13 January 2013

Speak a Thing

Your Kingdom come; Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Part 1)

I have a great appreciation for the way that scripture uses Old Testament stories to reveal New Testament truths.  One of those is the story of Esther.  In the story, the king has decreed destruction for the Jews. When he comes to the knowledge that this is Esther's people, he is grieved that he has made the decree, but a decree signed by the king and sealed with his signet cannot be reversed.  He gave Esther (and Mordecai) the authority of his name and the use of his seal to make decree.  "Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey" (Esther 8:11)

In much the same way, Jesus is our King, and we have been given His Name and the seal of His Spirit.  We not only have the authority to decree a thing according to the kingdom of God, and to enforce it, but to empower others to take that decree and destroy the works of the enemy, even to the taking of the spoils!

A kingdom is a geographical area.  The king is a sovereign. His rule is absolute. He makes a proclamation and it is carried out just as he decreed. Heaven is a divine geographical area. God is sovereign.  His rule is absolute.  He speaks a thing and it is.  

Scripture speaks of the kingdom of Heaven and it also speaks of the Kingdom of God.  I believe the writers were attempting to convey something unique.  While Mark, Luke and John use the phrase 'Kingdom of God', Matthew is the only one who uses the phrase 'Kingdom of Heaven'.  Perhaps Matthew was showing us the Kingdom from a slightly different perspective.  The 'kingdom of God', places the focus on the Sovereign Lord - His absolute authority in word and deed. (As in the story of Esther, the decree went out from the king.) The kingdom of God is where the decree is produced. The 'kingdom of heaven', places the focus on the result of that absolute word.  By His word the heavens were created and we are seated there with Him.  We have been given authority and power to enforce those absolutes, but here's the kicker, we have the authority to enforce them, or execute them, in the earth. (The Jews were given ability to destroy the enemy and were successful in doing so.) The kingdom of heaven is the atmosphere where people are empowered to enforce the decree of the Kingdom of God.

To say, "the kingdom of God has come near you", indicates that "the Word or the decree of the Sovereign One is here."  In other words, you have heard the proclamation and witnessed the execution of it.  To say, "the kingdom of heaven has come near you", is to say, "the ability to enforce (execute) the Word of God is here and ready to do just that." The significant difference is that one requires seeing and hearing. While the other indicates an ability to participate in the execution of that decree - now.

Nine times the other gospels recount the same words as 'kingdom of God' where Matthew says, 'kingdom of heaven'.  NINE is significant of the end of man and the sum of all man’s works.  Nine is therefore the number of finality or judgment.  It was in the ninth year of the prophet Hosea that the king of Assyria destroyed the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and carried the people away into exile [2 Kings 17:6]. It was in the ninth year of King Zedekiah’s reign that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judah, destroying the city of Jerusalem and the Temple [2 Kings 25:1].  It was the ninth hour, when Jesus gave up His life on the cross finishing the works of the sons of men, according to the law [Matthew 27:46].  Nine indicates the end of the effort of man - making way for the grace of God.  

Perhaps Matthew wanted to drive home the idea of recognizing the sovereign rule of God and the truth that Jesus gave us the authority to enforce that rule.  He stated repeatedly that the ability to enforce the sovereign rule of God is present and ready.  It's one thing to know the Word of God is absolute.  It's another to know that you have the responsibility to enforce it.  You can know the will of God.  Will you take your position in heavenly places, with Christ, in order to enforce it in the earth?  It is from that place that you can say , "The kingdom of heaven has come near you."

To say, "the kingdom of God has come near you" is to proclaim the word of God.  To say, "The kingdom of heaven has come near you" requires demonstration and expectation.  We need preachers who will proclaim, but what good is the King's proclamation if there is no power to enforce it? Salvation, healing, deliverance, life, compassion, mercy and grace, the list goes on, Jesus didn't just talk about it, He did it.  Then told us to do the same, and more.

We are citizens of the kingdom of heaven, which is the kingdom of God. He is sovereign.  His rule is absolute.  He speaks a thing and it is.  We are His ambassadors in the earth.  We are sovereign.  Our rule is absolute.  We speak a thing and it is.  Therefore, we can bring His Kingdom and do His will on the earth as it is in heaven.

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