Lesson 3: Living in the Kingdom - Part 1: What is the Kingdom Of God.

Key Verse:

43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” Luke 4:43




Aims of the Study

Now we are establishing trees of righteousness with strong foundations, what does this now mean in relation to the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached about when He was on earth.


Key Questions:

· What is this kingdom?

· What has happened to the Kingdom of God over history?

· When Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God through parables, what did He say?

· What are some key points about the Kingdom of God?

· Where does the power come from in the Kingdom of God?

· Who is the enemy of this kingdom? Where are Kingdom of God citizens attacked?

· Where is our personal battle ground?


1. An overview of the Kingdom of God.

These two verses are key verses to all Christians. When we read Jesus words in Luke 4, we find that Jesus was sent by the Father to teach us about this new kingdom. This is why God came to earth in human form; to make a way for us to enter the Kingdom. He had come to re-establish His kingdom on Earth, which was destroyed for a time through the sinning of Adam and Eve. With this understanding of this Kingdom of God, it will change how we think, live and the decisions we make about how we view the world. When we accept Christ as King and are baptised, we move kingdoms. God takes us from the Kingdom of the world and we are established into the Kingdom of Jesus. What does this mean? The purpose of this teaching is so we have a clear understanding of what this kingdom looks like, how we enter it and what our lives should look like if we have chosen to live fully in this kingdom. As God’s people and as families God is calling us as His people out of the kingdom of this world and wants us to be living fully in the kingdom He has established as a spiritual kingdom on earth now, but what God is establishing as a physical kingdom for eternity.


2. A big picture view - what is the Kingdom of God looking down over history?

This world we were created in was made ‘good’ (Genesis 1) and when we were made we were ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31) But it was distorted when Man chose to disobey God. What does this mean now?

a. The Kingdom of God has existed from creation.

God spoke and it was so. Sadly, in Genesis 3 we read about Man being tempted by Satan and choosing to go Satan’s way. This is how the Kingdom of the world or darkness started. Man rejected the words of God. By choosing to do it man’s way brought a separation from God.


b. .Jesus death on the cross fulfilled the promise in Genesis 3:15

This is where Satan was trampled and through Jesus the evil will be completely triumphed over (Romans 16:20 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.)How?by restoring our ability to access him and have a relationship with him. When a listening,believing and obeying relationship is restored the Word in our mouth and our heart crushes Satan under our feet. Deut 30; 6-7 Romans 10:6-9. Romans 16:19-20


c. We have been given to job of restoring the Earth back to being under the reign and rule of God.

This is being done now through the sons of God that are being established on the earth. Creation is groaning, waiting for this to happen. Romans 8:19 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. Habakkuk 2:14 14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms[a] of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:


3. Jesus spoke in parables about the Kingdom. What did these parables say?

a) The Parable of the Sower:

The parables of the Kingdom begin with the parable of the sower. In Mark 4v 13 Jesus said if you do not understand this parable how then will you understand all the parables? By understanding this parable we understand all the parables of Jesus and especially the Kingdom of God.This parable teaches about the essential spiritual principal of the kingdom. If you believe the word and do not allow anything to stop you from obeying, the Kingdom will multiply. There must be three things

i. The implanted word, God sows the seed into hearts and minds.

ii. The word must be believed

iii. The word must be obeyed.

The result will be the fruitful harvest.


b) End of the age parables.

i. The parable of the wheat and the tares. In this parable Jesus says that the Harvest will be “at the end of the age” Math 13 v 40. We read about those who look like Christians and are not in the Kingdom will be separated from the the true believers. God is allowing both to grow. We need to be growing stronger than the the tares or weeds so we can overcome them and not be overcome.

ii. The parable of the dragnet. (v.49) This parable is also about “the end of the age” Those who don’t believe, and obey are not part of the fruitful harvest of the kingdom.


c) The parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price.

Both of these images are in Proverbs in comparison with the wisdom of God. All kinds of precious treasures that one might desire do not compare with wisdom, yet some people search to the point of death for them. This parable points to the same subject as the parable of the sower. The imparted wisdom of God. It is hidden, a mystery that you must search for, give everything you have for it. It is the gate to the heavenly City of Zion. Rev 21 v21.

To receive believe the voice of God spoken into our hearts is the only way in to the Kingdom of God. Not the written word alone “ No one can come to the Father but through Jesus.

