The Kingdom of
As you read and study what has been
written here, do not just blindly accept it. Please check the Scriptures and ask
the Holy Spirit to reveal to you His truth. The Scriptures quoted here are from
the King James' version with the words of Jesus in red.
The Kingdom of God. What is it and how does it affect me? Before we can answer these questions, we must first understand what a kingdom is. The primary differences between a kingdom and a republic or democracy are ownership and system of government.
A republic or a democracy is owned and governed by many individuals. In a democracy the rules are set by the people. They have the right to elect those who rule over them. They also can vote to change the rules they are required to live by.
In a kingdom the rules are made by the king who owns the kingdom. The people have no voice in making the rules they must live by. The king makes the laws and there is no means for the people to change those rules.
A kingdom is governed by a King who owns everything in that kingdom. His word is law and can only be changed by him. All who live in that kingdom are subject to his rule. They must obey those rules or suffer the consequences for disobedience.
There have been, and still are, many kingdoms throughout history. In fact there are many different kingdoms mentioned in the Bible.
Some of these kingdoms have been ruled by "good" kings but many others have had terrible tyrants as kings.
A drastic change in our thinking is necessary for those of us who have been raised in a democracy. We have no real understanding of the huge difference between the government of a democracy and a kingdom.
We have been taught that in our democracy, the people rule through an elected leader, a president or prime minister. All too often however, a small minority of the people govern through their money which "buys influence" to convince the elected leader to establish rules in their favor. Even so, it is through the ballot box that our government is placed into power. We do have a voice in who it is that makes our laws. And we have the ability to have those laws changed through our elected representatives.
In a kingdom, the ruler is a king who was not elected but born into the position. A king owns all that is in his kingdom including the people. A president or prime minister owns very little in the country he supervises.
The Kingdom of God
God created the earth and all that is within it including man. He also created the sun, moon and stars. (See Genesis 1:1 through 2:14) He then created man and gave him dominion over the earth and all that is on it. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. " (Gensis 1:26-28)
This establishes the fact that God owns the earth so it is His kingdom. God's kingdom is both physical and spiritual. His spiritual kingdom is recognized by very few Christians. Even fewer are aware of His physical kingdom on earth.
Because so many Christians know so little about God's kingdom they do not believe that His kingdom actually exists on earth now. Their unbelief however, doesn't change the fact that His kingdom really does exist here on earth. While they don't believe His kingdom exists now many do believe it will when Jesus returns to rule the world.
The kingdom of God exists in two realms; the physical and the spiritual. The physical is what we see, hear, and feel. It is those things we can reach out and touch. The spiritual consists of those things which are unseen and cannot be touched by our physical senses.
Most of us are able to easily believe those things we actually can see and touch. Believing those things which are unseen is more difficult. Few Christians have been taught about the spiritual realm except as the "bye-and-bye, pie in the sky" rapture concept. Most preaching today is about how to live now in the physical and is based upon the use of our five senses. Today's sermons teach mostly how to survive using our natural abilities. Seldom do they contain information about tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit described in the Scriptures as being available for our use. Very little teaching is being given about how to live in the spirit. In fact, there is very little discussion in the church today about spiritual things. And even less teaching about the fact spiritual kingdoms even exist.
There are two spiritual kingdoms. They are the kingdom of light, God's kingdom; and the kingdom of darkness, Satan's domain. No other spiritual kingdoms exist. You are a citizen of one or the other regardless of where you physically reside.
According to the Bible, we are born into the kingdom of darkness. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are translated into the kingdom of light. It is God that calls us into His kingdom. Colossians 1:13 states: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" This is repeated in a slightly different way in 1 Thessalonians 2:12 "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." It was Jesus who said that "man must be born again" to enter God's kingdom. Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)
These two spiritual kingdoms are engaged in a constant war for control. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
While most people have not been trained to see the spiritual warfare that is taking place, its effects are very visible in the physical realm. Proverbs 16:7 states: "When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." This is a clear indication of the fact that the spiritual does have an affect on the physical.
It is amazing so few Christians have been taught that God's kingdom exists on earth today. There are many verses in the Bible that indicate God intended from the very beginning that we who have accepted His Son as our saviour would be in His Kingdom. Mankind has always wanted to have a man as their king rather than God. This started with the Israelites who demanded to have a man as their king like the nations around them. God finally relented and let them have Saul as their king. But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king." (1 Samuel 8:19-21)
God has declared we are not only His subjects but also His ambassadors while we are still on earth. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:20 & 21) We are to obey His wishes and commands. Our only purpose is to extend His rule and authority here on earth. He has called us to be His ambassadors here while we are still on earth.
An ambassador is defined by Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition as "the highest-ranking representative appointed by one country or government to represent it in another."
Combining this definition with verses 20 & 21 of 2 Corinthians 5, quoted above, tells us that we have been appointed by God to be His highest ranking representatives to represent His government here on earth. Even though most don't recognize it, earth is part of God's Kingdom. The main reason people don't understand earth to be God's kingdom is His government has not yet been well established here. As His Ambassadors or highest-ranking representatives we are to establish His government in His Kingdom here on earth. God intended that His Kingdom would be established on earth as it is in heaven. If God had intended "democracy on earth as it is in heaven" He would have stated it that way in Matthew 6:10. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
An ambassador is the property of the one who appointed them to that position. As such, they are to be totally supported meaning that all their needs are taken care of by the one they are an ambassador for. It also means we are to do and say only that which our King has said and does. We are to speak and act only to extend His government here on planet earth now.
