Welcome, welcome to all first time readers; and welcome back to those of you who have been following us along this journey. It is a wonderful pleasure having you here. Today we will be going in depth with the first step to becoming a part of the Kingdom of God.
Yeshua declared in Mark 1:15 that the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. He said,
REPENT! And believe the gospel.
Yeshua came to reveal all the prophecies that were concealed in the time of the Law and the Prophets. He also came to redeem man and bring the Kingdom of God into fulfillment as well as to make it available to all mankind.
Although the Kingdom of God is available to all of us, we still need to and have to repent before we can enter into this kingdom. In John 3:3 Yeshua said to Nicodemus, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. In verse 5 He declared that not only must he be born of water but of the Spirit as well before he can enter into the Kingdom of God.
What does it mean to be born again?
Being born again speaks of a renewal. The Bible declares that we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity. Even though we are spirit beings first, we are born with the natural tendency and inclination to think and act according to the desires of our soul and body. When we recognize this and come to the understanding that we should instead act and think according to the desires of our spirit aligned with the Spirit of God, then we begin to move towards the process of being born again.
The next step will be to accept that Messiah Yeshua came, died, was buried and resurrected in order for that process to be possible; and then submit to Him. Thus we accept Him as both Saviour and Lord of our lives, then we invite the Spirit of the LORD to become one with us. As a result, we undergo a complete transformation where we take on the mindset of Christ. Additionally we change the way we think and act so that we no longer fulfill the desires of the soul and the body but the Spirit.
What does it mean to be born of water?
Being born of water signifies true repentance where we recognize that we are not aligned with the LORD so we accept Messiah Yeshua as Saviour and Lord, and purpose to live differently – aligned with the commands of YHVH.
What does it mean to be born of the Spirit?
This speaks of a complete transformation of mind where our thinking is renewed daily. Our perspective, mindset, and outlook on everything changes and are aligned with the thoughts of God, which has a direct impact on our actions and on who we are as individuals.
Thus if you are only born of water, you can only see – know and be acquainted with, and experience – the kingdom. But when you couple the water birth with the Spirit birth, then you will be able to enter into – become a part of or a partaker of – the kingdom.
Apostle Paul asked this question in 1 Corinthians 6:9,
Do you not know that the unrighteous and wrongdoers will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
He went on further to say do not be deceived or be misled; don’t fool yourself, no fornicator, no idol worshippers, no adulterers, no homosexual, no effeminate (a man who has feminine qualities that are untypical of a man, a womanish man), no abusers of themselves with mankind, no thief, no liars, no greedy and covetous persons, no drunkard, no revilers, no slanderers, no extortioners or swindlers or robbers, no impure thoughts, no lasciviousness (those who are eager for lustful pleasures), none who participate in demonic activities and witchcraft, none who is hateful and hostile, none who love strife and quarrelling , no envy or jealousy, no selfishness, no anger, no enmity and such like, not one of them will share in or inherit the Kingdom of God (cf – Galatians 5:19-21).
Now all of us were like this – we were of the nature of these things – but some of us have cleansed ourselves, have been set apart by God and have come to be counted righteous through the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and by the power the Spirit of our God. If you know that you are of that some, give YHVH a shout of praise. And if you know that you are not in that some, begin your transformation process NOW.
People of the Kingdom of God whose lives are controlled by the Spirit of God should produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or humility, and self control. For if we live in the Holy Spirit, we should also walk in the Spirit and allow Him to lead us in every part of our lives. For by now, we should have nailed the passions, affections, lusts and desires of the flesh to the cross and crucify them there (Galatians 5:22-25).
Now if we are in the Kingdom of God, you need to be in the Kingdom of God; for no one can serve two masters at the same time. Yeshua said that
No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62)
It is either we are in or we are out; we are for Him or we are against Him; we are either cold or we are hot. There is no in-between.
Acts 8 speaks of a man called Simon who used sorcery, and he used to bewitch the people of Samaria to believe that he was a great man. All the people believed, from the least to the greatest of them; so much so that they said that Simon was the great power of God (meaning he was the exhibition of the power of God which was called great or intense). For many years, the people were amazed and dazzled by his skills in black magic.
Now before Saul was converted, he persecuted the church. After the death of Stephen, all the believers fled Jerusalem and went everywhere preaching, so Philip went down to the city of Samaria. There, he preached the Kingdom of God and Christ crucified as well as healed the sick and delivered those possessed with demons. After hearing the Word and seeing the miracles, the people believed and were baptized.
Even Simon the sorcerer believed and was baptized. Simon began to follow Philip and he, in turn, was amazed at all the miracles and signs that were manifested through Philip.
Now when the other apostles heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John. For, you see, the people were baptized with water but they were not yet baptized with the Spirit. While they had gone through the process of repentance, they had not yet experienced the transforming power of Holy Ghost.
Simon, although he was baptized with water, was not yet transformed. He was only able to see or experience the Kingdom of God; but was not yet entered into or partake in it because he was not born of the Spirit. He did not understand how to become a partaker of the Kingdom because he did not have the required change in his mindset.
He thought that he could achieve the things of the Kingdom in the same way he has achieved everything else in life. He decided that he want that power and authority displayed through the apostles; so he offered money to the Apostles in exchange for it.
He did not understand that what he desired cannot be purchased with money. You see, his heart was not right, his motives were not right, his thinking was not right; he was yet to be renewed and transformed by the power and Spirit of the Almighty God.
The Bible declares in Romans 12:2 that we must not be conformed to this world, but that we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
At times we see certain people operating under certain levels of the anointing and we envy and desire/want what they have. However, we do not want to go through the proper process that is required, that they underwent to get what they have; added to that, we are unwilling to pay the price that they paid to get it. And it is often in cases like this that we end up like Simon and bring a curse upon ourselves.
But I declare this day, just as Peter said to Simon when he rebuked him,
Repent therefore of this wickedness, and pray to God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee (maybe God will forgive your evil thoughts and intentions). For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness (I can see that you are full of bitterness), and in the bond of iniquity (and held captive by sin). Repent! I say, Repent!
There should be no place for covetousness, envy and jealousy within the Kingdom of God. For we are all graced with gifts and talents from the LORD. Let us take that which we have been given and glorify the LORD – Giver of ALL gifts – with them.
Now look at this, Peter rebuked Simon and told him to repent. Simon, in turn, instead of repenting turned to Peter and told him, “Pray for me so that nothing you said would happen to me!” Look! There is no one who can repent for you. Salvation is a personal thing and prayer on your behalf can never replace personal repentance — you have to repent for yourself. The command was to repent. Yet, he is requesting prayer. An action is required from him; and yet he is requesting someone else to take action.
If you know that you are not in right standing with God, you need to repent and be transformed or else you would have no share in the kingdom of God. And remember do not ask someone to do for you, what the LORD has required you to do yourself.
Next Thursday, please join us as we discuss the next requirement for becoming a citizen of the Kingdom of God – having faith. What does having faith mean to you? Let us know in the comment section below!
Thank you for joining us as we learn together and grow together! Let’s continue in our exploration of the Kingdom!