Prepare with Perspective
What is the Kingdom? Where is the Kingdom? When is the Kingdom?
Over the years, I have had conflicting impressions of the Kingdom. On the one hand, I see what Jesus says in Scripture – in addition to the theme verse this week, Jesus also says the Kingdom of heaven (or the Kingdom of God) is at hand (Matt. 3:2, Matt. 4:17, Mk. 1:15) and the Kingdom of God is within you (Lk. 17:21). He also tells us to seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33) and to pray to the Father for His Kingdom to come on the earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).
So what is it, where is it and when is it? Is it now or is it coming?
First, the Kingdom is simply the dominion of the King. The Kingdom is wherever the King is. It’s boundaries since Christ is King of Kings and the Creator of all things are simply wherever He sets them, and He has chosen to set them by the Word He has released beforehand. Robert Heidler, the apostolic teacher at Glory of Zion International recently taught on the Kingdom and puts it this way: “Kingdom means rule. It’s not a matter of land and borders – it’s a matter of rule and authority. Where the rule of Jesus is established, there the Kingdom of God has come.” Jesus’ dominion, or Kingdom rule, means that He makes things right – “Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38; see also Lk. 11:20).
Prepare with Promise
Here are some Scriptures that will help us grasp the magnitude and timing of the Kingdom. One of the best ways to prepare for the coming Kingdom is to be familiar with what the Bible says about King Jesus and His Kingdom.
Daniel 7:13-14, 18: As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His Kingdom will never be destroyed…. But in the end, the holy people of the Most High will be given the Kingdom, and they will rule forever and ever.
Matthew 24:36-46: But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
Matthew 13:31-32: … The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.
Matthew 13:33: … The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.
So the answer is, if you have the King in you, the Kingdom is everywhere that you take it. God’s Kingdom is eternal – so it is both now and in the time to come. At the present time, Jesus, our Lord and Master, has gone away and left us in charge; but when He returns, He expects to find his Kingdom functioning in the same manner that He left it.
Prepare with Power
So how can we prepare to function in the Kingdom as Jesus did? Some of the other Scriptures in the Book of Matthew give us a blueprint, particularly the Parable of the 10 Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13) and the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30).
The lamps full of oil in the parable of the 10 virgins speak of being empowered by Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples that it was better that He go away so that He could send them Holy Spirit (John 16:7). After His resurrection, after breathing on them to be filled with Holy Spirit (John 20:22), Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem to be endued with power (Lk. 24:49). This empowerment happened on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) and continued on as the saints were equipped (Acts 2:42, Eph. 4:7-16, Da. 7:18).
Holy Spirit gives gifts (1 Cor. 12), and when we allow Holy Spirit to also lead us, the very heart of the King manifests within us (Rom 8:14, 14:17; Gal. 5:22-23; 2 Tim. 1:7). When these entrusted gifts (or talents) are utilized, they multiply (Matt. 13:31-33). Then at the end of the age, the Lord rewards our faithfulness.
Matthew 25: 31-40: But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Preparing for the Kingdom means living life, moment by moment, being continually filled with the empowering Holy Spirit of God, through Christ Jesus, to walk out the plans and purposes of the Father. But remember…every believer is a Kingdom citizen right now! Ask God to give you wisdom and revelation about your Kingdom identity, calling, and purpose.
Yvonne Hicks is the Founder of Releasing Heaven Ministries. Her focus is City/Regional transformation through community engagement. She is in passionate pursuit of God through teaching and activating believers and is eager to see the fullness of His Kingdom manifest on earth. Yvonne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!