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KINGDOM GROWTH GUIDES
OpenHeaven.com Forum : KINGDOM GROWTH GUIDES
Subject Topic: Kingdom Growth Guides PART 1 (#001) thru (#011) Post Reply Post New Topic
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Ron McGatlin
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Posted: 07/26/2006 at 4:21pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Kingdom Growth Guides PART 1 (#001) thru (#011)

 

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


HEARING BY THE SPIRIT (#001)
 

Is it possible that after all this time we are beginning to realize that we have not been preaching the same gospel that Jesus preached?

Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom. Some of the smartest men in history have diligently studied and searched the Scripture in minute detail yet could not hear the gospel of the kingdom.

Jesus preached and taught profound deep, hidden mysteries of the kingdom of God that cannot be discovered by human intellect. They are spiritual truths that can only be transmitted by the Holy Spirit and must be received in the spiritual ears of man. These spiritual truths imparted into the heart of man become keys to unlocking the supernatural reality of the kingdom of God that can enable man to live now on earth in heavenly order and power.

The wisdom from heaven that Jesus imparted to His disciples is higher and greater than the earthly wisdom of man. It cannot be discovered by the intellect of man. Only the spiritually mature who truly love God are given ears to hear the mysteries of the kingdom that Jesus preached.

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God…..1 Cor 1:21

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Cor 1:25

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:6-10

Jesus spoke in parables of figurative symbolic language that appeared, to those who did not have a spiritual ear as only simple stories. The deeper kingdom meanings have been misinterpreted by generations of theologians who could only ascribe meaning according to the limited light of the time. But for those who could hear, Jesus’ figurative language imparted treasures of wisdom of God’s kingdom principles and values for life.

Matthew 13:10-17: And the disciples came to Him and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

He answered and said to them,
“Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing, you will see and not perceive; for the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn so that I should heal them.’

But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Jesus made it clear that some were given an ear to hear the mysteries and others were not. They couldn't hear because their hearts had grown dull. Spiritual eyes and ears must be open to hear the mysteries. Without hearing, no amount of study can unlock the mysteries of the kingdom. These things must be received by impartation through intimate relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.

Are our spiritual eyes and ears opening?

Only in the past century has a portion of the religious church returned to the practice of seeking to hear God directly. For many centuries the general view was that the only way to hear God was through reading the Bible. There has been a long season of dull hearts, hard-of-hearing ears and closed eyes. The marvelous power and flow of God’s Spirit, which had been birthed at Pentecost was lost to dulled hearts. Religion replaced a living relationship with God.

The backbone of the religious church for centuries has been studying about God in the Bible. Theology (the study of God) is an intellectual exercise that cannot discover the hidden mysteries of the kingdom that Jesus imparted to His disciples. The supernatural power and heavenly wisdom of God is not obtained through intellectual study. The Bible is a spiritual book that becomes alive only by the Holy Spirit. Intellectual knowledge of the Bible can only produce opinions that are determined in the minds of men. The many different opinions of men in the religious church created schools of thought that divided people into many thousands of powerless denominations.

The backbone of the relational church is intimately relating to God and hearing Him by the Spirit. The objective of assembling in groups in His presence is not to learn about God but to know Him and intimately relate to Him. The purpose of assembling in groups is to experience intimate relationship with God and with one another. Our gathering is to be a living experience with the life-giving Spirit of Christ in the Holy Spirit imparting life and wisdom. A corporate gathering is also an experience of expressing our love for God in sincere praise and worship.

The kingdom-age church is returning to the reality of hearing and following the voice of God. Jesus instructed us to hear Him through the Holy Spirit. The disciples saw and heard God and listened to Him above the words of men.

John 10:27: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me.”

Acts 4: 19-20: But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

John 16: 12-14: “I (Jesus) still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

John 16: 25: “These things I (Jesus)
have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.”

What hinders our hearing the voice of God? What prevents our receiving the revelation of the deep, hidden mysteries of the kingdom?

The first century disciples heard and walked in miracle-working power. Why can't we?

The short answer is that we do not have ears to hear.
But why?

Here is a big clue for us.

The disciples that walked with Jesus heard but didn’t really hear until after the Holy Spirit came and filled them. After Pentecost the things they previously heard began to make sense and they walked in the beginning of the kingdom of God lifestyle. Jesus did not speak or demonstrate the miracles of the kingdom of God until after the Holy Spirit came upon Him and remained.

Hearing from God involves the Holy Spirit.

Hearing the deep hidden mysteries involves having ears to hear the word of the kingdom. Many who are involved with the Holy Spirit may hear God; yet, may not have ears to hear the deeper mysteries of the word of the kingdom. We cannot by effort attain ears to hear but we can meet the qualifications and get into position to receive ears to hear. In 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 that we have already looked at, two major keys are pointed out to hearing the deep, hidden wisdom:

Spiritual maturity and loving God

Spiritual maturity has to do with the experience of walking in the Spirit.
It is not necessarily a chronological matter. The process is to be filled with the Spirit and emptied of self. It involves looking to the Spirit for guidance and not to our own understanding. This will be a big change for most Christians and can be very difficult for the theologically-trained mindset. Our first tendency may be to quickly turn to our past methods of employing our minds to search our stored knowledge and the Scripture to figure out what to do and to discern truth. Asking and then waiting for God to speak to us by His Spirit will require some retraining of ourselves. Maturity comes from the exercise of walking in the Spirit’s governance and not our own. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age (mature), that is, those who by reason of use have their (spiritual) senses exercised to discern both good and evil, (Heb 5:14).


Loving God involves laying down our lives and truly loving Him with our whole hearts.

Mark 12:29:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

Only the pure heart can truly hear the hidden mysteries. The desire to have a pure heart is not the same thing as having it. The intent of the heart is not enough. It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks and our conversation of life emanates. If our hearts are filled with love by the Spirit we have a pure heart

Do we really love Him? Is there anything in our lives that we love as much as, or more than, we love God? What really abides in our hearts? What fills our thought life? What desires truly are deep in our hearts? What really is important to us? Where do we really get our delight? Do we really delight and abide in the Lord? Or do we just say we do? Do we hope we love God more than anything, and hope we delight in Him, and hope we abide in Him? Mature love knows that nothing else comes close to God. There is no very close second to the love for God in the spiritually mature.

The price we must pay to hear the deep, hidden mysteries of God’s kingdom wisdom is a willingness to lay aside everything in our lives that is important to us, to figuratively sell all that we have to buy that “perfect pearl”, that “field of hidden treasure”. We must be willing to lose our lives to find the true life in God.

Matthew 13:44-46: Again the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had
and bought it.
 
Luke 14:33: (And Jesus said),
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

Matthew 16:24-25: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Mark 10:29-30:
“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands and, with persecutions and in the age to come, eternal life.

Let us purpose in our hearts this moment to release to God everything that is precious to us. Let Him have our wives, our husbands, our children, our ministry, our business, our hobbies, our health, our reputation, our need for acceptance of men, our religious convictions, our pet doctrines, all traditions, our secret desires, our very lives, anything in which we delight. Can we trust Him with these things? If we truly believe that He loves us and what He will do is best for us, we can release all to Him without reservation, to do with as He pleases.

If you are willing, or if you are willing to be made willing to release all that is in your hand, head, and heart, so that you may hear mysteries of the kingdom, pray the following prayer from your heart. Fill in the blank with those special things you need to release. It is important for you to sign and date the prayer agreement. Entering into and signing the prayer agreement serves as a spiritual stake of commitment set in time. The signer is not seeking to hear a word from the author or even just to receive revelation from this work, but is specifically seeking to hear deep mysteries from God that will greatly impact and empower his or her life.

Only as God’s ultimate wisdom permeates our hearts can we know real peace and fulfillment. And only as we give our all to God - all we have, all we are, and all we care about, will we be in position to be given ears to hear the deep hidden mysteries of the kingdom of God.

Matthew 13:9: He who has ears to hear let him hear!


PRAYER AGREEMENT

Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I repent and turn from all that is in my heart before You.

Now by an act of my will, I release to You all that is precious in my life. I specifically release to you my business, my family, my ambitions, my possessions, my __________ __________________, _____________________, and my ______________________ .

God, I am one who truly loves You. Jesus, You are my Lord. I esteem You above all else. Nothing or no one else is my Lord.

In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I bind all the works of darkness, blindness, deception, delusion, man’s traditions, and religion that are affecting my life. I loose the Spirit of revelation in my heart.
 
Father, in the name of Jesus, I choose to open my spirit to receive that which was previously hidden, to receive Your wisdom. Grant to me the mind of Christ. Holy Spirit come in power, speak into my heart hidden mysteries of the wisdom of God. Fill my heart with the light and life of God. Give me ears to hear in my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen


Prayed on this date
________________

Signed ___________________________
    
For questions or assistance contact Ron McGatlin
basileia@earthlink.net


Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Moderator on 07/24/2007 at 5:43pm
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Posted: 07/26/2006 at 4:28pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


REVELATION LIGHT (#002)


1 John 1:5-6: God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Mark 4:22: “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.”


God desires to reveal Himself to purified hearts imparting His attributes of love, wisdom, understanding, and peace. Man by his intellect cannot receive spiritual light. Only by the revelation of the Holy Spirit does the Bible become alive and speak of hidden secrets. As the Holy Spirit reveals truth it becomes the light of God.

The written word was spoken by the Holy Spirit to man before it was written. It was light and life when spoken by God. It becomes light and life again when revealed to the reader by the Holy Spirit. There is no life in the written word without the revelation of the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit is essential for hearing from God.

Jesus is the word that was made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit reveals and imparts Jesus into His people. Our relationship with Jesus and the Father is by the Holy Spirit.

Parables and symbolic or figurative language

God often uses language of natural things to communicate spiritual matters. Parables and symbolic or figurative language are common throughout the Bible. Jesus often taught unseen spiritual things by parable using visible natural things such as grain fields, vines, branches, mustard seeds, pearls, soil, and many other natural things. He told stories of natural people doing natural things all with deeper hidden spiritual meaning. These hidden truths must be revealed by the Holy Spirit to become spiritual light to the hearer.

God has also recorded spiritual truths in His natural creation. Creation may be thought of as an unwritten word of God, a natural expression of spiritual God. The handiwork of the Creator speaks of the One Who created it. God spoke all creation into existence. The spoken words of God carry the power to create and change. Nothing can resist the spoken word of God.

Romans 1:19-20 KJV: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made...

Hebrews 11:3: By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the
things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
 
Man's intellectual understanding is limited. It always sees only a portion and mostly only the surface. The fullness and the depth of truth is only perceived by the spirit. Often the partial sight of intellectual discernment is erroneously thought to be the whole of the matter. Man seeing only a part and thinking it to be the whole is like seeing only in black and white. Everything is either right or wrong according to man's limited view.

Religion based largely on man's intellectual discernment, generally has a black or white, right or wrong view. Anything in between the black or white is despised as grey. In the Spirit the full color of the many aspects of whole truth can be perceived. Spiritual revelation imparts the depth of the many interlocking parts of the whole that cannot be seen by man's intellect. Spiritual things are only perceived in the spirit of man by the Holy Spirit.

With God it is not black or white; it is all perfectly clear like bright sunlight.

We can learn about spiritual light of God by comparing it to natural sunlight. Sunlight as we see it is neither red, blue or yellow; it is perfectly clear. Yet it contains all of the colors of the rainbow. If that same clear whole light is broken down and separated through a prism it becomes red, blue, yellow, and every shade in between.

Like the light of the sun, the whole clear light of God can be divided into all the colors of the rainbow. Yet when the whole light is together, it is perfectly clear light.

“Black” and “white” are terms that can be compared to religious doctrines created by men intellectually approaching and interpreting the Bible. “Crystal clear” and “beautiful colors” are terms that can be compared to the spiritual revelation of God. Crystal clear relates to the whole revelation. Beautiful colors relate to the separated individual segments we may have received.

Have you ever wondered how so many men of God with apparent light from Him could have had so many different and seemingly opposing views? Let’s begin to answer that question with another question. Does anyone have all the light of God? Has God revealed all the light to any one person? He probably hasn't. Only Jesus has all the light. Our revelation is partial and therefore becomes as a color segment in the rainbow of God’s whole clear light. We personally may be able to see one color such as red, blue, or yellow; but we have not received by revelation the clear whole light of God.

We have probably all seen a color wheel with the pie-shaped sections of the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, with all the blended shades between the primary colors. We can imagine that spiritual light from God, when broken down to its different parts, is like these pie-shaped sections of natural color. If we individually do not have all the light, but we do have some light, then we must have only a part. The portion that has been revealed to us by the Spirit may be a pie-shaped piece of red. But if God has not revealed the blue or yellow part to us, then we have a big empty space in our color wheel of spiritual understanding.

