A family is a fundamental group typically consisting of two parents (father and mother) or more people (children inclusive) who are the vital organs sharing the same goals and values and having long-term commitments to one another and usually residing in the same dwelling place. This is an inclusive concept of masculine and feminine – father, mother, sons and daughters. However, when you study the concept of “God’s spiritual family” in the New Testament you will discover that the emphasis is more on the masculine – fathers and sons. The only reference you will find in the New Testament on the ‘daughters of Zion’ or rather ‘daughters of God’ is a harmonized phrase from the Old Testament, but not a present declaration of an establishing order. This is not gender bias and does in no way negate against women in any capacity, even in ministry, because when God the Father beholds us, His view is that both the man and the woman are all seen in Him as ONE, and in His image as the “sons of God”.
“But as many as did receive him to them he gave authority to become sons of God–to those believing in His name” – (John 1:12 YLT).
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” – (Romans 8:14-15 ESV).
All – (masculine and feminine) who receive Jesus Christ and believe in His name and are led by the Spirit of God; they have been given the authority to become the sons of God. They have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom they cry, Abba, Father! What a privilege to come into the presence of God and see Him as a Father and be received as His son.
Daughters lose their father’s identity through marriage and carry the husband’s name (identity), but sons carry their father’s name (identity) into the next generation. It proves why men are always inclined to seek for a male child in the family. It is a divine and internally built instinct, because they are created to think and build generationally.
God is a generational thinker, and when He speaks of His earthly family in the New Testament, the emphasis is on “fathers and sons” in order to carry the heritage to the next generation. Again, this has nothing to do with gender, but generation.
The Church is a many-membered body that is universal and corporate. It is an organism that forms the spiritual family of God. A local fellowship, a house church or a cluster of relationships can also represent a unit of this spiritual family within a geographical location.
We are in a season of restoration. God is restoring His family in the earth. The eternal desire of God is to have a family on earth that expresses His heart and divine nature, which breaks the curse over a people and releases “the blessing of the Father”.
Family is an authority when it expresses the true heart of God’s eternal purpose. This is why there is an on-going war against the family, as satan will try to destroy the family, both natural and spiritual, through lust, sexual sins, pornography, pride, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, addiction, apartheid, poverty and all sorts of evil and crime, because if the integrity of the family is violated, it becomes vulnerable to a satanic attack and a curse.
An example of how the enemy infiltrates and brings a curse upon a people and a nation can easily be reflected through apartheid in the beautiful rainbow nation of South Africa in the continent of Africa that achieved independence from Britain on 31st May, 1910. However Freedom Day is the official Independence Day of South Africa. It is celebrated on 27th of April every year and commemorates the first democratic, non-racial elections held in 1994, after the release of Nelson Mandela who was incarcerated for 27 years.
South Africa has a beautiful landscape, blessed with wild life and nature. There is an abundance of natural resources such as gold, gems, diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, coal, salt, natural gas, and uranium and rare earth elements. It boasts some of the best blue flagged beaches in the world. The education standard is first class in the continent of Africa, with three of their universities listed among some of the world’s finest. Cape Town which is the legislative capital city was listed among the sixth most beautiful cities in the world. The standard of healthcare in South Africa is considered the best on the African continent, particularly in the urban and coastal areas. The South African Police Service Special Task Force (SAPS STF) is considered to be among the best of such units in the world, and has a formidable reputation in crime cases – counter terrorism, counter insurgency and hostage rescue.
Yet in the midst of these commendable exploits and benefits that are endowed in South Africa as an emerging industrial nation, it will amaze you to know that South Africa, with a population of about 50 Million people at the time of this writing, has the highest percentage rates of HIV/AIDS, rape and crime in the world.
A report documented recently estimated that 5.6 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2009, the highest number of people in any country. In the same year, it is estimated that 310,000 South Africans died of AIDS-related causes, reflecting the huge number of lives that the country has lost to AIDS over the recent years.
The impact of the AIDS epidemic is seen in the dramatic change in South Africa’s general mortality rates. The overall annual number of deaths increased sharply between 1997, when 316,559 people died, and 2006 when 607,184 people died. This rise is not necessarily due solely to HIV and AIDS but those who are particularly shouldering the burden of the increasing mortality rate are young adults, the age group most affected by the epidemic; almost one-in-three women aged 25-29, and over a quarter of men aged 30-34, are living with HIV. This suggests that AIDS is the principle factor in the overall rising number of deaths in South Africa.
South Africa has one of the highest incidents of reported rape in the world. The most recent statistics show that 36,190 cases of rape were reported to the police between April and December 2007, though experts believe that number only accounts for one out of nine cases.
