- Being born again is just the beginning
“Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished! Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
“For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-20 NASB2020
Jesus preached and taught the Kingdom of God just as John the Baptist first came announcing the Kingdom of God is at hand. The disciples were always asking Him when He was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. We as believers do not know the difference between the kingdom and the Church—both instituted and ordained by God. One is not greater than the other, yet Jesus taught us to seek the Kingdom of God first. The word Church, gathering, is introduced by Jesus when Peter confesses Him as Christ the Son of the living God. At that point, Peter believed in Him and I believe was born again. We are born again to see the kingdom of God. The acknowledgment of Jesus as God’s Son was an acknowledgment also of Abba Father. Jesus told him, “The Heavenly Father has revealed it to you, not flesh and blood.” Jesus no longer saw him as Simon Barjona’s flesh and blood—man—but changed his name, acknowledging He saw Him as the Heavenly Father saw Him.
And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Matthew 16:17-18 NASB2020
Simon, meaning “reed-like” or “wavering,” Barjona meaning son of Jonas—which can be translated as “wine-bibber.” Roughly translated, Simon Barjona means “unstable son of an alcoholic.” Now, Jesus gives him a new name. He is now Petra, stone, rock, one who is stable, and someone to build on. A new creation, a new man. Later Peter writes we come to Him as living stones and Jesus being the Chief Cornerstone, rejected by unbelief.
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by people, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone,
And the one who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for unbelievers,
“A stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this they were also appointed.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:4-10 NASB2020
Jesus has begun to build a new house, a temple of living stones, a spiritual house, for a holy priesthood, offering up sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. No longer are we reed-like, wavering and tossed to and fro like drunkards, living for ourselves and the world. Paul exhorts us, “be not drunk with wine, which is dissipation—“a descent into drunkenness and sexual dissipation, the squandering of money, energy, or resources.”
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Ephesians 5:17-18 NASB2020
Being born again is just the beginning. We must also be baptized and continually filled in and with the Holy Ghost, the power of God. We are God’s spiritual house, built by the architect of our faith, made alive, new creations by our believing in the only begotten Son of our Heavenly Father. We have been called and appointed to proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. He Makes All Things New! Hallelujahs to the Lamb!
President, Triumphant Mercy Ministries
- The Kingdom in the Holy Ghost
“There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of armies will accomplish this.”
Isaiah 9:7 NASB2020
INCRE’ASE, v.t. To augment or make greater in bulk, quantity or amount; as, to increase wealth or treasure; to increase a sum or value.
1. To advance in quality; to add to any quality or affection; as, to increase the strength of moral habits; to increase love, zeal or passion.
2. To extend; to lengthen; as, to increase distance.
From Jesus’ ascension to the Father and His seating on the throne of God, the Kingdom of the government of God has been on the increase. Since the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost came in power, the Kingdom of God has been increasing in the earth. The Holy Ghost is the zeal of God and this is being accomplished in spite of the darkness getting darker and the events of our day. The satanic boasts and exhibition of his works cannot hold back the increase of the government of God in the earth. The Word says there shall be no end to the increase.
Which brings us to the question: How does God see increase? First of all, it has nothing to do with numbers. Many are called but few are chosen.
Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.”
1 Samuel 14:6 NKJV
The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
Deuteronomy 7:7 NKJV
And we cannot fail to to give account of John the Baptist definition and confession of how increase is seen:
He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:30 NKJV
This revelation of John clearly establishes the work of the Holy Ghost, the zeal of God, and the Lordship of Jesus on the throne of our hearts. This was the early believers’ greeting to one another: “Jesus Is Lord!” The work of the Holy Ghost in us is the increase of His Lordship in our lives, spirit, soul, and body. We are admonished to:
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be in dread, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect;
1 Peter 3:14-15 NASB2020
As we see all the more clearly the place and work of the Holy Ghost to establish the Kingdom of God in us, that place is surely meant to be a large one. There He, the Holy Ghost, is revealed who is the filler of the vacancy that Jesus left at His ascension in His disciples. At Pentecost they received a whole wealth of personal gracious action—abiding, revealing, teaching, leading, and conveying in their innermost man the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Becoming very present while absent and while invisible should be seen. Hallelujah!
This baptism, or infilling, is essential in making Jesus Lord. It is the Holy Ghost with our spirit that brings us endless application of truth in our experiences. Experiences of our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, conforming us to His image.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters;
Romans 8:29 NASB2020
May today we see the increase of His Kingdom in our inner man as the Holy Ghost, the zeal of the Lord, does His glorious work in us. Increase! HALLELUJAH!
President, Triumphant Mercy Ministries
- 50 Days to Pentecost
The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had given orders by the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of things regarding the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:1-5 NASB2020
Luke begins to make an account to Theophilus as to what he has seen and heard in his time with Jesus. He tells us that Jesus continued to teach them on the kingdom of God as He moved about amongst them after His resurrection. Knowing that He soon would ascend to Heaven, He continued to reveal the things of the kingdom of God. He preached and taught on the kingdom of God from day one as He went about Israel, declaring to seek the kingdom of God first.
For Him, this is priority one, first of all, according to the Lord of all.
Nothing has changed concerning His message to them and those who shall follow. Now He commands them to go and wait for the promise of the Father, the baptism and pouring out of the Holy Ghost, which they had heard from Him before the cross. He will send another, the spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost. He will not leave them as orphans, abandon, or forsake them. Paul later writes,
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 the one who serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God and approved by other people.”
Romans 14:16-18 NASB2020
Jesus is clear where the kingdom of God resides—it is in the Holy Ghost, and He shall be in you, and with you. It is not from below, not of the earth, not of the flesh, and cannot be inherited. He is to be received just as the Father and Son are. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
We are admonished to not let the kingdom of God or the Holy Ghost to be spoken of as evil. Both cannot be seen by the world, but just as they hated Jesus they will hate His followers and will not cease to make war with His subjects. The kingdoms of this world will be conquered and become His: our King, Jesus.
What grieves me are theologians and denominations who, in their teaching, discount the Holy Ghost baptism. Peter declared, “Repent, be baptized, and receive ye the Holy Ghost.” He is not a second experience. He was not diminished in any way at the apostles’ passing for He is in us and is with us. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. No less God and coequal with the Father and Son—just different in function. God three-in-one, in absolute agreement. For righteousness, peace, and joy of the kingdom are in the Holy Ghost. For we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Why? Because it is in the Holy Ghost.
These next 50 days from last Sunday until the feast of Pentecost I am asking Him to reveal and lead me into more truth concerning the Kingdom of God.