All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
September 12, 2008
HANDS FOR JESUS
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Part 2 of "The Kingdom" is a continuation of Part 1. Some of the information in this part will be a repeat of that which was in Part 1. Yet, most of what is in this Part 2 will be very important to understanding "The Kingdom." For those who do not have a copy of Part 1, it can be downloaded freely from our Web Sites.
In Daniel it was prophesied that in the days of the Roman captivity God would set up His Kingdom here on earth. Daniel 2:44 says,, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." This interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream was a prophetic word of the time when the Kingdom of God would come. There were four kingdoms spoken of, the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek, and the Roman. By this we know that the kingdom of God would come during the Roman captivity.
Some have been looking for the kingdom of God to come when Jesus comes a second time (called the second coming of the LORD). These could find themselves in great err, similar to the Jews who were looking for the Messiah to come while Jesus was already here teaching in their Synagogues and going about healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, and setting the captives free. Many of the Jews at that time, did not understand the prophetic message of Daniel 2:44. They were still looking for the Messiah to come, while He was already among them.
It is important that Christians recognize "the Kingdom of God" which came following Jesus' death and resurrection. Now that the kingdom of God is already here, we must press to enter into the kingdom of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:12 "from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."
There is much more to entering into the kingdom of God than just being born again. The Kingdom of God is a whole new way of living. It is "life in the spirit, not life in the flesh." The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, not a natural kingdom. To press into the kingdom of God we must operate in the spiritual realm, rather then the natural realm.
The Kingdom of God is "the reign of God" in the lives of individual people who are born again into the family of God by the new birth. When we understand this very important part of the teachings of the Bible, we will be able to enter into the reign of God just as Jesus did in His time here on earth. Jesus set the example that we must follow to enter into the kingdom of God here on earth.
The kingdom of God operates by words spoken from a living voice. In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word (Logos) was with God, and the Word (Logos) was God." The Greek word "Logos" means "something said." This Word "Logos" in John 1:1 implies that it is something that God said. All of creation came into being by what God said. God spoke His Word and it was so.
In the kingdom of God everything is controlled by what God said. It began with the spoken Word of God and it continues to live according to the spoken Word of God. God speaks and it is done. There is nothing that can stand against the spoken Word of God.
All of heaven operates according to the spoken Word of God. God's Word reigns in heaven by the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit carrying out the will of God the Father and the Son.
Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said in John 16:13-16, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come....He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you....All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
While Jesus was ministering here on earth, He did not do His own will, He did only the will of God the Father. In John 5:30 Jesus said, "...I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." When Jesus spoke words, they were the words that the Father gave Him to speak. In John 8:26 Jesus said, "I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him."
God is eternal, which means God lives forever and ever. God's Word continues to perform that which He had spoken from the foundation of the world. It does not make any difference if the LORD said it to Adam or to you and I. It is still God's Word.
God does not always speak with an audible voice. God also speaks through people, using their voice to speak His Word. In prophecy, as an example, the Holy Spirit puts the words in the mouth of the prophet and the prophet speaks God's Word into the world.
Many times, before God speaks, He expresses thoughts of what He is going to speak. Thoughts come before words in many cases. Therefore, a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge can first come by a thought, then the speaking according to the thought.
This is the way the Kingdom of God works in heaven and on earth. God's thoughts and God's Words control everything that happens. On earth, many of God's thoughts come from reading or hearing the written Word of God. When someone speaks the written Word of God the Holy Spirit empowers that Word and it comes to pass. If God did not inspire the thought and if God does not empower the words, God is not in on it (it could be the devil trying to do his will here on earth).
Let me give you an example of God using a person to do His will here on earth. One time I was teaching at a church on a regular basis, every week. For a number of weeks I noticed there were certain individuals attending who were not baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. On this particular evening, there were just four people attending in the beginning of the service. I knew that none of them had the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This I knew in the natural, in my mind. Therefore, that evening I told them, I would teach on the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This I said from my mind. I thought it was my idea to teach on the Holy Spirit that evening.
But then, without me thinking of what I was about to say, these words came out of my mouth "tonight, everyone of you will leave this place speaking in tongues." That statement did not come from my mind, the words just came out of my mouth, without me intending to say that. When I heard myself say that, my mind did a flip (if you know what I mean). In my mind, I said to myself, why did I say that? I felt that I should correct that statement, and say "some of you will leave this place speaking in tongues." I didn't believe "in my mind" that, everyone would receive and speak in tongues that evening.
