Teaching

Establishing The Kingdom

Have you ever noticed that most preaching these days is to other Christians?

In one sense, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are going to spend all eternity with the Lord, so we might as well make a start getting to know how infinite He is in the space-time dimension.

However, the problem with preaching to the choir as it is known is that it doesn’t do much to advance the footprint of the Kingdom – and I am not just talking about evangelism. But let’s talk a little about evangelism.

Evangelism is seen these days as a specialist job in the Body of Christ these days. It is the role of the “outreach worker” or “street person” in the church.

There is a reason for this. And it is a sad one. 

The reason is that believers in Christ simply do not have enough faith, confidence and trust in God’s Word to transform and change people.

Of course, I am not talking about every Christian but I am talking about a general malaise of unbelief that exists – yes, even in this Bill Johnson, Todd White and “It’s Supernatural” era. Many believers treat evangelising the “lost” as a voyeuristic exercise on YouTube rather than talk to real, live people.

Because deep down we are not sure if it will work. Even though it worked for us.

Now don’t start jumping out and grabbing some sinners just yet. Before you do, I have some important things I believe God wants you to be aware of here and by aware I mean soaking your consciousness with till your mind is renewed. So here it is.

God’s Word has the power.

The Bible you hold in your hand contains all the power you will ever need to change things on planet earth. Including – and as we hear all the time and rightly so – the miracle power to change unregenerate men and women into children of God!

All you have to do is release that Word on someone.

Remember in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught that the Word of God is seed and that planting seeds and seeing them grow is how the Kingdom of God operates (see Mark 4:1-33).

Trekkies will love this: God’s Word is like Project Genesis in the Star Trek movies. It has the power to terraform dead planets and make them spring into life!

Actually, it has far more power than that. God’s Word has the power to bridge the dimensions and bring the Kingdom of God down here into the physical realm, to pattern earth after heaven. Prayer is designed to do just that and prayer is based on God’s will, which is His Word. When you release God’s Word back to Him in prayer, you literally pull heaven down to earth.

Think of the unlimited power in these words: THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL (WORD) BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

Now, of course, sharing the Word in evangelism is spreading this Life-transforming power. It is seeding the supernatural, Kingdom-building, faith-producing, regenerating substance of heaven into the dead soil of men’s hearts. That is a whole new way of looking at evangelism for many and it works much better than “Well, people just don’t want to hear the Gospel these days.”

However, this principle of seeding and planting is not just about getting individuals saved. It is about transforming society and culture into the Kingdom of God on earth.

There are two Great Commission passages in our Bibles. The one at the end of Mark’s Gospel is a charge to “Preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). This means get folks saved. That is evangelism.

We need to realise that this is not all we are commissioned to do. The other Great Commission passage is in Matthew 28:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. MATTHEW 28:18-20 NKJV

This is a different charge. It is a command to subdue and disciple the nations. It is a cultural mandate.

We have lost the revelation that God has given us His Word as a tool of dominion over the nations. We need to be fully immersed once again in this truth. The Reformers and Puritans understood this. In our day we have spiritualised things to the point they are of no earthly use. This is not actually spiritual at all. We wage “spiritual warfare” which is often nothing but Nintendo games in our heads. If you really want to see the reality of spiritual warfare, drop some Word bombs on your communities! Fighting principalities in your head is far less effective.

We plant and establish the Kingdom of heaven by the Word of God.

God’s Word is given us to rein in and control worldly rulers (see Psalm 149). Yes, they will rebel against this but we just remind them that Jesus is Lord (Psalm 2). 

Declaring the Lordship of Christ is not just how we get individuals to become Christians; it is how we transform the nations. The Gospel IS the power of God and the Gospel is that Jesus is Lord.

The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed,
That he should not die in the pit,
And that his bread should not fail.
But I am the Lord your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared—
The LORD of hosts is His name.
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” ISAIAH 51:14-16 NKJV

Note here that this prophetic word in Isaiah is in a time of economic oppression, when the people are worried that their bread may fail and they would “die in the pit.” That pretty much describes the economy and world we live in, you could say.

God’s answer to the pressures of this is His Word! “I have put MY words in your mouth,” He says.

The proclaimed Word of God is always His answer to the pressures of life on this planet.

That Word has power to lift man out of sin, sickness, poverty and misery. That is, man as individual men and women and man as society.

The Word of God plants the Kingdom and lays a new foundation on the earth, having removed the one that is presently not working very well. The word “plant” here means to establish.

You can establish a new world order that is the Kingdom of God on this planet. You are supposed to. And you are called to

Put the power of the Holy Spirit on top of the built-in power of the Word of God and you have an unbeatable weapon set to defeat the kingdom of darkness and usher in a new age upon this planet.

One more thought. The Word has the power – the dunamis– in it to get the job done. It also mandates us with the authority – the exousia – as our warrant.

With all this at our disposal, what is holding us back?

Nothing on God’s side of the equation is the answer.

So let us not be weary in planting and establishing God’s Kingdom by releasing His Word on His creation.

 

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It’s Always Time To Have Faith

According to your faith be it unto you. MATTHEW 9:29

With this one statement, Jesus defined spiritual health as a matter of how much faith we have developed in us.

You are the sum product of the time you have spent developing your inner man, just as you are the sum product of the time you have spent developing your body.

If you consume more calories than you burn, you will put on weight and be flabby. If you clock up Eastenders and Emmerdale time – with attendant snacks – rather than clocking up gym time or exercise time, you will be unfit. That is life and those are the rules.

Equally, if you do not spend time developing your inner man, who is the real YOU, then you will be spiritually unfit and flabby. This is called being carnal. You will be the spiritual equivalent of the couch potato.

It really is that simple.

One of the great deceptions we have to contend with is that there is enough time for us to “get round” to doing what we should. Whilst it is true that God restores wasted time and we can redeem the time, it is dumb in the extreme to spend precious time in substandard activity.

You develop faith in the gymnasium of the Spirit by spending quality time with God and His Word.

Now that by necessity means certain activities which also take time must be jettisoned. Let’s put it this way: You will not become a spiritual giant by watching soaps or playing computer games.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. GALATIANS 6:7

You are decieved when you think that spending time in futile, carnal, time-wasting activity will bring you a harvest of blessing. There is no faith to be found in junk.

If you want faith, there is a simple way of getting it:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ROMANS 10:17

Faith is in God’s Word and faith will come into your heart when you put God’s Word in there. It could not be simpler. You can begin the process NOW.

Of course, you are not going to walk into the gym and come out like Mr Universe after one session. Likewise, you are not going to spend thirty minutes in the Word and be suddenly morphed into Smith Wigglesworth! Developing of anything worthwhile takes TIME.

Saying that, God’s Word is a miracle Word and it can restore the years eaten away in fruitless actvity. And you only need a tiny bit of faith to get things done!

Now let us look at what faith actually IS:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. HEBREWS 11:1-3

Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things you desire. That means faith is the real nature or essence of those things. Faith helps you to understand that visible things – things which are seen – have their source and origin in things you don’t see i.e. the spiritual realm.

The essence of everything you could need or desire already exists in the spiritual dimension.

Faith is that essence coming into your heart by the vehicle of God’s Word. His Word is pregnant with what you need i.e. it is a seed of what you need and when you plant it in your heart, YOU become pregnant with the heavenly materiality of the thing you desire!!

For example, if you need healing, then you meditate on verses that speak of your right to healing. Then healing will come to you in SUBSTANCE form. The job of SUBSTANCE (faith) is to manifest on earth what is yours in the glory.

Let’s put it this way:

Faith comes to you by hearing the Word.

Which means the SUBSTANCE of the thing you desire comes to you by hearing the Word.

Healing comes to you when you hear the Word on healing! Supply comes to you when you hear the Word on supply! And it manifests in the appropriate manner and currency! Deliverance comes to you when you hear the Word on deliverance.

I once preached a message on the Bible being the Argos catalogue of life. If you can see what you need or desire in the Word, all you have to do is fill in your ticket and pay for it by faith – and it will come to you!

Now the point is, you can go way beyond subsistence level with this and let it be about much more than just getting your own needs met. You can become a faith giant and believe God for bigger things.

The sobering thing about it is that not developing faith can be deadly. Many have died because they did not have enough developed faith to get healed. That sounds harsh but it is high time we stopped sugarcoating the pill and faced things as they are. You should never be caught with insufficient faith just like you should never fill your petrol tank with insufficient funds to pay for it.

