For those who actually heard this message please remember these are only working notes & the Holy Spirit has room to change things during the service so this might not be exactly the message you heard.
We will be looking today at how the world looks when the Holy Spirit controls a people.
I am going to start with a question. Why did Jesus come to earth?
Well, you might quote Luke who quotes Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…
Or you might quote John 10:10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Or you might quote john 3:17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
And all of these answers would be right but…they were not Jesus’ main reason, nor His main purpose, for coming. According to Jesus, in His own words, [Luke 4:43]I must preach the Kingdom of God to
the other cities, because for this purpose I have been sent.
There are roughly 100 references to the Kingdom throughout the gospels, including nearly all the parables Jesus told. I once went looking for the very first words out of Jesus mouth when He began His ministry. Do you know what they were? Matthew 4:17 & Mark 1:15 say virtually the same thing: Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. In Mark this is followed by the injunction to follow Him *And I will show you how to fish for men.* Twice in the gospels while the explanation in Luke is given just once.
I don’t know about you but I was shocked the first time I realised that. This was not the Jesus I had been told about: gentle Jesus, meek & mild; Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so. This was not a Jesus who asked nothing of His followers.
Now we have looked again & again at Genesis. It is central to our salvation message for it is in the
garden we first see what God purposed for mankind & the earth & how that was thwarted.
We have discussed the Hebrew word shomer. Remember it is a legal term designating a custodian of another’s possessions. Adam was placed in the garden to act in God’s place with God given authority. He was to populate the earth with godly men & women & extend the kingdom beyond the garden. Well, we know what happened there but God was not discouraged.
He raised up a man, then a people, & finally a nation & He said to them [Exodus19:5/6]:
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
There are 3 points I want you to note:
· The earth is the Lords ~ no~one elses!
· Israel was to be a kingdom of priests
· Israel was to be a Holy Nation.
Israel was to be a light unto the nations by showing what it was to walk with God. That didn’t turn out so well either. They had a little problem with spiritual adultery. They were stubborn, & stiff~necked. They broke their covenant agreement with the Lord over & over again. They broke His Law.
So what did God do? He sent His very own son! This is how you walk in covenant with your God.
Keep that in mind as we pause to discuss the word Malkuth. This is the Hebrew word for kingdom/reign & refers to authority rather than a realm. It refers to the exercise of power, dominion & authority. Thus when we pray, Thy kingdom come we are in effect asking that God’s rule be established. The Greek term Basileia carries exactly the same meaning.
Now every kingdom has 4 basic elements.
· Firstly it has a ruler.
· Secondly it has subjects
· Thirdly it has an established territory
· Fourthly it has laws.
Jesus made it very clear there are 2 kingdoms & every single person on earth belongs to one or other of those kingdoms & we know to which one we belong by our fruit because a good tree does not produce bad fruit but those who belong to the devil behave as he does while those who belong to God are like God. I am not talking here of the sin which so easily entangles us but a consistency of lifestyle. God’s children do not consistently behave in ways that will displease Him. Instead they seek to find out what pleases Him then implement it in their lives.
You see, when the Spirit rules in our lives He directs us with the mind of God & the mind of God is turned to establish His Kingdom on earth.
Matthew 22 ~Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
Rule one: God is very clear. He is a jealous God. He is not going to share his subjects. He is not going to allow us to share our allegiance. We are to serve him with our bodies. We are to serve Him with our minds. We are to serve Him with our spirit. There are no exceptions to this clause.
The next is the logical outflowing of putting God first: we will love others with the love He has poured out on us.
At Harvest Family we understand very clearly that every believer is called to be a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. It is Jesus Himself who is our High Priest, Jesus who intercedes for us but He is performing those acts in Heaven. We are to perform His works on earth.
In a very real sense we are meant to be establishing His kingdom on earth. If we think in terms of a literal kingdom we will get muddled. If we think in terms of authority, dominion, rule we
won’t become muddled because Christ has delegated His kingdom authority to us & we are equipped to walk as He walked, to do what He did & to rule as He ruled. In this sense God’s Kingdom has already come. It came in the very personhood of Jesus Christ. In another sense it is still to come because God’s perfect will is not yet being done on earth.
Most Christians have a very poor understanding of the forces arrayed against them & so we stubble in our walk. Jesus did not.
This is not a comprehensive study of the kingdom so I will only touch on several basic principles.
The kingdom is not spread by power but by the preaching of the word. Romans 10:14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
It is empowered by the very Spirit of God.
"Woe to the obstinate children," declares the
"Woe to the obstinate children," declares the
LORD, "to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin;
Honesty. Our yes is to be yes, our no to be no. Matt 5:33~37 because the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth & it is He who causes us to love the Truth & hate the false both in ourselves & in others; in our work & our witness.
Our views on money will not be the world’s view. Now God is our provider. However we are not to be a covetous people. 1Tim 6:6~10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness.
Healing was an implicit part of Christ’s ministry & it should be part of ours. All believers are equipped to pray & believe for healing. "They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:18)
I am not going to deal with love or non~resistance here. Far too big a subject but both are tenants of God’s Kingdom.
I will close with this: Psalm 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous.
The Lord will test our Faith: just think of Abraham & Isaac.
The Lord will test our commitment[Matt13:44~46]
The Lord will test our Obedience:Jn 15:10 ~ we are to abide in Him so that we keep His commandments.
Here’s the thing; as we take apart the different elements of God’s kingdom it can seem both a heavy & an impossible thing. That is because it was never meant to be lived in the flesh. It was designed to be lived out of the Spirit. It is impossible in the flesh. In the end we can only have one master & we will give allegiance to that master. This is why it is so important to be born again. It is why it is imperative we know the Holy Spirit & accede to the gentleness of His leading, heed His voice, obey Him implicitly. It is He who helps us to live out the Kingdom principles. He who empowers us. He who enlightens us. Without His help we cannot do what we have been called to do
because it means, in the end, a total submitting of one’s self to the rule of Christ in & over our lives.