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THE TRUE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD - WHICH KINGDOM ARE YOU PARTAKING OF?

Many professed Christians today do not have a right understanding of the kingdom of God, which is why there is little power in the churches and why sin still reigns in the lives of so many professed Christians. Many are following 'another gospel' which the apostle Paul warned about (Galatians 1:7-9). So in this study, we aim to reveal the true gospel of the kingdom, which contains a very important truth that many of God's professed people have not yet learned.

To begin with, we need to briefly go back in time, to a time before this world and before the fall of Lucifer (Satan). At this time there was only one kingdom in all of God's creation - the kingdom of God. The whole of God's creation was in loving subjection to Jehovah and His law. Thus all of creation enjoyed peace, love and righteousness, because this is what the kingdom of God is all about.

Paul said that God is "the God of love and peace." (2 Corinthians 13:11)

Paul also said that God "is not the author of confusion, but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14:33)

James said that the wisdom from God is "pure, peaceable, gentle, and full of mercy and good fruits." (James 3:17)

This is what reigned in all of God's creation before the fall of Lucifer, because there is nothing else other than goodness and love in the kingdom of God. Jehovah's character, His law and everything to do with God is based on righteousness and love. Just look at His moral law contained in the ten commandments. It is all about LOVE. And this was the ONE and ONLY glorious kingdom, the kingdom of God, that reigned in all creation. But then something happened! Lucifer became full of pride. He became jealous of the position of God's Son Jesus Christ, and wanted to be next to Jehovah in position, to receive the adoration and worship that God and His Son received. Ezekiel and Isaiah records the fall of Lucifer as follows:

Ezekiel 28:13-17 ...'Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering ... Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned ... Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.'

Isaiah 14:12-14 ...'How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.'

In the beginning, Lucifer was full of the Spirit of God, and was "perfect in his ways" because Lucifer lived by the Spirit of God, and trusted God. But then Lucifer began to distrust God and a 'new spirit' of iniquity was born in Lucifer which he started listening to more and more and partaking of more and more, until he was consumed by this spirit of pride and distrust which brought about a full rebellion against God and the kingdom of God. Lucifer drew many of God's angels away to follow him and sets up his own kingdom in oppostion to the kingdom of God. Thus we now have TWO kingdoms! The kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Two opposing kingdoms seeking to gain loyal subjects. One kingdom full of love, peace and goodness. The other full of "violence" and pride.

Next we come to the creation of this world with all the life within it that God made, including Adam and Eve, which God said was "very good" (Genesis 1:31). In the beginning there was only one kingdom reigning on earth - the kingdom of God. Adam and Eve were clothed with glorious robes of God's righteousness, showing that they were part of the kingdom of God. But God placed two certain trees in the Garden of Eden. The tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9). Why did God do this? He did it because God does not want His subjects to serve Him from forced obedience. He wants willing service of love out of a free choice. This is why He placed BOTH trees in the garden as a test to see if Adam and Eve would freely and willingly love and trust Jehovah above all, being loyal to God's kingdom. Even though God's kingdom was the only kingdom reigning on earth at this point, there was another kingdom in existence. Satan's kingdom. You could say that the tree of life represented the kingdom of God and the tree of knowledge of good and evil represented Satan's kingdom. Which kingdom would they choose to serve?

Sadly, we all know the story of how Satan deceived Eve into eating of the tree of knowledge and how Adam followed Eve in partaking of the forbidden fruit. Did they die the day they ate from the tree of knowledge as God promised? Yes! They died spiritually. They lost that glorious covering of God's righteousness, the clothing for the kingdom of God, hence why they suddenly appeared 'naked', and began the process of physical death, being driven from the garden into the wilderness, away from the tree of life. Adam handed his dominion over this world to Satan and Satan now became the "god" of this earth (2 Corinthians 4:4). This is why Satan appeared before God with the sons of God in Job 1:6-7. Adam handed his position as representative of this world over to Satan and now Satan was the representative of earth in place of Adam.

Please understand, in partaking of that tree Eve believed Satan and distrusted God. Keep that thought for further in this study. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that "by beholding we become changed." What did Eve 'behold'? The glory and Spirit of God which would have kept her safe? No. She beheld the serpent and received his spirit into her heart. This is the whole problem with humanity - the heart (mind). And what we behold day by day will determine which spirit and nature we receive.

