24 Keys of the Kingdom
For many years, I’ve received on a daily basis letters and emails from younger and developing ministers in foreign lands giving their lives to Jesus to be used as conduits of his power and blessings, to evangelize the native peoples of their country, and to be instruments to build the Church Jesus is building, in their nation.
When you receive so many heart-wrenching emails and letters, desperately requesting assistance of one sort or another, it’s easy after many years to become somewhat numb to these desperate cries for help, especially when you just don’t have material resources to help them in that way and all you really have to offer them in addition to prayer for them and their needs is an invitation to visit a website to read some articles you hope will render at least some small amount of spiritual sustenance.
At times, if you think about it long, it can become grievous that essentially, like Peter, all you can really do (which I do actually say in my email responses), “Silver and gold, have I none, but such as I have, I give unto thee….”
In the face of such dire and genuine need, it seems like so little, when you know that so few, relatively speaking, even genuine believers, are able to take hold of all that the Lord has given unto us, up to, not half, but ALL of His Kingdom, and utilize all the spiritual wherewithal His Kingdom contains and really do much really impactful with it, relatively speaking, yourself included.
So, to offer them whatever paltry spiritual substance you may (and sometimes not sure) you have, seems such an infinitesimally small contribution toward their mountainous needs.
At moments like this, all I’ve ever been able to do to get some relief from the grief is to cast it all upon the Lord and apologize to Him and to the petitioner that I possess so little that I can contribute to them, material and spiritual, and get back to work, studying His Word and seeking His face, in the hope that one day He’ll bless me with more to give to others.
Sometime ago I received another such email from a young Algerian man who has obeyed the call of God to go to a region in the Sahara desert to evangelize the people living there. Wow! I’m thinking, son, why are you writing to me? I should be writing to you to learn what it is that causes someone to have that kind of passion to obey God to go to a remote place in the Sahara desert all to tell the people there about the love of God and the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ! Here’s some of what this young man wrote:
I am from Algeria north of Africa. I am 33 years old. I contacted you because I don’t have anywhere else to turn. I live in a village where God has called me to start a church. I am now with a small group there, however, I am far away from my village to work in the Sahara in the desert of Algeria. I am alone here and feeling very weak spiritually and unable to stand before the evil spirits and ruling principalities in charge here over this region, because I sometimes have momentary lapses into sin and at times seem to live a life of defeat. Yet, I believe the Lord brought me here in this desert place to strengthen me. So, I am asking you to give me direction and exhortation and everything the Lord Jesus will tell you about my life spiritually and naturally, because I am not very developed yet in hearing the voice of God for myself, because as I told you, I am alone and the church here in my country is still young and spiritually immature. So, please help me, I am really desperate here for the Lord’s help. Grace be with you in Jesus’ name; Amen.
When I heard the simple child-like faith in this young man’s words, I wept. Would to God that I would be as passionate, faithful, and obedient as this young man in obeying the call of God on my life. Lord, help me!
But, then, as I meditated and prayed, suddenly the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I began to hear in my spirit “a word” from the Lord and His prompting to “write.” I had no idea that what would come out would be what it became.
But, after I finished scribing the “word” and had sent it off, I then felt the Lord’s urgings to share it in an article for everyone to read. After re-reading it, I felt the best way to characterize the message was to title it, “24 Keys of the Kingdom,” though it could just as well be called, “24 Essentials for Overcoming Through Christ!” Both would be an accurate description!
These points are all somewhat basic I suppose, at least to those who’ve been blessed enough to have been exposed to good teaching concerning the Kingdom of God over the span of the last 20, 30, or 40 years, but it’s the basics that always work, and what we should always ensure are operating in our life, no matter how long we’ve been “in the way.” I believe this is a good word from the Lord for EVERY believer living in EVERY nation on the planet! So, here it is. I hope it blesses and empowers you!
1. Be ABSOLUTELY SURE — of your salvation through Christ Jesus and Him alone! — that you truly have been BORN AGAIN and that the Holy Spirit has come into your heart to take up residence and regenerate your previously dead human spirit! You will know by the fact that your inner-man has changed! The stony heart of hardness against God and His Kingdom will have been replaced by a heart set toward God and the things of God! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE, the old things PASSED AWAY; behold, NEW THINGS have come!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
2. Be FILLED — with the Spirit in the inner-man, i.e., your human spirit or heart, continually, and keep being refilled with the Spirit!
3. REPENT — from all sin and ungodly conduct. Repentance is an absolute imperative and the initial prerequisite of true salvation and complete sanctification. It is the very foundation of the Gospel, as this phrase in Hebrews 6:1 indicates: “…a foundation of repentance….” In other words, “Repent” is the first word of the Gospel of Christ!
Indeed, it was the first word of the Gospel which John The Baptist preached: “Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, `Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'” (Mat. 3:1,2).
It was the first word of the Gospel that Jesus preached: “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'” (Mat. 4:17). In fact, Jesus bluntly and explicitly preached that everyone must repent or they would all perish: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3,5).