Many severe problems have developed in the religious church as we began to fill in the empty spaces in our color wheel of spiritual understanding apart from the revelation of God.God had not revealed it to us and yet we needed answers to needs in that area. In an attempt to fill in the missing colors of understanding, theologians went to the Bible and sought by intellectual discernment to fill in the missing parts. But the word of God cannot be received and understood by the intellect of man. Therefore, while we searched for light, we found darkness. We began to build religious doctrines of black and white from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We became a mixture of truth from God (our revealed pie-shaped, color part) and darkness (the other parts filled in with intellectual discernment).

Differences turn into denominations as each of us, from our own perspective of revealed color (red, for example) look at our brother’s different color (blue or yellow) and decide he must be deceived. We must recognize that we do not have all the light and must receive our brother’s part to more completely fill out our circle of color.

Intellectual discernment of the Bible is darkness and will never match up with spiritual revelation of the word from God. We must receive our brothers who have been given that part of the true, revealed color to complete the color circle. We must have spiritual discernment. If by the Spirit, we can discern truth, we need not fear darkness. We can receive our brother and his area of light without fearing that his darkness will contaminate our areas of light. Light overcomes darkness.

Religion divided us into isolated denominations each with a dangerous mixture of light and darkness.

Relationship is bringing us into an increasingly harmonious body of increasing light and decreasing darkness.

Religious systems were built from someone’s partial area (color)of light with the rest of the color circle filled with intellectual discernment (darkness) rather than the light (color) revealed to others.We can only come to the whole clear light of God by spiritually discerning and receiving the additional colors of revelation from our brothers  while they, at the same time, fill in their areas of darkness with our color. Harmony with all segments of our brothers is necessary to bring together the whole light and dispel our darkness.

1 John 2:8-11: “Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

If we do not receive our brothers and their area of revelation, we may say we are in the light but we will remain in darkness. We will hold to our religious darkness, despise our brother's light and continue to be a stumbling block to others.

Different emphases for different spiritual works

Religious church sought to make every person believe the same and function as carbon copies of the leaders. Relational church seeks to bring the many different parts into harmony functioning together as one Body under one Head. Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit is the only Head of the church.

Uniqueness is of God and is a vital part of the living Body of Christ. The life of the natural body is in the blood. Each member of a natural body partakes from the lifeblood and uses its nutrients to form very different parts to do different works. The toe is different from the eye because they each have different works to do.

Individuals within a small group will have different callings or emphases that will add to the fullness of that particular group. One person may bring an emphasis on healing, another on caring for the needy, another on worship, prayer, reaching the lost or whatever.

In addition to the individual distinctions, each small group may also have a somewhat different general emphasis from other small groups. The differences will lead to different outreaches in the community.

Each person or each small group will partake of the same Holy Spirit and form different emphases of ministry. As an example, one prophetic ministry may have a clear message of judgment for the rebellious and ungodly, while another may have a clear message of restoration and revival leading toward the kingdom of God on earth. Both are correct. They are different colors of the same light of God. They fit together harmoniously when each is delivered in the right place at the right time.

Only Jesus through the Holy Spirit of God can lead all the parts to harmoniously function together to do the whole work of God. Religion tries to make everyone the same. Relationship brings the different parts into harmony functioning in their individual places all under the headship of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Balance is achieved in the overall Body by many different parts in harmonious relationship. Since individuals will have a specific emphasis, alone one will not achieve perfect balance. There are various works but they all work together to accomplish the purposes of God. Worship may have many parts but only one Object. The harmony of the many works under one Head with one focus is God's plan for releasing the glory of God.

The glory of God will fill His kingdom Church even greater than He filled Solomon’s temple.

2 Chronicles 5:11-13: “And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions ), and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: ‘For He is good, for His mercy endures forever,’ that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”

The Church is to become the purified, cleansed and holy Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem of God on earth. As the Bride Church is healed and purified, she is able to come together bringing all colors of the rainbow of revelation back together and her light becomes crystal clear. The glory of God is manifested in her and God’s kingdom rules on earth
(Rev. 21: 2, 9-11).

We each have a part in the kingdom of God. As our hearts are purified we can reflect the bright color of revelation God gives to us. We are then well equipped to bring forth our part and to be blended with the others forming the whole clear light of the Bride of Christ.


Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net


Edited by Ron McGatlin on 01/17/2007 at 8:34pm
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Posted: 07/26/2006 at 4:29pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship


Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


MY PART IN THE KINGDOM (#003)

In the kingdom of God, if we are a part, we have a part. There are many parts with various functions that all fit together to form the whole. As believers, if we truly know and love God and walk in the Spirit we will naturally flow into our part and place with little thought about a label or mental effort in defining our part. Jesus gave us a few all-inclusive foundational instructions that bring our lives to flow naturally into place. He gave two great commandments that encompass all the law and the prophets.

Mat 22:37-40: Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself, ‘On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’

Jesus said to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.

Knowing we were not able to accomplish this on our own He further instructed us to abide in Him and allow Him to abide in us. This is a spiritual reality carried out by the Holy Spirit. The provision of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and then walking in the Spirit supplies the reality of loving God and our neighbor which will cause us to know and do naturally the desires of God. Thus we walk into our part and place in the kingdom.

John 15:4-5:  ’Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.’

Acts 1:8: ’But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;’

Gal 5:25:  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

How do we appropriate this into a practical reality in our lives?

Jesus gave us clear instruction for this. He said to pray and to seek. This is a directive to focus our lives.
He said pray for the kingdom of God to come on earth as it is in heaven and He told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Mat 7:7: ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’

Mat 6:9-10:
‘In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

Mat 6:33: ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’

None of these instructions are optional. None can be left out. If you don't know what they mean, you must find out. If you aren't sure you believe in some of them call upon God and search the Word until you are. We cannot progress into the reality of the kingdom of God until we can obey these directives and commands from our Lord.

Having received this word, you will now make a decision to commit to praying and seeking until these directives are reality in your life or you will decide to let it slide. If you let it slide, it will probably be because you think you already have it or that for some reason you don't really need it. If you make the commitment to become obedient to these directives then the coming sessions of this material can help guide you into the reality of the promised kingdom lifestyle.

Father, in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I commit to abiding in Jesus and ask that Jesus abide in me. I commit, Father, to seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit and to seek to continuously walk in the Spirit. I pray, Father, for your kingdom to come and Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven and I focus my life to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness before all else. God, from this moment on I am a seeker of You and Your kingdom. Jesus, empower me with Your life by the Holy Spirit to love God with my whole heart and to love my neighbor as myself. Amen

Date____________________ Signed ________________________


Kings and priests to God

Religion has taught us that we should fit into one of its defined molds of service and that it is important to know and label our part. Religion makes many distinctions, definitions, and divisions. The religious church divided the entire Body into two major categories, one labeled "clergy" and one labeled "laity". The clergy referred to "full time ministers" who generally performed all the spiritual duties of the church. Everyone else was referred to as laity. This concept was an erroneous carryover from the old-covenant Jewish religion into the new covenant church. The old covenant provided for a separate class of men who were the priests and performed all the temple duties including the animal sacrifices for all the people.

In the new covenant church there is not to be only one who represents Christ as His vicar on earth, but in fact, every believer is to be His representative. We are a Kingdom of kings and priests. We relate directly to the King of kings and Lord of lords. We pray directly to Him. We hear His voice spoken directly to us and are each His divinely appointed agents. We are all full time ministers serving God and serving His people in every activity in which we are engaged. God's kingdom is much bigger than church work. Every aspect of life is to be the domain of God and all we do is to be serving Him, serving His people and governing His earth.

Rev 1:5-6: ....Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

What is my work as king and priest and how will I specifically know?

What is your work in the kingdom? How can you know for sure? Simple. What is the desire of your purified heart?  Psalm 37 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” John 15 says, “Abide in Him and you shall ask what you will and He will give it to you.” The key is in abiding and delighting in Him and following the desire He puts in your pure heart.

If we need or desire to get our delights from any source other than God, our hearts’ desires will be adulterated. We will have difficulty in knowing our part. Some search all their lives trying to find themselves. Who am I? What is my purpose? All the while they are delighting in many things other than the Lord.

Needy people are not free.

Only those individuals with healed hearts can be free from all need to delight themselves in something other than God. If we have unhealed pain stored in our hearts, we will always need something to make us feel better. As long as we have that need, our desires will be to fulfill it. We will get our delight in filling the needs of our hearts with money, power, position, fame, romance, sex, or whatever makes us feel better. Seeking these things will never produce the good fruit God intended. After being healed by fully appropriating the ministry of Jesus, we can choose to delight ourselves in the Lord, and our desire will be to bear the fruit God intended. We need only to follow our God-given desires, and we will walk in the middle of His plan. We each will know who we are and what our purpose is. We will simply carry out our heart’s desire.

We are then free to do the will of God. We are no longer constrained to fulfill any needs of our hearts. Freedom is the ability to live righteously in Christ Jesus by following the desire He has put into our hearts. The bondage of trying to follow a religious order or set of rules is gone. Trying to be like someone else and do what they do, like they do it, is in the forgotten past. 

God has provided five special servant-gifts to edify (grow up) His people.

The Bible refers to these as apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers. They are five different types of gifted people to mentor the Body. They are all servants. They each provide for God’s people, but each in a distinctly different way. Each must think differently than the others. Each must have different abilities and different revealed understandings of the Word. The shepherd will always understand the Word as it relates to his service. The evangelist and the shepherd may sit in the same gathering, hearing the same Word from the same apostle, yet each will receive the part that feeds his calling. 

Ephesians 4:11-13:   And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some shepherds, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ. 

The apostle tends to see the overall larger picture. He sees it first in the spiritual and then seeks to bring it forth into the natural realm. He is like a pioneer. Apostles were a major part of the original formation of the church. In this day the apostles have been restored for the re - formation of the church to its original design and intent. In this re - formation major foundational and structural changes are required that call for the gifts and strengths of apostles.

The prophet is primarily an ear and a voice to people who are dull of hearing and do not hear the voice of God clearly. Prophets were very prevalent and most important in the old covenant when the Holy Spirit did not reside in God's people; therefore, they had no inner voice of God. In this day much of the church is yet dull of spiritual hearing and seeing. For many reasons they do not have intimacy with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit and need prophets to hear God for them and speak direction to them.

The evangelist is a seed sower who loves to plant the word of Jesus in the heart soil of those who have never received it. In the recent past the evangelist has preached the portion of the gospel dealing with being "born again" or spiritual new birth. Evangelists are now beginning to, and will in the future even more, preach the fuller gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached with the same powerful works that Jesus did. The gospel of the kingdom includes the gospel of being born spiritually that we have preached before but also includes the good news of growing up in Christ to rule and reign in this life with Him as kings and priests.

The shepherd is the mentor who sees to the growth and development of the immature as they grow into their gifts and places of service. In the religious church the shepherd was called “pastor” and served as a vicar of God. He was a person who vicariously represented Christ to the people all of their lives. This allowed little or no opportunity for the believers to mature into the priests and kings as God intended. In the relational church Christ and the mature people relate directly and not through a vicar. The sheep grow up to be shepherds or do other works as mature sons in the kingdom.

The teacher is the one who brings spiritually anointed definition to the fine points of spiritual reality. He is gifted to take natural illustrations and teach spiritual truths to the immature. In the religious church the teacher often brought dry "church doctrine" of many words and little real spiritual life. In the relational church the teacher is a light bearer bringing spiritual enlightenment in detailed pieces of real spiritual life.

These gifts function in the church, in business, and in all walks of life. The apostle in business may be thought of as one who starts businesses from nothing and serves as C.E.O. In business a prophet might be a troubleshooter. A pastor might be a personnel manager. An evangelist might be a traveling salesman. A teacher might be a technical instructor. 

There are many other gifts with each having its unique function in God’s overall scheme. All gifts and parts are needed. And they all need to be in their proper places doing their particular jobs. One of the greatest hindrances to each part doing its job is the lack of understanding and acceptance of the role God has given to each one of them. Often our temptation has been to try to mold everyone into whatever we are.
 
We don’t need for everyone to be what we are. We need to help others to become what God has designed them to be. We must resist trying to form people in our image and stop rejecting people because they are different. We must stop thinking that we are more important than others. We must learn to submit to the servant that God has sent in the area of spiritual grace God has gifted that servant in. Our ideas that we are superior because we have some status in the church or in a business can be a serious hindrance to our submitting to the one God has sent for a specific job. Pride in who we are and in what a great position we occupy is deadly. There are no big-shots in the kingdom of God. When God sends someone with godly ability in a specific area, we need to submit to them in that area and not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. 

The need to be a big-shot comes from “unhealedness” in our hearts. If we are healed by the ministry of Jesus, we feel abundance in our lives and don’t need to be bigger than our brother. We are free to allow the love of Jesus to flow to everyone. Love is the key that allows us to receive one another, to hear and see Jesus in our brothers and to submit to the Jesus in them. Also by love, we do not fear boldly stepping into the position of responsibility that He has called us to fulfill. In love, we serve one another.

