their shame and pride and yielded themselves under the Sovereignty of God. What a beautiful picture! This was not an issue to be resolved over a table through human effort, it was an issue that would be resolved by sight of divine purpose in all parties concerned. In the end, the Purpose of God was established – ie. many lives were saved, Israel was established as a nation and the trajectory leading to the exodus was set in motion.

There will always be tension and conflict when the Speaking of God is interpreted within the context of its reception. We have to frame and reframe the conversations, under the help of the Holy Spirit, so that we can even have correct analysis of what God intends with what He is saying to us. It is so beautiful that both Joseph and his brothers eventually reframed the conversation, from the position of contention within the household of their father (which was never going to be the platform of fulfillment) to a bigger context of salvation of mankind, in a totally different context, in Egypt. How beautiful it is that in Genesis 50, the issue of who must bow to who is thrown out of the window and yet this is the same issue that led to the chaos in the first place. Clearly, this conversation (in Gen. 50) was held not only under very different circumstances but also by a very different people. We learn one clear lesson here – the Speaking of God is always intended to bring salvation and redemption to His mankind, we must refuse to recieve the Speaking of God in the smallness of our mindsets. God is always stretching us beyond our “households” and “spaces” to bring redemption to environments that have not yet even been formed but that will surely exist in the future by God divine orchestration. This is purifying! It requires a people with big hearts! It requires that we become a people who think broader than our current spaces and environments. The Joseph mindset therefore must be that there is always something bigger than us that is forming in the Purposes of God. This empowers us to refuse to interpret God’s Speaking based on our current platforms and spaces. It empowers us to hold the Word of the Lord or prophetic revelation with purity and humility, knowing that God is working out and forming circumstances within which the things He’s spoken to us must be fulfilled. The Joseph mindset is a shift from seeking to establish our “significance” in the Purposes of God to focusing on servicing the Purpose of God as God redeems His mankind. It was never about the household of Jacob, it was always about nations and mankind, and so the conflict between the brothers was unwarranted, irrelevant and insignificant within the context where the hand of God was moving to redeem mankind.

 

Robert Ntuli

Happy 2018!


Happy new year to you LivingStones Agency (LSA) and friends! We celebrate the opportunity to see 2018. This is a blessing from God to us. However, we are mindful of the fact that the passing of natural time alone does not change life circumstances. Things don’t change simply because we are in the “new year”. It is the time clock of the Spirit or change of spiritual seasons, regulated by the voice of God within our hearts, that moves the circumstances of life – that divine knowledge of the plan of God for our lives and inner sense of conviction, imagination and inspiration that brings new divine energy for us to engage life with renewed hope. Without this experience, we simply recycle life issues of the previous year into the new year. Natural time is only significant in that it provides us the platform to serve God here on earth. Our victory in 2018 will be dependent not simply on the opportunity to be alive, but on how well we populate the year with elements of the Will of God in our respective situations and spheres of life. New year for us must not simply be the progression of natural time clock but the continued rising of the Morning Star (the revelation of Christ) in our hearts and the dawning of a new day (a new spiritual season) in our spirits in line with the prophetic promises of God to us (not simply according to our humanistic wishes). In Genesis 1, God declared “a new day” only after the fulfillment of His Will, this means that real time is determined by the fulfillment of the Will of God. The Scriptures exhort us to pay attention to the prophetic words or the voice of God in our hearts and to look carefully as we actively facilitate the process of fulfillment of divine promises (2 Pet. 1:19-21). In this sense, it is “New Year” for us when the Christ, the Morning Star rises within our hearts or when divine things begin to stir up within our spirits. I encourage you as you move into the new year to look beyond natural circumstances and the “deceptive environmental voice of newness” that comes with “a new year”, into the voice of God in your heart to see the movements of the Spirit of God within you. Hear His voice and let that dictate your sense of “time” for your life. Focus your energy in fulfilling those inner convictions because in so doing, you are acting in full obedience to His Will for your life. We can positively exploit the sense of newness in the environment around us by negotiating a spiritual-prophetic movement deeper into the things of God. We learn a lesson from Moses, who read the times for his life and began to negotiate a movement into a new identity that eventually unlocked a destiny of the masses of people (Heb. 11:24-27). The natural time clock told him that his destiny was a great privileged future as an adopted prince in the palace of Pharaoh. But the time clock of the Spirit told him that he was in fact a destroyer of the very empire that sustained his childhood. The two perspectives were clashing until a resolution of faith was established in Moses’ heart, and until he believed the perspective of the Spirit for his life. This is my prayer for you – that you move in step with the definitions of the Lord for your life. Refuse an identity imposed on you by historical circumstances and the spirit of the age. Like Moses, align yourself correctly with relationships that will unlock the things of God in your life. And move with powerful conviction in those things that are unseen. Refuse the pleasures and comfort of life that seek to numb your prophetic convictions and press beyond your current achievements into the outstanding issues of your God ordained destiny. There is nothing in this life that can be more fulfilling than engaging the Davidic journey of pursuing the heart of God. In 2018, we are called to nothing less than a courageous, bold, and fearless engagement of the Purpose of God. Anything less than this will not satisfy our souls. Let us stand side by side as One Man (Phil. 1:27) wielding the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (thoughts, positions  and perspectives of God) and carrying the Shield of Faith to defend the advances of God in our lives and in our season. Happy new year to you Kingdom Warrior!

 

Robert Ntuli

LivingStones Agency