Jesus' first public statement to the world is found in Mathew 4:17—"Repent..." Repent means to change your mind or the way you have been conditioned to think. After this, Jesus says, "...for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." The words, at hand, could also be translated, arrived. Jesus is saying that we must now change our way of thinking, for a new Kingdom has arrived on planet earth. He is communicating that before the Kingdom had come to earth, our thinking was acceptable based on the revelation our minds had, but now that the Kingdom is here, we must change the way we think, reversing it completely!
There have been numerous attributes and truths concerning the Kingdom that have been preached throughout the ages; with a great deal of success manifesting certain Kingdom realities in power. Each of these truths is essential for establishing the Kingdom on the earth. Even today there are many truths being preached: salvation, deliverance, healing, miracles, etc. These are wonderful within themselves, but they alone are not the Gospel of the Kingdom. It's important for us to understand that Jesus did not come preaching salvation. He didn't preach miracles, nor did He preach deliverance or healing. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom.
But He said to them, I must preach the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God to the other cities [and towns] also, for I was sent for this [purpose] (Luke 4:43).
This is a powerful statement. Jesus said He was sent to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, "...for I was sent for this [purpose]." Jesus brought salvation, healing, and deliverance. He performed miracles, signs, and wonders; however, He did it all while preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. According to Mark 16:15, we are commissioned to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (NKJV). This being true, it's critical that we understand what Gospel we are supposed to be preaching. We've already established that Jesus, from start to finish of His earthly ministry, preached, prayed, and performed the Gospel of the Kingdom. But what about others in the New Testament, what Gospel did they preach?
In Luke 9:1-2, Jesus gathered the 12 disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out demons, cure diseases, and to bring healing. He then sent them out as apostles, commissioning them to preach the Kingdom of God. After this, Jesus sends out 70 others to heal the sick and say, "...the kingdom of God has come close to you" (Luke 10:9).
Paul also preached the Gospel of the Kingdom (see Acts 19:8, 28:23, 31). Others preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, like Philip, causing many men and women to be baptized (see Acts 8:12).
The Gospel to the end: "And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end" (Matt. 24:14). Clearly, the Gospel that we are called to preach, demonstrate, and live is the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Most of us have been taught to live and think in a manner other than the Kingdom. In order for us to walk in the Kingdom, and manifest Kingdom fruit, it's essential that we begin to allow the Lord to reprogram our minds. It's imperative that we learn to think differently, sometimes completely opposite, from the ways in which we were taught.
Jesus told Nicodemus that in order to see the Kingdom of God in operation, he must be born from above (see John 3:3-5). He was saying to Nicodemus that he could never see the Kingdom, nor experience it, unless he was first born from another dimension—a higher dimension. We could also say that we must be "borne" or lifted from above. We must be airborne—lifted from the natural ways of thinking and understanding—into a higher reality. We must depart from earthbound ways, with the intention of being airborne in the heavens. Like an airplane, as it sits motionless, is bound by the law of gravity, but as it propels down the runway is lifted into the air. There is another law that comes into play. The law of gravity no longer applies, because the law of aerodynamics takes over. So it is with the Kingdom of God. The lower laws are no longer in effect or applicable because "lift" begins to occur. We are subject to higher laws—the laws of Spiritual Aerodynamics!
What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6).
The Kingdom mindset is superior to the natural mindset. Jesus said that those born of the flesh are born from the natural realm and are subject to natural laws. However, those born of the Spirit are spirit, and are no longer subject to the natural. We can only release Kingdom currency when Kingdom thoughts are thought, and Kingdom language is spoken. For us to walk in Kingdom realities, we must think, live, and believe completely opposite to that which we are accustomed to in the natural. This is why repentance is vital.
The essence of repentance has very little to do with feeling sorry for something bad we've done, but rather turning from our old, earthly way of thinking, to a new, heavenly way of being (I encourage you to reflect on Romans 8, with this in mind). Remember, what we meditate on, and think about, manifests in our lives—"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). We are conformed to the image of what we gaze upon; this is why we are encouraged to fix our eyes on King Jesus (see Heb. 12:2), and to "...seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33).
Kingdom Dominion, Family, and Government
Jesus mentions the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God nearly 150 times in the first four Gospels of the New Testament. If there is a Kingdom, there must be a King. The word Kingdom means, King's Domain or Dominion of the King. Kingdom Dominion originated in the mind of God. Directly from the beginning, God says, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth" (Gen. 1:26, NKJV).
We are appointed by God to establish, manage, and maintain the dominion of the King everywhere we go. This is how Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). The intent of God is that His will would be done on the earth exactly as it is being done in heaven. He desires that we take dominion over the physical domain of earth, and manifest His Kingdom.
We have been given the Kingdom Mandate of managing, establishing, subduing, maintaining, and transforming planet earth—with all of its hosts, regions, nations, and inhabitants—transforming the natural realm into a visible copy of the pattern of heaven.
