In the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God Church, the month of August is the ‘Active Civil Stand’ month.
And why do we as a church take this active stand? Remember, we are in the last days and the final hour. The desire of the evil one is to promote so-called cultures, traditions, and customs of this world that oppose and bring the values of the Kingdom of God to naught. Hence why it is important for the ecclesia to take an active stance and fight against this agenda.
“Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat loaves with unwashed hands? But He answered and said to them, Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, “This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. However, they worship Me in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, the dipping of pots and cups. And many other such things you do.” – Mark 7: 5-8
Dedication to human customs, culture and worldly life style is fruitless and in vain.
You cannot call yourself a Christian and still live by the commandments and standards of this world. On the contrary, you need to go to the world and persuade the people of the importance and profitability of living by the Word of God, by His laws and the importance of worshiping and honoring Him. Living according to the values of God means to keep away from the customs and traditions of this world and to live by God’s commandments.
“Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God?” – James 4:4
There is no compromise on this issue. We either live by the values of the Kingdom of God, or by the values of this world. They are like two parallel, non-intersecting ways. It is impossible to consider yourself to be a believer and equally allow yourself to be led by this perishing world.
Hence the reason for taking an active civil stand is to fulfill God’s assignment – to go the world and bring God’s culture and order there. This is a commandment given to us by God.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20
The Lord gave us power and authority to teach people to honor and value His commandments and most importantly, to live according to them. God desires that we change the culture of nations by introducing the values of the Kingdom of God. God’s will is for these values to become the lifestyle of every human being alive. This is our main task! And it is the longing to please God that will takes us out of our comfort zone and into the zone of active, purposeful, fruitful actions.
When people experience true repentance they get:
1) the understanding of the fact that Jesus set people free from their sinful nature, and gave His righteousness;
2) a strong desire to leave one’s sinful habits, traditions, and start living by the values of the Kingdom of God;
3) a desire to spread and multiply the principles of righteousness of Jesus Christ. A true Christian lives by the values of the Kingdom of God every minute of their life. However, those who allow themselves to be cunning by wearing a mask of righteousness are simply deceiving themselves and are unbelievers.
“And He said to them, Do you do well to set aside the commandment of God, so that you may keep your own tradition?” – Mark 7:9
When we live by the values of this world, we automatically abort, abolish, and invalidate God’s commandments. So the commandments of men abolish the commandments of God. Therefore God’s power will not be in operation wherever people live by the traditions of this world.
So what is a tradition, and what does it mean to live by the norms of this world?
“You used to be dead because of your offenses and sins, in which you once lived according to the ways of this present world and according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now active in those who are disobedient. Indeed, all of us once behaved like them in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of our flesh and senses. By nature we deserved wrath, just like everyone else.”- Ephesians 2:1-3
Over each culture and their people reside certain powers of darkness – “principalities of this world”, which gradually penetrate into the foundations of the nation creating and promoting rules, habits, cultures and life styles that act in opposition to the values of the Kingdom of God. And so when we act “like everyone else” living by the norms and traditions of this world, we fall under the controlling power of these principalities. This is called spiritual death.
Jesus Christ came to earth, was crucified and resurrected to set us free from their influence. When we come to God, we not only go out of the kingdom of darkness, but we completely change our outlook, values, and lifestyle. God expects that having renewed and restored our souls we will then go and penetrate and influence all fabrics of society, countries, and nations. We need to spread, plant, and multiply the importance and use of God’s rules and laws within our nation. We need to help people turn from the immoral culture and lifestyle and embrace the values that Jesus commanded that being peace, love, kindness, forgiveness, mercy, integrity, diligence and fruits of the Holy Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23). These are all values and traditions of the Kingdom of God.
There is nothing more important than to strive to live by these commandments and the onus to disciple the nations rests on us believers. This way we will fulfill the desire of our Heavenly Father.
In the epistle to Galatians it is written: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will never fulfill the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh wants is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to the flesh. They are opposed to each other, and so you do not do what you want to do. But if you are being led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”- Galatians 5:16-18
There is a constant battle between the flesh and the Spirit in every human. The flesh drags us one way, and the Spirit of God, the other. Therefore, we will always profit if we do things contrary to what our flesh desires. The flesh desires to take the path of least resistance i.e. the ways and traditions of this world. But not only are we supposed to stand in faith, purity, and holiness, we are also meant to serve as a shining example to the world. We are to open the eyes of the society to the fact that people are not called to live in sin but are called to live by the truth!
“Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.”- Romans 12:2
In order to change the sinful traditions of this world, the human thinking itself must first change. And we as believers are called to transform the way of thinking and the lifestyle of people of this world to conform to the lifestyle of Jesus Christ.
In John 8:39-44 we see that Jesus’ life was in constant opposition to traditions and set life styles that profited nothing. Jesus was not afraid to go against the public opinion and values of that era. He stood up alone and He overcame. We must follow His example and establish God’s values and truths in our generation, society and in the whole world.
If we want to overcome in this world, our thinking must be in line with the thinking of Heaven. Our lifestyle must match the principles of Heaven, and our culture must correspond to the culture of Heaven. We must establish righteousness, peace and joy with our behavior and lifestyle.
The purpose for our active stance therefore is so as to change the rules and laws of this world to the values and traditions of the Kingdom of God, wherever we are. For instance, we can spread the message on the importance of love and forgiveness in comparison with the consequences of choosing to live otherwise i.e. with hatred and in unforgiveness. Or the profitability of leading a healthy and righteous lifestyle as opposed to an unhealthy and unrighteous one.
In the book of Acts, we see how the apostles realized the importance of changing the world view of their society. Wherever they went they changed the usual way of thinking and traditions. In spite of opposition, they fought the unrighteous values and norms of the culture of the people of their time.
Here are some examples of what Jesus’ disciples had to face when fighting for God’s priorities.
Acts 14:19: “And Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, who, having persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, they drew him out of the city, supposing him to have died”.
Acts 16:20-21: “And bringing them near to the judges, they said, These men, being Jews, are exceedingly troubling our city. And they teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive nor to do, being Romans”.
Acts 17:7-8: “…And these all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus. And hearing these things, they troubled the crowd and the city judge”.
It is really hard to change the way people think. It is not something that can be done in a day. Be prepared for staunch opposition but match steadily along, keeping your gaze on Jesus and refusing to give into fear.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Dear brothers and sisters, sooner or later the values of Heaven shall rule and triumph on earth. Let us live our lives worthy of our calling. And may he be able to say to us on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
For a more thorough study of this topic we recommend you read the following books:
“ChurchShift”, “God’s Ambassador”, “Civil stand” – by Sunday Adelaja
May the Lord bless you and your family!
With love and prayers for you,
Senior Pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church
Translated by Ekaterina Popova
Edited by Lara Ige