Love is the greatest principle or law of the kingdom of God. God is love. Love causes the Body of Christ to fit together and to “flow life” from joint to joint. Love produces true unity, and unity leads to production and prosperity of life. Love is the power of the kingdom. It is the single greatest motivational force in the world. 

“Unlove” separates and starves the members of the Body. It creates disunity which leads to a lack of production and increased poverty. Unlove flows death from joint to joint. Unlove is simply the lack of love. All sin flows from unlove. Love fulfills the law; unlove breaks the law. Every human conflict has its roots in unlove. Without unlove, there would be no church splits, no divorces, no wars, no crime, no bitterness, no angry hostility, no depression, no fear, no pride, no rebellion, no evil lust, and no need for hell. 

Our first and most important “part” in the kingdom is that of loving. Regardless of what our individual functions are, we must be connected by love. Spiritual gifts, ministry, and good deeds are useless without the God-kind of unconditional love.  

1 Corinthians 13:1-3:Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com 
basileia@earthlink.net


Edited by Ron McGatlin on 01/30/2007 at 2:50pm
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Posted: 07/26/2006 at 4:31pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


REVELATION OF KINGDOM (#004)


It is not often that I recount personal experiences in these sessions. I believe this personal account is the best way to communicate some universal realities of receiving the revelation of the kingdom.

The Living Word

For many years I read and studied the Bible. It was the focal point of my life, my guide and source of direction. The living Word continued to amaze me day by day as old familiar passages continued to yield new light and meaning. To some degree I was accustomed to this wonderful phenomenon.

From time to time, as fresh revelation shed new light on the Word, it seemed my whole Bible became new. When I was born again, the Bible suddenly spoke clearly of salvation by grace through faith in the cross of Jesus Christ. Later, when a deeper experience of Holy Spirit baptism occurred in my life, passages suddenly became alive to me that I had some way not even noticed before. Many scriptures about healing, miracles, powers of darkness, casting out demons, healing the heart and the baptism of the Spirit “appeared” in my Bible.

These and other experiences, as great as they were, had not fully prepared me for what happened to me in January of 1986. I had left the ministry where I had been serving and had no other occupation at the time. My days were spent in a nice, quiet travel trailer beside the house praying and studying the Word. I had begun again to read the book of Matthew. This time one word seemed to be on almost every page and again and again came from the lips of Jesus. He seemed to preface many of His teachings with this word. I knew I had read it hundreds of times, but it had never really “been there” before. It had always just seemed to flow “under” or “behind” what was being said without adding meaning to the passage.

Because this word had suddenly “appeared,” and because I knew little or nothing about it, I became curious. So, I prayed a simple prayer. The answer to that prayer changed my entire life forever. Suddenly, in a moment of time, it seemed everything I had ever known was shaken and began to take on a whole new light, a new meaning. Mysteries began to clear up about things I had wondered about for years. Pieces began to fit together that I could never get to fit before. A deep satisfaction began to come into my heart as things began to become real and make practical sense for the present instead of religious ideas and doctrinal systems from the past or for the future.

I had simply prayed, “God, what does this word “kingdom” mean? What is the kingdom of God - kingdom of Heaven - why did Jesus talk about it so much? That simple phrase, “kingdom of God,” that did not even appear to be there before, has become the focal point of my life as it was with Jesus. In the days that followed this prayer, the heavens were opened to me. God was closer to me than ever before. Every question I asked was instantly answered with staggering impact and clarity. I was amazed again and again and often overwhelmed, my mind reeling as God poured simple yet profound revelation of His kingdom into my heart. I became very careful about the questions I asked.

Revelation from God often will not match up with our previous understandings. One of my reactions to all of this was that of thinking that people would surely come against me because many of the things God was revealing to me were different from the way my church had taught them. I had never before heard a word of the kingdom message like God was giving to me. I was afraid I would be the only person with this radical message. Then, God told me He was giving this message to certain men around the world and that it would eventually just seem to come up from everywhere like the grass in a field. In the years that followed, He allowed me to receive tapes from men in various parts of the world who had received the same message.

Now, in the mid-2000s, this has come to pass just as He said it would - like grass in a field seemingly coming up everywhere at once. Not as a few tall trees, but close to the ground, all at the same level. The seeds of the gospel of the kingdom are sprouted and growing forth into the world. Today there are many men of God proclaiming the message of the kingdom and a great shift has begun.

This is the season for rediscovering the gospel of the kingdom of God. The history of man has completed six millennia and has begun the seventh millennium since Adam. Since Jesus, two millennia have been completed and the third has begun.

Matthew 24:14:  “And thisgospel of the kingdomwill be preached in all the world to all nations, and then the end will come.” The word "end" in this verse is the Greek word "telos," which means a definite point or goal.

A new wineskin is required to hold the revelation of the kingdom.

When Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom two millennia ago, many religious people had a hard time receiving it. The message He preached didn’t fit their system of theology. Jesus warned them not to try to fit the new revelation into an old system.

Luke 5:36-39: Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one having drunk old wine immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”

The revelation of the kingdom cannot be patched into the old garment; nor can it be contained in old containers. Receiving the gospel of the kingdom makes all things new, more alive, more real and very satisfying to the soul.

To me our wineskin is like a filing system. We each have within us a spiritual data filing system, a system of mental file folders with headings and sub-headings. As an example, some of our headings might be something like: salvation, the cross, resurrection, Pentecost, Holy Spirit, baptism, healing, deliverance, second coming, and many more. Each piece of new data, when received, is analyzed, compared to the data in the system, and then filed under the proper heading.

The new wine of the gospel of the kingdom will not fit our old filing system. We don’t have a folder for it. And the revelation of the kingdom will not fit under any of our headings. We cannot simply make a new folder and stick it in somewhere. It will not fit under any other heading. The gospel of the kingdom becomes the system into which all other revelation and truth of God regarding man and earth will fit. The kingdom that Jesus preached is the major heading under which all other God-given understanding about God's relationship to man and the world can be filed. We must have a new wineskin. If we try to patch in the gospel of the kingdom, we will become frustrated.

Receiving or becoming a new wineskin or a new garment is the process of laying down all our previously held religious convictions at God’s altar and allowing Him to reform and return to us those He desires for us to keep. The others are just left there and will be replaced with fresh new spiritual reality. Our file system must be redone under the major heading of "The Kingdom of God".

WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

The phrases "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" mean exactly the same thing and are used interchangeably in Scripture. People have different thoughts about the kingdom of God. Some see it as a generic term for anything relating to God. Much the same as one might say “the animal kingdom" when referring to everything about animals. Others relate kingdom to heaven someday. Some think of the kingdom negatively as a human attempt to impose religious rule over other people. Others think of it as a means for men to gain personal wealth and self-gratification. Some others think of cults or false extremist sects when they hear the words “kingdom of God.” The enemy desires that doubts and confusion would enter our minds when we hear the word “kingdom,” because he greatly fears the kingdom of God coming forth in God’s people. The enemy knows that, when the kingdom matures in God's people his inordinate rule on earth is completely over.

So what was the kingdom Jesus taught so much about? The Greek word “basileia” is translated “kingdom” in English. Jesus spoke of the kingdom (basileia) over one hundred times in the Gospels.

Ern Baxter, one of the wonderful men of God who began to hear the gospel of the kingdom in the 1980s, said he had trouble with the word “kingdom.” He asked God for another word to replace kingdom and heard the word, “government.” A kingdom is a government ruled by a sovereign. Perhaps it will help us to think of the kingdom of God as “the government of God.”

Most of Jesus’ teachings were aimed at explaining the kingdom (government) of God, how it worksand how to enter it. The thread or general theme of the kingdom of God runs through all the teachings of Jesus and much of the rest of the Bible. But the Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul in Romans 14:17, gives us perhaps the most clear, concise, spiritual definition of the kingdom of God.

Romans 14-17: ... for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The word translated “kingdom” in the New Testament is the Greek word“basileia”which comes from the root word “basis”. “Basileia” means“foundation of power, realm, rule, or royalty.” “Basis” means to walk, to pace, or foot.
  
KING / DOM

“King” means “ruler or sovereign.” “Dom” is the root from which we get words like “dominion, dominant, domain and dome.” Thus, the kingdom of God means the
“sovereign ruler/dominion walk of God, the ruler/dom of God.

The kingdom of God is a realm or walk. It is a lifestyle, sovereignly ruled by the basic foundational power of God through which God’s ruler/dominion is established on earth.

The kingdom walk or lifestyle is produced by the appearing or manifesting of Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit within God’s people.


When the character and nature of Christ is developed in the hearts of God’s people, they become the purified Bride of Christ. God’s love flowing in and through His bride produces obedience and righteousness prevails. Righteousness always leads to peace and joy. The bride or wife of Christ carries out her part as pictured in Proverbs 31:10-31, and the ruler/dominion of God is functioning in the world.

The secrets of how to rule our planet God’s way are locked up in the revelation and understanding of the kingdom of God. They are extremely potent and can produce the overcoming of any negative force in the world. There is nothing impossible to those who possess the reality of the practical working of God’s government on Planet Earth. This powerful possession of some of the secrets could bring quick self-destruction in the hands of impure men who would seek to use it to establish their own kingdom. That is why God’s kingdom ways will be revealed only to the purified heart.

The kingdom of God begins with the purification of the motives of our hearts.

Only a pure heart can hear the secrets of God’s kingdom. This means a heart free from all other allegiances, a heart healed of all the enemy’s wounds, a heart that not only intends to serve God and no other but also has the freedom to actually do it. It is a heart that has no needs or desires apart from God. That is why Jesus saves the lost, heals the brokenhearted, and proclaims liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. God will give us ears to hear His kingdom truth to the level that we are purified.

My personal purification journey

For about two years before I began to hear the word of the “kingdom,” the Lord dealt with me extensively in what I call the personal ministry of Jesus. He led me to people who had gifts and anointing to assist in appropriating the ministry of Jesus to heal my broken heart and to bring about my deliverance.

For many years I had sought to serve the Lord with great zealousness and commitment. Yet, areas of serious lack and defeat were in my own life. The best I could do with all the help I could get was not enough. The zealous application of all the biblical doctrines I knew could not keep me on track and bring me through. The firm directives to adhere more firmly to doctrine by my well-meaning brothers in Christ only worsened my condition.

It took a bold, fresh revelation and work from God to loose my bonds and set me on a road to restoration and greater heights than I had ever known before. For me it also required my life to be turned upside-down and the severance of all things that were precious to me - all the bad things, all the good things and all the people from which I drew life. He wants to become our only source of life.

When the Lord revealed “kingdom” to me and commissioned me to plant the seeds of the kingdom in His people, it seemed He was directing me in two directions at once. One was the kingdom lifestyle, and the other was personal ministry. He has since shown me they are not at all different directions. The personal ministry of Jesus is the cleansing process that we must go through before we can walk into the purified Bride of Christ, kingdom of God lifestyle. Personal ministry and kingdom revelation are not separate directions, but are aligned in one direction toward the kingdom of God lifestyle.

The goal of personal ministry is to eliminate, remove, or heal all hindrances to the manifesting or appearing of the life of Jesus in the person.

I
n Luke 4:18 Jesus said, “
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed”

--------------------------------------------

Note: Approximately the first one-third of parts one through three of these guides will deal with seeing the goal of kingdom. The second third will deal with the cleansing process of removing all hindrances. The last third will deal with the deeper ministries and principles of living the kingdom-of-God lifestyle.


Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 01/30/2007 at 2:47pm
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Posted: 07/26/2006 at 4:32pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


THE ESTABLISHMENT OF KINGDOM (#005)


The kingdom of God was established on earth in Adam. From the ruling city of the Garden of Eden, Adam had dominion on the earth and lived in God's presence in intimate fellowship with Him. God breathed His life giving Spirit into Adam.

Gen 1:26: Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Gen 2:7: And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Adam lost dominion rights to Satan; the kingdom of God was taken captive, and the kingdom of darkness was loosed on earth. Adam also lost intimate fellowship with God.

The kingdom of God remained in captivity until Jesus came to redeem it. Christ Jesus came to earth to recapture the kingdom, destroy the kingdom of Satan, and re-establish the kingdom of God from heaven, on earth
(Matthew 6:10).

God is and always has been in complete authority over all things. He made man in His image and chose to delegate the rule of earth to mankind. Man was made God's agent on earth to faithfully carry out the will of God on earth. God chose to limit Himself to work with what man would do on earth. He truly gave dominion and rule to man. Man is free to make right or wrong decisions and will live or die by them. Satan and his powers of darkness were present in the Garden of Eden, but were totally powerless until man chose to disobey God and thereby released the power of Satan.

