The Kingdom of God Part 4
We are all seeking for a clear understanding of the Kingdom of God as it applies to our lives today. However we need to realize that this kingdom is spiritual in nature and not physical. Therefore we must not look at any concept of physical authority connected with God’s Kingdom but rather at that which is spiritual. This means that to live in the realm of the kingdom we must come under the direct authority of the Christ, which is the Spirit of God dwelling within us.
How often we sing, "He is Lord, he is risen from the dead and he is Lord," but in reality we decide and make the choices that direct our lives most times without reference to the one we call Lord. Who tells us what to do and when to do it? Who tells us where to go and when? Our body says, "I am tired," and so we lay down. It says, "I am hungry," so we eat. Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things that I say?"
However Jesus himself set the example for us as he communed with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. After thirty-three years in which he did the will of God, he was now asked to submit to one last ignominy in which he would bear the judgement of death, that was instigated by Adam and passed upon all flesh. Death could not touch him except he allowed it to do so. He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us, that he might take the "flesh" into death, and free us from its tyranny and dominion. Our release from that bondage to sin and death was broken when he said, "not my will but thine be done."
The object of these studies is to do two things. The first is to help eliminate the wrong concepts that carnal minds have invented concerning this kingdom, thus clouding the issue. The second is to allow the Holy Spirit to unveil the truth to us so that we can enter into the reality of God’s Kingdom with all its benefits and blessing.
Beloved it is time we heard the voice of God because for so long the church has been listening to the voice of men. Christians have been indoctrinated in a very subtle manner, to believe that the ordinary person cannot fully understand the Bible, so we appoint "professionals" who have been to Bible College and have been taught the "truth" so they can in turn teach others. This idea originated in the Catholic Church, which for many years denied the people the right to own or read the Bible because of the harm it may cause them, not being educated in spiritual matters.
Of course the Protestants have not gone this far, but they have inferred that the "church" (organization) is essential to maintain the integrity of truth. If that is so, then would somebody mind telling me why, after two thousand years of Christianity, we have almost lost the truth Jesus taught, and on most subjects confusion reigns? I testify that the truth I know today did not come from any church organization or theological college, nor did it come from any eastern mystic or guru, but I have heard the voice of God. I lay no claim to being clever or highly educated, or to know all there is to know concerning God, but I have discovered what Jesus meant when he said, "My sheep hear My voice and they follow me."
So in this study I am sharing those things which I have heard in my spirit from that still small voice, the voice of God. Whatever you may read or hear, that same spirit that is within you will either testify to it being truth, or the product of man’s mind, so you always hold power of veto over what you believe. Those who are simply religious will judge what I say according to the natural mind, which has no ability to receive the things that are of God, see 1 Cor. 2:14.
Before we enter into this study of the Kingdom of God, let me say something about the book that we call the Bible. Today we have a copy of this book in our own language, but obviously this is not the original language in which it was first written. Language is simply a vehicle to convey ideas. These ideas are transmitted not just by the words themselves but also by the images they invoke in our minds.
Jesus referred to His people as "sheep." But we do not consider that God's children are in fact literal sheep. We call this a "word picture," and the Bible is full of such examples. Our problem is that we look at one example and interpret it as being literal, and the next we say is just a "figure of speech" according to our doctrinal position. Then we have a problem where both interpretations are relevant. Adam was a literal person and his history is recorded for us. But how many realize that he was also a "figure" (or representation) of Him who was to come? (Rom. 5:14) So Adam reveals far more to us than being just a man, who lived in a garden. Jesus told us specifically that the words he spoke are "spirit and they are life." This gives them a quality far beyond the letters simply forming a word.
The revealing of truth must always remain the specific ministry of the Holy Spirit that dwells within the believer. Jesus said, "When the Holy Spirit is come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will take the things concerning me and reveal them to you," John 16:13 and 15. Jesus himself was able to begin at Moses, (the first five books of the Bible) and the prophets, and expounded unto the disciples in all the scriptures "the things concerning Himself," Luke 24:27.
Thus we are informed that the revelation of Christ is certainly not restricted to the New Testament, but is a constant theme throughout the whole book. May you be blessed as we walk through the pages of the Old and New Testament, seeking to understand the Kingdom of God that is revealed within its pages.
Spiritual Teaching from History
In order to begin this study we will look at the first time the word Kingdom is used in the scriptures. This is found in Genesis 10:10 concerning Nimrod (which means rebel) who was a mighty hunter (seeking "prey" for his own ends) before (in the eyes of) the Lord. Here we have expressed man's idea of God’s Kingdom authority that Nimrod established by setting himself up as a king to ruler over the people.
In the early days of the Old Testament when a man built a city it became his domain or kingdom. The city was walled and usually guarded, and those who lived there paid for the protection the city offered by becoming vassals to the chief, who was in fact the king. It was several of these kings that Abraham later fought in order to release his nephew Lot, who had become part of the bounty secured in a war between them.
Behind these kingdoms lay a greed for power, control and wealth which has become a mind-set down through the generations. Each king sought to attract wealthy men to their kingdoms by offering them certain authority and liberties. So Nimrod's kingdom is recorded for us, because it best reveals the nature of the "kingdom" that was birthed in the heart of man that is set in opposition to the Kingdom of God. It functioned as a totalitarian rule over a people, who are made subservient to a dictator who is accountable only to himself.
Is it not true that most Christians believe that God causes accidents and earthquakes, and puts sickness on us to make us better Christians? Is it not true that most Christians believe in "the sovereignty" of the God who is ruling this world as a king? They believe that this "God" controls every detail of people’s lives, including the power of life and death. When a child we know is killed in a motor accident, we say, "God took him!" This "God" dispenses judgment according to the law of good and evil, blessing us if we are good and punishing us if we are evil. He has the power to make us sick or bring calamity upon us. Because of our sin, he condemns us to mortality making it mandatory that we must all die first. But if we respond to him correctly, he will take us to a wonderful place he has made for us called "heaven." However if we refuse his demands he has the power to throw us into a burning hell where we will burn forever.
Confusion occurs if we consider that God’s Kingdom is a reflection of the kingdom established by Nimrod. The kingdom Nimrod set up was totally despotic and the inhabitants were little better than slaves. How confusing such a comparison becomes when we declare the truth that "God is love." If you are living in a kingdom that is being ruled by a despot who appears to have no concern for you, yet you consider that God is that King, you are exhibiting the same confusion we have just mentioned. Whatever you believe God to be, will be the image you project to everyone about you.
Just think about it, Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is within you." So we are not speaking about something that is exterior to us but is part of our being. Paul says, "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." That does not sound like the Kingdom of God in which most Christians believe they dwell today. Where is this righteousness, where is this peace and where is this joy that is the evidence of the Kingdom functioning within us today? Beloved it is time to discover reality in our lives and to experience the truth regarding the Kingdom of God.
Let us now consider Israel as a nation in the light of the Kingdom of God. They were told that if they obeyed God's voice and kept His covenant, they would be a special treasure to God above all people, and they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, Exodus 19:5,6. Here the kingdom is connected to the priesthood. Why did God say they would be a kingdom of priests? Because all the groaning creation needs the mediation of a priest, who can release them from the bondage of the kingdom of darkness. Only a true priest of the Living God is able to deliver them from the kingdom of darkness.
