Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. Some of you were like this; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything. “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods,” but God will do away with both of them. The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-15 from Holman Christian Standard Bible®)
I think that one thing Yahweh loved about Jacob was that Jacob recognized the value of the inheritance of promises that Yahweh had made to his family. It caused him to live his life as if the inheritance was of supreme value.
Manifestations of the Kingdom of Heaven are sometimes within our reach to interact with them. Some are future, some require special circumstances or unified human actions to be accessible. We can’t see the Kingdom until we are born of God. We can’t enter in without being born of God. We can’t inherit authority in it while wasting our lives in stupid activities like those Paul listed in the letter quoted above.
Finding rules won’t get us into the right place for inheritance. Following the Spirit of the King does. If everything is permissible for me, like Paul said was so for him, I am not responsible for finding a good set of rules. I am responsible for laying down my old man and taking up the new set of values that are established by the King of Glory.
Raising the Dead is Kingdom work.
Western medicine can keep a person alive even when they are dead. We can make a dead man’s heart keep beating and lungs keep breathing and kidneys keep peeing. Making his brain work after he’s dead is hard. So, maybe we are just raising his flesh from death, not really him.
Most places on the earth, things haven’t progressed much past the fact that if you stop breathing, you’re dead. They bury you. Death is seen as an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26-27). One that we are sometimes given power over.
Jesus interrupted a funeral to raise a young man from death (Luke 7:11-17). Jesus sent disciples out to do mighty works, including raising the dead, as they preached His Kingdom (Matthew 10:5,ff). Peter raised people from the dead (Acts 9:36-43). Paul raised a boy from the dead (Acts 20:7-12).
One day, death will be thrown in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). Until then, when we can peel death’s fingers off the throat of a person, especially in parts of the world where supernatural things are expected (and not explained away with pretentious answers that attempt to brand them as magicians’ deceptions), people will take notice of displays of power and submit to their Source.
When we overpower a force as unbeatable as death, we have done it with the power that comes from the One Who has taken death’s keys. It is an act of domination of the King over His enemies. We should do it more often. Ask…
I don’t think that you read my writings because you like average or popular or old fashioned things. I believe that you are some of the people to whom God will reveal things He has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9,10).
I believe that you are people who will do the things Jesus did and greater things because He sent His Spirit to make you able to do greater things. I believe that, as Sparky Claiborne says, some nights you will go to sleep and think that you dream that you went to another country and did powerful ministry, only to find a coin from that country in your pocket later in the day, because you really were there.
I believe that you will take the mantle that you have been given by those who invested in your ministry and strike it on the water and it will part for you to walk through it. I believe that you will find the faith and the power to overcome time and space whenever it is needed.
I believe that, even though a financial world war is in our near future, you will find provision for every need hidden along the path as you take each step that the Spirit leads you to take (Isaiah 49:8-11).
What exactly should we even believe about the Kingdom of God, and to whom should we preach what? Many of the parables recorded in Matthew through Luke are introduced with a phrase identifying them as teachings about the Kingdom. Unbelievers who are taught only that Jesus is a Savior who paid for their sins will fit nicely into a system of religion dominated by a clergy caste. The clergy do the holy work in the holy building on the holy day and are the people with responsibility and authority.
When the story they are told is, instead, that Jesus is a King Who died to give them life so that they can be effective, purposeful citizens of His eternal Kingdom, they must ask Him what their purposes are when they become reborn. They have responsibility that must be discovered and taken up. “Laity” is a transliteration of a foreign word that means “the people.” If we preach responsibility belongs to every citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, suddenly laity (the lower life under the clergy caste) would have to be called lazity if it continued to exist.
Children who become believers immediately become servants. They want to help everybody do everything. Adults who become believers may take on a servant mentality for a short time and may not. It seems to depend on their pride or fear being more dominant than their love for the newly received Savior. Either being too afraid to ask what they should be doing with regard to their new identities or being too proud to be servants. Children are always being told what to do by everyone, so the barriers to taking on responsibility are not quite so large.
