All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.

October 4, 2008

The

Kingdom

Part 4



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The Kingdom

Part 4



Introduction



It is important to understand that there is also another kingdom in operation upon this earth, it is controlled by Satan, the Devil, who is "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2,3). The kingdom of God has always reigned in heaven. Now, in the times we are living, the kingdom of God is also reigning here on earth.

When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, He said to them, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name....Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven....Give us this day our daily bread....And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors....And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" (Matt. 6:9-13).

There is a lot revealed in these verses, but the important part at this time is that Jesus said to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven...." God's kingdom reigns in heaven. Jesus said we should pray that His Kingdom will reign here on earth also.

To understand the kingdom of God, we must also understand God; Who God is and how God reigns in heaven and on earth? We must also understand who Satan is and how does Satan reign here on earth.

In a kingdom, there is one individual who is the king (or in control of the kingdom). In heaven, God has exalted His Son, Jesus, to be the King of kings and the LORD of lords (Phil. 2:6-11; Rev. 5:12,13; 17:14. 19:16). On earth, Satan has exalted himself to be the god of this world (Isa. 14:12-14; 2 Thes. 2:3,4; 2 Cor. 4:4).

The throne of God is in heaven (the third heavens) where God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit had their beginning. Satan was cast out of the third heavens and operates from the second heavens, reigning to control all he can here on earth and in hell beneath the earth. Satan's powers are limited by God and those whom God has given power over him (angels have been given power over Satan, and also Christians who are walking in the light of the Word and the authority given to them by the LORD).

In 2 Corinthians 4:4, both God and Satan are spoken of, using the same Greek word "theos" to identify both God and Satan. This shows us that Satan has similar powers to that of God. The Greek word "theos" means "deity." Deity means "the state of being a god, divine nature." Divine means, "having powers greater than man, able to operate in the supernatural realm." Usually Satan's powers are related to as "divination powers, rather then divine powers."

Knowing that Satan is a god, and man is not a god (man does not have supernatural powers of his own ability), we must understand who it is that has powers greater than man and how do they operate?

The power to operate in the supernatural realm begins with thoughts, then is enforced by words. God works by His ability to put thoughts in our minds and in our hearts (Heb. 8:10). Satan works by putting thoughts in the minds of people.

Thoughts come from two sources, God or Satan. Thoughts that come from God portray God's nature. God is Love, and His nature is that of love, grace, mercy, kindness, placing others before Himself, etc. Satan's thoughts are compelling, controlling, divination, using all sorts of means to get others to serve him (usually the opposite of God's ways).

Thoughts can be injected directly into the minds of people and other creatures, or they can come through our other senses, including the five common senses that operate in living creatures (seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, touching).

Fear and pain are two of Satan's many ways of injecting thoughts into the minds of people. In comparison to how Satan uses fear, 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

God also uses dreams to inject thoughts in the minds of people. Satan also uses dreams to inject thoughts in the minds of people. Dreams are uncontrolled thoughts that come to the minds of people when they are not in control of what they are thinking. In Acts 2:17, Peter was speaking by the anointing of the Holy Spirit when he quoted Joel 2:28, saying, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."

Jesus said in Luke 17:21 "...behold, the kingdom of God is within you." When Jesus ministered here on earth the kingdom of heaven was within Him. In 2 Corinthians 5:19 it says, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." God operated through Jesus by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within Him (Luke 4:18,19; Acts 10:38). Now, the kingdom of God has come and God operates through Christians by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within them.

In Acts 3, the kingdom of God was operating through Peter and John (from within them). Notice that Peter was a married man, but Peter put God first in his life, not the world or the things of this world. Peter was obedient to the first commandment of the New Covenant "...thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment" (Mark 12:30).

In Acts, Chapter Three, it tells us that Peter and John went up to the temple at the hour of prayer. There they saw a man who was lame from his mother's womb, sitting at the gate called Beautiful asking alms. Peter and John, operating by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within them, said to the man, "...Look on us." When they received his attention, Peter said to the man, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk....And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength" (Acts 3:6,7).

What did Peter have? Peter had the authority of the kingdom of God operating from within him. Peter had the authority to use the Name of Jesus against all the works of the devil (Luke 10:19). It was not Peter that healed that man. It was the anointing of the Holy Spirit operating from within Peter. It was Peter, having faith in the Name of Jesus, speaking by the anointing of the Holy Spirit against the works of the devil.

This is how the kingdom of God works here on earth. It is not man (by man's own power). It is the Holy Spirit working through man by the anointing within them. The anointing works according to the will of God the Holy Spirit. The anointing does not work according to the will of man. All of the gifts of the Spirit work as the Holy Spirit wills, not man's will (1 Cor. 12:7-11).

Peter and John did their part by staying in prayer and ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). When Christians do their part and stay in prayer and ministry of the Word, the Holy Spirit will do His part and supply and control the anointing to destroy the works of the enemy.



