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“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” and “a people without understanding will come to ruin!”

The Lord has left for us a painful reminder of the kingdom that could have been – the kingdom of Israel – to show us what happens when His people choose to be ignorant and refuse to understand. What are they ignorant of and what did they fail to understand? Israel was not ignorant as one would measure knowledge, for Solomon’s knowledge impressed his world and time. They failed to come to the place where they could boast not of the Temple, nor of the city of Jerusalem, nor of the Law of Moses, nor of their patriarchal traditions, and everything else they could have boast off – they failed to come to the place where they could boast that they had come to understand and know their God… “that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on Earth, for in these I delight.”

Likewise, our failure to come to understand and know our Lord places us in the same precarious position of being ruined and destroyed as the nation of Israel was ruined and destroyed, not instantly but slowly… painfully slowly… from the moment they received king Saul and rejected God as their king, it was a slow, grindingly slow, deterioration of the nation until their scattering. Even when they were returned by Cyrus, they remained merely a shadow of their former glory. It was as if God wanted them to know from what height they had fallen. The measure of their fall was easy, they had a plain building for a temple without a golden sanctuary and ark, and they had no king all the years from the return of the exile to the Roman sacking of Jerusalem, almost 500 years without the glory they had 500 years earlier. It was as if they spent a day and a night, they had kings for almost 500 years and 500+ years without a king at all.

Unfortunately for the Kingdom of God that flowered momentarily in the church, there is no such stark reminder. Indeed, it is the exact opposite, our buildings are more opulent than they were when the church first manifested the Kingdom of God in Jerusalem, and our ‘kings’ are more wise or so they appear to be and more popular than our earlier ‘kings’, the apostles who were stoned, crucified and hunted down. Now, our so called kings are greeted by huge crowds and the world comes to pay homage even when they are dead.

To ensure we understand and know what we are to do, you must know and understand that the Kingdom of God had manifested long before we were born. In fact, the exact moment of the coming of the Kingdom of our God was pinpointed for us in scripture. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the Earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in Heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ.” The exact and precise moment when that did happen was witnessed by Jesus on Earth when He said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven,” when the seventy-two were saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your Name.” At that moment, when Satan was kicked out of eternity and became confined to a limited number of days on earth, which is why he is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short, he was no longer in a sense immortal, but like us all who were under his power. He would have to face the day of his death, the day when he is cast into the Lake of Burning Sulphur, the second death at the millennial end of Christ’s reign.

Around the time of Luke 10, with the sending out of the twelve and then the seventy-two by Jesus, with demons being driven out and all the sick being healed, the Kingdom of God had come into the world along with salvation and the power of God and the authority of His Christ. After Luke 10, the authority of Jesus came in full, which was why straight after He said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven,” He also said, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” With that authority, it meant that Jesus could also lay down His life and Satan could not stop Him, which is why He said, “…the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on Me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me.”

We often think of Satan wanting to kill Jesus. The truth is that Satan could not prevent the death of Jesus even if he wanted to, for Jesus now had what He said He had – “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” Jesus demonstrated the Father’s omnipotence and sovereignty to the world through His own life, the authority and ability to lay down His life and to take it up again. Satan could not prevent His death and Death could not keep Him dead. Satan was too hell bent on killing Jesus and blinded with the delusion that he would kill Jesus until it was too late. Even when Judas tried to repent of what he had done and sought to buy Jesus back with the thirty pieces of silver, it was too late. When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. In the change of plans, Satan tried to use Pilate and Herod to reduce the charges from death to flogging. Even though Pilate gave Jesus a peace offering, “Don’t You realize I have power either to free You or to crucify You?” Jesus replied, “You would have no power over Me if it were not given to you from above.”

Although the Kingdom of God had been in this world albeit briefly, the world did see it for a while until it was ruined by people who did not understand the purpose of the Kingdom of God or God Himself. The power of the Kingdom of God was given so that the justice, kindness and righteousness that God delights in could be manifested in this world for its benefit. The Kingdom of God was to have been to this world what the kingdom of Israel was to have been in its time – a shining light that would dispel the darkness.

The church without the power is the church without the Kingdom of God within it, for the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Power… power that came out of Jesus. Jesus demonstrated for us what to do with that power, which was why He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” He showed us how to use the power of God’s Kingdom to raise the dead, heal the sick, drive out demons, feed the hungry and control the power of air just for starters. And once we have mastered it, to then do things that would come out of our will and wish, for He said, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” Because of the current state of the church as Jesus judged it, You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing,’” and like the parable of the ten virgins, the Kingdom of Heaven fell into a comfortable slumber, which is why Jesus said, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of My God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.” We have to wake up those sleeping virgins before their lights go out and make them realise that they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

As there is no stark reminder of the former glory of the Kingdom of God in its earlier days, when we needed no large cathedrals or fine ornaments, and we rejoiced because we were persecuted, but everyone who came was healed, and unlike the Jews, we don’t have a degraded temple standing in our midst… we need to raise up the Kingdom of God again and show them what the church with the Kingdom of God in their midst was meant to be like so that they may know and perhaps understand, and so be saved from ruin and destruction. So, as much as we are to ruin all other kingdoms, the raising of the Kingdom of God again is to prevent further ruin and destruction. Paul wrote: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. If we do not know and understand what His will is, we cannot begin to honour Him, much less bring glory to Him for the psalmist wrote: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but my ears You have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.”

Although it is painfully obvious to us that this is something Jesus would have said, yet it is the psalmist who said it so that the desire to do the will of God might be echoed in the heart of everyone who loves the Law of God with their heart. So, there are a few areas you and I need to explore and acquaint ourselves with, to come to know and understand so that we will not ruin this resurrection of the Kingdom of God within the church.

If we desire to do His will, we must know what the will of God is. The will of the Father is easy to know, for Jesus said, “And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” And because the Son and the Father are One, likewise, the simple answer is that John 6:39-40 is also the will of the Son and the Spirit. Good and correct. But that does not mean that the Son and the Holy Spirit do not have their own will, for Jesus said, “To him who overcomes and does My will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—’He will rule them with an iron scepter (which some of you have received); He will dash them to pieces like pottery’— just as I have received authority from My Father.” It should not surprise you that you are issued with the power and authority and then you are taught how to use them. An army always issue the weapons to their recruits and then let them practise with them before a battle. It is ‘issue, practise and use’ in that order.

So the Lord Jesus said, “…and does My will to the end,” which means we better find out what His will really is and then find out what the Holy Spirit’s will is as well if we are supposed to be the elect of the Holy Spirit. So what is Jesus’ will? The clue lies in His prayer before He died, for a will is a request that precedes the death of a person, and it is in these verses: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.”

The beginning of the honouring of the Lord is to do His will. The Lord honoured the Father by doing His will when He said, “…yet not My will, but Yours be done.” In the same way, we can honour the Father as Jesus has honoured the Father, and we can also honour the Lord and the Lord when we say, “Yet not my will, but Yours be done,” if we know what His will is. And also in the way Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” We know that His kingdom coming (God’s Kingdom) has something to do with the will of God by doing. Likewise, the Kingdom of Christ’s advent has to do with His will (Christ’s will), and we will see the glory that Jesus really has in full when He arrives on clouds of glory.

So, to seek the will of Jesus and also the will of the Holy Spirit so that proper honour is given, has to do with knowing and understanding why we must bring the Kingdom of God on earth now.

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