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The True Kingdom of God
The True Kingdom of God
Chapter 1
The Kingdom Parables
Chapter 2
The Bible is a Spiritual Book
Chapter 3
The Kingdom Nature
Chapter 4

The True Kingdom of God

Chapter 1

The Kingdom of God is the unhindered expression of Gods' glory, through people, so He can touch the world. It isn't Judaism, Christianity or some future event. It isn't bound by or belonging to any certain name or religion. It is Christ, expressed in the earth through His spiritual Body, the Church. His Body isn't a predictable religious gathering, meeting at only assigned times and places. His Body is known by its seen and heard EXPRESSION of the grace of God.

Many today are searching for the true spiritual kingdom which Christ brought to all men. Jesus said "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33) and He didn't mean to seek for religion, "holy" places or only on set Sabbath days. He wants us to seek out and know where HE can be EXPRESSED. Jesus also LOOKED for the Father's MOVEMENT in the earth. He said "I only DO what I SEE the Father DOING." (John 5:19) "The Father.,.commanded me WHAT to say and HOW to say it." (John 12:49) "I do nothing on my own but speak just what THE FATHER HAS TAUGHT ME." (John 8:28) "My TEACHING IS NOT MY OWN. It comes from Him who sent me." (John 7:16) And John 15:15 reads "everything that I LEARNED from my father I have made known to you." Jesus was ALERT and SENSITIVE to God's grace about to set someone free. He "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men," (Luke 2:52) and He "learned obedience through what He suffered," (Hebrews5:8) therefore, He LEARNED the Kingdom. When He "felt the power flow out from Him" (Mark 5:30)-He FELT the Kingdom. He strained to HEAR the voice of the Spirit and when the Father spoke to Him three times, He HEARD the Kingdom.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray for the Kingdom! One day when Jesus was asked by His disciples to teach them to pray, He said "This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:9) He prayed, "Thy Will be done! On Earth! As it is in Heaven!" A more correct translation of this phrase would be "Thy will be done, as in the heavens, so on earth". Jesus prayed that right here on Earth, the perfect will of God should be known and acted upon as quickly as it is now in the heavenlies. Shouldn't we be praying that way? This prayer reveals that the kingdom (His rulership) hadn't fully appeared yet, and the answer to Christ's prayer was yet to come. Christians have been praying "Thy kingdom come" for two-thousand years but they are largely ignorant of what they pray! If you dissect this prayer word by word, you can glean much more from it.

OUR FATHER shows Christ's relation to us as well as to God. Saying "Our Father," points to one's submission to God's authority in his own life. One can only say "Father," to that One who has brought us Life and to whom we freely submit.

THY KINGDOM reveals that we recognize His personal rule as Master in our life. We know that we "have been bought with a price (the blood of Jesus) and that "we are not our own." (1Corinthians 6:19,20) We now pledge allegiance to a heavenly King.

THY KINGDOM COME expresses our desire to have his will expressed in us. Paul said "He was pleased to reveal His Son, Jesus IN ME!" (Galatians 1:16)

THY WILL BE DONE shows our preference for God's will over our own. Isaiah said "Thou art the Potter, I am the clay." Jesus said "Not My will but Thine be done."

ON EARTH means here, practical and in reality. Just as "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us," (John 1:14) so His Word should become expressed in us.

AS IT IS IN HEAVEN means that His Mighty Rule should be openly manifested here, in the Body of Christ, as smoothly and obediently as angels carry it out in heaven. There is no thought, reasoning or committee in Heaven! There are no boards, seminars or business meetings to rule on God's will. His will is acted upon instantly and exactly as given. The Church has forgotten her manners before heavenly beings and before her King! All the problems in our lifeless church would VANISH if we knew Christ as our KING and we were His bondservant. People come to church now and judge the message they hear, rate the musical performance, make excuses for not becoming like Jesus, they rarely pray and refuse to take up a cross! HOW can the kingdom come and His will be done on earth unless we HEAR, ACCEPT, and ACT on it?