Know the Times & the Seasons



John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jesus. Many did not know John the Baptist. In Matthew 3:7 it says, "when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" The Pharisees and Sadducees were coming to John, but their heart was not right, they did not recognize who John the Baptist was. John the Baptist said to the Pharisees and Sadducees, "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:...And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham" (Matt. 3:8,9).

Many who came to John the Baptist did not recognize who John the Baptist was. They did not recognize their need for repentance. They were religious people, and their heart was not right. John the Baptist was the greatest of all Old Testament Prophets, but they did not know him as a prophet. They did not know that John was preparing the way for Jesus. John the Baptist' main message was "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins." In Matthew 3:11, John said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." John the Baptist was truly preparing the way for Jesus, but many of the Pharisees and Sadducees did not recognize the time and the seasons God had prepared from the foundation of the world.

In Mark 1:14,15 it says, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,...And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Jesus was preparing the way for the Holy Spirit to come.

Jesus was the Messiah (meaning the Christ, the Anointed One), that the Old Testament prophets spoke of. The Jews were looking for the Messiah to come, and He was already there among them, preaching the Kingdom of God.

Many people came to Jesus and believed. But many of the Pharisees and Sadducees came against what Jesus was teaching. They did not recognize who Jesus truly was. They put their religious ideas and rules and regulations before the work they were called to do. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said "All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them" (John 10:8). Jesus was talking about the Levites (the chosen tribe that were to be the teachers among the tribes of Israel). Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees were the priests and teachers among the Jews. They knew the Law, but they did not know the Messiah when He came. Their minds were corrupted by the god of this world, and they did not recognize the Son of God when He came according to the Scriptures.

In Mark, Chapter Seven, the Pharisees came to Jesus with their doctrines. Jesus said to them, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" (Mark 7:9). Many of those whom God had chosen to teach and preach came against Jesus when He came.

In all that Jesus was doing (what He came to do, He did), while He was making the way for the Holy Spirit to come. Jesus was the forerunner of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was preaching the Kingdom of God that was to come after He did what He came to do.

Today, we must be careful of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. In Matthew 16:6 it says, "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." Religious doctrines and theologies will make the Word of God of non-effect.

The spirit of the Pharisees and Sadducees is still working among Christians today. That spirit manifests in doctrines and theologies that cause the Word of God to be of non-effect among Christians who believe they must keep the Law to please God.

God is not pleased by those who keep the Law because the letter of the Word of God tells us. Remember what it says in 2 Corinthians 3:6, "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

Life comes by the Spirit of God not by the letter of the Law. The Law was good. The Law is a schoolmaster. We learn from the Law. But, the Law cannot save us. Obedience to the Law because it is the Law will not please God.

The Scriptures are written for our benefit. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:...That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." The Law of God is written in the Scriptures. It is a schoolmaster to all of the Children of God. They are to teach us to know God and His will, and His ways. Without knowledge we will perish (Hosea 4:6).

In the Kingdom of God, the Law is written in our hearts and in our minds. Hebrews 8:10 says, "...I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." We have the Law written in our hearts and in our minds. We obey the Law because we love God. We obey the Law from our heart, not from our mind.

God sees our heart, and operates in our lives according to our heart, not our mind. God puts His Word in our heart, that we might obey Him. Romans 10:8 says, "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach." In the Kingdom of God we operate from our spirit and according to that which is in our heart.

Christians who obey the Law because it is God's Law will miss the importance of the will of God and the plan of God from the foundation of the world. Christians do not obey the Law because it is God's Law. Christians obey the Law because they Love God. If we love God we will obey the Law. Not because of the Law but because God first loved us. In 1 John 4:19 it says, "We love him, because he first loved us." If we love God, we keep His commandments.

In 1 John 3:23,24 it says, "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment....And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." Religious spirits teach that we must obey the Law. The Holy Spirit teaches that we obey the commandments because we love God. Jesus summed up the two commandments for us in Luke 10:27 saying, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." In 2 Corinthians 3:6 it tells us, "...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

God is love (1 John 4:8). God is also "eternal life." God has given us His Love and His eternal life that we could be free of all condemnation, and live by the power of His Spirit and His Word forever. We need the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to do the will of God in our lives. God has given us both, that we could live by Him in all eternity.

There are many spirits manifesting in the churches today that we must be aware of. Not only did the Pharisees and Sadducees come against Jesus. Even Judas Iscariot (one of Jesus' twelve disciples), did not recognize who Jesus truly was. Judas' heart was not right, and Satan entered into his heart and he betrayed the LORD. Why did Judas Iscariot betray Jesus? Judas had a love for money. Money was Judas' motive for the betrayal of Jesus. Judas put money as more important then doing the works that Jesus did.

We are warned of this same spirit in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, where is says, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." In these days, many will depart from the faith and look to money rather then the Holy Spirit to promote their ministry.

When money becomes more important than the anointing of the Holy Spirit there is another spirit at work. In the King James Version of the Bible, there is some error in the way this is worded. This whole chapter is not in the singular mode, but rather in the plural mode. The words, "that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition," should have been translated "the men of sin, and sons of perdition shall be revealed." This whole Chapter reveals what is happening in many of the churches today.

The "sons of perdition" are those who follow the same spirit that controlled Judas Iscariot. The love of money was greater than the love of Jesus. This is an evil spirit that must be overcome in the churches today. God is our source, not money. The Holy Spirit is to be in control of everything we do, not those who love money and positions and titles. We do not raise up people, we raise up Jesus. If we lift up Jesus, He will draw all men unto Him.

This spirit of "perdition" is seen in churches were the leadership act like they are God. It says in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." This is the same thing Satan said in Isaiah 14:13,14, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

Christians must be aware of these spirits that try to manifest in the churches today. They are not of God, and should not be permitted to manifest where Christians gather together to worship the LORD our God.

When we love the LORD so much that we desire to do only His will, not our will, God will be pleased with us. God is pleased in those who choose to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in everything they do in this life. The Word of God teaches that "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38, 11:6). It also teaches that we must "walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh" (Rom. 8:1-4; Gal. 5:16,25).



The Kingdom

Type & Shadow



God had a plan from before the foundation of the world. God's plan included everything that Jesus taught and did. In Revelation 1:8, Jesus spoke to the Apostle John saying, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Everything God does on this earth was already declared done before God created man. God is eternal. God knows the end from the beginning. God's will, will be done.

When God created man and placed him in the garden of Eden, He had a plan for man. We could say, God's plan was, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). To know God's will, we must study the written Word of God and listen to our spirit, where the Holy Spirit reveals things to us, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Cor. 2:13).

The earth was already here when man was created. Adam was not the god of this world. Adam was God's representative here on earth. Adam was here that the will of God can be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The first Adam was the first body of mankind, formed of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). Adam's living soul came as the LORD God breathed into his body the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). When the LORD God breathed into that body of flesh and bones, the soul of Eve was also breathed into that same body.

Eve was taken out of the body of Adam (Gen. 2:22). Eve was to be Adam's help meet (Gen. 2:20). Adam was the head and Eve was to help Adam do the will of God here on earth. Eve was not rule over Adam, but to help him do the will of God here on earth. Eve was not the whole body of Adam, but taken out of the body of Adam.

Look at the type and shadow of all this. Jesus came down from heaven (sent by the Father) and became man (born of a woman) to do the will of God here on earth. Jesus is the head of the body of Christ here on earth. Christians are His body and He is the head. The whole body of Christ includes all born again Christians.

The Kingdom of God are those who enter into the reign of God. They are the ones who have come to do the will of God here on earth. They are the help meet of the Head of the body. They are not here to do their own will, but the will of God under the authority of the head of the body (which is Christ).

The bride of Christ is only a part of the body of Christ. The whole family of God are not the bride of Christ. The Bride of Christ is taken out of the body of Christ to be "Christ's help meet."

We see this also in the children of Israel. All twelve of Jacob's children became the heads of the tribes of Israel. Yet, there were many who did not do the will of God. There were always those who went astray.

The LORD brought them into the promised land under the leadership of Joshua. The name Joshua is the same as the name Jesus. The name Joshua means, "Jehovah is salvation." The entrance into the promised land did not produce obedient children. There was much division among the tribes of Israel.

At the time of King David the tribes were brought together under one King. Following King Solomon, the tribes were split up, ten tribes went with Jeroboam and one tribe went with Rehoboam, Solomon's son. (This was not unknown to God for it was spoken of in 1 Kings 11:29-40 by the prophet Ahijah).

Following this, Jeroboam closed the places of worship and set up places of worship in Bethel and Dan. There the ten tribes served other god's.

At the time of King Hezekiah, the ten tribes were taken in captivity by the king of Assyria. They have never come out of captivity, even unto this day. The tribe of Judah remained until they were taken captive by the king of Babylon. This happened at the time of the prophet Jeremiah. Yet the LORD continued to remind the Children of Israel, He had not forgotten them.

In Jeremiah 31:31-34 the LORD spoke of the New Covenant that we are under today, saying, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah." At the time of Moses the twelve tribes were called "the Children of Israel," but now they are called "...the house of Israel, and the house of Judah." Who are the house of Judah? They are those who followed God.

Who are those who will enter the Kingdom of God in these days? They are the children of God who "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33). They are those who love the Father more than they love the world and the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17). They are those who "...through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

Christians must make the choice, will they enter into the Kingdom of God? Will they "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33)? Or will they live out their lives here on earth, doing their own will?