All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
October 6, 2008
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Not of this World
In John 18:33 Pilate asked Jesus, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" Then in 18:36 it says, "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
The kingdom of God is not a worldly kingdom. It does not operate according to the way worldly kingdoms operate. The kingdoms of this world operate through the flesh. All creatures of this world are of flesh, and operate according to their mind, their intellect, reasoning, natural knowledge and understanding. The kingdoms of this world need natural things to operate. (To live and operate in the kingdoms of this world, a person must have a physical body, made of the elements of the earth (Gen. 2:7,19)).
Here is wisdom. Of the dust of the ground the LORD God formed the fowl of the air, the beasts of the field, and every living creature on the sixth day (Gen. 2:19). That same sixth day the LORD God formed mankind. Dominion on earth was given to mankind, not to the fowl of the air, not to the beasts of the field, and also not to Satan, "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4).
Of all the creatures that the LORD God created of this earth, dominion was given to man. Satan could not get man's dominion on earth. He does not have a physical body made of the dust of the earth.
When Jesus came into this world, He was born of a woman, born in the flesh (whereby Jesus had a physical body of flesh). Jesus took dominion over all the works of the devil. This was spoken of in Psalm 8:4-9. Psalm 8:4 says, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Jesus is the Son of Man. Adam was not "the son of man." This is confirmed in Hebrews 2:6-9. God visited the Son of Man and empowered Him with the Holy Spirit and He overcome the Devil. Through death, Jesus destroyed the Devil (Heb. 2:14). Hebrews 2:6-9 says, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?...Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:...Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him....But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Be careful of those who teach that Psalm Eight is speaking of Adam.
Jesus is "the LORD of lords and the King of kings," for God hath exalted His name above every name, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth" (Phil. 2:10).
Although Satan is the god of this world, he must bow to the Name of Jesus. Satan must bow to the Name of Jesus. The Name of Jesus is above every name, including the names of every demon, or spiritual force that operates in the heavens and on earth. Every demon of infirmity, sickness, disease, wickedness, or any other of Satan's demons must bow to the Name of Jesus. In 1 John 3:8 it says, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
When Jesus came into this world as the Son of Man, He did not come to set up a worldly kingdom as many of the Jews thought He would. The Jews did not recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Christ) (Son of God, come in the flesh of man). They were looking for a king like King David who would come and set them free of the Roman captivity. They were looking for a king who would come in the flesh and battle for them in the natural realm of this world. Therefore, when Jesus came as the King of the fourteenth generation from the carrying away into Babylon (Matt. 1:17), they did not know Him. Jesus was there among them doing the works of the Kingdom (setting the people free of the works of the Devil) and they did not know Him.
Through Jesus' death and resurrection He defeated Satan and destroyed the works of the Devil. It was necessary for Jesus to be put to death in the flesh that He could arise again from the dead, and become the firstborn of many brethren (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15).
Pontius Pilate did not know Jesus as "Christ," the Anointed One. The Jews did not know Jesus as "Christ" the Anointed One. The Chief Priests did not know Jesus as "Christ" the Anointed One. King Herod did not know Jesus as "Christ" the Anointed One. The world today does not know Jesus as "Christ" the Anointed One.
Even many Christians today do not know Jesus as "Christ" the Anointed One. They are born again into the family of God, but they do not know Jesus as "Christ," the Anointed One (the head of the body of Christ here on earth). Many Christians only know Jesus as "Savior," but not as "LORD."
When Jesus becomes "LORD" in our lives, then we will know Him for Who He truly is, "LORD and Savior" of all who believe on His Name.
The Kingdom of God is not of this world. The Kingdom of God does not operate by flesh and blood. The Kingdom of God operates in the spiritual realm, not the natural realm. The Kingdom of God operates by the anointing of the Holy Spirit working in and through those who submit themselves unto God and permit the Holy Spirit to use them to do the will of God here on earth.
The Kingdom of God could not come until Jesus was glorified (John 7:39). The price for our redemption needed to be paid before the Holy Spirit could dwell in our earthly bodies of flesh and blood. A new spirit had to first be given, then the fulness of the Godhead could take up residence in our spirit and we become children of God through the new birth.
Even though we still have a physical body of flesh and blood, the Kingdom of God can and does operate from within us. The Kingdom of God abides in our spirit, not in our flesh. 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 Kingdom of God is not in our flesh and blood. It is in our new created spirit, which came down from heaven when we were born again of the Spirit and the Word (John 3:6; 1 Peter 1:23).
The Kingdom of God is not of this world. The Kingdom of God does not operate by flesh and blood, it operates by the anointing of the Holy Spirit from our spirit, which is in us.
We do not receive the Kingdom of God by works of the flesh. We receive the Kingdom of God by "inheritance." We inherited the Kingdom of God from Jesus, Who died for us.
