“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)
In the Gospel of Matthew chapters five, six, and seven we read the great message for Kingdom living that Jesus gave us in what has come to be known as “The Sermon on the Mount”.
There are those who believe that since Jesus was speaking at the time to the unsaved, then all of the attitudes and principles which Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount apply to the unsaved as well as the saved.
For example, there are those Christian teachers who teach that even if the wicked and unsaved tithe and give offerings, God is bound by His word to bless even them.
They teach that these principles are unbreakable promises established in the earth and that anyone, saved or unsaved, can see them operate in their lives.
This is not so.
“He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 147:20)
Jesus spoke to disciples who would later become Christians.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)
All of the words Jesus spoke and taught were for the benefit and the edification of His people, His believers, and His followers who would later be born again, receive the Holy Ghost, and become His church and His body.
“…I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” (Luke 4:43)
Jesus preached the kingdom of God.
He preached principles for walking in God’s Kingdom, not principles for getting things from God no matter what spiritual condition a person may be in.
All of us as believers want to see great manifestations of God’s power, but until we begin walking according to the principles and attitudes of His Kingdom we will not see that power manifested in our lives.
If God were to endue us with all the power of the Holy Ghost, without the right attitudes, we could do more harm than good. We would be like loaded pistols in the hand of a child.
“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” (Luke 9:54-56)
Once we have our attitudes under control, once we have the principles of God’s Kingdom down in our hearts, then we can walk as Christ walked and begin to exercise all the power of the Holy Ghost that He has made available to us.
This teaching is very instrumental to us if we are going to begin seeing the miracle manifestations of God in our lives.
Whether they are manifestations of healing, casting out devils, or working of miracles, God will be willing to release His power in us because we will be using them according to the principles of His Kingdom.
In Matthew chapter five verses one through 13 we have the Scriptures which most people call the Beatitudes.
If we were to go into practically any Church building or cathedral in the world today, we would most likely see a plaque or a painting somewhere in the building that would have these verses upon it.
There are those who also call these verses the “BLESS-EDS”.
This word spelled “B-L-E-S-S-E-D” in the Scriptures really has two different pronunciations and two different meanings.
The English word “blessed” in the New Testament and pronounced “bless-ed” comes from the Greek word “eulogetos” (pronounced yoo-log-ay-tos’) which means “adorable”. It is a description of God, such as “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
It is a title given unto God.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,” (Luke 1:68)
But the other Greek word which is translated “blessed” in the New Testament is “makarios” (pronounced mak-ar’-ee-os) which means “supremely blest, fortunate, well off”.
This is the word used in the Beatitudes and in the Sermon on the Mount translated “blessed” and refers to receiving blessings from God in this life.
We will become “bless-ed” when we achieve our home in Heaven as a glorified saint, but we can be “blessed” in this life now by following the directions Jesus gave us in the Word of God.
Until now many people have had the wrong understanding about the Sermon on the Mount.
The attitude has been, “Well, if I do all of these things then someday when I get into heaven I will be blessed”, but what the Scriptures are really teaching us is that if we will do all of these things now we will be blessed by God in this present life.
We will be supremely blessed, fortunate, and well off.
Many people think that right attitudes will just automatically come when we become a Christian, but Jesus exhorts us to strive to have the correct attitudes towards each other and God.
We each determine ourselves how close we want to walk with God.
There is not anything that can keep us from literally walking hand-in-hand and side-by-side spiritually with the Lord Jesus Christ. The only thing that stands in the way is us.
We determine how close we want to walk with God, and it all depends on whether we are willing to give up self and take on the mind of Christ.
We must strive to obtain proper attitudes through the power of God’s indwelling Spirit. It is by His power that we are able to be conformed to the image of Jesus.
God will never give us anything to do without first giving us the ability to do it.
Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48)
He would never have told us to do it if He wasn’t going to give us the ability to do it.
Now, I’m not perfect. I don’t know of anyone yet who is, but I know that I have the capability to be perfect if I will obey the principles and attitudes of God’s kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In this volume of the Sound Doctrine Seminar we are going to be dealing extensively with the enemy called “self” or the “carnal man” and the hidden truths contained in the Word of God that will help us to crucify the flesh and walk in the Spirit.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (count as dead) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13)
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24)