The Promised Kingdom

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“For thine is the kingdom …”

Matthew 6:13a; NASB

A kingdom can be no better than its king, any more than the countries of this world can be any better than their political leaders. The character of the leaders of a country is reflected in the character of the country.

All heaven and earth consist of two kingdoms—

The kingdom of God, which is an everlasting kingdom filled with his eternal character and his children and—

the kingdom of this world, which is temporary, filled with the temporary ruler’s character, which is Satan, and those who are his children.

The Kingdom of God:

“Thine, O LORD,

is the greatness and the power and the glory

and the victory and the majesty,

indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;

Thine is the dominion, O LORD,

and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all.”

1 Chronicles 29:11

The Kingdoms of This World:

Note nothing, according to 1 Chronicles 29:1, is beyond the authority, power, victory, or majesty of God’s kingdom—including the temporary dominion the devil has had in this world through the fear of death, brought about by sin. Those still in his clutches have rejected truth. They, like Eve in the garden of Eden, have rejected God as their King and embraced the prince of this world and his lies for he is—

  • “the prince of the power of the air,
  • the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience … Ephesians 2:2b;

Jesus said unto them,

If God were your Father, ye would love me:

for I proceeded forth and came from God;

neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Why do ye not understand my speech?

  • Even because ye cannot hear my word.
  • Ye are of your father the devil,
  • and the lusts of your father ye will do.
  • He was a murderer from the beginning,
  • and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
  • When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:
  • for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8: 44-42; KJV

If God is our Father, we will love Jesus, God the Son. Satan has no power over us, for our power rests in the One who is head over all. We have been moved from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, with the promises given to those who love God.

Children of the King’s Promise

“That is,

it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God,

but the children of the promise

are regarded as descendants …

In the same way God,

desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise

the unchangeableness of His purpose,

interposed with an oath,

in order that by two unchangeable things,

in which it is impossible for God to lie,

we may have strong encouragement,

we who have fled for refuge in laying hold

of the hope set before us.”

Romans 9:8; Hebrews 6:17,18;NASB

A Few Kingdom Promises:

“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him,

And to Him was given dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed …

But the saints of the Highest One

will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever,

for all ages to come …

The LORD shall reign forever and ever.”

Daniel 7:13,14,18; Exodus 15:18; NASB

Revelation 21 paints us a picture of this everlasting kingdom.

  • God will dwell with us.
  • He will wipe all tears from our eyes.
  • There will be no death, no pain.
  • We will drink of the water of life freely.
  • It is the inheritance of those who overcome this world.
  • It will be a place of great beauty,
  • A place with no temple, sun, or moon for the Lord and the Lamb will be the temple and their glory will be its light.
  • Nothing unclean or any one who practices abomination or lying, will enter it,
  • Only the ones with their names written in the Lamb’s book of life will be allowed in.

Jesus Christ is the one and only one who will usher in his kingdom—

“which He will bring about at the proper time—

He who is the blessed and only Sovereign,

the King of kings and Lord of lords;

who alone possesses immortality

and dwells in unapproachable light;

whom no man has seen or can see.

To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

1 Timothy 6:16; NASB

For Thought:  Think about it. Two kingdoms, completely opposite, the kingdom of God, for the children of promise, and the kingdom of darkness for the children of the father of lies. Eternal is the only characteristic common to both. Which have you chosen to inherit?

A Kingdom Prayer

A Kingdom Prayer

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“For thine is the kingdom …”

Matthew 6:13a; NASB             

Have you had a dream so powerful it robbed you of a restful night’s sleep? One so horrible fear overwhelmed you? The bible tells us of one man who did.

The Account:

Satisfaction, success, power, and peace filled Nebuchadnezzar, the great king of Babylon. His kingdom flourished. He conquered his enemies—and now, he rested on his bed without a care—until an unsettling, fearful dream invaded his world. He could not shake the fear as the visions kept replaying in his mind. Filled with pictures he couldn’t understand shook him to the core. He found only one of his wisemen able to interpret it. Daniel was that one and the visions appalled  and alarmed him.

Because Nebuchadnezzar had not given God the glory for advancing him to greatness, God would cause him to lose his mind until Nebuchadnezzar recognized God as the supreme ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes.