Warning from the parables / Summary

i. Those who would not believe and insisted on proof by miraculous signs were not given any, nor were the parables explained. The Kingdom remained a mystery to them.Those who enter the kingdom enter by faith not proof.

ii. Adam and Eve lost the ability to live in the Garden of rest and fellowship with God because they did not believe and disobeyed following a strangers voice and their own five senses..

iii. Isn’t the Kingdom of heaven a place of rest and fellowship With God


4. Key Points of what the Kingdom of God is.

In the Bible, it is used especially of the 'kingdom of God and of Christ. When we become Christians it is important to understand what the Kingdom of God is. There are 9 things the Bible says the Kingdom of God is:-

a) The sphere of God's rule.

Ps 22:28, Ps 145:13, Dan 4:25, Luke 1:52, Romans 13:1.

28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,

And He rules over the nations. Psalm 22:28


b) Since however this earth is the scene of universal rebellion against God

(eg: Luke 4:5-6,1 John 5:19, Rev 11:15-18) the 'kingdom' of God is the sphere in which at any given time, His rule is acknowledged.

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms[a] of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,

The One who is and who was and who is to come,

Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,

And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,

And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,

And those who fear Your name, small and great,

And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:15-18

19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19


c) God has not relinquished His sovereignty in the face of rebellion, demoniac and human, but has declared His purpose to establish it.

(Daniel 2:44 7:14, 1 Cor 15:24-25)

24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.1 Corinthians 15:24-25

44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Daniel 2:44


d) Meanwhile, seeing willing obedience, He gave His law to a nation and appointed kings to administer His 'kingdom' over it.

5 And of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.1 Chronicles 28:5


e) Israel, however, thought declaring still a nominal allegiance shared in the common rebellion

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!

For the Lord has spoken:

“I have nourished and brought up children,

And they have rebelled against Me;

3 The ox knows its owner

And the donkey its master’s crib;

But Israel does not know,

My people do not consider.”

4 Alas, sinful nation,

A people laden with iniquity,

A brood of evildoers,

Children who are corrupters!

They have forsaken the Lord,

They have provoked to anger

The Holy One of Israel,

They have turned away backward. Isaiah 1:2-4

And after they rejected the Son of God (cf: Mt 21:33-43)

11 He came to His own and His own did not receive Him. John 1:11

They were "cast away"

15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness,[f] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come. Romans 11


f) Henceforth, God calls upon men everywhere, without distinction of race or nationality to submit voluntarily to His rule.


g) Thus the 'kingdom' is said to be 'in mystery' now.

11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, Mark 4:11

That is it does not come within the range of the natural powers of observation.

20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; Luke 17:20

But it is spiritually discerned. (cf: 1 Cor 2:14)

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3


h) The earthly kingdom will be restored

When hereafter, God asserts His rule universally, Christ will return to establish His earthly rule; then the 'kingdom' will be in glory of the rebuilt Davidic, Messianic Kingdom, that is, it will be manifest to all. (cf. Mt 25:31-34; Phil 2:9-11; 2 Tim 4:1, 18)

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Matthew 25:31-34

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11


Summary:

The Kingdom of God is everywhere that is under the rule of Christ. Sadly, when the rebellion happened in the Garden Eden this rule was challenged and sin caused man to walk away from this covering. The good news is that even though this rebellion has occurred, God has declared his purpose to re-establish his rule over all His creation. God set apart a nation, Israel, to possess His law, appointed Kings to administer His Kingdom. This nation, unfortunately shared in the rebellion and even though God was manifest to them through Jesus, they chose to reject the Son of God and were therefore ‘cast away’. From that time until the return of Jesus, all men have been given the opportunity to choose to submit to the rule of Jesus. The Kingdom is a mystery to those outside the kingdom, and in our present times is a spiritual kingdom. But, when Jesus returns He will establish His earthly rule and the spiritual kingdom will be established as an earthly kingdom where the whole earth will be under HIs rule and reign.


5. So how do we enter this kingdom of the Son of His Love?

a) Entering this kingdom is done through faith and obedience, and doing what He says.

We accept the Son of His love as our shepherd, and through listening to Him and following Him develop a personal relationship with Him. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Matthew 7:21In John 10:9 Jesus talks about him being the good shepherd, and the only way to enter the ‘Kingdom’ is through Jesus. (9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.)


b) By forgiveness.

Jesus chose to take the suffering that our rejection caused him, instead of vengeance. In Matthew 18:3 we are told that the entrance into the Kingdom of God is by the new birth. (Matthew 18:3; Jn 3:5)


c) By baptism

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5


d) By praise, thankfulness and worship.

Psalm 100:4


e) By reconciliation with the Body of Christ.

We must also love whom He loves to be in close relationship with Him. Mark 11:25-26 Mathew 18: 21-25. 1 John 2: 9-10, 1 John 4:10_11.


6.The power of the kingdom.

