Tag Archive for Kingdom of God

Put God first (part 2)

b. Be renewed in the spirit of the mind

The apostle Paul said; “Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:14-19).

Those who put God first in their lives however, did not come to know Christ that way. Assuming that they have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, they will put off their old nature which belongs to their former way of life, and which is corrupted through deceitful lusts, and they will be renewed in the spirit of their minds, and will put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

They will put God first by not conforming themselves to this world, but rather be transformed by the renewal of their minds, in order that they may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. They will set their minds on things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. They will put to death all what that is earthly in them, because the unrighteous, the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Putting God first is to strive to enter by the narrow door; for many I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the house holder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open to us.’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from. Then you will begin to say. ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But He will say ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity! There you will weep and gnash your teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from East and west, and from North and South, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last” (Luke 13:24-31)

Anyone who breaks one of the least of God’s commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

One important thing we all need to realize is that, most of the things we have been taught and grew up believing have been introduced to our religious, political, social and education system by the kingdom of darkness which is diametrically contrary to the principles of Godly living established by the kingdom of light.

We therefore are to be recognizance of the fact that the first transformation that takes place at conversion is a transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, and so we have been admonished by the apostle Paul saying: “Be filled with the knowledge of God´s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1: 9-14).
Long before, the prophet Daniel prophesied of the time when the fourth beast which refers to the Roman Empire will change times and laws. For thus he wrote; “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, `which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces’
“The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:23-25).

Now according to the apostle John this beast with the seven heads and ten horns, which represents the Roman Empire, Satan the dragon has given it his power, his throne, and great authority. For thus he said, “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1-2).

Therefore, the majority of things that we have been taught by the system, originated from the kingdom of darkness. For example:-

• How can a new day begin at mid-night, when the first thing God created when He ordained time was light! For thus He said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.
The sun was created to herald a new day, for thus says the Lord, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also” (Genesis 1:14-16).

Is it coincidental that our bodies were designed to rest and recuperate in the night and be rejuvenated in the morning! Or is it by natural design? Is it also coincidental that 12 O´clock in the day is called mid-day, and twelve O´clock in the night is called mid night! If they are not coincidental how the middle of the night can be the beginning of a new day?

And how do we reconcile the time of Christ´s death on the cross to be three O´clock in the evening, when the time was the ninth hour of the day?

• Why a new month in this system has nothing to do with the moon and the moon has nothing to do with the month despite the fact that the word moon originated from the moon!
Now, when the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” What sign or evidence they had to distinguish the first day of the month? Incidentally, this day was also the first day of the year.

• When does a new year begin according to the kingdom of light? Is it not at the time the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you?” So why today a new year begins in the dead of winter and not in spring?
Is it coincidental the word September originated from the number seven, October originated from the number eight and December originated from the number ten! So how is it today that September is regarded as the ninth month, October as the tenth month and December as the twelve month! Who made those changes?

These are all part and parcel of the renewal that has to take place in the spirit of our minds so as to put on the new man who was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, we have been warned saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4).

What is Everlasting Life?

The word everlasting life and eternal life have been used interchangeable at times by some translators, and many people are in the view that both are one and the same: but is everlasting life and eternal life the same?

The Holy Spirit has led me to see and understand that there is a huge difference between eternal life and everlasting life, and knowing and understanding the difference is vitally important for our future.

Judging from what is written in scriptures, it is quite evident that they are totally different to each other, even the words themselves convey a different connotation.

For example:

The word Eternal denotes that it has eternally existed, and will continue to exist forever, and furthermore, it is a gift from God. For it is written; “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Eternal life, who is Jesus Christ, is our gift from God. It is in him we all live and move and have our being. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father he said; “…Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17: 1-3).

The testimony or witness that God has given us concerning his Son is that; “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1John 5:11-12).

Everlasting life however, conveys a different connotation, it denotes something which had a beginning, and will be allowed to live forever: and, contrary to eternal life which is a gift, it is a reward for righteous living. For thus it is written; “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is everlasting life” (Romans 6:22).

We have also been warned saying; “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

From what is seen from the pages of scripture; everlasting life is a reward, something one receives from sanctification, or holiness, as the result of being slaves righteousness, and the benefit one reaps for sowing to the Spirit.

Everlasting life from all indications is the immortality of the human body which is mortal, and begins at birth, and it is appointed to die, but now has the opportunity to live forever. This is what Jesus Christ alluded to in John.3:5 stating; “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is of born of water [flesh] and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Therefore, in order for anyone to inherit the kingdom of God, their human body must be given life in order for it to live forever, and this is the future hope of our salvation.

Eternal life is a gift from God: it is by grace that we have been saved, but we who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoptions as sons, the redemption of our bodies: for in this hope we were saved. According to the apostle Paul; “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we should be unclothed, but that we should be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God: who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2Corinthians 5:1-5).

Everlasting life therefore is the immortality of the human body, and it is guaranteed only to those who, not only believe in Jesus Christ as the Beloved Son of God, who became the Son of Man, but who also believes in Jesus Christ as the Begotten Son of God. For it is written; “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Jesus Christ the Beloved Son of God, became the Son of Man, and declared to be the Begotten Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead. As God alone, Christ could not have saved us, because He cannot die. As man alone He could not saved us, for he could have only saved Himself. He had to be both God and man.

As the Son of Man, He was made lower that the angels for the suffering of death. As the begotten Son of God, He is crowned with glory and honor. “For to which of the angels did He ever say; ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten you? And again, ‘I will be to Him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? But when He again brings the first born [from mortal to immortal] into the world, He says; let the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:5-6).

The Son of man became the Begotten Son of God by the quality of life He lived as the Son of Man. This life is indicative of how His followers ought to live, for he came to set us an example that we should follow his steps, and this is how we know that we are in him. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, but became the first born [from mortal to immortal] among many brethren who will receive the adoption as sons. Because in bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exist should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brethren.

The life that he lived, which we ought to follow in order to receive everlasting life is a life of:-

(a). Holiness which is separation from sin: for we are admonished to, “Be holy for I am holy” (1Pet. 1:15-16).

(b). Loving righteousness which is three dimensional: and that is, Loving the Lord who is our righteousness: loving the act of righteousness by which we were imputed with righteousness: and by keeping his commandments for all his commandments are righteous.

©. Hating lawlessness: meaning hating disobedience just as God says concerning his Son: “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness: therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of gladness” (Hebrews 1:8-9).

(d) Being obedient to the Father, by obeying his commandments.

(f) Humility; as we are admonished to, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

(g) Be completely dependent upon the Father.

g) Be led by the Holy Spirit

(h) Love being the motivating factor for all His works

Be an over- comer: For it is he who overcomes that will be granted to sit with Christ on his throne, even as he overcame and is sat down with his Father on his throne.

This is the criterion in order to reap everlasting life – the immortality of the body, which is our eternal inheritance, which unfortunately some will forfeit. For, “Each one’s work will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on Christ [eternal life] endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself [spirit man] will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1Corinthians 3:13-15).

The structure we are building is developing the nature [character] of Jesus Christ. Hence, the degree of glory is dependent on how much we have measured up to the stature and fullness of Christ. For, as we behold His glory, we are to be transformed into the same image, from one degree of glory to another, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Everlasting life or immortality is something one has to seek along with glory and honor in addition salvation: For God will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption: but those who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

It is only those who attained immortality [everlasting life], that will be resurrected at the return of Jesus Christ, and that will reign with him as kings and priest. The rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years is ended, and they will be void of immortality, and those whose name were written in the book of life, will be given access to the tree of life and the river of living waters, so that their lives can be perpetuated.

Who is a believer in Jesus Christ (part Five)

5. Believe that Jesus Christ is returning to establish his kingdom

The believer does not only believe in the person of Jesus Christ, but believes also in his purpose and his message. The ultimate objective for God’s infallible purpose in Christ is to fulfill the everlasting covenant and promise which he made to Abraham and his descendants.

It is stated that, “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that they might receive the full rights as sons.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, so that by faith they might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Because they are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into their hearts crying, “Abba! Father” So they are no longer slaves, but sons, and since they are sons, God has also made them heirs. Heirs to the promise God made to Abraham and his descendants (Gal.4:4-8; Gal.3:14).

In confirming the immutability of the covenant which God made to Abraham and his descendants, the apostle Paul wrote; “Brethren, let us take an example from every day life. Just as no one can set aside, or add to a human covenant that has been duly established so it is in this case: The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The scripture does not say “and to seeds”, meaning many people, but “and to your seed”, meaning one person, who is Christ” (Gal. 3:15-16).

And regarding the promise the Lord made to David he says; “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety, this is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.’

“For this is what the Lord says: David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices” (Jer.33:14-17).

Both offices of King and Priest were fulfilled by Melchizedek, thus guaranteeing the continual existence of both the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

And with regards to the everlasting covenant the Lord made with the house of Israel the prophet Isaiah wrote; “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord will perform it.” (Isaiah 9: 6-7).

The first message Jesus brought when he came to Galilee preaching the gospel of God was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the gospel.” (Mk.1:14-15). When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he replied, The kingdom of God is not coming with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is, or there it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Luke17:20-22).

The kingdom of God establishing itself on earth was revealed to the first world ruling king in a dream during the days of Daniel the prophet. In unveiling the dream to the king the prophet Daniel said; “The stone which you saw O king that was cut out, but not by human hands, and struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces; then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain (kingdom) and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35).

In interpreting the dream to the king Daniel said; “You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the sons of men, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, making you rule over them all, you are the head of gold.” Daniel inform the king saying; after you will arise three other kingdoms inferior to you, and in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever; just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The great God has made known to you what will take place in the future. The dream is certain and its interpretation is sure” (Daniel 2:36-45).

According to Daniel the kingdom of God will be established during the reign of the fourth kingdom (the Roman Empire). He wrote; “As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it in pieces.” But the court, shall sit in judgment and his dominion shall be taken away, and to be consumed and destroyed to the end.

And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High’ their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them: (Daniel 7:23, 26-27).

The kingdom of God is the principal and ultimate objective for our righteous way of living. It is stated that when Jesus returns he will separate the sheep from the goats, and say to the sheep on his right hand, “Come you are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

The prerequisite for inheriting the kingdom of God is the immortality of our body; because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Now in order for the immortal to put on immortality, and for the perishable to become imperishable, the Holy Spirit must dwell in the individual; because it is only if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.

The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God, nor will the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers inherit the kingdom of God.

Those who are guaranteed inheriting the kingdom of God, and reaps God’s ultimate plan for man are those who drinks the water that Christ has given which is his blood, and that will become in him a spring of water, which is the Holy Spirit, welling up to everlasting life, which is the immortality of the human body. This is what believing in Jesus Christ entails, it is not merely a vague nebulous ideology with little or no substance.

6. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Eternal One

The believer believes that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He retained the same glory which he had with the Father before time began. He said to his disciples, “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” In his prayer to the Father he said, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the foundation of the world.”

He said again, “…Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you, as you have given him authority over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.’

“And this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have glorified you on the earth I have finished the work which you have given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was” (John 16:28; 17:1-5).

Yes to believe in Jesus Christ one must believe that, “…His years are throughout all generations. Of old he laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of his hands. They will perish, but he will endure; yes, all of them will grow old like a garment; like a cloak he will change them, and they will be changed, but he is the same, and his years will have no end. The children of his servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before him” (Psalms 102:24-28).

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