When we try to teach new adult believers that they must serve the church, their commitment level is usually only what it would be in any other social or service oriented club, such as Rotary or Optimists. Their work-related devotion seems to have little connection to Jesus, but much connection to church programs. No spiritual gift is required, no education is necessarily needed, unless the initiate senses “a call to the ministry.” In this case, extensive education is of course required as preparation and qualification for “clergy” status.
As Paul wrote to the congregations in Ephesus, we were not saved by works, lest anyone should boast, but we were saved for works, and they have been laid out before us to walk in them. All of us (Ephesians 2:8-10). This entire concept should be presented to unbelievers and repeated to new believers until they have entered into the Kingdom. By failing to teach them to enter in, we have been depriving them of being able to inherit.
In Genesis chapter 1, the Creator is quoted as authorizing humans to have dominion over or to rule over everything that moves on the earth. There is no indication in Scripture that if something that He created to be somewhere else, like Heaven, came into the earth and moved on it, it would be exempt from man’s authority over it since it was in his realm.
Please infer from this that even if the trespasser was more powerful than the humans it encountered, the humans could stand in their authorized rule and overpower it.
When a bear and a lion invaded the space where David had authority and responsibility, he stood in that authority and supernaturally overpowered the invaders. He did the same thing against Goliath.
Jacob prevailed against the Elohim that he found in the earth (Genesis 32:28). When Moses and Abraham rose humbly in presumption even against Yahweh and challenged His intentions of destroying people, God submitted to their intercession. He let them reign when they stood in the authority He had given them as men in the earth.
When humans rule over the creation under the rule of the Creator, His Kingdom is in the earth. They are functioning in His image, in His likeness, in His stead, in the earth. It is a fulfillment of His intentions from chapter 1 of Genesis.
When our Father does something in the earth, it is with the agreement of at least a prophet through whom He reveals it (Amos 3:3,7; Genesis 7, Genesis 18:16-25). Yahweh submitted to human agreement and influence when He intended to destroy Sodom in Genesis 18:32 & 19:18-22. He honored Abraham’s desire that the city not be destroyed except according to Abraham’s protocol. Lot was told that until he was safely out of Sodom, the destroying angel of God could do nothing in the city.
When Yahweh intended to destroy Nineveh, He sent Jonah, a prophet, to announce it. He had difficulty getting agreement out of the prophet. Finally, when the prophet went to the city and announced their doom, the people of the city agreed with God about their unrighteousness, let Him change their hearts, and thereby turned God’s destroying hand away from themselves.
It made the prophet angry when his declaration of the intentions of God were not fulfilled. He was still disagreeing with God, but the agreement of the people of Nineveh caused God to side with their submission and to extend mercy to them rather than destroy them. He found agreement in the earth and it made Him happy. He moved toward the agreement even though it meant moving away from His prophet.
Acts 16:16 is the beginning of a set of power encounters between Yahweh and a principality called “python” (Strong’s NT4436) that was given power by humans over the area of Delphi.
Paul & company launched a congregation in the home of newly converted Lydia. Paul cast a demon from python out of a girl who was being used as a slave to make money from spells and telling fortunes (Strong’s NT3132). This public display of power over a semi-local “deity” caused the local principality to move first in the slave’s owners, then a “multitude,” then the magistrates, who commanded their subordinates to beat Paul and Silas, and finally the local jailer, who chained and stocked them as an on-going torture.
Paul and Silas responded to the on-going opportunity to display Yahweh’s power by praising His name loudly through the night. Yahweh responded to the on-going praise by shaking the prison until all of the prisoners were freed. The next group to experience freedom during the shift of power was the jailer and his family.
The magistrates, having discovered that they had been frenzied into an illegal public beating of two Romans who had not been tried for a crime, tried to quietly release them from the jail. Paul demanded that instead, they publicly escort them through the streets of the city to Lydia’s home. They submitted to the King and did so.
