The Kingdom of God: Introduction – (Part 2)
What IS the Kingdom Experience?
How do we Participate?
What is God's Part?
Salvation and the Kingdom Government
The Kingdom is Absolute and Eternal and Essential
Leo Fenton (2015-2018)
Now, the Gospel is not just a “doctrine” or “Bible study” about the Kingdom but is a Life example of the Kingdom being demonstrated.
The Book of Acts then is His disciples repeating and duplicating what Jesus demonstrated as the Kingdom of God.
His disciples carried on the work of the Kingdom after He was taken up.
It is this that proves the Kingdom is practical and NOT just another idealism.
Acts 1:4 And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me.”
Imparting the “Promises (plural) of the Father” is what Jesus continued to do after His ascension.
What Jesus taught in the Gospels about the Kingdom, has now come into the experience of the Apostles and reported in the Book of Acts. Why?
To show us that the demonstration of the Kingdom was NOT just for Jesus but also for the Church that He is building.
The greater works that we expect, will only come to us out of the Kingdom Life!
The power and demonstration of the Kingdom was lost when the church began to teach that “salvation” was something that we could have outside the Kingdom.
It is taught that “salvation” guarantees us heaven and is all that is necessary to participate in the future Millennial Kingdom that will come when Jesus returns.
One reason this doctrine was accepted is because the demands of the Kingdom are certainly not possible for the natural man to fulfill.
Since participating in the Kingdom requires a certain pressing into, violently, it brings into our experience battles that are too demanding for the lukewarm church and also the casual believer.
Since the casual church member is not prepared for all-out war, first within himself, now at this time, and later within the Kingdom, the whole concept of the Kingdom now, is rejected!
Therefore, the visible church declares;
“We have decided to let Jesus fight that battle when He comes back on His big white horse. After all, we don't have time to fight, we have to preach the gospel of the half-priced sale and get more people “half-saved.”
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.
Both the Kingdom and the Name were taught and when both the Kingdom and the King were believed, they were baptized.
Acts 28:23 And when they had set a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the Kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.
It is clear the apostles didn't divide the Message.
They preached both the King and His Kingdom.
These TWO aspects of the Gospel is just ONE MESSAGE.
If we preach some kind of salvation outside the King and His Kingdom it must be a different gospel and we should expect to see different results. We do!
A partial salvation, that is preached as forgiveness of sins, is not even half of a solution to man's real need.
Romans 1 to 3 is God’s evaluation of man’s need that must be reversed by a full salvation experience.
This involves the discipline of:
- obeying the laws of the Kingdom and
- coming under His Eternal Government.
Of course this is not convenient for the half-saved, half-committed or the lukewarm, the casual or the comatose believer.
The modern concept is we can build the church much quicker if we preach “salvation” as a gift but some thing outside the King and His Kingdom.
The concept is this; “The easier we can make salvation, the more people we can pack into the church building. The more people we have, the more successful we will appear.”
This ego centric error is exciting until the Fire of God comes and burns up all the wood, hay and straw.
It is then that we understand we have wasted our life in fruitless activity that was outside the Kingdom experience.
It is for that reason that the Gospel of the Kingdom is essential and one of the greatest necessities in the church today.
We are not referring to the doctrine of the Kingdom but the discipline and Government of the Kingdom functioning within the corporate church.
The unworkable order that we see in the systems, called church today, must be replaced with the Divine and Eternal Order of the Kingdom of God.
The early church must be evaluated from the viewpoint of the Kingdom rather than from the viewpoint of their order of church service or where they held the meetings or what they called the leaders.
If, today, we just saw the Kingdom being manifested in real life, as in the early church, it would reveal a practical Kingdom.
However, if we evaluated the early church ministries and how they held their church meetings from the mechanical facts, rather than from their actual Kingdom Experience, we would have a clouded understanding of the first church and their function.
That was the error of the “home meetings movement.”
Today, we must re-evaluate everything in the church from a proper perspective, which is the Kingdom Government!
Our confusion has come because we just attempted to evaluate the early church by some physical and shallow structure of meetings, church authority and ruling / headship ministries.
