The Kingdom of Heaven

<strong>The Kingdom of Heaven</strong>

The terms “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are synonymous; they represent  the same thing.

“Many people think of the kingdom of God as heaven or as the church. However, the kingdom of God is not an actual physical place. A working definition of God’s kingdom from a biblical perspective can be seen as God’s universal reign as Creator and Christ’s exhaustive work as Redeemer. Since God is eternal, His kingdom is eternal. The Kingdom of God transcends time and space.” 

(Source:  https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god-10-things-christians-need-to-know.html)

Let’s see what the Bible says:

. . . and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  (Mt 18:3 NKJV)

In order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, one needs childlike faith and trust in the Lord.  Just as earthly children trust their parents for their daily needs, we also must place our faith and trust in God the Father for daily shelter, food, protection, and all of life’s necessities.

Jesus told them another story:  The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a farmer plants a mustard seed in a field. 32 Although it is the smallest of all seeds, it grows larger than any garden plant and becomes a tree. Birds even come and nest on its branches.  (Mt 13:31-32 CEV)

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”  (Mk 4:30-32 RSV)

The Kingdom of Heaven is compared, in these Bible passages above, to a mustard seed that grows into a mighty plant whose branches become a home for birds as well as a protection from the shade for other animals. 

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  (Joh 3:5-6 NKJV)

The Kingdom of God is a spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of all who have become part of His kingdom by submitting to His authority, and by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.   

Wherever God’s faithful people are gathered is where the Kingdom of God can be found.  God will meet us wherever we gather, whenever we call upon His Name. 

A relationship with Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord is the basis of the Kingdom of God.  It impacts all actions, thoughts, relationships, families, institutions, and governments.  Everything on earth will come into contact with God’s Kingdom. 

This Kingdom has grown all over the earth, and is still growing and overcoming all obstacles in order to touch the hearts and minds of people everywhere.  Glory to God most High!

Jesus, Our High Tower & Our Safe Place

Jesus, Our High Tower & Our Safe Place

One of the mightiest defenses that we have in this world to help us fight against the tactics of Satan, is the name of the Lord

John 17:12 (AMP) Jesus is speaking:  While I was with them, I kept and preserved them in Your Name [in the knowledge and worship of You]. Those You have given Me I guarded and protected . . .  

Jesus was communicating this idea:  ‘I kept them in that High Tower, inside that NAME—I kept them there; they were in that lofty place.’  Remember the 70 that were chosen to be sent out said, “even the devils are subject to us in Your Name!” 

There are numerous Bible verses referring to the Lord as our high tower—our stronghold, our refuge. 

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and the One who rescues me; My God, my rock and strength in whom I trust and take refuge; My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower—my stronghold.  (Ps 18:2 AMP, emphasis added)

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower]. Selah.  (Ps 46:7; 46:11 AMP, emphasis added)

O [God] my strength, I will watch for You; for God is my stronghold [my refuge, my protector, my high tower].  (Ps 59:9 AMP, emphasis added)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy.  (Ps 61:2-3 NKJV)  Jesus is the Rock.  (1 Cor 10:4; Ps 78:35)

But the Lord has become my high tower and defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.  (Ps 94:22 AMP)

My lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.  (Ps 144:2 NKJV, emphasis added)

A high tower represented safety to people in biblical times; it was used for defensive purposes.  (Jud 9:51) Watchmen would be posted upon high towers to keep a lookout for enemies (human or animal), and the watchmen would sound an alarm when they saw danger approaching. 

High towers also served as a protection for people, animals, and goods.  They were used as a fortress in times of war.  It served as a last retreat when a town was taken by an enemy.  The people would flee to the high tower along with their valuable possessions.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs to it and is safe and set on high [far above evil].  (Pro 18:10 AMP)

“The Lord is a strong tower in fearful and scary times. It is the name of the Lord that is our
strong tower. It is the place of safety which God promises to those who
run to Him. The name of the Lord is a Biblical expression for the whole
character of God. The name of the Lord refers to God’s person and character.” 

~ (Source:  https://www.cui.edu/devotions/lent/2019/post/the-name-of-the-lord/day/40)

Jesus’ name is our high tower; and when we turn to Him, we are set far above evil.  Let us praise and worship the Lord for His mercy, love, and protection.  Thank You, Lord!

A Shield Called Faith

A Shield Called Faith

. . . above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  (Eph 6:16, emphasis added)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  (1 Joh 5:4, emphasis added)

We see that the Bible mentions a “shield of faith” in Ephesians chapter six.  This is quite an important concept, when you think and meditate upon it.  Shields were used to in ancient times to block attacks from hand-held weapons like swords as well as from projectile weapons such as arrows. 

The shield can also symbolize steadfast principles, commitment, loyalty and protection, which are afforded to us by taking up the spiritual “Shield of Faith” in Christ Jesus, our Savior.  This spiritual shield protects our hearts and minds from the attacks of the enemy which are designed to rob us of peace and joy.  Our spiritual shield also enables us to persevere in times of trials and crisis.

