UR Healed

The Kingdom of Heaven

The Kingdom of Heaven – The Greatest Secret

The Kingdom of Heaven is the state of being of a person who has accepted Jesus as the Messiah. When Adam committed the original sin, mankind was plunged into a fallen state of being. That fallen state brought about an association with sin, sickness, death, and separation from God. Jesus was sent to the earth to redeem mankind and restore him to a relationship with God, similar to the relationship Adam enjoyed before his fall from grace. In that similar way, by accepting Jesus as our Lord and King, we are accepted into the body of Christ, which is the family of God, and are part of the Kingdom of Heaven.

For behold the Kingdom of God is inside you. —Luke 17:21

In case you are wondering, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are the same thing. The book of Matthew predominantly uses the phrase, “Kingdom of Heaven,” whereas the other Gospel writers chose to use, “Kingdom of God.” Scholars suggest a few reasons for this, ranging from the audience Matthew intended for his writing, and not wanting to use the name of God out of respect for God. Suffice it to say, it appears that both phrases are referring to the same kingdom.

If we are in the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is in us, then an understanding of how it works should be a primary concern to the believer. If this is an insight into how God’s Kingdom works, then this understanding is critical for successful Christian living.

The starting point for our understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven naturally begins with the parables in Matthew 13, as this is where Jesus begins speaking about them. Jesus uses parables to explain important moral and spiritual principles to the crowds, but He does it in parable form—by telling a story, and not the meaning. At one point during His story of the Parable of the Sower, the disciples came to Jesus and wanted to know why He spoke to the crowd in parables.

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it is given to you to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not.” —Matthew 13:10-11

The response that Jesus gave was astounding. He told them that the meaning of the stories He was telling them was the secret of how the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of God operates. And the first story He told them was the Parable of the Sower. The explanation Jesus gave the disciples to this parable is the foundation of how God’s kingdom works. This was the first lesson Jesus gave on the subject of the Kingdom of Heaven, and its meaning and application should be the foundational centerpiece for every Christian life.

The Kingdom of Heaven is all about the Word of God; the actual words on the page of the Bible. The Word of God is the seed in this parable.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God. —Luke 8:11

When you hear some teaching about the Word of God, whether you are saved or unsaved, there appears to be some type of transfer in the spiritual world. Yes, it says that there is actually something deposited in the heart of any person when he hears the Word of God.

If it is the seed which lands on the wayside, it is immediately eaten up by the birds of the air. If the person who hears the Word of God doesn’t understand it the Devil comes and takes it away from him, so that he can’t be saved. The implication of what goes on here with the Word being received, and the Devil taking it away for one of several reasons, is staggering. If we could see into the spiritual world we would see words operating in a different manner, especially God’s Word. This is why the confession of God’s Word is an absolute imperative; that is, saying what God says about his children, including the promises.

If the seed, the Word of God, lands on the rocky ground it is received with joy and gladness by the believer. But like seed falling on rocks, there is no root for the seed. Jesus says the people on the rocks will believe the Word of God for a while, but when times of testing and temptation come, because of the Word, and these people fall away. This means when you hear the Word of God, temptation and trials are on the way. That’s just how it works. Expect it. Prepare for it. Don’t be caught off guard. Have your Scriptures (your arsenal) ready.

The seed that is sown on thorny ground is the person who hears the Word, accepts the Word, and as they move forward with their daily lives, the cares, worries, and deceitfulness of riches choke the Word resulting in bringing no fruit to maturity.

And the seed sown on good ground or soil is the person who hears the Word, understands and keeps it. This person bears fruit, a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.

What do we do with the Kingdom of God?

Well, remember the verse above, Luke 17:21? It says the Kingdom of God is inside of believers. This Kingdom inside of a believer results in a change in their nature at the time salvation is accepted. Now, it is up to the believer to find out what things have changed and what things are available for the believer who is part of the Kingdom of God; and find out how to make those things a reality in your life.

When most people got saved there was an emotional experience. To varying degrees the new believer felt something different. However, for the most part, after that experience you still had the same job, the same friends, the same family relationships, the same husband or wife, the same bank account; the same everything. And out of the same people who knew you got saved, hopefully they saw a new you. Someone different. Something about you that was different.

But with your new relationship with God, whether you saw anything different, you were changed. You now have the Kingdom of God living inside of you, along with all of its promises. The first promise you experienced was the one when you got saved—the promise of eternal life through Jesus. That was part of the promise from God where He would send His son Jesus who would come to the earth and pay the price for the sin of all mankind through His death on the cross. Because you acted on, and accepted, that one thing you opened up yourself to all of the other promises in the Bible that are available to believers.

One of the most important of these is divine healing. It to, like salvation, was something already offered to believers through the cross of Jesus. The healing for any sickness or disease you might get in the future wasn’t what was available with the death of Jesus. What was offered was the new identity you received which included the fact that you were already healed. You were healed when Jesus paid that price on the cross.

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the cross, that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. —1 Peter 2:24

Surely He has borne our sickness, and carried our pain and sorrow, yet we thought Him stricken by God and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for the guilt of our transgressions; bruised for our iniquity; the chastisement of our health and welfare was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. —Isaiah 53:4-5

It should not be you seeking healing from God because you are sick. Your state of mind should be that you are already healed, and for whatever reason, the Devil who is trying to take your healing away from you with sickness and disease. Remember the Parable of the Sower, if you don’t understand something, you lose it. If you understand and receive the Word of God and when testing occurs, and you miss the mark, you won’t produce any fruit. If the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches overtake you, you won’t produce any fruit. And the fruit here is walking in the divine health already provided.

This way of thinking involves a completely different mindset. This is why people struggle with sickness and disease, and lose; and why people struggle with sickness and disease after a period of winning.

Let’s look at this another way, and I will use a personal example. I have a big yard. I have several landscaped areas in my yard, mostly small plants and shrubs. There are some big palm trees and areas with mulch and other areas with rocks. Oh, and there are weeds. Lots of weeds. Weeds everywhere. So, when I go out to water some of the plants, I pull some of the weeds springing up in the mulch, or the rocks, or in the cracks in the driveway. I stay on top of this and its a steady battle, but I usually win. It’s a daily battle. If I stop pulling those tiny little weeds for any reason, maybe I’m out of town, or it rains, those weeds don’t stop and wait for me to return. They keep sneaking back in. If I were to take some time off from weeding, they will take over my yard.

My yard, when I finished it was perfect, just the way I wanted it, without the weeds. But they are the enemy. And this enemy, the weeds, keeps going after my perfect yard, and as long as I put up a fight, I win. Once I stop fighting, the enemy will take over.

The Word of God says that we are in a battle, not with weeds, but with the Devil. He looks for people to kill, steal from, and destroy; and he keeps coming. But as long as you fight he will leave you every time.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. —James 4:7

Don’t ever stop fighting. Jesus said is John 16 that we would have tribulation (pressure, distress), but that even in the midst of these things we would have peace.

These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. —John 16:33

Jesus said that in Him we would still have peace.

Success in the Christian walk entails a shift, or change in our mindset. So many things were give to us at the cross. It is imperative that we find out what those things are and start acting on them. Once you begin to understand you will see how to live the new life that Jesus paid for with his death on the cross; the life of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Gregg F. Swifit, J.D.