If you read the gospels like a newspaper, i.e.looking for new information you might notice something: Jesus was big on the kingdom of heaven.That might seem a bit obvious but its interesting to me that we are not. Jesus spoke incessantly about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God and we talk about eternity in heaven.Jesus spoke about the gospel or good news of the kingdom but we talk about the gospel of Jesus dying for our sins so that we don't have to go to hell. Don't get me wrong,
that is good news, but it was never the focus of Jesus' ministry, but its a huge part of the churches'.Perhaps that's why a prevailing attitude among Christians is "I'll suffer through this life here on earth and look forward to heaven with my savior." Again, spending eternity in heaven with Jesus is a lot to look forward to, but we dismiss the very big and very real objective of establishing what exists in the mind of God here on earth; His heavenly kingdom!(Re:The
And if you're like me, and, I believe, as a result of our ignoring the kingdom thing, you really don't get the kingdom. There are several things I've had that feeling about. I didn't get all this anointing stuff where a song is anointed and that preacher is anointed and my recliner is anointed. Or glory. What in the world is glory and how can you have riches in glory and why do old-timers say,"Oh glory!" And grace! Don't get me started...
But the Holy Spirit has helped me with all these religious (and religiously misused)words including the kingdom. So let me share some of the kingdom stuff.
Almost 600 yrs before Jesus was speaking of the kingdom, there was a jewish boy named Daniel, who at a young age was jerked out of Israel, the location of David and Solomon's glorious kingdom, and transported to the bigger and worldwide kingdom of Nebuchadnezzer. Daniel served this emperor of the known world until God set Nebuchadnezzer out in a field with long fingernails and dew on his back that he might recognize Jehovah's sovereignty. The Lord reinstated him but he died later so Daniel witnessed the kingdom of the known world transferred into the hands of Belshazzar, a descendant of Nebuchadnezzer. Daniel delivered the message that God was going to end his reign, which He did and Daniel witnessed the rule of the known world being transferred once again to Darius the Mede and later to Cyrus a Persian. It is to this very unique individual that God revealed His plans for a worldwide kingdom that his saints would receive(Dan 7:18).
Beginning with a dream Nebuchadnezzar had but forgot and demanded interpretation of, God began to reveal a succession of world empires beginning with Nebuchadnezzar's and ending with the Roman Empire, symbolized by iron mixed with clay feet with ten toes; these 4 worldwide governments are then totally destroyed and replaced with the the "...Stone..cut...without human hands". This Stone, Jesus will head a government that will be about the business of governing! just like the other governments: taxing, building roads, regulating commerce, etc. This is an important point in relating to the kingdom. When Jesus talks about the kingdom, He is talking about an earthly kingdom (worldwide, which we have trouble relating to but Daniel did not! )which is unrealized on earth but fully established in the unseen. It is established one person at a time
by a person being born of the spirit. But there is coming a time when the membership list is closed and the kingdom begins to the exclusion of all others. That will be a sobering time when all this Christian mumbo- jumbo all of a sudden becomes a reality and scriptures like where people are running up to Jesus and saying, "But you taught in our streets and we cast out demons in your name.." or " shut the door and seal it" after everybody who was entitled to an invitation to the wedding feast blew it off, become chillingly clear and real. At that point, anybody who has been rendering too much to Caesar will be eliminated and there will be no more Caesar. To be continued