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

Showing posts with label Work for the Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work for the Kingdom. Show all posts

August 5, 2023

Why The Western World Is Confused About The Kingdom of God

I have been guilty, as I'm sure many of you have been, of reading my Bible for years and never grasping or perceiving what Jesus meant when He talked about the Kingdom of God. To be honest, it's almost as if, when reading the Word, I was incapable of recognizing that concept, and therefore just ignored it. I had been taught throughout my Church experience that the primary message of Jesus was the one of Salvation, yet I only find that word used or referenced six times in the four Gospels, and only once by Jesus (He spoke of being "born again in John 3:1-5). Yet, the Kingdom of God is mentioned at least 62 times, and nearly every time by Jesus, Himself. So why didn't I ask the appropriate questions about the Kingdom, or sought more understanding of why my Lord and Savior spoke so much about it? Why didn't I hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God taught from the pulpits of the churches I have attended? And although "Kingdom" has now become somewhat of a popular sermon theme these days, I think our Western mindset still is not in tune with what understanding what Jesus meant. And as simple and absurd as it may sound, I believe our confusion lies in the fact that we in the Western world, and especially here in America, have no concept of what it means to live in a kingdom or under a King. 

Think about it. Our nation was founded both as a republic and a representative democracy. And that makes a huge difference in our ability to understand the importance of Jesus's declaration that the Kingdom of God has arrived! A republic is ruled by representatives of the citizen body. Modern republics are founded on the idea that sovereignty rests with the people. As a representative democracy, we have a Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. And, as a nation, we have adopted Abraham Lincoln's quotation from his Gettysburg Address: "we must ensure that government of the people, by the people, [and] for the people, shall not perish from the earth." [NOTE: although founded upon these political principles, I fear that we are in danger of losing even those venerated tenets, putting us even further away from comprehending Jesus's desire that we perceive and enter Heaven's Kingdom lifestyle here on earth]. 

Can you see that the focus is on "the people" as the arbiter of government? Yet, Jesus clearly said that we should desire to seek and enter the Kingdom of God. And where does the sovereignty and government derive from in a kingdom? Not from the citizens -- but from the King! But most Westerners, and specifically the citizens of the United States, have never lived in a kingdom nor under a king, so we have little idea of what that looks like or how a kingdom is ruled. In fact, our national DNA is founded on rebellion against a kingdom and king! We even wrote a Declaration of Independence from that king, declaring that Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness were inherent rights, endowed by our Creator. And then in that same paragraph, we set the tone for generations of Americans to miss the knowledge that the Bible has tried to impart to us ... there is a Kingdom that we are to enter that will secure all those rights, privileges, benefits, liberty, security, abundance, health, and welfare that we seek as citizens today. But it is a kingdom of heavenly origin, not earthly, and the Ruler of this Kingdom in Heaven determined to establish a colony of His Kingdom here on earth, ruled by men made in His image, serving as Vice-Regents [assistants with power to act when their superior is absent]. 

To further understand how this "kingdom concept" pertains to the Bible and helps us to comprehend our purpose on this earth, we need to agree that the foundation and qualification of kingship is rightful ownership of land. In a kingdom, the land is the personal property of the king, and it is this ownership right that designates him as Lord [Master]. In a kingdom, all the land within the kingdom belongs to the king. Psalm 24:1-2 tells us, The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are His. He built it on the deep waters beneath the earth and laid its foundations in the ocean depths.

True, Psalm 115:16 says, The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of man. Now, to us Greek-minded Americans, we must be reminded that this verse is not saying God gave us ownership of the land called earth. At any time, He could take it back; that would be His exclusive right. When God "gave" us the earth, He did not relinquish His ownership. We possess the earth as a trust, or stewardship. He gave us dominion [authority, jurisdiction, right to govern in His stead] over the earth in order to extend the government of Heaven to this earthly realm. He gave us rulership, but not ownership. It is a privilege to rule this earth, and we must not take it for granted; we will be held accountable to the King for how we manage His kingdom here on planet earth.

I'm sure some of you can see how the Enemy has perverted that concept in our modern era. We have segments of our population who sound the alarm that we are not good stewards of our planet and demand that the health of the planet be our top priority. There are also church denominations who preach a "green gospel" about caring for the planet. I agree that we are to be good stewards of the earth and environmental issues should not be ignored. But I'm left wondering if these people understand that the earth is not their land; that it actually belongs to [and is owned by] the King of Heaven? 