Honest study shows that the kingdom of God hadn't been entered or enjoyed before Christ came to us. He preached that the kingdom of God was entirely different than anything else around at that time and wanted to show us that it wasn't a natural Israel or Jerusalem that He wanted. Jesus said "THE KINGDOM DOES NOT COME VISIBLY-THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU." (Luke 17:20,21) "MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD! MY kingdom is FROM ANOTHER PLACE." (John 18:36)

"MY" says it would be entirely of Christ! Bought and Cared For! I'm reminded of the slave rite in Exodus 21 which allowed a bought slave to go free after six years. If he wanted to keep his provided wife and their children, he would declare "I love my master...I will not go out free." His master would lead him to a door (John 10:9) and then mark him by boring through his ear with an awl, and the slave would remain in his service. This really goes against man's carnal nature to stay in slavery. Our flesh wants its independence, its own property and to yield to its own desire. But, a saved bondservant cries out "I LOVE MY MASTER! I DON'T WANT TO GO OUT ON MY OWN! Take My Ear--I only want your Voice and Word in my inner man! More than deer thirst for water, I thirst for you! PIERCE ME AT THE DOOR!" "KINGDOM," a kingdom is that which is ruled over or what is OWNED. True kingdom citizens are actively obedient and actively relating to their governing Head. "IS," You know the wind by its MOVEMENT. (John 3:7) The I AM IS MOVING in the Earth, the Ark IS stirring and wants God's people to TAKE HIM to NEW places so His Grace can touch the Earth! "Faith IS the substance of things hoped for, it IS the evidence of things not seen. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please him: he... must believe that he IS, and that he IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek him!" (Hebrews 11:1,6) "NOT" remedies, religion, tradition, or a futuristic political system. It doesn't exclude or divide people. We need to memorize what Paul said, "The kingdom of God is NOT meat or drink but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17) A carnal man goes after natural prosperity (meat & drink) instead of spiritual prosperity. "OF," means relating to or about. "They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world." (John 17:16) That's how Jesus (before the soldiers took him) could say "the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." (John 14:30) "THIS" the fragile, self-destructive and chaotic systems of man seen today. This (the one you see with your natural eyesight) present-tense, ever-changing, chaotic cosmos is never obedient to any system very long. Remember, "we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7) Faith is greater than 20/20 vision; it's the evidence of things not seen. "WORLD" Hebrews 11:3 says "the seen was made by the unseen." Therefore, heaven is just as real as the world known now. The Kingdom of God (and subjects) is a real "other-worldly" realm. Paul said "Do not CONFORM any longer to the PATTERN of this WORLD, but be TRANSFORMED (different in ways and thoughts) by the renewing of your mind," (Romans 12:2) Remember...we're in the world but not OF it.

Jesus came, not only to bear our sin and reveal the nature of God, but also to reveal a new kingdom and covenant with man. He spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing." (Luke 9:11) In Luke 9:2 "He sent them out to preach the kingdom." Even after His resurrection (Acts 1:3) Jesus taught about the Kingdom! This was the central theme of His teaching and He wanted His followers to enter, understand and live in His Kingdom. Once empowered with the Holy Spirit themselves, every disciple could see and understand this new, powerful and spiritual realm of life. Acts 8:12 says "Philip preached the good news of the Kingdom." In Acts 19:8 Paul came "arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God" and Acts 28:23 says that Paul "from morning until evening-explained and declared the kingdom of God." Paul "boldly and without hindrance, preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 28:31)

John the Baptist began preaching "The kingdom is at hand." (Matthew 3:2) "At hand" meant that His kingdom was CLOSE-in TIME and POSITION. Jesus also preached "The kingdom is near." (Matthew 4:17) He said "If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Matthew 12:28) Luke 4:43 reads "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because THAT IS WHY I WAS SENT." He said "The law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it." (Luke 16:16) Jesus said "I tell you, among those born of women (including Abraham, Moses, David or the prophets) there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (Luke7:2) Children of His kingdom are "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God" (John 1:13). These are "made alive...and raised up with Christ and seated with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:5,6). Jesus said "whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:4)

The first and truest account of life in the Kingdom of God is found in the book of Acts. The early Church was anointed, grew rapidly, met daily from house to house, had all things in common and went in and out of all other temples sharing the gospel. They were taught to "not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." (Colossians 2:16-17) "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8) Time has seen all these things creep back into the Church and now the organized and lifeless religions of Catholicism, Judaism and Protestantism are pitifully bound by such things. True Christianity is NOT a religion; it's a RELATIONSHIP with God through Jesus Christ!