Yet, knowing the words did not come from my mind, but simply came out of my mouth, I didn't say anything contrary to what came out of my mouth. If it was the LORD that put the words in my mouth, then everyone would leave that evening speaking in tongues. Therefore, even though my mind did not believe they would all receive the Holy Spirit that evening, I just went on and taught on the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
After I finished teaching on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I then went and laid my hands upon each one, one at a time, and prayed with them. Everyone of them received the baptism in the Holy Spirit that evening, speaking in tongues. When the meeting was over, I was still amazed myself, that they all spoke in tongues.
The kingdom of God here on earth is a kingdom where God reigns in control of everything God does. Man is not in control. The Kingdom of God will never be left to man to control. God will control everything within the kingdom of God by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit working through those that God chooses to use. We enter into the kingdom of God by willingly letting the Holy Spirit be in control of what we do.
Those who want to live like the Old Testament saints lived will miss the importance of entering into the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit could not reign in the lives of the saints in the Old Testament. All the Holy Spirit could do in the lives of those in the Old Testament was that which was allowed by the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit could anoint certain individuals for certain positions, such as Prophet, King, and Priests. The Holy Spirit could anoint certain individuals with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to accomplish certain tasks, such as those who built the temple, and the tabernacle in the wilderness. But, the Holy Spirit could not reign in the lives of individuals in the Old Testament as God so desires "the reign of God" in the New Covenant.
The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. Therefore, Christians must learn how to operate in the spiritual realm, rather then in the natural realm. To switch over to reigning in the spiritual realm instead of the natural realm, is difficult to say the least. Therefore, in Luke 16:16 Jesus said, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." To enter into the kingdom of God, we must "press into it." That means, it takes a type of force to enter into the kingdom of God (Matt. 11:12).
What kind of force is needed to enter into the kingdom of God? We must come against all works of the flesh, and enter in by the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must know the difference between spiritual things and natural things. In 1 Corinthians 15:50 it says, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." The flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We cannot walk after the flesh and enter the kingdom of God at the same time. The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh (Gal. 5:17).
We must have spiritual understanding to enter into the kingdom of God. In Job 32:8 it says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." Spiritual understanding comes from our spirit, not from our mind. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Babes in Christ cannot enter into the kingdom of God, for they are still walking as natural men, being that there is still envying, strife, and divisions among them. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 the Apostle Paul wrote, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ....I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able....For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
Envy, strife, and divisions among Christians is a work of the devil, it is devilish, of the flesh. James 3:14-16 says, "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth....This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish....For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
To enter into the kingdom of God Christians must put away all works of the flesh and all works of the devil. We cannot be led by the Holy Spirit while following the desires of the mind and of the flesh.
Romans, Chapter Eight makes it clear that we cannot please God by walking after the flesh. We must walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
Colossians 3:1,2 says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God....Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
of the Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God is "the reign of God" in the lives of individual people who are born again into the family of God by the new birth. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is God the Holy Spirit reigning in the lives of those who are children of God.
If we look at 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 we will see the gifts of the Spirit that manifest in the lives of those who are obedient to the Holy Spirit. There are the gifts of "the word of wisdom; the word of knowledge; faith; the gifts of healing; the working of miracles; prophecy; discerning of spirits; divers kinds of tongues; interpretation of tongues." There are nine gifts in all. All nine gifts operate as the Holy Spirit wills, for they are gifts of the Holy Spirit manifesting through those whom the Holy Spirit chooses.
Seven of these gifts operated in the Old Covenant, but not the gifts of "diverse kinds of tongues or interpretation of tongues." The operation of the gifts of "diverse kinds of tongues" and "interpretation of tongues" are evidence of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Tongues and interpretation of tongues are under the control of the Holy Spirit, according to His will.
The first manifestation of these gifts came on Pentecost day in Acts, Chapter Two. It says, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place....And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting....And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.....And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).
Notice the importance of what is mentioned here, "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." They spoke "by the unction of the Holy Spirit." It was not of the flesh. It was of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired their speaking. The Holy Spirit was in control of what they spoke. They did the speaking, but it was not from their minds, it came by the unction of the Holy Spirit within them.
This is evidence of the Kingdom of God here on earth where "the Holy Spirit is in control of what happens in the Kingdom of God." The first evidence to manifest was the speaking in tongues "as the Holy Spirit gave the utterance" (Acts 2:4). This is similar to prophecy. Prophecy comes as the Holy Spirit gives the words that are spoken. Prophecy is "speaking by the unction of the Holy Spirit." Numbers 22:38 says, "And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak." If the Holy Spirit does not put the words in the mouths of the prophets, it did not come from God.
This is the same with "divers kinds of tongues; interpretation of tongues" (1 Cor. 12:10). The two gifts of the Spirit that did not operate in the Old Covenant, are evidence of the Kingdom of God (the Holy Spirit putting the words in the mouths of those who He has chosen to do the speaking).
Divers kinds of tongues includes "intercessory prayer," "speaking in tongues," and "speaking in another language" of which the person doing the speaking had not been taught that language. These are ministry gifts given to the body of Christ to minister to and for others.
The ministry gift of tongues comes as the Holy Spirit wills (by the unction of the Holy Spirit). Interpretation of tongues also comes as the Holy Spirit wills, (by the unction of the Holy Spirit). Therefore, when the ministry gift of tongues operates, the Holy Spirit may use the same person who He used to give the tongue to give the interpretation, or He may use another individual to give the interpretation. Both, tongues and interpretation of tongues are by the unction of the Holy Spirit, not by the will of man.
Notice in 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 it says, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy....For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries....But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort....He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church....I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying." What is important to see is that the Apostle Paul did not change the subject between verse one and verse two. The subject remained the same.
In 1 Corinthians 14:1 Paul said "...desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." The meaning of the word "prophesy" is "speak by the unction of the Holy Spirit." Speaking in tongues is the same, "speaking by the unction of the Holy Spirit." Peter made mention of this same thing, saying in 1 Peter 4:11, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
It is the will of God that all things be done by the Holy Spirit working through God's children here on earth. That is the way it is in heaven and that is God's will for this earth also. God wants to be GOD in our lives, not the devil, or the spirits of this world.
In heaven all things are done by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. As fast as you think, it is done. Love is the motivation for everything in heaven. God is Love and His love flows through everyone in heaven.
God is the source and supply of everything in heaven. God wants to be our source and supply for everything we need here on earth. It is all accomplished by the Holy Spirit working in our lives. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Prophesying, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues are operations of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of Christians that the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven.
There is another operation of tongues which is different than diverse kinds of tongues, which is our "praying in the Spirit." Praying in the Spirit is as the person wills, and it is the spirit of the person that does the praying. In 1 Corinthians 14:14 it says, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." Praying is something that individual Christians do. Speaking is something that the Holy Spirit does. Therefore, in the Kingdom of God, there is the evidence of "praying in tongues," and "speaking in tongues," besides the interpretation of tongues. None of these operated in the Old Covenant. These are all signs of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Speaking in tongues comes as the Holy Spirit wills. Praying in tongues comes as the person wills. Praying in tongues comes from our spirit, not from our mind. It is a spiritual operation of those who are born again of the Spirit and baptized in the Holy Spirit (John 3:6; Acts 2:4).
The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are the same Kingdom. One operates in heaven. The other one operates here on earth.
Christians are to change their ways from the ways of the world to the ways of God. What God does in heaven, He wants Christians to do here on earth. Love is the motive for everything that God does. Christians must understand that God is love, and everything God does is done in love.
All of the gifts of the Spirit operate by love. Faith operates by Love (Gal. 5:6). Without faith we cannot please God (Heb. 11:6). It says in Hebrews 10:38, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Without love, faith will not operate. Love is a "fruit of the Spirit," and so is faith a "fruit of the Spirit." The fruit of the Spirit are given to every individual when they are born again of the Spirit. Christians make the choice if the fruit of the Spirit will manifest in their lives or not.
Praying in the Spirit will build up our faith. Jude 1:20 says, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." We need faith to please God. We build up our faith by praying in the Spirit.
Praying in the Spirit is an individual operation from our spirit (1 Cor. 14:14). But, being in the Kingdom of God, all things operate according to the will of God. When we pray in the Spirit, we become "co-laborers with God" speaking from our spirit that which God desires to have spoken into this world. The speaking is not from our mind, but from our spirit, where the fullness of the Godhead dwells.
Praying in the Spirit is God and man working together for the benefit of all that God desires to do here on earth. Praying in the Spirit is when our spirit prays the perfect will of God in our lives. We are not always praying for ourselves, but for the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Prayer is very important in the body of Christ. Praying in the Spirit is the most effective type of prayer any Christian can pray. Ephesians 6:18 says, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
Our spirit is joined One Spirit with the LORD (1 Cor. 6:17). When we pray in the Spirit we are joined with the LORD in prayer, praying the will of God here on earth.
If every Spirit-filled Christian would pray in the Spirit 2.4 hours a day, the whole world would be changed by the power of God in answer to our prayers. God answers every prayer that is prayed in accordance to His will. Praying in the Spirit is one way to pray according to the will of God.