Category Archives: Kingdom-of-God

Melchizedek Priesthood of Jesus and Israel

Jesus is our High Priest according to the Order of Melchizedek.

God’s desire and plan is for Israel (including both Jew and Gentile) to be a kingdom of priests, ministering the bread, wine, and blessings of life to all nations in the coming ages.

How can we become Melchizedek priests?

The Names You Never Hear

Why is it socially unacceptable to respectfully say the names Jesus or Yahweh in public conversation?  There are 2 main reasons:

1.  Christianity is an exclusive religion

2.  Five thousand years of Satanic programming of mankind’s culture and institutions

Watch this short video to learn more, including how to break free of the pervasive, Satanic world system programming.

The Culmination of the Gospel

What we are is God's gift

God’s Plan

For eons of time, since before the foundation of the earth, God’s plan is ever moving forward toward His goal of complete reconciliation of all creation to Himself.

“and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20 NASB

Despite what the media and world leaders say, the ruler and kings of this world are not in control of world events.clockwork

God is in control, and like the gears in a fine Swiss watch, God is syncronizing large and small events exactly, according to His plan and schedule.

Divine prophecy is history that hasn’t happened yet. It reveals the future outworking of God’s plan.

The Next Milestone in God’s Plan

The next major event in God’s plan is the victory of His kingdom over the kingdom of this world.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 KJV

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15 NASB

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of Empires

In a dream, ancient Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar saw an awesome statue of a man. The man had a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron. Its feet were iron mixed with clay.

The king ordered the wise men of Babylon to tell him both the dream and the interpretation, or he threatened, “if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.”

Then God revealed the dream to a Hebrew captive named Daniel, who told the king:

“This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. “You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

Medo-Persia and Greece
“After you, there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.

Rome (or Islam?)
“Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. “In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. “As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.

The Divine Kingdom
“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. “Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so, the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2:36-45 NASB

The Statue

The statue represents the 4 pagan empires that that will dominate God’s people in this world before He establishes His kingdom rule over all the earth: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (or Islam). Most Bible teachers believe we’re now in the final stage of the fourth empire, symbolized by the feet of iron mixed with clay.

The Stone

Daniel’s interpretation plainly says the stone is the kingdom of God. It was cut out of a mountain without human hands, then strikes the statue at its feet and completely shatters it. Then the stone (God’s kingdom) grows into a mountain that fills the whole earth.

The Kingdom of This World

The kingdom of this world is ruled by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He’s also known as:

“the great dragon, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” Revelation 12:9 NASB

The god of this world is Machiavellian; he accumulates power and rules the nations through violence, manipulation, fear, self-interest, and corruption. With few exceptions (Joseph, Daniel, etc.), success in the Dragon’s kingdom requires a person to put expediency and ambition above morality. The higher you rise in this kingdom, the more you’ll be required to compromise.

The inevitable destination for everyone in this kingdom is death, a reality most people avoid as they strive to enjoy a comfortable life before their clock runs out.

All nations, including the modern state of Israel and America, are members of the Devil’s kingdom. All have rejected righteousness. All have embraced the Machiavellian model. As a result, all will be shattered by the small stone.

The Kingdom of God

Unlike the kingdom of this world, the kingdom of God is founded upon and ruled by righteousness and peace.

No unrighteous person can enter God’s kingdom, but everyone who is born into the Devil’s kingdom has sinned. Jesus solved this dilemma by offering Himself as an offering for sin for everyone who repents and asks for forgiveness in His name. Every citizen of God’s kingdom has been born of water (baptism) and the Spirit. (John 3:5) Every citizen in God’s invisible kingdom is ‘born again,’ by faith.

The kingdom of God exists where God’s will is done, and where GrapesHis word is obeyed. It’s where we abide in Christ to produce fruit, and where we’re pruned to produce ever more fruit. (John 15)

Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of Your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8)

The kingdom of God is where God gives eternal life to everyone that asks.

Unlike the world’s kingdom, success in God’s kingdom requires us to place righteousness, peace, and sacrificial love above self-interest, wealth, and promotion.

To the carnal mind, God’s invisible, spiritual kingdom looks weak and insignificant compared to the Dragon’s physical kingdom, like a small stone compared to a large mountain. But this small stone is destined to shatter the Devil’s kingdom, crush it, and God’s Spirit will blow the dust away, never to be seen again. Then, that stone will grow into a mountain that fills the whole earth.

But How?

Jesus made it possible for us to literally become children of God.

