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

December 8, 2008

The

Kingdom

Part 5



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2008 by Merle E. Koepke

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Introduction



Part 5 of "The Kingdom" is a continuation of the first 4 Parts. Some of the information in this part will be a repeat of that which was in the first 4 Parts. Yet, most of what is in this Part 5 will be very important to understanding "The Kingdom." For those who do not have a copy of the first Parts, they can be downloaded freely from our Web Sites.

John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jesus to come. John's message was, "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins." Many came to John, but with the wrong attitude, especially the Pharisees and Sadducees. When Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God, many came to Jesus with the wrong attitude. Especially the Pharisees and Sadducees, they came with their ideas of God and what God desired for them to do.

When the Holy Spirit came to prepare the body of Christ for heaven and prepare the way for the second coming of the LORD, many came preaching another gospel. Many had the wrong motive for being in the ministry.

In 1 John 2:18, the Apostle John wrote that "...even now are there many antichrists..." The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 1:8, "though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." In 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 the Apostle Paul wrote of those who are "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ" (2 Cor. 11:13).

We must try the spirits if they are of God or not? Not everyone who is working in the churches today are following the Holy Spirit, and being led by the Holy Spirit. Some are deceived by Satan in what they are doing in the churches.

The Kingdom

Identifying Wrong Spirits



Identifying the works of God and the works of the Devil. In Luke 9:52, Jesus "sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him." In Luke 9:53 it tells us, "And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem." Then in Luke 9:54,55 it says, "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?...But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of."

Spirits are identified by the attitudes of people who yield over to them. To James and John, they thought what Elijah did was ok for them to do. But, Jesus informed them that they were receiving their information from a wrong spirit.

Remember, Jesus was making the way for the Holy Spirit to come, that the Kingdom of God could reign on earth as it is in heaven. Many things happened in the Old Testament that were of God at the time. But many of those same things are not to be done in the New Covenant.

The Old Testament was for "man in the flesh, plus under the Law of Moses." These two things are not for the New Testament. This is a part of the major difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Therefore, many things that God accepted in the Old Testament are not for the New Testament.

Jesus spent a lot of time in Matthew, Chapter Five through Chapter Seven explaining the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Apostle Paul said in Acts 13:38,39, "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:...And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

Christians cannot go back in the Old Testament and claim what some of the saints did then is acceptable in the New Testament. We must learn what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in the New Covenant.

Any works of taking advantage of another person for our personal gain is contrary to the Word of God. It is not of God, and should not be done by those who desire to enter into the kingdom of God. In 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 it says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,...Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Christians need to study the above verses and understand the meanings of the words used to describe that which is not acceptable in the kingdom of God. Especially study the meaning of the words "covetous and extortioners." To the world, covetous and extortioners are a way of life, but they are not a work of God. To take advantage of another individual for personal gain is not of God. It is a work of the enemy.

The Greek word "pleonektes," translated "covetous" in English means "holding (desiring) more, eager for gain (avaricious, hence a defrauder)." The English word "avaricious" means "greedy for riches." In the Old Testament, the law, which was a schoolmaster (Gal. 3:24), said in Exodus 20:17 "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." If something belongs to someone else, to desire it is "covetous."

The Greek word "harpax," translated "extortioners" in the English means "rapacious." The English word "rapacious" means "taking by force; plundering; greedy or grasping; voracious; living on captured prey; predatory." Plundering in English means "to take property by force or fraud." Voracious in English means "very greedy or eager in some desire or pursuit." Predatory in English means "living by, or characterized by plundering, robbing, or exploiting others."

Those in the body of Christ who do the things mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 are actually yielding over to the spirits of this world. We can identify the spirits that are working through them by the attitude they present. Along with those of 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 is included envy, strife, and divisions. 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." All envy, strife, and divisions are works of the flesh, where Satan works in the minds of people.

Another spirit that Christians must be aware of is "a lying spirit." Jesus said, the Devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). How do we identify a lying spirit? By the attitude of the person who is speaking. As an example, if someone tells you something and it is not true, it is a lie. The Holy Spirit does not promote lies. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

When someone tells you they will call you at a certain time or on a certain date and they do not call, was what they said true or not? If it is not true, then it is a lie. All promises that are not kept are not from God. God keeps all His promises. The Devil is the liar. He was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44).

Lying spirits operate among Christians who yield over to them, and permit them to operate in their lives. If Christians permit them to operate, the LORD also permits them to operate. (See 1 Kings, Chapter Twenty-two).