Some of these added another “head ministry” that turned them into a beast with several heads.
Once or twice in every generation someone will go back and try to pattern a church after the way the first church was set up.
They look for Apostles and Prophets, forsake all claim to property, hold all things in common, meet in homes and live in commune.
However if they forget about the Kingdom Life and Government, that made the whole thing a workable order, the system self-destructs in a few years when the excitement fades.
Most of the time carnal leaders set themselves up as little kingdoms with big authority and absolute control.
Some of these bad actors proclaimed that Jesus was Lord in Heaven but He was Lord on earth.
If we took the Kingdom Life and Government out of the early church, it would look like the church today.
The mechanics are nothing without the Kingdom Government as a current Life experience.
The Christian Life is a New KIND OF Life, not a religious system or another physical or mechanical lifestyle.
The workable and demonstrable order of the Kingdom in the corporate church must be the result of the Kingdom Life and Government in all the believers.
The Church He is Building is not some visible structure and carnal order!
The church has not been called to grow old, but to grow up into full maturity.
Steven never grew old, but he did grow up.
He had the Kingdom Life so longevity was not the goal.
Those who have the Life of the Kingdom will grow into the character of the Kingdom, as Christ is formed in them and His Life matures within them.
At least something eternal should be manifested!
It is THIS Dimension that should be required for every minister.
Some ego centric person in the pulpit, manifesting himself, should be severely condemned as anti-Christian.
What is the real meaning of “the Consecrated Ministry” if we can't even walk in the basic principles of the Kingdom?
We should first sit down as a little child before the basic facts of the Kingdom to see if we can do them rather than judge them as impractical.
It is by surrendering completely to the demands of the Kingdom, in a full consecration of the new inner man, that we have access to the experience of the Kingdom Order.
Many want to browse through the demands of the Kingdom and then judge them as impractical and unworkable.
One believer or an entire church may receive the knowledge of the Kingdom as a terrible burden, as an impossible demand, and perceive that it is attacking my freedom in Christ, therefore, it must be false and unacceptable.
Another will receive the Kingdom as an inner Government because of the blessing of God’s tremendous provision and God's Grace that is available in the Kingdom.
Each believer must know and understand that there is a gift or special grace that is available to everyone who is living within the Kingdom Government.
It is this Kingdom Provision that empowers us so we can fulfil all the requirements of the Kingdom, and qualify.
Each believer must understand that every requirement of the Kingdom is met by God with an offer of a higher life and greater grace.
This is an important part of the Kingdom Message!
Because of this, our obedience and our vision perspective, along with our Kingdom Life and maturity, will determine our eternal destiny.
For example; if you see the Kingdom from man’s ego centric and earthly viewpoint, it will appear to be an unreasonable demand upon your freedom in Christ and not for the Christian, in this dispensation.
That is a popular concept today but these “believers” are just seeing from man's earthly viewpoint and viewing the Kingdom as against their ego and self-interest.
Even though this concept is widely held, it is only a carnal and very confused viewpoint of God’s Eternity.
Matt 16:3 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
Matt 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Matt 16:25 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”
32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the Kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Do you see this as an unreasonable demand or as an offer by God of greater grace and a greater portion of His provision for a higher and a more intense Life?
Since the pulpit has been full of “speakers of the Word”, the pews have been full of “hearers of the Word” but very few are “doers of the Word.”
It may be impossible to adjust and reform the lives of the hearers because only doers of the Word are changed by the Word they do.
Primarily, the Kingdom doesn't ask us to offer an opinion or for us to make a suggestion or to offer an alternative.
Rather, the Kingdom is God’s Sovereign Government and it simply commands and demands and offers no apology. Why?
That is because along with the demands, God offers to supply the power and ability to fulfill the requirements.
The continuous provision of God to meet the demands of the Kingdom begins after we have fully experienced the seven (7) Christian Foundations and the provision of the New Covenant.
However, this provision is imparted only to the New Inner Man.
It is the old outer man who rejects and judges the Kingdom as impractical for the modern man!
The functioning new inner man is the result of fully experiencing the seven (7) Christian Foundations.
