122 The Code of Blessing
講員：張恩年牧師 Pastor Joshua
(內容摘錄自 張恩年牧師 2015年6月12日蒙福勝萬民特會信息)
1) United with Christ as Head over All Things
I have read the book of Ephesians many times but every time I read it, I felt that I didn't really understand it. Praise God that today I can take a look at Chapter 1 with you and unlock its code. This is a new revelation and the first of its kind in all of my many years serving as pastor.
The Code of Blessing122 refers to the Church uniting with Christ to be head over all things - to reign with Him as the head over the universe; today God wants us to be head over all things.
A) Knowing God
“God placed all things under his feet, and appointed Him to be head over everything for the Church.” (Ephesians 1:22 NIV)
In the past, we just saw that Christ was the “Head over all things,” but because God continues to share His revelation with us, today we know that we, too, are head over all things.
Paul prays for us in Ephesians 1:15-17 and, knowing we were weak, asks God to give us wisdom and the spirit of revelation so that we can know Him better. Without the revelation of the Holy Spirit we would not know God. After having received the Holy Spirit and when I entered into a certain stage in my life, I reread this passage and began to understand what God was revealing to me. I started exercising the authority He empowered me with and, gradually, I came to understand and know Him better.
B) Knowing God's will for the Church
To really know God is to understand His will for the Church. He wants us to know how great, abundant, and loving He is, and that He can do miracles. But not only does He want us to know that He is great so that people praise His greatness, He also wants us to know that His greatness pertains to us. That's why Paul's following prayer is that the Church know God's will. “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope of which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)
i) God's Calling
God called us so that we can know His will and, even though He knows we are weak, He has a hope towards our calling. He wants us to know that, as His Church today, He has a great hope towards us.
ii) God's Inheritance
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope of which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)
We really need to know and understand God and that He has a great hope toward His calling of us. We also need to know how rich and glorious His inheritance is among His holy people and that He is in the midst of them, that is, the Church; the inheritance He is to receive. God has a hope towards His calling of us, a glorious and rich inheritance; all this is what He is to receive from amongst us.
iii) The Power of God
“And his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength.” (Ephesians 1:19 NIV)
God's will for the Church includes His incomparably great power for us who believe. We need to know just how great that power that He manifests to the Church and to each and every one of us is, and know that it pertains to us.
This power is the power that God exerted in Christ, where in, Ephesians 1:20 it says, “which He exerted in Christ.” His great power overcame death, raised Christ from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly realms. While there, He was “far above all rule and authority, power, and dominion,” that is, above every ruler in the spirit realm. God wants us to know that His power was enough to raise Christ from the dead and seat Him at His right Hand above everything in the spiritual realm. “not only in this present age, but also in the one to come.” (Verse 21 NIV)
God wants us to know that He has this type of power that was exerted through Christ, overcame death, and seated Him in heavenly realms; it is above everything in spiritual realms, on earth, and above every name that is invoked, not only in this present age but also in the one to come. God wants the Church to know that He has this power and that the Church can experience it as well; no death nor power on earth can have dominion over us.
iv) Christ Places the Church as Head Over All Things
“And God placed all things under His Feet, and appointed Him to be head over everything for the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Eph. 1: 22-23 NIV) These verses are found right at the opening of Ephesians; they are key verses. If we do not understand these two verses, it will be difficult to understand what Chapter 1 is saying and what the hope of His calling is, the wealth and glory of the inheritance, and how incomparably great His power is. God's original intention was for the Church to know His will for them to be head over all things. Christ is head over all things, and as the Church is in Christ, she too, is head over all things.
This is the Code of Blessing122.
Because the Church is the Body of Christ and Christ is Head of the Church, how can it be that just the Head is head over all things but not the Body? Therefore, it must be that Christ's Head and Body be head over all things together.
The calling that God has given those who believe is with such great hope; He expects that we will rise to be head over all things. The inheritance that He receives from those who believe is rich and glorious. He wants us to become the Body of Christ and become head over all things with Him; this is His inheritance. The power that God exerts towards us is so incomparably great and He wants us to know that we can be head over all things - far above all rule and authority, power, and dominion, in this present age and also in the one to come.
As head over all things and as the Body of Christ, we are filled with God, the fullness of His presence. This fullness is found in everything in the universe, but more than that, God wants It to fill His Church, the Body of Christ, so that they can be the head over all things with Him. We must rely on His continual filling in order to accomplish this; therefore, we cannot separate ourselves from Him.
