Series: The Kingdom of God
Sun am 22 September 2019 – Riaan Sinden
Gen. 1:26-30; Col. 2:9-10; Heb. 5:8; Matt. 3:16-17; (Heb. 13:8); Matt. 4:1-11; (Gen. 3:4); Gal. 4:1-3;(1 John 3:8); Deut. 32:30; (Matt. 16:16); Matt. 21:33-46; (Rom. 16:20); (Rom. 14:17); John 15:1-8; Heb. 1-2 MIRROR
The kingdom of God is the rule and governance of God; it is His authority. The word ‘kingdom’ (king + dom) is the king’s rule over his domain. What is the King’s domain? It is everything that He created. God is Spirit and He had a desire to be manifested. So in His wisdom, in His grace, He decided to make a representative, somebody that would be an accurate representation in the earth, of everything that He is. A representative does not operate on his own; he is there for the purpose of representing God.
Before God created man, He said, “Let there be”, but when it came to man, He 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.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so (Gen. 1:26-30). So God made provision! Everything will bring forth after their own kind: our own kind is God. So when we bring forth, we bring forth after the image and likeness of God!
When God decided to make man, man on the earth was the accurate example of who He is. So when all of creation looked at man, they would see God. We are the expression of God in Christ. When I say “in Christ” I want us to be very clear on this. Christ is the image of God. We are in Christ. Because we are in Him, because of the price that He paid, we are now the expression and the image of God. God is Spirit so we cannot see Him – He needs to be expressed. God is love. Can we see love? We experience love, but we need somebody to express love! When somebody comes to you and expresses something that you cannot see, then that thing becomes visible in the expression of the person. My wife becomes love so that I can experience it. That is what God did. He became an expression in us so that everyone and everything can experience Him. Because of that expression, we bring forth after the image and likeness of God. My children opened up something in my relationship with my wife that had not been there before. It is a deeper understanding of love. For a long time we were expectant, expecting something to be revealed and so we started preparing. When my firstborn came into the world, there was provision made before the time. This is what God did, He made provision. Everything that He did was for us, so that we can enjoy everything and have dominion and rule as a representative of God here on earth.
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power (Col. 2:9-10). The fullness of God dwelt in Him bodily. We are the body of Christ, so because we are in Christ, the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily – which is you and me. God had to receive Jesus, the man, back to Himself and release Christ back to the earth in a body. So now this body has become the representation of God in the earth. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” He meant the kingdom would come in the form and lives of the body of Christ – which we are. We are the rule of God on the earth. We are the authority of God in the earth. When creation looks at us, they see God, but there is a process of growing up into a mature son. This is important! Remember, for 30 years Jesus was being prepared. The Bible says Jesus, the Son of God, learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Heb. 5:8). So Jesus grew up and His parents probably had to tell Him many times, “This word that we are reading every day, it is You. This word became flesh in you.” For 30 years, almost in obscurity, God prepared His representation in the earth. Nowhere do I read that satan ever really tried to tempt Jesus in that time. As soon as God said, “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased,” (Matt. 3:17) all of a sudden satan started paying attention. He did not worry about Jesus as a child or as a teenager. A son does not get tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. A son knows his position and submits himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit even if the Holy Spirit leads him into the wilderness. That is one of the most important characteristics of a mature son. He submits himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14).
What did the tempter tempt Jesus in? “If you are the Son of God” (Matt. 4:1-11). The same trick that he tried with Adam he tried with Jesus – tempting Him on His identity. When he said to Adam and Eve in the garden, “You will be like God,” (Gen. 3:4) he was actually telling them they were not like God! Adam was supposed to say, “But I am already like God. I am created in His image and likeness.” Adam was not really tempted (tested) before that time and so he failed – on his identity! Even today, that is the one thing that satan comes and tempts (tests) us with. How many times have you walked around uncertain of who God is in your life? You are walking in condemnation saying, “God is doing this because I did that.” It is a lot of nonsense! God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8).
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matt. 4:3-4). That is the sign of a true son: once you put pressure on him, what comes out is God-likeness. When you tempt him, the only way he knows to respond is God-like. The things that the devil wants to give away are not really his, are they? (Matt. 4:9). So why does he feel like he can give away things that do not belong to him? The reason is, with the fall of man, the authority and governance to rule was given to the enemy by default. So the devil started running the show and he created many systems; things that look almost exactly like what God had created. There is a parable about the sower who went out to sow wheat, but the enemy came to sow weeds (darnel) (Matt. 13:24–30). When the weeds are small, they look exactly like the wheat plant. In the mature state, they are recognised by their fruit. Even though the enemy is trying to create something that looks like the real thing, eventually you will recognise it by its fruit.
