Kindgdom Bible Studies Kingdom of God Part 38



"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."



Part 38 


            “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17). 

            The Kingdom of God is joy!  Can joy be found in the world today?  Certainly.  But just as there is more than one kind of righteousness and more than one kind of peace, there is more than one type of joy.  A Swedish massage or the sensual pleasures of sex are examples of physical joy.  There is also a superficial soulish joy experienced by every man, woman and child on earth irrespective of whether they be saint or sinner, moral or immoral, or what god they serve.  It is the joy of children playing, the joy of a loved one coming home, the joy of a wedding, the joy of a newborn baby, the joy of the amusement park and the dance floor, the joy of delightful children who are an honor to their parents, the joy of accomplishment and recognition.  Soulish joy is often a religious joy inspired by the singing of peppy choruses over and over and the clapping of the hands.  There is nothing wrong with such joy, but if it can be “worked up” it is soulish, not spiritual.  While such expressions of praise and thanksgiving may be done “as unto the Lord” they should not be confused with the joy of the Kingdom of God. 

            What, I ask, do melodious quartets, robed choirs, sweet-sounding instrumentals, hand-clapping, foot-stomping, guitar strumming, singing and shouting and dancing have in common with the transforming glory that radiated from the countenance of Jesus Christ, the Son of  God, before whose dazzling presence and blazing majesty John the apostle fell as one dead on the isle of Patmos?  While these manifestations may be wonderful experiences of the soul delighting itself in the Lord, they are not worthy to be compared with the surpassing glory of joy in the Holy Ghost the JOY OF THE KINGDOM!   I think that in the  presence of the supernal and ineffable glory of God’s Christ that John witnessed on the mount of Transfiguration and on the isle of Patmos, the beat of the music would fall deathly silent, every tongue would cleave in dumbness to the roof of its mouth, every song would be mystically hushed, every hand would hang limp, and all faces would fall as dead men before the wonder of His glory and the majesty of His power.  Silence would mysteriously impose itself upon the soul and all soulish joy would appear but crude expressions of unskilled dissonance.   

            Many good things bring soulish joy to our lives, but none of these have any relationship to the Kingdom of God.  You see, the Kingdom of God is not merely joy it is joy IN THE HOLY GHOST!  It is God’s joy.  It is heaven’s joy.  It is divine joy.  It is spiritual joy.  It is joy unspeakable and it is full of glory.  We are the people of God, His chosen elect in the earth to accomplish His Kingdom purposes.  We are the vessels that contain the Spirit of God.  We are the embodiment of God’s Christ.  To have a conscious revelation of what Christ is in us arouses the consciousness of the Kingdom of God.  When we walk in the Spirit we are walking in the mind of Christ and in the power of the Kingdom of Heaven!  “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:17).  The sons of God are also called  “the sons of the Kingdom” (Mat. 13:38).  When the Holy Spirit rules us, what other son could we be?  The Spirit of Christ has come to rule our senses and our body.  Christ is being raised up within us as the personality and power of our lives.  We can now live and walk above every storm and trouble, above all weakness and limitation, yea, above even sin and death!  Tears are wiped away from off all faces and sorrow and sighing flee away as the Kingdom rules our lives!  It is here that we know and experience the profound and eternal spiritual joy that is the Kingdom of God! 


            Joy is the sentiment and feeling of the man who, by virtue of the indwelling of divine life, shares the emotions of God Himself.  God is spirit, therefore the emotions of God are spiritual.  God is the eternal God and His Kingdom is everlasting.  His joy, therefore, is constant, unaffected and unmoved by the changing course of events, for it has as its source the unchanging God.  The Lord joys in His own perfections, unable as the perfect One to rejoice in anything less than the perfect.  By spiritual birth and divine nature man is enabled to share the joy God has in Himself, unmoved by the swirling currents of ever-changing events in the outer world.