Gods power is in his word. He spoke and the Universe came into being. Genesis 1. Gods power was with anyone who heard his word, believed it and acted on it. Samson(Judges 13 to 16) Samson believed Gods word that as long as he was a Levite he would defeat the Philistines. He lived a rebellious flesh driven life that destroyed him early but the power of the word did not fail until the last symbol of the Levite, (his hair) was cut off. This is the power of the word mixed with faith. However the Word not mixed with faith profits us nothing. Hebrews 4:2.


Also our faith in the Word that is not for now also profits us nothing. In Joshua ch 3 and ch6, God commanded the priests through Joshua to carry the ark of the Lord before the people and he opened the flood Joshua 3:10 He also said that this was a sign that the Lord is among you and he will without fail drive out your enemies from before you.

When the Priests tried carrying the ark into battle against the Philistines they were slaughtered and the ark captured. Be careful claiming other people's promises for yourself simply because it is written in scripture. 1 Samuel 4:3.

The (Now) word followed by obedience never fails.

John 12:49 Jesus only spoke what the Father commanded him “just as the Father has told me, so I speak.”

By that word the storm obeyed him;The demons obeyed him; the fish behaved just as he said and every man who obeyed him had what he desired.

Mathew 21:21-22 must be read in this understanding. If the spirit of God dwells in us as it did in Jesus and we only speak as he commands us then without a doubt our commands will be done because Gods word cannot fail.

Our own words fail so often that we are very careless with them, speaking life and death in jest. Sometimes we speak a condemning judgement against others as if it were”just a thought” and can do no harm. Words are not frivolous things and a disciplined tongue is important for the right handling of Gods words. See Titus 2:1-3.


7. The enemy of the Kingdom.

There is only one true enemy of the Kingdom.

Ephesians 6:12. 1 Peter 8:9-10 However he has access to us through our minds. We must learn to trust God completely. It is tempting to believe that the enemy is ourselves. Not so, but he knows the weakness of our flesh and tantalises and torments it, sometimes even taking it captive through encouraging us to please ourselves. This is how we become slaves to sin by the will of Satan, just as it was in the beginning.


8. Your personal battle ground.

1Peter 4 :12-14

Luke 12:49 Christ brings division.

Take up your cross

Don't look back

Who are my Mother and brothers?

Because the Kingdom is spiritual God does not require us to physically leave anyone or any place in order to enter the Kingdom. But spiritually you are on a different planet and this will cause a very marked reaction in the people who love you most. 1 Peter 4:4 Most will do everything in their power to change you, or drive you away. Sometimes they are hungry for spiritual life and want what you have.

Do not fight the Kingdom battles with arguments, aggression or manipulation. They require weapons that God will teach you how to use. (Corinthians , armour) They do not come naturally, your flesh will hate it! 1 Peter 3:18 But God loves your family, friends and workmates too and his weapons are far more powerful and less damaging than yours. Remember that your own pride is your greatest downfall because God is not going to give his power to people who don’t follow his instructions. 1 Peter 5:5-7.

Don’t fight alone if you can help it. This battle is common to all who would join Gods Kingdom. There are people who have gone before you who can comfort and strengthen you.

(Comfort others with the comfort that you have received.)

If you are humble and obedient to your new King you will prove his faithfulness and power for yourself. This is how his glory is revealed and great joy comes to you. See 1 Peter 4:13 You will treasure the memory of these victories in time to come and they will give you great confidence in his power and wisdom.


Conclusion

Jesus said: but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” Luke 4:43


Through Jesus we have this amazing promise: He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, Colossians 1:13

Jesus came to establish a new kingdom that is only understood when we are baptised. When we are born again by the water and spirit we are then moved or conveyed into a new kingdom. After our water and spiritual baptism we are born of the Spirit as a new citizen of a spiritual kingdom, and come out from the old kingdom of the world. Rev 18:4 We should be no longer under the rulership of the kingdom of darkness and as a result there is tension with the old kingdom as our allegiances and priorities have all changed. In this struggle we learn to guard our minds, die to flesh and live and walk in the Spirit. The reality of the Kingdom of God means we have to choose to live under the full sovereignty of God where there is freedom, joy and the provision and protection of God. This means we are sons in the authority and purpose given to us by Jesus. As a result we are called to live a radically different life when we understand the reality of what Jesus taught, what his death on the cross means to us and learn to view all things through Kingdom eyes then the sacrifices of our flesh will become a joy to us as it was to Jesus. We will see the Kingdom of God begin to manifest in our lives bringing life and peace and joy. The glory of God will shine in the earth through us and our spiritual rewards are available to us now.

“May your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” Isn’t that worth the sacrifice?

He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of his beloved Son. Colossians 1:13. (TPT)

©2018 by Timothy Peden.