These “Foundations” begin as:
- Repentance from dead works,
2. faith toward God
3. Calvary– forgiveness of sins,
4. water baptism (separating us from our genealogy to Adam),
5. putting on the new garments of Christ,
6. the baptism in the Holy Spirit (receiving the anointing), and
7. offering ourselves to God as the Consecration Offering.
It is these Foundations that prepare us to receive the Kingdom as the Divine Working Eternal Order so we can begin to function within His Government and Laws!
When the Foundations are neglected or ignored, the experiential Kingdom will be an impossible demand.
This has been the failure of the visible church system.
Psalm 11:3 “If the Foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?"
When the message of the Kingdom comes to a church that has "believers who are hearers”, the response is "I will if I want to, but if I don't want to, I won't!"
The attitude of the hearer is "No one is going to tell me what I'm supposed to do. I have a freedom in Christ which no one will take away!”
It is impossible to disciple a casual Christian who is just a hearer of messages.
These “hearers” will always be offended by the Gospel of the Kingdom and will only accept a salvation that has no requirements!
When we understand the absolute Sovereignty of the Message of the Kingdom, we will see the Kingdom is not permissive but that ALL its demands and requirements are redemptive.
The Message of the Kingdom reveals that forgiveness of sins and the basic foundations for the Christian Life is not all that God has intended for the church.
Within His Eternal Purpose, He wants to provide for us a complete "Kingdom redemption".
This is called “the final salvation.”
When Jesus came back from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit, He explained the New Kingdom Order that was as close as a hand.
17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written,
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.
20 And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him.
21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
Here the Prototype Son speaks of five manifestations of the Kingdom message and the changes that will accompany the Word of the Kingdom.
These “benefits” will work in Kingdom people who receive the Kingdom as an inner life Government to be obeyed.
According to Matthew 5, 6 & 7 this offer is for those who know they are destitute and have no hope of escape in themselves.
For those who don't know they are poor, wretched, miserable, naked and blind, this Kingdom Gospel is of little value. Why?
They will try to function in the church by their own cleverness and natural ability!
We may wonder why Jesus picked disciples who were ignorant and unlearned fishermen.
It may have been quicker to choose disciples who were already trained.
The problem is He couldn't have found twelve in all of Israel who were trained and prepared for the Kingdom of God. Why?
The New Covenant was not yet established and no new inner life was available.
It is AFTER the New Covenant is experienced and the Foundations are experientially laid that the Kingdom Government can begin to make the necessary changes so we can BEGIN to “minister” the Gospel of the Kingdom.
It is the functioning and experiential ministry of the Holy Spirit, in the inner life, which is sufficient to totally release the captive.
This ministry of the Spirit is Not just so these believers can be loosed from captivity so they can be free!
They are set FREE so they can be free to serve the Living God.
No one is set free so they can do their own thing and be independent.
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a Horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old –
71 Salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES, And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US;
72 To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His Holy Covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
74 To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
Our Great salvation delivers us from our enemies, NOT SO WE CAN BE FREE, but so we can serve HIM, all the rest of our life.
Jesus revealed the New Age of the Kingdom, spoken of in Isaiah 61, which is specifically for this church age.
This is the time of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 61.
Waiting for the millennium to fulfill this ministry and prophesy is ignorant.
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,
3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
4 Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations, and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vine dressers.
6 But you will be called the priests of the LORD; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, And in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.
The preaching of the Kingdom is designed to speak to the poor, the captives, the blind and the down trodden. Then to proclaim the jubilee, the favorable year of the Lord.
However the preaching of the Kingdom is not just doctrines but is to:
· experience freedom and
· return to our possessions.
The poor will hear the Gospel, the captives are released, the blind will recover their sight, the downtrodden are set free and the year of Jubilee is preached to all who have ears to hear.
Jubilee was when each man returned to his original possessions.
In Jubilee, he fully recovered all the property he had lost through debts he could not pay.
It is a sad thing to preach release and then not have the understanding or power to release anybody.
It is a nice message but it is in Word only.
The Gospel of Kingdom in Isaiah 61 must also be in power and demonstration of the Spirit.