There is nothing sadder than hearing people with a terminal disease talking about wishing and hoping they are going to get healed. The truth is that wishing and hoping is not enough. The currency is FAITH. We all need to be taught this and stop mambypambying people about it and then compounding the situation by mumbling stuff about you never know what God’s going to do and His ways are mysterious. Yes, you do know what He will do. He will do according to your faith like He said He would.

Some folks have more faith in their disease than they do the healing power of God. That doesn’t make them bad people, just ignorant. And unless we can get those people into faith, those dear ones might not make it. I don’t intend to go into other things such as anointings and getting others healed by the faith of the person ministering. My emphasis here is that we all develop our own individual faith. Just like you cannot go to the gym and get somebody else fit, you cannot develop your inner man and get somebody else spiritually tuned and toned. Mary’s sitting at the feet of Jesus won’t get Martha the revelation.

Redeem the time in YOUR life and spend it in His Presence. That is the greatest way to live and the best use of your time.

Deposits And Withdrawals

Faith functions along very scientific lines. It is not a volatile or mysterious and unknowable matter. And it IS matter, albeit not stuff you will find readily in  physical space.

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for. Faith is a heavenly materiality that stands under physical reality and is the proof of things not seen. This means that the thing you desire and hope for already exists in another realm – the higher-dimensional world of glory where God is.

Faith is the force that manifests on this plane what is yours in that higher dimension. In short, you can have it here if you have it there. Or you can have an equivalent here of what you have over there. This is why Jesus said to pray: Thy Kingdom, come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The Father wants you to have here on earth what is yours in heaven.

You already have a measure of faith (see Romans 12:3). This is a deposit made when you are born again. It is part of your “hardware” as a child of God. However, God expects us to develop this measure, to “grow” in faith. In reality, this equivalates to having increased revelation of God and His Word which gives us a developed consciousness of who we are and what we have in Christ. You won’t get this by watching soaps and reading trash literature.

God in His wisdom has seen fit to design us in such a way that we need to feed on Him – to spend time in the Word and prayer – in order to develop spiritually.

It’s easy to get stirred up in faith by hearing the exploits of others. Very often we get so stirred up that we launch out in faith and this is not a bad thing. However,  there is a trap that many fall into of stepping over into presumption rather than faith. Presumption is not where we ask God to do things He doesn’t want to. It isn’t presuming upon God so much as it is presuming we have faith. Let me explain.

If you believe you have £1,000 in your bank account and you see a new television you want to buy for £900, you will go to buy it. But if the reality is you only have £800 in your account and you have presumed wrong, then you are about to be embarrassed. You cannot withdraw what you do not have on deposit.

Don’t let your mouth write cheques that your faith can’t cash. By this I mean, don’t presume you have faith enough to get something when you are just acting on excited faith rather than strong faith. Excited faith will get you stuff that you are not ready to handle. You might believe God for a Rolls Royce but if you don’t have the income to maintain it, you will be stumped by the first repair bill.

It all comes down to one thing: spend serious time depositing God’s Word by meditation and confession. Do this and you will discover a great secret of faith – that real faith has to say very little and often nothing at all to get your desires. In other words, spend more time developing yourself in faith and you won’t have to speak much to mountains.

I have to be careful with this because I never want to discourage people from using their faith. But often people are just excited and start speaking to situations without spending the time to tank up on the Word. To use a driving analogy, don’t try to drive 100 miles with your tank edging the red! Go to the petrol station before you set out and fill up the tank.

Don’t presume that you have enough deposite in your heart to get the thing you desire. Concentrate on depositing the Word and you will feel the inner confidence i.e. the faith SUBSTANCE in your inner man. Jesus asked the question: “Where is your faith?” This means they had undetectable levels of substance in them! If He has to ask where your faith is, you are not in a great place!

James tells us that faith without works is dead. This is not talking about crowding our time with activities; it is telling us that we must exercise ourselves in faith. The works of faith are meditating and studying the Word, communing with God and praying in the Spirit. it all comes down to developing consciousness of the Lord and who we are in Him. If you start to goof off and fill your time messing about, that consciousness will not be as strong.

You have a limited time on earth. Spending your time filling yourself and immersing yourself in that which is eternal is the best use of that time. Time spent on trivial and carnal junk is time wasted. However, you can redeem the time.

Spend your time depositing heavenly substance in your spirit man. It is what you were designed and destined to do. And the results really will be out of this world.