"The kingdom of God is within you." ~ Jesus, Luke 17:21
"We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." ~ Paul, Acts 14:22
"The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." ~ Paul, Romans 14:17
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, vessels of clay.
The Kingdom of God is like a pearl of great price.
There is much more to government than meets the eye. There is so much more behind the scenes, just like the production crew behind the actors in a movie, that make government function. Ultimately, they all report to Jesus, the Government Leader of Government Leaders ("King of Kings").
The Supreme Court cannot give you eternal life,
The Congress cannot extend its hand to heal you,
No President ever laid down his life for you.
No Government bureaucracy can love you like a father.
They can give you food stamps, but not the Holy Ghost.
They can give you Medicaid and Medicare, but cannot heal your broken spirit.
They can send you Social Security checks but cannot raise you from the dead.
Earthly governments have their place, a place given to them by God,
Romans 7:24 "who shall deliver me from this body of death?"
Romans 8:1 "the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free"
Old Testament Jerusalem was the capital city of God's people in ancient times. As such, it served as the center of government, religion, culture, business, learning, arts, international trade, tourism, and diplomacy, etc. And it also served as a foreshadow of the greater, New Testament capital City of God's people today, "the Heavenly Jerusalem."
Ben Strauss, chief operating officer and director of the Program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central, was on The Diane Rehm Show (NPR) on July 3, 2012 and made the following very interesting remark at the 11:27:15 mark in the transcript:
The contact point between God and man is not:
- the Pastor
The contact point between God and man is the Word of God, specifically, obedience to the Word of God.
In http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PretCosmos/message/17900 , Stephen <stephenwj@...> wrote:
Preterism is correct, we are in the new heavens and new earth, and
mankind will exist (biologically) forever. If that is true, then
Give us this day our daily bread - Jesus taught us to ask for the bare, essential minimum, (just what you need to survive today, food) of the lowest cost variety, (bread).
Luke 11:1-4 (also Matthew 6:9-13)
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
Jesus Prays for Himself
We are probably all familiar with the passage that tells us to put on the whole armor of God. The Apostle Paul adds something on to the end, though, that I’d like to remind us about:
Long ago, (maybe around 1980), in a city far away (somewhere in Southern California), I knew not God.
I had a dream
A dream of a book, very old,
so old the wrinkled parchment pages could not be touched
without causing them to turn to indecypherable fragments.
It was as if Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a CAT scan, was used to read it,
to read its strange and foreign handwritten letters.
When the first page was read,
the focus was set to read the next,
without turning, or even touching, a page.
The clear verses: there is no argument about what these next two passages mean:
Mark 10:11-12 (apostolicbible.com)
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery (moichátai) against her.
if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery (moichátai)."
Luke 16:18 (apostolicbible.com)
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery (moicheuei);
whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery (moicheuei)."
The clear passages: there is no argument about what these above two passages mean:
Sexual relationships outside of that lawful, first marriage are adultery
because God considers that first couple to still be joined as man&wife:
Man cannot change the fact that God has joined together that first-wife/first-husband as one flesh.
(Nor can these passages be divorced from their contexts, Mark 10:2-10 & Matthew 19:3-10).
Matthew 19:9 (apostolicbible.com)
"Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality (porneia), and marries another, commits adultery (moichátai);
whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery (moichátai)."
Jesus is NOT saying in Matthew 19:9a, “Whoever divorces his wife, except for committing adultery (porneia), and marries another, commits adultery (moichátai).”
Jesus employs different words.
porneia = unlawful sexual relationship: sexual relationship with someone who is not lawfully married to you = fornication.
moichátai = sexual relationship with someone who is lawfully married to someone else = commmit adultery.
The rest of the Word of God also uses these same two words in the same passages, even in lists of sins, showing that the two mean different things.
Matthew 5:32 (apostolicbible.com)
"Whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality (porneias) causes her to commit adultery (moichásthai);
whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery (moichátai)."
NOR is Jesus saying in Matthew 5:32a, “Whoever divorces his wife for any reason except for committing adultery (porneias) causes her to commit adultery (moichátai).” That would make Jesus to say something inane since it goes without saying that she has already committed adultery aside from her husband.
1 Timothy 6:3-4 NKJV
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words”
Scriptures cited from New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
When you are born again from God our heavenly Father, you are not born again physically into another mortal-natural body. No, a new body in which your soul learns to dwell is born within you: what is brought into being within you is your new, immortal-spiritual body that lasts forever.
