ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD – Pastor Bill Kimbley
Copyright 2017, Bill Kimbley.
Summary: The notes below show four things. First, they show WHAT the Kingdom of God/Heaven is in scripture. Once you understand the meaning of it, the scriptures will make more sense. Second, it shows that Jesus’ mission was to train the disciples who would train disciples in walking out the Kingdom of God on Earth. Third, it backs this up to show that the full Gospel is not displayed without the supernatural presence and manifestation of God. Finally, it summarizes by showing in broad terms this truth by asking five questions about Jesus’s and the Apostle’s ministry. Many additional notes are in this teaching so that the reader will have a greater background.
PART I: Kingdom of God/Heaven – What is it?
Bill’s working definition: “It is the rule and authority of God, which is made up of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” This definition comes from the application where the Kingdom of God is mentioned and Romans 14:17 which says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Here’s how the KINGDOM was restored: It was restored by Jesus (the second Adam) who won back the “Kingdom of Heaven” on Earth that Adam surrendered to Satan. Adam was to rule and reign and advance God’s righteousness, peace, and joy. However, he and Eve surrendered his authority to the enemy (Satan mentions this in Lk 4:5-7 to Jesus). Jesus, however, as 100% human (yet 100% God) won back the rule and reign on Earth (See: Mt 20:18-20 where He says all authority was given). Jesus then gave the authority to the church through Peter as a representative (Mt 16:19). The Kingdom not being a place, but a rule of law, explains:
- the parables and how they are to be perceived;
- This also explains why Jesus gave the “Kingdom of God” to the Gentiles (See Mt 21:43).
- Why we can know the “secrets of the Kingdom” (His authority and rule);
- Mark 9:1 = “there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Kingdom of God after it has come with power”
- “Good news of the Kingdom” (Lk 4:43) is the victorious news of God’s rule!
- “by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Lk 11:20) – show’s God’s power and authority over the demonic as the KoG
- Luke 17:20, “The Kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor wil they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
- Luke 18:24 – difficulty of those to enter the Kingdom… “God’s rule and authority, righteousness, peace, and joy”
- ROMANS 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
- 1Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.”
- 1Cor 15:50, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” – SPIRIT DOES
- Rev 12:10, “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”
- Mt 16:19, Peter as rep. is told “I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Notice, the work is done on earth, but there is agreeance in heaven on what is being done! Peter is the rep of the church, so the church has been given the KEYS to the KINGDOM.
PART II: Jesus’ whole mission seemed to be focused on the KINGDOM, which manifested in miracles, signs, and wonders:
First, the introduction to Jesus was to say the KINGDOM was at hand… (The rule & authority in righteousness, peace, and joy through the Holy Spirit).
- John’s first words: Matt 3:2, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.”
- Jesus’ first word: Matt 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Second, Matthew organized the first of his book to show the kingdom in action and that Jesus wished to give the kingdom to the disciples. He later sent out 72 other (representing the church) to walk out the Kingdom. NOTE: Jesus healed the sick, cleansed lepers, raised the dead, cast out demons in Chapter 8 &9, in Chapter 10 He tells the disciples to do just what the saw! WE ARE TO IMITATE JESUS’ work. Paul said, “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” So, He sent them out… if He meant just “preaching” then why did he commission them to do miracles? Good news: they came back victorious in Jesus’ name!
- MATTHEW’s organization shows two things: Jesus came to introduce the Kingdom of God on earth, and the disciples are to continue spreading the Kingdom.
- Mt 4:17 – first words about Kingdom
- Mt 5-7; instructions on the heart and actions of Kingdom people
- Mt 8-9; Jesus displaying the Kingdom in action;
- Heals leprosy; heals Centurion’s worker; casts out demons; heals paralytic; raises a woman’s daughter from the dead; heals blind men; heals dumb and deafness.
- Mt 9:36-38 – Jesus is moved that there are so many to reach with the “message of victory (meaning of “gospel”)” that He said to pray for more to be sent out… the very next thing Jesus commissions His disciples and sends them out to do the very same miracles.
- Mt 10:1, 5-8. – instructions to the disciples to preach/display the kingdom.
- Mt 10:1, “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.”
- Mt 10:5-8, “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”
- Parallel: Luke 10:9, “Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”
PART III: THE CHURCH IS MANDATED TO ADVANCE A KINGDOM! Rom 15. Above we see that we are told to do miracles signs and wonders and this is part (not all) of Advancing the Kingdom. Why? Because miracles restore God’s rule and reign, His righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit! In Romans we see Paul concluding that the Gospel is not completed by just speaking, but rather we must allow God to manifest and show His presence. WARNING: Many churches do not teach this. I know they are missing this part of the complete Gospel. That is why many call themselves “full Gospel.” However, we have to realize (as one wise woman told our church), “they are not wrong, they just don’t have all of what is right.”