Indeed! We are head over all things! Mount Zion in Jerusalem is fim and stands out from amongst the other mountains and the Temple Mount is a direct analogy of Israel; to apply this to our lives, it is the Church. Today's Church is to rise up and stand out as Mount Zion. Just as God's word goes forth from Jerusalem, in the End Times, many people will go to Israel to receive a word from God. Today, God speaks through His Church, as such, it is above the marketplace and the seven fields of industry are on equal standing. The Church and the arts industry and business fields, however, are not on an equal level; we are head over all things! Not only are we head over all things, we are blessed above all peoples! We are head over all things including every field and industry in the marketplace. This authority extends from everything in the spiritual realm to every living thing in the physical world, both in this present age and in the age to come: the Church is to be their leader.
This is God's hope towards us, the inheritance He receives from us, and the power He exerts. Even though we are just ordinary and simple people, with God's power and will working in our lives, He molds and transforms us. We need to know our own identity – that we not only belong to the church, but also to the marketplace. But the marketplace is under the covering of the church and is connected to it; it is where we receive guidance. God's word goes forth from Zion (the Church), so we need to rise up and disciple others. Pastors should not just focus on ministry, but on leading disciples.
2) Bringing Unity to All Things under Christ
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will,” (Eph. 1:4-5 NIV)
a) Be Holy and Blameless
God has given us every spiritual blessing before the creation of the world in that, He chose us to be holy and blameless; His will is for us to be holy and blameless.
b) Adoption to Sonship
God chose us to be holy and blameless, moreover, to receive sonship.
c) Understand the Mystery of His will
After becoming children of God, He reveals the mystery of His Son to us. It is an abundant blessing that He allows us to receive this sonship, and this grace is something He lavishes on us. But God does not only call us to be forgiven, holy and blameless, and enjoy the blessings of being His sons, more than that, He wants us to become His children so that we can know His mysteries. (“He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure…” Verse 9). This mystery is which He purposed in Christ to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”
It turns out that in the process of God calling us to be united with Christ to be head above all things with Him, He first makes us holy, then we receive sonship, the forgiveness of sins, and redemption through His Blood. Next, relying on this grace we become His children and then know His mysteries; our purpose of becoming His children is to bring unity to all things under Christ.
When we turn to God, He gives us the right to rule. As such, everything under us belongs to Him and is united under Christ. As head over all things, we are to bring all things under Christ. God's original intent and will is for us is to be head over all things, and as the Church, to rise up and turn everything in the universe towards Him, so that they are His. God gave Jesus the authority and, with Him, we are to be head over all things. All of our disciples, our branch churches, disciple churches, and even the land, belongs to Christ. This is what bringing unity to all things under Christ means.
The marketplace belongs to the earth and is related to work. As such, all fields and industries in the marketplace are under the authority of the Church. Pastors have a role to play; we are to rise up and govern the marketplace and disciple the brothers and sisters there. Fellow pastors, you may have thought that you could not be of much help in the marketplace; however, God has anointed you and with the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, you need to rise up to minister to those there.
Brothers and sisters, the more prosperity you experience and the higher in position you rise, the more humble you need to be and the more willing to receive correction; in doing so, the more your life will be blessed.
3) For the Praise of His Glory
a) Become the Inheritance
We should truly desire to bring all things to unity under Christ until the marketplace fully operates in the truth and that our God reigns there. Our God is to reign in our families, in the marketplace, in Hong Kong, in China and in Japan, and this is what we are endeavoring; I'm so proud of C-Mo and my disciples.
b) Be Sealed with the Holy Spirit
Today, we are still weak and experience difficulties so we need to receive the Holy Spirit and be marked with His seal all the more. As God's inheritance and as head over all things, we have the Holy Spirit to help us and are able to overcome our weaknesses even better so that God be glorified.
I thank God that after I was filled with the Holy Spirit, God sent me back to Hong Kong and gave me a vision and mission. The three of us, C-Mo, Pastor Deborah, and I, started 611 and, within fourteen years the people in our congregation grew to number about 9,000 and our branch churches, 74; additionally, we have our disciple churches - this is the mark of the Holy Spirit on us. It is all the work of the Holy Spirit that we were able to run a marketplace conference today and can share that the Church has the 122 Identity.
We are really experiencing being head over all things and, wherever it may be, the fact that we can bring transformation to that place is solely because of the mark of the Holy Spirit. ■
(content adapted from Pastor Joshua's message at “Blessed Above all Peoples International Marketplace Conference” - 12 June, 2015)
Blessed Above All Peoples - Marketplace Leader’s Conference
11-13 June, 2015: Over 1200 participants attended with overwhelming response.4 July to 5 September,
2015:The conference was held a second time as a 6 -week course,with an average of 1600 participants in every session and more 45 have received Christ.