KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
THE POWER OF THE KINGDOM
In our day, the truth of the power of the Kingdom of God needs to sound like a trumpet. Men's hearts are failing them for fear in looking after the things that are coming upon the earth, and many of the Lord's people are also filled with fear. The elect of God, those who are walking in the Spirit and following on to know the Lord, are seeing HIM before whom all nations are as a drop in a bucket -- who with infinite care and divine purpose created the vastnesses of the limitless universe and the wheeling constellations and calleth them all by name. For who has yet arrived from the Other World to announce that God has been outsmarted by the devil, and that His Kingdom is in danger or disarray? Only One has come, and He has come with power and glory, and with a word that the Kingdom of the Father ruleth over all! To the great Roman Procurator, Pilate, who declared that he had the power to crucify the Lord of glory, Jesus said, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above" (Jn. 19:11).
Jesus was Himself the demonstration of the power of the Kingdom of God on earth! The miracles that Christ wrought while He walked the earth in flesh were His Kingdom Credentials. His miracles announced to the Jews that He was the promised Messiah, the One of whom the prophets wrote. After John the Baptist was arrested and imprisoned he sent messengers to Jesus to inquire, "Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?" Jesus told John's inquiring disciples, "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (Mat. 11:2-6). The signs and wonders wrought by Jesus, the firstborn Son of God, were tangible evidence of the power that would reside in the Kingdom -- power that could be seen and felt.
The miracles Jesus wrought set forth the blessings that would exist in the Kingdom realm. Jesus on another occasion said, "If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then the kingdom of God is come unto you!" Jesus clearly shows the relationship between the Kingdom and His miracles. Without miracles the Kingdom cannot be revealed. Miracles are a manifestation of possessed power, and Jesus is the firstfruits, the firstborn, the first example, and the pattern for all the holy sons of God who shall reign with Him in the Kingdom. And while we have now received the firstfruits of the Spirit, and have in fact experienced a foretaste of this miracle power of the Kingdom, when we have completely put off the Adamic mind, and have fully matured unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, and the Father witnesses to our sonship, declaring out of the heavens before men, "These are my beloved sons, in whom I am well pleased," then shall all the sons of God be manifested in power and great glory, and shall go forth doing even those "greater works" that Jesus promised His brethren. Only God can teach us these things! Truly He is training us in this very hour in the ways of His Kingdom. We have a poster on the wall of our office which says, "We Do Not Believe In Miracles -- WE RELY UPON THEM!" Through experiencing the power of God daily in our lives we are learning to walk in the power of the Kingdom of God!
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and those who walked with Him in the days of His flesh beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. They beheld Him and perceived that He was not like other men. He was totally like one born of God. They heard Him, they saw Him, they observed Him, they discerned Him, they touched and handled the Word of Life. Hear what they said. "For the life was manifested -- and we SAW IT!" (I Jn. 1:1-3). The life of God was manifested right before their eyes. How did they know, what did they see, what was it that Jesus did that revealed the glory of God? Here was this man Jesus who looked like you and me, and really He could do anything He wanted. But no, He went about preaching the Kingdom of God, and doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil. How did they observe His life? How did they know Jesus was the Son of God? Was it because He came to them and said, "I'm He!" Do you think they believed Him because He claimed to be God's Son? No! A thousand times, No! They saw His power, they beheld His glory, they touched the Life!
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy: and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan" (Mat. 4:23-25). Jesus' power was unlimited, unceasing and unstoppable. He took the time to do all those things. He didn't have any mass healings -- He prayed for, and ministered to, every single one of those people individually. He touched them and imparted His life to them and healed them and blessed them. Multitudes came to Him and He had to make time for every one of them -- and I don't have time for the things that clutter my life today! So what did Jesus do? He sacrificed His life doing nothing but demonstrating the power of the Kingdom of God that restores men to wholeness again. No sickness could stand in His presence. No demons could stand before Him. The elements obeyed His command. Death fled at His word. There was a funeral procession and a widow's son of Nain lay dead, and weeping they passed by Jesus, and the dead could not stay dead! Can you imagine the expression of those people's faces when that boy sat up on the bier! Paul said that our faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but in the power of God -- the power of the Kingdom!
