By Pastor Benny Parish
This teaching is part 2 of a series about the Kingdom of God by Pastor Benny Parish. It comes from the afternoon session of our Finding Hope in a World Full of Fear, Conflict, and Viruses Conference, which was filmed in August 2022 and can still be found on YouTube.
The Kingdom of God is not just something that believers inherit when they die—it is available for everyone here and now. His Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom but a spiritual one, and it is not somewhere far away. The Kingdom of God is able to reside within all of us. We cannot see it, but it should live within us as believers.
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17: 20-21 KJV
So what is the Kingdom of God? According to Romans 14:17, the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14: 17 KJV
Fruit of God’s Kingdom
God wants to give you His Kingdom so you can have His righteousness, His peace, and His joy in your life. Being a believer is not about just being born again, water baptized, and baptized in the Holy Spirit. There is so much more that He has for us; this is only the beginning! The Father wants us to have everything that Jesus purchased for us. He does not want us to miss out on any good thing.
We do not have to strive to have the Kingdom of God. We do not have to earn it. The Father delights in giving us His Kingdom. We can decide today that we will allow the Kingdom of God to dwell in us. We can embrace His righteousness, His peace, and His joy because He desires to give them to us. This is good news!
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12: 32 KJV
It is important to know that righteousness does not come from us. It is Christ’s righteousness that is accredited to us because of our obedience and faith. It is not really about us; it is really all about God. We cannot be justified by our works or self-righteousness. We cannot glory in our works, but we must glory in the righteousness that God has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ. A great definition of righteousness is when you believe God and follow Him. It is His righteousness that goes into our account when we believe Him.
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:1-5 KJV
Giving credit to God is very important. We have to give credit where credit is really due. When you believe Him, it is counted to you as righteousness. Our righteousness does not come from us—it comes from God. Righteousness is one of the benefits of the Kingdom of God abiding in us.
Peace is similar to righteousness in that it involves His peace and not our own. This peace is not ours and does not come from us. When we bow our knees and declare that we are not smart enough to run our lives but give them to Jesus instead—that is when peace begins. When we make Jesus our Lord, we have peace with God. We cannot have peace until we have peace with our Creator and submit to Him. We must recognize that peace comes from God, and it is through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:1 KJV
As His Word lives inside us and we are obedient to it, we have His peace residing inside us. His peace is like no other peace that we find on this earth. When we have His peace, we can choose not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid. Internal, lasting peace is a benefit of the Kingdom of God.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14: 27 KJV
The Joy of the Lord
Like righteousness and peace, joy also is the Lord’s. To be joyful, we must get into the Word and get before God. We will find His joy there; there is no joy apart from Him. The Bible says that in His presence is fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11
Jesus is our great example—He was able to have joy because he looked ahead and saw all of us – that He was building the family of God. He could go to the cross and still have joy with all that pain and suffering. If He can have joy in the midst of His circumstances, so can we. Joy is not just a feeling; it is something we can choose, like Jesus did.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 KJV
To keep our joy, sometimes we have to look in the Word and look forward to what is coming in expectation. We can look ahead with thanksgiving and anticipation for what He has promised us. This is part of the Kingdom of God living inside us here and now; joy is something He wants us to have no matter what is going on around us.
Humility in God’s Kingdom
When Jesus was on earth, He constantly displayed humility toward the Father. He did nothing on His own; He only did the things that the Father showed Him, and He always gave credit to the Father. He told people that the Father was the only One who was good and gave Him credit for everything He did while He was here.
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Mark 10:17-18 KJV
It feels good to follow God and give Him all the credit. We read another example of this in Revelation—the elders gave glory to the One who was worthy to receive it. Like them, I plan to throw my crown at Jesus’ feet in heaven because I know I did nothing by myself here on earth. It was all Him. I will say, “It was all you; I give you the glory and honor for what you did through me. Thank you, Father.”
The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying… Revelation 4:10 KJV
Like Jesus, we must give credit to God for everything He is doing through us and in us. Without giving God credit, we do not really have righteousness. This is the opposite of what Satan did; he took all the credit and lifted up himself. Giving God credit is part of our righteousness. This is a key for the Kingdom of God dwelling in us here and now.
God’s Kingdom Mindset
The Kingdom of God also involves mindsets that, in many ways, are opposite of how the world thinks. If we are going to allow the Kingdom of God to reside in us, it is going to take practice. We will have to practice because it is not the natural way we think.
