The Kingdom of God, Part 4: Entering into the Kingdom of God
I would like to welcome everyone to the 4 th video for RHM, especially those who battle Anxiety and Depression. Thank Dion and Sylvia for the opportunity to be a guest speaker here!
“The Kingdom of God message.” As I said last week, I did not want to return to using drugs to cover up how I was feeling so I needed to find a new way to live and this kingdom message seemed like the place to go. I figure that everyone knows that I have been reading these messages. I want all of you to know that I wrote them in my own words. Sylvia has been so good to post the videos and the written words on their website. I hope that each one of you will take the time to read all these scriptures for yourself as this is how God changed my life. Like I said last week, I am not anyone special, if God would do this for me, He will do the same for you.
I was taught in high school that a news story would cover what, when, where, how, and why the story was covered. That is what I want to accomplish with these videos. God sent his only Son to show us how to live this Kingdom message among so many other things He did for us. He died on a cross so that we could have salvation and then He rose again to show us how God is willing to do in our lives. God is in the restoration business and we need to understand the things He said.
Last week I talked about this message coming from Matthew 6:33; “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Since we know that the Bible is true, the first question is; what is the Kingdom of God?
The Apostle Paul gave us the answer in Romans 14:16-18; Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. The Apostle Paul said so much in this verse, I could spend the next fifteen minutes just talking about this one verse. First of all, contrary to what most religions teach, the Kingdom is not about the food you eat or what you drink. It is not about do this and don’t do that. I have seen so much teaching about how you cannot do this or that and enter into the kingdom and so much of it even if it were right, it was taught so wrong. By what the Apostle Paul was saying, I could not only be acceptable to God, but I could also be approved by men. That would be a good thing. So I studied on, the next place I went was Matthew 15 about eating and drinking.
Jesus talked in parables as we read last week and Peter asked Him to explain what He was saying about eating and drinking in Matthew 15:15-19; Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. “These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” So Jesus is saying that it is not what you eat or drink, it is what you think and act out that defile you. He talks about evil thoughts and how they lead you to evil practices. He talked about how murder and adulteries and fornications defiled a person. He even talks about how stealing or lying about someone or slandering someone else could defile one. How seldom do you hear messages in which lying or slander is even talked about?
For me, I want to know the truth so that I can benefit from what Jesus actually did for me. So what else did the Apostle Paul say in Romans 14? He said that the kingdom of God is; righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. I had heard that righteousness before. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus had said to seek His righteousness, so how should I do that? I knew that I was saved, but I could see that my life was not full of peace and joy so I should look deeper. The apostle Paul also said in the Holy Spirit. What did that mean? The more I studied, the more I found out. I wanted to know more about how this kingdom Jesus said to seek worked.
So how does one enter into this kingdom of God? The Bible tells us in John 3:1-12; Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? “Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
I decided this was a good place to start, Jesus is telling Nicodemus about how to enter into the kingdom, so, let’s look at this scripture a little deeper!
We can see that Nicodemus is a Pharisee and he came to Jesus at night. He calls Jesus Rabbi or teacher and he says we know that you are sent here from God because of the signs you are doing. So he is even complimenting Jesus as to knowing He is from God because of the signs he sees Jesus doing.
Jesus does not even address the compliment, He just starts talking about the Kingdom and how you can not only see it, but how one can enter in. He says one must be born again and receive the Holy Spirit to enter in. Nicodemus does not know how it is possible to be born again. Here Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit again but He does not tell Nicodemus how he is to receive the Holy Spirit.
Jesus asks him about being a teacher of Israel; He goes on to say if you do not understand earthly things, how will you ever believe Heavenly things? Jesus says that in order to even see the kingdom one has to be born again. Then Jesus goes on to tell Nicodemus that one has to be born of water and the spirit in order to enter into this kingdom. Now somehow, I could see that the kingdom was obtainable in my life. I needed to understand how I could get there.
I knew that I had been born again, but I did not know that I had received the Holly Spirit? I needed to know more about how to receive the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul had said the kingdom was righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. So I was beginning to see how important the Holy Spirit was to me. I needed to learn all that I could about this Holy Spirit. So I started praying and asking God to show me the things I need to know about His Holy Spirit.
I knew from the things I had heard in church that we are New Covenant Christians. I found this New Covenant in Hebrews 8:10-12 which says; “FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”
As I studied this, I found verse 11 very interesting. It almost seemed like this verse jumped off the page into my being. It said; ‘And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen and everyone his brother.” It seemed like God was saying He would do the teaching, not someone who thought they knew. God was saying He would write His laws in our hearts and our minds. The question for me was; how would God do this? It seemed to me that might be why I had heard so little about the Holy Spirit. I kept on praying and somehow I found John 14:26; “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. This verse seems to be saying the same thing except that God will use the Holy Spirit to teach us. Then I found 1 st John 2:27; As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
When I realized that God wanted to teach me through His Holy Spirit, I knew that I needed to understand. My Bible was telling me that God wanted to do the teaching, and I had always believed that was the preacher’s job. I always thought that is why he went to seminary, so that he could learn to teach us. But here the Bible was telling me that it was the Holy Spirit’s job. It seemed to me that the Apostle John was saying that this anointing is living inside of me and He wanted to teach me everything. So I figured since I did not fit in with the church people anyway, I needed to learn all I could about the Holy Spirit. I continued to pray each day, and study the Bible.
I soon found Acts 2 37-39. The Apostle Peter has just spoken to the people of Jerusalem about Jesus and told them how they had killed the Messiah. When they realized Peter was telling them the truth in Acts 2:37-39 the Bible says; “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
By what this verse was telling me, I had received the Holy Spirit when I was baptized. Peter had told them the same thing that I had been told;”Repent and be baptized.” That is what I had done in that Baptist church so many years ago. No one told me that I would receive the Holy Spirit when I was baptized. I was told that being baptized was an outward sign of an inner decision. Here the Apostle Peter is saying that I received the Holy Spirit when I was baptized. He said that the promise was for everyone. I was really confused; it seemed that so much was missed by what I had been taught. So I continued to pray and study. I wanted to know as much as I could about receiving the Holy Spirit. I knew that Jesus was our example, so I decided to look at what happened with Him.
I found Matthew 3:13-17 which says; “Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Could this be what had happened to me and I just did not know it? I did not hear a voice that day, but I was intrigued by these scriptures. I was about to find out the root of my Anxiety. In my next video, I will show everyone how God released me from Anxiety through the Holy Spirit. My name is Jim Jarrell and I thank you all for being here.Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org