Author Archives: drjerrywilliams
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:16-19 NKJV
Keys are instruments used to open and close doors, to lock and unlock, and to admit and prevent access. Keys are symbols of power and authority—emblematic of one’s ability to open and close, and their unquestionable right to do so..
In the text above, Jesus’ promise of the keys of the Kingdom of heaven was first made to Peter, but it is now extended to the Church (Matt. 18:17)—the Church collectively and individually. These keys aren’t keys of the Church; they are keys of the Kingdom that the Church—an instrument of the Kingdom—is authorized to use against the gates of hell. Metaphorically, the gates of hell speak of the assaults and counsels, the plots and schemes, the stratagems and machinations of evil that the devil uses to attack and come against the people of God. But the good news is: if you’re standing on the Rock of revelation, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you when you use the keys of the Kingdom to counter-act him.
What are the keys to the Kingdom of heaven? It is power and authority to bind and to loose according Matthew 6:10—the Kingdom prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. For example, since there is no sickness and disease in heaven, you now have keys to bind sickness and disease in your life here on earth and loose health and life. No mater what the devil brings into your life, you can bind the problem and loose the answer according to what is already done in heaven (Matt. 16:19).
The keys of the Kingdom also include the Church’s power and authority to legislate and administrate Church discipline (Matt: 18:15-18). Whatever discipline is deemed appropriate by the Church here on earth, it is ratified in heaven, and Jesus promised that He would be in the midst of the Church, even as few as two or three, to make their decision good. This is immense power! The power to bind and to loose are keys of the Kingdom of heaven on earth.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
Spiritually speaking, there are two kingdoms in the universe, i.e., the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness. Both kingdoms have a realm, rule, reign and dominion—one of light and the other of darkness. The Kingdom of God is ruled by Jesus of Nazareth and the Kingdom of Darkness is ruled by Satan, whom Jesus called the prince of this world and whom Paul called the prince of the power of the air (John 12:31; Eph. 2:2). A king, without question, is greater than a prince.
The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of light that changes and transforms lives, but the Kingdom of Darkness blinds, binds, and destroys lives. But those who know Jesus as Lord, Savior and King have been brought out of darkness into the marvelous light. When God calls you out of darkness and delivers you, He doesn’t leave you (Heb. 13:5); He brings you to Himself and to His kingdom (Ex. 19:4, 6; Col. 1:12, 13). God calls you from death to life; from unrighteousness to righteousness; from sorrow and sadness to joy; from turmoil and confusion to peace; from ignorance to understanding; from hopelessness to hope; and, from limitation to a kingdom where all things are possible.
As a result of this spiritual transformation, believers are admonished to walk in the light and to live in the day (1 Thess. 5:5), and to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:8-13). After all, if you’re living in the “night”, you’re not walking in the light (1 John 1:7). So, let your light shine to overcome darkness and for others to see your good works and give God the glory (Matt. 5:16). You are chosen, kingly in nature, separated unto God; you are God’s special treasure who should proclaim His praises because you have been called out of darkness!
Lift Every Voice and Sing
a/k/a Black National Anthem
by James Weldon Johnson
Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our God,
True to our native land.
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it . . .” Matthew 16:18-19 NKJV
Jesus spoke of “Kingdom” and the “Church” together as related terms, but they are not synonymous; there is a difference. The Kingdom is the Basileia (Greek) and the Church is the Ecclesia (Greek). The Kingdom is the realm, the rule, reign and dominion of God in the universe and the earth, and the Church is a group of called out believers (called out of sin and darkness). The Church that Jesus builds is a prevailing—overcoming Church, and an instrument of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus taught believers to pray for the advancement and the cause of God in the earth, not only here and now, but also in His coming earthly Kingdom that He shall establish in righteousness (2 Peter 3:13). Thus, the Church is an expression of the Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:10), presently expressed on earth through the agency of the Church (Universal). The Church is not an end, nor is the Church the “be-all end-all; it’s an instrument, a tool, a vehicle to transport us into a present reality of the Kingdom of God (Col. 1:13; 2:15). Over the ages, the instrument has changed but God’s purpose never changes, i.e., that believers be sons in the Kingdom (E.g., Israel (Ex. 19:4-6) and the Church—spiritual Israel (Luke 17:21).
Why is God’s Church an overcoming Church? The King of the Kingdom (Jesus) has overcome the world (Col. 2:15); therefore through Him, all sons of the Kingdom are also overcomers (John 16:33) because of: (1) Light (Col. 1:12-13; 1 Thess. 5:5); (2) because of Life-style (John 10:10). “Life in John 10:10 is Zoe (Greek), life as God has it; and to have it “abundantly” isn’t referencing money, wealth or possession but rather living a life that is full of joy and true happiness (Rom. 14:17); and, (3) because of power as a witness (See Acts 1:4-8 and Matt. 24:14). Thank God that in the Kingdom of God, believers are sons of the Overcoming Church!
So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him. Mark 12:32-34. NKJV
One of the saddest words—regardless of which language spoken in — is “almost”, because “almost” means that you are near but not exactly there; or very near but not quite or exactly complete. Some people are not far from the Kingdom of God, yet not close enough to enter into it; but they are “almost” there.
