A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

January 24, 2024

The Gospel of the Kingdom & the Kingdom Lifestyle: Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together

If you are familiar with my blog, then you know that my husband, Mark, and I have put sharing (and doing) a Kingdom lifestyle at the core of our how we live our lives and conduct our ministry. I have shared how frustrating that has been at times, as if everything we say is falling on deaf ears, but we continue to be obedient and try to find different ways to engage friends, family, and the Church. To that end, we recently invited our good friend, Steve Harmon, to come speak to a group of our acquaintances that the Holy Spirit highlighted, and who might be interested to hear Steve's message. 

Mark and I are always careful to discern who can be trusted to teach God's Word accurately on this subject. And through our years of friendship, we have found that we and Steve are closely aligned with each other's theology regarding an authentic understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom. So, I'm going to try and summarize the high points of his 7 hours of teaching the best that I can. So, I hope you are blessed with this teaching on the Kingdom of God.

When you meet Steve Harmon, he is a bundle of high energy, whose rapid-fire enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God demands that your spirit sit up and pay attention. From the time we picked him up at the airport until we arrived home 2 hours later, and until we went to bed after midnight, he regaled us with his latest ministry exploits. We hardly got a word in edge-wise, because we had lots to catch up on. But when he told us how excited he was that we had asked if he was interested in teaching about the Kingdom of God, then the three of us entered into our happy place... talking about the Kingdom. We discussed what he would cover and finding that we were all on the same page, we told him, "Go for it! And don't hold back"! So here are the golden nuggets that came from his excellent teaching...

The Kingdom of God ... what is it? We Christians pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth and it is in heaven", but do we understand the breadth and depth of what God's Kingdom is? On one level it is His government -- He reigns and rules. Kingdom includes His authority, His dominion, His military, and all things (and people) under His influence. His dominion is the territory over which He reigns.

That question of dominion on the earth is addressed in Genesis 1:26-31, where God tells us He made us in His image and gave man dominion (authority) over His creation. We were to rule the earth [both physically and spiritually] as He rules in Heaven, incorporating His rules, statutes, and laws. But, as we know, Adam (the first man given dominion over the earth) gave it up and handed the dominion over to Satan through his disobedience in the Garden. 

Remember, when Satan is tempting Jesus in the wilderness, he tells the Lord in Luke 4:6-7,  “I will give You all this realm and its glory [its power, its renown]; because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You worship before me, it will all be Yours.” So, it's important that the Church understand that Satan claims authority over the earth through the "legal transaction and transference" done by Adam when he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul teaches his followers, "among them the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God". And Jesus refers to Satan in this way in John 14:30, "I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of the world (Satan) is coming. And he has no claim on Me [no power over Me nor anything that he can use against Me]". But has the Church taught this truth so that the Body of Christ understands the authority the Enemy has and the importance of the Kingdom and our position in it?

What is your theology regarding the Kingdom of God? Do you understand that when Jesus began His ministry and said, "The Kingdom of God is at hand", that He meant it is here NOW, and it is within reach? Many in the Church teach that it is a future event, but when Jesus came to re-establish the Kingdom over 2000 years ago, He intended to show men how to take back their dominion and territory in people's lives from Satan, and how to sow the seeds of God's will in the earth. 

The Kingdom of God exists now and into the future. Re-establishing the Kingdom is a process we are to engage in until Jesus returns, when He will defeat His enemies and rule and reign on the earth. It doesn't just manifest itself, and it's not based on how you "feel" about the Kingdom. You can't worship it in; you can't establish it within the four walls of your church building and expect it to expand across the earth; and prayer alone won't increase the Kingdom. A Kingdom lifestyle requires a renewing of your mind; letting go of old paradigms and seeing God's Kingdom on earth through His perspective. And it requires action. It's a verb! You must apply, exercise, implement, execute and carry out the Kingdom in your life! You should base your theology [belief system] on the fruit you bear for the Kingdom. A Kingdom lifestyle is a bold [cold-hearted] and fearless act of your free will to "DO Kingdom".  

What did Jesus come to teach/preach -- Gospel of Salvation or the Gospel of the Kingdom? If you asked any group of Christians that question, I contend that the majority would say Jesus came to Save us. So, would you be surprised to know that Jesus talks far more often about the Gospel of the Kingdom than the Gospel of Salvation -- (especially in the Book of Matthew)? "Salvation" or "Saved" is mentioned 11 times, and I have counted 62 times that He talks about "the Kingdom of God/Heaven". 

