Defining the Kingdom – part 1
Authority is defined as the right to influence, command, control, direct, and delegate.
Kingdom authority is based on ownership. The King owns everything within His kingdom; the lands, the buildings, the resources and the people. What the King owns, He has dominion over. What the King doesn’t own, He has no legal right to exercise His authority over. Outside of His Kingdom the King has no rights, no dominion, no control, and very little influence.
Christians in general have a catchy little phrase that they throw around and it sounds like this: “God is in control!” Is He in control of everything? Do you really believe that? If so, I recommend you hide your religious cows because this teaching will likely take them straight to the butcher.
Let’s start with you. Is God in control of you? Are you doing absolutely everything that the Lord wants you to do? Are you waking up every day and walking out God’s perfect will for your life? Have you done that every day of your life? Are you beginning to see the problem with the whole “God is in control” theology?
When God gave man dominion over the earth He gave him complete control. Man had absolute control over the earth for a season. This is why man was able to give this dominion away to the devil. That dominion and control was eventually bought back by the precious Blood of the Lamb. Glory to God!
The truth is, He has left most things of the earth in our control. The Kingdom of God on earth is ours to keep and steward. Our level of stewardship determines how much dominion we have on this earth. We need to acknowledge that and start taking responsibility for it.
In an earthly kingdom, the king can decide to use his power and resources to overtake more lands and thereby expand his kingdom. In the Kingdom of God, He has delegated that task completely to the individual members of the church. The community, which is the body of Christ, is not capable of expanding the kingdom as a group, or an organization, it can only assist the individual in making quality choices in their lives that will expand the Kingdom within themselves. The size and strength of the Kingdom lies within your control.
Free will – Your own personal authority
The fact that you have a free will contradicts the very thought of “God is in control.” God did not create man to control him, He created him for relationship. Specifically, son-ship.
When God delegated His authority to Adam, He also gave Adam his own personal authority, his free will. Free will was given to man because God wanted relationship, not a robotic slave that was forced to submit to His will. God wanted a people that would choose Him, that would believe in Him, that would love Him for who He is. This is the foundation of intimate relationship.
Free will can be described as the freedom to make choices that are not controlled by fate or divine intervention. The power to act without constraint of necessity. Freedom to choose. For the purpose of this teaching we will use a simplified definition of free will: The right to say NO to God.
God doesn’t want you to serve Him. He wants you to want to serve Him. If you don’t want to serve God, you are a moral free agent, and you have the right to say no to Him. It is sad, but many are exercising that right every day and paying a terrible price for it.
The most dangerous thing to the kingdom
How dangerous is this thing called free will? Exercising the right to say no to God resulted in the fall of mankind. It got Adam and Eve evicted from the Garden. It causes people to go to Hell. It causes eternal separation of man from his creator. Free will is the most dangerous and destructive thing to the Kingdom of God. This dangerous bit of authority called free will has been placed in your hands. What are you doing with it? What did the first Adam do with it?
Our free will was given to us for creativity and expression in relationship with God. It was designed to be used in cooperation with God, not in opposition. When we exercise our right to oppose our creator, we cut ourselves off from the life giving Spirit of God and become a landing strip for demonic influence and every evil work.
Defining the Kingdoms
When we hear the phrase; “Kingdom of God”, our minds immediately think of another place such as Heaven. The truth is, according to Luke 17:21 the Kingdom of God is within us.
Luke 17:21 (KJV) ~ Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.
The Kingdom of God on earth is not the same as the Kingdom of Heaven. At least not yet. The Kingdom of God on earth is an outpost of the Kingdom of Heaven. God created Adam from the dust of the earth and placed him here as a steward to rule over His Kingdom. God delegated His authority to Adam and gave him specific instructions on how to exercise that authority. Adam was essentially, the god of this world.
Look at it like this, The Kingdom of Heaven is the place where God dwells and has supreme authority and absolute rule. The Kingdom of God on earth is the place in our heart in which, at any given time, God’s rule and reign is acknowledged. Therefore we have control of the Kingdom of God. We can cause it to grow and expand by our obedience and submission to the King. Or we can deny the King to rule in His Kingdom, and cut off all power and resources that the King has made available to us. We are the steward of our own heart.
We know that there is a difference between the two Kingdoms because Jesus is going to deliver the Kingdom of God on earth to the father.
1 Corinthians 15:24 (NKJV) ~ Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
What kingdom is Paul talking about here? Jesus is not going to deliver Heaven to God the Father, but the outpost of the Kingdom of God on earth. When this happens, both Kingdoms will be congruent, they will be the same. Until then it is important to understand the differences so that we can function in the Kingdom that God has made us stewards over. The Kingdom in our own heart.