"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How Well Do You Know God's Kingdom? [2] Kingdom Dynamics

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Kingdom Dynamics


Very few things matter in the Kingdom, one of which is fruit. John the baptizer said, "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance," as he preached, "Repent for the Kingdom of God is near!" Positions, titles, degrees, importance, achievements do not matter even one bit. It's fruit of repentance, proof that you have really radically changed.

He saw Pharisees and Sadducees trooping to where he baptized at the Jordan river, and he called them "brood of vipers." They probably thought their positions, titles and accomplishments would give them special treatment and place in John's ministry. But John didn't spare them from his tirade. Imagine their shock.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Only Fruit Matters

If they had come to church today they'd probably get special treatment. That's how man's church operates---they give importance to modern Pharisees, law teachers and Sadducees---anyone who has something to show off. Not in God's Kingdom. Here, what matters is fruit. And "fruit" does not mean production or the result of your hard work. It means fruit of repentance---fruit that shows the King's character in you. It's not what you do; it's what you have from God.

No matter who or what you are---even if you have connections with Abraham---if you have no fruit, you are irrelevant. Anything you brag about, God can produce from stones. They are worthless. The ax is ready to cut you down for burning. You seldom see this dynamic in church today. Just produce credentials, titles, or trophies (like your mega church), properties and money and they think you're important. They have all gone after corporate standards and the world's systems and have trashed Kingdom values. And they don't seem to be bothered at all.

Least in the Kingdom

But in the Kingdom, people desperately pursue after being the least, NOT the greatest. Greatness, as mortals and carnals know it, has no meaning in the Kingdom. John the baptizer thought he should be baptized by Jesus (a readiness to be least and under Jesus' authority even if he started ministry well ahead of him and already had a considerably big following), but Jesus wanted to be least than John. So he told John to baptize him "to fulfill all righteousness." 

Fulfilling all righteousness has to do with meekness, of being the least---in fact the absence of self-importance---which only real Kingdom people understand. Mortals in church run madly after positions and recognition. But Kingdom people reject position, popularity or men's recognition as much as possible. They wait for no less than God's very own approval, something coming straight down from heaven, like his very own voice saying, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased." Because with that approval, they are ready for promotion.

Promotion in the Wilderness

Very few understand Kingdom promotion. What church understands today is that promotion puts you in a more comfortable position. So you see them doing everything to live in the US, do "ministry" there, or in Japan or South Korea where the pay is higher. They do not understand that real promotion from God happens in the wilderness where you starve, suffer discomfort and lack, and get taunted and insulted by the enemy. Before you do any ministry, you should first bear good fruit, get approval from God and be led by God's Spirit to your wilderness. 

In the wilderness---that place where all comfort is taken away from you and you suffer meekly---is where you are expected to defeat the devil. This is how God's Kingdom operates, preparing you for real ministry that counts in the Kingdom. It's easy to prepare for men's ministry---just earn school credentials, titles and degrees. But you see, credentials, titles and degrees will NEVER defeat the devil. In fact, the devil has better credentials, having studied (for free) in top universities and seminaries in the world since time immemorial. He's been existing for centuries. Everything you learned from seminary, he has mastered.

Jesus never bothered with human theology or wisdom. Paul said they only emptied Jesus' cross of its power. What Jesus pursued was the wilderness experience and coming out of it victorious "in the power of the Holy Spirit." Real power doesn't come except by defeating the devil in the wilderness. After Jesus gained his victory in the wilderness equipped only with God's WORD and power, he then began ministry. That's how you start church ministry in the Kingdom.

Well, I know people who had their wilderness experience but stayed there for good. Up to this day, they're still there and haven't defeated the devil. They still have rotten characters, still worldly and carnal and immature, not knowing anything about the Kingdom of God. All they know is their church denomination. In fact, the devil makes fun of them there. But the idea is to emerge from the experience victorious, with the devil defeated, and you returning in the power of the Spirit.

And what did Jesus preach right after? The good news of the Kingdom. In the glorious church of Jesus, only the good news of the Kingdom is preached and taught. No denominational doctrine or whatever man's religion has invented. What was the good news? "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near!" You cannot take away true repentance from the message of the Kingdom. It is part of the good news.

Disciples

Another Kingdom principle is discipleship---not the "discipleship program" done in church today, but Jesus' discipleship. After his victory in the wilderness, Jesus called his disciples. You cannot disciple anyone without defeating the devil in the wilderness. Lots of church people do ministry today without winning over the devil in the wilderness. So what happens is, they do ministry with the devil, listening to his advice to turn stones into bread or climb up the highest point of the temple and jump down from there. Worse, they worship idols in their hearts so that the kingdoms of this world will be given to them---and that forms their mission work. They send out "workers" to all the nations, not for God's Kingdom, but for their church denominations.

And Jesus didn't invite people to his bible studies to someday make members of them. He was never interested about church membership. He looked for real disciples. In fact, there were no "church members" in his ministry or in the Acts church. It was either you were a committed disciple who had left everything to follow Jesus or you weren't. 

Kingdom Message and Miracles

Finally, you cannot separate proclaiming the message of the Kingdom from signs and wonders and healing miracles. Only men's churches today do it, trying to do away with miracles and just preaching the good news of their denominations using God's Word. You see miracles and supernatural healing nowhere. They all resort to medical missions which Jesus nor the Acts church never did. Yeah, you can use medical missions and be so successful with them, but it won't be God's Kingdom you will end up with. You'll always end up with man's religious (or Christian) empire. 

But Jesus' ministry, even after his ascension, was confirmed by God's power.

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. [Mark 16]

Jesus' ministry itself was always accompanied with signs and wonders.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria,and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
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