The Lord wants to extend His Kingdom through a family of sons and daughters on earth. This is why it's critical that you understand your identity as a child of God. Identity is birthed from intimacy and relationship with our Heavenly Father. Knowing who we are and whose we are is what allows us to take dominion over the natural realm and establish the Kingdom of heaven on earth. Moving in Kingdom dominion can have harmful consequences if done void of relationship with God (see Matt. 7:21-23), and absent of knowing our identity (see Acts 19:13-16). Consequently, knowing and understanding that we are children of God, will propel us into rich, full, and fulfilled lives.
Therefore, you are no longer a slave (bond servant) but a son; and if a son, then [it follows that you are] an heir by the aid of God, through Christ (Galatians 1:7).
Servants are not family. They share no part of the house, only serving as subjects to the master. They are not heirs, therefore, have no inheritance. Their duty is to serve, doing only as they are told. They have no right to an opinion, or a voice to speak regarding the family business. Sadly, many Christians live with the slave mentality I just described. They perform their Christian services for God, doing as they are told, occasionally touching the concept of sonship, but walking nowhere near the fullness of their inheritance.
Sons, on the other hand, have ownership to their dad's property and possessions. They have legal right to access the house, coming and going as they please. They have the ability to access the family's provision, and have a voice to make decisions. They have an inheritance (see Gal. 4:1-7).
As sons, we have been given the ability to access our inheritance in the Kingdom. We hold the keys to the Kingdom of heaven, with the capability to unlock and manifest heaven on earth—establishing the now Kingdom of God.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19).
As we bind what is unlawful and loose what is lawful, as authoritative sons of God, the Kingdom of heaven manifests through us and becomes the Kingdom of God on earth. Luke 17:20 says, "...the kingdom of God is within you" (NKJV). Not only does Jesus dwell in our hearts (see Eph. 3:17), but His Kingdom does also. Through our thoughts, words, and actions we are capable of releasing and manifesting the Kingdom of God within us, onto the earth.
We, being blood-bought sons of God, have the capacity to rule with Christ. Revelation 5:9-10 says, "...For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (NKJV). We are kings on earth, given territory to rule over. A king must have territory in order to be a king. God has given us territory—we are kings.
The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth has He given to the children of men (Psalm 115:16).
Heaven is God's territory and earth is man's territory. Man was designed to rule over earth, not heaven. This is why we will be coming back to rule and reign on a new earth. Man was given the territory of earth to rule, making him a king. Jesus Christ is the "Lord of lords and the King of kings" (Rev. 17:14). We are Land-Lords on earth.
Genesis 1:26 is the key to Kingdom thinking. It shows God's original objective and design for mankind. "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth" (NKJV). Dominion is the word used at the center of this verse. The word dominion means to govern, control, rule, manage, master, and to lead. It's clear that God's design for mankind was for us to have complete dominion over this planet, ruling over its entirety with full governmental authority: the animal kingdom, the planetary kingdom, the elements, atoms, and even taking dominion over the winds and the waves.
Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore (Isaiah 9:7).
There will be no end to the increase of His government. Our mandate is to rule the earth as governmental agents, ambassadors, representatives, and sons—establishing His Kingdom with justice and righteousness. We are citizens of heaven—of God's very household.
Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God's own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God's [own] household (Ephesians 2:19).
God is extending the rule of the unseen realm of His Kingdom into the seen realm through a family of sons. These sons act on His behalf as representatives and judiciaries on earth, ruling it with full, legal governmental authority given to them by their Father and older Brother. This has always been about family and always will be about family. God is again, taking care of the family business.
After the resurrection, Jesus told Mary, who was the first to see Him, "Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me" (Matt. 28:10 NIV). Go tell my brothers.... Hebrews 2 says, "So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers" (NIV). He is not ashamed to call us brothers because we are family with Him. John 1:12 says, "But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name." It has always been about family—the Father and His sons.
The Kingdom of Power and Glory
We are at a point in time where we are beginning to experience the coming forth and revealing of the fullness of what has been sown in past generations. Seeds sown into humanity are coming to a place of maturity. The fruit produced will look like the original Seed—Jesus Christ. The Sons of the Kingdom are becoming of age. They are beginning to be entrusted with full legal Kingdom rights and privileges—manifesting full governmental power and glory.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and every weakness and infirmity (Matthew 9:35).
Jesus came preaching the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom and manifested His power with wild signs, wonders, and miracles. God expects His offspring to do the same works and act the same way. Galatians 4:6-7 says, "And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the [Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba (Father)! Father! Therefore, you are no longer a slave (bond servant) but a son; and if a son, then [it follows that you are] an heir..." Look at God's desire for us:
His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church), [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him (Ephesians 4:12-13).
What has been covered up, deep in the spirit of mankind, is being uncovered and understood by God's family of sons and daughters all around the world. Because of Adam's sin, death entered the world. But because of One Man, Jesus Christ, we can taste and experience resurrection power and life (see 1 Cor. 15:21-22).
For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship] (Romans 8:19).
All of creation waits expectantly for us to grasp our identity as children of God—with the purpose of taking dominion over this earth—releasing creation from the curse of death. Jesus has restored us to our rightful position as heirs of all things. Now it's time to be about the family business and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—as Jesus said, "...for I was sent for this [purpose]" (Luke 4:43).
Jesus is commissioning you, as He commissioned His 12 disciples in Matthew 10:7-8—"And as you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give."