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#285 Kingdom: Recognizing All the Things Added

Mat 6: 31] “Do not be anxious then, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ [32] “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. [33] “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Mat 19:28] And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. [29] “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life.

Mark 10: 29] Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, [30] but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

Several people have mis-understood my statements on “prosperity”saying that I am being “poverty and loser conscious.” Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven is not speaking of living in poverty. It speaks of knowing we are bankrupt and destitute in “spirit.” Everybody must begin the Christian life as “unspiritual”, “carnal” or bankrupt and destitute in the spiritual realms. The problem is that not everyone is aware of that “poverty of spirit.” My understanding is that this revelation of being “spiritually destitute” is essential to participating in the Kingdom.

When we are born again our spirit receives “life” but is just a new born baby spirit. Many never grow beyond this new birth experience thinking “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” As far as a “spiritual Kingdom” is concerned we are bankrupt in spirit and don’t know it. As we approach the Kingdom we must recognize that we have no spiritual revelation at all. Nothing, O !! We have LOST dominion! We have LOST the Kingdom! Wealth outside the Kingdom is a curse!

1 Tim 6: 6] But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. [7] For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. [8] And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. [9] But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. [10] For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.

There are many warnings about focusing upon wealth as a “reward” of the normal Christian life. Spiritual poverty is the very worst kind of poverty because it has eternal consequences. We may even be poor in physical wealth in this life but be “spiritual giants” and very wealthy in “eternal Life.” But what has all this to do with the Kingdom of God?

It is interesting that the “prosperity preachers” even use the 30, 60 or 100 fold return promising prosperity to those who give to their ministries when this is clearly speaking about planting the seed of the Kingdom in good soil or in believers who have been plowed and harrowed and the stones removed and set apart for the purposes of the Kingdom. This seed cannot be sowed in the path where everybody walks on it or among thorns. The whole purpose of planting the Kingdom seed is that this “precious seed” will produce a 30/60/or100fold return for the Kingdom.

Mat 13:18] “Hear then the parable of the sower. [19] “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. [20] “And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; [21] yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. [22] “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. [23] “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Luke 8:14] “And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

This parable of the Kingdom is straight forward and Jesus clearly explains the parable to His disciples so there is no excuse for using this Kingdom Truth to try to fill our pockets. It would be a similar perversion of the scripture to say “If you give to my ministry, all these things will be added unto you.” The Truth is Mat 6:33] “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

The first priority of our seeking is the Kingdom of God. Everything we are going to need is stored up there.

If we see this from the Tabernacle of Moses with the three separated areas for three different kinds of worship, seeking first the Kingdom makes more sense. The Kingdom is represented in this graphic by the Most Holy Place where the throne is and His presence is manifest. Seeking the Kingdom as first priority then is focused upon the Most Holy Place and His manifest Presence. In that location is the source of everything necessary and eternal Life.

What we see regularly is that people stand somewhere in the Outer Court and pray that God will “send the provision out” to where they are. Some will stand there their whole life making all kinds of prayers and wonder why God doesn’t respond. If God supplied “all our needs in the Outer Court” no one would be pressing into the Kingdom of God. If we could just take money out of the bank without first putting some money in the bank, no one would bother putting the money in first. This is similar to how the Kingdom is.

Those who are in the Kingdom have their needs met from the Kingdom. Those who are in the Outer Court have their needs met from the Outer Court. But standing in the Outer Court and insisting that God send the Kingdom provision out to us is ignorance. God has revealed the “riches of the glory of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” These are the true riches of eternity.

1Tim 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

There are many warnings given to those who want to use the gospel as a means to fill their pockets with good things of the temporal nature. James 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. [2] Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. [3] Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire.

Preachers boldly declare that if you give to their ministry you are sending your money on ahead to heaven so that when you get there you will have a bank account filled with money. That is presented as “lay up treasures in heaven.” Luke 18:22] And when Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Luke 12: 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.

When we remove these verses from the Kingdom of God and apply them to earth, they seem to take on a life of their own and then some strange interpretations follow. This is why seeking the Kingdom as first priority is essential because this puts all verses in proper perspective to the Kingdom.