Let me give you a little picture of this. Let's say there are two types of food to eat. On the one side is fruit and on the other is meat. If we partake of the fruit, our bodies take in the goodness of that fruit and we become changed into healthy people. But if we choose the meat, our bodies take in the unhealthy nature of that meat with the fat and we become changed into unhealthy people. It's the same in the spiritual realm - partaking of Christ's Spirit vs partaking of Satan's spirit.

When Eve believed the serpent (Satan), she distrusted God just as Satan did when he fell originally in heaven. She thus received thoughts into her mind from Satan that are contrary to God's thoughts and ways, and Adam followed Eve instead of staying faithful to God. Thus Adam also received the same thoughts and placed himself on the side of Satan, at emnity with Jehovah. As a result of Adam and Eve's disobedience, all of the human race born of Adam and Eve would now share in their fallen, sinful nature, having a natural tendency towards sin and be slaves of sin - slaves of Satan's kingdom.

This is the problem with our natural birth. Paul said ... "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9). That one act in trusting Satan and distrusting God has 'leavened' the whole lump and we are all born with that natural emnity with God, having selfish desires of the flesh and Satan's kingdom. "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners" (Romans 5:18-19). James says "every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:14-15).

This was the only problem with the written law of God. It could not itself change the natural heart towards sin. Paul said himself that "the law was weak through the flesh" (Romans 8:3) The law itself is "holy and good" (Romans 7:12), being an expression of God's character. But in of itself it could not change our fallen nature and that 'wrong spirit' within us. The law could only be a 'mirror' to show us our defects and point us to Christ. But praise God! He and His Son had a plan!

John 3:16-17 ...'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.'

Romans 5:18-19 ...'Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.'

Romans 8:3-5 ...'For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: THAT the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.'

Romans 5 and 8 above is the part of the gospel message which many in the churches today do not understand. Yes, Jesus had to come to die in our place, because if Jesus didn't come to die for us, then we would have no hope whatsoever, as God promised Adam and Eve that if they ate from the tree of knowledge, they would die. The fact that Jesus was 'made sin for us' and had to die for us, shows God's Word to be true! But the important part of the gospel message which many miss is what Paul said in Romans 8 above. According to Paul what ALSO was the reason for Jesus becoming one of us in our fallen flesh, condemning sin in the flesh by living a perfect life in it? So that the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled IN US who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the Spirit. And what did God promise to send us?

Galatians 4:6 ...'And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.'

Do you see this important part of the gospel? Jesus had to overcome in our fallen nature where we failed, so that God could then send the Holy Spirit (Spirit of His Son) which was now mingled with the perfect human character of Christ, which He wrought out in our fallen flesh, to completely change the nature of our hearts, so that the righteousness of the law [God's character] could now be fulfilled in us - not just when we get to heaven, but now, today!

Jesus said ... "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14). Not any old gospel, but 'THIS' (the true) gospel of the kingdom. For a what? A 'WITNESS' unto all nations. What is a witness to the world? A life of continued sin and worldliness? No. A life of victory over sin in Christ, revealing the fruit of the Spirit.

The gospel makes provision for the past and for the future. For the past it offers remission of sin (justification by faith); for the future it takes away the carnal mind, which is not subject to the law of God, and leads to obedience (sanctification). For the past it absolves from sin; for the future it prevents sin. This is ALL available through Christ!

The next section will further explore this vital truth!

BEING BORN AGAIN INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD MEANS SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD (SATAN'S KINGDOM)

Let us for a brief moment think about those two trees again in the garden of Eden. To remain in the kingdom of God, Adam and Eve could NOT eat from the tree of knowledge. Remember the thought that the tree of life represented the kingdom of God and the tree of knowledge represented Satan's kingdom? Adam and Eve could NOT eat from the tree of knowledge (Satan's kingdom) if they were to remain part of God's kingdom. Just keep that important thought in your mind! Now let us look at the difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan:

Galatians 5:19-23 ...'Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.'

In saying flesh, it means our sinful flesh which is in subjection to Satan's kingdom. In saying Spirit, it means the new birth in which we become subject to the kingdom of God. Now do you see the difference between the two? Satan's kingdom is full of wickedness and hate, and God's kingdom is full of righteousness and love. Do you see why there is such emnity between the two kingdoms? Do you see why God warned Adam and Eve NOT to eat of that tree of knowledge? The question we have to honestly answer is, are we STILL eating from that tree?

Think back to the food analogy again. If we eat fruit, the goodness of that fruit will become part of us and will EXPEL any bad health in us and we become healthy. But if we eat meat instead, then the bad qualities of the meat will become part of us and will OVERCOME our bodies, making us unhealthy, which results in early death.