But back to my original premise -- there is a struggle for us in the Western world and America to truly understand the Gospel of the Kingdom; the Good News that Jesus came to reinstitute the government of Heaven on earth through the rulership of Saved men. The Cross and faith in the risen Christ is the doorway [entry] back into the Kingdom of God on earth that was first established in Genesis and which was relinquished in the Garden of Eden. Jesus went to the Cross to restore the Kingdom of God on earth and to restore our rightful role as ambassadors of Heaven's kingdom. In essence, He came to earth to declare that He was King; that a King had come, a Kingdom had arrived, and this Kingdom was available to anyone who wanted to enter.

At this point, it is very important that we understand our identity within this Kingdom. In John 1:12, the Bible says, But those who embraced Him and believed in His name were given authority to become the children of God! In other words, Jesus came so that we could receive the full rights of sons and daughters of the King. Even though the earthly kingdoms we have known throughout history do not meet the righteousness of the Heavenly Kingdom, they still represent the kingdom model. Therefore, a son of a king will be a king. That is why Jesus is called "King of kings". We are destined to be kings; to rule and reign as sons and daughters of the King! 

Just as a king is never voted into power, nor can be voted out of power, our authority comes from our birthright as sons and daughters of the King. And just as a king's word is law, we should be the determiners of the laws of our land, according to our King's decrees and statutes. An earthly king who was after God's own heart wrote, The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous (Psalm 19:9). Yet, who among us can argue that we have been obedient in upholding the laws of God? In truth, we have woefully failed! We have established laws to gratify our own selfish human desires. Sadly, we no longer appear as righteous representatives of a Heavenly kingdom here on earth, but have become self-serving delegates to the government of the kingdom of darkness. 

When a king is present, his authority resides in his very presence -- not in a document or a place. Because our King Jesus is always present with us, His authority is present -- the same authority He has conferred upon us. We need to start walking in that authority because we are Kingdom citizens [having entered the Kingdom through our salvation experience] and sons and daughters of the King. We represent His glory, His righteousness, His justice, and His compassion; reflecting His Nature and Character. Far too many of our fellow men and women have decided to adhere to the authority of God's enemy, and have sought to change the spirit of this nation, following the hedonistic and wicked ways that will lead them to be excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven.  

And we are not to confuse our citizenship in the Kingdom with our American citizenship. I find it interesting that the five top traits of being an American are listed as Independence, Opportunity, Innovation, Diversity, and Generosity. But in the Kingdom of God, it is His traits that matter because in a kingdom concept, citizens are to be obedient followers, not self-governing and independent. America is known as the Land of Opportunity, where the wealth of self-made men is revered. But in a kingdom, the king owns everything in his kingdom, and a righteous and benevolent king amasses his wealth for the welfare of his citizens. That is why Jesus tells us not to worry about what we are going to eat, or drink, or wear; because our Heavenly Father knows what we need. But we are to seek His kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be given to us. At the same time, the Bible tells us that we have a Father who has a Kingdom in Heaven, and wants to give us good gifts. Our welfare is the responsibility of our King and He will take care of us. 

Then there is Innovation, which is highly prized in our American DNA. It is said that we lead the world in creativity and originality. But our Father's Kingdom is perfect; there is no need for us to alter or transform His original design; His Kingdom is the model. Again, in America we take pride in our Diversity; it has made us the melting pot of the world. But in a kingdom, the king is the ultimate and only source of authority. Our King is sovereign and His sovereignty is absolute; there is no room for diversification or multiple standards. Finally, there is the subject of Generosity. One of the rights we have as Kingdom citizens, and heirs of the Kingdom, is that we belong to the King of Heaven, who is a righteous and benevolent Lord who graciously allows us to use and fully appropriate and distribute His riches and resources and all good things -- as long as we remember who owns them. If we begin to give to others from a frame of mind that we own it and it is ours to give, then we make ourselves a lord. In the Kingdom of God on earth there can be only one Lord. 

I know this is only a cursory examination of why we Americans have trouble understanding the Good News that the Kingdom of God has come and is now operating in the earth. But, now more than ever, as I watch my country disintegrate into a morally decadent society, being overcome by violence, corruption, sexual depravity, and lawlessness, I want to give you something to think about, and this concept of the Kingdom that might be new to you. In summary, let me ask you a few questions ... Can you renew your mind to accept and apply the understanding that we are not to be independent-minded followers of Christ, but rather citizens and ambassadors in a Kingdom governed by a benevolent, righteous, and just King who is Lord of our lives? Has Religion redefined your original role and purpose in the Kingdom? Are you willing to see yourself from God's perspective and step into your unique Kingdom assignment? The answers to these questions can change your identity and transform our country. Spend some time with the Father and hear what He has to say on this crucial subject in this critical time. Blessings!