Jesus was the firstborn of God's vast family of sons. He came into the earth to reveal the glory of sonship and the power of the Kingdom of God. In Him we see what it means to be a manifested son of God! There was not a sickness He could not heal; there was not an evil spirit He could not cast out. They were all subject to His command, and they had to obey Him, even though they didn't want to. When the storm on the sea was great, and the wind was violent and the waves contrary, all He had to do was speak, "Peace, be still!" and the wind ceased and the waves went to rest in the bosom of the deep. Like a mother quieting her fretful child, saying, "Hush, my child, and go to sleep," and with her hand upon the child, the little one stops crying and goes to sleep; so all Jesus had to do was speak to the storm, "Hush, be quiet," and like a fretful child it quieted down and went to rest. When He needed money to pay taxes, and had none, He sent Peter to get it out of a fish's mouth. There was never a need that He could not supply. There was never a circumstance or situation He could not handle. He always had the power, the wisdom, and the means to take care of them all. This is the power of the Kingdom manifested in the Son of God, and it is the power of the Kingdom to be revealed through all the sons of God. For this all creation earnestly and expectantly waits!
As George Hawtin has so eloquently written, "The life which Jesus lived on earth was the greatest parable ever known. It was a parable of the KINGDOM OF GOD. He fully demonstrated by His divine life and power all the blessings that were to follow in His Kingdom. The evil things which we have learned to live with and accept as part of our very existence He conquered, putting them beneath His feet. Behold this King as He delivers those who believe from every sickness known to man! The word of His mouth makes the lame man to leap as an hart. Hear Him as He commands deaf ears to be unstopped and blind eyes to see. Listen with bated breath as His wisdom puts all His enemies to silence, causing them to say, 'Never man spake like this man!' Stand in awe beside the tomb of the dead while He who is the resurrection and the life calls, 'Lazarus, come forth!' Weep with the forgiven woman to whom He said, 'Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.' Feast as He feeds the hungry multitude with enough and to spare. Rejoice as He preaches, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.' Stand in awe as He stills the raging storm even as He stilled the fevered brow. Weep with His friends as He died. Rejoice that He liveth again to reign, no more in humility and rejection in tiny Palestine, but in power and wonderful glory over all the earth" -- end quote.
With what joy and holy wonder do I tell you today that this is the power that will again be manifested on earth through the ministry of Christ's many brethren, the sons of God! What a calling rests upon the firstfruits! How humbly we should seek God, how fervently we should cry out to the Lord, that His work be completed in us to bring this sonship ministry to pass in the earth! How we praise God for the in-part ministry of the church age -- it has been glorious beyond words. But none can deny that the ministry of Jesus has not been fully duplicated in all the power and glory of the Kingdom of God! Who among us can raise his hand to tell me that in him, or in his prayer group, or in his church, or in his movement, the miraculous sonship ministry of Jesus has been reproduced in all its fullness and power? Were we to make such a claim we would all be found liars. After two thousand years of the meticulous formation of the Christ body, creation still groans and travails, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God who shall deliver creation itself from the bondage of corruption.
The greater ministry of the sons of God will allay every disturbing element; break the power of sin and death; put down every wrong; still every clamoring tongue; calm every raging sea; touch every inflamed sore of society; unite into harmony every quarrelsome crowd; heal every excruciating pain and suffering; pilot every tossed soul into the harbor of rest; banish all fear, malice, bigotry, and hatred in the melting fire of divine love; bind every demonic power; heal every sickness, disease, and torment; fill to the full every lack and void; impart life more abundant to all men everywhere; and give joy unspeakable and full of glory until the whole earth is full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, and all creation pulsates with the scintillating life and light and love of God!
The Lord has absolute power over all nations and all mankind and is the architect of all the ages of time and the destiny of world history. The coming of the firstborn Son into the world was a mighty manifestation of omnipotent power. By the power of the Kingdom resident in Him the whole course of the nation of Israel and all the nations on earth was altered and the direction of multitudes of lives was changed as men and women repented of their sins and were brought under the sway of the Kingdom of God. By the power of His life the lives of men were completely transformed. All through the centuries since that time the seed of the Kingdom has been working in the earth, bringing forth a harvest of blessing and righteousness among men. The object of all this working and dealing is to bring forth in the earth a company of fully redeemed, transformed and matured sons of God who shall be so conformed into the express image of the firstborn Son that the manifestation of sonship shall be duplicated and fully reproduced in the power of the Kingdom. This, fully this, and nothing less than this, is the hope of all creation!
Jesus said He performed wonders "that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins" (Mat. 9:6). Whether Jesus told the palsied man, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," or, "Arise, take up thy bed and walk," the result was the same. The word of the Son of God is the very same creative word by which the worlds were formed, therefore they are the words of omnipotence. There is nothing that word cannot do! All sin, sickness, fear, disorder, destructiveness, curse, disease, and death are included in His redemptive plan, and all equally respond to His mighty creative Word. Therefore it mattered not whether Jesus spoke to sin or to palsy, to leprosy or to winds and waves, to bread and fish or to the power of death and the grave, each obeyed His word, for it was the word of omnipotence and the power of the Kingdom.
Paul Mueller has related how they saw this mighty, all-inclusive power of God in redemption manifest to multitudes. He writes, "While ministering in West Africa several years ago, we could speak the healing power of God to the masses who would testify to being both saved and healed. If we prayed for them to be healed, the Lord saved them at the same time. If we prayed for them to be saved, they were also delivered from their diseases and bondages. This is the power of the Kingdom of God! This is the power that is resident in everyone of the elect and chosen ones! In the Lord's good time, He will speak a word of authority releasing that power within us that shall raise us up to the fullness of His life."
"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (I Cor. 4:20). That in no way belittles or depreciates the value of the word of the Kingdom. The power of God is in His word! But to have a word without power simply means that it is not the word of God, nor is it the word of the Kingdom. Jesus had a word with power, and that is why the people exclaimed, "Never man spake like this man!" Jesus' own disciples were exceedingly amazed and marveled when He commanded the wind and the waves of the sea and cried out, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!" That was a word with power, and it was the word of the Kingdom and the power of the Kingdom. A word without power is impotent and bears no demonstration of the Kingdom of God. This is the power that God is now manifesting in His people to fulfill His wonderful purpose in redemption, which is to make man in His own image and likeness. The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. All the power of God is that power which is coming first to the elect to transform them fully into the image and glory of Christ. That is how it came in the days of the first Son. The power of God came first in the life of Jesus to raise up within Him all the nature and glory and power of the Father, before showing it forth through Him to bless and restore men to God. We are experiencing the power of God within and God must first finish the work of perfecting and maturing His sons, before showing them forth to creation. The truth we should now know is that when God's sonship company is ready, fully developed, prepared and matured, this Kingdom power will flow out from them unrestrained and uninhibited -- power to the full extent.
"For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live in Him by the power of God" (II Cor. 13:4).
"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Eph. 1:19-21).
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which worketh in us" (Eph. 3:20).
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection out from amongst the dead" (Phil. 3:10-11),
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7).
"To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (I Pet. 1:4-5).
"According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us unto glory and virtue" (II Pet. 1:3).
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev. 2:26).
All these wonderful passages and many more illustrate the great truth that it is the power of God that is now working mightily within the elect to bring us to sonship. Finally, the Lord's promise to the overcomer is to give him power over the nations. As precious and wonderful as that promise is, our goal is not to receive power over the nations, but to know Christ and the power of His resurrection until His life and victory are reproduced in us. To know the mighty working of His power within to transform us into the image of Christ and bring us to His full stature is the way whereby we shall receive power over the nations. He has given us the spirit of power! We are now being kept by His power, changed by His power, raised up by His power, and we are being given all those spiritual realities that pertain to life and godliness. That is the power that created all things and that upholds all things.