"if a person is trying to behave like the first-century Holy Spirit guided apostles; we need to call out such people."
I was surprised when I read this statement expressed a couple of years ago. The truth is, however, we are all, each & every Christian of all centuries, called out by the Word of God to behave like the first-century, Holy Spirit-guided apostles.
1 Corinthians 11:1
"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." ~ Paul
1 Corinthians 11:1
"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." ~ Paul
This is Scripture enough to justify anybody, anywhere imitating the example of the Apostle Paul: from his miraculous calling to be an apostle of Christ (completely independent of the other 12 Apostles' direct ministry & without their ever laying hands upon him) to follow every example of Paul's way of life that followed. Anyone who does so has the full approval of God via His everlasting Word - Jesus & the Bible.
1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
From blasphemous persecutor to Apostle to the Gentiles: Paul is an example to Christians of all centuries of what Christ's mercy is ready to do to call any one of us out of darkness and into ministry - ministry like that of Paul & Jesus. Again, it should never be forgotten that Saul of Tarsus was called to become Paul the Apostle without any direct ministry -no laying of of hands- by the other Apostles Peter, James, John, etc. Paul was called directly by Christ - and that is a biblical example for any one of us who come later, too. Paul was simply following the heavenly calling and everlasting example of Christ, layed down for everlasting generations of Christians to come follow:
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the (miraculous) works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the (miraculous) works themselves.
12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the (miraculous) works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Jesus never said there was a time-limit on believing in Him and doing the works that Jesus did.
Jesus said the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) would abide with His followers forever. Jesus never said the Holy Spirit would ever be taken away from the Christian Community of Believers.
If the Holy Spirit is not in a man today, that man is not saved. Such a man is not a Christian, he is not a child of God. And if the Holy Spirit dwells in a man, that man is being called upon to be led by the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) and thereby become a son of God (like Christ).
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Jesus commanded His eleven remaining disciples to "teach others to observe all things that He commanded" them to do. This very commandment was also among those things that those eleven discples were to pass on. Those that were so discipled by the eleven would, in turn, be so charged to t"each others to observe all things He commanded them (the original eleven)" and so on, all the way down to us and the countless generations to come. There is no getting around it: All generations of Christians are commanded to obey all things Jesus taught that first group of eleven disciples. Jesus taught them to be led by the Holy Spirit who abides forever. And we must follow their example.
Matthew 10:40 & Mark 9:37 & John 13:20
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."
For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God
1 John 4:6
We are of God. He who knows God hears us
And this is love, that we walk after Christ's commandments ~2 John 6
Let us consider some the verses specifically mentioning "the Kingdom of Heaven," or more accurate to the original Bible languages: "The Kingdom of the Heavens." (More on the original wording may be found at: The Empire of the Skies).
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.
"Damned Man-Eating Savages" is a graphic recollection our origins
-where we came from.
-where we are going.
Return of Christ Brings the Kingdom of God WITH MIRACULOUS POWER, not without speaks of
-what powers that journey.
One might well ask: "So how do we get there from here?"
The Gospel for the third thousand years of Christianity is the same as for the first two thousand years. Like every cultural group, our generation must be presented Christ's message in terms we can understand, fitting the context of our time & place in God's Creation. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, wrote, "I have become all things to all men that by all means I might win some." In essence, part of what I am really doing here is presenting the ages-old Gospel to the 21st Century generation - by simply returning to the eternal foundation of its time-defying original terms. Its my earnest hope that you find within these pages enough creative power to stretch your mind, limbering it up and breaking it free from the confines of dry, broken, old cisterns of dusty traditions and form within you a fresh, new spring of life, the wonder of eternally new, everlasting life, (John 7:37-39 & Revelation 7:17). We can learn to marvel again, as a little child, (Luke 18:14-17), and make room in our hearts to learn again from God's inexhaustable & living Word, Jesus Christ Himself, (John 1:1 & John 1:14). Let us celebrate together 20 centuries of Christ's power and the dawning of Christianity's third millennium among men.
1 Corinthians 8:2
And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out, investigate, and discover a matter.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. NKJV
Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of-infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. 21 May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ. TLB
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
As it is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
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And this is love, that we keep Christ's commandments ~ 2 John 6
Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Since I was an 8-year old boy, this has been my favorite Christmas song. Let's take a second look at Isaac Watts' stalwart Church standard. Just what message does this hymn guide The Church to express?
If you forgot how the music goes, you can refresh your memory here http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/o/joyworld.htm