That is how the captives are released.
They are not released to be free BUT TO BECOME BOND-SERVANTS OF THE ONE WHO REDEEMED THEM.
Ignorance of the Law of the Bondservant has severely limited the church and confused how we select “ministries.”
1 Corinthians 10:1-11
1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 and all ate the same spiritual food;
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ
5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
6 Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.
7 And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY."
8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Paul’s understanding of the experiences of Israel being types, shadows, pictures and examples for the church at the end of the age, is one of the most helpful revelations for us to understand the preparation of the “church” for its participation in the Kingdom. Why?
That is because Paul uses “Israel” as the type and not just the “experiences” of Israel.
Of course the “experiences” of Israel are included within the complete example.
However, the history of Israel did not stop at Mount Sinai but continued into Canaan, which is a copy and example of the Kingdom.
Within Canaan / Kingdom the example extends to the nations, the battles, the wins, the defeats, the various enemies and the many mistakes and disasters when they failed to do what God said.
Another clear example for us is the seven nations or strongholds of Canaan and its thirty- one kings.
If the church is now approaching the end of the church age, these specific examples are essential for all of us to understand, who are seeking the Kingdom.
Why are these examples so essential for us?
If we follow the various restorations of the church since the 1400's we will recognize that the last restoration was the Charismatic Movement, which ended in 1985.
That restoration only (in type) took the church up to Kadesh-Barnea, where Israel sent in the spies but never entered. These are our examples!
How do I know the Charismatic restoration stopped there?
That is because that movement never developed (to enter the land) to include the Gospel of the Kingdom!
Maybe a few “spies” looked in but there was no movement to “enter.”
How do we know that?
None of the “messages” mentioned any of these seven nations and 31 kings were included.
Why is that important?
The Kingdom experience must remove these kings from our experience. Why?
In the Kingdom there can only be one King.
When they entered into Canaan there were 31 kings ruling over the land.
This is a kind of capsule view of the world and those in it.
There were only 7 nations but there were 31 kings.
This creates total confusion.
The 31 kings rule over 7 nations and that introduces us to total inner conflict.
The Kingdom cannot be fully established in us until these “kings are removed from us.”
It is not difficult to identify these natural ENEMIES OF GOD!
However, interpreting how they function as internal enemies of the Kingdom is not so easy.
1 "When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and shall clear away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you,
2 and when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you, and you shall defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.
3 Furthermore, you shall not inter-marry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons.
4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you.
7 Now these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the sons of Israel defeated beyond the Jordan toward the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even as far as Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir; and Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions,
8 in the hill country, in the lowland, in the Arabah, on the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the Negev; the Hittite, the Amorite and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite:
Jos 12:9 the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;
Jos 12:10 the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;
Jos 12:11 the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one;
Jos 12:12 the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;
Jos 12:13 the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one;
Jos 12:14 the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;
Jos 12:15 the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one;
Jos 12:16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;
Jos 12:17 the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one;
Jos 12:18 the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one;
Jos 12:19 the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one;
Jos 12:20 the king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one;
Jos 12:21 the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;
Jos 12:22 the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one;
Jos 12:23 the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one;
Jos 12:24 the king of Tirzah, one:
in all, thirty-one (31) kings.
Researching the names of each of these kings, by the translation of their names, by their words and threats and by their character, would give us more details of how these “KINGS” rule!
My point is this; Today, these are examples of the leaders and rulers in the carnal church system!
Since the Kingdom is to be established in each of us who seek the Kingdom, these “kings” will, also, be found in each of us.
To study the details of each strong-hold and each king would be helpful but beyond the scope of this document.
Of course each of these kings function in the natural dimension and manifest “in the flesh!”
Our interpretation of these resident kings must begin personally because EVERY BELIEVER IS AFFECTED when they seek to enter the Kingdom.
To assume that forgiveness of sins rids us of these opposing kings is rather foolish.
For all of us who are still wandering in the wilderness, there is no recognition of these king or their manifestations.
It is ONLY when we attempt to enter into the land / Kingdom that these kings rise up in power!