God's word of truth and power is His creative energy by which all His purpose shall be fulfilled in our lives. By His word of power, which is His truth, all carnality and unbelief shall be destroyed, and we shall enter by faith into the fullness of His life. We should always meditate up this vital truth, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God" (Jn. 1:12). Power to become sons! That is what the Spirit has revealed within us has been given unto us, and His sovereign power shall not fail to accomplish all that He has spoken concerning us. His omnipotent power shall indeed fulfill His purpose in our lives. We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us (II Cor. 4:7). What a treasure this power is within! Without it we would be helpless, hopeless, and undone. The treasure of Christ and the omnipotence of His word and working is within these earthen vessels, and though they be corrupt and of the earth now, these earthen vessels shall be subdued unto God, for He is able to change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His body of glory. There shall be a release of His life and the splendor of His life within us shall then radiate and emanate so that the glory of God shall be revealed to all flesh. This transforming power is as a treasure within us and it is beyond any value known to man. It is not our power, it is His, but He has given it unto us. His power is the power of His fullness. Jesus Christ is declared to be "the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). And now we are exhorted to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Eph. 6:10).
The power and authority of the Kingdom of God supersedes all other existing authority. It is higher and greater than all human powers. It is greater than all spiritual powers. There are principalities and powers that have tremendous realms of authority, that is why that kingdom is sometimes referred to as the "powers of darkness." But the authority of the Kingdom is far greater than all the powers of darkness, and that is why when Jesus commanded the evil spirits to go out of a man, they had to obey Him, for the authority Jesus had was greater than any authority of principalities, powers, spirits, or devils. The authority of the Kingdom is greater than all natural laws, and those who have received this authority can control the elements and abrogate any natural law by a power that is greater than all natural phenomena. That is why Jesus was able to walk on water and turn water into wine. The elements were subject to the power of His word. It is in this area that all miracles take place. A miracle is a super-natural happening. That means it is above and beyond the laws that control nature. A power is at work that transcends the discernable laws of the cosmos. Any miracle is just a matter of annulling the natural law by bringing into action a law and a power that is greater, that functions on a higher plane. Those who inherit the Kingdom will possess this kind of authority and power, for this is the authority and power of the Kingdom of God!
POWER AND AUTHORITY
What is power? How can I get it? How can I use it? The deep prayer of my heart is that the Spirit of God shall reveal in the lives of God's elect the power and authority of the Christ within that will free us from all the fears, limitations and bondages that have plagued us in the past, leading us onward and upward into victory. Power, as used in the King James Version of the Bible, has two meanings. In its first meaning it is a word we use when we speak of someone having the strength to move a heavy object. For example, we think of a weight-lifter or an athlete as being powerful. A bomb, conventional or nuclear, has millions of times more power than the world's strongest superman. When this idea of power is used in the New Testament the Greek word is dunamis, from which we get our English words dynamite and dynamo. It speaks of God's power as explosive, His divine energy and ability to move and change all things.
I read the story of E. Stanley Jones, a great pastor of another generation, who visited an electrical generating plant -- a dam. And on the tour he was shown incredible turbines which had the capacity for creating enormous power. And displayed above each turbine was the kilowatts that turbine was producing. As he walked through this plant, he noticed that there were a couple of turbines that weren't producing any power. So he asked his guide, "Tell me, why aren't these turbines producing power?" And the guide replied, "Well, there is no water flowing through them right now. We cut the water supply to those turbines. Only when the water flows through the turbines do they start of spin. And when the water flows and they spin, they create the electrical energy and the kilowatts that we need." E. Stanley Jones' eyes lit up as he realized what a perfect picture that was of the Spirit of God operating in and through our lives. When the Spirit of God flows through us we are given the energy and ability to live the life of God, accomplish the will of God and to do the works of God.
The other use of the word power is in terms of authority. The Greek word is exousia. It speaks of authority inherent in a role or office. Simply put, dunamis is the ability to do something, exousia is the right to do something. The President of the United States of America possesses in his office the authority needed, for instance, to defend the national and international interests of the United States. This authority is given him by the Constitution of our nation. The word that is understood in the church is "ordained." When a church ordains a person to teach or preach, they have empowered that person so that they have the right to act in that place. They are given authority to teach and preach and do the work of the ministry.
In the Old Testament, the king had a ring or a scepter. His seal was on his ring and at the end of his scepter. When the king gave someone his ring or his scepter, they had the king's permission to operate in his name. Anything the king's seal was affixed to, the king had given his approval to. His seal was his signature. Only the most trusted, those who had been proven to have the king's best interest at heart, were trusted with this seal. Those trusted men were given authority to operate in the king's name. God has men He has entrusted to operate in His name. He has set His seal in their forehead. Those who receive the seal of the living God in their forehead have come into total submission to His will and His way.
It is important that we understand that ability or force does not always win out in the area of ruling and reigning. The privilege, the freedom, the right, the authority of exousia always wins out over the force of dunamis. Bob Torango has explained it so well in one of his writings. "The church system has preached mostly of two powers, God and the devil. If you were under bondage to something, it was either God's power or the devil's power. But there is only one true, supreme power and that is the power of God. All other powers were created by Him and for Him (Rom. 13:1). There are many, many delegated powers. Just as in earth we see many levels of authority and rule, so it is in heaven. 'For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers (exousia): all things were created by Him and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist' (Col. 1:16-17).
"As the above passage so wonderfully states it, the structure of the powers and authorities in both heaven and earth is diverse and complex, and each has been set in their place by God Almighty. He alone has given them their place in the heavens and earth, both good and evil, dark and light, death and life. All have been created by God and for God and indeed have their dominion by His divine will and purpose. God uses everything for His purpose. There is nothing that stands by its own design. All things are subject to the ultimate authority of the universe. God alone crowns dominions with invested authority and God alone strips them of that authority. They rise and fall at His command and nothing will deny Him of His will to be done. He is the potter and all else is clay. There would be no death if God did not create it and give it power. Neither would there be evil, or darkness, or an evil one, if God did not specifically design it and clothe it with an invested authority. All power that is invested power is limited, is subject to God's will and, in the ages to come, will be brought under His government and will do homage to His dominion. This final, conquering act is stated in the scriptures as the times of restitution of all things (Acts 3:19-21)" -- end quote.
In Luke 10:19 the Lord Jesus says, "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy." It is true, the King James Version states that Christ has given us "power" to tread on serpents and scorpions, but the Greek word is exousia meaning authority or jurisdiction. When Jesus speaks of the "power" of the adversaries, however, He uses the word dunamis meaning power. Ah, all our adversaries have is POWER, but what the Lord gives us is AUTHORITY! The Lord gives us authority in order to deal with all the power of the enemy. We may illustrate this by an automobile moving along the road. Although with its engine, transmission and gasoline it is full of power, yet a traffic policeman has authority over it. When he blows his whistle and raises his hand the mighty engine must slow to a whisper and the car must stop. That is the difference between power and authority! Power is always subject to authority. Again, it is like an army. Although it has great power with its men, guns, tanks, airplanes, missiles and bombs, yet the general has the authority. When he gives an order, the army must obey. He has authority over the power. This reveals that authority is over power and can control power, therefore authority is greater than power!
The Son of God has given us authority over all the power of the adversary! As we understand these two terms, it becomes clear that authority without the power to act is worthless, and the power to act without authority is worthless. An army without a general has no direction, and a general without an army has no force. These two realities must be brought together within us if we are to have both God's power and God's authority operating in our lives. You cannot have one without the other. These two terms are used separately and together in the scriptures. An example of this is when Jesus dealt with the demon in the synagogue in Capernaum. "And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! For with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out" (Lk. 4:36). Jesus obtained both power and authority in His life. Jesus had the Father's authority within Himself, and He had the power to execute His authority. One without the other is ineffective. When the people witnessed the power and authority used together they were all amazed. The unclean spirit had power but no authority. When One with authority showed up, the spirit had to obey. His power was subject to authority. When people witness those who have obtained God's authority and power to act in a given situation, they stand amazed.
Authority depends entirely upon our standing, position and rank. With the position there is authority; without the position, there is no authority. A president-elect has no authority to run the government of the United States until he is sworn into office, until he has been installed into his position. A policeman without his uniform and not standing in the assigned post has no authority to direct traffic. A general taking leave from his duty has no authority to command an army. Likewise, our heavenly authority depends solely upon the reality of our calling and position in the order of God. All the authority of the traffic policeman mentioned earlier depends not only upon his standing at the assigned post, but also on his submitting to his superior. If he rebels against his superior, he will lose his official rights. In like manner we must not only be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, but we must also walk in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, and obedient to the will of the Father. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The ones who receive power and honor from the Father, are seated together with Christ in the heavenlies, and are submitted to HIS LORDSHIP, are then in the position to accomplish great and mighty things in the Kingdom of God! We have received a measure of power and authority in the church realm by the gifts and ministries of the Spirit. But there is yet to be an official installation of the sons of God into the realm of HIS FULLNESS, just as Jesus experienced at the river Jordan. When the Father witnesses from heaven before men, "These are my beloved sons, in whom I am well pleased," then shall the manifested sons of God go forth in the fullness of the power and authority of the Spirit to subdue the nations and deliver creation from the bondage of corruption. For this very thing the Father is preparing us in this hour!
People on various spiritual levels of development become related to one another, and to the Lord, in different ways. There is a time to submit to one another, to submit to elders, to submit to those in Christ who have been given rule over us. In a family there is a time when children must submit to their parents. We know, of course, that eventually these children grow up and in maturity, while they still honor and respect their parents, they are no longer subject to them. Today God has brought a people out of the existing church systems and is teaching them submission in the Kingdom of God. This submission is to THE KING! The firstborn Son of God was for thirty years subject to Joseph and Mary, to the law of Moses, and to the existing religious order in Israel. But when the hour of His manifestation arrived, He was drawn out of all those associations and became subject only to His heavenly Father. The Son of God was subject to no man! The Son of God was not subject to Moses! The Son of God was not subject to the High Priest! "I do only those things I see my Father do. I speak only those things I hear of my Father. I have received commandment of my Father."
Matthew 8:5-13 tells us of a centurion who came to ask the Lord to heal his servant's sickness. His faith was based on his knowledge of position, order, and rank. He said, "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers: and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." Since he himself was under authority, having authority only because he was under authority, he could command those under him. Therefore, he believed that the Lord needed only to exercise His authority and give a word of command, and the matter would be done. He really knew the relationship between order and authority and the power of one who spoke with authority! He knew that in order to reign, he had first to submit to the reigning. He knew that one can only rule for God after he has become ruled by God. In order to be the authority, he had first to submit to the authority. The authority for the Sons of God is THE FATHER. Christ has brought us out from under the authority of man and the systems of man in order to bring us to the Father! "No man cometh unto the Father but by me."
Precious friend of mine, if ever you hope to reign with Christ YOU MUST BECOME SUBMITTED TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD. And I'm not talking about becoming submitted to the men of God, but submitted unto God. I have no desire for people to come to El Paso, Texas to become "submitted" under my ministry, or to any other man or group of men. Certainly we must walk in all love, respect, and humility with our brethren, "submitting ourselves one to another in the fear of God" (Eph. 5:21). But sonship submission is submission to the Father through the Headship and Lordship of Jesus Christ, for God has "put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:22-23). "And He is the Head of the body...who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things HE might have the preeminence" (Col. 1:18). How tragic that there are so many in this hour who are "not holding the Head, from whom all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God" (Col. 2:19).
There are multitudes across the land today who loudly profess to have received the call to sonship who, rather than submitting themselves under the mighty hand of God, submit their walk with God into the hands of others who persuade them that they are more capable than themselves, or the Lord Jesus Christ, to watch for their souls. The land is filled with men calling themselves apostles, prophets, elders, shepherds, set men, and other titles, who desire to lord it over a flock or other men's lives, telling others what they can and cannot do, esteeming themselves spiritual enough to discern for everyone else what the will of the Lord is, proclaiming that they have been given delegated authority to rule over men's souls, though they bear no credentials other than their own word that they possess such authority. Certainly there are many precious ministries that HE has set in the body, humble examples of His word, His will, and His ways, with a flow of HIS LIFE, bearing the word of the Lord for this hour, a source of encouragement, confirmation, and strength unto all to whom they are sent, and we praise God for every one of them! And we gladly submit to the word of Christ in them! All such anointed ministries bear one signal mark of distinction: they do not draw followers after themselves, they point all men to the Lord; they do not ask you to blindly submit to them, but they present you unto Him who is the Head over all things to the church; they are not trying to build a movement or kingdom around their ministry, they are interested only in building up the saints in the Kingdom of God.
