The Kingdom of God

Rom. 14:17 – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (external), but of righteousness, peace and joy (internal) in the Holy Spirit

The Jews missed their Messiah King because they were looking for a political leader. They missed all the signs in the scriptures they thought they knew so well.

Now, will we miss the kingdom of God? Can we see His kingdom and ask Him to sit enthroned upon on hearts? Can we cast out every other love that takes that seat of honor, and make sure it is reserved for our one true love and allowing Him to reign in His rightful place? Can we be a faithful bride, and in so doing, become an heir and queen of a kingdom?

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The Bridal Gift

In Genesis 24, we find Abraham’s steward going out to find a wife for his son Issac. Derek Prince helps us understand the context of the story:

  1. In the middle east you always give a gift with a marriage proposal. If you accept the gift, you accept the marriage; if you turn down the gift, you refuse the marriage to the person.
  2. Camels can carry a lot of stuff, and the steward took 10 camels loaded down with gifts, for the bride he sought for his master. He said, ‘May the one who draws water for me, and offers to water my camels, be the one chosen to be bride.
  3. Camels drink 40 gallons of water each, and drawing water takes a lot of strength. On top of being in a hot desert area, Rebekah knew that it would take her most of the evening to water the camels, and she still offered it as a service of hospitality to the stranger.

Read the passage here, or skip it to continue commentary:

Genesis 24 – Abraham… said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had… “I want you to swear by the Lord, that you will get a wife for my son Isaac from my home territory… the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor and had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water. Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder… The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. 22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels… Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother… So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men… So the servant took Rebekah and left.

This is a story of faith in action, and a prophetic story pointing to a larger picture. Over, and over again, we see in the Bible that God (represented by Abraham) is looking for a bride (represented by Rebekah) for His son Jesus (represented by Issac).

Revelations 19:7-9 – For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

If Rebekah was given so many riches to become the bride of Issac, how much more richly will God bless us to become the bride of Christ? The Holy Spirit (represented by the unnamed steward), sent from God, is looking for the bride of Christ right now. The Spirit is the gift, and He brings many more gifts when He is welcomed. If we turn down the gift of the Spirit, we turn down the marriage to Jesus.

Our character is the key factor in receiving the gifts that the Spirit has to offer from God, much like Rebekah’s character was what made her stand out as the chosen bride. Whether tongues, encouragement, prophesy, administration, etc–Our character helps us receive and protect the gifts given through the Spirit of God. When we accept Christ, we receive His Spirit. The Spirit lives in us, much like a man joined to his bride in marriage. Since the Spirit is already inside of you, so are the gifts the Spirit possesses. However, gifts can lie dormant for years. It just depends on what you want to do with them. When will you bring your gifts out of storage and start putting them on display? Invest what you have so that you can gain even more. Grow the gifts inside of you.

Matt. 7:11 – If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The gifts are not to be feared, but cherished. They ARE God after all.

People seem so scared of the gift of tongues, or the gift of prophecy… but the gift of faith–that’s scary. That’s where you trust God to come through, faithful to His promises, even though everything in your life seems to be displaying the opposite. That’s when you do whatever He told you to, even though it seems to make the least amount of sense.

Heb. 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God

Faith is a gift of the Spirit & God says you can’t please Him without it. What then should we think of the other gifts of the Spirit?

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit

God never said things wouldn’t appear scary:

Mark 6:49-51 – Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake… when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed

but He does say 150 times, ‘Fear Not.’

Is. 41:10 – do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you

And that’s the purpose of gifts. They are not given to scare us (though they may at times from our misunderstanding), but for our strengthening, encouraging and comfort (1Cor.14:3-4). The disciples were scared for a moment, but Jesus immediately said, ‘Take courage.’ He immediately comforted them from the fear of the waves, storm, and the way He came to them. So, don’t let it scare you if He comes to you through gifts, because when He comes it is to comfort you. If you are like the disciples, and have fear because you don’t understand a way in which the Lord operates, then search out the explanation in His word and ask Him to show you personally:

1 Cor. 12:1-11 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

John 4:24 – God is spirit

2 Cor. 3:17 – the Lord is the Spirit

Do not reject the gift of God Himself, and do not reject any gift that He sees fit to give you. Every gift is to help and prosper you.

Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


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Our Jihad

Jesus heals ISIS Execution

Our Jihad is not one like the Muslims’. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. Our sword is not like the sword of this world. What kind of war has God called us to? And what does the Book of Revelations mean? Let’s take a peak at a few spots:

– Matt. 26:50-52 – Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

– Luke 22:51 – And Jesus touched the man’s ear and healed him

– Eph. 6:10-13,17 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand… Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The Kingdom of Jesus is not a matter of physical war, it is one of spiritual war. We are not fighting people, but evil spirits; and we do so with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Where Isis & some sects of Islam are killing unbelievers, Jesus is healing unbelievers.

– Rom. 7:22-25 – I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus

There is a battle in the spiritual realm over your mind. Jesus called us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Preach:
1. to urge acceptance or abandonment of an idea or course of action

– Rom. 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

– 2 Cor. 10:3-5 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Truth is the Only Way to the FatherWhen a question or argument arises in your mind you are thrown into a battle, a push and pull until one side wins. In every argument that comes to your mind, you are supposed to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph.6:17), find the lies and cut them down. The need the gift of the Spirit called ‘discernment’, so we can tell which way is right and which is wrong. We compare everything to the Bible. We find the fruit of the Spirit (peace), once we win the fight. If we lose the fight, we become severely wounded and start living from a false mindset that brings us pain. We have to win the battle in our own mind before we can go out and help others who are fighting. We face many lies every day and the only way to recognize them is to know the Word of God (your sword).

Example:
Lie: My feelings, and experiences, tell me that without my anger as a defense, I am weak and will not be able to survive a hard conversation with people.
Truth: Jesus, the Word of God, says without God I am weak. I am strong when I rely on God, and I am weak when I rely on myself, or anger, for deliverance. My anger isn’t going to scare anyone into submission; it is going to make my situation worse. I should respond in love and wait for God to do the rest (Ps. 18:2).

Lie: I feel like life is pointless. There is no point in living; there is nothing good ahead for me.
Truth: Jesus, the Word, says God’s plan is to give ME a hope and a future and lead me into something better than I could even dream for (Jer. 29:11).

Like every warrior, we need practice and training with our sword. Each lie that comes against you is an opportunity for you to become a stronger warrior. Sharpen your blade! Memorize the scriptures and actively call them to mind. Take every thought captive and make sure it lines up with the Bible before you let it run free. In battle we take prisoners first. We judge later, and decide who can live and who should die. Put to death the lies of the enemy.

Jihad:
1. a holy war waged as a religious duty; a personal struggle in devotion especially involving spiritual discipline
2. a crusade for a principle or belief

We are fighting mindsets in the world. The main mindset we are fighting is the AntiChrist.

– 2 Thess. 2:4 – He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

The temple is no longer a building, but His people. The veil, of the flesh, was torn so that we can stand before the Spirit of God 24/7

The temple is no longer a building, but His people. The veil, of the flesh, was torn so that we can stand before the Spirit of God 24/7

The Bible says we are the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). We aren’t waiting for a new temple in Jerusalem and some world political figure to rise up. We already have the AntiChrist in the temple, the body of believers. God & Jesus are the Holy Spirit. Those who oppose the Spirit (who is Christ) are those who are following the AntiChrist.

There is a true Christ and a false Christ in our churches. One is a grace based salvation, founded on being born again by the Spirit of God, and walking by the Spirit’s power. This one is called the Tree of Life. This is the true Christ. This is the tree that God wanted us to eat from in the garden of Eden.

The other is a law based salvation, founded on our ability to do what is right, in an attempt to save ourselves. This is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The law is from God, and the tree was from God, but God said do not eat of it or you will surely die. The law cannot save you and eating from this tree cannot make you like God. This one says I am saved by my own power to live by the laws of God.

– Rom. 3:23 – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
– John 8:7 – Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone

– Rom. 8:2-3 – For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh

– Rom. 7:4-6 – Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.  For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

The burden of sin and the law. The burden of working out your own salvation, instead of living by the Spirit of Jesus who already did the work

The burden of sin and the law. The burden of working out your own salvation, instead of living by the Spirit of Jesus who already did the work

We are not under the heavy burden of the law, but under the light and easy yoke of the Spirit of Christ. So then anyone who believes that the law can save them has partaken of the AntiChrist.

– Luke 11:46-47 – Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets

Woe to you teachers who burden God’s people with the law, do not help them, and do not show them that the Spirit is the only way to fulfill the law and make the burden light!

– Rom. 8:2 – through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

– Matt. 12:31-32 – every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven

Blasphemy:
1. great disrespect shown to God or to something holy
2. irreverence toward something considered sacred

Have we blasphemed the Holy Spirit by ignoring Him or by treating parts of Him as useless?