Overcoming these 7 “STRONGHOLDS” who are ruled by these 31 (you shall utterly slay them all) may appear beyond the scope of the Christian experience.
However, that is because of the shallow and ignorant way our ETERNAL SALVATION has been presented by the comatose ministry.
God never hides the battles!
It is the overcomers that inherit ALL things so there are many things to overcome!
Also, these 7 strong nations (strongholds) and their 31 kings really only present a problem after we begin to press into the Kingdom (Canaan).
In the wilderness only king Amalek is a problem and they defeated him by prayer.
These next kings are not that easy to defeat. Why?
They live in walled cities and some are giants.
They all are greater and stronger than us!
When we first come to Jesus, there are these “kings” (rulers- enemies) everywhere in our lives.
However, we have no idea they are hidden within us even though we may know we have some very severe manifestations we can’t control.
Salvation is to deliver us from these enemies.
We finally experience “freedom” when all these corrupt kings are destroyed in our lives and one King rules supreme.
As long as these kings are active in our lives we can never be completely free.
Our “freedom” is when the Kingdom of God and God's ruling King is coming to full power and authority within us.
This can only take place, experientially, when these other kings are fully dealt with and have no influence!
Many believers today know they have problems but they are unaware of the many ruling kings they are struggling with or how to get free from them.
Real salvation must set us free from all our enemies and from those who hate us.
Each one of these kings have names and a personality that answers to some perversion or hostility or some anti-Christ function.
These “manifestations” are revealed, corporately, in the 31 kings in Canaan.
God’s commandment was to utterly slay every king.
Of course man always has a better plan!
They reasoned that they could keep some “kings” and enemies as servants to serve them by carrying water for Israel.
For Israel nothing could be compared to the blessing of possessing the land of Canaan, which is a type of the Kingdom.
However, there were 31 kings and 7 nations/kingdoms that possessed the land and fought fiercely against Israel.
Why were these tremendous battles necessary?
In Canaan there was only room for ONE KING so all others must be completely silenced!
Even today we see Israel’s desperate fight to hold that little piece of land.
Nothing could be compared to Israel losing the land in 70 AD. Why?
There was no land of Israel again until 1948, for 1,878 years.
For the Christian, nothing can be compared to gaining the Kingdom of God and nothing can be compared with losing the Kingdom of God as the ruling Government in our lives.
Refusing to deal with these personal 31 kings in our lives is really stupid.
The excuse of “But, Brother, we are already saved so these kings are irrelevant” is really ignorant.
However, these strongholds and kings are only relevant and visible after our entrance into the Kingdom and from the Kingdom viewpoint.
Jesus said the Kingdom would be taken away from Israel and given to a nation producing the fruit of it.
What other loss could be compared to Israel's loss of the Kingdom?
Today, most Jews don't even know they lost it.
Most nations don't even know the Kingdom is available to them.
Many churches think the Kingdom is a cliché that speaks of Heaven.
That is the very reason we have been commissioned, by Jesus, to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation.
We have had nearly 2,000 years to preach and establish the Kingdom, at very least, in the church, but we have failed even that much!
The Kingdom is still a mystery or irrelevant to most of the visible church even today.
We speak much about the Holy Spirit's work of changing us, sanctifying us and preparing us for eternity.
Some of this preparation surely must include removing these 31 kings from our experience, permanently. Why?
That is because a total commitment to ONE KINGDOM is not possible as long as we are dealing with the threatening of these other kings and with their conflicts, lies and perversions.
Each foreign king must be recognized as an enemy of the experiential, eternal and personal Kingdom!
The Holy Spirit is not just arbitrarily working with various goals in mind.
In addition to bringing every believer to the maturity and stature of Christ Jesus,
He is changing us to conform to the standards of the Kingdom and our obedience to its absolute Government.
This will require an inner cleansing (overcoming) from the MANY, MANY anti-Kingdom foes!
If you think you have none, within, you are deceived.
Just begin to press your way into the Kingdom and you will experience their hostility rising up within you and might even be manifested against others who are seeking the Kingdom.
God's Eternal Purpose is summed up when He has many sons, brought to Glory, and sitting with Jesus, the Prototype Son, on the Eternal Throne of Heaven.