            Often today we see the bumper sticker proclaiming “Happiness is...” and whatever the natural man relishes is added to those words.  Only with the mind of the spirit may we discern the deep truth that happiness is the distorted Self’s substitute for joy.  Happi-ness is related to happen-ings.  It depends on the nature of the happenings around man, whether they please him, suit his fancy, and meet his soulish standards and physical cravings.  If they do, then he is happy.  If they run cross-currents with the desires of the Self, then he futilely wishes that they would unhappen, and caught in that vice of circumstances he becomes unhappy.  As someone has said, “Life becomes a desert following the mirage of happiness, a fantasy where all people, events, and even God are doing what the individual man wishes them to do.  Happiness is the ultimate of the distorted ego, the harmonizing of all the self-willing Self.”


            Malcomb Smith has aptly written, “In this futile pursuit (for happiness) man will change jobs, neighborhoods, countries, wife or husband, and even his religion.  But all that he finds is a passing emotion described as ‘the passing pleasures of sin’ (Heb. 11:25).  Proverbs describes this kind of happiness as the burning of kindling sticks.  It blazes and then is left as a heap of ashes.  So man lives in the ashes of the brief moments of happiness.  He is bored, complaining and unthankful.  The attitude toward life in the darkness trains men in unthankfulness.  Every detail of life that does not fit into the framework of self is the subject of complaint.  In fact, complaint becomes the basic language of the lie.  With some it has become their only language and way of life, passing all moments through the grid of their distorted self, expressed in a tirade of complaint.  The inhabitants of the darkness are withered humans, mere ghosts of what they were created to be.”


            Joy, on the other hand, can only be known through relationship with God.  The sweet singer of Israel intoned it in these words, “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence there is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11).  In union with God the sons of God share the joy that God has in Himself!  The Lord never changes or fluctuates in any way.  He IS.  “I am that I am.”  Nothing can influence or affect God in any way.  The Lord is never upset, disturbed, frustrated, complaining, or in despair due to any happening of events.  He is sovereignly in control of all things in the heavens and in the earth, and works all things after the counsel of His own will.  All things were created by Him and for His pleasure, and all fulfill His will and accomplish His purpose.  In the unaffected, indestructible, infinite joy of His divine nature He rejoices in all His ways and works!  This is the joy of the Lord!  This is the joy of the Kingdom of God!  As we come into harmony with the mind of Christ and the will of the Father we learn that God is always in control, that nothing can happen outside of God’s will, that all our steps are ordered of the Lord, and that everything God does in us is to further our growth and development in Him.  How He does this in each of us is His business!  It is more than obvious that if we were perfecting ourselves we would often choose a different course and with our limited knowledge and immature wisdom would make a mess of it, protecting those very things that need to be dealt with and conveniently by-passing the most important lessons to be learned.  But once we truly embrace His way, His will, and His time, we are undergirded with that eternal joy that endures the cross, despises the shame, and prevails to be highly exalted, seated with Christ Jesus the Lord on the throne of divine glory and universal power!


            Jesus bequeathed this joy to His disciples.  “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (Jn. 15:11).  “These things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (Jn. 17:13).  The first thing that strikes us in this passage is the claim of Jesus to the possession of joy.  He speaks not of the joy that was His in the morning tide of life when He romped with youthful abandonment over the hills of Galilee, before He set out on His seemingly impossible mission.  Nor was He looking back to the joy that was His in the early days of His sonship ministry when eager and enthusiastic multitudes first thronged about Him.  He speaks of joy as a present and abiding possession.  Though He is even now under the shadow of the cross, though suffering and death are blowing their chill breath in His face, though His whole life now seems to be falling in ruins about Him, He is yet able to look at it all with confident eyes and rejoicing heart.  He sees as the Father sees, He knows as the Father knows, for He is the first manifested Son of God.  The song in His heart cannot be hushed!  The joy that has characterized all His yesterdays is with Him still.  And what a deep and satisfying joy that is! It is the joy of sonship to God!  It is the joy of the eternal Spirit!  It is the joy of the Kingdom of God!  It is not the joy of emotions worked up by singing a chorus twenty-five times amid passionate exhortations to worship it is rather joy rooted in divine calling, divine knowledge, divine purpose, divine will, and divine nature.  The joy of Jesus was not happiness dependent upon happenings, or stirred emotions, but a new kind of joy, a higher dimension of joy, a deeper current of joy, the joy of the Kingdom of God!


