- God's purpose is to restore His rulership on Earth through mankind.
- Jesus came to reintroduce the Kingdom of God to us and, through His shed blood on the cross, provide the means by which we could enter into it.
- As an inheritance, the Kingdom belongs to us by legal right.
- We proclaim the message of the Kingdom of God, and that message is good news for everyone who hears it.
- Jesus never preached about being born again; He preached about the Kingdom of God.
- The good news that Jesus preached, and that we should preach, is that the Kingdom of God has come to Earth and, through Jesus, we can all become part of it.
- The degree to which we enjoy our kingdom citizenship depends upon the degree of our willingness to be bold and claim what is rightfully ours; what Jesus had restored to us through His death and resurrection.
- The good news is that in Christ we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, and all the resources of that Kingdom are available to us to help us live in victory on a daily basis in the here and now.
The Prayer That Jesus Prayed
First of all, Jesus said, "Our Father". He is not mine nor yours alone, but the Father of all who believe. Secondly, our Father is "in Heaven" He is not on Earth, but rules His Kingdom in Heaven. When we pray, we should address Him as being in Heaven rather than on Earth. Heaven, however, is not far away. It is the adjacent realm to our own. Any believer who dies is instantaneously there. That is how close the Father God is. Jesus then teaches us to respect and honor God "hallowed by your name". I explained to you earlier what the word "hallowed" means. It is under the subject "The Kingdom of God is the Only True God'.
Next comes the words "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven". Please note: We are to pray for God's Kingdom to come (not go), as well as His will to be done. Now the phrase "on Earth" refers to both God's Kingdom and His will. Please note: the word also means "purpose". When we pray that God's will be done on Earth, we are asking Him to carry out His purpose, to fulfill His original intent. We are praying that whatever happens in Heaven will be manifested here in the Earth regions. Keep in mind, when Adam fell he created a new phenomenon in the Earth; a will other than the will of the Father. Please note: The focus of Kingdom men and women is to unite the world again under the one will of the Father.
Please note: God's original purpose was to extend His heavenly rule to Earth through human beings. His desire was that our physical earthly realm would reflect His spiritual heavenly realm. Because the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth was God's original and unchanging intent, it was also the focus of Jesus' message and ministry. The four Gospels together contain over one hundred direct references to the Kingdom. Remember, John the Baptist preached the Kingdom. Jesus preached the Kingdom; it was His only message. Peter, James, John and the other apostles preached the Kingdom. Paul preached the Kingdom. The early Church preached the Kingdom.
Now you should know that the Gospel of the Kingdom is the only true Gospel. Anything else is not the complete Gospel. Preaching about Jesus Christ is a vital and essential part of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, because He is our way into the Kingdom. Just because we place our faith in Christ, doesn't mean that we automatically understand either what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom or how to live like one. There are many believers who trust and love Jesus but have never been taught about the Kingdom or their true and rightful place in it.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, but His message had nothing to do with our going to heaven. In fact, He preached the opposite. Jesus preached that heaven was coming here on Earth; indeed, that it was already here and He was it's herald. He emphasized this even when He taught His disciples to pray: "This then, is how we should pray":
...Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive us our debtors.
And do no lead us into temptation
But deliver us from the evil one
For Yours is the Kingdom
And the power
And the glory
Word meaning: Hallowed means "holy", and holy means "pure and without an ulterior motive; separated, set apart from any and all evil".
We Are Citizens of a New Order
Now after Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River and was "full of the Holy Spirit", the Spirit led Him into the wilderness. There He fasted for 40 days and nights and was tempted by the devil. Emerging victorious from His temptation, "Jesus returned with power" and began proclaiming the message of the Kingdom.
"Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region." (Luke 4:14)
Keep in mind, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit without measure. Keep this in mind also as well: throughout the Gospels there is no evidence or record that while Jesus was on the Earth, the Holy Spirit was present or active anywhere else except in Him. He was the vanguard of a new order, the first of a new generation of people who would be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus came to reconnect us to the Father and His glorious Kingdom. And by the way, I'm very glad He did! Now, the connecting link is the Holy Spirit. That is why the focus of His message was: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." Jesus' primary purpose was not to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons or even to perform other miraculous signs. Those things were only signs that the Kingdom of God had come to earth, but they were not His main focus. Jesus' ultimate assignment was to make way for the coming kingdom by introducing men to the power of the Holy Spirit.
