The Kingdom and the Church

The Kingdom of Heaven is not the Church of Jesus Christ, and it is not “going to Heaven when we die.”

In perhaps the narrowest terms, the Church is the family of Yahweh and the Kingdom is the people who obey Him, whether they are members of His family or not. Identity is only indirectly characterized by work. “Manager” is my work, not my identity. “Son” is my identity, not my job title. You can describe yourself in terms of what you do, but your identity is more truly expressed by your relationships.

John the Baptizer was the greatest prophet that was ever born of a woman, according to Jesus. When faced with the works of the Kingdom being done by Jesus, however, he could not recognize the King. He only knew Jesus as a King because of the revelation he had received as a prophet. He sent word from prison to ask Jesus what was wrong when he couldn’t see Jesus taking up the continuation of John’s ministry of seeing everything through his filter of sin, of right and wrong – good and evil. He was not born of God, so he could not see the Kingdom. Righteousness was out of reach. He could only see sin. Jesus told him to examine His work as manifesting the Kingdom.

To Nicodemus, Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (John 3:5-8; 1 John 3:9)

Having been born of Yahweh, His sons and daughters have His nature in their spirits. That will never change, without regard for their behavior in flesh. To be able to grasp the stark line dividing the unconditional acceptance of sons from the fierce judgement of servants in the Kingdom makes you able to then easily sift through previously unanswered questions about eternal security as sons and being thrust into outer darkness as disobedient sons.

The disobedient virgins were simply outside when the party began. The unclean creatures caught in the dragnet were thrown into the fire. The virgins all had the same nature, therefore were divided based on obedience, and even then, not to destruction. The fish had different natures, therefore they were divided based on their natures, the unclean to destruction (Matthew 25:1-13; Matthew 13:47-50).

Please read The Kingdom of Our God, a paper I have written on the Kingdom of Heaven.

Living Water

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” … this He spoke concerning the Spirit, Whom those believing in Him would receive…

When you are born of Yahweh by believing the death of Jesus became payment for your failures, you begin what can become a life of much manifestation of the Spirit of Jesus. To manifest means to become apparent, or visible. It doesn’t mean to “appear,” but to be perceived. The Spirit of Jesus is present in you somehow all the time, but when you bear the fruit of His presence, Joy, Love, etc, (Galatians 5:22,23), He becomes apparent: He manifests.

He is manifest when you do the supernatural things that relate to the gift He has given you. When you teach (if you are a teacher), when you evangelize (if you are an evangelist), whatever work of His you let Him do through you, causes Him to be experienced by the people who are nearby.

He flows through you and becomes a river of Living Water.

Let Him flow.

 

Being Negative

Here are some things you can’t do:

Fool Yahweh.

Love someone too much.

Forgive someone too many times.

Waste anything by giving too much of it to Jesus.

Grasp how much Jesus loves you.

Memorize too much Scripture.

Agree with a demon without losing something for having done it.

Get sick in Heaven.

Hide from Yahweh.

Prosper by cheating.

Fail to improve something by cheering up.

Imagine yet how valuable unity with other Believers is.

Cursed with Disunity

Yahweh responded to the building project at Babel with a word and a deed (Genesis 11). The word was a declaration that the people were united, and could, therefore, do ANYthing. The deed was to divide them into groups, separating them by the varied languages that He caused them to suddenly be able to speak.

From the perspective of the people, Yahweh had cursed them. He ruined their project, and He created division between them. This division is the root of racism, nationalism, even the contempt and competitive attitudes that arise between rival universities, generally related to their sports departments.

The division did not cause the “isms,” however. It simply exposed them. It was actually a blessing, not a curse. It was the voluntary empowerment from Yahweh that He gave to humans to make them able to proceed with His instructions to Noah – fill the earth.

Much of the discomfort that happens in our lives, seeming to be a hindrance, is really the King exercising His power to influence our futures by opening and closing doors. You cannot see His Kingdom until you are born of the Spirit.

Even then, you must be willing. Even better is to desire it.

Ask Him to show you how much of what you have been rebuking the devils over is really your Dad giving you a rebuke. Or maybe giving you an invitation.