Archive for the ‘Kingdom of God’ Tag

The Kingdom of God – Chapter Seven   Leave a comment

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This is from the blog A Word in Season:

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
MATTHEW 16:19

The Parable of the Sower

Jesus in His presentation to us of the Kingdom of God begins with this fundamental truth…

“The sower sows the Word…”
Mark 4:14 (LITV)

The thing sowed is not a word, a thought or an idea; it is The Word Himself (John 1:1). It is sown in seed form, it is sown un-germinated as an embryo filled with the potential, the power and the divine possibilities of us becoming full grown, matured manifestations of all that Christ is; not by any virtue of ourselves but by the power of the vine pulsating and pouring forth His Life into the branches via a living relationship!

“But as many as received him,
to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name…”
John 1:12

The Greek Word translated power means “the freedom, the right, the privilege, the potential and ability”

He is ever the Only Begotten Son, He is ever the Christ (The Anointed One) and it is simply in our abiding in Him that we are made partakers (“joint-heirs) of His glory. The Life is in the seed or better yet the Life is the seed. The Kingdom of God is in this WORD and outside of this Word there is no ability to see, understand or enter into the Kingdom of God. It is in our receiving this Word which grants to us the potential, the right and the privilege to become sons in God. This parable speaks of a seed which denotes growth, development and a living process, not a one-time event. How short-sighted are those who present the receiving of the Word as a completed transaction. The central truth of this parable is that the fruitfulness of the seed is determined BY the soil, not the seed. The same potential which fell in seed form upon the hard ground, the thorn infested soil and the good soil was the same! It was the soil which determined the outcome! May God grant to us the deep and powerful truth of this “key” presented to us. God’s sovereignty is presented in the universal sowing of the Seed and it is our response to the Word which determines its growth and development! The Kingdom of God is not a teaching it is a relationship which denotes interaction, a mutual communing and sharing with one another in order for fruit to be produced.

“And Adam knew Eve his wife;
and she conceived, and bare…”
Genesis 4:1

The conception and the bearing of fruit is the outcome of a deep and intimate relationship. It is by the power of relationship with Christ Himself whereby the power to know of this life of bearing fruit. Knowledge by itself will leave a life impotent and barren in the things of God. In the parable of the Vine in John 15 the fruit is the result of the branch abiding in the vine.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing”
John 15:5

The power of the life of the Christian is not one of the seed only, it is not of the soil only it is the seed being received INTO the soil whereby the wonder of Christ is realized individually. The greater the submission of the soil to the Life of the seed is what determines the fruitfulness of the Life of Christ. Without the seed there is no life and without the soil there is no medium for the seed to grow. Fruit is simply the revelation of the seed growing IN the soil.

It is here where we begin to discover the “key” presented to us in our ability to understand all the other parables is given in a convincing and graphic setting forth of God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The seed represents the power, the might and the life of ALL that God is after yet it is found in our response to His sovereign grace which determines the end result.

In Romans chapters nine through eleven we are presented (as in nowhere else in scripture) the majestic portrayal of the sovereignty of God. Yet Paul continues his thought of the complete presentation of this truth in Romans chapter 12:1!

“I beseech you therefore (because God is Sovereign), brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
Romans 12:1

Paul is pleading in the power and the love of the Holy Spirit… Because God is so sovereign I beseech you therefore brethren by the great mercies of God that you may respond to this sovereign God by the presenting of yourselves to Him! Why? That you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind… God is inviting us into relationship with and in Himself. The depth of a relationship is contingent upon the depth of the interaction between the individuals of that relationship. There is a continual giving and receiving in order for a relationship to continue to grow and develop; this is the fundamental law of relationship. Relationship is the mystery of life. It is here within the context of relationship that God has sovereignly determined to reveal Himself and empower us to grow into His Likeness.

“This is eternal life: to know you,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
whom you sent”
John 17:3

When Jesus defined eternal life He defined it by a personal relationship not by some acknowledgement of a teaching or a dogma. How sad would be a marriage if its only merit was the event of their wedding day! Even as marriage is a life long experience between two people even more so is our relationship with God and Christ.

 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly”
Ephesians 5:31-32

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God   1 comment

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This is from the blog A Word in Season:

Part Two

WHAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT

Contrary to much of what we hear, the Kingdom of God is not in word.

“For the kingdom of God
is not in word, but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20

May God help us to see that the Kingdom of God does not lie in teachings, doctrines and messages; it has very little to do with such. It is a Kingdom of Power, Substance and Reality. There is nothing ethereal, unsubstantive, or virtual about its existence. Those who consider it to be an intellectual message or concept are deceived and do not understand the truth of it. The Kingdom of God is known by the power it wields over its subjects. It is revealed within the lives of those who are growing and developing in the life and wonder of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Obedience is the dominant expression of a heart in pursuit of its reality. The Kingdom of God speaks of the Lordship and Reign of Christ; wherever He reigns is where His Kingdom is coming to be.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