I speak the truth when I say that the greatest need in this hour is for the people of God, his elect, to truly KNOW THE LORD FOR THEMSELVES. Let all who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship give themselves to seeking God, walking with God, hearing from God, knowing God, and submitting unto Him in all His ways, His word, and His will. Only then will God Himself be your Father and you will sup with Him and He with you. Ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and before you realize it you will find yourself digging deep into the storehouse of God's treasures of wisdom and knowledge and sitting with Him at His banqueting table. He will spread a table before you in the presence of your enemies, He will lead you through green pastures; He will cause you to rest beside still, cool streams; He will reveal to you fountains of living water flowing from within; and HE, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, will abide within you and will teach you all things and your cup will overflow with the unspeakable riches of His grace and the exceeding wonders of His glorious eternal Kingdom.
How many are submitted to men but not to God! If you would keep the position of standing, order, and rank in God's house of sons you must remember that "Christ is a Son over His own house; whose house we are" (Heb. 3:6). He is the Head, He is the Great Shepherd, He is the Lord, He is the Firstborn among many brethren. I can assure you, my beloved, that to the degree that you know Him in intimacy of fellowship and vital union, submitting to Him in all things, you will know HIS AUTHORITY and be able to reign with Him and He will be able to reign through you in all things! It is not enough to know how God would have us think, act, and be as sons. We must know our position in Christ and live continually in the consciousness of His indwelling life, being in all things submitted unto God in the spirit, obeying His will as He reveals it to us. When we obey men our authority comes from men. Authority always comes from the one who has the authority over us. When we obey God the authority comes from God. And when we obey God -- we reign!
Oh, how men thirst for power! They lie, cheat, and kill for power, but few ever attain it, and then only for a little season. Witness the great dictators of history! Of all the kings that have tried to conquer the whole world, Alexander the Great came the closest to it. But he died in a drunken stupor of a fever at the age of thirty-three, disillusioned that there were no more world's to conquer. Adolph Hitler shot himself to death in a bunker beneath the ruins of Berlin, and Benito Mussolini, after his people turned against him, died a violent death in the streets of Milan. They all die in defeat! For their purpose was not to do good, but to exercise their will over the lives of others. Power is not the result of superior talents, pleasing personalities, political clout, psychological tricks or natural cunning; neither is it the ability to brow-beat others into submission. Real power is God-given, but can only be received by relationship with Him. God-given power functions by faith. Jesus said, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." And again He said, "Behold, I give you power over all the power of the enemy." And again, "Behold I give you authority over all devils and diseases." But God, knowing that some presumptuous men would seek to lay hold of this power, placed an infallible safeguard to the operation of faith by saying, "Faith worketh by love." Power works by faith, and faith works by love. What a law of the Kingdom that is! As you walk with Christ, you walk in the power of the Kingdom of God, for Christ is the power of God! As you walk in the Spirit, you are walking in the power of the Kingdom of God, for the Kingdom of God is power in the Holy Ghost! As you walk in love you are walking in the power of the Kingdom of God, for God is love! "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power," saith the Lord. What does this indicate? It indicates that the Kingdom of God is vibrant. The Kingdom of God is action. The Kingdom of God is life. The Kingdom of God is transforming. The Kingdom of God is creative.
The Kingdom of God is the power of God manifest first in the personal lives of His elect, then in the world around us, unto all time and the ages of this world, then in the whole universe. The Kingdom is the power of God that changes everything in its reality, function, and influence, as determined by the Lord in His great and glorious program of creation, redemption, and the restitution of all things. The power of the Kingdom of God shall eventually change us from human to divine, from earthly to heavenly, and from mortal to immortal; then it shall in like manner change the world around us, including all the nations of men and the earth itself, and then it shall change the vast universe unto the endlessness of infinity. The elect of the Lord today is experiencing the power of the Kingdom of God within; it is the power of the Kingdom that is consuming everything within us that is foreign to the Kingdom of God. Christ is taking His throne and is now reigning in our lives! And He must continue to reign in us until He has put every enemy under His feet!