– John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth

– 1 Cor. 14:13-18 – the one who speaks in tongues should pray that they may interpret the tongue. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit praysI will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit..  I thank God that I speak in tongues

Wolf in Sheeps ClothingIs the leader of your church opposing the fullness of the Spirit? Do not follow. So many Christians are scared of the Spirit of God! So many think God isn’t performing miracles anymore! Those are things Satan wants you to believe so you don’t see God, understand His will, or do the things He’s calling you to do. Don’t be scared to learn about the Spirit of God, be scared not to! Who do you think wants you to think God can’t heal you, deliver you, or give you that miracle? Satan wants to hold up the sheep skin that no longer has the power of the sheep. The AntiChrist is clothed to look like the Christ (religion), but takes away all the power that the Spirit of Jesus has.

– 2 Tim. 3:5 – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

– Matt. 23:13 – Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

The Bible says: 1)that God is to be worshiped in Spirit and in truth, 2)the Spirit is the truth, and 3)the gifts of the Spirit are for every person. We need to be able to work in our own power AND in the power of the Spirit. We need to take the time to make sure we are not being taught by an AntiChrist leader in the church; one that says Jesus didn’t rise from the dead in power. The Holy Spirit is Jesus on earth today! He is alive and active in power. We don’t want to be grouped in with the people who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and are irreverent toward the works of power being done by the sacred Spirit of God. Let’s not miss the kingdom of God, for it is at hand. Let us not be deceived for:

– Rev. 19:10 – the testimony of Jesus is Spirit of prophecy.

– 1 Tim. 4:1-2 – The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

What is the kingdom of heaven supposed to look like?

– Luke 10:9 – Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

– Luke 9:2 – he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

– Luke 11:20 – if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

We were meant to proCLAIM the kingdom with the power of God. Isn’t it the ruler of a kingdom that puts forth the power to claim His own kingdom? God did not raise our bodies to life, but birthed us in the Spirit! We should be living in the power of the Spirit everyday.

Revelations talks about martyrs for Christ. Don’t you see that you are that martyr? We died with Christ.

Revelations talks about the resurrection. Don’t you see that you have been resurrected? We were raised with Christ. We are a new creation, and we (through the Spirit) are currently seated in heavenly places with Christ.

Revelations talks about His return with His army of believers for the final battle. Don’t you see that we are in that final battle? We are at war with the evil spirits in this world. We are taking every mind for Christ. And once the gospel has reached the ends of the earth, the end will come.

Armies of HeavenFight the good fight of faith. Wear the armor of God. Cut down everything that is against the supreme power of Love. Our Jihad is to win the minds of people over to God, who is Love. The Jihad of Isis is an AntiChrist: salvation based on human works. Some Christian doctrines are following an AntiChrist: salvation based on human works.

Jesus was baptized and the Spirit came on Him with power. The disciples were baptized,with fire (passion), with the power of the Spirit as well. We are to be baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit as well. Our God is a consuming fire; set my heart ablaze with passion for your name!

The Spirit gives us 3 lists of replacements, since we died with Christ. We were reborn by the Spirit, a new creation. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. We no longer belong to ourselves. The character, abilities, and works we display should not be our own, but His:

9 fruits (or character) of the Spirit: 1)love, 2)joy, 3)peace, 4)patience, 5)kindness, 6)goodness, 7)faithfulness, 8)gentleness, 9)self-control

9 gifts (or abilities) of the Spirit: 1)ability to work miracles, 2)to speak in unknown tongues, 3)to interpretation unknown tongues, 4)to discernment between good and evil, 5)gifts of healing, 6)prophecy, 7)word of wisdom, 8)word of knowledge, 9)faith

9 beattitudes (or works) of the Spirit:
1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
2) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
3) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
4) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
5) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
6) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
7) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
8) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
9) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus allowed His love and compassion to move Him to powerful works. He was moved by the fruit of love, so it ignited the gift of healing. The Spirit saw the those mourning and He ignited the gift of miracles to raise the dead and comfort them. Each list ignites the other list. We need all three operations of the Spirit to accomplish the ultimate goal of letting people see the face of Love (God).

Love conquers all! God never fails. His power is here to show us that. He cares about our health – he heals! He wants us to hear his voice – He prophesies. He is a miracle working God yesterday, today, and forever.

Eagerly desire the gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11) so that you can show the world His Love! This is the good fight! Fight it well!