An inheritance can only be given after the death of the One who possessed that which is inherited by those who are next of kin. Hebrews 9:15-17 speaks of our inheritance, by explaining, "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance....For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator....For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
We are born again into the family of God because of Jesus (the Son of Man in the flesh) who defeated Satan and obtained our redemption. Following the death of Jesus (the Son of Man), all who are in Christ can receive the inheritance of all that He purchased for us.
Those who do not know of their inheritance will not receive of their inheritance. It belongs to them. It is theirs by fact that they are in Christ. But, many Christians are still living like the world lives, not knowing how to receive that which is rightfully theirs in Christ Jesus. Some are still trying to gain favor with God by their works of the flesh. They are still trying to please God by obeying the Law in the flesh.
We do not obey the Law walking in the flesh. To obey the Law we must walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom. 8:1-8). Circumcision of the flesh will profit nothing, it must be circumcision of the heart. Romans 2:29 says, "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
When our heart is right with God, then we will inherit the kingdom prepared for us. Jesus said in Luke 12:32, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." God wants to give us the Kingdom, but not by works of the flesh. We receive the Kingdom by inheritance, by circumcision of the heart. When our heart is to do the will of God (not the will of the flesh), God will give us the Kingdom (reign) of God in our lives. God will reign in our lives when our heart is to do the will of God, not our own will of the flesh.
As Jesus did not do His own will (but He did only the will of the Father), we must also come against the will of the flesh that the Holy Spirit can reign in our lives here on earth.
The Kingdom of God is not of this world. The Kingdom of God operates in the spiritual realm, and the results are seen in the natural realm. All things have their beginning in the spirit realm, and are manifest in the natural realm.
In the Kingdom of God, Christians are to come against the works of the Devil in the spiritual realm, and changes will appear in the natural realm. Sickness and disease are evil spirits (operations of the Devil) in the spiritual realm. When Christians have faith in the Name of Jesus and come against sickness and disease in the spirit realm, the demons will leave and the sick will recover.
Every work of evil is a work of Satan in the spiritual realm. We cannot overcome the works of the Devil in the natural realm. It must be done in the spiritual realm, by the Holy Spirit confirming the Word with signs following.
Man, of his own ability does not have power over the works of the Devil. But, by the power and authority given to us in the Name of Jesus, Satan has no power over us.
The Churches must recognize the spirits that operate within the congregations. There are lying spirits, mocking spirits, pride, religious spirits, covetous, extortioners, etc. operating in many Churches today. These must be overcome, not by the flesh, but by taking authority in the realm of the spirit.
Christians must come against these spirits in the Name of Jesus and by the Blood of the everlasting covenant. Anything that is not good is not of God. All the works of the Devil must be overcome by prayer and fasting among those who are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit.
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." Evil can only be overcome by operating in the spiritual realm by the help of the Holy Spirit.
The power to overcome the works of the Devil is only through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. That power is "the reign of God" in our lives. God reigns in our lives by the anointing of the Holy Spirit (the same Spirit that Jesus was anointed with). As Acts 10:38 says, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." We need this same anointing of the Holy Spirit with the same power, to overcome the works of the Devil in our lives.
The Kingdom of God is not of this world. It has come down from heaven to operate in this world through Christians who permit the Holy Spirit to anoint them with the power to defeat the enemy. The Kingdom of God operates in the spiritual realm, and its effects are seen in the natural realm.
OF THE KINGDOM
What is the motive of the Kingdom of God? Evidently, it is LOVE. We see that God is love. In 1 John 4:8 it says, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." Being that God is love, if anything is of God, it must include love.
We know that God cannot fail. The Scriptures teach that love never fails. In 1 Corinthians 13:8 it says, "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away" (NKJV). Even some of those things that are of God will pass away. Prophecies will fail. Tongues will cease. Knowledge will vanish away. Yet, love never fails.
When we look at the nine fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,23, the first one is love. When we consider faith, Romans 1:17 says, "...The just shall live by faith." In Galatians 5:6 it says, "...faith which worketh by love." Ephesians 3:17 says, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love."
In Romans 5:5 it says, "...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." There is something about the love of God that the world does not understand. God is love. His love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It is the first of all nine fruit of the Spirit. Love never fails. Our faith works by love.
Why is this so important for Christians to understand? Because we must love God the way He loves us. His love must return to Him from our hearts. From our heart we must love God because He first loved us. Love must be our motive for life here on earth and also in eternity.
We must understand love. We must apply love in the right manner and for the right purpose. In 1 John 2:15-17 it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him....For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world....And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." Jesus was talking about the end times when He said in Matthew 24:12,, "...the love of many shall wax cold." The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:10, "...the love of money is the root of all evil." Being that the love of money is the root of all evil we can see why Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. All evil comes from the Devil. Therefore, we could also say, the Devil is connected with the love of money. We see this also in Acts 5:1-11, where Ananias and Sapphira let Satan fill their hearts to lie to the Holy Spirit concerning money.
