TO SELECT - CLICK ON CHAPTER NAME
Chap. 2 - The Lord Working With Us
Chap. 3 - The Outsider Syndrome and the
The Kingdom Welcome
Chap. 4 - Kingdom Structure
Chap. 5 - Kingdom Action
A TIME FOR
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold,
darkness shall cover the earth and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon
you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
darkness spreads over the face of this earth and thickens over the nations, the glory of the Lord comes to rest upon the Body of
Christ in a special way at this time and insists that we rise up and shine.
coming days we who are in the Body of Christ are going to be
called upon to lay aside our reserve, our timidity, our fear of man, our self-consciousness and speak the things we have
seen and heard of the Kingdom of God ... of Jesus, who not only died on that cross and not only rose from the dead, but is now
Lord and will soon be visible to this earth again.
Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate; and they said to one another,
"Why do we sit here till we die? If we say, 'Let us enter
the city,' the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; and if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over
to the camp of the Syrians; if they spare our lives we shall live, and
if they kill us we shall but die." So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; but when they came to
the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound
of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, "Behold, the king of Israel has hired
against us the kings of the
and the kings of Egypt to come upon us." So they fled away in the twilight and forsook their tents, their horses, and
their asses, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives.
And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, and ate and drank
and they carried off silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back, and entered another tent,
and carried off things from it, and went and hid them.
They then said to one another, “We are not doing right.
This day is a day of good news; if we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us; now
therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
2 Kings 7:3-9
These lepers had never been in this situation before. They had always lived in obscurity. The only time they could lift up
their voices was when they would have to holler, "Unclean! Unclean!" as people would come near them. But now, they have
found food, while inside the city people are starving. Moreover, they have discovered that the Syrian armies have gone.
"If we keep silent and say nothing until morning, punishment is going to overtake us … let’s go and tell the
So they go to the gate of the city.
"Hey! Wake up! … we've got food out here!"
The gatekeeper blinks his eyes in amazement.
"Square business! The Syrians have gone.... come on!" The king's household is informed and the
"It's a trick," he says."
All they want to do is get us out of the city then they'll come back and invade."
"Well, we've got five horses left that haven't died, and haven't been eaten, let's send men to check
The lepers were right.... the siege was over.
The lepers were in a situation where they saw something that nobody
else knew, and they had to speak up. All their lives they'd lived in
obscurity, but now they have to raise up their voices and convince the
city that they have found food. The city is blest and so are these lepers.
We are those lepers. We have found food at a time when most people don't know anything about this food. And if we sit
around and keep this food for ourselves, and take the gold and the silver from the Syrian tents and bury it for ourselves and
don't tell the city, we're under judgment. There is a time to remain quiet and to be hidden by the hand of God and live our lives
in obscurity. But there is also a time to speak up. We have come to such a time.
For thirty years our Lord lived in obscurity. After his birth nobody knew who he was. The shepherds were
gone, the wise men were gone, the angels were gone. The child grows up in Nazareth: nobody knows him. At the age of thirty he goes
down to the Jordan River and gets baptized. The Spirit comes on him. John says,
He goes into the wilderness to be tempted comes out again, starts teaching. Finally the Father says to him,
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;
But, the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your
.... and he obeys.
Up to this point in his life, Jesus had never manifested his glory. He begins to do this at a wedding feast
which has run out of wine.
On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also
was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no
wine." And Jesus said to her,
"O, woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do
whatever he tells you." Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or
thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them,
"Now draw some out and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the
water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the
feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the
poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and
manifested his glory.
.... He arose and shone. Now the glory of God begins to be seen and his disciples believed on him. And from
that event until he hangs on the cross Jesus speaks clearly so he can be heard and he does what he does publicly so it can be
seen. He does not pussyfoot ... he does not tiptoe.... he walks.
Nor does he whisper or mumble… he speaks so that thousands of people can hear him … out in the open air (without a
public address system).
He’s speaking so they can hear what he has to say.
He’s meek and lowly of heart, he is humble and poor, but he’s bold! And there's no mistake in anybody’s mind about
what he says. You could say that for thirty years the Father kept Jesus covered with his hands … kept him obscure. And then the
moment comes when he lifts his hand and says,
"Arise and shine!"
… and Jesus obeys.
In a similar way in the history of the Body of Christ there are periods when, for reasons of his own, God
covers his church … his people... with his hand. Nobody realizes what's going on. Nobody outside that group can really see much
of what’s happening. And then, for reasons of his own, he lifts his hand and says, "Rise and shine!"
When Saul of Tarsus was converted on the road to Damascus he saw the light, he heard the voice. After three days he was
baptized, he received the Spirit and began to teach.
But nobody knew what was going on with this man. Pretty soon there was a plot on his life, they had to lower him in a
basket over the wall of the city in the middle of the night. He went to Jerusalem, showed himself to the apostles. Soon there was
another plot on his life, and he had to leave Jerusalem. He withdrew to his hometown of Tarsus, disappeared in Arabia for a while.
Back to Tarsus. And after a long period of obscurity, Barnabas came to Saul one day and said,
"We need you. Something's happening over at Antioch and we need help. We need a teacher... come."
