Series: THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Sunday am 9th April 2017 – Kobus SWart
(Eph. 4:25-32); (Rom. 14:17); Ps. 85:10; (James 3:18); (Matt. 5:6, 9, 20); (Mark 1:15); (Heb. 5:13); (Rom. 8:14, 18-25 – J.B. Phillips); Rom. 6:14-18); (Heb. 10:26); (Isa. 45:19); (Ps. 51:10-11); (Prov. 16:12); (Heb. 1:8); (Ps. 9:7-8); (Ps. 72:1-3); (Matt. 10:7-8); (2 Cor. 11:12-15); (2 Cor. 5:21); (Matt. 6:25:34)
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). The Holy Spirit is sometimes taken for granted. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Eph. 4:25-32). If there is unforgiveness in your heart peace cannot settle there. Unforgiveness in your heart will rob you of your peace. These are the basics of living a Christian life.
In the kingdom of God righteousness is of supreme importance. This should be the order. First righteousness followed by peace followed by joy. There can be no peace if righteousness is not established. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other (Ps. 85:10). And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:18). Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9). What does it mean to be categorised as sons of God? Are we not all sons of God? The word ‘Christian’ in the West has lost its meaning. The true Christian is actually an ‘inChristed one’.
All of this is about the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is as enormous and all inspiring as God Himself. We are talking about a realm, a dimension – not a place in outer space. It is inside, within you and around you. It is His realm, from where He governs. Is this tremendous depth and nature of the kingdom perhaps the reason why the Church system of the last two thousand years has virtually left out teachings on the kingdom of God? When it has been referred to or taught it was usually seen as heaven somewhere in outer space! It was usually postponed to sometime in the future. When Jesus came He said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Jesus represented that. The kingdom of God is not a future thing and yet it will unfold as the future unfolds and the future is in us, with us and is busy unfolding. The kingdom of God for the next age and beyond is not going to be launched from the same old platform that we have seen for the past two thousand years. There is a transition taking place in the Church worldwide. When Jesus came there was a religious order but Jesus had to establish a different platform because the religious order did not receive Him for who He was. In fact with all the Old Testament prophetic Scriptures, all the Messianic Scriptures they still did not recognise the birth of the son of God. It took astrologers from the East to come because they saw a star. God is establishing a new launching pad from which this declaration is going to be made. It is busy unfolding.
The past two millenniums of church history has been a mixture, immaturity and imperfection, but when the sons of God will be manifested in the earth they will launch and release a new message on a new frequency of Word. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant (Heb. 5:13). If all you listen to is how to be born again, be saved to get to heaven and miss hell, you cannot come to maturity. You need to move from milk to solid food.
There is a plane of existence, a glorious sphere of light known as ‘the liberty of the sons of God’. This phrase keeps coming out of the mouth and heart of the apostle Paul. Paul never used the word ‘disciple’ once. He did not do away with it, he upgraded it and talked about sons and he demonstrated it in his ministry. In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God! It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension. (The tension is from being in a place of ‘the already but not yet’. There is an ‘already’ in the finished works, and a ‘not yet’ in our appropriation). While we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him (Rom. 8:18-25, J. B. Phillips).
All creation shall have the liberty that belongs to the sons of God (Rom. 6:18). There are two sides of this liberty. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness (Rom. 6:14-18). Grace is not a license to sin; having heard the truth you cannot continue to sin. There is no more sacrifice for sin for those who after having heard the truth, continue sinning (Heb. 10:26).
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matt. 5:6). It requires something from us, a hunger and a thirst. There are too many passive Christians. Even the religious order has a form of righteousness but it is not real (Matt. 5:20). But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matt. 6:33). What is righteousness? First and foremost it is a state of being, it is a nature. Righteousness is right being. When there is right being, there is right living, right attitude, right desire, right motives, right actions; total rightness in all things according to God’s standard and as an expression of God’s nature, because God is always right. He is never wrong (Isa. 45:19). What if I stumble and fall? David was not a faultless man, but he was a sincere man, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). When he fell into sin, when he missed the mark, His reaction when confronted by the prophet was: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast (right) spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence. And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:10-11). Walk with that attitude in your heart. This is where you have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and not grieve the Holy Spirit. Be an instant repenter. This is the kind of righteousness we should seek after, and hunger for. Once I have righteousness, peace will come and kiss righteousness, once peace settles in my heart, I will have joy in the Holy Spirit.
Righteousness is the first and foremost stone in the foundation of God’s kingdom. For a throne is established on righteousness (Prov. 16:12; Heb. 1:8; Ps. 9:7-8). The throne of God is set in righteousness and He will judge the world in righteousness (Ps. 72:1-3).
There is a warning: If you strive and yearn and hunger for power without righteousness. Proclaim the kingdom, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, but freely you have received, and freely give (Matt. 10:7-8). What does it mean when we say the Church in many places has become a business? Many preachers have asked and received an anointing and kingdom power. They have done exploits in God’s name but they neither asked nor sought for the corresponding righteousness of God’s kingdom. The result is they walked in the power of the kingdom but not the righteousness. It manifests in it becoming a business. Money becomes the issue. … even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds (2 Cor. 11:12-15). Satan has ministers that are disguised as ministers of righteousness. God loves His children and He wants us to live in that expression of righteousness in the earth. He wants us to grow up. He wants to make us righteous. He wants to impart His righteousness to us. He made Him who knew no sin, sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! (2 Cor. 5:21)
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt. 6:25-34). There is a realm called “the sons of God”, the peace makers. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end (Isa. 9:7). A declaration is going to be made by a company of sons. His kingdom must manifest in the earth. It is not enough to make notes of it and talk about it. We need to manifest it! All of creation is on tip toe, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, who will be peacemakers walking in the government of God. Lord, bring the great manifestation of your sons in the earth!