Potentially, the devil was completely defeated and the kingdom, including mankind, was completely redeemed at the cross. In actual experience, Christ Jesus is now establishing in the natural what is already established in the spiritual. Man has not been removed as ruler of the planet. Jesus became a man to redeem the kingdom. After the cross and resurrection, He “became a life-giving Spirit to now indwell believers, empowering men to live in obedience and thereby establish His kingdom in the natural realm on earth
(1 Corinthians 15:45) (2Corinthians 3:17).

Now on planet earth, including up to the second heaven around earth, the two kingdoms are operating in conflict (2 Corinthians 12:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:18, Daniel 10:13). They are vying for control as each attempts to rule the earth. The kingdom of light and truth (the kingdom of God) and the kingdom of darkness and lies (the kingdom of Satan) both seek to sway the minds of men. Only mankind has the ability to decide which kingdom will be released to rule and which will not.

One of the greatest lies the kingdom of darkness has perpetrated is that the kingdom of God is not available on earth today. Satan’s first attempt is to try to make us believe there is no God or He is not involved with us today. If that doesn't work he will try to convince us that God’s kingdom is for another time, not today, or for another place, not earth. Satan would have us believe that the teachings and promises of God throughout the Bible describing His glorious kingdom life are for heaven in the future or maybe for earth someday, but surely not for you and me, here and now. A university professor in Texas was quoted as saying, “Everything in the Bible is in the nebulous past or possible nebulous future.”

Matthew 6:10: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.”

Just as Jesus taught us to pray daily for our daily bread, He taught us to pray daily for the kingdom of God to come on earth.Our daily bread is not just for the future sometime, but is a very present day issue. Neither is the kingdom (ruler/dominion) of God just for the future, but is indeed a very present day issue.

The kingdom of God that Jesus taught about is the rulership of God on earth now. It is available to us now. Its righteousness, peace, joy, abundance and presence of God are available to us now. The kingdom of God lifestyle is for us today and many are missing it. That’s why Jesus preached, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven (the ruler/dominion of God, from heaven) is at hand.”

Why repent? Repent because the kingdom lifestyle is here now for us and we’re missing it. We've preached “repent” for many reasons: so you won’t go to hell, so you can go to heaven, and others. All of these reasons are good; but, again, they may seem a bit distant to the person who is suffering in this life now. The “at hand” kingdom promises life now as well as later.

Matthew 4:17: From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mark 1:14-15: Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Matthew 4:23-24: Now Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of disease among the people. ....they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.
 
Jesus taught and preached the gospel (good news) of the kingdom of God and demonstrated the authority of God’s kingdom over the enemy kingdom of Satan by casting out demon spirits, destroying their work, and healing the people.

Matthew 12:28: “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

Matthew 9:35: And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching  in their synagogues,  preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Multitudes began to come as they saw the authority of the kingdom of light overcome the kingdom of darkness. Jesus instructed and sent out the 12 disciples to “preach the gospel of the kingdom is at hand, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons...” (Matt.10:7-8).

When Jesus sent out the 70 other disciples, they were instructed to heal the sick and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you.” But for those who were aligned with the opposing kingdom and would not receive them, they were to wipe off the dust of their feet against that city and say, “Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near to you...” (Luke 10:9-11).

Immediately prior to Jesus’ ascending to the right hand of God, He spoke these words of instructions to His disciples,“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature...” (Mark 16:15).

He went on to include casting out demons and healing the sick. What gospel was he talking about? Yes, He meant for them to preach the gospel of the kingdom.

Hearing the gospel (good news) of the now kingdom of God life, with all its qualities and benefits, and realizing we are missing it, is a greater reason for true repentance. This real repentance turns us toward salvation. Those who hear the gospel of the kingdom and believe will repent and be saved,but he who does not believe will be condemned”(Mark 16:16).
When we see the goal, the abundant, overcoming kingdom-potential life of peace and joy, we will turn toward the light and persevere until we overcome. As the Spirit of Christ lives in us, we by His power overcome the enemy kingdom in our personal lives and eventually overcome the enemy’s hold on the world. In a practical, real sense, we destroy the works of darkness and establish the works of the kingdom of light.

The devil and all the powers of darkness fear the gospel of the kingdom more than any doctrine or teaching. The “dreaded” gospel of the kingdom will end their reign of darkness on the earth. As people realize the wonderful potential of Jesus Christ living in them to destroy evil and bring forth true righteousness with all its joy and peace, they will persevere and overcome. T
he powers of darkness will do all they possibly can to prevent, delay, and pervert the teaching of the gospel of the kingdom.

Some of the enemy’s tactics will include sending out a smoke screen of false teachings that look and sound much like the true message. These deceptive teachings will always have enough error in them to discredit the teaching when the error is discovered. This sets the stage for the disciple to also reject the truth when it comes to him, because it looks or sounds much like the false doctrine. The disciple must, from a pure heart by the Holy Spirit, spiritually discern the truth to determine the difference.

Another tactic of the enemy is to discredit the teacher and his motives. The adversary will preach and teach a perversion of the kingdom message. The perversion will make it appear that the message is a means for men to take dominion in order to get what they desire and to control from their own fleshly hearts.

The enemy will set up extensive snares to find grounds for discrediting accusations against the kingdom teacher. Insignificant incidents, that would normally be dealt with and quickly forgotten, will be blown out of proportion and used to slander kingdom men. When the enemy can find nothing, he will invent something from nothing. He will build an illusion from the impurities of a person’s own heart and cause him or her to project that illusion on the man of God. Others will accept the illusion and corroborate the accusation.

Perhaps the most effective scheme of the devil is to assist men to develop alternate doctrines to replace the truth. For many years I personally accepted some of these alternate theological teachings. I was taught that the “at-hand kingdom” meant Jesus came and made an offer of the kingdom to Israel, which they refused. The kingdom was in Jesus and “at hand” at that time. However, since they refused the kingdom, Jesus returned to heaven, taking all potential for the kingdom with Him and would return at a later time and establish the kingdom of God. The best we could hope for at this time was to get people saved and try to hang on until He came to take us out of this wicked world, or until we died and went to heaven. It always bothered me that Jesus spent most of his brief ministry and most of what He said in the recorded Gospels teaching kingdom principles that we could not use until a future thousand-year reign.

Unfortunately, many of us are testimonies to the enemy’s effectiveness in hiding the gospel of the kingdom. We yet need to know what the gospel of the kingdom really is. In the next session we will deal with the gospel of the kingdom as Jesus preached it.

Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net


Edited by Moderator on 01/18/2007 at 9:31am
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THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM (#006)


Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom. He sent the twelve and the seventy disciples out to preach the gospel of the kingdom and instructed all His disciples to preach this same gospel.

Is the gospel of the kingdom any different from the gospel of salvation or being born again?

We have preached the cross and personal salvation in Jesus for many years. Is that the gospel Jesus preached? Is it the gospel that the twelve and the seventy preached?

Shouldn't we be preaching the gospel Jesus preached?

God has been restoring revelation to His church in waves or layers. After one wave comes and men receive it and that layer is in place, then another wave of restoration brings another layer. The newer layer does not replace the last one; it builds upon it.

The gospel of being born again is the first part of the gospel of the kingdom. Although it is vital and completely necessary, it is only a part. One must be born again to see the kingdom of God. To stop at the first part of being born again is stopping and forever remaining just inside the door of the vast kingdom and never experiencing the bountiful life and treasure of the kingdom prepared for us before the foundation of the world.

Most of the teachings of Jesus were focused on what the gospel of the kingdom is and how it works. Vital, basic, foundational principles of the good news of kingdom living on earth are contained in the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament gospels. We will explore these powerful kingdom principles in later sessions.

In recent years, the gospel of the kingdom has been widely restored. The gospel previously preached focused on missing hell and getting into heaven when we died. For the most part, there was little or no real help for living life today. We tended to write off this life and looked forward to dying to have victory or to Jesus’ coming back and rescuing us from this mess. Certainly, the Lord’s bodily return and Heaven, with all its wonder, are primary to our Christian faith. However, the gospel of the kingdom focuses on restoring the rule of God from heaven on earth.

The gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached focused on heaven’s ways coming to earth more than our going to heaven. (“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”) He taught how to live in the highest order of life that would bring peace on earth and goodwill toward men. There is, however, another being on earth that desires his will on earth and not God’s. I wonder who would like to cloud our minds and prevent us from seeing the potential of the will of God being done on earth.
 

Gospel means “good news”; kingdom refers to“ruler/dominion.” The gospel of the kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God means “the good news of the ruler dominion of heaven, or God”. Or another way to say it is, “the good news of the government of God from heaven on earth.” The good news is that the blessings of God’s rule are potentially available to His children now in this life.

Jesus announced the blessings of His kingdom in that portion of Scripture we call the Beatitudes. He had been preaching the gospel of the kingdom, healing the sick, and casting out demons all about Galilee. And seeing the multitude, He began to speak to His disciples, telling them that the needy people were blessed now. The kingdom is finally here, and those who are entering are blessed. Before the kingdom, those who mourned simply mourned. Now they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:3-6: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

Let me illustrate the difference between the gospel of being born again just to go to heaven and the gospel of the kingdom with this story.

A man had set out to cross a large swamp in a small boat. He paddled well into the swamp and was attacked by several large alligators. The attack was so vicious that the small boat was damaged and sank. The man was left standing in about waist-deep, murky water with only his paddle to fight off the alligators. The fight was so fierce that his paddle was broken. He was now left with only a stub of a paddle with which to jab and beat the alligators.

A voice heralded from a distant shore, “Hey out there! I’ve got good news for you. An important government man was here a while back and looked at this swamp. He promised to come back someday with a big crew to drain it.”

Jesus’ coming back and the “heaven someday” message is good news. But the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached can also help us with our alligators now. Let’s continue our story.

A man in a boat appeared and glided quickly to the man in the water and asked, “Do you need some help?”

“Yes! Please help me!” the man anxiously replied.

The man in the boat commanded the alligators to stop their attack. Immediately, the alligators swam away. The man in the boat helped the tired, wet and bloody man into his boat. He gave him dry clothes and medicine, which quickly healed his wounds. They immediately were at their destination.

As mankind sees the reality of the kingdom message and its overcoming power the devil will be made powerless. This is why the kingdom of darkness so violently opposes the kingdom of God now message. There is a violent pressing involved in entering the kingdom of God walk. It is not a pressing or violence toward or from God, but from the opposition, the kingdom of darkness.

Luke 16:16: “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.”

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

Often there is more opposition toward the kingdom message than any other. The devil is much less threatened by a message of “heaven some day in the future”. Our seeing the rule of God only in the future allows the devil to continue his dirty work now. The simple message of Jesus, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand,” the kingdom-is-now gospel, draws violent reactions from anyone who, in some way, is infected with or influenced by the opposing kingdom. Religious people and those of one's own household often become the most violent. The Lord spoke of kingdom rising against kingdom and nation (or tribe) against nation (Matthew 24:7).

Matthew 24:10-11: “... many will be offended, will betray one another and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many, and because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Matthew 10:21: “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.”

Matthew 10:34,36
: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. And a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”

Remember that the conflict is between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness” (Ephesians 6:12).
 
The spiritual battle is for the prize of entering and walking in the kingdom of God lifestyle, not just being born again, nor just going to heaven when we die.

Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Lots of Love,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 01/30/2007 at 2:49pm
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UNDERSTANDING KINGDOM (#007)


The rich understandings of the kingdom of God
are hidden in the Word of God, veiled in figurative, symbolic language that can be revealed to the mind only by the Spirit of God. For centuries we have read and studied the Bible; yet, the understanding of “kingdom” will be revealed to us only at the level we are ready to receive it and in the season that God desires. 

The Bible often uses a natural word about a natural thing to represent a spiritual thing. Once we have the spiritual meaning of the natural word, we can use that word to communicate the spiritual thought. For example, we have referred to the “Bride of Christ” several times. We all know that we are not referring to a literal bride. A natural bride is one female person who is being married to a husband. The “Bride of Christ” is a figurative term representing all purified believers who are intimately related as one with the indwelling Christ. The believers may be male or female, old or young, of any heritage, and of any number. Yet, they can all be collectively described in the term “Bride of Christ.”
When the Bible speaks of the “milk of the Word,” we know it is not talking about a white liquid in a bottle. When it speaks of the “meat of the Word,” it is not talking about a beefsteak.

John 16:25: 
“These things I (Jesus) have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.”

John 16: 12-13a: 
“I (Jesus) still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  However when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all trut ...”

Matthew 16:17b.19:  “... for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Mark
4:22-23:  “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

There are key words that unlock the figurative, symbolic language of the Word and open vast areas of kingdom revelation. Many of these symbols and types have been revealed for many years. But some have been more recently revealed; and, most of those we have known for some time have a deeper, freshly-revealed kingdom meaning.