Then one day as these men of God, these prophets, were fasting and praying, the Spirit said,
"Set apart Saul and Barnabas for the work to which I have called them." At this point the Lord
said to Saul,
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen
upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; But the Lord will arise upon you, and his
glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising."
.... and it was so. He went out into the Gentile world and spoke with such power that nations and kings
were moved and shaken.
At the age of seventeen Joseph has a dream. He sees the sun and moon and eleven stars bow down before him.
He tells his eleven brothers, who are so infuriated by Joseph's dreams that they sell him to some Ishmaelite merchants who take
him to Egypt and sell him into slavery, Pretty soon Joseph is in jail. He spends thirteen years in obscurity. Suddenly one day
Joseph is lifted from prison to the highest ranking spot in the land second only to Pharaoh. The Lord is saying,
"Joseph, arise and shine, for your light has come.
It's time for you to fulfill my purpose."
.... and he does.
So with us. In many ways God has kept us covered with his hand and told us to keep a low profile. But we
have come to a time when he is saying,
"Arise and shine, for your light has come. I'm taking the lid off and I want you to shine. I want
you to speak as never before. There is work that must be done to reveal my glory, and now's the time."
What does it mean to rise and shine? It means three things: First, it means that we come into the
presence of God with confidence. Second, it means that we come into the assembly, the fellowship of the saints with
encouragement. And (only after we've done these first two things) then we go out into the world anointed with the spirit of
First, we come into the presence of God with confidence.
We have a high priest who has gone through the veil into the presence of the Father for us. He's broken the
veil. Torn down
every wall, overcome every sin with his blood, and now stands before the Father interceding for us by name. He knows our
weaknesses. He knows our failings. He knows our temptations he knows everything we're going through. We can never say, "But
Lord, you don't know what it's like to be a human." He knows. Nor can we say, "But Lord, you don't know what it's like
to be A man." He knows. "Lord, you don't know what it's like to be a woman." He knows. And he says,
"Come in. Stand by me and let me teach you to worship the Father
... to ask, and to praise, and to give thanks.
when you come in don't be groveling, and don't be slinking and don't crawl in on your hands and knees backwards, come in with
confidence! For I've prepared the way for you … come and learn with me to live and walk and speak in the presence of God. Lay
aside your unbelief! ... Repent of it! Get rid of your timidity and come with confidence! Live in the presence of the
Secondly, to "Arise and shine" means that we come into the fellowship of the saints with
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for
everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Submit yourselves to one another out of reverence
The Lord who first manifested his glory by turning water into wine at that wedding feast at Cana now comes
into our wedding feast and gives us the wine of his kingdom. The wine that will never make you drunk. Wine that will never give
you a hangover, never cause you to do anything that you'll regret … the wine of the Spirit. Filled with this wine we become
servants of encouragement to each other and we speak to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody with our hearts to the Lord. We are commanded to encourage each other. Many of us come to the fellowship hoping for some
encouragement, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But a far better way is to come to the fellowship with some encouragement.
Come to encourage and you will be encouraged. Come with a desire to bring encouragement from God to your brothers and sisters, and
you'll be encouraged.
After having done these two things, the third way we "arise and shine" is to go out into that
world anointed with the spirit of boldness. Three O'clock one afternoon Peter and John are on their way into the temple for
the hour of prayer. They meet a man who's been lame from birth, who's begging.
"Silver and gold we don't have, but what we have we give you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth get up and walk."
They take the man by the hand and to his own amazement he's able to walk, and he starts to leap and dance
and jump and shout. A crowd gathers in amazement. Peter begins to preach, and in the middle of his sermon says,
"It's through the name of Jesus, whom you crucified but God raised, this man
In the middle of his sermon come the temple police, put handcuffs on Peter and John and throw them in jail.
The next morning Peter and John are hauled up before the chief priests and elders.
"Who gives you the right to go around healing people? By what authority do
you do this?"
Peter preaches again.
"By authority of the name of Jesus, no other name under heaven. This Jesus
whom you crucified, God raised."
The authorities threaten them, "No more preaching Jesus!" and send them away. They go back to the
fellowship and share and report the threats that have been put upon them, and immediately everybody comes into the presence of God
with confidence. They bring encouragement to each other and they pray in unity. And the thing they pray for is boldness.
These people had been through Pentecost already, but this time again they're filled with the Spirit, and
this prayer, answered immediately as the Spirit moves upon them, causes them to speak the word of God with boldness, causes them
to go out and shake the city of Jerusalem.
The time has come for us to make this prayer our prayer.... the very same prayer.
We can be sure that when this prayer becomes our constant, urgent, fervent prayer, this place will begin to
shake as never before. And we will be filled with the Spirit to a degree we have never before experienced in our lives. We will
speak the word of God to each other and to the world with a boldness, which we have never known. So let's begin and let's not quit
until the whole city feels the impact.
For a long time God has covered us with his hand and intentionally guided us to remain hidden. But now he
is saying to us,
aside from your timidity, repent of your reserve, your fear of man, and your self consciousness and speak the things which you
have seen and heard of the kingdom of God and of the King.... Jesus."