Jesus plainly stated a difference between the worldly, religious kingdom about to fade away and the spiritual kingdom ready to come on the scene. He used the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" to emphasize that this new reign would come in a supernatural manner from His higher world. He was always contrasting the heavenly and earthly world and wanted to awaken his disciples (and us) to the idea of an unchanging absolute perfection and supernatural character of His heavenly kingdom.

The fact that Jesus never gave any details or discussion how the kingdom of God would work out in relation to a natural political society should indicate the spiritual nature of it. Even when they came to trick him with the tax paying issue, Jesus confirmed his kingdom would not be a natural one by saying "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God what is God's." (Matthew 22:21) He showed that the natural kingdom was due its tax and the spiritual one was due, also. Jesus never denied the coexistence of different kingdoms and their political systems but rather confirmed them, as do all New Testament writers. Christ revealed that His people would be in the world but not of it. In John 16:33 He said "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 17:14 says "for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is NOT that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it." Christ was concerned only with a spiritual kingdom for a "born again" humanity. The spiritual qualities that Jesus would emphasize for His spiritual Kingdom would not be the same as those of an earthly, political one.

Jews thought the Kingdom of God was based in Judaism and God's activity in the world would be to intervene on behalf of Israel. Israelites were anxious for God to bless them with a strong militaristic Messiah who would deliver them from Roman rule, establish a powerful political kingdom similar to King David's and bring them the fruits of a prosperous, conquering nation. Jesus wasn't the kind of Messiah that the Jews, or the disciples, were looking for. He didn't appear as a renowned prophet or a popular military hero. He wasn't a rich, proud, charismatic man looking for fame and fortune. His own brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world. For even his own brothers did not believe in him." (John 7:3-5) Not only did He not claim any political or nationalistic agenda for His Kingdom, he went about as a teacher and healer, casting out demons and forgiving sins. He claimed God was His Father and for this He was sent by the religious hierarchy to be crucified. In front of Pilate he proclaims the great truth "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." (John18:36)

Into this carnal and religious world, Christ came as the true Messiah. The Roman political scene surely wouldn't allow Him and the Jews couldn't recognize him. "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him." (John 1:11) In His few years of public ministry, Jesus' message was misunderstood by people blinded by racial and religious prejudice. The woman at the well (John 4) had her "blindness" uncovered only after His miraculous intervention. Jesus' Parable of the Good Samaritan exposed the Jews prejudice toward other people.

His Grace and miracles were felt, seen and heard when they were poured out upon the needy and He's touching people today, therefore, the Kingdom of God is moving among us. Those who touch the kingdom regularly are blessed and the truly "crucified with Christ" can walk in His kingdom daily.

In Christ "God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell...and through him to reconcile to himself all things." (Colossians 1:19,20) In Christ, God manifested himself bodily for all mankind-powerful and available. Jesus revealed the very imprint of God's nature (Hebrews 1:4) and brought not only the preaching of His Kingdom but also its much needed performance. The grave spiritual situation and hour Jesus found Himself in, demanded a strong remedy and word. As He surveyed the masses of people gathered to hear John the Baptist and then Himself, he saw them as a field ripe for harvest and sheep without a shepherd. The masses were wandering spiritually, unable to find life in Judaism. The crowds grew until Jesus was forced to teach from a boat but as His hour grew closer, His words to them grew more demanding of self-examination and sacrifice which caused many to leave Him. (John 6:66)

Many times in Jesus' ministry the spiritual condition of His hearers would be so poor, He couldn't work or teach powerfully. In John 11:33 "he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and in Mark 8:22-25 he had to take a man out of his town and pray for him twice. To heal Jairus's' daughter (Mark 5:35-42) He had to put people out of the house before He could heal her because they had laughed Him to scorn. Matthew 13:54-58 reads "And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren James, and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." He knew Israel's spiritual condition was so poor that they had natural eyes and ears but none spiritually to recognize Him, hear His message to repent and start bearing fruit. They could have reversed God's plan to take the Kingdom from them and give it to another people.

