The Kingdom Is Now!

by Lester Young

“The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:7). A pretty familiar verse, to be sure. Anybody know what it means? Actually, I suppose a more significant question (at least for the moment) would be, “What do you think of when you hear that verse… what picture comes to mind?” Even more so than ‘what’ is ‘when’: when are you really expecting to make any practical use of it – in the sweet by and by, or sometime a little closer?

Fortunately for us, we can gain considerable insight into just about any verse in The Book by paying close attention to its environment – that is, by checking out the Scriptures around it. In this particular case, let’s take a look at the very next verse, Matthew 10:8, where Jesus is giving specific instructions to His disciples as He boots them out of the nest on their first solo mission trips around the countryside. He tells them, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, [and] cast out devils…” As they’re going around performing these marvelous feats, He also instructed them to preach – to announce to the people, to let them know – that ‘the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 10:7).

Now, I think we can agree that all of those acts the disciples were commanded to do – healing, cleansing, raising and casting – would fit neatly under the category heading of ‘Deliverance/Liberation.’ In each one, somebody’s clearly being freed from a condition that just isn’t any good. Jesus verified as much when quoting from the book of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He’s sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…” (Luke 4:18). We can see, then, that ‘Deliverance/Liberation’ was not only a hallmark but a foundational purpose of Jesus’ coming here in the first place.

Furthermore, because the Lord told His boys to not only liberate but also concurrently preach the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven, we can surmise that there’s a very firm and fundamental connection between said Kingdom and the state (or condition) of Liberty. Indeed, by such an instruction, Jesus was ensuring that the people had an absolute frame of reference whereby they could recognize and know the presence of the Kingdom among themselves through its inherent characteristic of liberty – that is, deliverance from… well, from whatever one might need delivering from. 2 Corinthians 3:17 illustrates this point perfectly: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

This, too, is why Jesus also heralded at the same time the arrival of “the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19). This ‘acceptable year,’ also known as the Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10-13), was an every-fiftieth-year event during which all debts were cancelled and every person was allowed to go back to their family and get back the land of their possession (i.e., inherited, or promised, lands). The Lord Jesus, by His death on the cross, cancelled our debt of sin (Colossians 2:13-14), paving the way for us to possess the long-promised ‘land of milk and honey’ – the New Covenant, New Jerusalem, the Kingdom of Heaven (Isaiah 66:1; Galatians 4:23-26; Hebrews 11:13-14, 39-40; Revelation 3:12, 22:1-3).

Now, in all honesty, the term ‘at hand’, as Jesus used it, strictly meant that the Kingdom of Heaven was near in proximity to the people, though as yet they could not actually enter into it themselves. Jesus Himself could, and indeed was already there, because His ‘human’ spirit was alive and in union with God’s Spirit. So, He could actually bring near and administer the Kingdom’s delivering power. But not until He died for us and was raised again, or reborn (yes, Jesus, too, is a born-again man, the first born-again man [Colossians 1:18]), could we also be reborn and gain access there. Now He has been, and so we have, and we’re living there as citizens right now! (Matthew 13:38; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 1:13)

Jesus is our Jubilee! We’ve already been delivered from all the power of the enemy! (Colossians 1:13) It’s time for us to start stomping around in the Spirit, taking back what we’ve lost or had stolen from us, and telling the devil exactly what to do and where to go! Remember, the things we see in this natural realm follow and conform to the things of the spirit (Hebrews 8:5; James 3:6). Once we start possessing by faith what God has already liberated us from and delivered us to – and remain determined and diligent about it – we’ll begin to see miraculous things (Hebrews 6:11-15).

Stay obedient to Jesus; just do whatever he tells you to do. Then God’s glory, and the Kingdom of Heaven, will start manifesting to and through you (John 14:21, 17:22) – right here and now, because you’re already living there and have access to the Master Keys (Matthew 16:19). He’s sworn it with an oath! (Hebrews 6:16-18)

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2 Comments to “The Kingdom Is Now!”

  1. Amen, Lester! The Kingdom of God is within us, and is here and now! Thank you for this victorious thought! Dee

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