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Kingdom Teachings

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Matthew 16:1–28 NLT
1 One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority. 2 He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; 3 red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times! 4 Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away. 5 Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 8 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? 9 Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ ” 12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. 21 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. 22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. 28 And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
Matthew 16:1–25 NLT
1 One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority. 2 He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; 3 red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times! 4 Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away. 5 Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 8 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? 9 Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ ” 12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. 21 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. 22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
matt 16.1-
Let me start with v. 28 again.
Matthew 16:28 NLT
28 And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven — the Kingdom of Jesus… whatever you want to call it, it was the crux of the ministry of Jesus!
The word Kingdom appears in the Gospels over 100 times! Jesus using it about 106 times.
WHY - He came to earth to start His Kingdom in the HEARTS OF MANKIND and is still continuing to do so until He returns a second time to establish it PHYSICALLY on earth!
Being a part of the Kingdom of God and advancing the Kingdom of God is what Jesus calls anyone who will BELIEVE, FOLLOW, and OBEY!
In this passage - it is all about Kingdom teaching! Kingdom principles, but i want to start at the end...
Some here will not die until they see the Son of Man (Christ) coming in His Kingdom.
Some have thought this refers to the Second Coming, but then there would be 2000 year old people wandering around the earth.
Some have thought this was a reference to His second coming - but then there would have to be some 2000 year old people wandering around the earth.
Some have thought it was about the Transifguration where Christ was shown in His eternal glory to three of His disciples, but that would be too limiting
Some have thought this was a reference to His second coming - but then there would have to be some 2000 year old people wandering around the earth.
Some have thought Jesus coming in HIs Kingdom referred to the cross and resurrection from the grave, but that event would happen in just a week from when he said these things — clearly they would all be alive
Scholars have indicated that this reference was to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD - not all would still be alive when this occurred, but those who were would understand its meaning.
It was at this time that the OLD TESTAMENT and its practices to worship God and atone for sin came to an end!! And at this time where JESUS CHRIST THE MESSIAH and His Kingdom would become the worldwide means for approaching and worshipping God the FATHER! The New Testament would become firmly established!
In the meantime, Jesus speaks very clearly to His disciples and those religious leaders present about what it means to be a part of HIS KINGDOM!

1. Kingdom of Heaven is About Faith

In verses 5-12
Matthew 16:5–12 NLT
5 Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 8 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? 9 Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ ” 12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Jesus brings up the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. These two groups of religious and political rulers in Israel controlled temple worship and the religion of the Israelite.
They were prideful, arrogant and controlling, although this is not the yeast Jesus spoke of!
The yeast He spoke of was their RITUAL rather than their FAITH!
These arrogant and prideful men who KNEW the SCRIPTURE should have been the first to see that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah. How His life was fulfilling Scripture before their eyes - yet they were more concerned with holding onto traditions and rituals than receiving the PROMISE OF GOD into their lives.
They could not believe that Jesus was the one the prophets foretold! Mostly because they did not want to lose their CONTROL to Him!
They would prefer to hold onto their own power and ways instead of following the example Jesus was making before them.
How many today are willing to embrace rituals and religions to attain their idea of heaven, but unwilling to come to faith in Christ and the WORD!?
Whether that be in the Muslim world, the Buddhist World, the world of Cults and even many Christian liturgical churches there is a confidence in ritual rather than a life of faith that has embraced a relationship with the living God!
In reality, you cannot be a part of the Kingdom of God if you do not have faith. You can engage in ritual behavior and legalistic rules, but that will not bring you into the Kingdom!
Verse 7 Jesus says - you have so little faith!
It takes FAITH, it takes BELIEF in CHRIST - not just in information about Him, but in committing ourselves to what He taught, and relying on HIS death on the cross to wash away our sin!
The first and foremost teaching of the Kingdom --- is to believe!!! TO have faith, to TRUST IN GOD!

2. Kingdom of Heaven needs Only One Sign

How many times have you heard someone say - I will believe God if He grants me this request, or answers this prayer, or does this or that...
Jesus says an adulterous generation demands a miraculous sign ---
A miraculous sign could be as simple as an answered prayer ---
God does not answer prayer so we may have proof of WHO HE IS!!!
He answers prayer because we have already believed!!!!!
Jesus looks at these religious leaders and says you can discern the skies and weather, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times...
For them those times were the fulfillment of PROPHECY foretold hundreds and thousands of years before!
Today, we are scientific in our society - and nothing wrong with science, in fact TRUE SCIENCE PROVES THE WORD OF GOD ---
But if we use science to promote unbelief than we are missing the signs!
As Christians we need to wise up that some scientific thought out there is accurate --- i.e. - climate change -
You cannot say it is not occurring - even our recent polar vortex was a result of climate change and the warm air pressures that drove the cold fronts down to us...
The greater reality is that Jesus does not have to scientifically prove who He is to any of us!!!
While on earth He demonstrated His power over wind, wave, death, sickness, demons, the elements, etc.
BUT THE ONLY MIRACLE WE NEED TO BELIEVE IN IS THIS ---
We are celebrating it in just a couple of weeks.
THE SIGN OF JONAH...
Matthew 12:38–41 NLT
38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.” 39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.
THE DEATH, CONQUERING OF THE GRAVE and RESURRECTION OF CHRIST is ENOUGH!!!
There is no other sign you have to see or believe in other than to believe that Jesus conquered death and the grave and rose again to bring us salvation!!!
You can try and demand proof from God, but then you are demonstrating what generation you belong to..
An adulterous one...
A generation that wants to LOVE THIS WORLD AND ALL THAT IS IN IT and HAVE A LITTLE JESUS TOO!!!
Jesus wants you to be sold out and committed to HIM ALONE and not this world and the things and ways in it!

