Kingdom of God
8 November 2013
“…there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The KINGDOM OF THE WORLD has become the KINGDOM OF OUR LORD and of HIS CHRIST; and HE WILL REIGN forever and ever (Revelation 11:15, NAS).”
“For He rescued us from the DOMAIN OF DARKNESS, and transferred us to the KINGDOM OF HIS BELOVED SON (Colossians 1:13, NAS).”
We must first establish that there are two kingdoms: God’s and Satan’s. Ultimately, we know that the Kingdom of God will reign supreme over all darkness – the world kingdom – Satan’s kingdom reigning currently on earth. By accepting Christ’s redemptive blood through repentance, people are able to transition from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God. This is the broad picture, but what about the more detailed picture that involves we who dwell on earth? To whom does the earth belong?
1. THE LORD?
“THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who
live in it…(Psalm 24:1-2, NAS).”
“…the devil has come down to you…he has a short time (Revelation 12:12).”
“…you formerly walked according to the course of this world…the PRINCE
OF THE POWER OF THE AIR…(Ephesians 2:2, NAS).”
“…now the RULER OF THIS WORLD will be cast out (John 12:31, NAS).”
“in whose case the GOD OF THIS WORLD has blinded the minds of the
unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel…
(II Corinthians 4:4, NAS).”
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the EARTH hath he given
to the CHILDREN OF MEN (Psalm 115:16, KJV).”
This can be tricky if we only look at these Scriptures by themselves. Ultimately, the earth belongs to God as everything in existence does because He is the grand Creator of all – the seen and the unseen. He is the “owner.” As the owner, he gave rule over the earth to man through Adam. Adam and his descendants were ordained to rule as “acting manager” in a manner of speaking. However, as manager, he had the authority to give management over to someone else – and so he did. Through his sin, he inadvertently gave the management to Satan, the prince of the power of the air, aka the god of this world.
A common phrase among people is, “I went/am going through hell.” This is because currently, Satan’s domain is the earth. When he was cast from heaven, God said “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth!” but, all is not lost. We, God’s ambassadors from the kingdom of heaven, are clearly to usher heaven down to earth! This hasn’t been happening much because of lack of understanding of His Kingdom, but it’s time to learn where we’re from and who we are.
“The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him ALL the KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD and their glory, and he said to Him, ‘All these things I WILL GIVE YOU, if You fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only (Matthew 4:8-11, NAS).”’”
Satan could not have offered Jesus something he did not already possess. Satan took possession when Adam legally gave it to him in the Garden of Eden. God gave authority to Adam, therefore by all legal rights, he singlehandedly gave dominion over to the devil.
After the flood, God made covenant with Noah hence giving back all legal ground over the earth to man. As time passed, mankind grew more and more evil, in turn handing the earth back to Satan. It wasn’t until Jesus came in the lineage of King David that, by conquering death and the grave, authority was given to Jesus. Now all who receive Christ as their Lord, King, and Savior have within them the One who holds the authority. God gave Jesus authority and Jesus gave authority to the Church – those who accept Christ (mankind). Through redeemed man, the Kingdom of God can reign on earth as it should have been in the beginning. So, though currently the earth is Satan’s dominion, we who walk according to the Spirit can take back what God originally gave to man.
“Therefore, just as through one man SIN ENTERED INTO THE WORLD, and DEATH through sin, and so DEATH SPREAD TO ALL MEN, because all sinned (Romans 5:12, NAS).”
When Adam sinned, because he was the visible manifestation of the invisible kingdom of heaven, technically, he committed TREASON. He lost both his relationship and his kingdom. As Myles Munroe put it: “Adam was a king without a kingdom. A ruler with nothing to rule.” God’s holy people need most desperately to discover a kingdom mindset, how God’s Kingdom government works, and then turn and rule the earth through Holy Spirit so as to overthrow Satan. The time is now to take back the earth!
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.
October 15, 2013
The Kingdom of God, Part I
“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 (Matthew 16:19, NAS).” (also note Matthew 18:18-20)
“And He called the twelve together, and gave them POWER and AUTHORITY over ALL the demons and to HEAL diseases…to PROCLAIM the KINGDOM OF GOD and to PERFORM HEALING…He began speaking to them about the KINGDOM OF GOD and CURING those who had need of HEALING…allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and PROCLAIM EVERYWHERE the KINGDOM OF GOD.’ Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 9:1-2, 11, 27, 60-62, NAS).’”
YOU, blood bought child of the King and Bride of Christ, possess in your inner man the keys to the Kingdom, to rule on earth on behalf of the King with intense power! He has given us His name (authority) through Jesus so that we are equipped to speak and function here on earth as though it was God Himself (power)! Ambassadors speak in foreign lands on behalf of their king and kingdom allowing them to carry the weight and power of the royalty who sent them. From a heart of love of and loyalty to the King, obedience to God through Christ is what ushers the authority to utilize all the power and tools that God has laid before us from His Kingdom! We are strangers in the land called Earth.
In Luke 9, Jesus was asked about “saying goodbye” but He tells them (simply stated), “Once you start your journey with God’s kingdom, looking back to the dead or the living is disobedience and you are not fit!” Set your gaze upon the Kingdom of God and purpose in Christ’s strength to never look back. This Kingdom-walk is the most amazing, unearthly relationship with the King of kings; it is unequivocal! Why would any man, woman, boy or girl look back at that which is temporal when we have been given that which is eternal?
Once we’re established, we are to allow Christ, the true Testimony, to exude through our mortal bodies. Our relationship with Him should never be forced or be some grueling task as denominational churches have made it. It should never be something based on shame, guilt or condemnation. Romans 8:1-5, KJV reads: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do NOT walk according to the FLESH, but according to the SPIRIT…He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT”
“No more condemnation” comes exclusively through ceasing the lusts of the flesh and seeking the Kingdom of God, His righteousness. He condemned sin therefore, when we are conducting sin (external or internal), condemnation is an automatic reaction. The only exit from it is repentance and forward movement.
Religion brings condemnation, even when good intentions are at the heart, because its foundation is built on the criteria of the traditions of man instead of the government of God; it leaves God’s people powerless. Love, mercy, grace, self-discipline and things of the like are of the Kingdom of God; it empowers people.
When our foundation is the Kingdom of God, we will never be destroyed by the destroyer, try though he may. Christ and His disciples preached the Kingdom, not salvation. Salvation is only a part of the sum of the Kingdom. When we pigeonhole ourselves into teaching mere fragments of the Kingdom, we miss the power, the authority, the blessings, and the peace that can stem only from understanding and functioning through the Kingdom of God. When operating in and through God’s Kingdom, we speak things into existence as prompted by the Spirit. Not merely by saying, “I bind…I loose…” but in our everyday language because we speak the language of our Kingdom which is not of the earth.
What language are YOU speaking? What power is moving through you? Do you operate under the power of Holy Spirit or of the nature of the old natural man? The choice belongs to you.