Our fully understanding our role in establishing His government is vital to seeing His Kingdom on earth. We have been given an extremely important duty in bringing God's kingdom to earth. We are the ones He has chosen to use to accomplish that. God gave Adam dominion over the earth and all that it contains when He placed him in the Garden of Eden. We, who have been saved, still have that authority because it was restored to us by the blood of Jesus. That restoration transferred our citizenship from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Heaven. We live on earth but are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of heaven.
What is our privilege and responsibility as an ambassador of the Kingdom of heaven? This is spelled out for us in the 20th verse of chapter 5 of 2nd Corinthians. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20) That duty is more clearly defined for us in the Message Bible translation which states it this way: "We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you."
We are to know His will and speak it into existence here on earth by speaking His Word. He made us in His image therefore we are like Him. God spoke and it became (See Chapter One of Genesis). He created every thing by merely speaking it into existence. As His ambassadors, we also have the ability to speak His Word and bring it into existence here on earth. Doing so will bring the Kingdom of God down to earth.
Where Do We Go from Here?
Before the Kingdom of God is visibly seen in any place, it must become real to individual believers in that area. We must learn how the government of God is structured. Kingdom rule is much different than the democracy we have been taught to live in. This is especially true in today's society where many seem to think obeying the law of the land is something you need to do only when you want to.
In a kingdom the word of the king is law and can not be changed by anyone. Obeying the word of the king is mandatory. Disobeying the word of the king is not tolerated. There is a price that must be paid. This applies to the Kingdom of God as well as to worldly kingdoms.
When we accepted the free offer of salvation it came with a change of citizenship. Where we had been under satan's rule we are now citizens of the government of Almighty God. He has bought us with the blood of His Son Jesus. We are now part of His domain even though we still reside on earth. Our residence may be earth but our citizenship is in heaven. As a citizen of heaven it is necessary for us to learn how God's government operates so that we will understand what is required of us. His commands are set forth in His Word, the Bible. It is our "owners manual" complete with all the instructions we need to live in accordance with the laws of our King.
This transfer of citizenship from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God brings many blessings. One of those blessings is our appointment as His Ambassador to earth. We now have the privilege and responsibility to represent Him and His government here on earth. What we speak and how we act must be in accordance with His will and not our own. Our only focus now should be to bring His government into existence in our part of the earth.
As we become better acquainted with our king and learn more about His government our thoughts will change from those of a democracy to that of a kingdom. This, combined with prayers for the Kingdom of God to be manifested in our lives, will begin to bring His kingdom down to earth wherever we are. When others join us in this endeavor the effect will be magnified and cover a larger geographical area.
What Will Bring God's government to Earth?
First of all we must seek His Kingdom as Matthew 6:33 instructs us. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Seeking The kingdom of God begins with being born again. This is a mystery to many people who are not born again. Jesus had a discussion with Nicodemus over this very subject. He, Nicodemus, asked how a person could be born the second time. This didn't make any sense to him. "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, 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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:1-6)
This mystery that baffled Nicodemus is still a puzzle for many today. Few understand the concept of "being born again" even though it is really simple to comprehend. Becoming "born again" is simply accepting Jesus Christ as your savior, departing from your sinful ways and following after Him.
Once you are "born again" you have only opened the door to the Kingdom of God. Accepting Jesus as our savior is just the first step, even though it is an extremely important one. We must enter into the kingdom by actually having a personal relationship with the King to know who He is and what His will is. We also need to replace our "congregational" or "denominational" mentality with one of "Kingdom" thinking. Our thinking needs to become one of a "Kingdom Mindset" where we are constantly aware of living in His Kingdom here on earth. If "Christ is in you" as stated in Romans 8:11 then you are already living in His kingdom whether you know it or not. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11)
Jesus spoke about the coming of the kingdom of God when the Pharisees were questioning Him on it. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20 - 21)
He, Jesus, continued by saying what the Kingdom of God is, and is not. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14:17)
Now that you know this you need to believe it and begin immediately to live in its reality.
Once we begin to understand what His will is then Matthew 6:10 should become our constant prayer. "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
Along with these two things we should gather with other like-minded believers who will join us in this prayer focus. There are two things we must remember. The first is that we can do nothing of eternal worth by ourselves. The second thing is that God will work only through our prayers. While He is capable of establishing His will on earth without our help, He has chosen to do it only through us.
As we seek His kingdom, develop a personal relationship with Him and enter into prayer, He will begin to change us into proper citizens of the Kingdom of God. We will begin to develop a "kingdom mentality," which will make us better ambassadors for our King. As we become proper ambassadors of the Kingdom of God it will change the atmosphere around us bringing heaven down to earth.
We are to know His will and speak it into existence here on earth by speaking His Word. God created the earth and all that is in it by merely speaking it into existence. As His ambassadors, we also have the ability to speak His Word and bring it into existence here on earth. Doing so will bring the Kingdom of God down to earth.
Lord help us to speak only that which your word declares. Let not our lips utter the logical thoughts based upon what our natural eyes behold but rather that which our spiritual eyes and ears have seen and heard.
May the Lord Jesus daily add those whom He will to His Church. And may He also answer our constant prayer for His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
June 11, 2006
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