THE MESSAGE OF THE KINGDOM~
Jesus was the Word of God in the flesh; “The Message” and He brought a message. It’s called the Gospel; “The Good News” and in “The Parable of the Sower”, He called it the “Word of the Kingdom.” (Matt.13:19) or the “Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt.24:14 and Mark 13:10)
This is a crucial key because Paul declared that there is one Gospel and anyone who preaches differently would be accursed, even if it were himself or an Angel from Heaven! (Gal.1:8) 2,000 years later, what message do we preach? Consider what Jesus said about The Kingdom.
“I solemnly tell you that among all of woman born no greater has ever been raised up than John the Baptist; yet one who is of lower rank in the Kingdom of the Heavens is greater than he. 12But from the time of John the Baptist till now, the Kingdom of the Heavens has been suffering violent assault, and the violent have been seizing it by force.” (Matt.11:11,12)
Jesus is the King of the Kingdom. Kingdom simply means King’s dominion or “where the King reigns”. Now that He is seated at the right hand of the Father with all power and authority in Heaven and on earth; He is legally reigning as King of the universe. However; we do not yet see everything in subjection to His reign. What we see is Jesus and if we believe that He lives inside of us; we acknowledge that He has established His reign inside of us. We simply continue to yield to his Lordship as we die to ourselves daily and live to Christ! This is how we seize the Kingdom with force!
Consider how Luke quoted this saying ~ ““The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it” (16:16)
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
The Disciples had a very informed understanding of the Kingdom from a natural perspective and apparently expected to physically SEE it in their lifetime, because they immediately asked Jesus before He ascended to the Father’s throne ~ ““Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He answered them, “It isn’t for you to know what times or periods the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8But you’ll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you’ll be my witnesses” (Acts 1:7,8)
They knew the O.T. prophecies and their eyes had been opened A LOT since Jesus raised from the dead; so they figured the only thing left was the literal, physical Kingdom established on earth. They had to have been especially remembering what Jesus had told them at the “Mount of Transfiguration”. ~ “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:27)
But it is impossible to perceive these things with our wisdom which is contrary to the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and revelation. Spiritual things that are described in natural analogies cannot be discerned by the mind alone; we must be completely dependent on God’s Spirit to articulate these spiritual truths! (Analyze many versions of 1 Cor.2:14) and consider John 3:8.
I believe the Kingdom of God clearly has multiple aspects and will have it’s literal fulfillment on earth but, Jesus did make it clear that it is not exactly what we think ~ “And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God cometh, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 9:27,28)
Paul gave the most simple explanation in the Gospel written to Rome. Romans 14:17,18 ~ “the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.”
2,000 years ago; the Gospel was declared as a life lived in the Kingdom by righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (think of the fruits of the Spirit). Listen to the emphasis on how the Kingdom is not about food or drink and consider all of Jesus’ parables about how the Kingdom will be like a feast prepared. Because Jesus’ body is truly food and his blood is truly drink but, the point of Jesus parable’s wasn’t focused on the natural. The intent was for us to discern spiritual with spiritual and realize that all of God’s promises are “yes and amen IN CHRIST” now!
The Kingdom of God is abiding in the Vine because Jesus doesn’t simply live in us; He has connected us to Himself! (1 Cor.6:17) We are like branches on him; and he was the tiny mustard seed that died, was in the ground and is now filling the whole earth as the largest tree in the garden bearing everlasting fruits of righteousness! We are branches on His Kingdom and as long as we “stay under the Head, who is Christ” we ABIDE IN HIM.
HOW DO WE “FIND” THE KINGDOM?
“Seek and ye shall find” because “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.” Filled with what? Righteousness of course because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of righteousness and His reign is established and built on righteousness and justice.
We fix our thoughts on spiritual things above and not natural things of the earth! “Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt.6:31-33)
What will be given to us when we seek these things? Food and clothes…yes but more importantly; God’s righteousness and His Kingdom! Have you noticed how much the Kingdom of God and righteousness are linked together? If you aren’t convinced of your permanent righteousness upon receiving Holy Spirit; you should search the O.T. prophets (especially Isaiah) and observe how much salvation and righteousness are joined; because they are all interwoven aspects of Christ in us!
PARTAKING OF THE KINGDOM~
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me. 21He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne.22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says”
Jesus is humble and meek. He is not forcing his Kingdom on us. He gave us the keys to the Kingdom. He made the way, IS the way and showed us the way. We are not passively waiting for the King to return and restore His Kingdom. He is patiently waiting for us to build the Kingdom that He left to us!
He is standing at the door of believer’s heart’s knocking because every born-again believer has been invited to “eat” at the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb”. The Feast is prepared and the people have been invited but, many are too busy with their labors, their family and the things of this world. Maybe this feast is simply communion now with Almighty God in the spirit; being nourished by His words and filled with the living waters of His Spirit!