In the figurative Biblical language, much is revealed from simple symbols -- from the “sea” (unstable masses of unsaved without structure), to the “fruitful plains” (the saved stable Christians), to “trees” (men’s life structures), to “hills” (authority structures), to the “high mountains” (great structures of authority), and on to the “highest mountain” (the ultimate, authority of God).

To understand the “word of the kingdom” from the Bible, the disciple must be able to hear the spiritual meaning of the figurative or symbolic language from the Holy Spirit. When I study a passage of Scripture, I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give me revelation of the hidden, symbolic, spiritual meaning of the words. Then I meditate the passage allowing quiet time in my spirit and mind while waiting to hear from God. After enlightenment or understanding comes, then I begin to check out the concordance, Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, and other Scriptures for confirmation or clarification.

The following are a few possible examples of symbolic language to consider. Try using these as you study and meditate the Word.


------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------

Mountains-Great structures of authority; may be godly or ungodly.

Hills-Structures of authority as mountains; except lesser.

Fields-Lower structures of authority, but still firmament. Usually indicate those saved, as opposed to the sea of lost. As such, they are the fruitful, production areas where grain, fruit trees, etc., are grown.

Valleys-Lower structures than fields, often fertile and well watered by neighboring mountains. May also indicate a very low period -- a time of difficulty and hard decisions.

Sea-No structure at all, fluid, blown about, sometimes roaring, unsaved masses of people.

Trees-Natural structures of life; individual men and their life structures, ranging from great men or rulers as great cedars, strong and stable men as mighty oaks, olive and fig trees as prophets or ministers, fruit trees and vines as fruitful Christians to insignificant bramble bushes and ungodly thorns and briars.

City-A corporate structure of life; a spiritual community for the protection and well-being of its citizens, governed by spiritual laws, ruled by spiritual powers, which determine the personality of the city and the quality of life within the city. A city is structured by patterns of life. A great city is a capital or ruling city, whose patterns reach out beyond its city walls or limits to govern a greater area.

Israel-The overall church, including its ruling city, its many different cities, and wilderness areas.

New Jerusalem-The purified, holy, renewed ruling city of God; the remnant
Bride Church
, the Bride of Christ without spot or wrinkle.

Babylon
-The ruling city of the kingdom of darkness; the great soulish system of man characterized by covetousness, immorality, and sorcery; the mother system of harlots and adulterers.

Bride and Wife-The obedient, perfected, faithful and true, ruling city portion of the church where reproduction takes place and mature sons are brought to glory. She is God-seeking and God-serving.

Harlot-The unfaithful, rebellious mistress (person or church) who sells her purity to fulfill her own desires and meet her needs; she does not seek the true God, but is self-seeking and self-serving.

Adulteress-The unfaithful part of the church who has a Husband and pretends obedience to Him, but has other lovers. She seeks to fulfill her desires and meet her needs from sources other than her Husband. She has a divided heart, and her desire is both self-seeking and God-seeking, self-serving and God-serving.

Assyrians, Philistines, Canaanites, etc.-Evil, enemy spiritual forces, demons.

Dragon, Serpent, Roaring Lion, Wild Beast, Fowls of the Air, Adverse Wind, Storms, etc.-Satan and/or demon spirits.

Seed-A living pattern, word, thought, idea, vision; also the offspring made from the pattern. A word or vision from God is a good seed. A bad seed would be the same, but from the enemy.

Soil, Land-The heart of man; the spiritual/natural interface through which seeds from the spiritual realm are planted in the fertile creativity of the heart to be brought forth into the natural realm.

Holy Spirit may be represented in His different aspects or facets as, Oil, Water, Wine, Strong Drink, Light, Rain, etc.

Oil
-Comfort, healing, joy, anointing.


Water-Cleansing, washing, or life-giving Word or Holy Spirit.

Wine-Revelation from God, a “rhema” word from God, unveiled truths of God’s Word by the Holy Spirit.

Old Wine-Revelation from the past; usually a taste has been acquired for it. It is smooth and comfortable to the taste and can put one to sleep.

New Wine-New revelation from God. It is fresh and exciting, but may be very different to the taste and cause discomfort for those who have not yet acquired a taste for the new. It can be intoxicating if we take too much of it by itself. One must continue to feed on the bread and the meat along with the new wine.

Strong Drink-A hard word such as, correction, rebuke, or warning, etc. by the Holy Spirit.

Light-Understanding; discernment; life giving, growth-stimulating word or revelation by the Holy Spirit.

Rain-Outpouring of grace gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Rivers-Continuous flow of spiritual life; flow of Holy Spirit.

Wineskins-The container, or framework, of the inner organized filing system for the revelation of God.

Cloth-A woven network of understanding of life, which may contain intricate patterns of design, each thread fitting together to make the whole.

Flood-A great outpouring of damaging words.

Jewels-Perfected sons or daughters of God.

Fire-Intense adversity for purification or judgment; judgmental or critical words.

Stars-Spiritual persons; men of God.

Heat-Correction or judgment; the heat of the sun, particularly, is intense light that brings correction from God the Father.

Angels-Sometimes symbolizes men of God sent to the church, ministers, messengers, preachers of the message from God.

Trumpets-Sometimes are the voices of the prophets speaking forth the message of God, calling an assembly, focusing attention, and especially blasting forth the judgments of God.

Grain and Grain Fields-Production, particularly annual or periodical production.

Green Grass-Production of the fields, including grain.

Birds-Spirits, either godly or evil.

Crowns-Authority to rule.

Temple-A permanent dwelling place of God, the eternal heart of man where God dwells.

Tabernacle-A temporary dwelling place of God.

Consider the meaning of the figurative words used in Luke 5:36-39. The Lord speaks of patching new cloth onto old and of putting new wine in old wineskins. He also mentions that a man having drunk old wine does not immediately desire the new. Using the key words, it is easy to discern what He is saying spiritually.

What is being said in Isaiah 55, when the mountains and hills are said to break forth into singing, and the trees of the field clap their hands?


------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------

One of the most devastating mistakes people make when seeking to know God through His Word is taking every passage, which can be literally interpreted and applying only literal interpretation to it. The spiritual man learns to literally interpret the true spiritual meaning of the passage through the figurative language of the Holy Spirit. Often there is both a literal meaning and a spiritual meaning. Much prophecy has had a literal, historical fulfillment and a greater spiritual implication. One might think of this as a railroad with two tracks running side-by-side. One track is the literal meaning of the passage; the other track is the spiritual. Many Old Testament terms and passages have a very literal, natural meaning, and may also have a vital spiritual meaning to New Testament believers about the “
kingdom of God”. Many Old Testament events were recorded as examples to us.  

1 Corinthians 10:11:  Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.  

Natural
Israel And Spiritual Israel

The nation Israel is extremely significant as God’s chosen people. It was through this nation and the Jewish people that the Son of God came and the Bible was written. The many prophetic writings and historical events of Israel all have spiritual meaning to the church. God has chosen Israel and its ruling city, Jerusalem, as a living message to the world. God’s dealings with natural Israel and natural Jerusalem become spiritual messages to spiritual Israel and spiritual Jerusalem. The spiritual kingdom, the Israel of God, is a new people, a spiritual people to whom origin of nationality, race, color, social cast, or political standing is of little or no significance. It is a kingdom in which all are adopted by the heavenly Father and become true brothers and sisters.  

Galatians 3:7,14b, 29: Therefore know that those who are of faith are sons of Abraham ... that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. 

Galatians 6:15-16: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy upon them, upon the
Israel of God.

Spiritual Jerusalem or New Jerusalem is the ruling city of spiritual Israel just as natural Jerusalem or old Jerusalem was the ruling city of natural Israel. As old Jerusalem was the natural figurative mother, that birthed the kingdom into the earth, so now the New Jerusalem is the spiritual mother, the wife of God, the Bride of Christ that is birthing the spiritual kingdom of God
into our world. The New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ, the holy, purified, overcoming portion of the church.  

Revelation 21:9-11: Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come,  I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy
Jerusalem,
descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. And her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 

Revelation 21:2: Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride for her husband. 

Galatians 4:25b, 26: 
Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But the Jerusalem
above is free, which is the mother of us all. 

Revelation 19:7-8:  “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for
the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”  

New Jerusalem is now coming down from the spirit realm and is now beginning to be formed on the earth. It is the Bride Church, the holy, purified, kingdom people of God. Just as it is possible for a person to be in the nation of Israel, but not in the city of Jerusalem, it is also possible to be in the church, but not yet in New Jerusalem. Not everyone in the country of Israel is in the city of Jerusalem. Neither has everyone in the church become the purified, holy Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem. 

In the beautiful, illustrative, figurative language of God, which is characteristically used by the Holy Spirit to communicate spiritual truths to mankind, God describes the
kingdom of God
lifestyle in the picture of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 & 22:1-5. 

In the New Jerusalem lifestyle, we continuously live in the presence of God as the tabernacle of God is with men. The glory and light of God fills our lives. Pain and sorrow are gone as God wipes away our tears. No more death as eternal, abundant life prevails; we pass from life to life. Righteousness and holiness prevail in our lives as pure gold and clear crystal. There is no night; there are no dark, threatening seasons. There is no more curse. We are under the dome of His protection, and there is perfect peace. We serve Him and rule over the circumstances of life.  

Isaiah 62:5b, 12:  “...and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord; And you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.”

In Isaiah chapter 60, Isaiah begins to picture and describe the glory and prosperity of  “The City of the Lord, the
Zion of the Holy One of Israel”.  (v. 14)
 

THE KING-DOME  

Let me share an illustration that helps me understand the concept of the spiritual city of
New Jerusalem. Imagine a giant, glass dome filled with the glorious presence and light of God. Inside this huge, spiritual dome everything is as it should be. Everything is in perfect obedience to God’s laws, and nothing that defiles can enter in. The environment is perfectly controlled like a greenhouse. Those who overcome enter and abide inside the dome where they enjoy all the victorious aspects and attributes of New Jerusalem. The enemy has no part and can do no harm inside the dome. 

The bright light inside the dome flows out to the countryside in a large circle around the dome. Everywhere the light reaches, the darkness must flee and cannot return unless the light is lessened or drawn back.

People who sit in darkness may see the light from a distance and begin to move toward it. At the point where they actually leave the darkness and enter the light, they have entered the Israel of God, but have not yet reached and entered
Jerusalem, the city of God
. They have come out of darkness into the light and must continue to journey to the dome. Their goal is to enter the king-dome, the New Jerusalem-purified-holy-Bride-of-Christ lifestyle.  

Matthew 4:16: The people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned. 

Hebrews 12:22: But we have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born...”  

We must, through a purifying growth process, come to maturity and walk into the New Jerusalem lifestyle. Many people in the church are now beginning to see the kingdom lifestyle and are moving toward the
Holy City

Just as it is possible to be in the nation but not in the ruling city, it is possible to be in the outer court of the tabernacle but not in the holy place. Many have entered the tabernacle into the outer court, but now must be purified to enter the holy place. The presence of God is in the holy place; all the promises of New Jerusalem are in the holy place. We must come in the gate and partake of the brazen altar, the blood sacrifice for our sins, the atoning blood of Jesus. Next, we must be washed by the water at the brazen laver in preparation for entering the holy place. We must journey on to the candlesticks of the Holy Spirit ministry and on to the showbread being broken before arriving at the altar of incense and the Holy of Holies, the intimate communion with God (the king-dome).

Walking in the
kingdom of God
lifestyle is all about intimate relationship with God. It is becoming one with God through Christ by the Holy Spirit. It is the five virgins with oil in their lamps entering into the wedding with Christ the Bridegroom. Holiness is produced by the indwelling Christ living in us by the Holy Spirit. It is the mystery Paul spoke of as "Christ in you the hope of glory".

Psalm 15: Lord, who will abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart....

Hebrews 12:28: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net  



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 01/30/2007 at 2:51pm
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Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


ENTERING THE KINGDOM (#008)


But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles,
Revelation 21:27

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:21

Jesus taught much about entering the kingdom and walking or abiding in it. Jesus preached and taught more about what the kingdom of God is like, how it works, and how to enter it, than any other subject. The parables that Jesus taught in the four Gospels are the richest teaching on the kingdom of God in the Bible. However, what the kingdom of God(the ruler/dominion of God) is like and how it works spans the entire Bible, and is the predominant theme of the Word of God.

Jesus was not greatly concerned with teaching us how to live in heaven someday. His great concern was revealing to us how to live on the earth in this life now. God’s plan is the establishment of His kingdom on earth in and through redeemed man.

Many people have great difficulty really understanding the good-news message of the kingdom of God because they must first lay aside their strong convictions (rocks in the heart) that “kingdom” means only heaven someday or a future millennial reign. This mentality leads to a focus on what we refer to as the “salvation” or “born-again” experience, after which, we do the best we can to “hang on” until we die and go to heaven or until Jesus comes to rescue us. In Matthew 13, Jesus referred to these types of strong convictions as “rocks” in the heart-soil that prevent the fruit of the kingdom from coming to completion.