Cling to your confession of faith, brothers and sisters!  Heed Romans 10:8-9:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Union With Christ

Union With Christ

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  (Rom 6:5-6 NIV)

. . . always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  (2 Cor 4:10 NKJV)

. . . even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . . (Eph 2:5-6 NKJV)

These Bible passages are discussing a believer’s union with Christ.  Union with Christ refers to the relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ.  It also refers to a willing loyalty of Christ to the believer, as well as a loyalty of the believer to our Lord Jesus. 

The first 14 verses of Ephesians, chapter One, explain some of the blessings that we receive from being united with Christ.  These passages reinforce our understanding that we are blessed and highly favored by God. 

Unity in Christ—a result of our salvation—brings about an ongoing redemptive work in a believer’s life and conduct.  As we come to know and understand our Savior, and through the Bible learn about our untold blessings, we yearn to live in a manner that is completely pleasing to the Lord.  This is understandable. 

Even as a small child who is loved, valued and protected by their parents will choose to please and obey those good parents—so also does a believer desire to please and to obey our loving and merciful Savior.  From His hand we receive forgiveness, favor, health, prosperity, protection, provision, and the gift of grace to enable us daily. 

Our God is a good God.  He blesses people and nations, whether they acknowledge Him or not.  He places people in governing positions for the sake of giving people order and safety in the world.  He blesses believers individually as we love, obey, and serve Him.

In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness. (Hos 3:5b NLT)  As this Scriptures states, in the end times we will tremble with awe because of the Lord’s magnificence and His unimaginable goodness to mankind.  Glory to God!

Ponder the Voice of the Lord

Ponder the Voice of the Lord

Today, we’re going to study the importance of the Voice of the Lord.  We posted an article three and a half years ago on this topic, but since it’s of vast importance, it is worthwhile to investigate again.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters.  (Ps 29:3)  ~ God controls everything in creation, including every body of water, no matter how large or small!

“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”  (Ex 15:26)  ~ Obedience to the voice of the Lord attracts God’s blessings.  God states that He is our healer, and that is addressing physical healing.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”  (Deu 28:1)  ~ As we obey God’s voice, He responds by giving us protection from and power over our enemies; blessings in our children, food, and livestock; prominence over other nations; and abundant prosperity.  (See Deu 28:1-14)

The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.  (Joel 3:16)  ~ The Lord shelters and becomes a refuge for ALL who will yield to and obey His mighty voice.

His voice is unique in that ALL of creation recognizes it as the sound of the Creator God, the Supreme Being, the Lord of Lords.

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  (Rev 19:6)  ~ The voice of the Lord is the voice of the Lord God Omnipotent!

Pay attention to and choose to obey the voice of the Lord, and you shall surely be blessed.

There’s Power in the Blood, Part 3

There’s Power in the Blood, Part 3

This is the last in our series on the power of the blood of Jesus.  Did you know that the blood of Jesus has a voice?

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”  He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”  10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. (Gen 4:9-11, emphasis added)

The blood of Abel cried out to the Lord from the ground.  Do you not believe that the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ also has a voice that God hears?

. . . to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.  (Heb 12:24, emphasis added)

God determined that the redemption of mankind required a much greater sacrifice than the blood of goats and rams.  It required the blood of His Son, Jesus.

The blood of Jesus is very powerful.  It:

  • Redeemed us, forgave us of sin (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12)
  • Set us free from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13)
  • Gave us fellowship with God (Heb 10:19)
  • Supplied us with an act of remembrance called Communion (1 Cor 11:23-26)
  • Provides healing (Isa 53:5)
  • Provides protection (Ex 12:13)
  • Obtained the Church (Acts 20:28)
  • Obtained for us the love of God (Rev 1:5; 1 Joh 5:6-8; 1 Joh 4:10; John 3:16)

As we can see from this study, the blood that Jesus shed for us is very powerful, indeed.  It is yet another benefit that is an integral part of our salvation.

The well-known, South African Dutch Reformed Church minister, theologian, evangelist, and mission organizer said:

“Of all the glorious things that the blood means, this is one of the most glorious: His blood is the sign, the measure, yes, the impartation of His love.” ~ Andrew Murray

Here’s another perspective from the great Bible teacher, M.R. DeHaan, M.D., who said:

The blood was to be sprinkled, remember, on the mercy seat right after the death of the substitutionary animal of sacrifice, Now Christ is, of course, our substitute.  He was slain for us upon the Cross, and entered into death for us, and when He arose, He immediately went to heaven, entered into the holy of holies in heaven, sprinkled His precious blood upon the mercy seat before the throne of God, and forever settled the sin questions, and delivered us from the curse of the law. This is clearly taught in the New Testament. Hebrews 9:12 is very definite on this:  But by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Lastly, a devout minister who was called the Father of Faith said:

The power of the blood of Jesus has provided everything you need to live a life of victory, including Redemption, fellowship, healing, protection and authority over the devil.  ~ Kenneth E. Hagin

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”  (Rev 5:12)  Hallelujah!