            The story is recorded of saint Francis of Assisi, how on one winter day when he and brother Leo were walking along the road to Assisi from Perugia, Francis called out to Leo in the bitter cold, telling him what perfect joy was not.  “Brother Leo, even if a Friar Minor gives sight to the blind, makes the lame walk, drives out devils, gives hearing back to the deaf,  and restores speech to the dumb, and what is more brings back to life a man who has been dead four days, write that perfect joy is not in that.”  Brother Leo in great amazement asked him, “Father, I beg you  in God’s name tell me where perfect joy is to be found!”  And Francis replied, “When we come to the Portiuncula, soaked by the rain and frozen by the cold, all soiled with mud and suffering from hunger, and we ring at the gate of our Friary and the brother porter comes and says angrily: ‘Who are you?’ And we say, ‘We are two of your brothers.’  And he contradicts us saying, ‘You are not telling the truth.  Go away!’  And he does not open for us, but makes us stand outside in the snow and rain, cold and hungry until night falls then if we endure all of those insults and cruel rebuffs patiently, without being troubled and without complaining, and if we reflect humbly and lovingly that the porter really knows us, oh, brother Leo, write that perfect joy is to be found there!” 


            The joy of Jesus’ disciples could never, under any circumstances, become unjoy, it was more powerful than all the sorrows that could assault it.  Its source and reality was in the unchanging God.  Their joy was not rooted in their possessions, location, circumstances, human relationships, or favors bestowed upon them.  At times they suffered persecution and loss of all things, they were hated, maligned, and even put to death.  But they did not retaliate, complain, or go about with a persecution complex.  They did not simply endure they rejoiced!  “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven (the realm of the spirit) a better and an enduring substance” (Heb. 10:34).  Ah, these followers of Christ had discovered a new reality, not one of earthly things and values and happenings, but the life of God Himself and the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.  This better and enduring substance is Christ raised up within us as our very own reality!  It is not something out beyond the stars to be obtained after we die, but the heavenly realites within the spirit in our inner man.


            This is the same joy in the Spirit that Habakkuh expressed: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: YET WILL I REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION!” (Hab. 3:17-18).  Such a lifestyle and language of joy does not just happen.  To come up on mount Zion, to reign with Christ as the sons of God, is to follow Him whom God has “anointed with the oil of gladness above all Thy companions” (Heb. 1:9).  This wonderful oil of gladness flows from Christ the Head to Christ the body.  The oil of gladness is the anointing of the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven!  It is the joy that belongs only to the sons of God!  I think that many who read these lines are, through the deep dealings of  the Father, coming to know this joy of the Kingdom in a very real and precious way.  Those who have received the call to sonship, those who have experienced the strippings and  purgings, those unto whom the Lord Himself has come as a refiner’s fire and as fuller’s soap, those elect ones who have followed on to know the Lord,  know experientially what I am talking about!


            Oh, that men would awaken to the truth that the Kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Ghost!  Oh, that men might see where reality dwells!  Oh, that men’s eyes might be opened to see that their search for joy in the things of the earthly body and the outer world is but to chase rainbows and grasp the emptiness of bubbles in their hands!  We must beware how we compare the Kingdom of God  with earthly kingdoms, lest we thereby not merely see what blessings are to be expected in a kingdom, but come to expect blessings of a similar nature in the heavenly Kingdom.  God’s apprehended ones have come to the place in their experience where they know that the blessings and benefits of the Kingdom of Heaven surpass those of earthly kingdoms as the heavens are higher than the earth!  God has now blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus!  He is blessing us with blessings of life and immortality, the wisdom of the Godhead, the knowledge and understanding of heavenly things, the righteousness of the Holy One, the peace of God that passeth understanding, authority and power over the nations and all things, and the eternal joy of the Kingdom.


