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The Foundations of the Kingdom

The kingdom of God has certain foundations. If we are going to participate in the kingdom we must be personally prepared. Therefore the kingdom foundations must be personally laid in our lives and be experiential. Only then can we go on with God. HEB 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, HEB 6:2 of instruction about baptisms, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. HEB 6:3 And this we shall do, if God permits. God can only permit us to go on to full maturity after the foundations are laid.

First we must have the foundations in our own lives and then we can help others get the foundations in their lives. After a lost person repents of his sins and turns to Jesus Christ in faith and receives the cleansing of the blood of Christ, we must be able to lead him on to the next experiences. This is the meaning of laying the foundations. These experiences roughly follow Heb 6:1-3.

The pattern of progressive growth into the Kingdom of God can be seen in

2PET1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 2PET 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2PET 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of {the} divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2PET 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in {your} moral excellence, knowledge; 2PET 1:6 and in {your} knowledge, self-control, and in {your} self-control, perseverance, and in {your} perseverance, godliness; 2PET 1:7 and in {your} godliness, brotherly kindness, and in {your} brotherly kindness, love. 2PET 1:8 For if these {qualities} are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2PET 1:9 For he who lacks these {qualities} is blind {or} short-sighted, having forgotten {his} purification from his former sins. 2PET 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 2PET 1:11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. Whenever these qualities are ours and are increasing God makes an entrance for us into His eternal Kingdom.

Since the Kingdom is the goal, God has commissioned us to preach the gospel of the kingdom. This is not just a gospel of blessings. Rather it is the message that Jesus Christ is coming again as the sovereign king and judge of all mankind, including believers. This is a real Kingdom. Not a magical kingdom like Disney land. This is a real Kingdom with a real King. This is a highly disciplined Kingdom where there will be no dishonest gain or crooked politics. No one of questionable character can participate. God has exacting requirements for those who participate in the administration of His eternal government. Therefore, a clear vision of God's eternal purpose must be ministered so people will press on into the Kingdom of God. LUK 16:16 "The Law and the Prophets {were proclaimed} until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. Paul calls this ministry planting and watering but he clearly says that it is God that causes the growth and gives the increase. Ministry can only lead us to God, after this it is the believer own responsibility to maintain a vine branch relationship with Jesus Christ. Ministry cannot provide you with a relationship with God or personal experience and growth. That is each believer's responsibility. Whenever a ministry tries to cause growth they cease to work with God and begin to work in the place of God. They will surely fail. Ministries can lay foundations that lead us to Christ but the believer's experience is with Christ. Maturity is recognized when God speaks and man does. Then when man prays God does. Maturity is seen when there is a cooperation between God and man to fulfil the purpose of God. One aspect of spiritual growth is the exercising of SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY. Not man exercising authority over man as we see in the world. SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY is over God's enemies. All believers have been given authority over the powers of darkness. However, new believers, as well as immature old believers, have no real effectiveness against God's enemies. While all God's children haven been given spiritual authority few are effective in using that authority. If we attain to a measure of spiritual growth we will effectively participate in more of what Jesus Christ has provided for us at Calvary. I'm not speaking about appropriating the blessings of God, but fulfilling the purpose of God and bringing joy to God's heart. 2CO 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 2CO 5:15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Immature believers identify themselves as those who are just living for themselves. If we just maintain a born again experience without growing in effectiveness of manifesting God's Kingdom upon this earth we are not pleasing to the Lord. Much church activity is not a clear indication of spiritual maturity or effectiveness for the Kingdom. Effective work is when God speaks and man obeys by doing. What then is the solution to ineffective, fleshly activity in the church? THE CRUCIFIED LIFE. Not living for ourselves but living for Him, to do His will by laying down our own ideas, plans, opinions, debates with God and doing things that God never told us to do. Another identifying mark of maturity is THE CRUCIFIED LIFE. This is not a matter of one trip to the altar. This requires a daily dying to ourselves. SELF is the greatest enemy of maturity and causes most of our failures. This would include self will, self-pleasing, self-confidence, self-centeredness, self-consciousness, self-government, self-importance, self-indulgence, self-interest, selfishness, self-love, self-pity, self-reliance, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, etc. All these things result in a lack of self-discipline, self-control, and self-restraint. Because there is no self-surrender there is no self-sacrifice. When there is no self-sacrifice there can be no crucified life. Therefore, the church is plagued with both FLESHLY ACTIVITY AND FLESHLY IN-ACTIVITY. Both are ineffective. The great problem then is getting the church to grow so it can function as the body of Christ in each locality. Laying all the proper foundations in each life is the pre-requisite for the functioning body, if it is to be effective. These foundations are not laid as " letter" doctrines but as" life" experiences. Just because the people are informed does not mean the foundations are laid. We may do several studies on repentance and be very clear but people must still personally repent. Then many who do repent may still not have the foundation of repentance from dead works laid in their life. That is why we see so many dead works in fleshly activity. That is also why we see so much fleshly in-activity. Trying to get people to grow without the initial experiences will be a great disappointment. Each of the initial experiences should produce a BIRTH in us. In John 3 we see three births. JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God." JOH 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is BORN OF THE WATER and BORN OF THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. These three births can be clearly seen in the Tabernacle of Moses. Born again at the altar, born of the water at the laver, born of the spirit at the anointing. In that same way there should be a birth take place at the first veil. This should be a birth into a life of repentance. Repentance is not just an initial experience but is an on going experience as we see in Revelations chapters 2 & 3. If we have been birthed into a life of repentance, when God puts His finger on something in our life that is not pleasing to Him, we can instantly repent. We can turn and face God and receive the help to put it out of our life. There are so many things in our life that is incompatible with the character of God and with the purpose of God. Each of these must be rooted out. God speaks, impresses or convicts but we must learn to instantly respond by turning from these things and changing. No ministry or person can do that for you. To search for perfection some other way is ignorance. Trying to change our clothes rather than our hearts and fallen ways is not the path to maturity. It is foolish to expect" GOD TO BRING YOU TO MATURITY" if you are not sensitive to His voice, repent and obey. In this way each person must take responsibility for his own maturity. God will do His work but we must co-operate by changing. Therefore, we cannot separate repentance from obedience. If repentance was just saying you are sorry then changing would be optional. Bible repentance means change. If we have not been birthed into a life of repentance the chances are we will not change very much. Praying for God to lower His standards for the Kingdom so it can include you is an exercise in futility. If we change a little each day we will gradually come up to the Kingdom standards. Any day without change is a wasted day. Our fallen ways are not God's ways. God is not going to change. That means we must be the ones to change. It is one thing to be forgiven, it is quite another to change so we don't need to be constantly forgiven. Doing the will of God does not begin by deciding to which mission field we should go. Doing the will of God begins by hearing His voice and changing our wicked ways. Going to the mission field in our fallen state is not God's plan.