...I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of Heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed...And the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole Heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.—Daniel 7:13-14 and 27
Daniel's prophecy refers to an individual called "the Son of man" coming to receive a Kingdom. In verse 13 we lay the foundation concerning the Kingdom of God. Remember, Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Everywhere He went He preached the same message, "Repent for the Kingdom of God," or "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (see Matthew 4:17 and Mark 1:15). All throughout the Gospels, we find that Jesus' emphasis was on the Kingdom.
Jesus chose twelve men, ordained them as Apostles, and sent them out with that very same message. Preach the Kingdom of God! Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out devils. He commanded not only to preach it, but to demonstrate the Kingdom of God. In Luke 10, Jesus appointed 70 others and sent them out two-by-two, telling them the same thing. He told them to go preach and proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand and He healed the sick.
The primary reason Jesus came to earth was to inaugurate the Kingdom of God. Often, we hear that the reason Jesus came to the earth was to die on the Cross. Jesus did come to die on the Cross, but that death on the Cross was for the purpose of establishing the Kingdom of God.
When the Kingdom Comes to You—
Grab Hold of it!
There were multitudes of people when Jesus preached the message of the Kingdom. Some missed it—others did not. Jesus said, "...the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12). That word "violent" does not refer to a natural violence, but rather refers to a person who has a revelation of the Kingdom and seizes it! They take it by force.
To take by force means to "seize it." When the police come, they seize someone, they take them by force. When the Kingdom comes to you, you need to seize it! You need to take it by force, don't let it go by. If you do, you can miss it. Don't take all the time you want to ponder and decide if you want it. When the Kingdom comes, you have to grab it!
The message of the Kingdom comes to some people and they think about it. They think about it, they examine it, and then it passes them by. Others who have had the Kingdom come to them grasped it. They grasped it because they were desperate. The Gospel was preached primarily to the poor because they were desperate. Jesus said, "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor..." (Luke 4:18). The reason the poor enter the Kingdom of God faster than the rich is because they are desperate. The rich man has to come to the end of himself. The poor are dependent, they are broken, and they need help.
When the good news of the Kingdom of God comes to the poor, they are ready for good news. The poor and sick, the blind, the withered, the lame and demonized all rush into the Kingdom of God. Those were the ones that followed the ministry of Christ. The Bible says that in the days of John the Baptist, the law and the prophets were until John. But since the time of John, the Kingdom of Heaven is preached and every man presses into it (see Luke 16:16). The word "press" represented a crowd pressing to seize the Kingdom.
Jesus went about all the towns and villages preaching the Gospel—the good news. There were crowds of poor, sick, and demonized people. They were considered to be the lowest of society. Yet, they were pressing in, crowding to seize the best news they had ever heard. Even in their state of being—sick, poor, and demonized, they knew they had a revelation that this man Jesus did not come to condemn them. He didn't come to judge them. But He came to bring hope, to bring a Kingdom that is not like the kingdom of the world. It's the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is Greater than the Kingdom of Man
In the book of Daniel, you will discover that Daniel describes the kingdom of men as that of a beast. The nature of man is likened to that of a beast. The number 666 is the number of man; it is the number of the beast. Often, man can behave like beasts. They have the capacity to be cruel, domineering and abusive. Often in lower classes of society, the kingdom of man consists of those who have been rejected, looked down upon and talked about. They are mistreated as if they had no rights, they are despised and taken advantage of.
In the kingdom of man, value is placed by position, power, fame and how much money someone has. The Kingdom of God is the opposite. In God's Kingdom, a person's status, power and name mean nothing. And how much money you have does not impress God. Jesus said, "...it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24).
Jesus was not saying that it is impossible for the rich to enter His Kingdom. But often, when they have power, money, prestige and influence, they also tend to have pride and are not humble. They don't need or depend on anyone, so when the Kingdom comes to them, oftentimes they reason, they ponder and examine, and say within themselves, "I don't need that, I have everything. I have money and houses. I have a nice car, position, fame and power. I'm number one in my own kingdom, in my society." They don't have the revelation or understanding of their need for the Kingdom of God.
The poor who have been oppressed, who are in need of deliverance, those who have been run down are the ones that Jesus came to preach to. These are the ones who pressed into the Kingdom and seized it because they had understanding of their own need. They understood that there is a Kingdom which is higher than the kingdoms that have held them down. A Kingdom that is higher than any political kingdom, religious kingdom, higher than the kingdoms of witchcraft, or even the kingdoms of sickness. Every one of these people who have come to Jesus, they pressed, they believed and SEIZED the Kingdom of God, and they were healed, delivered and set free.
You need to seize His Kingdom—grab it—because if you don't, it will pass right by you! It's amazing how a miracle can be right at your door, and if you don't grab it, it will go right by you. Healing can be right at your door, and if you don't grab it, it will go right by you. We can't sit and look religious—when God shows up, grab Him! Bring Him into your situation. This is not the time to be cool or worry about what your friends and family will say. Recognize your need for healing and deliverance, and your need for the Kingdom of God. Thank God for His Kingdom!
The Kingdom of God is Now—It is Here!
When Jesus came and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, it was not a foreign concept to the people of God—the Jews. They were expecting the Messiah to come with the Kingdom of Heaven. They had the prophecies of "...One coming..." (see Daniel 4:13, 23 and 7:13) spoken by Daniel. So, the Pharisees were looking for the Son of man to come in the clouds of glory to deliver them out of the hands of the Romans. They were looking for the King of Israel.
The Pharisees did not believe that Jesus was The One, but yet they asked Him when the Kingdom would come! Jesus had been preaching that the Kingdom of God had come—that it was here. He preached it then, and preaches it now. The Kingdom of God is now—it is here!
Some may like position, but the Kingdom is not about position. It's not about how anointed you are, how great you are, or what your name is, or whether you are on television or radio. God says to humble yourself and He will exalt you. If you make yourself of no reputation He will promote you. When God promotes you, there is nothing man can do about it. He is the Judge. He puts one down and raises another one up. He is the King in His Kingdom!
Thank God for the Kingdom! Renew your mind; Jesus came to bring a different order. He came to bring a different Kingdom, unlike anything you have ever known. Remove from your mind those things that you are familiar with. Remove from your mind what you see on television, what's on "Entertainment Tonight" or "Hollywood Minute." It doesn't matter who leads or who follows. Take all that out of your mind. That is not the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom is about being humble; it's about serving and loving. It's about being merciful.
We may be so busy in ministry that we miss the Kingdom of God. Jesus did not come to bring ministry—He came to bring the Kingdom! We sing, dance, preach and prophesy, we cast out devils, we travel and have big ministries, we have big churches and still don't know about the Kingdom of God! We know about faith, we know about healing, we know about miracles, about the apostolic and prophetic. We know all about intercession and demons and casting them out. But we don't know about the Kingdom.
Jesus did not come preaching faith or healing. He didn't preach miracles. He preached about the Kingdom of God! Healing, deliverance and faith came to those who seized the Kingdom of God. The foremost thing on God's mind is His Kingdom. Before Jesus Christ returns we're going to get this right. He's not coming back for a messed up Church. He's coming back for a Church without spot or blemish or wrinkle. He is coming back for Kingdom people! He is going to show us what the Kingdom is.
"Heavenly Father, show us, show me Your Kingdom." Do not miss the Kingdom of God.
How to Operate in the Kingdom of God
If you want to operate in this Kingdom you will have to humble yourselves. If you want to operate in this Kingdom you will have to lay some things aside. Lay aside ambition, desire to be seen, position, or lust for power. These are not the Kingdom. Jesus told the Pharisees (remember, the religious people) that the problem is you're looking for some grand event, for the heavens to open up; the Kingdom does not come like that. The Kingdom of God is here and now, because I AM THE KING and you don't see it.
In Luke 17, Jesus says that they would look to the heavens to what Daniel spoke of and they will say, "When are you coming back?" Your eyes have been focused up in the heavens, but right here in front of you is the Kingdom of God.
It's the same today. People look up to Heaven looking for something to happen, when God is saying, "My Kingdom is right here, right now." When you hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—seize it! Grab hold of it and press toward it. Don't miss it!
About John Eckhardt: Gifted with a strong apostolic call, John Eckhardt functions in the office of apostle and overseer of Crusaders Ministries located in Chicago, Illinois. He has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than 70 nations. Apostle Eckhardt founded the IMPACT Network (International Ministries of Prophetic and Apostolic Churches Together) as a vehicle for global apostolic reformation. His vision, as a passionate minister of the Gospel, is to see the Church become truly apostolic by developing the saints for ministry and Kingdom living through teaching, training, activation and demonstration.
He has authored more than 35 books; many having been translated into several languages. He is also founder of the Apostolic Institute of Ministry (AIM), and is part of the faculty of the Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI) and a member of the Board of Directors for the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), both under the leadership of Dr. C. Peter Wagner. He holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree. Apostle Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his lovely wife, Wanda, and their five beautiful children.