Up to this point in Israel's history no human king was necessary to rule over them, because theoretically, God was their King. The only "human" leadership they knew was invested in the prophet, who was necessary because Israel refused to hear the voice of God. The nation of Israel was unique in its day, in that it was the only nation claiming to be theocratic, which means that it functioned under the direct authority of God. However this was not totally true because they deliberately refused to hear the voice of God, and so God's direction for them had to be relayed through an intermediary like Moses and Samuel.
The apostle Paul tells us that everything that happened to Israel was recorded for us as examples or figures, in order that we might not lust after evil things as they also lusted. All these issues therefore must carry a spiritual message for us today that we need to understand. Can you think of a theocratic nation on the earth today? Australia, England and the U.S.A. are called Christian countries, but none function under the direct authority of God. They all have Prime Ministers or Presidents, together with their governments that make the laws to control the people. It is hard to conceive of a country being ruled totally by the direct authority of God.
The question of authority is resolved by the Christian world through a system known as democracy, which actually means the people ruling, and is not theocracy. However the thinking among Christians is that because every person has come out of God, every man is able to know the will of God. On that basis they believe that democracy is actually God ruling through his people. The fallacy of this is evidenced by the lack of consensus among Christians. The Baptists believe the Pentecostals are wrong, and the Pentecostals believe the Seventh Day Adventists are wrong. The "coming of Christ" divides God’s people in many different ways and the concept of heaven and hell is just as divisive. So democracy does not equate with theocracy or God ruling.
In spite of these differences, the church functions mostly on democratic principles with the people voting for a pastor, as well as for the eldership. In some independent churches with a dynamic pastor, the government becomes autocratic, which means that he is in fact the "king", and rules by his own inspiration, believing he knows the mind of God better than others. But have you ever seen a church that is governed directly and solely by God? I certainly have not. This would mean that the people would be absolutely of one accord, because each one individually would be listening to and obeying the voice of God. No other voice, regardless of how spiritual it may sound would carry any authority. So obviously natural Israel could not be the Kingdom of God and neither is the church in the world today.
We will continue to use the nation of Israel as a parable through which we can better understand the Kingdom of God. We must never lose sight of the origin of Israel through Abraham, who was the father of this nation. When he was 99 years old and Sarah his wife was 90, God told them they would have a child. In the natural this was impossible but of course "nothing is impossible with God." No word of the Lord is void of power, so the fulfillment of His divine purposes are often connected with impossibilities so we can never mistake who it is that brings it to pass.
However before the real son Isaac was born, Abraham sought to fulfill the divine promise by human means. To investigate the matter more closely, we discover that he listened to another voice apart from the voice of God. He listened to the voice of his wife, who spoke out of her own carnal knowledge of God. Her concept was, that what is impossible in the natural realm is also impossible to God. Does that sound familiar? How often have we rationalized what God has said, and substituted our own ideas instead. Under the New Covenant, God says, "I will write my laws in their hearts and in their minds, and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more," Heb. 10:16-17. But of course, many do not believe this, and so continue to follow the laws of "do’s and don’ts" established by the religious world, and keep asking God to forgive their sins.
In the presence of God, Abraham rejoices in his achievement to have a child according to Sarah’s plan and says to God, "O that Ishmael might live before you forever." But God ignores Abraham’s efforts at producing the Son of Promise, just as He does for us today as we parade our religious sons before Him. Religion continues to birth her sons using their own formula based upon the carnal mind of man, and then declaring them to be sons of God, "born again," with a ticket to enter heaven after they die. Then like Abraham these are paraded before God seeking divine recognition for them. But Paul declares, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away and behold all things have become new."
The tragic consequences of acting apart from God are illustrated here in Abraham's life. Ishmael is the father of the Arab people who have always been Israel’s enemies, even though they have the same father! With Abraham as their father they eventually developed a religious system known as Islam with their own prophet, Mohammed. In spite of Abraham's failure to allow God to be God, he did believe God when he told him he would have a son and "his seed would be as the stars of heaven." So finally, Sarah conceived even though she was past childbearing age, and Isaac the true Son of Promise was born. Remember we are looking not just at history, but at a parable that is filled with teaching for us today.
God promised Abraham that "in him and his seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed." However we know from Paul's writing that "his seed" did not refer to the natural seed of Abraham and his descendants, but only to one Seed which is Christ, Gal. 3:16. Even today, with all our enlightenment we still do exactly what Abraham did, and produce our own sons through a religious experience, without waiting for the miracle birth through divine intervention. The "gospel" that is generally preached today says, "give your heart to Jesus and believe he died on the cross for you, confess your sins and you will be born again, and become a child of God." All this formula can produce is yet another Ishmael!
Like Abraham it is a formula that man is capable of performing without any miracle, just as Abraham produced Ishmael. But again, the tragedy is we have produced a "race" of people within the "church" who oppose the truth and who want to fight every- one who does not agree with them. How sad it is that today anyone who hears the voice of God and preaches truth will find his enemies not out in the world, but within the ranks of the church. In so many cases the voice of God has been stifled, and the voice of man is the authority upon which life is based. Hundreds of years later in Jesus day those who wanted to kill Jesus boasted that Abraham was their father, although there was no manifestation of his character in them. These people who were connected to Abraham by natural generation, had nothing in common with the spiritual man through whom a miracle Son of God was born.
Many years after Abraham’s grandson Jacob was born, the nation of Israel had increased in numbers, even under great oppression during 400 years in Egypt as slaves. We may well ask how could Abraham’s offspring become slaves? The answer is that they were only his children by natural generation, and knew little of the divine authority that directed his life. The true sons of God are "not born of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," John 1:12-13. We must understand that God has no grandchildren. Every single one must be born of God by the divine incorruptible seed.
God’s true authority is expressed through His voice. The writing on tables of stone was necessary for those whose carnal minds would not allow them to hear His voice. It may be a surprise for many to know that the Bible is not a substitute for Christ the Living Word. Jesus said, "My words are spirit and they are life," John 6:63. In its beginning the early church was directed from within by the Voice of God, without a Bible. There were no Bible studies, but within every man there is a spirit, and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding. These truths are fundamental to an understanding of the Kingdom of God.
How did Israel negotiate the wilderness for forty years with never any lack of food or water? The Lord who guided them and met their needs out of the abundance of his infinite supply was directing them. For those who have ears to hear, Israel’s journey is a picture of God’s ability to direct and supply every need, anywhere, anytime.
We Want a King
A crisis had arisen in Israel’s history, because Samuel who had been such a wonderful spiritual leader in Israel was now old and unable to carry on. His sons did not follow in their father’s footsteps, so it seemed there was no one to take up the leadership challenge. This of course is but the carnal reasoning of man and has nothing to do with reality. The law was given to Israel as an external authority simply because they lacked spiritual perception, but this is not how God’s authority was to be administered. God has put His laws in our hearts and in our minds they are written, so that His authority would function from within us.
In the creation of man (Gen. 1:26:28) dominion was given to him over all the works of God's hand. However this was not a delegated authority as most Christians believe, but remains vested in God who inhabits all of creation including man. Therefore God's authority remains within the man by reason of the Christ who dwells within. It was for this reason that Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within you, because the authority that the kingdom represents is not external to us. But we cannot point the finger at Israel for wanting an external authority (king), for most Christians pay far more attention to the external laws of their church than the law written in their heart.
One day when the prophet Samuel was getting old and his sons were marching to another tune, Israel said to him, "Make us a king to judge us like all the (heathen) nations." If Adam’s rebellion was personal, then this represents the national rebellion of a people whose origin began in God. This is a "theocratic" nation becoming an earthly kingdom, putting themselves under the authority of a king, who is a man. The proliferation of state and federal laws in our country is a clear indication that there is very little response to God’s authority that is established within mankind in the world today. If every man recognized God as his king there would not be any need for the government of the land to make any laws at all!
