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Kingdom Nuggets (2)

Kingdom Nuggets
In the Beginning

By Lanny Swaim


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-3, 14


The Hebrew word translated as beginning in Genesis 1:1 is bereshit, and literally means the beginning of something.  However, the is missing from the Hebrew text.  So this passage actually reads, “In beginning God created…”


This implies that beginning is more than a point in time.  It is actually a place.


So where is this place called beginning?  I submit to you that it was in God before He spoke it out of Himself and the material cosmos came into existence.  However, when it came out of Him it was not defined.  It was without form and void (see Genesis 1:2).  Hence, the six days of creation when He spoke form into this void. 


The Hebrew word translated as created is bara.  This word is in the masculine singular form, so that he is implied.  A peculiarity of this verb is that it is used only when referring to God.  So the creation being spoken of here is something that only God could accomplish, because it was in Him and no other.  Actually, there was no other.  The beginning was only in God, and there was only God in the beginning.


Elohim is the Hebrew for God in Genesis 1:1.  It is the all-encompassing name for God, implying that the various names for God found elsewhere in scripture are all included in this one name, indicating that everything that God is (His entire being) created the heaven and the earth.


Hashamayim is the Hebrew word translated as the heaven and the earth.  This is a figure of speech indicating that the heaven and the earth is not limited to planet Earth and its atmosphere, but encompasses the entire cosmos or universe.


I have often read this creation narrative thinking it describes the material world being made out of nothing, with God simply speaking it into existence.  But the material world was already in existence in God.  It just wasn’t revealed or manifested as the material world.


So, this narrative is not actually about the creation or forming of a material world.  Rather, it is about the fixing of destiny.  Creation had to come out of God in order for it to have an accomplished destiny.  And with the forming of man from the dust of the earth, and then multiplying on the face of the earth, creation became about destinies (plural). 


The entire Bible is about these destinies and ultimately the destiny of creation playing out in a time/space (material) world, where the spiritual is actually more real than the material, having been forever in God.  Because of what is commonly referred to as the fall of man and the subsequent coming of Jesus as the Son of Man, the material world is now going back into God while remaining in time as a material creation.


Nowhere does the Bible speak of time ending.  So called end-time doctrines are a gross misunderstanding of scripture and of God’s plan for creation.  Time will never end, but is instead being overwritten by eternity.


The time/space world only exists in the scope of eternity.  It is the beginning that was in God, then came out of God, and is now going back into God, completely intact but perfected, which has been God’s plan since eternity and for all eternity.


Kingdom Nuggets

Eternity is a Person

By Lanny Swaim


He [God] hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

Ephesians 1:4-5


…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:8


Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

Isaiah 46:9-10


Everything was in God before He spoke it out of Himself and into existence in a time/space (material) world.


Eternity has no past, present or future.  Eternity is an ever present now.  Someone has said that God created time to keep everything from happening at once.


Kelley Varner put it this way in his book, Chosen for Greatness (my paraphrase):


Way back in the eons of eternity there was a meeting.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit were present in that meeting, and you and I were there too.  Everything that has happened, is happening or ever will happen in a time/space world happened in that meeting.  And the minutes of that meeting became the volume of the Book.


When Kelley spoke of the volume of the Book, he took that from Hebrews 10:7, which says:


Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.


Everything was in God, therefore it was a part of God.  Adam and Eve are a picture of this.  Eve was in Adam, actually one with Adam before she was taken out of Adam (see Genesis 2:21-23).  Then she became separate from Adam but then became one with Him again in childbirth, with the DNA of both of them being in their children.


Not only was the material cosmos in God before the beginning, eternity was in God.  We tend to think of God being in eternity, but actually eternity was in God.  So God the person and eternity are actually one and the same.


To be in God is to be in eternity.  To be in eternity is to be in God.  As we become one with God we become one with eternity.  So we are not only eternal beings, we are in eternity and eternity is in us.  Thus, Heaven is not some place we go eventually, it is in us and we are already in Heaven.  It is only in the time/space world that these truths become different things and time periods.  But from the eternal perspective, there is a unity, an oneness that encompasses everything that exists in a time/space world and in eternity.


About now you may be asking, “Why is all this important?”  This knowledge defines our security in God, period.  It eliminates the possibility that perhaps we aren’t good enough, don’t believe enough, don’t know enough to be accepted by God and someday make it to Heaven.


And it explains our being chosen to be in him before the foundation of the world, ensuring that we are holy and without blame before him in love: having been predestined unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.