            A man may feel that he is safe as to many things, but what can he know of absolute safety and permanence till he has experienced incorruptible life?  What can he know of any of the blessings of the subject till he becomes subject to Christ?  Is not the liberty, the security, the plenty we know on earth very shadowy and precarious, until we possess the eternal reality and substance of these in Christ?  Until we possess that security which has heard the gates of the city of God shut behind, and has found the feet standing on the heights of Zion; which can view every circumstance without fear or apprehension, knowing whose will it is that is done in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; that security which is secure in the blessed knowledge that greater is He that is for us, than all that can be against us; that liberty of the sons of God wherewith the Son of God makes us free from all that would overcome us or drag us down from high apprehensions of our calling in God; when He gives us entrance into the wide and lasting love of God, bringing us to the very radiance of His countenance and the brightness of His glory; that plenty which is supplied by the fullness of the Godhead within us, for it is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me; the righteousness, peace, and joy of a Kingdom where there are no unknown or forgotten masses, but where the King knows all and rules by personal inward life over each; which provides enlightenment of mind, renewal of heart, salvation of the soul, quickening of the body, supernatural strength and every grace that is needed to bring us unto the measure of the stature of the PERFECT MAN.   Ah, this is the power and glory of the Kingdom of God!


            The joy of the Kingdom consummates in the joy of the Son in the sons.  There is a dimension of joy that can only be known by the manifested sons of God.  God has anointed Jesus with the oil of gladness above all His brethren, but the fullness of His joy is known by those who are made one in Him.  In this regard Paul Mueller wrote, “There also is a travail of spirit that relates to the appearing of Christ to His people.  Jesus said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy.  A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.  And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you’ (Jn. 16:20-22).


            “The sorrow Jesus spoke about in the last verse is the sorrow that occurs when we are no longer with Him.  After Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He was later taken by the soldiers to be crucified.  Then He was buried, and was raised from the dead by the power of God.  The disciples experienced sorrow because He was taken from them.  But Jesus said to them, ‘I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.’  Their sorrow was replaced with joy (in part) when the Holy Spirit was given to them on the day of Pentecost.  Even so do we long for His appearing and His presence.  Although we know He is ever with us, we groan within as a woman with child during her travail and sorrow, longing to be more fully and completely joined to Him.  And our joy is full when we experience those brief but wonderful times in His presence.


            “But there is coming a greater fulfillment of the joy Jesus spoke about.  Indeed, we look forward to that glorious morning when we shall be forever joined to the Lord in the glory of the manifestation of the sons of God.  That will truly be the spiritual experience that will make our hearts rejoice with a joy no man can take from us.  When that new morning dawns and we are fully born again of the Spirit, we shall rejoice with His super-abounding joy.  We will remember no more the former times of intense processings  that brought us where we now are in God.  Every test and trial, which we remember now as being very difficult and trying, will be forever forgotten, to be replaced with a kind of joy which we have never yet experienced.  Then our times of anguish and sorrow will be replaced with the ‘joy that a Man is born into the world.’  The joy of the world is temporary and leads to death.  But the joy of the fullness of the kingdom of God, which we shall share, will be permanent and will lead us to life everlasting.  When that new creation ‘man’ is born into the world, our service to the Lord and His kingdom will then be complete.  Then the whole creation will be set free from its severe bondage to corruption.


            “The new Day of the kingdom of God on earth has already begun!  This is the Day of the birth and manifestation of that new ‘man.’  Some of us have already seen the beginning of this new Day, which began at evening time during spiritual darkness, and which shall become much more glorious when the morning dawns.  We have also seen the dawn, for Father has given us a foretaste of the glory and freshness of that new morning to come”   end quote.


            I cannot emphasize too strongly that the joy of the Kingdom of God is not dependent on outward appearances or circumstances.  “Rejoice, and again I say, Rejoice,” says the apostle Paul.  Paul was in prison when he penned these encouraging words.  “Your joy no man taketh from you,” Jesus promised, and He was within a few hours of the excruciating agony of the cross when He said it.  But it must be the real thing and not counterfeit.  This joy of the Kingdom is not an easy-going optimism that refuses to face facts.  It is not the starry-eyed Charismatic joy that thinks there is to be no more trouble, suffering, or travail, that only health and prosperity and blessings galore are the right of every child of God.  Kingdom joy is not a pretended mask which hides a sad heart, courageous as that may be.  Nor is it callous indifference to the suffering around us.  It is the real joy which comes from union with the Infinite and Eternal and from the deep knowing that all is in our Father’s loving hands; that, come what may, things have not got out of hand; that He is working perfectly to bring forth His highest in every situation, and so it will be whether we understand it or not. 


            Let us hear with our hearts what the Lord Jesus says of the joy of the Kingdom of God.  “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (Jn. 15:11).  He speaks of this joy as abiding a joy that is never to cease or be interrupted for a moment or disturbed by anything.  “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing,” are the words of the apostle Paul.  These precious golden words teach us how Kingdom joy overrules the sorrows of this world, makes us sing through tears, and establishes in the inner depths, even when the outer man is cast down by disappointment or difficulties, a deep consciousness of a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.  Only with the pure joy of the Kingdom can the scripture be fulfilled in us, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:2-3).  Only with the living joy of the Kingdom can we “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Pet. 4:12-13).  There can be no doubt that the saints in Thessalonica had received a foretaste of this Kingdom joy when Paul wrote to them, “And ye became followers of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy in the Holy Ghost” (I Thes. 1:6).


            Some time ago brother Bennie Skinner preached a message on joy so powerful, so beautiful, that I feel to share a portion of it with you here.  The rest of this teaching will be the words of brother Skinner.


            “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).  The Kingdom of God is not in externals not in what you eat, what you drink, what you put on, what you take off, where you go, what you do but the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  That should give us a clue as to how to get joy.  Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance...”  If you don’t have joy, guess who can give it to you.  The Holy Spirit!  So why don’t you just let go and let that joy that is down deep within the Kingdom of God within you, come forth!  Think about this: Joy is one-third of the Kingdom of God!  So if you think I’m not preaching the Kingdom when I speak of joy, you’re wrong.  Joy in the Holy Ghost is a third of the Kingdom for the Kingdom of God IS righteousness, and peace, and joy!


            In the book of Nehemiah we read the story of how the people of Israel were rebuilding the wall and the city of Jerusalem under the leadership of the prophet Nehemiah.  And he told them, “This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep.  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto the Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:9-10).  And today, as then, the joy of the Lord is your strength!  The joy of the Lord is attractive.  You like to be around people who are joyful!  You don’t like to be around complainers, you don’t enjoy being  around judgmental, critical people, you would rather not be around people who are always fearful or worried about something, you don’t want to be around people who are always down and poor-mouthing about everything do you!  You like to be around people who are happy!  “Happy is the people whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 144:15).  I don’t think that any of us has even scratched the surface yet of having the joy of the Lord.


            I’m reading a book called IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS.  It is written by Bruce Marchiano, the movie actor.  He is Italian.  It’s a great book.  It will touch your heart as it touched mine.  He also plays the role of Jesus in a four-hour film called THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW.  Bruce is a devout Christian, so are the  director and the people on the set.  It is a wonderful film and I urge you to get it.  It’s expensive, but get it it’s a treasure.  He plays Jesus, the man of joy!  He found the joy of the Son of God.  He found it by studying the life of Jesus, by acting out the role of Jesus.  He was Jesus in the movie and it challenged him as he had never been challenged.  He went on his face before God and begged God to let him see people like Jesus saw them, to let him feel like Jesus felt, to let him have joy like Jesus had.  He sought God for it, and God gave it to him.  I think that is one of the greatest movies the world has ever known, greater than THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.


