Salty and Bright
In what we call The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).
My friend, Dwain Miller, said regarding this passage:
“We lost our seasoning ability (saltiness) by not embracing our calling and responsibility as the Ekklesia. When we do embrace it, we prevent corruption in society, even as salt prevents corruption when it is used to preserve food. Each of us has a sphere of authority given to us by God, in which we must release our influence as the Ekklesia: our families, cities, and other areas of responsibility. However, the world has come to a place where they expect the church to function only in the realm of empathy and sympathy. They become nervous when we step out into our responsibility as the Ekklesia of God. The devil does not like us moving into the secular realm with Christ’s authority. That’s when things get stirred up, kingdom clashes occur.
“If we simply feed the hungry and clothe the poor, we are accepted. The church needs to do those things, yes, but we also need to use our authority against the dark structures holding people in that bondage of poverty. We need to release them spiritually to become everything God created them to be. When we do so, however, we stir up conflict in both the spiritual and earthly realms.”
Shockingly, the Pharisees didn’t approve of Jesus healing people and delivering sinners. He healed a blind man in John 9; they didn’t like it. He forgave a lady of adultery in John 8; they didn’t like this either. The apostles healed a lame man in Acts 3, which also drew their ire. Why would kind, compassionate acts so upset the antichrist crowd? Because the authority the Ekklesia moved in verified a message they didn’t like and caused the hearts of people to turn to Christ. The works of the church weakened Christ’s enemies and strengthened the church.
It is no different today. As the Ekklesia moves into society saving the lost, healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons, we’ll be persecuted by the religious and political. When we release kingdom strategies for systemic societal problems, we have been and will be attacked. And most assuredly, when we carry our moral convictions into government arenas, those who disagree with us become irate. They think we’re so clueless we can’t see their hypocrisy: they can take their beliefs and moral values - or lake thereof - into government, education, sports, media, etc., but we’re not supposed to. Their decree: “No free speech for Christians and conservatives. No voice. Just go to your churches once a week and be quiet everywhere else.” They accuse us of what they do: forcing their beliefs on others. In reality, we don’t operate in tyranny; they do. Jesus, our Leader, said our method would be to speak truth, be salt and release light.
We must be prepared for the confrontations and accusations we will face with the religious and political spirits operating in our time. When the Pharisees and Sadducees had seen to it that Jesus was crucified, they thought they had finally rid themselves of the threat to their power. Many people had been following Jesus and causing them no end of troubles. We can imagine the religious leaders brushing their hands together after Christ was sealed in the tomb, boasting to one another, “Well, we took care of that problem!”
Their problems had only just begun!
In Acts 2, the outpouring of Holy Spirit occurred. The church had a holy boldness deposited in them by the Spirit of God, and were unstoppable! They realized jail, imprisonment, and beatings would be the result of telling others about Jesus. But they did so anyway, preaching an uncompromising message and refusing to water it down, unafraid of who would be listening. Salt. Light.
Miracles began taking place, and they preached boldly. Acts 4:13 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” This terrified the religious leaders. They had control over the people, having actually developed an antiChrist system in order to maintain this control. They operated in tyranny, lies, and wickedness. Now, their problem was exacerbated. There was no longer only one Jesus to deal with. Increasing numbers of people were carrying Christ within, being baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking a clear, biblical message and performing miracles. And the church was multiplying.
In Acts 5:12, it says, “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.”
The response of the Pharisees and Sadducees to all this was to throw the apostles in prison. But the Lord sent an angel in the night to open the prison doors and deliver them. Nothing could stop the early Ekklesia, for God was with them.
The religious, political spirit wanted to silence the Christians. No voice! But the demonicly empowered opposition discovered that a greater power was in the Christ-followers, and it could not be stopped! This is where we are today. We have entered an Acts 4 and 5 season; Holy Spirit’s anointing and authority is growing in us, restoring our saltiness, our preserving and seasoning ability.
I believe Christ likes the sound of clashing kingdoms; it means we are advancing His kingdom in the earth. A wise Pharisee named Gamaliel said in Acts 5:38-39 (NKJV), “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.” There could be no more appropriate verse for those currently leading our nation and those vomiting their filth into our schools and airwaves.
Darkness hates light - always has and always will - and spoiling bacteria hates salt. The next time you see these forces manifest, remember, the Pharisees knashed (ground) their teeth in rage toward Stephen, shouted loudly, and covered their wars before stoning him (Acts 7:54-60). Don’t be surprised when those who hate God’s ways, hate you.
Stay salty, and stay bright.
Pray with me:
Father, You are raising up a salty and shining Ekklesia on the earth. We are grieved by what is happening around us, with America’s spiritual demise, but we are not discouraged. You have increased our revelation and we know Holy Spirit is filling us with the fullness of Your authority, grace, and strength.
Lord, we thank You that the rising Ekklesia is maturing into greater and greater authority. We purpose to function with maturity in all You have created us to do and be. We loose this powerful identity shift to all in the church who will receive it. We will not allow Your enemies to define us or our boundaries. We will do and say all You have called us to manifest. We’ll do so in love for that is Your nature, but we will do it. We pledge to be salt and light, and to make America once again a city on a hill, not darkness in a tomb. We want You to be glorified and made manifest through the activities of Your Ekklesia.
We pray that the Ekklesia (the church) will arise and go forth in dunamis power, just as the early Ekklesia did. We have been given the keys to Your Kingdom resources. We will use those keys and, as You instructed us, declare, “Kingdom of God, Come! Will of God, be done in and through us.” We resist fear and ask for boldness, as the early church also did. And we ask for the great grace, great power, great miracles, and great results they received. We declare this to be so in the name of our King, Jesus!
We declare that God has and is gracing the Ekklesia in America to be salt and light, fearless and bold, as we expand His Kingdom into every dark place!
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