Matthew 4:17 / John 3: 3,5
As believers in this particular time we need to revise our view of things according to the Gospel (= good news) of the Kingdom.
Over the centuries we have moved away from this vision and we have lost the awareness of what it means to live, announce and demonstrate the Kingdom of God on this earth.
We need, therefore, to return to the Kingdom’s perspective to understand and experience the reality of the Kingdom and be able to pass it on to others. We cannot get what we do not know, of which we have not revelation, and so we cannot pass it on to others.
The reality of the Kingdom of God is the supernatural, is the Kingdom of Heaven, which manifests itself and becomes real in our natural world on this earth through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. It’s the “intrusion” of the Kingdom of God in the reality of the natural.
Things cannot remain the same if we manifest the Kingdom, as it was for Jesus, when He walked on this earth. He carried with Him the reality of the Kingdom of God wherever He went and the reality of the Kingdom invaded the atmosphere around Him. Who approached Him with faith was healed, set free, saved.
The church has, over time, built up a temple around this reality, making it an institution and the supernatural reality of the Kingdom has been greatly reduced, to become a religious form. See, as an example, the letters of Revelation, Ephesus (I will come and remove your lampstand because you lost your first love) and then Laodicea. And it becomes for many a monument of a past reality.
We now have a responsibility to re-open the way to the Kingdom to be manifested again as it was in the times of Jesus and the apostles. (Isaiah 40: 3-5)
We need a new individual and collective consciousness for this to happen. It is not the task of any single ministry here and there. We need to establish new individual wineskins, but also of new collective wineskins so that God can pour out the new wine of His Kingdom upon us on earth at this time, before the return of the King himself. Matthew 9: 16-17.
Sometimes we are a bit in the same situation in which he found himself Nicodemus observing the miracles that Jesus did. We see or hear about other churches in the world that are experiencing the reality of the Kingdom and we do not understand why we do not experience the same things, at least at the same level that they live.
The answer Jesus gave to Nicodemus that he needed a special experience to see the Kingdom and to be able to enter and live in it is the same for us: the new birth, the birth of the Spirit of God. In fact, the new birth should introduce us into the perspective of the Kingdom and live in the Kingdom itself.
The Apostle Paul clearly states that in Jesus we are already in the Kingdom of God: Colossians 1:13.
We need to rediscover again this reality and start living in it.
God wants to bless His Church in this time and equip her for a strong and effective testimony in the world, in the midst of the darkness in which she lives.
For this to happen God needs to have vessels ready to receive what He wants to pour out. In fact, as Jesus says, the new wine must be put into new wineskins otherwise both wine and the wineskins will be destroyed.
In Hebrews 5: 11-14 / 6: 1 we read:
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
It’s time to grow and become mature in Christ to face the days that are coming and not just to survive or to protect ourselves from the things that happen around us. Paul says in Romans that we are winners in all things through Christ. Romans 8: 37-39.
In general, the Church has become accustomed to the only perspective of salvation, when the one God has for us is that of the Kingdom. Salvation is the gateway to the Kingdom, not the final goal. Proclaiming the Kingdom is to proclaim that there is a just and holy King who proposes a government according to His character of righteousness and holiness and which is ready to intervene in every situation of our life … if we agree to enter His Government.
When John the Baptist and Jesus began to preach, their message was: “Repent, for the kingdom of God he is here.” Repentance (metanoia) means not only to confess the sin, but to change our way of thinking, our mindset. Which means that in order to be ready to see something different we need to have a new perspective, that only God can give us.
In Luke 4:43 / 8 1 / 16:16 We find that Jesus announced the “good news of the Kingdom.” So it is also true fo Philip in Acts 8:12: he preached “the good news of the Kingdom of God”
We do not bring the full message of God if we do not include the Kingdom.
We are no longer accustomed to the Kingdom as a kind of government. We are accustomed to democracy. But when we talk about the good news of the Kingdom, we speak of the good news of God’s government: a theocracy. The central message of the New Testament is that God wants to have the government over the whole human race. If we preach the Gospel and do not include the submission to the government (Kingdom) of God, then we have lost the essence of the theme of the Gospel itself.
Receive the Gospel, to be saved, without submitting to the government (Kingdom) of God is fooling ourselves. It means losing the thought and the central purpose of the Gospel. We cannot dissociate the salvation from the government of God.
This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus that he must be born again, to see in fact things from a spiritual perspective, of God, and not according to the traditions and doctrines of men, as it was for the Pharisees.
At that time, when Jesus came, the Jews had lost the perspective of the Kingdom, although they expected the Messiah to be set free from the bondage of Rome. They lived for too long in a state of slavery, and had lost the vision of God (as it was for them when Moses is sent to them by God to set them free from slavery in Egypt). In fact they did not understand the coming of Jesus. This is why John the Baptist preached repentance, not only for the sins, but for a new perspective that would allow them to receive the Kingdom, the way the King was going to manifest it, that is an inner Kingdom which it is expressed through us in the world we live on this earth.
The goal of the meditations that follow is therefore to help us return to the perspective of the Kingdom, to change our way of thinking according to God as it is presented in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Questions for personal reflection before God
How long have I been born again?
How long am I living in the Kingdom of God?
What is my understanding of God’s Kingdom?
How much of my life reflects the character and power of the Kingdom of God?
How much of my thoughts need to be realigned with those of God in His Word, especially in the Gospels?
Father I come to you recognizing my need of repentance, that is to have my mind set free from any thought that contradicts the message of the Kingdom that Jesus has given us in the Gospels. I submit myself to the Holy Spirit and to Your Word so that You may guide me to align my thoughts with Yours. Thy Kingdom come into my heart and Your will be done in my life as it is done in heaven.