            Did you know the Bible says of the firstborn Son, that as a son He was anointed with the oil of joy above all His brethren?  (Heb. 1:8-9).  How do we always picture Jesus?  We see Him as the King in His majesty.  Everything is done serenely, with dignity and with order.  His hands are always well manicured, His robe is spotlessly clean, His sandals unsoiled, His hair meticulously groomed, His demeanor perfectly controlled.  I believe Jesus was first and foremost a man.  He was brought up in the carpenter shop of Joseph until he was thirty years of age.  He handled rough timber and worked with crude tools compared to the sophisticated machinery we have today.  It was grime and dirt and sawdust.  He had calluses on His hands, and He didn’t look anything like the sanctimonious pictures you see of Jesus.  But do you know what they have left out of Jesus’ life?  They have left out JOY.  I believe Jesus laughed a lot!  I believe He smiled a lot!  Oh, I know that He wept and that His heart broke for people in their sorrows, far greater than we have even imagined.  He saw them as sheep not having a shepherd.  He wept over Jerusalem, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Mat. 23:37).  He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  I believe Jesus experienced the whole spectrum of human emotions.  But preeminently I believe He had JOY!  There was something about Him that was joy unspeakable and full of glory.  He was full of the Holy Ghost and joy is a fruit of the Spirit.


            The joy of the Lord can be yours in spite of your circumstances, in spite of your poverty, in spite of marital problems, in spite of bereavement, in spite of the loss of friends, in spite of all the persecution you get.  Above and beyond it all, you can have the joy of the Lord!  He IS this joy notify your face!  Tell your face that you have the joy of the Kingdom of God within you and let it reflect that joy upon your countenance.  I don’t have any use for a spirituality that the body doesn’t get involved in.  If you’ve got the real thing it will affect your body.  We all know the Kingdom affects our spirit, and we know it affects our soul, but if it affects the spirit and soul, will it not also affect the body?  When you truly have joy your whole being will be caught up into the joy of the Lord.


            David prayed in the 51st Psalm, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.”  He prayed that because he had sinned against God with Bathsheba.  He took her away from her husband, Uriah, and when she got pregnant he called Uriah out from the battlefield and tried to send him home to his wife so he would think the baby Bathsheba was carrying was his own.  That didn’t work, so he sent Uriah to the battlefront, into the heat of the battle, where he would be killed.  He did get killed, and David took Bathsheba to be his wife.  Then God sent the prophet Nathan to the palace, he shook his bony prophetic finger in David’s face  and said, “You’re the man who has committed this dastardly act you’re the man!”  Faced with his sin, David lost the joy of the Lord’s salvation.  He didn’t say, “Restore unto me my salvation,” but he said, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.”  Sin in your life will rob you of the joy of the Lord!  When you don’t walk with the Lord, when you don’t seek the Lord, when you don’t turn to the Lord, when you don’t trust the Lord, when you don’t obey the Lord, you lose your joy.  God never takes His joy from us, but we can lose it. 


            The joy of the Lord is your strength!  Do you want to be strong?  Then be filled with joy, for joy is your strength!  What can the devil do, what can sin do, what can the flesh do, what can the world do to a son of God who is filled with the Holy Spirit and has the joy of the Lord in his life?  Nothing.  Nothing.  NOTHING!  You say, “Give me something deep.  I need a deep word, I want a deep revelation.”  This IS deep!  This is about as deep as it gets because the Kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Ghost!  This is reality.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  We’re not interested  in high-sounding phrases, lofty doctrines, or great revelations anymore.  I thank God for revelation, I’ve received abundance of revelation, but I want what has been revealed TO me to be revealed IN me.  I want what is revealed IN me to be revealed AS me.  And joy is part of it.  Joy is one-third of the Kingdom of God!  That’s deep, beloved!


            “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11).  Do you want to know how to have fullness of joy?  Come to the realization of HIS PRESENCE.  Why don’t people have Kingdom joy?  Because they think God is away off up in the sky somewhere, on some distant planet, or in an invisible realm someplace other than right here inside of us.  The Kingdom of God is within you!  God dwells in you!  You are the temple of God!  You are the habitation of God through the spirit!  Be aware of the presence of God, sanctify the Lord God in your heart and in His presence is fullness of joy!  Most of us don’t even know yet what real joy is.  We know very little about joy.  I’m not talking about joke-cracking, back-slapping, hilarity.  I’m not talking about fun and foolishness.  I’m talking about real joy.  I’m talking about joy that is joy anywhere, any time, all the time; joy when you wake up in the morning, joy when you go to bed at night, joy when everything is going wrong, and joy when everything goes right.  There is a joy in the Lord that no matter what the circumstance is, no matter how dark or hopeless things appear, no matter how our world seems to be falling apart, there is a joy in the Lord that undergirds and gives stability in the face of hell itself.  I have to walk in that joy.  I have to manifest that joy.  Because I have learned that THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH!


            “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Ps. 48:2).  When we live in this high realm of the Spirit where we are filled with the joy of the Lord, we live in mount Zion, we are citizens of that heavenly city and that holy mountain and we are the joy of the whole earth!  There is no people in the whole earth that has joy like the people that dwells in mount Zion.  Mount Zion is the governmental realm of God.  It is the seat of His sovereignty and His Kingdom.  It is the center of His authority and His power.  Where do you live?   What is your residence?  I live at 777 Hallelujah Avenue.  My phone number is Jeremiah 33:3.  “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”  I live in mount Zion, so I am the joy of the whole earth!  When I enter a room where everyone is sitting troubled, sorrowful and dejected, I start talking.  I start radiating.  I start shining.  In a little while the whole atmosphere in that room changes because I came in there.  You say, “GOD came in there.”  That’s what I said!  He came in there in me.  You ought to have seen what God was doing in there before I got there!  Nothing.


            It’s like the old farmer that bought a farm.  The farm was run down and dilapidated, the fences were broken down, weeds had taken over, everything was in disrepair and disarray, it was in terrible shape.  After three years of toil and labor the old farmer had everything in beautiful shape.  One day the preacher came by, looked over the farm, and said, “Brother Brown, the Lord has certainly done a great job on this farm!”  Brother Brown replied, “Yeah, but you ought to have seen it when He had it all by Himself!”  You see, beloved, God doesn’t do anything apart from us.  We are the temple of God.  We are the priesthood  of the Lord.  We are the saviours on mount Zion (Obadiah 21).  We are the kings upon His throne.  We are the body of Christ.  We are the arm of the Lord and the instrument of His hand.  We are the government of God upon mount Zion the joy of the whole earth!  We are ordained to fill the whole earth with the joy of the Lord!  There is no other source  of joy, of the Kingdom of God, for the peoples of this earth!


            “The fruit of the Spirit”  Someone says, “I don’t really have that much joy.  I can’t just conjure up joy.”  Nobody wants you to conjure up anything.  You say, “I can’t pretend to have joy when it’s not there.”   Nobody wants you to pretend, either.  “I can’t put on a front.”  Nobody is asking you to put on a front.  “I can’t believe I have something I don’t really possess.”  Well, you have joy whether you believe it or not!  It’s deep within you.  Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and the Spirit is within you.  The Kingdom of God is within you.  The Kingdom of God is joy.  It’s joy in the Holy Ghost.  You need to get in touch with it through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Cry out to God for joy!  It is at hand.  It is accessible.  It is abundantly available.  It is in the Kingdom of God within you.  The promise of God is sure, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, THAT HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED!” (Isa. 61:3).  May God perfect your joy today!

To be continued...                                                                                          



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