The gospel of the kingdom does not do away with the gospel of being born again. It includes the gospel we have preached in the past, as well as all true Bible doctrines. Jesus focused on preaching the gospel of the kingdom because it encompasses all the parts of revealed doctrines and is the umbrella that covers them. Some doctrinal groups have referred to themselves as “full gospel,” because they received and incorporated into their structure the latest revelation. God is still restoring His message on earth. As each new area is restored, we are tempted to think we now have it all. However, about the time we get comfortable with what we have, He again gives us more. When He provides more light, some of the error we previously believed was accurate and complete begins to melt away.

We must come to grips with the reality that entering the kingdom does not mean only going to heaven when we die. We are not waiting for Jesus to come back to earth to establish His kingdom. Jesus has already returned to earth in the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower the people of God to rule and reign, to overcome, and to retake and possess the land. Yes, He is coming back as Lord of lords and King of kings to receive His prepared Bride. Yes, His bodily return to rule and reign with His purified Bride is the fulfillment of the kingdom. But the establishment time is now! Jesus has already done all that is necessary to defeat the devil and his rule. He now lives in us by the Holy Spirit to empower His purified Bride to overcome. According to Romans 14:17, the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy
in the Holy Spirit.

Is it any wonder why there is so much conflict, confusion and controversy about the baptism of the Holy Spirit? It is easy to see why the enemy so fiercely comes against it, when we recognize the role of the Holy Spirit in walking in the kingdom of God potential now. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The potential for experiencing the Bride of Christ life now is in the Holy Spirit.

The kingdom of God potential first returned to earth in Jesus at the time of His baptism. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and remained on Him, in an experience of spiritual life of a different dimension that had not been known before. The heavens opened to Him. Jesus saw into the spirit realm, the heavenly realm. The voice of God spoke clearly to Him, affirming Him as His Son, and expressing His pleasure in Him. The kingdom of God age came into the earth. The potential for man to intimately communicate with God returned to the earth into Jesus, in that moment.

The Baptized was to become the Baptizer and baptize many with the Holy Spirit, opening to them the potential to walk in a new level of obedience and power, and enabling them to walk in the glorious Bride lifestyle. John the Baptist, the last great prophet of the captive kingdom, did not experience the greater kingdom life available to us.

Matthew 11:11: “Assuredly. I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Mark 1:7-8:And he (John the Baptist), preached saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 3:16-17:Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him, and suddenly a voice from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

John 1:32-34:And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

From this point forward, the kingdom was now on the earth in Jesus. Jesus was empowered to demonstrate the kingdom authority, and His earthly ministry began. When He later left the earth, the kingdom potential went with Him. However, before He left, the King promised His disciples that He would soon return with His kingdom.

Matthew 16:28: “Assuredly, I (Jesus) say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Luke 9:27: (And Jesus said),
“But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

These verses plainly and emphatically state that some of the people present were going to be alive and see Jesus coming in His kingdom, the kingdom of God. Jesus made it clear that He was going away and coming back quickly, bringing the kingdom with Him. This is a strong statement by the Lord that He was returning to earth, bringing His kingdom with Him, during their lifetime. When did this happen? Or did it not happen as the Lord said it would?

In the past, the only way I could get around this statement was to assume He was speaking of the mount of transfiguration when the disciples caught a glimpse of His glory. It was always a bit of a stretch for me to believe that the brief glimpse of Jesus in His glorified state was what He had in mind when He said they would “see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” The revelation of “kingdom” brings much seemingly difficult scripture into such sweet harmony.

Jesus returned to earth as a “life-giving Spirit” at Pentecost. How many Gods do we have? We have only one God! He manifests Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus made it clear that “if you have Me, you have the Father, and if the Holy Spirit dwells in you, so does the Son and the Father.” Many Christians will quickly tell you that Jesus lives in their heart; yet, they don’t realize
He could not be in their heart if He had not returned to earth.

1 Cor 15:45: And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

When Jesus walked on earth as a man, He could be in only one place at one time. He bodily went to the right hand of the Father and then returned as Spirit; now He can be everywhere at once. He can indwell all believers at one time, empowering us to obediently walk in His kingdom lifestyle. Thus, the will of God can be done on earth as it is in heaven. Many are yet looking for Jesus to return to do what He has already done or is now here to do.

In John 14:15-28 and John 16:12-25,Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit that is to come after He (Jesus) goes back to heaven. He makes it clear that He will return to His disciples. When He says, “I’m going away and coming back to you”, He does not mean to their descendants thousands of years later.

John 14:18: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

John 14:20: “At that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

John 14:21: “I will love him (those who love the Father) and manifest Myself to him.” (Or “manifest myself in him”)

John 16:14: “We(Jesus and the Father)
will come to him and make Our home with him.”

John 14:28: “I’m going away and coming back to you.”

John 16:14: “He (the Holy Spirit) Will take of what is Mine (or Me) and declare to you.”

Jesus finishes up the discussion in John 16:23-24by saying, “In that day you will ask me nothing ... whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.” Obviously, the day he is talking about is today, not some future day when He bodily returns.

Jesus came to earth, reclaimed the kingdom, was crucified, resurrected, ascended to the right hand of the Father, returned to earth in the Holy Spirit, and now lives in believers to establish His kingdom on earth. Yet, He is still at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. Though Jesus possessed the fullness of the kingdom potential after His baptism with the Holy Spirit, He was not omnipresent in His natural body on earth. Now that He has returned to earth in the Holy Spirit, He is omnipresent.

Christ Jesus in us by the Holy Spirit will produce righteous obedience to God. Real holiness which includes true righteousness and perfect obedience is the only way to enter the fullness of the kingdom of God and become the Bride of Christ. Positional righteousness does not in itself cause us to enter or become the purified Bride. Only practical righteousness and practical obedience will enable us to live on earth in the kingdom of God. We enter and walk in the kingdom by obedience to the will of the Father.

Matthew 5:20: “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 7:21-23“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

Matthew 19:17b: “...But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Remember, we are not talking about being born again; nor are we talking about going to heaven when we die. Those are “parts”,but what Jesus is talking about in these verses is entering and living in the kingdom of God now. We enter and walk by obedience to the Father. Only Jesus, by the Holy Spirit living in us, will always obey the will of the Father. Because Jesus is seated in heaven, He is available to carry out miraculous works of God through His disciples on earth.

Mark 16:19,70:  ...He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Luke 17:20-21: “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed the kingdom of God is within you (or in your midst).”

As Christ Jesus manifests Himself in our being, we truly become the body of Christ, a body for Jesus to live in on earth. Jesus the Christ has returned to earth and lives in His people.We now have the potential to rule and reign over the kingdoms of the earth as His glorious life, His love, His power, His wisdom, His peace, and His faith rule and reign through our being. We can now take dominion over all the earth and over all the powers of darkness. We can reclaim every area of the kingdom.
Nothing is impossible to Jesus in us.

When God’s messengers receive the “kingdom of God now” truth in their hearts and proclaim it with their mouths to the world, then the kingdom of God will be established. But as long as it is preached as a “someday kingdom”, it will not be fully established on earth. The other kingdom, the kingdom of darkness, can continue to run the governments, businesses, finance, religion, arts, music, media, sports, educational systems, entertainment industry and all other aspects of our world. Evil can continue to poison the minds of our people, inflicting pain, perverting,
killing, and destroying men, women, and children of our land.

Wake up, Christians! Wake up, preachers!
The saints who have gone on to heaven are not going to take back the earth, reclaim it and establish the kingdom of God on the earth. Yes, they are cheering us on. Yes, their work is made perfect in us. We are establishing what the great men of faith have begun -- building upon the foundational heritage of generations of men of faith. But, only those alive on earth have the opportunity to cleanse their hands and purify their hearts to bring forth the work of Christ.Only then will the Spirit of Christ Jesus can come forth in their lives in glory and power sufficient to overpower the kingdom of darkness and establish the kingdom of light. This new generation has the potential to see the kingdom of God established in hearts today, individually, and then in the earth.

All who have gone before and paid a great price are looking to the people of God on earth today to make perfect their works and sacrifices by bringing forth the kingdom of God on earth.

Hebrews 11:37-40:They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented - of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

1 Corinthians 10:11: Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends (purposes) of the ages have
come.

Each of us is in one kingdom or the other. Either the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light rules us. We are bringing forth, from our hearts, either one kingdom or the other into the earth.

There is great conflict between the two kingdoms and keen competition for the hearts of men. The propagation of either kingdom depends on the hearts of men. Men must cast the deciding vote as to which kingdom will rule the earth. Only in the heart-soil of man is the potential for ruling the earth.
Whichever kingdom rules the hearts of men rules the earth.

Boiling it all down; man has one great continuous “yes and no” decision to make. He must decide “yes” to the kingdom of light and “no” to the kingdom of darkness. Many generations ago, mankind decided “yes” to the kingdom of darkness and “no” to the kingdom of light.Men need make no further decision to remain in the kingdom of darkness. A decision not to come to the light is a decision to remain in darkness.

God will furnish all the power, all the direction, and do all the work to establish His kingdom; but man must decide with his own will. God has given us dominion on earth and has chosen not to overrule our will. What we bind is bound and what we loose is loosed.

Matthew 16:19, “And I give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

The Bride of Christ is prepared by practical obedience and holiness.Now is the time for the church (ecclesia) to make herself ready and become the perfected Bride, the New Jerusalem. Each of us must go through a process of becoming obedient and holy, or “growing up” in the kingdom walk. We must receive true understanding of the kingdom of God by spiritual revelation of the Word of God.

For anyone who might have a tendency toward thinking “this is something I can humanly do,” please be aware that it is all by the grace of God. The grace of God is the empowerment of Christ within the individual to live righteously. The grace of God is not a whitewash covering for our continued disobedience.

Grace is freely given but never forced upon an unwilling individual. Our part is to become willing to lay down our own way, our selfish desires, our religious order, our inner needs, to empty ourselves of ourselves that the Spirit of God may fill us with Christ. God will do it all. The grace of God can even make us willing but we must be willing to be made willing.

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net




Edited by Ron McGatlin on 01/30/2007 at 2:52pm
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Living The Kingdom of God Lifestyle
Journey From Religion to Relationship

Growing in the gospel of the kingdom


SEVEN STAGES OF KINGDOM (#009)


Spiritual birth and the maturing process into the kingdom of God lifestyle are taught in the Bible in parables of the natural. Remember, we can receive insight and understanding of spiritual things by looking at natural things. Again, the figurative language of Scripture speaks of natural things to communicate spiritual, kingdom-truth to those who have an ear to hear. We can identify seven stages of development into the maturity of kingdom living by looking into the Word and comparing natural development.

Each of us must go through a process of becoming obedient and holy or “growing up” in the kingdom walk. It is not enough to be born spiritually,any more than it is enough to be born in the natural. Before ruling as a natural man, one must go through a growth process, being nourished and trained in order to grow from a baby to manhood. Likewise, in the spiritual realm, we cannot rule or even walk in the kingdom of God as babies.

Jesus said we must enter the kingdom as a child. He said that we must be born into the spiritual kingdom as we were born into the natural world.
 
Matthew 18:3: “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

John 3; 3, 5-6:Jesus answered and said to him
, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again(or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”


IN THE WOMB STAGE

In the natural, there must be conception before there can be birth. Life does not begin at birth but at conception in the womb of the mother. There must be a mother and a father coming together in intimacy. A seed from the father comes together with an egg in the mother and conception occurs; life begins. Is the new life in the world at this point? Yes, it is in the world. It is in the womb of the mother who is in the world. But it is not yet birthed or released into the world by itself.

When the church is properly related to God, that intimate communion produces spiritual children. We can relate the natural process of conception and birth to the spiritual. The Seed (word) from the Father is planted in the heart soil of a person and if mixed with faith, a living spirit is conceived. God's people are the mother (church) that is to carry the new life in her womb, the Holy Spirit, until the time of birth into the kingdom.

The seed of the Father is always perfectly holy. We are born with a heritage of the first Adam through our spiritual mother and therefore must grow through a process before becoming holy, mature kingdom of God sons.

Hebrews 4:2:For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

If you received Christ as an adult you may remember a short season after first receiving the Lord in which everything seemed to be perfect. If you remember, the season probably lasted about nine months. You were being formed in the womb of the Holy Spirit.

Life begins when the Word and faith come together, but the new life must be protected and nurtured in the womb because it is unable to sustain itself. It is dependent on the mother (God's people) to breathe for it, receive and digest food, provide protection from the elements, and flow love, comfort, and acceptance to it. The embryo cannot walk in the kingdom on its own.
It can only go where the mother carries it in her womb.