His will.  Not our will.  We are chosen.  We did not do the choosing. 


A widely accepted doctrine in the Church today is the doctrine of free will.  I have no concept of free will.  I did not choose the life I am living.  I didn’t know it existed.  He chose me, period.


And because we know we are secure in Him we also know we are in the center of His will, absolutely and without a doubt born for such a time as this.

Kingdom Nuggets

Effective Prayer

By Lanny Swaim


The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16


If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

John 15:7-8


Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John 15:16


James 5:16 and John 15:7-8 & 16 make it clear that there are conditions to getting our prayers answered.


An effective or effectual prayer is a prayer capable of producing a certain result.  This same verse indicates that the thing that enables someone to pray such a prayer is that the person praying is righteous.


So how does one become righteous?


For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:21


And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD [God]; and he [God] counted it to him [Abraham] for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6


So our behavior does not make us righteous.  It is only believing in the LORD God as Abraham did and having faith in all that Jesus accomplished at the crucifixion that makes us righteous.


So faith in general will not get our prayers answered, but specific faith, revealed in 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Genesis 15:6, will get our prayers answered.


However, John 15:7-8 goes a step further, saying that we must abide (live) in Jesus and His words must abide (live) in us, which are the conditions required to believe in the LORD God as Abraham did and have faith in all that Jesus accomplished at the crucifixion.


This being true, since it is the Word of God, I must ask, “What are we missing?  Why does prayer often seem to be hit and miss proposition?”


Perhaps John 15:10 gives us a clue as to why prayer seems to have been a hit and miss proposition for us.


If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.


This statement is made by Jesus while He is speaking about getting prayer answered and bearing fruit in the fifteenth chapter of John’s account of the Gospel.


1 John 4:8 & 16 tell us that God is love.  So to abide in Jesus as He abides in the Father is to abide in love.  We must live a life immersed in love; not a humanistic love but the very love that God is.  A spiritual, supernatural, perfect love.  A love full of grace and mercy.  A love that sees people not only as they appear to be but sees them for their potential.  A better way to put it would be to see them fulfilling their God given destiny.  In order to see others fulfilling their God given destiny, we must see ourselves as fulfilling our God given destiny, which is no less than abiding in the love of God, or more specifically in the love that God is; completely immersed in Him.


So if our praying has been a hit and miss proposition, perhaps our abiding in pure, unadulterated, genuine love has been a hit and miss proposition.


So how do we fix this shortcoming we seem to have?  The answer is simple.  We can’t.  We don’t have the ability to.  That’s why the law was given; to show man his inability to obey it.  So if abiding in the love that God is depends on our keeping His commandments, we fall short.


But what is impossible for mankind is possible with God (see Matthew 19:26).  This reality is made clear in one of the scripture references we began this teaching with.


Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John 15:16


You see, it is not up to us.  We did not choose this life we are living.  God chose us, period.  Not only did He choose us, He ordained us for ministry; to go forth and produce fruit.  We don’t need ordination papers from anyone other than God Himself.  No one other than God has the authority to ordain us.  And if it is God who has ordained us, God will equip and enable us.  There is nothing we can do to abide in Him more than we already do, and nothing we can do to become perfected love as He is love.  We are entirely dependent on Him to accomplish this in our lives.  So we rest in His ability instead of striving in our own ability (our ability in reality is nonexistent). 


It is as we find this place of rest in Him that we abide in Him and in the love that He is.  But in and of ourselves, we are incapable of even finding that place of rest.  Only He can produce that in us.


There is a remnant of people on the earth today who are beginning to get a glimpse of what it is to abide completely in Him and in the love that He is.  It is not something we chose or a place we even knew existed a short time ago. 


But it is our destiny, and has been the destiny of mankind since before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:4).


All the men and women of faith who have gone before us on the timeline of history, who died without seeing what a remnant is now beginning to see, paved the way for us to begin to realize our destiny (see Hebrews 11:39-40)..


I hope we are the generation that will get all our prayers answered.  If not, we will take our place with those who have gone before, doing our part to ensure that there will be a generation who will walk in 100% success; effectually praying and getting every prayer answered.


When that generation manifest, should it be us or another, everything changes and the convergence of Heaven and Earth will be completed.


Whether we are that generation or not, I can assure you that we were born for such a time as this, and we will do our part either as that generation or preparing the way for that generation.


Before closing, I should point out that even now we can have greater success at praying effective prayers by being led of the Spirit when we pray; not praying our will but the Father’s will.  The degree that we are led by the Spirit will be the degree that we see our prayers answered.


