Sunday, December 30, 2007

Who holds the Future

“And he (Moses) said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And HE said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” –Exodus 33:19,20


At mid-night tonight, we shall all (God willing) be ushering in the New Year 2008. Thank you for staying the course with us here at FEAR NOT THE SONS OF ANAK. Personally, the celebration of the New Year to me has always been synonymous with new beginnings –on various fronts. The main purpose for which Shiran and I kept this blog was to strengthen beaten soldiers who might have perhaps thought that they were facing the battle alone by lwtting them know they had numbers on their side and not jst that but also guiding them (and us) on how to evade the numerous obstacles that we may be faced with in life. By definition, the sons of Anak were primarily the children of the notorious chief Amalek –being Amalekites themselves- in the land that God gave to the children of Israel. They were a constant thorn in the flesh of the children of God. However, it should be remembered at this point that God had already granted HIS victory over all the enemies of HIS children. Even so, we too, have been extended the same victory. And the Amalekites still exist; they may not be flesh and blood –for we wage war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of darkness in high places… but sure as sure is, the sons of Anak exist unto this day. In keeping this blog, we meant for all of our readers to come to know and appreciate that the sons of Anak indeed still existed, but even more, that we as children of God, were not to live in fear of them but rather to exercise our dominion over them. Be that as it may, we are called upon not to have our dominion over them as a point of joyfulness. On the contrary, our rejoicing should come as a result of the knowledge that our names are written in the lamb’s book of life.

As we go into a New Year, we are all uncertain of the (our) future. However, we are certain of the ONE who holds that future securely for us. Which reminds me of one of my favourite quotations from the Apostle Paul, “…nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” II Tim. 1:12 The LORD, our God would surely want for us to live each day in utter dependence of HIM. “Give us this day, our daily bread”. Today, I commit ever reader, every visitor here into the hands of God that HE might on top of securing your future in the New Year, enable you to realise more and more what joy lies in receiving daily from HIM. And for this blog, that HE might show and guide us into HIS will for it over the New Year 2008. And as I end this point, I would like to share with you words of a song that’s been on my heart this evening:

All of my days I will sing to the greatness of HIS name. I will sing of the blood that never fails, of sins forgiven, of death defeated, and of life without end.

Put your trust in the cross of the redeemer over the New Year 2008. Have a happy New Year, from us to you.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stop! ... Look! ... Listen!

For a Christian, one of the main principles involved in reaching a decision is this: Don’t start trying to reason it out, or talking it over with others-pray! God likes for us to give Him a little honour. Prayer is not just getting down on your knees and speaking your piece, but more importantly, letting God speak His. If you’ll do that, He’ll tell you what you’re supposed to do. I don’t see how anyone can hear from the Lord unless they get quiet and really listen. I told some folks one time, “You remind me of the child prophet Samuel in reverse. When Samuel heard the Lord in the quiet of the night, he said, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears.’ But the way you pray is ‘Hear, Lord, for Your servant speaks’” (1 Samuel 3:2-10).

Many Christians today seem to be more concerned in having God hear what they have to say than they are in hearing what God has to say. They’re trying to put their program across on God and get Him to sign His name to it. The question they should be asking themselves is not, “Can I present my program to God for His signature?” or even, “Am I willing to be presented with God’s program for my signature?” but, “Am I willing to sign a blank sheet of paper and let God fill it in without my even knowing what His program is going to be?” It doesn’t matter how well you know the Bible or how many spiritual gifts you have, if you don’t know how to pray or don’t keep in touch with the Lord all the time, you’re in trouble.

Christians who don’t take time to listen to the Lord remind me of the story of the little girl who had a kitten. One day she heard it purring in its sleep and exclaimed, “Oh, Mama, the kitty’s gone to sleep and left its engine running!” You may run around and appear to be busy, but still be asleep spiritually and not be getting anywhere, “as one who beats the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26). Unless you get quiet and try to seek the Lord, how are you ever going to hear what the Lord has to say? I love to be alone with the Lord because then I can hear Him so clearly. I’m convinced that I have heard more from Him when alone, quiet, and in a position to listen, than any other way. He can talk to us when we’re alone and we can give Him our full attention and the reverence due Him. The Lord speaks in a still, small, but very definite, very firm, very loving voice. But if we’re too noisy, we’re not going to hear it.

