My Kingdom is Not of This World

The things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

As you spend time resting in the word of God daily, forgetting everything you know except Jesus the Messiah, are you aware of a growing desire for your every word and thought to please the Lord? Are you becoming conscious of the Lord’s response to your every word and thought?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root as the Spirit of God brings them to life in you.

For this purpose.

John 18:36-37 – Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”  Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (ESV)

For this purpose, I was born and for this purpose, I have come into the world
To bear witness to the truth.

Two states of being.
Of this world.
Of the truth.
Whose voice has your ear and heart?

Why should we listen to Jesus’ voice?

Jesus: the words, the witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

Rev 3:14 – “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. (ESV)</span?

The words of the Amen.
Amen: firm, trustworthy, truth, permanent, quiet, steadfast, verified.1

Jesus: The Amen.

2 Cor 1:20-22 – For however many promises God has made, they all find their “Yes” in connection with him; that is why it is through him that we say the “Amen” when we give glory to God. Moreover, it is God who sets both us and you in firm union with the Messiah; he has anointed us, put his seal on us, and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee for the future. (CJB)

All God’s promises find their “Yes” in connection with Jesus, in firm union with him.

Jesus: the faithful and true witness.

Rev 1:5 – and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood (ESV)

Jesus: the beginning of God’s creation.

Col 1:15-20 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)

Jesus the Messiah.
The firstborn of all creation, what is seen.
The firstborn from the dead, what is unseen.
Through him, God is reconciling all things to himself.
Making peace by the blood of his cross.

Read the texts about Jesus again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.

People trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion.

Rom 1:19-23 – But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. (MSG)

Two states of being.
Of the truth.
Knowing God.
Open heart, taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created.
Able to see his eternal power and the mystery of his divine being.

Of this world.
Not treating God like God.
Refusing to worship him,
We trivialize ourselves in silliness and confusion.
Pretending to know it all but illiterate regarding life.
We trade the glory of God for cheap idols.
Clinging to what is seen, unaware of what is unseen.

My [Jesus] purpose:
To bear witness to the truth.
“Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Are we of the truth?

Here is how we know.

1 John 3:16-24 – The way that we have come to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers! If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God? Children, let us love not with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!

Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in his presence: if our hearts know something against us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God; then, whatever we ask for, we receive from him; because we are obeying his commands and doing the things that please him.

This is his command: that we are to trust in the person and power of his Son Yeshua the Messiah and to keep loving one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands remain united with him and he with them. Here is how we know that he remains united with us: by the Spirit whom he gave us. (CJB)

Here is how we will know that we are from the truth.
Here is what will set our hearts at rest in his presence.
If our hearts know something against us,
God is greater than our hearts.
Fear, selfishness, lack of love, disobedience, self-criticism… cannot survive in his presence.
We have come to know love through his having laid down his life for us.
His life, his love in us, brings forth a life of love just like his.
In union with him, our hearts know nothing against us; we have confidence in approaching God.

This is his command:
Trust in the person and power of his Son Jesus the Messiah
And keep loving one another.
Those who obey his commands to trust and keep loving, remain united with him and he with them.

Here is how we know that he remains united with us:
By the Spirit whom he gave us.

God’s Spirit confirms who we really are.

Rom 8:15-17 – This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us — an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! (MSG)

God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.
We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.
We go through exactly what Christ goes through.

Read the text again. What thoughts and questions and emotions arise? Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

We go through exactly what Christ goes through.

The Word became flesh.

John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV)

Delivered us from the domain of darkness.

Col 1:13-14 – He [God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (ESV)

Has delivered: through the idea of a current; to rush or draw for oneself; rescue; to flow, run as water, in the sense of its congener [a person or thing of the same kind], a flowing of blood.2

Domain/power: in the sense of ability; privilege, force, capacity, competency, freedom or mastery; delegated influence.3

God has delivered us from our silliness and confusion, obscurity
Through the flow of water and blood drawing us to himself
Giving us knowledge regarding life
Restoring to us the glory of God
Redeeming us, forgiving us.
He delivered us from the domain of darkness.
He transferred, seduced, us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.

God speaks to us.

Heb 1:1-3 – Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (ESV)

By his Son.
His Son is the radiance, the brightness of the glory of God.
He is the exact imprint of God’s nature.
He bears, carries the universe by the word of his power.
After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

God has spoken to us by his Son.
Are we listening and receiving his word?
Are we taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created

Come into being.