South Africa with the highest reported rape rate in the world also has one of the top crime and murder rates in the world. The United Nations reports have pegged the crime problem as not typical of a developing country – in this case, post-apartheid development.
With the high standard of education, healthcare system, police force and increased civilization in South Africa, you would expect these problems to have easily been controlled, but the situation is contrary.
Mark you, these cases are predominantly among what is referred to as the black race in South Africa. The question is why? What is the root cause of these problems – HIV/AIDS, Crime, Rapes etc.?
The root cause of this can be traced down to the family unit, because of the absence of fathers within the home to establish godly order. The result is a moral, spiritual and economic decay in the nation which is the fruit of apartheid.
The history of apartheid in South Africa would prove to you that the target was after the men, though this human injustice affected women and children alike. When the man, who is the strength and authority set by God in the family is ruined, it affects the family which ultimately affects the community and the nation. This is the root cause of these problems in South Africa that has broken the family wall and made it vulnerable to these epidemics, and exposed the men, women and children to the attack of the enemy that has now become a national calamity.
The solution to these problems is that we must not only deal with the symptoms which have manifested as a mishap, but we must deal with the root cause, which is “the man and the family”. In dealing with the root cause, the answer to the problems at hand supersedes the government and some of the good programs which are preventative measures. As much as the government is trying to put educational programs and preventions in place to contain the situation, the only viable solution lies in the family which holds the fabric of the society together. This is where the government and the Church must cooperate to produce a strong moral and thriving economical society through the restoration of godly family. As the family goes, so goes the nation.
Many things are out of order because we lack true fathers who are taking their responsibility, and sons who are not committed to true submission and obedience. The challenge here is classified as a fatherless generation.
This is where we as the Church play an important role of restoring the integrity of the family as God originally intended for it to be, because out of the family the nations of the earth are blessed. The curse of fatherlessness and its consequences will be broken.
Fathers must play their role in the family. They are designed to hold the destiny of the future. They are the agent to impart God’s true identity, which brings abundant blessings.
True spiritual fathers through the leading of the Holy Spirit will help their spiritual sons to conform into the image of the pattern son – Jesus Christ. He will build character in them, and the sons in turn, strengthen the house that ultimately transforms society.
Those who are not fathered, grow up not knowing how to father their children. They are orphans in their heart. This is what many refer to as Generation X. It’s a behaviour pattern. The remedy lays in the restoration of the family, so spiritual fathers can break the pattern.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse – (Malachi 4:5-6).
The absence of true father and son relationship that expresses the heart of God brings a curse. One generation of an absentee father results in a lost generation, because the failure of a father to pass the birth-right and “the blessing” makes the family vulnerable to the curse. The absence of a father in a family brings hopelessness that affects the nation.
Family – God’s Divine Order:
Spiritual fatherhood is not hierarchy. God is the one who places us into our family and declares a father over that family. We cannot personally choose our own father or our family. We cannot swap families and fathers. We are to have one family, even though there is many God has raise into fatherhood. Each father raise up a family. There can be cross-pollination. Sharing is possible between families while maintaining family integrity, loyalty and authority. However, when there is more than one spiritual father loyalty is lacking as no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Not all apostles are set in governmental positions or authority over our life and ministry. God has ordained divine order for our family, life and ministry. We must discover the right order of God in our lives, and understand which family we have been birthed in. We cannot be in all families.
“I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (1 Corinthians 4:14-16).
God sets the solitary in families. Sovereignly, God places us in a family according to His will and purpose for our life and ministry. This relationship develops naturally as we flow into it. The father on the other hand cannot decide who will be his sons.
“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (Psalm 68:5-6).
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6).
Today’s generation is a fatherless generation that needs a prophetic insight and an apostolic grace to fulfill their purpose of joining the heart of the fathers to the sons and the heart of the sons towards the fathers. God does not want orphans in His Kingdom. Orphans must be adopted into a family. Orphan churches and ministries might have begun with a specific call of God but lost focus along the way. Part of the function of an apostolic family is to adopt orphan ministries and leaders into the family and vision. We must be adopted into a family for the purposes of God. The Spirit of bastards must be cast out.
When engrafted into a family by the Spirit of adoption, we can grow up as true sons in the Kingdom and lay hold of the inheritance of God in the earth. There must be a manifestation of the sons of God in the earth that will deliver the earth from the curse and corruption. This glorious move of God’s Spirit requires the restoration of fathers and sons to accomplish this purpose.
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:19-22).
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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