“to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12 NASB

As His children, we’re to reflect His image, His nature, and His works. Our challenge:

Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

If we abide in Him and walk in His Spirit continuously, we will overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Our personal character and behavior are transformed into a unique facet of God’s image. Having been thus transformed, a day is soon coming when God will manifest His glory on His spiritually-mature, righteous sons and daughters.

The Manifestation of God’s Glory

Since the Garden of Eden, all creation yearns for the glory of God to be manifested in His children:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:18-21)Manifestation of Sons of God

I believe the next milestone in God’s plan, before the great tribulation, is when He reveals His glory in His spiritually mature and righteous sons and daughters. This will fulfil Isaiah 60:1-3

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.

Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Almost all Bible teachers believe Isaiah chapter 60 refers to events in the Millennium, after Armageddon and Jesus’ second coming. Here’s why I believe it will happen before the great tribulation:

  1. Most prophecy teachers today either focus on the rapture, or what Satan and the Antichrist are going to do to wreak havoc against mankind. This is a defensive attitude, with the Devil on the offense against us. In their theology, we are passive and defensive, suffering helplessly while we wait for Jesus to deliver us. There’s no place in their theology or eschatology for Christians to have an active, offensive role in end-time events.
  2. In contrast, when Jesus told His disciples that ‘the gates of hell will not overpower’ the Church, it’s apparent that the Devil is the one in the defensive position, and the Church is on the offense against his gates. (Matthew 16:18)
  3. The Devil and the Antichrist are not in control of end-time events, just as they weren’t in control when they crucified the Lamb of God. They’ll really be on the defensive when God unveils His glory in His overcoming saints. The visible glory of God radiating from them will shatter the darkness and lies that the Devil’s kingdom is built on. Billions of people will jettison the Devil’s kingdom to become born-again children of God.
  4. Finally, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in 2015 saying “Something wonderful” is coming. When I searched to find out what the Spirit was referring to, I believe He led me into this teaching. As a result, I wrote ARISE!  SHINE!, which is available free online.

I believe the manifestation of the sons of God is the first culmination of the gospel message. It is the next step after Pentecost in the progressive, unfolding revelation of the corporate Body of Christ.

(Note: to fulfill Colossians 1:20, there will be other culminations of the gospel in ages to come, until everything in heaven and earth is reconciled to God through Christ.)

This visible manifestation of God’s glory in His overcomers is the small stone that shatters and crushes the devil’s kingdom. The glorious light of God, seen in His saints, will cause nations and kings to come to them, to learn the way of the Lord, to know the way of righteousness, peace, and life.

Postscript

This brief article is focused on the ‘culmination of the gospel.’ I feel like I’ve covered that topic, but I realize I’m leaving many questions unanswered, such as:

  1. Why is it critically important for believers to be holy? What is holiness?
  2. What’s the back story that explains the conflict between God and His adversaries?
  3. What are the eons of God’s plan?
  4. What will the Antichrist do to believers during the great tribulation, especially the ones who visibly exhibit the glory of God?
  5. Why doesn’t God just put a stop to all the evil in the world?
  6. What role do saints play in the end-time spiritual conflict between God and the principalities and powers?

Rather than making this article a lot longer, you can find answers to these questions in these free online resources:

Watch and Pray

Pouring molten gold

APOCALYPSE FATIGUE

If you’re like me, you sometimes suffer from ‘apocalypse fatigue.’  I’ve sincerely expected the end of the age to start (resulting in the great tribulation, the Antichrist’s defeat, and the return of Jesus) many times since 1981, but obviously it hasn’t happened yet. Here’s a short list of apocalyptic signs I have followed (or am still tracking) with interest:

  • 1981 – the planets of the solar system were supposed to align, triggering great earthquakes, etc. (Signs in the heavens and on earth)
  • 1988 – 40 years after Israel became a nation (The olive tree parable…this generation will not pass away until the end comes)
  • The Bush presidents, 9/11, and their promotion of the ‘new world order’
  • 2008-2016 – Is Obama the Antichrist?
  • 2013 – The last pope takes office according to the prophecy of St Malachy. Is Pope Francis the false prophet of Revelation 13?
  • 2015 – four consecutive ‘blood moons’ coinciding with Jewish Passover and Tabernacles festivals. Did the 7-year tribulation covenant period start on Yom Kippur, 9/22/15?
  • 2017 – Is Trump or Jared Kushner the Antichrist?
  • Possible Second Coming dates: Yom Kippur of 2022, 2036, or 2055?

