John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
It seems that modern day religion is still looking for an earthly kingdom, insomuch that they are even confusing their national patriotism to be the spirit of their christianity! This speaks of a lack of truly born again spirits, who can neither see nor enter the spiritual kingdom of the Lord! John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
And who among the religious masses has any concept of the instruction of Philippines 3:20? For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: That Greek word, here translated “conversation” is the same word translated in Acts 23:1 as, “I have lived.” And it is from the Greek word translated in Luke 15:15 as “citizen.” Therefore coupled with the command of Matthew 6:33 we are instructed that we are first and foremost citizens of a spiritual and heavenly kingdom. And we are to seek it and the righteousness it provides first. Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Carefully consider these verses: Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
We must disassociate ourselves from this world and the things therein, or else we reveal that we are not truly born of God! 1 John 2:15 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. 16 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.
We are to carefully balance our involvement with the earthly realm as we give the utmost allegiance to King Jesus! Matthew 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Consider that which the Apostle Paul reveals to us of this proper balance. For we are IN this world, but not OF this world. Therefore we must know how to conduct ourselves as pleasing to our King. Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. (He is referring to civil ‘rulers,’ as we see in verse three.) For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: (that is, pay your taxes!) for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
And hear it also in the writings of the Apostle Peter: 1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
But what type of kingdom is the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of God? For both of these are the same kingdom. As we have already seen, it is a kingdom by which one gains entrance only with a birth by the Holy Spirit! For our Lord clearly informed Pilate, the civil magistrate, that his kingdom is not of this world! 1 Timothy 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
Therefore his kingdom does not contain fighting servants! Pilate had nothing to fear from the Lord Jesus as a Roman. His fearfulness should only be as he stood before the Lord as a sinner! For Christ’s servants possess only spiritual weapons and spiritual armor for their warfare against the forces of spiritual darkness. 2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
And it is not a kingdom of one certain physical location. The prophet described it as a city “without walls!” Zechariah 2:4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:
Listen to the words of our Master as he sets this forth: Matthew 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
Then just how does he identify the “place” of his spiritual kingdom? He states that it shall advance like lightning strikes of truth and grace into the hearts of his elect believers. And that it shall ever be ’located’ where those, as spiritual eagles, congregate around his body to eat his flesh and drink his blood! Mathew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Revelation 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
And in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Matthew we have the very teachings of the King himself as to that which his kingdom is like. In verse thirty-three he reveals that it is like leaven which a woman “hid” in her meal until the whole is leavened. Therefore it is an invisible working, that although it is not the meal, it changes it until it is fulfilled into God’s finished purpose. As he later states, the kingdom does not come with observation. Luke 17:20 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: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within (or, ‘among’) you.
Next we read in Matthew 13:44, Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Here again it is shown as something hidden. And it is also shown to have a measure of the secretive concerning it. For it is always a matter hidden from the world – especially the world of religion! John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
And those who are led to discover, by the glorious grace of the Lord, that his kingdom is truly theirs, will gladly divest themselves of all which does not enhance their affiliation as a citizen of the Lord’s kingdom. Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Luke 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. 29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. Luke 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife.
Then we read in Matthew 13:45,46 of the kingdom being like the discovery of the pearl of great price. Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. This individual is first seen as still being unsatisfied, although possessing ‘goodly pearls.’ Yet he can now be completely satisfied in possessing this ‘pearl of great price.’ For religion’s morality is of a lesser matter once one discovers the glorious, eternal righteousness of the kingdom! Then he too is completely desirous to relinquish all in which he had previously sought to be satisfied with, in order to find absolute joy with his new find. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
You can read and study more of that which our Lord taught his kingdom is like, as we have exhausted our space to do so. You will find in Matthew 13:47 that it is like a net. And in verse fifty-two it is like an householder bringing forth the previously tried and true with the new revelations he is receiving as the Spirit leads him. For in this kingdom one never quits learning. Then be sure to go to Matthew 22:1-10 to see how the kingdom is like unto a wedding feast.
Luke 9:44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: … In your prayerful study you will be delivered from religion’s carnal imaginations into the glorious revelation of Christ’s kingdom being ‘among you.’
Pastor Gene Breed
March 24, 2022