There was a time when we may have gotten some prayers answered that were not necessarily Spirit led, but as the Lord is perfecting His Church in this day (millennium/see 2 Peter 3:8), those times will become less and less as He is requiring more and more of us and enabling us to walk in more and more of Him.

Kingdom Nuggets

The Faith of Jesus Christ

By Lanny Swaim


A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ...

Galatians 2:16 (emphasis added)


Faith in Jesus is only made possible by the faith of Jesus. 


In other words, it is not our faith that justifies us but His faith that justifies us.


This confirms in a nutshell, so to speak, that this life we are living, this walk we are walking, is not in any way about us but is instead, entirely about Him.  We were created by Him to become one with Him.  He chose us to be in Him before the foundation of the world, predestined to be holy and without blame in love according to the good pleasure of His will (see Ephesians 1:4-5).


Realizing that it is His faith that produces results instead of our faith takes the pressure off us to perform.  Instead of trying to accomplish anything, we can rest in the knowledge that He has already done everything necessary for us to be successful in any area of life.  Our existence is entirely safe in Him because of His faith.


It was His faith that enabled Him to face the horrors of the cross.  He had no doubt that His death on the cross would not only bring salvation to mankind but would in fact save the entire creation.


It was His faith in a perfected creation that enabled Him to speak creation out of Himself and into existence in a time/space dimension, knowing that death would enter the picture and bring much pain and suffering before life and light overcame death and darkness forever.  He knew that the destiny of creation was not up to the whims of mankind or the volatile natural disasters that would occur on earth and throughout the universe.


He knew that ultimately He would have His desire; a people just like Him, possessing His character and authority, one with Him, living in a creation that functions in perfect harmony with mankind as mankind functions in perfect harmony with creation.


This is our destiny.  This is where we are headed.  And He will see to it that we get there.


Do we have a part to play in this?  Of course we do.  But ultimately, it will play out just as He has planned since eternity and for all eternity.  Our faith works by His faith.  We will do our part because He has done and is doing His part.


Nothing takes Him by surprise.  There is no plan B.  Rest, abide and trust completely in Him.  There is no greater faith.


Kingdom Nuggets

The Power of the Cross

By Lanny Swaim


If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:24-25


Jesus became sin for us on the cross, enabling us to become the righteousness of God.


For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:21


Notice this verse does not say that Jesus made us the righteousness of God, but that we might be made the righteousness of God.  Jesus becoming sin for us did not automatically make us the righteousness of God, but instead enabled us to become the righteousness of God.  He made it possible, but we have to walk it out. 


Hence, we must take up our cross, following Jesus’ example of taking up His cross.  Jesus was willing to lose His life for us, and we must be willing to lose our life for Him.  But we do so, knowing as He did, that death cannot hold us.  If we are willing to lose our life for Him, because of His sacrifice for us, we will gain eternal life; not in the sweet by and by but right now!


Losing our life in this context is not about physical death, but is instead about laying down our dreams, desires, ambitions, etc.  It is about suffering through dying to self as He crucifies those dreams, desires and ambitions when we are unable to lay them down or perhaps don’t even realize we need to lay them down.


Taking up our cross doesn’t sound like a pleasant thing, and obviously it isn’t, but the results are glorious.  There is a life beyond anything we can think or imagine on the other side of that cross.  And we don’t have to wait until we someday go to Heaven to walk in it.


As we lay down our lives (deny ourselves or die to self), accepting the cross we have been given to carry, we are then resurrected and entrusted with great power and authority.


We have greatly limited the cross of Christ, not realizing the tremendous power the Lord’s completely unselfish act released into the cosmos, not only enabling mankind to become righteous, but enabling the perfecting of all creation.


This perfecting of creation has been God’s plan since before creation, and the last six thousand years of history has been a process, bringing us to the completion of that plan, line upon line and precept upon precept (see Isaiah 28:10).


As we enter this new day we are getting a glimpse of that which is to come, tasting of it and moving at an accelerated pace toward it.


Perfection is our destiny, and the destiny of the entire universe.


Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Kingdom Nuggets

The Power of an Endless Life

By Lanny Swaim


If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?  For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.  For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.  For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.  And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.  For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 7:11-17 (emphasis added)


The book of Hebrews was written to Hebrew Christians.  The laws of Moses had been given to the Hebrew people, and they needed to understand how the coming of Jesus as the Son of Man had changed that law and changed the priesthood.


For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw neigh unto God.

Hebrews 7:19


That better hope goes far beyond trying to obey the law by controlling our behavior, which is an impossibility.  It is not about what we are capable or incapable of doing (obeying the law).  Rather, it is about who we are and who we are becoming.


Our behavior does not determine who we are.  Who we are determines our behavior.


In John 5:24 Jesus said:


Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.


If we have everlasting life, having passed from death into life, we are now capable of reaching perfection, which is the power of an endless life.


Death no longer has any authority over us.  Instead, we have authority over death.


The city of Salem, where Melchisedec reigned, later became known as JerusalemSalem means peaceful, safe, complete, perfectJeru means God exalts.  So, Jerusalem means God exalts peace, safety, completion, perfection.


The writer of Hebrews tells us that Melchisedec was king of Salem and priest of the Most High God, having neither father nor mother, without descent, with no beginning or end of life, made like the Son of God, a continual priest (see Hebrews 7:1-3). 


Abraham tithed of the spoils of battle to Melchisedec and Melchisedec served Abraham bread and wine; a practice we commonly refer to today as communion, long before Jesus went to the cross.


However, in the context of an endless life, Jesus was crucified before creation came into existence in the physical realm (see Revelation 13:8), so it is not a peculiarity that Melchisedec served Abraham communion long before Jesus was crucified on the timeline of history.


There is much more to be learned from Melchisedec than has been taught for the most part.  Who could Melchisedec have been other than an appearance of Jesus long before He was born as a baby in Bethlehem?


If this is in fact the truth, Jesus’ Bethlehem birth was not His first coming.  And if there is no first coming, then there will be no second coming.  As a continual priest (see Hebrews 7:3), Jesus coming is also continual.


Just as most of the Jews missed His coming as the Son of Man, most Christians are now missing His coming, growing to fulness in a people, who will not only positionally but experientially become one with Him and rule the nations.


Most Christians are looking for future events that are a misunderstanding of prophetic scripture, while a remnant are becoming the greatest prophetic event since Jesus came as the Son of Man and the Holy Spirit indwelled believers on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in the second chapter of Acts.


Having been subjected to an intense and severe process of dying to self, enabling the possibility of Christ being fully formed in them (see Galatians 4:19 AMP), this remnant is finding and walking in the power of an endless life, after the order of Melchisedec.


Surely we were born for such a time as this.


Kingdom Nuggets

The Third Day

By Lanny Swaim


Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures, to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

Luke 13:32


Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Hosea 6:1-2


And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.  And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

Zechariah 14:6-7 & 9 (emphasis added)


Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2 Peter 3:8


There is a parallel between the seven days of creation and the seven thousand years the Bible focuses on.


I believe God has made provision not only for the Hebrew calendars but also for the Gregorian calendar, knowing that a time would come when the entire world would count chronological time by the Gregorian calendar, which came into existence long after the Hebrew calendars.  I believe Daniel’s prophecies can only be understood utilizing both the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars.


The way history is playing out at the present time seems to me to be confirmation that Peter’s statement about a day equaling a thousand years and a thousand years equaling a day is being counted utilizing the Gregorian calendar.


If that is in fact the case, and I am convinced it is, we have just crossed the threshold of the seventh day (millennium) of/since creation, which is also the third day (millennium) of the Church.


The seventh day is the Sabbath, a day of rest, prophesied by the writer of Hebrews.


For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Hebrews 4:8


It is in finding this rest that at least a remnant of the Church will come into perfection experientially, preparing the way for all others to follow, which is what Jesus was speaking of when He said, “The third day I shall be perfected.”


As we enter this third day of the Church, which is the seventh day of/since creation, a remnant is beginning to get a glimpse of this perfection/completion. 


When Jesus walked out of the tomb on the third day after the crucifixion, His body was not perfected even though it had become immortal.  He still had the nail scars in His hands and feet and evidence of the scar of the spear that was thrust into His side. 


We know this because in John 20:27 He told Thomas to put his finger in His hands and His side, where he found the nail and spear scars and believed that Jesus was actually raised from the dead. 


So when will His body (the Body of Christ) be perfected?  In this third day (millennium) of the Church.


He was eternally scared so we can be eternally perfected.


Biblically a day begins at evening.  So the darkest part of the day comes first, followed by the dawning of the day.  However, Zechariah prophesies of a day when it will be light during the evening; that light overcoming the darkness.


Saints of God, we are in that day; a day Isaiah prophesied:


ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles [nations] shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Isaiah 60:1-3


Surely we were born for such a time as this!

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