July 30, 2017 “The Kingdom of God is within you!”

“The Kingdom of God is within you!”

While prayerfully considering some of Jesus’ parables and teachings, to discover views of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5.3 & 10, 13.31-33, 44-45; 18.3; 19.23-24; 20.1-16) , I began to realize that He was using descriptive events from His daily walk on earth. This led me to the contemplation of Matthew 6.10 & 33 about the importance of the Kingdom to our success. This led me back to John the Baptist’s proclamation about the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matthew 3.2), which became Jesus’ proclamation as well (Matthew 4.17). God told John what to say (Luke 3.2), and the Word that took on flesh came to fulfill it (John 1.14). So, what did Jesus’ appearance have to do with the Kingdom of Heaven? Is the name Jesus synonymous with the term Kingdom of Heaven? And, is the Kingdom of Heaven the Kingdom of God? Why are both used in the Gospels?

MacArthur Study Bible Note regarding the Kingdom of Heaven/God:

“This is an expression unique to Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew uses the word “heaven” as a euphemism for God’s name—to accommodate his Jewish readers’ sensitivities (cf. Matt. 23:22). Throughout the rest of Scripture, the kingdom is called “the kingdom of God.” Both expressions refer to the sphere of God’s dominion over those who belong to him. The kingdom is now manifest in heaven’s spiritual rule over the hearts of believers (Luke 17:21); and one day it will be established in a literal earthly kingdom (Rev. 20:4–6). is at hand. In one sense the kingdom is a present reality, but in its fullest sense it awaits a yet-future fulfillment.” (my underline)

John the Baptist baptized in the Jordan River because God sent him to announce the Messiah (Luke 3.2; Isaiah 40.3-5). Jesus proclaimed the same message, ‘repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand’ after emerging from the wilderness days with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4.1-17), and taught His disciples to do the same before they ministered the kingdom among the people (Matthew 6.10 & 33, 10.7-8; Luke 10.1-19). He taught us to pray that the kingdom come on earth so that the will of God could be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Jesus was God, the Word that became flesh (John 1.1-14); Immanuel prophesied by God (Isaiah 7.14). When He departed earth for the throne of God (Psalm 110.1-2), He said all authority in Heaven and on Earth was His (Matthew 28.18-20). Thus, He commanded us to baptize the nations/peoples INTO His name and to disciple their understanding. Thus, we were baptized and to baptize into His authority also (Luke 10.17-19; John 17.18). While on earth, we are to take the keys of the Kingdom (Matthew 16.19), that we understand through discipleship, and bind on earth whatever is already bound from Heaven and loose on earth whatever is already loosed in Heaven, just as Jesus did (Acts 10.38; 1 John 3.8b). He promised to be with us in doing this, His, work (Mark 16.20).

Discipleship into God’s good works (Ephesians 2.10) is accomplished through the protocol of Ephesians 3.14-19, producing 4.13 maturity, by which we exclaim 3.20-21! In Luke 17.21, Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is within us, alluding to His body and blood ingested (John 6.53-58) and the gift of the Holy Spirit as guarantee (Ephesians 1.13-14). It is His name, also, that is within believers as a summation of the Law and Prophets (Matthew 22.37-40; 5.17 {Romans 10.4; Galatians 3.24}). His name, Jesus, is His presence within believers to do the work (Mark 16.20) and is the power by which this work is accomplished (Philippians 2.9-11, 12-13). Apostle Paul concludes this in Colossians 1.27 and illustrates Jesus’ presence and power in his usual methodology, in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5; i.e., the work of the Holy Spirit.

This work (Ephesians 2.10; Acts 10.38; 1 John 3.8b) evidences the Kingdom of God on earth, just as Jesus instructed (Matthew 10.7-8). So, satan’s deceptions and destructive schemes are to be expelled from earth just as they are and will forever be bound from Heaven (Revelation 21.8). Consequently, the kingdom of God becomes the kingdom of the earth (Revelation 11.15), when the will of God is carried out faithfully by Christians.

The Kingdom is in the name Jesus, which is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 17.12 ESV; Hebrews 13.8)! Thus, John the Baptist and Jesus, both, proclaimed that the “Kingdom of Heaven IS at hand” with the arrival of Jesus to minister (my emphasis to Matthew 3.2 & 4.17). The Kingdom is at hand wherever believers are present and obedient to do the Holy Spirit’s work.

As a result, we can see some of the future Heaven while we live on earth…just as God intended it should be. Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines the Kingdom of Heaven/God as: “the blessings and advantages of all kinds that flow from [God’s] rule.” It is as MacArthur writes: a present reality whose fullness awaits a future fulfillment.

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2017. www.sozoclass.com

July 23, 2017 Signals All Along

Signals All Along

God has been signaling the end of time from the beginning; that is, He has pictured the New Heaven and New Earth since He expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. For example, the Great Flood was an illustration of the Rapture of the righteous and the condemnation of the wicked to the Lake of Fire, along with the devil. Compare Genesis 6-9 to Revelation 4.1 & 20.11-21.1. Similarly, when Jesus walked the Earth, He spoke of the future in parables, just as God told Him (John 12.49). For example, Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Man and Beggar—Luke 16.19-31—describes the Intermediate Heaven/Paradise as separated by a great gulf from the flames burning those in the Pit of Hell/Sheol/Hades without relief. These contrasts are meant to warn those disdaining God and to comfort us who have accepted His salvation of John 14.6.

A. Old Testament Signals

  1. How is God’s filling of Solomon’s Temple an illustration of Him being the Temple of the New Jerusalem? Compare 2 Chronicles 7.1-3 to Revelation 21.22-24.
  2. How is Isaiah’s (4.2-6) description of the Renewal of Zion and the illustration of the Pillar of Cloud by Day and of Fire by Night (Exodus 13.21-22) protecting the wandering Israelites a picture of Revelation 21.24-27?
  3. How is God’s determination to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem by Nehemiah (6.15, 27-43) similar to the fortress described in Revelation 21.12-21?
  4. How is the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21.1) described in Isaiah 65.17-25 & 22. [Note any contrasts of the hope of the future with the realities of the present.]
  5. Why could Isaiah 11.6-9 only be possible in the New Earth?
  6. Does Isaiah 11.10-12 describe the events of the 144,000 (Revelation 7.4-8) that will lead to satan’s assault on Jerusalem (Revelation 20.7-10)? 

B. Jesus’ Signals

7. Weeds among good plants: Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43. How do these verses illustrate the Rapture of the saved (Revelation 4.1) and the Great White Throne Judgement of the lost (Revelation 20.11-15)?

8. Fishing net: Matthew 13.47-50. How do these verses change the illustration above?

9. King’s ten servants given minas/three servants given talents: Luke 19.12-27/Matthew 25.14-30. How are Christians these ‘servants’ investing ‘minas’ and ‘talents’? Are these the ‘good works’ of God that Paul states in Ephesians 2.10? Has your return on investment qualified you to rule over ‘many’ ‘cities’ or ‘things’?

10. Wise and foolish servants: Matthew 24.45-47. How is this like Revelation 22.12?

C. Perhaps, we have missed some of God’s messages about the eternal Heaven by applying them historical or current contexts only. Maybe we need to reread the Bible with eternity in mind. What else have we missed? How do God’s words to Abraham in Genesis 22.17 illustrate this?

What Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2017. www.sozoclass.com

July 2, 2017 REWARD!

REWARDS!

In Revelation 22.12, Jesus says: “My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” [“His” does not exclude women; Genesis 1.27.] He is not condoning a “works salvation”; see John 6.47. Rather, Jesus is restating what He stated at the beginning of His Earthly ministry: Matthew 6.10 described in Matthew 10.7-8 and illustrated in Luke 10.1-19; commissioned to us in John 17.18; which Paul summarizes in Ephesians 2.10, John in 1 John 3.8b, Luke in Acts 10.38, and Solomon in Proverbs 8.13. Jesus illustrates this in His Parable of the Talents; see Matthew 25.14-30, especially verses 21 and 23. How are Jesus’ words like those of God in Revelation 21.7: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son’”?

A. Overcomes

  1. The Greek word for this in the New Testament is found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, number g3528, and means (in order of use) overcome (NKJV), conquer (NASB, ESV), and prevail. The Amplified Bible uses victorious.
  2. John MacArthur illustrates using 1 John 5.4 (Amp: “this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.”) and 13 (Amp: “I am writing to you, young men, because you have been victorious over the wicked [one].”) where “[t]he victory is demonstrable; it involves overthrowing an enemy so that the victory is seen by all” (MacArthur Study Bible Notes). [Reminds of Paul’s protocol in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.]
  3. Jesus has John (Revelation 1.1) use the term for encouraging Christians in the churches of Revelation 2-3; specifically Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21.

We overcome “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony” (Revelation 12.11), which word is “Jesus” (Philippians 2.9-11; John 17.6, 12)!

B. Inherit All Things

  1. That’s a broad statement if we understand it the same as in John 14.26, where the Holy Spirit is introduced as the Conduit of “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1.9, about the Word that took on flesh, verse 14).
  2. In The Word of God and The Mind of Man, Dr. Ronald H. Nash writes:

After John describes Jesus as the cosmological Logos, he presents Him as the epistemological Logos. John declares that Christ was “the true light that enlightens every man” (John 1.9). In other words, the epistemological Logos is not only the mediator of divine special revelation (John 1.14). He is also the ground of all human knowledge. (P. 67)

  1. Apostle Paul describes this in 1 Corinthians 13.12: “then I shall know just as I also am known.” Will we, then, also have wisdom like Solomon to answer any question that someone might ask (1 Kings 10.3)?
  2. Because Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would abide with us “forever” (John 14.16-17), He will be with us eternally in Heaven and give us all the understanding of knowledge leading to wisdom that we need (John 16.15)!
  3. We inherit all knowledge to enjoy the New Heavens and the New Earth with Jesus! Our Nature of Reality will be comprehensive: all aesthetic beauty of sight and sound; all interaction with angels and metaphysical beings; all epistemological knowledge of skills and abilities needed in the New Earth and New Heaven; and will practice all ethics of righteousness.

C. God to me

  1. God says, “I will be…God” to the Raptured person (Revelation 21.7).
  2. This was His promise to Abraham in Genesis 17.7: “‘And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.’”
  3. Paul writes that we are descendants of Abraham because of our faith in Jesus; see Galatians 3.29. We are the present generation of Abraham’s descendants!
  4. Note that God says that this is an everlasting covenant! So, all the descriptive additions to Jehovah- that we have or have not enjoyed on Earth become our permanent reality to be enjoyed in the New Earth!

D. So

  1. First Timothy 6.12: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
  2. Ephesians 6.10-11: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
  3. James 4.7: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
  4. Romans 12.21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2017. www.sozoclass.com