I am indebted to the late Dr. Myles Munroe and his teachings on the Kingdom of God. I have grown in my understanding and spiritual insight, thanks to his faithful preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom! 

Matthew 25:34    Then the King will turn to those on His right and say, 'You have a special place in My Father’s heart. Come and experience the full inheritance of the kingdom realm that has been destined for you from before the foundation of the world!' 

February 3, 2023

How Do You Define The Power of the Gospel?

There are very few nationally known Pastors that I admire more than Bill Johnson. And, yes, I know he has become a lightning rod among the ultra-religious, Pharisaical branch of the Body of Christ -- those who are self-righteous and hypercritical when a ministry doesn't adhere to the strict man-made rules and traditions that they follow. Let me be clear ... I'm not advocating an "anything goes, in the Name of Jesus" model of ministering. But my spirit discerns that Bill Johnson seeks after the Father's heart and is able to make His will for us understandable and comprehensible as he shares the Truth and Spirit of God. 

So, I want to share something he said the other day that so eloquently expressed what I have been hearing in my spirit -- only he says it better than I could. Here are his wise words: "There seems to be a greater faith for the return of Christ than for the power of the Gospel ... in other words, the faith is in the return of Christ to come and fix things, instead of Him returning to something that's been fixed". Did you hear that, Body of Christ???

Ever since I came out of my fog of traditional and orthodox man-made teachings of the Bible and started seeking the revelation of God and Jesus in the Word [with the help of the Holy Spirit] I have been awakened to a clearer picture of God's redemptive plan for mankind, and how many of us Christians have been blinded to His truths. When I spent a year studying the Book of Matthew and, for the first time, I realized that the Kingdom of God was the focus of the parables in Chapter 13, and not simply a moral code I was supposed to follow. I began to see the Fall of mankind in Genesis in a different light and a much bigger picture. And I was able to connect it to the Book of Matthew and why Jesus said He came.

In Genesis 1, man is made in the image of God and given dominion over "all the earth", to govern it in the manner that God governs Heaven. Think of earth as being a colony of Heaven, and man has been created as the Governor of earth to oversee the implementation of God's Divine Laws of Heaven on earth. But observe how quickly man gives in to the temptation of Satan and relinquishes his authority, power, and dominion to God's Enemy. That dominion over the earth was transferred to Satan, and God's redemptive plan is put into play. He will spend the next 4,000 or so years trying to get man cleaned up to reclaim his authority over the earth. And because man is continually evil, the Father sends His own Son to rescue earth and reclaim the dominion for Himself.

Jesus comes the first time to wrest the government of earth away from the devil, stake His claim as the rightful ruler, and then give His authority and power [over the earth] back to mankind. He admonishes men to "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand"! In other words, "Mankind, you need to start thinking differently ... see your actions from God's perspective, and know that the Kingdom of God now occupies the earth. The kingdom of darkness is being replaced with the Kingdom of Light! Start taking back territory"!!

For the next three years, Jesus will teach people how to return to a lifestyle that not only pleases the Father, but regains dominion [rule] over the earth. He clearly states that His purpose for coming in Luke 4:43 ... “I must preach the good news [the Gospel] of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is how God's Kingdom in Heaven operates, and how it should be mirrored here on earth. But that will require that man [we] begin to step into that original purpose for which we were designed, which requires that we be made holy before the Father. Sadly, we cannot do that on our own, and so Jesus paid our debt to the Father by taking the sins of the world upon Himself and sacrificing His life as a substitute for ours. Once we make that decision to follow Christ, we are ready to be commissioned to begin taking back the territory which was originally given to man to rule on behalf of God.

But before He left this earth to return to His heavenly home, Jesus promised that He would return to defeat Evil and take the Righteous and Holy back home with Him. All who recognized and received Him as their Redeemer and Savior would have the right to be called Children of God and rule and reign with Him on the earth. But until that time comes, we must fulfill our commission and duty here on earth -- continue the work of Jesus to heal the sick [not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually, too], cast out demons, cleanse the lepers [those whom society rejects and marginalizes], raise the dead, and spread this Good News about what the Kingdom of God on earth is supposed to look like.