The letter to the saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi, with the overseers and servants (Philippians), was written later by Paul to the congregation that grew in this freshly plowed and planted soil. It is worth a fresh read with this history in mind.
Your Life grows up from or is choked out by the Values that are at the Foundation level of what you allow in your space. The three Values that make up the Foundation of your life are IMPOSED, COSTLY, and FRUITFUL.
The FRUITFUL Values are those actions that are what you are ordained to be involved in by the Spirit of God. This is the place where you get to do ministry. If you want to have good health, exercise or eating good food fit here. Rest. Study & preparation for your calling. Spending time with people who love and build you up.
The IMPOSED Values are the demands placed on you by your responsibilities to people who are dependent on your for their provision and/or protection. Children or elderly parents. People you mentor or pray for. These are valuable to you because the relationship is valuable to you.
The Costly Values are bad habits like laziness and addictions. They are values because they demand resources that are valuable. If I am addicted to food or porn or drugs or Facebook, those addictions demand that I spend time and/or money and/or energy on them.
When I am following the leading of the Spirit in my schedule and budget and heart and mind, He leads me into a balance of the FRUITFUL and the IMPOSED – I serve the people who depend on me, but with limits on the resources they can consume. I sometimes say “no” to them. I deliberately clear space on the Foundation for the FRUITFUL Values. I am sure that their demands are given priority when distributing the resources. I pull up the weeds in the COSTLY space so that I can make room for FRUITFUL and IMPOSED Values.
Just creating cleared space at this Foundational level of my life is sufficient for growth in that area. Time spent with Jesus alone will bear Fruit. Time spent on the people I am responsible for will manifest Jesus to them and bless them. Unattended, uncontrolled, those demands will take more and more space. I have to be in the Spirit when I decide what to do with them. Stuff grows out of the Values without much effort. The effort is keeping the FRUITFUL space clear of the other Values.
The COSTLY demands must be continually fought and un-funded. I have to take the whole land for the Kingdom of God.
What difference does talking about the Kingdom make in ministry?
The Gospel of Salvation does not produce servants
The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached everywhere before the end (Jesus: Matthew 24:14)
The Gospel of Salvation is related to reconciliation
The Gospel of the Kingdom is related to authority
If 80% of the teaching of Jesus is about the Kingdom, why isn’t ours?
The Church is called to reconcile the world through sacrifice
The Kingdom of Heaven is called to rule the world through authority
His Government and peace will never stop increasing. Isaiah 9:7
John the Baptist, Jesus, the Twelve, the Seventy, Philip, Barnabas, Paul and Peter preached the Gospel of the Kingdom as well as the Gospel of Salvation
Acts 28:30 – Regarding Paul incarcerated in Rome: “Then he stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.”
David’s God used enemies the size of his destiny to prepare him for it.
David was chosen and anointed for his destiny long before he entered into it
1 Samuel 16:1-13
There was no change in David’s status or duty
until God started moving in other people’s lives.
1 Samuel 16:14-23
David’s elders were jealous of him.
They made presumptuous and false accusations against him.
1 Samuel 17:28,29
A very large enemy was in the way of David’s destiny.
1 Samuel 17:40-54
Established leadership showed no confidence
in David’s abilities and no vision for his destiny.
1 Samuel 17:31-33
David was prepared to face each enemy
by his victory over previous, smaller challenges.
1 Samuel 17:34-37
Incumbent leadership stood jealously in the way of David’s destiny
instead of helping prepare him for it.
1 Samuel 18:6-13
David responded to the challenges against his destiny
with the Spirit and wisdom of Yahweh.
1 Samuel 18:14-16
David “honored his fathers” – he did not presume to harm Saul,
whom he perceived to be the previous generation of God’s anointing.
2 Samuel 1:1-16
David was very cautious not to hinder what was the possible next move of God
when Absolom his son attempted a coup against the government of David.
2 Samuel 15:1-31