After the interpretation, Daniel gave the king advice.

“Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you:

  • break away now from your sins by doing righteousness,
  • and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor,
  • in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” Daniel 4:27

Twelve months later, Daniel’s interpretation happened. It took seven years for Nebuchadnezzar to humble himself before the Lord God and recognize He makes great and He alone is worthy of praise.

Before we are too hard on Nebuchadnezzar, think about how often we take credit for our own success—“I’ve worked hard for everything I have.” “I would never do—(fill in the blank.  When we come to that place we need to remember Nebuchadnezzar and that—

“Pride goes before destruction,

And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,

Than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

Proverbs 16:18,19

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, all the good that comes to us is by your sovereign hand. May we not put our trust in ourselves for we are but human with our weaknesses. Be our strength to confess and be cleansed of pride or any other thing hindering our relationship with you. Help us to put our sinful nature far from us and learn to walk in the righteousness we have been given in Jesus Christ. May the power of Christ in us, your kingdom’s righteousness, be our strength to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. And you, Father, will give increase to your kingdom through the Living Word flowing through us for your glory, honor, and praise.

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible,

the only God,

be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Timothy 1:17

For Thought:  In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells us to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first. Consider the things you desire most in life. What fills your thoughts? How are you seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness? Prayer is a good place to start.

Kingdom Praise

Kingdom Praise:

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Image by pixabay.

“For thine is the kingdom …”

Matthew 6:13a; NASB

The word kingdom evokes thoughts of a realm under the autonomous rule of one who has the authority to govern, to sit on a throne. Knights, armies, servants, and a people who give their allegiance to king and country. In that picture, the king is distant from the people. They cannot enter his presence without permission. If they do, they risk death.

Praise God, we have a King who is near to us, and won the victory over death that we may access his throne room without fear. In this our King and his kingdom differs from the earthly kingdoms. Our King is sovereign over His kingdom, which is not limited to land boundaries. His authority, his reign is over all and will last forever. This knowledge lead King David to offer praise to the Lord God Almighty. Let’s make it—

Our Praise:

“So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly: and David said,

Blessed art Thou, O LORD God of Israel

our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD,

is the greatness and the power

and the glory and the victory and the majesty,

indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;

Thine is the dominion, O LORD,

and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all.

Both riches and honor come from Thee,

and Thou dost rule over all,

and in Thy hand is power and might;

and it lies in Thy hand to make great,

and to strengthen everyone.

Now therefore, our God,

we thank Thee,

and praise Thy glorious name,”

1 Chronicles 29:10-13, NASB

When we say, “Thine is the kingdom,”

  • We declare confidence in our heavenly Father to have the final authority in all matters.
  • He is someone we trust to know and do what is best in answering our prayers,
  • He is worthy of our respect, and our obedience.
  • May we join David, and all praising His glorious name.

“And every created thing

which is in heaven and on the earth

and under the earth and on the sea,

and all things in them,

I heard saying,

‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb,

be blessing and honor and glory and dominion

forever and ever.’”

Revelation 5:13

For Thought:  Start a praise journal beginning with the attributes of our sovereign Lord found in the 1 Chronicles 29 passage. How will you declare His glorious name?

Kingdom Promises

Kingdom Promises

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“Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:10, NASB

The evening began much like the Passover celebration of years gone by, sharing of the eventful night when the death angel passed over those who applied the blood of the lamb to their doorposts. It was a night of separation between the kingdom of death and the kingdom of  life. But instead of following the usual story line Jesus took his disciples down a different path—a path He would have to walk alone, so they would not have to.

Simon Peter shook his head and rubbed his whiskery face. “Lord, where are you going?”

“You can’t follow me now, Peter—but later you will.”

The other disciples didn’t get it either. Jesus switched gears and left them with a promise.

“Let not your heart be troubled:

ye believe in God, believe also in me.

  • In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
  • I go to prepare a place for you.
  • And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
  • and receive you unto myself;
  • that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3, KJV

Jesus must leave them for a time. Their hearts cried for understanding. What about the kingdom? How would they manage while He was gone? They didn’t want to be left alone to walk through this kingdom of darkness. Jesus gave them another promise.

“And I will pray the Father,

  • and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
  • Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not neither knoweth him;
  • but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
  • I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18, KJV

The kingdom would live in them through the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them until the time when Jesus would return and reign over the earth. They would not walk alone in this hostile kingdom alone. They would walk in the kingdom of light with the light of life living in them.

The same promises the Lord gave to his disciples then, He gives to us today.

He is preparing a place in his kingdom for us; He will come again to take us to be with him; Until then, He has not left us in this world alone. He has given us His Spirit of truth. And He promises He will come.

Until then—

  • “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised:) …
  • Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
  • For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE,

AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME,

AND WILL NOT TARRY.

NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH:

BUT IF ANY MAN DRAW BACK,

MY SOUL SHALL HAVE NO PLEASURE IN HIM.

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition;

but of them that believe to the saving of the soul…

For we, like Abraham of old are looking —for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God—

It is a—better country, that is , an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 10:23, 35-39;11:10, 16)

The prayer of the kingdom has come in part. We, as follower of Christ, are citizens of another country. One day we will take our place in the kingdom of Christ. Until then, we wait, we watch, and we work with Christ while it is still day, in building the kingdom that is to come. For we are— of them that believe to the saving of the soul … And—he is faithful that promised.

The Kingdom Has Come!

The Kingdom Has Come!

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“Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:10, NASB

The people heard the rumors and followed their hungering hearts to know for themselves. The prophet clothed in camel’s hair rang out the message.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 3:2

But only a few recognized the King when he stepped into their world. The kingdom had come.

Midnight, December 31st gave birth to another New Year. Crowds cheered. Confetti fell. Noisemakers rang out across the land. Shouts of joy, of hope for a better day filled the air. A new day dawned—but did the angels fill the sky with rejoicing? Did heaven come down and join the celebration? No, for this day brings only a glimmer of hope for something better that gets swallowed up in the every day challenge of living.

But we have reason to rejoice. Over 2000 years ago at another “midnight” hour, the kingdom of heaven came to earth complete with a host of angels proclaiming the arrival of heaven’s King. A new eternal day dawned.

“And the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid;

for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy

which shall be for all the people;

for today in the city of David

there has been born for you a Savior,

who is Christ the Lord …

Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased …

Luke 2:10-11,14;NASB

This day dawned to bring us an eternal hope that carries us through whatever the days of a new year bring. We have reason to rejoice for the kingdom has come near to us.

Therefore My people shall know My name;

therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking,

‘Here I am.’”

How lovely on the mountains

are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who announces peace

And brings good news of happiness,

Who announces salvation,

And says to Zion,

‘Your God reigns!”

Isaiah 52;6,7; NASB

Our Response: The kingdom of God has come to us in Jesus Christ. May we, with Zion—

Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion,

bearer of good news,

Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem,

bearer of good news;

Lift it up, do no fear.

Say to the cities of Judah,

‘Here is your God!’”

Isaiah 40:9, NASB

For the kingdom of God is at hand. Let’s shout it from the mountaintops.

Kiss the Son

Psalm 2 doesn’t fit the usual Christmas meditation. But, as we have seen in this week’s posts, the unordinary ordinary child, Jesus, is anything but an ordinary Son. He is the Son of the Highest.blogearth-11595__340

“I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee…Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Ps. 2:7,10-12.

The common greeting of a kiss among those of the Middle East indicates a relationship between the parties; closeness, harmony, peace and devotion. Kissing a king implies submission and loyalty to him, resulting in peace.

Returning to Isaiah 9:6 & 7, we are told: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder…Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever…they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, GREAT AND MARVELLOUS ARE THY WORKS, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY; JUST AND TRUE ARE THY WAYS, THOU KING OF SAINTS. WHO SHALL NOT FEAR THEE, O LORD, AND GLORIFY THY NAME? FOR THOU ONLY ART HOLY: FOR ALL THE NATIONS SHALL COME WORSHIP BEFORE THEE…”(Rev. 11:15; 15:3,4).

“…I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God…And a voice came out of the throne, saying, PRAISE OUR GOD, ALL YE HIS SERVANTS, AND YE THAT FEAR HIM, BOTH SMALL AND GREAT. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him…”Rev. 19:1,5-7a.

And I hear a heavenly host, “…praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”(Lu.2:13,14). And I hear Jesus saying, ”…pray ye…Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth; as it is in heaven…Surely I come quickly.”(Matt.6:9b, 10; Rev. 22:20b).

For those who read this here in America and across the globe, know the Lord has brought you here to speak His word into your heart. I don’t know what that word is because it’s meant for you personally from Him. As you meditate on these things hear His voice. Share the message as He directs.

Thank you for coming this way. As we gather together for worship this weekend, pray for the kings of the nations to Kiss the Son that we may have the fullness of His peace on earth, for surely the King comes quickly. Then his name will be exalted above every other name because…

“…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.” Phil. 2:10,11.  Amen.

 

The Tabernacle of Testimony

028.jpgThe seven men listened without doubt as the lawyer asked for signatures and handed over the deed, then he said, “I hope you men don’t expect to build this camp with a shovel and a prayer.” The men smiled. What the lawyer didn’t know is the God those men knew. God purposed it and He would do it with those seven men and His people who had a mind to work and a mighty God who gives His people the desires of their hearts when He is their desire. So began a tabernacle of testimony.dscf0046.jpg

“After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened,” Rev. 15:5, NASB

Our tabernacle of testimony would not be so grand as the one John saw, and one might agree with the lawyer if he/she looked only on the physical. No buildings, shade or water sat on the pasture ground donated by a dear brother in the Lord for the camp to sit upon. The bank account non-existent until an elderly widow donated $5000 from her deceased husband’s estate. Since that day 40 years ago, no money has ever been borrowed and no child charged for coming. Volunteers fill all the positions. God has and continues to supply exceedingly abundantly more than we ask. He is faithful in establishing His tabernacle of testimony.

A quick definition: Tabernacle(dwelling place) Testimony (the declaration of facts).

God has given us the privilege of working with Him on this tabernacle of testimony for 40 years. In my understanding, the testimony of tabernacle seen in heaven(which He has been preparing for much more than 40 years!) consists of you, me and a multitude of believers from past and present joined together in the body of Christ through our Savior’s blood. “…your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…”034.jpg

“…His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.” Rev. 13:6, NASB.

We are the dwelling place of the declarations of the facts…the revelation of our God through the lives we live while here and then for all eternity when we dwell with Him.dscf0607.jpg

Praying we join as one mighty tabernacle of testimony to the greatness and glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. And with thanksgiving and celebration for the blessing and privilege of these 40 years of being a part of this tabernacle of testimony.

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Once Upon a Time

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Do you believe in fairy tales? Fairy tales begin and end, Once upon a time…and they all lived happily ever after. The middle is filled with trouble but it’s the happily ever after that carries us to the end.

I don’t believe in fairy tales where the end is the same for everyone. But I do believe in the truth that speaks of the called, the chosen, and the faithful receiving a happily ever after ending in a kingdom that is out of this world.

“These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Rev. 17:14

Our Prince Charming is the King who is the Lamb and He has come to rescue the called who are the chosen and faithful. Not everyone will live in His kingdom and know what true happiness forever after is. Who will?

The called who are chosen. “…for many be called, but few chosen.” Matt. 20:16b. The call has gone out, inviting all who believe to enter the kingdom of God. There is only one door allowing entrance into the King’s kingdom. Jesus is the door and He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. The called are those who are born again, making them among the King’s chosen. This is the “Once Upon a Time.”

The chosen, are those called according to His purpose…to become conformed to the image of His Son. Those He calls, He justifies. (See Rom. 8:28-30).

“…God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2Thess. 2:13,14. Those born again are those chosen for salvation and sanctification, the setting apart from the world, as He carries us from faith to faith in His kingdom. This is the middle of the story.

Faith takes us ever more into the happily ever after. For our faith is not in our own strength or works but in the finished work of Christ, the call of God on our lives that by His grace we are the chosen. He has given us His Spirit to complete His work in us and give us the fullness of His glory.

“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to  you.” 2Peter 1:10,11. 

There is a happily ever after for all those who receive the invitation to be among the chosen and faithful. And you don’t have to wait until you die to begin living it. You have been invited, have you accepted?