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Musings on the Manifestation of the Kingdom of God

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posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:52 PM

[draft 2 - 20November2012]

When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees in Luke 17:20 “…when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” [KJV]

There is little doubt that the Pharisees expected a restoration of an independent Judah or Judah + Israel, as under David and Solomon. They may even have hoped for such a kingdom to be ruled directly by God, rather than by the secular, pagan Romans. Whatever they wanted, the kingdom they seemed to desire was an external one. Jesus, on the other hand, seems here to indicate that the kingdom is an internal, spiritual entity. He even stated explicitly that it was not something to look for or to seek out in our mundane world. A lot of people these days just love that internal stance, for it sounds so spiritual and profound. We see subsequently in the Book of Acts and in early church history, that the expansion of what we could easily call “God’s Kingdom” was taking place internally, in the hearts and minds of believers, not in the realm of politics and war.

I wondered about that “within,” and decided to see what word other versions used. Here is a quick list, from Bible versions I had at hand:

Ferrar Fenton version: “within”

The Unvarnished New Testament: “inside”

New American Standard version: “in your midst”

Charles B. Williams version: “within”

William F. Beck version: “among”

The Message: “among”

Well the difference between “within,” “inside,” “in your midst” and “among” may or may not make a huge difference in your theology, and I am content with any or all. Not being a Greek scholar, I am not going to dig further for the best translation, as serious and learned scholars have not settled the matter. I will only make a comment or two on the subject of the Kingdom.

Our subject is a bit slippery, especially if we look at what Jesus said about the Kingdom, and what it was like. Jesus never laid it all out, neatly tied up in a bundle of description, concise or otherwise. He seemed more concerned to communicate how the Kingdom would operate, and in Kingdom parables, He usually began with “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” Got that? LIKE. He resorted to simile and metaphor. He had to beat around the bush to describe the Kingdom. I have meditated on this for some time, and I think [not sure!] that human language, even in the mouth of Jesus, was not adequate for the task of describing the Kingdom of Heaven. It is beyond us, and even in the Kingdom parables, I think we can only grasp the borders of this Kingdom – yet this Kingdom grows within us and among us. Does that make sense?

Was Jesus announcing the beginning of a Kingdom which would then develop and grow, or was He stating that a distant Kingdom had now established itself as a colony on the Earth? Consider that each element of a kingdom was present then and there.

posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:58 PM
First, the real estate a kingdom needs to possess for its existence was present. Even if the king still lives, his subjects still live, and the institutions of civilization survive, if the land falls to another power, the kingdom is finished. Is that not so? In the present case, the real estate – the Earth – was (and is) claimed by Satan by virtue (so to speak) of the disobedience he was able to elicit from Adam and Eve in the garden. In terms of kings and kingdoms, Satan was, and is, only a pretender to the throne of kingship over the Earth, since Jesus made the place and held original Title. I say this knowing the implications of Satan’s temptation of Jesus, in which Satan announced his authority over all the kingdoms of the Earth. Jesus did not dispute his claim at that time, having yet to establish His own claim to kingship. It is important to understand that Satan’s claim to kingship (as the “god of this world”) is temporal and temporary. Jesus’ claim is universal and eternal. Jesus’ claim was established by His life of perfect obedience and by His death of more-than-perfect obedience. This claim will be put into effect at His soon-coming return.

Second, the subjects of the Kingdom were there. As I said, in the course of human events, when one power defeats another and takes its physical territory, the citizens and/or subjects of the defeated kingdom generally become subject to the new rulership. In like manner, mankind, all of it, now presently under the rulership of a kingdom of sin, darkness and separation, will in the near future, come under the rulership of the (new to us) Kingdom of righteousness, light and all-in-all. We are not presently such citizens or subjects, but God reckons us so, knowing as He does, the end from the beginning.

Thirdly, the Law of the Land will also necessarily be replaced by another, as part of this regime change in territory and citizens,. I don’t think I am too far off the mark by generalizing the law of the present regime as retribution, and the avoidance of personal and corporate responsibility. We all want what’s coming to us (the good), and we all want to avoid the bad that is due us. Beyond that, hey, let the other guy hang, for he deserves it. Businesses routinely try to collect accounts receivable while putting off accounts payable. Endless squabbles, lawsuits, and crime ensue while endless laws try to deal with all of it, but only create new categories of crime, and more criminals. The lawmakers of course, exempt themselves. When the Kingdom comes in, however, we will be enabled to obey a perfect Law perfectly, placing us far beyond crime, guilt, and punishment.

Fourthly, and lastly, the King Himself was present to speak of these matters of the Kingdom, both to those Pharisees, and to those hearing His Kingdom parables. Even if no one hearing Him in that time and place knew Him, or recognized Him as a king, yet He was there to announce His claim. A few days later, He earned His Kingdom as He died on the cross. Later still, He will establish that Kingdom in the real world, not just “within” the hearts and minds of men.

Comments, of course, are welcome...

posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by Lazarus Short

Matthew 13

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

Reduce to the root meaning. Kingdom is a place that you occupy for a purpose. It is made up of a multitude of forms that are individually a kingdom. Your body is your kingdom of 50 trillion cells. My laptop is a kingdom of processors and various parts that make it what it is by function and purpose. Consider what Jesus means that the kingdom is within you and outside of you and all around you, like a vienyard; like a sower that went out to sow; like a mustard seed; like yeast; like a treasure hidden; like a merchant looking for fine pearls; like a net cast into the sea to catch fine fish and like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.

First, define the symbols to root meaning, then reduce the symbols to higher unifying symbols and you have your answer. Ask a question in the form of a riddle and your mind will do the work for you.

What is like a landowner hiring workers to labor in a vineyard, like sowing seed for a harvest, like a mustard seed that grows large, like yeast that is hidden, yet expands to a larger loaf, like a treasure hidden, like a merchant looking for pearls, like a net cast into the sea to catch fine fish and like the owner of a house who brings out new treasures?

We are sowing seed, planting for a harvest, looking for treasure and expanding to new growth.

We are planting, harvesting and expecting return on the investment.

We are planted in a place where we can grow to be a return on the investment.

Who is the land owner? Who are the workers? What is the return?

PtahHotep, 5th Dyansty

"Be not arrogant because of that which you know; deal with the ignorant as with the learned; for the barriers of art are not closed, no artist being in possession of the perfection to which he should aspire. But good words are more difficult to find than the emerald, for it is by slaves that that is discovered among the rocks of pegmatite."

A slave is a laborer. In Israel, the laborers were paid and were not enslaved. We are slaves in our jobs in the same manner. The King (Landowner) hired the servants. In some cases, the servants were working of a debt or paying for a crime. Every seven years, they were released and debts cancelled. According to the Jubilee laws, a kinsman could redeem a slave. The slave then transferred ownership and became bonded to the redeemer.

We are the slaves digging for the emerald. Once found, we are then transferred to new ownership and bonded for good works to pay our freedom. Baptism is immersion into the water of life for repentance. We are here to dig pearls. The pearls we find expand us and enlarge our increase and fruit. We are here to produce. The King also benefits and infinity expands.

How do we rule our own kingdom? If we rule by the WORD (Emeralds / Seeds / Treasure / Increasing Agents), we produce. If we take, debt is created. The thief is the one that loses his own kingdom. The Kingdom of God is like the one that expands and finds hidden treasure. The kingdom of God expands and produces. It never takes.

God's will is to give and receive. Taking makes us a thief. If you smoke, you get cancer. This is because a debt was taken on and we suffered because of it. If we flip this, we suffer toward the thing we desire. Work out in a gym and receive more health. Suffering creates reward. The kingdom of God gives.

The answer is: The Kingdom of God is like the one that gives.

edit on 20-11-2012 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)


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