The Kingdom of God

I realize that a lot has been said and written about the Kingdom of God, but I thought that I should add my thoughts to the sands of the sea which are available to you, dear reader, to sift through - that you might find a precious nugget here or there.

It seems to me that the Kingdom of God consists of a King - God, and all those who are truly loyal and obedient to Him - His people.  In addition, His Kingdom also consists of everything that is necessary and proper which are needed by His people to do His will.

The Christian Bible says that the Kingdom of God is 'hidden', and that wise people are able to find that hidden treasure, and out of joy they purchase the field where the treasure is hidden in order to make it their own! 

My observation is that the Kingdom of God is only hidden in the sense that certain people are able to perceive it and become part of it.  I once had a vision of a man wanting to enter God's Kingdom, which was surrounded by an insurmountable stone wall.  The only entrance was a very short door, and those who wanted to enter had to bow themselves as low as possible in order to enter through that door!  hmmm

I have also observed those who were not able to perceive the Kingdom of God.  I once attended and participated as an usher in a meeting of perhaps five thousand people where the guest presenters at the meeting were leaders of the 'Brownsville Revival'.  It appeared to me that many people were being touched by the Spirit of God because there was great joy, and some healings and lots of peacefulness.  There was also lots of excitement because many people were being touched by God in new and different ways.  But in the midst of that large group of people sat three or four pastors of a church I once attended with their arms crossed and disapproving expressions on their faces as they observed the 'holy chaos' of the prayer time at the end of the meeting, and when they heard the testimonies of people who had been touched by God's Spirit in many different and unique ways.  It appeared to me that almost everyone at that meeting could perceive the Kingdom of God in action, but those few who were too dignified to participate could not perceive God in action.  Jesus talked about the 'blind leading the blind', and I thought I had a glimpse of certain blind leaders that evening.

It is easy to tell what is - and what is not - a manifestation of the Kingdom of God.  The apostle Paul, in Romans 14:17 makes the statement that "the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

And that's all I have to say about that, dear reader.

Well, that's not entirely true.  I do have some other comments about what is and what is not the kingdom of God.

First, loyalty to God is the first and foremost attribute of the Kingdom of God.  But one cannot be loyal to another king and still be loyal to God.  Therefore we must all choose whom we will serve, and then serve our king faithfully according to the king's will.  Just doing kingdom things does not make one loyal to the King!

Second, the end does not justify the means.  God does not allow ungodly means to be used to produce Godly manifestations and resultsFor example, one cannot steal and give to the poor and expect God's approval for stealing is against God's law.

Third, and most importantly, only Jesus Christ can produce in us the loving loyalty to God which is the essence of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus Christ is the King Whom God the Father has appointed to rule until the time when Jesus turns the Kingdom over to God the Father, and Father rules all in all!

1Co_15:28  Now when all things are made subject to Him [Jesus Christ], then also the Son Himself [Jesus] will be subjected to Him [God the Father] who subjected all things to Him, in order that God may be all in all.

This may shock you, dear reader, but the fundamental attribute of the people of God's kingdom is not faith, it is humility - also called spiritual poverty.  Spiritual poverty begins with a combination of brokenness and contrition.  Brokenness is the realization and acceptance that one cannot please God or do His will unless one is abiding in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is abiding in that person.  Contrition is the act of admitting that there is no hope of pleasing God or doing His will by ourselves apart from Jesus Christ.  Righteousness, peace and joy all come only from The Righteous, Peaceful and Joyful God of creation living in a person.  No one has true, constant, eternal righteousness, peace and joy in and of themselves.

God has this to say about that: 

Rom_3:10  Just as it is written: "There is none righteous, no not one.

What does this mean to the average person?  It means that we cannot imitate God, and that all of our efforts to imitate God are wasted effort at best, and contrary to His plans and purposes for us at worst.  In a word - every effort to imitate God is sin. (!)  Why?  Because in and of ourselves we have NO IDEA what God would really do in any situation, and we don't have the ability to do what God would do anyway because we are not God.  We may think that we would know, but we would not unless we have God actually dwelling in us, and we are free from all other influences including ourselves.

GOOD NEWS ALERT!  Here is some Good News for you, dear reader! 

2Co_5:19  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not reckoning their transgressions to them, and committing to us the word of this reconciliation.

And here is some more Good News:

2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ compels us, having concluded this: that if One died for all, then all died;
2Co 5:15  and He died for all, so that they who live should live no longer for themselves, but for the One who died for them and rose again.

What does this mean?  does it mean that because Jesus Christ dies on a cross two thousand years ago that we are able to live for God rather than for ourselves?  I don't think so.  I think that it means that Jesus died and was raised from the dead in order to generate the grace by which we can get ourselves set free from our selfishness and pride and waywardness from God in order to be free to get Jesus Christ to live our His perfect life in us and thorough us to fulfill God's calling on our lives.  Faith is not just believing that some spiritual fact or condition is true.  True faith is wanting to do God's will, and trusting Jesus to give us the ability to do our Heavenly Father's will.

For example, in Acts Chapter 8 we find the account of an outbreak of the Kingdom of God in a place called Samaria.  God had directed  one of His children named Philip to go to Samaria, to proclaim the Kingdom of God there, and the people there believed the Good News which Philip proclaimed to them, and they humbled themselves before God in water baptism to claim the death of Jesus as their death to sin, and to claim Jesus as their Source of the righteousness, peace and joy of God.  Lots of great things were happening, and then God wanted to send the Good News to the land of Ethiopia.  So He directs one of His messengers to tell Philip to go down the desert road to Gaza.  Philip, not relying on his own understanding but trusting God's directing through the messenger, obeys.  Philip meets an Ethiopian eunuch, evangelizes him, the eunuch wants to be baptized, a pool of water is available on this desert road to Gaza (!), Philip baptizes the eunuch in the water, and immediately the Spirit of God catches up Philip and apparently transports him to a place called Azotus while the Ethiopian eunuch goes home to Ethiopia rejoicing!

Now I ask you, dear reader, would you have thought of that chain of events to result in the proclamation of the Good News of the Kingdom of God in Ethiopia?  No?  I didn't think so.  Neither would I have figured out that plan, let alone being able to carry it out to successful completion.  God's ways are simply not our ways, and we have to abandon our ways if we are going to live life God's way!

The Apostle Paul makes some statements which show the essence of the Kingdom of God, and are totally inconsistent with learning God's ways out of a Book and imitating God on our own:

Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
Gal 2:21  I do not annul the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing."

1Co_15:31  I affirm, by my boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

And our Lord Jesus Himself said this:

Luk_9:23  And He [Jesus]  said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow [accompany] Me.

I think that is all I have to write about that.