Category Archives: Kingdom

Human Authority Hosting Heavenly Kingdom

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.

Yahweh Likes Unity

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.

King Encounters Prince

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.

Values – Foundations

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.

Preaching the Kingdom

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 Preparation

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

King of the Magi

In the beginning of the second chapter of Matthew’s good news, he mentioned some “wise men” who appeared in Jerusalem and caused quite a stir by asking King Herod where his replacement was. “Herod” is a compound word that is a title, not a name. It describes its bearer as a “hero”.

This Herod was Herod the Great. He was a descendant of Esau – an Edomite, and had absolutely no genuine authority to rule over anything in Israel. He was a mercenary employee of the Roman government, chosen for his job because he was more likely to be loyal to Rome than Palestine in the event of a local controversy. When the wise men inquired about someone who had been “born” as King of the Jews, Herod sensed a great threat to his power. His response to the perceived threat was to try to destroy it by killing any child who could possibly be the bearer of such challenging power.

The wise men did some sort of work that may have been astronomy, astrology, scientific study, alchemy, medicine, magic, or witchcraft, and may have included a mixture of any or all of these possibilities. The word which is translated “magi” or “wise men” here is instead translated “sorcerer” when it was used by Luke in Acts 13:6-8 to refer to Elymas. The various descriptive terms used to describe him were sorcerer, false prophet, Jew, Bar-Jesus (“son of Yah’s salvation”), Elymas, child of the devil, and enemy of all righteousness. When describing him as a “sorcerer” (some translations “magician”), this
is the only other use of the word in the New Testament.

The magi were interesting characters. They received some revelation: that not only would a star be a sign that a King would be born in Israel Who would be worthy of worship, but that a star they had been observing was the particular star, and that the King was therefore birthed and available to be worshiped. They had extra-Biblical revelation that led them to find Jesus, and further revelation that led them to leave the country without returning to report the location of Jesus to Herod.

The revelation instructed them to search for a King, not a Savior. He is, of course, both King and Savior, but their instructions, which must have been from God or an angel sent from Him, were descriptive of a King. It is possible that some of Daniel’s writings as a leader in Babylon influenced them.

If you want to know how to introduce someone in a way that pleases them, listen to the way they introduce themselves. If they say, “Hello, my name is Joe,” then probably they would be bothered by you introducing them as “Joseph”, for example. Father introduced Jesus to the neighbors as “King Jesus” according to the narrative about the wise men from the east. That is likely, in my opinion, to have more importance than we have been giving it.

Don’t Forget to Worship

Next time you are busy being miserable because your money ran out, or your infection won’t heal, or your lying accusers are readily believed by the people you thought were your friends, or you got fired for not lying or stealing, or you are tired of warring and fighting,

Do not forget to worship your King.

It might sound like this –

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
I will ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
I will ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name
And worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.      (Psalm 96:4-8)

Raised From the Dead

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations —  “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
(Colossians 2:20-3:11 NKJV)

Having a nice set of rules won’t make me righteous. It won’t improve my character. It might have some improvements on my behavior, but not my identity.

Like Ebenezer Scrooge after meeting the ghosts, or George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” after his guardian angel shows him what others’ lives would have been like without his influence, we should be dancing through the streets, joyously celebrating having been freed from death and determined to embrace life as fully as possible with the second chance we have received.

Rules can’t fix what was wrong with us. Only death can help. Having received the grace to die and then be brought back to life in Jesus, we should be able to see the grand values of eternal things and live in and for them. We are still distracted by temporary, costly, wasteful things though.

You believe that you are dead to your former self and alive to Christ. Act like it. His strength is able to make that an invitation, not just a command!

 

First Things First

If you want to build something, laying the foundation is always the first practical step. You can’t install a window or door without a wall to put it in, either.

If you need to build a team for a project, it will be a stronger team if you build the peoples’ relationships before you put them to work by assembling their skills.

In a congregation, if the people don’t feel their connections as a family, they are not likely to handle well their connections as an organization. Build a family, then give them opportunities to bless and be useful.

Believers need to be equipped as the Body of Christ before being empowered to build the Kingdom of Heaven. They need to be confident in their relationships with the Father in order to maintain their confidence in their relationships with the King. Especially if they make a mistake.

Most of our congregations are orphanages. One professional parent trying to juggle real relationships with the most troubled kids and hope the quiet ones are doing well. Most of our work is secular – something we picked out, not a calling in the Kingdom. The work contrast should not be religious / secular, but spiritual / carnal. No matter what work the King wants to set you in place for, it will take His Spirit to give you the power to do it well.

A generation is at hand who will refuse to settle for those limits of orphanages and powerless work. The Spirit is stirring Believers who will be moved to find relationships that are real, and work that brings Life.

If you are not in both of those places already, pray that you would be given the keys to those doors. You are called to an important seat at God’s table, and important work in His Kingdom.