Satan wanted Jesus to worship him (Matt. 4:9). It was a nice trick but Jesus did not fall for it, because to worship is to be the image and likeness (of the one you worship). The enemy wanted Jesus to be his image and likeness in the earth. He was offering to Jesus what Jesus had actually come to do, to restore the kingdom of God back to His Father. Jesus said you can only worship God (Matt. 4:10); you can only be a true reflection of the One that created you. You can only represent Him that poured Himself into you. Satan thought he was made to be served, because he was one of the main angels when he was in heaven. Then he saw God making someone in His own image and likeness, and he looked down and he thought, how can God make a being so weak but cover him in His glory? Adam and Eve were naked in the garden, but they were clothed in God’s glory, in His likeness and His image. So when satan fell, the best way for him to get to the man that is clothed in the image and likeness of God was to make him doubt his identity then the rule of the kingdom could not be exercised.
The kingdom of God will only be given to a son, not to a child. The reason for this is because a child is under governance (Gal. 4:1-3). You cannot make a slave the representative, nor give him rule and governance of the kingdom. This is why satan will try his best to keep us from becoming mature sons. He will tell lie after lie – He is called the accuser of the brethren. But praise God, for this reason the Son of God was made manifest, to destroy the work of the enemy (1 John 3:8). Satan will continue to have a hold on us as long as we are children. Satan is not interested in our breakthroughs and how many souls we win for Jesus – that is not really his mission. As soon as a son comes to full maturity, it makes satan take notice. When we are in Christ, then one can put a thousand to flight and two ten thousand – Jesus is the Rock! This is the economy of God (Deut. 32:30). Remember the revelation that Peter had: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). The Christ, meaning the anointed One, with the characteristics, the nature of God, everything that is in God, the fullness, is in Jesus. “You are that. You are the true image of God!” That is what happens when we as a church come to maturity. The revelation is, “You are the Christ. You are the expression of God.”
We cannot take the kingdom in our own strength. We need to be in Christ. It is under our feet that the God of peace will crush satan (Rom. 16:20). Jesus came and stripped satan and defeated him. Satan is a defeated foe, but he will be crushed under the feet of the body of Christ.
There is a parable that really defines what it means for kingdom transference to sons (Matt. 21:33-46). Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit (Matt. 21:34). You can hear this whole parable is the story of Jesus coming and giving Himself for us. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons” (Matt. 21:40-41). This is what God wants for us to render to Him. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5). The fruit grows on the branches. We give back to God what He has given to us. Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder (Matt. 21:43-44). If we do not bear fruit, if we are not an accurate representation of God, then God will take the kingdom, His rule, His governance, from us. We know that He was speaking to the Israelites and we know that the rule of the kingdom was taken and given to a people who were not a nation before – that is us! But God requires fruit! The kingdom of God is the fruit of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). If we do not carry the fruit we will be removed, we will be cut off. The only good thing that can happen to a branch that does not carry fruit is to be burned (John 15:6). This is how important it is for us to carry the fruit of God. We must express everything that is in Him. That is why it is so important when Peter says, “You are the Christ. (You are the true reflection of God.) You are the Son of the living God.” Being fruitful is not measured by how many souls we save, or how our gifts operate. Our position on earth is not measured by our gifts. Being fruitful is measured by our position in Christ. We cannot manufacture fruit by ourselves. It needs to be the fruit of the Spirit. We need to abide in Christ otherwise we will end up going through religious rituals void of the presence of God. Like Moses when he covered his face, it was not so that the people could not look into his face; it was because the glory was departing. We do not want to go through religious rituals to make people believe that we are in Christ.
Think about who we are in Christ while reading Hebrews 1-2 (MIRROR). Then pray that God will reveal to you that there is an expression in this world that will bring everything back to its original intent. Even before the Garden of Eden, God’s intention is that every one of us would express Him the way He is. That is His kingdom come; that is His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. We are the interface between heaven and earth. We occupy two realms: heaven and earth. The kingdom will come through a person, and in this case, a corporate son.