So, for 2000 years that has been mankind's assignment from the Son of God. But Satan has corrupted that message among the Body of Christ, and false doctrine has crept in to divert us from our purpose. The most damaging to take root was invented in 1803 by a man named John Darby, and called "The Pre-Tribulation Rapture". According to multiple websites, prior to 1830, no church taught it in their creed, catechism or statement of faith... with one exception: Morgan Edwards wrote a short essay as a college paper for Bristol Baptist College in Bristol, England in 1744, where he confused the Second Coming with the First Resurrection of Revelation 20 and described a "pre-tribulation" rapture. However, this idea of Edwards, which he admitted was brand new and never before taught, had no influence in the modern population. That title belongs to Darby.

Although the word "Rapture" does not appear anywhere in the Bible, we are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, that upon the Lord's return we, who are still alive, will be caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air, and will be with Him forever in Heaven. Nowhere is there given a time in which this event will happen. The Bible tells us there will be tribulation upon the earth until Jesus' return and we are not appointed to His wrath, which will be poured out upon the earth against all who reject Jesus to join forces with Evil. There is no overt promise that we will avoid the tribulation that is coming, and which I believe is now manifesting. 

It's only natural that man, given a choice in doctrine, would choose being a part of "the Rapture" over having to experience "the Tribulation". And thanks to John Darby, the Church has had over 200 years to embrace [and propagate] this false teaching, while largely ignoring what Jesus taught in the Book of Matthew. Think again upon the words of Bill Johnson ... "the faith is in the return of Christ to come and fix things, instead of Him returning to something that's been fixed".  Too many Christians are counting on Christ to come back and fix the problems of the world; to be our Rescuer so we don't have to experience the wars, and violence, and child sacrifice, and all the evil that has permeated our society. They have forgotten John 14:12, in which Jesus says we, who profess belief in Him, will do the things He did and even greater, because He's going back to the Father [until His appointed time to return and wipe out all the Evil that still remains].

Sadly, I'm afraid He is disappointed in how we've carried out our responsibilities. Instead of taking back territory from the kingdom of darkness, we have ceded more ground to Satan! Instead of setting the captives free from demonic oppression by healing the physically, emotionally and spiritually sick, and personifying Christ in our love for each other [which would fix nearly all the world's problems], we have abandoned our assignment in favor of hoping Jesus will do the work and bail us out. A poignant example is the fact that we have allowed the murder of over 60 million of His babies to become the law of the land, along with numerous other laws that are in direct violation of Heaven's Divine government. 

He showed us the way to take back the territory that Satan absconded from Adam and Eve, and even gave us His power and authority to do it. That's the Power of the Gospel and His message -- not the hope of a false doctrine that releases us from acting on our faith, as Jesus instructed us to do. It is far past the time that the Church rediscover the true Gospel that Jesus brought at His First Coming. Each human being since 33 AD will be held responsible when we stand before Him, and He asks us, "What did you do for my Kingdom after I left"? We have no excuses. We have the Word of God which has given us clear instructions. And we must ask ourselves, "Is my faith more rooted in what Jesus has told me in His Word ... or is my faith established by what man has devised to soothe our fears"? 

Jesus has had 2000 years to view how we have responded to His teachings and commands. He knows our successes and our failures. He sees how the seeds of Religion and legalism were sown and have sprouted. He sees the hypocrisy and pretences of our intentions, and how we have justified our actions and laws to cover our disobedience to the Divine Laws of God's Kingdom government. He sees how the attempts of the Early Church to follow the commission He left us has been corrupted and distorted. (That's one of the reasons I wrote my book, Through A Kingdom Lens: Rediscovering What The Church Lost). But Jesus is also looking for those who have responded to His Gospel of the Kingdom --- whose faith in that powerful message includes sharing the love of Christ and the Gospel of Salvation, which leads one into both the understanding and the entrance into the Kingdom of God (John 3:1-5). So, what doctrines and which message will you decide to follow? As for me, I will continue His work and devote every day to taking back territory from the Enemy in the lives of anyone who wants to truly know and follow Him.

#returnofchrist #powerofthegospel #falsedoctrineoftherapture #johndarbyfalsedoctrine #willjesusfindfaith

Luke 18:8    Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?

October 5, 2022

Do You Know The Measure Of Your Work For The Kingdom of God?