Heb 11:3 – By trusting, we understand that the universe was created through a spoken word of God, so that what is seen did not come into being out of existing phenomena. (CJB)

By trusting, we understand.
The universe, you and I, were created through a spoken word of God.
What is seen did not come into being out of existing phenomena,
But through a spoken word of God.

Trusting.

Heb 11:1 – Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see. (CJB)

Trusting is being confident of what we hope for.
Trusting is being convinced about things we do not see.

Of things hoped for: to expect or confide; to anticipate, usually with pleasure.4

He dared to trust God to do what only God could do.

Rom 4:17-18 – We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” (MSG)

Trusting.
He dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life.
He dared to trust God to do what only God could do: to make something out of nothing with a word.
Trusting is living on the basis of what God said he would do.

Named.
Then becoming.
Created through a spoken word of God.

The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.

Luke 17:20-21 – Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (ESV)

Behold!
Look!
See!
Take a long and thoughtful look at what God has created.
The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.
Here!
Now!
In you and me!

The things we can’t see now will last forever.

2 Cor 4:13-18 – We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. (MSG)

We go through exactly what Christ goes through.
On the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us.
On the inside, where God is making new life,
Not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
There’s far more here than meets the eye.
The things we can’t see now will last forever.

Read the texts again. Chew upon these words. Turn them over and over in your mind and allow their significance to be absorbed by mind, body, soul and spirit.

Jesus’ purpose:
To bear witness to the truth.
“Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Here is how we will know that we are from the truth.
Here is what will set our hearts at rest in his presence.
We have come to know love through his having laid down his life for us.
Those who obey his command to trust and keep loving, remain united with him and he with them.
Here is how we know that he remains united with us:
By the Spirit whom he gave us.

Jesus’ kingdom, which is in the midst of us, is not of this world. The things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. Let’s diligently pursue the unseen!

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda, to allow response from your inner depths to surface. What do you discover?

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Seek his strength. Seek his presence. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty that you may serve him.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him. Become reverently responsive to what he says.

Gal 6:14-16 – For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do — submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! (MSG)

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

It is not what I do, it is what God is doing

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

He is creating something totally new, a free life!

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah.

As you receive the Word of God into that deepest place of your being, the Lord God is rescuing you, he is loosening your bonds to your old nature, he is delivering you from your illusions and foolish boasting. Through Jesus, our Messiah, God is gradually transforming you from within, revealing who you really are, becoming one spirit with him.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Amen: NT:281 <START GREEK>a)mh/n<END GREEK> amen (am-ane’); of Hebrew origin [OT:543]; properly, firm, i.e. (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially, surely (often as interj. so be it): KJV – amen, verily.

OT:543 <START HEBREW>/m@a*<END HEBREW> ‘amen (aw-mane’); from OT:539; sure; abstract, faithfulness; adverb, truly: KJV – Amen, so be it, truth.

OT:539 <START HEBREW>/m^a*<END HEBREW> ‘aman (aw-man’); a primitive root; properly, to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (Isa 30:21; interchangeable with OT:541) to go to the right hand: KJV – hence, assurance, believe, bring up, establish,  fail, be faithful (of long continuance, stedfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Has delivered: NT:4506 <START GREEK>r(u/omai<END GREEK> rhoumai (hroo’-om-ahee); middle voice of an obsolete verb, akin to NT:4482 (through the idea of a current; compare NT:4511); to rush or draw (for oneself), i.e. rescue: KJV – deliver (-er).

NT:4482 <START GREEK>r(e/w<END GREEK> rheo (hreh’-o); a primary verb; for some tenses of which a prolonged form rheuo (hryoo’-o) is used; to flow (“run”; as water): KJV – flow. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

NT:4511 <START GREEK>r(u/si$<END GREEK> rhusis (hroo’-sis); from NT:4506 in the sense of its congener NT:4482; a flux (of blood): KJV – issue. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Domain/power: NT:1849 <START GREEK>e)cousi/a <END GREEK> exousia (ex-oo-see’-ah); from NT:1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence: KJV – authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Of things hoped for: NT:1679 <START GREEK>e)lpi/zw<END GREEK> elpizo (el-pid’-zo); from NT:1680; to expect or confide: KJV – (have, thing) hope (-d) (for), trust.

NT:1680 <START GREEK>e)lpi/$<END GREEK> elpis (el-pece’); from a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence: KJV – faith, hope. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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