You can be your own worst distraction. Anybody can make a racket, but it takes real effort to be quiet. If you’re praying so loud and making so much noise that you can’t even hear God, if you’re not getting quiet and listening, then there’s really not much point in praying. God’s not deaf. You have to wait awhile and see if He’s going to speak to you in some way. Stop and be quiet, and wait for the answer.

The only way you can hear the Lord clearly is to get quiet yourself. If you really want to hear the Lord, He’ll talk to you,but He doesn’t usually scream. By the time God has to yell over your racket in order to be heard, you’re probably headed for trouble. That’s why God sometimes allows people to have an accident or suffer illness or bereavement: He wants them to stop long enough to listen to Him. A funeral is about the only time a lot of people ever stop their feverish daily activities long enough to think about and listen to the Lord. Lord help us to get quiet before Him and listen! We all need quiet times with the Lord, to receive inspiration and instruction from Him. Personally, I find that I hear from the Lord most clearly alone in the quiet of the night, when everything is still and there are no distractions. If I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, I assume that it’s because the Lord wants me to pray. As soon as I get prayed up, I go right back to sleep. If you really want to hear the Lord, He will talk to you. But in order to hear, you’re going to have to get quiet by yourself, somewhere, somehow, sometime. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

How much have you learned about being quiet before the Lord? How many “quiet times” do you have? “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Do you know what “confidence” means? Confidence is faith! The very fact that you keep quiet shows you have faith. It shows you’re expecting God to do something and not trying to do it yourself.

If you don’t know what to do, stop everything! Get quiet and wait for God to do something. The worst thing in the world you can do is to keep on going when you don’t know what to do. That was King Saul’s mistake. He kept right on going, even after he didn’t know what to do; he figured he had to keep busy and keep going no matter what-and it lost him the kingdom (1 Samuel 13:7-14).

Getting quiet before the Lord shows you have faith that God is going to handle the situation, that He’s going to take care of things. It shows you trust the Lord. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). If you’re not trusting, you’re going to be in confusion all the time. Have a merry Christmas all of you -from us to you!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Today I gave thought again to what heaven might be like. Of course my comprehension of what heaven is can never come anywhere close to even a stroke of the real picture! But what I found most comforting was the fact that all the people over there who are forever dwelling in HIS presence must be so blessed to constantly bless HIS name as they shower praises upon HIM. Once I thought it might be very boring in Heaven if all there was to it was endless praise of God! But I can tell you dearly, there comes a point in the life of a pilgrim when all you just feel is an insatiable desire to praise HIS name endlessly. That’s where I am at now. And for a moment there, I was a trifle jealous of the people already up there, who are blessed to dwell in HIS house, forever praising HIS name. I later made a mental note, “I gotta make heaven, I gotta!!”

In our previous post here, I mentioned that we would tackle the issue of where/when is/comes the kingdom of God. I picked this out of Matthew’s gospel: “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30

{side note: Isn’t it amazing folk, how sometimes God’s words seems like such an open letter to us; without any break in continuity too, pre-empting our next questions and just….words fail me!! See the next paragraph}

Reading on through the verses 36-43 of the same chapter: Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The Parable of the Weeds tells us that, like the farmer who sowed good seed, Jesus has brought God's kingdom into the world. However, it will not be totally fulfilled in this age. Like wheat growing among weeds, God's kingdom will exist and grow amidst the forces of evil that are so prevalent in our world. We should not look for ease or perfection in this life. Those who belong to the kingdom and serve God will continue to live among those who (knowingly or unknowingly) serve the powers of evil. In the end, though, if we are able to cling to our faith despite all the surrounding evil, we will be freed from the evil of the world and live in perfect harmony with God. The ultimate fate however, of those who serve the forces of evil in the other kingdom (the one that’s not of God), whether by design or neglect, shall be very grim to say the least. Simultaneosuly, the Kingdom of God is a future realm into which we must enter when Christ returns. Our Lord Himself frequently referred to this future event. "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 8:11). This future coming of the Kingdom will be attended with great glory. Jesus told of the day when the angels "…and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father…" (Matt. 13: 41,43).