The Throne of God is another way of saying “the Kingdom of God is ruling and being manifested.”
The overcomers are those who have run the race and finished their course.
The goal of the true Christian Life is to sit with Him upon His Throne!
That is now promised to those who overcome, as He overcame!
The Throne is CENTRAL to His Kingdom Government.
However, His Throne demands our obedience and these kings are all the sons of disobedience!
No hostility toward OUR KING is permitted in His Absolute Government!
What then is the standard of the Kingdom that we are to achieve, experientially?
The Kingdom itself is still rather abstract and undefined when we see it from afar!
Upon entering the Kingdom, what God has given us to “see” of the Kingdom Life, is Jesus Christ.
Also, the unfolding of the Kingdom ministry is seen in Christ Jesus. Why?
He is the standard “Person” of the Kingdom!
Or we could say the standard Person of the Kingdom IS Jesus Christ.
Our goal is to be conformed to the Image of Jesus, the Prototype Son.
But what really does that mean?
If we could reduce that to a single statement it might be;
The Holy Spirit is building the Kingdom of God within us by infusing, in us:
· the Kingdom Life and
· Government of God, the Almighty!
Ideally, the power and demonstration of the Spirit should be in us before we can expect the power to flow through us.
The personal discipline and correction of the Holy Spirit precedes the power and demonstration of the Spirit.
This is the error of expecting the power and demonstration to be manifested instantly after we receive the Holy Spirit.
This was the expectation of the early Charismatic movement!
Since that did not happen, they tried to “make” it happen.
What may have been missed, by some that are seeking the Kingdom, is what God has installed in every New Covenant believer to complete His current work.
The Living and Abiding Word, the Spirit of Christ, has come as our High Priest / King to rule within us.
Also, the Holy Spirit has come, not just as an influence, but as the Priest of the Most High God.
We no longer speak of just having “the Savior” and an “influence” but as King-Priests after the Order of Melchizedek.
They have come, within the New Covenant, to rule over our lives as Kings and to function as Priests of the Most High God.
This inner power and authority is to “cause us to walk in His Ways and to keep His Covenant, His Statutes and Ordinances!
Their current “THRONE” from which they rule is within us.
That means; The river of Life is supposed to flow from the Throne of God.
It is not the river of death.
Where the Throne of God is, there will be Life.
If no Life is flowing from us, we could logically ask; “Is there really the Throne of God within?”
We might wonder if every other king has been dealt with and removed so He can rule, supreme.
We say the Holy Spirit flows like a river out of our belly, but for most of us that is just a cliché.
It will surely flow from our belly if there is the Throne in our inner man.
That river flows from the Throne of God - if these High Priests, the King / Priests, rule in our life from their Throne.
Our conclusion then is this;
When Christ's Throne is established in our lives, we are established:
- in His authority,
- in His life and
- in His government.
Then we can deal with God's enemies through God's authority and then minister to people out of God's Life.
Besides all this, there is the Tree of Life, that grows on each side of that river, that bears twelve kinds of fruit, a new fruit each month.
All the trees in the garden were good for food but only one was good for Life.
In that dimension, whatever other needs we have must be met by the fruit of the Eternal Tree.
The Bride who rules with Christ will not just rule in His authority but also in His Life and Character!
The River of Life flows from the Throne of God.
That Throne then represents both His Life and His Government that flows out like a river carrying His authority to the nations of the New Earth.
No one can manifest Kingdom authority who does not submit to Kingdom authority.
That was Satan's problem.
Those who are not under Kingdom authority cannot exercise Kingdom authority.
Too many pulpet-teers, now seem to function after the order of at least one of these embedded kings. They act like they are exercising authority from the kingdom of darkness.
In that realm of the various kings, rebellion is rewarded as long as it is not rebellion against Satan.
The great danger of teaching methods of entering the Kingdom is that most people are seeking only after the knowledge about the Kingdom without first receiving the LIFE of the Kingdom.
The danger of teaching the mysteries of the Kingdom to hearers is that those who hear assume that since I know, therefore I am.
Books that are presented as "textbooks" on successful living are on the best seller lists.
