Disclaimer! Please read so there is no confusion.
I am leaving this post live in my blog because this was my transition of understanding the the word “church” is a poor translation of the Greek word Ekklesia. A better translation would have been the phrase; The Called out ones, called out from Satan’s Kingdom of Darkness and put into Jesus’ Kingdom of Light and Love.
I now realize that the present day Church in America is actually an enemy of The Kingdom of God. Again this chapter in my old book was my personal transition so I left it in unedited.
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“…if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
WHERE IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD? WHEREVER GOD IS KING.
Church What it is & is not
THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD
IN this section, I will reveal to you what you have been searching for, but it has two parts and we will need them both. If we have one part without the other, we have missed our Lord’s original plan altogether! At this point, most authors or speakers who are trying to reveal an error and present the revelation of truth would ask a favor. They would say, “I want you to hear this with an open mind.” I say, not on your life!! I’m asking that you don’t have a closed or open mind. I’m telling you that it takes the mind of Christ, (Philippians 2:5).
“For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised,” ~ I Corinthians 2:10-14
Read the following prayer, and if you are in agreement with it, go back and pray it out loud.
PRAYER: PUT ON THE MIND OF CHRIST
Father God, Your word says inPhilippians 2:5 that I can put on the mind and attitude of Christ, the Christos, the anointed one. Your word says that the very mind of Christ can be in me. I proclaim, as Jesus is my Lord and Savior and His Holy Spirit dwells in me, that I also possess His very mind and attitudes. I proclaim this day that I have the mind of Christ! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Did you pray it? If you did, then let’s move ahead!
THE CHURCH IS THE PEOPLE
The revelation is that the church is people! So, what does the church “look like?” People. People, people, people!!!
“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” ~ Matthew. 16:15-18
Let’s interpret the last half of verse 18 in the context of this chapter. Jesus simply said upon this rock. What rock? The revelation of Jesus, the one foundational rock; that every believer has to enter with, stand on and allow to break us. The cornerstone of the church, the rock of the revelation that; “thou art Christ, the Son of the living God”! Everyone has to individually answer that question. So, now let’s interpret the whole thing.
Jesus simply said, upon the foundational revelation from the Father, which He, Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the living God, would build His PEOPLE. He would build those that accept the call of coming out of a kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light, and a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. He would build us with the promise that; as we walk through the many temptations of this world, and as we tear down the strongholds of the enemy in our lives and the lives of others “the gates” or authorities of Satan and hell, shall not overcome us.
OK, is the understanding that the church is the, “called out people,” established in you, or do you need one more scripture? One more you say? Even Luke who wrote the book of Acts called Moses and his gang, the church, the called out ones from Egypt.
“…the church in the wilderness…” ~ Acts 7:38 (KJV)
Now that we understand that Jesus is going to build His people, how is He going to do it? The very next verse Matthew 16:19 gives us the “key” to the mystery. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…” Jesus in the four gospels of his life is only recorded using the word church twice but uses the words; the kingdom, 125 times. So, here in our quest of understanding what the church was, we are led to the next question, what is the kingdom? The church and the kingdom are different and if we have one without the other we have missed it all together.
KINGDOM OF GOD – NOT DENOMINATIONS
It is as easy as this, if the church is the people, then the kingdom is the structure, government, or authority that holds the people together in unity and peace. Remember the “New Wine” is Christ in us and the “New Wine Skin” is the Kingdom of God, the authority of God, the way of God, the system of God!
According to the Encarta Dictionary, the very word denomination means:
- Dividing into groups or units such as; money in denominations of fives, tens and twenties.
- Dividing, designating, classifying or grouping such things as the nations of the world.
- Dividing religious groups according to their different systems.Grouping religious organizations according to their differences, drawing lines of prejudice units and the dividing of nations, is the exact opposite of the Kingdom of God.
” But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit” ~ Jude 17-19
Denominations divide the body of Christ with silly doctrines and traditions of men. Oh, there is some great organization in all denominations but it is all based on divisions. If you are sitting at home confused, hurt, isolated and unassembled, then you need to begin to pray for more understanding on how and where you and your family were derailed. Then get back on the RIGHT track!! Maybe you need to go back and pray the prayer at the beginning of this section again? Go ahead, I’ll wait. Seriously, take a moment now and pray it again, we all need the “mind of Christ”.
Right on! Let’s keep going. There is a large organization of, “Christian,” men that really hit the news media from 1995 through 1998 that promotes a false expectation of Denominational unity. They use this text;
“…that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” ~ John 17:21-23
WOW! That really sounds good and it can and will happen because ALL of Jesus’ prayers are answered! But that scripture is not fulfilled when 60,000 men of 100 different denominations gather together in a big stadium. Why? Because they don’t become one as Jesus and the Father are one.
If you have five different denominations gather together in a single service, you still have five separated groups in one building. But, you ask, isn’t that at least a start to unity? Start to unity?!! What unity? The Baptists have the secret motive to get the Catholics in the room saved. The Nazarenes in their prayer meeting before the gathering are asking God to deliver the Assembly of God people from that demon of speaking in tongues. And the Assemblies of God think they have the greatest revelations across the board so they get to lead the song service and show the rest of the groups how to “really worship.” Then just wait until an offering is taken and the fight on which group gets the money begins. It is still five little separated kingdoms. Even some of the so-called independent ministries are a denomination, but they call themselves non-denominational. It is still a division.
It is at this very level of deception that the antichrist will come and join all denominations under one flag. Every little divided-spiritual-kingdom joined together under the guise of peace and unity. One world order, one world government and one world “church.”The revelation to Daniel when he was interpreting the statue in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was a little different. He said;
“…In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
THE GOOD NEWS
When we were born, we were given a deposit, if you will, deep down inside of us. That deposit is a pure question in our heart about our origin.
- Who am I?
- Where did I come from?
- What is my purpose?
- What happens to me after my body dies?
When we become of the age when we begin asking these questions, we are driven to find answers. At that point the Holy Spirit of God brings books, tapes, songs, experiences, thoughts and people across our path to introduce us to a new kingdom.
We see someone a little happier than us, or one that is coping with life better than us and we ask, what is different with them? That person then begins to explain about the kingdom we live in and then compares it with the kingdom he lives in.
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world,” ~ Matthew 24:14
“…the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 14:17
We then ask how to enter this kingdom. The answer is a matter of authority. We in the kingdom of darkness are under the authority of Satan, the authority he obtained when he swindled the title deed from the first man. God in turn bought back the title deed by paying the highest price for it. It cost the blood and death of God’s Son Jesus. Then God resurrected Jesus from death, which entitled Jesus to not only rule in the Kingdom of God, but actually become the door into the Kingdom Himself. He became the only door.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me,’” ~ John 14:6
Again, the answer is a matter of authority.
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus as Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” ~ Romans 10:9
You are saved out of the old kingdom of darkness and have entered into the new Kingdom of God through your confession of Jesus as your Lord. Jesus spoke of this salvation as a new birth:
“…Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” ~ John 3:5-6
In this new birth you become a member of God’s Kingdom and a member of God’s household called the church!
WHERE IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
Where is the Kingdom of God? Wherever God is King!!! The kingdom of God is in heaven, but the kingdom of God is also on earth, “in” you.
“…The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” ~ Luke 17:20-21
“…(God’s), kingdom come, (God’s), will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” ~ Matthew 6:9-10
“But our citizenship is in heaven,” ~ Philippians 3:20
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.…” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20
The Kingdom of God is in heaven, and as you made Jesus the Lord of your life, the kingdom entered you. Now as a citizen of heaven, you have become an ambassador of Christ to this lost and dying world. You see, you are still in this world, but you are no longer of it! Your ministry is to reconcile people that are separated from God, back to God, by showing them the way to the kingdom door, JESUS!! But you ask; “Is this a dangerous job?” Answer; it sure could be if you don’t understand kingdom government.
What have we discovered in Chapter Ten
46. Put on the “Mind of Christ”.
47. More than a saying, The Church is the people.
48. Kingdom of God not denominations.
49. Kingdom of Darkness.
50. Changing Kingdoms, changing authorities!
Personal Journal Insert: Oh the joy when I see the “light turn on” in someone’s life! That “Wah-Lah” moment when the veil that has blinded a person from seeing the love of God is pulled back and they accept Christ. Every time I introduce someone to Jesus and they know deep down in their spirit that this is REAL, I am refreshed in my personal faith.
Thomas Spencer TheBibleGuy.com