Being born again and entering the kingdom of God is a process of gradually coming to obey God's commandments instead of a "sin now, pray later" attitude. It is learning to truly obey Jesus' great commandment to "Love God with all your heart and soul and to love your neighbour as you love yourself." It is listening to our consciences and spending time in prayer to ask for guidance and wisdom. It is feeling secure that God will give us the strength to face whatever challenges come our way and will take care of us in the end.

Dear friends, the Kingdom of God is a present reality (Matt. 12:28), and yet is still also a future blessing (I Cor. 15:50). It is an inner spiritual redemptive blessing (Rom. 14:17) which can be experienced only by way of the new birth (John 3:3), and yet it will have to do with the government of the nations of the world (Rev. 11:15). The Kingdom is a realm into which men enter now (Matt. 21:31), and yet it is still also a realm into which men will enter tomorrow (Matt. 8:11). It is at the same time a gift of God which will be bestowed by God in the future (Luke 12:32) and yet which must be received in the present (Mark 10:15). Obviously no simple explanation can do justice to such a rich but diverse a variety of teaching. God bless you all. I hope I can meet you all in heaven. Be sure to be there!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Not a means to an end, but an end in itself

I want to thank you all that took your time out to pray for my friends and their families, when Shiran sent the call out to pray here in our previous entry. And I feel that I should update you too on how efficacious your and our combined prayers have been – it’s our best weapon against the wiles of the evil one - since we all started out when the call to, was sounded. We can safely say that my three friends mentioned here who survived that tragedy are now ‘out of the woods’ idiomatically speaking. And we thank and glorify God for that! And day by day they are all progressing towards absolute normalcy. I bring you news of their gratitude to you for all of your prayers!!! And just so you know too, our prayer line here is also open to you reading this. Click here.

In the previous post here last week, Shiran shared with us about how the Kingdom of God is like a hidden treasure and many of us are constantly going about our daily business but missing the very treasure buried under our noses, treasure that if one knew it’s true value, they would sell all that they had and return to partake of. The analogy that Jesus used in that parable could never have been put better. And why He dwelt on that subject (of the Kingdom of God, even of giving countless analogies of the Kingdom of God), I have oft heard people give varied reasons. Some go ahead to say that this message of the Kingdom of God was ensconced in Christ’s message of Love, the love for your God and neighbour. Truth be told, Jesus Christ taught about love. But love was not the core of His proclamation. And true to that, Jesus’ preaching about love didn't get Him crucified. In retrospect, neither the Romans nor the Jewish authorities at the time would have been particularly bothered by a “Jewish prophet” who ran around telling people to love God and people. Quite a few Jews would have been distressed over the thought of having to love their enemies, however. But the Romans – who were the obvious enemies - wouldn't have crucified someone whose chief crime was telling Jews to love them and turn the other cheek! The core of Jesus' message must have been (actually, was) a more contentious, more scandalous one, than a call to simply love. It is conceptually common for people to reduce the message of Jesus to something all too simple and if we can say, all too similar to the biases of whosoever may be doing the reducing. You'll see this in many of the contemporary "scholarly" attempts to summarize the message of Jesus. Whatever Jesus preached, it got people excited. Even the demons were riled up. And Jesus' message angered most of the religious leaders whom he encountered. In the end, it got him killed on a Roman cross. But thanks be unto God “they did not know what they were doing” and behold…the resurrection of the Christ! So what exactly was this inspiring, challenging, goading, and apparently subversive message of Jesus all about?

