31 October 2013
Kingdom Authority and Power, Part III
Ephesians 4:3-6 (NAS): Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
Matthew 16:19 (NAS): I will give YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever YOU bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
There are at least 68 references in the New Testament about the Kingdom of God. Everything Jesus taught His followers to know and teach is THE KINGDOM, not anything outside of the Kingdom or fragments of the Kingdom. Every other reference about love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, salvation, humility, overcoming, having the mind of Christ, and every other topic all fall under the Kingdom – EVERYTHING. None are exclusive in and of themselves. We’ve had it backwards for centuries preaching only salvation and the cross, or prophecy, or healing, or deliverance as somehow exclusive from God’s Kingdom. We need to be preaching exactly like Jesus – the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and nothing less. All other subjects fall under Kingdom heading.
If my great, great, great grandparents call dogs cats and teach their kids to call their dogs cats and I then continue such a practice and everyone in my family for generations thinks that dogs are called cats, does that make us right? Of course not! It’s simply a matter of wrong thinking passed from generation to generation. I could argue until I’m blue in the face to convince people that I’m right, but I’m still wrong no matter how passionately and good intending I may be at heart hoping to bring someone into, in my estimation, truth.
So it is with religion. We, many (most) of God’s people, have practiced a garden variety of religious traditions for centuries. Does that make it right? Absolutely not! For most that fervently practice the religions of their forefathers, do it wholeheartedly with good intentions. But, needless to say, it’s still wrong. Jesus preached the Kingdom. Jesus came to tear down the wall that divides (Ephesians 2:13-16). Jesus came against the religious practices and man-made traditions that keep people of all walks of life in perpetual bondage and division.
Ladies and gentlemen, Christ came to bring all people freedom from religion, not create more religions. Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Non-denominational, Church of God, Church of Christ, and countless other denominations inadvertently stand between people, their Creator and His Kingdom – our Kingdom He graciously offers His people. Divisions of every kind e.g. color, race, money, politics, etc. stand as a tall, wide and deep barrier between imprisonment and liberty and it needs to stop. God has called His holy people to bring heaven down to earth, not become more like the earth.
When we begin to discover the Kingdom of God, His government, His mind, His ways, His plan, His purpose and all that fall under the umbrella of His Kingdom, we will cease hating each other, competing against one another, dividing ourselves from one another – killing each other instead of healing each other. He has equipped His people with power from on high – it’s time to learn it, understand it, apply it to our own lives, and then walk in it in a world full of sickness, sorrow, darkness and death. We who carry the name of Jesus are to be the walking, talking, physical manifestation of Jesus Himself. If He is in you, He needs to come through you and that requires unity in love. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. If you want to expand God’s Kingdom, stop the division!
Supernatural love that is God is the key because it is the essence of His holy Kingdom. Know His heart and allow it flow through you.
Philippians 2:2 (NAS): Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
I Corinthians 1:10 (NAS): I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
I Corinthians 6:17 (NAS): But the one who joins himself to the Lord is ONE spirit with Him.