SermonHeavenly Kingdom Power
An all-creatures Bible Message

Heavenly Kingdom Power
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
11 February 2018
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Mark 9:1-29

Heavenly kingdom power could be described as the power that God used to speak creation into existence, or perhaps the power that brought about Jesusí first coming some 2,000 years ago, and it is the power that will bring about Jesusí second coming.
 
Heavenly kingdom power could also be described as the power of the angels, or the power to bring about miracles, and we could go on and on thinking about these kinds of things.
 
But what kind of power do you believe that Jesus was talking about when He commanded us to be perfect as our Father in heaven in perfect (Matthew 5:48), or when He taught us to pray for Godís heavenly will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)?
 
We believe that Jesus wants us to use this same heavenly kingdom power to rise above the corrupt and evil ways of the world and live in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven as God wants us to live, and to be a witness before the ungodly people around us.
 
As we look at Mark 9:1-29, letís keep this heavenly kingdom power in mind as we read what Mark wrote.

1. And He was saying to them, "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." 

This sure sounds like the second coming of Jesus, but it hasnít happened yet, and those who were alive when Jesus spoke these words have died many years ago, so this cannot refer to Jesusí second coming.
 
So we need to look for something else that some of those Jesus was speaking to would see.
 
Think about these things as we go onÖ

2. And six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them;
 
3. and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
 
4. And Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus.

Surely we can see that this transfiguration scene is an example of heavenly kingdom power, and the fact that Peter, James, and John were present to see into the kingdom of God means that they got to see it before they died, which really fulfills what Jesus said in verse 1.
 
But Peter, like so many of us, thought that he had to do something instead of just being a part of what was going on around him.

5. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
 
6. For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified.

This kind of terror most often comes from the fact that people donít fully trust in the Lord and the heavenly kingdom power that He allows us to tap into.
 
And even if James and John were also terrified, they seemed to have trusted in the Lord, and they kept silent and absorbed everything that was going on around them, which is exactly what God wanted them to do.

7. Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!"
 
8. And all at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone.

We are not told why this display of heavenly kingdom power ended in the way it did, but perhaps they would have seen and learned even more if Peter had kept silent.

9. And as they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man should rise from the dead.
 
10. And they seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead might mean.

They had just seen an example of what it means to rise from the dead; those who rise from the dead are transformed back into spiritual beings in the kingdom of heaven.
 
And we strongly believe that all the animals who have died upon this earth have and will also rise spiritually to be with the Lord in heaven for ever and ever.
 
They were still thinking and speaking with a worldly vision and not the heavenly spiritual vision that the Lord had just let them see.

11. And they asked Him, saying, "Why is it that the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
 
12. And He said to them, "Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
 
13. "But I say to you, that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him." 

Jesus was referring to John the Baptist who came in the spirit of Elijah and announced His presence and baptized Him at His request.
 
The scribes were correct; Elijah does precede the second coming of Jesus, but what form he will have, we are not told.

14. And when they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them.
 
15. And immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed, and began running up to greet Him.

As we talked about before, are most of these people here for the entertainment value of seeing Jesus heal someone, or were they here to be healed, because they truly believe?
 
And with such a large crowd, there must have been some of all kinds of people, for not everyone who comes to church truly believes; some of them are doubters.

16. And He asked them, "What are you discussing with them?" 
 
17. And one of the crowd answered Him, "Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute;
 
18. and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth, and stiffens out. And I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it."

Jesus immediately recognized the truth; it was the lack of faith in being able to spiritually see and hear what they should be doing to cast out the demons and heal the boy.

19. And He answered them and said, "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!"

Yes, the Lord gets frustrated with us about our unbelief, for while we say we believe, our words and actions betray our doubts and lack of faith.

20. And they brought the boy to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling about and foaming at the mouth.
 
21. And He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood.

Jesus obviously knew the answer to His question, but He wanted this man to start to verbalize things beyond what was happening to his son, and express his own feelings.

22. "And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!"
 
23. And Jesus said to him, " 'If You can!' All things are possible to him who believes." 
 
24. Immediately the boy's father cried out and began saying, "I do believe; help my unbelief."

This is a problem that a lot of people have, but it also shows an openness to change.
 
It may be something like the problem that this man has, or it could be like most people who say they really believe, but they refuse to live in the heavenly will of God where there is no pain or suffering or death, preferring to live in the corrupt ways of this world with all its human caused pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death that affects millions of human beings and billions of other animals every year.
 
When we begin to feel the pain and suffering of the whole of creation, we also seem to move away from participating in anything that contributes to this pain, suffering, and death, such as the eating and wearing of animal products, which also brings us closer to becoming true peacemaking children of God.

25. And when Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again." 
 
26. And after crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, "He is dead!"

The problem is that most people, even those who are truly born again, may want to think and act spiritually, but they get distracted by the physical events around them, such as this boy lying like a corpse.
 
They so quickly forgot that Jesus had just cast out the demons; the same Jesus that they rushed to see, but they lacked the faith to realize that Jesus would not allow the boy to die.

27. But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.

We need to have the faith to call up our heavenly kingdom power so that we do not fail to continue to see with heavenly vision, just as Jesus did.

28. And when He had come into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?"
 
29. And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer." 
NASB

We may not understand what the difference is between this kind of demon and the ones that He and the disciples had cast out previously, so it is best to pray our way into everything we do to help free creation from its present corruption.
 
Heavenly kingdom power is for all of us; itís free for the taking, for itís like love, it never runs out.
 
We just need to have the faith to do it.
 
Amen.

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