The Jews had not expressed God's kingdom on earth as He wanted and now God was going to take His calling and favor to another nation and people to express it. Israel had fallen from a great spiritual height and calling by not serving God wholeheartedly. When God called them out of Egypt He said to them "You 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." (Exodus 19: 4-6) The same blessing and commission is now upon the Church! (See 1 Peter 2: 5-10) The Jew's own Law made provision for Gentiles to become Israelites (Exodus 12:48) and Israel could have been God's Light to reach the whole world. God had promised Abraham to be "heir of the whole world," (Romans 4:13) but Israelites only wanted their own little country, religion and nothing more. God's true Israel, the Church, is to take this vision as True Heirs and learn to "subdue and have dominion" in the earth. Jesus told His disciples " I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." (Luke 10:19) The Church is SUPPOSED to reckon themselves as Christ's AMBASSADORS (2 Corinthians 5:20) from our heavenly Jerusalem, here to reconcile the world to Christ and put down His enemies.

Many Old and New Testament scriptures reveal that God would turn from the Jews to the Gentiles to form a people and nation for His purposes. Jesus taught this in the parables; that the disobedient Jews would be punished and another people would take their place. An early council of the apostles in Jerusalem was called to decide upon the matter of Gentiles coming into the Church. After hearing testimony from Paul and Barnabus about God's grace and miracles among the Gentiles, James declares to the assembly that the Gentiles coming into the Church and becoming fellow heirs in Christ was the spiritual fulfillment of prophecy. (See Acts 15:16)

Jesus never sanctioned the temple, Jews, Jerusalem or Judaism. Christ showed that He had turned from Judaism when He said "I will build MY CHURCH." (Matthew 16:18) "My" would denote something that totally belonged to Him and that Judaism was a thing of the past. He used a new word, "church", to show a difference between them. Everything about the new Church would be spiritual and heavenly. Look at Ephesians 3:20; 2:6; 3:10; 4:8-12; 6:12. His Church would be built on ALL NEW ground with all new spiritual materials. Christ himself would be the Cornerstone, the foundation would be the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20) and the walls would be saints who are Living Stones. (1 Peter 2:5) This building would GROW INTO A TEMPLE which would be INHABITED BY GOD. (Ephesians 3:21,22)

The religious of Christ's day always questioned Jesus about the kingdom as in Mark 12:32, "And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love [his] neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offering and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, 'Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.' And no man after that dared ask him [any question]." Jesus gave this man precious insight into the mind of God. He revealed that the Law, with all its rules, (do's, don'ts and ceremony) wasn't what God was after. Samuel had revealed this, saying "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." (1 Sam. 15:22) King David said this also in Psalms 51:16 "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart." In Matthew 9:13,Jesus said "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." A man who loves God and his neighbor as himself is considered more righteous than one who performs religious duty!

Another teacher of the Jews named Nicodemus came by night seeking answers and Jesus told him the secrets of coming into His Kingdom. He said "unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" and "unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." (John 3:3-5) Jesus told Nicodemus that it was going to take a spiritual birth to enter the new spiritual kingdom. This new kingdom would not be anything like the old natural one seen by the religious world and was going to be one which flesh and blood couldn't enter (I Corinthians 15:50). Just as the religious of Jesus' day did not understand Him; people don't understand the kingdom of God today because they still try to do everything by the mind or flesh instead of by the Spirit.

Jesus told His disciples "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables." (Mark 4:1) It wasn't unto the high, mighty or religious, but it was to true seekers and disciples that He wanted to reveal Himself and this coming Kingdom to. Jesus said "I thank thee, O Father... because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." (Matthew 11:25)

The next chapter is about KINGDOM PARABLES. You will see further into Kingdom mysteries, Israel's judgment and Christ's return.