Sadly, Jesus's message has been distorted down through the ages, until now the Church has adopted a platform of Saving the world; teaching the Good News that Jesus came to die for our sins. But that was not the primary message of the First Century Church; it's not what the Church in the Book of Acts nor the Apostle Paul focused on when preaching and teaching. The last verses in Acts tell us that Paul spent two years teaching about the Kingdom of God and about the Lord Jesus Christ. And, yes, Salvation would have been a part of his teaching about what the Kingdom of God offered, but he taught so much more. 

Read the Book of Romans. Yes, Jesus paid the price to give us Eternal Life and erase the penalty of Death for our sins. Paul taught that we are to yield to Jesus as our Lord, not just our Savior. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". Salvation is the result of believing and submitting to Jesus as LORD and MASTER of the Kingdom. That word "Lord" refers to our recognition of His power, authority, and majesty as God -- His dominion as owner of the earth, which belongs to His Kingdom. And notice how that sentence is constructed --- IF you recognize and yield to His Kingdom, THEN you will be saved. 

Salvation is dependent on your understanding and recognition of His Kingship and Kingdom. The Church has taught that Salvation should be our priority -- "save me so I can go to your Heavenly Kingdom". Salvation is focused on getting to Heaven. Kingdom is about submitting ourselves and our lives to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth -- to make earth look like Heaven. Salvation is our reward for a lifestyle of Kingdom. 

REMINDER: Adam was given dominion of the earth, but he forfeited it to Satan. Man could no longer walk in that intimate relationship with God that Adam enjoyed in the Garden, where death did not exist. After the Fall, man was subject to a mortal death that meant eternal separation from our Creator. But Jesus trumped Satan's strategy by taking Death upon Himself and paving a way [through faith in Him] for us to avoid eternal death and receive Eternal Life. Jesus, as a mortal man, had to win back our freedom from death. God couldn't do it. Our eternal relationship with God was lost by the first man [Adam], so it had to be won back by a man, Jesus, as the second Adam. That act foiled Satan's plan for eternal possession of the earth [through death], and established the dominion of the earth once again through the Kingdom of God.

Jesus came to make those changes on the earth and to change our position with the Father; seating us in heavenly places with Him and uniting us in His resurrection life -- He overcame death and we overcome life in this world; He ascended and we can ascend [in the spirit] to receive His counsel and guidance; He came to life in this world and we come to a new life in Christ, seated in heavenly places. 

How do we walk in a Kingdom lifestyle? The reason the modern American Church doesn't know the answer to that question is because the American Church preaches the Salvation message only. They do not teach Christians how to take back dominion from Satan's kingdom of darkness. Instead they try to "do kingdom" by impacting the so-called 7 Mountains of influence -- Family, Religion, Education, Media, Entertainment, Government, and Business. But that's not God's way. For instance, Christians put too much stock in politics, thinking if they can get a good Christian in office, that person can guarantee our personal and national safety. 

But incorporating that mindset into your theology won't keep you safe. Your best chance of being protected in this life is to be in a deep relationship with God. You are protected because the previous generation(s) have set up protected borders through their relationship with God. But consider our latest generations. Did they do that for us? Go test the American Church's theology of protection over in Iraq. How protected do you think you would be? God's protection comes from the spiritual lifestyle through which you are living. That's what matters -- not the politicians, not your religion, not your business model, or anything of this earth. 

God's way of walking in a Kingdom lifestyle is to submit to our Lord Jesus and His ways in order to bring His Heavenly Kingdom to earth. Part of that submission includes living a lifestyle of prayer. We also need to engage with people the way Jesus did ... He was led by the Spirit and He did and brought "Kingdom" everywhere He went. We have been given His power and authority to do what He did --healing the sick; casting out demons; cleansing the lepers [the socially unacceptable]; raising the dead; and spreading the Good News of the Kingdom everywhere He stepped foot. 

When we carry out the King's agenda [and our purpose for being here] we will live a supernatural life. We will walk in great signs and wonders. We will encounter angels. We will move and live in the spirit realm. We will enjoy God's provision. We will receive special revelation. And most importantly, we will live in the love and presence of God.

What are the hindrances to walking in a Kingdom lifestyle? Once again our theology and what we believe about God and His Kingdom will either advance us or hinder us from stepping into the Jesus-like lifestyle that we so desperately need.