It is the same with regards to the kingdom of God and kingdom of Satan. If we partake only of God's kingdom through Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship, etc, receiving the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, then we receive the goodness of God, which will EXPEL the wrong spirit of Satan out of our hearts and we become changed into the image and nature of Jehovah, giving us LIFE. But if we choose to continue to partake of our natural, fallen character which is in subjection to Satan's kingdom, partaking of worldly lust, pride, entertainment, etc, then we will continue to receive the bad qualities of Satan's character which will overcome us and consume us, keeping us out of the kingdom, resulting in eternal death. Look at the following warning:

1 John 2:15-16 ...'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is NOT in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.'

James 4:4 ...'Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.'

This is serious friends. In eating from that forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve aligned themselves with Satan in distrusting God and became partakers of Satan's kingdom, receiving of his nature which is enmity with God. If we partake of the things of the world, then we too are partakers of Satan's kingdom and will be receiving the spirit and nature of Satan into our hearts and remain at emnity with God. This is the reason for the warning above in John and James. This is why the message of separation from the world is so important.

Now God has provided a way for us, through His Son, to switch kingdoms and transfer our allegiance and standing from Satan's kingdom back into the kingdom of God

Ephesians 1:5 ...'Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.'

The problem is, many professed Christians proclaim that they have been 'adopted' back into the kingdom of God by Jesus Christ, but they fail to realise what that actually means for their lives now, and many continue to wilfully eat from the forbidden tree, from Satan's kingdom, thus placing them as STILL part of Satan's kingdom, being slaves to his character and nature, which is emnity with God. The character of the world and the things of the world are against the character of God. This is why it says in 1 John 2 above that those who love the world and the things of the world, the love of the Father is NOT in them and thus they are still at emnity with God - separated! Do you see the importance of this? This is so vital for us to understand. When we are born again, we are born into the kingdom of God. Now look at what Jesus and Paul said concerning the kingdom:

Luke 17:20-21 ...'And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, the kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is WITHIN you.'

Romans 14:17 ...'For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.'

Let us put those two verses together. Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within us (those of us who accept it). And Paul said the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy. So what will we have INSIDE us, LIVING in us when we are born again into the kingdom of God? RIGHTEOUSNESS! The righteousness of Jesus Christ, the one who's Spirit dwells in us. This is an important part of the gospel message as Paul confirmed in Romans 8:

Romans 8:3-4 ...'For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: THAT the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'

God sent His Son in fallen human flesh to condemn sin by living a perfect life in fallen human flesh to then be able to send the Spirit of His Son (Galatians 4:6) mixed with that perfect human life, enabling us to gain victory over sin and fulfil the righteousness of the law of God. This is the amazing truth of the gospel of the kingdom. Just as there is food available (fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, etc.) that if we partake of it will cast out the bad health from our bodies, there is a Spirit available today that will cast out the bad spirit of Satan. But we have to partake of that right Spirit, turning away from the wrong spirit, in order to achieve this. If you were really unhealthy in diet and then decided to just start eating some fruit, but kept your largely unhealthy diet, would you become healthy? No, because you are still partaking of the unhealthy foods.

Now let me ask you, can we continue eating from Satan's kingdom and continue fulfilling the 'works of the flesh' when we are born again into God's kingdom and have the righteousness of Christ within us? No, God forbid! (Romans 6:1-2).That life and those 'works' should die, and yet how many professed Christians in this world continue to partake of Satan's kingdom through being 'entertained' by sinful movies and TV programs, sport, worldly music, worldly reading material, drinking, partying, gaming, following worldly fasions, etc, etc? Sadly, there are many. And yet what did God counsel us through Paul on this?

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ...'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.'

What fellowship has the kingdom of God with the kingdom of Satan? None! What fellowship has the things of God (righteousness) with the things of Satan and the world (sin)? None! This is why we are clearly counselled to separate from the things and ways of the world. The two kingdoms and the ways of the two kingdom are at complete emnity with each other. Let me just name one example, sport. What character trait does that bring about? Competitiveness. Is that a character trait of God or Satan? Clearly Satan. And yet how many professed Christians are deeply involved in sport? And they realise not that they are STILL partaking of the tree of knowledge (Satan's kingdom), being slaves to it, and are still in need of that true conversion experience. Look at what Peter said:

1 Peter 4:1-3 ...'Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:'

Once we become adopted into the kingdom of God, we are to no longer be partakers of the world, walking in the lusts of the world. And the times of revellings, partying, drinking and general lusts and entertainment of the world are to be where? As Peter said IN THE PAST. We are to separate from the world and the things of the world, no longer living as slaves to Satan's kingdom, but as children of the living God Jehovah who is full of righteousness and truth.

