Rev Dr Edgar Mayer;
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[Jesus was controversial (John -25 cleansing the temple with a whip
and performing miracles) but] one man came to Jesus at night because he was hungry
for more of what Jesus was doing. I read from the Bible John 3:1-3: Now there was a man of the Pharisees
named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at
night and said, Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no
one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.
In reply Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, no one can see the
This was a friendly visit. Nicodemus paid Jesus a compliment: Jesus, we know that you have come from God and that God is with you. Nice recognition. Yet at the same time Nicodemus made a big mistake (frequently) our mistake. He thought that he knew who Jesus was and what he could expect from him. He called him Rabbi which is what many other teachers were called. (Jesus seemed to look like one of them and act like one of them.) Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God Therefore, (what happened was that) Nicodemus came to Jesus expecting to meet another rabbi and have an awesome conversation with another teacher. Only Jesus was more than any rabbi and could give more than any teacher.
This is how he answered Nicodemus: I tell you the truth, no one can see the
Now we may think that we are a little more advanced than Nicodemus. We havent turned up here, saying: Rabbi, we know you are a teacher He is more than that. Yet, what are we saying? Many a time we demonstrate the same misplaced confidence as Nicodemus. We think that we know who Jesus is, saying for instance: Jesus, we know you are the Saviour. Jesus, we know that you died for the forgiveness of our sins. But what does this mean and is it enough? This morning can Jesus rattle your self-assurance and make you see more? He said listen again to his words John 3:3-5: I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again [and he also said to Nicodemus expanding on this] I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit
In my Christian upbringing these were
familiar verses. The phrase born
again meant a lot. A born
again Christian was someone that
had turned from his sins to Jesus and now believed in him for eternal life. He
was saved born again when he would die, he would go to heaven. Great this was the goal of all church
efforts: saving souls but it was and
it is not enough. We have lost something in the Western church, that is: the
kingdom. Jesus did not say: Be born again to have eternal life or be
saved. Jesus declared the maximum
reality: I tell you the truth, no one can see the
What is the
Jesus stayed on message Matthew 9:35: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. He commissioned his disciples to preach the same Matthew 10:7-8: As you go, preach this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons He used many practical illustrations, saying Matthew 13:24: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. Matthew 13:31: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed Matthew 13:33: The kingdom of heaven is like yeast Matthew 13:44: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field Matthew 13:47: the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.
Jesus always preached the kingdom. When people were worrying about the basic necessities of life food and clothing, he said Matthew 6:3: . seek first Gods [original: his] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:32: Do not be afraid for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. When Jesus was dying on a cross, the written notice above him read This Is The King Of The Jews and a criminal dying next to him even then recognized the truth and asked him about the kingdom Luke 23:42: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
When Jesus rose from the dead, he
announced to the disciples Luke 23:46:
repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in my [original:
Yet, this was also
about the kingdom because the Bible explains Acts 1:3: After his
suffering, Jesus showed himself to
these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared
to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the
How many sermons have you heard on the
Before he was sentenced to death, Jesus had an interesting conversation with the representative of the worlds supreme political power at the time the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. I read from John 18:33-37: Pilate then summoned Jesus and asked him: Are you the king of the Jews? Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest But now my kingdom is from another place. You are a king, then! said Pilate. Jesus answered, You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. John 19:10-11: Pilate said. Dont you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you? Jesus answered, You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above
What is going on here? Are we to
conclude from Jesus words that his kingdom
is not of this world and therefore
we are not to be concerned with the nuts and bolts of living in 21st
However, this is not right. What Jesus
communicated to Pilate was that the origin of his kingdom was not of this world
and that he wasnt operating on the level of a Roman governor. He was above
Pilate and despite appearances exercising control over him. This is what
he said to him: You are right
I am a king. You would have no power
over me if it were not given to you from above
Whats more: Pilate and what he stood for would be unseated by Jesus.