For example, it is easy to be tempted to become discouraged when things do not go our way. But we must have a mindset that no matter what troubles come our way, we can count them as joy. We can turn troubles into the excitement of seeing how God will fix them. When problems come our way, we can look at them and say, “I can not wait to see how God is going to fix this!” We get to count it all joy when we fall into temptation because we know it is working patience and perfection within us. This is one way to have a Kingdom of God mindset.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4 KJV
We get to choose what we are going to believe. We can believe the truth or go into fear and be afraid and worried. It is our choice, and it takes practice to live believing the truth. I want to choose God’s way of thinking so the Kingdom of God can abide in me.
Appropriating the Word
Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is at war with the kingdom of Satan.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. Matthew 24:7
There are frequent signs of this battle on the physical earth, and it is often played out within our minds too. When the devil comes and lies to us, we must do what Jesus did. Jesus answered back to the devil, “that’s not what God said. Here is what he said…” and then He quoted what the heavenly Father really said.
The devil came tempting Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to be made into bread.” But Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man is not to live on bread only. Man is to live by every word that God speaks.’” Then the devil took Jesus up to Jerusalem, the holy city. He had Jesus stand on the highest part of the house of God. 6 The devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. It is written, ‘He has told His angels to look after You. In their hands they will hold You up. Then Your foot will not hit against a stone.’” Jesus said to the devil, “It is written also, ‘You must not tempt the Lord your God.’” Again the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He had Jesus look at all the nations of the world to see how great they were. He said to Jesus, “I will give You all these nations if You will get down at my feet and worship me.” Jesus said to the devil, “Get away, Satan. It is written, ‘You must worship the Lord your God. You must obey Him only.’” Then the devil went away from Jesus. Angels came and cared for Him. Matthew 4:3-11 KJV
We can defeat the devil just like Jesus did. He comes to tell us to be afraid—that we are not going to have food, we are not going to have any clothes, or that we are going to lose our house. The Word says that if we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first, all these things shall be added unto us. We can win the spiritual battle by coming into agreement with God’s Word.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33 KJV
Seeds of the Kingdom of God that did not bear fruit
Jesus gave us warnings in Matthew 13 about Satan trying to steal the news of the Kingdom of God. He used an example of a person sowing seeds, representing the preaching of the Kingdom of God. As the sower sowed his seeds in the parable, many different things happened. Some of the seeds were eaten by birds, some fell upon stony places, some fell among thorns, and some fell in good soil and brought forth fruit. The disciples did not understand this parable, so they asked Him about it. Asking Jesus for more understanding made a difference in hearing and understanding the story.
Jesus taught his disciples that the birds represented the enemy who wanted to come to steal what the Father was trying to tell them. Satan wants to steal the understanding of the Kingdom of God out of our hearts. He does not even want us to receive it. But if we do hear it, his next strategy is to bring tribulation and persecution so that you will be offended and not receive the teaching with joy. These tribulations are the stony places that cause the understanding of the Kingdom of God not to grow because it has not had time to develop deep roots.
The enemy will also try to use thorns, which represent the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. He will try to choke the news about the Kingdom of God so that it cannot bear fruit in our lives. Many things in this world need our attention, and Satan will try to use them as distractions so that we will be lured away from continually abiding in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Ghost.
Seeds of the Kingdom of God that did bear fruit
There is good news for those who overcome the traps of the enemy! If we receive the news of the Kingdom of God into good ground, we hear the words and understand them. This bears fruit because not only does the Kingdom dwell within us, but we also go out and preach about the Kingdom of God for others to hear. The Kingdom of God lives inside us—and we get to help others have it inside of them too! I want to be one of those who bear fruit 100-fold, 60-fold, and 30-fold.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew 13:18-23 KJV
Preaching About the Eternal Kingdom of God
One of Jesus’ main purposes for coming to the earth was to preach the Kingdom of God. The Father sent the Son to earth to preach and teach about the Kingdom of God.
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. Luke 4:42-43
I get really excited to preach about the Kingdom of God because Jesus said the gospel of the Kingdom of God shall be preached in all the world for a witness and to all nations—and then the end will come. I want everyone to have a chance to understand what it represents! Jesus preached about the Kingdom of God, so I want to too.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:14 KJV
Blessings when God reigns
As you learn to let His Kingdom reside in you daily, other benefits are that healings, miracles, and deliverances will follow you. You do not have to chase any of these things if the Kingdom of God continually dwells in you. I encourage you to get into the Word of God and spend time in His presence—the Kingdom of God will abide in you, and you will live out His righteousness, peace, and joy in your everyday life.
Pastor Benny Parish
Jesus answered many questions about the eternal Kingdom in the New Testament. Many blessings are available when His Kingdom rules your life. If you would like to read more about how to enter into the Kingdom of God, you can read about it HERE.
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