King Ahab permitted false prophets to operate in his kingdom. Ahab did nothing to remove the false prophets. Before King Ahab went up to battle to Ramothgilead, the prophet Micaiah told Ahab that the LORD would permit lying spirits to operate in the mouths of all of Ahab's false prophets. When Christians permit false prophets and lying spirits to operate among them, the LORD must also permit the lying spirits to operate.

Christians are given authority over lying spirits along with all the works of the enemy (Luke 10:19). If our thoughts are not brought into subjection to Christ (the anointing within us) Satan will have freedom to operate in our minds and entice us with the words we speak. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

Many Christians think nothing of the promises they make and do not keep. The world does it all the time. They do not realize that it is an evil spirit persuading them to do what they do. These spirits will hinder the Holy Spirit from working in the lives of those who yield over to lying spirits.

There are many pastors in churches today that cannot understand why their church does not increase? Why they lose so many members? When they do not keep their word, lying spirits are operating among them. Lying spirits are works of darkness. The Holy Spirit cannot promote the works of darkness. Lying spirits are no different than other spirits. They must be brought under subjection to the LORD and the Holy Spirit. We must resist all lying spirit within our lives (James 4:7).

Another spirit that hinders the work of the Holy Spirit is a spirit that operates by the attitude of "it is not important to be on time." This spirit is seen in many Christian churches today. The Church service is scheduled to start at 9:00am and the people start coming around 9:15am and 9:30am. It is not a one time late situation, but almost normal for many who attend these services.

Christians need to recognize this spirit. It is disrespect for the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to always be late. God is never late in what He does. When God does something He is always on time. In Genesis 1:3, "God said, Let there be light: and there was light." It didn't happen later. When God spoke, it was done.

Christians grieve the Holy Spirit by their letting other spirits control their lives. Continually, never being on time is a spirit of this world operating in an individual. This same spirit controls groups of Christians. If the one in charge permits this spirit to operate, that same spirit will operate in those whom he is in charge of. If the Pastor is always late, so will many of the congregation always be late.

God never intended it to be that way. If a Church service is scheduled to start at 9:00am, everyone should be there at least fifteen minutes early. If praise and worship is to begin the service, the praise and worship team should be already leading praise and worship before 9:00am. Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." When people enter in for a Church service, they should already be in an attitude of thanksgiving and praise.

Spirits that cause Christians to be late are mocking spirits, making mockery of the Holy Spirit who deserves the best we have in every area of our lives, which includes our time in private and in places of worship. The true meaning of worship is "giving the best you have to the one you worship." When Christians do not give God the best they have they make a mockery of God. God is good and God is holy. Therefore Christians should be good and they should be holy, especially when it comes to assembling together for a worship service. Whatsoever we do, do it as unto the LORD (at home, in church, wherever we are).

Christians should recognize this spirit and come against it in their lives and in the lives of others around them. We have been given authority over all the works of the devil. We need to use the authority we have and glorify God in everything we do, no matter where we are or what we are doing. Especially when it comes to going to a place of worship. Do not be disrespectful to the Holy Spirit, who is there and within us to help, guide, comfort, lead, and teach us. Give the Holy Spirit reverence and honor wherever we go.

If Christians do not overcome the spirits of this world, the spirits of this world will control their lives. Even in the world, Christians should be a light unto the world. The world should know they are different. There should be a glow about Christians that the world will see.

In my own life, I always tried to be at work on time, never late. I always tried to stay on the job until quitting time, never quitting before time to quit. Almost every place I worked, I had favor with the management. Many places I worked, the management did all they could to promote me ahead of others. I was offered management positions over others who had worked there many years longer then I did.

God sees our attitude. Satan tries to control our attitude. Get the right attitude from God, and come against all attitudes of the spirits of this world, do not let them manifest in your life. Especially, do not let the spirits of this world manifest in places of worship. Be an example unto others, like Jesus was an example unto us.

The Kingdom

Continued



In Romans 14:17 it says, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." This is a whole new way of living as compared to the Old Testament. The kingdom of God is not what we can do of our own ability, it is what God can do in us and through us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which mainly comes by "...righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Righteousness comes first, then peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Without righteousness we are not walking in the light of the Word of God. Spirits can be identified by the attitudes of people. If it is the Holy Spirit, the attitude of the person will result in "righteousness." None of the things mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 will ever be acceptable by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

None of the works of the flesh will be acceptable by the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:13-15 it says, "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another....For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself....But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

Love is the motive for all the works of God, for God is Love (agape). The true definition of love (agape) is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. God is love and whatsoever is of God is done in love.