Seven steps to victory or seven steps to the throne or seven steps to spiritual life would be titles that sell.
Seven hundred steps to something doesn't sell. That represents too much effort.
Seven steps represent something that most people feel are within their capacity.
In seminars that teach certain steps “to freedom” or to “success,” you find the people most attentive and want to take the tapes home to give to friends.
The disappointment is in the result of all that.
It is possible to teach people certain principles for years but then fail to see His Life develop in them.
The danger in this age, as in every age, is in seeking after knowledge rather than seeking after Him, WHO IS LIFE!
Jesus recognized this when He said to the religious leaders "You won't come to Me that I might give you Life".
Great knowledge without His Life is a dangerous thing.
God has wisely restricted all Life to the Lord Jesus.
In Him was Life and the Life was the Light of men.
Full stature comes not by knowledge but by Christ being formed in us.
Multitudes will flock to a renowned Bible teacher to study the Bible, but if he insists they must discipline themselves with personal Bible study, prayer, spiritual fellowship and to begin to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ so He can teach us / them, they get offended.
To be His disciple requires that He speaks to us / them and corrects our lives so we can manifest the Kingdom.
With those requirements most believers will soon lose interest.
Many want to grow but don't want Him, Who is the source of all growth, to interfere with their life.
The popular cliché is “Jesus IS the answer.” This is still abstract and without personal help.
The answer to all man's problems is "a Life union with Jesus Christ”.
The most a teacher / minister can do is inform you there is such a thing as "a Life union with Jesus Christ".
After that it is up to each one to seek that union.
In the Kingdom, this “union” is with Christ Jesus within that same Governmental realm.
A branch can be filled with knowledge but unless it is grafted into the vine it has no life and therefore no fruit.
The fruit that is tied to the Kingdom of God is like that!
Now this is the problem with teaching the Kingdom of God.
We can fill our heads with knowledge and be no closer to the Kingdom than we were before.
To have the mind of Christ is to possess something more than a natural ability to think and understand.
That is the ability to think as He thinks and then, to understand what He is teaching.
However, this IS an inner revelation, within the new inner man!
Matt 13:11 And He answered and said to them, "To you it has been granted to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”
Is God then a respecter of persons? No!
But God is not teaching knowledge for knowledge sake.
He is just teaching for LIFE’s sake.
The Mysteries are hidden from those who only want to know in order to satisfy their curiosity, or to have a ministry.
The tree of knowledge is still very popular today and it is bearing its fruit in most church services on a weekly schedule.
The evangelist preaches the gospel that requires an individual response to become a “member.”
The pastor or teacher may teach a corporate gospel that tries to draw people together into a church body.
Ultimately the Gospel of the Kingdom must demand that we:
· be converted,
· grow up and
Assembling and storing religious knowledge ends up as outward religion.
The Kingdom Message must produce :
- a vision,
- a life change,
- growth and
A seminar on the Kingdom will only be effective and fruitful if the believers are both hearers and doers, and the message is only effective when their doing is the result of obedience to an inner Life, rather than more human zeal.
For years I have sought a definition of the Kingdom of God but there is NO definition that covers the entirety of the Eternal Kingdom.
However, we can find partial definitions as we see below.
Hebrews 10:5, 9
5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, but a Body Thou hast prepared for Me;
9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Thy Will."
He takes away the first in order to establish the second.
The thought here is: “A Body Thou hast prepared for Me to do Thy Will.”
This verse is first applied to His physical body that hung on Calvary.
At the present time, this verse also applies to His spiritual body, the church.
God has provided Jesus Christ a body here on earth to do His Will!
The “group” that is NOT doing His Will is not the church He is building!
The Kingdom of God is made up of those who do His Will.
That is true of the Kingdom in Heaven or the Kingdom on earth.
Everybody does His Will in Heaven and on earth.
However, just to be included in the family of God, we must do the Will of God!
34 And looking about on those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers!
35 "For whoever does the Will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother."
A definition of the family of God could be extended to include the Kingdom.
Therefore, “The Kingdom of God is a corporate group who walk in obedience and do the Will of God on earth in the same measure that His Will is being done in Heaven.”
An individual doing the Will of God is good but God has ordained “a body” to do His Will now, as it was in Jesus’ day.
We could speculate that righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit then is the fruit of walking in obedience and doing the Will of God.
We could say the Kingdom is expressed by walking in obedience and doing the Will of God, which results in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
If we neglect the obedience we can't expect to experience the fruit.
Trying to work up the fruit without the obedience is disappointing.
Obedience produces the fruit without effort.
Human effort trying to produce the fruit of the Kingdom results in “the fruit of religious deception” because the root is wrong.
A corrupt root will produce corrupt fruit.
The most that Adam can produce is another Adam.
I am speculating that the new man in the pulpit will preach the Gospel of the KINGDOM.
Adam chose knowledge over life then, and that is still the goal of “Adam” today.
This is even true of Adam in the pulpit.
Knowledge says; If I know, therefore I am!
However, only in the LIVING and Abiding WORD do we find His Life and it is His Life that produces LIFE!
To be Christ-like is to be filled with and manifest His Life – Zoe.
The Kingdom comes to us as LIFE in which His Government begins to rule.
However, It seems to come on a trial basis to see if we can live in that realm and do His Will and obey His Laws.
It is not that He doesn’t know our real condition but that we don’t know our real condition until we are confronted by the demands of Kingdom and discover if we are able to obey!
It is obvious that doctrinal, informational and fact-based ministries seek to dispense more and more information, facts and knowledge to be learned.
Therefore, at each meeting, seminar or conference, 7 steps to some assumed place are presented but lives are not changed.
How do I know that? That is what I did!
Even though the old man, “Adam,” can preach and people get excited to learn a new thing, no inner maturity is gained, and therefore, nothing eternal is achieved.
For that reason, I believe there must be a better plan. There is!
Doing it God’s New Covenant Way and that will work!
The Spirit and Life Messages must be the goal but how we get from here to there is not evident.
63 "It is the Spirit Who gives Life; the flesh profits nothing; the Words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are Life.
64 But there are some of you who do not believe."
Even when Jesus preached “Spirit and Life” messages, some still did not believe.
We can and must judge the effectiveness of the messages we hear!
The messages pertaining to the Kingdom and the Kingdom experience must produce something eternal in the hearers.
We can evaluate that by determining “if the message being preached is just knowledge or is it ministering Spirit and Life?”
Does the message impact the believers and inspire them to a radical change and do they just believe something more that is irrelevant ?
Still, the KINGDOM MUST BE PREACHED, even if nobody believes.
Every preacher’s responsibility is to preach the Kingdom and it is God’s prerogative to give understanding.
Of course every believer has the privilege of praying for the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding to invade their life and enable them to understand.
After doing this “ministry” for 48 years, it is still my experience that the great multitude will not even pray and ask God for anything except for some thing to make them happy or to make life easier.
Faith for things is so very shallow when we try to exercise faith for the Kingdom to become experiential within us. Why?
That is because of the radical change that must take place within us, just to accommodate the Kingdom Government of God and His Laws within, as our new, personal and experiential eternal reality!
In most of the churches that I visit, it is clear that the personal Kingdom of God has become a strange and irrelevant message.
They think the Kingdom has become irrelevant except during the Millennium Reign of Christ.
Of course not all will receive or believe the Message of the immediate Kingdom, but the Kingdom still MUST be preached in the whole world IN THE END TIME! Why?
Mat 24:14 "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
Christ Jesus is waiting, the Holy Spirit is preparing and the Father is insisting!
Someday it will happen.
The Kingdom is a Kingdom of experiential priests
Not a kingdom of comatose believers!
That is because these priests must also become kings who can rule and function under and in obedience to Christ Jesus,
our Great High Priest, after the Order of Melchizedek!
He is the Eternal King / Priest.
All Christian king / priests must be like Him,
priests after the Order of Melchizedek.
There is no other priesthood in the New Covenant!
No other priesthood could bring the church to perfection!
Hebrews 7:11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another Priest to arise according to the Order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?
Hebrews 7:28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the Word of the Oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.