The reason why Babylon the Great and her daughters (apostate churches) are fallen, is because of their fornication with the world (Satan's kingdom)

One of the great lessons behind the marriage between Adam and Eve (one husband and one wife) is a spiritual lesson to teach us that we can only be married to one kingdom and one God. If we become married to God and His kingdom but continue to partake of Satan's kingdom, then we are fornicaters and adulterers and adulteresses, just as James warned in James 4:4, and will be cast out of the kingdom of God, just as Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden of Eden. This is such an important lesson to learn and is taught all throughout the Bible. God didn't promise to just cover our continued sin. He never said that we would remain with our sinful hearts, continuing to be slaves to Satan's kingdom. No, God promised to give us a NEW heart, look:

Ezekiel 36:26-27 ...'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.'

Hebrews 10:16-17 ...'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.'

The good news is that God CAN and WILL reign in His people who are born again, surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ. God has promised as you can see above that He will CHANGE our hearts from the natural sinful heart that seeks to please self, to a heart that seeks only to do God's will. He has promised that He will CAUSE us to walk in His ways and keep His commandments. But we have to BELIEVE in God's promise to do this in us. The problem is many do not believe God just like Eve in the beginning, distrusting God, and therefore they do not experience that new heart conversion and have no victory over sin in their lives. The apostle Paul said "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation, unto everyone that believeth" (Romans 1:16).

Listen carefully friends. If we believe we cannot gain victory over sin in this life, then we are believing in the power of Satan over us and distrusting God just like Eve. But if we truly believe that we can gain victory over all sin and are striving with Christ in that direction, then we are believing in the power of God. The question is, what do you believe in? The power of Satan and his kingdom, or the power of God and His kingdom?

The gospel of the kingdom is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation, and the righteousness by faith message is wrapped up in our FAITH that God will accomplish what He has promised to accomplish in us, which is a new heart and new spirit, gaining victory over sin. But God will not force anyone to be righteous. This has to be a personal choice to surrender our lives to God's ways and trust in His power to change us. This is why Jesus told us to "SEEK ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). God's kingdom and His righteousness is something we must WANT and BELIEVE that it will be achieved in our lives today by the power of God through Christ.

So let us stop distrusting God, thinking that Satan will continue to have power over us. Let us stop partaking of Satan's kingdom, thinking that God is 'ok' with that. Instead let us believe in the power of God. Let us turn away from Satan's kingdom and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, BELIEVING that He will accomplish what He promised through the Spirit of Christ in us.

FINALLY BRETHREN ... "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God ... Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them ... See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is ... That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5)

How is this achieved? Remember what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:18? That "we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." If we behold the things of our fallen nature and this world, continuing to partake of them, then we will REMAIN with the character of Satan. But if we behold the glory of Jesus Christ day by day, receiving His Spirit into our hearts, partaking of the things of heaven, then we become changed into HIS image! By drinking water, our bodies are changed by the goodness of that water. By drinking alcohol our bodies are changed by the damaging effects of that alcohol. By breathing in fresh air, our bodies are changed by the goodness of that air. By breathing in smoke our bodies are changed by the damaging effects of the smoke. Do you see? It is the same with the kingdom of God (heavenly things) and kingdom of Satan (worldly things) - the Spirit of God and the spirit of Satan. This is a vital part of the gospel of the kingdom of God.

Let me finally say, Satan is already a defeated foe! Praise God! Through Christ's victory over sin in our flesh and His sacrifice and resurrection, Satan is defeated! The kingdom of God and of Christ will reign forever and will occupy the earth made new, whereas Satan's kingdom will be destroyed at Christ's coming. But, the final subjects of both kingdoms are being made up now. Which kingdom are you partaking of? Choose ye this day whom ye will serve! Will you choose life or death? The kingdom of God and of Christ, or the kingdom of Satan?

For more on the righteousness by faith truth, please see the following pages:

THE MYSTERY OF GOD verses THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY! A VITAL TRUTH TO KNOW!

THE POWER IN THE WORD OF GOD WHICH CREATED HEAVEN AND EARTH IS THE SAME POWER TO MAKE US RIGHTEOUS

PRESERVED BLAMELESS UNTIL THE COMING OF CHRIST - TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH