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The kingdom within

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

     In speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus was saying, "I am the completed manifestation, form and demonstration of what the kingdom of God looks like, sounds like and acts like.  I am the pattern of conduct, behavior and demeanor of the kingdom.

     Jesus was also teaching that this kingdom will have it's origins within you, in the form of a seed, so don't look for something to break through the skies from heaven.  One of the things Jesus was letting them know was that the kingdom of God in the earth was legally started when He was born.  Satan sought to operate in the earth as an illegal alien.  Jesus made it clear that He entered the earth legally, through childbirth.  Just as the seed conceived inside of a woman grows within and emerges, Jesus was saying that our experience of the kingdom will be conceived and formed within before you see outside.

     In John 3:3-5, Jesus said to one of the religious leaders named Nicodemus," Verily, verily, I say to you,except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  Nicodemus said," How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  Jesus answered, "...except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

     To enter and "see" or inherit the kingdom--to perceive, grasp and comprehend the realities of the kingdom of God--you must be born again.  The things of the Spirit of God are received by your spirit after it's been regenerated in the new birth.  To "enter" the kingdom of God--to engage in active experience, use and operation of kingdom principles, laws and benefits--you must accept and cooperate with the reality of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, you must be governed by the Holy Spirit.

     "Why should not the dispensation of the Spirit (this spiritual ministry whose task it is to cause men to obtain and be governed by the Holy Spirit) be attended with much greater and more splendid glory."  II Corinthians 3:8 Amplified Bible 

     The distinguishing element surrounding the kingdom of God is that this is a reality that works from the inside out.  While most of the world seems to function in response to the conditions and circumstances that come from the outside, the kingdom of God is distinguised by learning what it means to make decisions and live being led by the Spirit of God.  This applies to individual lives, but also to the Church as a local body and corporately.

     Dr. A.J. Gordon said, "As long as the Church remained under the control of the Spirit, the same works continued, and history reveals that whenever we find a revival of primitive faith and Apostolic simplicity, there we find the Evangelical miracles which sure characterize the Apostolic age."

     In our modern day, "evangelical miracles" like what was seen in the Apostolic age emerge where a community and culture of understanding that the kingdom is within the believer, and that this kingdom is revealed and expressed through being governed as a way of life by the Spirit of God within.  Movements like the Jesus Culture based through Redding, CA and the prayer movement of places like the International House of Prayer in Kansas City are demonstrations of this revival of faith and Apostolic simplicity.  These and many other manifestations of the kingdom of God are signs of the kingdom within impacting the world around us.

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  • Dane 5 years ago

    Great article, Lance. Good insight into what it takes for kingdom living. I believe we are heading there more and more as the church emerges into the fullness of it's calling.

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