One of the simplest hindrances to discern is the false image that the pursuit of the American dream of a house, two cars in the garage, a vacation every year, and a healthy bank account is the evidence that you're walking in the Kingdom of God. That's the Prosperity Gospel, not the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus never promised that. In fact, He told His Disciples that He had no place to lay His head at night, and they needed to leave all their possessions behind, grab their cloak and sword [if they had one], and come follow Him. It would not be a ministry of affluence, but they would receive everything they needed by "Seeking the Kingdom first and righteousness". 

One of the most pervasive impediments to a Kingdom lifestyle is the false teaching that God is in control of everything. Put another way, it is the teaching that God has "allowed" everything that has happened in your life, whether good or bad. But that doesn't take into account that God, in His Sovereignty, has given us all Free Will, and therefore some of our experiences are the results of choices we have made, or choices another person has made against us, or the choices of action by our Enemy, the devil.   

God's "Sovereignty" doesn't mean He will control everything; only that He can, if it is His will/desire. We must not forget that we have an Enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. We must be careful to make righteous decisions, and not give him the legal authority by being in agreement with his unrighteous temptations. We cannot, and must not, lay the evil deeds of the Enemy at the feet of our Just and Righteous God. 

And one more stumbling block to the Kingdom lifestyle is End Times Eschatology. None of us know what it will actually look like at the End of the Age. Our understanding of Tribulation and the teaching of an End Times Rapture of the Church is only a little over 200 years old, thanks to John Darby and Cyrus Scofield. None of the early Church Fathers taught it! And they were 2000 years closer to Jesus than we are. If we believe in this theology, we receive the message that we are not destined for wrath and will be "raptured" out of this world before "the bad stuff happens". This does nothing but convince us to sit on the sidelines and wait to be swept up to Heaven. It does nothing encourage us to enter or walk in the Kingdom of our Lord. 

My summary statement: This doesn't by any means capture everything that Steve Harmon taught. But it highlights some of his key points, especially the understanding that the key to a rewarding and fruitful Kingdom lifestyle is the desire to experience that deep spiritual relationship with God that comes only from putting Him and His Kingdom first in your life. You have to be willing to give up everything for Him; to pour out your life before Him and sacrifice [give up] all that this world has to offer -- your family, your money, your job, your status, and even your life! 

The Kingdom lifestyle is not an escape from this world so we can go to Heaven. It's an invasion of Heaven into this evil world. It's a restoration to the lifestyle Adam enjoyed in the Garden with God. We are to take back ground from the false kingdom of Satan wherever we find ourselves -- in our families, our communities, our jobs; even in Walmart! If we can manifest the presence of Jesus wherever we go, we can and will see the increase of His government, and it will have no end. 

That, my friends, is a quick summary of Steve Harmon's Kingdom teaching. Of course, it was impossible to give a synopsis of the entire 7 hours in this one blog post, but I encourage you to visit his website for more teachings: steveharmon.org. And, I know Steve would agree with me when I say this ... if your spirit is feeling uncomfortable and challenged, that’s not a bad thing. Let that tension help you to examine your theology and take your questions to God and ask Him … how do I need to renew my mind so that I am in sync with your thoughts and ways? Will you teach me how to see and enter your kingdom and begin to influence people for their healing… physically and spiritually? Tell Him you want to grow up into that super level of experiencing the Kingdom in your life; of entering the Kingdom in the fullness of your destiny and purpose.

Let me leave you with a prayer that expresses my heart on the subject of the Kingdom lifestyle ... Father, We thank you for providing the opportunity of attaining the fruit and the benefits of seeing and entering the kingdom. And from our kingdom position, help us to use the power and authority you transferred to us to take back territory from the kingdom of darkness and transition it into your kingdom on earth.

I pray that each of us will make the choice to make Jesus Lord of our life. That we will GO and take the Good News that Jesus invaded the earth, bringing His Father’s Kingdom and its authority and dominion to the earth so that we can partner with Him to make earth look like Heaven. 

Lord, change our hearts to help restore the earth for the glory of your Kingdom — on earth as it is in heaven. Help us to walk in the miracles and signs and wonders that the Kingdom is at hand… it is here NOW and it is for us! Amen!

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Isaiah 9:7    There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace, [He shall rule] on the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From that time forward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.     



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