Overseer's Message

May 1, 2018

Dear fellow laborers in God’s vineyard,

 

May my communique find you all blessed and enjoying the favour of God in all your endeavors. I am blessed to report that all is well with Connie and me as we continue to fulfill the opportunities God graciously grants us. I returned from my visit to Nancy Hudson and CASA ministries on February the 5th, after enjoying a great time of ministry and getting to know all the pastors in the area. My mission was not quite as successful as I hoped it would be, nevertheless, the time was fruitful and we live in expectancy of God’s intervention.


Since I have been back we have remained very busy ministering in many of our churches and serving wherever we are needed. We have been to Canada twice since my return ministering in two of our sister churches in Toronto. Sadly, we have officiated at the memorial services of two of our great men of God during the past weeks, Rev. Guy BonGiovanni and Rev. Louis Falcone. How blessed the IFCA has been to have had such faithful and effective men of God among our constituency. May their legacy continue to expand and inspire throughout the Kingdom.


We just returned from Tampa, FL on Tuesday the 24th, after having the privilege of ministering at the Southern District spring council. We had a great time visiting with our credential holders and witnessing the great things God is accomplishing in and through the leadership of Rev. Edward Kennedy and his board, praise be to God! The weekend before that we had the Ni-Mo District council meeting in Buffalo, NY where we experienced a wonderful move of God. It was my honor to pray over the installation of the new District Overseer, Rev. Adnan Tadros, who solicits our prayers as he enters into this new phase of ministry. We have been invited to preach six services in Oklahoma City from the 6th of May through the 13th (Mother’s Day). We will be returning to Greenville on the 15th of May. It normally takes us at least two days to make the drive. We look forward to be in services with friends and family while we are there. May God grant many souls during these services.


The last time I wrote to you, we examined Eph 1:19-21. This time as I begin to close this communication, I want us to examine Eph 1:22,23. Here Paul closes the chapter by declaring the supremacy of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has been given universal sovereignty (v22); the first half of v22 is a quotation from Ps 8:6, he also quotes it in 1 Cor 15:27. As it is used in Ps 8, it has reference to the first Adam and the race descending from him, and it looks back to Gen 1:26-28 (9:2). There the promise of “let them have dominion” (rulership), was made. That promise had not been abrogated by the fall. One writer (Kirkpatrick) says, “prophets and apostles look steadily forward to the restoration of man’s destined relation to God and creation” (Isa 11:1-9; Rom 8:18-22). 


Remember, God’s purposes are not frustrated by man’s sin, and Ps. 8 is virtually a prophecy. It finds fulfilment in the word being made flesh (Jn 1:14). The dominion which the first Adam lost has been regained by the last Adam, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Of course, full realization awaits the hour of our Lord’s final triumph but in the fiat of God the Father it is already a reality. When Jesus Christ’s present work of worldwide evangelization is fulfilled then He will return to earth again to manifest before the universe what is already heavenly reality. The balance of v22 points to the fact that Jesus Christ became the head of the Church. Here we come to the central theme of the apostle letter to the Ephesians. Beyond the Lord’s supremacy, He now invites us to contemplate that supremacy in relation to “the Church”. The term “church” (ekklēsia) in reference to the assembly of believers is used in a variety of ways in the N.T.; here though, it has reference to the church universal, in the true sense of the word Matt 16:18. The entire, worldwide company of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Not the least aspect of Jesus Christ’s sovereignty is His Headship over His church. In the original Greek construction, the word “Him” comes first in the sentence (emphatic position): “Him He gave to be the head over all things to the Church”. This means that our victorious Lord who sits at the Father’s right hand, has been made head of the church. No wonder that “the gates of hell will not prevail against it”. The metaphor “head” has a double significance here. On the one hand it has reference to “authority” or “rule”; and on the other hand, it implies “organic union”, as in the phrase “head and members”. Our Lord is head of the church in both these senses. In v23 we are apprized of the fact the Jesus Christ had become the source of the church’s life. There are two distinct yet related ideas in verse 23: (a) The church is the body of Christ; this is one of several N.T. analogies of the church. It implies that the church is not merely an institution ruled over by Him, a Kingdom in which He is the ultimate authority, but a body of believers which is in vital union with Him, having the source of its life in Him, sustained and driven by Him. (b). The Church is the fulness of Jesus Christ. This is a concept which is rather difficult to grasp, and it has been discussed at length by the scholars. I would like to present to you briefly the two chief explanations, each of which has interesting possibilities. First, the Greek word rendered “fulness” (plēroma) may have active sense, meaning “that which fills up or completes”. This would mean that the universal church fills up or completes Jesus Christ as Eve did Adam, when she became his helpmate. Second, the word (plēroma) may have a passive sense, meaning “that which is filled up or completed”. Intimating that the body of Christ is a vessel into which and through which the victorious, risen Lord pours His limitless resources and power (Jn 1:16; Col 2:10). There is no limit to what the Lord can accomplish through us and in us. Hallelujah!


Well folks, that’s all for now! Please be assured of our prayers on your behalf. May God continue to bless you all and give you favour in all your endeavors. Thank you to each one of you for your faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the IFCA. We appreciate your continued prayers and financial support helping us to fulfill the commission we have been given as a fellowship. Keep your eyes focused on the author and finisher of our faith and watch the Eastern skies. He’s coming back again! Jesus is Lord!

 

Yours in His Service

 

Mike Player

General Overseer IFCA