I’ve made life-direction decisions based on some of these, resulting in life-long consequences and lost career opportunities. After so many false leads, over decades, it’s tempting to simply stop looking for end-time clues and just join the rest of the world—asleep in their blissful ignorance.

But, as I was meditating on my apocalypse fatigue this morning, the scripture to “watch and pray” came to me. Regarding the end of this age, Jesus warned:

Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life—and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. So, keep watch always, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Watch

What does it mean to keep watch? According to BibleHub.com, the original Greek word literally means “to be sleepless, intent upon a thing, Ephesians 6:18; or, to exercise constant vigilance over something (an image drawn from shepherds).”

Examples of watching:

  1. Defensive:
    1. Shepherds keep watch over their sheep, making sure they’re safe from predators and other dangers.
    2. Soldiers are routinely assigned to guard duty. They keep watch over (guard) a specific place or thing during a specified period of time.
  2. Offensive: Hunters watch intently for their prey. They constantly search for clues and signs that will lead them to success in their hunt. They focus all their senses on the hunt; looking for animal tracks, listening for twigs snapping, and smelling their upwind quarry.

What should we ‘keep watch’ for?

Watch so that no one deceives you.

In all three synoptic gospels, this is the first warning Jesus gave His disciples regarding the end time.

  1. Matthew 24:4 See to it that no one deceives you.
  2. Mark 13:5 See to it that no one deceives you.
  3. Luke 21:8-9 See to it that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.When you hear of wars and rebellions, do not be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end is not imminent.”

Watch to be able to withstand persecution.

  1. Mark 13:9-13 So be on your guard. You will be handed over to the councils and beaten in the synagogues. On My account, you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them… Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
  2. Matthew 24:9-12 Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
  3. Luke 21:12-19 But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. On account of My name, they will deliver you to the synagogues and prisons, and they will bring you before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to serve as witnesses. So make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to defend yourselves. For I will give you speech and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. Yet not even a hair of your head will perish. By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls.
Learn from Peter’s failure to watch

The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter said: “I will die with you.” But Jesus warned Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before sunrise. Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter was sleepy and didn’t ‘watch’ with the Lord. As a result, when the trial came for Peter early the next morning, he wasn’t spiritually prepared, and so he denied the Lord to preserve himself from pain.

Like Peter, we will all have trials, during which our faith and commitment will be tested. If you haven’t strengthened yourself through watching and prayer, you’ll naturally choose the path of self-protection and, like Peter, you’ll deny the truth.

Watch to anticipate the Messiah’s return.

  1. Matthew 24:32-51, especially verse 42, Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come.
  2. Mark 13:32-33 But as for that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.Be on your guard and stay alert! For you do not know when the appointed time will come.
  3. Luke 21:34-36 But watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life—and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. So keep watch at all times, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Why is it important for us to watch for the Lord’s return?

  1. Those who don’t watch will be ensnared when that day comes upon the world.
  2. Watching and prayer are required to build the strength required to overcome what will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.
  3. Rev 12:11, “They conquered him (the dragon) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.”

PRAY

Like Watching, prayer has both defensive and offensive components.

Defensive:

  1. Pray that you’ll have strength to prevail against all that is about to happen in the earth, and to stand righteous and victorious before the Son of Man. “Lead us not into trials, but deliver us from evil.”
  2. Pray that when you stand before Him that He will be able to say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Offensive:

  1. In general, pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.”
  2. Specifically, pray for the kingdom of God to be manifested in your family, community, and nation.
  3. The prayers of the saints fill the golden altar before God’s throne in heaven. (Rev 8:3, 8:5, 9:13, 16:7)
  4. Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations…” (Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46). Many believe that since God delegated authority to Adam to rule the earth, God can do nothing in the earth unless it’s in response to human prayer.

Watch and Pray

So, what does it mean to watch and pray?

  1. Before the Lord Jesus returns, scripture teaches there’ll be a great delusion upon everyone who doesn’t love and follow the truth. Watch and pray to follow God’s truth and not to be deceived and deluded with the masses.
  2. Persecution against Christians is already exploding around the world. Watch and pray that you’ll remain faithful, even at personal cost.
  3. Watch and pray that you’ll be strengthened to overcome the evil that’s coming to this world.

Bottom Line—like Peter, it’s understandable if we get tired. But let’s learn from his example and overcome apocalypse fatigue.  We have two choices; (1) watch and pray to become an overcomer, or (2) follow the world system into delusion and judgement.