If we would take a minute to evaluate and meditate on God's Word, wed would understand that the devil has distorted the message of truth. The Holy Spirit is the one that gives us power to overcome any obstacle. Have you noticed that many preachers and teachers preach and teach what He did and avoid the message of the kingdom? Why is that?! Because without time and building a relationship with the Lord, the devil will cause you to miss the mark, by distorting the truth. I have always said, "some God called, some God sent and some just got up and went without waiting on God's time."
1. Jesus' purpose was twofold: to proclaim the arrival of God's Kingdom and, through His blood, provide entry to the kingdom for all who come.
2. Jesus' assignment was to reintroduce the Kingdom.
3. Being born again is the way into the Kingdom; it is the necessary first step, but getting to know the God of the Kingdom involves much more.
4. The Kingdom of Heaven is a jurisdiction over which the influence of God has full authority.
5. As Christ's ambassadors, we represent the Kingdom government of God.
6. The arrival of Jesus inaugurated the period of the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth.
7. Jesus' ultimate assignment was to get the Holy Spirit back into us.
8. As citizens of the new spiritual order, we are greater than those Old Testament men and women who went before us, not because of any particular merit of our own; but because of the indwelling Spirit, which they did not know.
9. The Kingdom of Heaven is advancing forcefully, and we who are citizens of the Kingdom are part of the "advance force" that is storming the stronghold of the enemy.
10. Our Kingdom does not run and it does not retreat, our Kingdom stands firm,advances and overcomes.
11. As ambassadors of Christ, we should be concerned only about the interests of our king.
12. As long as we concentrate on our king's interests and in representing Him faithfully, He will take care of our interests.
The only responsibility we have as Christ's ambassadors is to make sure we are connected to our King in such a way that we can know and understand what He says, and then speak and act accordingly. This is where the pressure is removed. We are not responsible for establishing policy, we are only responsible for carrying out the policies of the king. It is not our job to decide what we believe and think. Our job is to learn and discern what our king thinks and then to come into agreement with Him. Whenever someone tempts us or challenges us to take a position contrary to our king's will, all we have to do is fall back on what He said. Someone might ask, "What's wrong with a man and woman living together without marriage? This is a new day and age, and we need to be up with the times." In response, we can simply say, "Well the position of my government (my king) is that it is sin." There is no debate, argument, no ambiguity. We simply fall back on the Word of God and let the responsibility rest there.
Keep in mind, as long as we concentrate on our king's interests and in representing Him faithfully, He will take care of ours. This He has pledged to do in a promise that can never fail. Jesus said as much when He told His disciples:
31) Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" 32)For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33) But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own troubles.
Now that we understand that we are ambassadors of Christ and representatives of His kingdom, it relieves a lot of self-imposed pressure. Being Christ's ambassador is a wonderful privilege, but it also comes with tremendous responsibilities, which are:
a. Speaking the words of the king
b. Being concerned with only the interests of the king
c. Speaking only on behalf of His government
d. Maintaining connection and communication with the king, and
e. Carrying out the policies established by the king
Now although being called to be ambassadors of the king of the universe might seem overwhelming, the pressure of that responsibility is eased somewhat once we realize that all we have to be concerned with is speaking the words of our king. Keep this in mind, Jesus followed that course without exception, which is why He was so successful in His earthly ministry.
Here is an example: Then Jesus said to them "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. (John 8:28)
Here is a reply that our king gave the religious leaders: 17) But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 19) Then Jesus answered and said to them "Most surely, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself; but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:17,19)
Now, as ambassadors of Christ, we should be concerned only with the interest of our king. Everything we say or do should reflect His desire and purpose. Once again, our personal opinion does not matter. In the world of human diplomacy, an ambassador never shares his opinion while acting in his official capacity as the representative and voice of his government. An ambassador who strays across the line into the territory of personal opinion risks jeopardizing his nation's reputation and possibly even its security, and sets himself up for possible censure and recall.
Now, an ambassador who understands his role will simply communicate the position of his government, regardless of his private views. It is no different in the Kingdom of God. As ambassadors of our king, once again, our opinion is not important. The only opinion that matters is that of the king. Too often, as believers, we run into trouble because, having been raised in a democracy, we are too accustomed to giving our opinion with that of the king's. We end up misrepresenting Him by presenting our thoughts and ideas as His opinions, thus creating great confusion in the Church and in the world.
A New Order is Coming
Now the Spirit came upon Samson and performed mighty feats of strength. (read Judges 14:19) He came upon Moses and Elijah and Elisha, enabling them to do great signs and miracles. He came upon Gideon, who then defeated an army of thousands with 300 men. The Spirit came upon King Saul, who prophesied with the prophets. In each case, however, the Spirit came for a brief season and then departed, because none of them were yet fit vessels for His abiding presence. None of them were able to execute the administration of God's Kingdom on an every day basis.
Such was the situation until Jesus came on the scene. Although none of the old testament prophets experienced the Holy Spirit as an indwelling presence, some of them did receive glimpses of this future relationship. One of them was the prophet Joel. He wrote: And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29) And also on My men servants and on My maidenservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29)
After Malachi, the last prophet in the Old Testament, there was a period of 400 years known as the silent years, when no prophetic voice was heard in Israel.
This prophetic silence came to an end when John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a message of repentance and proclaiming that the messiah was coming soon. Although John appears in the four Gospels of the New Testament, He was in fact the last of the Old Testament prophets. His death at the command of Herod Antipas and the initiation of Jesus' "public ministry" marked the end of the one era and the beginning of another. More specifically, the baptism of Jesus by John was the point of transference. From this point forward, a new order, the Kingdom of God, would be established. Read what Jesus had to say: The law of the prophets was until John. Since that time the Kingdom of God has been preached and everyone is pressing into it. (Luke 16:16)
Original Mission of Jesus Part 2
These are only a few of the declarations made by Jesus concerning His mission, purpose and message. It is obvious that His intent was to declare, establish and invite all men to enter the Kingdom of God.
This is in direct contrast with the focus on religious activity and religion's preoccupation with going to heaven. It seems as if the message and priority of Jesus was the occupation and reclamation of Earth, rather than designing an escape hatch to heaven for mankind. There is a verse of scripture that has challenged my thinking for years and perhaps it may shed some light on this issue for you also:
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth. (Matthew 5:5)
It is interesting to note that the promise is for the inheritance of the Earth rather than heaven. Also His dominion of Earth and its environment was declared by Jesus as the return of the Kingdom of God to Earth.
Keep in mind what Jesus said: "But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you." (Matthew 12:28)
This verse seems to indicate the return of the dominion power that Adam lost in his disobedience. Jesus came to Earth, not to bring a religion, but a kingdom; the governing influence of the Kingdom of heaven on Earth. The message proclaims the opportunity for all mankind to regain its lost dominion over Earth and its environment through the reception of the Holy Spirit of God and consequently, the reconnection of Earth with heaven. This is why it is called "good news" or "Gospel".
The message of the Kingdom of God is the most important news ever delivered to the human race. Jesus came to the Earth to announce the arrival of this kingdom and to establish it in people's hearts through His death and resurrection. As the Son of God, Jesus Christ was the exact likeness of His Father and represented Him perfectly on Earth. To all those who believed in and followed Him, Jesus restored their citizenship rights in the Kingdom of Heaven and imparted His Spirit, so that they could represent Him and the government of heaven on Earth. This representation is known as government diplomacy. The following statement is a political statement that is very common to all kingdoms, including our contemporary governments:
And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on Me. (Luke 22:29)
This statement is always used at the appointment of an official representative of the government to other nations. This is the position of an ambassador. This is not a religious designation, but a governmental one.
Original Mission of Jesus Part 1
There are many views and opinions as to what Jesus' real mission was. Scholars have dissected, examined, reviewed, revised and written volumes on this subject. Yet many are still confused as to what His mission, message, methods and purpose was for coming to Earth. For us to discover the original purpose and mission of Jesus, it should be obvious that we must consider His own declarations concerning His purpose and assignment for coming into the world. Lets read a few of them from the records of His close friends in the gospel narrative.
His first public statement was made at the beginning of His earthly mission, when He was 30 years old, after being baptized by His cousin, John the Baptist, and completing 40 days of fasting; during which He overcame Satan's temptations to compromise His assignment!
From that time on, Jesus began to preach "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near". (Matthew 4:17)
Keep in mind, that the word "near", in some translations rendered "at hand", simply means "has arrived". In other words, His first declaration was the introduction and arrival of a kingdom, not a religion. In essence, he brought a government to Earth. Let's look at some other declarations by Jesus concerning His purpose and mission on Earth:
As you go, preach the message: "The kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 10:7)
But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:28)
Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. (Matthew 18:23)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
But He said, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." And He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4:43-44)
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1a)
But the crowds learned about it and followed Him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. (Luke 9:11)
But seek His kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:31)
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since this time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. (Luke 16:16-17)
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (Luke 18:17)
And I confer on you a kingdom, just as My Father conferred one on Me. (Luke 22:29)
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." "You are a king then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a King. In fact, for this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me. (John 18:36-37)
Founder of Kingdom Citizens, an impassioned speaker and teacher. An ambassador for Christ, always expounding the Word and encouraging others to live and grow in the Word.