It was, ladies and gentlemen, like we have been sharing with you: the message of the kingdom of God. A message that riled the powers that were at the time -because it posed a threat to their egotistical way of life. One thing that is distinctive about kingdoms is their demeanour. It always reflects on the citizens of the kingdom, the subjects of the king –in all manner; of dress, talk, lifestyle, etc.. When Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God, this was no exception to that rule. The Kingdom comes complete with its own lifestyle, a reflection of the King’s choice of life upon His subjects. And of course to conform to that, one must be a subject/citizen of the Kingdom. The world over, we have seen miracles; physical, spiritual and any other as there may be, messages of prosperity, devil trashing, etcetera… preached and still being preached. Where we get this all wrong in my simple (and humble) opinion is accepting that all of these are actually ends in themselves. Nay, they are only means to an end, which is the kingdom of God. Al of the afore-mentioned things are simply the status quo of the kingdom reflecting upon the subjects, things of which we shouldn’t be much excited but should praise God for nonetheless. For it is the same Jesus who says, “greater works shall ye do (when you have faith even as small as a mustard seed)” and also in Matt. 6: 33, that: “…seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. “All these things…added unto to you” are actually to me like that kiswhahili term, “nyongeza”. Meaning there is something bigger, which is the Kingdom of God in which one is really. Not to downplay the significance of the things added unto one, but really, I think we first must rejoice over being in the Kingdom of God, for those who are, and for those who aren’t to quit tarrying and rush over! For preaching this news of the kingdom, was really the mission of Jesus on this earth. There is the one saying that goes, “we are what defines us”. If I were sent to Iraq (and God bless all the people of Iraq) to give a live report of what is going on over there and I went over and did a live stream with people shouting in the background et al, to the watcher, that might be interpreted as there are people living, there are people that are angry, or whatever else. In the day of Jesus, John the Baptist, when at the threshold of a breaking point (and glory to God that he persevered!), seeing as he wasn’t being delivered from his prison hole by the “messiah”, doubted whether Jesus was really the “promised one”and asked his disciples to go question Jesus about this. On getting there, these men from John spent the whole day with Jesus in his trademark workshops-of-sorts. At the end of which they popped the big question to him, “Are you the “promised one” and He replied (Oh, how so beautifully!!), “the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the dead are raised to life, demons cast out”, “Go tell John what you have seen”. I am sure when those men went back to John, it must have clicked with him too. The “yongeza” of the Kingdom of God. An even-greater testament to the fact that they had with tehm already the bigger thing!!!!

Let’s just examine two or three of the signs and wonders that accompanied this message of the kingdom of God:

1. Healings: Throughout the gospels Jesus healed people of various diseases and ailments. His extraordinary popularity came, not only from the authority of his preaching, but from his authority over human bodies. Yet healing was not an end in and of itself for those familiar with the Hebrew prophets. It was also a sign of the presence of God's reign on earth. In Isaiah 35, for example, God comes to save and redeem his people. In this context we find the following promise: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing:" Isa 35:5-6. The fact that these things were happening in the ministry of Jesus proved the presence of the Kingdom. And relating once again to the John the Baptist prison experience, Jesus himself said this when he was asked by the disciples of John the Baptist whether he (Jesus) was the one through whom the kingdom was coming. Jesus said, "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them" Matt 11:4-5. In other words, "Because the healings promised in Isaiah are happening in my ministry, yes, I am the one through whom God's kingdom has come."

2. Exorcisms: One of the most peculiar aspects of the gospels for most readers is Jesus' repeated expulsion of demons. Most of us simply aren't familiar or comfortable with such things, unlike so many contemporary believers in the power that is present in the Word. But, whether we like it or not, exorcisms were and are central to the ministry of Jesus, and, according to Jesus himself, clear evidence of the presence of the kingdom. In Matthew 12, for example, some of the Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons with demonic power. He answers them, first by citing the now classic line about a house divided against itself being certain to fall. Matt 12:25. Then he adds, "But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out devils, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" Matt 12:28. Whatever we might think of Jesus' exorcisms, for him and his fellow first-century Jews they are a demonstration of the presence of God's reign.

3. Nature Miracles: According to the gospels, Jesus multiplies food, walks on water, and stills the storm. Once again, these mighty works are associated with God's kingdom. In Psalm 89, for example, the Lord says, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David: “Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.” Ps 89:3-4. Then, only four verses later the Psalm continues, “O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea; when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them” Ps 89:8-9. So Jesus' power over nature suggests that God's promised kingdom has arrived and, indeed, that God himself is mysteriously present in the ministry of Jesus.

