Lesson 10: The Settings of New Creation Man

The Old Creation Man came into existence when Adam sinned. The decision to join Eve in the rebellion opened the door for the entire mankind locked up in Adam to become sinners. It then means that the process of bringing a child into the world that would have been a pure and holy process, was corrupted and hijacked by the principle of sin that now works in Adam.
From this, you will see that the issue of sin and the issue of righteousness is not primarily about performance, but about inheritance. The inherited nature of sin supersedes any decision to do otherwise except for right actions that still fulfills the agenda of sin. That is why the first critical decision for everyone born of a woman is to be born again.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19 KJV

What does it mean to be born again?
This is the only way to come out of the old creation where it is inherent to sin. Since the ability and propensity to sin was a result of a creation within the loins of Adam, so also the ability and propensity to be righteous is a consequence of a creation within the loins, so to say, of Christ. That’s why Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that the most important decision before him was to be born out of the old creation in Adam into the new creation in Christ.
Therefore, let us note that birth is the means by which we participate in the privileges or challenges of the realm into which we are born; and death is the means by which we escape the influences and consequences of the realm we were previously born into. Death and birth works in both ways, either in the realm of Light (LIFE) or in the realm of Darkness (DEATH). The realm in which you are alive determines the force and thrust of your life.
So, being born again offers a means of escape from the old creation that Adam unknowingly created by his act of disobedience. But to be born again, there has to be an exit from life itself. Death must occur. Hence, the need to understand what happens at New Birth. Regardless of your wealth or poverty of feelings, at the moment in which you are born again, spiritually speaking, you are declared DEATH in the old creation so that you can become BORN (again) into the New Creation.
Parameters of being a living sacrifice
Last week, we saw that the ONLY way to remain in the New Life is to offer up our whole being as a living sacrifice. That offering is what begins the process of sanctification in you. Yes, it is God that sanctifies but He can only sanctify what has been offered unto Him. What then are the parameters of this presentation?
Holy: to be consecrated or set apart unto the LORD. This consecration leads to purity of life. Therefore, it is our nearness to the LORD that separates us from defilements.
Acceptable unto God: this shows that there are things that are not acceptable to God. To be offered to the LORD is to become acceptable to Him. That is, the New Life is not hindered by an area of your life that is not surrendered.
Reasonable Service: serving the LORD does not begin by doing things for Him; it begins by being a living sacrifice. That is the only reasonable way to serve God. If this is missing in your life and you are “serving” God, then the only verdict of heaven is that it is an unreasonable service. Are you being unreasonable?

What are the settings of the New Creation?
In the New Creation, everything works by the Word and Spirit. These are the twin “instruments” (for a lack of a better word) by which we are settled and positioned in the Kingdom of God.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5

A life that is fully immersed in the Word of God and the Holy Spirit is the life that can enter into the Kingdom of God. What does that mean? It means the actual experience of the New Life is not for the person who sees the kingdom but for the person that enters into Kingdom by submitting to the demands of God’s Word and Spirit. So, being born again without being born of the water (Eph. 5:26) and the spirit can be likened to abortion or still birth. The New Life that was born was abruptly ended by refusing to continue to live in obedience to the Word and Spirit.
The experience of the New Life can be broadly divided into two:

1. the privileges (Life)

2. the responsibilities (service)

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2
Both the privileges and responsibilities are experienced as we receive a renewed mind that opens us up to “…good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Picture Credit: Living a vision

Lesson 9: Resetting the settings of the old creation man

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

Why is there a “beseeching” (a pleading) here at the juncture of resetting the settings of the old creation man? It is because as great as the salvation wrought by the LORD is, without a corresponding yielding of the whole being to the LORD, there can be no growth in the New Life. If there is no growth, eventually there will be such a loss that leads to the occurrence of spiritual death again.

So, the Spirit beseech us, pleads with us, not based on our merits (because we didn’t have any) but based on God’s own merits. The first issue in resetting is to revisit the mercies of God, by which we were found, bought back and saved from the slave market of sin and reconciled to God as a bonafide child of His royal family.

If you know that mercy, that you do not merit the salvation you have received and that if you were left to perish forever in the lake of fire, it won’t make God unrighteous, then you will understand that there is no other way to live the New Life, to grow from a child to a son of the House, other than offering up your whole being (every part of your life) to God as a living sacrifice.

No patching in the New Life

There is no way for anyone to patch it in the New Life. To try to mix the old and the new together will only lead into a worse situation. It’s just like the Scripture that says “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. (Matt 13:12).

He who has not growth in the New Life even that which he hath (the salvation received initially) shall be taken away from him. These are solemn words.

21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

Mark 2:21-22
From this scripture, it is clear that the attempt to sew a part/residue of your old life to the New Life you have received will not work. It will lead to a greater trouble. Persisting in this will only make the later end of such a person worse than the beginning (Matthew 12:43-45).

The only thing that will work is to completely remove the “old garment” (your old life of sin) and then offer up your bodies unto the LORD so that you can be fit to put on the “new cloth” of God’s will for your life.

When you remove the old garment, you are upsetting the settings of your old life; and when you put on the new cloth of God’s will (which is putting on Christ), you are resetting the settings your old life with the settings of the New Life.
The Old Wine of Tradition versus the New Wine of Truth

What is the old wine? What is the new wine? From Matthew, Mark and Luke where we have the issue of the new wine raised, we will notice that Jesus was giving a parable to show the emergence of a new system, which is the New Covenant, the fulfillment of the dispensation of the Kingdom of God. He makes it clear that the old system, the Old Covenant will not and cannot be mixed with the New. And that the New Wine cannot be poured into old bottles (wineskins).

That is, what God wants to do in the New Covenant cannot be poured into those who are still containers of the Old. Just as the New Life has its own settings, separate from the old life, the New Covenant has its own order, methods and settings, separate from the Old Covenant.

There are works, ministries and churches that have refused to shed the oldness of the letter (Rom. 7:6), that old wineskin of human traditions, and as a result the newness of the spirit cannot flow through them to our generation. This is an evidence that the old creation man is at work, although it is a very religious, biblically knowledgeable old creation man.
This is also the die-hard attitude of the devil at play. That when it looks like you are saved (born-again) from the kingdom of darkness, this adversary continues to work to make sure that you don’t touch reality while you are captured in a web of powerless religion. If you will truly present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God, you will no longer struggle with complete obedience by sitting on the fence between the tradition of men and the truth of the Kingdom.
Picture Credit: wallpaperscristaos

Lesson 8: Upsetting the settings of the old creation man

Upsetting the settings of the old creation man (i.e. reversing the established behavioural patterns, worldviews & generational curses of the old life.)

Ephesians 4:17-32
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Ephesians 4:17, 20-21
The New Life comes with its own settings. Just like getting a new cable package, you need to set up and usually a technician mounts the dish and set it so that you can begin to use it. The same thing goes for the Christian life. To be born anew into the Kingdom of God is an instant experience; it is not gradual in anyway. However, the life of the Kingdom operates at a frequency that requires a resetting of your beliefs, behaviours, attitudes, worldviews etc.
This resetting is gradual. Yet we can’t reset unless we upset what the enemy has done and settled within us for long. How then do we upset this satanic/natural settings?

Switching your pursuits and passions

That’s why Paul told the brethren in Colosse:
“1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:1-2
The upsetting of your old man begins by switching your pursuits. What you seek, why you seek what you seek and how you seek are all changed. This change is an action that will meet with the resistance of your subconscious mind – the place where all your past, established routine actions are stored. However, simply acting against your previous normal way of life, as you are instructed in God’s Word, is what upsets the settings you are used to.
In brain science, we are told that nerves that wire together fire together. That is, everything that has become a pattern of behaviour in your life started with an action. Once it has been repeated long enough, it becomes a strong chain of convenient actions and reactions. When you begin to obey God’s Word, you are not only upsetting the entrenched patterns, you are also setting up a new pattern (resetting). This may prove difficult because you are moving against the current of what you have been used to. Yet, as you continue to do the right things, you are weakening the “nerves” supplying enthusiasm for them.

How do I seek the things above?

By setting your affection on things above. Being born again opens your spiritual eyes in a measure and you must pursue what God shows you for that measure to increase. One of the things you will begin to see is the glory of God. This will literally “consume” you and make you lose your desire for things that have no eternal value.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Philippians 3:7-8
Now that doesn’t mean you won’t use things necessary for your life and activities here on earth. You will. But they will no longer be the reason why you are alive and they will no longer be your pursuit. If you are going to behave like a Christian, having the worldview of the Kingdom of Heaven and rising above the generational curses/issues peculiar to your ancestry, you must set the foundation that upsets and offsets all previous satanic investments in your life. Seek those things which are above. Seek the things of Christ and the enemy will lose his “right” over you.
Picture Credit: Amir Tsarfati

Lesson 7: The Creation & Re-creation of Man

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the SEA, and over the fowl of the AIR, and over the cattle, and over all the EARTH, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the EARTH.” Genesis 1:26 (emphasis ours)
Psalm 8 is a scripture that expresses the excellent and strategic nature of our God. After giving praise to God, David by the Holy Spirit, shows again the order we see in Genesis chapter 1.
In Genesis 1:1-3, (1) we see God, (2) the first creation,(3) the disruption of the enemy and then (4) the recovery (of creation) or intervention of God. Here in Psalm 8, after God is praised, David showed that God has an enemy and the divine strategy for dealing with him is in the mouth of babes.
Please note that it says “babes” as if to say only “children” can be used by God to deal with the enemy. Now, this is not just talking about children, literally speaking; it is talking about being like a child. Please read Matthew 18:1-4 (Please listen to more about this in the audio below)

http://bit.ly/2TQSus2

Effectively, that means that man is the strategy God decided to use to deal with the enemy. In verses 3 & 4, David pointed out that out of all the things God created, man is the one that has God’s special attention.

This is because man was made in God’s image and to fulfill a strategic and eternal purpose. Remember, this is a man that depends on God like a child. It is a major mark of being in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Why did God create man?

“Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” Psalm 8:6-8

From this Scripture, why did God create you? To have dominion over the other works of God’s hands. God has put all things under your feet just because you are made in His image and likeness.

Although sin interrupted the plan of God, and disqualified man from his divine inheritance, God has made a provision for restoration to His original intention. All those who come to Jesus Christ will regain their place in God and are the ones who can rightfully exercise the authority that God has given over the rest of creation.

All things are not under your feet if you are still walking in darkness and have not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Just like in Genesis 1:26, we see the three spheres of dominion God has given to man in Psalm 8:

  1. Land (earth or field)
  2. Air
  3. Sea
Now, this dominion goes beyond the physical things in these environment. Take Genesis 3 for example. A serpent came to Eve and deceived her. That was the first mention of an animal after Adam named them in Genesis 2. And can you imagine that this first mention, exposed a manipulation?

If we are to use the law of first occurrence, as normally used in bible study, that means there is more to all the animals in the 3 spheres. It means these 3 spheres have been inhabited by satan and his hordes, and they are the actual entities for us to subdue and dominate.

NOTE: The reason why animals became wild was because of sin and through sin, came the entrance of rebellion. This is why it is easy for demons and satanic forces to possess animals. They will all be restored back to their “domestic”, pre-fall state in eternity. Romans 8:20-21, Isaiah 11:6-9.
What is man’s mission?

The recreated man is the man that has been washed from the sin that Adam brought upon mankind. That washing restores you to the man that Adam was before sin with a single exception: You are now like an Adam that ate the tree of life rather than that of knowledge of good and evil.
The recreation of man is a very real experience without which no one can enter the Kingdom of God. John 3:3, 5. Although the effects of sin are still in this world, the life of heaven begins from now.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

This newly created man is the one that seeks for the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth. “…Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2.

It is this man that can exercise dominion over the territorial powers that are hidden on land, air and in the sea. Ephesians 6:10-12. Your mission as a Christian is to restore your location, occupation, nation (especially family) to God’s original intention.
You are an undercover, so to say, within your occupation and location. What are you to do there? Be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion.

That is, bear the fruit of righteousness where you have been planted. Increase your production as you translate and convert others from darkness into light until you replenish and subdue. Then, we will be ready to dominate a place with the life of Heaven.

Prayer: LORD, I thank you for the great inheritance you have called me into. I ask for your help today. Help me to enter into the fullness that you have for me in Christ Jesus. I receive the childlike nature required to live and serve in the Kingdom of Heaven. AMEN.

Next Lesson: Upsetting the settings of the old creation man (i.e. reversing the established behavioural patterns, worldviews & generational curses of the old life.)

Picture Credit: Ronald Gabrielsen

Lesson 6: The History of Sin

Sin is the interruption of God’s Kingdom in a life or a place. Sometime in eternity past before man was created, one of God’s cherub became proud of his beauty and he wanted to be like the Most High. Essentially, he was seeking to usurp the place that belongs to Christ, and he was instantly cast out of the presence of God as profane (impure, defiled, contaminated). Please read Ezekiel 28:13-18, Isaiah 14:12-15.
This was the beginning of sin, for there has never been any form of rebellion or conflict throughout eternity past based on the witness of Scripture. Hence, the first sinner was not Adam but Lucifer.
Cause & Effect
In Genesis 1:2, it says, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…” Please note that God could not have created something that was not perfect.

The “and” that begins verse 2 speaks volume. “and”: that means something had happen…something had acted upon the earth that God created. The immediate appearance of darkness and formlessness underscores the fact that God had an enemy before creation account in Genesis 1. It’s as if Lucifer’s displacement from Heaven has made him a “vagabond” (placeless), so, as the earth came to be, his presence in it made it formless.
What do we learn here? Sin is the beginning of the kingdom of darkness. The sin principle at work in Lucifer, now known as satan, contaminates anything and everything around him. There is no effect without a cause so for the earth to become formless, it assumes the reality of a form previously. That’s why the moment the thought became settled in him to ascend into heaven and exalt his throne above the stars of God, he was brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:13,15).
This is how Ezekiel put it: “…till iniquity was found in thee…and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub…” (Ezekiel 28:15-16). The instant casting out of satan out of the presence of God was in keeping with the righteousness and justice of God.

Death is the ONLY solution to sin

So, we note that sin contaminates. Sin cannot be given a space and it will not make it formless and full of darkness. Satan was the first to sin and being the first to sin without remedy, the poison of sin he introduces into a place or person is also without remedy. That is, no human ingenuity can solve the problem of sin. The only hope for the sinner is death. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). The life that sins has to die for the life that pleases God to live. Unless you understand the extent of the power of sin to destroy, you cannot understand the extent of the power of God’s righteousness to save.

The Light of the Kingdom…
“And God 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.” (Genesis 1:3-4).

