Kingdom.01 It’s about the Kingdom, st_ _ _
During the forty days after His crucifixion, He appeared to the apostles and spoke about the Kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
After Jesus was resurrected and before His ascension back to His Father, He had 40 days to download final instructions into the men who would carry His message on into the world. With limited time and a literally unlimited amount of important information to give them, Jesus chose to teach them about the Kingdom.
For years I have wondered about Jesus choice of teaching. Why not teach them about the essential ingredients of the Gospel? Why not teach them how to plant churches and appoint leaders in churches? Why not give them a definitive time line for His return so they could be prepared for it? Wouldn’t it have been good for these who would carry on His ministry to have some good training in preaching, counselling, fund raising, and all the other important subjects that would help them as they planted and led churches?
As far as we know He didn’t spend any time on those things-He spoke only about the Kingdom of God. If knowing about the Kingdom of God was the most essential teaching these apostles needed to hear from their Jesus before He left them and the Spirit came to guide them into all truth, it seems radically important for us to know as much about it as we can as well.
So, what is this Kingdom of God or as Matthew refers to it, Kingdom of Heaven? When I speak of Kingdom I am referring to the reign of God that is brought about through Jesus. This includes the establishment of God’s rule in the hearts and lives of His followers; the overcoming of the forces of evil; the removal from the world of all the consequences of sin, including death and all that diminishes life; and the creation of a new order of righteousness and peace. Kingdom rule is to permeate and will permeate all of the created order and He, Jesus will reign for ever and ever.
The idea of Kingdom is central to all Jesus taught and so it is not coincidental that as He prepares to leave the planet to allow for the coming of His omnipresent Spirit, He teaches on the subject for 40 days.
Perhaps the simplest definition of the Kingdom is found in what we commonly refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. Kingdom=His will done on earth in the same way it is in done in Heaven. When we pray for His heavenly will to be superimposed on this earth we are asking for the rules, order and benefits of His World (Heaven) to break out in our world (earth). This superimposing of the reign and authority of God is to be done until this world (earth) looks like that one (heaven).
There is a battle on this planet for dominion. It is a conflict to determine which kingdom, the Kingdom of God or the kingdoms of this world, will have authority. When those in bondage are set free, when sick people are healed, when broken relationships are mended, when depression is broken it is because a major collision has taken place between that World and this world and as it is in heaven, has become as it is on earth.
For the Kingdom of Heaven to become the Kingdom of this world light must triumph over darkness.
Kingdom people have great authority in this world. Authority to destroy the works of darkness and lay claim to territory now being held by the enemy.
I am by no means an expert on the Kingdom but I am a student and a fledgling practioner in bringing the Kingdom of Light to bear on the kingdom of darkness. I invite your comments and your questions as I pursue the subject of the Kingdom on the Juniper Tree.