The Kingdom of God within us is the dominion and authority of God being formed in our lives. It is the omnipotent power of Christ manifest within us as He reigns on the throne of our lives to transform us into His image and stature. If we truly seek the fullness of His Kingdom with our whole heart, we shall experience the power of His Kingdom to purge us of all iniquities and present us faultless before His throne. We shall be presented before His throne as subjects of His Lordship who are qualified to ascend to His throne and sit and rule and reign with Him on His throne (Rev. 3:21). When His power has cleansed us of all that is foreign and contrary to His Kingdom, not only will He have taken His great power to reign in us, but He shall then proceed to rule and reign through us. He wisely withholds the fullness of the authority and power of His Kingdom until He has thoroughly changed us into His very own image and likeness.
The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of power, it is the Kingdom of God's power! By the power of God, which is the power of His Kingdom, God has quickened our spirits and made us alive unto Him and His spiritual world, He has delivered us out of the power of darkness, and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, He has raised us up and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. By His Kingdom power God is now saving our soul, transforming all of our emotions, will, thoughts, intents and desires. And He shall yet change these bodies of the carnal mind and the dust of the earth to become like unto His glorious body.
Jesus rose from the dead and appeared on earth in the sight of men in the body of His resurrection, which is the spiritual body of incorruption and immortality. With this clear and obvious demonstration of the power of the Kingdom of God, all doubts and fears were removed from the minds of His disciples. Now they knew that He was the King of kings! Now they knew the reality of His message of life and glory. In Him they saw the fullness of the power of the Kingdom! Again, in the end of this age, Christ's many brethren shall come to the fullness of His Kingdom. In them the Kingdom of God shall come with power, even the power of His resurrection. Then shall creation see the manifestation of the sons of God, just as Jesus' disciples saw Him manifested in all the glory and power of His resurrection. Christ was revealed to His disciples, and He is still revealed only to His disciples, His very own brethren. But the manifested sons of God shall be revealed unto creation. Christ in us is now our hope of glory, but Christ revealed in His many brethren is the hope of the groaning creation! Christ is now our life, but His life in His sons shall become the life of creation, delivering all men from the bondage of corruption, raising them up into a place in the liberty of the children of God (Rom. 8:19-21).
Jesus personified the Kingdom of God! From the time of His birth until the time of His ascension He revealed within Himself all the powers of the Kingdom of God. In Him we see what the power of the Kingdom is, and what it can do, and what it shall do for all mankind. He is the firstfruits of the Kingdom! We are also becoming the firstfruits of His Kingdom by virtue of our calling in Christ. The power of the Kingdom of God was manifest in Jesus' virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His revealing the nature and purpose of the Father on earth, in the power of His word, in the signs and wonders and miracles He wrought, in His transfiguration on the mount. and in His resurrection from the dead. The glory that was manifest in His wonderful life, in His outward works of power, in the glory of His transfiguration, and in the power of His resurrection was the result of His inner condition. The power within Him was such that the brilliance of His Father's glory radiated from within and shined through His garments on the holy mount. The Amplified Bible states that Jesus "became resplendent with divine brightness." It is the same divine brightness that blinded Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus and totally transformed and revolutionized his life! It is that same divine brightness that shall outshine from within us just as it did with Jesus, and that is the power of the Kingdom of God! If you think the Kingdom is merely establishing righteousness on the earth by divine force for a thousand years, you have completely missed the power of the Kingdom! Oh, yes, the Kingdom will bring righteousness to the nations -- but much, much more! The fullness of the power of His resurrection is what we long to experience; it is that same power for which the whole creation groans and travails, by which all things, and all men, and all creatures, and all worlds, above and beneath, shall be given an entrance into the holy, righteous, divine, incorruptible, immortal, eternal SPIRITUAL WORLD OF GOD!
This is the power of the Kingdom of God!
To be continued...
J. PRESTON EBY
If you would like to receive these studies write to:
J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
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