What was God’s solution to the destruction that came upon the earth by being formless, void and full of darkness? It is one word: Light. The purpose of light is to create separation after which it gives illumination. God began a work of recreating the earth by introducing the principle of separation, which is the central principle of the Kingdom of God on earth today. Separation is another way to refer to death. (Physical death is separation of the soul and the spirit from the body while spiritual death is the eternal separation from God)

Once light came, darkness withdrew. Then the separation continued so that God can reclaim the earth he made. So, God separated the waters that interrupted and corrupted the earth (And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen. 1:2) and he got His Earth back. The waters were gathered together and called seas.
(This is why seas do not represent life in the economy of God. It represents death and powers of darkness are known to be connected to bodies of water. Remember the storm that confronted the disciples and the legions of demons that drowned the pigs in the sea (Mark 4:39, 5:13). The sea was connected to both occurrences. In fact the mark of the new heaven and new earth in Revelation 21 is that there shall be no more sea (verse 1).
…is the LIFE in the Kingdom of God

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:4-5
From this scripture, we can conclude that the light that God called for in Genesis 1:3, was Christ. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3). The light was called Day and the darkness was called Night (Genesis 1:5, 2 Peter 1:19). This light is the solution to your sin and it brings you out of the Night into the Day.

As sinful as the world is, sin has no counter solution to this light, which is the life Christ offers us. The only hope for you in this world and the next is to be in the Kingdom of God, where darkness cannot operate. Just like Goshen was not touched by the plagues that came upon the whole land of Egypt, God’s spiritual kingdom is your place of safety today (Exodus 8:22-23).
Prayer

LORD, thank you because of your provision for my complete deliverance. Today, I allow you to deal with the issue of sin in my life. Let there be light and let me enter into my Day of righteousness, permanently separated from the Night of sin. Praise God. I am free.

NOTE: In eternity, there will be no night because we will be in perpetual light (Revelation 21:23, 25).

Picture Credit: superbook

Lesson 5: The Kingdom of Heaven Suffers Violence

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 KJV

The first message to be preached in the New Testament was the gospel of the Kingdom and John the Baptist was the preacher. His message was “…Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus began to preach in Matthew 4:17, it was the same message: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”.
What was John’s commission? He was to prepare the way before the LORD Jesus (Matthew 11:10, Isaiah 40:3). Remember that John was born six months ahead of Jesus (Luke 1:36) for this one reason: to prepare the way before the LORD, to make straight His path. Therefore, whatever you saw John doing was clearing the way for what is to come in the ministry of Jesus.
The Kingdom separates you from the world

John didn’t join any of the sect; that is to show you how corrupt the religious system was in those days. You only need to read Matthew 23 to get a glimpse of how Jesus saw the religious establishment of His day. Anyway, I am raising this to point to the fact that the message John was born to preach could not be preached as a pharisee, sadducee or scribe. The best he would have been was what Paul was when he was Saul – a miserable bigot. Even Paul had to be violently converted out of that religious system to be able to experience Jesus, to enter the Kingdom and to preach the gospel of the Kingdom.

What has the Kingdom come to do?

Let’s go to the LORD’s prayer. “…Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth….” (Luke 11:2). When the Kingdom of God/Heaven comes, it puts the will of God into action, in confrontation with the will of man and the devil. The Kingdom of God is the Light coming in to push back darkness. The picture this creates is that of violent opposition. That’s why when the Kingdom of God is established within you (Luke 10:17), you experience both instantaneous and progressive victory over sin, satan, self, sicknesses and generational curses/issues.

Power is released as the Kingdom of God begins to take root in you. You are already in victory when you enter into the Kingdom. However, it is your growth in knowledge and the application of this knowledge that will bring practical victory over the powers of darkness. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is the life and the body of people where God’s will is done exactly as it is being done in Heaven. The implication of this is that we will experience a life that prospers as if there was no sin or there was no satan.

Why does the kingdom of Heaven suffer violence?

Why is the Kingdom under opposition? Why does it attract persecution? Why do the world system feel threatened by the true Church? Here are some reasons:

  1. It reverses the works of the devil.

  2. It supersedes every other allegiance.
  3. It makes its citizens overcomers.

  4. It challenge the effects of sin, the weakness of self and the power of satan.

You must have noticed that the world system doesn’t hide their hatred for Jesus Christ. Every other belief system is easily assimilated into the society except the true Church. While Christians are being banned from public prayer, moslems, buddhists, hindus etc are given the freedom to practice. The reason for this is simple: Every other belief system (including false or compromised Christianity) does not undo or destroy the works of the devil. So, they can live together. But when the Kingdom of God comes in, it will attract instant hatred and disapproval.
When you look at Matthew 11:12 again, it means that there is a great contention against the Kingdom of God, against the true church of Jesus Christ. Any group of people or system who call themselves a church that does not experience this contention of the adversary is compromised. So, you can imagine that the pharisees, sadducees and other sects that were known as God’s people were not in the Kingdom even though they were religious leaders (Remember the story Nicodemus, a pharisee in John 3). So, what will be the hope of their followers?

Part of the violence that the Kingdom of Heaven suffers is the infiltration of the church by satanists (those who are not planning to go to Heaven) and the adulteration of the truth by churches to soothe the world. Hence, unsaved people do not fear to mingle with us because we have lost the power that was in the early church (Acts 5:11, 13). A church that is in bed with the world cannot have victory over the works of the devil (sin, sicknesses etc). Therefore, because the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, we have to be violent in return.

The violent take it by force
Who are the violent? They are those who press in, into the kingdom. They are willing to suffer loss of all things that they may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8). The truth is, no one can truly be in the Kingdom and be in the world at the same time (Matthew 6:24). There can be no middle ground. The daily life of a Christian is a life of constant warfare against the pressure of the world system against Christ and His body (the true church) Psalm 2:1-2.

In what way are we to be violent?
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1 KJV

The Kingdom of God is the combination of the church on earth and the church in Heaven (Ephesians 3:15). So, we must have the sense that we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. These are men and women who have gone ahead of us and have overcome in the flesh. These are your classmates in the spirit. It was their violence that made them to overcome. Rahab went against her own natural inclination to “betray” her own people to gain a space among God’s people (Hebrews 11:31), which is a picture of separation from the world. Noah’s obedience to God in building the ark was described by the Holy Spirit as condemning the world (Hebrews 11:7). Is that not violence?
How are we to be violent?
  1. Lay aside every weight (compromises, carnality and worldliness)
  2. Lay aside that sin that is very frequent in your life (When Goliath falls, the foot soldiers will fall with him).

  3. Run the race set before you with patience (because you are running against the currents of the times).
Finally…
This violence is captured in two things:

  1. Rejecting the temptation and pressure to concede any aspect of the Christian life to the world’s ideas/suggestions. Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:1-3

  2. Choosing God’s purpose for your life over your own purpose. Proverbs 14:12, 16:25, John 5:30, 2 Timothy 1:9

These two things will put you in trouble with people and the culture you live in. The radical difference of your life will intimidate many but in the long run, it will draw others into the Kingdom.

Let us pray!
My LORD, I thank you for opening my eyes to your Truth. Please help me to follow you no matter what it takes. Let the devil lose ground in my life completely and let him suffer loss because of my life. AMEN.

Picture Credit: Bible research

Lesson 2: A Kingdom of Priests & Kings

The intention of God is to have a witness through your life before this age will be officially over. What is this witness? A life bearing evidence to the comprehensiveness of God’s purpose and work. A life that “defends” God. A life that speaks for God.

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14

This is the substance of the true gospel. This matter began in the old testament. God said to His covenant people, “…ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.” (Isaiah 43:12). This is why He said, both then and now, that He has made His people a kingdom of priests and kings who will show forth His praises (Exodus 19:7, 1 Peter 2:9, Rev. 1:6, 5:10). Which is another way of saying, they will express my life and it will bring praises and glory to me and by that they are my witnesses.

Remember what John said, “I …am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ… for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 1:9). John was simply saying that he was a witness or testimony of Jesus Christ. This is the plan of God for everyone who comes to God: to make His people into a kingdom of priests and kings that bear witness for God before creation.
Now, what does that mean? How do I become a part of that kingdom? you may ask.

First, what it means:
Priest speaks of someone who “ministers” to God and receives the counsel of God.

King speaks of someone who “ministers” (for God) the counsel of God

This takes us to the prayer in Luke 11.

It is instructive that the declaration that God’s Kingdom should come was a prayer (an office that the priest occupies). Let’s look at the prayer as we pray together: “…Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” (Luke 11:2). This prayer shows the two aspects of being a witness for God or a testimony of Jesus Christ.
  1. Thy Kingdom come: the priestly aspect
  2. Thy will be done: the kingly aspect
Becoming a part of the Kingdom
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10-11

We must press in, into the calling we have received in Christ Jesus. We must actually perform the functions of the office we have been brought into as priests and kings on the earth. Divine election must produce genuine experience.
Let us pray.

Picture Credit: Bible pic

Lesson 3: What is the Kingdom?

In order for us to understand the Kingdom, we must discover the literal meaning of the word “kingdom”. A kingdom is a monarchy which is ruled by a single person or a family for life. The word “monarchy” is defined by Merriam Webster dictionary as an “undivided rule or absolute sovereignty by a single person”. We have very few examples of this today. Although the United Kingdom is a monarchy, it is really a constitutional monarchy which is the opposite of absolute monarchy.

All of these show that a kingdom in the ancient, un-secularized sense is a territory that fully belongs to a king. The king owns everything within his domain – the people, properties and so on. This is a necessary background to our understanding of the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? It is the absolute reign of God. Simple. Although the earth is not yet a physical kingdom (of God) in reality, we must not forget that the earth still belongs to the LORD and the fullness thereof
Until the LORD returns in His second coming, during the times of the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21), the absolute and sovereign rule of God is presently manifest in the hearts that have been regenerated and responsive to the scepter of God’s righteousness. “…Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: *a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom*.” (Hebrews 1:8)

The Church & the Kingdom
What we call the church today is meant to be an assembly of all those who have been called out of sin and renounced their allegiance to the world system. Therefore, the church is not a “ministry” or a cathedral; the church is an organic fellowship of those who have entered the kingdom of God. This gathering is not limited to a designated place of fellowship.

Hence, the Kingdom of God is what we see Paul describing in Ephesians 3 as the hidden plan of God by which God will display His manifold wisdom to the principalities and powers. You will note that the church may then be used interchangeably for the kingdom of God, if the word “church” is used strictly in the biblical sense. *It is meant to be the gathering of those who have surrendered their will to God’s plan, which makes the group a manifestation of the Kingdom of God*.

Now, the big question is, *have you surrendered your will to God’s plan? Regardless of your rhetoric, your honest answer to this question is what determines whether you are in the Kingdom of God or not*.

Picture Credit: the Christ in Prophecy Journal

Lesson 4: What is the Gospel of the Kingdom?

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:3, 5 KJV
Nicodemus was a man who knew the scriptures. In fact, he was a teacher of the law. However, he was honest with himself. He knew that Jesus was sent from Heaven and God was with Him. This brought a contrast upon his own life. He saw that he doesn’t have that connection to God that he saw in Jesus. Therefore, Nicodemus only knew the scriptures by academic learning not by experience of life. John 5:39, 6:63

This shows one major difference between the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of man. *The goal of the gospel of the kingdom is to change your vision for life and bring you into the realities in God*. This is the experience that brings transformation. This gospel is Christcentred not mancentred.

*Any gospel that doesn’t change the direction of your life, that leaves you as worldly as you used to be before you came to salvation, but only seeks to make your life better here, is a false gospel.* This is not the Kingdom of God; it is the kingdom of the man, and the devil is behind it.

Please read Luke 12:13-15
What does it mean to be born again?
It means the current life is faulty. There is death at work in all of us due to the disobedience of the first man. And it is the death of Christ on the Cross that releases the sinless life of Christ for us when we receive Him. So, to be born again literally means being born from above.

It signals a superior life, a life that wins and never succumbs to the tricks and temptations of the enemy. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4

When this happens, it is proven by the change of vision and direction. You are able to see the Kingdom of God so that you can begin to press in into it. This will lead to a change of priorities. The born again experience ought to create an instant distaste for sin, self and the world system because you are now seeing things as they really are, you are seeing from God’s viewpoint (Colossians 3:1-2).

Those who follow the heavenly vision that they are seeing are the ones who truly enter into the Kingdom of God. So, it is not by talking about God and admiring His Kingdom; it is by forsaking sin and following Jesus.

What about being born of water and spirit?
This is when you allow the vision of God’s Kingdom to swallow you up.
*Water represents DEATH*. To be born of water is to be born dead/to come out of the water dead. What do we mean by dead?
  1. Dead in sin. Can a person sin again when he is dead? No.
  2. Dead to sin, dead to self, dead to the world, dead to life, dead to death and dead to everything.
*Spirit represents LIFE*.
It is the spirit that quickeneth…” (John 6:63). To quicken means to “make alive”. The Spirit will only quicken the one that is dead (disconnected from the general life of sin).
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…” (Ephesians 2:1). You can see the two principles there: “born of water and spirit”. *Once there is death to sin, the Spirit will take over in fullness*. Yes, the believer has a measure of the Spirit at salvation but the fullness comes when death occurs. How does death occur? By Recognition & Appropriation.
  1. Recognize that you are already dead in Christ if you have come to Him (Romans 6:3-7).
  2. Then appropriate this reality to your life henceforth (Romans 6:11-14).
The Gospel of the Kingdom is not a gospel that centers upon man and his self-motivated ambitions; it is a gospel that centers upon God and His original intentions. It ends the old man in Adam and begins the new man in Christ. This is the true gospel of the Scriptures that transforms radically. *Being born again is merely an introduction to the Kingdom, because you can now see the Kingdom but you have to decide if you will enter in or not.*
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24 (compare with John 3:3,5)

Picture Credit: The Bible Project

Lesson 1: Thy Kingdom Come

Some important people asked Jesus when the kingdom of God will come and He said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21).
That is, this kingdom is not an external kingdom, or to put it more appropriately, this kingdom begins from within. It doesn’t start as a sudden cataclysmic occurrence. It is not something so frightening or interesting that people will suddenly gather around.
Although the time for that will come but the coming of the kingdom itself, its very beginnings, is not by observation. It begins as a seed within man. Like the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32, which is the smallest of all seeds but when planted, it grows to become so great that birds can lodge in it.
This shows seasons and a process of time. God invades the heart of a man first before he will invade territories. Although the kingdom of God will be eventually observed by men, it begins quietly in the hearts of men.
The concept of the kingdom coming brings to mind the idea of a “take-over”. This taking over does not begin with the outside world. The first realm of domination is the spirit realm, and by that I mean the spirit of man. God’s taking over begins from the man within.

Scriptures to note:

“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
“…and the government shall be upon his shoulder:… Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…” Isaiah 9:6-7
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Daniel 2:44
Before Luke 21 or Matthew 24 when Jesus began to talk about the signs of the end of the age, which are things that amounts to observation, there has to be a taking over of men’s lives, a harvest of God’s faithfuls, who will leave all to follow Jesus and will not love their lives unto the death.
This is the Kingdom of God. When there is a collision between God and man. When the spirit of disobedience gives way to the Spirit of adoption. When the evil heart of unbelief is exchanged with the heart of flesh that seeks to do the will of God.
When all ambitions, decisions and traditions are swallowed up by “…the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9). May you be counted worthy to be an overcomer who follows the Lamb wherever He goes because you have made a decision to be with Him always (Revelation 2:11, 14:4, 17:14).