UNDERSTANDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Did you know that the Kingdom of God is NOT the Church, and the Church is NOT the Kingdom of God. If the Church and the Kingdom were truly synonymous then we could substitute “church” for “kingdom” in the scriptures without changing the meaning. Does it make sense if we do that in these verses? [the only change I have made is “church” for “kingdom”]: -In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the church of heaven is at ...hand!" (Matthew 3:1-2 KJV) -From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the church of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17 KJV) -In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your church come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10 KJV) -And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the church and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13 NKJV) -But the sons of the church will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:12 KJV) -Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the church prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34 KJV) Jesus answered, "My church is not of this world. If My church were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My church is not from here." (John 18:36 KJV) . . . strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the church of God." (Acts 14:22 KJV) Well, you get the picture. Doesn't make sense does it? That is because Jesus meant something different when He said “kingdom” than when He said “church”. We need to understand.
Jesus’ use of parables—short stories to
illustrate moral principles or truths—
is well known (Mark 4:2). Most people
today think that He used these to make
His message easy to understand. But
here is a little known truth: He spoke in
parables so people wouldn’t understand!
Do you find this hard to believe? Notice
After Jesus had likened the Kingdom to a
farmer sowing seed, His disciples—those
He was personally training—privately
asked Him what this parable of the sower
meant. Here is His answer: “To you it
has been given to know the mystery of
the kingdom of God; but to those who
are outside, all things come in parables”
(Mark 4:11, emphasis added throughout).
Jesus purposefully spoke in parables to
hide His message about the Kingdom.
Jesus told His disciples: “The knowledge
of the secrets of the Kingdom of God has
been given to you, but to the rest it comes by means of parables, so that they [thecrowds] may look but not see, and listen but not understand” (Luke 8:10, Good News Translation).
Only a few were being given the opportunity to understand “the mystery of the kingdom.” And the mystery continues today. The “secrets of the Kingdom of God” remain hidden.
Why Millions of The Hungry and Thirsty have grown tired of Religion
... we loss a Kingdom, not religion
Instead of a clear explanation of Christ’s central message, Christianity offers a dizzying array of teachings and competing gospels. While everyone acknowledges that Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” ideas about this Kingdom vary widely. The 38,000 plus denominations of Christianity in our modern world each have their own interpretation of Jesus’ words.
Understanding why we were born is
foundational to understanding the Kingdom of God.
The Bible reveals that God had a plan for mankind from the “foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) before “time began” (2 Timothy 1:9). Unique among all the physical life that God had created upon the earth, man was made in God’s “own image” and according to His “likeness”
When Jesus came to earth, He continued doing His “Father’s business” (Luke 2:49)—carrying out the plan that the Father had established long ago. Jesus said that He had come in His “Father’s name” (John 5:43) to do “the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).
Becoming part of the family of God—
being born as children “of God”—is
God’s ultimate purpose for you and for
every human being that has ever existed
and that will exist! (Ephesians 3:14-15; 2
Corinthians 6:17-18). God is in the business
of drawing people to Himself (John
6:44). He is “not willing that any should
perish but that all should come to repentance”
(2 Peter 3:9). Now that we understand
God’s purpose for humanity, let’s
focus on this Kingdom to which Jesus
THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Matthew 13:10-11 (KJV)