Background to why some translations are not exact: The reformation came in the 1500’s and many rejected the Catholic church. The Catholic church claimed they had the truth because they had “miracles” which proved their doctrine. The protestors (protestants) had no real answer and taught that miracles were only to attest the doctrines taught by the Apostles and that miracles ceased after they died out. So they do not accept all the gifts of the Spirit or miraculous things working through mere men. B.B. Warfield, in the early 1900’s wrote much of the defense for cessationists. His works are cited today as authoritative. However, most of Warfield’s teaching was character driven, not scripture driven and is easily refuted (as seen above). In the early 1900’s some began to write and teach about miracles, signs, and wonders which extended from revivals and what they saw. Unfortunately, many of these writings were not well grounded in great theology. Thus, they were rejected by mainstream denominations. The ways these signs and wonders were sought after and administered were often misapplied and against sound scripture. While many hearts were wanting “more,” they had not solid theological understanding. Thus, for decades many charismatic churches were taught wrongly from scripture. The great news is that today there is sound biblical and theological teaching regarding these things. There have been many amazing studies (even scientific) put together that clearly prove the truth of the charismatic beliefs in miracles, signs, and wonders for today. (Pastor: willing to help others find these to learn more. If so, call me.)
Unfortunately, because the protestants rejected the miraculous when they translated the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew they unconsciously (or maybe consciously, but I do not wish to judge), translated some passages that would lean more into their doctrinal beliefs rather than translated it in English exactly what it says. Romans 15:18-19, is one of the key verses that is often mistranslated. The error comes via the emphasis. Protestants emphasize that the church today does not need miracles because we have the Word of God. Accordingly, the miracles were for the Apostles to prove their words so others would accept the written books of the New Testament. In Romans 15:18-19, they place emphasis on PAUL doing the miracles so the Gentiles will accept the Word. Unfortunately, this is wrongly emphasized. The English Standard version provides the most accurate translation of the text as it was emphasized in original Greek. This shows that Paul’s words and deeds, miracles, and power of the Spirit were all necessary to FULFILL the ministry.
Rom 15:18 – some translations minimize the impact of what Paul was saying because they start with a bent against the supernatural. Thus, the Greek translation is emphasized differently. Paul said he accomplished the obedience of the Gentiles. “Obedience” has its Greek root in akouw which means to hear so he is saying that they “heard and obeyed”. True faith is by hearing and obeying. This is important because some translations add “word and deed” and make it read to go to the Gentiles. Paul already noted that by using the word “obedience”. So Paul won their obedience by three things:
- Word and deed = what we say (doctrine) about Christ and how we walk out (obedience) what we say;
- Power of signs and wonders = charismata; God’s grace with power;
- Power of the Spirit of God = Spirit moving in and with us in what we do.
First, some translations make it sound like the Gentiles were coming via only Word and Deed. The Word and Deed is via PAUL, an Apostle. The reason they do this, is because they feel it fits directly with the Cessationist doctrine (that miraculous gifts of Spirit ceased at the close of the writing of scripture), which says that miracle signs and wonders are strictly for the Apostles to prove their doctrine. By translating the “word and deed” toward the Gentiles it allows for “signs and wonders and power of the Spirit of God” to be emphasized for Paul. This makes it easier for them to emphasize “preaching” in verse 19, which also is a mistranslation. The result is that Paul and Apostle had signs and wonders but we can now preach.
Second, there is an added emphasis on “preaching” that is not in the original Greek in verse 19. The actual Greek word is εὐαγγέλιον which is where we get Gospel. This means “message of victory.” However, it does not say “preaching the Gospel.” Nowhere in the Greek is there a verb meaning “preaching” or “proclaiming.” Gospel is a noun. The verb that applies to Gospel is πληρόω which means “to fulfill” or “to complete.” It is past tense in Greek. Thus, the real statement Paul made was “I have fulfilled the message of victory.” What is the victory? The victory is that the Kingdom of God has arrived (Lk 4:18, Jesus says what He will do). So if we are to “fulfill” that message then we should walk out the Kingdom power which affirms the message of victory – namely, the Gospel! So, the fulfillment of the Gospel message is accomplished through a person who: preaches the Word, lives the word out before the people, who walks in signs and wonders, and walks in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is how Paul won the Gentiles to obedience and this is how we should win others today to obedience. Remember, Paul was dealing with pagan worshippers. Many of them came to Christ because they witnessed the power and love of Jesus on display through him and the church. Today, we deal with the same problem. There are many “so-called gods” but there is only One God. When He displays His wonders the people realize that God is present and He is real! We must walk in the fullness of Christ’s glory while on Earth. Here’s a breakdown of the verses:
The English Standard Version (ESV) more accurately translates these two verses according to the original Greek leaving the reader to determine what is meant. Other English translations seem to emphasize the Cessationist doctrine, which makes it seem Paul agrees with Cessationism.