But, the works of the flesh are not acceptable in the New Covenant. Galatians 5:16,17 says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh....For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

The kingdom of God is a work of God in the spirits of born again Christians. It is not a work of men, but of God. In Zechariah 4:6 it was prophesied "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." In Daniel 2:44 it was prophesied, "...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." The kingdom of God will never be left to people doing their own will. It will always remain the LORD as King and the Holy Spirit carrying out the works of the Kingdom. Whatsoever is not of God, is not of the kingdom of God, but is of another spirit working in and among people. The works of the flesh are not of God, for they are contrary to the Holy Spirit and therefore cannot please God (Gal. 5:17).

The Spirit of God cannot have fellowship with the works of darkness. In 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 it says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?...And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?...And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people....Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,...And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

Who is an unbeliever? An unbeliever is one who walks in darkness and walks after the flesh and not after the Spirit. It's that simple, too simple for many educated people who love the things of the flesh and the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17).

Now, let us see some of what is of God? In Romans 8:26-28 says, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered....And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God....And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." When the Holy Spirit is in us, and working all things together for our good, then we are doing the will of God and living in the Kingdom of God here on earth.

God's plan and purpose for our lives here on earth is that the Holy Spirit would be in control of all that we do. Yet, the things of God are many times opposite of the things of this world. The way the world thinks and the way the world does things are many times opposite of God's thoughts and God's ways.

In Isaiah 55:8,9 it 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." God has not changed. God is still the same as He was in the Old Testament times. God is not going to change, therefore, when we become born again of the Word and the Spirit, God expects us to change to become like Him.

One major change God expects of us is the way we think and the way we live. This includes the way we speak, how we speak, and the things we say. Most of those in the body of Christ still want to tell God what to do, so they can do their own will of the flesh.

God has a better way. God's way is to speak in tongues by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us. God is saying, "My thoughts and My ways are much better then your thoughts and your ways." If Christians will permit God to control their thoughts and their ways by the words they speak, God will be GOD in their lives and "...all things work together for good to them that love God..." By speaking in tongues, God is able to work all things together for our good.

Luke 18:1 says, "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." In Roman 8:26, it says, "...we know not what we should pray for as we ought..." Yes, we ought always to pray. But we don't know what to pray or how to pray that the perfect will of God is done in our lives. We are still too worldly minded. We still want to live like the world lives and control others like the world controls others that we can have whatsoever we desire. That is not the way God thinks, and that is not the way God does things.

Therefore, God is telling us to set aside our ideas, our thoughts, and our ways, and let Him be God in our lives. Let God work all things together for our good. His plans and His ways for our lives are much higher then our plans and our ways. Being that we still are not knowing and understanding what eternal life is all about, God want's to do the speaking for us in tongues, which no man understands. In 1 Corinthians 14:2 it says, "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." When we are speaking in tongues, God can get us to say what He wants us to say, that our words are effective in the spiritual realm, that what we say will help to defeat the enemy for us.

When we are speaking in tongues or praying in the Spirit, it is our spirit that is doing the praying, not our mind. In 1 Corinthians 14:14 it says, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." God needs to get our thoughts and our ways out of His way so He can work all things together for our good. God knows much more about what needs to be done, and how to do things that all things work together for the good of all of His children, not just for some individuals who want God to do their will.

When the Holy Spirit makes "...intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered," He does it after He first searches our "...hearts knowing what is the mind of the Spirit," (Rom. 8:27).

Everything God has planned for our lives is written in our spirit when we are born again of the Word of God. The Word of God is the seed of our new birth (1 Peter 1:23). Contained in the seed is the total plan and purpose for our lives, just as a seed for a tree contains all that it takes to produce another tree exactly identical to the tree the seed came from.

We are born again of the Spirit and the Word in Christ Jesus, that our lives can become transformed and bear the image of Jesus Christ Himself. In 1 Corinthians 15:49 it says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." The image of Jesus Christ is in our spirit by the new birth. Yet, each child of God is unique, and there is a general purpose for every Christian, but there is also a specific purpose for each one individually. Therefore, before the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, He searches our heart to know what is the mind of the spirit for us individually.

God has a wonderful plan for every born again child of God. Only God knows His plan, therefore, when we pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit within us helps us to pray the perfect will of God so that all things can work together for our good.

Satan hates the plan of God for our lives. Satan has his own plan for our lives. Satan will use every means he has to keep us from submitting ourselves unto God. Satan knows that when we submit ourselves unto God he will have to flee. James 4:7 tells us, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." When God is in control of our lives, Satan has no place in what we do.

You can know what spirit is working in an individual when you compare it with what the Holy Spirit does and how He does things.

For more information on this subject get the complete book "THE KINGDOM," by Merle E. Koepke. These books can all be downloaded free by going to our Web sites at:

www.handsforjesus.cc

www.handsforjesus.org