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THE NOW KINGDOM

A.     Introduction:  If we are going to be and do all God has for us in this life, it is vital that we understand what      happened to us when we were born again.
     1.     When we were born again, we became part of the unseen kingdom of God.
     2.     That kingdom is the source of all our help and power in this life.
          a.     We must learn to walk in the light of that kingdom.
          b.     That means we live our lives like that kingdom is real, really there -- looking to it, depending on                     it, benefiting from it.
     3.     That what living by faith is all about -- living by unseen realities. II Cor 5:7
          a.     We want to continue to talk about how to live by unseen realities.
          b.     In this lesson, we want to focus on the fact that we are part of a kingdom that is in the ever present                now -- the now kingdom.

B.     We must begin by restating some basic facts about reality.
     1.     There are two kinds of  knowledge -- sense knowledge and revelation knowledge.
          a.     Sense knowledge is all the knowledge that has come to us through the five physical senses.
               1.     That knowledge is limited.  It can only tell us about things we can see, feel, taste, smell, or                          hear.
               2.     It cannot tell us about God, the origin of life, of the universe, of the laws of nature.
               3.     It cannot tell us about the origin of man (where he came from, why he exists), the origin of                          sin and evil (where it came from, why it exists), the origin of death (what it is, why it occurs).
          b.     Revelation knowledge is the knowledge that is revealed to us, given to us, in the Bible.
     2.     Revelation knowledge, the Bible, tells us that there is an unseen realm along side the realm we see.                 The Bible reveals the unseen realm to us. II Cor 4:18     
          a.     The unseen God created all that we see by simply speaking. I Tim 1:17; Heb 11:3; Gen 1
          b.     The unseen not only created the seen, it will outlast the seen, and can change the seen.
          c.     Not seen doesn't mean not real.  It means invisible, spiritual, immaterial.
     3.     Revelation knowledge tells us that you and I are spirits who live in a body and possess a soul.
          I Thess 5:23          
          a.     You can and will one day live independent of your body. II Cor 5:6
          b.     God intends that you, the spirit man, rule your soul (mind and emotions) and body, not vice versa.
     4.     Revelation knowledge tells us that when you were born again, the life of God came into your spirit.
          I John 5:11,12; II Pet 1:4
          a.     That life made you a literal, actual son or daughter of God. I John 5:1
          b.     That life made you a new creature with the life and nature of God in you. II Cor 5:17
          c.     Just because we can't see the real you and all of these changes doesn't mean they aren't real.  Not                     seen doesn't mean not real.  It means invisible.
     5.     Revelation knowledge tells us that through the new birth, you and I became part of the unseen                     kingdom or realm of God. Col 1:13
          a.     The kingdom of God is the invisible realm where God dwells.
               1.     It is a kingdom of light and life because God is light and life.
               2.     His light and life comes into us (our spirits) at the new birth.  His kingdom comes into us,                          connecting us with the invisible realm around us.     
          b.     Luke 17:20,21--The kingdom of God within us is the new birth.  Observation = ocular evidence                     (evidence obtained or perceived by sight); within = inside.
          c.     Eph 1:3--We now have access to, are linked up with, the unseen power and provision of the                          unseen kingdom.  Spiritual means invisible.
     6.     Revelation knowledge tells us that the very same life and power that reigns in the unseen realm is in us           now because of the new birth.
          a.     If you could step out of your body right now, you would see that realm. II Cor 5:8
          b.     You would see the impermanence, the temporary, fleeting nature of this life and all that we see                     with our eyes.
          c.     II Cor 4:18--For the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are                     invisible are deathless and everlasting. (Amp)
     7.     If you could step out of your body right now you would also see that there are no clocks.
          a.     The unseen kingdom is in the ever present now.  It is always now in this kingdom.
          b.     The unseen realm is outside of time.  When you step outside of your body, you will leave your                     watch behind.
          c.     You, the spirit man, are not on a time table.  Your body is getting older, but your spirit is hooked                     up with the now kingdom and is being renewed every day. II Cor 4:16
     8.     You are linked up with, joined to a kingdom where it is always now and you must learn to think and                speak in now terms (present tense terms).
     9.     What happened to you at the new birth is a present tense (right now) reality.
          a.     It is in effect right now.  It is true now.  It is real now.
          b.     If you will learn to walk in the light of it, it will revolutionize your life.
C.     Let's briefly restate the eternal purpose for which we were created according to revelation knowledge.       This will help us understand what has happened to us through the new birth.
     1.     God created man because He wanted holy, blameless sons and daughters with whom He could have                relationship. Eph 1:4,5
          a.     However, the first man Adam, plunged the whole race into sin and death through His disobedience                in the Garden of Eden. Rom 5:12-19
          b.     As a result, we are born into a fallen race.  We inherit a sin nature from our first parents, and when                we are old enough, we commit our own sins. Rom 3:23
     2.     A holy God cannot have sinners as sons and daughters.  A holy God must punish sinners for their sins.            The only punishment which satisfies justice is eternal separation from God.
          a.     So, the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus, left heaven and took on flesh.
          b.     He went to the Cross for us as us.  He was punished in our place for our sins.
          c.     When the price for our sins was paid, He rose up from the grave for us as us, free from sin and its                     penalties.
     3.     When a person believes the facts of the gospel and makes Jesus Lord, the results of the Cross go into                effect in that person's life.
          a.     Because that person was punished at the Cross through Jesus, his substitute, and because his sins                     were paid for by his Substitute, God can legally make that person His son or daughter once he accepts the sacrifice of Christ.
          b.     God can then begin His eternal plan for that person.  He can put His life in that person and begin                     the process of conforming him to the image of Jesus. Rom 8:30
     4.     God's plan was and is to unite us to Himself by uniting us to the life in Him.
          a.     Gen 2:9-God planned that Adam eat from the tree of life and unite the entire human race to life.
          b.     Adam instead united the human race to death through his disobedience.  But God corrected that                     through Jesus.  He made it possible for us to be united to life through the new birth.  
          c.     God's plan was and is now made known to us through Jesus Christ.  II Tim 1:9,10
     5.     God gave the apostle Paul the privilege of revealing His plan for obtaining sons and daughters through                Christ as he preached the gospel. Rom 16:25,26
          a.     It had been a mystery kept hidden from the beginning, but it is now revealed in Christ, through                     Christ.
          b.     The mystery was and is that God would unite us to the life in Christ. Col 1:26,27
               1.     When you become a Christian, are born again, you are united to Jesus as a branch is to a vine.                     John 3:16; 15:5
               2.     The life that is in Jesus is now in you and certain things are now true (real) about you because                     that life is in you.
     6.     Let's look at the present tense reality of the kingdom to which we now belong and the present tense                reality of the changes which have occurred in us through the new birth.
          a.     I Pet 2:9,10--We are now the people of God and have obtained mercy.
          b.     Rom 8:1--There is now no condemnation (Greek = adverse sentence; Amp = no adjudging guilty                     of wrong) to those who are in union with Christ.
          c.     I Cor 12:27--You, corporately, are now the body of Christ, and you, individually, are a particular                     member of that body.
          d.     I John 3:2--Now you are a son of God who is being conformed to the image of Jesus.
          e.     Eph 5:8--Now you are light in union with the Lord.

D.     The mouth is the connecting factor between the seen and the unseen.
     1.     When the unseen God created the seen, He spoke words.  When Jesus was on earth, He brought unseen           power on the scene by speaking.
     2.     Now, we must speak out unseen realities.  That is how the unseen is connected to the seen in our lives.           Rom 10:8-10
          a.     In His word, God tells us about unseen realities.
          b.     When we believe His word and speak it out, He gives us the experience.
     3.     It is critical that we get our verb tenses straight.  We must speak of unseen realities in present tense                terms because the unseen realm is present tense (now).
     4.     We often say things like this -- I know the Lord is going to give me victory in this situation.  I know   I'll defeat Satan in this situation.
          a.     But those statements are incorrect.  They are all future tense.  Jesus already defeated Satan -- once                for all -- through the Cross. Col 2:15
          b.     When Jesus triumphed over Satan He did it for you as you.
          c.     You have already defeated Satan through your substitute, Jesus, and therefore, you are (now,                          present tense) a victor. Eph 1:22; Rom 8:37
          d.     II Cor 2:14--God causes us to triumph (present tense) because we are victors through union with                     Christ.
     5.     There is a legal side to Christianity and a vital side.
          a.     The legal side is past tense -- what God did for us through the Cross of Christ.
          b.     The vital side is present tense -- what is now true in us because we are born again, what God is                     doing in the new creation now through the Holy Spirit and the word.
          c.     The now is possible because of what Jesus has already done on the Cross.
     6.     The Holy Spirit is here to do in you and through you all that Christ did for you on the Cross. Phil 2:13;                Heb 13:21; Col 1:29
          a.     The Holy Spirit is here to bring the unseen into the seen in you and for you.
          b.     The vital (present tense) work of the Holy Spirit is to bring the life of God in fullness into our                          mind and body. Eph 3:16; Rom 8:11
          c.     Eph 3:19--That you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God -- [that is]                     may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself. (Amp)
     7.     The Holy Spirit is here to build the reality of the word into us as we meditate on it (think about it,                     speak it out). John 16:13,14; I Cor 2:9-12
          a.     This is the vital side of what He is doing in us.
          b.     God is building Himself into us (Christlikeness) through the Holy Spirit and the word of God.
     8.     We cooperate with the Holy Spirit by acknowledging His presence and His work in us.
          a.     We acknowledge what He has already done in us through the new birth. Titus 3:5
               1.     I am a new creature with the life and nature of God in me. II Cor 5:17; I John 5:11,12
               2.     I am God's workmanship created anew through union with Christ. Eph 2:10
               3.     I am holy and righteous through my union with Christ. I Cor 1:30
               4.     I am healed because I am in union with health and life. I Pet 2:24
          b.     We acknowledge what He is doing now that we are born again and indwelled by Him.
               1.     God is working in me that which is well pleasing in His sight. Heb 13:21
               2.     God is working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure.  The ability of God is at                          work in me. Phil 2:13; 4:13
               3.     The same God who said that because of His stripes I am healed is in me to make that word                          good in my body. Rom 8:11
E.     Conclusion:  You are linked up with a kingdom that has never known a watch or a clock.
     1.     You are now what God says you are.  You now have what God says you have.  You now can do what                God says you can do because you are linked up with the now kingdom through the new birth.     
     2.     By faith (by unseen realities revealed to us in the Bible), take your place, take your stand and confess                what you really are and really have -- NOW!!!
          a.     In the face of contrary sense evidence, hold fast to your confession -- saying the same thing God                     says. Heb 10:23
          b.     And, the unseen God will make good in your life the unseen realities of the now kingdom to                          which you now belong.