The eternal fact is that the Kingdom is totally self-sufficient and has all things necessary to complete God’s Eternal Purpose. We don’t need to send automobiles or houses or money or anything ahead because in the Kingdom everything is provided. If we need something God will create it! For that reason we can lay aside everything that is temporal and give it to the poor. We can empty out our purses here because none of that stuff will help us in the Kingdom. While we are living in this visible realm our heavenly Father knows that we need these temporal things, but we need to know that all temporal things must be left here. Selling our possessions and quitting our jobs outside the Kingdom has been very disappointing and left a big hole in our finances.

Mat 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. [20] “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; [21] for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

So what are these eternal things that can be laid up in heaven as the treasure and riches of Eternity? These are the “fruit that remains.” Col 2: 2] that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, [3] in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. [4] I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t give to other ministries. Not at all! Does this mean that the “Law of Sowing and Reaping” is not valid under the New Covenant? Not at all! However, in all things we must keep the Kingdom in full focus and not be persuaded to support what God is not providing for out of His abundance. We shouldn’t be persuaded to give “as a sacrifice to God” out of a promise of an immediate return. Once the sheep was offered as a sacrifice it was burnt up. No one gave one sheep in sacrifice because they hoped to get back 30 or 60 or100 sheep. If we could do that we could build up a big herd rather quickly and we could get independently wealthy by giving to certain ministries. This deception is exposed within the Kingdom! So much is preached that is anti-scripture but we hear it so often that we think it must be true. Especially if the big ministries are saying it and promising a big return on our investment in their ministries. Only the weak minded should fall for that deception but we find intelligent people giving and hoping to get rich. We used to call this the Christian’s lottery. If you give we can promise you the jackpot.

Then we hear big ministries preaching with great zeal saying that those who hold back the tithe from the offering are bringing a curse upon themselves. People give out of fear that God will punish them with a curse or sickness. Even if there are scriptures that seem to support this “doctrine” the motive seems wrong and have no relationship to Kingdom giving at all.

2Cor 8:1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, [2] that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. [3] For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord, [4] begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, [5] and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.

This is what we refer to as “Kingdom giving.” This is giving out of the heart with no condemnation, no threats, no promise of a great return on their investment in Paul’s ministry.

2 Cor 8:12] For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have. [13] For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality-- [14] at this present time your abundance being a supply for their want, that their abundance also may become a supply for your want, that there may be equality; [15] as it is written, “HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK.”

Paul uses the example of the manna that fell in the wilderness as a type of giving so there is equality in the body of Christ. Some gathered more manna than they needed but if they kept the manna it turned to worms. Therefore, if they had too much manna they were looking for someone who had gathered too little manna and gave their surplus to the ones that lacked. That way every ones need was met and there was equality among the brethren.

We heard of a church recently that rented a large building, started a TV and radio ministry and then ran short of funds. The leaders began to pressure the believers to give more money to support their Ishmael. It was reasoned that since they attended that church they should support the activities of that church and its leaders. That may sound good but if the leaders are out to build name and fame through an ego trip, no one should give anything. If we just looked at all these things from a Kingdom viewpoint it would solve the problem of keeping alive something that God has not ordained.

Then when we seek the Kingdom as first priority, what are the “all these things shall be added to you?” Jesus was speaking of their physical needs and that God was certainly aware that they needed all these things. Food, clothing and shelter are basic needs of everyone and God clearly knows that we need all these things. Still, the very first priority to seek after is the Kingdom of God. If we find the Kingdom all these necessary things are already there and can be freely added to us.

However, if we seek “the things” as our first priority we may miss the most important thing which is the Kingdom of God. Even if we accumulate an abundance of things now, if we miss the Kingdom we have forfeited the best of eternity. And maybe just for a pot of porridge like Esau.

The big problem with living in this earthly dimension is that the “things” are real, meet current needs and are visible, however, the Kingdom is invisible and futuristic and I must live in that dimension. Why should I forfeit a pot of porridge now for an inheritance later? My immediate need seems more important than some pie in the sky, by and by. Besides that I am a child of God and He is going to give me my inheritance anyway! May I suggest that “inheritance” that is seen from the viewpoint of the church is much different than the inheritance that is promised in the Kingdom. In the church “we just believe for it” while in the Kingdom “we must qualify for it.”

Still, it seems easier to give to some ministry that is promising me an inheritance than it is to try to qualify for the inheritance in the Kingdom. One just costs us money and the other costs us our life. The decision should be quite simple.