As Jesus announced to Pilate, he had come to testify to the truth and his truth
as we know before long would
indeed take over the
What is going on with the
When you look at yourself and when you pinch yourself, you can easily come to the conclusion that you are flesh and bone. You are what you see in the mirror. Yet, this is not the truth. The truth is that we are spirit-beings and the human body is only a temporary house that we live in. In the Bible the human body is sometimes called a tent a temporary dwelling place which will be set aside when we die and come to live in heaven 2 Corinthians 5:1: . we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven (cf. 2 Peter ). In heaven we will still have a body but not a natural body. The natural body will be raised I quote 1 Corinthians 15:44: a spiritual body.
Therefore, you are a spirit and your
fundamental needs are spiritual. You may not want to agree. You may think that
the immediate needs of the body run your life the need to sleep, to eat and drink, the cravings of
the body. You may think that food and drink housing and marriage are your
most pressing concerns establish your career first get a good income while religion can wait. But this is not
understanding yourself. You are a spirit-being and unless your spirit is in the
Everything in heaven and on earth is
spiritual in the sense that everything is determined by our relationship to the
When God first made the world, he made everything perfect. The first human couple Adam and Eve were perfect spirit-beings in complete harmony with God and his kingdom which also meant that their human bodies and the whole creation of the cosmos were in perfect harmony with God and his kingdom. There was no decay and dying. There was no hunger and sadness. Everything was perfect including the body the weather the seasons of nature and God even put us humans in charge of this world Genesis 1:26-31: Then God said: Let us make man [and woman] in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures along the ground. God blessed them and said to them, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over every living creature From the beginning we were to share in Gods dominion.
But then we humans managed to spoil perfection and step outside of Gods kingdom. We turned against God and our spirit died became entangled and corrupted with rebellion against the holiness of God and sin. As Christians (if we are sensitive) we are still feeling these effects of sin even today. As Christians the more we choose to sin the more we allow ourselves to drift away from worship and obedience the more we sense that our spirit is suffering. It is becoming disconnected from God and begins to wither away. Adam and Eve ate from the one tree which was forbidden to them and as a consequence paradise the kingdom was lost.
Then, with the fall and corruption of the spirit also came judgements in the body and life in a fallen world. Pain and death entered our world and the rule of another kingdom the kingdom of darkness demons and Satan who benefited from our rebellion against God and therefore this is our world now just one passage from the Bible Ephesians 2:1-3: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air [Satan], the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath [outside of Gods kingdom].
Yet, Jesus came to restore what went
wrong. With him the
We are now at the present time this morning seated with Jesus Christ in the kingdom of
heaven and therefore we look to him. When he performed miracles signs and
wonder he did not just draw attention
to his preaching (this is where Nicodemus went wrong), he demonstrated the kingdom Matthew 12:28: But if I drive out
demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. So it is also with us today. As our spirits
are born anew and the Spirit of God from the
Then, Jesus further demonstrated that
Another Bible passage illustrates this
clearly Ephesians 6:10-18:
strong in the Lord and in his mighty power [be strong in the kingdom of
our struggle is not against flesh and blood [it is not against
politicians or the government people and their behaviour are not our primary
target] but against the [demonic] rulers, against the [demonic] authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly realms
conquer these with spiritual weapons as we conquer what controls human
behaviour the victory will show up in
the natural. More and more people will be born into the kingdom of God and
Romans 14:17: . the
Jesus came to establish the
How are we handling the teaching so far?
There is much to absorb. Maybe I summarize what we have established up to this
point. (1) You are a spirit and your spirit can be
born again. Your dead spirit can become alive to God so that you can see and
live in the kingdom of God. (2) In
the beginning when God created the world, the first humans lived in Gods
kingdom and everything was perfect. Their spirits were alive in God and
therefore even their bodies knew no decay or death. (3) They were made in the image of God and invited to share in Gods dominion over
creation but then they sinned and lost everything. (4) Sin separated them from God and made them
live under the rule of darkness the
[Excursus: Consider the precursor of the
kingdom in the
This is foundational teaching and there is much to learn but we want to become practical now. The problem of Nicodemus was that he couldnt see what was going on with Jesus and his kingdom demonstrations (the healings and the miracles) and the same problem persists even with us. Chances are that this morning in this church we dont see what is ours. You do not yet see the kingdom and therefore do not operate in its power.
All Christians struggle with this problem and therefore the apostle Paul writes to his church in the Bible Ephesians 1:17-23: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart [which are the eyes of our mind and inspired imagination] may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope the riches his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
We need to have our eyes opened to see how stupendous the truth is. Incomparably great power is available for us who believe in Jesus Christ and his kingdom. It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and it is ours this morning now. We need to have our eyes opened. All things are placed under the feet of Jesus Christ every single government on earth and every single demonic power anywhere with the result that therefore everything is placed under our feet because Christ is with the church and operates through the church you and I.
This the truth and it is so stupendous so unbelievable (judging by our current experience) that we fail to act on it. However, this is going to change. It is time for us to become practical with kingdom power.
The Bible teaches that we operate in a two-fold manner according to our identity as both kings and priests. I read from the Bible Revelations 1:5-6: Jesus Christ, who is the ruler of the kings of the earth [he] loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us kings [or: kingdom] and priests to serve His God and Father Revelations 5:10: You [Jesus Christ] have made them kings [or: to be a kingdom] and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on earth. (cf. 1 Peter 2:9; Revelations 3:21; 20:4; Romans 5:17b).
As kings and priests we are to be like
Jesus Christ who himself is king and priest Hebrews 7:1-8:2: This Melchizedek was king of
From these two references we can already learn the distinct practical functions of priest and king. As priest Jesus Christ intercedes prays for us (and the affairs of the world) and as king he rules with the sharp sword that is coming out of his mouth, that is: the word of God. The same two functions were already in place for him when he walked the earth with his disciples in tow Luke 5:16: But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. He prayed as a priest and then spoke as a king Matthew 8:16: [Jesus] drove out the spirits with a word and healed the sick. Luke 4:32: They were amazed for his word was with power. [Cf. 2 Peter 3:5: by Gods word the heavens existed and the earth was formed Hebrews 1:3: sustaining all things by his powerful word Hebrews : . the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword Ephesians 6:17: the sword of the Spirit . is the word of God. 1 Peter 1:23-25: . you have been born through the living and enduring word of God James : God chose to give us birth through the word of truth Colossians 1:6; Ephesians ; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6; 1 Thessalonians ; 4:5.]
Jesus shed more light on what he was doing as priest and king when he explained himself, saying John 5:17-21: My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does
When Jesus was walking the earth as a man, he was as dependent on God the Father as we are now which meant that he could do nothing by himself. He had to spend time in prayer (as a priest) and petition God. Then, the Father would respond to his prayers and show him what was gained in heaven which Jesus then acted out (as a king) by speaking the rule of heaven into existence. The role of prayer and spending time seeing what God the Father was doing was to synchronize the work of the Father and the work of the Son synchronize heaven and earth so that Jesus could manifest the kingdom of heaven on earth.
We are now to operate in the same way. Jesus taught us to pray (as priests) Matthew 6:9-10: Our Father in heaven your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven As priests we pray for heaven to manifest on earth (notice again how stupendous this prayer request is) and then we act on what has been gained as kings. We speak with power. At one time Jesus made this very clear. He said Matthew 16:18-19: I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven. [Cf. Matthew 18:18-19; John 20:21-23.] Like Jesus before us as kings we synchronize heaven and earth what the Father is doing and what we are doing. We manifest the kingdom of heaven on earth when we bind and loose on earth what has first been bound and loosed in heaven. And to hammer this point how are we doing this? By speaking the words that bind and loose.