Like the Scribe in the about text, he was almost there because he had an appreciation of Truth, but lack the necessary repentance and faith necessary to enter the Kingdom (Mark 1:14, 15). This Scribe, undoubtedly, was a teacher of the Law; he was knowledgeable, intelligent and wise; he knew the Law but hadn’t entered the Kingdom. He knew about the Law not but the Law-Giver. It is one thing to know about the Church or the Bible, but it’s another to know the Head of the Church and the Author of the Bible. Thus, yo9u don’t want to be just almost there.
Which is first in importance to you? Is it religion or loving God and loving one another? Religion hindered this Scribe from entering into the Kingdom of God (Matt. 5:20). In the Kingdom, a relationship with God and loving others most characterize one’s kingdom experience. The Scribes divided the Law into 613 precepts—248 do’s and 365 don’ts regulating Sabbath observances, circumcision, sacrifices, and the fashion of their religious robes (The Pilgrim Study Bible). These ceremonial and legalistic things were regarded as the greatest in importance to them; thus, some were only almost there.
Outward ceremonies and observances are useless if your heart is not right with God. But even when your heart is right, religion can keep you not far from the Kingdom of God, and not close enough to enter into it. Religious people are almost there if they try to keep all the rules in order to go to heaven when they die. They don’t realize that you enter the Kingdom of heaven by birth, not by death (John 3: 3, 5).
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1:31-33 NKJV
My father used to say that, “all good things must come to an end.” If this saying is true, there has to be one exception: the Kingdom of God. In 2 Samuel 7:16, God promised King David that his kingdom would last forever. This promise was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, a direct descendant of David, whose reign will continue throughout eternity. And, of His Kingdom, there will be no end—yes—the Kingdom of God will never end!
What is the Kingdom (basileia, Greek word) of God? Scripture throughout bears witness that the God’s Kingdom is the extension of His reign, rule, and dominion in the earth and the universe; it is the King’s domain. It is not religion or religious tradition, but righteous, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17); and, it is not in word only (concept, doctrine, or words or a phrase) but in power (1 Cor. 4:20). This power is the dunamis, i.e., the miraculous supernatural ability and power of God which will never end.
Jesus preached that, “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). To invoke the power of God\’s endless Kingdom is to, change your way of thinking and believing that you can, by faith, live in the realm of the miraculous in every area of your life. Wherever Jesus Christ is Lord and King; where there is divine government and a spiritual economy ruled by God, that’s where the Kingdom of God is. This endless Kingdom is always a present reality—not for another time or another people; it is here and now (Luke 17:20, 21; John 3:3, 5).
The endless Kingdom of God proceeds from heaven (John 18:36; Matt. 6:10),and has been in existence for as long as the King has been in existence—even from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2). And, of His kingdom there will be no end!
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! . . Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. Matthew 3:1, 2; Mark 1:14, 15 NKJV
“Timing is everything” is an expression used to say that if something is meant to happen it will at the right time and for the right purpose. Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached in their respective ministries that the kingdom of God is at hand—a present reality—not for another time or for another people. In the kingdom, God is an on-time God, and timing is everything.
Time is defined as a moment, minute, hour, day, month, year or years, as indicated by a clock or calendar. Over time, there is a tendency is ask oneself how long before something comes to pass or the blessing is manifested? When will it happen for me?
Consider the promise that God made to Abraham that a covenant son would be born unto him and his wife Sarah. For twenty-five years Abraham believed God’s promise, but timing was everything. In Genesis chapter 18, the Lord and two angels visited Abraham in the plains of Mamre, and the Lord reiterated the promise by saying, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself . . . and the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son” (Gen. 18:10-14). For Abraham and Sarah, timing was everything; nine months later, the promised son (Isaac) was born.
If it’s meant to happen it will, according to God’s purpose and will, His desire and pleasure; whether it’s an open door, an opportunity, a job or business, marriage or pregnancy, or ministry, etc. Everything that happens in life is based on timing, e.g., sunrises, sunsets, day and night, and seasons. Timing is everything!
In the text above, Jesus’ public ministry began only when John’s ministry ended. Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29; Rev. 13:8), in time, He had to first be water baptized, filled with the Holy Ghost, and be led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. Jesus’ ministry increased and John’s decreased (John 1:26, 27, 30). Life has a time-table for all things, but in the kingdom of God, God has a prophetic time-table based on eternity not chronology. Jesus operated on God’s prophetic time-table. Timing was everything!
Both the earthly time-table and prophetic time-table have timelines that includes endings and new beginnings and an exploration period in between for a moment, hour, day, month, or years. But when John’s ministry ended, Jesus’ public ministry offered the world a new beginning, and in between that which ended and the new beginning, Jesus prepared Himself. In the kingdom of God, at the appointed time, God will perfect that which concerns you according to His purpose and will, at the appointed time because timing is everything!