Galatians 4:26: ...but the Jerusalem above is free, which isthe mother of us all.

Isaiah 44:2:“Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. Thus says the Lord Who made you and formed you from the womb, Who will help you.”

When the Word comes and is received in faith (believed), we repent of the old and are conceived as a new creation. We should then go through a season of being formed and developed in the womb before being birthed into the kingdom. Remember we are talking about walking in the kingdom lifestyle that Jesus taught, not just getting into heaven when we die.
In relation to kingdom living, what we may have viewed in the past as being born again may actually be conception.

  
WITH THE MOTHER STAGE

Birth is that time at which we begin to breathe on our own. Spiritual breathing is spiritual communion, praying to and hearing from God on our own. In natural birth, we are suddenly pressed forth from our warm, protected environment in the womb into the real world. For the first time, we will feel the exhilarating rush of life-sustaining air into our own lungs. We will, for the first time, begin to taste food given to us in our own mouth.

As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. We are birthed into the kingdom life when we begin to spiritually breathe on our own, when we can first begin to speak to God and hear God for ourselves. People who cannot yet hear God on their own are not yet birthed into the kingdom. Religion has caused multitudes to not be completely birthed into the true kingdom of God on earth now. Many have been made to believe that they must depend on someone else to hear for them. They have been conceived by receiving the Word in faith but are not living the kingdom of God lifestyle. In a sense they are stuck in the birth canal. Again, we are not speaking about going to heaven; we are speaking in reference to the kingdom of God lifestyle on earth now.

There is a season of growth after we are birthed and can hear God on our own when we continue to need nurturing and training by the mother. We are not yet mature enough to live on our own. We are eating on our own but could make some bad decisions regarding what to eat. We yet need the wisdom of our mother and our Father. This season of learning to accurately hear the Father and obey Him more perfectly with the help of our mother, is a time of rapid growth and a time of receiving further instruction.

Isaiah 46:3: “...all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb.”

Genesis 49:25b: “Blessings of the breasts and of the
womb.”

Isaiah 66:8b-11: “For as soon as Zion travailed, She gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I Who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God. “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her  that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her breasts, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”

Remember, we are on a journey to the holy place, the City of God. We are moving through the process of maturity and holiness that will lead to the establishment of the kingdom (ruler/dominion) of God in our lives and then in the world.


THE INDEPENDENT STAGE

Well, we’ve finally made it!
We’re ready to move out and begin to minister on our own. We can leave the close confines of the mother. Our intense training period is over. We’re ready to go out to save all the lost and conquer the world or make our fortune. Our life is filled with the excitement of doing and building. Our goals are clear and our ambitions and confidence are high. We know beyond any doubt that we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us.

We are really doing great. We have the respect of everyone -- those we minister to, our peers, and our authority. Everyone seems to want us on his or her team. We’re really cruising. Almost all our ideas work. We think to ourselves, “This kingdom life is great. I’ve got to remember to try to be humble, and to be kind to all the little people.”

We flex our spiritual muscles and with firmness let the world know that we have arrived. Our convictions are even more firm than our muscles. If there is anything we don’t know, it probably isn’t worth knowing anyway. Our doctrinal position is so rigid and complete that nothing can be changed or added. It is inconceivable that anyone would be dumb enough to have a different position. Surely, part of our calling must be to correct all those older, fuzzy-minded men that seem to border on being foolish. We know we have it right. After all, haven’t we accomplished more in the one year we’ve been working than they have in their thirty-plus years of service?

Sadly, we are blind to the fact that our harshness and lack of real love may be tearing down as much of the kingdom as our wonderful preaching or intense labor is building. While we are out pounding people with our Bible, the wife and kids are trying to get over the wounds of neglect and rigid authority we’ve harshly administered to them. What does it profit a man to save the whole world or make a great fortune and lose his own family? Our empire will surely crumble. Thank God He does use us some even in spite of ourselves.

Praise God for His mercy. No one could tell us the truth, that we’ve not even entered the real kingdom of God walk yet and that our real training is about to begin. Oh, yes, we’ve heard those sermons on suffering and the testimonies of enduring hardship; but we surmise that in some way those guys must not have things quite right. Quickly we learn to deal with backbiters and to kick the devil off our heels.
So we think we are overcoming warriors, mighty men of valor!


THE SUFFERING STAGE

Acts 14:22: We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.

“It seems so strange! It doesn’t make sense! I was doing everything right! My desire was to serve God! I thought they would like me!”
 
Suddenly, we are cut to pieces and run through the stomach with a sword - not through the back, but right to our face -- from those close to us -- those we’ve helped and even loved. Then, the big rocks begin to smash us even from above. The authority that was so pleased with us suddenly does not seem to understand us any more. We are accused and abused from every direction. We are chewed to pieces with razor-sharp teeth of steel. And the more we do, the more we say to try to let them know that they are making a mistake -- that we really didn’t do anything wrong, the worse it gets.
 
Now we are really about to enter the kingdom walk. Remember, we enter and walk in the kingdom by obedience. And though we are sons, we must learn obedience by the things we suffer. We will never really know the love of Christ until we’ve learned to love those who persecute us. This is our great opportunity to really die to self and see the love of Jesus manifest within us. The love, the great blessing, the presence of God in our lives that will come through this experience is the manifestation of the glory of God.

Luke 24:26: “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”

Hebrews 5:7-9:...Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.

1 Peter 4:12-14: Beloved do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the
Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

Matthew 5:10-12: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Thessalonians 1:4b-5: ...for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulation that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you also suffer.

1 Peter 2:19-23: For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps; Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth, Who when He was reviled did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.

Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

In the suffering stage, our motives are further purified. If we are serving God for comfort, fleshly benefit, or out of a guilt motivation, we will not endure this stage except our motives be changed. If there remains a need for healing from the past in our hearts, we will experience bitterness being formed from the pain we are suffering. If we are not dead to self in any area, we will react or revile in return when the pain becomes severe.

We may not be able to stay on top of things and remain “up” in our spirit or emotions during severe suffering. We may wish to die and despair of our lives, but let patience have her perfect work. Endure suffering as a good soldier.When the Man Jesus suffered to the limit, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).


 In 2 Corinthians 1:8, Paul said,
“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia; that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.”

Elijah, in 1 Kings 19:4: “prayed that he might die,” and said, “‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life.’”

After we are broken, through the endurance of suffering, and have no further kingdoms of our own to build, we are ready to be used by Him to build His kingdom. All our independent desires and inner needs must die. His desires must replace those that drove us during the independent stage. When it does not matter to us whether men respect us or not, when we really are completely fulfilled in knowing that the Lord is pleased with us, then we are free to follow the Lord and are not moved by men. Man, the world, or the devil has no place in us to hang their hook of control. When there is no fear in us except the fear of disappointing our loving heavenly Father, we are very dangerous to the kingdom of darkness. If we fear men, we do not yet fear God.
If we truly fear God, we have no fear of anything else.
   

THE OBEDIENT STAGE

When our motives are right and our hearts are being healed,the pain we feel is converted into love and not bitterness. There is no other way to have and know that we have the perfected love of Jesus manifested in our everyday life. Being persecuted, suffering wrongfully, being wronged, and patiently enduring and forgiving, is the method by which we have love.Pain plus forgiveness equals love. Pain plus resentment equals bitterness. When we really love our enemies, God’s love is perfected in us. This perfected love causes us to obey the commandments of Jesus and to do the will of the Father thereby entering by obedience into the kingdom of God walk.

John 15:12: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

1 John 2:5: “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”

1 John 5:3-4a: “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.”

Galatians 5:14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
 
Our obedience and pure motives make us worthy or trustworthy to receive the kingdom of God. We can be trusted with the riches and power of God.He can safely release to us secrets of how to rule in the earth.We will use all He gives us to serve Him according to His directions. The enemy will be unable to tempt us to use the power of God to provide for our own needs or wants. Our love for Him and our desire to please Him will so outweigh any other wants or needs in our lives that we would sacrifice everything, even our own lives, to obey Him.
 
Love is the greatest law of the kingdom. Every other law or principle is held together by love and works by love. It is the strongest force in creation. By love, one can be motivated to pay the supreme sacrifice and do what one would not do for all the riches in the world. The kingdom of God is characterized and held together by His love. We can truly thank God and call it all joy when persecutions and suffering come to break us down to love
.
 


THE SERVANT STAGE

Now we are ready to really accomplish something in the kingdom, not from our own zealousness, as in the independent stage, but from a love motive to serve. We serve Jesus by serving His people. We really become humble servants serving from the heart, producing heartily and reaping great blessings as a result. We no longer are trying to build our dream or “do our thing”. As He pours out His grace to empower us and His wisdom to guide us, we are more humbled.

Matthew 25:34-40: “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and fed You, or thirsty and gave You drink?... And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you,inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

Business in the kingdom of God is serving.It is serving God by serving His people. The more profitably we serve, the more we rule. Through the love of Jesus made perfect in us by suffering, we become obedient, which causes us to become profitable servants to God as we do only His will. The Father can specifically direct our lives through the Holy Spirit when our self-desires are dead and Christ is formed in us. Then, we are able to hear His voice and receive direction that will cause us to align with His desires and become prosperous servants in the kingdom.


THE SEATED STAGE

Matthew 8:11: “And I say to you that many will come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven.”

We shall not be seated until we have entered the "king-dome" where we will be seated at the table of the Lord. We will sit in His presence and have suppertime communication with the Lord. The goal of the entire journey has been to be spiritually seated at His table in His kingdom -- to sit down and cease from our own labor. Our soul is to be completely at rest while His life flows through us. Our goal is to be intimately present with the Lord and to faithfully carry out His will, to rule and reign with Him.

The seated-in-the-kingdom stage is the mature-son stage, the time of entering into the rest of God. It is the time for ruling in the kingdom on earth from that special spiritual place of closeness to the throne of God. It is leading the people of God and
interceding for them before God.

Galatians 4:6-7:And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts ... Therefore you are no longer a servant but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Romans 8:14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are (full grown) sons of God.

Romans 8: 18-19: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the
revealing of the (mature) sons of God.

The world is groaning and waiting for us to become the holy, purified, obedient, mature sons who will release the power of God to restore the kingdom of God on earth. It is waiting for us to heal and deliver our planet from the rule of darkness and oppression -- to forever break Satan’s cruel bondage from the earth and to establish the reign of righteousness, peace and joy, the kingdom of God. Thus, we, as the mature sons, are to extend the king-dome and its light to the world (Romans 8:21-22).

The seated stage is a time of resting in closeness with God. We are no longer in the outer court or cast into outer darkness. We now serve as a pillar in the temple of God. We have a quiet, confident assurance as the power and love of God effortlessly flow through us to heal the brokenhearted, set the captives free, and rebuild the ruined cities.

Hebrews 3:18:And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?

Hebrews 4: 6b, 9-11: ...those to whom it was preached did not enter because of disobedience. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.

In the seated stage, faithful servants become rulers in God’s kingdom. We serve by ruling after having faithfully served in obedience to God in smaller matters.


Matthew 25:21: “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

Luke 19:17: “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant: because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’”

Luke 12:44: “Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.”

Luke 22: 26b-30: “...he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I (Jesus) am among you as the One Who serves. But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

The highest order of ruling is intercession. Those who are seated at the table of the Lord have the opportunity and the responsibility to make intercession; to serve as an advocate for the Israel of God. It is bringing the people of God with their needs to Jesus, and bringing ministry from the Lord to His people that they may also be brought to the table of the Lord. As seated, mature sons, we reign with Jesus Christ on earth.

Romans 5:17b: ... those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:12: If we endure, we shall also
reign with Him.

Revelation 5: 9b-l0: ... and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall
reign on the earth.

Jesus has provided and is providing full redemption and restoration.It is more than spending eternity with Him in heaven and missing hell, though certainly this would be more than sufficient reason to endure. But the Word says that by His abundance of grace and gift of righteousness we will reign in life with Him if we endure (overcome). Jesus has provided and is providing all we need to reign as kings and priest on the earth as He ever lives to make intercession for us. He is bringing many sons to glory (Hebrews 7:25).

Hebrews 2:10:For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Seeing the goal of ruling and reigning with Him in this life encourages us to continue during the difficult life purification and reformation processes. Though we are sons on our way to the seated stage, we may encounter experiences of what the Bible refers to as “outer darkness.”
 
Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net



Edited by Ron McGatlin on 01/24/2007 at 1:39pm
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OUTER DARKNESS (#010)


Matthew 25:30:  “And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Revelation 21:27: But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes abomination or a lie.