In practice this means the following for us three short observations: (1) We need to pray and speak the word. Prayer alone without subsequent binding and loosing is often not enough and in the same way binding and loosing without praying beforehand is often not enough. We are both: kings and priests. (2) When we pray, we need to see what is going on in heaven. We cannot bind and loose anything before our prayer request is granted. What is the season that we are in? Whatever we want, must first be bound and loosed in heaven. E.g.: going on a mission trip, driving out demons and healing people, buying a worship building. (3) We must see what is going on in heaven and what the Father is doing because otherwise we will not have the faith and courage and perseverance that are required for the action of binding and loosing (cf. Hebrews 11). Only that which you can see with the eyes of faith, you can attain (at least most of the time) because whatever you see is what will manifest in your words of binding and loosing and that is what you will have.
We look at one example of what it means to be a king and priest in the Bible. Even before Jesus was born, God had intended for one forerunner nation to be a kingdom of priests for him. He had said to them Exodus 19:6: you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. However, only Moses the leader of the nation acted on this privilege of becoming a king and priest. When the nation sinned against God, Moses prayed and acted like a priest, crying out to God Exodus 33:15-16: If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here What else will distinguish your people from all the other people on the face of the earth? Exodus 34:9-10: let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin
[While he was praying for heaven to shift in favour of his people, he came to manifest the glory of heaven in himself first. His human frame that was made in the image of God took on even more of God until the glory of God radiated from his face with power. Heaven first manifested in him Exodus 34:29-35: his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord and they were afraid to come near him The same happens to us as we draw near to God and therein lies also a secret of the power which is needed for praying, binding and loosing 2 Corinthians 3:18: we with unveiled faces all reflect the Lords glory, [and] are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.]
Then, Moses attained what he prayed for. God relented and promised Exodus 33:14: My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. At this point Moses switched his role from priest to king because now he was to administer words of power Exodus 34:10: the Lord said: I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world Exodus 34:27: Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel Moreover when it came to the heart of the matter, that is: to have the Presence of God go with them heaven was to manifest according to Gods precise building instructions for the tent of worship the tabernacle. In this case quite literally as it was in heaven, so it would be on earth Hebrews 8:5-5: [the tent of worship] was a copy and shadow of what is in heaven Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
First Moses prayed (as priest) and then acted (as king) by decreeing how worship would take place according to the pattern in heaven. We are to do the same. First, we pray Matthew 6:9-10: Father your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven Then, we speak because Jesus said Matthew 16:18-19: [these are] the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.
A healing evangelist said that he would always spend hours in prayer and waiting on God before each worship meeting. In this time God would give him prophetic words for particular people and also show him how healings would take place. What did God want to do. The evangelist would see the faces and clothing of the people who would later be coming to the worship service. Then in the actual meeting the people that he had seen earlier were sometimes not sitting where he saw them in his vision and only when he physically rearranged them according to the pattern that had been given to him the healings would happen. We pray and then act out the word.
Now what does this mean for you? Where in your life does the kingdom need to manifest in the way you raise your child freedom from addiction building character getting a job growing a church transforming a city? God wants it to happen. Hes not the problem. Most of the time we are because we simply do not see the kingdom. Open the eyes and worship the king.
In closing, I only mention in passing that Jesus Christ came announcing the kingdom but he died while other people mocked his royalty. They Matthew 27:28-31: stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. Hail, king of the Jews! they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The soldiers did not know what they were doing. However, Jesus death would be his ultimate victory his blood would atone for our sin and therefore make him rise from the grave with absolute power over Satan who no longer has any rights over us. Yet and this is the closing lesson for us our King chose to conquer the world by loving us with the kind of love that was prepared to suffer pain and the loss of everything. Therefore, the same applies to us Ephesians 4:2: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Colossians 3:13: Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Romans 12:14-21: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse Do not repay anyone evil for evil Do not take revenge If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink overcome evil with good. [Cf. Luke 22:24-30.]
This is the way of our King and therefore this is the way of his power. Someone may do you harm but let this not darken again your insight. You may be hurting but see the kingdom. It is coming. As it is in heaven so on earth. Pray and then bind and loose what has been bound and loosed in heaven. Amen.
 Cf. Colossians 1:9-20: we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may please him bearing fruit being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or power or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 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 and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on a cross. Colossians 2:9-15: you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority When you were dead in your sins God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of, triumphing over them by the cross.