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14, 15 NKJV
“At hand” is an idiom, and in some uses, a prepositional phrase that means near in time and position. When Jesus kicked off His public ministry, preaching that the kingdom of God is at hand, announcing the beginning of God’s reign on earth and the forgiveness of sin. His message was the gospel (“good news”) of the kingdom because it offered freedom, justice, and hope to the poor; deliverance to the bound and oppressed; and, healing to the sick and diseased. The unequivocal message of Jesus’ ministry was that the kingdom of God is at here and now.
The time had been fulfilled because Jesus was operating on a prophetic time-table, i.e., it was His appointed time to begin His ministry because John the Baptist was decreasing and He was increasing (John 3:30). When time is fulfilled, everything in life (good, bad, or indifferent) happens at a preordained appointed time (Acts 1:6, 7; Gal. 4:4). But the good news is: when the King is on the scene, there is change in the air, if you repent and believe in the gospel. True repentance, (i.e., change of mind, to think differently, and afterthought), precedes real faith towards God (Heb. 6:1).
“At hand” is a kingdom that has already come, i.e., the kingdom of God. According to Jesus’ preaching, you’re not going to the kingdom, but the kingdom has come to you (Luke 17:21). After “Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people” (Matt. 4:23), large crowds begin to follow Him; then He, from a mountain (Matt.5:1), begin to teach the multitude to pray: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
“At hand is a kingdom that can be seen (by faith) and entered into (John 3:5, 5, 12). If you’ve repented and believe in the gospel message, then by faith, see that God’s kingdom is already “at hand”—and as it is in heaven, enjoy the same here on earth. The kingdom of God is at hand!
Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. 20 The beast of the field will honor Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. 21 This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise. Isaiah 43:18-21 NKJV
When the year 2018 ends, the New Year (2019) begins. Every new beginning is preceded by an ending, and you can’t receive the new reality of a new beginning, in all of its fullness, if you’re still holding on to the old. So, do yourself a favor and say “goodbye to 2018”—don’t look back. Look forward to a new beginning and expect God’s very best!
Many are, perhaps, thinking that they need to make a New Year resolution because they want something to change in their life and circumstances. There is nothing magical about making a new year’s resolution, only to be broken or soon forgotten. Forget about making a resolution and instead make a decision—a quality decision to take God at his Word and believe that the past is pasted but now faith is and without “now” faith”, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:1, 6). The past is your mortality; the present is your reality; and, the future is your destiny. Every New Year moves you closer to the fulfillment of your God-ordained destiny.
So, as outlined in the text above, where God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah to admonish His people not to live by looking in the “rearview mirror” nor limiting their life to an old way of thinking and believing. God wants to do a new thing in your life, so say goodbye to 2018.
In the New Year, God wants to give you such an abundant miraculous supply of water (blessings) notwithstanding the “dry desert” conditions you may have faced in 2018. Poetically and by analogy, God’s supply will be so abundant in this new season (2019), even the wild beasts, the jackals and the ostriches shall be impacted by the blessings, and they shall break forth into thanksgiving and praise to God for the beyond-measure outpouring of blessings that shall benefit the people of God passing through the wilderness and deserts of 2018. So, go ahead and say goodbye to 2018!
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
An inheritance is property received from an ancestor, i.e., something of value passed on and received by another. As a Testator, when Jesus died on the Cross, He left those who believe an inheritance—the kingdom of God. Anything or anyone that unlawfully circumvents or uproots your right to receive and enjoy your inheritance is an inheritance cheater. The apostle Paul taught the Corinthians (Text) and the Galatians (Galatians 5:19-21) that people who are living—characteristically—an unrighteous life will not inherit the kingdom of God because they have been cheated. Sin, Satan, and false religious indoctrination will cheat you out of your inheritance.
It is important to rightly divide the Word of God in light of Paul’s teaching. Please notice that in the text above that Paul used the conjunction “neither” to single out two groups of people. “Neither” means “not the one and not the other of the two” (Webster). So, he is referring to two groups that characteristically practice sin—the unrighteous and some believers in the church who continuously practice the sinful vices enumerated in the text above.
So, what does it mean that they will not inherit the kingdom of God? Does it mean they will not go to heaven? “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt 7:1). But rather consider Mark 1:15; Luke 17:21; John 3:3, 5, 12. In each of these passages of Scripture, Jesus says that the kingdom of God is at hand; the kingdom is within you; and, the kingdom can be seen and entered into here on earth (John 3:12). Thus, to inherit the kingdom of God is to receive the blessings of God’s Spirit, His righteousness, and the fruit of the Spirit (Rom. 14:17). Paul confirmed this truth when he wrote to the Galatians, “Now the works of the flesh are evident . . . they which do [practice] such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is . . .” (Gal. 5:19, 21-23). The fruit of the Spirit was directly connected to inheriting the kingdom of God.
The unrighteous who have never accepted Christ and any believer who is practicing sin—living continuously a un-Christ-like life are the ones being cheated out of their inheritance. They are cheated in not being able to enter and enjoy this kingdom of righteous, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17). So, for those cheated out of their inheritance, the question is not whether Christians who practice sin are lost, but rather, are people who practice sin even a Christian? (1 John 3:5-8). Stay woke. Watch and pray. Don’t get cheated!