The “KINGDOM” Of God

Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast : Ep 44

TRANSCRIPT

Jesus’ favorite subject was teaching about the Kingdom of God. Everywhere He went he did miracles and He taught about the Kingdom of God. In fact He said that when you see these miracles happening the Kingdom of God has come to earth. In today’s Podcast, I want to highlight what it looks like when the Kingdom of God comes to earth. 

Today’s scripture is Romans 14:17  “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 

We are in a season where God is moving all over the world. There are revival fires all around the world. In Indonesia, in Uganda, In Honduras, in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, Algeria.

And there are revival fires cropping up all across the USA mostly in our colleges.  God is doing something very unique. 

During Spring break in Panama Beach Florida this year, 285 kids got baptized. Spring break in Florida is usually a time for college students to go have sex and get drunk. But God……

Asbury Move of God

When we talk about the Kingdom of God, what are we talking about? A Kingdom is the King’s Domain. To me it is when the characteristics of the Kingdom of God supersede the characteristics of this world.

Romans 14:17  “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 

I want to talk about each of these things to help us see if there is any way God would have us co-labor with Heaven to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. I don’t want to be a spectator on the sidelines of a move of God, I want to be deeply involved.

The first sign of the Kingdom of God coming to earth is righteousness.

One of the characteristics of this move of God at Asbury was people spontaneously standing and telling about the sin God was dealing with in their lives. No one had to ask them for their testimony, they just one by one came to the mic and told their stories and publicly repented. Some of the stories were a shock to their classmates because their sin had been so well hidden. They wanted righteousness more than reputation. 

That is one of the signs that the Kingdom of God is here is when people want righteousness more than they want to protect their reputation. I have told my story about my 20 year addiction to pornography literally around the world. Everywhere I tell my story, people come up to me and thank me for my courage. I tell my story to let people know that no matter how great our sin God’s grace is greater.  

Two kinds of righteousness. 

The first kind of righteousness is righteousness Coram Deo (“in the presence of God”). It is often called the righteousness of identity, because it restores man’s identity as a child of God.

John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”

At the very moment that we receive Christ as Savior we are changed into children of God. At that moment we are in total right standing with Father God. We are righteous.

Romans 6:3-6 paints a picture of what happened to you the moment you entered into Christ at salvation. Verse 3 says “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death.” The word “baptized” used here is not necessarily referring to water baptism. The literal meaning of the word is “to join to or immerse into.” So, when you were baptized into Christ Jesus, you were joined to or immersed into Christ in His death so that when He died, you died with Him.

Then verse 6 says, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” You were joined to Christ in His death so that your old sinful nature would be done away with. It says that your old self was crucified with Christ. It is something that has already happened. 

You now have a brand-new nature. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” You are not still the same old person, minus the sin that Christ paid for on the cross, as some would suggest. No! You are a completely new creation in Christ with a totally new identity. 

According to author David Needham, “A Christian is not simply a person who gets forgiveness, who gets to go to Heaven, who gets the Holy Spirit, who gets a new nature. Mark this – a Christian is a person who has become someone he was not before. A Christian, in terms of his deepest identity, is a saint, a born again child of God, a divine masterpiece, a child of light, a citizen of heaven. Becoming a Christian is not just getting something, no matter how wonderful that something may be.  It is becoming someone.” (Birthright, David Needham, Multnomah Press, 1979. Pg. 47)

During this outpouring young people are coming into an understanding of their identity in Christ for the very first time.

Most of the people we do RTF ministry with do not understand their identity in Christ. Shame has so saturated this world that even Christians identify themselves by their shame. 

Shame puts a label on people according to their behavior. I am bad because of what I have done. I am a failure. I am dirty. I am uniquely and fatally flawed.

During RTF ministry we break some of those identity statements and help them receive God’s view of them. It is often shocking for people to really hear how Father God sees them. His view of us is so extravagant that it is hard for us to believe, yet what He says about you is more true that what shame has told you all of your life.

The second kind of righteousness is righteousness coram mundo (righteousness in the eyes of the world). It has often been called the righteousness of character, because it deals with a person’s attitudes and behaviors 

The Kingdom of God brings conviction of sin. There is a major difference between condemnation and conviction. Condemnation says that you are bad because of your sin and there is nothing you can do to get rid of that badness. No amount of repentance gets rid of condemnation.

Conviction says that what you did was sinful. Its focus is on the behavior. Remember that the first kind of righteousness restores your identity as a dearly loved child of God. The second kind of righteousness is about your behavior and your behavior does not change your identity.