Let us as Christians walk in love (the true love that God desires for us to walk in). Let the love of God flow through us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us.
Jesus said in John 3:5, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The words "kingdom of God" would be better understood if they were translated "reign of God."
God is love ("agape" in the Greek). "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;...does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;...does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor. 13:3-7, NKJV). When we understand what Love (agape) is then we can understand God and the kingdom of God.
God does not reign in the lives of people who are not willing to give Him permission and authority to reign in their lives. We begin to give God authority to reign in our lives when we are born again of the Spirit of God and the Word of God (John 3:5, 1 Peter 1:23). Being that God is love, and we still have a free will to choose who will be God in our lives, Christians can still permit Satan to reign in their lives.
Our entrance into the kingdom of God is obtained by our choosing to permit God to reign in our lives on a daily basis. This choosing to let God reign in our lives is something we must do individually. Therefore, in doing so Acts 14:22 informs us that "...through much tribulation we enter into the kingdom of God." In 2 Timothy 3:12 it tells us, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Why is it this way? Simply, because Satan is the god of this world and we are still in this world. Persecutions will come if we are determined to live godly in Christ Jesus. Satan does all he can to control what we do in this world.
Satan, being the god of this world from the beginning, has power over everyone who is born of the flesh (John 3:6). This is why some children are born into this world with physical and mental defects. In John 9:2,3 Jesus' disciples asked Him, "...saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?...Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."
Many have been taught by "the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:17), that the sins of people are the cause of all the works of the devil. The Devil does what he does simply because he is the Devil. He is the god of this world. He has supernatural powers greater than man. He does not have any love (agape). 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 does not apply to the Devil, he does not have any of these attributes.
Yet, the Devil does come to people as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). He uses people who claim to be serving God to teach his doctrines. Some of these do it ignorantly, others for self gain.
Until Christians know God and His Word, they are open targets for Satan to have control in their lives. Those who justify themselves and what they do based upon their knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures could be walking in darkness without knowing it (1 John 1:6,7).
Multitudes of God's children are in bondage for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). They operate according to their thoughts and their ways, not knowing or understanding the Word of God in Isaiah 55:8,9, which says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD....For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." When Isaiah 55:8,9 was written, God did not explain where their thoughts came from. He only informed them that they were not His thoughts. In Ephesians 2:2,3 we are told where the thoughts of those who are not walking in the light come from. It says, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:...Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
In the kingdom of God, Christians cannot operate according to their thoughts and their ways. Neither can they do their own will. Jesus set the example of operating in the kingdom of God. Jesus made the following statements concerning how He lived. Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30). "I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father" (John 5:30). "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me" (John 4:34). "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do" (John 5:19). "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things" (John 8:28). "I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him" (John 8:26) "I speak that which I have seen with my Father" (John 8:38). "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38). "I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak" (John 12:49). These are examples of how to live in the kingdom of God here on earth.
Either God is in control or "man thinks he is in control," of his thoughts and his ways (Isa. 55:8,9). To walk in the light as God is in the light, we must put God in control of our thoughts and our ways. In 1 John 1:5-7 it says, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all....If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." This is the kingdom of God here on earth. Sin is in the world, but by walking in the light as He is in the light, Christians are cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Christians who do their own will, using the Scriptures to justify their actions are not walking in the light (1 John 1:5-7). God cannot have fellowship with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-16).
There are many in the body of Christ who try to justify themselves and what they do using Scripture verses as their means of justification. They justify themselves and accuse others based upon their own will and desires. This is a work of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil." This is what Adam and Eve did after they submitted to the god of this world (Gen. 3:12,13). We cannot justify ourselves by using Scripture verses. We can only be justified by what God has done for us in His Son, Christ Jesus. To be justified by what God has done for us, we must walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:5-7).
The Kingdom of God is not a worldly kingdom. It does not operate according to the way the world's kingdoms operate. It does not operate from the minds of people. It does not function by the will of man.
The Kingdom of God is the "reign of God," reigning on earth as it also reigns in heaven. It reigns by love, which is the very love of God flowing through all who enter into the Kingdom of God.
Every Christian is a part of "the body of Christ." But not every Christian is in "the Kingdom of God." Those who are in the Kingdom of God have overcome the world, by overcoming the desires of the flesh and the world. These have seen the vision of God (the will of God for their lives). They have laid down their lives that the Holy Spirit can be in control of everything they do here on earth.
We must see things in this world from the view of heavenly things. We must have the same vision that God has for our lives. We must enter into the Kingdom of God and do the will of God the Father in our lives.
Jesus set the example for us. We must follow the example Jesus set in His life here on earth. Remember, Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."