The prophet Jeremiah had this to say about such rebellion. "Thus sayeth the Lord, cursed is the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm (strength), and whose heart of awareness departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt (barren) land which is not inhabited….., but…Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord and whose confidence is in him." Jer. 17:5-7.
Let us bear in mind that when we speak of the Kingdom of God we are speaking of His dominion or authority, as well as His supply. So Israel’s request for a king apart from God, signified their total rejection of His authority over them. Samuel was deeply grieved in his heart at this request to terminate God’s authority, considering at first that it was a rejection of his own position as prophet that was at stake.
The prophet was told that it was God who was being rejected and not himself, so he was directed to give the people the king they desired. This was because God knew that Israel’s backsliding would be an instrument of correction in their life. But even after centuries of hardship and deprivation their desire to be free from God’s authority did not change. For at the trial of CHRIST they cried out, "Crucify him, for we will not have this man to rule over us." Israel was delivered from the power of Pharaoh but since then much of their history has been under foreign domination. Thus their rebellion was confirmed even in spite of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus.
So why did God give them a king? Because God is a Father and as such understands that true obedience can only be obtained by love. This is just as true in the natural as it is in the spiritual. If our children do not obey us as parents because they love us, then we have lost control of them, and must resort to law in some form or another. This law must have a penalty that can be a threat of punishment or deprivation, which we as parents inflict upon our children. What I am saying does not rule out correction, but even that is ineffective if our children are not raised in a true atmosphere of love. People will do for love what nothing else can achieve. Remember the Bible says, "We love him because he first loved us," and not because of any other promises or offer he has make.
Contrary to the general teaching of the church today, our Heavenly Father limits Himself to love, in order to generate obedience in His children. God has never held the threat of an eternal burning hell over us in order to bring about our salvation. God has never ever said that he would punish us if we sinned. I know that "you can be sure your sins will find you out," and "the soul that sinneth shall die," but in neither of these statements does it suggest that God becomes involved! The truth is that love is the only motivation for obedience, for there is no other. Jesus clearly said, "If you love me you will keep my commandments." If this is true, then the converse must be true also.
Why are many Christians not really obedient to the Lord today? The reason is because they have responded to the Lord, only out of a fear of hell, by making what would be the sensible choice of "receiving Christ" in order to escape eternal damnation. Many believe that if they are "saved" then God will protect and take care of them so this becomes another "reason" why some come to Christ. We can pursue the matter further and ask what it is that keeps them "clinging" to the Lord? The answer is simply that they are told if they do good then God will bless them, and if they do evil God will punish them. If they tithe then they can expect God will prosper them and they will be rich. If they "back slide" then some sickness or disaster will come to them from God. Under such theology who would not try his best to "appear" to love God, without considering that God is not deceived since He looks upon the heart?
Remember God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. Obedience is an inward thing, and cannot be gauged by any external appearance. Under threat of death people can be made to do almost anything, but no one would call such action "obedience." The basis of love is a desire to reach out and posses the beloved by drawing them unto one’s self and thus become one with them. Love is not "getting," it is giving! So the Bible says, "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son." However the reality among God’s people today is that Christians say, "I know I should love so and so, but I really can’t! Or, " I know I ought to forgive, but I simply cannot!"
Thus in many lives there is really no true obedience towards God at all. But most Christians do not understand this principle of obedience, so man makes his laws of do’s and don’ts and the people think these are the laws of God, so they try to keep them. Many Christians obey the laws of their church so that they can be accepted and be a part of the group. Natural man functions under the natural law of sowing and reaping. Thus Paul says, "If we sow to the flesh we shall of the flesh (not God) reap corruption." So God said to Israel, "Your backsliding will correct you."
In the book of Hebrews we are told that God said he had "put his laws into their hearts and in their minds he would write them." Heb. 10:16. These laws are established within and so are not open to speculation or reason. In reality these Laws of God are the laws of the kingdom written in our heart. Now the Greek word for law is "nomos" that comes from a word meaning to "parcel out" or apportion, especially in relation to food supplied to animals. So the thought conveyed here is not law in the sense of "thou shalt or thou shalt not," but the application of the will, nature, purpose and provision of God. When the King is enthroned in our lives these laws come into effect releasing God’s power to bring everything within us into subjection to the Christ. At the same time they open the doors to God’s infinite supply so that every need is totally met. Then we will hear Father say to us, "Beloved, all that I have is yours."
This spiritual comprehension is not evident in Israel's history so they were bound to function out of an external law written on tables of stone. So when Samuel was no longer able to provide spiritual direction for them, Israel began to call for a king. This king would be an external authority that they could follow and his word would be law. However such a request was abhorrent to Samuel who remonstrated with the people for God was their king.
The reasons for this desire to have a "king like all the nations," was the result of Israel's failure to correctly respond to God. At Mt. Sinai Moses told them from God that if they would obey the voice of the Lord and keep his covenant, then they would be a peculiar treasure unto the Lord above all people. After God had delivered to them the law on the top of the mount, Israel said to Moses, "We are willing to hear your voice, but we do not want to hear the voice of God." It was for this reason that Israel needed the prophets to tell them what God was saying, and to provide spiritual direction.
This is no different to the day in which we live, for so few Christians have the capacity to hear the voice of God. This is in spite of Jesus saying, "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me." This whole parable in John 10 is full of meaning for us today. Jesus says that the Shepherd of the sheep goes in through the door, and to him the porter opens the door. First of all what is the "door" he speaks of? This is the only access point through which the Word enters to affect our lives, and that is through the spirit within us. The realm of spirit within us is the "door," through which God accesses our life, and the "porter" refers to the Holy Spirit who is the sentinel of our heart, keeping out anything that defileth, for he is the guardian of the Most Holy Place. The Holy Spirit within will filter every word you hear or read if you will allow him, and he will let you know that which is truth and that which is not.
However there is another who desires to control the sheep and he is called a hireling, and it is said of him that he climbs up some other way to get access to the sheep. What is this "other way" referred to here? This access point is the mind that can be entered through the natural ear and intellect. Anyone who appeals simply to your intellect to accept what they are preaching is not the true shepherd. The sheep know the voice of the shepherd and they will not follow a stranger. That still small voice is the voice that represents the authority of the Kingdom of God. However the voice that appeals to the intellect energizes the carnal mind or the Adamic consciousness, and this is an enemy of God and brings forth death.
Can you not see why Jesus said, "seek ye first the Kingdom of God." Beloved I challenge you today to discover what authorities are controlling your life. Until every part of our being has been brought under the authority of Christ, we will never experience the release and liberty that Father has provided for us. The whole basis of the Kingdom of God is the bringing forth of the Christ upon whose shoulders rests the government of God. Be like Hannah who did not want to enter the house of God because she had nothing or "no child" to replace the crumbling religious system that existed in her day. Is the situation any less tolerable today?
Man apart from God, has a basic need to be governed, because we were never created to live without divine authority. Paul says, "the creature itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." We live in a world even in the natural where there are so few leaders, and those who claim to be such portray a very poor image to those who seek to follow. Man was never intended to dominate man. "For no man can serve two masters, either he will hate the one and love the other," or vice versa. So if we have never bowed the knee to God then we will inevitably look for another to lead us.