Safe in God’s Secret Pavilion

Safe in God’s Secret Pavilion

Have you had a circumstance where people were speaking evil reports about you—and they were untrue?  Are you aware that somehow you’ve made an enemy at work and that person is making plans to undermine you?  Has a close relative or friend turned against you for no apparent reason? 

Do you realize that God has a safe hiding place for you that will protect you while He works on your behalf?  This hiding place exists within your heart and mind.

You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.  (Ps 31:20)

You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and need not fear destruction when it comes.  (Job 5:21)

For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high upon a rock.  (Ps 27:5)

You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.  (Ps 32:7)

You are my hiding place and my shield; I put my hope in Your word.  (Ps 119:114)

Psalm 32 says that the Lord surrounds us with songs of deliverance.  God says that He will rescue you, and set you free from these types of situations!  Thank the Lord!

In the secret dwelling place of God, the holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary of God’s tabernacle), we may relax in peace because we are secure in the knowledge that God is our protection.  In this state of mind and heart, we are free to pray in faith and to ask the Lord to help us and to give us His wisdom, revelation, and insight into our situation. 

He promises to hear us when we call, and to answer! (Ps 66:19; Pro 15:29; 1 Joh 5:14)  As Psalm 32:7 reminds us, God has already surrounded us with songs of deliverance—that means that in the spiritual realm where time does not exist, your deliverance is already an established fact.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  (1 Joh 5:4)

According to the two Scripture verses above, God gives us the victory through Jesus by the faith in our hearts that is born of God and this gift of faith overcomes the world.  Remember, you have received overcoming faith to stand upon God’s Word and to expect Him to deliver you from evil.  Stand firm and expectant of great things from God.  God bless you.

My Defense is of God

My Defense is of God

In the Bible, the Lord is shown again and again to be our defense in times of trouble or difficulties.  Defense means protection, security, cover, or shield.  It can also mean justification or vindication.  Assuredly, Jesus Christ is our justification!

My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart.  (Ps 7:10)

I will wait for You, O You his Strength; for God is my defense.  (Ps 59:9)

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.  (Ps 62:2)

But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.  (Ps 94:22)

The Lord is our protection; and this is something that we all need to recognize and to trust in, since we live in an increasingly hostile world—one that is growing even more antagonistic to the message of the gospel.  Let us remember to confess, along with the Psalmist, “My defense is of God.”

It is essential for us to remain in a strong and vital relationship with the Lord.  The Word of God feeds us and increases our faith.  It reminds us who we are and of the One we serve.    Don’t allow yourself to become complacent, or to wander away from daily Bible reading and contemplation. 

Continue to worship with other like-minded believers on a regular basis because we’re encouraged to have fellowship with our brethren. (Heb 10:25)  As we fellowship with other believers, they will support us and encourage us, spurring us on to good works!  Glory to God!

A Perfect Way

A Perfect Way

Greetings and welcome!  Think about this before you return to the daily grind.

God [is] my strength [and] power, and He makes my way perfect.  2 Sam 22:33 (NKJV)

[It is] God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.  Ps 18:32 (NKJV)

In these passages from the Bible, the writer is describing God’s help and the blessings of a relationship with Him.  This is how our relationship with our Father God, through Jesus, blesses us:  God gives us –

  1. Swiftness to pursue or to elude our enemies;
  2. Strength;
  3. Protection; and
  4. A firm footing!

A firm footing is very important under all circumstances.  But you can well imagine how vital a firm footing is during battle!  Firm ground upon which to place your foot during battle can mean the difference between winning and losing—surviving or dying.

These precious promises are for us.  The Lord gives us His strength and power; His counsel and protection in battle; and makes our feet secure!  This is His recipe for victory in every area of our lives!  This means we have victory and favor in our day-to-day jobs.

Receive His strength!  Tap into God’s power; and listen to His counsel.  You will find God’s counsel in the Bible; in advice from trusted, spiritual friends; and from the pastoral staff in your home church.  Glory to His Name!

We Are Protected

We Are Protected

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

The Lord gives us, His saints and His beloved children, protection.  He grants us safety and peace.  He MAKES us to dwell in safety.  How wonderful!  Here are just a handful of verses to support this concept.  There are many, many more similar verses.  Challenge yourself to find some of them!

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3)

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.  (Ps 34:7)

 For it is written:  ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you . . .’ (Lk 4:10)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  (Deu 31:6 – emphasis added)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1)

Trust God and simply rest in the truth of His Word.  You’re protected.  You are safe. The angels of God are camped around you for your protection. 

God strengthens you and provides you a safe haven in Him.  You’re not alone—God goes with you everywhere!  Rejoice!