“Repent” was also the first word and essence of the Gospel preached by the original twelve Apostles of the Lamb who Jesus personally trained, commissioned, and sent out: “And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs….And they went out and preached that men should repent” (Mk. 6:7-12).
After the same manner, Jesus also commissioned the entire Church to preach that people must repent in order to receive forgiveness of their sins unto salvation:
…and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Lk. 24:46,47)
The Apostle Peter forthrightly proclaimed in his now infamous first sermon after his own falling away and subsequent restoration and having been empowered from on High by means of the promised Immersion in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that repentance is the initial required response to the true Gospel of Christ, and a mandatory prerequisite for whosoever desires to receive forgiveness of sins and the infilling of, as well as the Immersion in, the Holy Spirit:
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37,38)
Peter also declared that a person must be willing to fully repent of all acts and attitudes of sin and to return to God in order to truly receive remission of the guilt and penalty of sin, and receive Jesus into his heart:
Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you. (Acts 3:19,20)
There simply is no salvation without repentance. Repentance is the Divine imperative to receiving Eternal Life:
And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to (Eternal) life.” (Acts 11:18)
4. Be BAPTIZED (lit., IMMERSED) IN WATER — as a symbol and testimony of your salvation and that your sins are forgiven, forgotten, and forever removed from you, as far as the east is from the west, and that you’ve been thoroughly washed in the Blood of the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.
5. Be BAPTIZED (IMMERSED)IN THE HOLY SPIRT — ask the Lord Jesus, who is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire! He promised to do it for all those who would ask in faith; ask in faith believing that you shall receive what you asked, and receive it by faith! “You shall receive POWER after the Holy Spirit has come upon you!” (Ac. 1:8)
6. Be BAPTIZED (IMMERSED)IN THE WORD OF GOD — read, study, eat (spiritually ingest) the Word of God! “Thy Word was found and I ate it!” Meditate on the Holy Word of God, the Bible, night and day (Psalm 1). The Word of God contains more than 7,000 promises of God — absorb, assimilate, and apply them all to yourself by faith; begin to proclaim and claim them for yourself and your life! The Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, is our primary spiritual weapon! Learn everything God’s Word says about who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you!
7. PUT ON — the whole armor of God to protect yourself from the fiery darts (words) and furious assaults from the enemy for you are engaged in a life or death war!
8. Be SOBER, ALERT (lit., station a sentinel) — concerning the fact that that you have an unseen ADVERSARY — THE DEVIL — who is constantly roaming about on the earth “seeking whom he MAY devour” (“may” is a term of permission), that means those who will allow him, give him permission (mostly by passivity and failure to resist him), to DEVOUR them. BUT RESIST HIM, FIRM IN YOUR FAITH, and he will flee from you! (cf., 1 Pet. 5:8,9; Jas. 4:7)
9. Be DELIVERED — make sure you have been totally delivered of all demonic power (from demons) oppressing your soul (mind, will, and emotions) and your physical body. The very first tenant of the Great Commission Jesus assigned to the Church is — “Them that believe in My Name will CAST OUT DEVILS!” Obey the Great Commission! Jesus said, “If I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you” (Lk. 11:20) — thus the Kingdom of God can only come upon and into the lives of believers to the degree that devils oppressing them have been CAST OUT through the Name and Authority of Christ! (Mk. 16:15-18)
10. DRAW NEAR TO GOD — through worship, praise, prayer (especially in unknown tongues), communion in His Word, and partaking regularly of the sacrament of communion — and He has promised to then DRAW NEAR TO YOU! His Presence is what you need in your life to live a victorious life, winning every battle, defeating every enemy that dares to assault and oppose you! (Jas. 4:8)
11. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING — in the Holy Spirit (unknown tongues that come through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit) AND in your native language!
12. BUILD YOURSELF UP — on your most holy faith by praying in the Spirit; i.e., in tongues, frequently (Jude 20; 1 Cor. 14:14).
13. FIGHT — the good fight of faith! Begin to engage in spiritual warfare using “the weapons of our warfare, which are not carnal, but mighty for the pulling down of strongholds!” – to establish a foothold from God and pull down the strongholds of the enemy. You are more than a conqueror through Christ, so GO FORTH INTO BATTLE TO CONQUER! When you are weak in yourself, that is when you are STRONG in the Lord! You can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens you!
14. ASK — God to activate the NINE MANIFESTATION GIFTS of the Spirit listed in 1 Cor. 12, and expect him to do it, and then employ what the Holy Spirit distributes through you wherever and whenever possible.
15. PREACH — the Word of God in season and out of season (when it is expedient and convenient and when it seems to the carnal mind it is not!), using it to teach, reprove, rebuke, correct, and train yourself and others, exercising great patience and instruction (2 Tim. 4:2).