How can we speak of the Kingdom of God without this fundamental truth? Obedience is the underlying principle of His Kingdom. In our day of an antinomian gospel we speak of a “kingdom” in which we simply confess He is Lord and then live our lives as we see fit and expect to have access to His Kingdom promises! It is a staggering and bewildering concept.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city”
Revelation 22:14

It is not enough to know His commandments; the entering into this magnificent City is based solely on the doing of His commandments. His Word is clear and unmistakable. Let these words ring within the sanctum of our own hearts; meditate and hold all our actions to this one great rule of the Kingdom:

“Blessed are they that DO His commandments…”

“To be continued…”

Brian Troxel

The Life of the Prophet IS the Warning
Cyril of Jerusalem:  “Our actions have a tongue of their own”
Friendship with Christ

Breaking off the Greek Mindset   4 comments

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This is from the blog Sons of Issachar:

Mike Parsons

Last time I shared with you a couple of PowerPoint slides relating to the Greek (Western) and Hebrew (Eastern) mindsets. This week I want to look just a little more closely at the contrast between them, and then I would like to pray for God to reveal where we are being robbed by our Western way of looking at things, and break it off us.

Separation vs unity

Here is the first of those slides again.


Let’s take these a line at a time.
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In our Greek understanding, the goal of salvation is to escape this world and go to God’s dwelling place in heaven. So everything is focussed on what will be: very little about what is now. In Hebrew thought, the goal of salvation is to prepare a place fit for God’s dwelling here, among His people. He wants His kingdom to come on earth.
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Linked with that, where does the kingdom of God exist? The Greek view says it is in heaven, not on the earth, whereas the Hebrew view is that the kingdom of God is God’s reign among people here upon the earth.
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So is Jesus coming in order to take us away from this world? No, Jesus is coming to reign over and through us in this world. We need to focus on God’s kingdom being ‘now’, not separating it out. “Get your ticket now or you might miss the train”: that is, if we are honest, how many of us had the gospel presented to us.

And then: “Now you have your ticket, just hold on tight. In the end Jesus will come and rescue you”, rather than what Jesus preached: “The Kingdom of God is coming! It’s right here, right now! Get ready to serve the King and manifest the kingdom”.

Do you see how each misunderstanding arises from the previous one? Once you begin to go down the route prescribed by Western thought, you find there is more and more separation becoming entrenched in your thinking, and less and less of an understanding of the unity of God’s purpose.

Form vs purpose

If we look at the second slide, we can see how this works out in practice:

The Greek mindset looks at the form of something. For example, let’s take a tree. It has roots, a trunk, branches, leaves – that is what I mean by looking at its form. In the Hebrew way of thinking, it is more about what it is for. What is the purpose of a tree? To bear fruit. They are really not interested in the fact that it might have roots, a trunk, branches and leaves. Does it bear fruit? If not, it is of no value at all. Remember how Jesus cursed the fig tree that was not producing any fruit? It is the difference between an actual, practical outworking and just a mental, theoretical understanding.

So: Greek: what I do; Hebrew: how I do it. We can do lots of things from the wrong motive – but we know that God looks on the heart.

Greek thinking separates out our religious life from our secular life. Family, work, school, friendships on the one hand; and church on the other. But God wants His kingdom to be flowing through all of our lives, with no separation. There is no secular for us. Our lives are a whole, they are unified, and we bring the kingdom of God into everything.

In Greek thinking, the heavenly was separated from the earthly. There was no overlap. Bill Johnson wrote a book called ‘When Heaven Invades Earth’. Bottom line is, that is impossible in Greek thinking. But for us, we can live in both places: we live in the realms of heaven, and we bring that spiritual realm into our lives on earth, at the same time: not in the future but now.

‘Knowledge’ to the Greek mind is information. But to the Hebrew, you cannot know anything without experiencing it. It is all about knowledge through spiritual encounter. If all I am doing in this blog is imparting information to you, we are missing the mark. That is why from time to time I also include praying for you, which gives you the opportunity to encounter Him through the Holy Spirit and experience the reality of His truth for yourself (of course you can always pray these things through even when I don’t specifically include a prayer).

It’s not what you know, but who you know! We know God, but it is perfectly possible to read the Bible from cover to cover and have all the information, but never actually know Him. We need to encounter everything in the Word of God for ourselves.

Works, or grace. A creed or the deed. Stating what you believe, or actually living that way? Faith without works is absolutely dead. Jesus said, “If I do not do the works that my Father does, don’t believe me” (John 10:37). You don’t hear too many sermons on that verse.

We don’t analyse: we live. It is about who we are and what we do. God Himself says He is the I AM.
I want to pray now. If you think you may have any mindsets, any of the Greek way of thinking, we want to break that off right now.

[If you would like to hear an audio version of this prayer, click here.]

Father, I pray that the power of Your Holy Spirit will come.
Break any deception off our mindsets
Any way in which we have come under false doctrines,
False teachings, mindsets of the enemy,
Greek thinking that would cause us to separate our lives out.

I come, Lord, with the sword of Your Spirit,
To break that off our mindsets right now
In Jesus’ Name.
To be loosed from any control that the enemy has had over us
Through traditions of men and demonic doctrines
That put things into the future instead of the present;
That put things into heaven instead of on earth;
That have separated us out;
That have caused us to believe and not do.

I break those mindsets right now.

I break any doctrines over us that would hinder Your church
From pursuing and seeing the kingdom of God fill the earth
As it is in heaven.
Holy Spirit, come and reveal to anyone reading this
Anything which is a hindrance, an obstacle, a stumbling block
To our being able to fulfil our destiny as God’s people.
I pray that You would send gathering angels into our lives
To gather any stumbling blocks from us.
Gather them from our mind, gather them from our heart,
So that we believe and stand on the truth of Your Word
That through kingdom and covenant,
You are going to fill the earth with Your kingdom.
You are going to come back for a victorious, overcoming church
That has risen above every other thing.
Because ‘of the increase of Your kingdom there is no end’.

Empower us with the power of Your Holy Spirit
To take Your kingdom
And manifest Your kingdom through our lives,
Every day of our lives:
In work, in home, in our neighbourhood.
That we would manifest Your kingdom in power and authority
Doing the works that Jesus did.

I loose us from everything that would hinder us
From that fulfillment of Your purposes for our lives
In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.
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The Hidden Streets of Babylon
The Idolatry of Intelligence
The Second Coming
An Intellectual Dilemma
Ravenhill Quote
It All Comes Down To Jesus
A deep insight from Hebrew:  ‘God’s Signature’
Fundamental flaw in Western society
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“Though swordless, these soldiers of Christ fought the might of imperial Rome and won…
Unlettered they unblushingly declared the whole counsel of God and eventually staggered the intellectual Greeks.”

–Leonard Ravenhill

classical-education-or-Bible2

Physical Sight and Spiritual Sight   8 comments

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Luke 17: 20-21:  “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  Neither shall they say,  Lo here! or, lo there!  for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
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Luke 17: 30:  “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”  This Scripture does not say, when the Son of man is seen or observed (revelation knowledge is not the same thing as physical sight).
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If someone reads the Bible, a newspaper article or a book with their physical eyes, this is not revelation.  When you come across a certain Scripture or a sentence in a newspaper article or a book and something is quickened in your spirit by the Holy Ghost—this is revelation from God.  The Lord is shining His light (revelation) upon that Scripture or that sentence—it may even be one word—so that we can better understand it.  Some people call this a Rhema Word or the Spoken Word.
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“The kingdom of God cometh not with [physical] observation.”  The kingdom of God comes to purified vessels and is perceived by the spirit by the Holy Ghost.  It is a spiritual kingdom; it is not a physical kingdom that you can see with your physical eyes.
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The Second Coming is not a physical Jesus coming through some physical clouds for His bride to be seen through the physical eyes.  The Second Coming is the Holy Ghost revealing the Lordship of Jesus Christ to purified vessels (dead to self) who can see with their spiritual eyes.  These people are not into the letter, but the Spirit, because the letter kills and the Spirit gives life.
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Let’s say that the natural, unsaved man can see for twenty miles.  Your basic believer in Christ should be able to see for fifty miles (I am speaking figuratively).  The Christian believer is spiritually alive and should have spiritual insights that the unbeliever cannot have because the unbeliever is dead in his trespasses and sins.   Your basic prophetic Christian should be able to see one hundred miles or five hundred miles ahead of him–or you could say that the prophet can see five years or ten years or five hundred years into the future (this is why prophets are hated so much and are thought to be crazy—they see things way before other people see things and their lives and words convict people of sin).
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Revelation from God is spiritual, but the Lord uses our physical bodies/senses/eyesight for His will.  The physical body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.  Our physical body/temple is used by the Lord, so that He can reveal His will to us, so that we can obey His will–this is how we develop and strengthen our spiritual sight.
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In 2007, I bought my first pair of reading glasses.  As I get older, my physical sight (for reading) is growing weaker, but my spiritual sight is growing stronger.  I must decrease, so that He can increase.
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The Second Coming
The Kingdom of Heaven
The Prophet by A.S. Pushkin
Breaking off the Greek mindset
The Sanity of Mysticism
The Wise Man’s Eyes
The Spirit of a Prophet
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“The man whom Christ illuminates with His message has eyes, and that resolves the old difficulty of blindness; but he must use his new eyes in a blind world, and that creates another problem. The world in its blindness resents his claim to sight and will go to any lengths to discredit the claim. The truth of Christ brings assurance and so removes the former problem of fear and uncertainty, but that assurance will be interpreted as bigotry by the fear-ridden multitudes. And sooner or later this misunderstanding will get the man of God into trouble. And so with many other of the blessed benefits of the gospel. As long as we remain in this twisted world, these benefits will create their own problems. We cannot escape them.
But no instructed Christian will complain. He will rather accept his problems as opportunities for the exercise of spiritual virtues. He will turn them into useful disciplines for the purification of his life and will rejoice that he is permitted to suffer with his Lord. For however severe may be a Christian’s trials, they cannot last very long, and the blessed fruit they bear will last while the ages endure.”

–A. W. Tozer