But our sinful behavior can be a hindrance in your relationship with God. For example, if I lie to Cindi I never stop being her husband. The lie puts a barrier between her and me until the lie is dealt with. Our sin does not cut off our relationship with Father God but it puts a barrier or hindrance in between God and us. 

Galatians 5:19-21 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions,21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

Most of us will hear that list and go, “Whew, I haven’t done any of those things so I’m in the clear.” The thing that has hit me with this move of God at Asbury is asking the question, are there any things I am doing, any compromises I am making that are getting in the way of my being used by God to co-labor with Him to bring the Kingdom of God to earth? 

We have an opportunity right now. There is an open heaven in many places around the world. I want in. I want to be part of God’s Kingdom coming to earth, so if I have to take a hard look at myself, I am willing to do that. 

You don’t have to be afraid of repentance. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repent. God uses kindness to call us higher!

Romans 2:4 “…it’s the kindness of God that leads you to repentance.”

The second characteristic of the Kingdom of God is peace. I can’t help but be a walking advertisement for RTF Ministry. RTF is the best way to bring peace into your life by dealing with those things that are stealing your peace. 

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The world’s peace is the absence of conflict. I hope this will not shock anyone but that kind of peace is not going to happen in this world any time soon. The kind of peace that God gives is supernatural.

I heard one man interviewed who was one of the 20,000 people who drove to Asbury from many miles away to just be in the 1500 seat auditorium. The reporter asked him what he experienced and he said it was a peace like he had never known before. It was the kind of peace that only God can give. When the Kingdom of God comes to earth it ushers in peace.

John 14:27 says “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Those are two things that RTF ministry does really well. Ungodly beliefs cause our hearts to be troubled. When you are believing a lie it overrides the truth found in the Bible. These lies say things like, I know God is good, but He didn’t protect my loved one from getting cancer and dying. He let me down before, He might do it again. There are so many of us who are subtly believing lies. Lies about our health. Lies about our children and grands. Lies about the condition of the world we live in and God’s ability to do something about it.  

Some of our lack of peace comes from lies we are believing. Other times our lack of peace is coming from wounded places that won’t go away. One man we ministered to who was in his 70’s struggled with a fear that people close to him were going to leave him. We asked God where that belief came from and God took him to a memory of being three or four years old and a social worker came and forcefully took him away from his drug addicted mother. Jesus came into the memory and showed the boy that He was with him the whole time and in fact it was Jesus that placed the boy in a wonderful foster home with Godly Christian parents. This fear had been plaguing him for nearly 70 years. It is now gone and he is at peace. The Kingdom of God came into his life and brought peace.

The enemy is so skilled at using whatever we give him to cause struggle in our lives. And unhealed places are one of the things he uses best. It doesn’t have to be a huge wound for him to use it to cause us to be like a marionette on a string. We can get slighted by something at church and the enemy will use that little wound to cause all kinds of destruction in our lives. Keeping our hearts healed is vital so little wounds from yesterday do not grow into something bigger.

Cindi and I make it part of our lifestyle to take even the little fears, wounds, anxiety, depression, whatever to Jesus in the moment and get healing. Heart healing works on memories from years ago, but it also works incredibly well on feelings that pop up today. By keeping our hearts free in the moment we are not letting our hearts be troubled.

The third characteristic of the Kingdom of God coming to earth is joy. If you saw any of the Asbury move of God on YouTube or any of the other moves of God around the world right now the joy that people experience is overflowing. At Asbury some fairly religious kids are singing and jumping and dancing before the Lord.

I have a friend that sends out these facebook video teachings. The teachings are really good, but there is no joy in his delivery. I am asking God to open the door for me to talk with him and share my observation. Uninvited advice is not a Kingdom characteristic. When we do RTF ministry we see people come in on Monday looking pretty downtrodden and leave on Friday with Joy bubbling out of them. One of the reasons I like The Chosen series on the life of Jesus is because they show Jesus having fun. One of the reasons I use humor so often when speaking is that the Kingdom of God is a fun and joyful place. 

My purpose today is to encourage you to ask God if there is anything He wants to do in you so that you can be better positioned to partner with Him to bring His Kingdom to earth. There is an open Heaven right now. Let’s press in, and see what a difference it will make in our world.

RTF Featured on The Shawn Bolz Show

On the second half of this week’s episode (May 20th 2024) of “The Shawn Bolz Show”  RTF directors, Lee and Cindi Whitman, were the guests. Watch for powerful insight and two special listener offers on products to help bring hope, healing, and freedom.