Matthew 8:12:
“But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The illustration we used earlier of the king-dome helps me to understand about outer darkness. You remember the gigantic glass dome filled with the presence and light of God. The light flowed out in all directions and dispelled the darkness. Everywhere the light is, the darkness must flee. But everywhere the light has not yet reached, the darkness remains. Envision the light reaching out in a large circle around the dome. As far as it reaches, there is light; at the point where the light stops, the darkness begins. These outer regions from the dome could be referred to as “outer darkness”.

The powers of darkness lurk in that darkness around the light, waiting to do their dirty work. They concentrate in the area around the light to try to prevent people from entering the king-dome light. That is why Jesus said the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. There is a “pressing” involved in entering the kingdom - not a violence from or force toward, God, but a violence from the enemy and a pressing or taking it by force by those who enter.

Luke 16:16:  “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.”

Matthew 11:12: 
“And from the days of John the Baptist till now, the kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

If disobedience is found in us, even though we are sons and are well into our journey in the light toward the Holy City, we are returned to outer darkness for more suffering. God loves us and is faithful to allow us to repeat this cycle as many times as is necessary to bring us to purity and holiness as mature sons of the kingdom. The devil is predictable and will always be waiting for us in the outer darkness to inflict fresh pain upon us until we are able to reckon ourselves dead to self that Jesus may be manifested in us. Then, with repentance and fresh love, we return to our journey into the light toward the Holy City of God.

This does not mean we are eternally destroyed. The powers of darkness mean their dirty work for our death; but, God limits what the enemy can do to His children and all these things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). It is not for our death; it is for our purification.As we walk closer and closer to the dome, the light becomes brighter exposing impurities or imperfections that we could not see in the lesser light.As these imperfections are exposed, we always have two choices. We must repent and allow the light to purify us further, or deny the fault and blame someone or something else. If we do anything other than quickly repent, we again are on our way to outer darkness for more pain and suffering. In the pain of outer darkness, we may think something like this, “It sure didn’t hurt this much back in the light. I believe I will become obedient.”We repent, die to self some more, and are returned to the light on our journey to the king-dome.

I am very sorry to say that, in my own experience, it has required many of these cycles to deal with my independence. The secret is to very quickly and humbly repent. If we do not quickly repent, while we debate it in our minds we are already slipping back toward the darkness.

It is very easy, once we are out of the suffering stage, to begin again to feel our muscles and go back to the independent stage. We think something like, “Wow! I’m glad that’s over. I’ve got it now. It’s all working again now. I can really do it this time”. Here comes the man of faith and power for the hour. Guess what stage we are just about to enter again?

Revelation 21:27: But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes abomination or a lie.

Matthew 8:12
:“But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 22:11-13
:“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

Revelation 7:13-17:Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who came out of great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore, the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 19:8:And to her (the Lamb’s wife) it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of
the saints.

The wedding garment we must have on is “the righteous acts of the saints.” True righteousness is the white robe washed in the blood of the Lamb. The wedding garment customarily was furnished by the host, the lord of the feast. The man who is not wearing the garment is without excuse. It is by his independent thinking that he elects to refuse the offered garment and provide his own. Self-righteousness in its purest form will not be good enough to enable us to walk into the Holy City. The Pharisees did not make it. The spirit of Pharisee will not enter the kingdom walk and, unfortunately, will hinder all that it can from entering. Religion and its pharisaical laws and traditions are part of the darkness that must be pressed through. The kingdom disciple can expect violent resistance from people affected by the spirit of Pharisee.

Matthew 23:13:“But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for, you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

As we enter and continue our progress, we must continue to become less and less that Jesus the Christ may live in us more and more. Christ living in us provides all the love and power of heaven to work God’s obedience in us. This is the only garment, the white robe of fine linen that we must wear on our journey to becoming “New Jerusalem”, and living the overcoming life.

Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net




Edited by Moderator on 02/01/2007 at 9:56am
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Posted: 07/26/2006 at 4:37pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

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GOD'S JEWELS (#011)


As the Israel of God (the church, "ecclesia") attains practical obedience and holiness through inner empowerment of the grace of God, the Bride of Christ is prepared. Now is the time for the church to make herself ready and become the perfected Bride and City of God on earth. The religious church for the most part has thought that the kingdom was not for today, and has focused on getting in the gate and hanging on until Jesus comes or until we die and go to heaven. Therefore, we have multitudes of Christians hanging around the gate in the outer court. We’ve expected these neophytes to demonstrate the “Christian life.” It is no wonder most of the church has decided to disregard kingdom teaching as not being for this time since, seemingly, no one has the power to realistically live it. Therefore, we have reasoned, the kingdom must be for heaven when we die or some future day.

Another beautiful, figurative word God uses to describe His mature “sons of the kingdom” is “His jewels.” His children are being perfected into beautiful jewels. It is so amazing that God, who has all the gold and precious stones in the world, considers His kingdom people as jewels, jewels now being perfected, cut and polished to reflect His glory.

Malachi 3:17a: “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I make them My jewels.”

Isaiah 61:10b: For as He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has covered me with robes of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and
as a bride adorns herself with jewels.

The remnant church is being prepared as precious jewels to reflect the glory of God. The spotless, perfected Bride Church will reflect the glory of God in every facet of life. There must be no internal imperfections or flaws if we are to perfectly reflect His glory. Each facet must be cut to perfect shape and polished to perfection, if we are to become one of the jewels of New Jerusalem one of the adorning stones set on the foundation of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In God’s pictorial language, the twelve tribes of Israel are the “gates” of entry to the city of God. The purified church (the Israel of God) is the “gateway” as it brings forth the ministry of Jesus in the world. The twelve apostles of the Lamb are the “foundation” of the spiritual city of God.

Revelation 21:12, 14:Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates,and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Revelation 21:18-23: “And the construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the forth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the
glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light.

Isaiah 62:1,3, 5b: “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”

As God is perfecting us the finished jewel may be much smaller than the initial, damaged, rough stone. But when He is finished, there will be no impurities to impede the glorious light of God from flowing out every window or “facet” of our lives. If there are imperfections yet within us which indicate a need for further healing or dying to self, they will block or hinder the flow of God’s glory and keep it from being reflected in one or more of our “facets.”

Another word demonstrating the unimpeded ability to “flow” the glory of God from all the facets of our jewel is freedom. In the natural dimension, a cut diamond that has an impurity in it, such as a carbon deposit, is not free to “flow” the light out of some of its facets. Additionally, if the diamond is not cut properly or has blemishes in its surface, the light flowing through it will be distorted. In the spiritual if we, the children of God, have some spot of impurity remaining in our hearts, we will not be free to “flow” the glory of God in that area of our lives. Also, if we are not yet perfectly cut and polished, we are not free to “flow” His light without distortion. The process of being formed, cut, polished, and purified might be considered very difficult by the diamond that is experiencing the cutting and grinding.

The overcomer will want to locate these imperfections and allow God to deal with them. Jesus came to fix our imperfections and repair the damage inflicted upon us by the devil and by our own foolishness. We can learn to recognize problem areas by the lack of the glory of God flowing through a particular area or facet of our life or daily walk. There are seven easily defined general areas or facets of freedom in each of us.

Zechariah 3:9, Amplified.: “For behold, upon the stone which I have set before Joshua, upon that one stone are seven eyes or facets “ [the all-embracing providence of God and the sevenfold radiations of the Spirit of God]. “Behold,I will carve upon it its inscription,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will remove the iniquity and guilt of this land in a single day.”

Freedom is having all hindrances to receiving and reflecting the light of His glory removed. If freedom in a certain facet does not exist, we will know to look in a corresponding area in the heart for impurities or imperfections to be healed or removed. We must know how to appropriate the ministry of Jesus to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. We must allow Him to burn out impurities or cut away a portion of our stone to eliminate the impurity in our jewel. In love He may use the chisel and hammer of traumatic events and abrasive relationships to cut and polish our jewel.

In the natural realm, the facets of a jewel are “windows.” Light flows in through some and out through others. When the jewel is moved, the light shifts from window to window and sparkles brightly as it reflects the light from each facet. The jewel has no light of its own, but does a beautiful job of reflecting available light.

The major facet of our jewel is obedience. Usually the major facet on top of a jewel receives the light in to be reflected out the other smaller facets. We will reflect whatever light we turn our obedience toward. If we turn our obedience toward evil, we will reflect the darkness of evil. If we turn our obedience toward God, we will reflect His glory. Freedom is both freedom from reflecting evil and freedom to reflect good.

SEVEN FACETS OF FREEDOM

Seven facets of freedom are obedience, contentment, prosperity, enjoyment, harmony, health and service.
Probably all needed areas of freedom are defined under these seven headings. If we have these freedoms, we can walk in the kingdom of God, New Jerusalem, purified, Bride-of-Christ lifestyle.

Freedom is both freedom from reflecting evil and freedom to reflect good.

OBEDIENCE IS FREEDOM


Freedom from rebellion, stubbornness, self-will, perversion, arrogance, compulsiveness, impulsiveness, pride and impatience.

Freedom to be submissive, yielding, faithful, loyal, humble and repentant.
 
 
CONTENTMENT IS FREEDOM

Freedom from want, lust, needs that cause stress, fear, doubt, worry, anxiety, insecurity, suspicion, distrust, hopelessness, nervousness, tension and confusion.

Freedom to be satisfied, thankful, fulfilled, secure, trusting, believing, hopeful, peaceful and stable.


PROSPERITY IS FREEDOM

Freedom from lack, poverty, wastefulness, fruitlessness, loss and not having enough to complete God’s plan.

Freedom to be adequately supplied to complete God’s plan, fruitful, flourishing, receiving, increasing and conserving.
 

ENJOYMENT IS FREEDOM

Freedom from ungodly pain & sorrow, torment, guilt, boredom, condemnation, depression, self-pity, shame, withdrawal, loneliness and frustration.

Freedom to be experiencing pleasure in God, delighting in the Lord, being joyful.
 

HARMONY IS FREEDOM

Freedom from strife, contention, jealousy, envy, hostility, discord, rejecting, rejection, resentment, retaliation, criticizing, hate, selfishness, manipulation and gossip.

Freedom to be unified, compatible, in accord, friendly, open, in fellowship, accepted and accepting.
 

HEALTH IS FREEDOM

Freedom from (physical, emotional, or spiritual) sickness, disease, wounding, disorder, malfunction, malformation, perversion and weakness.

Freedom to be (physically, emotionally, or spiritually) whole, well, healed, strong, in order, sound, able-bodied and hearty.
 

SERVICE IS FREEDOM

Freedom from unproductiveness, slothfulness, uselessness, incapability, lack of purpose, worthlessness, futility, vanity and hindering.

Freedom to be productive, purposeful, providing, useful, capable, valuable and helpful.
 

Remember:We must turn our facet of obedience toward the light and away from darkness. We will reflect whatever light we turn our obedience toward. If we turn our obedience toward evil, we will reflect the darkness of evil. If we turn our obedience toward God, we will reflect His glory.

If we have impurities in our jewel, we feel very uncomfortable when we turn fully toward the light. The bright light generates heat within as it contacts impurities and is blocked from flowing out. For comfort’s sake, some will turn their “obedience facet” away from the light, away from focus on closeness with God. They may turn away from intimacy with God and instead turn toward religious forms and rituals.

Romans 6:16-18:Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slave whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Some will lift up a shield of religion or unbelief and self-deception to keep the light from burning within them. The enemy will provide the shield for us if we will use it. He has a whole suit of armor for those who will obey him.

Luke 11:20-22: “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when one stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.”

The armor of Satan is the opposite of God’s armor. Those who obey the enemy have their waist girded with lies, a breastplate of unrighteousness, their feet shod with the bad news of conflict. They carry the shield of unbelief and self-deception. They take the helmet of damnation and wield the sword of evil which is words of accusation and condemnation.

Self-deception begins with replacing what God has said with human rationalization and self-justification. Rather than repent and change, some will attempt to alleviate uncomfortable feelings of guilt with self-deception by denying their own guilt and blaming others.They accuse and condemn others for their own inner impurities and imperfections. The enemy will assists them with his religious belief systems and doctrines, which will seem to justify one’s faults rather than change them.

Only by directly turning toward the light of God and continuing to move toward the light, can one’s inner-impurities and imperfections be exposed and dealt with. Only by repenting and allowing the power of God to change us will we become purified. Belief and obedience cause man to be conformed to God. Unbelief and self-deception attempt to conform God to man.
            
If we are to become the jewels of God, there are things in each of our lives that must be overcome. As we journey toward becoming His jewels, the damage previously done to us by the enemy and the resulting negative life patterns must be overcome. We must become overcomers by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony and not loving our lives to the death.

Rev 12:11: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail.

Ron McGatlin

http://www.openheaven.com
basileia@earthlink.net

Kingdom Growth Guides are also available free of charge by email in Word file attachments. Email your request to basileia@earthlink.net

For PART 2 Click Here


Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/12/2008 at 11:31am
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Posted: 02/12/2008 at 11:30am | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

 

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