The Kingdom of God is Vast, Yet it is Within the Heart of the Believer
The demonstration of God's power releases praise in the heart of man. The Kingdom of God is not only in word but in demonstration of the Spirit's power. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."
The Kingdom of God is very vast, yet it is within the heart of the Believer. Luke 17:20-21,"Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, 'The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, "Here it is," or "There it is," because the Kingdom of God is within you.'"
The Kingdom of God is Heaven, but it is more than that: The sphere of God's Kingdom includes the whole universe, Heaven, Hell, and earth. God is omnipresent.
David expressed it this way in Psalm 139:7-10: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast."
Those Who Pursue God with Their Whole Heart Will Receive a Great Reward
Paul said, in Romans 10:6-13: "But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, 'Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?"' (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, '"Who will descend into the abyss?"' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
"For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For 'whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.'"
This passage removes all the difficulty of receiving salvation. It is very simple: believe in your heart and confess with your mouth and you will be saved. There are many Christians, but not a lot of sons and daughters of the Kingdom. God is gracious to save many who call out at the last moments of their life. The Bible tells us many are called but few are chosen. Just because we are saved, believe in Jesus and will go to Heaven when we die, doesn't mean we will inherit the Kingdom of power here on earth. Those who pursue God with their whole heart in obedience will receive a great reward.
Through Many Hardships We Enter the Kingdom of God
There is resurrection, life-changing power in the Cross and the shed Blood of Jesus. Paul is stoned and left for dead, yet he returns to that city, strengthens the disciples and encourages them to remain true to the faith.
Acts 14:19-22 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. "We must go through many hardships (tribulations = pressures, afflictions, anguish, burdens, persecution, and trouble) to enter the Kingdom of God," they said.
If you are not pursuing the Kingdom of God, you will not experience these hardships, afflictions, and tribulations. If your desire is simply to be saved, live life believing in Jesus, and when you die to enter into Heaven you will live a much different life.
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Old Testament Example: Moses Led the Children of Israel Out of Egypt
Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt through the Passover celebration, placing the lamb's shed blood upon the door post. Moses attempted to lead them through the wilderness into the Promised Land, their resting place into the Davidic Kingdom of God.
Exodus 19:4-6 "You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now if you obey Me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.
When they died they were able to make it into Heaven, but they did not enter into the Kingdom rest in their Promised Land.
Hebrews 3:8-11 Do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, "Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known My ways." So I declared on oath in My anger, "They shall never enter My rest."
The Prodigal Son was Redeemed, But the Older Brother Inherited the Kingdom
Luke 15:11-33 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
"'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours (inherited the Kingdom). But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother (redeemed) of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"
God's unconditional love will save anyone in any condition that will come to Him with a repentant heart. But the bondservants that love God, serve Him, and are obedient to His every wish and command will receive a much greater and different reward.
Called to Rule and Reign on Earth Now and in Heaven
Paul was not content to know he was going to inherit Heaven. He wanted to be a son of God and inherit the Kingdom on earth.
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
God has called us to rule and reign with Him now while we are on earth and when we inherit Heaven, too. We are called to be a Bride of Christ who is without spot or wrinkle.
1 Timothy 6:11-16 ...Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in His own time – God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen.
Upon our death, the life we lived here on earth will forever polarize the realms we rule in Heaven for eternity.
Ecclesiastes 11:3 If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie.
Our life affects the people around us, for no man lives unto himself.
Romans 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
God is Our Judge
As Believers, we are not to judge one another, because we are not qualified and we only know in part and see through a mirror darkly. We are going to reap what we sow. If we are judgmental and critical of others, we will reap judgment in our own lives.
Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Only God knows each of us in our entirety. He knows the fullness of the times and seasons of our lives. Only He knows when it is time to judge, and He does it with a heart of compassion.
Luke 6:37-45 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
We Are to Be Preparing Our Mind, Heart, Soul and Spirit for the End Times
God is preparing us to rule and reign with Him forever.
• God uses the trials, tests, disappointments, sorrows, grief, and painful failures in life.
• He stretches us to the breaking point time and time again so we are able to hold more of His essence, and overcoming power.
• God uses pressure to cause us to expand and be strengthened.
• Spiritual opposition enables us to learn to defeat the enemy through different warfare tactics.
• The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through the Spirit of God.
• We are called to stand up and fight and take the Kingdom by force.
• Those that do not learn to war in the spirit and to use their spiritual weapons will not make it through the calamities and diseases that are coming on the earth.
• We must learn to walk in the fullness of what God has given us.
When Jesus returns the second time, two-thirds of the earth's population has perished. The ones who are still standing are the Bride of Christ who has been perfected and made herself ready. We are to be preparing our mind, heart, soul and spirit for the end times.
Revelation 19:7-9 Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! 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 the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God."
We will see terrible things take place in the last days upon the earth...
Psalm 91:7-8 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
...But when we come to the end of ourselves we can either quit or ask for God's help, His grace and wisdom.
Luke 21:12-19 But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of My name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of Me.
But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
We serve a generous God. Anything we lack He will give.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Jesus was able to handle rejection and disappointment without quitting and giving up. His father died at an early age leaving Jesus, His brothers, sisters and Mary without someone to provide for them. Jesus was limited to His humanity while here on earth. He could only do that which He saw the Father doing. He was tempted in every area as we, yet without succumbing to sin. He never embraced self-pity and depression, but He embraced the Cross to save the very ones who had rejected Him from their sins. He had to go through the testings, trials and wilderness wanderings just like you and me in order to qualify for the power. He had a destiny and a call to prepare for.
Becoming a "Son of God"
Paul knew the pain of rejection, persecution, beatings, stoning and shipwreck, but he also knew his calling and purpose in life.
Medical science states that over one-third of their patients suffer from un-diagnosable, psychosomatic symptoms because their lives are meaningless, haunted by fear and emptiness. No one can survive without a purposeful meaning in life.
We live in the end times where nations (or ethnos) will rise against nations with anger and hatred; where the Kingdom of Light will clash with the kingdom of darkness for the rule of the planet. We are living during the times of the restoration of all times.
Daniel was shone the anti-Christ spirit's plan to destroy and wear out the saints of God or the "sons of God."
Daniel 7:18 But the saints of the Most High will receive the Kingdom and will possess it forever – yes, for ever and ever.
Daniel 7:21-22 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the Kingdom.
Daniel 7:27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole Heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey Him.
There are two categories of Believers:
There are things we must do to access Kingdom privileges.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Psalm 91:1-16 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the LORD, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation."
We can look at the lives of Enoch, Job, Daniel, Peter, James and John the Beloved – those who have gone on before us as great examples of "sons of God."
Paul was taken into the Third Heaven where he was shown and heard things he was not permitted to speak of, yet he returned to complete his time here on earth to qualify as a "son of God" to rule and reign for eternity.
We Are Called to Complete the Race, Subdue the Earth, Take Dominion, and Rule and Reign with Christ
Life is one test after another that prepares us for promotion.
Deuteronomy 8:15-17 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
The things we endure here on earth help to mold and make us into champions of God.
Romans 8:18-21 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
The Kingdoms of this world are going to become the Kingdom of our God.
Ezekiel 36:35-36 They will say, "This land that was laid waste has become like the Garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited." Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.
Believers will be the head and not the tail. We will lead and rule by God's righteous right hand.
Isaiah 65:22-25 No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of My people; My chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain," says the LORD.
When God shakes the earth, the heavens are going to be shaken as well. The earth will be struck with stars from outer space that will ruin a third of the world's water supply.
Revelation 8:10-11 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water – the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
We are called to complete the race, to subdue the earth, to take dominion, and rule and reign with Christ to fulfill the original commission that was given to Adam and Eve, the first man in Genesis.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us...
Hebrews 12:22-23 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the Church of the firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect.
Holy Spirit, Enable Us to Walk in the Fullness of the Kingdom of God!
Pray these Scriptures over yourself, asking God to fill you:
Colossians 1:9-20 ...asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the Body, the Church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through His Blood, shed on the Cross.
Holy Spirit, please enable us to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God so we may walk in its fullness.