16. PROPHESY! — Declare God’s Word into every situation and circumstance – it will not return unto Him void (i.e., without any results) but shall accomplish EVERYTHING for which it was SENT! DECREE – what your faith within tells you is GOING to happen, like God, speaking of those things that be not as though they were! Defeat the enemy by prophesying to him and reminding him he is a defeated foe, that Jesus disarmed him and took away his power, and all authority was given unto Jesus, and Jesus relegated that authority unto you! “You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God’s favor] shall shine upon your ways.” [Job 22:28; AB] Don’t let the devil, who Jesus said was “the father of all lies,” determine and establish your destiny and destination in life through his constant and continual lies he speaks over your life! He’s a LIAR! Negate and defeat his lying words over your life and about you with your own words of truth taken from the WORD OF GOD! SPEAK THE WORD ONLY! HE HATH SAID, SO THAT WE MIGHT SAY! Prophesy to yourself! Prophesy to the devil — it’s correct theology!
17. TAME AND TRAIN YOUR TONGUE — take authority over, subjugate your tongue, and re-train it – to speak only the things of faith in accordance with the Word of God; life and death is in the power of the tongue! Speak his word only! Speak, decree, declare, prophesy what you want to occur not what you see with your natural eyes! Speak unto the mountains (kingdoms) standing in the way of the manifestation of your miracle and the breakthroughs you need in your life and ministry.
18. HAVE FAITH IN GOD — have the God kind of faith. Trust also in Him and HE will do it! Without faith it is impossible to please God and have His favor upon you. Lean not unto your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him! (Mk. 11:22)
19. FEAR NOT! FRET NOT! — Cast ALL your anxieties upon Jesus, for HE cares for you! Know and constantly remind yourself that He has PROMISED NEVER to leave you or forsake you, and that perfect love casts out ALL fear! Announce, assimilate, and apply the LOVE OF GOD into your life as a weapon to defeat fear! Apply faith to negate and defeat the temptation to yield fear — which essentially means to speak, declare, decree the Word of God! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises up against you in judgment, you shall CONDEMN, i.e., adjudicate with the death sentence!
20. OBEY! — Be obedient to God’s written and Rhema Word to you. Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh! As Mary said, “Do everything He tells you to do!” Do and say nothing on your own initiative, but only what you hear and see the Father doing and saying!
21. LOOK UP! — constantly and continually — for your redemption draweth nigh! Keep reminding yourself Jesus is coming back soon, first, to gather all those who are His unto Himself in the great gathering together in the sky, where upon we shall all receive our “FULL REDEMPTION,” that is, the redemption of our body, by means of the removal of the sin nature from our body; the mortal shall put on immortality, and we shall live with Him in His presence forever and ever, never the more to be parted!
22. STAND! — Having done all STAND! TAKE A STAND! STAND UP! STAND OUT from the crowds of defeated! And NEVER stand back and allow the devil to run rough-shod over your life and use you as a doormat to wipe his dirty feet! “STANDING ON THE PROMISES OF CHRIST MY KING, THROUGH ETERNAL AGES LET THE ANTHEMS RING!”
23. HUMBLE YOURSELF — under the mighty hand of God, which is the Fivefold Ministry (Eph. 4:11), especially apostles and prophets, who are God’s foundation layers and government (Eph. 2:20), the shoulders in the Body of Christ — “His government shall be upon His shoulders!” (Is. 9:6). Ask the Lord to lead you to someone with apostolic anointing in his life to mentor, train, and be a spiritual father to you, from whom you will be able to receive much spiritual sustenance and empowerment that you would otherwise not be able to receive on your own. The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite spirit. Jesus Himself humbled Himself through obedience, even unto the extent of death on the cursed tree, the Cross! Yet, He learned obedience through the things that He suffered! Don’t waste the troubles, trials, tribulations, and turmoils that will come your way in life, rather capitalize on them by humbling yourself to complete obedience unto God, who in due time will EXALT you, for He exalts the humble and humbles the exalted! Humble yourself, before God has to humble you, for when He humbles you, it is usually not just humbling, but yea, humiliating. Convert negative circumstances into an opportunity for God to work mightily in your life, for we KNOW that He CAUSES ALL THINGS to work together for the GOOD to them who love God and are called according to His purposes! Every TRIAL and TRAGEDY that comes your way is an opportunity for and a pathway to TRIUMPH and a TESTIMONY, and “they OVERCAME by the BLOOD of the Lamb and the POWER of THEIR TESTIMONY! (cf., Jas. 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:6)
24. REST — in the Lord! Cease striving and know that He is God! Resign from being God yourself! PRAISE YE THE LORD! He alone is worthy of praise, for He is truly the Sovereign God and Creator of the Universe! “Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in HIM, and HE will do it!” Realize you are the clay, He is the potter! “And they will be my PEOPLE, and I will be their GOD! Remind yourself continually that all that God has called you to be is a “PEOPLE,” not a GOD! Rest in the fact that you are a “responder” but not the “Resolver,” only God is the Resolver! We can respond to the call to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel unto every creature,” but we are not the One of whom the Gospel speaks, nor the source of its power! Until Jesus returns, we are but mortal and fallible and imperfect vessels: “We have this Treasure (Jesus, the Holy Spirit) in earthly vessels.”
HALLELUJAH! PRAISE THE LORD! FOR HE ALONE IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED!