Let’s take a closer look at the kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is righteous (Hebrews 1:8, 9; Psalm 45:6) and is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom, only the righteous (1 Corinthians 6:9 – 11; Matthew 25:31 – 46; Ephesians 5:1-5). Rulership and ownership are at the heart of the kingdom. Jesus is the king, and God rules over all. Everywhere God’s power, sovereignty, and authority are evident whether in heaven or on earth. Christ holds the key of David, and His government shall never end (Isaiah 9:6, 7). A key opens and shuts doors. It is also a metaphor for the government (Revelation 1:18; 3:7; Isaiah 22:22). Jesus has given us the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:19), which also represents the authority to use them! We experience God’s sovereignty by using His authority and power. His kingdom disciples exercise God’s rule from heaven to earth (Ephesians 1:21-23; 2:6).
Christ has given us access to the throne room of God through our prayers (Hebrews 4:14-16). Prayer is relational. Kingdom prayer is authorization from God to access heavenly authority for intervention to the earth. We pray according to the will of God (1 John 5:14; Luke 11:2-4) and without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Jesus went everywhere, preaching the good news of the kingdom (Luke 8:1) and doing good works (Acts 10:38). He took His disciples with Him and taught them about the kingdom of God and how to bring this life-giving kingdom from heaven to the earth, then sent them out (Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-20). He included us with His Words to the disciples before returning to the Father because He said He would be with them until the end of the age. Therefore, this commission is also for us (Matthew 28:18-20). Within the command is the implication we can only succeed through a relationship with Him because these are impossible without Him. We have this power in us through the anointing of the Holy Spirit and His gifts (1 John 2:20, 27; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:5-11).
Our Heavenly Father is a good and generous Father that gives good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11; Genesis 24:35; John 1:16; Ephesians 1:3; James 1:17). He has chosen to reveal Himself through His sons and daughters. He gave His Son Jesus for the salvation of all of humanity (John 3:16), and we can see His generosity and goodness throughout creation as well (Genesis 1:31; Psalm 65:9-13; Acts 14:17).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (NKJV)
Our Father Blesses us so that we can be a Blessing to others and advance His kingdom (Genesis 12:2; Galatians 3:29). It is more Blessed to give than receive ( Acts 20:35). When we joyfully give our time, talents, love, money, a word of encouragement, etc., to others, we reflect the Father’s heart and generosity to let them know they are valuable and loved.
There is no lack in the kingdom of God. Provision isn’t scarce (Philippians 4:19). Multiplication is part of the kingdom economy (Genesis 1:28; 22:17; Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-39; Acts 6:7; 12:24). There are many other instances in the Bible that tell us of how God multiplies both in the Old and New Testaments, i.e., 2 Kings 4; Ruth 2; Matthew 25:20 – 23; Acts 5:14. When we give to the poor, He repays us (Proverbs 19:17).
There are Blessings when we give. It is a key to our prosperity. We are to give cheerfully, liberally, willingly, sacrificially (2 Corinthians 9:6-11), with pure motives, not to get or buy favor from the Lord (Proverbs 21:2; Matthew 6:1-4), in faith, with a good conscience (Hebrews 11:1; Romans 10:17; 1 Timothy 1:19), and according to our ability (2 Corinthians 8:2-5). So how do you know when to give, where to give, and how much to give? Jesus says that He will tell you if you ask Him and are listening (John 10:27)! It is essential to give yourself to Him first, then follow His lead in giving. God gives us His grace to give (2 Corinthians 8:7; 9:8).
“Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 (NKJV)
But this, I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So, let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “he has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 2 Corinthians 9:6 – 9 (NKJV)
Lay up treasures in heaven and not on the earth (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:16-21). We are to handle or steward well the wealth the Lord gives us (Deuteronomy 8:18; Luke 16:10-13). If we can’t be trusted to handle worldly wealth, God won’t trust us with the true riches of the kingdom (Luke 16:11). Jesus said it is hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God when money has become an idol (Matthew 19:16-26). What are the true riches of the kingdom? We are to be rich toward God (Luke 12:21), rich in good works (1 Timothy 6:18), and rich in faith (James 2:5). We need to depend on God and not on money. Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first, and He will take care of everything else. What we do with our money and possessions reveals our true heart and actual priorities. (Matthew 6:25 – 33).
We believe in miracles and equip people to do signs and wonders, but we also value doing good like Jesus. He went about doing good before doing miracles. We were created and predestined for good works in Christ Jesus to do them (Ephesians 2:10). He prepared the work, and then He prepared and equipped us so we can do them! When we are doing good works, we are doing the work of the kingdom. Being fruitful in good works pleases the Lord (Colossians 1:10; Hebrews 13:16).
We should be moved by the goodness of God in our hearts, not on our own. (Isaiah 11:2, 3). He directs us by His Spirit with love, wisdom, and perfect timing. Don’t be moved by what you see, but by His Spirit. Jesus didn’t heal every sick person around Him, feed every hungry person, or raise all the dead. He followed the Spirit (Luke 4:18, 19), and did what He saw and heard from His Father (John 5:19-20; 12:49). We, too, need to follow the Spirit who dwells within us, and the peace He gives us to do or not to do something.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 (NKJV)
Jesus taught spiritual truths by parables using relatable stories comparing a familiar subject with a more profound spiritual lesson. One of the first parables He told was of the sower and the seed (Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4 – 15). Jesus explained the parable of the sower, the seed (Word of God) and the four conditions of receiving the Word of God, i.e., 1) by the wayside where the devil snatches the Word out of the heart, 2) on rocky ground where the Word comes with joy. Still, the hearer falls away in time of testing or temptation, 3) fell among the thorns and the cares, riches, and pleasures of life choke out the Word and bring no fruit to maturity and 4) good soil that bears fruit with patience.
Disciples bear fruit as they abide in Christ, who is the vine (John 15:5). It has been said, through faith, we enter the kingdom of God; through faithfulness, we stay in the kingdom, and through faith, we bear fruit. A good tree bears good fruit, and the type of fruit reveals the nature of the tree (Luke 6:43-45). Jesus tells us to be careful about how we hear (Luke 8:18). Good soil is when we hear the Word, believe and receive it, then speak and act on it. The kingdom language is life-changing. When we have the kingdom’s perspective, power is released as we speak in alignment with what God says instead of what the world says or according to our circumstances. We live by the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). The Word of God has the final say in our lives. Doers of the Word inherit the kingdom (James 1:21, 22; 2:5).
Jesus gave many examples of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. Matthew exclusively uses the terminology the “kingdom of Heaven,” whereas parallel accounts in Mark and Luke, use of the language, the “kingdom of God” indicates they are synonymous (Matthew 19:23, 24). The kingdom is both a present and a future reality; however, we won’t be going into further detail at this time. Please take the time to read through these parables concerning the kingdom of God, comparing them and ask the Holy Spirit to bring a more profound revelation of it to you. As believers, we get to know the mysteries of the kingdom (Matthew 13:11-12, 16; Luke 8:10) and the revealed secrets of God (Deuteronomy 29:29; Daniel 2:22, 28; Mark 4;22; 1Corinthians 4:1; Proverbs 1:6).
The kingdom is within you; among you; at hand (Luke 17:20-21)
The wheat and tares or weeds (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)
The mustard seed (Matthew 13: 31-32; Mark 4:30-34; Luke 13:18)
The leaven (Matthew 13: 33-34; Luke 13:20-21)
The hidden treasure (Matthew 13:44)
The pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46)
The net (Matthew 13:47-52)
The divided kingdom (Matthew 12:24-30; Mark 3:23 – 27)
The great supper (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:15-24)
The unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23 – 35)
The laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1 – 16)
The landowner and tenant farmers (Matthew 21:33 – 45; Mark 12:1-12)
The marriage feast-the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1 – 14)
The ten virgins (Matthew 25:1 – 13)
Received as a child (Matthew 18:3, 4; Luke 18:16, 17)
We need to have a kingdom mindset and learn to think and speak in a kingdom way. A kingdom mindset is how God thinks. We must have His mind. He has given us a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), and the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Corinthians 2:16). The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and reveals it to our spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-11). When we begin to change our thought patterns by thinking on all the good things God has done and provided for us, according to Philippians 4:8, we can’t help but be joyful. As we give God praise, even in the little things, our lives and the world around us begins to change.
We must not be conformed to the pattern of the world but renew our minds daily with the Word to understand God’s will and ways (Romans 12:2). Evict negative thoughts because negative thoughts become negative words. We speak what God says (Ephesians 4:29). We know who lives inside of us, and we speak God’s truth with His power and authority to change circumstances. We tap into His creative power by decreeing and declaring His Word (Job 22:28).
The world’s mindset comes from accumulating wisdom and knowledge based on logic. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 3:19). But we need to hear and see how God does things. We do this through worship, prayer, and meditating on the Word. We are connected to God through these spiritual practices and make decisions based on His mind rather than logic and reason. The kingdom perspective comes from a relationship with Him and the Christian community.
We are to set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2). Our mindset is on heaven’s values, and we manifest the life of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:10; 1 Corinthians 1:30). We must not allow cultural values to affect our mindset. In today’s world, we find that the truth is subjective, e.g., good becomes bad and bad becomes good, etc. (Isaiah 5:20). The truth of God’s Word doesn’t change. It is absolute and eternal (John 17:17; John 8:31, 32; Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23, 25). We worship and live from His presence first, then pray to get the heart of God, and the effect of prayer then brings results. The Spirit rules the flesh. We walk in the Spirit and live a Spirit-led life (Galatians 5:16 – 18).
The kingdom functions in a manner opposite to the world. Below are a few examples:
To be great one must be a servant (Matthew 20:26; 23:11)
Humility leads to exaltation (Matthew 18:1; 23:11, 12)
We give to receive (Matthew 7:7; Proverbs 11:24-26)
We rejoice to receive joy (Philippians 4:4; Psalm 32:11; Habakkuk 3:17, 18)
When we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10)
God uses the foolish, weak, despised things of the world to put to shame the wise and mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Love your enemies (Luke 6:27)
Give a blessing instead of cursing (Luke 6:28)
Then He lifted up His eyes toward his disciples and said: “Blessed, are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed, your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner, their fathers did to the prophets.” Luke 6:20 – 23 (NKJV)
“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.” Matthew 5:11, 12 (NKJV)
We are to be partakers of Christ’s life (Galatians 2:20) and joint-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17). The sanctification process is learning how to live Christ’s life. There is a difference between entering the kingdom and inheriting it. The new birth is just the beginning of our intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:14).
We must suffer with Him and be faithful (2 Timothy 2:12; Matthew 24:45 – 47; James 2:5). God gave mankind dominion and reign over the earth (Genesis 1:26 – 28). Adam and Eve turned over the dominion of the earth to Satan, but Jesus got it back for us. We are training to rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom. What we do on earth will influence our position in the coming kingdom. We will be given authority and responsibility according to our fruitfulness here and now based on our trustworthiness.
Overcomers inherit all things (Revelation 21:7; 2:7, 11, 17, 26. 27; 3:5, 12, 21) and receive rewards according to their works (Revelations 22:12).:17, 18). An overcomer is a winner or conqueror. Christ won the victory for us and we overcome as we yield ourselves to Him to conquer through us. We are positionally overcomers (1 John 5:4, 5) when we are born again but are we experientially? Grace brings us to God but we have the responsibility of how we live our lives before God.
Jesus tells us that we will not only have eternal rewards but also now on the earth (Matthew 10:17-31; Luke 18:28-30; Hebrews 11:6); those who have left all for the kingdom of God. We have to take Christ at His Word as we don’t know when we will receive our rewards. He will reward us for our commitment to Him, and the reward will be greater than the sacrifice, but with the reward will come persecutions (1Peter 4:12-19). When we publicly identify with Christ, He will reward us publicly (Matthew 10:32). At Christ’s second coming, we will be held accountable for how His kingdom benefited from what He gave to us (Luke 19:11 – 26). Everyone will receive judgment according to their works at the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-13; Ecclesiastes 12:14). The judgment seat of Christ is the day of evaluation for believers to receive their rewards (1 Corinthians 3:10 – 15; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11; Hebrews 10:30).
The kingdom of God is based on the covenant of the blood of Jesus and His finished work on the cross and is a protective covering. He will not withhold the kingdom from us!
For the LORD, God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Some 84:11 (NKJV)
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32 (NKJV)
“The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time, the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.” Luke 16:16 (NKJV)
“And as you go, preach, saying ’The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7, 8 (NKJV)