ESV – For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; [Notice the separation of “word and deed” along with others; also notice “fulfilled the ministry” rather than “preached”]
KJV – For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. [Notice the start of new sentence to separate word and deed; and “fully preached” rather than ministry or evangelized]
NKJV – For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. [Notice the start of emphasis after word and deed; and “fully preached” rather than ministry or evangelized]
NASB – For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. [Notice “in the obedience… by word and deed which emphasizes Gentiles, not Paul; also of new sentence to separate word and deed; and “fully preached” rather than ministry or evangelized]
NIV – I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. [Notice how it puts emphasis on Paul’s words and deeds, but separates miracles, signs, wonders; also note the emphasis on preaching, not ministry]
Greek in verse 19:
- “fulfilled” = πληρόω. It is to complete, to fulfill, etc.
- Gospel = εὐαγγέλιον. Means the “message of victory”. The “good news” of Jesus Christ.
- Paul is not saying he “fully preached” the “message of victory” of Christ, literally Paul is saying “I have fulfilled the message of victory of Christ.” This implies not only a message, but that the message was proven by its deeds.
The implication: Words alone do not present Christ in fullness because it does not prove God’s victorious message that Jesus conquered the devil (1John 3:8b, “the reason the son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” = victory!). That is why Paul said the Kingdom of God was not with just words, but with power! Thus, the works are important to prove the presence of God and His love toward mankind. God has been using miracles like this since the beginning of time!
- Moses – bush, exodus, water, mannah, doves, clothes;
- Joshua – sun remaining, walls falling, etc.
- Gideon – miraculous battles
- Elijah – prophets of Baal, oil for widow, etc.
- Elisha – axe head, showing armies of the Lord, etc
- Jonah – saved and spit out by whale
- Daniel – 3 friends saved in fire; saved in Lion’s den; prophetic words;
- David – Goliath, battles, etc.
- Prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.
GOD uses miracles to destroy the works of the devil and to show He is present. His miracles display His love, especially for His children and future children.
PART IV: How do we know this is all true? In summary, how does the entire New Testament affirm the Kingdom and the truth that every individual is to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit? Five questions we can ask the Bible will affirm this:
Five questions to determine what we should be doing: (From Ruthven, WWWPTH)
- What did Jesus come to do?
- 1John 3:8, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
- Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year the Lord’s favor.”
- What did scripture say he did?
- Acts 10:38, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
- Mt 21:14 (blind and lame healed); Mk 1:34 (healed sick, cast out demons); Lk 4:15 (taught in synogogues); Lk 7:21 (healed sick, cast out demons, healed blind); Lk 9:11 (spoke to them about the kingdom); Mt 15:30 (mass healings).
- What does Jesus tell His disciples to do?
- Mk 3:14-15, “And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons.”
- Mk 6:7, “And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.”
- Mt 10:1, 7-8 “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction… And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”
- Luke 10:1, 8-9, 17-20 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go… Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’.. The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.””
- What does scripture say the disciples did? READ BOOK OF ACTS!!!! Healings, casting out demons, preached the kingdom, prophesied… the church grew exponentially! They did exactly as Jesus did and in many cases greater supernatural acts!
- What is the reader of the New Testament told to do?
- 1Cor 12:31, “earnestly desire the higher gifts”
- 1Cor 14:1, 4-5, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy… The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.”
- 2Tim 1:6-7, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
- 1Pet 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace”
- John 14:12-14, ““Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
- John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
- 1John 3:21-22, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”
- Matt 10:7-8, “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”
- Luke 10:19-20, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
- Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Gospels teach about miracles: Matt 44%, Mark 65%, Luke 29%, John 30%. The amount one talks about a subject, the more important it is!
Acts teach about the miraculous: 27.2% miracles; 22.5% prophetic = 49.7% supernatural. The church was advancing the KINGDOM and we should also!
MAY THE LORD BLESS THE READER AND MAY THEIR FAITH BE STRENGTHENED! Amen.