I recognize that for many people today the miracles of Jesus are harder to accept than simple fables. In some circles and even among a few New Testament believers, the miracles of Jesus are not considered as historical events so much as symbolic legends. Yet if you take away the miracles from the message of Jesus, you severely truncate his announcement of the kingdom and, at the same time, you are left with a Jesus whom most people would have ignored. Yet even many sceptical modern scholars, at least believe that Jesus must have been a "healer" of sorts, one who used psychosomatic cures and the power of suggestion to help people feel better. I shall mount a defense for the genuineness of the miracles in the gospels at another time but for now, whether one believe that the miracles happened or not, they are clearly essential to the picture of Jesus painted by the writers of the gospel. The mighty works of Jesus, more than showing his love for people, are part and parcel of his announcement of the reign of God. Take away these works and there's no reason to believe his words.

Which brings us to the whole point of this post; all of those things were and still are means to an end and not particularly ends in themselves as most of us have been led to (falsely) believe. The end of which is the Kingdom of God. A case of the message actually being more important than its messenger. Case in point: the message being the Kingdom of God and the messenger being the miracles and signs and wonders.

*Next: We share with you when/where is the kingdom of God! Stay tuned lads and lasses. Thank you for churching with us on this one today. May God’s perfect peace be upon you and all members of your house. And may you continue to grow in the peace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hidden Treasure

*We apologize once more for our lack of consistency in posting our entries regularly. Perhaps we should not apologize; in our blogging experience here at Fear Them Not, Zack and I continue to be reminded just how much higher God’s ways and thoughts are than ours. Our intent is to study the Word together and share it with you in an entry every week, but week after week, we see that God has the bigger picture and is in ultimate control. We continue to solicit your prayers as we do this for the kingdom. And we continue to ask that you send us your prayer requests, so that we can agree with you in prayer concerning whatever it may be that you are seeking God for.

*About a week ago, Zack’s friends were involved in a tragic road accident on their way to Mbarara in Uganda. Anita Kamaliza, Zack's close friend, was among those that passed away in that accident. Generation Caleb humbly asks that you pray with us through this difficult moment – pray for the families that are grieved, for the speedy recovery of those who were injured (already we see God’s mighty hand working, praise Him!), including Zack’s friends, Aggie, Joan and Jesse, and for Zack, who has continued to let the joy of the Lord be his strength and let his light shine before men despite his aching heart. We thank you and bless God for your prayers.

It's very encouraging for us when, with each entry we post, we realize that we are growing as well. This is my testimony for the entries on the Armour of God and the Kingdom of God - I have grown in the Lord. Sharing the Word with Zack and with you guys actually does a great deal to boost my faith and enlighten me, and so I thank you all.

Matt 13:44 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field: the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
“A treasure hidden in a field” reminds me of a story I read as a child. Its title was Buried Treasure. I do not remember what the story was about, but I think it had to do with pirates. I think there was a treasure buried somewhere that the pirates wanted to find, and I am not sure whether or not they had a map.

Perhaps in the days when Jesus walked this earth, people hid their treasures in their fields. Maybe the man in His parable was a worker in the field where he found the treasure. And perhaps he stumbled upon something that a previous owner of the field had buried. Or maybe he realized that there was some mineral in that land.

I don’t know. All we can tell from this story is, this man was going about his daily life, when he found the treasure. He probably could not afford the field, which is why he sold all he had to buy it. And for him to sell everything, that field must have meant so much more to him than all his possessions.

It’s the same way with the kingdom of God. We are busy, going about our daily lives, doing what we’ve always done, working in our fields, when suddenly, we stumble upon the Great Truth. I cannot really say we stumble upon it, because the reality is that God sees us in our futile struggle in life and shines His Truth in our faces. And suddenly, we realize that we must have that truth, no matter what it costs. The man hid the treasure, just like we must hide the Truth in our hearts. But this is not a hiding in the way that we would normally think of it. This is like what David said in Psalm 119:11 – Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee. We must be wary not to attempt to hide the kingdom of God from our brothers and sisters, because remember, Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

When we discover the magnificence of the kingdom of heaven, and compare it to the filth of the earth, we realize that nothing of this life is worth wasting time over. Like Paul, we begin to count all things as dung, that we may win Christ (Phil 3:8). And as we grow in and continue to seek the kingdom, in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, we realize that all the things that we may have longed for are added unto us (Matt 7:33).


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Righteousness, Peace, Joy in the Holy Ghost

I was going to blog about the kingdom of heaven being like a pearl of great price (Matt 13:45) but I felt the need to first of all talk about what Paul said to the Romans.

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).
First of all, it is called the kingdom of God because God is the King, and I agree entirely with what Zack says, because this is from the Bible: there are only two kingdoms, and if you are not in one, you’re in the other. There is no in-between, fence-sitting, lukewarm kingdom where one can have a little of this and a little of the other (Matt 25:33-46, Rev 3:16).

The kingdom of God is Righteousness: We need to be submitted to God in our every thought, word and deed. We must obey His every command without debate or compromise. He tells us to be holy, for He is holy (Leviticus 19:2). Of course, to attempt this in our own strength is to fool ourselves; it is impossible to try and live a holy life with our Adamic nature controlling us. The blessing in this is that God Himself became our Righteousness – when Jesus Christ died on the cross (Jer 23:6, 1 Cor 1:30). Now, for everyone covered in the Blood of Jesus Christ, all God sees when He looks at you is holiness. That’s how we have access to the throne of mercy. It is from this – the righteousness of God in us – that we draw the strength and are filled with the wisdom and temperance to obey His every command. This is not to say that we will not occasionally make mistakes (see Romans chapters 6 through 8). For as long as we are in this realm, we will have our flesh wrestling against our spirits. Living in righteousness is living in that place where sin will be abhorrent to us, so that should we stumble, we immediately recognize our error and repent, humbly and contritely.

The kingdom of God is Peace: The Bible says that the chastisement for our peace was upon Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:5). This means that Jesus Christ took the punishment that was otherwise awaiting us, and He did it so that we could have peace. When you give your life to Christ and realize that He gave you His very own peace (John 14:27), then you will begin to walk in that peace. And when you do that, you will be walking and living in the kingdom of God; regardless of your positioning in this earth as a human being, you will spiritually be walking in the kingdom. Peace is a state of being where one is calm and unfazed, with the mind on Jesus Christ, regardless of what is going on in the immediate or distant surroundings.

The kingdom of God is Joy in the Holy Ghost: The fruit of the Spirit is joy, Galatians 5:22. It is impossible to live in the Holy Spirit and be devoid of joy. But what is joy? Joy can be said to be a prerequisite to peace. The world pursues happiness because it is lacking in joy. Joy is not an emotion; like peace, it is a state of being. It does not depend on the surroundings. There is no joy except in God, and the point in life at which one realizes this, is the point at which they begin to walk and live in the kingdom of God.

As I’m sure you can see, Kingdom things do not depend on earthly things, in order to function. Righteousness abounds despite surrounding unrighteousness as does peace despite surrounding turmoil, and joy despite surrounding heaviness. And I believe that although the kingdom of God is technically heaven, it begins here on earth – it is a gift to those in this realm who will dare to seek the LORD for their salvation. When we pass on to glory, we do not begin to live in the kingdom of God, we just continue on to a higher and absolutely perfect level of kingdom living in which the surrounding conditions are no different than internal or spiritual conditions. It is like Jesus said; faithful in little, faithful in much (Luke 16:10). If we are faithful to walk in the kingdom in this realm, then He will reward us by taking us to a higher realm in Him, to dwell with Him eternally (Matt 25:46). From glory to glory, Paul said, we will be changed into the image of Jesus (2 Cor 3:18).

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


In this first part of many forth-coming series, we share about the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. The primary focus of Jesus’ three year ministry when He walked this earth as a man and was later crucified for our sins, and rose again conquering hades and death, and ascended into heaven where He is seated at the right hand side of God and preparing places for us in the Father’s house of many mansions. The message of the Kingdom of heaven, Kingdom of God represents Jesus’ whole teaching; also we can perhaps say it was the determinative subject of his discourse.

Briefly, I’ll labour an explanation of the two different phrases as might perhaps be confusing unto some of us. The Kingdom of heaven versus the Kingdom of God; in the Bible, those two statements are one and the same thing that were only used interchangeably. In reading the synoptic gospels, we notice that it is only Matthew who used the title “the Kingdom of Heaven. Take for instance:

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. versus Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Matthew 5:3, 10 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven... Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. versus Luke 6:20, 22 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God... Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. versus Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

The term "Kingdom of Heaven" occurs 31 times in Matthew. And it is worth mentioning that it appears nowhere else in the New Testament. In contrast, the term "Kingdom of God" occurs 63 times in the New Testament. 9 times in Acts and Paul's epistles, only 5 times in Matthew -- the balance being found in Mark, Luke and John. In tackling the question as to why Matthew preferred "kingdom of heaven" to "kingdom of God," the explanation has long been that Matthew, writing to specifically Jewish readers, inserted "heaven" for "God" so as not to offend the Jewish sensibilities regarding uttering the name of God or the term that describes Him. So for our readership here, it is important that you know this bit of history so that we can then go on together with the same mind that in this new series, the two phrases have no difference in meaning.

Having established this truth, we are still left with the question, "What is the Kingdom of Heaven/God?" In trying to define something, I also labour to find out what it is not. Applying the same concept here, I have found out that the Kingdom of Heaven is not the same thing as heaven. When the New Testament uses the phrase “the Kingdom of Heaven” it is not referring to heaven. Instead it is referring to the Millennial Kingdom which has been ordained from heaven, that is, from God -hence the interchangeability between "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God." The Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom from heaven, not a kingdom in heaven. God reigns supreme in heaven. Heaven is the locus of His authority. Heaven is the point from which God rules the universe. The words “of heaven” in this case are referring to the origin of this Kingdom. It is the place from which the Kingdom is coming, not a destination to which we are going. So we see that although the Kingdom of Heaven is heavenly in character and origin, it is not the same thing as heaven.

From the book of Matthew to Mark and Luke and to John, it is plainly visible that Jesus, whenever he taught, was always constantly talking about the Kingdom of God. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Matt. 4:17. And then to one of my favourite passages from the Bible, God’s own account:

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:25-34

The point ladies and gentlemen, that we’re trying to make here is that while we live out our earthly lives, we actually are living in one of two kingdoms. And if you’re not living in the kingdom of God, then you are by default living in the other kingdom, the kingdom of Satan and his demons. I remember a movie I watched once where someone said the biggest lie that the devil has had very many people believe and still wants to keep them believing is that he (the devil) does not exist. In this series, we are dispelling that. It is your choice to which kingdom (of the two) you are going to live, but it isn’t your choice who your king is going to be in either kingdom. God, our Heavenly Father is the king of this kingdom and in being “our Heavenly Father”, He is not the Father of sinners. To listen to some folk talk ‘we are all children of God; God is the Father of all of us, and we are all brothers and sisters’ is not something right, I believe. Because the Bible does not say so! Because you see, the devil is the father of some people. John 8:44, Jesus said to some of the most religious people of that day, “Ye are of your father the devil”. Jesus didn’t say our Heavenly Father was their father. He said the devil was their father. For the natural man is motivated by demons. He is ruled by Satan. I’m not saying he is demon-possessed. What I mean is all those who have never been born-again have Satan as their god, king and father, whether you knew it or not. They are in the kingdom of darkness; a kingdom ruled by Satan and demons. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Cor. 2:14

By faith, we shall continue to share with you in our subsequent posts, each one, our opinions on the message of the Kingdom of God and what it means for you/us. But in all, the question still begs, in which kingdom are you living or choosing to live? And is that the best choice you could make? God bless you.

My Prayer For You Today: And may the grace of God enable everyone reading here to have their minds and eyes opened up by the Spirit of God to the realisation of the power that lives and operates in the kingdom of God. And may as many as read here choose wisely which kingdom of the two that they shall choose to live in this day. In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.

by TemplatesForYou