Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Kingdom Reign of God

The Kingdom Reign of God

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Here we are again looking to pursue “Truth for the Journey!” In our last article we looked at “knots” and how the New Testament referred to the kingdom of God as being like a “net.” We looked briefly at the vital role of “knots” in a net and how they bring stability and strength. We talked about how each knot represented “divine relationships” or “contacts” within God’s Kingdom by using this powerful statement, “Divine connections produce strong relationships that in turn develop and enhance God’s Kingdom.”

So in keeping with this emphasis on the kingdom, let’s move on to talk more about what the kingdom really is all about. To begin with, when the Bible refers to the “Kingdom of God,” it is actually referring to the “reign” (authority) of God more than the “realm” over which He rules or over which His authority resides. In other words, it is more about His authority than anything else! However in our modern day vernacular this has gotten a little lost, either in translation or in cultural references and we tend to assume that “kingdom” refers to a “place” or “territory” more than to “authority.”

Clearly this makes it vital for us to correct our focus a little so that the true context is not lost and where we can properly adhere to the true meaning of "kingdom" as seen in scripture. That kingdom is essentially more to do with reigning, ruling and exercising authority than it is about the realm where that authority functions. I would say this is a far more dynamic concept. Much less passive! And it is within the New Testament that the predominant meaning of "Kingdom" was God's reign or rule; with any other meaning seldom used.

For instance if we were to say, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God,” this would best be understood as "THE GOOD NEWS OF THE REIGN OF GOD." The Gospel is the good news and the kingdom is his reign. Hence the good news of His reign! We must consider this and make it personal; His Kingdom is His rule, His authority and His government therefore when we receive the Kingdom of God; we receive / accept His government and rule over our lives and hearts. To solidify this concept, we can remember what Jesus said; that we must "receive the kingdom of God like little children" (Mark 10:15). In other words, we must receive the government of God over our lives in childlike trust, because He has our best interests at heart. Besides when He “governs” our lives, nothing else can!

Consider this a little further. Every time we have prayed the “Lord's Prayer,” we have actually petitioned God to "reign" over us, ("...thy kingdom come..." Matt. 6:10). The correct context being that “His will” must be obeyed on earth (by men) just as it is obeyed in heaven! Because when He is obeyed by men and His will is done in this present life, then the Kingdom of God has already come! It is already here! It is upon us! And obedience is always the key to truly dwelling in the kingdom of God. If we truly live in the Kingdom of God NOW, by allowing Him to govern over us, this in turn must mean that we see the things of His kingdom coming to pass, not occasionally but regularly and routinely. We know that what is “normal” to the kingdom of God; is not normal to this world (healings and miracles) but must be “common-place” to us!

When the Bible was written, the hearers of the Gospel possessed this early understanding of "kingdom," and had a better grasp of its meaning than we do today. When they heard that the Kingdom of God was at hand, they understood that it meant God's authority was being restored to the earth and that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven meant entering God's reign and experiencing the benefits of this in our immediate lives. Or perhaps today we would say in “real-time” which simply means “right-now!” Religion always keeps God “out-there” somewhere… but He and the rule of His kingdom is “right-here” and “right-now!”

Many preachers have told us that entering the "Kingdom of Heaven" means going to heaven when we die. While this is true, it leaves us with very little understanding of the purposes of God and His intentions for His Church. Failure to preach and understand the “kingdom” of God is the reason that few Christians live the life of “OVER COMERS” today.

It is when the Kingdom of God becomes a “present reality” and not just a “future hope,” that mankind is able to enjoy the blessings of God's rule and reign in their individual lives. Where they enter the more “abundant” and “victorious” life that is promised in Scripture, yet sadly is only enjoyed by a minority of Christians today. Those who enjoy true Kingdom benefits today are not some elite group who live opulent life styles, but rather those who have genuine "...righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit," as mentioned in Romans 14:17. This IS the kingdom of God!

This is not to say that there is no future realm when Christ returns, but it opens to us the marvelous possibility that He will return to a world where His reign is already well established. Not to the fractured and feeble Church we have become, that is divided and has lost its grasp on what the true biblical concept of the Kingdom really is. When the Kingdom of God is proclaimed to the Church and by the Church, we will have returned to the original biblical truth of the matter. Even more importantly, we will be obeying the instruction of our King Jesus, to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, hastening the day of His return.

The Kingdom of God is the only thing that Jesus ever called the “Gospel.” Few people understand this fact. And the fact remains that if we fail to proclaim the “Gospel of the Kingdom,” we are not actually obeying His instruction to preach the “Good News of the God’s Reign and Authority!”

The government of God is the best news that anyone can ever hear, because it is God's only solution to all of man's ills. When we accept this “King Jesus” as the ultimate “ruler” of every aspect of our lives, then and only then can we truly experience Kingdom living as it should be, which is a righteous, peaceful and joyful life style in the presence of the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).

As ambassadors of His Kingdom our role on this earth is to administer His Kingdom justice here; His rule, reign and righteousness. This is the role of every single believer, to reign spiritually and administer His spiritual justice in order to put into effect His Kingdom right here and right now.

To administer in the dictionary means to manage the affairs of, formerly give out, and to apply. This explains our role quite well in contemporary terms, because we have to minister into our everyday circumstances simply by applying God's spiritual truth and spiritual laws. We do this without denying or breaching natural laws, in order to do things from a Kingdom perspective! BUT the laws of God's kingdom obviously supersede all others and we can apply these truths into the spiritual realm and let it take effect there. Remember that everything originates in the spiritual realm first anyway (Gen 1:1-2) and has its eventual effect here on the earth.

Take for instance such scriptures as Matt 6:10 for example, where it says, " it is in heaven" and in Matt. 18:18 especially in the Amplified version where it talks about binding and losing on earth, just as it already is in heaven. We are enforcers who enforce the things of God but in the spirit realm FIRST. Because that's where the struggle is, it is a spiritual battle and not one of flesh and blood (Eph 6:12).

There are places of course where preaching is illegal and believers are forced underground but traditionally this has not hindered the gospel, on the contrary that's often when it runs the fastest, spreads hardest and supersedes all obstacles. But this is another discussion altogether!

What we are talking about here is applying God's spiritual truth into the atmosphere, letting it supersedes all else; yet without breaching natural or political laws, to the best of our ability! (Remember just being righteous in an unrighteous world is spiritual warfare in itself. We don’t have to open our mouths and we create conflict just being here – spiritually speaking! Even our worship is warfare, because it creates an atmosphere that is “contrary” to the atmosphere of this world. Therefore even before we open our mouths, we are not welcome! Anything we engage in is spiritual warfare! Our very presence on earth creates a contradiction and a conflict. (Essentially we represent a real and present “resistance” to evil – particularly when yielded to the Holy Spirit.)

Our next Truth for the Journey will continue this theme on the Kingdom, to truly identify the more in depth aspects of the kingdom. See you back here soon!

Father Your Kingdom rule is my freedom. I lean upon You and not upon my own understanding. Take everything I have to give You, including myself, and use it for Your Glory. I rejoice to be part of Your Kingdom. Govern my life. Lead me by Your Spirit. Fill me with the power of Your Word. Amen.

Today I take my place. I take dominion. I walk out the authority that God has given me, to govern and reign in this life, through His name.
I only have authority because I am submitted to His authority.


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2011 © Alan Pateman Ministries


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