3. Kingdom of Heaven Offers Authority and Power

Jesus goes on to ask Peter who he says Jesus is — we here him say the Messiah, Son of the Living God and Jesus acknowledges He speaks the correct answer
in v. 19
Matthew 16:19 NLT
19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
Jesus speaks of the authority and power of the disciple of Christ. Not just Peter, but any who follow.
Matthew 16:24–25 NLT
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
matt 16.24
He speaks of those who will lose this life (not necessarily in death, but in dying to oneself and sacrificing our wills and desires to follow Him)
In doing this, we are LIVING OUT THAT FAITH THAT SAVES!!!!
Not just are we living out our faith, but we are going beyond the RITUAL OF RELIGION and in our RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST we are being empowered to WALK IN THE AUTHORITY OF THE KINGDOM!
What do KEYS do for anyone --- they give authority!!! They give ACCESS!!! THEY empower us to let in and let out or keep in and keep out.
When Jesus speaks of building HIS CHURCH — His Kingdom - He talks about giving us the authority of that same Kingdom.
It is transferred to -
- those who believe,
-those who follow,
-those who obey
That authority gives us power over demonic power, power in the heavenly realm to intercede to the Father
(Interesting is that it is not about believing because you received a sign, but seeing the sign occur because you have been given authority!)
Not all will walk in this path!
Not all will lose their life for His sake — why??
An adulterous generation still wants to gain the whole world!
But God will judge us according to our deeds!

CONCLUSION

God is looking for a remnant of believers who will stand against the corruption and sinfulness of the world in which we live to honor God with our whole hearts!
He is looking not for an adulterous bride, but a spotless bride! Wholly devoted to Him.
Look at v. 13!!!
Isaiah 24:1–23 NLT
1 Look! The Lord is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. He devastates the surface of the earth and scatters the people. 2 Priests and laypeople, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors—none will be spared. 3 The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The Lord has spoken! 4 The earth mourns and dries up, and the land wastes away and withers. Even the greatest people on earth waste away. 5 The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse consumes the earth. Its people must pay the price for their sin. They are destroyed by fire, and only a few are left alive. 7 The grapevines waste away, and there is no new wine. All the merrymakers sigh and mourn. 8 The cheerful sound of tambourines is stilled; the happy cries of celebration are heard no more. The melodious chords of the harp are silent. 9 Gone are the joys of wine and song; alcoholic drink turns bitter in the mouth. 10 The city writhes in chaos; every home is locked to keep out intruders. 11 Mobs gather in the streets, crying out for wine. Joy has turned to gloom. Gladness has been banished from the land. 12 The city is left in ruins, its gates battered down. 13 Throughout the earth the story is the same— only a remnant is left, like the stray olives left on the tree or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest. 14 But all who are left shout and sing for joy. Those in the west praise the Lord’s majesty. 15 In eastern lands, give glory to the Lord. In the lands beyond the sea, praise the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 16 We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth, songs that give glory to the Righteous One! But my heart is heavy with grief. Weep for me, for I wither away. Deceit still prevails, and treachery is everywhere. 17 Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, you people of the earth. 18 Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare. Destruction falls like rain from the heavens; the foundations of the earth shake. 19 The earth has broken up. It has utterly collapsed; it is violently shaken. 20 The earth staggers like a drunk. It trembles like a tent in a storm. It falls and will not rise again, for the guilt of its rebellion is very heavy. 21 In that day the Lord will punish the gods in the heavens and the proud rulers of the nations on earth. 22 They will be rounded up and put in prison. They will be shut up in prison and will finally be punished. 23 Then the glory of the moon will wane, and the brightness of the sun will fade, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion. He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people.
A day of destruction is coming, but not for the remnant - for those who have remained on the vine!!!
God wants a remnant of people who want to stay attached to the VINE JESUS CHRIST, to DWELL IN HIM, to GAIN THEIR STRENGTH AND NOURISHMENT FROM HIM...
Will you be the adulterous generation he spoke of… those lacking faith, those unwilling to lose their lives, those unwilling to follow and obey...
or will you remain!
John 15:1–16 NLT
1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
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