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Authority of the Kingdom Agenda

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2021 8:00 am

Authority of the Kingdom Agenda

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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August 18, 2021 8:00 am

The problem with living life by "trial and error" is that it winds up being mostly error. Well, if you're ready for something more dependable, join Dr. Tony Evans as he talks about the danger of believing the lie that we have everything it takes to figure out life on our own.

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We add what we think, what the folks we know think. Dr. Tony Evans says we pollute God's Word with our ideas and traditions. Calling on God, prayer, must be legitimately connected to His Word in order for you to see an answer come. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Too many Christians build their lives around what people say about the Bible instead of what the Bible says about people. Today Dr. Evans explains why that's such a dangerous temptation as he talks about the real authority for Kingdom Christians.

Let's join him. Today I want to talk to you about the authority of the Kingdom. There are two teams in any football game, but in the middle of the field there's a third team, the team of officials. The team of officials do not belong to either of the other two teams.

They belong to the league office, the Kingdom, on Park Avenue. Park Avenue sets the rules about how things run on the field. The job of the officials is to reflect the rule of the Kingdom from Park Avenue on the field of play where the battle is occurring.

Their job is not to join either team because they sit independent of both teams. When an official operates by his own rules, he loses his authority because his authority is only actualized when he is operating according to league standards. To ensure that an official on a football field is operating in accordance with the league standard, he's given a book.

He is to study that book, learn that book, memorize that book, and utilize that book for every single decision he makes on that field. Every decision he makes on the field has to be able to be validated by the book. When he makes a decision that cannot be validated by the book, he loses the support of the league office because an official in a football game only gets to rule if the book agrees with it. If it's not in the book or if it disagrees with his decision, his decision is overruled by the book. By the commissioner.

Because the book is designed to reflect the mind of the commissioner who is not on the field. His representatives are on the field. His officials. We have a king. His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has been deputized, if you will, by God the Father to implement what happens in history. The Bible says there is one mediator between God and man, and that is the man, Christ Jesus. Jesus is the commissioner, and his job is to supervise the officials on the field.

The officials on the field are believers, those who've come to Jesus Christ for salvation. To enable them to function on the field of life properly, our commissioner, the head of our kingdom, has given us a book. It's called the Bible. The concept is that the book would control all the decisions. That his officials in whatever the decision is on the field of life would make all of their decisions by means of its agreement with the book. The moment one of the officials leaves the book, they lose the commissioner. So one of the reasons we're not seeing more authority in the kingdom dispensed from the king is that we've written our own book, and officials don't get to write their own book.

They only get to implement the book that is handed to them by the commissioner. You and I belong to a kingdom. We have a king, and he is to be the final court of appeal on all matters that he agrees to hear, and he agrees to hear all matters, because the kingdom gender is the visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God over all of life.

Why do you need to know this? You need to know this because your experience of kingdom authority is tied to its connection to the book, and once it deviates from a connection to the book, you lose the authority of the kingdom and the benefits of the king. In other words, you're on your own. Many of God's children are on their own because they have sidelined the book, not knowing that at the same time they've sidelined the king. In the script you read in your hearing from Exodus 19, he takes a couple of our key words.

He says to them in verse 5, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant— remember our word covenant?—you operate under my governance, then you shall be my own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. You're going to be special, unique. Holy means special, set apart, unique. You're not going to be average, ordinary.

You're going to be in a class by yourself. If you operate under my covering, you're going to be my kingdom. Why is there no authority? Why are our individual lives being controlled by everything but God?

Why is our family disintegration being caused so that families are falling apart? Why is our church or church as ineffective? God's covenants are for the individual, the family, the church, and the society at large, the government. And God wants to rule all of them, because He said all the earth is mine, but He rules them by means of His Word. He does not rule them apart from His Word.

Let's get this straight. The Bible is not simply words about God. It is the Word of God.

Many people learn about God from the Bible, which is legit, but you don't quit there. It's the voice of God in print. It's the Word of God, not merely words about God. It is though God were physically talking, He's just written it down. The Bible claims authority.

Jesus put it this way. He says in John 10 34, and the Word of God cannot be broken. That means cannot be annulled, canceled, or made void. How you view the Bible and how you respond to the Bible will determine your authority or lack thereof. That is your ability to rule.

Authority is your ability to rule. Let me read to you Deuteronomy 4. This was very convicting as I walked through it, because I just saw fresh how God feels about His Word.

He says in verse 1, Now, O Israel, Deuteronomy 4 1, Listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you. Stop right there. He said, Pay attention. Why?

Why? Why should I pay attention, God? Because I'm going to tell you how to get what I have given to you. Okay? I'm going to tell you, verse 1, how to get what I've given to you.

Remember? You have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings, Ephesians 1, 3, in heavenly places. Or, put it another way, everything God is ever going to give you, you already have.

Okay? There is nothing new that you can get from God. It has already been banked in your account. Everything God is going to do for you, with you, every blessing you're designed to receive in your physical life, here on earth, God is already deposited, but you have to get it. Revelation 22 makes it even stronger. The Bible ends with this. Here's how the Bible ends. Revelation 22, verse 18. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city which are written in this book. In other words, don't play with my word.

Guess what? Officials don't get to add to the book, nor do they get to take away from the book. They just get to implement the book.

That's all they get to do. But with the implementation of the book comes authority. Now, watch what he says in verse 5 of Deuteronomy 4. See, I have taught you the statutes and judgments, that's the Word of God, just as the Lord my God commanded me that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. I'm going to tell you how to roll.

I'm going to tell you how to do this stuff. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all the statutes, the word, and say, surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what great nation is there that has a God so near to it as the Lord our God when we call on him?

Oh, I hope you don't miss that. He says, don't turn to the right, don't turn to the left, stick with the book, stick with my word. And then other folk are going to see what I do for you when you call on me.

Here's the formula. Calling on God—prayer—must be legitimately connected to his word in order for you to see an answer come. If what you are asking from God is disconnected from his word, there will be no response. It is because Christians have left the word not by denying it—there are very few Christians who go around saying, this is not the Bible, it's not the word of God—but by adding to it and taking from it. And the main way we add to it and take it from it is human opinion.

We add what we think, what the folks we know think. And as Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 15, you make invalid the word of God with your traditions. He says, the nations are supposed to know and see God's authority operating in the lives of individuals and families and churches and even in the society. It says the nations should see that you are a unique people.

Why? Because they will see your authority. They will see you ruling rather than being ruled. But when you leave the book, you lose the authority.

Kingdom authority you do not experience. But Dr. Evans says kingdom believers sometimes wind up being unique people in ways that don't seem to make sense. More on that when he continues our message in just a moment.

Stay with us. Words cannot express my gratitude to God for His faithfulness. Who would have thought he would have taken this urban kid out of Baltimore, Maryland, given him the opportunities, allowing me to earn a doctorate degree and to build a church ministry that would model what we've been doing nationally and internationally through this ministry, that he would build up and give us a staff who are committed to getting this truth out, reaching hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people with the truth of God in all manner of ways, and to impact individuals and families and churches and even communities with the worldview of the kingdom agenda, the visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God of every area of life. And I'm certainly grateful for all the friends He's given us to keep us being able to get God's truth into a needy world.

I praise God for 40 years of His favor on us. One lasting hallmark of the ministry here at The Alternative is our commitment to offer resources that help listeners like you grow strong in faith, wisdom, and dedication to God's kingdom. And that's why I want to tell you about our current featured resource, Tony Evans Top 40, a collection of the most hard-hitting, life-changing sermons in his 40-year ministry history. It includes messages on praying and waiting for God's timing, the importance of spiritual armor, sharing the good news, and much more.

These messages can literally change your life or the life of someone you love. So right now, we're offering Volumes 1 and 2 of this powerful new compilation as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. Please visit tonyevans.org while the special offer is still available. Make your donation, and you'll receive all 20 lessons in Volumes 1 and 2 of Tony Evans Top 40, along with his booklet on fasting, which explains how this often overlooked spiritual discipline can lead to the breakthrough you've been praying for. All the details are waiting for you at tonyevans.org. Again, that's tonyevans.org.

Or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat our contact information later on after Part 2 of today's lesson, coming up right after this. Now, let me explain something here. I want to be crystal clear on this. I mean, no disrespect to God when I say this, but God sometimes can be weird. In the words of Isaiah 55, my ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts.

In fact, they aren't even close. As high as the heaven is above the earth, that's how different I am than you. So you can't look at you or another one who looks like you and decide for me, because the way I roll isn't the way you roll.

The way I act isn't the way you act. That's why you have to limit yourself and your decision-making to the book, because many of the things God says you won't like. But the question is, does He know enough, and has He been around enough, and has He been doing this long enough to know what He's talking about? And there are enough of us here who have made enough mistakes to know we don't know enough.

Okay? We've blown it enough to know when we thought it was okay and found out and disagreed with God but went ahead and did it anyway. God was right, and we were wrong. He must have final authority in every area of life.

You say, but there's so much in the Bible I don't understand. I got that. I got that. Let me help you here. You're sick. You go to the doctor. You say, Doc, I'm sick.

I have an upset stomach. The doctor examines you, and he says, okay. He writes out a prescription. Now, have you ever tried to read a doctor's prescription? If you can read it, he ain't a real doctor. I think the qualification for being a doctor is you can't write. Because you can't read that.

I mean, it looks like mumbo jumbo. You don't understand it. Probably can't even read it, but that doesn't stop you from going to the pharmacist. That doesn't stop you from handing it to the pharmacist. That doesn't stop you from taking it even though you don't understand it. In fact, very few of us ask the pharmacist to break down all the ingredients that made up the thing that's in the pill bottle. We don't say, give me the exegesis of the pill. Break it down, break it down, break it down, break it down, break it down, so that I know every idiosyncratic element that makes up this particular pill that I'm going to put into my stomach. We don't have to have full understanding to swallow it.

You know what we did? We believed what we couldn't understand because of the character of the person who gave it. Because you trust the doctor, you take a pill you didn't understand, believing he knew more than you know about your stomach. Because if you knew more than he knew, your over-the-counter stuff would have worked.

It's obviously over-the-counter living not working. That's why we're so sick with our lives. That's why we're so sick with our lives because we have dumbed down the Word.

We have made it a religious word, a word about God, rather than the authoritative Word of God. Here's what it means. It means you can no longer operate on what you believe to be true. Okay? Not if you want authority. Authority means the ability to rule. You cannot operate on what you believe to be true.

What do we go around saying? I know my truth. I know my truth. I know my truth. Shut up. I know my truth.

Okay. You're telling me you know what you believe to be true. But the promise of God in John 8 is you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. It's the truth that sets you free, not what you believe to be true. Because if what you believe to be true isn't true, then you have false belief, even though you really believe it. All Scripture is inspired of God, profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished to all good works. The Scripture gives you the truth, the whole truth, but unless you let it penetrate like Alka Seltzer, it's got to go in there, plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is. But it's not a relief in the package.

It's a relief in the water. Unless the word is allowed to soak in your soul and become the basis of your decision making, you will not see it unleash its power so that you can experience kingdom authority, so that you can rule your world. Anybody tired of being ruled? Being ruled by circumstances, ruled by people, ruled by problems, ruled by this, ruled by that. The kingdom means rule. It is the visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life.

That's what the kingdom offers. God wants you to have a fixed totem, a fixed standard by which reality is measured. And so we close with this verse, 1 Thessalonians 2 verse 13. It says, For this reason we are constantly thanking God, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. He says, We told it to you, but you didn't think it was just a man talking. You received it for what it really is, God talking, the word of God. And that's why you check everything I say by the book. If I have a guest speaker, you check everything they say by the book.

When I go to heaven and y'all call another pastor, you better make sure he's sticking with the book, because the Bible is to be the standard for all decision making, every area of life. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment to wrap up today's program with a final comment. First though, the lesson you've been hearing today is part of Tony's new audio compilation called Tony Evans Top 40. There's plenty of bonus content in this collection, including entire messages we won't have time to present on the air. But we'll send you volumes one and two of this four-volume set as our gift if you can help us keep Tony's teaching on this station by making a contribution. Along with it, we'll include the booklet on fasting I told you about earlier, but only if we hear from you before this limited-time offer runs out. So make the arrangements today at tonyevans.org, or let one of our team members help you by calling 1-800-800-3222. That's 1-800-800-3222. Restoring furniture involves stripping away any old paint or varnish to reveal all the scratches, gouges, and imperfections in the piece.

And only when the original veneer has been removed can the restorer completely give new life to that old furniture. Well, tomorrow Dr. Evans will explain why the same is true for the human spirit as he explores the upside of falling down. Right now, though, he is back with a final comment for today. His name was Bill Clem. Bill Clem was in the old Negro Baseball League. He was an umpire, big strapping guy.

He was calling a game one day. It was the bottom of the ninth. The tying run was on third base. The batter came up, hit an infield ball. The shortstop caught it. The man on third was trying to run home to tie the game. He threw the ball home. He put the tag on.

But when the man slid, there was so much dust around these old plates that you could hardly see anything. So, one team came out, the team that was at bat, safe. He's safe. He's safe.

The other team ran out. He's out. He's out.

He's out. It was this big commotion around the plate because it was such a critical play. After all this commotion, Bill Clem took off his face mask, threw it down, and said, everybody shut up because it ain't nothing till I speak. And I will tell you what it is. You got Democrats saying one thing, Republicans saying another thing, blacks saying this, whites saying that, Hispanics saying that. You got your friends over here, your mama over here, your daddy over here. Then you got you in the middle. God has said shut up. It ain't nothing till I say what it is because I am the final authority. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative, and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-14 22:27:05 / 2023-09-14 22:35:55 / 9

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