Monday, January 29, 2018

Four things the Kingdom of God is and what you can do to start discovering it right now

The very first thing Jesus spoke about concerning the Kingdom of Heaven was basically identical to what John the Baptist preached - Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is Near. I wrote previously about how repentance is an act of deciding to turn away from self-sufficiency (which is the essence of sin) and how this recreation of our mind and thoughts concerning self-sufficiency is what allows us to understand the Kingdom.

Photo by Photo by Kristine Weilert on Unsplash Modified by DR.
But the second thing that struck me as being quite odd was this language about how the Kingdom has "come nigh" or "near". What is this "Kingdom" that it can be close to or far from me? How do you even define this Kingdom? What is it really?

Most of the time we are given explanations only in passing about the Kingdom yet it is one of the Principal teachings of Jesus the King of this Kingdom. It was Jesus who spoke about the Kingdom more than anybody else in the Bible. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke contain over 70 references to it, in contrast to the handful (but still very potent) references in the rest of the New Testament.

I've never really payed so much attention to the "kingdom" until Jesus recently appeared to me in a dream (I know it sounds crazy and this was really the first time it happened and I wrote about it here). He told me that I wasn't getting the answer to my prayers, desires and dreams because I didn't "understand the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven".

As I pondered this dream-vision, I was in much awe but soon realized I don't even know how to define this Kingdom! (Sure, many verses would come to mind but my concept of it was still very ethereal and vague). Where do I even begin to learn about it? So I found every verse that spoke about the Kingdom in the New Testament and this series with the hashtag #Kingdom101 is the result you are reading right now.

The Kingdom of God is not a synonym for God, Jesus or good things yet most people use it that way.

The Kingdom of God isn't a theological doctrine, belief or concept yet most treat it as such.

The Kingdom of God isn't a political entity that can be observed with the five senses.

So how then can the Kingdom of God be "near" or then far, etc?

Firstly, the Kingdom of Heaven is Alien. It is not of this world (this is something Jesus said plainly, especially in front of Pontus Pilate). But instead it exists in parallel to our world and what we perceive it to be through our five natural senses.

The Kingdom of Heaven is a Realm, like a dimension that some people are close to and some too far to even know it exists. And yes, it is very spiritual but not the only spiritual kingdom around.

The Kingdom of Heaven is a Domain that all are invited to enter, but only some are welcomed into with great joy and others are forbidden from entering into it.

Finally, the Kingdom of Heaven is full of power,
but its power is known to the children of God in degrees, some more than others. 

I think Jesus wants you to know this power of His Kingdom and its Ways and He wants you to know it very, very much. In fact, He said that the FIRST thing you need to do was to seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

So that's the odd thing about the Kingdom. It's this parallel universe of sorts that can penetrate into our world in varying degrees. When John and Jesus preached that "it was near" they were saying something is happening that is bringing this Kingdom closer to the people. If it was near to them 2000 years ago, how much closer is to us now! Add to that, we have the Spirit as a seal in our hearts declaring us as those who belong to this Kingdom.

And here's the other thing: If its not everywhere (I mean God is everywhere, right?) but if the Kingdom of God is not everywhere, then what is this world? Do you now understand why the world in the NT is said to be ruled by the "prince of the power of the air" and by the "authorities", "principalities", "world-rulers of the darkness of this age" and "spiritual things of the evil in the heavenly places"?

So is God in control of earth? In a manner of speaking He is and in another manner He is not. He is in the sense that all the rulers of this world are ultimately going to be dealt with by the Kingdom of God. But at the moment in world history, it is very clear to me who is wrecking havoc in the world, killing, stealing and destroying life all around the globe (see John 10:10). Wars and natural disasters, famines and plagues and epidemics and violence and crime, the author of such ugly horrors is not in anyway our Father and the Creator of All!

It's as if our world is ruled by the enemy but God has made a beach-head in the Church (do not confuse with the religious bodies that go by this name too) who are made of the born again Sons and Daughters of God, those whom Jesus now calls His Brothers and Children, those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.

This is why the Kingdom talk is so important. We are the citizens of this Kingdom and we can bring it to reality in degrees in our lives. To be very clear, the power of this Kingdom is not available to only a few; it is available to all who want to see their Savior glorified more and more. There is no hierarchy in this church.

Jesus said the FIRST thing we needed to seek was His Kingdom and Righteousness. How are we going to do this if we are not even aware what it is that Jesus is telling us to seek it above all things?

Today, don't lose another moment. Ask God to show you and bring you closer and closer and closer to see the Kingdom being manifested in your life. It's one of the most Christ-centered prayers you could ever pray - afterall, that is how Jesus taught us to pray.

For more on this see #Kingdom101

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