Here within a month, I will be traveling two hours north to do a one day seminar on the Kingdom of Heaven in Mishawaka, IN. During this seminar we will be praying for the sick and oppressed. I can guarantee that there will be people healed and delivered that day. I can guarantee it because God’s Word sets the expectation that when the Gospel of the Kingdom is proclaimed, signs, wonders, and miracles follow. This has been the pattern we have seen and this is why with full confidence I can tell people that there will be those that will leave better than they arrived.
To keep in step with the theme for the seminar, my next few blog posts will be on the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven (both are completely interchangeable) and why when we share the Good News, we have the promise of God to authenticate this message with power. The theme of the seminar is 1 Corinthians 4:20 -
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power
So to begin this ‘series’ of blogs, I want so set the historical stage that the idea of the Kingdom of God coming to earth was one of the main governing beliefs the Jews held. Beginning with Abraham’s call to leave his home, the Jewish people believed as a part of their national identity that God would establish His Kingdom on earth through them. So when John the Baptist came proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, this would have created an unmatched joy in the ears of Israel. Both Isaiah and Daniel prophesied about this coming Kingdom:
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Dan 2:44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,
To be a Jew in first century Palestine and hear this wild looking man that ate locusts and wild honey (with at least a few bee stings) yelling out God’s Kingdom was at hand was a long awaited joy. There was a problem looming though, the way Israel believed the Kingdom was going to be established did not coincide with the way Jesus was going to establish it. This is why in part; there was so much debate and eventual animosity towards Jesus. People could not deny what Jesus did was unlike anything they knew, but the Jewish expectation for Messiah did not quite look like Jesus. The Kingdom was here, but they just could not see it yet. This is why the phrase -Kingdom of Heaven- was so paramount.
God was not going to ‘raise up’ a Messiah from the people; the Messiah was going to be nothing less than God Himself in the flesh.
Israel was looking for a physical Kingdom. They had lost their freedom through their sin that lead to their eventual captivity and were currently under Roman rule. They were not a free nation which went against all they believed. Despite years of apostasy, they held that they were God’s people and God would establish His Kingdom through them. What they could not understand at the time was that this Kingdom God was to establish was not of earth. The Kingdom God was bringing was a heavenly one and with it - a heavenly King. God was not going to ‘raise up’ a Messiah from the people; the Messiah was going to be nothing less than God Himself in the flesh. God was going to leave heaven, put on flesh, and bring and establish His Kingdom on earth within His very self. Because the Jewish belief of Messiah was so different than whom Jesus was and what Jesus did, to this day Jesus is still almost completely rejected as the Anointed One of God by the Jews.
I believe that John the Baptist was the last Old Testament prophet used by God to be the bridge between the Old Covenant and the New. John's announcement that the appointed time for God to establish His rule on earth was now here. A prophesied transition was taking place. His message, and the same message Jesus would proclaim was done so in the context of –repentance. It is here I will stop for now and begin the next blog sharing and explaining the overwhelming power of repentance. So for now, many blessings and see you next week.
For more informaton about the 1 day seminar CLICK HERE
The teaching sessions for the seminar will be recorded and will be made available for a any donation amount. Any questions, please email me.