Monday, September 21, 2020

Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God did not begin when Jesus arrived on earth. It does not begin in the future when he returns.

The Kingdom of God began when God rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt and placed them in a new land that he had chosen for them.

He gave them his laws to obey in the land. He was King over his people. King, territory, people and law. That is all that is needed for a kingdom to exist.

The problem was that the people could not obey God’s law, because they had not yet received the Holy Spirit in fulness. They submitted instead to the spiritual powers of evil, who undermined God’s kingdom and enslaved them again.

The kingship distorted the understanding of kingdom, even though some like David, Hezekiah and Josiah were good kings, because intermediary kings were inserted between God the King and his people. When they served a human king like the other nations, the people forgot that God was actually their King.

Jesus solved the problem by rescuing us from the spiritual powers of evil and sending the Holy Spirit to be the true intermediary between God the King and his people. This was a restoration and extension to Gentiles of the existing Kingdom, not the inauguration of a new Kingdom.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to enable his people to expand his kingdom into the world. The church has failed to enter into God’s kingdom in two ways.

  • A human priest or pastor has been imposed as an intermediary between the people and their king, instead of the Holy Spirit.

  • A focus on weekly worship and preaching has left Christians living mostly in the kingdoms of the world, with a worship service on the side.

The Kingdom of God will expand as Jesus gradually takes new territory as the gospel is preached in the power of the Spirit and people are rescued from the spiritual powers of evil and taught to obey the Holy Spirit's leading.

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