Samuel 8:11-18 the prophet clearly exposes the heart of a man who desires to lord it over others. Seven times, which is the number of completeness, Samuel tells the people, "he will take" and goes on to list the issues that would be involved. Times have not changed and neither has the heart of man. Today we have TV evangelists and other "great" ministries who are millionaires, while Jesus had nowhere to lay his head. Many pastors today have to do a business course because they handle an annual turnover greater than many business enterprises.
Jesus said he did not come to be "ministered unto but to minister." In other words he did not come to get but to give, yet he never lacked for anything. However Israel would not heed the words of the prophet and Saul became king. This was the man who did his best to kill David, the man chosen of God to lead Israel. Is it not so strange that the religious leadership of Israel sought to kill the true King of Jews, when Jesus walked the earth? They finally succeeded, but only because "He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God," otherwise they could not have succeeded. Little did they realize they simply fulfilled the purpose of God in this regard.
It was Elijah who challenged Israel as to the authority that governed their lives. In 1 Kings 18, the prophet gathered all Israel together to establish the divine authority over Israel, which had become involved in Idolatry. It seems strange that there should be any doubt in anyone's mind as to which authority should be recognized, that of God or Baal. But Baal was considered lord of heaven and earth, and also was connected with fertility.
At Mount Carmel the showdown took place as to who could supply the fire for the sacrifice, God or Baal. It was no contest and Baal was discredited and the priests of Baal were slaughtered. It must be remembered that the worship of Baal reached its zenith under Ahab's wicked rule, which was influenced by his heathen wife Jezebel, showing how a king can be corrupted so easily. Jezebel became a symbol of all such evil influence even in the church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:20.
The spiritual counter-part of all these things is that today man still rejects God’s authority in favor of what we judge for ourselves to be right. Until we become conscious of God's authority in our lives, not as a result of law or any other form of control, religious or otherwise, we cannot express Jesus Christ as Lord. Jesus himself declared, "You call me Lord, Lord but you do not the things that I say."
The whole course of the nation of Israel was changed once David became King. He therefore stands in scripture as a type of Jesus Christ who is made of the seed of David according to the flesh. It was said of David that he was "a man after God's own heart." It is most interesting to see the selection process as the prophet Samuel goes to anoint the new king. Remember Saul was still on the throne while the anointing oil was being poured on the head of Jesse's youngest son. Today, the King of Kings stands anointed of God in spite of the "self" that occupies the throne in so many lives, crying out, "We will not have this man to rule over us." However, the purposes of God with regard to the Kingdom cannot be thwarted regardless of the authorities that may hold sway.
Samuel looked over each son as he passed before him, and considered each one to be a suitable candidate for king. But the word of the Lord came to him saying, "look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for the Lord seeth not as man sees, for man looks upon the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart," 1 Sam 16:7.
How many men today who are tall of stature in men's eyes and look to have all the human and academic qualifications necessary to be good leaders, but are rejected of the Lord because of their heart? The Kingdom does not come with observation for it is an inward thing. It is not meat and drink that satisfies man "but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost," which are all qualities emanating from love.
David was a young shepherd boy with nothing to recommend him for such a high position from the world's point of view, but he had a heart for God and so nothing else mattered. Paul tells us that God's authority in the kingdom functions through the foolish things of this world that confound the wise, and the weak, and base things that are despised and even the things that are not, that "no flesh should glory in His presence," 1Cor. 27-29. This is because the power and the dominion belong to God and is not dependant upon man, so it can function through these earthen vessels. To Him be the Glory!
Nimrod created his kingdom of confusion first of all in his mind using his distorted concept of God and a lack of understanding his own reality. This kingdom was established as a physical reality in the form of Babylon, in which he pitted this authority system against God. Remember we are not just reading history here but the spirit is teaching us truth in the only way we can understand it.
James 1:13 explains this process by stating that we cannot blame God for our sin, because He "neither tempts us with evil" nor can God ever respond to evil himself. However he goes on to explain the process of temptation, saying that all temptation has its "beginning" in the mind of man, having been generated in the realm of our desires or lusts. It begins with a thought, and then develops in the invisible realm of the mind until it has reached the point that it influences the emotions and the will that combine to bring it to birth. James says, the initial temptation that began as a thought has now finally produced a physical manifestation called sin, thus birthing death in us.
Remember we are searching for a true understanding of how God's Kingdom functions in our lives today. Most Christians still consider God's Kingdom to be a physical authority exerted over a defined material area called the Earth. Therefore they are waiting for the literal man Jesus to return to the earth and take his place on a throne in the literal city of Jerusalem. Christians believe God drove man out of the Garden of Eden, because he was angry with him over his disobedience.
But the truth is that when Adam took the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he had already created the wilderness in which he found himself. God did not have to do anything. The translators of our English Bible had no such comprehension of spiritual matters so they said, "God drove the man out of the garden," because they believed God was angry with him over his disobedience. This same principle is emulated by the religious world today.
Every person on the earth will take on the character of the God they worship. If you worship an angry God, you will be an angry person!
So it is perfectly natural that Nimrod should build his kingdom in the same way he perceived God’s authority to function, and set himself up as the sovereign lord. Nimrod also considered Cain was "driven" out from the presence of the Lord, so he built a walled city and determined no one was going to drive him out. But to remain true to the principle, that the beginning of Nimrod’s authority system started in his mind we must look behind the physical evidence into that invisible world of the mind. Nimrod did not "begin" with a physical kingdom but it began with a thought process. Until we understand this concept we will never grasp the truth of the Kingdom of God.
First of all let us set the stage for the birthing of this kingdom called Babel. Adam had two children, the first was called Cain, this means a "possession" and the second was called Abel, or Hebel, which means "breath." Here is another divine principle spoken of by Paul in 1 Cor 15:46, "That was not first that is spiritual but that which is natural and then that which is spiritual." So we have the natural man represented in Cain, and Abel represents the spiritual man.
Abel was interested in the birthright as evidenced in his choice of the firstling of the flock for a sacrifice, but Cain was like Esau who saw no advantage in such things. Cain offered the fruit of the ground, which speaks to us of that which is the product of the earth. The natural man still considers today, that he came from the ground (dust) and will return to the ground. Therefore he will always offer what has been produced out of himself (the ground), being ignorant of his origin and standing in relation to God. So today man offers God his money, ability, intellect, time and strength, all of which is out of himself. Gods says, "Just give me the reality of who you are, and I will manifest myself through you for all the world to see."
In Genesis 4:16, we are told that Cain went out from the presence of the Lord. Now our natural mind sees Cain travelling along some dusty road to some distant place where he could build a home. But we know that God is everywhere and David declared it mattered not where we went, God would be there, even in hell! The truth is that Cain did not necessarily go anywhere physically, but he did journey in his mind to a place where he no longer could sense God. It is called the Land of Nod, and all mankind has taken that journey, with many never returning to Father’s house. This is the only place where this word "Nod" is used, and it means, "wandering." God is the center of this universe and if we lose our connection with that center we travel like a shooting star that has no clear orbit. To put it bluntly, at that point we are lost! (see Gen 4:14.)
Notice the first thing Cain did in his "lost" condition was to build a city and dedicate it to the name of his son, Enoch, which means "dedicated." It would seem to be almost a rebuff to Cain, that God "took" Enoch out of the kingdom Cain was building, so he would not see death that must inevitably follow. This means God simply intervened in the life of Enoch and lifted him into another dimension, just as Adam was moved out of the Garden and put into another dimension of life, where the spiritual was replaced by the physical. In the case of Enoch, God replaced the physical with the spiritual.
So Cain established his own authority by building a city and taking dominion over other people, enslaving them for his own benefit. Thus Cain who had established his own authority and kingdom no longer recognized God’s authority. Because Enoch remained under the authority of the Kingdom of God, he was incompatible with Cain’s kingdom and for this reason God lifted him up into that higher dimension. Beloved I want you to see this is exactly the same today for those who "walk with God." So Cain represents man who has lost his relationship with God and so must establish his own authority structure apart from God.
Ever since Adam left the Garden of Eden man has become his own god, boasting of his ability to disregard God and His authority if he so chooses. Consider for a moment those Christians who sing with great gusto, "He is Lord, He is risen from the dead and He is Lord." In their everyday life they decide what they want to do, where they want to go, and how they want to live without any real reference to the Lord. So the Lordship of Christ is equated with trying not to do evil, but doing that which is good and they believe they are practicing the Lordship of Christ. Paul tells us that our body’s are the Temple of God and we are not our own for we are bought with a price, and we do not possess sovereign rights over how we live. The truth is, we belong to God by right of creation as well as by right of redemption.
It is interesting to find Israel at the time of Christ claiming Abraham as their Father, and so considered they were the chosen people of God. Yet they were trying to kill the Son of the Living God and finally they succeeded at Calvary. In every sense man has built his own kingdom having little regard for the divine authority that has been invested in man. The true seed of Abraham was not the nation of Israel, but Jesus Christ in whom all the nations of the earth are to be blessed. He obeyed his Father who said, "Sacrifice and offerings I do not desire," yet Israel continued their animal sacrifices while Christ yielded his body as a living sacrifice unto the Father, to be His temple and dwelling place.
Israel followed the actions of Cain and killed their brother Jesus, saying, "Crucify him, for we will not have this man to reign over us." They also fulfilled the parable Jesus told about the man who had a vineyard, and put laborers in it to look after it while he went away. But when he sent his servant to receive the fruit of the vineyard at the time of harvest, the husbandmen took him and beat him, then killed the next servant that was sent. Finally the man said, "I will send my son for surely they will reverence him," but when they saw him they said, "This is the heir, come let us kill him and we will claim the inheritance."
Then we come to the time of Noah who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Adam had forfeited his right to remain in the Garden of God and so that spiritual environment was lost to him, and death was passed on to all men. Adam had forfeited his right to remain in the Garden of God and so that spiritual environment was lost to him, and death was passed on to all men. So the day came when God said, "My spirit shall not always strive or plead with man." This is a reference to the Adamic consciousness that had become established through the generations of Adam. Man became responsible for his own choices having little regard for the authority of God. But in mercy God provided a way of escape in the Ark that Noah built by faith. But one-hundred-twenty years of preaching did not sway the majority who were swept away in the corruption of a godless society.
But in speaking of Noah, most would consider this is just a record of history, where a man built a great boat that saved his family from the flood of God’s judgement. I want you to know that what is recorded here concerning Noah is just as relevant today as it was way back in history. If you have eyes to see you can watch the youth of our day being swept away in the flood of corruption that is polluting the world. Even Christian parents are being affected as the tide of evil rises in the world. Is there any answer?? Yes there is, for God says to every man to build an ark to save his family. That "ark" is the reality of Christ dwelling within, lifting us above the flood of corruption that is drowning so many today.
We cry to God about the wicked music that is poisoning our youth, and beg God to stop the pornography. We weep over the flood of children born to those who are drowning in the cesspools of wanton sex, which is being encouraged by sex education in our schools. How many have been destroyed because of the drugs that are sweeping the entire world? Christians partition the government to do more to control illicit drugs, but their response is minimal. God says, "I have provided an ark that will lift you above the flood of evil and introduce you to a new world called the Kingdom of God, wherein dwells righteousness."
Noah entered a new era after the flood and scripture states that the whole earth was populated through his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japeth. But we will follow the generations of Ham who brings forth Canaan the fourth son. Then from Canaan comes Cush, which means "black" who brings forth Nimrod, which means "rebel." So we can see that the Adamic consciousness had crossed over in the ark, and soon begins to exert its influence on the people. Because of man’s origin as spirit, there is a sense of divine authority resident within him, but with Nimrod he refuses to submit and openly sets his heart to rebel against God.
Nimrod establishes his own kingdom called Babel, or Babylon. The name Babylon means "confusion by mixture." Here we have a kingdom set up by Nimrod as if in competition with God, with Nineveh as its capital. It became a cultural center as well as developing its own religion based upon idolatry. This kingdom, in its spiritual representation has remained active right up to this day, and still is the great counterfeit of Christianity. John saw the day of its demise from the Isle of Patmos in Rev 18:2. Notice it is called "Babylon the great."
I want you now to hear the cry of the divine messenger to the people of God in Rev 18:4, "Come out of her my people, lest you be a joint participant in her sins, and be involved in her plagues or calamities." This command is clear and direct and has applied to the people of God of all ages, but more especially in this our day. What is this Babylon that we are to come out of? Some have suggested it is the Roman Catholic Church, but there was no such thing in Nimrod’s day when the kingdom called Babylon was established. Babylon is a religious system that is founded upon man’s concept of God, developed in what Paul calls the carnal mind. It is based upon a "two power" system called "good and evil." This involves having a God for the good, and a God for the evil. Man calls the "god of evil," the devil, believing it to be responsible for all the evil in the world. According to "Babylon," there is a constant battle between God, and the devil that opposes everything God does. This false kingdom teaches that God blesses those that do good and punishes those who do evil. All of this and more, is simply a universal hypnotism that has affected the whole world.
Life in this kingdom called Babylon is filled with sin, sickness and death, under a God who keeps a record of our sins, and dispatches those who do not repent to an everlasting burning hell. This "Gospel" is formed by the carnal mind, joining certain Scriptures together while ignoring many others that would contradict their theory. The real problem with Babylon is that it produces a distorted picture of God and also of ourselves and provides a panacea that dulls our spiritual senses.
Now what I have written in this section is not simply a record of history, but an account of the rise of a spurious kingdom that is set as an alternative to the Kingdom of God. This other kingdom was birthed in the mind of a rebellious man. However let us be clear in our understanding, that the mind of every natural man is called "carnal," having no ability to know God or to understand the things of the spirit, 1 Cor. 2:14. The power to create is inherent in man, because he came out of God who created the heavens and the earth by speaking a word. The difference is that after God had finished His creation, He looked and saw that everything was good.
After man sinned he released into the world both good and evil that would contaminate every man. Now man has two worlds to deal with, because he opened himself to inhabit both the physical and the spiritual world. The physical world is visible to our natural eyes and is the world of good and evil. We are born into this world, in which we make decisions based upon our knowledge of these two opposites. This discernment is considered vital by the carnal mind, to bring us into spiritual union with God, because the snake told Eve, "To eat the fruit of this tree of the knowledge of good and evil will open your eyes and make you as gods." However, instead of bringing them into a vital expression of God, it took them into a lower dimension of life that made them subject to sin, sickness and death. In this condition man has a distorted understanding of God, and his ability to know the things of the spirit is limited to the natural mind.
Do not be fooled beloved, for sin is not birthed in the physical world but in the spiritual world of your mind. James says, "Every man is tempted of his own lust (or desire) and enticed, then when lust has conceived, (birthed in the mind) it comes forth into manifestation as sin, and this results death," James 1:13-15. Jesus said, "If you hate your brother you are a murderer." Why is that so? Because a man must first make a decision to hate that begins as a thought, and this thought acts upon his emotions, inflaming them until he becomes convinced he has a right to take his brother’s life. It becomes apparent that all sin begins in the spiritual part of man. This is important for us to grasp because we tend to associate sin only with its outward manifestation and not with its origin.
War in Heaven
In view of all that we have shared it becomes apparent that God’s authority must be restored within us before the Kingdom of God can function. This means that every opposing force within us must be subdued and brought under the control of Christ. Here we encounter our first problem, for most believe we have the power to "bring all things into subjection under our feet." But believe me there is not a man on the earth who has the power to quell the forces that control us.
It is interesting that in the book of Revelation we find there is "war in heaven." Now religion has represented heaven as a beautiful place up in the sky somewhere to which Christians go after they die. This "place" is also considered to be where God lives because he is too holy to reside on the earth. However, the Greek word translated heaven is "ouranos" and means above, with the idea of elevation. However, the natural mind only understands "above" to mean, "above the earth," in other words the sky. The truth is that it refers to a higher form of consciousness and a higher realm of living having nothing to do with a literal elevation above the earth.
Paul tells us in Eph. 2:5-6, "Even when we were dead in sins, he has quickened us together with Christ (by grace we are saved), and has (now) raised us up together and made us to sit together in heavenly places (ouranos) in Christ Jesus." Paul continues by saying that this salvation, that elevates us into Christ consciousness, is to be a manifestation of his grace towards us, in the ages that follow. There is nothing here to suggest that our feet leave the earth.
What we are discussing here is a "war in heaven." First of all we must recognize that this war is not being fought in some ethereal "heaven" in the sky, but is a battle for the supremacy of your mind and mine, and to reinstate our true King, which is Christ. To control a person there is no need for guns or prisons all that is needed is to control a person’s mind. Mind control is a science today, practiced during the last world war, as "brain washing." But it becomes far more sinister when a government seeks to manipulate the minds of the people through television, radio and the media in countries like China and Russia. But to bring this mind control into focus in our own personal lives, let us consider a child who constantly hears from his parents that he is no good, and is dumb. The effect of those words on a child is devastating, locking him into a prison without cells or bars, but crippling his future.
Let us consider the first time we hear about someone being controlled by their mind. It is in Genesis 3, when Eve has a conversation with a snake. Now modern theology interprets the snake as being satan or the devil, giving him personality and a conscious existence that still remains today. Beloved I trust we have grown enough in God to know that concept to be just a fable and a figment of man’s imagination. Conversation is an activity of the mind, that is then expressed in words as we exchange ideas and facts of mutual interest. So what we have here in the Garden of Eden is the snake talking to Eve, who represents the soul of Adam.
Eve knew God had said that they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden lest they die. But who was she speaking to? This was a conversation within the mind of Eve that was functioning alone without any input from the spirit (Adam). This is a discussion with the carnal mind that is an enemy of God, as Eve seeks wisdom. James speaks of this wisdom saying, "This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthy, sensual and devilish." So she was responding to this other source of wisdom or knowledge that was seeking to dominate her mind. Remember Eve was alone at this time for Adam, the spirit man, was not with her, so the influence of the Spirit on the mind was not there. Paul says that the "natural or carnal man (mind) cannot receive the things that be of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them," 1 Cor. 2:14.
Many would scoff at the idea of having an argument with yourself, playing the part of both sides. But consider a young person who was told not to drink and drive or they would lose their license. But they get with their friends who want to drink. Immediately there is a conflict in their mind. One part of their mind says, I should not drink or I could lose my license. But there is another voice coming from within that says, "Nobody will know, you can go home on a back road and the police will never know." So of course that voice wins the day and they begin to drink. We all could multiply this situation a thousand times. There was no devil with horns and a tail required for such an exchange. Tell a child not to touch the chocolates, and you and I both know what happens. They look at the chocolates and think how nice they would taste, then inside there is a voice that says, "Go on, no one will know you took one." But of course they forget to wipe the chocolate off their lips and they are caught out. In every case it is a question of what we allow to dominate our mind. As we have already mentioned, all sin begins as a thought in the mind. So "mind control" is a constant battle going on in each one of us, even though we are mostly unaware of it.
All that we have spoken about here concerns the war in heaven.
Rev 12:7, "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels." This battle has nothing to do with war as we know it today, with guns or swords and spears. This battle is a battle fought in the spiritual realm of the soul, and the battleground is in the mind. Remember the whole book of Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ in His people!
This same battle was fought in Jesus Christ while he was on earth. He became a partaker of flesh and blood and was tested in all points just the same as we are. He fought every battle there was to be fought in that spirit realm, defeating the carnal mind in those forty days in the wilderness with the wild beasts. Because of this we have been assured that the same victory can be ours also. Adam lost that spiritual battle, fought out in his mind with the snake, and found himself in a wilderness instead of the Garden of Eden. We have been deceived into believing that the whole picture of sin in the Garden of Eden consisted in a physical act of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, instead of a battle to control the mind and so dominate man.
Paul spoke clearly saying, "We fight not against flesh and blood or physical issues, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies." Beloved it is time for us to wake up and discover where the enemy is hiding and find the pathway to victory in Christ. But to enter into the Kingdom of God we must win the battle of the heavens (carnal mind) within us, and dethrone the enemy’s lies and replace them with the truth. The tragedy of Christendom today is that many of God’s people actually live in that false kingdom of darkness, but in their heart they believe they are in the Kingdom of God!
The author of the thoughts of your mind is the one who rules the kingdom in which you live. If God has enlightened your understanding by the Spirit so that you can receive truth, then He is the King over the kingdom of your life. However if we continue to believe a lie concerning God, and the reality of our own being, then we will live our lives being dominated by the kingdom of darkness.
Now let us concentrate on this "war" and understand how the battle is to be fought and the prize that is to be won. Let us answer the second question first. The prize to be won is to enter into the Kingdom of God, the law of which is love, and the supply is infinite. Nothing that defiles can enter into that Kingdom. This battle is to destroy the powers of darkness and ignorance, so that we can enter into the Kingdom of God. Cast your mind back to the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus when he was told that to enter into the Kingdom of God he must be born of the spirit. So before we can enter into God’s Kingdom we must be born of the Spirit.
For the truth let us look at Revelation 12, that begins with a woman, one that is able to give birth. But this is not just any woman for she is "clothed with the sun," just as Jesus appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. So this Woman represents the church or the in-Christed ones, all of whom have been changed and are in His likeness and image. The scripture also declares that the moon was under her feet. The moon has no light of its own but simply reflects light during the time of darkness. This light speaks of the traditional concepts of men that are the product of the carnal mind. It also represents the law and the first covenant God made with man. This "woman" or sign, is pregnant waiting to bring forth a man-child. This "Man-Child" is the Christ and she is about to be delivered.
There was another "sign" in the heavenly realm called the red dragon that had seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads and the ten horns simply implies his power, wisdom and authority to rule all mankind. This dragon is the same snake that deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, only now it has developed into a dragon. The intention of the dragon was to devour the man-child as soon as it was born. The dragon knows that if this "man-child," who is Christ, reaches the throne in us, his power will be broken and he will find the heel of man crushing his head. This man-child is already anointed to rule the nations within us and is being caught up unto God and to His throne. Traditional theology teaches us that God’s throne is up in the sky somewhere, but the truth is, that the throne of God is in the Most Holy Place that is within us.
It is at this time that the Bible declares there was a war in heaven between Michael the Archangel and the dragon. The name Michael means, "Who is like God." The answer of course is that the man-child is like God and this Christ has been birthed within the people of God who also are like God. But we must look at this war carefully and understand what it is that we are really fighting.
The real contestants in this battle are:
The false image that was established in Adam in the Garden of Eden, that to achieve God status all we needed to do was to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve believed the lie and Adam joined her because in reality they were one. Since then mankind all over the world has believed that lie and so religion was birthed to devise the laws, and therefore control the people in their fruitless quest to reach God.
The other contestant is Christ the Lord, who stands as God’s anointed King and represents the reality of man created in the beginning, in the likeness and image of God himself.
The first point I want to make is that the real war will not begin until Christ has been birthed in us, until then there is no contest. Paul told the saints at Ephesus, "We fight not against flesh and blood!" If only God’s people could understand this important statement. How many Christians look at their husband or wife or some other person and see them as the cause of all their problems. Beloved we do not fight against flesh and blood. There is nothing in this physical world that is your enemy, but so few believe it. There is nothing out there that can make you love, and there is nothing outside of you that can make you hate. Paul says, "But we fight against principalities and powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this (our) world."
Now let us explore these "principalities" against which we are fighting. This word is a translation of the Greek word "arche" and Strongs says it means "the beginning or the origin of a thing," and so takes us back to our beginning or origin. When God created man He made him a God-Man, in His image and likeness, who would be able to manifest His glory on the earth. Now to be able to do that He had to put within the man the necessary equipment that would allow him to fulfill this function. The animals could not do this for they do not have the capacity to express God. So God put within man these special powers and responses called emotions and the power of reason, together with physical and mental powers that allow us to choose and make decisions. We were given the capacity in creation to function out of the divine nature.
These things we have taken for granted, and have never considered if we are using them correctly or perhaps we have ignored their very existence. How many of us realize that the same powers and abilities that were given to us in creation are the principalities that now war against us, and in a subtle way have actually controlled our lives? Why does a Christian live with depression? Because their emotions control their lives without them realizing it. Now these abilities we were given in the beginning are not in themselves evil or wicked, for under divine control they allow us to manifest the glory of God. However under the control of the carnal mind they can be very destructive.
To better understand our enemies we must go back to the Garden of Eden. God made the animals and brought them to Adam to name them or to declare their character. But we are looking at a parable here, so we understand that these animals represent our emotions. Now while these animals were in the Garden there was no fighting and each one functioned exactly as they were designed to do. So we find the lion lies down with the lamb. This means that the power to rule that God has put in man in the beginning (the lion) is absolutely compatible with the lamb nature of God.
However when Adam found himself outside the Garden a change took place and the "animals" took on a different character. Adam’s first son rose up and slew his brother for the "lion" now saw the "lamb" as an enemy and destroyed it. Thus man became a battleground in which the original equipment God placed in him, now functioned under another authority causing a manifestation of something other than God. Where did murder come from? Each of the emotions that were given to man, allowing him to manifest God now had a dual character, both good and evil. So now love the greatest emotion of all has as its opposite, "hate," which is love in reverse. That is why Jesus said, "If a man hate his brother he is a murderer." Remember the emotions are connected to the soul realm and therefore they are a part of our spiritual world or heaven.
How many of us have tried desperately to control these emotions only to find them breaking out again given the right circumstances. A Christian man came for counseling one day and said, "I have a bad temper, and I have tried to control it but every once in a while it bursts out and I do things that I am ashamed of." This man had tried everything, he had prayed and asked God to help him, but the problem did not go away. Beloved, never seek to use God’s power to fight some other power, for there is only one power in this universe and that is God. God is not going to fight something he put into man because what he gave us is perfect. If God brought some external control over our emotions and the powers that He has given us, then we would be a robot, and could never manifest God, for God is free. Our problem is, that we have given our carnal mind control over these powers, and because the carnal mind is an enemy of God it is using them now against us as we begin to discover our true identity and the purpose for our being.
God brought Israel out of Egypt without the use of force or weapons, defeating the greatest power on the earth at that time. But Israel refused to subdue the giants who were in the land God had promised to them. That land is a type of the Kingdom of God, a land of infinite supply and flowing with milk and honey. Because we have been ignorant of the "giants" that dwell in us, we have not developed any strategies to overcome them. So we have not heeded the directive Jesus gave us to, "Seek first the Kingdom of God."
Noah was a man who was perfect in his generations, so God told him to build an ark, which is a type of Christ. Into this ark came the "animals" in pairs because they all have a dual effect upon us. While they were in the ark (Christ) there was no problem with the animals, and again the lion lay down with the lamb in beautiful harmony. The flood of corruption from the world could not affect them for they were elevated above it. But again, after they left the ark the animals took on their opposition to God’s plan for the "new world," and again the lion attacked the lamb.
Then we come to Job who was a perfect and upright man whose story is a beautiful parable of the spiritual issues that we all face in our lives. It says that there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. You may ask how could Satan appear with the sons of God? We are not speaking of a "being" with horns and a tail as religion has taught us. Satan is "the accuser of the brethren," and continues with his accusations day and night. There is no one outside of us who is accusing us day and night before God! But there is an accuser within, which we call our conscience. This "conscience" is actually a pseudo consciousness that is birthed in the carnal mind, and is the arbiter of "good and evil." This is the one who says, "You cannot be a Christian and do what you have just done, or said what you have said." This consciousness functions with the emotions and is often the cause of depression.
So Satan appears with the sons of God, so that the war in heaven for most, has not yet started. But notice that God does not seem to treat him like an enemy, for he says to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?" Notice Satan’s response to this question. "Does Job fear God for nothing? You have built a hedge about him and protected him, and blessed all the works of his hands, and that is why he fears you. But if you put forth your hand now and touch all that he has then he will curse you to your face." Satan was challenging Job’s motivation for his love relationship with God. So God said, "All that he has is in your hand only you cannot touch his life." Satan then went forth to prove that Job did not fear God for nothing!
If you read the Bible as a history book then you will miss all that the Lord is teaching us today. This episode teaches us that God is going to challenge every one who names the name of Christ as to our motivation for putting our faith in him. Beloved these are critical days and Father is separating the light from the darkness, and the dry land from the sea, in every one of His sons. This is the reason for the conflict between those who embrace truth and those who still believe the "lie." Now we begin to see that the present state of our mind must be openly revealed to us through our attitudes and motivations expressed in our lives.
Many believe that we declare our faith in Christ by being born again, and then automatically we enter into the Kingdom of God. This is not the case for there is a war to be fought and a battle to win before the "Promised Land" can be possessed. Without going into all the details concerning Job who was put to the test, and then defamed by his religious friends, the end of the teaching is that Job sinned not nor attributed foolishness to God. Beloved, Satan is simply a tool in the hand of the Lord to accomplish the purposes of God in each of us. The thoughts and intents of the heart must be revealed to every one of us, not at some future Judgment Day but now. It is the pure in heart that shall see God.
The religious teaching of an eternal burning hell was a ploy to encourage believers to turn to the Lord, but it raised a wrong motivation in the hearts of people. To become a Christian in order to escape the judgement of hell, will never allow us to enter into a love relationship with God. There is only one motivation that will bring us into right relationship with God and that is love, pure and simple. The Bible expresses it this way, "We love Him because He first loved us." The gospel that uses fear (a negative emotion) to bring us to God can never produce trust, but that fear will remain as the basis of the relationship, and you will always fear God.
Beloved, we are fighting principalities, which we must learn to identify and bring them into subjection before we can enter the Kingdom of God. If the Kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, then every principality within us that does not produce these things must be brought into submission to Christ. As the Lord reveals these things we become aware that there have been forces that have functioned contrary to God’s Kingdom in us, but we have paid no attention to them. For the Kingdom of God to be established in us, there must be a war in our heaven in which every "imagination" must be cast down. The word imagination is the Greek word "log-is-mos" and refers to our thought process. It is out of this ability God put within us that the Christ or Logos is to be formed in us. But we cannot "raise" up the Christ while our thoughts are contaminated by the "snake." Paul says, "Casting down imaginations, and every spiritual thought that exalts itself against the true knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought (activity of the mental process) to accord with the Christ."
Let me ask you beloved, have you ever engaged in such a cleansing process? You say, "Yes I certainly have tried but have not succeeded in bringing that part of my being into divine order." We are not speaking here of overt sin, but the cleansing of this spiritual part of our being within the soul. Is it therefore possible for us to subdue these spiritual faculties and bring them under control, and if so, how can it be done?
Jesus Christ Is Lord
First of all we will look at the scripture in Hebrews 2 to understand the position in which God put us. Speaking of man it says, "Thou hast made him a little while inferior to the angels or messengers, and crowned him with Glory and Honor and set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet, leaving nothing that was not made subject to him. But now we see not yet all things put under him." Let us ponder these things for a moment, in creation God created man just a little lower than Elohim, (Psalm 8). "He crowned him (man) with glory and honor, and put all things under his feet. All sheep and the oxen, yes and the beasts of the field, (our emotions) the fowl of the air, (speaking of our thought process) and the fish of the sea, (the lower responses of desire and lust) and whatsoever passes through the paths of the sea."
Then the Psalmist breaks out into praise saying, "O Lord, our Lord, (notice this personal concept) how excellent is thy name (the manifestation of your nature and character) in all the earth," i.e. in us. But as we all know this state of affairs did not continue, and so the passage in Hebrews ends with the sad refrain, "But now we see not all things put under him." But before despair can set in the writer continues saying, "But we see Jesus." However we are not speaking about natural vision here looking at a "man," but spiritual vision that enables us to see into the reality of who he really is, and to catch the reflection of ourselves in that reality.
It is for this reason, that before there can be any real confrontation with the principalities and powers, the Christ must be birthed within us, for he is the one who has the power to subdue all things unto himself. As soon as He is birthed He is caught up to God and to His throne within us, with all power given to Him in heaven and in earth. So that while we try as mortals to use God’s power to overcome the enemy, we will never succeed, but Christ is the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. Christ does not fight this war on our behalf as so many believe but the birthing of the Christ in us actually reveals our true origin and the very substance of our being. It is no longer Christ and me for "as He is so are we in this world." The sanctifier and the sanctified are all one. So we fight as one and the victory is ours. However we come to realize that when our identity merges with His, everything within us falls at His (our) feet. Why is this? Because He is Lord, and all things were created by Him and for Him, and for His pleasure they were created. What a victory, without some long drawn out fight, for everything that is within me now falls at His feet. What once opposed me now functions to enable me to manifest the glory of my God in this world of darkness.
"HE was foreordained, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, that he should bring many sons unto glory, to make the captain (speaking of the original man) of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one and because of this Jesus Christ is not ashamed to call us his brothers." Beloved, Christ the original man, created as pure spirit, has preserved for us the perfection in which we were created, and has now partaken of flesh and blood for the suffering of death that he has tasted for every man. Thus he has unified both God’s perfect original spirit man, created in Genesis 1:26-28 and also man in his "earth form" who has lived for 6000 years in the lower regions of "soul life" where all his perceived realities are in the realm of appearance in this physical world.
In this "world of appearance" we will never see everything under our feet, nor will we see the glory and honor that Father has bestowed upon us. These things are only visible to us in the realm of sanctification where we are set apart from everything else to assume our original perfection in which we were created.
As we ponder these heavenly truths we need to take off our shoes and know we are walking on holy ground. Beloved we are walking today where we have never walked before. At least this is my testimony and it is my desire that you also may ascend the "hill of the Lord." Looking from God’s point of view we have never lost our pristine glory, but since Adam introduced us to the physical world of good and evil, a veil has hidden from our understanding our true reality, in which the glory of God remains.
We begin to discover why there has to be a war in our heaven, for in our heavens the principalities and powers have declared the Kingdom to be theirs, and are set to "kill the Son," so the inheritance may be theirs. Paul speaks of this in 1 Cor. 15:24-28 saying,
"Then cometh the end when he shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and all power." Let us be clear that the word "end" used here has no reference to time, but to the end of a condition or state. This makes what he has to say here most interesting. For this concerns us and not the world at large. We are God’s Kingdom! And it is the function of the Christ to reign within us to restore the Kingdom to the Father.
Beloved, ask yourself this question, are you content to continue to live your life under the domination of the carnal mind that can only produce death? Or are you serious in your search for deliverance from these powers that have risen up in you seeking to possess God’s inheritance? If so there is one waiting to bind up the broken hearted, and to proclaim liberty to the captives. This is Jesus Christ who has come to break the power of the dragon’s lie, simply by exposing you to the truth. God has planted the incorruptible seed of God within you and as you tend the garden of your heart there will be birthed in you the Christ, the likeness and image of God, in all the pristine glory of creation, as your origin and the substance of your being.
Now we begin to understand how the war is to be won, for it says, He (Christ) must reign (in us) until a situation has been reached when, "All (our) enemies are under his feet." How wonderful, because this was our condition in the beginning! But we believed the lie that God is something separate from us so we have tried to be like God by eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Then one day God turned on the light and we discovered that as he is, so are we in this world.
Then we become a manifestation of God’s Kingdom that is open to the whole world, and everyone will seek after him. This is how the Apostle John saw it, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away and there was no more sea." The sea separates, and so now there is no more separation at all, for in Christ we are one. And as John beheld this glorious sight he saw the holy city, the city Abraham looked for that has foundations and whose builder and maker is God. This is the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
The soul or Eve, the "woman" that was deceived by the snake, who released the "principalities and powers" that were ordained for our good, turning the Garden into a wilderness, has now been renewed. Jesus Christ now becomes Lord in us, and all our enemies bow at His feet as He declares peace. She has made herself ready for the great marriage supper of the Lamb. Beloved we are all invited to this marriage which will take place in every one of us, as we put on the "wedding garment" that has been supplied, the robe of righteousness. Then will come the great consummation as the soul and the spirit are united just as God said: "For this cause shall a man leave his mother and father and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh." Just think about it, God and man one flesh!!
Thus the dominion that was given to us in the beginning is restored to us and we find all things now are under our feet and Jesus Christ is Lord. The Kingdom of God is now a reality functioning in us and there is a great voice out of heaven saying,
"Behold the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away. And he that sat upon the Throne in us said, Behold I make all things new."
Many Christians have tried to short circuit God’s program by suggesting that all that is required is for us to believe and it shall be so. Then why did Father give us so much information about the process if it has no application to our lives today? Many are just waiting for the rapture as the fulfillment of their concept of how God will bring us into perfection. Others see a great judgement day that must take place when every person who has ever lived will be made to stand before God, who will judge everyone according to what he or she has done.
Beloved, let us bow before our Heavenly Father who created us and knows everything there is to know about us, and listen to His voice guiding us through those experiences that He knows will achieve His divine purposes in us, until we become God’s Kingdom on this earth.
The Lord give you understanding of these things is my prayer.