I ask that question because it is something I have been considering over the last few days as I laid sick in my bed with a nasty cold virus. When your body is racked with fever, your mind tends to go places not normal for you. I had no energy to write this blog or do much of anything else, actually, and so I asked the Lord to take me to Scripture that I needed to consider a little deeper.  He led me to 2 Corinthians, Chapter 10. The latter part of this chapter concerns Paul discussing his mandate [or assignment] from the Lord. Apparently, within the Church at Corinth, the believers were preoccupied with setting standards of their own regarding the efficacy [value or benefit] of another's ministry. Various opinions, theories, and religious philosophies were discussed and then either copied or compared, resulting in human evaluations that left people either prideful or discouraged, depending on the consensus of the church.

Sound familiar? But it was Paul's statement regarding this human evaluation that got me to thinking. Paul's response was this: But we are those who choose to limit our boasting to only the measure of the work to which God has appointed us...  You see, I've always had a problem with the Church deciding they were the arbiter of God's commission on my life. It has always seemed to me that if I didn't follow the prescribed "rules" of what ministry was supposed to look like, it was made clear that I was outside God's domain. But once I received the revelation that Christ passed His authority on to us, I began to realize that God was the administrator of where and how I would serve Him. 

Furthermore, I came to realize that God has designed each of us in a unique manner that serves Him best. We have been given the gifts and spiritual authority that are necessary to continue Christ's dominion on this earth. In other words, there is a unique job for each of us, and my job may look different than yours, but we both have the same objective -- to see God's Kingdom expanded upon the earth.

Let's refer back to Paul's statement. There is a "measure of work to which God has appointed us". The Passion Translation of 2 Corinthians 10:13 says that this word "work" comes from the Greek word metron, which was the length of a race course, and it was used to define the boundaries of a Greek stadium. This should make us think of the references to "running the race" that Paul makes throughout his letters to the various churches:  "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1), and "if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:24), for instance. This tells me that we have each been given a sphere of influence that will be suited to our gifts and the level of authority we have been given.

But there is more to this concept of "running in our lane" [which is the boundaries of our ministry from God]. There is the idea of the expansion of those boundaries to benefit the Kingdom of God. I believe it was in the 1990's when The Prayer of Jabez was so popular. The verses in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 read, There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.

The Christian culture was captivated by what they discerned was a quick prayer to increase their material well-being. I will agree... we serve a God of Increase and Enlargement. But our material well-being is a by-product of how well we administer the territory [or sphere of influence] and the gifts we have been given by the Father. Just as Jesus prophesied that the Apostles would be His witnesses first in Jerusalem, then Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth, we have each been given the same potential to expand our territories of influence for His Kingdom.

If we are obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to His promptings, and to His instructions, we can expect the measure of our ministerial influence to expand. It goes without saying that our primary purpose is to expand the Kingdom of God and not our personal empire. But it is also true that we can expect God's blessings when we use our authority to widen God's influence in the world. As we fulfill our potential within the boundaries God has established for our ministry, He will push those boundaries back, giving us room to grow and widen our sphere of influence for Him.

And I hope that everyone realizes that we each DO have a ministry; a purpose for our life to serve others as we serve our Lord. If you aren't aware of what yours is, ask Jesus to show you. You may start out small, but as you are faithful to your calling, and you desire to expand your territory in a spirit of humbleness and love for the Lord, the Father will do as He did for Jabez, and grant your request. 

So, I come back to my original question ... Do you know your measure in the Kingdom of God? Do you know what your purpose and your assignment or mandate is? Can you identify your sphere of influence and perceive the boundaries of your spiritual territory? If not, then pursue those answers. Because it is going to be vitally important as we enter into a time on this earth when the Antichrist spirit will rule and reign like we've never seen before. Thanks be to God, that it will be for a short time, before Jesus arrives on the earth to settle the score with His ancient enemy and establish His Millennial Kingdom.

When we know the measure of our work in that Kingdom, then we are confident and bold to carry out our assignments so all the world knows it is the Lord that commends and expands our work. Do not be afraid or ashamed to declare it to a world [or Church] who needs to know that Christ gives us divine power in our ministries to demolish strongholds! Your life will be eternally richer for it. And if, like Paul, you know the course of the race set before you, do not be satisfied with limits on your boundaries. Ask God to expand your territory so that you can expand His Kingdom. You, too, will find eternal rewards beyond anything you desire.  

#sphereofinfluence #kingdomassignment #spiritualterritory   

Isaiah 54:2    Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.